SleightRocket

Take game reviews with a grain of salt

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I always take game reviews with a pinch of salt, as I found over the years that my favourite games got bad or subpar/critical reviews (FFX-2, FFXIII trilogy, Tales of Berseria) while games I hated or couldn't get into got great reviews (namely Nier Automata, Steins Gate, FF15 where I hated the story). 

 

Persona 4 golden and 5 also have rave reviews but I just could never really get into the games as much because of the gameplay. The story and characters were great but I found balancing the whole personas, stats, social links and having to choose what to do each time of the day to stressful and complicated. I gave up Persona a4 golden after just 3 hours of gameplay and haven't touched it in months. 

 

Hakuouki is another that got great reviews for a VN otome game, but out of all the VNs and otome games Ive played I found Hakuouki to be super boring and dull to the point that I read three of the character routes properly and then just skipped through the rest because it was that tedious. Japanese history and Samurai's aren't my thing I guess

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It may help to actually read reviews rather than just look at scores, as I think I lot of people just do. Although certainly not in all cases, reviewers explain their feelings and opinions of a game and from that you can decide yourself whether the game is for you or not. Also bear in mind that most of the time reviewers play a lot more games than the average gamer, so if they're constantly coming across the same old stuff it's gonna affect their rating, just like film reviews. So no, their experiences don't exactly match the average gamer but that isn't their job. There's a common notion that reviewers just give bad reviews to be cool and act superior, but I haven't seen any evidence of this, it just seems to me that people are too sensitive and take offence to any criticism of something they like. Also, many seem to think that scores like 7/10 are "bad" which is utterly ludicrous. This "Us vs Them" mentality is so depressing.

Days Gone may be a good game but it certainly doesn't do a whole lot new or better than other game shave done. By the way, the reason it got such middling reviews in the first place was because the review copies were of a pretty broken build that only got patched after general release, so I think their frustrations were fair, though I'd be interested to see what some would think from replaying the game in a more stable state. Also worth mentioning that the critic Metascore is 72 and the Audience score is 8.1 so not exactly a world of difference.

So at the end of the day of course you should use your own judgement but I know I'm not gonna shell out full price for a game that is getting generally middling or low scores; I don't have all the money or time in the world to be buying and playing every game in the world, it helps to get a sense of what people who know what they're talking about think of things.

Edited by Stan Lee
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Posted (edited)

Critics gave Rage 2 a higher score than Days Gone. That is just crazy to me. Days Gone is a polished masterpiece with an amazing story and world, where rage is literally just good gameplay and nothing else matters. (Both still very fun games of course)

 

If the Days Gone debacle didn't open your eyes to how bad reviewers are I don't know what to say. Also so many people missed out on Days Gone because they listed to critics. 

 

 

Also leaving this here because this is how a review should be done.

 

 

Edited by aZombieDictator
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The only time I will take a review seriously if it (along with more than one source) states that there is some kind of game breaking bug or the trophies don't unlock properly. I will not put money down on a broken game. I've been burned a few times and will not support those developers, or at least not at full price

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I rather to just ask my friends and do some actual research like watching one or two of my favorite lets plays on youtube. If I find it interesting enough, I might end up buying it, but if not then I might pick it up later on a sale. But I have not made a pre-order in a long time and, frankly, I don't think anyone should make a pre-order unless they absolutely must have the game. Like you've said yourself, take reviews with a grain of salt, there have been cases of reviewers overhyping or underselling games due to outside factors. 

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On 5/14/2019 at 11:41 PM, TraumaticChain6 said:

I only read reviews as amusement and see how broken a game is. But I've never based a purchase off a review. I played games that got negative reviews across the whole internet and enjoyed them more then some games that got good reviews across the internet. I also watch some gameplay and if I don't like what I see I don't buy the game. At the end of the day it's you who makes the decision if you like a game or not.

Exactly this, for example, I thought God of War was boring as all hell and couldn't have cared less about the story even tho the rest of the internet thinks it is amazing.  Reviews aren't catered to each individual and not everyone is going to agree with every review 

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I stopped paying attention to reviews ages ago (on both games & anime), it's just one person's opinion, & last I checked everybody has a different one. :P Never once have I read a bad review of something & decided "I'm not going to get it", if I have doubts about something I'm getting, I'll just look at some gameplay videos or something & judge for myself...

