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Do big name games get good ratings JUST because of big name?

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Lately i've been noticing increasing trend thats been infuriating- big name games seem to get huge scores just because they are either made by big studio or have established brand name.

Probably best example is Street Fighter V, which got 8/10 from PCgamer, 7/10 from gamespot, 8/10 from IGN.

Now, while i do understand they rated gameplay above all else, they ignore the fact that SFV is early access game, thats being marketed as FULL game with FULL price with MINIMAL content (heck, it has problems in MP and practically lacks SP) and has several technical-side issues. I honhestly cant recall any developer pulling that move.

And yes, i know capcom has released its detailed plans for updates, but if i pay frikin' 60 euros for a game (which is not exactly cheap), i expect FULL and FINISHED game (if it has bugs, then ok, but at least all the base content). So the apology that "but they release singleplayer and more content as free update" is NOT the excuse here.

And its not just SFV, though this game pushed me into writing this. Many games get so much more credit than they deserve just because big name- which doesnt nessessarily mean they are bad games. Good example here is Fallout 4- probably THE most hyped game last year and while i personally dislike it, i do regognise its good game. But even many games own fans have stated it wasnt game of the year material, yet it got several ones.

Also call of duty. While i dont want to hate the series, its gotten real boring and uninventive with boring campaigns and mp, yet still gets 8 or 9 out of 10.

 

Meanwhile games that actually do what they aim for well (and much better) and are cheaper and more accessible get 7/10 at best. Same goes with some triple-a titles that are fairly regular, but had bad game earlier on. Good example here is AC: Syndicate, which got 6/10 from many reviewers, yet it was on par with fun on brotherhood and black flag. Heck, im sure if Duke Nukem (first example that popped up in my mind that had horrible game in otherwise known series) would come out again with best game ever, it would still get like, 5/10 due to duke nukem forever

 

So what do you think? am i overthinking this or is this real issue?

Jack O'Neill: "You know Teal'c, if we dont find a way out of this soon, im gonna lose it. Lose it... it means go crazy. nuts. insane. bonzo. no longer in possession of ones faculties. 3 fries short of a happy meal. WACKO!!!!!!!!"

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I think you're lending too much value to gaming press. You have to keep in mind:

 

A. Most of the major-brand game reviews are paid by the publisher, with cash or free games and merchandise.*

B. Game journalists and their sites represent a certain vendor. So to sell more copies, reviews are inflated.**

C. Most game reviews are targeted towards the casual, ignorant gamer, which can't really tell an 8/10 from a 10/10, and will likely buy a major-brand game rather than an unknown indie.***

 

Now, all of these factors also compound each other. It's easy to see that the score the game receives doesn't really reflect the game or the amount of enjoyment the reviewer had.

 

* - http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/11/star-wars-battlefront-ea-rep-and-reddit-mods-caught-in-corruption-scandal/

** - Look at every purchase link you find at a review site.

*** - Personal opinion of reviews. Also, CoD and Battlefield as case-studies.

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While I agree with you on SF5 on the other hand Fallout 4 is a very good game. GOTY is just a personal opinion, it has no weight in anything other then the person or people's opinions. Many of the fans are either standard "Oh the previous game was miles better" people which has been a traditional of Bethesda games since Daggerfall's release or people upset over the removal of arbitrary stuff like karma and skills (while ignoring from a gameplay AND roleplaying viewpoint weren't good systems.) or obsidian fans who are simply upset it wasn't made by Obsidian.

 

Some of the "fans" that hated it never even played the game, instead listening only to rumors and hearsay from a few disgruntled fans which lead to the astro-turfing of Fallout 4's metacritic pages.

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Haven't read gamespot, ign or whatever reviews for years now. Don't feel like I'm missing anything tbh... Its full of BS. I usually look at steam user ratings. If its very positive - the game must be quite good, if its negative - you know somethings up (either its shitty or there are major issues that prevents you from playing). If its mixed - than it could be good, but need a lot more research on the subject.

 

Combine this with some youtubers and I got all I need.

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@forgot_my_account

you make good points, but as written reviewer myself for small (not even pro, but amateur) publishment i am very much upset about the trend. I quite honhestly think this is about honor as much as anything. I mean yes, there are still few major reviewers that generally keep things honhest, which is good, but review that basically tells you that broken/unfinished game is ok, that is shame on reviewers as a whole.

