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Why "objective" game reviews don't make sense anymore

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godforgivesthelostdont
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#1

Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:38 AM

Reviews about subjective matters such as how emotionally resonant Gone Home is, as well as criticisms toward GTA5's treatment of women characters, have met with much anger from the game community.  I actually think these opinionated reviews are refreshingly honest compared to the tokenly-objective reviews game sites have been peddling out for years.

 

Basically, if a game has beautiful graphics, performs well, has refined gameplay mechanics and lots of content, it is entitled to be at least a 7/10.  The debate isn't any longer about whether the game is good or bad but rather "is it an 8 or 9?".

 

Zelda and Assassin Creed entries have been showered with 8's and 9's by critics because "hey, despite it's faults, it's still Zelda/Assassins' Creed".  Later some of those games would age horribly and players themselves would reject them.

 

On many occasions, the average player and even the seasoned gamer will (honestly) think the game is either fun or "it sucks".  For example, GTA IV was praised immensely by critics but many players just thought it was plain boring. 

 

Objective game reviews don't make sense in this day and age.  Back in the 80's and 90's where internet video streaming wasn't around, we needed someone to tell us how good the graphics are and how good the sound is because we couldn't just Youtube it.  Another fact is that quality control has improved. 

 

Most mainstream games aren't that bad.  In the 90's there was a lot of shovelware, but nowadays, games (aside from the occasional RE6 or Duke Nukem Forever) aren't really bad as much as they are just unoriginal.  There are plenty of refined games where you can shoot people or take down enemies.  Now, I feel there is a need for more irreplicable aspects in gaming: a strong coherent memorable story and the like.

 

Metroid Prime 2 for example is very functional game that can be a lot of fun, but it mostly just consists of shooting enemies and it isn't very original or memorable.  Back then, it was an excellent game for the time.  It was a quality product.  Today, we have loads ot quality products and simply being objectively functional isn't enough.

 

I don't think reviews have ever been fully objective.  Lots of readers of these critic websites want enough subjectivity to know whether a game is an 8/9/10 but want enough objectivity to make sure a game can never get a negative review unless it has bad graphics/glitches/is short.  Even if the gamers themselves don't like the game.

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CReaper210
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#2

Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:49 AM Edited by CReaper210, 30 April 2014 - 02:16 AM.

This is why I watch only a few reviewers, and never any of the bigger company reviews like IGN or Gamespot. Or, I watch them, but I don't take the review and rating itself seriously.

I watch Angryjoeshow on youtube, and I agree with mostly everything in his reviews. He reviews games on their own, and tries not to compare it to others unless he has a valid point to make.

 

Titanfall is a great example of this. It gets amazing reviews from places like Gamespot and IGN, and Joe gives it a 7. Which is good, but it is a couple notches down from IGN's review, which I thought was fair due to the lack of content, which Joe listed as a flaw in his review. Though it IS above average, because it is a smooth and fun game that is unique to it's genre, and it deserves points for that.

 

I think this comes down to corporate deals. Big game publishers give companies like IGN or Gamespot free games, paid advertising and publicity(for both of them), and in return, they have an obligation to give their big hitter games good review scores.


godforgivesthelostdont
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#3

Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:53 AM

i think the big reason why people respect Angry Joe is because he puts time into his reviews.

 

He's makes 25-40 minute videos.  Not just 3-8 minute videos.

 

Yes, I do think the reviewing scores are partly due to corporate influence.  But moreso, I think it is due to fanboy influence.  If a GTA/Halo/Zelda/Mario/Uncharted game got a 4/10 by a reviewer, people would flip like crazy.


Daz
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#4

Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:35 AM

F*ck game reviews.

 

They are always too busy judging it's moral standpoint and storyline and really don't give any thought whatsoever into gameplay annoyances and inaccuracies in the game itself. It is often treated too much like a movie. I couldn't give a f*cking cat's piss about plot holes in a story or anything that doesn't make sense at all. However when it becomes so unbelievably sh*t (Far Cry 3's story) then it becomes an issue and is worth mentioning how sh*t that is. However the gameplay was flawless pretty much.