 

The last time I paid any attention to reviews really was back when X-Play aired on G4, & half the time I didn't even agree with what they rated things. 😅 I still remember when they gave the Fullmetal Alchemist game a bad review & a ton of people kept complaining about it. xD 

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I find that, unlike "professional" critic reviews, user reviews are usually worth a damn. Critics nowadays are so laughably disconnected from the end user, that I would rarely take one into account. So when a game is also on PC I make sure to check its Steam page. Because the "score" there is purely statistic/percentage based, I find it's much less arbitrary. I round up my investigation by skimming through the first page or two of top rated user comments, to find out what the general grievances with the game are.

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Numbers mean nothing. The truth is in the words. 

 

I have a movie review site I love because I know how to interpret it to my own taste. It's highly religious in nature so they nitpick on everything, so I pay attention to what they don't like and use that to decide if it's something I would like. They don't like the humor? I won't like the movie. They don't like the message? The movie is worth a look. They highly recommend it? Hit or miss for me but the 2 year old will love it. 

 

The advantage of movies though is less than 3 hours of your time and you saw all there is to see. Game reviews are more difficult.

 

Take something like Skyrim, spending 3 hours to review when it first came out you could speed through the main quest line, you could get distracted with side quests, you could hunt daedric artifacts or dragons, you could collect houses, or you could just wander. You cannot do all of these things or even most of these things in that timeframe, so a review is going to be incomplete and may not even mention the activities that would most interest you. So, need to read quite a few to get the full picture. 

 

Not take a modern MMO. Let's say something like Destiny when it first came out. No way you are getting to end game by the time you need to write your review if you want the views so the reviews you see for a pre-order time frame don't even include the main part of the game for hardcore people. Useful information for more casual gamers though. 

 

Games are tough to review. Fine who you trust and pay attention to the words. And pre-orders are usually disappointing. 

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Reviews these days have simply turned into quite the joke.  Honestly, anyone who purchases/doesn't purchase based on reviews alone are missing out quite a bit.  Seriously, it's like a complete flip on what reviews are scored on these days.

Fallout 76, Anthem, Days Gone:  All review bombed and ridiculed to the point of laughter, yet, in my opinion, all were decent enough games that I do NOT regret buying, as I more than got my money's worth.

Seriously:  Take a look at Steam (I know this is PSN talk, but steam has a layout that shows this perfectly)
Capture.jpg

Seriously, notice how the AAA games are shit on?  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Pew Pew Redemption is an instant classic, but reviews these days just completely baffle me.

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I very rarely read reviews anymore, and I'm not one for watching video reviews either. For the most part if I buy a game on day one it's usually because it's something I know interests me so the gamble is usually minimal. 

Otherwise I usually just read what members here say about games I'm less than familiar with to help decide if a game might be for me. 

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Posted (edited)

I still enjoy reading game reviews from different sources like IGN and Polygon, and more often watching YouTube channels I follow or any random reviews made by the community. Especially when it comes to indie games, many stuff might get unnoticed by the bigger, more popular reviewers. In this scenario, channels like Cornshaq and Get Indie Games do a wonderful job at providing some technical information on a game I'm interested in or, even better, they might pop up with a honest review on a game I never heard about and, because of their review, I happen to put said game on my radar.

Games have to be discussed, reviewed from different perspectives, no matter the scores. That's all good. But it's more important a gamer decide for him or herself what to play or buy, after agreeing or disagreing with a review. I loved every second beeing a ballet dancer in "Bound", a game I call a masterpiece on stage/gameplay/story design, but that sadly got mediocre scores. I had a blast trying once (actually twice) to be one of the top "Drawn to Death" players out there, and all reviews pretty much said it was trash.

So I gotta agree with @supertrunksman on that: games we would enjoy, games we would play with passion might get not only bad reviews as also some kind of sadistic judgements by the reviewers.

To make it short, I'd say reviews are great, that is, taken with caution.

