230°
Submitted by Fullish 1904d ago | article

Reviews Are Opinion Pieces

Gamer Limit writes "First things first: the very notion of someone being completely objective is ridiculous. Everyone has their preferences and their biases. " (Culture)

DangerCurtis  +   1905d ago
I believe there needs to be a middle ground established. I agree a lot with what is said here; it’s important to delve into the emotional responses players evoke from a game. At the same time, since the price of new release games can range anywhere from $20 to $60 on average, with little to no distinguishable differences to offset the quality, it’s important to be somewhat objective about the game.

A good reviewer is able to weigh every factor / emotion that went into the game, and deliver a coherent review that’s informative to its audience.
randomwiz  +   1904d ago
That's why I hate people who only look at review scores. A review score doesn't show emotion.

I always read the review before the review score. If I don't like the actual review, I don't even look at the review score.
#1.1 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Blaze929  +   1904d ago
"Reviews Are Opinion Pieces"
Ha...tell that to sony fanboys. The only ones who seem to care about that stuff and throw tantrums.

That's why I like the reviews that do not have a score and are going that N/A route. That requires those interested to actually read/watch the review. Now adays people just jump right to the score and call it a wrap.
Maddens Raiders  +   1904d ago
Are reviews opinion pieces? -
....does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter "R".

Related video
ReBurn  +   1904d ago
I get so frustrated sometimes with people complaining about reviews. Most of the time it's because they buy into the hype and then the reviews don't live up to that.

The trick is to find a couple of reviewers with tastes similar to yours. Not sites, people. Chances are reading about a game from someone who shares your tastes will be a better barometer for how much you'll enjoy the game than a bunch of random people who spread hype.
PoSTedUP  +   1904d ago
i hate reading reviews, i look at youtube videos and will read a few articles on it etc. if i dont know about a game. this gen i had the most fun with "avrage"/ bad" games: operation flashpoint, army of two 40th, socom, AVP etc.

review scores are for the weak minded and fanboy console wars.
#1.5 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
raztad   1904d ago | Spam
Bnet343  +   1904d ago
Good lord Roger Ebert is an ugly son of a b*tch. Did he ever get laid? No wonder he reviews movies he he. :)
pixelsword  +   1904d ago
"First things first: the very notion of someone being completely objective is ridiculous."
Although I do agree that reviews are opinion pieces and have said that many times in the past on this site, this statement above is not really true at all; actually it's a cookie-cutter process. If a reviewer is given a list of neutral and objective points to review and are required to stick to that list for every review or at least every genre, bias is eliminated and those who don't stick to the list are easily trying to interject bias. In a simple way, you are applying "law" towards a review: in effect, it's the difference between a police officer pulling you over for speeding versus a police officer pulling you over because he doesn't like the color of you... car. When the police abuses his authority, it can be noted and brought against him in the court of law and he himself can be punished for it, although he has authority.

That includes resolution being a factor in a score, or multiplayer features, responsiveness, "innovation", color or "gray" environments, lighting, sound, length, linearity, or storyline, for example.

Of course there are exceptions to the rules in certain situations (linearity, for example). Some list items ought to be applied depending on ambition of the game (size of game levels versus graphics) or some that should not change at all (sound). Those may well be objective points varying from reviewer to reviewer, but if such a exception is applied, such change should be noted and the reviewer should be held to his standard; even the editor adjusting the reviewer's score when a inconsistency is noticed, if necessary.

The fact that editors DO NOT hold their reviewers responsible for their own reviews is why gaming journalism as a whole is a laughingstock.
#1.8 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
jessupj  +   1904d ago
Wrong
A review is NOT an opinion. It's a critique against a clear set of standards. All effort should be taken by the reviewer to remove any bias or personal tastes that might interfere with the final review. It's NOT their personal opinion, it's their professional assessment.

Think about it this way. There is an english teacher sitting at his desk marking 2 separate essays. Both of them are on different subjects, but both have the same level of quality (grama, pacing, spelling, articulation etc). The teacher required to mark the essays in question according to a set of strict guidelines. Guidelines I might add that have been discussed, standardized and published for all teachers to read and follow.

But this teacher, instead of rightfully giving the same mark for both essays, grades one of them lower because he doesn't personally like this particular student. Or maybe he degrades it because he doesn't like the subject matter.

This is what edge and other unprofessional so called gaming journalists are doing, or so it seems. Marking according to their personal likes and dislikes (and fanboy bias) and giving their opinion of games, instead of reviewing ALL games CONSISTENTLY against a clear set of standards.

I have to question people's intelligence when they excuse a ridiculously bias review with, "It's his opinion, he's entitled to it." I say again, a review is NOT their personal opinion, it's their professional assessment. Please read my comment again if you cannot grasp this, or if you disagree please give a reason.
kaveti6616  +   1904d ago
Dude, have some respect for the man. He had his jaw removed because of mouth cancer or something like that. The man is dying...
PrimordialSoupBase  +   1904d ago
@Kigmal

Roger Ebert doesn't have a jaw any more and eats through a tube, jackass.

