What was the first game you played that made you not trust game reviewers?

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#1 Edited by Worlds_Apart (167 posts) -

My choice is Rival Turf by Jaleco on the SNES. I used to read video game magazines for reviews back then and they totally slaughtered Rival Turf with scores like 4/10 for being crap and also being a Final Fight clone. But when I played it with my brother, it was so much fun we played for hours. It was my brother's friend's game, but after playing it, we ended up buying our own copy. I was really young, so looking back, maybe I didn't know the factors that made a game good or bad, but since then, I stopped paying so much attention to game review scores. Sure I still read the reviews but if a game looked fun, its review score was irrelevant.

What about you? What was the first game you played that made you not trust game reviewers? It could be a game that got poor reviews, and when you played it, you found it to be very good. Or it could be a game that got great reviews, and when you played it, you found it to be boring and not so good.

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#2 Edited by Yams1980 (3472 posts) -

From this site, i'd go back to their Theme Hospital review from 1997. It was a total joke review. The game is was an instant classic and I knew it the moment I started playing it. Luckily i bought the game way before i even knew this site existed and nothing swayed my purchase. I read the review long after I got the game and just laughed at the person who made it, I don't think they even played it to be honest. It's still a unique fun game even now.

But if talking about all reviewers in general that hated on a game I liked, I'd go with the game Gauntlet Legends/Dark Legacy. It got really average to even poor review scores by almost every reviewer but I love the game. I still play it almost yearly. I originally got Gauntlet Legends on the Nintendo 64, then later on a bunch of different versions when it was expanded with the extra content to Gauntlet Dark Legacy. Best version is without a doubt the Nintendo gamecube emulated version that runs on the Dolphin emulator since it allows widescreen hacks and you run it at widescreen resolutions.

So its true, you should never go just blindly with review scores, go play the game you think you will like and you may get lucky and find something special only you like and not many others.

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#3 Posted by Sevenizz (3838 posts) -

Earthbound. The game gets glowing reviews everywhere. But hardly anyone brings up that it’s one of those boring turn based games.

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#4 Posted by Lembu90 (576 posts) -

Fortnite. Crappy "battle royale" that digs into your wallet than anything else. It's not fun, it's not innovative and it's not pretty(PUBG with The Sims 4 graphics). Even The Sims 4 more "battle royale" than Fortnite.

I know I shouldn't include user reviews but I do really, really disagree with Hatred in Steam's review page. While 77% doesn't seems to be high in Steam's standards but it definitely much higher than Sid Meier's Civilization VI and Far Cry 5 which both got "mixed" reviews at best. What's worse about the game itself it was developed by racist, xenophobic, far-right neo-nazis, just like most of Steam's demographics.

Besides Hatred, shitty anime fanservice craps like Senran Kagura series and Huniepop got relatively high scores in Steam as well that's because Steam roughly made of horny, lonely males aged 14-25. They have no idea that Senran Kagura series were guilty for their overpriced DLCs that are cosmetic at best. With the creator recently left the company for undisclosed reasons, I hope SK series died with him.

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#5 Posted by Speeny (1641 posts) -

Kingdom Hearts 3 comes to mind. Definitely not deserving of the score it was generally given.

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#6 Posted by Robbie23 (346 posts) -

When I saw the reviews for Wolfenstein 2, but then played it to discover it was one of the most overrated modern shooters. I hated the characters especially Grace. I loved everything about the first game but could not finish the second part.

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#7 Edited by VagrantSnow (320 posts) -

Earliest I can remember for sure was probably Gametrailer's coverage of Crysis 1. They seemed to really have a hate boner for it with its "theoretical graphics," having to "spend well over a week upgrading" their computer and with them disqualifying it from best graphics of the year award because it was a 'clear winner.'

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#8 Edited by RSM-HQ (8336 posts) -

Never use reviews to care for what I personally play. However to factor what others deem "bad" even without playing them is a good indication to throw a form of logic at hypocrites. To me if a game is being both reviewed well by the media/ users and has sold millions. . Well it must be doing something right, even if it's not what I seek for in games.

But to get more on track with the thread an example- I really like War for the Overworld and you will not find a legitimate media review for it anywhere that has anything positive to say. Metacritic is really mediocre. Which I think was ranking in the 60's when I last looked.

I very much know why, it was an early access game. And that's how it was reviewed/ ignored, a broken, messy launch. You could say like a good Anthem. . .*cough*

Also worth of note, I really enjoy Devil May Cry 5. However, to me it's certainly not for everyone, or as good as many have reviewed it. A solid improvement over DMC4, yet DMC4 wasn't exactly the best in the series and a flawed game in its own right. To me, DMC5 (and I love the series and the new game) is a 7/10. Not the 100 perfect game or 90's many dished out. Too many pacing issues (both characters and game structure), horrendous environment recycling, micro transaction purchases being suggested when you are using red orbs (every time), that censorship outsiders didn't know about properly, and despite being completely removable in the options the cutscenes. . whaw they are long. Does that read like a 100/100 masterpiece to anyone?

