Destro sez: “Where’s my money?”

The rest of the Internet is free to argue itself sick over my Mario Galaxy review, which is probably enjoying a little too much attention as it’s bizarrely the only review currently available from a major site, so far as I can tell. Personally, I’m happier with that article than with anything else I’ve written this year, so all the petty snipery the Internet has to offer can’t prevent me from taking satisfaction in having drafted an acceptably eloquent evaluation of an exceptional game. Besides, I’d much rather focus my energy on appreciating a little thing I like to call “The reason they invented American money.” Which in other circles is known as….

Pimp Daddy Destro.

If bizarre obsessions with the numbers on videogame reviews is one of the more obnoxious failings of Internet culture, Pimp Daddy Destro is one of its more notable (albeit useless) triumphs. The story goes like this:

Many years ago, Hasbro designed a really garish version of villainous G.I. Joe mainstay Destro and actually went so far as to manufacture and ship a few hundred of them before coming to their senses and realizing, “This is a horrible idea.” And it was! Just look at it. Thus was “Destro” upgraded to “destroyed.” But, the Internet being what it is, this misbegotten toy has become a thing of folklore among a small Internet circle of fans, celebrated in verse and interpretive dance. So Hasbro inexplicably decided that the best way to celebrate their toy line’s quarter-century anniversary was not to focus on something that most fans would recognize from, say, the cartoon or movie or comic book. No! Rather, the company has chosen to recreate the Pimp Daddy Destro toy. It is a gloriously stupid decision and a marvelously garish piece of plastic.

I’m keeping mine in the package, but only until I can find a feathered hat and cane in the proper scale.

33 thoughts on “Destro sez: “Where’s my money?”

  1. Leopard print collar?

    Actually I had no idea they still made GI Joes with the cool articulated limbs. I had so many back in the day.

    Also Im surprised that you didnt give Super Mario Galaxy a “perfect” 10. That would really give those whiny fanboys something to talk about.

  2. Congratulations on being the first out there with the review, and with being satisfied with the result.

  3. Wait, rereleased? As in, I can buy a Pimp Daddy Destro of my very own?

    Who do I give my money to in order to make this happen?!

  4. It was sold this year as an exclusive at San Diego Comic Con or something. They’re available in pretty decent quantities but you’ll have to hunt around for a good price.

  5. I know you didn’t want to talk about this, but don’t you think it’s time we dismantled review scores altogether? The argument gets thrown around a lot, and most people dismiss it because scores are so ingrained in gaming culture. Your review WAS “an acceptably eloquent evaluation of an exceptional game,” but the score trivializes your words by implying that aspects of the game can be measured numerically, and somehow the game didn’t live up to the highest possible score.

    Understanding that a 10 does not mean “perfect” is key, but why have a scale if the top doesn’t mean perfect? If 10 means the game exceeds all the 9.5 games before it, it is impossible to rank a later game with a 10, which is the same score, even if the later game is “better.” Games that deserve 10s will change as games advance as an art form, making the scale useless as time progresses. It’s only use is for immediate comparison (you gave Halo a 9, so we know you like this better; or do you? Why should we care? Shouldn’t your review clarify what is good and what is bad in a game, and not rank games next to each other? Is ranking games valuable at all?). Your review does a great job of talking about the merits of the game. The question is whether these things are quantifiable.

    I am sure you assigned 9.5 from your gut, and I don’t blame you. Your words speak so much louder than your score, though. If the point of a score is to elucidate the quality or value of a game, it isn’t working; most people find your score at odds with your review. I argue all scores are at odds with the journalistic purpose (to tell, expose, clarify), especially because we’re dealing with something as unscientific as art.

  6. What a profoundly original notion! I’m sure if I were to present this post to the powers-that-be it would revolutionize the gaming press forever.

  7. I know my words aren’t original, and I know we have a press that wouldn’t allow for the removal of scores without effort. I wasn’t asking for sarcasm but your perspective. From what I gather I think you agree, but please tell us.

  8. My perspective is that I hate scores and have said as much on countless occasions. My perspective is also that our publications have tried abandoning and streamlining scores on numerous occasions, and these efforts always result in a strong negative backlack and our business takes a hit — we are stuck with them, even those most of us detest them. That is why I maintain this site, where I can write about things without putting numbers on them. My perspective is that this is a tired, frustrating topic and I get tired of people pointing a finger at me in accusation about something I have no control over.

  9. Sorry friend, didn’t mean to point the finger at you. At the very least, it’s refreshing to hear that most of the professionals you’re around hate scores too. I think that these conversations, even if they’re tired, are still valid because we may be able to change public opinion through them.

  10. in the words of Mr. Parish. A++ would read again!
    But seriously I think your score is fine.
    Alos I don’t think any publication that has scores can remove them. If you never had them then people might not expect them, but once they are there you’re kinda stuck.
    That’s why I don’t score games on my show. (small though it may be)Instead I’ve chosen to just say if I recommend it and why. Jeremy has a similar system with the VC games, and I like that very much.
    PS. Destro is awesome.

