Everyone has their opinion, but why is it that one particular collective of gamers can hold a game in such high regard while another, well, doesn't? Critics Vs Consumers, who should you trust?
Neither. I play it first and then I judge. Simple as that.
I pick a site that tends to reflect the scores I would give games and follow them. IGN tends to match my taste pretty well. I can't afford to buy all the games simply to try it out. It would be nice if I could though....
Yeah, I tend to find IGN's scores usually matches the score I would give the game. Though I don't use them as my only source of reviews because they can sometimes screw it up. As for who should you trust? You should never blindly trust either one. User scores tend to reflect what the fans of the series think of the game while critic scores are more objective. I personally never use user scores when deciding on a purchase.
The reason I don't do that is because I'm conscious of the fact that EVERYONE has different tastes. Even those who match your opinions almost all of the time will not do so every single time. I'll let reviews help put things in perspective for me, but until I play the game myself, I don't feel I am at liberty to judge it for myself. Reviewers can also lead you astray. Some sites would have had me miss out on Killer7. Fucking love that game, but the reviews (and sales) were lukewarm at best.
The best experience is to experience the games for yourself, but you also want to know certain things about specific titles. The best way to judge a game's estimation value, is from a gaming device's "top rated" section (I check game ratings on my Wii's Nintendo channel - so far, so good! xD).
Neither should be trusted 100%, but consumers tend to be the bigger and more obvious fanboys/haters. I don't see large numbers of critics giving a game 0/10 because it didn't release on their favourite system, but some 'professional' critics definitely do have clear console and franchise favourites that can inflate reviews considerably. Not to get into the supernatural but I tend to instinctively know what games I'll enjoy simply from their previews and it's rare for me to buy a game I don't enjoy. Critics might give it a 9.5/10 and me an 7-8/10 or vice versa but I've never purchased a game I thought was a waist of money. If I'm unsure if I'll love it, I just wait until the price drops. I just use reviews to ensure that the gameplay isn't broken and to determine the length.
Another thing I didn't cover, might do in a later article, is that some people think that a 6/7/8 score isn't good enough. I mean think of the grades, and percentiles needed to get them, in your education system. If you were hitting 70% throughout you're pretty much golden. But in our gaming minds some of use see a 7/10 as inferior, even metacritic establishes a 7 as a mixed opinion for a game.
There are plenty of games I own that I think are 7/10 (although they've been rated 8-9/10). A 6/10 is probably too low for me to justify a purchase above $10. I think the majority of game experiences that are rated 9/10 are really 7-8/10. A+ should be reserved for absolute greatness. For example: Skyrim 8/10 (story and fighting is lacking) Resistance 3 6.5/10 (ok shooter) Pretty much every COD after COD4 - 7/10 (solid, nothing really new of previous iterations) Gears 2 & 3 7.5/10 (2 had major MP flaws, 3 had major story flaws - still great games at times) Uncharted 2 9/10 Uncharted 3 8.5/10 (gunplay should have been improved) Crysis 2 7/10 Killzone 3 8/10 Red Dead Redemption 9/10 Batman AC 8.5/10 Battlefield 3 8/10 Infamous 1 8.5/10 Infamous 2 7.5/10 Halo Reach 9.5/10 ME1 9/10 ME2 7.5/10 (story very lacking and RPGs should have a strong story) etc. (I own a lot more but don't feel like rating everything) IMO I base my opinion on how much fun I have with the game and how enjoyable it is to replay (I always play SP at least twice), which is why Reach is so high - the MP is ok but for some reason I never get tired of playing the SP - I thinks it's due to the quality AI and the absolute need for headshots on legendary - it makes you feel like a super soldier
Had I have the money and time to buy every game possible, then I would have no need for reviews whatsoever. Unfortunately, in this day and age where we the consumers are becoming more concious with our purchases, we have no choice but to rely on the reviews whose job is accurately depict the very nature of the game to the highest possible standard. What was once seen detrimental to essential point to where a purchase is concerned has now been reduced to a matter of "opinions" worse off, becoming self-appointed prophets to the gaming masses to dictate how they should feel and purchase regardless what their initial impressions may be. Sadly, many follow their reviewers just for the sake of being blind followers or just want to be part of that imaginary group that is better than the rest. Now we hare left with either to purchase-on-our-own-risk or watch would eventually be a painful array of self-egotism and importance in games journalism. None of which that could assist consumers purchcase in any way possible. As for user reviews, they're just that. Barely anything worth noting for other than being the unofficial version of a website's already made opinion. It's sad that only segmented videos or gameplay trailers of the game do a far better job in the determining factor a purchase than a so-called "in-depth review" system.
