Is "being biased" an issue in gamejournalism?

  • 80 results
  • 1
  • 2
Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

So as most of you are probably aware, the reviews for Batman Arkham Origins are out in the wild, and to my genuine surprise it received some pretty low scores.

I have seen some sixes and sevens been thrown around and the motivation for those scores would be the lack of innovations or features, apart from the multiplayer, that sets it apart from the previous games. In short, it's the same game as before but in a slightly different setting.

That got me thinking.

Arkham City and Arkham Asylum both where superb games. Some preferred one over the other, but in terms of mechanics, this was something most Batman fans and in general, most Comic book fans loved about those games. Both of them received scores around or above the magic 90 threshold.

So how is it, that when a game comes out that plays exactly like it predecessors, it suddenly gets a 6 or a 7 for being "basically the same game".

To me that seems a bit out of proportion.

Now lets look at other games that have annual releases and are considered "AAA". Yep, you probably guessed it, I'm talking about Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty and FIFA.

"FIFA ?" you say. Indeed, FIFA. I put that one in the list because it's the biggest selling annual sports game worldwide.

If we look at those game objectively, you cannot deny the fact that( apart from changes in setting and/or slight mechanic tweaks) the games are playing almost exactly the same from year to year.

Soccer is still soccer, Call of Duty remains fast paced Left Trigger-Right Trigger-Respawn, and Assassin's Creed is still white-hooded-dude-with-blades assassinating action. Yet all this games receive annual scores in the eighties and nineties.

What makes it that they get those scores and Arkham Origins does not. My Opinion: bias.

It is expected beforehand that these games should receive this score, that reviewers almost don't dare not to give it a high score, or else risk having the rampaging internet horde berating them for not giving their "AAA-franchise" a good score.

The reason I think Batman might have been given the lower score is also bias.

The opening was there. A new studio about which almost everyone had there doubts whether they could do it or not, new voice actors and a game nobody was anticipating.

Arkham Origins was already at a disadvantage when it was first presented to us, and know that it plays the same as the previous ones, it gets average review score because it doesn't "innovate" enough. Hurrah for journalism and its critical eye.

I feel that games journalism is still at it infancy and might sometimes be to guided by bias, and this might be something worth discussing.

Now to make one thing clear: this ISN'T an Arkham Origins defence post or anything as ridicule as that, nor is this a critic of COD, AC and FIFA.

I just found it curious how a sequal to a a superb game gets an average score, eventhough it's mechanics are exactly the same and therefore still makes it one of the best superhero games out there to date.

Feel free to discuss away.

PS: English is not my native language (dutch is), so if any of the sentences come over a bit weird, go easy on me ;-)

Avatar image for tobbrobb
TobbRobb

6616

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

#2  Edited By TobbRobb

You do make a valid point, but you really should consider changing the title. It's way too generalizing. Obviously not all of games journalism is biased, but parts of it totally is. Make it like: Is biased journalism in gaming an issue? or something.

Avatar image for erhard
erhard

493

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Opinions are inherently biased.

Avatar image for video_game_king
Video_Game_King

36563

Forum Posts

59080

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 54

User Lists: 14

@shevar said:

So as most of you are probably aware, the reviews for Batman Arkham Origins are out in the wild, and to my genuine surprise it received some pretty low scores.

I have seen some sixes and sevens

How did it get to this? How did 6s and 7s become dirty scores? I happen to think they're alright.

Avatar image for cynicalbuzzard
CynicalBuzzard

254

Forum Posts

865

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

To a degree every form of journalism has it's bias to it.

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for niceanims
Niceanims

1754

Forum Posts

12

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#7  Edited By Niceanims

Everybody is biased towards their own beliefs, opinions, and preferences. A review is simply a transcription of a person's opinion.

I remember the GB crew talked about how, back at GameSpot, they would punch scores for various aspects of any given game into an algorithm that would then spit out an overall review score. This resulted in stuff like Majora's Mask getting an 8.3 even though Jeff has explicitly said he hates the game. Hell, Giant Bomb was founded on the idea that no game has a definitive, bulletproof score because it depends on the tastes of the player.

