So, Mr Sterling posted a nice little article about some of the most controversial reviews of the year. It seems that many people were not happy with the scores the games got, and lots of shit storms erupted. I figured I'd share my take on it.
First, allow me to say that I believe that all reviews are mostly subjective in nature. How can you truly decide if a game is good or not? There's no real way to make an objective set of standards of what constitutes a good or bad game. A game could be technically great, with all the mechanics working as intended and without any glitches, but it could still be considered a bad game simply because the game is monotonous to play or the mechanics of the game just aren't appealing. What about the games' stories, soundtracks, or graphics? The quality of those also fall under what you would consider good. A game can be modeled with great care, but still be considered generic in design and art direction. Soundtracks and stories are the most obviously subjective elements.
Another point I want to make is that if you do not like the score, why not enjoy the game anyway? A score should not determine your enjoyment of the game, as well as others' enjoyment of it. Should the game you like get a good score, that'd obviously be great, but it has never stopped me from enjoying the games I like. People who were really interested in the game will likely get the game anyway. If they are disuaded from the purchase by just one negative review, then the game was obviously not that important for them to get.
If you do not like the opinion, why not type up a blog about your opinion of the game instead of wasting energy complaining? I know it sounds like a rude thing to say, but it's true. The more opinions there are of the game out there, the more input potential buyers will have to make their decision. There seems to be this consensus that video game reviewers' opinions are more valuable than a gamers. The thing is, it's not. Of course, there are bad user reviews out there, but so long as the review is well written, then it's as valid as any reviewer's opinion. That's the truth, no matter what anyone would want to try to say.
If the review is so bad, then spend time pointing out any errors they may have made. Do not attack the reviewer personally. It only serves to make you look ignorant, and people will more likely side with the reviewer. Find mistakes they made, and error in information or contradictions. If the review is truly that bad, then there are sure to be many mistakes that you can point out in the hopes that readers can catch them.
Do I agree with all the reviews on Destructoid? No, but in a majority of them I respect that it is their honest opinion. If they truly enjoyed the game, and they feel it deserves a high score, then I respect that. Conversely, I feel that they have a right to grade a game poorly if they feel it was not up to snuff. It is their opinion to make, not mine.
Reviews are truly a great thing. Each one is different, and so many different view points are presented to us. If all the reviews for a game were high just because reviewers wanted to pander to the fans of the series, then so many of us would not be able to truly discern what games are for us. Do not get angry over a review that stands opposite from yours. Instead, appreciate and respect the fact that there are people who have different likes and dislikes. I know I have.
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