NeoBasch (User)

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The Disgusting Influence of Metacritic (Final Fantasy XIII Edition)

NeoBasch | 1127d ago
User blog

Unfortunately, Metacritic has a large influence on the industry. It's sick really. Take Persona 3 for example. The original scored like an 85 average. People like me and you then went and played the game and found it to be in a class all of its own. Metacritic reacts when FES releases and the game goes up 2 whole points to an 87, despite receiving heat from the fans that the second episode lacked any story 'til the end. Then the PSP version comes out and scores a miraculous 92 when all they did was change the MC's gender and open up a couple new social links.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is critics are pandering to the vocal minority. Just look at Modern Warfare. The original was a huge success, then the sequel came out and received major flak from the online community, but casuals still ate it up. Metacritic didn't have time to adjust as the feedback came after release and all the broken mechanics became widely known. But you can bet they took notice when Black Ops released. And even then that wasn't enough and fans began to protest.

Critics have no idea what to score a game. They want to hop on the bandwagon, and try to score games accordingly. That's why FFXIII was "poorly" received here in the west. When XII came out, a vocal minority protested the changes. It was all over forums. They were ragging on it at every opportunity. Critics took note despite the fact that they were just that... a minority. An extreme one at that as most fans actually loved the game. Too late, though. Critics used it as an excuse to bring down XIII despite all the positives.

I remember playing it when it first came out, before all the backlash. I thought the game was exquisite. Definitely one of the finer points of the series. While I wish they added more choices and paths, I was happy they took out the towns. They were simply just not that exciting. I'm playing through VII and am bored out of my mind wandering through Slums 5-7. They all feel the same and the citizens don't offer much to the story.

With X and XIII, the team was smart enough to cut out the extraneous and get right to the story. VII's story was fairly good and even intense at some points, but the towns really brought it down. That said, XII made the best use of towns as it actually added value to the story and setting, but I still didn't see why XIII caught so much flak for cutting them out. I imagine most of the citizens would have ran away anyways as they were all l'Cie. I would've hated listening to 1000 different variations of the same dialogue.

Before reviews started coming in, I was a part of a group of five who played the game so we could share our notes with the rest of our game design group. I found the experience riveting throughout and hardly took a note, save the mental ones I made in my head. Once we all finished the game, we met back up and shared the notes. We had all agreed it was one of the best games we've played in recent memory. We encouraged the rest of the group to pick up a copy and play the game. And then the reviews started rolling in. It was as if we played an entirely different game. As a result, I believe the hate for XIII is actually just another vocal minority.

Whatever, I wish my words had an impact on our online community, but I doubt it. People should play games for themselves and never look to other people's opinions unless they agree with a particular critic (and cut down with the hyperbole). I can't wait for XIII-2 personally. I don't think the story will be nearly as good, but it looks like they improved the gameplay without sacrificing any of its creativity that I fell in love with.

Thankfully, Metacritic doesn't seem to have a huge influence on FFXIII-2. I believe the moment artists take note of critics (read: too much) they sacrifice everything personal about the art form, and they turn the industry into a well oiled machine. Hence the West becoming the Holy Land of FPS's.

Nate-Dog  +   1127d ago
Agreed that people shouldn't focus as much as they do on reviews and should just make their own opinion of a game and not take on someone elses just because the majority say it's this or that, after all aren't we all individuals and supposed to express that?
Jinxstar  +   1126d ago
It's not people that are the problem it's the industry. I know most people on here hate jim sterling but he makes good points sometimes like here.

http://www.escapistmagazine...

Metacritic is just a place to find reviews all on one site... That in itself is not a problem. It does it for movies, books, music... Metacritic is doing nothing wrong except making it easy for consumers to find their favorite review sites or get an average overall on what the industry thinks. Are there problems with it? Sure and Jim covers that but Metacritic does nothing wrong...

As to the author

"People should play games for themselves and never look to other people's opinions unless they agree with a particular critic (and cut down with the hyperbole)."

I don't have that kind of money. So I take many reviews into account from sites I like. Did you buy Duke Nukem? If not then why?

From your whole blog it seems as though your a big fan of Japanese games. Notably JRPG's. A genre which of late has been feeling stale to most westerners. They look to games like Dragon age, Fallout and Elder scrolls or some kind of an MMO where the game mechanics are not really turn based. the action is not an FMV or prerendered animation. the situations are all varied and the story is comprehensible. Ever tried understanding the kingdom hearts storyline? I got soooo lost... FFXIII was a cake walk to understand next to KH2 but still borderline incoherent.

Don't hate on metacritic. Also reviewers, for the most part, that are on metacritic are not no name bloggers. They are people with actual credentials. Example. Giant bomb. Very professional, thorough and all around great industry guys. Gave FFXIII 3/5 = 6/10. I did not buy that FF game as I have not liked a FF game since 9. I have not liked a square game since then either. A metric TON of my friends did and I'll tell you 3/4 of them were upset they did not listen to me telling them to rent... I played my roommates copy and could not find many redeeming qualities to the game... I agree with industry professionals and am glad I listened to the majority and didn't waste money... Japan has not progressed very well with the rest of the industry with the exception imo being fighting games which are amazing... Just look at Resident Evil 5... Can't even move and shoot... Mario/ mario kart is still the same as when he was on the 64 with a few gimmicks here and there. JRPG's... I would simply rather see them do HD remakes of Secret of Mana, FF9 and Legend of Dragoon...

