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Posted by kindlydelete (26 posts) 1 year, 6 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?

#51 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

I think that when reviews are combined/culminated into one, it gives a good impression of the game in question. We're talking about people who write about games for a living on a daily basis. I'm also really interested in user votes once they get enough volume. To say reviews and previews doesn't matter, is wrong in my opinion. Sure, there are radical opinions in every collection of reviews, but you do need to read multiple reviews to see the disagreements and consensus to better make up your own mind about buying a game; this in combination to checking out forums are really good procedures to go through prior to every purchase. No more pre-orders for me though. In any case.

#52 Edited by Pr1mus (3872 posts) -

Reviews filled with factual errors have to called out. If the errors are just an honest mistake the reviewer can fix them and if the reviewer is just being purposefully dishonest about the game then it becomes a warning to other readers who might not have known otherwise.

However, if you get all worked up about an opinion you should probably rethink your priorities in life.

#53 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4713 posts) -

@sirdesmond: I can see that now. I guess the formatting of the quotes got all fucked. Sorry about that.

#54 Edited by mrcraggle (1903 posts) -

Brad got a bunch of shit for his review of DmC but it was a good review and he justified his point well and has done since such as in the QL and on the Bombcast. The EGM review on the other hand is just horrible. It completely glosses over everything to the point that it's just too vague and contains very little opinion which people here are arguing the point over.

#55 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4392 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

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

This pretty much. I can't really imagine another reason to get all up in arms about a review unless different opinions drive you crazy.

#56 Posted by King9999 (613 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.

People on the Internet generally would rather be sarcastic and rude than smart and respectful. Because of that, you can't take half the comments seriously, which could actually be detrimental in the long run. If I ask for constructive criticism on something and all I get are people trying to be witty with their remarks, how does that help me?

Another issue us readers have is that we don't actually read. Then we go and make some snarky comment and look like fools in the process.

#57 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

@king9999 said:

@gogosox82 said:

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.

People on the Internet generally would rather be sarcastic and rude than smart and respectful. Because of that, you can't take half the comments seriously, which could actually be detrimental in the long run. If I ask for constructive criticism on something and all I get are people trying to be witty with their remarks, how does that help me?

Another issue us readers have is that we don't actually read. Then we go and make some snarky comment and look like fools in the process.

Yeah, I could see how it could be frustrating when your asking for constructive criticism and people act like its open mic night at the laugh factory in the comments.

And its also why I don't really like giving scores for reviews. People just look at the score and say " a 7? How is this a 7 and x game is a 6?" Well maybe if you actually read the review, you'd understand his reasoning but most just see the score and start raging.

#58 Posted by LornHg (42 posts) -

Reviews of any kind ( good or bad ) should be "reviewed". Critics of all the kinds are subject to bribery.

#59 Posted by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -

Call them out if there's factually incorrect information or you feel like the review isn't serving your needs. That doesn't mean if you disagree, but let the writer know when he/she neglected to mention something important or focused too much on non-issues. While that may be your opinion, if the writer gets the same complaint about say, he didn't talk about how fucked up a checkpoint system is, maybe he'll edit the review (if he agrees) or look more into that mechanic for the next review.

Remember that a good reviewer knows you aren't there for there review only. If you value your dollar, you will read more than one opinion. Making a purchase involves taking multiple opinions into account and hopefully finding common elements brought up.

#60 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

Of course. If something is done bad, it's our duty to point it out, in a civilized manner.

#61 Posted by MildMolasses (3219 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

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

This pretty much. I can't really imagine another reason to get all up in arms about a review unless different opinions drive you crazy.

You didn't read the comments on the DmC review, did you?

#62 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (1993 posts) -

If by "bad" you mean uninformed marketing schlock full of unsupported arguments, then totes. It just makes everything look like sunshine and flowers when the majority of games are either middling or poor. You can totally agree with their opinion of the game, but if something is off base you should call it out. If you mean a 1/5, then go die in a fire.

Also, by criticizing the review I mean the review. Taking it to ad hominem doesn't benefit anyone.