Subjectivity exists, y'all

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@video_game_king: I agree about the fact that 6 and 7 aren't bad, but those score are for me scores you would give to games that have a good idea or mechanic, but that the game in general isn't quiet there yet. But giving those scores to a game that plays exactly like it predecessors and those received between the 8-9 range and above, that seems a bit harsh.

Avatar image for zeik
Zeik

5434

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@shevar said:

So as most of you are probably aware, the reviews for Batman Arkham Origins are out in the wild, and to my genuine surprise it received some pretty low scores.

I have seen some sixes and sevens

How did it get to this? How did 6s and 7s become dirty scores? I happen to think they're alright.

To most sites these days that use those scores it is a dirty number, relegated to games they consider barely worth playing, if that. It depends on the site, but it's rare for the major reviewers to consider using the full range of scores.

Avatar image for me3639
me3639

2006

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 4

Biased against everything not named Nintendo.

Avatar image for shinjin977
shinjin977

911

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

As long as we use humans to review games. Yes.

Avatar image for oldirtybearon
Oldirtybearon

5626

Forum Posts

86

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

#12  Edited By Oldirtybearon

@erhard said:

Opinions are inherently biased.

@itwongo said:

Everybody is biased towards their own beliefs, opinions, and preferences. A review is simply a transcription of a person's opinion.

You do realize that this mindset inherently argues against the purpose of criticism and reviews, right? The kind of bias the OP is talking about is the collective press shunning one title for being "samey" and praising another for slight tweaks in the code. That is an inherently flawed way to view a work. Why does FIFA get a pass while Batman 3 pays the price for "not innovating enough"?

And even then, why the hell is "innovation" commoditized so heavily? Shouldn't the basis of a quality product begin and end with how the execution was handled?

The games press, for some reason or another, seems to seek out titles, publishers, or developers to try and punish them for what they view as a larger issue in the industry. While I make no personal claim to Arkham 3's quality, I find it hard to believe that if it's as "samey" as these reviews claim, I have a hard time understanding why it's only getting 6s and 7s when that "samey" two years ago scored high 8s and 9s.

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@oldirtybearon: You just described in a few sentences what I tried to describe in this opinion-piece. I feel so dumb now ;-)

Avatar image for iigrayfoxii
IIGrayFoxII

362

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

#14  Edited By IIGrayFoxII

I agree with your post, and everyone has already made my opinion as well. I wonder though if Rocksteady's name was on it, as well as Mark Hamill and Keven Conroy, would this game have scored better? (considering everything else about the game remains the same)

I won't argue with reviews until I get my hands on it myself.

Avatar image for oldirtybearon
Oldirtybearon

5626

Forum Posts

86

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

@shevar: You delivered your points well. And with a lot of civility. If it makes you feel better, Truth Tellah will probably enjoy it for being so non-confrontational.

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#16  Edited By AMyggen

@shevar: Is "bias" the right word for what you're describing? I'd call it lack of perspective, maybe, or being inconsistent. There will always be a huge amount of bias in pretty much any review of any art, but that's because opinions are subjective.

Anyways, first of all: 6 and 7 aren't terrible scores. The score inflation is getting insane in this industry. Secondly, I think critics have got it right with the Batman games (from the description in some reviews, haven't played it myself). Those giving it a 6 or a 7 aren't describing a bad game, but something they've seen two times before now, with less polish than those titles. This game doesn't really do anything new of import compared to the two previous games, and when it's a mainly a story driven, single player game, you get burnt out. And btw, it's on 79 on Metacritic right now, not a bad score at all.

As for inconsistency. Well, the AC series improved itself immensly from the first to the third game. I think the "problem" with the COD series and sports games like FIFA is that those games target a very specific group of players, and you'll find that those games are reviewed by big fans of that specific series in most publications, and they tend to be more forgiving of "more of the same". There's also the fact that the FIFA franchise is considered to be quality, and there's only so much you can do with a football game; the Madden franchise has been getting some mediocre reviews lately, and that's because EA isn't doing a good enough job with that franchise.

TL;DR: The new Batman game isn't getting bad reviews, and the argument in the 6 or 7 score review seems sound. Not "bias", but common sense.

