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Are game critics even trustworthy anymore?


Niobium

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I never trusted game, music or movie critics in the first place, not in the 80's and certainly not now. I make my own judgement from clips and trailers If I watch game reviews they are muted for I don't hear what they have to say about it since I don't care at all what their opinion is on it. I just watch the game play, that's all I need to make my own judgement.  :)

Edited by Night Machine
Edited to clarify
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Games journalism was NEVER ethical. Even as far back as the 90s there were questionable reviews floating around:

 

I'm actually old enough to remember this whole debacle.

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  • 2 months later...

"Professional" reviews. Not really. Sometimes they can be spot on, but other times they can over praise or criticise too harshly. 

 

The only reviews I listen to are by fellow gamers on Youtube even if it's just their opinion. 

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The only critic I liked was the Nostalgia Critic. 

 

But even then, he had reviews where I didn't agree with.

 

(Home Alone 2, The Wizard, Moonwalker, Bridge to Terabithia, Etc.)

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Watch independent Youtube reviewers. My paramount issue with the mainstream critics is not even their ignorance or absolute blandness and banality of their work, but the fact that you don't know who reviews the game. They have dozens of critics with different standards, opinions, and approaches to reviewing. One guy lets certain issues slide, the other doesn't, one guy likes certain things, the other doesn't. With Angryjoe, for instance, you know exactly what to expect because you're familiar with his standards. Here, it's a f*cking slot machine of opinions. 

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I haven't trusted game critics (or movie, TV show or music critics for that matter) in years,I prefer to hear opinions of audiences and independent reviewers on the internet.There's just too many games, movies, TV shows and songs that people liked but critics gave low scores,and the stuff critics praised and everyone else disliked.

 

11 hours ago, Kierolack666 said:

The only critic I liked was the Nostalgia Critic. 

 

But even then, he had reviews where I didn't agree with.

 

(Home Alone 2, The Wizard, Moonwalker, Bridge to Terabithia, Etc.)

I could be wrong but I don't think Nostalgia Critic is an actual professional critic,I think he's just a regular youtuber that reviews movies and TV shows and gives his opinion about them (same with Angry Video Game Nerd, Todd In The Shadows and most other similar reviewers on youtube).

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The metascore for both GTA V and RDR2 tells me that, if not completely untrustworthy, they are very biased.

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25 minutes ago, Ho Diver said:

The metascore for both GTA V and RDR2 tells me that, if not completely untrustworthy, they are very biased.

I'm with the critics on this one. It's not like those games don't deserve such numbers... GTA V might not be the best game in the series, but it's certainly one of the best games on the market. RDR 2? A masterpiece all around. Sure, it has its issues, but again, compared to 99% of games on the market, it's exceptional.

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1 hour ago, RenegadeAngel said:

I'm with the critics on this one. It's not like those games don't deserve such numbers... GTA V might not be the best game in the series, but it's certainly one of the best games on the market. RDR 2? A masterpiece all around. Sure, it has its issues, but again, compared to 99% of games on the market, it's exceptional.

i can see the argument that GTA V is far better than your typical AAA LiVe SeRvIcE video game riddled with microtransactions, season passes, lootboxes, and other such cancer in the gaming industry. but giving GTA V a 10/10 is just too much

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It's less critic-specific, more a thing with games culture at large: big, "cinematic", ultra-detailed, ultra-expensive "AAA" is held up as the pinnacle of what games 'should' be - not just by enthusiast critics, but the average capital-"g" Gamer™ as well. Which is why some fans flipped their sh*t when a few reviewers only gave GTA V an 8 (or in one case, a 7), or even 9/10 for RDR2 (instead of the 10/10 that the game "deserved"... :rol:). Imagine how batsh*t things are when 9/10 is somehow a "negative review" (shot - optional chug if that -1 point deduction gets blamed on the reviewer "pushing an agenda"... :sigh:) - but we see that all the time. And again, that's not a problem of uncritical reviewers gushing over something - it's rabid fans complaining when they don't gush enough.

 

I said it on the previous page: RIP to whoever writes the first review for Cyberpunk 2077 that isn't a perfect 10/10. Because, like how a certain segment of Extremely Online gamers who had already decided that TLoU2 was The Worst Thing Ever months before the game even came out, and thus any positive review had to be proof of reviewer bias/corruption/untrustworthiness, there are people already declaring 2077 to be "game of the year", and they'll no doubt write off any less-than-glowing opinions as trying to bring CDPR down, trying to push an agenda, or some other conspiratorial bullsh*t. Meanwhile, some typical "get hype!" YouTube review from an 'influencer' will get held up as the Correct, 'unbiased' opinion, all while said YouTuber shows off the swanky gaming chair and care package sent to them by CDPR... :turn:

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Like I said in this thread previously, a HUGE reason why people freak the f*ck out over low outlier scores for their favourite game is cause it messes with the Meta/OpenCritic scores. One review giving a 7 or 8 out of 10 can dunk the average score by a point, which leads to the "the real score would be X if it wasn't for that sh*tty X review". Jim Sterling's review of Zelda BoTW is the best example of this, but it's happened with numerous other games too.