 

It is funny how a game can be on one hand one of the worst in history for the dumbest story plot's in history, yet some of the best gameplay and spawning one of my favorite games of all time: Blood Dragon.

 

It depends what you get out of games. Some people probably only want their 6 hour intense story and to move on. I for one actually would prefer almost no story whatsoever and to just create a story myself based off my own actions and play a game for hundreds of hours and having a product that is infinitely replayable.

 

I really dislike using games as a vehicle to tell me a story. For the vast majority of the time it is f*cking terrible. Some exceptions being the MGS series, and in recent years Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex: HR and a few others.

 

But when the biggest of all games (GTAV) comes out, and contains a storyline that I not only hate, but hate with an insanely firey passion. It makes me wonder is there even a chance that we will get any games released these days that aren't just a huge f*cking cliché of bullsh*t useless tropes that make me want to hang myself?

 

One asshole once compared games to movies and now all we have is just as awful recycled bullsh*t movie-esque videogames that only contain glorified quick time events just in order to sell us some lame as f*ck storyline that is at this point so way over-done that it is f*cking burnt to a crisp.

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DarthShinobi
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#5

Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:45 AM

You thought giving GTA V a lower score because she's a feminist is honesty? That's bullsh*t. That's being blinded by personal beliefs.

I hardly look up reviews anymore. I don't think it's smart to let someone else tell you if you should buy a game or not. Obviously it's gets to a point where you have to take reviews into account, and that's when a game gets really low scores, that's when you should be cautious based on reviews.
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SFPD officer
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#6

Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

Exactly. I don't really read reviews anymore. Maybe for some additional little tidbits of info before the game's release. "Objective" reviews usually end up being a dry run down of game's mechanics and features - "There's this and that, it handles like that, graphics look like that, there are these bugs, 9/10".

 

Opinion pieces, analyses and more critical, opinionated reviews are much more interesting and relevant. Just just have to look around and find somebody you share an opinion with. Or not! It's always good to find a different view on something you might like.

 

Let's take Youtube's Archengeia, for example. He makes videos hour and a half, or more, long. I would hardly call them reviews or objective. But he always analyses the game to the bone and does an amazing job at it. You may not agree with everything he likes, but that's the whole point. He brings up an argument, backs up his opinion with relevant reasoning and you are free to make up your own. I don't need some guy at IGN tell me whether a game is good or not. A lot of games rated 9/10 disappointed me, while I loved many games that were torn to pieces.

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The Odyssey
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#7

Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:42 AM

Video games are subjective. Every single one. If someone gave LoZ: OOT a 1/10, that's still their opinion. Not a lot of people would agree with it, but that "someone" doesn't have to agree with other people, that's why OOT being a 7-10/10 like most people would agree with isn't objective. 

 

If most reviewers gave assassins creed a 7 or 8 out of ten, that wouldn't mean that rating is objective, it would mean that would be the general consensus around critics. 


godforgivesthelostdont
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#8

Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:19 AM

Video games are subjective. Every single one. If someone gave LoZ: OOT a 1/10, that's still their opinion. Not a lot of people would agree with it, but that "someone" doesn't have to agree with other people, that's why OOT being a 7-10/10 like most people would agree with isn't objective. 

 

If most reviewers gave assassins creed a 7 or 8 out of ten, that wouldn't mean that rating is objective, it would mean that would be the general consensus around critics. 

 

Well, to an extent.  I do agree that people need to be honest about their opinions and a diverse variance of opinions is ideal, but I wouldn't necessarily say every opinion is equally ideal.  Especially seeing the many user reviews of Mass Effect 3 that are "THIS ENDING SUCKS ASS!!! I HATE YOU BIOWARE!!! - 1/10"  There still needs to be a degree of reasoning behind it.  Even if I don't agree with the reasoning, it should be detailed, sophisticated and substantive.  

