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Posted by kindlydelete (14 posts) 1 year, 10 months ago

Poll: Should we be calling out bad reviews? (289 votes)

Heck ya! 42%
Just ignore them! 29%
I hate this poll. 29%

So I don't buy the idea that people are buying reviews but I do think some reviews are done really badly my example will be the egm's review of Aliens colonial marines. So my question really is should we be calling out reviews we think are poorly done and are giving people bad purchasing advice?

#1 Posted by LiquidSwords (2738 posts) -

No, because that;s the persons view of the game. Others may not feel the same, but if the majority of the reviews are calling a game "bad" then there must be something up with the game, not the person reviewing it.

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

only if you can base your points on factual errors and not a reviewers oppinion.

#3 Edited by LevelUpAdrian (165 posts) -

The whole idea is that reviews are subjectives and based off a person's opinions of a game. If EGM's reviewer thought that Aliens: Colonial Marines was a good game then that reviewer was totally entitled to that opinion. It doesn't mean they were "bought out" or anything of that nature (as has been suggested on another thread).

#4 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

No, because that;s the persons view of the game. Others may not feel the same, but if the majority of the reviews are calling a game "bad" then there must be something up with the game, not the person reviewing it.

I think a "bad review" is one that badly justifies it's score (ex. giving a game 5/5 despite the entire article being criticism or filling your review with marketing schlock) or stuff like poor grammar etc., not one that you disagree with.

#5 Posted by boj4ngles (287 posts) -

Well a review is an opinion, and there is nothing wrong with expressing your own opinion about someone else's opinion. That is what opinions are all about!

So yes, call them out if you feel like it.

#6 Posted by FLStyle (4926 posts) -

Differing opinions are one thing but if they're poorly justified by stating factual errors and general ignorance then I'm all for it.

#7 Edited by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

How about if you directly ask them about the disparity between the text they write and the score they give? I think that might be a lot more productive.

#8 Posted by probablytuna (3832 posts) -

Unless there are factual errors in a review, I don't think reviews should be labelled as "bad". Reviews are subjective and based on the writer's opinion, just because you don't agree with it doesn't necessarily make it bad.

#9 Posted by Alkaiser (366 posts) -

@flstyle said:

Differing opinions are one thing but if they're poorly justified by stating factual errors and general ignorance then I'm all for it.

This right here hits the nail on the head.

#10 Edited by Laiv162560asse (486 posts) -

We should call out bad reviews, but the problem is that some people don't seem to realise when they are calling out bad reviews badly. Just as we are consumers of video games, we are consumers of game-related critical media, and we should give our opinions of it when we think they're relevant. The problem is some people's opinions are just so malformed, it's... it's hard.

Pointing out when a reviewer has glossed over all of a game's flaws in favour of cloud of farty gushing praise, which is completely aberrant compared to the wider critical reception - that's fair. Telling a reviewer that certain scores are off-limits unless the games fits some arbitrary criteria of your own - that's nuts. For example, I think it's fair for me to criticise Alex's review of Hitman, considering he completely glossed over the broken checkpointing and deeply frustrating disguise mechanics which Brad and Patrick picked up on very quickly. That review of his led me to believe that he likes some seriously shoddy games, which creates a problem for me as an occasional patron of this site, who sometimes even uses it for purchasing advice. However, I don't think it's fair to tell Alex that he can't use a 1-star score for a game he really disliked, just because your idea of a 1-star game is a game that's completely broken, and nothing else. Since when has 1-star exclusively meant 'broken'? And even if it did, what if the game - OK, we all know I'm talking about Aliens - was broken, in terms of glitchiness of graphics and AI?

Just, if you're going to review a bad review, make sure your meta-review isn't objectively shitter than the review you dislike.

#11 Posted by SuliPatchouli (18 posts) -

@jack268 said:

@liquidswords said:

No, because that;s the persons view of the game. Others may not feel the same, but if the majority of the reviews are calling a game "bad" then there must be something up with the game, not the person reviewing it.

I think a "bad review" is one that badly justifies it's score (ex. giving a game 5/5 despite the entire article being criticism or filling your review with marketing schlock) or stuff like poor grammar etc., not one that you disagree with.

#12 Edited by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

No. To what end? I mean if we ignore reviewers that we don't like they lose their fan-base and support and will fade away. If we pay attention to them they become more popular despite the quality of their reviews. I don't hate the man but that is pretty much why Jim Sterling has a career.

#13 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

If they lie to make the game seem better, then probably yeah.

Otherwise it's not really an issue, reviews are subjective.