 

 

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Edited by GravityQueeen
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Reviews are good as long as they are conducted and judged by reputable evaluators and critics. I know that developers worry about them and the importance it holds. As a consumer, I would like to know what I may be purchasing ahead of time.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't paid any mind to "official" reviews from any reputable sites in years and whenever I do see them the vast majority of places like IGN, Kotaku, Polygon, etc always overhype everything and barely talk about the nitty gritty unless everyone says the exact same thing (Like when Anthem or Destiny 2 came out to middling reviews just as a quick example, and Fallout 76 literally had reviews delayed by days from bigger websites mysteriously when they've never bothered to do such a thing for other games, and yes, I know they have to buy their own copies because Bethesda doesn't hand them out). I mean, just look at the entire Cuphead debacle or look at the person Polygon had review Doom, I'm supposed to put my trust in people who are employed to review games professionally when they can't even use a controller or critically think properly?

 

The best way to find your opinion is to view no commentary gameplay of the game in question, multiple ones if possible, and if you want to read multiple user reviews to get a general gist of the faults and positives of the game from people who have actually played for more than an hour and know how to actually play the game. Also, never just rely on one person's review, always get at least a sample size of at least 5 people. I trust the average joe's opinions more than any website that does it for a living because they barely, if ever, actually bother to acknowledge the glaring faults of a game unless the community is already against it like if a beta has shown the gameplay to be less than stellar or something to that effect. Unless they can make a safe bet that others will denounce a game they will almost always fall in line with a positive review so they don't lose their advertising money or their connections to companies and early access to games.

 

That one guy who does the ACG reviews on Youtube is the bare minimum I expect for a game review and he waits days if not weeks after the game comes out to actually play it fully through on a difficulty that doesn't hold your hand and lists all the positives and negatives he experienced while also buying the game himself so he can avoid being bias. Cornshaq is another decent guy for indie games that don't get much exposure because he also buys them with his own money most of the time and does an in-depth playthrough and analysis on top of explaining in detail why you should or should not buy the game.

Edited by soliunasm
Adding a bit of stuff.
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I use reviews and the game's story to figure out if I want to make a purchase. I love character development or weird story telling in games and movies, and I'll play a bad game of it's got a good story. Also I tend to pay more attention to what my friends recommend

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I do anyway from the big name sites. 

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On 5/19/2019 at 11:07 PM, soliunasm said:

 Cornshaq is another decent guy for indie games that don't get much exposure because he also buys them with his own money most of the time and does an in-depth playthrough and analysis on top of explaining in detail why you should or should not buy the game.

 

He had a trophy profile on here before he decided to hide it.

 

He rated Slain: Back From Hell a 6 out of 10 and I saw in his video footage he was just hacking and slashing at the enemies. I give the game an 8 out of 10, nothing great but fairly decent. 

 

He has done a lot of NES games where he completes them in one sitting. 

 

Cornshaq mostly does indie games which a lot of YouTubers just outright skip. But if you’re looking for someone with a somewhat different outlook and reviews a variety of games, he’s a good YouTuber to follow.

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Posted (edited)

When reading a review, I don't take the reviewer's score into consideration. More important would be the reviewer's reasons for giving it that number. I'll usually read 3+ reviews & look for things common to them. Beside that, I'll watch some video of the game on YouTube. A game that a reviewer gives a 4/10 could easily be a 7/10 in my book.

 

Some games will have a thing that some players like & others don't. Dark Souls is a good series. DS's fans welcome the high level of challenge. That's one of its key features, but something that can be a turnoff to others. No game can please everyone. I've seen reviewers of a certain game totally lose it over something that I find to be a minor issue when I play it.

Edited by gameoverDude189
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Posted (edited)

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This is all that can really be said about reviews. I use Gamefly myself, that way I can try the game myself. As for games if I read that a game is a sandbox game I am very leery as they rend to get very boring very quickly, to me at least.

Edited by Void
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I stopped using review to influent my playing decision long time ago. Major reason is that I knew what games I may like. And to be honest there are not many new ideas floating around in the gaming industry so 80% of the time you know what you are getting.

For those niche games, I trust the word from a few friends because I knew their views are close to mine.

 

Nowadays the plat difficulty is a much more important score to me. I can tolerate a few bad games but if the game let my completion rate take a hit, I'll feel sad.

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I'll read some reviews just to give me an idea. Like, if they say a game has bugs, I'll probably wait until they fix them. But it all just depends on whether you're actually interested in playing the game, regardless of what people are saying. Some reviews might say a game is great, but I could end up not liking it and vice versa.

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