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5 Stupid Things Game Reviewers Do

by on March 7, 2013
 

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This is a quick, simple list article about the 5 stupid things game reviewers do, as the title obviously implies. Strap in, here we go.

Point out how long they’ve been playing video games (Example: “Because I’ve been playing video games since the NES…”); as if this gives them any right to be an expert on what they’re discussing. I’ve been watching movies since I was 4, and reviewing movies on a blog for the last 2 years or so and it hasn’t made me Roger Ebert. In fact, I recently re-review a film because I realized I was completely wrong about it the 1st time I saw it. How long you’ve been associated with something doesn’t mean you have all the knowledge in the world about it, or that you’re even right on everything you say, so stop saying it.

Radracer-17

Yeah we went there. Rad Racer bitch!

 

Writing things merely to get site hits; a lot of times, a reviewer will write things that they know will either pander to or piss of people just so they get site hits. This obviously isn’t true for everyone, as a good group of reviewers out there do actually try to be as honest and open as they can, but for a lot of the smaller blogs and such, these people most of the time don’t even agree with what they’re saying. Especially when it comes to hating something. I hate something because I legitimately hate it. I discuss the issues I have with it, point out what I assume to be flaws and make a decent argument. That’s why when I hate something, my review is so scathingly true to how I feel. These people do it because they know that anger on the internet is fueled by wanting to spread said anger. Therefore, a person will read the article, share it with a friend who will share it with more friends and etc etc until the site is hitting record traffic numbers, all for printing something the person doesn’t even believe.

Comparing games to other games or to previous incarnations of the same game; this one is JUST PLAIN STUPID. There’s no other way around it. It’s just plain stupid. Not only should you not compare a game to a previous incarnation of the same series, but you should DEFINITELY not compare it to a completely different franchise, even if they’re both shooters. At least while you compare it to a previous game in the same franchise, it’s somewhat legitimate being that they’re both in the same series so there are some observations to be made that can be truthful. But to compare a game to a whole other franchise just because they’re in the same genre is downright idiotic because not every game is SUPPOSED to play the same. To say that Assassins Creed doesn’t play as well as Uncharted (and this is just an example) is stupid because those games are not meant to be compared to one another nor are they supposed to feel the same. Just because you do a lot of climbing and adventuring doesn’t mean they were made by the same person or are even remotely relatable. Stop doing this. You’re only making yourself look bad.

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Paid to write a biased review; now obviously, all reviewers are a bit bias. I mean that’s what a review is. Reviews SHOULD be middle of the road, honest, but that’s not how they are. But if you’re getting paid to write about something you actually think sucks and you’re telling people it’s good, you’ve missed the idea of reviewing entirely. Back in the early 2000’s, a movie called “Hollow Man” starring Kevin Bacon came out. The company that released it then created a fake reviewer to write great things about the movie, Later, they were sued and had to pay refunds to anyone who’d seen ANY movies misrepresented by that fake reviewer. A paid off reviewers just ruins your entire idea of trust. They’re a lot like news anchors, you have to trust the person telling you these things. They have to sell it to you, and you have to be trusting enough to take what they’re saying to heart to go buy the product.

Not reaching a legitimate conclusion; by not admitting whether you think something is bad or not and saying, “You really should try it for yourself to see if you’d like it” (and while that might be true on some levels because everyone IS different with tastes), you’re-once again-missing the entire point of being a reviewer. Your job is to tell us if you personally thought this thing was either worth spending money on, or worth shooting into the sun. Your job is NOT to tell us that we should go buy it anyway because you’re too lazy or stupid to come to a conclusion on your own. That’s why we come to reviewers. DO YOUR JOB.

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  • Profile photo of Ramon Aranda
    March 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Good stuff Mark!

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  • Profile photo of Max $terling
    March 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Good article. I’ll keep these in mind when I do the next review.

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  • Profile photo of John Speerbrecker
    March 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Welp, I quit.

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  • WiLLdaB3AST
    March 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The best thing a consumer can do is to look through a lot of different reviewers and find one they agree with. Yes we have to cut through some bull shit reviews, but the whole point I am trying to make is to find a reviewer that has similar taste so that you can trust that what they say is true to you

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    • Profile photo of ubernaut
      March 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      agreed.

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    • Profile photo of maggierose
      March 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      I agree WiLLdaB3AST (man that was hard to type lol), that really is the only way to get around this I guess. That or just don’t go to reviewers, but that’s not very fair to them. But even then, a reviewer you trust and seem to have things in common with is very likely to at some point hate something you’d love, so =/ Sadly it’s a sort of no win scenario it seems. But your comment is the best idea so far, for sure.

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  • MartinB105
    March 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Comparing games to others is stupid primarily because doing so assumes that the reader has played the comparison game to act as a reference. To say that Assassins Creed doesn’t play as well as Uncharted is stupid because it assumes that the reader has played Uncharted.

    A review should be able to stand on it’s own, even to a reader who has never played the genre or even a videogame in his life. For example, I’m hardly play any sport games, but I watched GameTrailers review for the last FIFA game – I usually find GT reviews to be very good – and yet I’m still none the wiser as to whether I might enjoy playing it or not.

    Yearly franchise reviews in general seem to be the worst for this – sports games, Call Of Duty, etc. The reviews of these games tend to focus so much on what’s new and what’s changed since the previous version that they completely neglect to even say anything about the overall motivation for- and experience of playing the game – aspects that are given full attention in the review of any new IP.

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