The Facts of Lif...Er, The Bomb Reviews

I just posted this in the comments of Jeff's MK Vs. DC review, but it's long enough that I feel like re-posting it here.

I'm only going to say this once:

Giant Bomb is not The Next GameSpot. I that's what you're looking for, try 1UP. Giant Bomb is about a far more casual style of games coverage. Jeff gave this game the highest score because he thinks it's awesome. You might disagree. The man himself has always said you should never let any review supersede your own tastes.

That's why all of you who are saying things like "Same league as Gears 2 REALLY?" or "Better than Mirror's Edge?!?!" or whatever need to get a clue. That's not how it works at all. Giant Bomb reviews are not impartial assessments of mass-market pros and cons. They are personal opinions.

And the star ratings are not values to be compared like the prices of commodities. They are simply a fast way to summarise the reviewer's point. In this case, it is "overwhelmingly recomended". Essentially, Jeff loves it. Yeah, he would, he likes MK and this is (At last) another good MK. But, and here's the kicker:

Where exactly is the problem? It's not like Jeff went in writing in the blandly authoritatitve 2nd person favoured by GameSpot. It's not like this site just appeared yesterday. You've had months to notice the site's casual tone and even if you're new, it's kind of obvious.

It's clear many of you have been pre-conditioned to view any kind of outlying opinion as redundant, as biased. Worse, you've attached negative connotations to that so firmly that you can't look beyond to simply see what the reviewer has to say. This review is not biased, because bias is being used to mean "unfai" or "wrong". It's a review written by a fan. That may well have coloured the opinion, but since all of you complaining about it seem aware of that (And if you read the text, it's not like Jeff claims this is his first MK) it's hard to see why you're so upset - just take that factor into account.

I notice all of you also seem to have been disinterested in the game going into this review...Hmm...By gum, I think you're all therefore biased too. It stands to reason.

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23 Comments
Posted by Jensonb

I just posted this in the comments of Jeff's MK Vs. DC review, but it's long enough that I feel like re-posting it here.

I'm only going to say this once:

Giant Bomb is not The Next GameSpot. I that's what you're looking for, try 1UP. Giant Bomb is about a far more casual style of games coverage. Jeff gave this game the highest score because he thinks it's awesome. You might disagree. The man himself has always said you should never let any review supersede your own tastes.

That's why all of you who are saying things like "Same league as Gears 2 REALLY?" or "Better than Mirror's Edge?!?!" or whatever need to get a clue. That's not how it works at all. Giant Bomb reviews are not impartial assessments of mass-market pros and cons. They are personal opinions.

And the star ratings are not values to be compared like the prices of commodities. They are simply a fast way to summarise the reviewer's point. In this case, it is "overwhelmingly recomended". Essentially, Jeff loves it. Yeah, he would, he likes MK and this is (At last) another good MK. But, and here's the kicker:

Where exactly is the problem? It's not like Jeff went in writing in the blandly authoritatitve 2nd person favoured by GameSpot. It's not like this site just appeared yesterday. You've had months to notice the site's casual tone and even if you're new, it's kind of obvious.

It's clear many of you have been pre-conditioned to view any kind of outlying opinion as redundant, as biased. Worse, you've attached negative connotations to that so firmly that you can't look beyond to simply see what the reviewer has to say. This review is not biased, because bias is being used to mean "unfai" or "wrong". It's a review written by a fan. That may well have coloured the opinion, but since all of you complaining about it seem aware of that (And if you read the text, it's not like Jeff claims this is his first MK) it's hard to see why you're so upset - just take that factor into account.

I notice all of you also seem to have been disinterested in the game going into this review...Hmm...By gum, I think you're all therefore biased too. It stands to reason.

Posted by Lies

You son of a bitch. I was going to write a blog about this.

Posted by LtColJaxson

Yup, very true.

Posted by Cogito

I agree, also, same response as Lies.

Posted by Disgaeamad

I'd have to agree. Especially with the whole "you should never let any review supersede your own tastes." Seriously, it's stupid when people feel like they just HAVE to agree with what the reviewer's said, without trying the game out for themselves yet.

Posted by MasterSplinter

Which is why numbers should be abolished from reviews entirely. I have been preaching this for a while but everyone seems afraid to do it. TEXT > #

On a side note, I completely disagree with 1UP being the next Gamespot. That couldn't be farther from the truth. They are just as casual, if not more-so than GB.

Posted by Jensonb

They no way are more casual. But to address the point, I was just talking about authoritative reviews, no one else has a tone like GS

Posted by dsplayer1010

So true

Posted by albedos_shadow

Amen, brother. Amen.

Posted by AndrewGaspar

I've thought the same for months. ;-)

Read the text people, and stop going by score. This is why I like Kotaku's reviews so much. It's a list of good and bad qualities of the game and descriptions of each. No score. None. Perfect. From there, you can decide if you agree with their pros and cons.

Posted by brukaoru

I was going to post on your wall that you wrote a great response. I am really sick and tired of people complaining about the review scores. Honestly, I think that's what people's problem is. They don't even take the time to read the review. Also, fully agree, it's such an oxymoron to say a review is biased, of course it is! A review is someone's *opinion*, if they like a certain genre or franchise, their review is obviously going to be influenced by that! Sadly, I don't see these people ever stopping to think for a second, or take the time to read the review. Even reading the review, people who are comparing a game to a another genre is just ridiculous!

Posted by AttackedCamo

Well said sir...well said.

Edited by Joseppie

I agree with what you're saying except for your last sentence. I find it hard to see the link between disinterest and bias. If someone excessively puts down a game before its release, then yes, that is bias. If someone excessively pimps a game before its release, then yes, that is bias. But simply not caring about a game doesn't fit the same mold. Personally, I didn't care about MK before it came out and I don't any more now after. Perhaps this is just because it's a fighting game but it could apply to a any game really. I don't think many people had great anticipation for PURE before it came out, so would you call them bias as well? Bit of a stretch, no?

Posted by Jensonb

You misunderstood Joseppie, I meant they were going into the review already having negative feelings about the game.

Posted by Joseppie

Nah, I get what you mean. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting what you mean by "disinterest". I just don't see going into a review with apathy about a game as the same thing as going into a review with prejudice against it.

Posted by Jensonb

Right, but I wasn't talking about apathy, I was talking about people who'd already decided they weren't interested in buying it, as in, under any circumstance

Posted by Joseppie

Ah, so I was misinterpreting. Nothing to see here!

Posted by Claude

I learned my lesson with Ryan's Mario Kart Review. I haven't looked back since. I'm old, still learning and growing, take that life.

Posted by SteepInKline

Amen, Jensonb, amen. For once, you're not so 12.

I kid, man, I kid.

Posted by CPlusPlus

hmm....you said you were only going to say it once but you posted it on your profile and on the Mk vs. DC review. Therefore you are a liar!!! How can I believe anything you say if you are a liar?

Edited by Jensonb

:P I only typed it once. Cmd-C, Cmd-V is your friend

Posted by bowlerry

I was just annoyed because they gave it a 5/5. Meaning theres nothing wrong with it, and belive me there is. This and Banjo Kazooie getting perfect scores is recidculous.

Posted by ThomasP

Well said JensonB. People sometimes miss the point of the five star system. Any system that makes the reader focus on the review and not the score offers much more input IMO.