Reviewing, And Ignorance, Do They Go Hand In Hand?
What is it that determines a person's perception of what is a "fun" or "awesome" experience? And how do said experiences factor into a number, most predominantly out of a ten point scale? More importantly is it really a fair method of labeling a game based on a reviewer's biased or un-biased opinion?
That's my real beef these days with video game journalists, I sometimes visit random sites with some people who are paid to "review" games. And it's usually my hope that these people can provide me with an honest source as to whether a game is solid or not, and to what degree of solidity said game has. And any way you cut it the reviewer is giving an opinion, you have to come to terms with that fact, the fact that reviewers are just people, who are (hopefully) passionate about gaming in general, not some mystical review bots that run a game through a magic filter of THIS IS GOOD or THIS GAME SUCKS. And I find it increasingly hard to find many sources who can give me a reliant say in the composition of the game at hand.
Many sites I've visited just seem much too biased, in a way that they kind of give a broad run-around of a game by being quite vague and not explaining or detailing much.
You sure can.
This concerns me, and is one reason that I'd love to be a reviewer, I'm basically writing this to give you all my personal standpoint, philosophy, if you will as to how I think game reviews should be handled.
First I'll present an example of my angst. Awhile back I was searching the internet for reviews of Kane and Lynch2. The results I found varied. There's nothing wrong with variation, like I said they're all just opinions in the end. But the variation I uncovered was just plain out confusing to me. Most reviewers just give you the details straight up, and that's all peachy. But one review I found, the reviewer basically gave us the story of his life based on the past week or so mixed with a very painstakingly short paragraph actually detailing, you know, THE GAME, and how it ROCKED (sarcasm there on that "rocked" part). So I merely ask myself, why? cruel world, why? How do some of these people get into these positions, is it some elaborate joke, meant to fool unsuspecting gamers into buying horrible games? Not that said example happens all too often, but it's still painful to read reviews like those.
Basic synopsis from that reviewer: Yeah you can shoot and it's so real the reactions are great then my friends came over to my house and I showed them the game, they were like where's Mario? Me: ughh
Moving on now to the bias factor. Bias hurts me on the inside. It makes me want to just call that reviewer up and say "you should be ashamed of yourself" and then hang up. Some reviewer's bias is more out in the open than some others, but you can usually tell when a review is almost completely composed of some person praising the sh*t out of one aspect of the game, and overlooking almost everything else, it's just not right from the reader's standpoint. Or when a reviewer just can't get over how bad one thing was so they take three points off of the score. Reviewing should be about honesty and remaining on the middle-ground for the reviewer, not getting annoyed about things that would only bother you personally, and continuing to dwell on those aspects.
So if you're a reviewer you should probably make it priority number one, to in a way put yourself on the outside of the game, and examine it in its entirety especially if you're not a personal fan of a specific genre, say, RTS or FPS you should treat them equally and think about what makes the game work and what qualities detract from the experience rather than personal whining, playing it and noting what looked cool, or how you hated how "generic" someone appeared just because they were bald. While aesthetics should play a factor into the overall quality of a game, does having a bald guy really make the game less enjoyable, honestly? Tiring, or repetitive perhaps, but not less fun, just because of that.
Which brings me to another gripe of mine, people both readers and reviewers who bag on the game just from stupid minuscule things, like the assumption of what makes something fall into the unimaginative or generic category, also accusing a game of copying another's design falls here. Like saying "well, the game takes place in space, and there are soldiers involved, ZOMG HALO RIPPOFFFFFFFF!!!!" Even though two iterations of the Halo series take place on earth, doesn't matter to some people, because Halo went to space first, right? Nobody before Halo EVER went into space, or had marines or aliens involved, right?… right?!
Above: this game, among others, never happened according to angry halo fanboy178.
While we let that ferment for a while, how about any game with a gun, obviously copied straight from either Doom or Wolfenstein right?
This is downright plagiarism, I demand justice!
People need to just lay off of that a little, open your mind and accept that just because two games share a similar element that doesn't mean that whomever did it first gets exclusive rights to said element, that would be silly, just think about it, you can't expect people to not do something that sells games well. And besides original games never seem to last long anyways. feels like the droning masses want more pew pew, and less actual creativeness anyhow. This is another blaring reason I'd love to review games, I"m fairly resilient and accepting of any and all games, regardless of their similarities or their differing personalities, I give them all an equal shot, even if they appear to be a clone at first sight, I don't auto-shun any game or rate it based upon level of bald characters or borrowed mechanics.
Lastly, people reading reviews should put them into context, just because halo gets an 8/10 and another game on the site gets a 10/10 it's not the bloody end of existence, those numbers mean absolutely nothing in reality you just have to judge for yourself, and think to how that game got its score, not because it wasn't great, but more likely how it stacked up versus predecessors. People please turn on your brains, I'm begging you, both reviewers and readers.
And well that about does it for todays psychopathic rant. I think I'll go sob in a corner and brood over others' angering reviewing techniques.