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Reviews Have Changed…

June 4, 2008 Written by Anthony Severino

Reviews Have Changed…

“ID tagged websites, with ID tagged reviewers, giving ID tagged reviews, to ID tagged games”

I am sure by now you have all heard the controversy surrounding EGM’s refusal to review Metal Gear Solid 4 because of Konami’s imposed restrictions…

Supposedly, restrictions were imposed to conceal MGS4’s lengthy cut-scenes, mandatory install, and load times.

Many people are commending EGM/1up for their “journalistic integrity”.  Still I have to ask, why?  What does a mandatory install, or cut scene length have to do with a games review? Should a game with no cut-scenes get a higher review because of today’s youth being plagued with ADD, and their inability to actually sit back, relax, and enjoy?  Should a game get a lesser review score, because it comes with a mandatory install?  What if that mandatory install, improves the games performance (load times, etc)?  Shouldn’t that IMPROVE the games score if anything?  Why should a mandatory install affect the game’s review at all?  The industry doesn’t deduct score from PC games because of installs,  then why should it affect a console game’s review?

Personally I think this is a publicity stunt by EGM/1up to bring more opinions of the site having “integrity”.  MGS4 is just the game for them to exploit.  Its being touted as “without a doubt, one of the greatest games of all time” (GamePro)

These days almost all sites are biased.  G4TV, EGM/1up, Kotaku, Gametrailers are all said to be biased against Sony.  These sites certainly haven’t done much to show us otherwise.  Other sites are known to be biased against Microsoft as well.   Some sites are just plain foolish…  (I am pointing at the site that gave Haze a 10)

Who can you trust?  These days, with the video game industry being so popular, and development costs skyrocketing, its not a surprise to hear that “journalistic integrity” is becoming more and more rare.

You’ve all heard the saying…  Money talks, Bull**** walks.

Money is walking all over the gaming industry today.  Between site bias, companies paying for exclusivity, or timed exclusivity, and all the other behind the scenes pay offs…  I start to wonder if gaming going mainstream, might be the downfall of gaming quality.

Perfect example for me was GTAIV…  Sure the game was hugely anticipated, and offered a next gen experience that only GTA could offer with its huge, lifelike, sandbox style, massive “Liberty City”.  But lets face it the game wasn’t deserving of a 10…  In fact, I would give it an 8.5 at most.   The game starts off great, with a great presentation.  But after about 10+ hours into the game you realize…  “Haven’t I done this before?”   I’ve actually taken a break from the game (as I haven’t finished it yet) and really don’t have much of an urge to pick it back up…  That’s not 10 material.  I wouldnt give Resistance, or Uncharted 10’s but at least they had me coming back for more and more.

Another example of reviews gone wrong was this past holiday season, Gamespot fired Jeff Gerstmann for negatively reviewing Kane & Lynch.  Kane & Lynch publisher Eidos was rumored to threaten to pull ads which lead which lead to the termination.

Another example of site bias was recently when Gametrailers doing their usual “PS3/360 game comparisons”, pitted the PS3 version, up against the…  well… PS3 version.  GT claimed to have mislabeled the videos.  Why they recorded 2 PS3 versions of the video is unknown.

So again I ask who can you trust?  All I can say is I have my certain sites/mags that I like to check for reviews because they seem generally honest.   Your best bet is to compare reviews of games that you already own, with your own opinions.  Anybody who reviews a game, similar to how you would review it is most likely a site you can trust.  Lets face it a good game is a good game, and you dont have to be a paid reviewer to see that.  In fact, it might even be better to just go by your own opinions…  After all, your own opinion should matter the most.

Speaking of opinions…  What are yours?  Comment below….