#63 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4392 posts) -

@babychoochoo said:

@dagbiker said:

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

This pretty much. I can't really imagine another reason to get all up in arms about a review unless different opinions drive you crazy.

You didn't read the comments on the DmC review, did you?

Based on the internet's reaction to the game prior to any reviews, I figured it was best for my mental health that I avoid any comments.

#64 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

well kind of, if a game is just getting bad reviews for a game then it should be fine, but if a reviewer gives it a bad review while others are giving them better then kind of.

a review is a person's view on what they're reviewing. it's their opinion on what they thought.

#65 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

I'm more inclined to listen to the general consensus from users here and on RPS etc. nowadays to be honest. I think reviewers are way too pally with their friends in the industry, show far too much respect for big name (/big marketing budget) studios, have an insurmountable conflict of interest (in terms of who pays their wages) and too often just aren't very good at their job.

I think ME3 sitting at a 93 metacritic -effectively putting it among the greatest games ever- was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. There's only so much blatant wrongness you can write off as just being a 'different opinion' given in good faith. You can give individual reviews/reviewers the benefit of the doubt, but when (almost) the entire group shows themselves to be so far off the mark, you really should start asking yourself why that might be. Parroting 'opinions!' in response to any criticism of game reviews just makes you seem incredibly naive at this point.

#66 Posted by Rafaelfc (1331 posts) -

some people really do take their videogames waaay too seriously.

#67 Posted by Ramone (2961 posts) -

@rafaelfc said:

some people really do take their videogames waaay too seriously.

Why shouldn't people take something that they spend a significant chunk of their income on each year, seriously? Calling out a shitty review which glosses over significant issues and makes Armand White-esque statements about a games quality is fair game as far as I'm concerned.

#68 Posted by Rafaelfc (1331 posts) -

@ramone said:

@rafaelfc said:

some people really do take their videogames waaay too seriously.

Why shouldn't people take something that they spend a significant chunk of their income on each year, seriously? Calling out a shitty review which glosses over significant issues and makes Armand White-esque statements about a games quality is fair game as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, I agree that it is fair game, no debating that. I am all for debate over opinions of a game, who knows sometimes hearing out someone who liked something you hated may give you a different perspective and help you appreciate something you wouldn't give a chance.

But the sense I get is that people are playing every game regardless of good or bad reviews and come out of the woodwork solely to complain that the reviewer in question didn't validate their own opinion which is crazy and serves no purpose, those people would be better of writing their own reviews at that point.

#69 Posted by Anund (881 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.

Still, basic psychological function or not: a review can be perfectly fine without agreeing with your opinion. A bad review is one which is poorly written or which contains bad or incomplete information. Those are the kinds of reviews which should be called out. If the review is factually correct and well written it doesn't matter how much the reviewer's opinion differs from your own, the review is still a good piece of work.

Further more, reviews are most definitely a tool when deciding what to buy. Short of playing the game yourself you have no way of knowing the quality of a game without reading reviews or in some way listening to another person's experience with the game. We'd be back to how I bought games in the 90s for my SNES: picking the ones with the cool cover or nice screenshots in the toy catalogue. Comparing games criticism to art criticism is questionable at best. A certain painting can only be sold once, art criticism is clearly not meant as buying advice. I would compare games criticism much more to book reviews or car reviews which answer the question "Is this product any good?" Ask any games reviewer and they will likely agree with me: they write reviews to give advice on which games their readers should buy. It's up to the reader to find a reviewer which agrees with his or her taste.

#70 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4713 posts) -

@anund: I understand where you're coming from but I think it's rather flippant to say that games criticism and art criticism are mutually exclusive, and then go on to say that one of the greatest forms of artistic expression (The Book) is nothing but a product to be consumed since, you know, a book review's only function is to serve as purchasing advice. If anything, it shows that you're approaching your purchases as toys and are only a worthwhile investment for the product's ability to waste time. That's kind of sad, but I can't say it's wrong. If you view video games as a product meant to cure your boredom then of course you're going to think that a game review is purchasing advice.