 

But yes, as others said a few hours a go, the big issue with reviewers nowadays is, IMO, bias. Several studious including Rockstar enjoy a considerable amount of bias with the modern gaming press, I would say Sony's 1st party studios are the most guilty of this in particular Naughty Dog, but others are too, as well as studios like Blizzard and Obsidian last year.

 

I mentioned it before, but I literally saw reviewers wetting them selves at the TLOU2 start screen on Twitter when they got their review copies. It makes their review feel like one of those early fan impression reviews of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, absolutely meaningless, except these reviews are the official reviews representing their site/mag and are used on average score websites.

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9 minutes ago, Jason said:


But yes, as others said a few hours a go, the big issue with reviewers nowadays is, IMO, bias. Several studious including Rockstar enjoy a considerable amount of bias with the modern gaming press, I would say Sony's 1st party studios are the most guilty of this in particular Naughty Dog, but others are too, as well as studios like Blizzard and Obsidian last year.

 

 

But again, that kind of bias (namely, '"AAA" production values bias', where games being ultra-detailed, ultra-expensive, and "cinematic" is put on a pedestal as 'the best of what games can be' - Rockstar and Naughty Dog being the kings of that particular mountain) is shared right across mainstream gaming culture, from big-outlet critics to the average "AAA"-buying gamer. Most mainstream games writers are just fans who got a writing gig, and thus are just as susceptible to being wowed by the latest big, expensive-looking GotY contender as any other fan.

 

But that's not the same as being 'paid off', which is what most people accuse critics of when a review doesn't align with their predetermined opinion of a game - indeed, if someone writing a review for something like IGN is no better than an average fan when it comes to keeping their hype in check, then you don't even need to bribe them, when they're just happy to enjoy a shiny thing that meets their expectations.

 

...but, as I can't say enough, no-one takes issue with that unless the review deviates from what gamers think. Again, if Cyberpunk 2077 gets a shallow-as-f*ck review from IGN, but the gamer consensus is that "Cyberpunk = GotY", then that's a 'good' review, and perfectly acceptable. People will only cry foul if either a review isn't glowing enough to match the consensus, or if gamers have taken against the game, but it still gets a glowing review. And it never ceases to boggle my mind that the same kinds of people who rail against puff-piece mainstream review sites will also be A-OK treating someone like Angry Joe as "objective" and "unbiased", like he's not also some easily-hyped fan-turned-'critic'-but-still-fan (not to mention a really superficial, not-particularly-insightful one at that...). :dontgetit:

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52 minutes ago, Commander S said:

And it never ceases to boggle my mind that the same kinds of people who rail against puff-piece mainstream review sites will also be A-OK treating someone like Angry Joe as "objective" and "unbiased", like he's not also some easily-hyped fan-turned-'critic'-but-still-fan (not to mention a really superficial, not-particularly-insightful one at that...). :dontgetit:

truuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

 

Independent YouTuber's are supposedly fair and honest, despite being in a position where they can be far more easily influenced than the mainstream press.

 

IMO, In an ideal world, each reviewer would have a profile on their site/mag that details their history and taste in games, and what studios they are big fans of. Say, I'm a Rockstar fan, so if a Rockstar fan reviewer says GTA VI is more Rockstar goodness, that's a valuable review to me cause it's someone who knows my interests reviewing a game that's in my interests. A lot of those outlier reviews, but not all, tend to be from reviewers who basically have no genuine interest or history with the type of game they are reviewing.

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12 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

IMO, In an ideal world, each reviewer would have a profile on their site/mag that details their history and taste in games, and what studios they are big fans of. Say, I'm a Rockstar fan, so if a Rockstar fan reviewer says GTA VI is more Rockstar goodness, that's a valuable review to me cause it's someone who knows my interests reviewing a game that's in my interests. A lot of those outlier reviews, but not all, tend to be from reviewers who basically have no genuine interest or history with the type of game they are reviewing.

 

 

Follow individual writers/reviewers/critics long enough (or go through their past work), and you can probably piece that info together yourself, tbf - like how you watch enough Errant Signal videos, you'll start to pick up on what sort of things float Chris' boat. Having it almost like a disclaimer could get misinterpreted a bunch of ways - for instance, when someone like George Weidman describes himself as a Metal Gear fanboy, that actually translates to him being super-critical about things where a less-invested reviewer might give them a pass, yet I can think of other people who specialise in reviewing certain genres/franchises because they're less critical fans, who tend to be a bit more rose-tinted in their takes. So I'm not sure if having that info front and centre really helps matters.

