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Four Hated Game Reviews That Were Actually Completely Fair

With the controversy surrounding certain Halo 4 reviews continuing to attract attention, Mark Butler looks at four infamous instances where video game critics came under fire for their opinions – and explains why the vitriol was unwarranted in every case.

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SpiralTear1268d ago

Yes, we all get shocked when a game with vast critical acclaim gets a surprisingly low score, but everyone has their opinion. While I don't support reviews that base that opinion on facts and/or specs that are inaccurate, I do believe that reviewers are entitled to their own evaluation of a game.

I think Catherine's great, but I also think Jeff Gerstmann's great.

wallis1268d ago

There's a bit of paradox to anyone who has a job that's basically talking. While social etiquette generally keeps the rest of us from flying off inside our own arses and basing our opinions off little more than stupid and incorrect representations of reality there's nothing stopping critics from doing this. They don't have to justify their opinions and they spend so long crying that they don't have to justify their opinions that what you end up with is a bunch of gamers talking about what they like, and nothing else.

You see this in how critics and audiences are often divided. The entertainment value of a critic will never be lost, i.e. yahtzee, but I think it would go a long way if most critics remembered the purpose of their job - which is to save the audience money and time - or else we end up with a) review scores that simply reflect what audiences want (basically fanboys will turn the scoring systems into a rating of 9+ perfect, anything less and you're getting death threats) or b) reviews that are elitist trite and are completely irrelevant as actual reviews, existing as little more than the arbitrary prioritization of one gamer's opinions over another.

MaxXAttaxX1267d ago

Article didn't mention when fans lost their minds when Halo 3 and Reach received 8s from a few sites and Gears 2 a (gasp!) 4/5.

TheRealSpy1267d ago

i notice you only decided to mention 360 exclusives when the VERY same thing happened with Killzone, Uncharted, and Resistance.

Old McGroin1267d ago (Edited 1267d ago )

Well said man. I think where reviewers are going wrong these days is that they are writing their reviews based on their own personal preferences when in actual fact their job is to provide a completely unbiased opinion for a very broad audience. The most recent example of this was the reviewer who struck Halo 4 down for not having iron sight aiming for every weapon (amongst other things) and he ended that review by saying people would be disappointed because the game wasn't "keeping up with the Jonses". This was a perfect example of a reviewer rating a game based on it not containing mechanics in his own personal wish-list. In other words a biased review. Reviewers should rate games on what they actually contain, not what they don't contain, otherwise he/she will come off as completely biased. If left unchecked, what's next? Is this reviewer going to take marks off the next Grand Theft Auto game because it doesn't have the same car selection as Gran Tourismo? GTA fans would love that.

My point is, reviewers should always keep in mind their audience. The audience for Halo wanted to hear his opinion on Halo, not what he likes about other FPS games. And they should also remember that this is their job. They are being paid to provide unbiased opinions and so should act professionally. Stoking fanboy fires is not professional and stinks of hit-seeking.

So in a nutshell, I'm not saying reviewers aren't allowed to have an opinion. The opposite in fact. But because they are paid to offer their opinion they should offer it in a proffessional manner. If a mechanic in a game doesn't work then by all means mark the game down but be able to explain why. Don't mark a game down because you want it to be a different game.

MaxXAttaxX1267d ago (Edited 1267d ago )

Because the article mentioned PS3 exclusives and no 360 ones.
The same thing happens with every game. That was the point.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1267d ago
Tiqila1268d ago

god of war 3 simply is a 10/10 game.
i dont care about review scores, to each his/her own.

DarthJay1268d ago

Apparently not to everyone.

lastdual1268d ago

I felt it had some of the highest high points in the series, but also some of the lowest low points.

Overall still a very good game, but I hope Ascension delivers a more consistent ride.

jony_dols1268d ago

After playing through the previous games in the series on my PS2 & PSP, I had hoped for a bit more innovation in the gameplay...GoW 3 wasn't perfect, but it was still a damn good game, that even today still looks amazing.

xXBlondieVanHarlowXx1268d ago (Edited 1268d ago )

GoW3 was amazing o_o

It had some of the most memorable boss fights of this entire gen!! Especially the Poseiden and the Cronos battles... Those in particular were truly something special. Good times, eagerly awaiting Ascencion. :b

execution171268d ago

dunno why you're getting disagrees but the opening to god of war 3 was amazing

ikkokucrisis1268d ago

most amazing opening sequence i've ever seen!