  11. My current phrase du jour regarding scores which I have annoying people on the forums with is whether or not it scored higher than Portal.

    See, Portal is great, but because it’s short most publications gave it somewhere around an 8. Which is insane, as they all say in the text that it’s must-play but a bit short. I enjoy the cognitive dissonance that results from thinking that Halo 3 is apparently ‘better’ than Portal, even though history will have a different opinion. (And has – already you’re seeing people saying this.)

    One of the reasons I stopped reading Gamespot was because their scoring system wasn’t built to handle indy titles – they scored lower on graphics and sound, and often presentation, because they had less money, but they were always cheaper and often way more adventurous. It was stupid that their review structure made them focus on each aspect of this game at a time when most of their checklist was entirely irrelevant. I suspect it’s the same problem with review scores everywhere else, just not as prominent as it was in Gamespot’s case – you can’t really build a system that would give Portal the score that its reviews reflect, because it has a completely different set of priorities.

    And yet movie reviewers manage to get away with a ten point scale and no-one bats an eyelid. The bastards.

  12. I managed to convince myself over lunch that the (well, a, at least) problem with the numerical scores is that they’re not actually relative. I mean, look at Rotten Tomatoes. The whole point of the site’s existence is that reviewers vary enough in their opinions that to get the best picture of how good a movie is you get everyone’s opinions, and if just 60% are positive then it’s a good movie. Games reviews are way more homogenic.

    I figure that the reason this happens is that reviewers are seen to be speaking for the publication, which happens for movies too but the difference there is that it’s possible to see every movie that comes out every week. It’s just not possible, and yet game reviewers are given only a little byline to differentiate themselves, unless it’s something like EGM where you’ve got four different people giving the scores. That helps.

    So maybe kill two birds with one stone: everyone has to do scores, but every reviewer has completely different scales. Parish might have a thumbs up/thumbs down scale, maybe Mielke would have letter grades, Sharkey, maybe out of five. When the scales are the same (good old ten-point scales) make them different colours or something. Instead of the bit at the review index where the score guide is put, place a little section that has the scores each reviewer has given out over the past couple of months, so readers can cross-reference their experiences with a title with the reviewer that did it, and decide for themselves how bollocks their scale is. For big titles, you may have multiple reviewers, who would use their own grading system.

    Again, purely redundant tripe that’s already been bandied around to death in game review offices across the world, but if the people want a score, then make them frickin’ work for it.

  13. Shit, ‘homogenic’ isn’t even a word. Christ, I’m a tool.

    Anyways: what I meant there is that most reviews fall fairly squarely in one particular camp: ‘this is bad’, ‘this is good’, ‘this is great’. Most reviews are more or less homogeneous, read two sites and you know what’s going on, though there’s occasionally one reviewer who puts a game in a different camp.

  14. I think you should dedicate an issue of EGM (April maybe?) to reviewing non-video games. This way the fanboys can make comments like “What? Halo3 scored higher than freeze tag, but lower than Mille Bournes? 1up = totally Parker Bros biased”.

  15. “The police numbers are gettin’ closer, closer, closer to our soul hero, in his soul mobile, yeah baby! They about to strike. They gonna get him. Smash him. Rape… the last beautiful free soul on this planet.” – Super Soul

  16. Didn’t G.I. Joe have a whole line that looked like that? I think it was called “Tiger Force.” (no, I’m totally serious, look it up)

  17. I think openedsource’s idea is a wonderful one. I am especially interested to see how the modern day bowdlerized version of the previously ultra-violent and homophobic game of “Smear the _____” fares in the review process.

  18. “You know someone has to keep the Baroness in line.” Are you sure it isn’t maybe the other way around? I think I’m going to regret asking this but – doesn’t it seem like Destro and the Baroness are totally into S&M?

  19. I assumed the steel mask was for bar brawls. Would you punch a dude in the face if his face were metal?

  20. Metal full face masks are the natural evolution of “grillz”. Further demonstrating Destro’s awesome pimp-ocity.

  21. Speaking of scores, I vaguely remember from a while back that you were planning to nix non-integer scores entirely. What happened there?

  22. We tried but the market balked. We kept the integer-only scores just long enough for me to give New Super Mario Bros. an 8.0 instead of the 8.5 I would otherwise have given it. Awesome.

  23. 8.5!!!!???!!!?

    Surely it deserves at least an 8.6.

    Biased Confirmed.

    J/K Jeremy, see you next week.

  24. “I assumed the steel mask was for bar brawls. Would you punch a dude in the face if his face were metal? – parish” Yeah, isn’t Destro supposed to be Scottish?

    Jeremy and openedsource – Those are interesting points but they still don’t quite explain The Baroness’ all-leather outfit.

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