Considering your attitude, he has likely accomplished more than you ever will.
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Narutone66  +   1904d ago
Reviews are opnions
unless the reviewers have vested interest. Just like exclusive games from one console are always rated low while multi plats from another console are rated higher.
ReservoirDog316  +   1904d ago
Yeah this is true but it's good if you find a few reviewers who you always agree with. Mine are X-Play's reviews (though they do tend to be a little too nice sometimes but they still) and IGN AU. Nine times out of ten, I agree with those two. So I trust those.

But stuff like Edge and those others are just worthless to me overall. Remember, just cause reviewers aren't prophets and their reviews aren't gospel doesn't mean they aren't helpful.

Like Alone in the Dark looked good but the reviewers all said it was broken. So it helps you choose how you're gonna spend your hard earned $60.
ReservoirDog316  +   1904d ago
@ Kigmal
That is kinda sad man. He lost part of his face to cancer, the ability to talk, eat and drink. He's currently cancer free though.

Poor guy. That was mean.
Aaron Colas  +   1904d ago
"Reviews Are Opinion Pieces"
DUH! Thanks, captain obvious.

Keep in mind that when coming from a popular enough media site reviews affect the economic success of a title.

SO, these "opinions" should be handled by professionals or at least REAL gamers, these experts should have the ability to put aside any personal inclination and speak/write unbiased.
radphil  +   1904d ago
" I say again, a review is NOT their personal opinion, it's their professional assessment"

Then tell me why a lot of professional assessments are off then? Explain why in the world a game would get so much flak for doing one thing, where 2-3 other games in the immediate past were apparently fine with. Explain to me why someone who HATES a genre would still review a game in that genre?

You may call it "professional assessment" but it still ends in the same way. They don't think things through for the most part.
Ravage27  +   1904d ago
reviews or opinions, no difference between them if done professionally
Any credible review site needs to be(in order of priority):

1.Consistent - Too many fails this test, chief culprit being IGN and GT. I'll give Edge this one - they are CONSISTENTLY biased lol

If you are going to dock points from game X for a certain issue, you are OBLIGED to do the same for game Y and Z, regardless of hype.

2.Thinking from the reader's perspective - being a pro reviewer, you are tasked with the job of educating gamers to avoid bad games.

Leave your personal philosophy/ego/belief at the doorstep please, no one gives a damn whether game X deserves to die because it didn't 'connect' with you...cough...Destructoid..cou gh.

In fact i always wanted games to be reviewed by 2 sources. One done by a veteran of the genre who's responsible for informing the fans about the technical stuff and innovations present. And the other done by a 'casual' reviewer who caters to the newcomers by covering the accessibility and overall fun factor of the game.
#1.17 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
themizarkshow  +   1905d ago
Excellent, excellent article. I've been thinking along the same lines for quite a while now. Thanks for writing it up in such a focused way.
HolyOrangeCows  +   1905d ago
There's no reason that professional reviews can't be almost fully objective, and they should be.
SkankinGarbage  +   1905d ago
There's many reasons why, and you can read them in that post. Or, if you'd like to actually generate some real discussion, you can post why you think objectivity is so important!
Yuenanimous  +   1905d ago
I agree with SkankinGarbage. Discussion is the only real way to get a comprehensive "review."
overlordror  +   1904d ago
Reviews are an opinion. Trying to remain completely objective is cutting the soul out of any review.
jessupj  +   1904d ago
I've very surprised, in a bad way, how many people are actually agreeing to this.

I happen to hate most sports games. So lets imagine for a moment that I'm a reviewer, reviewing a sports game. Lets also imagine I'm unprofessional and let my personal opinion interfere with the review. The sports game in question gets a meta average of 8.5. Yet I give a score of 4.8.

Tell me fanboys, in what universe is that in any way fair to the consumer or professional. It isn't. You can tell yourself otherwise as much as you want, it's not going to change the fact.
SkankinGarbage  +   1904d ago
@jessupj
@jessupj: The situation of reviewing a game from a genre that one hates and giving it a bad score is not only addressed in the article, but frowned upon. You should read the article in its entirety. There's a difference between giving an honest opinion and just being flat-out biased against something.
HolyOrangeCows  +   1904d ago
Reviews should be about the elements of the game and how they come together.

If a reviewer is such a fuming nut that he rates video games poorly when he doesn't like a genre, then he shouldn't do reviews in the first place.

But I know that their ARE some reviewers like that, and sure, THEIR reviews are "Opinion pieces"
But professional reviews done right are NOT.
#3.6 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
SilverDragon1979  +   1905d ago
COuldn't have said it better myself. :-)
JQ  +   1904d ago
Agreed!
StartWars  +   1904d ago
Very well said.
Anon7349  +   1904d ago
I think I'm the only one who disagrees...
Opinions are still relevant, but being objective is just as important.

There needs to be a perfect balance.

I prefer Objective over subjective any day though.
chrisjc  +   1904d ago
I think you need both.

