Why care about someone elses opinion (game reviewers) ?

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#1 Posted by Gargus (2147 posts) -

All right, I see constant threads on how someone's review is right, its wrong, its scandalous, they are good, they are bad, people are shocked, people are upset and so on. I cant figure out why all of you care at all, let alone why you guys get upset or praise someone simply for giving their opinion?

A video game reviewer is the equivalent or some stranger on the street running up to you and saying "I didn't like batman arkahm origins and I thought it sucked" then running off never to be seen again. Do you pay attention to that random person and reflect on what they said? I bet you wouldn't. Yet you have big arguments and big discussions on what some random stranger on the internet says on a game site.

A review is just an opinion, that's it. There isn't a need or reason to get so wrapped up in what one person in the whole world thinks. Millions of people think dancing with the stars is great television, millions think time cruise is an amazing actor, millions think Michael is the best director, millions think mcdonalds has great food, millions think the black eyed peas are amazing musicians, millions of people think that halo is the best game ever but I don't agree with any of them, so why would I care what one person out of billions thinks?

One persons opinion also does not mean I cant like something. Since I don't care what others think I play what I want and I enjoy what I like. Just because someone else doesn't like the exact same things I do doesn't make the game any less good to me. How does someone else's opinion affect your personal life at all? How does what they think matter to you?

And lets not forget, game reviewers are getting paid by game companies to review their games, so why exactly would you even trust them to begin with? Game magazines and websites survive based on advertisements, customer subscriptions do not keep their doors open. Its all about advertising dollars. And what they are game websites and magazines advertisements about? Games. They make their money from the very people who pay their salary, so how can you believe what they say anyway? When GTA5 came out and they were throwing around millions in advertising dollars who do you think would do anything to jeopardize getting some of that? No one.

So who cares what reviewers think. They are just random strangers who get paid by game companies to review games, and their reviews do not mean you can or cant like the game.

#2 Edited by b4il (91 posts) -

they tell you some pro's and con's for a game you're interested in, wether you agree with them is up to you. when i'm reading a review i'm like "oh that sounds great indeed" or "yes, this sounds like it would annoy the hell out of me". based on that they can help me making my decision if i'm not 100% sure if i should pick it up or not. so... i don't really get your point. if you think reading reviews doesn't help, don't read them. and i guess you aren't asking any of your friends if they like a game or not?

#3 Edited by LJS9502_basic (148547 posts) -

I read the review body to see if there is anything broken in the game. After that.....I go by my interest in the game. Review scores are not the best to use....particularly when it's 7 and above.

But some people need justification and I guess someone ele's opinion works for them. Just in the short time I've been in this forum I've seen user give credence to other users opinion as though they would get the same enjoyment. Odd.

#4 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20292 posts) -

yes, a review is just somebody's opinion. however, sharing an opinion is a pretty tried and true method of starting communication and discussion. seeing as we're all here on the forums of a gaming website (in the "games discussion" board, no less), it's safe to assume that many of us are interested in a discussion about video games.

i'm not sure where the "stranger running up to you on the street" part comes into play though. gamespot and its reviews don't just pop up from our desktops. people willingly enter the website where they may seek gaming news or discussion. if they want to read the reviews, they can click on the links.

#5 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22910 posts) -

@Gargus said:

They make their money from the very people who pay their salary,

You might want to reword that.

I mean everybody makes money from the people who pay their salary. Everyone in the world. Unless you are a panhandler or the sole owner of a manufacturing plant, someone pays your salary and that is how people earn a living.

I get what you're going for with this post. And while I can agree that a review is no cause to get up in arms, the voice of the critic is supposed to carry more weight. This is not akin to a random stranger on the street. A paid reviewer is supposed to, in theory, apply educated knowledge to a work of art, critique said art for the masses, and do it in an ethical manner. The advertiser issue can make it a sketchy one, this much is true. But like I said "in theory" that's how it's supposed to work. And that's why the discussion occurs.