I understand the stale taste you get from seeing COD games getting amazing scores but... If I were an objective reviewer and could keep my hate for Bobby Kotick, Activision and everything else out of the way I would look at MW3 and say, Probably, "When compared to the last few games. Over the top B movie story is even crazier, graphics are the same and looking a bit dated, MP is tweaked to perfection, Here's hoping for no more glitches, Glad they brought back spec ops. Fans of the series "Buy" people who are looking for a change go buy BF3" And thats about the gist your probably gonna see for it in a few months.

It's not metacritic. It's also gamers who need better reviews. Here is another example.

http://www.escapistmagazine...

Anyway game on and enjoy. =D
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TheDivine  +   1127d ago
I used to use reviews on n64, ps2/xbox/gamecube days to see the best games on each system and genre. Ign and other reviews helped me find jade empire, kotor 2, and a few more gems. It useful to see if a game you want has generally poitive or negative feedback. I look more at user feedback and watch walkthroughs and the like. I enjoy many games though that dont get good reviews. I loved divinity 2, too human, last remnant, and many other harshly reviewed games. I agree its BS when haterz try to bring an average down. Reviewers need to play a game without seing others views on it, go in objectively. Write if its fun, if it has decent graphics, art design exc. FF13 got decent reviews imho but people did smear it across the net. Personaly i liked it. U gotta make up your own minds.
Odion  +   1127d ago
So your mad because other people had a different opinion?

Metacritic doesn't do anything but give out an average score from every review from a site.
Kos-Mos  +   1126d ago
But reviews are fan-based this generation. Maybe you still play PS2 and don`t know theres a PS3. If that is so, you`re forgiven.
MidnytRain  +   1126d ago
Aren't you the mod that everyone hates? YOU GOT NOTHIN' ON CGOODNO!

Anyway, Metacritic is broken every which way; they make up numbers that "sound right" just to get an average. Lame.
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Odion  +   1126d ago
I wish I was the mod that everyone hated, but no one ever mentions my name when they bring up the corrupt or bias mods, breaks my heart.

CGoodno is a noob mod too, just a rookie
MidnytRain  +   1125d ago
I wouldn't say that, people talk about you in the forums from time to time. They say you can be killjoy and go overboard sometimes. And lol at "rookie" mod, you make it seem like your profession.
bwazy  +   1127d ago
PERSONALLY, I thought FFXIII deserves a 0/100. I feel this because It was not enjoyable in ANY SENSE and therefore I felt and still feel ripped off.
bwazy   1126d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(3)
Godmars290  +   1127d ago
The lack of towns in XIII is such a bone of contention because their main feature was replaced with convenient internet shopping and instant shipping.

That was just lazy.

If they had been thinking they would have given characters crafting skills which they then would have to build on.
kingdavid  +   1126d ago
TBH I dont think it was a minority which didnt like FF13. A large amount of people Ive spoken to didnt enjoy it for what it was worth.
Xelestial  +   1127d ago
Everyone has differing opinions. Unfortunately, mixed or negative reviews can kill a game. I've owned many a game where there were mixed reviews but I completely loved it. Metacritic is going to lead to mindless buying or not buying...But only for the already mindless.

I must disagree though I have not played FFXIII, towns are part of what I love in JRPGs. They break up the story, and I like to interact with the NPCs, and explore the cities.
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rjdofu  +   1126d ago
I think people opinions are very easy to be influenced, especially by the 'reliable' and 'famous' source. One big site gives a game a negative score, some small site will be influenced. Some people might be writing a review with the negative thought of the game in their minds; hence the low score.
Hicken  +   1127d ago
Well said. Far too often, people look to someone else to make the decision, people whose tastes are actually nothing like their own.

I've never been let down by an FF. In fact, the only rpg (of any maker, system, type, etc.) that I've ever had problems with was Unlimited Saga. Aside from that, I have gone into every game expecting nothing; I wait for the game to tell me what it's supposed to be. Taking that approach, I've found that I'm rarely disappointed in my buys. Only when I go expecting things from a game before I've even played it do I find the game to be seriously lacking.

N4G is the perfect place to notice that people will toss a metacritic score around like it's the word of God; they seem to forget that each of the scores included in that average are based on a person's opinion, and it's rare that said opinion is as objective as it should be. Thus, games like FFXIII suffer, while games like MW2 enjoy widespread success.
Otheros00  +   1126d ago
Critics hated FXII because it was more like a mmo but were praising and over-hyping XIII. FXII was the opposite of XIII.
They love XIII before it came out. They hated FXII before it even came out.
You got that part wrong.

