Monday, April 5, 2010

Professional reviews part II

I have a little bit more time to finish off some comments about why professional reviews are not credible.

In my last post, I mentioned how professional media outlets are scared to give big name games a bad score for fear of fan and game company backlash. Combining this thought with my dislike of the rating scale with lots of gradations, I've come to the conclusion that a large scale (say, 100 points) allows reviewers to be a little bit more negative with their text, yet still give the game a good overall score (which is what people look at anyway).

For example, if I make 7 or 8 negative comments in a review but still give the game a 9, it looks bad on me. But if I use a 100 point scale, I can use a loophole and make it seem like I'm taking off one notch per complaint. And boom, 92/100.

Speaking of bashing a game in the review and giving it a high score, it's very rampant in the gaming media. Example:

From IGN's review of GTA: Liberty City Stories:

By now, you may be wondering why a game that we've basically talked about negatively for half the review deserves a rating of 9.0. Regardless of how bad the story is or how little innovation is in the game, it's still a Grand Theft Auto title through and through.

How blatant can you get? They're essentially acknowledging the game is lousy, but because it's a GTA game, it gets a 9.0! How credible is this?

And here's a flat out ridiculous statement--graphical clipping errors make a game fun. What kind of outlet would make a statement like that? in their review of God Hand, that's who.

It may look like I'm just citing a few isolated moments of silliness here, but believe me, this kind of thing is rampant. I still post in a forum thread where we quote lines like this in professional media reviews. We started a new thread because the old one was 34 pages long.

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