I don't see it that way, though, mainly because I buy what I think looks interesting. If a game's premise or advertising interests me enough to buy the title, I do. I tend to read reviews after completing a game to see what other people thought of it. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

#71 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -
#72 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

I think whenever we see something worthy of criticism, we should criticise it. This is certainly not something gamers are shy about, it's just that way too often this criticism comes in the form of people being infuriated that the reviewer doesn't agree 100% with their personal view of the game, and/or they end up just writing unconstructive nonsense in response.

Moderator
#73 Posted by Anund (881 posts) -

@anund: I understand where you're coming from but I think it's rather flippant to say that games criticism and art criticism are mutually exclusive, and then go on to say that one of the greatest forms of artistic expression (The Book) is nothing but a product to be consumed since, you know, a book review's only function is to serve as purchasing advice. If anything, it shows that you're approaching your purchases as toys and are only a worthwhile investment for the product's ability to waste time. That's kind of sad, but I can't say it's wrong. If you view video games as a product meant to cure your boredom then of course you're going to think that a game review is purchasing advice.

I don't see it that way, though, mainly because I buy what I think looks interesting. If a game's premise or advertising interests me enough to buy the title, I do. I tend to read reviews after completing a game to see what other people thought of it. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

Flippant or not, it's true. Book reviews are purchasing advice. Sure, they also comment on the artistic merits of the work, similar to what game reviews do, but main purpose of the review is purchasing advice. "Art" reviews, as in paintings and sculptures, is a different beast, in my opinion, since these types of art are not mass produced to the market. Does that mean books and games and movies are not art? Not necessarily. Just that the reviews don't serve the same purpose.

And yes, I do buy games as toys. They are diversions and something to entertain me while I am not at work. How do you buy them? Do you appreciate them like fine wine or works of art to be savored? I think you're in the minority if you do. (I'm sorry, but I have an image in my head right now of you in your silk robe, sitting in your high backed, creaking leather chair with a glass of cognac, holding your xbox controller, appreciating the finer intricacies of Saint's Row the Third while your manservant stands at attention behind you. "Good on you, Sir! Jolly good shot, Sir! That S&M gimp didn't know what hit him, Sir!")

I agree there is nothing wrong with how you use reviews, but I find it very hard to believe most people around you think the same way. Therefore, extrapolating your views as the norm is, I think, far fetched.

#74 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4713 posts) -

@anund said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@anund: I understand where you're coming from but I think it's rather flippant to say that games criticism and art criticism are mutually exclusive, and then go on to say that one of the greatest forms of artistic expression (The Book) is nothing but a product to be consumed since, you know, a book review's only function is to serve as purchasing advice. If anything, it shows that you're approaching your purchases as toys and are only a worthwhile investment for the product's ability to waste time. That's kind of sad, but I can't say it's wrong. If you view video games as a product meant to cure your boredom then of course you're going to think that a game review is purchasing advice.

I don't see it that way, though, mainly because I buy what I think looks interesting. If a game's premise or advertising interests me enough to buy the title, I do. I tend to read reviews after completing a game to see what other people thought of it. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

Flippant or not, it's true. Book reviews are purchasing advice. Sure, they also comment on the artistic merits of the work, similar to what game reviews do, but main purpose of the review is purchasing advice. "Art" reviews, as in paintings and sculptures, is a different beast, in my opinion, since these types of art are not mass produced to the market. Does that mean books and games and movies are not art? Not necessarily. Just that the reviews don't serve the same purpose.

And yes, I do buy games as toys. They are diversions and something to entertain me while I am not at work. How do you buy them? Do you appreciate them like fine wine or works of art to be savored? I think you're in the minority if you do. (I'm sorry, but I have an image in my head right now of you in your silk robe, sitting in your high backed, creaking leather chair with a glass of cognac, holding your xbox controller, appreciating the finer intricacies of Saint's Row the Third while your manservant stands at attention behind you. "Good on you, Sir! Jolly good shot, Sir! That S&M gimp didn't know what hit him, Sir!")

I agree there is nothing wrong with how you use reviews, but I find it very hard to believe most people around you think the same way. Therefore, extrapolating your views as the norm is, I think, far fetched.

