Are good reviews of hyped games a self fulfilling prophecy?

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#1 Posted by BravoOneActual (563 posts) -

Topic. Not baiting. Honest opinions wanted.

#2 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

in many instances, undeniably yes.

let's use gta4, for example. I and others were a minority pointing out its numerous flaws, yet, it got raving official reviews everywhere. and, yet, today those same exact flaws are recognized by thousands of people now, even official reviewers, yet, the scores will still remain "excusable."

I can break down the game with video and fact supporting my claims, yet, people will still score the game high simply because it is gta and has great name recognition and advertisement.

the hype and fluff and popularity of the gaming industry today just makes it unavoidable, in general. take into account the mediocre gameplay wrapped inside a neat, tidy and pretty package and this type of self-fulfillment will continue.

as well, to add another point to consider: "official" gaming review sites DO HAVE a vested interest and to think their integrity is beyond reproach is laughable.

#3 Edited by uninspiredcup (9014 posts) -

Generally, the more money involved, the more cynical you should be.

#4 Edited by Masculus (2869 posts) -

Greater are the chances, yes.

With review events and shit, it's almost certain. Just look at all the games with obvious problems never discussed in several reviews.

#5 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13777 posts) -

Obviously. Its damn loop.

#6 Edited by barrybarryk (436 posts) -

It depends what you mean. Hyped games are generally pretty good because writers write about games they think look pretty good (in lots of cases they've even already played them and can't tell us), and pretty good games get pretty good reviews. They're not all exceptional, nor should they need to be, that would be a mental expectation for games.

Don't get me wrong, I think the video game press has really, really taken this to a whole other level with the complete and total whoring of Titanfall recently. But it is a solid game with some fresh ideas in a genre that's been stagnant since Call of Duty 4 made IW & Activision all the money and everyone decided every FPS needs to be exactly like it. Is it the greatest video game ever? Fuck no, hell it even has some pretty serious problems and glaring omissions, but a hungry man will eat anything.

If you mean is it a self fulfilling prophecy that good reviews guarantee a smash hit? We've all seen some truly great games review well and just die on store shelves.

#7 Posted by VintAge68 (422 posts) -

Apparently you got inspired by the 9/10 scores for both Dark Souls 2 and Titanfall...

#8 Posted by da_chub (3063 posts) -

I don't trust reviewers any more then anyone else. If I looks like something I'd be interested in, I try it. I've played lots and lots of bad games that where a solid 8 in my book, and I agree with first comment. Too many gamers now are ok with bugs in AAA games and it's now ok for games to be released and patched day 1, instead of just waiting 6 months and putting out a quality product 1 time. But they keep 2 people fixing it to get the rest of the team started in the sequel.

Needless, just play a game for yourself, or the only games we will see this fen will be cod, ff, Gta, AC , batman year after year.

#9 Posted by JML897 (33125 posts) -

Pretty much. If you make a big budget game that at least works competently then you're guaranteed to get scores of 8+ from basically everywhere. Game reviewers are mostly a joke

#10 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

I think Gamespot's review of Knack says otherwise...

#11 Posted by SaintJimmmy (2815 posts) -

For the most part yes.

The only reviews i really take seriously are the indie gems and the sleeper hits just because it gives me the incentive to look into something that was off my radar

I've always been on team do my own research and properly invest my money into things i will enjoy.

#12 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

@SaintJimmmy said:

For the most part yes.

The only reviews i really take seriously are the indie gems and the sleeper hits just because it gives me the incentive to look into something that was off my radar

I've always been on team do my own research and properly invest my money into things i will enjoy.

I do my own research, too. Also, instead of taking "professional reviews" as the definitive opinion, I take them with a grain of salt. Often times, the most helpful things are user reviews. Reading a variety of opinions on a game helps me determine if I will enjoy a game or not. It's why I go out of my way to read reviews that are scored lower for a game. the flip side of that coin is that a lot of user reviews are just "OMG THIS GAME ROCKS" or "OMG THIS GAME SUX" so you need to be able to tell an actually good review apart from a mediocre one.

