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. "

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DangerCurtis3000d 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.

randomwiz3000d ago (Edited 3000d 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.

Blaze9293000d ago

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 Raiders3000d ago

....does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter "R".

ReBurn3000d 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.

PoSTedUP3000d ago (Edited 3000d 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.

3000d ago
Bnet3433000d 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. :)

pixelsword3000d ago (Edited 3000d ago )

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.

jessupj3000d ago

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.

kaveti66163000d 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...

PrimordialSoupBase3000d ago (Edited 3000d ago )


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.

Narutone663000d ago

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.

ReservoirDog3163000d 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.

ReservoirDog3163000d ago

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.

Aaroncls73000d ago

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.

radphil3000d 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.

Ravage273000d ago (Edited 3000d ago )

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.

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themizarkshow3000d 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.

HolyOrangeCows3000d ago

There's no reason that professional reviews can't be almost fully objective, and they should be.

SkankinGarbage3000d 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!

Yuenanimous3000d ago

I agree with SkankinGarbage. Discussion is the only real way to get a comprehensive "review."

overlordror3000d ago

Reviews are an opinion. Trying to remain completely objective is cutting the soul out of any review.

jessupj3000d 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.

SkankinGarbage3000d ago

@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.

HolyOrangeCows3000d ago (Edited 3000d 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.

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SilverDragon19793000d ago

COuldn't have said it better myself. :-)

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