The effectiveness of Game Reviews

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by ceraphis, Sep 13, 2006.

Sep 13, 2006
  1. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    After reading the recent topic on how Harvest Moon got a bad review from IGN, I remembered something that I realized a while ago.

    I noticed after reading countless reviews from IGN or whatever monthly magazine I was reading at the time, that a good review always made me like the game more, and a bad review made me not like the game.

    Now, there are a lot of different ways this would pan out, and one way was that I would read LOTS of reviews about a game, and if all the reviews were amazing, I'd go buy the game. For example, I bought Dragon Quest 8 for Ps2 after I read like 20 reviews that said the game was amazingly excellent. That's not what I'm talking about though.

    What I'm talking about is when for example, the Dragon Quest reviews, although generally excellent, said that the battles got boring and repetitive later in the game, I played the game for a while and loved it but then I remembered the reviews and started agreeing with them, and then got disappointed with an otherwise excellent game, and stopped playing it. I have a feeling this was directly related to what I read in the review.

    This pisses me off that I could be so affected by what others feel about a game. Since realizing how much reviews affected me and hating every minute of it, I tried to just ignore what others said about a game but it still bothers me from time to time.

    I have been waiting for Harvest Moon and Megaman ZX for a while now, and after reading what people say is bad about Megaman ZX, (bad voices? removed ZX transformation scene? terrible production quality with regards to translating the game?) it makes me not want to bother with it anymore. The same goes for Harvest moon DS, which I thought everyone would love, and to a greater extent Rune Factory which I thought was a neat little idea on the Harvest Moon franchise, but after reading about various letdowns on the game, I'm hardly waiting for a translation anymore. I feel like I'm completely disinterested with some games based solely on what other people say about it.

    Meanwhile, my favorite games end up being the ones everyone else says are great. New Super Mario Bros is hailed as the greatest game on the DS, and it also happens to be the only game I've beaten in awhile. Ouendan seems to have not a single word said badly about it, I'm obsessed. Metroid Prime is the "greatest multiplayer action on the DS", and even though I never play it, I always keep it on my DS. I love advance wars, and it just so happens everyone else loves it just as much. Pokemon Emerald, Final Fantasy tactics advance, Warioware, etc etc., sometimes it feels like I'm being spoonfed everyone's favorite games and I'm worried I'm going to miss a game like disgaea which was amazing even though it was relatively unheard of it seems when it first came out years ago and remains a cult classic that only a few remember or even play still.

    I'm not really sure what the point of this topic is, but I guess I'll pose these questions: How do you guys feel about game reviews? Do they affect you as much as they affect me? Any thoughts on what I can do to remain unbiased when trying to consider a game for purchase, review a game, or just enjoy it aside from never reading another review ever again?
     


  2. TheStump

    Member TheStump Got Wood?

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    2 game reviews really effected me,

    Gamecube-
    Super Monkey Ball 2
    and
    Resident Evil 4

    and im glad im bought them. cause they are really great titles.
    SO ehh, but ive notied alot of sub par scores new ds games are getting on IGN though, so i can see what you are getting at. Sorta makes me no want to bother either, but i spose we all have these flashcarts to ..um...test the games out to each his own i say.
    But it's always good to get others opinions, just like what you are doing NOW i spose.
     
  3. Seastars

    Member Seastars Advanced Member

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    You make a vey good point here ceraphis and I think there are definatly a few company lead magazines that use this sort of mindset to their advantage (Nintendo Power comes to mind). I do find myself being reminded of game reviews I have read as I make my way through the game. But unless its subconcious and i'm not aware of it I don't believe they affect my liking of the game itself, I tend to know what sort of things I do and don't like and can normally pick up on those things in a review. As for remaining unbaised, I think that would be difficult in today's media led world.
     
  4. ds6220

    Member ds6220 GBAtemp Fan

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    I think I get what you are saying and are concerned about. My spin on this whole thing is that, for me, reviews of games usually add focus to the details of the game. What I mean is that after reading reviews of games and then playing the game, my mind is more tuned into the imperfections or the perfections of said game. Maybe when you read a review of the new Harvest Moon and they say that playing the game feels very familiar because we have already harvested this crop and milked these cows and then you play it and go "yeah, this is the same damn thing and I am now bored" it is not because you are being spoon fed, it is just that they were right.

    Kind of in the same vein...one weird thing that my mind does is that if a game (or movie or band or what ever) gets too much good press and the general tone is that if you don't like this game you are a jerk, I usually avoid that game like it has the plague. [​IMG]
     
  5. krad

    Newcomer krad Advanced Member

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    its funny i look at reviews the opposite way.

