Friday, January 18, 2008

Game Reviews are Harsh and too Critical these days...

What do you think about reviews, do they influence your purchase, do they not, do you do something else to figure out if you should get a game? Vote in our poll on the sidebar (sorry its at the bottom of the blog though!)
Game Reviews are something that many of us frequent to see if a game will be interesting to us, however, the problem with many reviews is their scoring and tactics, and they are really harsh these days (also their credibility is in trouble). Aren't games supposed to be about if they are fun or not? I mean Visuals, Music/Sound, all matter...but not as much as whether the game is fun or not, right?

These days I usually just check out reviews to see what other people out there have to think about games. I can't really take their word for it because everyone has different opinions. Recent controversy on reviews even being credible came up on GameSpot when one of their long time reviewers was let go. Many people believe that this was due to the advertising campaign on the site that was going on for the game...and that the company who made the game threatened to pull their ad campaign because the game was given a low score by the reviewer who was let go. I mean honestly, why even bother paying attention to big name sites out there for game reviews; their reviews could be influenced by companies giving them money to give their game a good review.

Now for my main story I'm going to discuss what I think about the reviews being given at big name sites and magazines out there. I'm starting to notice many games are getting lower scores just because they are a sequel. For instance, multiple times a reviewer at IGN has been deducting points from games just because they are a sequel in the series, even if it's better than one of the previous games. What gives? It's pretty foolish. I never played the first two Metroid Prime games, yet this reviewer decides to deduct points because it's a sequel. He has done this numerous times (I'm sure you readers know who I am talking about) and it's starting to make me lose faith in his credibility as a reviewer. I mean the game should be judged on its own, it shouldn't be judged based on a past game, this is one huge problem in reviews.
There are many complaints that make this review look like a waste of time.

Game reviews are pretty harsh out there, or at least most of the gamers out there would agree with me. I mean do you really give whether or not a game is in HD or has widescreen? That's not really important, what is important is that the game plays good and gives you a good time. If you buy games just because of their graphics then you should really find a better hobby. If you just buy a game based on what it looks like, then chances are you are missing out on most of the games out there. I mean graphics can only go so far.

Reviewers seem to critique games way too harshly. Sonic and the Secret Rings wasn't a bad game, so what gives with their scores? They shouldn't try comparing it to a past Sonic game because it's pretty worthless because many games in a series are different from eachother. I can say that the game was really short, but it was one of the most beautiful games on the Wii, and a step in the right direction for the Sonic series. The control wasn't perfect but it was still better than the travesties of Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog(360/PS3). The game still has awesome music, and even though the story was corny, it just wasn't that bad to be given that low of a score in the first place. These game reviewers need to judge a game based on whether you can play it without any huge errors (like a game ending glitch & control) and whether or not it's fun. They critique way too much on the technical stuff, only true gamers base a game on it's control and whether it's fun, so I guess most of the people who take reviews as if they fit them aren't true gamers, just posers.

Games are supposed to be fun, if they rag on every single game out there so harshly the videogame business would probably crash. Honestly, lets give a game a lower score "because it is a sequel". That'll just do the game companies good. I know that some reviewers out there are true to gaming, but if they pitter-patter around with all that technical crap in reviews, the game industry may cease to exist someday. Games should be judged on whether they are fun or not...gaming is about fun, not about being perfect in every way.

Game Reviewers, you really need to change...and if you don't want to, then find a new career based on reviewing TV's since the technical aspects is all you seem to be worried about.


Tristan H said...

I will admit, I do just usually pick games because either, A) They have the most impressive graphics or B) Because they are licensed properties and Im a fan of the series. More often than not I end up buying games before they are reviewed because I know that if I read the reviews of the types of games that I get, then I will most often not get them if they dont get any special commendation (or basically a B average). There are several exceptions no doubt, but usually I read tons of reviews and follow them. I dont see nothing wrong with being harsh, I find that they keep it interesting and if it is a sequel then it needs to either be the same or be slightly better.

Dani in NC said...

I don't give too much credence to the scores that reviewers give games. Since I don't know many gamers in my off-line life, I read the reviews to find out what the games are about. I pay attention to the facts: how many players, what genre is it, can I play online, etc. Personal opinions keep the review from sounding like a press release from the company, but I don't let them sway me too much.

I also take into account that some of the things that bother reviewers aren't going to bother me or my kids. For instance, many reviewers feel a game is short because it only took them 15 hours to finish it. A game that length would last several weeks for me because I only get to play once or twice a week.

Bottom line: I read the reviews for the information, not the score.