#13 Edited by lumzi32 (332 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

@SaintJimmmy said:

For the most part yes.

The only reviews i really take seriously are the indie gems and the sleeper hits just because it gives me the incentive to look into something that was off my radar

I've always been on team do my own research and properly invest my money into things i will enjoy.

I do my own research, too. Also, instead of taking "professional reviews" as the definitive opinion, I take them with a grain of salt. Often times, the most helpful things are user reviews. Reading a variety of opinions on a game helps me determine if I will enjoy a game or not. It's why I go out of my way to read reviews that are scored lower for a game. the flip side of that coin is that a lot of user reviews are just "OMG THIS GAME ROCKS" or "OMG THIS GAME SUX" so you need to be able to tell an actually good review apart from a mediocre one.

User reviews for me are dreadful. Occasionally they have a point, but too often it seems to boil down to "this game sequel removed my favorite gun so 1/10.... and I only gave it a 1 because of the graphisc!!!!" The reasons they give are often so inane and arbitrary that I feel safer with more well known reviewers.

These days I am finding some Youtube reviews to be great like Angry Joe, and TotalBiscuit's impressions are always helpful.

Overall, I am beginning to feel like I rely on reviews too much. If a game is highly rated, chances are I will like it (if it matches my preferences). If it is poorly rated, I probably won't like it. That said, sometimes it feels like game reviewers take something like polish as sign of special quality, when in other mediums it is a foregone conclusion. Games are interactive software so it comes with the territory, but perhaps game developers need to try harder. I expect current gen games to be bug free.

#14 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

@lumzi32 said:

@turtlethetaffer said:

@SaintJimmmy said:

For the most part yes.

The only reviews i really take seriously are the indie gems and the sleeper hits just because it gives me the incentive to look into something that was off my radar

I've always been on team do my own research and properly invest my money into things i will enjoy.

I do my own research, too. Also, instead of taking "professional reviews" as the definitive opinion, I take them with a grain of salt. Often times, the most helpful things are user reviews. Reading a variety of opinions on a game helps me determine if I will enjoy a game or not. It's why I go out of my way to read reviews that are scored lower for a game. the flip side of that coin is that a lot of user reviews are just "OMG THIS GAME ROCKS" or "OMG THIS GAME SUX" so you need to be able to tell an actually good review apart from a mediocre one.

User reviews for me are dreadful. Occasionally they have a point, but too often it seems to boil down to "this game sequel removed my favorite gun so 1/10.... and I only gave it a 1 because of the graphisc!!!!" The reasons they give are often so inane and arbitrary that I feel safer with more well known reviewers.

These days I am finding some Youtube reviews to be great like Angry Joe, and TotalBiscuit's impressions are always helpful.

Overall, I am beginning to feel like I rely on reviews too much. If a game is highly rated, chances are I will like it (if it matches my preferences). If it is poorly rated, I probably won't like it. That said, sometimes it feels like game reviewers take something like polish as sign of special quality, when in other mediums it is a foregone conclusion. Games are interactive software so it comes with the territory, but perhaps game developers need to try harder. I expect current gen games to be bug free.

I see what you mean. You should check out Gamefaqs... They actually monitor user reviews there, so most of them aren't just "removed my favorite gun so 1/ 10", most are actually somewhat thought out; there are a few consistent users that are actually worth reading, too. I find the less popular a game, the better the user reviews, too, since someone reviewing it actually gives a damn that people will read what they've written. But I understand that most user reviews are horrid. Gamefaqs, though, is pretty solid. For me, at least.

#15 Posted by Kevlar101 (6223 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

@lumzi32 said:

@turtlethetaffer said:

@SaintJimmmy said:

For the most part yes.

The only reviews i really take seriously are the indie gems and the sleeper hits just because it gives me the incentive to look into something that was off my radar

I've always been on team do my own research and properly invest my money into things i will enjoy.