    My current and favorite game right now is Freedom Wings. I believe it has a 3.0 on ign. It turns out to be a very excellent game when you put it into manual mode. The AI is pretty good and i have beaten it about 2 1/2 times in a row. YOu can still continue through the game over and over. And many challanges though not to be at get beaten and open new parts of the game later on.

    I think that new super mario is alright... it is something that feed my mario ich.

    But when it comes to game reviews... i think most are crap.... and if you want to see more crap, just read user reviews...lol... stupid kids make a review of a game like...

    "i know this game doesn't come out for 3 weeks, but it is the best game ever made! 10.0! it will be awesome i promise!"

    that kills it for me.

    I would say though, out of 500+ games i only playing about 10.
    Out of 200 so psp games, i only like 4 of them.

    Lego Star wars 2 for psp has me hooked at the moment... so i suggest playing them if you can before buying them..... reviews are useless in today's society... Word of mouth from friends and buddies are much more reliable.

    Ohh and a shot out... to Little Nemo on nes...
     
  6. ShinaKitsune

    Newcomer ShinaKitsune Advanced Member

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    Ha little nemo... sheesh upside-down level was the death of me, i sucked at that so bad [​IMG]

    I agree though.
    Reviews sometimes bring up things that you normally wouldn't see/look for in games. Good and bad.
    But also reading a review from someone that is somewhat like you is good as well... you don't like to see someone obcessed with madden give a review of call of cthulhu: dcote or v:tm-bloodlines (which is an awesome game now that the fans have fixed alot of the shortcomings, and was fun before but frustrating at times)
     
  7. nunofgs

    Member nunofgs GBAtemp Regular

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    I can completely relate to this issue... but with movies in my case. I don't know why but usually if I see great reviews about a movie, I tend to enjoy it more. Sometimes great movies that were completely underrated I end up seeing (and obsessing over) the same flaws the review pointed out.

    However with games, this never happens to me. I read the reviews for all the games I'm interested in, and if I like a game that had a bad review, I'll remember the flaws while playing the game but I just go: "this isn't so bad, it's pretty good actually... wtf were they talking about".

    A good example is Starfox Command. I just finished it yesterday. I loved Starfox 64 but I gotta say that I'm really disappointed with Starfox Command even though it got an 8 on IGN. I thought the RTS aspects of the game were boring and unnecessary, the script was AWFUL and there were no non-combat levels (the ones where the screen moves by itself and you just kill everything). The WFC only works with 3 other players? It's so hard to find people to play.... Also, the singleplayer was incredibly easy and it was like 4 or 5 missions long. Wtf is up with that?
     
  8. krad

    Newcomer krad Advanced Member

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    you should try freedom wings'
     
  9. jumpman17

    Former Staff jumpman17 He's a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action!

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    Reviews don't affect me for games. Like when I bought Spyro: Shadow Legacy before any reviews were out for it yet. I didn't need a review to tell me that I just purchased a steaming pile of crap.

    Movie reviews on the other hand, I usually look at the rating the "critics" give it and then reverse it for my estimated enjoyment level. The critics seem to only enjoy the movies I hate.

    EDIT: nunofgs: after you beat the single player for the first time, it allows you to pick other paths through the game. There are really a lot more levels.
     
  10. Hunter

    Former Staff Hunter i'ma stuffup the board

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    the way reviews get their ratings is easy...

    the publisher of the game pays the mags alot of money.
    the more money they pay the better the review is.
     
  11. sketch143

    Member sketch143 GBAtemp Regular

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    i have a process when it comes to reading reviews.. =p i usually take recommendations from other fellow gamers such as you guys and try the game out myself.. see if i like it and everything. And once i finish the game, that's when i go read the reviews. That way, i'm not influenced by any sort of crap and in the end, i can agree or disagree on what the reviewers are saying.

    what i normally do is go to youtube and look if there are any gameplay videos there.. =p

    Per say.. Resident Evil DS.. Resident evil is a title i like, but after trying the game.. i found that it's jus a port version of RE1. Although reviewers gave it high scores. i can say that the game is overated and it's a piece of crap. Same can be said with Jump Superstars.. too overated. =\

    Lost in Blue, was a simple game.. and i enjoyed it. It does get tiring but it's a decent game. Reviewers look down on Lost in Blue though i often see scores of 6 and below when it comes to lost in blue.

    hahah.. it's not that bad.. Although those stuff were taken out.. it's a good game nonetheless. I play it coz i want to know what happened after MMZ4. and come on..

    removed ZX transformation scene stopped you from playing it? what? are you gonna go orgasm on a transformation scene? lol
    how can voices be bad when it's all japanese? that must mean that the jap game is bad as well.
    Translation? i noticed one.. Giro having bad grammar in the ending. =p

    Seriously, nothing beats trying the game out yourself. =)
     
  12. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    lol actually I can't wait to play megaman ZX when its fixed, if ever.

