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Are Gaming Reviews Biased???

 
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Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/11/2012 11:53:27 PM   
radic202


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Wow take a look at this:

Former IGN Employee Admits Review Scores Are Skewed Due to Public Relations and The Almighty Dollar
10. October 2012 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc



http://www.zeldainformer.com/news/comments/former-ign-employee-admits-review-scores-are-skewed-due-to-public-relations

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 12:15:25 AM   
Rtwfreak

 

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I've said this for 20 years +. Where there are humans and money involved there will always be bias and palm greasing.

I will always think a prime example was Rome Total War and its like 95% score when it was a horrible non-challenging game and the AI was just plain pitiful even on the hardest settings. I finally found that turning off morale and giving archers unlimited ammo and rarely using archers myself that the game became more fun and challenging but at the expense of gimping myself and giving the AI more resources than me.

< Message edited by Rtwfreak -- 10/12/2012 12:17:20 AM >

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 12:22:04 AM   
TulliusDetritus


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Oh well... ever heard about Don Vito Corleone?

Especially that part about an offer you *cannot* refuse



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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 1:58:25 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak

I've said this for 20 years +. Where there are humans and money involved there will always be bias and palm greasing.

I will always think a prime example was Rome Total War and its like 95% score when it was a horrible non-challenging game and the AI was just plain pitiful even on the hardest settings. I finally found that turning off morale and giving archers unlimited ammo and rarely using archers myself that the game became more fun and challenging but at the expense of gimping myself and giving the AI more resources than me.
warspite1

Wow. I always found Rome the best of the series; a great game, really challenging, even on moderate settings

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 2:05:09 AM   
paulo

 

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The answer is yes- I've bought a number of games based on good reviews that turned out to be seriously defective- about 11 years ago I bought a game based on a good review and it wiped out my hard drive- that why forums like this are important- the opinions of members here are more valuable and honest than any reviewer

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 2:39:08 AM   
wodin


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Even sites that profess they aren't seem to be..or they get caught up in all the hype. Though I imagine doing several interviews with the developers and having a good time surely will effect your review even sub consciously. Take my favourite website Rock paper shotgun, sometimes I do feel they get caught up in hype. The recent XCom game for instance..yes it's a damn good game..but not as good as the hype.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 3:32:57 AM   
Chickenboy


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There are some reviews / reviewers that are better than others. It's like any journalist, news program or opinion piece: writers that aren't careful can fall prey to journalistic bias regardless of the medium. Moreso if they don't have editorial oversight and publisher scrutiny of their work.

I always appreciated Computer Gaming World back in the day for their (comparatively) unbiased reporting. They routinely called out craptastic, buggy or underdeveloped games that weren't ready for distribution.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 5:16:47 AM   
radic202


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Chickenboy:

I loved Computer Gaming World, it was a sad day when they folded after their attempt at renewing themselves with Games for Windows. That was a long time ago! The only mag left is PC Gamer that I purchase on a regular basis now.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 6:32:03 AM   
Rtwfreak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak

I've said this for 20 years +. Where there are humans and money involved there will always be bias and palm greasing.

I will always think a prime example was Rome Total War and its like 95% score when it was a horrible non-challenging game and the AI was just plain pitiful even on the hardest settings. I finally found that turning off morale and giving archers unlimited ammo and rarely using archers myself that the game became more fun and challenging but at the expense of gimping myself and giving the AI more resources than me.
warspite1

Wow. I always found Rome the best of the series; a great game, really challenging, even on moderate settings


Seriously? I beat it with the Armenians on Vh/Vh settings first time, then another with Thrace on Vh/Vh both games were just too easy yet the most challenging of all of them with my settings of no morale an unlimited ammo for archers.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 7:13:20 AM   
warspite1


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Yes, seriously. Congratulations. I have a friend that has won with every available faction at just about every level.

I guess I'm just a little slow..... I'm rubbish at Civ IV too. Never mind, I get great enjoyment from both.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 1:13:00 PM   
Perturabo


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Generally, even when a magazine is unbiased (which is dubious when we're talking about magazines dependent on advertisement and receiving review copies), it's a question of the kind of people that become gaming journalists nowadays - without any deep knowledge of games and without ability to criticize and describe games.
Even in 90s, when there were some decent gaming magazines in Poland, it was difficult to tell what a game is exactly about by reading a review.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 4:13:35 PM   
carnifex


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From the article:

1) "IGN, among several other publications, alter review scores, alter editorial pieces, based on who is paying the bills. Essentially in order to continue to get review copies of games, to get certain publishers to advertise on your site, things get altered to appear more favorable for certain games."

2) "This is not an indictment against IGN, nor are we any less trust worthy of them for doing this."

WTF is this incoherent BS?