Of course we're going to make up our own minds. Roger Ebert never stopped me from seeing a movie I wanted to see, and Carolyn Petit or Tom McShea aren't going to dissuade me from playing a game I want to play. But part of the decision making process on whether or not to plop down $60 is educating yourself on the quality of the game as a product. Andpeople come here, to a gaming site, to discuss games. Part of that process of discussing games is discussing critiques of them.

#6 Posted by Some-Mist (5629 posts) -

I don't... but I know what I like - or I guess you could say I'm a good judge of knowing what I like. I can't tell you the last game review I read, but I have watched zero punctuation for the lulz.

#7 Edited by AmstradCPC (13 posts) -

Paid "professional" reviewers hold zero weight for me. We do not need to look to them in this age.

I'll give you a good example. FIFA 14. An absolute disaster of a game. The worst in the series for five years in my opinion (I played it for a month before selling it)

It gets gradings that are at masterpiece status across the board with all the paid critics.

On metacritic its average is around the high 8.5/10 with critics. With the general public, its around 4.3/10 on the same site.

Now, who would you believe? People who have played the game for at least several hours and who probably know what a football game should look like) or a hack who has a free copy and is being paid to play it for 30 mins?

I look at the AVERAGE of PUBLIC reviewers and make my mind up from that. This is common sense.

#8 Edited by Jacanuk (2765 posts) -

Paid "professional" reviewers hold zero weight for me. We do not need to look to them in this age.

I'll give you a good example. FIFA 14. An absolute disaster of a game. The worst in the series for five years in my opinion (I played it for a month before selling it)

It gets gradings that are at masterpiece status across the board with all the paid critics.

On metacritic its average is around the high 8.5/10 with critics. With the general public, its around 4.3/10 on the same site.

Now, who would you believe? People who have played the game for at least several hours and who probably know what a football game should look like) or a hack who has a free copy and is being paid to play it for 30 mins?

I look at the AVERAGE of PUBLIC reviewers and make my mind up from that. This is common sense.

I would believe the critic´s over the public any day of the week when it comes to FIFA and 90% of the "user reviews" on meta is nothing but PES fanboys trying to rate down FIFA.

But let me guess after you got rid of FIFA you bought PES right?

#9 Posted by Namgis (3510 posts) -

The only thing I want in a review is the pros and cons. More so the cons. If there is nothing overly bothersome in the game, then I'm good. My feelings aren't hurt when a game I was eager for gets a low score. Often times the cons are not what I would classify as negatives.

#10 Edited by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@AmstradCPC said:

Paid "professional" reviewers hold zero weight for me. We do not need to look to them in this age.

I'll give you a good example. FIFA 14. An absolute disaster of a game. The worst in the series for five years in my opinion (I played it for a month before selling it)

It gets gradings that are at masterpiece status across the board with all the paid critics.

On metacritic its average is around the high 8.5/10 with critics. With the general public, its around 4.3/10 on the same site.

Now, who would you believe? People who have played the game for at least several hours and who probably know what a football game should look like) or a hack who has a free copy and is being paid to play it for 30 mins?

I look at the AVERAGE of PUBLIC reviewers and make my mind up from that. This is common sense.

I would believe the critic´s over the public any day of the week when it comes to FIFA and 90% of the "user reviews" on meta is nothing but PES fanboys trying to rate down FIFA.

But let me guess after you got rid of FIFA you bought PES right?

Hardcore fans of a particular genre will almost always be better equipped to analyse a game than a reviewer, who plays through the game as quickly as possible to put out his review and who will, in general, have played a lot less comparable games than the average hardcore fan of that genre.

#11 Edited by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

First of all they are getting paid and are getting a channel to share their opinion of a game. I see no wrong in criticizing someone on being incosistent on reviews. I think it does matter because people base their purchases on reviews. I do some in depth research before buying a game or buying it when it becomes cheap. But i am not everyone and a lot of people rely on reviews.

#12 Posted by Dequan1233 (107 posts) -

I personally love reviews, because I can base upon my viewpoint and their opinion on a game. Since they had a chance to look at the game before me, I would like to see if there was anything wrong with the game.

