Daemon Hatfield, Senior Editor at IGN, was the subject of some probing questions this morning from PixelJunk studio head Dylan Cuthbert. Hatfield’s review of PixelJunk SideScroller, which was a 6.5 score, clearly upset the developer.[drop2]”You didn’t play it on normal,” said Cuthbert over Twitter. We’ve yet to play the final game, so can’t comment, but apparently finishing the game on normal unlocks an extra final stage.
“Rest assured I did,” replied Hatfield publicly. “Usually a big fan of your games, sorry this one didn’t click for me.”
Cuthbert annoyed that it was “the first review to go up” tweeted that “it’s obviously completely rushed by an intern”. Understandably annoyed, it then appears that Hatfield removed part of his review. “That’s really unprofessional,” he tweeted to the reviewer. “You removed the section from your review showing clearly you rushed through the game in casual.”
Hatfield later blogged about the issue. “I beat SideScroller twice, once on casual and then on normal,” he said. “The content was exactly the same in both play throughs.”
“When I assured the developer I had played on normal, he said I would have unlocked an ‘epic last stage’. I was confused, because I didn’t seem to unlock anything except the hard difficulty.”
“I thought this line in my review might be bothering him: ‘Finish the last stage and defeat the final boss and what is your reward? A swift kick back to the title screen with no more than ‘congratulations.'” This is the line that Cuthbert says was removed from the review. Screengrabs of both versions are here on GAF.
Hatfield says this was done “not to hide anything but in a hope to not mislead anyone into thinking there isn’t a brief little something at the end of the game, however insignificant.”
We’ll have a proper look at the final version of SideScroller (released yesterday onto the PSN) over the next day or so and pass our own comment – you can read our hands on here. It’s worth mentioning that Cuthbert doesn’t seem to have much of an issue with the score, just that the final last stage wasn’t mentioned.
Much like the secret stage in Shooter 2 wasn’t mentioned in most reviews, eh?