Hated XIII because it was NOT final fantasy. If you score it based on what a final fantasy is, it scores very low.
#8 (Edited 1126d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Sprud  +   1126d ago
What are you talking about. Critics didn't hate FF12. It got 92 on metacritic. They didn't hate FF13 either. 83 is far from hating. You are simply one of the sheep in the herd known as the vocal minority.
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Otheros00  +   1126d ago
Not worth replying to an idiot that uses metecritic as proof when it is NOT a critic. Metacritic does NOT review games.

Definition of critic for the idiot above.

a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes
Hicken  +   1126d ago
So what IS a Final Fantasy? To my knowledge, they've always had a pretty loose association with one another. And, perhaps even more importantly, the first game on any new generation console tends to be a radical departure from its predecessors.

What's common in most, if not all, FFs:
1.) People saving the world. (XII actually failed at this, not XIII)
2.) Use of Magic. (In every freaking title)
3.) Summons. (Appear in every title I've played; even X-2 has em, though they're not usable)
4.) Main character. (Once again, XII failed here; couldn't tell who the hero was supposed to be)
5.) Airships. (Finally something XIII didn't have)

Did I miss anything?
rymanb  +   1126d ago
6) Chocobos. How could you forget!? :D

As for the article, I agree to some extent with what they're saying - critics and developers are swayed by the vocal minority of the community, which is why I think FFXIII was so linear - because some people complained that FFXII was too open and unfocused.
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Tuxedo_Mask  +   1126d ago
7.) Cid
Xelestial  +   1126d ago
But Metacritic IS an average of critic scores, which means most critics thought one way or another.

FF12 is probably my least favorite FF game yet. Most characters are bland for an FF game, it seems unfocused, the combat was hella hard for me, numerous, NUMEROUS random battles. I couldn't relate to it or really even care about it. I finished it out of sheer curiosity of when it was going to get better and have a point. It did have new and interesting places and nice graphics though. My favorite part was exploring the new locations and getting new skills, but that was about it. Oh and Balthier and Fran :D
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jakerhodes  +   1126d ago
I was with you until you said FF XIII should have received better review scores. It's easily the dullest game in the series.

Different strokes I guess.
frjoethesecond  +   1126d ago
XII is Duller.
Balflear87  +   1126d ago
The problem is sites like destructoid which BACKSLASHED this game when the reviewer almost didn't play it
ThreeSpeed  +   1126d ago
Take it from someone who works with statistics on a regular basis, average is WAY over-rated. It's easily influenced by extreme scores and gives no information about consistency of scores, skewness, or normality.

I agree with the blogger that it has too much influence. It is a great tool though because I can see what others think, but at the end of the day I know what I like and look for those things.
Tuxedo_Mask  +   1126d ago
I like FFXIII and agree with you on the point that it's a good game, but I disagree with you on the point of towns. No, they don't make sense in the world of FFXIII, but in the earlier games they do.

My favorite FF game for the PS1 is FFIX, and it used towns in a way that both drove the story forward and allowed you to take some time away from battles with the Tetra Master games and the Active Time Event cut-scenes that showed what was going on away from where you were. These traits seem pretty basic now, but they made the game unique for its time.

FFX and FFXIII are different beasts entirely, but that doesn't mean they aren't good games and what makes the FF games unique is the fact that each game in the series is different in not just plot, but game-play, style, and innovation. I guarantee that when FFXV comes it will be completely different from XIII.
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bangoskank  +   1126d ago
80-90 isn't a bad score in book book. My decision not to play play FFXIII was not influenced by metacritic. I feel that Final Fantasy has traded its charm for a gaudy j-pop gloss that repels true fans of the series.
Deadman_Senji  +   1126d ago
Metacritic is convenient if you see it for what it is. An easy to navigate database of ALL reviews for just about all forms of media.

Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe they should just list the reviews instead of adding them up and putting their bullshit average up. I think the problem lies in how everything is computed. Instead of looking at individual opinions, people see that big glaring percentage and take it as fact.

Maybe it's your fault, not metacritic's. I don't really even go there or care about their reviews. I barely read ANY reviews. The best way to learn about a game is to watch gameplay of the first 10 -15 minutes. No commentary, just watch and listen to the game...get a feel for it in your mind and decide if YOU like it.

My way doesn't work for everybody though. Some people need to be guided.

Well, they FEEL they need a guide.
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kingdavid  +   1126d ago
For me, metacritic has a far greater bearing for music.

They can crap music and they laud a great album. So you actually genuinely get a scale between 40-90 regularly with no concessions made.

Gaming tends to hover between 70-95 (with some exceptions) and at times I can notice a large difference in quality between an 80 game and a 90 game. At other times, none at all. That just shouldnt be.
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Ravenor  +   1126d ago
The problem isn't with Metacritic or the average, the problem lies in people using Metacritic as a absolute indicator that one game is better then another. I can't stand it when people base their argument for game X over game Y simply because of the number.
kingdavid  +   1126d ago
This x1000.

And people who just place emphasis on a number at the end of the review rather than reading it.
WitWolfy  +   1125d ago
What made FF13 such a disappointment was that everybody wanted FF13 to be like what their last favorite FF to be like, for example. I wanted FF13 to be like FF8 or 10, but turned out be something different completely, not to mention disappointing in the narrative as well

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