I do my own research, too. Also, instead of taking "professional reviews" as the definitive opinion, I take them with a grain of salt. Often times, the most helpful things are user reviews. Reading a variety of opinions on a game helps me determine if I will enjoy a game or not. It's why I go out of my way to read reviews that are scored lower for a game. the flip side of that coin is that a lot of user reviews are just "OMG THIS GAME ROCKS" or "OMG THIS GAME SUX" so you need to be able to tell an actually good review apart from a mediocre one.

User reviews for me are dreadful. Occasionally they have a point, but too often it seems to boil down to "this game sequel removed my favorite gun so 1/10.... and I only gave it a 1 because of the graphisc!!!!" The reasons they give are often so inane and arbitrary that I feel safer with more well known reviewers.

These days I am finding some Youtube reviews to be great like Angry Joe, and TotalBiscuit's impressions are always helpful.

Overall, I am beginning to feel like I rely on reviews too much. If a game is highly rated, chances are I will like it (if it matches my preferences). If it is poorly rated, I probably won't like it. That said, sometimes it feels like game reviewers take something like polish as sign of special quality, when in other mediums it is a foregone conclusion. Games are interactive software so it comes with the territory, but perhaps game developers need to try harder. I expect current gen games to be bug free.

I see what you mean. You should check out Gamefaqs... They actually monitor user reviews there, so most of them aren't just "removed my favorite gun so 1/ 10", most are actually somewhat thought out; there are a few consistent users that are actually worth reading, too. I find the less popular a game, the better the user reviews, too, since someone reviewing it actually gives a damn that people will read what they've written. But I understand that most user reviews are horrid. Gamefaqs, though, is pretty solid. For me, at least.

I really hate to do this, but I really need an outside opinion..... are these reviews horrible?

#16 Posted by Kuromino (1359 posts) -

@Kevlar101: The link you provided will direct users to their own reviews. Use this link instead: http://www.gamespot.com/profile/Kevlar101/reviews/

#18 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer:

you and me both: good, quality reader reviews are great for getting to the heart of a game and determining whether or not one will like it. like you, I go to gamefaqs often (and many others, as well) and like to read the in-depth mid-scores to see exactly why they rated it as such. combine that with those reviews of people who love the game and are able to succinctly say why and I can make great judgments.

obviously, the "this game sux" or "I've been playing for 3 minutes and it's awesome" ones cause me to instantly hit the go back one page button, lol.

#19 Edited by Kevlar101 (6223 posts) -

@Kuromino said:

@Kevlar101: The link you provided will direct users to their own reviews. Use this link instead: http://www.gamespot.com/profile/Kevlar101/reviews/

Please explain how that works....how does it link them to their own reviews....

#20 Edited by Kevlar101 (6223 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer: the mix-up with the links has been dealt with. So, again.... I really hate to self-advertise, i'm not proud of myself for doing it, but I really need an outside opinion......are these reviews horrible?

#21 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

@udubdawgz1 said:

@turtlethetaffer:

you and me both: good, quality reader reviews are great for getting to the heart of a game and determining whether or not one will like it. like you, I go to gamefaqs often (and many others, as well) and like to read the in-depth mid-scores to see exactly why they rated it as such. combine that with those reviews of people who love the game and are able to succinctly say why and I can make great judgments.

obviously, the "this game sux" or "I've been playing for 3 minutes and it's awesome" ones cause me to instantly hit the go back one page button, lol.

Sometimes I like to read the really bad ones to make myself feel better about things :P

but yeah, often I find the middle to low reviews are the best ones for determining if I'll like a game. They are often the most critical and state what's wrong with the game, and I can judge if it sounds like those issues will get in my way of enjoying a game.

#22 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:

@turtlethetaffer: the mix-up with the links has been dealt with. So, again.... I really hate to self-advertise, i'm not proud of myself for doing it, but I really need an outside opinion......are these reviews horrible?

Hang on, I need to go eat dinner. Afterwards I will PM you and give you some feedback if that's okay.

#23 Posted by Kuromino (1359 posts) -

@Kevlar101: The link you originally provided, http://www.gamespot.com/profile/reviews/ is just a generic link that takes users to their own review section that only they can edit. If you go into your profile and click on Public URL beside your avatar, you can get the correct link that way.