Avatar image for jjweatherman
JJWeatherman

15118

Forum Posts

5249

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 16

@shevar said:

...some pretty low scores.

I have seen some sixes and sevens...

Ya lost me, duder.

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#18  Edited By AMyggen

@oldirtybearon: It's not "only" getting 6 and 7s. It's on 79 on Metacritic right now. And if you read anything about the game, it's VEEEEEEEERY similar to the two previous titles. Some changes in how the detective side work, tweaks in the combat, but overall it's very much more of the same. That's evident from the QL of the game too.

Avatar image for niceanims
Niceanims

1754

Forum Posts

12

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@oldirtybearon: Some people want some things to be different and other things to stay the same. And how does that go against the purpose of criticism?

Avatar image for skooky
Skooky

484

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

#20  Edited By Skooky

WWE games are a good example of this. Although those games are a good example of everything that's wrong with video game press.

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

@skooky: What do you mean? If you mean that WWE games in general get too generous reviews, I agree, because WWE games tend to be absolutely TERRIBLE. And I say this as a wrestling fan.

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@amyggen: And you are totally right, but how different is the BF multiplayer from game to game. They changed things up in Bad Company when they made a variety on the capture and hold game in the form of bases with gold crates, but mechanically it remained almost exactly the same only the scale and the intensity altered by cause of the progressing hardware advancements.

The same can be said about almost all games this generation or perhaps any generation and guess what, that is totally fine with me. What I'm trying to get at is why for some games it seems perfectly fine while others get that as a negative.

Avatar image for hunter5024
Hunter5024

6708

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

#23  Edited By Hunter5024

I feel like a lot of the annualized games you mentioned get pretty heavily shit on, so I don't really think that's a fair comparison to Batman. Also for as much as I hate the annualized nature of the AC franchise, I have to admit they pack a lot of new stuff into every entry. Look at the leap between II and Brotherhood. I haven't played the new Batman game, but as someone who was already getting weary of playing a nearly identical game towards the end of the 2nd one, I'm inclined to think the reviewers are right on this one. If it has exactly the same mechanics as it's predecessor, and the story doesn't do anything memorable, what's the point? Paying 60 dollars to beat up thugs in new levels? Kinda just sounds like a cash grab. Not an attempt at making an interesting game.

Avatar image for video_game_king
Video_Game_King

36563

Forum Posts

59080

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 54

User Lists: 14

#24  Edited By Video_Game_King

@shevar said:

@oldirtybearon: You just described in a few sentences what I tried to describe in this opinion-piece. I feel so dumb now ;-)

Same here.

The games press, for some reason or another, seems to seek out titles, publishers, or developers to try and punish them for what they view as a larger issue in the industry.

Like this. I'm pretty damn tired of the politics to games reviewing, disliking a game because it serves a convenient purpose rather than because it fails on its own merits. Sonic and Metroid provide good examples of this.

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

@video_game_king: I think you'll find that "the politics of games reviewing" is something largely invented by the internet, and not a real thing. If you want to prove what you mean, why is Sonic and Metroid good examples of it?

Avatar image for deactivated-6050ef4074a17
deactivated-6050ef4074a17

3686

Forum Posts

15

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Like others already have said, I think the press suffers from a lack of ability to keep things in perspective, more than anything else. This affects various things, game reviews included. "Bias" is a much over-used and usually incorrectly applied word.

Avatar image for oldirtybearon
Oldirtybearon

5626

Forum Posts

86

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

#27  Edited By Oldirtybearon

Like this. I'm pretty damn tired of the politics to games reviewing, disliking a game because it serves a convenient purpose rather than because it fails on its own merits. Sonic and Metroid provide good examples of this.

In the case of Sonic, I'm pretty sure the problem is that a bunch of grown men don't recognize the fact that Sonic is for kids. And Sonic has always had the insufferable "attitude." Just remember how those games were marketed on the Genesis.

As far as Metroid goes, I can see your point when it comes to gameplay. If we're talking about Other M's... problems... I don't know. I never played it, but from what I've seen a compelling case could be made in either direction.