Well it shouldn't, even if its still a very good game.

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#9 Posted by uninspiredcup (33371 posts) -

Probably Crysis 2.

In general, critics don't seem to take into account the difference of platforms or port quality. Very inconsistent, usually getting a review copy for the Publishers preferred platform, ignoring the rest, which gives a false image to the average reader.

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#10 Edited by nelmar23 (22 posts) -

Warcraft 3, I've never relay on the game reviews. But I'm looking for bad comments if it is worth it. But I read some of the comments and they say it is an awful game and I search it online and I saw an article on WCG and it was a very cool game. I must say "to see is to believe.

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#11 Edited by storm_of_swords (2805 posts) -

I've never put a lot of stock in what reviewers say, but Grand Theft Auto 4 is when I started believing that developers bribe reviewers. There is no way in hell that game could receive all of the perfect scores that it received from professional reviewers unless they were bribed. It's the highest rated GTA game ever based upon professional review scores, yet most gamers consider it to be by far the worst 3D game in the series.

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#12 Posted by Worlds_Apart (167 posts) -
@storm_of_swords said:

I've never put a lot of stock in what reviewers say, but Grand Theft Auto 4 is when I started believing that developers bribe reviewers. There is no way in hell that game could receive all of the perfect scores that it received from professional reviewers unless they were bribed. It's the highest rated GTA game ever based upon professional review scores, yet most gamers consider it to be by far the worst 3D game in the series.

You're right about the bribing. Not saying it's a bad game but Metal Gear Solid V also comes to mind. It scored so many perfect 10s.

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#13 Edited by warmblur (2366 posts) -

True Crime streets of LA IGN gave it a 9 lol. That game is trash and is boring people talk about Rage 2 world being bland and empty apparently they have never played True Crime.

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#14 Posted by ThatDBFan (238 posts) -

Halo 5. That game got such high reviews, yet it's story telling sucked major ass.

To be fair tho, it's gameplay, graphics, and multiplayer were all great, but not good enough to make up for it's lackluster story.

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#15 Posted by Lembu90 (576 posts) -

Call of Duty after 2007 always get infuriatingly high scores from critics. None of them ever mentioned the same old craps recycled over and over again.

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#16 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

I trusted Zzap64 and it never let me down on Commodore64 side.

On PS1 and PS2 era, I trusted Games Master reviews and they were always spot on.

On 360 era I did lose trust in game reviews, but cannot really pinpoint a single game that caused this. I just felt reviews on PS3/360 era became biased, fanboyish and unprofessional compared to what they used to be.

I mean if you read PS1 era Official Playstation Mag reviews, you can see they are unbiased. PS2 era, the fanboy creep did creep in, and on PS3 era, the mag was full fanboy prattle, and could not be trusted at all.

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#17 Posted by BigCat2K20 (359 posts) -

The biased, unprofessional video game reviews started in 7th gaming generation (PS3/Xbox360/Wii era). If I've to pick one game, it's Infamous 1. The gameplay was stiff, recycle side missions, buggy & glitchy to the point of not touching it over an year.

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#18 Posted by PimpHand_Gamer (2855 posts) -

My distrust started with Nintendo Power. They knew how to make any game seem awesome and nothing worse than trusting a magazine review and score and spending $50 back in the 80's which was a lot of money to an elementary school kid, on a game that really wasn't fun at all to play or was so intensely difficult that it was a chore of sweat and tears just to get through and not something you ever wanted to just pick up and play for sheer fun.

Though I still enjoyed all of the magazine reviews back then if only to see the screenshots of games since there wasn't very many ways to get exposed to new and upcoming games. I learned to read in between the lines and ignore scores, focusing on game traits that I personally liked. Today there are so many sources for information on a game, from full gameplay videos to countless gamer discussions that there's little need to even bother putting too much faith in actual reviews as there's enough media at your finger tips that you can usually tell if it's something you'll enjoy or not. But at my age I just don't have the time so I condensed the types of games I enjoy to a very narrow few.

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#19 Posted by MirkoS77 (14140 posts) -

MGS4 Comes to mind.

I've no idea how that game gained such universal praise. It was the reason I ended up buying a PS3, and I enjoyed the first level, but after that the game was just awful.

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#20 Edited by tocool340 (21366 posts) -

Halo: Combat Evolve. Granted, I played the demo and actually enjoyed it. But when I played the full version....ugh...

It was like, what was playable in the demo was the only portion of the game that was fun. The flood part of the game was just the icing on the cake...

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#21 Posted by Willy105 (24815 posts) -

@Sevenizz: Thats only because you dont like turn based games. That doesnt change the fact that Earthbound is one of the greatest videogames ever made, its just not your thing.