#24 Posted by Kevlar101 (6223 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

@Kevlar101 said:

@turtlethetaffer: the mix-up with the links has been dealt with. So, again.... I really hate to self-advertise, i'm not proud of myself for doing it, but I really need an outside opinion......are these reviews horrible?

Hang on, I need to go eat dinner. Afterwards I will PM you and give you some feedback if that's okay.

Cools

#25 Posted by widdowson91 (1237 posts) -
@Kevlar101 said:

@turtlethetaffer: the mix-up with the links has been dealt with. So, again.... I really hate to self-advertise, i'm not proud of myself for doing it, but I really need an outside opinion......are these reviews horrible?

When you put the original broken link up, and it took me to my own reviews, I felt really proud of myself as I genuinely thought, for a moment, that you read my reviews and were impressed haha :P

#27 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

@bayernfan said:

It is business after all. That is why I try to check reviews from other sources and most importantly, from gamers. However, I try to avoid the 10s since those reviews are more subjective than actual critic view of the game.

The issue with criticizing a review for being objective is that every single review ever written for anything is subjective.

For instance, think of the movie The Social Network. That got NEARLY PERFECT reviews from the critics. It has a stupidly high metacritic rating, iirc. When I watched it, I thought it was boring as hell and not worth the time. this is in spite of the fact that critics showered so much praise onto it.

Same goes for Red Dead redemption. Again, game got nearly perfect reviews across the board, but I found it to be decent at best. Who is more right in this situation, the reviewers or me? Because at the end of the day they're both opinions.

the key to a good review is whether or not the reviewer backs up their claim about the product with a good argument and examples.

#28 Edited by jasonredemption (340 posts) -

This same problem exists in sterotypes as well. I like to say "the stereotype is there for a reason." So yeah, hype often does indicate a good game. We live in an era that likes to be "hip" and so you'll always have haters that hate what's popular simply because it's popular. The way I've come to think of it is that as people we know what we like.

For instance take fictional created character "Matt". He likes xbox and so he bought the XBOX ONE irregardless of price difference or even games because Matt likes to play with his friends on Madden and Call of Duty. He doesn't care about Halo or Uncharted or even Grand Theft Auto. He probably doesn't even care what the reviews say about Call of Duty because he cares more about what his friends think about something.

Take random more hard-core fictional gamer "Joe". He likes all kinds of games but not others. He loves Uncharted and inFamous and Gears of war but doesn't care for Call of Duty, Halo, Mario, Dark Souls or JRPGs. He therefore will think that Call of Duty and Dark Souls gets too much hype because he doesn't care for those kinds of games.

For instance for me, I know I don't like Grand Theft Auto, JRPGs or Dark Souls and I'm not crazy about another 2D Mario game. I'm also not a huge multiplayer gamer and don't have a lot of gamer friends which means I go to the system that has the games I like. I personally love games that are tied to some universe I already love which is why I'll get hyped for a new X-Men, Batman, Star Wars or Lord of Rings game.

Where to me the hype doesn't add up is when it comes to something I'm already not interested in. I have never seen the Hunger Games movies cause of all the hype surrounding them. Watching the trailers doesn't really get me excited for the universe or the characters so I still find the hype off-putting almost.

One last example: When I first saw the new Theif game trailer it was on my most wanted list for my PS4. When I heard it was less about combat and more about sneaking and just stealing stuff I got less interested. When I watched a few videos and saw the story trailers I got more hyped for it. It looked really good, so I preordered it. When the reviews came out suggesting the story was only serviceable and that the controls weren't great and the there was no real open world sense to it I realized that my fears were confirmed, this game was not something I would enjoy like I initially feared so I canceled my preorder.

There were games a few years ago like X-Men: Destiny and Lord of the Rings: War in the North excited me. They didn't hit main-stream hype and for good reason. X-Men: Desinty was a mediocre game even for an X-men fan and War in the North had game-breaking bugs that was truly horrific. But it's popular to hate on games like Skyrim, The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Red Dead Redemption but those are truly great games.

But alternately there are people who don't like even those great games and that's ok because it is based on personal choice.