Avatar image for seveword
seveword

218

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#28  Edited By seveword

Objectivity in video game reviews doesn't refer to some sort of solid gold, bias-free standard that everybody inherently applies themselves to that makes review scores across the board mean the same thing on every site. It refers to a lack of pressure from developers or companies to score certain things a certain way because that's what they are paid to do. Reviews in Official XBox Magazine or Nintendo Power (when it existed) are inherently unreliable, because they are published by a parent company that has sales of those games in mind, and will alter printed opinions to suit a certain viewpoint. Reviews on independent sites are objective in this regard, so long as they refuse to alter their coverage or scores depending on advertising dollars, etc.

Subjectivity in video games reviews refers to the inherent bias that every human being comes into their profession with based on taste and preference. Some people will never like certain genres of games, or games that try to tackle specific themes, or have certain gameplay elements. Those biases, which are present in the minds and words of every video game reviewer no matter their experience or efforts to diminish it, are what differentiates review scores in an "objective" environment.

Also, a 6 or a 7 is not bad. On a scale of 0-10, 5 is average, meaning that this Batman game is being warmly received across the board. Not everything deserves an 8,9, or 10 just for the hell of it, otherwise, what's the point of reviews in the first place?

Avatar image for milkman
Milkman

19372

Forum Posts

-1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 3

#29  Edited By Milkman

Every video game review ever written is "biased."

Avatar image for cale
CaLe

4567

Forum Posts

516

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#30  Edited By CaLe

I know the answer. It's because BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS was reviewed by many different people with different preferences and some of these people felt, in their loins, that this game was a 60 and others felt it was a 70. There is no secret, just loins.

These people were not scoring the game!!!! They were putting a number on how much they enjoyed the game!!!!!! How dare you question their feeling, HOW DARE YOU. Do you have the right to question that??? Their own personal feeling on how much they enjoyed a game? If you think you have a right to question that, then you are basically saying you have a right to question why someone prefers men to women. They can't explain it, they just feel it. Loins.

Avatar image for video_game_king
Video_Game_King

36563

Forum Posts

59080

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 54

User Lists: 14

@amyggen:

Sonic because the series went through some drastic changes and people have insisted that it's beyond the point of no return, even when certain games show redeemable qualities (Sonic Adventure 2 wasn't all bad, you guys!).

Other M was handed over to an outside team and departed drastically from what we've come to expect of it, and people hated it partially because of that. Feminism/games journalism (there's honestly no more concise/elegant way for me to phrase that) didn't help things.

I'd even go so far as to say that the Zelda CD-i games are hated politically. I doubt anybody has actually played those things, and they make it out to be the worst game ever because of "Russian cartoonists" and more the circumstances the game was made in than anything it actually does.

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#32  Edited By AMyggen

@shevar: I'm not exactly sure, but there seems to be a difference between largely multiplayer and single player games in how forgiving the press (and the general public?) are when similar games are released in the same franchise, especially if it's yearly. I find that people aren't demanding big innovations in mainly multiplayer games, but if the single player is the big focus, you'll generally need to innovate more to get the same or better score from title to title. Do you agree?

And my theory is this: If you love a multiplayer game, what you'll want from the next game in the franchise will probably be more of the same, but improved. See: Every Modern Warfare game, the Halo franchise etc. The people who review those games are fans of those games, so they too will like "more of the same", while game journalists who only were casual fans of the first MW will be absolutely sick of the franchise by now...but they don't review the games.

With single player, especially story driven games, even fans of a franchise tend to demand more than "more of the same, but with slight improvements". Most people will accept that in a sequel, but you see time and time again that people's enthusiasm tend to go down if the third installment is that. There will of course be exceptions, but I find this to generally hold true.

What I'm trying to say here, and I'm rambling, is that there seems to be a difference in what gamers and reviewers demand from multiplayer and single player games in terms of innovation. Is that fair? I don't know, but I don't think it's as inconsistent as some people claim, or part of some big "bias" in the games press or whatever.

Avatar image for gaff
Gaff

2768

Forum Posts

120

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

I detect a bias against Sixes and Sevens.

Avatar image for phoenix654
Phoenix654

566

Forum Posts

841

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 4

@itwongo said:

Everybody is biased towards their own beliefs, opinions, and preferences. A review is simply a transcription of a person's opinion.

