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  1. #1
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    Forbes: Why game reviewers fail

    Something seems to be clear here Ė thereís something wrong in games reviewing. Some have blamed money or advertising dollars, but I donít think thatís the root problem. The big problem is less sinister than that, though no less dangerous. We just really like games. And we want to like games.
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    I absolutely agree with this.

    How many times has a (storied/popular) franchised ever been truly critiqued? I believe that this is an issue in reviewers today, where relationships between the 'journalists' and developers/publishers interfere with most games' being assessed with any real insight.

    To me, I don't think that 'money-bags' are necessarily involved; but when an individual is constantly meeting with PR, devs, managers etc, of certaing game companies - they eventually foster a relationship. It is this relationship where I believe causes the most harm in reviews.

    Because they are stuck in a place where it would be terribly awkward to give a true scathing opinion (if one were such deserved).

    Think of it this way; these poeple are often acquaintances and often mix in circles, therefore getting to know each other fairly well. But usually, this is not the sort of friendship or relationship that you can be rank or truthful with someone.

    It is in the realm of workplace relationship, where being polite is the norm, and you must be PC with how you convey professional opinions.

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  2. #2
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    I think the article was short... Both in length and substance. Not that I don't agree with the basic premise- that there is something wrong with game reviewing. Nefarious or otherwise, but I think this guy really needed to bolster his argument more to be convincing.

    It was kind of like "Well, I think this.. And now here are my reasons for why: 1 reason. The end."

    It should have been fleshed out better. More in depth.

    Def concur that Yahtzee is very consistent though. He's honest lol.


  3. #3
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    Are you kidding me? Reviews fail because any critics of popular games will be mauled by a mob of angry fanboys. IGN's NG3 review is a perfect example of this. So many people on this forum just started to rip IGN apart for critiquing NG3 not for any constructive reason, but mostly just "IGN SUX, I HATZ THEM ANYWAYS!"

    Fanboys pay the bills, so critics are now just pandering to fanboys.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    I think the article was short... Both in length and substance. Not that I don't agree with the basic premise- that there is something wrong with game reviewing. Nefarious or otherwise, but I think this guy really needed to bolster his argument more to be convincing.

    It was kind of like "Well, I think this.. And now here are my reasons for why: 1 reason. The end."

    It should have been fleshed out better. More in depth.

    Def concur that Yahtzee is very consistent though. He's honest lol.
    I do agree with the length.

    When I clicked onto page 2, it was one paragraph then done. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by rbrtchng View Post
    Are you kidding me? Reviews fail because any critics of popular games will be mauled by a mob of angry fanboys. IGN's NG3 review is a perfect example of this. So many people on this forum just started to rip IGN apart for critiquing NG3 not for any constructive reason, but mostly just "IGN SUX, I HATZ THEM ANYWAYS!"

    Fanboys pay the bills, so critics are now just pandering to fanboys.
    There is that too. But if you listen to any gaming podcast (IGN etc) they don't really give a toss (for the most part) about fan perception of their reviews.

    What becomes apparent is their backslapping and near-unprofessional, over-indulgent treatment of those in the game industry. To the point that you understand why these big sites very rarely give a big game a low score.

    #IndieStation4 and proud of it.

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    Actually, if you listen to IGN, they often encourage people to visit their site and watch their youtube channels. So they can pretend to not care, but they do. A lot.

    And games with more money behind it usually bribe reviewers in terms of doing different events or have lunch with reviewers so that they're all friends, and that's the type of bias that's unacceptable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbrtchng View Post
    Are you kidding me? Reviews fail because any critics of popular games will be mauled by a mob of angry fanboys. IGN's NG3 review is a perfect example of this. So many people on this forum just started to rip IGN apart for critiquing NG3 not for any constructive reason, but mostly just "IGN SUX, I HATZ THEM ANYWAYS!"

    Fanboys pay the bills, so critics are now just pandering to fanboys.
    I didn't really care one way or another about IGN before but I lost all respect for them when they not only published a poorly-written article on Kingdom Hearts but defended it like a bunch of snobs in a latter video, basically telling people that they weren't allowed to voice any criticism towards their views. So, for me, it's not really about what score you give the game but how well you can back it up. If IGN just wants to get a rise out of people for views then they can $#@! off.
    Last edited by Metal King Slime; 03-22-2012 at 23:32.
    Thanks to Kwes for the avatar and Sylar for the signature!


  7. #7
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    To me, sites like IGN tend to go in favour of their advertisers; whether that means game developers or publishers. Therefore, their opinions are almost always going to be in favour of them. Especially the ones they are most in contact/meetings with.

    Which is why Japanese devs tend to get less favourable comments or insights from these sights - because they don't have a more contact or prominent presence.

    I mean, where are these guys based? Burbank? Or at the least the U.S based devs get more 'love' from them.

    It is no surprise to me that whenever there is a fan -movement (a la DLC based outcries or more recently, the ME3 ending), they are ALWAYS on the dev-side, no matter how reasonable the fans are being.

    It makes sense, I guess; because they've become somewhat close with these people.

    But by no means is it 'professional'...

    #IndieStation4 and proud of it.

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    EDGE magazine for the win. If they give a game a good score, then no doubt it's a good game. They're hard to impress and they seem to critique pretty hard, maybe too hard.

    Gamespot is getting to the point in which they are harder to impress too. I haven't read Gamepro or G4TV reviews in a while, but what made me stop reading their reviews was that they couldn't give good reasons for why they give some games certain scores. Okamiden got a 3 out of 5 from G4 and that's just wrong. I don't care what they say, that game was good.