Simply question deserves a simply answer, yourself. Play what "YOU" want to play and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
The written review not th score
to trust others you must learn to trust yourself first
I talk to God before every game purchase. He tells me the right games to buy, and I play them. Who better to trust than the holiest , of the holy. I do not listen to "journalists". Who do you think I am? George Clooney?
I trust myself. No one else. Honestly now.
Neither. But if I had to choose, reviewers. There are more trolls than decent reviewers.
Who should you trust? A doctor giving you medical opinion on that weird thing that just grew on your skin, or a bunch of random strangers with no qualifications whatsoever giving you their own opinion on the subject matter, some without even seeing it first?
Irrelevant. The "journalists" included in metacritic didn't study gaming for years before they earned the credentials to review games. They started up a website, got popular, got some free copies, and got accepted to metacritic. There are no degrees in game reviewing hanging on the walls of their offices. They wrote no theses on gaming in graduate school. At the same time, game reviewing is not something so complicated or scientific or precise that it requires years of training and thousand page textbooks. There's no need to specialize in RPGS or first-person shooters. A bunch of random strangers have just as much chance of knowing about a game as a reviewer, and given that those random strangers may well own the game in question, they may know even more. I doubt I know as much about medicine as any competent doctor, but I'm certain I know more about gaming than, say, Tom Chick. But I'm not part of metacritic; Chick is. Despite the fact that there are plenty of people on N4G who likely have more experience and insight into games, I doubt many of them are taken seriously when they review a game; yet the review mentioned previously is accepted into an important aggregate while having subpar ability, at best. So who would I trust: Tom Chick, a guy who's accepted into metacritic but clearly doesn't know what the hell he's talking about; or one of my customers who comes in multiple times a week to buy various games? Edit: Yes, I mention Tom Chick. The review he gave for Journey was atrocious, to say the least. He apparently decided that instead of reviewing the game for what it was, he would judge it based on what it wasn't. And, apparently, this is not the only game he's done so to. Where are these credentials? Where is the proof of this credibility? If I ask a doctor, I can see his degree, his accolades. I can easily see his records, as far as safety and such are concerned. Not so with reviewers. And there's no repercussions for doing wrong, either. A bachelor's degree in literature means nothing when it comes to reviewing games. It means about as much as an English degree when writing a song. There's a difference between "can't" and "won't," by the way. Besides, whether or not a user can't or won't write a proper review has absolutely zero bearing on the inability of so-called "professionals" in doing the same. It's a reviewer's job to be professional, no matter what the amateurs do, but it seems that most of the "pros" are on the amateur level or lower. Could I write better reviews than 90% of those on metacritic? You bet your ass. Writing is my first passion; gaming is third. But it's not my job to write reviews. As a consumer, however, it IS my job to point out when reviewers do a shitty job. Defend him, if you like, but Tom Chick does a shitty job. There's no "butt-hurt" about it. By the way, if you're going to try and have any sort of mature debate with me, leave that juvenile phrase out. Your "humble opinion," such as it is, is noted and disregard.