 

I kind of see video games like books.  I'm interested in what people are really reading when they're not reading War and Peace and Ulysses.  I'm interested in what games people are really enjoying and having fun with when they're not playing Zelda/Halo/Mario/GTA.

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godforgivesthelostdont
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#9

Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

You thought giving GTA V a lower score because she's a feminist is honesty? That's bullsh*t. That's being blinded by personal beliefs.
 

 

I don't let reviewers dictate what I buy, but it's one of several factors I consider before purchasing.

 

I thought Carolyn's review of GTA5 was perfectly justified:

(a) 9/10 was a more-than-generous score

(b) she mentioned other flaws as well: inconsistent story and inconsistent political messages , both are true

© 10/10's are typically reserved for games that are defining, revolutionary and/or a huge step above what's out at the time.  Aka not GTA5.

(d) i highly doubt if the game were nicer to women she would've given it a 10/10.  like the reviewers of that particular website have said numerous times; they don't give out a 10 just because the game is flawless.

 

and

 

(e) honestly, i hope some day we get at a point where not-treating-women-like-sh*t isn't just some weird evil feminist agenda.


"Objective" reviews usually end up being a dry run down of game's mechanics and features - "There's this and that, it handles like that, graphics look like that, there are these bugs, 9/10".

 

Opinion pieces, analyses and more critical, opinionated reviews are much more interesting and relevant. Just just have to look around and find somebody you share an opinion with. Or not! It's always good to find a different view on something you might like.

 

... He makes videos hour and a half, or more, long. I would hardly call them reviews or objective. But he always analyses the game to the bone and does an amazing job at it. 

 

Very good points.

 

"Objective reviews" are so predictable.  Usually things we already know or could surmise with a trailer/footage.  At this point, I already know how most games work.

 

And yes, I agree.  I read not to just pander to my pre-existing views but to discover new ones.

 

And I also agree.  I think people can get away with subjective reviews if they are really indepth like the people on youtube.  I think people are just angry with the typical format that doesn't examine games in large depth.


badboy_zay
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#10

Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:18 PM Edited by badboy_zay, 30 April 2014 - 03:29 PM.

l stopped trusting reviews long ago, nowadays reviewers just take their ego too high, they would write an unfair review for a game that they don't interested in, later he/she and the people who read the review would just call it "hey it's their own opinion". Lot of reviews are based on what the reviewer wants the game to be, but not what the game actually is.

 

http://www.videogame...ir_critics.html

"I agree that in the end it is an opinion, and opinion is totally respectable, but do not confuse a review and analysis. The analysis will mainly review the object and the subject will primarily reviewer.Can you say, 'I do really like the rock but I hate the opera', this is an opinion, not an analysis."

 

Lords of shadow 2 is one of the victim of these unfair reviews, even though the game is not as good as the first one, and kind of disappointing in a way. I'm still forever agree that "one have to be blind or stupid to give it a 4/10".

sometimes, people prefer not to give a f*ck about reviews and play any games they want. but unfair reviews like this affected the game's sale, how people view on the game and many things. if you want to write a review for a game, make sure to keep in mind that you write FOR the game, how good/bad is the game's overall quality, and how people would fit to play that kind of game, not for the goddamn "HEY IT'S MY OPINION AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT" kind of review, no one cares about your f*cking opinion, all they want is a review for that game (funny how many people seem to care for that now)

but sadly, we can't much about it.


Tchuck
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#11

Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:40 PM

Only reviewer I care to listen to is Zero Punctuation. He doesn't give you any bullsh*t about artistic intentions or whatever, and just tell the game like it is, in his opinion. Thing is, there is no such thing as objective game review. If it is to be objective, it has to be based in facts. If it is based in facts, it should be judged against a standard. What is that standard? It can't exist in a medium that's always evolving like video games.

 

And then you will give scores based on the art level, level design, gameplay etc which are pretty subjective.

 

I say, just find a voice that resonates with yours, and stick with it. f*ck watching multiple reviews to compare, it all makes no sense.


IDredMan
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#12

Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:59 PM

You thought giving GTA V a lower score because she's a feminist is honesty? That's bullsh*t. That's being blinded by personal beliefs.