I remember the GB crew talked about how, back at GameSpot, they would punch scores for various aspects of any given game into an algorithm that would then spit out an overall review score. This resulted in stuff like Majora's Mask getting an 8.3 even though Jeff has explicitly said he hates the game. Hell, Giant Bomb was founded on the idea that no game has a definitive, bulletproof score because it depends on the tastes of the player.

Subjectivity exists, y'all

Agreed. I've said before that Metal Gear Solid 4 and GTA IV, both of which received innumerable 10s or high 9s when they came out, could not be more different in terms of my subjective experience. MGS4 was nigh incomprehensible and very little fun for me, while GTA IV is a game that had an interesting story, a fun city to cruise through and (until recently) my friends and I would still bust it out and play around with it.

All experience is subjective. All a review score can give is one person's biased, subjective, personal feelings on it. I can't remember who, but one IGN editor would continually pump up the game Naughty Bear on podcasts because he enjoyed his time with it, terrible though the graphics and glitches were. That's as valid a view point as mine that MGS4 was an utter waste of my time to play or anyone else's who thinks Halo is the better FPS than COD or Battlefield (Or, say, Jeff's opinion that football games reached their zenith back on NFL Blitz '99). Reviews aren't about a consensus, it's about one duder (male or female) and their view of one game.

Avatar image for extomar
EXTomar

5047

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#35  Edited By EXTomar

So is the complaint about "reviewers have bias" or is this a complaint that a reviewer isn't being clear with their review on how they came up with their opinion? One is a silly and tired complaint while the other could be a fair critique.

ps. People have been writing about games for at least 30 years. I am not sure that counts as much of an infant.

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@extomar: I realize bias might not be the right word, but as I point out in the "disclaimer", English is not my native language so some nuance can get lost when I type plain text. Perhaps its more the change of stance or perspective towards certain games I'm trying to get at.

Avatar image for joshwent
joshwent

2897

Forum Posts

2987

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

#37  Edited By joshwent
@shevar said:

So how is it, that when a game comes out that plays exactly like it predecessors, it suddenly gets a 6 or a 7 for being "basically the same game".

It's referred to as the Law of Diminishing Returns. No matter how effective a given effort is, repeated similar efforts will begin to fail to be percieved as effective as the original.

Consider someone who works in an ice cream shop. Most folks even if ice cream is their favorite thing, after working there for a while and getting to eat whatever they want for free, will eventually say, "I fucking can't stand ice cream". It's not that the quality of the ice cream changed, it's that their continued exposure to the same thing made the enjoyment of it diminish.

It's weird, but it's real. And it's the same with video games.

(note: I worked in an ice cream store for 2 years and never got sick of sneaking a huge sundae every shift, but I'm the exception, not the norm. I also get really excited for every new Mario game, so take that to mean what you will.) ;)

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#38  Edited By AMyggen

@video_game_king: Lol, the Zelda CD-i games are TERRIBLE. Have you heard the voice work? Have you tried to play any of them? I played the first one a few years ago at a friend's house (he collects all sort of gaming shit), and it's SO BAD. It's not just a bad Zelda game, it's one of the worst games of anything I've ever played.

As for Metroid Other M. Well, my main problem with that game was the story and the voice work. If you actually go out of your way to have a heavy focus on narrative in a Metroid game, try to write dialogue that doesn't seem like it was written by an emotionless robot, read by that robot. It also got some criticism for not playing very good, which I agree with. It's not that I didn't like change or anything, I just didn't like how the game played all that much. I'm not gonna touch that feminism comment.

As for Sonic. Well, I think that franchise lost some people with the absolute shit games Sega released for years and years. I agree that a game like Sonic Colors was alright, but that did get a 78 on Metacritic, so clearly critics agree.

But Sonic Adventures 2 was awful. Come on, now.

Avatar image for dannyhibiki
DannyHibiki

377

Forum Posts

17

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

I'd even go so far as to say that the Zelda CD-i games are hated politically. I doubt anybody has actually played those things, and they make it out to be the worst game ever because of "Russian cartoonists" and more the circumstances the game was made in than anything it actually does.

