Let's review something without playing it

Games reviews, eh? Not worth the bandwidth they're, um, printed on. Or something. The last month has been a particularly good time for fanboys to froth at the mouth at games reviewers. There was God of War 3 'only' getting nines out of ten, people being derided for criticising Heavy Rain on the grounds of it not being all that great all the time in terms of actual game mechanics, and most hilariously, Edge's 5 out of ten score on Final Fantasy 13 being down to a xenophobic conspiracy.

For the most part, those responsible for the reviews did as they are wont to do- laugh it all off and ignore the deranged rantings. That people get so wound up over reviews however, speaks to some problems gaming media has in presenting itself. Here are a few....

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morganfell3496d ago

I understand the intent of the article but websites do not try to outdo each other by "having ever more scientifically finely calibrated scoring systems." That just is not true. Were it such a fact they would be able to list such highly calibrated and refined criteria. It would easily fill a page and then gamers could comprehend the reasoning behind their meticulous breakdown of a games rating.

But game websites or magazine reviews are anything but scientific and instead are founded upon the whims and flights of fancy belonging to individuals unable to succeed in actual game development. They are keyboard critics and should be seen for the slime that they are.

DelbertGrady3496d ago

"But game websites or magazine reviews are anything but scientific and instead are founded upon the whims and flights of fancy belonging to individuals unable to succeed in actual game development. They are keyboard critics and should be seen for the slime that they are."

So, you think that gaming journalism should go away completely? Sounds rational. We don't need journalists giving us their views on different games when we have the people like you, the "unbiased", all-knowing gamer.

lightningsax3496d ago (Edited 3496d ago )

It's a rough call. Professionals in their field of work are often asked to make decisions that can't be 100% objective. Research people, like me, know that just about nothing can be 100% objective - or 100% anything. At times, decisions will be made on "whims," or the instinctive thought of the professional. Instinctive thought has its advantages - read Gladwell's "Blink" for a nice introduction to it -

So yeah, in a perfect world, companies would hire the best guys, since they're the most experienced, and would be able to make great decisions in the line of fire. However, as Roper's quick layoff or the earlier 1up-ocalypse has shown, companies are not that interested in keeping experienced people around, and they're much more concerned with the bottom line. Yeah, cash. That's about it.

If you want to get away from that, find a ridiculously professional gamer/writer that blogs as a hobby. Glean some core knowledge about the concepts in both gaming and games journalism from great minds, and then determine for yourself, from all the little bits of info you find in these articles, whether or not a game is for you. Big News isn't getting rid of games journalism anytime soon, but you can be more well-informed.

morganfell3496d ago

I have no doubt I am well informed. It's my industry. But the fact that such ill founded review scores are so influential on sales is the issue. Frankly, for people that change direction every time the wind blows these snot nosed reviewers wield to much influence and they do so quite carelessly.

If I like a game and some reviewer ripped it to shreds I would have no issue if...

1...They, he or she had a listed, well defined set of criteria on the site or in the publication and they adhered to said criteria unswervingly to the nth degree not just for one title but across all platforms and all titles for a period of time.

2...The Editor in Chief saw to it that the listed criteria were followed and provided a uniformity among reviewers. Other wise it is simply some opinion without scientific merit and thus as valuable as pre-used toilet paper.

I may not like a reviewer or their criteria but if I have a clear (read listed in detail - 1 sentence won't cut it) breakdown of their grading scheme and they are consistent then I can gauge off of that person.

tplarkin73496d ago

The article said that a 5 out of 10 "should be" average. But, it shouldn't because everyone has been trained by our grading system in school. 50 out of 100 is an F. 70 out of 100 is a C- which is average. Any reviewer that claims his 5 out of 10 is average is fooling himself.

Yes_23496d ago

At my school (and uni) 50/100 is a 'barely pass'. Anything lower is usually an F. Thank god for that too, or I would have failed a lot more classes. lol

despair3496d ago

I see what you mean 5/10 should not be average as half of something does not make it average it just makes it half of a whole.

A 5 represents half the expectation of the reviewer (at least to me) in what the game should be. If the reviewer has low expectations and gets something slightly better then he will give it a high score even though it may not be worth it and if he was expecting something great but then let down a bit the score suffers. Good examples for me are AC2 and FF13 respectively.

This kind of subjective reviewing is why we see such high and low scores from multiple reviewers on the same game it comes down to expectation.

chaostheory3496d ago

Actually at my high school anything 70 or below was an F (trust me it was a real system shock when I got to college and had some real leniency in the grade system, for instance I got a 52 on my last quantum physics test and it was a B+).

lightningsax3496d ago

I think this is a case of me not being able to read sarcasm as well as I can hear sarcasm, but... um... lol? Was that a joke article or a rant? Sometimes it looks like he's voicing the dumb opinions of commenters on a review site, and sometimes he's really making sense... such as the "everyone's a winner" scoring and the lack of 0.5 reviews out there.

My end response is... hahaha? I kinda agree? Maybe he just needs some more work on tone.

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