#14 Posted by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

I think calling out poorly written or generally questionable reviews from major publications is totally justified. My understanding is that the EGM review in question was both poorly written and ignored some of the game's glaring issues.

That said, if you're going to call out a critic for a poor review (the review itself being poor, not the critic's opinion of the game) you should try and give some reasonable and thoughtful arguments rather than insulting the aforementioned critic or resulting to an otherwise hostile or juvenile response, as is often the case.

#15 Edited by Grimluck343 (1160 posts) -

I think it depends on the structure of the review. Is it just the reviewer's impressions of the game? Their entitled to their opinion. Are there factual statements made in the review that are blatantly wrong or inaccurate? Hell yeah we should call that out.

#16 Posted by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -

The whole idea is that reviews are subjectives and based off a person's opinions of a game. If EGM's reviewer thought that Aliens: Colonial Marines was a good game then that reviewer was totally entitled to that opinion. It doesn't mean they were "bought out" or anything of that nature (as has been suggested on another thread).

That's well and good, but he did not give any personal examples of what made him love the game so much in spite of its technical issues (there are objective reasons why A:CM is not a good game). If you want to give a game that is generally regarded as terrible a good score that's fine, but if you are getting paid to write reviews you should be prepared to give a little depth to your argument (for example with the Syndicate remake, Jeff was very clear about what he liked in that game, despite it being widely regarded as somewhat of a failure), which that reviewer did not do (other than saying "It's an Aliens game wooo everyone loves Aliens").

#17 Edited by Svenzon (733 posts) -

Frankly, I don't see the point. Pointing out factual errors maybe, but I guess bad reviews just aren't an issue for me. I read them, shrug and move on.

Online
#18 Edited by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

Yup, but as others have said - call out a review for factual mistakes, grammatical errors, shallow arguments (for or against, I think. I prefer reviewers who actually tell me something about why they like or dislike a feature or a mechanic in a game, and back up their position, even if I disagree with them - it's way better than 'I think X sucks/is great' and bounding off onto another point without an explanation for why X really sucks/is great). Don't just call out reviews you think are 'bad' because you disagree with the Reviewer's opinion.

And FunkasaurasRex has a great point as well - more often than not legitimate issues people have with reviews can be shouted down and ignored because people fly off the handle with an overtly hostile or juvenile response (like, for example, every time a review disagrees with you, crying out about corruption and paid reviews really doesn't do your argument any favours). I think that well constructed feedback for a reviewer, even if it's negative feedback, will help inform them about their writing process - or help them clarify and explain their critique even further - a lot more than just shouting 'You're a bad reviewer, I bet game company X paid you off for this shitty review!' like some spoilt brat who's not got their way.

#19 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

The Internet at large does enough of a job "calling out" any and all reviews, regardless of quality. It's hard to add anything meaningful feedback without just adding to the noise.

#20 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

@probablytuna said:

Unless there are factual errors in a review, I don't think reviews should be labelled as "bad". Reviews are subjective and based on the writer's opinion, just because you don't agree with it doesn't necessarily make it bad.

Jeff's review of Twilight Princess for the GameCube had a factual error in it. I've never forgiven him.

#21 Posted by phantomzxro (1583 posts) -

Yeah sure, i don't fully buy the "It's their opinion" argument because games are not 100% subjective. Art and movies fall closer to that than a game would. Because there are layers of game design that have to work before you get to a subjective state about a game.

I don't think you should bully or try to get someone fired or anything but speaking your mind and letting people know they need to try it for themselves is more of what you should do.

#22 Posted by Sergio (2262 posts) -

While reviews are subjective, I would say critiquing them is OK if you can justify your critiques based on any inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and laziness on the part of the reviewer. If your sole basis is that you thought the game was good or bad, and the review holds the opposite opinion, then don't bother.

#23 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4702 posts) -

Not in the sense that you are implying. If that person truly thought the game was that good and can articulate why then fine. Nothing wrong with that. I in fact like the diversity. I think game reviews need to stray futher from product reviews and get more analytical and critical. Don't be afraid of giving low scores.

#24 Posted by LevelUpAdrian (165 posts) -

How about if you directly ask them about the disparity between the text they write and the score they give? I think that might be a lot more productive.

Now that's something you should be doing. Generally this means there was no peer-review process in the reviewing pipeline, so questioning the scoring when the text doesn't fit it makes perfect sense.

What I'm saying is you shouldn't be talking shit about a person's opinion (unless you're willing to open a discussion about it and be reasonable about how you handle it).

#25 Posted by Maitimo (205 posts) -

I think "analysis" pieces tend to be more problematic, since they're typically attempts to forward a particular industry narrative, rarely show any thought on the part of the writer and aren't scrutinised to quite the extent reviews are. Bad reviews are already quickly identified and discredited, at least in cases where they are bad in a meaningful sense (be that down to quality of writing or argument, or simply factual inaccuracy).