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 6:26:42 PM   
Rtwfreak

 

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Back in the day when William Trotter was reviewing wargames for PCgamer I believed what he wrote. He was/is a wargamer and knew what he was talking about. So I can presume he left because they wanted him to tweak some of his reviews for the betterment of the companies revenue.

I also am a Tom Chick fan and I wish some of these old school wargame reviewers would start up their own magazines because I'm really tired of reading from just out of college toddler reports or these biased I don't like this game so I'm screwing it in the reviews types.

Then we have the children who vote 1's or 10's on games I would bet many of them haven't even played. I'm a firm believer now you shouldn't get an opportunity to vote on a game unless you own it and can prove so with some receipt code or cd key of purchase. Playing a demo does not count as owning it either. Most demos never give you the full feel of a game.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 6:31:54 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak

Back in the day when William Trotter was reviewing wargames for PCgamer I believed what he wrote. He was/is a wargamer and knew what he was talking about. So I can presume he left because they wanted him to tweak some of his reviews for the betterment of the companies revenue.

I also am a Tom Chick fan and I wish some of these old school wargame reviewers would start up their own magazines because I'm really tired of reading from just out of college toddler reports or these biased I don't like this game so I'm screwing it in the reviews types.

Then we have the children who vote 1's or 10's on games I would bet many of them haven't even played. I'm a firm believer now you shouldn't get an opportunity to vote on a game unless you own it and can prove so with some receipt code or cd key of purchase. Playing a demo does not count as owning it either. Most demos never give you the full feel of a game.
warspite1

Yes but you still wouldn't get the result you want necessrily. Just take what you and I would have given, score-wise, to RomeTW.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 8:19:04 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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IGN has responded and said this this is a former employee who was recently let go and has an axe to grind. So who knows?

So this charge of bias could very possibly be this no name website trying to garner some publicity with bias of their own.

In general I agree with professional reviews to a certain extent. For instance, the EU series of games usually gets 7.5-8.0
Compared to the fulls spectrum of games I would agree with that score. But since I like that particular genre it adds a point or two for me.

I generally don't like Japanese pop culture or games. But those games sometimes get strong scores. Just because I don't enjoy them does not mean they are not well made games.

Game reviews like movies and music are opinions. Professional reviewers by virtue of being professional try and look at the games from a neutral standpoint but of course bias and human emotion gets in the way sometimes.

I worry less about bias from the big review sites because they get good treatment from every game company.
I worry more about bias from the small review sites because since they are small only some game companies send them review copies of games and if 1 out of 10 game companies sends your small struggling site a review copy, arnt you going to be biased towards that game?

I find reviews at most sites dedicated to wargaming to be utter garbage. Most of those sites are so small and struggling so much that when a wargame maker reaches out to them there is a tendency not to bite the hand that feeds them.


I give no credence at all to user reviews on sites like Metacritic. There are sections of message boards like 4chan where dozens and hundreds of users will band together and spam bad scores on games like Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3 and Max Payne 3.
And if you read user reviews they tend to be either 1's or 10s. Most of the reviews come from kids with no sense of writing skill and every game is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 8:47:15 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fallschirmjager

IGN has responded and said this this is a former employee who was recently let go and has an axe to grind. So who knows?

Well, current employees are usually unwilling to talk about stuff like that because they would lose their source of income.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fallschirmjager

So this charge of bias could very possibly be this no name website trying to garner some publicity with bias of their own.

In general I agree with professional reviews to a certain extent. For instance, the EU series of games usually gets 7.5-8.0
Compared to the fulls spectrum of games I would agree with that score. But since I like that particular genre it adds a point or two for me.

I generally don't like Japanese pop culture or games. But those games sometimes get strong scores. Just because I don't enjoy them does not mean they are not well made games.

Game reviews like movies and music are opinions. Professional reviewers by virtue of being professional try and look at the games from a neutral standpoint but of course bias and human emotion gets in the way sometimes.

I worry less about bias from the big review sites because they get good treatment from every game company.
I worry more about bias from the small review sites because since they are small only some game companies send them review copies of games and if 1 out of 10 game companies sends your small struggling site a review copy, arnt you going to be biased towards that game?

I find reviews at most sites dedicated to wargaming to be utter garbage. Most of those sites are so small and struggling so much that when a wargame maker reaches out to them there is a tendency not to bite the hand that feeds them.

The big sites are as dependent as the small sites. To be able to express an independent opinion a site would have to be funded by ads from outside the industry/subscription and buy its own copies of games after they are released.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 10:25:48 PM   
RangerX3X


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I generally go by metacritic and a blog called "Eight out of Eight" (although he has stopped doing write-ups and only posts videos now so I don't follow that as much). Anything on metacritic that has a review of 100 I immediately dismiss. Anything else where there is a mismatch between the critic reviews and the user score I also question. Then before I pull out my e-wallet, I venture to the forums to see if they are active. Usually then if the lead post is "does anyone still play this game?" I walk away...

