"Parkin’s material is typically well considered, thoughtful and challenging."
I thought this was funny. Since when do we want what are supposed to be objective-as-possible game reviews to be "challenging"? Maybe Mr. Parkin writes several editorials for that site as well - I really don't know - but if not, again, funny. It's a problem I have with Eurogamer in general - they tend to be flowery and too often inject too much philosophical musing into their reviews for my tastes. It's fine to strive to put a little bit of insight into game reviews, or even give some background on any biases you may be bringing in, but when I have to consistently skip the first three paragraphs of your pretentious, bullshit ramblings in every review before you talk about the actual game, there's a bit of a problem.
To the actual issue: I have no problem with being demanding, hyper-critical, or even elitist when it comes to critiquing games - time and money are precious after all. Hell, personally, I think most highly rated games today are grossly overrated (Deus Ex and Batman are the latest offenders). The "problem" I have, and that I imagine many others do as well, is a lack of consistency. Eurogamer gave Uncharted 3 an 8/10 and no higher not so much because of anything it does wrong, but because of it's particular brand of game design. Problem is, that design was received wholly differently in their Uncharted 2 review - which received a 10/10. Now I know there's a lot of things to consider here with this score differential - the comparative leap from game to game, standards changing over time, different people reviewing each game, etc. Maybe the Uncharted series' brand of game design was much more palatable in 2009 than it is in 2011. Maybe (probably not though). The point isn't the score differential though - its the content of the two reviews. The review for Uncharted 3 admonishes it's design philosophy, if not wholly condemning it, calling it "a movie game in the literal sense" (I'd like to take this opportunity now to point out that both Uncharted games, heavily scripted as they may be, are neither really movie games, and even less so movie games in the literal sense - unless Uncharted 3 is flat-out like Heavy Rain now); the review for the Uncharted 2 review revels and celebrates that design meanwhile, where it is simply "an action-adventure masterpiece."
This is the problem of consistency Eurogamer, and a great many other outlets, are guilty of. Eurogamer can't even hope to be consistent within a single series - Uncharted - much less across different ones and different genres. I have no problem with Uncharted 3 receiving an 8/10. But then don't dole out high to perfect scores to Bethesda games that ship nearly broken technically and that are undercooked and puddle-deep mechanically; or to EA and Activision military themed first-person shooters that feature the same kind of design featured in Uncharted, only are more predictable, more prolific, and more coldly adhere to their formula; or even to Uncharted 2! Otherwise, the result is "sometimes we're elitist"- sorry - "sometimes we're critical, except for the times where we're not." This site too is guilty of this. There are many games Giantbomb reviews where in one world I could imagine them saying about it "you kill a bunch of dudes, its alright" and in another no less plausible world, I can just as well imagine them saying about the same game "you kill a bunch of dudes! fuck yeah." All we ask for is consistency and that doesn't every game should have an equal score; it means every game should be reviewed by an equal standard.