What??? I've never heard that before. People just think the animation is goofy and the games don't have same level of quality that the Zelda franchise usually has.

Russian animation is awesome.

Avatar image for randyf
randyf

200

Forum Posts

10

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 3

#40  Edited By randyf

@zeik said:

@video_game_king said:

@shevar said:

So as most of you are probably aware, the reviews for Batman Arkham Origins are out in the wild, and to my genuine surprise it received some pretty low scores.

I have seen some sixes and sevens

How did it get to this? How did 6s and 7s become dirty scores? I happen to think they're alright.

To most sites these days that use those scores it is a dirty number, relegated to games they consider barely worth playing, if that. It depends on the site, but it's rare for the major reviewers to consider using the full range of scores.

This is exactly right. It's not that a 6 or 7 is bad on paper, but we have been trained to believe that the vast majority of reviewers rarely go below a 5, making a 6-7 below average (even though anything above a 5 should be above average). If you look at the text associated with most 6 or 7 review scores, it is very negative in most cases. In contrast, if you look at the text associated with movie reviews with a score of 6 or 7, it's mostly positive. I know Metacritic isn't law or anything, but it's telling that the description for scores on there are about 10 points higher for games than any other medium (e.g. 70 being "generally favorable" for movies, TV, and music but "mixed or average" for games).

To answer the main question, I believe everybody's opinion is influenced by something. The reason the scores are so low for Arkham Origins is because it's almost identical to the game before it. If this were the first of its kind, people would be losing their mind about how awesome it is. You could argue the same thing about Call of Duty or any sports game, but apparently people are less accepting of the Batman formula on a semi-regular basis, even if it doesn't come out as frequently as those other games.

Avatar image for sin4profit
Sin4profit

3505

Forum Posts

1621

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 37

User Lists: 2

I don't think you mean "bias" as much as you mean "selective judgment"

You underestimate the need for change from one iteration to another. Assassin's Creed had substantial charges from one to the next whether it was expanding on the mechanics or changing the location/aesthetics. I don't play enough of COD or FIFA to have an opinion there.

I liked Arkham City but don't plan on playing Arkham Origin anytime soon based on the fact that there doesn't seem to be much changed; same aesthetic, same mood, same gameplay.

I think a smarter move would be for that development to take the mechanics from the Arkham series and apply it to new fiction, then people will be excited again by the time Batman rolls back around.

Avatar image for extomar
EXTomar

5047

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#42  Edited By EXTomar

It isn't that "bias" is the wrong word but actually means and automatically assume it is bad or negative. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion built upon predisposition. They just need to be honest about it.

Batman Arkham Asylum is an amazing game because every other Batman game let alone comic book movie games are terrible and a trail of tears. It deserves props and awards for capturing the essence of the franchise while still featuring a fun game to play. Now do it two more times. How should we feel? Does it deserve the accolades and banner treatment subsequent times for these new games? Maybe, maybe not...it is all up to who you ask.

Basically these are not contrary ideas or hypocritical opinions. One can really like and praise Batman Arkham Asylum while thinking Batman Arkham Orgins is meh. There is nothing wrong with having a strong memory of how much they loved that first game and being somewhat disappointed by the third iteration of it. Yes their bias formed their opinion of Batman Arkham Orgins but so what? Why can't they have those feelings?

Avatar image for clonedzero
Clonedzero

4206

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#43  Edited By Clonedzero

I dont think its a big deal as long as they're upfront about it.

Like there are a bunch of game series/franchises i really love. Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Battlefield, ect. I'm more likely to enjoy a game in those series than not. Is that a bad thing? Nope.

The opposite is ok too. I'm not a big fan of JRPG's these days. If i play one that game has to work WAY harder than it should to impress / entertain me. I'm biased against it. As long as i mention that. Then its all good.

Avatar image for professoress
ProfessorEss

7962

Forum Posts

160

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

@erhard said:

Opinions are inherently biased.

@itwongo said:

Everybody is biased towards their own beliefs, opinions, and preferences. A review is simply a transcription of a person's opinion.