Y_51501268d ago

I was in utter shock when I'd seen God of War 3 not being nominated for game of the year! I agree with everyone, it is amazing!

Eyeco1267d ago

It wasn't nominated because there were simply better games released that year e.g Red Dead Redemption, Mario Galaxy 2, Mass Effect 2, Starcraft 2,
Those games were way more deserving of GOTY

Tontus1267d ago

I agree that it didn't win as many GOTY awards as it should have but it still won at least 15 GOTY awards and had loads of nominations, not to mention it won 100's of other awards like best graphics, best PS3 game, be adventure game etc.

And @Eyeco, shut up. None of those games are better than God of War III, only Red Dead and ME2 were as high in quality and God of War III deserved just as many GOTY awards as those 2 games. GoW3, ME2 and Red Dead are the top 3 highest rated games on HD consoles in 2010 and so all deserve to win loads of awards and all did.

Eyeco1267d ago (Edited 1267d ago )

Ok dude I don't know if your trolling but 1st of all take it easy, second of all I'm sorry to break it to you but the highest rated game of 2010 and the 3rd highest rated game of all time is Super Mario Galaxy 2, also Starcraft 2 was rated slightly higher as well,

I'm not trying to berate or belittle GOW 3 its a great game its just not THAT good, in the gaming world there were simply better games released that year, to my knowledge I don't think it won anything other than PS3 GOTY awards. Dude take it easy I did like GOW3 the boss battles are among the best in gaming, but not every big game on the PS3 is a landmark, genre defining, diamond, GOTY masterpiece that's just a delusional fanboy mindset.

BTW i've just taken a look at your comment history all you seem to talk about is GOW to an almost obsessive rate, this means you could either be a troll or probably the single most narrow minded person i've ever met on N4G

Y_51501267d ago

@Eyeco I never said that God of War should win the GOTYs. I meant that I never really seen it even being nominated. That game was amazing and also those other games that you mentioned but really God of War 3 isn't worthy?! It should atleast have been nominated because I'm saying it is worthy.

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SilentNegotiator1268d ago

Gameplay wise, I agree. But the story was terrible.

torchic1268d ago

the story was good for 2/3 of the game is a better way of putting it.

Nicaragua1267d ago

No he was right first time - the story was terrible.

Craftiii41267d ago

What are you expecting to control it with?

Irishguy951267d ago

I strongly disagree, the boss fights where amazing. The rest of it was average. The story was mediocre.

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Sketchy_Galore1268d ago

For me it was the IGN review of the first Assassin's creed game, which labelled it something like 'the first major disappointment of this gaming generation' if I remember correctly. I have to admit I got a little butthurt over that one because I was looking forward to it so much and wanted to believe then finally I played the game and discovered that the review was completely correct.

SilentNegotiator1268d ago

The first one definitely disappointed. Between the miles of travel time between missions, horse speed limits, and repetitive gameplay...just not a great game.

Nicaragua1267d ago

If you get butthurt over a review for a game that you havent even played then you are a total fucking idiot.

Eyeco1267d ago

Assassins Creed 1 was a horrible game, i can't remember much from it either than holding down X/A the majority of the time it got old real quick. Assassins Creed 2 was awesome tho

smashcrashbash1268d ago

Yeah I don't see how the person's absolutely wrong opinion about Kratos being unsympathetic personality should justify a lower score at all. Kratos has suffered for a whole chunk of his life and it's like people still don't get it. You sympathize his situation because he was royally screwed by people who were ten time worse then him. If people would read the Greek and Roman stories half the Gods' offspring were treated like dirt and Kratos's situation was no different. his anger and rage were justified ten time over and people always simply put it as Kratos simply being a jerk or an @$$hole which I constantly respond to by asking 'How would you behave if you went through what he did?' If you are going to start dragging out GOW for lack of innovation as opposed to it's predecessors, unsympathetic characters and same old formula then I have a list of games that need all their scores lowered immediately

Rupee1268d ago

Wait so this is a review... of a review?

Perjoss1268d ago

You sound surprised. We already have patches to fix patches and announcements for announcements.

knifefight1267d ago (Edited 1267d ago )

This sub-conversation is the best thing ever on N4G.