I think we just see art in a very different light. I take in a wide variety of art forms because they can offer me something that Real Life can't. Whether that's in a video game's strength to explore a different world or in a novel's strength to engage my imagination, or even in a painting's strength to explore an internalized story that explains the image I'm looking at. If you don't see art the same, then eh, fair enough.

That said, I really should get a man servant to fetch my scotch and light my pipe.

#75 Edited by Anund (881 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@anund said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@anund: I understand where you're coming from but I think it's rather flippant to say that games criticism and art criticism are mutually exclusive, and then go on to say that one of the greatest forms of artistic expression (The Book) is nothing but a product to be consumed since, you know, a book review's only function is to serve as purchasing advice. If anything, it shows that you're approaching your purchases as toys and are only a worthwhile investment for the product's ability to waste time. That's kind of sad, but I can't say it's wrong. If you view video games as a product meant to cure your boredom then of course you're going to think that a game review is purchasing advice.

I don't see it that way, though, mainly because I buy what I think looks interesting. If a game's premise or advertising interests me enough to buy the title, I do. I tend to read reviews after completing a game to see what other people thought of it. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

Flippant or not, it's true. Book reviews are purchasing advice. Sure, they also comment on the artistic merits of the work, similar to what game reviews do, but main purpose of the review is purchasing advice. "Art" reviews, as in paintings and sculptures, is a different beast, in my opinion, since these types of art are not mass produced to the market. Does that mean books and games and movies are not art? Not necessarily. Just that the reviews don't serve the same purpose.

And yes, I do buy games as toys. They are diversions and something to entertain me while I am not at work. How do you buy them? Do you appreciate them like fine wine or works of art to be savored? I think you're in the minority if you do. (I'm sorry, but I have an image in my head right now of you in your silk robe, sitting in your high backed, creaking leather chair with a glass of cognac, holding your xbox controller, appreciating the finer intricacies of Saint's Row the Third while your manservant stands at attention behind you. "Good on you, Sir! Jolly good shot, Sir! That S&M gimp didn't know what hit him, Sir!")

I agree there is nothing wrong with how you use reviews, but I find it very hard to believe most people around you think the same way. Therefore, extrapolating your views as the norm is, I think, far fetched.

I think we just see art in a very different light. I take in a wide variety of art forms because they can offer me something that Real Life can't. Whether that's in a video game's strength to explore a different world or in a novel's strength to engage my imagination, or even in a painting's strength to explore an internalized story that explains the image I'm looking at. If you don't see art the same, then eh, fair enough.

That said, I really should get a man servant to fetch my scotch and light my pipe.

I was going to get a manservant, but then I got a wife instead. Bad call! Not nearly as useful. Definitely much harder to order around.

#76 Edited by Humanity (9054 posts) -

While the whole "it's that persons opinion" argument seems great when you're talking about your every day joe posting a vidja game review on his blog - when it comes to an industry professional, someone who has worked in the field and hopefully knows a little more about videogames than WeedSmoker69 from Xbox Live/PSN that argument doesn't really stand up quite as well. You have an overwhelming majority of video game press giving this game, not average or slightly underperforming reviews, but completely crushing it with 1/10's and so forth. It is incredulous that someone who is game savvy and writes reviews for a living would play this game and not only say that it's not that bad but praise it and give it a pretty high score. If you have 10 assorted food critics and you serve them some shitty, stale burger and 9 of them say it's awful and the last one says, "no this isn't awful, it's GREAT" then something is up.

#77 Posted by Pezen (1594 posts) -

I think calling a professional review in a game-centric publication, website or even in a mainstream news outlet an "opinion." Is giving it way too much leeway. If you're going to be a reviewer, you should be knowledgable and experienced to the point of being able to, at least to some degree, take yourself out of the equation. If you can't see the errors in the game because you're overjoyed with something personal, you're not good at your job. Because reviews are not meant to only be "Hey, I played this game, isn't that sweet?" It's also meant to be purchasing advice for consumers and with that comes some responsibility. What's the point otherwise?

I mean, if a professional review isn't above a "user review" in any capacity, we might as well just go "Yelp Games Review Site" on this whole thing.