Part of a discussion on a gaming site about FFXIV brought up the topic of journalistic integrity. Do you deal with official PR people and whatnot to get inside access for previews and free review copies of games? Or do you go to Gamestop (ugh) or whereever on release day like everyone else and buy a copy, play through it, and get reviews out less frequently and later? If you go with the former you'll be probably feel pressure to be favorable towards the games you get access to. You might end up blacklisted if you tell everyone how god awful something is in a preview or review. The PR person you deal with might also be nice and you don't want to be a dick. Or you could just be a money-grubbing douche who will lie to readers to get free shit. I like to think that the huge gaming sites and magazines aren't the latter, but generally find myself sticking to smaller indie outfits anyway.
In any case, I was inspired to go check Wikipedia's Reception section, and then compare some reviews of the released game with the previews (of earlier less "polished" versions of FFXIV). And some of them are pretty funny.
Here's the conclusion to Gamespot's Preview:
Unfortunately, our play session was cut short after a few hunting expeditions, but we got a fairly good sense of much of what FFXIV will attempt to offer. The new game brings everything you love about Final Fantasy, and FFXI, into modern times with detailed, colorful graphics and a much better interface. The PC version of the game will launch in September while the PS3 version is scheduled to launch next year.And here's "The Bad" from their Review:
Absolutely miserable interfaceGranted, it would be hard to tell the economy sucked in a beta version that you're playing with only a few other people (and what a shitty way to setup a demo for journalists of an MMO), but the interface went from being better than FFXI's to absolutely miserable? lolwut?
Does a poor job of communicating important information
Limited questing means you're always looking for something fun to do Everything about the economy stinks
Every aspect of the game is filled with dumb obstacles.
Did different people write the two? I'm too lazy to go check, but I think it's pretty damn funny either way. And to be clear, I'm not saying, "Gamespot takes bribes from Square-Enix!!!!"