People have different quality benchmarks than others. What might not bother you could be a deal breaker for someone else. Reviewers sound picky because they are picky. It's their job to be picky. And it's their job to point out frame rate dips and ugly textures, because someone out there is going to care.
It depends on the person. I find both Quick Looks and reviews to be useful tools when deciding on which games I want to buy. A Quick Look gives me a better impression of how a game plays and looks than a review does, and reviews delve deeper into a game's underlying mechanics and (usually) offer an opinion from someone who has beaten it.
Also, a 3-star game means it has some faults that only certain people can look past. The problems that irked Alex might not have the same effect on you. That's where watching Quick Looks comes in handy.
I'll judge the game when I play it myself, but this is just EA doing what EA does. Remember 2008 when EA announced they were doing the exact same thing in Battlefield: Bad Company. As I recall, people gave a fit over it and EA reversed their decision.
It might be gross, but I'm fine with EA offering micro transactions as an option so long that the game isn't a laborious chore without it. Guess we'll see in February.
Said this before on another thread but video reviews take a considerable amount of time to produce and don't serve much of a purpose when Giant Bomb offers 25+ minute quick looks. Video reviews require that you take a bunch of 5-15 second clips and put them together in an interesting way while helping convey the reviewer's message. So if, say, Jeff includes a complaint about a game's poor AI, then someone has to find an example of AI characters being dumb as rocks. I actually made a video review of Halo Reach and while it was both fun and rewarding to make, it was also took hours and hours to produce. Part of that was due to it being my first video review, but finding the right footage and crafting it into something eye-catching will always take time.
You could make an argument for more video reviews once their production staff grows beyond two (exceptionally hard-working) people, but there's not much reason to make them a priority until that happens.
In terms of story continuity, I'd say probably not. There might be some references to the previous games, though I haven't heard of any so far. I recommend playing the first BioShock as it's still an amazing game. It's still $20 on Amazon, PSN, XBLM, and Steam but goes on sale fairly often.
BioShock 2 isn't nearly as good as the first one, but it has its moments. Irrational didn't work on it though, so I doubt there's much in Infinite that directly references 2.
Tough to say as both systems have their pros and cons. With the PS3, you're getting a system with a number of superb exclusives (Uncharted series, Journey, Infamous 1&2, MGS 4, LittleBigPlanet 1&2, Demon Souls etc.) and has a few more exclusives on the way (The Last of Us, Beyond, maybe The Last Guardian) but it's also nearing the end of its console cycle.
3DS has a few good exclusives already, (Super Mario 3D Land, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Theatrhthm Final Fantasy) but nearly as many as the PS3. However, the 3DS still has a ways to go before finishing its cycle and has a new Fire Emblem and Pokemon on the way. Really, it depends on how much you game outside your home and which kinds of games you prefer.
As for the 3DS vs. the XL, every review I've read puts the XL above its predecessor -- even with the lower pixel density.
I was watching the "Ryan Reax!" video on the site and noticed there was a weird popping sound playing throughout the entire video. The sound is consistent and sounds like extremely mild video static (I doubt that's the correct term but whatever). At first I thought my speakers were at Death's door, but I replayed the video on YouTube and the Giant Bomb/GameSpot video player where the sound was normal.
I've tested this with multiple videos, including the Dragonborn Quick Look (which played fine on the HTML5 player yesterday) and found the same popping sound in every one when using the HTML5 player.
While I'm writing this, I might as well mention that the HTML5 player "breaks" if you pause a video for too long. Pressing play after pausing a video for 30+ seconds will resume the video for a few seconds before cutting to black. It's as though the video quits buffering.
I'm running Windows 7 with Google Chrome version 24.0.1312.52 m (the most up to date version). Hope this helps and feel free to PM or "@" me if you need further details. Have a good weekend duders.