And gaming press does hold power to change things in industry, but like you said, it doesnt matter if they dont use it.

 

@BideoftheDead

i dont deny FO4 is good game (even though as i said i personally dislike it (not for reasons you brought out)). But even good things can be overrated. And GOTY of publication is not voice of single person, but very often a jury of sorts.

 

@fric

but steam user ratings can be very biased as well- if game, thats otherwise good, suffers bad launch, it can have majority of reviews negative for rest of its life as many rate and forget.

But i do guess YT can help on that. Still, this is exactly what im talking about- BS of major reviewers are driving more people away from reviews- especially written ones.

Jack O'Neill: "You know Teal'c, if we dont find a way out of this soon, im gonna lose it. Lose it... it means go crazy. nuts. insane. bonzo. no longer in possession of ones faculties. 3 fries short of a happy meal. WACKO!!!!!!!!"

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True about the launch issues, but than again - it still helps because I can see that many people have issues and you might have to wait a few months. Later when it gets better it will mixed or mostly positive - than I can check that recent reviews are all good.

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I quite honhestly think this is about honor as much as anything. I mean yes, there are still few major reviewers that generally keep things honhest, which is good, but review that basically tells you that broken/unfinished game is ok, that is shame on reviewers as a whole.

And gaming press does hold power to change things in industry, but like you said, it doesnt matter if they dont use it.

There was once a game review site called Blistered Thumbs under the Channel Awesome brand. They basically had the same premise as you, and they failed to garner enough fans to support themselves.

It all comes down to the money. If they make sensationalist reviews and give polarizing reviews of major games, they are bound to get a reaction and more hits, thus more community support. If they are supported by the publisher, it's just another means to stay afloat. Again, those issues compound each other, and make it nearly impossible for a straight-faced balanced review site to rise.*

 

You can see it in YouTube reviews. Most of them either focus on just the positive, or just the negative. Ross is really the exception rather than the rule, and he generally doesn't cover new releases - so it's a moot point, really.

 

To sum up, it's not about honor. It never was about honor. It's about paying the bills by appealing to the masses.

 

* - compilation of early reviews of Assassin's Creed: Unity: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=930817

It was, and still is, a broken mess and quite bland when it did work. Average scores: 7-8/10.

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I quite honhestly think this is about honor as much as anything. I mean yes, there are still few major reviewers that generally keep things honhest, which is good, but review that basically tells you that broken/unfinished game is ok, that is shame on reviewers as a whole.

And gaming press does hold power to change things in industry, but like you said, it doesnt matter if they dont use it.

There was once a game review site called Blistered Thumbs under the Channel Awesome brand. They basically had the same premise as you, and they failed to garner enough fans to support themselves.

It all comes down to the money. If they make sensationalist reviews and give polarizing reviews of major games, they are bound to get a reaction and more hits, thus more community support. If they are supported by the publisher, it's just another means to stay afloat. Again, those issues compound each other, and make it nearly impossible for a straight-faced balanced review site to rise.*

 

You can see it in YouTube reviews. Most of them either focus on just the positive, or just the negative. Ross is really the exception rather than the rule, and he generally doesn't cover new releases - so it's a moot point, really.

 

To sum up, it's not about honor. It never was about honor. It's about paying the bills by appealing to the masses.

 

* - compilation of early reviews of Assassin's Creed: Unity: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=930817

It was, and still is, a broken mess and quite bland when it did work. Average scores: 7-8/10.

But the thing is- you can do it as a hobby. And im willing to bet there are plenty decent reviewers who have daytime job and do game reviews as hobby (in fact, publication i currently write for operates under the very same premise). So only real cost would be hosting website, which frankly isnt that high and you can find a way to do that.

I do agree that it will cause issues of not always being able to cover latest games or have even regular reviews and that you still need readers. First one might not be such big issue, but second is.

But there are plenty of ways to attract people. Ross being great example here- lets be honhest: most fans found him trough Freeman's mind and/or Civil protection. And fanbase has stuck and helped to grow it. So one can get more readers for reviews if one can either make up successful magnet for site other than reviews or use pre-existing magnet and talk site managment into letting you to publish reviews there.

Now, granted, this doesnt automatically mean large viewcount as you'd still need quality for reviews. But done well, it can still give you 1000 readers at minimum.

