In the years since the release of the game Troll and I on PS4 it has amassed a number of negative reviews. During these years I have received tons of emails and DMs from angry gamers that question the integrity of this site because of our “extremely positive review score” for the game I have replied to many of these individuals personally but seeing as there is an entire section of Reddit calling us out over our thoughts on the game, I feel I should finally address the issue and put it to rest.
This editorial is titled “Why I Hate Troll and I a Video Game I Have Never Played” and I am positive many of your are wondering why I reviewed a game that I have never played. It is a valid point and I will begin by getting the biggest issue out of the way. I have never reviewed Troll and I. No one here at PlayStation Haven has played the retail version or reviewed Troll and I. My hatred of this game stems from all of the people that come at me thinking they know everything there is to know about everything and as usual are wrong. So let’s clear all of this up right now.
When I first created PlayStation Haven back in 2009, it was simply something I messed around with so my friends and I could connect about video games. I didn’t have any web design experience but people loved the game and movie reviews I used to write on Myspace. My reviews caught the attention of the creator of a gaming social network called PSN Friends and I was ask to join the network as an admin and write reviews for the site. During my time there I made a few changes to the site here and there and added features such as the Metal Gear Solid Fanbase group that was very popular at the time. However due to the jealousy of one of the original admins (I wont get into it, not today) and the extended absence of the site’s creator, I and several other admins had our privileges stripped and others took credit for all of my contributions. So I took to the Ning platform (mistake) and took everything that I created for PSN Friends and created PlayStation Haven (PSH). At one point PSH had over 20,000 members with on average 3,000 active members each day. Not the biggest numbers but pretty cool for something I put together sitting in the back of one of my graphic design classes. I never though to create a business out of it but when I did everything fell apart. I mean literally the same day. Ning went from a free platform to paid. The price I needed to pay to maintain things as the were went from nothing to about $50 a month. Fine. It’s the cost of doing business right? So I upgraded my plan and a month later it increased another $10. That was fine and it worked for a few years until Ning decided to increase prices again while simultaneously removing all of the features that the community kept returning for. So I realized the money I was dishing out was not worth what I was getting and so I shut down the site and began work on a new one.
Fast forward to E3 2016. I had successfully relaunched the website to the no member/content only model we have now and I had a whole new crew backing me up. We went to E3 that year and took it by storm and even produced our biggest YouTube video to date with out God of War Reaction Video. I remember I had a media appointment to test out Agents of Mayhem and the group ahead of me was taking longer than expected so I had to call two of my editors to head over to the Maximum Games booth to go to my next appointment in my place. One of the games on display at that appointment was Troll and I. Developers have a reputation for showing off products that are not representative of what the game will be like on release. I am not sure if this was the case for Troll and I because I was never at the booth. What I do know is that this was this particular editor’s first E3 and he decided to do a review of each booth he visited. So understand that by review I mean he looked at what each studio had to offer and gave his thoughts on what was on display in the current state the games were in and all of them were obviously pre-release.
Sometime after E3 I was contacted by PR for Maximum games asking if they could quote the article that the editor wrote to use for the trailer and the back of the box. In hindsight I should have asked what quote they wanted to use but since I was excited that this would be our first trailer quote and that I had no idea how the game looked or played I agreed to the request. For those of you new to this situation, take a look at the launch trailer with the quote below.
So as you can see the quote they used from our site is “Simply Astounding” and for the record this is not taken from a review of the full game. Like I said no one here has played or reviewed the full game. The quote was taken from a write up of a pre-release copy of the game from a year before. So here is the full passage that the quote was taken from:
“The last of the games I tried my hand at is in a different genre altogether. Troll and I is a folktale-like story where, if playing alone, you alternate between characters (a troll and a boy) or, if playing with a friend, you each control one of the two characters. The graphics for Troll and I are simply astounding, and at some points quite visceral, considering the almost childlike nature of the game. The pace is fairly slow at first, but speeds up soon after. That said, some of the puzzles are fairly tricky to figure out, so be prepared to do some creative thinking. If nice relaxing games with beautiful environments are your thing though, this is certainly the game for you.”
As I have said before, I was not at the booth so I do not know what the game looked or played like in that demo. Looking at the Launch Trailer I personally would not call the graphics simply astounding but the editor at the time did. I know we live in a hivemind era where the opinion of the group is law but I stand by the idea that everyone’s opinions are there own here. So that being said when we do review games here, the review score is based on the reviewers opinion and not everyone on staff here. Even though we were asked for the quote we were never offered a review copy of the game. Around 70% of the games we review are purchased by me and Troll and I was not something I was looking to spend money on.
There you have it. Once and for all the Troll and I has no review here on PSH. It was cool to be quoted but the quote is slightly out of context, at least from the way it was perceived. Now that I have got that off my chest I can go back to watching the new Death Stranding trailer some more.