#26 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6168 posts) -

I've yet to find a person who writes interesting reviews of games on a consistent basis so oftentimes "bad" reviews are the most interesting ones to read (or certainly divergent opinions of any kind); my favorite reviews to read are when the guy obviously had trouble beating the game in a timely fashion and then their dislike of that difficulty seeps over into different parts of the review; very entertaining.

#27 Posted by IAmNotBatman (656 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

only if you can base your points on factual errors and not a reviewers oppinion.

#28 Edited by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

I would leave it alone, because there is so much info about games that one incorrect result will be outweighed by everything else. With sites that aggregate scores and the quantity of community type discussion I'm forums anyone who really cared about a games quality should be able to figure it out. Calling out the bad reviews just makes you look silly anyway, Harriet Klausner (the 18 books a day reviewer on Amazon) is potentially the only one that has seemed worth pointing out to me due to the limited counter-balancing points on many titles - but that is the extent I will point out bad reviews.

And generally, video has superseded the need for reviews if you really are on the fence about a release. It would be interesting to see how much they impact sales, but I think there are a decent number of people who mostly are just looking for some entertainment/criticism. And ultimately end up purchasing items based on their interest.

#29 Posted by sprode (112 posts) -

If we're talking about critiquing bad reviews, yeah we probably should point out their fallacies. Ideally this makes for a better reviewer - and if you want to post and have people consider your take, especially if it's supposed to be professional, you've kind of got to learn to accept that.

Not dumping on opinions, though. Let's call the former case "shallow" reviews for making mistakes, not delving deep enough into a game's flaws and so forth. And on the other hand, if you've been on a game site for more than 5 seconds you've probably tired of people complaining of the loss of a point or a star or so forth.

#30 Edited by granderojo (1793 posts) -

I used to think that anyone is entitled to their opinion even if I disagree with it but that EGM A:CM review just read as bullshit. I defended this asshole last time he had a controversial review but this shit is too much. The game is objectively bad, and we should call out this bullshit.

#31 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

Yes we should call them out of course, it's the just and democratic thing to do. However, we should be ignoring reviews in the first place. So if a review is wrong and you know about it, then technically you did something wrong.

#32 Posted by Slax (963 posts) -

I think it's dumb to call a review out because you disagree with their opinion. I even find it hard to justify calling out a review score, as that is also subjective (and review scores are by and large broken). The only thing I can really see calling a review out for is if they get something factually wrong. On the other hand if you have some constructive criticism, for example feeling like a reviewer did not provide enough evidence to back up some of their statements, then I think you should let them know.

#33 Posted by DarthOrange (3909 posts) -

I hate this poll.

#34 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

I don't think so. If you disagree, you disagree. As long as the review is done respectfully, it shouldn't be a problem to have an opinion different from what most people think. The guy in the Aliens review saw something in that game that most reviewers didn't, and that's completely fine in my book.

#35 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

Only if the review is actually bad. For example, I recall a certain Headhunter 2 review that complained about the game being bad because things like the motorcycle sections were boring.. Despite the fact the second game didn't have any bike sections. I also read at least one review of Pokemon XD that started with "I hate this franchise, but have to review this game anyway, so..." and knowing that a Pokemon game may not interest non-Pokemon fans was something I knew before hand.

If you're simply disagreeing with the score though, you're just being immature.

#36 Posted by sirdesmond (1263 posts) -

There are poorly written reviews and then there are reviews that do not agree with your thoughts on a game. I do not believe the average site reader is savvy enough to differentiate the two (and separate their emotions enough) and constructively call out a review for being poorly-written.

Also, I don't read reviews for "buying advice" and I think that doing such can be very problematic (and unfairly places too high a burden onto the reviewer).

#37 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (928 posts) -

unless there is factual errors...... no

#38 Edited by Anund (940 posts) -

@liquidswords said:

No, because that;s the persons view of the game. Others may not feel the same, but if the majority of the reviews are calling a game "bad" then there must be something up with the game, not the person reviewing it.

It's interesting that you think a "bad review" is one which doesn't agree with your opinion of a game.

There are poorly written reviews and then there are reviews that do not agree with your thoughts on a game. I do not believe the average site reader is savvy enough to differentiate the two (and separate their emotions enough) and constructively call out a review for being poorly-written.

Also, I don't read reviews for "buying advice" and I think that doing such can be very problematic (and unfairly places too high a burden onto the reviewer).

What is the possible use of a review except for determining whether or not to buy a game?