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#22 Posted by Shantmaster_K (1443 posts) -

I can't say that any review made me "distrust" game reviewers. Yes, there are some that I disagree with, but most of the time I get where they are coming from. I think people put to much thought into game reviews and get upset and some of the scores, only by looking at the number and not what the number means. Like a 6 or 7 out of 10 is still considered a "good" game.

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#23 Posted by mastermetal777 (3232 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid 5 for me. I actually did enjoy MGS4 quite a bit (even though you could tell Kojima was angry with himself), but MGS5 does NOT deserve the same level of praise.

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#24 Posted by judaspete (2957 posts) -

Wouldn't say I stopped trusting reviews over this, but I avoided Heavy Metal: Geomatrix due to low scores (GS gave it like a 4). Luckily someone gave it to me as a gift because it turned out to be great. Guilty pleasure kind of great, but still great. After that I expanded my number of review sources.

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#25 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (18875 posts) -
@Shantmaster_K said:

I can't say that any review made me "distrust" game reviewers. Yes, there are some that I disagree with, but most of the time I get where they are coming from. I think people put to much thought into game reviews and get upset and some of the scores, only by looking at the number and not what the number means. Like a 6 or 7 out of 10 is still considered a "good" game.

Yeah this.

I look at it from the perspective that review scores are just people's opinions of a game. Everyone has different opinions.

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#26 Edited by AsadMahdi59 (7113 posts) -

You had GTA4 which should have not received a perfect score from any "professional" publication with its abysmal performance on consoles, clunky controls and very repetitive mission designs. I like the game mind you

Then you have MGS4. Again lousy performance, (ridiculous) cutscenes make up close to 50% of the games content, which I admittedly ate up at the time - but I was a teenager, not an adult like the people reviewing.

I wouldn't say I stopped trusting reviewers entirely, but those 2 are the earliest released games where their credibility took a hit for me, and it's gone way down since.

I still checkout scores but only to get a very vague idea. Many of the most praised games of this generation don't do much for me and/or I consider them extremely flawed. Unfortunately the focus of many reviewers is on story or unimportant nonsense (Days Gone for example) and they forget that they're reviewing a video GAME.

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#27 Edited by Litchie (23880 posts) -

I trusted reviews pretty good until we got evidence that publishers buy their scores. When Jeff Gerstmann and Greg Kasavin worked here, it was a great time for reviews. Jeff got fired for being honest and gave a crappy game a crappy score, the publisher got mad since they had bought a better score from GameSpot. All of a sudden every single review from all gaming websites couldn't be trusted anymore.

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#28 Posted by mojito1988 (3615 posts) -

You have to go with the type of stuff that interests you personally.

2 examples for me are Tree of Savior and No Man's Sky.

I love these 2 games, but they did not review well, but as with a lot of PC games they get a lot better with age.

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#29 Posted by Ish_basic (4996 posts) -

It's not a matter of trust or distrust. It's difficult to figure out where you stand when someone is only interested in giving their own opinion without explaining the broader game to his/her audience who's never played it. This was something I found Kasavin did at this site rather well. But most reviewers, whatever the website or magazine, seem to think people are reading the review for that reviewer (ego) and not to actually learn about the game. It doesn't help that most reviewers don't seem to understand how to support their opinions with details or that it's necessary to do so, either. Even in video reviews, the game shots are cut to reinforce the reviewers mindset and are not necessarily indicative of typical game flow.

So really the issue is not game reviewers, it's that the game review concept is simply outdated in this medium. There are far too many people out there playing the games a week ahead of time on YT, Twitch and other services. Just go watch some uncut gameplay for awhile and see what you think. Most gamers are experienced enough to make up there mind if they can just get a glimpse of the game in a wild for a bit. Do that and spend less time trying to parse the opinion of a stranger.

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#30 Edited by Ish_basic (4996 posts) -

It's not a matter of trust or distrust. It's difficult to figure out where you stand when someone is only interested in giving their own opinion without explaining the broader game to his/her audience who's never played it. This was something I found Kasavin did at this site rather well. But most reviewers, whatever the website or magazine, seem to think people are reading the review for that reviewer (ego) and not to actually learn about the game. It doesn't help that most reviewers don't seem to understand how to support their opinions with details or that it's necessary to do so, either. Even in video reviews, the game shots are cut to reinforce the reviewers mindset and are not necessarily indicative of typical game flow.

So really the issue is not game reviewers, it's that the review concept is simply outdated in this medium. There are far too many people out there playing the games a week ahead of time on YT, Twitch and other services. Just go watch some uncut gameplay for awhile and see what you think. Most gamers are experienced enough to make up their mind if they can just get a glimpse of the game in a wild for a bit. Do that and spend less time trying to parse the opinion of a stranger.