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9:08 PM on 09.08.2010

The word "overrated" should come as no surprise to most of you. It's incredibly common in our community and odds are, you've demonstrated it's use once or twice. I'm no exception, either. In fact, I use it so regularly that I've come upon an interesting find.

When Shank was released, I knew nothing about it other than D-Toid's anticipation. I peered into Nick Chester's review of it to see if the game was worthy of a trial download. He gave it a friggin 8.5. Of course I threw the trial my download, after all, everyone else at Destructoid liked it too.

After the demo, I was left with only one thought. Game was totally overrated. I just couldn't take it. Everyone liked this game? I didn't hate it, but it certainly wasn't a great game. I decided to see just how overrated it is by checking XBLA's rating of it. It was four stars based off...six thousand votes?

Some people think Shank is underrated because it didn't receive enough attention. I felt it was a little underrated as well, as in not enough people "noticed" the game. Shortly after, I found out I wasn't the only one who didn't love Shank. But the idea is, that at one point in time, I thought Shank was underrated and overrated.

Let's define these words. Here are the Dictionary descriptions.

Overrated - To praise too high, to overestimate the value of a something

Underrated - To praise too low, to underestimate the value of something

Pretty simple right? We, in the gaming community, use "overrated" to define something that was not as good as they said it was. They being either the top game critics, a group of friends, or whoever it was that said the game was good. However, we use "underrated" a bit differently. Saying a game is underrated usually implies that the game deserves more attention, rather than implying that the game was "hated" too much. That's fine by me though, we all know what someone means when they say "underrated". Keep on using underrated, I have no problem with it. I have decided, though, that overrated is bullshit. Complete bullshit.

So I decided that Shank wasn't overrated after finding other reviews that I could agree with. Then I wondered, why was I labeling it overrated? Was it because I thought everyone else loved the game? Was I just jealous that they found joy in this game? Probably, but that's not the point. Point is I said a game is overrated because the majority of people disagreed with me. That's bullshit.

So we don't even really use the word overrated right. When we say it, we throw away all respect for freedom of opinion. We say "Not enough people have the same opinion as me, and too many people enjoyed this game". Some people might say "BUT WIAT!!11!! thts jsut my opnion tht its ovrrated." Oh...I'm sorry. Let me restate it then. You say "In my opinion, not enough people have the same opinion as me.." Or, to make it sound even more evil. "In my opinion, your opinion is wrong* and you shouldn't have the luxury of enjoying this game".

I use to think some games where overrated. Now, I just have opinions that are different from many others. GTA IV isn't overrated, I just didn't like it a much as everyone else. I think Halo 3 is an average game, but in no way is it overrated. And Shank sure as hell is not overrated, although I didn't really enjoy it. There are respectable ways to use the word "overrated", it's just that our community is no where near them, nor do they need to be.

So please, stop saying games are overrated. Unless you don't believe in free opinion, or your some asshole who always thinks his opinion is right. However, if you have a counterpoint to mine, please, let me hear it.

*Use of the bold word is only to further demonstrate the evilness in the example.

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