 

So heres what i think where all went wrong: reviews became huge moneygrabs instead of enthusiasts writing down whats good and whats bad about game. Its not wrong to make money off of reviews, but quite frankly, major sites are becoming increasingly greedy, taking money from both developers for positive reviews (hidden of course) and consumer as well. This will end in crash sooner rather than later. Only thing to hope is that if and when that happens, reviewers wont repeat same mistakes

Jack O'Neill: "You know Teal'c, if we dont find a way out of this soon, im gonna lose it. Lose it... it means go crazy. nuts. insane. bonzo. no longer in possession of ones faculties. 3 fries short of a happy meal. WACKO!!!!!!!!"

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I stopped taking IGN seriously a long time ago...

I stopped when the walkthrough writers started posting to hack sites instead... (back in the late 90's)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I never really got into gaming publications. Like, even when I did (Escapist and GameInformer) those were for different reasons. Like Loading Ready Run because they're hilarious or GameInformer's Replay series because I never really got to play a lot of the games they played so seeing these old stuff is kinda like connecting with past games.

 

This is probably why I never take GOTYs seriously, I just get all my reviews from LPers and Streamers I like or get my gaming news from Jim Sterling.

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Even if some journalism sites aren't paid by the developers to give the games a high score, they're kind of obliged to. Developers pay good money to gaming sites just for advertising their games on ad spaces and banners, trying to get their support in sales in a completely legal way.

 

But if the reviewers consider the game to deserve a 5/10 or a 6/10, they can't just straight up post that score because their website is still advertising the game to consumers. How would it affect the reputation of the website if the ads there urge you to buy the game and the review urges you to not? Even if the website does post scathing reviews online, the developers can easily severe contacts with that website when it comes to advertisements because that site wasn't helping support the game's sales. And money that comes from games advertisement is the lifeblood that helps gaming sites stay alive.

 

So if you're a big gaming website that's trying to stay relevant, this is pretty much your only method. The best method to fix this problem in gaming journalism is to force the big developers to make complete, decent games in the first place so reviews and ads won't contradict.

Actually Yngwie of Haus Malmsteen, feefty eenches of pure Svwedish beef.

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When I see games like MGSV getting 100%, 10/10s, etc, I'd have to say yes, this is true far too often. But, that's also why I've stopped caring much for mainstream gaming sites lately. While they aren't always the best, I usually refer to steam reviews and discussion boards to help gauge a game's quality before purchasing.

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Journalism is a joke.

 

That's why I get my gaming news from independent or obscure youtube reviewers.

"I don't trust a man that doesn't have something strange going on about him, cause that means he's hiding it from you. If a man's wearing his pants on his head or if he says his words backwards from time to time, you know it's all laid out there for you. But if he's friendly to strangers and keeps his home spick-and-span, more often than not he's done something even his own ma couldn't forgive." -No-bark Noonan

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Journalism is a joke.

 

That's why I get my gaming news from independent or obscure youtube reviewers.

Torrent comments are usually good too.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Even if some journalism sites aren't paid by the developers to give the games a high score, they're kind of obliged to. Developers pay good money to gaming sites just for advertising their games on ad spaces and banners, trying to get their support in sales in a completely legal way.

 

But if the reviewers consider the game to deserve a 5/10 or a 6/10, they can't just straight up post that score because their website is still advertising the game to consumers. How would it affect the reputation of the website if the ads there urge you to buy the game and the review urges you to not? Even if the website does post scathing reviews online, the developers can easily severe contacts with that website when it comes to advertisements because that site wasn't helping support the game's sales. And money that comes from games advertisement is the lifeblood that helps gaming sites stay alive.

 

So if you're a big gaming website that's trying to stay relevant, this is pretty much your only method. The best method to fix this problem in gaming journalism is to force the big developers to make complete, decent games in the first place so reviews and ads won't contradict.

 

+1

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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Journalism is a joke.

 

That's why I get my gaming news from independent or obscure youtube reviewers.

That's why I don't really trust reviews anymore, just play the games I'm interested in and form my own opinions.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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Journalism is a joke.

 

That's why I get my gaming news from independent or obscure youtube reviewers.

That's why I don't really trust reviews anymore, just play the games I'm interested in and form my own opinions.

Benefits of torrenting.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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