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[Forbes] Conflicts of Interest in Gaming Journalism. Or the 'paid review' debate. - Page 3

post #21 of 58
Maybe if reviewers would stop giving every mediocre AAA title an 8 or higher, people would take video game reviews seriously again. As it stands, there aren't that many games that have a rating that matches their price tag. That's the real issue. It's not about quality, it's about value.

Oh, and if Jim Sterling gave Dark Souls a bad review, but gave Modern Warfare 3 a 9.5, he's a crybaby. Can't hack the real games, and he obviously couldn't hack the argument with Erik either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riou View Post

Review sites becomes publishers' pawns because they want early review copies. Early review copies means increased ad revenue and more money. You only get early review copies if the publisher basically thinks you will give the game glowing reviews and high scores in the 90s.
Game reviews are bought and sold. Do not trust what you read.

Pretty much business as usual here. That's why I trust user reviews. At least they don't lie. If they homer it, they homer it. If they hate it, they let you know what they hated about it.
Edited by vikingsteve - 3/24/12 at 10:24pm
post #22 of 58
I haven't seriously looked for game reviews -- or taken them seriously -- in quite a while. When I did, though, I used to watch Electronic Playground/Reviews on the Run (Judgment Day in the US, it seems) on TV, whose hosts Tommy (no longer hosting) and Vic were respectably objective. The only game review I ever saw where they had nothing negative to say was Sly 2: Band of Thieves. But now the show has diversified and it just doesn't feel the same with Tommy's replacement host, movie reviews, and app and other portable game reviews. I don't care for any of those diversifications; and while the variety is nice, the new content just feels disloyal to the show's roots.

For reviews online, gamefaqs' reviews were always adequate. I usually got a sense of what kind of game I was looking at, its quality, and any difficulties I might have while playing that game. The contributors to gamefaqs were often thorough and objective, pre-social media boom at least. I believe that site retains most of its old integrity with only a modicum of "pollution." Never hopped on the metacritic bandwagon: I never had to, and I've never visited that site thumb.gif.

Oh... I remember researching FFXII around its release when I discovered Famitsu on wikipedia. Apparently, their perfect scoring of FFXII was viewed as selling out by their constituents. I imagine their judging panel is still an objective and (mostly) uncompromising review source relative to the review base targeted by this article/thread, although they seem to favor Japanese titles (and it is a Japanese magazine).

TL;DR My point is that some reviewers still maintain objectivity, if you know where to look; and that is, generally speaking from my point of view, looking away from popular media outlets.

But reviewers that are worried about jeopardizing their future pre-release game access by giving out negative reviews? I mean really now... I am not new to this concept at all, but any reviewer that is concerned about such a thing should not even consider offering an objective review. Ever. They should be bastardized by "true gamers." Unfortunately, this reviewer mindset and environment are byproducts of monetizing entertainment, something which is likely largely unavoidable.

The catalyst spawning this problem, it seems, is gamers who wish to form their opinions on unreleased and newly released games that may still be riding the momentum from their respective PR hype engines. As a PC gamer, Fable II comes to my mind... What's more is no game franchise or developer seems immune to the possibility of churning out decidedly inferior sequels or even new IPs when compared to their older works, which means judging upcoming titles based on their developer's track record is no sure thing. BF3, apparently, would be an example. A counterexample may be The Witcher 2. While that game reeked of what I would call quality, I do not feel I should have to replay the game at all just to have the "full experience" when I already made my choice the first time through (i.e., one character lives and the other dies). I feel, though, that this tendency for modern disappointments in gaming, which is not wholly enabled by unrealistic expectations, stretches much farther back than our current and previous eras of gaming, in addition to other entertainment genres altogether. Our expectations, however, may be higher than ever before relative to the amount of media we now consume.

Meh, that was fun redface.gif. Now back to lurking.
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post #23 of 58
I guess that means the only "professional reviewer" we can trust anymore is Yahtzee on escapistmagazine.com. He has a knack for telling it how it is... and his reviews are very entertaining too. thumb.gif
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post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grief View Post

Pretty much business as usual here. That's why I trust user reviews. At least they don't lie. If they homer it, they homer it. If they hate it, they let you know what they hated about it.
They have their set of problem as well.
Those review are often emotional and bias, sometime ill-informed.
Still better than paid review though.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Pistol View Post

I guess that means the only "professional reviewer" we can trust anymore is Yahtzee on escapistmagazine.com. He has a knack for telling it how it is... and his reviews are very entertaining too. thumb.gif
I would never thought people actaully take his review seriously.
I always thought it is for entertainment value.
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erio View Post

I would never thought people actaully take his review seriously.
I always thought it is for entertainment value.

It's very entertaining, but he does usually make some good points as well.

Also, my post was kinda sarcastic. wink.gif
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post #27 of 58
I have never relied on "reviews by critics", but the debacle that surrounded Dragon Age 2 is in my opinion a spectacular example for broken reviews. As far as I am concerned Dragon Age 2 was a rushed mess of a game and it would take me quite a few words to list everything that I found wrong with the game. I will briefly mention a few of the problems and issues that I found: a broken camera that made real "tactical combat" impossible, areas were re-used repeatedly, questionable writing with some of the most cliche characters I have ever seen, broken continuity with the first Dragon Age game and the difficulty levels also seemed broken to me. "Critics" either didn't mention these issues or glossed them over and still gave the game 90+/100 calling it things like "Best RPG Ever" and all sorts of drivel like that. Dragon Age 2 was one of the biggest dissapointments in gaming. Now, all of what I have said is still my opinion and apparently there are people that liked Dragon Age 2 but definitely not me.

As to the bigger picture it does seem that the "Critics" are not particularly critical when reviewing games as flaws or short falls are either not discussed or mentioned in a foot note and if the game is from one of the big names in the industry it gets an automatic 9/10.
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post #28 of 58
I want to get paid to say something is good and score it 9.9/10. How can we turn this into reviewing other industries, like soda and popcorn, and skittles, and stuff?

I love Coke and give it 9.9/10 - where's my paycheck? Pepsi is bad score 2.1/10. Common Coca~Cola?

Doritos, probably man's best invention in the world of chips, crackers, and small things you can easily eat. Scores 9.9/10. C'mon Frito Lay, where is my paycheck?

M&M's, you need to change your style this time around, this release has you caught short - not enough chocolate. 3/10 On the other hand, Skittles released their new line of Tangy-Tizzle-Tang-Mild-Sweet-Tangy-Bitter-Sweet candies this release, and boy do they deliver! 9.7/10! Where is my paycheck?
    
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post #29 of 58
I usually just stick to GameFAQ reviews.

You know--
from normal(ish) people.

Listening to the "pros" is like going out and buying more RAM when the RAM manufacurers say the price is going up soon.
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post #30 of 58
It really is worrisome when I find that I trust random independent reviews... and yahtzee... more than the big review sites.

Say what you will about yahtzee, but at least he tells it as it is... with many humorous and sometimes disturbing metaphors.
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