#13 Posted by outworld222 (2105 posts) -

Easy. It helps protect your money from bad games. If 10 reviewers give a game a score of 4 out of 10 on average, you know it's not good news.

#14 Edited by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

Easy. It helps protect your money from bad games. If 10 reviewers give a game a score of 4 out of 10 on average, you know it's not good news.

That is true, but the score alone shouldn't be the deciding factor though. Because the video or the text might point out stuff that is not taken in the score

#15 Posted by VintAge68 (355 posts) -

Game criticism is legitimate as it is for movies or books. It wouldn't be good to make the buyers' choice be based on publisher-payed previews alone, but people tend to see above all the scores and not what is written below. Many of GS game scores belittle the proper review they caption, and with this also the (payed) effort put into. Imho instead of trying to be "original" (e.g., giving a 4/10 to an AAA game), game critics should rather strive for being more objective, for instance as distinguishing between: game mechanics, graphics, sound, duration, diversion, and deriving a total score from this. This kind of split scores might also be more informative to users than simply listing "The Good" and "The Bad"...

#16 Posted by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

Game criticism is legitimate as it is for movies or books. It wouldn't be good to make the buyers' choice be based on publisher-payed previews alone, but people tend to see above all the scores and not what is written below. Many of GS game scores belittle the proper review they caption, and with this also the (payed) effort put into. Imho instead of trying to be "original" (e.g., giving a 4/10 to an AAA game), game critics should rather strive for being more objective, for instance as distinguishing between: game mechanics, graphics, sound, duration, diversion, and deriving a total score from this. This kind of split scores might also be more informative to users than simply listing "The Good" and "The Bad"...

They used to have that a few years ago, but in all of their wisdom thought it's more "accurate" to just have a 10 scale instead of a 20 or 100

#17 Edited by Bigboi500 (27891 posts) -

Way too many people put too much stock in them and pretend they grant any and all perceived value of a game. Just look at the sheer number of people that simply accept a review score blindly and label a game "crap" if it doesn't score a 9.0 or higher, without ever playing it.

My main problem with the whole system is letting the wrong people review the wrong games, and it happens all the time. Instead of letting a series veteran (aka someone who knows what they're doing) review a game, they let someone with a totally different perspective (people with political agendas for instance) skew the resulting analysis process, often from the viewpoint of the new or casual user instead of with long-time fans of a series in mind.

Why would they do that you ask? The answer is business and traffic over dedication to gamers and the people they're supposed to be catering to, and who made them what they are.

#18 Posted by Chickan_117 (16329 posts) -

The reason people care about reviews on sites like GameSpot is because they are paid professionals who are supposed to provide a reasoned analysis of a game combined with an opinion. I expect more from a professional reviewer than just the same sort of thing I'd get from a blog or "person running up to me on the street".

The problem, as I see it, is that the line is becoming blurred between opinion pieces and reviews. Sure a review must contain an opinion but it should be backed with fact and all aspects of a game reviewed. Also sites like GameSpot should have a large enough reviewer pool that they can assign the correct person to the correct game. Like someone said above, it's pretty poor to get someone who hates game type X to review game type X. Someone who hates sports games is never going to give a fair or detailed review of a sports game for example.

#19 Edited by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

The reason people care about reviews on sites like GameSpot is because they are paid professionals who are supposed to provide a reasoned analysis of a game combined with an opinion. I expect more from a professional reviewer than just the same sort of thing I'd get from a blog or "person running up to me on the street".

The problem, as I see it, is that the line is becoming blurred between opinion pieces and reviews. Sure a review must contain an opinion but it should be backed with fact and all aspects of a game reviewed. Also sites like GameSpot should have a large enough reviewer pool that they can assign the correct person to the correct game. Like someone said above, it's pretty poor to get someone who hates game type X to review game type X. Someone who hates sports games is never going to give a fair or detailed review of a sports game for example.