    I know its cheezy but i just used that as an example of what I meant because I couldn't think of anything else and I had to go to college.

    I have to admit though I wish I could see this wonderful transformation people talk about with megaman.

    Nice replies guys! It's nice to know how other people think about this issue.

    Thanks for bringing up the movie point nunofqs, I actually hadn't realized earlier how I felt the same way about movies essentially.

    Example: I heard bad reviews about Pirates 2, and then when I saw it, even though I forgot what reviews said about it, the whole time I was being overly critical about it and it almost ruined the movie for me.

    The funny thing is, sometimes the reviews don't affect me as much like when I saw Snakes on a plane, even though I heard bad reviews, I loved it more than any other movie recently.
     
  13. jumpman17

    Former Staff jumpman17 He's a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action!

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    The transformation movie? You mean the one really close to the beginning of the Jap game?
     
  14. sketch143

    Member sketch143 GBAtemp Regular

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    the X transformation was retained.. he's probably refering to the ZX transformation.

    Edit: Playing the game again.. ZX transformation is still there.. none of the cut scenes were removed as far as i can see.
     
  15. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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    I'd take reviews as an indication of whether a game is good or not but I don't listen to them that closely. I'm a sucker for simple platformers, which a lot of reviewers would turn down because of their lack of difficulty. A bad review of a game I like wouldn't change my mind about it. (and while I'm thinking of it, Harvest Moon really did suck but that's just my opinion [​IMG] )
     
  16. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    What ticks me off most about virtually every bad or undecided review is the classic sentence: "The game offers nothing new", while at the same time, everybody praises expansion packs for giving us more missions (while offering nothing new, mind you).

    If a game is fun and playable, it doesn't have to offer anything "new", "revolutionary", or anything. Just like expansion packs, I will regard it as a pile of tasty new missions for me to complete. If the rest of the game is good (gameplay, details, story, level design, etc.), the fact that it offers "nothing new" is moot. As long as it offers some oldies but goodies [​IMG]

    In fact, I have several games listed that I would very much like to see copied or re-made, and I would very much like the developers to not try and offer us anything new [​IMG]

    (Terranova: Strike force Centaury, for example. All it needs nowadays is better graphics. Those who have played it will know. Those who haven't have no idea [​IMG] )
     
  17. tisti

    Member tisti GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm glad I didn't trust people on Star Fox... that game rox [​IMG] Almost done playing every posible combination in SP. Wasted ~10 hours on it.

    Once you master the controls and set to invert... its a dream to fly...
     
  18. sandreezy

    Newcomer sandreezy Advanced Member

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    much like some news channels, these reviewers give alot of opinions and less facts. i try to take in account what the game does have to offer, and then make a preliminary decision on whether i would like to purchase (or 'aquire' for some of us) a game. another is store kiosk's that offer a demo of some games, although they are limited, or a buddy who has the game so i can experiance hands on if i like it or not
     
  19. .TakaM

    Member .TakaM .II

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    game reviewers generally dont know shit.
    you should only rely on them to find out if you might like a game, not to affect your opinion of the game.

    for example, mario and luigi partners in time got good reviews everywhere as far as I know, and I think the game is complete trash. cant stand it.

    then theres games like asphalt urban GT, what every review says about this game is true, but god damn its still a fun game. another code is another game that got bad reviews but is still one of the best DS games to me.





    yeah, reviews dont mean shit. reviewers dont know shit.
    giving a game a number out of ten? what the fuck is that!? its just one dick with a keyboard's opinion, they have no right to deem a rating of quality.


    I choose my games based on movies Ive watched, writeups from the developers, general information about the games.

    again, reviews dont mean shit, I never find myself agreeing with their ratings and cant be bothered reading 3 pages from these pretentious assholes.
     
  20. TheSpade

    Member TheSpade GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    When it comes to reviews, they are opinions. I try to read from as many different sources as possible: EGM/1Up, IGN, GameSpot, Nintendo Power, Nintendojo, etc. You must remember that reviews are simply the opinions of an individual. Obviously, the best way to get a grasp of a game for your own tastes is to play it yourself.
     

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