They still were credible enough to get accepted on metacritic however, correct? something that neither you nor any other anonymous commenter on metacritic has achieved. And quite a few of them have a bachelor's degree in literature or equivalent. "User reviews" in metacritic are tarnished by a horde of idiots who can't even write a comprehensive sentence if their life were dependent on it. You said that there's nothing complicated about writing reviews, yet the average user reviewer can't even do that properly. Did you try to read the user reviews section? It's full of trolls, whiners and fanboys who will give a negative score to a product competing with their object of obsession before it's even out. The problem with this mob is that they don't even have to play the game to mess up the score. Unfortunately gamers chose to resort to this imbecile method and this is why you can't even trust this system like they way you trust anonymous crowd of user reviews in IMDB (where the system actually works). Until the system only allows people who actually played the game to review it, it has zero relevancy compared to professional reviews. You can perhaps trust people you know in person to have the same taste as you , but these are not the fanboys we see in metacritic "user reviews" section. And the funniest thing is that you single out Tom Chick. Probably one of the most respectable reviewers around and someone who has more years of professional experience of reviewing games for living than you most people on this site played games. It's ok not to see eye-to-eye with him but it's just plain stupid to question his credibility. If I'd take a wild guess, I'd say you are probably another butt-hurt fanboy who didn't like one of his recent not-so-positive reviews of an exclusive game you are emotionally attached to. Which is the latest one? Journey I reckon?
I know a bit about medicine! :D (Off topic input is off topic) It's the same again as I mentioned with Jim Sterling, he's quite a popular critic and while I trust he know's his Duke from him Conker he gave a review on half a game. Obviously not the best way to go about it, and yes Tom Chick (Ironically just reading some of his stuff on Quarter to 3) gets too much attention though. With his Journey review being my latest disagreement, overlooking much of what everyone else sees and just summing it up to a bunch of basic mechanics with a $15 price tag. But yes, I agree that there are those on both sides who are much more trust worthy than the rest of their parties. Metacritic should probably scrutinise who they induct to their aggregate more carefully, as a games meta score do have an actual reflection on a game's fate.
Metacritics should be closed, period. It has gotten to the point where it has too much power to the industry. Publishers and others shouldn't care this shit, but there is atleast couple studios that have had red flag after a game didn't get enough high score at metacritics, and atleast one who lost it's bonuses after same reason. Why should anyone care? Metacritics has own flawed system which it uses, also it turns 5 or 10 point systems straight to 100 systems, and user reviews are usually just way off. The ones that could actually help you deside whether to buy a game or not, is lost in shouting there.. Which this leads to us? The numerical reviewing in overall, it's just bad. Let's stare the numbers, it's the contexst that matters. If someone gives a game 5, it does not mean it's bad game, it's hes opinion. Some reviewers take account all things, AI, artwork, voice acting, etc.. And some just compare it for example how it stands out as f.ex. sequel to the franchise, or is the game fun to play, and everybody has own mind. Now we throw these to the same bowl, and use flawed system to count overall outcome, and bam, you have your meta-score. And publishers care about it? Your studio's future may be affected by it? It's ridicuolus. Please boycot Metacritics, it's a cancer.
If you have to read reviews, read the critic reviews. User reviews are usually just full of butthurt jealous fanboys.
Fair enough, but what about reviews from independent sites like ours? We're not paid to do it, therefore we're obviously not professional critics, but we put more effort and thought into our stuff that the average 'comment' style user reviews you see on meta. See, I present to you the grey area!
As a subscriber of the "wisdom of crowds" theory, I go by both, so long as the sample size is large enough. If 90% of 100 people playing a game loved it, 8% liked it, an 2% hated it, it's a pretty safe bet that the game is indeed worth playing. If 10% loved it, 20% liked it, and 70% hated it, then I'd probably have to go off someone's personal recommendation to me. Aggregates influence my game purchasing decisions quite a bit. Not that I'll go out and buy every 90+ rated game and avoid any under 80%, but it's at least the first place I look when considering a game, then I may read a handful of different reviews, one very positive, one negative, and one somewhere in the middle. But certainly it's compelling to see a list of 50 reviews and only a handful are positive, or a handful are negative.
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