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 11:07:57 PM   
parusski


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I just ate an artichoke.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/12/2012 11:44:17 PM   
radic202


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quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

I just ate an artichoke.



HAHAHA! Well it's much better than a "rotten tomato"?

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 12:03:03 AM   
wodin


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Forums and AAR's are the best way in deciding I feel.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 12:49:02 AM   
parusski


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Now for the serious side of parusski-even when I was a teen reading game reviews I noticed the games being reviewed were also being advertised. I have always been skeptical of all the gaming mags.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 2:28:58 AM   
Rtwfreak

 

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quote:

I find reviews at most sites dedicated to wargaming to be utter garbage. Most of those sites are so small and struggling so much that when a wargame maker reaches out to them there is a tendency not to bite the hand that feeds them


Like Armchair General and The Wargamer?

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 2:56:15 AM   
parusski


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As Ralph Kramden would say: hominahominahahominah

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"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 4:34:29 AM   
radic202


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I agree with wodin here, I do look at major gaming site for reviews but always take them with a grain of salt. My main decision always comes down to the player base reviews, not the fanboys reviews but the actual people who have played the game.

Now on the flip side of the coin I have seen some sites give Good awful reviews to games but yet I purchased them anyways on word of mouth and was blown away, like White Knight Chronicles 1 for the PS3 was totally canned by many reviewers and bought it based on a recommendation from an RPG friend of mine and I must say to this day it is one of the best games I have ever played on the PS3. The same would go for White Knight Chronicles 2 and of course FFXIII and FFXIIIX2 was mostly canned by many people and I still loved every single minute I played them.

So in the end, there are 2 coins to every review.

BTW: I had no idea that this simple thread would generate so much interet, great topic of conversation for sure.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 3:05:39 PM   
flanyboy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak

I've said this for 20 years +. Where there are humans and money involved there will always be bias and palm greasing.

I will always think a prime example was Rome Total War and its like 95% score when it was a horrible non-challenging game and the AI was just plain pitiful even on the hardest settings. I finally found that turning off morale and giving archers unlimited ammo and rarely using archers myself that the game became more fun and challenging but at the expense of gimping myself and giving the AI more resources than me.

The stock campaign was poor true but the genius of Rome was the engine imho. The engine allowed phenomenal mods. Rome total Realism or Barbarism or w/e were called were some of the best games I ever played.

(in reply to Rtwfreak)
Post #: 25
RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 5:18:27 PM   
doomtrader


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If I'm not sure about the game (with the release price) I'm just waiting for the sale.
Also taking a look into the developer's history is good way to decide.

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Post #: 26
RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/13/2012 5:19:58 PM   
doomtrader


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I think there was a similar situation with HoI 3 release where one of the reviewers didn't wanted to score the game at 9/10 he become fired.

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/14/2012 1:07:05 AM   
Rtwfreak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak

I've said this for 20 years +. Where there are humans and money involved there will always be bias and palm greasing.

I will always think a prime example was Rome Total War and its like 95% score when it was a horrible non-challenging game and the AI was just plain pitiful even on the hardest settings. I finally found that turning off morale and giving archers unlimited ammo and rarely using archers myself that the game became more fun and challenging but at the expense of gimping myself and giving the AI more resources than me.

The stock campaign was poor true but the genius of Rome was the engine imho. The engine allowed phenomenal mods. Rome total Realism or Barbarism or w/e were called were some of the best games I ever played.


Yes, but the mods weren't what was being reviewed when the game came out and it never deserved a 95%.

Just like Diablo III that has been recently released with it's 90's + review scores and having bought and played the game it's hardly worth a 75%

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/14/2012 3:41:54 AM   
Hertston


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Of course they're biased; they're written by people and people are always biased.

I'm with RangerX3X; Metacritic is the best bet as at least you can compare all the different biases. It's always wise to ponder significant discrepancies between 'professional' and player reviews, particularly if you filter out overemphasized concerns/grudges like particularly loathed DRM from the latter. It's blatantly obvious when advertisers' cash is influential, even among those not getting it as they don't want to be seen as dissenters regarding the really 'big' titles that will sell millions anyway. Pull the other one, IGN.





< Message edited by Hertston -- 10/14/2012 3:43:11 AM >

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RE: Are Gaming Reviews Biased??? - 10/14/2012 9:23:04 AM   
A7V_U


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I stopped looking at reviews a long time ago and I also stopped buying games when they go gold. Most games nowadays are released with a lot of bugs which often are not discovered before you get deep into the game. As most reviews are not only biased but also test the game only very short and superficial a lot of gamebreaking bugs are only discovered later by the ß-testers who bought the game.

Before I buy a game I check the forums for a couple of weeks and wait for the first patches. This stopped me buying games like Cliffs of Dover or Silent Hunter V and has saved me a lot of money.

Best regards

Rainer 

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