I hardly look up reviews anymore. I don't think it's smart to let someone else tell you if you should buy a game or not. Obviously it's gets to a point where you have to take reviews into account, and that's when a game gets really low scores, that's when you should be cautious based on reviews.

 

People didn't say that was bullsh*t because she's a feminist.

 

People said it was bullsh*t because it was a dude, with an unfinished sex change operation, giving the game a low score for how it handled female characters.

People didn't know if the reviewer was sexist, or if (s)he was being a feminazi (Women > Men) or what was even going on.


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#13

Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:06 PM

The only reason I watch Angry Joe is because of the enjoyment, and the fact that he brings up some stuff others don't. While I mostly agree with him, it's insanely stupid to go rampage because the specific game didn't get the score you wanted the respective person to give. The only true reviewer you should listen to is yourself.


DarthShinobi
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#14

Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:41 PM

You thought giving GTA V a lower score because she's a feminist is honesty? That's bullsh*t. That's being blinded by personal beliefs.
I hardly look up reviews anymore. I don't think it's smart to let someone else tell you if you should buy a game or not. Obviously it's gets to a point where you have to take reviews into account, and that's when a game gets really low scores, that's when you should be cautious based on reviews.

 
People didn't say that was bullsh*t because she's a feminist.
 
People said it was bullsh*t because it was a dude, with an unfinished sex change operation, giving the game a low score for how it handled female characters.
People didn't know if the reviewer was sexist, or if (s)he was being a feminazi (Women > Men) or what was even going on.

I didn't know it went that deep. Had no idea it was actually a dude. :lol:

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#15

Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:28 PM

Everytime I look for a review on a certain game, Angry Joe most of the time doesn't even review the game. If he did more games that I played I would watch him all the time. Good reviews for the most part what I have watched. But not enough reviews for me to use him as a solid source for my game review opinions.


CReaper210
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#16

Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:55 PM

Everytime I look for a review on a certain game, Angry Joe most of the time doesn't even review the game. If he did more games that I played I would watch him all the time. Good reviews for the most part what I have watched. But not enough reviews for me to use him as a solid source for my game review opinions.

Yes, it sucks that he doesn't review more. But he has said it a few times, he is just one guy doing everything.

I wanted a review of Halo 4, Dead Rising 3, Infamous Second Son, and even some of the less popular games like Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Need for Speed Rivals.

But he puts a lot of time and effort into his reviews, and I appreciate what we get. It's always in depth and understandable.

 

I really hope he has the time to review both Wolfenstein and Watch Dogs. I'm getting them anyways, but I still want to see his opinions on both of them.


Fireman
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#17

Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:58 PM Edited by Fireman, 30 April 2014 - 05:58 PM.

Can we atleast make one thing clear for the clueless people here.

 

AngryJoe's reviews f*cking suck. Spending over an hour of talking about the game and STILL describing less than what's on the back of the cover of the game, is not "a good review". Spending more than 30 minutes talking about a tiny, non-game breaking glitch, is not good reviewing.

 

I don't mind if you like him (I don't, obviously), but he doesn't do good reviews.


CReaper210
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#18

Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:10 PM

Can we atleast make one thing clear for the clueless people here.

 

AngryJoe's reviews f*cking suck. Spending over an hour of talking about the game and STILL describing less than what's on the back of the cover of the game, is not "a good review". Spending more than 30 minutes talking about a tiny, non-game breaking glitch, is not good reviewing.

 

I don't mind if you like him (I don't, obviously), but he doesn't do good reviews.

In your opinion. Sounds like you're just describing one of his rants.

When I watch his reviews, I end up knowing almost everything about the game that I possibly can from a review.

Gameplay, graphics, replayability, variety, story(without spoilers of course), and technical issues. All of these are always addressed in his reviews, and I don't need anymore than that.


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#19

Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:24 PM

 
(e) honestly, i hope some day we get at a point where not-treating-women-like-sh*t isn't just some weird evil feminist agenda.