The only situations I see where the hype-leading to self-fulfilling reviews seems unmerited is in the case of over-milked games. Whether it's Call of Duty, Mario or even Assassins Creed when we get a new game year after year that continues to hold a positive review then I begin to wonder if Reviewers really feel that a new game continues to justify a positive review.

The only thing this all proves is that everyone has different tastes. We all tolerate different things. Where poor story execution, sloppy programming, low-res textures, poor animation, uninspired level design, poor use of a license, ETC. might all be reasons to justify a low review score. However, there will always be someone who will have found enjoyment, happiness and fun in a game that many will have passed over. Alternatively in-spite of exceptional story, impeccable game design and flawless development a game that receives universal high praise might be found unenjoyable by a gamer.

#29 Posted by Bigboi500 (30108 posts) -

Yes. I view the system as nothing more than paid advertisements. I don't think any video game site has gamers' best interest in mind. I know some like to think everything in the industry is on the up and up, but in the real world it's a business and nothing more.

#30 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13777 posts) -

My stance towards reviews is people aren't reading them properly if they're reading them at all. 1st of all numbers are meaningless, so whatever the score they put at the end means didly squat. 2nd of all, When reading a review, the point is not find out how good or bad something is. That almost never ends well. When reading a review, the point is to get information out of it. Sadly this isn't easy as all reviewers are going to wrap the games facts inside of an oppinion. And you have to unwrap it carefully, making sure you get the facts without getting any oppinions on it. For example. In gamespots and IGN's review of Dark Souls 2. One will Say: "I wasn't very fond of The new condition of having your maximum health reduced every time you die, which is counter intuitive as that will lead to more dying" while the other might say "In addition losing your souls when you die, you also lose abit of your maximum health, which really makes the gameplay interesting and all the more satisfying when or if you do triumph". Its tricky but read multiple reviews and you'l be able to extract the fact that dying reduces you maximum health, and you can form your own oppinion about that. Eventually you'l get so good at noticing the pattern you'l be able to extract facts from the oppinions from a single review instead of cross examining multiple reviews to find the common factors.

Sadly this only works if you know what you're looking for. If you know what you like.

This technique will do didly squat for you if you wana try something new, something you've never tried before, a new genre maybe. You'l still be able to extract facts from the oppinionated reviews effectively, but how will you know if having your maximum health reduced everytime you die is something you'l like without trying it 1st ?

Thinking of trying a genre ?, just jump in. Don't bother with reviews. They won't help.

Bottom line is scores are completely useless.

#31 Posted by Archangel3371 (15753 posts) -

While it's certainly possible I can't really think of any games off-hand that have received a lot of hype and also high scores that I felt didn't deserve it, and I've played quite a few. It could also work the other way, games that get a lot of hype may receive low reviews because people's expectations may be set too high. Personally my tastes coincide with a good deal of professional reviews and I don't follow user reviews much if at all.

#32 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (8220 posts) -

An overwhelming majority of critically praised games are actually really good games. People just whine when someone else on the internet likes a game a lot that they don't.

#33 Posted by Ish_basic (4031 posts) -

I think it's good to keep in mind that reviewers are also enthusiasts and subject to same sorts of anticipation and excitement as any other gamer. The difference is a reviewer makes his living spending most of the year playing games that he probably wouldn't even touch if gaming were only a hobby and not a profession to him/her. So when said reviewer finally gets to sit down and review a game that he/she actually is interested in, can't really blame them for maybe being a little bit more generous.

#34 Posted by thereal25 (458 posts) -

Great topic: Lets look at some examples of games that received unjustifiably high scores:

Deus Ex Human Revolution - a boring and shallow game

Skyrim - don't even get me started lol

any/all civilization games - seriously what do people see in these games?

Mass effect (the original) - horrible and I mean HORRIBLE combat

Half Life 2: - Lauded as perhaps the best game ever created - but was it really? I honestly tried to play it recently and couldn't even finish it - it was that boring.