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  9. #9
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    Haha one of the first things they taught us in journalism was to never mingle with whoever or whatever topic you're working on..don't accept gifts or do favors...you wanna have the most unbiased story/opinion ever. But I'm sure that rule gets broken daily.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreDayDetox View Post
    Haha one of the first things they taught us in journalism was to never mingle with whoever or whatever topic you're working on..don't accept gifts or do favors...you wanna have the most unbiased story/opinion ever. But I'm sure that rule gets broken daily.
    That's a recurring theme I regularly read, see, and hear about occuring in the gaming media.

    You know they do all those things on the regular. Especially the way they talk about them and how often they're all 'buddy-buddy'.

    #IndieStation4 and proud of it.

  11. #11
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    In other news the grass is green.

    After playing GTA4 extensively, any reviewer that gave it more than 7 out of 10 is a bribed idiot, or very easy to please. IMO.
    Almost everyone will say: buy console that has games that you want, and those who say otherwise are ignorant.

    Playstation Move for the win!

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  13. #12
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    A double post for unknown reasons

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator 101 View Post
    In other news the grass is green.

    After playing GTA4 extensively, any reviewer that gave it more than 7 out of 10 is a bribed idiot, or very easy to please. IMO.
    That was such a hyped up game because of its next-gen adaptation. Even X-PLAY demo'd it and I succumbed to the hype and bought the special edition. Beat it, got bored of it quickly, traded in, bought it again last year because I pretended it could be as fun as San Andreas. Nowhere near that great.


  15. #14
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    "A character in ME3 is an actual IGN staffer who joined the cast for a minor role. Jessica Chobot, a pesonality for IGN, plays the part of Diane Allers in ME3, someone you can pick up as an “embedded journalist” and have on your ship for the rest of the game."

    Wow. I had no idea about this.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator 101 View Post
    In other news the grass is green.

    After playing GTA4 extensively, any reviewer that gave it more than 7 out of 10 is a bribed idiot, or very easy to please. IMO.

    Maybe they didn't play it for long enough I found it quite entertaining the first couple of hours but as i got further into it the game started to annoy me with phonecalls form all sorts of characters wanting to hang out with me.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudie View Post
    "A character in ME3 is an actual IGN staffer who joined the cast for a minor role. Jessica Chobot, a pesonality for IGN, plays the part of Diane Allers in ME3, someone you can pick up as an “embedded journalist” and have on your ship for the rest of the game."

    Wow. I had no idea about this.
    So that's why that name seemed so familiar to me...you can also bone the IGNorant out of her! lol jk


  18. #17
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    There are some honest reviewers, but the problem is that many of these people simply lack understanding of game design to be able to critique it.

    Any person with an opinion wants to share it, but most of them don't really get what it is that they have an opinion about so they generally either gloss over the understanding of the games overall or simply skim the surface of defining what the game is by describing some prescribed "genre" and how a game fits that "genre".

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  20. #18
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    He's right, but I do think it's sinister. And I don't mean taking bribes from publishers (even though that may happen, I dunno, but it wouldn't surprise me). I mean that all sites/magazines and particularly individual reviewers will have their favourite franchise or their favourite developers and will feel loyalty somewhere or other - be that Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft, indie devs, PC only devs etc and they let those loyalties influence their reviews far too much, giving plaudits for the smallest of things they'd never even mention in another game and overlooking glaring errors.

    It can also work the other way when a big fan of a series is extremely let down by a new game in that franchise and gives it a worse review that the game really deserves. There's not enough objectivity from anyone.

    Eurogamer who I consider a good site with mostly fair and balanced reviews are a good example. 90% of their reviews I find objective and critical but they have their favourites who they'll back all the way regardless of how the game actually is. No point in even reading any review on there for a Bioware or Valve game because you know it'll get a 9 or more likely 10 and you know the entire review will just be one massive $#@!. Same thing with Yahtzee and Valve - he'll happily pick any other developers game to pieces even if it has very little wrong with it, but not with them, no sir, and he's proud of his bias as well.

    Another example is Demon's Souls which at first got mediocre reviews because nobody knew or cared what it was but after it started to become a cult classic many sites went back and reviewed it again and it was magically better than before. Then comes Dark Souls, nd inferior (but still very good) game and it gets fantastic reviews.

    I just want them to review the quality of a game. Don't review a series, don't go into a game with a verdict already buzzing in your head because of the name on the box. If it's $#@! call a spade a spade even if your best friend wrote the script, if it's great then say it's great regardless of who made it or how well known it may be.
    Last edited by Cyn; 03-23-2012 at 20:09.

  21. #19
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    I dont put alot of stock into reviews. I read them just to get a general idea.

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    Reviews only really make sense within the context of all the other reviews. One mans opinion doesn't mean $#@!.

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    The website i do reviews for are actually trying to move away from a number score. Sadly we arent yet big enough to do that yet as we also have our reviews posted on n4g and the tards over there go ape $#@! if we dont post a score with our review. That said we make clear that our final comments are our opinions. In the main parts of our reviews we talk about the systems of the game and if they work right or not. We keep our feelings out until the final parts where we discuss how we feel. That way even if we werent a fan of the game, it is still clear that the ready may be a fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameware336 View Post
    The website i do reviews for are actually trying to move away from a number score. Sadly we arent yet big enough to do that yet as we also have our reviews posted on n4g and the tards over there go ape $#@! if we dont post a score with our review. That said we make clear that our final comments are our opinions. In the main parts of our reviews we talk about the systems of the game and if they work right or not. We keep our feelings out until the final parts where we discuss how we feel. That way even if we werent a fan of the game, it is still clear that the ready may be a fan
    I personally don't like numbered or graded scores. A well written article and a short summary for those who don't have time to read much is adequate.







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