 

And I think there's a bit of an issue with people wanting specialists/experts in a niche to review said niche - because that's the perspective of someone who's also interested in that niche. The Rockstar expert review of a Rockstar game would probably cover stuff that's more important to a Rockstar fan, compared to a review from someone less knowledgeable about the nitty-gritty of Rockstar games, absolutely - but I'd say there's absolutely room for reviews from people who aren't super into Rockstar games, for the benefit of someone who also isn't super into Rockstar games, but might want to give the one being reviewed a look. Or, for another example, the review of League of Legends from a long-time League or MOBA specialist talking about all the minutiae is utterly wasted on me, as someone who knows nothing, and would need more of a 'this is what it's like to play this game if you're new' perspective.

 

suppose the solution there is to be clear about who the review is for - which is another, less-considered problem with the 'reviews as buyer's guides' approach: they're trying to serve all kinds of audiences, and there's arguably more need to have reviews cover a specific angle, rather than aim for some kind of 'universally-applicable' take. Personally give me the 'I know jack-sh*t about this game, so here goes nothing' review, alongside the 'I'm a diehard fan, so let's see how this stacks up' review - and I don't necessarily think a single outlet needs to run multiple review perspectives, either, just for the appearance of 'balance' or overall neutrality.

 

But then, that'd create more outlier reviews, not fewer - and for the folk that get pissy about Metacritic scores or what-have-you, they don't want outlier reviews that aren't in lock-step with the 'correct' opinions.

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Yea that's fair, but the transparency would be nice eitherway IMO. I used the Rockstar fan as an example, but a non-Rockstar fan reviewing GTA VI with that information being easily accessible would work for those people who aren't typical R* fans as well.

 

Saying this, it won't do anything to stop fan outrage at outlier scores. The root of that problem is simple fanboyism and the reliance on scores by fans to justify a games greatness.

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As a kid that grew up on horror movies, and as most of what I grew up loving near always got caned by any critic, a critic's opinion is nothing to me. I never really trust them on anything.

 

I look at trailers and if I need more info, I'd read up on something further or watch a video play through, or just take a punt. I do read many critic and fan opinions on things of course, but after I've dived in at the deep end, lol. I prefer to make my own opinions rather than have others try sell me theirs.

 

Often it's quite funny to try something, love it, and see all the boffins slam it so. 

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On 9/28/2020 at 12:26 PM, RenegadeAngel said:

I'm with the critics on this one. It's not like those games don't deserve such numbers... GTA V might not be the best game in the series, but it's certainly one of the best games on the market. RDR 2? A masterpiece all around. Sure, it has its issues, but again, compared to 99% of games on the market, it's exceptional.

RDR2 is a great story. No doubt. So my following statement has isn't talking about that.

 

If there is one pile of trash in a trash yard that smells better than the rest of the trash, it's still trash. Saying a game is better than any others out there doesn't necessarily mean a game is any good, just that it isn't as bad as the rest.

 

As far as reviewers, it sure seems to me a lot of the reviews are almost verbatim of the others, almost like all the reviewers received prewritten reviews from the developers, especially the reviews that come out before release.

Edited by StyxTx
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3 minutes ago, StyxTx said:

Saying a game is better than any others out there doesn't necessarily mean a game is any good, just that it isn't as bad as the rest.

 

 

This line broke my brain. Then your standards are too high and you shouldn't play games, I guess... It's like saying that Floyd Mayweather is not necessarily better than any other boxer, just that he isn't as bad as the rest. 

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On 9/28/2020 at 9:33 PM, Niobium said:

i can see the argument that GTA V is far better than your typical AAA LiVe SeRvIcE video game riddled with microtransactions, season passes, lootboxes, and other such cancer in the gaming industry. but giving GTA V a 10/10 is just too much

Well, to be fair it's not 10/10, it's like 9.5/9.6, on more or less the same level with the previous GTA titles. I see nothing wrong with it, I personally know a couple of old-timers that prefer V over any other GTA. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Trustworthy. Lol. 

 

Critics. What makes them so different from any other human being that plays it. 

You yourself is the most valid critic. You yourself will judge the best what (dis)like about a game

Edited by junkpile
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  • 1 month later...

 

 

Wogk6q2.png

 

it's official. mainstream game "reviewers" are not really reviewers anymore. they're just full-on promoters and shills for the products of big game corporations now.

 

none of these scumbags are honest.

Edited by Niobium
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After The Last of Us 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 we can say that good reviews doesn't mean that the game is really good or great.

 

If the game is hyped enough they will give it a 10/10 without even reasoning a little bit. It's actually quite ridicolous when you stop to think about it.

Edited by The Wolf Man
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1 hour ago, Niobium said:

 

 

Wogk6q2.png

 

it's official. mainstream game "reviewers" are not really reviewers anymore. they're just full-on promoters and shills for the products of big game corporations now.

 

none of these scumbags are honest.

 

It's funny because when you sift through the critic reviews of Cyberpunk 2077 a good number of them mention its numerous bugs, glitches etc yet they still give it a perfect score. If they were being honest the Metascore should be something like 70 or closer to the userscore.

 

I'm curious to see what the Metascores end up being for the PS4 and XB1. 

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