Batman games - Jump into a gang of baseball bad wielding "thugs" hit x and y about 200 times rinse and repeat - there's your game lol

#35 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13777 posts) -

@ thereal25

Batman has a fuckton of variety. Its just not gona force you to use the quick fire gadgets. Might wana think about that before you jump to conclusions.

#36 Posted by thereal25 (458 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ thereal25

Batman has a fuckton of variety. Its just not gona force you to use the quick fire gadgets. Might wana think about that before you jump to conclusions.

Alright, I must confess I never really mastered the whole "combo" thing. Most of my battles were just block, hit, hit, hit, block, hit, block, hit... well you get the picture!

But at least I started my battles with a baterang or a ice freeze lol.

#37 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13777 posts) -

I played the Whole of Arkham Asylum this way and it was horrible. It wasn't untill I got Arkham City and tried The Challenge mode when I realised how much fun the quickfire gadgets were. Because the game awards variety. Thats when I realised this game wasn't Button Mashy or Reptitive, it was just Accessible and those who want a good and varied challenge can get one.

#38 Posted by thereal25 (458 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu:

Yeah, fair enough. I don't think I tried the challenge mode - and I can imagine the game would've probably been way better had I mastered the combat.

#39 Posted by Jacanuk (4773 posts) -

@udubdawgz1 said:

in many instances, undeniably yes.

let's use gta4, for example. I and others were a minority pointing out its numerous flaws, yet, it got raving official reviews everywhere. and, yet, today those same exact flaws are recognized by thousands of people now, even official reviewers, yet, the scores will still remain "excusable."

I can break down the game with video and fact supporting my claims, yet, people will still score the game high simply because it is gta and has great name recognition and advertisement.

the hype and fluff and popularity of the gaming industry today just makes it unavoidable, in general. take into account the mediocre gameplay wrapped inside a neat, tidy and pretty package and this type of self-fulfillment will continue.

as well, to add another point to consider: "official" gaming review sites DO HAVE a vested interest and to think their integrity is beyond reproach is laughable.

And what flaws did GTA 4 have? that is "widely" recognized by critics?

#40 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13777 posts) -

@ thereal25

The Stealth had the Exact Same Problem, Taking down Thugs is just way too fucking easy for Batman, it was Grapel to Gargoyle, Drop down behind thug then Press Y to takedown, Rinse and Repeat. And again it wasn't until One Of Arkham City's Challenges that disable take downs from behind thats when you get a true appreciation from Luring Three thugs into a hazard and taking them all down at once with a well timed detonation of Explosive gel. A three part plan executed to perferction. Its also quit hilarious when things go wrong like miss time a dropp and get your ass blasted with a shotgun. Or in door snipers, theyre lasers are harder to see in detective mode.

#41 Posted by Jacanuk (4773 posts) -

@BravoOneActual said:

Topic. Not baiting. Honest opinions wanted.

Who knows, it is striking that really hyped games usually end up with a positive review in the top 5% score range. But that's why you always if you are one of those people who let a review decide a game purchase, read more than one. And of course if you do let your opinion be impacted by others, you have to respect those people and as a critic, that means they of course have enough professionalism to not be influenced by hype.

#42 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@Jacanuk: most boring/lifeless/meaningless/repetitive gameworld in sandbox/open history. repetitive and mediocre and rehashed combat/gameplay that still has a laughably inept and clumsy control design. same boring and clichéd dialogue and story. shallow and meaningless impact. void of innovation. extreme handholding.

as well, no checkpoints, no bikes, forced/inappropriate "realism" with driving cars, general "realism" of the game eliminates basic fun, eliminated fun side missions and absolutely NOTHING to do or interact with in the "detailed" and "full of life" sandbox gameworld.

for me, still the most overrated game in the history of console video games.

#43 Edited by VintAge68 (422 posts) -

I sometimes thought that roughly, there are several possible combinations for the relation of Game vs. Hype:

  • Media speaking much about a game before and much after the release => success
  • Media speaking much before and few after the release => overhyped
  • Media speaking few before and much after the release => undermarketed
  • Media speaking few before and few after the release => failure (or a waste of money)

My additional five cents (*_*;)