Exactly and gamespot hasn't done that at all

#20 Posted by BranKetra (46504 posts) -

Good reviewers are professional, personable, and enthusiastic at the same time. That is why I read them.

#21 Posted by MirkoS77 (6234 posts) -

I care for others' opinions because I simply can't afford to buy all the games I want without some feedback. I never rely on only ONE view, but usually MC a game and read all reviews to see if what they enjoy aligns to my tastes.

#22 Posted by Metamania (11856 posts) -

The truth is, no matter how much you enjoy a review to gain feedback or an idea of the game, the only way to know for sure how the game works and all that jazz is to play it yourself. It's your opinion that matters...no one else's.

#23 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22910 posts) -

The truth is, no matter how much you enjoy a review to gain feedback or an idea of the game, the only way to know for sure how the game works and all that jazz is to play it yourself. It's your opinion that matters...no one else's.

Well said. :)

#24 Posted by foxhound_fox (85241 posts) -

Why care about anyone's view on things? We all know our opinions are 100% right and accurate.

#25 Posted by Ish_basic (3749 posts) -

opinions aren't so innocent as people believe. It just depends on who is giving them. If you, say, have billions of dollars and buy yourself a 24 hours news channel that spins garbage all day, you can influence the course of the country with pure slant.

Obviously, that's the extreme end of the spectrum, but publishers today pay so much attention to metacritic ratings compiled from sites practicing various degrees of professionalism. It'd be great if we could trust an organization to be professional and competent without outside pressure, but we don't live in that world. These opinions can and will continue to influence purchases, which combined with metacritic averages can be the difference between seeing a sequel to your favorite game and not.

It's important for an educated consumer (meaning people who have actually played the game) to put pressure on critics to ensure what comes out of their mouth is at least accurate and consistent. Even when it comes down to a basic disagreement of taste, pressure should be put on critics to support their opinions. Also, a professional writer should be able to state their opinions and their supporting arguments in ways that allow the reader to disagree with them (in other words, reviewers need to learn that it's their job to inform readers, not convince them). GregK was fantastic at this, but apparently he didn't make any training videos before he left.

Too often the internet sets the bar far too low when it comes to professional journalism (gaming or otherwise). It's up to us to smack around people with said bar when they're doing a shitty job. Who else is gonna do it?

#26 Edited by Finban (7 posts) -

I personally enjoy watching/ reading reviews of games, or anything for that matter, is that I like to hear other people interpretations on things I personally have experienced, that's just me though, I generally don't let reviews influence whether or not I buy the game, I also wouldn't stop enjoying a game on behalf of a review, though it can give some interesting points of view.

#27 Edited by Chickan_117 (16329 posts) -

opinions aren't so innocent as people believe. It just depends on who is giving them. If you, say, have billions of dollars and buy yourself a 24 hours news channel that spins garbage all day, you can influence the course of the country with pure slant.

Obviously, that's the extreme end of the spectrum, but publishers today pay so much attention to metacritic ratings compiled from sites practicing various degrees of professionalism. It'd be great if we could trust an organization to be professional and competent without outside pressure, but we don't live in that world. These opinions can and will continue to influence purchases, which combined with metacritic averages can be the difference between seeing a sequel to your favorite game and not.

It's important for an educated consumer (meaning people who have actually played the game) to put pressure on critics to ensure what comes out of their mouth is at least accurate and consistent. Even when it comes down to a basic disagreement of taste, pressure should be put on critics to support their opinions. Also, a professional writer should be able to state their opinions and their supporting arguments in ways that allow the reader to disagree with them (in other words, reviewers need to learn that it's their job to inform readers, not convince them). GregK was fantastic at this, but apparently he didn't make any training videos before he left.

Too often the internet sets the bar far too low when it comes to professional journalism (gaming or otherwise). It's up to us to smack around people with said bar when they're doing a shitty job. Who else is gonna do it?

