Can Reviewers Be Trusted Anymore?

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I didn’t have time to make a collage of site logos, so I just chose the one I hate the most.

So I was studying for my network administration class and had a thought when I stumbled into one of The Last Of Us’s promotional pictures showing its insane review scores. For those who don’t know, which I find hard to believe that you haven’t heard of The Last of Us, TLoU was claimed to be a video game masterpiece. With 10/10 scores across the board and being heralded as “the Citizen Kane of gaming,” it makes me wonder if any of these reviewers can be trusted to have an honest opinion on anything they review. No, I’m not bashing The Last of Us in any way since I haven’t played it, but paid review scandals HAVE been a thing before, so why are people buying into this so easily?

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You shut your mouth Eurogamer. You guys are terrible too.

So over TWENTY review sties say that this game is the best thing since sliced bread and streaming porn? Isn’t that a little, I don’t know, ridiculous as all hell? This doesn’t look odd to anyone else? Sure, it might be a good game, hell, it might be the best game of the generation for all I know, but the fact is that no game is perfect; it’s impossible. Sure, Naughty Dog did the Jak, Crash Bandicoot, and Uncharted series, but those games had flaws too. Fuck, Super Metroid, which is universally acclaimed as one of, if not THE best Super Nintendo game AND best games of all time  has its share of problems. If someone asked me for an example of a perfect game, I couldn’t answer them honestly because every game has a weak spot. I’ve never seen an exception to this rule, and I doubt I ever will.

I’ve heard a decent amount of both good and bad criticism about TLoU and, while my personal thoughts are invalid since I haven’t played it, the fact that there’s negative criticism at all is enough to tell me that most normal people can pick up the flaws that reviewers claim not to exist. The possibility of Sony/Naughty Dog paying off reviewers for perfect scores exists, but sadly, the uneducated video game player buys into the seemingly perfect game and all of its sky high scores. Polygon was the only website off of the top of my head who weren’t as honest (or paid-off) with their score and handed Naughty Dog a 7.5, which was quite a slap back into reality for the elated studio. Of course, Polygon received plenty of flak for bashing on “Gaming’s Citizen Kane,” but they stood by their score adamantly.

Since when did people use mainstream game reviews instead of personal experience to determine if a game was good or not? Are people really more attached to a number instead of personal interaction, especially when these numbers have a history of corruption and manipulation behind them? People are seemingly becoming more and more accepting of the idea of being spoon fed an idea and repeating it like a drone. If you want my advice, just play the damn games and form an opinion on them. After all, aren’t video games, yknow, GAMES? Personal experience is the best review you can get, and with all of the behind the scenes action these days, it’s hard to find a site that’s willing to say it like it is to a game.

So can big name reviewers be trusted? Well, in my opinion, kind of. If you read a review for a game, don’t read more than one, as bias towards like or hate will always be in the writing. Read several reviews, and be don’t be afraid to question their opinions. And of course, make sure you play the fucking game before you pass judgement on it. A first impression and a review are NOT the same thing, much to many people’s amazement.

I still need to play The Last of Us, but I keep forgetting to ask to borrow it. Fug.

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6 responses to “Can Reviewers Be Trusted Anymore?

  1. It’s silly because Citizen Kane is praised for its character-based story and presentation, while The Last of Us is a derivative post zombie apocalypse world revolving around survival. Both products cannot be judged the same because they are different mediums of entertainment, thus they can only be judged on their own merits in accordance to being a movie and a game, respectively.

  2. To be fair this is a special game. It really is a masterpiece. I understand what you are saying but I would put to you that Polygon (and I believe Gamespot) both gave The Last of Us bad reviews because they wanted publicity (Gamespot is also very biased to 360 but that is another point) whether bad or good more people will visit their sites if they see that they have given a game that has received universal acclaim an average mark. It is possibly a better question if you can trust a website that is willing to throw the integrity of their ratings out the window for publicity because both websites reasons for downgrading the game were very petty. You should really play it, it is worth buying a PS3 just to play this game.

    • While I used The Last of Us as an example, I tried not to focus on it in the review. I’ve never found a game worth buying an entire console for, so I doubt your statement there. Still, I’ve heard some very good things about it and some very bad things, so I’m eager to dive into the shitstorm and find out for myself. Being in college takes its toll on my wallet, so I’m just biding time until I can borrow it from a friend,

      And yes, Gamespot tries to cater to casuals and dudebros by pumping up the “hardcore” exclusives for the system, and Polygon was probably doing it a little for publicity as well. It angers me when I think of people who most likely don’t even play games telling real enthusiasts which games are good and which aren’t.

      • I agree with you about casual gamers telling real gamers about computer games because they went onto a review site and now think that they know everything.

        The buy the console statement is an exaggeration because I doubt that there is a game out there worth £200/$300 dollars, but this game is in the category of an Orcarina of Time or a Goldeneye. It will change how people play games and how studios produce them.

        • As long as video games keep gameplay as their major focus, I don’t care; however, when people try to insist on video games becoming more cinematic, I draw the line there. If I wanted to watch a movie, I’d watch a movie. I play games to play games, yknow?

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