Review systems are just baffling. Think about it for a while, and they just are. How is the quality of a game quantifiable on a hundred point scale? Who says what five stars means? What is a B+, and then how does Metacritic turn that into a number?
Video game websites play a large role in a game’s success. How many of us are guilty of judging a game on it’s review score? I have been guilty in the past of totally writing off games that I have come to love when I finally pick it up. It is only human to assume that a journalist is in a position of authority so should be listened to. And you know what, sometimes that’s true. Sometimes reviews get it totally right. There are, after all, a lot of terrible terrible games out there.
But in the end, review is opinion. What one person thinks is utter tripe could be your golden cup of tea. Reviews are strange because there was so much weight given to them in the first place, both on the side of players and developers, but now a good review is essential to a game’s survival.
Of course, general consensus is hard to deny, and that’s why the website Metacritic has become so important. Grouping together the opinions of hundreds of reviews and averaging the score is definitely a better way of assessing whether a game is really worth playing, but it still misses one vital opinion; yours.
Sometimes critics get it wrong. And these examples serve to argue that the review system, with all it’s decimal points and percentages and stars, is utterly broken.
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This article was first posted on October 17, 2013