Great argument. The only problem with this model is that educated consumers are few and far between. A lot of the time people read the intro, the summary, the score, then post their thoughts on the review without apparent intent to get a follow up or retort/justification. Comments on reviews seem to be largely this sort of person and not so much a reasoned arguers

#28 Posted by bob_toeback (11267 posts) -

The thing is, people are waiting for the review to see the number they wanted. It's not so much the score or anything, other than "Oh they picked the same number I did!" I mean seriously, people saying "That review read like it should be an 8, not a 7" Who the fuck cares? Obviously the reviewer didn't think so, and that's fine.

#29 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1291 posts) -

The only reason I look at reviews is to get an idea of what's in the game, but there are sometimes when you just can't believe how dumb a critic may be and that is why many people make threads on the issue. For example, almost all (if not all) critics think the games story is the one factor that contributes towards a games score, it doesn't matter how sh*t the gameplay is, if the story is great, the game can score a 10/10. Some critics also tell flat out lies in reviews, for example, Kevin VanOrd said that "A brilliant mixture of storytelling and gameplay". Also, games are underrated by critics just for being fun nowadays.

#30 Posted by Krelian-co (9077 posts) -

i hate when people are bad at their jobs, and even more when they are public jobs, even if its just gaming they are misinforming a bunch of people because they are terrible reviewers.

#31 Posted by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

Good reviewers are professional, personable, and enthusiastic at the same time. That is why I read them.

that is true, not everyone on this site is like that sadly

#32 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (17571 posts) -

Quality =/= tastes.

I don't care about a reviewer's "opinion." If I read a review I want to know whether the game works well or not, whether the game design is well done and how it stacks up to the classics of the genre. I don't care if the reviewer "liked it" or not. You can "like" a horrible game and "dislike" excellent games.

The problem here is that people seem to have forgotten what the purpose of professional reviews is. It's not to throw two cents on the pile, it's to tell people whether or not the reviewed item is worth their time and money.

#33 Posted by ristactionjakso (5510 posts) -

In some cases you should, but in most you shouldn't. I think Trinity Souls of Zill O'll is a fantastic game and it got mediocre score from all sites.

I think reviewers more often than not, over score games more than underscore games.

#34 Posted by Parado_xx (73 posts) -

I guess I do understand to some extent why some people get a little upset if a game they've been really looking forward to gets a bad score, but what I do not get is why some of them would start bashing on the reviewer regarding things that have nothing to do with the game. If I, myself, am really interested in a game I only use the reviews as somewhat of a guideline, although I'll most likely end up buying it anyway.

Naturally, everybody's got different opinions, so I choose not to care too much about reviews, unless they make some very good arguments about why a game is bad. So yeah, all in all, I'd understand if people disagrees with some reviews, but I don't understand why they'd get so pissed over it.

#35 Posted by CleanPlayer (9686 posts) -

I prefer Kotaku's review system the most because it's so simple answering the question should you play this game?, and also the pro's and con's. People get way too butt-hurt over scores and from my experience it really restricts people from even bothering reading the review.

#36 Edited by FieldOfView (17 posts) -

The score is the culprit. And the way people review games, making them look all official and factual, when they are merely subjective opinions of a particular individual. It should explicitly state, "It is the opinion of this humble reviewer that this game is <bad/good/amazing>, because <pros>. However, it does have <cons>." No numbers or other official looking things that try to sell the review as fact. Personally, I appreciate everyone's opinion and try to see their side of the argument. However, if there are flaming facts in their face they choose to ignore, I feel obliged to fart in their face.

#37 Posted by SKaREO (3161 posts) -

I don't read game reviews. I don't care what other people think.

#38 Posted by The_Last_Ride (65913 posts) -

Quality =/= tastes.

I don't care about a reviewer's "opinion." If I read a review I want to know whether the game works well or not, whether the game design is well done and how it stacks up to the classics of the genre. I don't care if the reviewer "liked it" or not. You can "like" a horrible game and "dislike" excellent games.

The problem here is that people seem to have forgotten what the purpose of professional reviews is. It's not to throw two cents on the pile, it's to tell people whether or not the reviewed item is worth their time and money.

exactly and i agree