Thank you for saying that. :)

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#20

Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:13 AM

Why don't the reviews make sense no more?

-Well I dunno. Have you hit your head recently???


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#21

Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:10 AM Edited by Doublepulse, 03 May 2014 - 03:15 AM.

I do not really watch many traditional game reviews you see on IGN or Gametrailers if I am looking for a major discussion about a  particular game.

 

Someone brought it up already, but the reason for me why some critics like Angry Joe, Total Biscuit, and few other youtube critics do well is not only the time and effort put into it, but the amount of discussion we can have after the review is over.

 

I think the reason why some of the objective reviews started talking about story is, most game mechanics are pretty good, not much to comment on. The bullsh*t comes in when people decide to ignore the flaws they do not like, and only talk about the good stuff or the opposite with disregarding the good things, to talk about what you hate about it and jump at your throat with a knife when you think differently about something.

 

You have to look at everything in the game, and leave the audience to make their own decisions. Yea I know.. common sense and already talked about on this thread.

 

People need to just get the hell off the hype train sometimes..In the end, as long as you think you might enjoy the game, that is all that should matter. 

 

There are plenty of games that got good reviews and bad, where even though I thought they still sucked in many ways, I still had fun with them. For some people, this is an example of living on another planet.


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#22

Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:57 AM

 

 
(e) honestly, i hope some day we get at a point where not-treating-women-like-sh*t isn't just some weird evil feminist agenda.

Thank you for saying that. :)
 

Please point out where women are treated like sh*t more than men are in video games.

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#23

Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:22 AM

 

 

 
(e) honestly, i hope some day we get at a point where not-treating-women-like-sh*t isn't just some weird evil feminist agenda.

Thank you for saying that. :)
 

Please point out where women are treated like sh*t more than men are in video games.

 

 

Let's see. This is a GTA forum so hey sure why not --> GTA itself has female prostitutes and strippers. I don't see any male ones in GTA, do you?


Fireman
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#24

Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:29 PM

Must be a bunch of Polygon review-readers 'round 'ere.

 

Boooo the main character isn't female, worst game of the year!

 

Boooo, the main character of this game is a woman, but with the boobs, that's sexist!

 

Why can't we have a flat woman in a lumberjack shirt and jeans with no make-up on, because make-up is sexist!


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#25

Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

There are some critics that use convoluted sentences and fancy, even archaic words in their reviews, so as to make themselves sound smarter than they really are.

 

Now, I have nothing against using english language to it's fullest, but a  game review is not the place for it.

 

For in such reviews you have to stop at every obscure word and think about it's meaning. And that really makes reading such reviews slow going, especially if you are a foreigner like me who does not speak english as a first, or even as a second, language.

 

-and who has trouble getting the punctuation right -Lil Weasel

 

Only thing worse than that is critics who spend pages talking about their personal lives, when they should be talking about the game in question.


godforgivesthelostdont
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#26

Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:21 PM

Must be a bunch of Polygon review-readers 'round 'ere.

 

Boooo the main character isn't female, worst game of the year!

 

Boooo, the main character of this game is a woman, but with the boobs, that's sexist!

 

Why can't we have a flat woman in a lumberjack shirt and jeans with no make-up on, because make-up is sexist!

 

like like totally dude-bruh


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#27

Posted 06 May 2014 - 06:26 PM

The GOAT reviewer is mark from classic game room. Always unbiased and honest. He's been around for a long time and he just become better and funnier over the years. He's reviewed almost every game that has been released since he started his channel.

 

It's a shame youtube pretty much killed his channel, but he still does reviews on his own site i think. 


ClaudeSpeed1911
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#28

Posted 06 May 2014 - 06:31 PM

WAIT?

 

What happend to his channel?


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#29

Posted 06 May 2014 - 06:47 PM

WAIT?

 

What happend to his channel?

It was because of all the copyright stuff that went down as far as i know. He still posts videos on his yt channel, but they're not game reviews.

 

He posts game reviews on his dailymotion channel though. So all is good!





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