#39 Edited by sub_o (913 posts) -

Depending on what you call as 'Bad' reviews. If factually incorrect, then yes, call them out. However, if the reviewer's opinion differs from yours, then maybe not. Just ignore it, else it's like trying to force yourself in a conversation where none of the speakers are willing to change his / her opinions.

#40 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2296 posts) -

I say just ignore them and largely ignore the publication of the review so a bigger picture can be painted that reviews need to be of a higher quality if it wants readers.

#41 Posted by NoRemnants (386 posts) -

Not unless there is some outright false information in a review or it is shady, such as giving a great review to a crap game while at the same time running ads for it.

#42 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4899 posts) -

@anund said:

It's interesting that you think a "bad review" is one which doesn't agree with your opinion of a game.

Yeah, as it turns out that is a basic psychological function that can be filed under "How People Work." Go watch Randy Pitchford's DICE talk "Video Games Are Magic." It's actually brilliant.

@sirdesmond said:

What is the possible use of a review except for determining whether or not to buy a game?

The purpose of a review is to make a critical appraisal of the art at hand. It has nothing to do with dictating to you what you should or shouldn't buy. If you seriously need "buying advice" then that's both funny and sad. Funny because you're allowing some California douchebag who wears socks with his sandals dictate your taste, and sad because you're allowing some California douchebag who wears socks with his sandals dictate your taste.

#43 Posted by cutyoface (553 posts) -

No because that is just a persons opinion.

#44 Edited by Aterons (197 posts) -

It depends on what you see as "bad review".

If by bad you mean the review has actual errors that are and will be errors no matter how you argue them, saying the game has features it doesn't have ( aka: Diablo 3 can be played offline, DMC has split screen co-op, Hitman Absolution can run on windows 98, Dead space 3 has separate ammo for every weapon ) or saying the game doesn't have features it does have... by all means, call that out, it's a bad review.

If the review does not make actual factual errors and just omits stuff or give to much credit to features that are not implemented that well that's the reviewers opinion and that's why we have different reviews.

#45 Edited by KaneRobot (1861 posts) -

As others have sasid - if there are factual errors, definitely.

If it's a case of someone just having a "differing opinion," then not really. If their standards are that skewed and it becomes a repeating pattern, they probably won't be around for that long anyway.

#46 Posted by AndrewB (7691 posts) -

You guys put way too much weight on an opinion. Even a purchased opinion. If you feel like you can't trust a review or it's coming from a person you know to be more enthusiastic about a certain type of game than you, just stay away from it. Maybe go so far as to stop visiting the site. Who cares about calling them out? Let people make their own decisions. Unless you have damning evidence that a review was purchased and the more naive people should be warned...

#47 Edited by King9999 (615 posts) -

I voted yes, because it's wrong to give out factual errors. It's important to know the difference between what is opinion and what is fact, but I would also add that you do the readers a disservice if you withhold information or exaggerate certain features, good or bad. For example, if a reviewer says a game has major slowdown, but you play the game and the slowdown turns out to be framerate hiccups that's detrimental to the game, that's false information passed on to the readers. If you suggest to the readers that a game pressures you with a time limit, but the time limit is actually within your control, you just misinterpreted a game feature. Yes, I had a game in mind when I wrote these examples, because I wanted to illustrate that these things do happen, and reviewers should be called out for it. I'm not even gonna talk about the FF13 reviews.

#48 Posted by sirdesmond (1263 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: I did not say the portion you quoted me for, @anund did. In fact, I was the one saying that a review should not be considered buying advice originally.

#49 Posted by SomeJerk (3403 posts) -

Reviews that obviously are bribed or bullshitted like EGM's chain of lies that make up the ACM review should be taken to court for investigation.

#50 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

I think it depends on how you view reviews. If you merely view them about buying advice, then i would understand why people would say "opinions and such" when it comes to reviews, but I don't use reviews for that. I generally know whether I'm interested in a game and after doing a bit of research, i usually have decided whether I'm going to buy it or not. I like reading reviews or other opinions on the game to get a consensus on the game as a whole. I think reviews are for critiquing the medium as a whole, not just the game in and of itself.

I never had any interest in ACM but I think its sad how the fans of the series and the license got a poor game and I think its important to critique games the fall short. With that said, some people just go overboard and start attacking the reviewer on a personal level. You don't get cart Blanche to say whatever you want about the reviewer just because they wrote a bad or a poorly articulated review. Basically, the problem is not that people disagree with reviews, it the fact that they tend to be assholes about it. If people could just logically and rationally state their problems with the review, then there wouldn't be so many issues when a reviewer gives a bad review.