You do realize that this mindset inherently argues against the purpose of criticism and reviews, right? The kind of bias the OP is talking about is the collective press shunning one title for being "samey" and praising another for slight tweaks in the code. That is an inherently flawed way to view a work. Why does FIFA get a pass while Batman 3 pays the price for "not innovating enough"?

And even then, why the hell is "innovation" commoditized so heavily? Shouldn't the basis of a quality product begin and end with how the execution was handled?

The games press, for some reason or another, seems to seek out titles, publishers, or developers to try and punish them for what they view as a larger issue in the industry. While I make no personal claim to Arkham 3's quality, I find it hard to believe that if it's as "samey" as these reviews claim, I have a hard time understanding why it's only getting 6s and 7s when that "samey" two years ago scored high 8s and 9s.

Amen. And that's why (in my biased opinion) game reviews are straight up broken.

Reviewers don't even try, tell us it's impossible, and the readers accept it.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
monkeyking1969

8529

Forum Posts

1241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 17

I think bias is natural, expected, and useful for the process for review. The only issue I would have is the writer not knowing their bias, not examining their bias when needed, and not being honest and open with their bias.

There was a long run of game reviewers on game sites about ten years ago saying they had no bias, which was not only just not true but just not helpful to the conversation of review. Of course they had likes and dislikes, that is what experiences is, a base of knowledge to draw from for review. So that is always what I look for in a reviewer, someone that say outright what they like and what they don't and is willing to say, "Hey this is my opinion folks, this is my background for why, so this is why my opinion matters."


Avatar image for werupenstein
Kidavenger

4417

Forum Posts

1553

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 90

User Lists: 33

#46  Edited By Kidavenger

Games should be rewarded for being original/innovating, Asylum was; but I do agree that too many game get harshly criticized for not being innovative enough, especially when they can be directly compared to an existing product.

I think Remember Me was too harshly criticized this year for having Batman combat, I enjoyed it a lot.

Avatar image for seppli
Seppli

11232

Forum Posts

9

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

#47  Edited By Seppli

Bias is a valid concern, when you read stuff like this opinion piece. Especially modern warfare games don't seem to get a fair shake. Lots of ambiguous feelings going around, tainting review scores where they can, which in my opinion should be more about the game, than real life concerns. Politics has no place in reviews.

Avatar image for deactivated-60a530ec4d635
deactivated-60a530ec4d635

182

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

You know guys and girls, this was very interesting. This was a great exercise, both in English and in writing, as well as taking things into perspective. So tanks for all the feedback.

Also I would like to note one thing: I'm not questioning the reviews or the feelings of reviews, nor do I question any of the mechanics of all the different websites and how they see reviews.

I'm questioning the reasoning, expectations or presumptions a reviewer might have towards a game, instead of looking at the game as it stands on it own, apart from all the external and internal influences.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with reviewing games from the gut, but I think the possibility exists that reviewers play good games but because they had presumptions or certain expectations, they criticize it for things it wasn't trying to be in the first place.

In this case, I thing WB Montreal wanted to show that they could make a good and competent Batman game and they did. If you expected innovation or sweeping massive change, than I think those expectations are a bit skewed.

Anyway, thanks for the great feedback.

Avatar image for video_game_king
Video_Game_King

36563

Forum Posts

59080

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 54

User Lists: 14

@amyggen said:

Have you tried to play any of them?

Yes.

It's not just a bad Zelda game, it's one of the worst games of anything I've ever played.

And that's how I know this is full of crap. There are so many games worse than the Zelda CD-i games.

It wasn't good, but it wasn't awful, either. It had more to do with the controls being bad than it did with the writing or much of anything to do with 3D.

What??? I've never heard that before. People just think the animation is goofy and the games don't have same level of quality that the Zelda franchise usually has.

No, they specifically use the Russian animation as a point of criticism, like Russian animation is all bad. (Granted, some of it is, but some of it isn't.) And that's usually the only criticism they make against the game, indicating that they probably haven't even played the game and don't have anything better to say about it than vague folk tales about it. This is a good example of that thinking, as is this. (Ignore the fact that Seanbaby is in both of these.)

Avatar image for chrissedoff
chrissedoff

2387

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#50  Edited By chrissedoff

No, I don't care.