Why Is There So Much Heat Around Reviewers And Their Reviews Lately?

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

As a reviewer and someone who writes a lot of opinion pieces about video games, I have come to realize you need to have some thick skin. The sad fact of the matter is that the main group of people who will read your work are going to be pretty fanatical one way or the other, so they are either going to read and agree with what you write, or they are going to disagree. Most don’t leave it at disagreeing however, they like to troll or flame or insight arguments. I feel that it’s this type of person that is actually causing a lot of reviewers to give out scores to games that they don’t actually deserve, we are seeing more and more reviewers bow to this type of pressure, so we aren’t seeing legitimate scores like in years past.

I’ve been reviewing games independently for the better part of the last decade and I’ve given out a perfect score six times, even though I’ve scored those six games perfectly doesn’t mean they were perfect games however. I actually feel there is no such thing as a perfect game, the perfect score however is given to a complete game that offers a lot of content without a lot of issues like bugs or glitches. The game also has to have something new and interesting if it’s a sequel and more than likely it has to offer some kind of online component, in the past it wasn’t always available but I think in this day and age it’s very important and should add to the overall score. I actually want to have fun when I play a game, sadly a lot of games that come out feel more like a hassle to play through than anything else.

We see so much controversy over scores of 8 out of 10, which kind of boggles my mind. I mean my scale is set like this. 1-4 and the game is bad and not worth the disk it’s printed on. 5-7 is average to respectable and is worth a rent and in some cases a purchase. 8-10 is great and is a definite purchase. I think most reviewers use this type of scale as well, which begs the question, Why do people freak out over a score of 8? Last generation we saw so few perfect scores and it seems like every AAA title that comes out now that has a lot of hype gets sort of a pass, I miss the days when reviewers actually held their ground and didn’t give in so easily. I think all reviewers go into a review differently, I never look at other scores or check to see what people think of the game I’m about to review. I prefer a perfectly clear and open mind, that way I can judge the game for myself and not have something someone else said nagging at me in the back of my mind.

I will give three different examples of games from three different consoles just to make sure people understand what I’m talking about a bit better. I gave Gears Of War 3 a perfect 10/10 here, the reason being was that the game was so much better than it’s predecessor, the game brought more to the table then both Gears 1 & 2 combined and even brought new elements like Beast Mode and Team Death Match, while improving old favorites like Hoard Mode, the game gives you the most content for your money and I judged it that way. I think there was almost a consensus in the gaming community that Gears Of War 3 was better than Gears Of War 2. Yet Gears Of War 3 scored lower on Metacritic overall, some people were upset at this but I wasn’t. At the end of the day it’s just a sequel to a sequel and the type of game might not be for everyone. If someone gave Gears 3 a 8, that site isn’t trolling for hits, they aren’t fanboys, they don’t hate the game, they are just giving the game the score they feel it deserves.

As for a game like Uncharted 3, now I haven’t played the single player, but I have played the multiplayer and it’s fun and a good-looking game, but people are really going overboard with the hate because some reviewers are giving the game a less than perfect score. A game, especially a sequel to a sequel like Uncharted 3 or Gears 3 isn’t always going to be reviewed in a totally positive light, and people need to better understand that, once again I state that an 8 given to Uncharted 3 isn’t a site looking for hits or someone trolling. We have to take the good with the bad and most people just try their best to be objective.

I’ll give my last example to a Wii game, there are a lot of Nintendo and especially Zelda fans out there. If some reviewers give Skyward Sword a score of 8, I think we’ll see the same type of ignorance from a good number of people. Personally Zelda is always a solid game, but I haven’t found one to be deserving of a perfect score since the original Ocarina Of Time for the Nintendo 64. I gave Twilight Princess a 8.5 and Windwaker a 8.2, needless to say a lot of people didn’t like those scores, but I held my ground. I always go into the next Zelda adventure with an open mind and the games are always great, but usually not perfect. Once again I will reiterate that 8 isn’t a bad score and I certainly wasn’t trolling for hits with those scores, just like if Skyward Sword gets a few 8’s thrown in doesn’t mean people are trying to be controversial. Sometimes a rock is just a rock and it’s not plotting on you.

I’m friends with quite a few people who do game reviews and I always cringe a bit when one of them gives a score of 8 to a AAA title, because I know they are going to get harassed over it, which is just a shame. We all have opinions but there is a reason they are the ones doing the review. So I would ask people to take reviews with a grain of salt, they aren’t out to get you, they aren’t out to start fanboy wars, they are just giving honest opinions on video games. A game getting an 8 is a very good score, more people need to realize that.


One Response to “Why Is There So Much Heat Around Reviewers And Their Reviews Lately?”

  1. Some people just dont respect the opinion of others…i mean how hard is it to be civilized and educated to disagree in a respectful way?

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