What if you hate said genre, but can't "see the light" as it were? That's doing a disservice to consumers, who are relying on your review to help make a decision.
DailyAddict  +   1904d ago
As long as you attach a 'score' to anything there will always be a mass amount of people who will only look at the score. No matter how much thought you put into an article, the majority of consumers only care about the score. The trick the industry needs to do is simple: get rid of the score (we all know it will never happen, but it should). Getting rid of the score would essentially force people to read your opinion and come to their own decision, as opposed to just seeing a score where everyone just sort of has a number that they look for and as long as it gets that number or higher they will buy it regardless of anything else.

There are also a lot of other things sites could take into consideration when rating the game other than how enjoyable it is that could also sway people one way or the other.
syvergy  +   1904d ago
I agree with the above post.
BrianC6234  +   1904d ago
What was that about? I stopped reading after three or four paragraphs. That date was too boring.
GenoZStriker  +   1904d ago
The sad part is ......
1. Reviews sometimes sells. Gamers who have no idea about a game and don't feel like looking up info much rather go for 10's then 6-8's, because they think they are getting their money's worth.

2. Reviews affects developers reputation. A game scored 4-5 no matter how much the developers have been gamers friendly, listen to the fans, interact with their community, anyone who is not part of their community will look at them as terrible game developers who don't know how to make games and will not care about their games and buy them.

3. Reviews encourage unnecessary flame wars when not being fair. When you have a reviewer who obviously favor the PS3/Xbox360 more than the other and is given the duty to review an exclusive game on the rival console they will give a low undeserved score solely for the purpose for their own sick amusement.

4. Last but not least, people care about reviews.
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Tilian  +   1904d ago
Oversimplified article
They make the case for subjectivity vs. objectivity, and that the former is predominant. This is an artificial argument. They need to move beyond the obvious.

The real issue is the lack of any consistent critical apparatus and methodology among game reviewers. Reviews are NOT MEANT TO BE OPINIONS, but rather to adhere to an institutional standard that balances personal opinion with critical methodology.

This subjectivity vs. objectivity bs is a red herring, and obscures the real problem--game reviewers often have little formal training. Ironically, because many reviewers are poor at their job, their review actually is little more than personal ramblings--hence this ongoing issue. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to have this converation at all, as reviewers would be properly trained in critical approaches to media, tech, storytelling, etc.
#13 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
SkankinGarbage  +   1904d ago
What exactly IS the 'institutional standard' that you're privy to? I could virtually guarantee you that there isn't any for other mediums of entertainment, so what standard exists for specifically the entertainment medium of video games?
Time_Is_On_My_Side  +   1904d ago
Tilian
lol, I was going to write something very similar to what you typed and agree with you.
iceman06  +   1904d ago
I think that is what Tilian is saying....
"Reviews are NOT MEANT TO BE OPINIONS, but rather to adhere to an institutional standard that balances personal opinion with critical methodology"
The institutional standard is the body of work at hand...i.e., the games that exist within the genre. Just like music, movies, TV, etc. entertainment does not exist within a vacuum. There ARE standards, although not necessarily written or categorized, for things such as graphics, sound, presentation. What are they...other games.
This is where the "critical methodology" will come into play. Being able to critically compare said standards to the existing body of work.
Although I partially agree with Tilian and his assertion that reviews shouldn't be wholly opinion. At the end of the day, they will still be. Simply because even the most critical and methodical person has to make that judgment call as to whether the game meets said standards. When the differences are far apart, it is much easier to say. However, when the differences are too close to call...it gets much more difficult.
At the end of the day, IMO, the review should contain an objective and thorough analysis of the game and there should be some personal opinion.
Most people tend to gravitate toward reviewers or sites that set a standard that THEY agree with anyway. They have favorites BECAUSE the reviewers tend to share their own personal views on several games. In that respect, it reminds me of television news channels or porn sites. You might visit once or twice to see what others are in to, but you always have your favorites. LOL
BYE  +   1904d ago
Good reviews take many peoples' opinions into account, like Famitsu.

That way they're closer to objectivity.
#14 (Edited 1904d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
bjornbear  +   1904d ago
really?!
i thought reviews were the absolute truth...damn i've been fooled =(
TwistedMetal  +   1904d ago
Thats why the only people who should be allowed to review games are the ones with no bias and there preference dont hold back othere games that don...
There is a set of thing such as gameplay, graphics, innovation, etc that must be in the review. I like all genres and have no bias. I like some gameplay better then otheres but its not gonna effect my review. Does that make me a superior being or does that make the non hardcore reviewers who only like certain game styles inferior? Or both? If you have a bias and preference then you should be reviweing only those games you prefer. If you review othere genres then you make it known you are bias in the first place. Give reviewers a gamertag on what games they can review accuretly do to being inferior to me. Who can tell whats good and whats not in every genre because I play everything thats not crap. I hype everything thats deserving.
SkankinGarbage  +   1904d ago
I'm alarmed how many people think that the point of this article is "Play a game from a genre you hate and give it a bad score", especially when the article specifically decries that specific practice. Read it; THEN post a comment.

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