Should hype affect review scores?

Destructoid's Jim Sterling writes:

"Hype. It's the game industry's lifeblood, but also its poison. Developers and publishers prey upon the expectations and excitement of their customers, doing whatever they can to generate and maintain a buzz around their upcoming projects. We in the press are no better, all too eager to give game makers the platform they need to whip public interest into a frenzy of eager hope.

Sometimes a ride on the hype train pays off, with recent games like Dead Space and Fable 2 benefiting greatly from the extra attention and living up to their publicity. Other games have not fared so well, such as Too Human, which just couldn't deliver everything that game creator Denis Dyack was promising.

As a reviewer, I had always been told never to talk about a game's hype when officially criticizing a game. The more I think about hype and the way it has become so intrinsically linked the industry, however, I find myself asking if it's actually fair to dismiss a game's promises when discussing the final product.

Should hype affect review scores? Read on for my thoughts ..."

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FBl4032d ago (Edited 4032d ago )

Halo 3 has already been reviewed

ngg123454032d ago

-15 and that was what it should ahve been. 82

Danja4032d ago

No it shouldn't affect review scores...but it sure as hell does...

GTA4 , Halo 3 are prime examples

vickers5004031d ago

It shouldn't but it does. GTA4, MGS4, Halo 3, and a couple of others were all massively overhyped.

PirateThom4032d ago

To be fair, review scores are a "there and now" kind of affair. If people get taken up in the hype, then it's going to come over in their review. It's not something that can be stopped and it's not always a factor because some overhyped games like Too Human get tore apart while unhyped games like Dead Space get good scores.

The sign of a good game is one that is as good years later as it is the first time you play it and, if it was re-reviewed, it would get the same high scores. Review scores are, at best, a guide at how the game has been initially recieved, because our opinion of games changes as time goes on.

Pebz4032d ago

Hype affects something both ways. Had Too Human been hyped less, it would probably have fared better with the reviewers, due to having less expectations to meet. Likewise, Dead Space probably scored higher due too being "unravelled" as the reviewers played it, with very little preconceptions.

There are other things that affect reviews besides just hype however. Such as the reviewers mood (I'd guess they are humans as well), so it doesn't even have to be years later, just days can affect their opinions. Then there is bias, which doesn't need to be brand-based (Sony/MS etc), but can be genres/styles and such. And of course, professional reviewers opinions are just as subjective as everyone else's, even if they generally structure/categorize it well.

"Review scores are, at best, a guide at how the game has been initially recieved." Sums it up pretty well I think.

Jecht4031d ago

So true. The best reviewers are the ones who acknowledge great games even if they are outside of their preferred genres.

Example, Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico. T.T. HATES RPG's, but he has given games in that genre that deserve it a perfect 10 before. Why? Because it wasn't about his preference, it was about the game's merits.

GWAVE4032d ago

The question isn't "SHOULD hype affect scores?".

The question is "DOES hype affect scores?"

With games like Halo 3, GTA4, Fallout 3, and Fable II receiving scores above 9/10, the answer is clear:

YES, hype affects scores (unfortunately).

Crazywhitie4032d ago

You just called out the top selling games Smart guy... No hype does not affect reviews if the Reviewers are doing there Job... LBP Should not have what it did nor should have Halo 3

GiantEnemyCrab4032d ago (Edited 4032d ago )

LOL! Give me a break! I've played all those games and they are deserved the scores they received in my opinion. Which is basically what reviews are peoples opinions.

Please stop pretending to not be a PS3 fanboy.

GWAVE4032d ago

@ EnemyCrab

Who ever said I was pretending? ;)

I know I'm a PS3 fanboy. I fully support the PS3.

If you feel those games deserve their high scores, I would implore you to go out and play some more games.

But then again, I wonder if your video game experience is limited to the Xbox brand...

Xelai4032d ago

Three of those games deserve the score.

Blademask4032d ago


And im not even talking about the philosophical question of "IS ANY GAME WORTHY OF A 10?" No. I mean in todays climate of retarded reviews, even a 10 given to that game is completely upsidedown and retarded.

Reviews these days are just used to buy game sales -by sending schwag bags to journalists- for the unfortunate idiots that go by them. Sadly for GAME reviews, there is no QUALIFIED standard that you need to have to be one. Unlike movie critics/journalists gaming doesn't require a basic high school diploma, or any basic background in games. Any fanboy on N4g could start a site and get on metacritic. Which is just another facet of the amazing problem. Metacritic doesn't even use 1/2 the rest of the worlds websites/sources outside of the USA.

You want to know how important game reviews are? Look at movie reviews.. count the "AAA" titles there. If the game rules applied to movie rules, no one would buy/see any movies or tv shows due to them all being flops.

Man_of_the_year4032d ago

Well i have both systems so i'm not as blind, ignorant and bias as you are - and i would have to say that MGS4 was way over hyped - and with the clause that no reviews can talk about the 9+ hours of movie footage in the game - i think that was one of the most hyped games of 08...with also LBP as i have been playing it...on the 10th lvl and i just get so bored so quickly. Game is WAY to slow...

I feel HALO 3 did deserve the score...not sure about Fable 2 yet, but i am loving Fallout3 so i agree with the 360 review..but you are right about GTA4...

DiabloRising4032d ago

MGS4 had its issues, but I felt was a great ending to the series. I feel compelled to bring up the Halo 3 "reviewer incentive" $800 swag bags, but I digress...

Halo 3 did a ton of great things, but its campaign was basically crap and a poor, poor ending to a great universe. Online was damn strong, and I will still play it occasionally to this day. I love the video recording feature though, Bungie should be commended for that. I think more games should utilize it thanks to standard HDDs.

I couldn't slap a number on either one though, because frankly, that's stupid.

vlazed4032d ago

Blademask is right. It is just a marketing ploy to get all the morons riled up so they can sell more games. Companies spend money, websites get hits and gamers show their ignorance, it is a vicious cycle. It especially runs rampant on this site. Any review that has a number or letter attached to it is irrelevant. Video games are not quantifiable through arbitrary numbers.

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Fox014032d ago

No, but it does (GTA IV...).

Dawn_Of_Ashes4032d ago

you forgot assassin creed :P

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