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DS Daily: How much do you trust reviews?

Penny Arcade's Gabe had some choice words for reviewers of Assassin's Creed, and we couldn't help commenting on it. Sure, the game isn't for us -- at least, not yet -- but the sentiment behind his words is something that should be important to every gamer ... or at least, every gamer who reads reviews.

How much do you trust reviews? We've discussed it before, of course, and we know that many people have reviewers they return to again and again, people who've demonstrated similar tastes in the past. But as occasional reviewers ourselves, we not only see the point Gabe is making, but agree with him. Reviewing a game within a particular time frame is wholly and completely different than playing it just for fun. It doesn't always make a huge difference in the way that you perceive or play the game, but sometimes -- as in this case, apparently -- it does.

So weigh in. Do you take that attitude into account when you read reviews? Our biggest regret in regard to Gabe's statements is that it just seems unfixable. Reviewers are almost always working within some sort of time frame, and some games are just long. It can't be avoided, unless we all want short games (and we don't).

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)


11-16-2007 @ 9:22AM

L said...

Of course, cause he's Gabe from Penny Arcade he's infallable. Fuck Penny Arcade, Assasins Creed got plenty of good reviews and I happen to think Assasins Creed is nothing more than a polished up Spider-man...minus the fun of swinging between buildings. It's deserves between a 7 and 8. No way does it deserve 9 and 10's. It's too repetetive, it gets boring, the fighting is stale, every environment is basically the same, and the story is lame, imo, despite what Gabe says. Sure I disagree with game reviews often, like Dan Hsu giving Halo 3 a perfect 10, but in this case, I agree with Assasins Creeds detractors. I think Gabe just got sucked in by the hype so much that he's overlooking it's flaws...just like Dan Hsu from 1Up did with Halo 3.


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11-16-2007 @ 9:37AM

divinenanny said...

I just filter reviews. I don't like most conventional games, and the games I do like usually get bad reviews. I just filter out what the reviewer doesn't like about it, most of the time that's is exactly what I would like :D


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11-16-2007 @ 9:42AM

onepointfivevolt said...

I'm not going to even bother to mention Gabe here. Penny Arcade is an unfunny piece of garbage. The fact that millions of people the world over worship that mess kills me a little every day.

It's true that reviewing a game in a set amount of time is different than playing it for fun, but any reviewer worth her/his pay KNOWS this, and writes accordingly. Metareview is a godsend of a site. I generally don't trust most sites, though 1UP seems to usually be in line with my tastes, so I put a little more trust in them. Usually I just check the metareviews, and read all the bad. The good I already know.


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11-16-2007 @ 10:06AM

adl said...

I'm also a fan of metareviews. But usually I just check the reviews to see that there aren't any bad bugs in the game or some very bad gameplay. I would say that all my games have a review score between 60-100.


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11-16-2007 @ 10:11AM

TheCoats said...

typically i will read a review and trust it.......but if it fails then i know that that reviewer doesnt have like have to find a reviewer with like favorite type of review is a video of game play normally is a make-or-break situation for me


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11-16-2007 @ 10:18AM

Mabui said...

I can't really trust anyone in particular for reviews, so I tend to look at the highest ranking review, read it carefully, read the lower ranking reviews, and gather up the information I can on their reasonings.

Sometimes I just do the lazy method, and look for the big reviewers and what scores they are offering it, but I rarely purchase a game because of just looking at numbers,less I already wanted and decided to get it.


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11-16-2007 @ 11:00AM

InvisibleMan said...

I also read the highest and lowest reviews of a game, unless I'm so interested in it that I read ALL the reviews... but the trick is to read the reviews with a critical eye. And as in all critical reading, you have to learn to read between the lines. Taking in account the pressure reviewers have when ranking a game is part of it. Most of these reviewers are professionals, and they try to think within their audience's point of view. But I think that in their minds, most of their readers are hardcore gamers that go through a game in one weekend. I am not a dedicated gamer, and I have to weight in that when reading their reviews!


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11-16-2007 @ 11:31AM

Blue_Falcon said...

I can basically trust any review that isn't done by Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot (worst "professional" reviewer on the internet) and basically anything that 1up generally publishes.

Otherwise, any reviewer is fair game for being at least somewhat trustworthy.


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Pizza Pasta9

11-16-2007 @ 11:55AM

Pizza Pasta said...

Is this your way of justifying JC's Hannah Montanna review?


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Alisha Karabinus10

11-16-2007 @ 12:20PM

Alisha Karabinus said...

Haha, Pizza Pasta, no. JC's Hannah Montana review is what it is! Since we talked about it a great deal, we felt we owed it to you guys to review it.

@L -- no, he's not infallible. I haven't played AC yet, so I don't really know if it's great or crap or somewhere in between. But I will say that there is a distinct difference between the way I, at least, play certain games on a deadline and the way that I play when I'm just playing for the hell of it, and I think it's something that readers of reviews should keep in mind. Does it make reviews worthless? Nah. Does it mean you should sometimes maybe add a dash of salt? Yeah, it might, at least in my opinion. Not one of us is infallible or in any way perfect.


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11-16-2007 @ 12:41PM

nil said...

I don't trust reviewers, as a general rule. Some reviewers I trust less than others - Game Informer, I'm looking at your entire staff. Granted, if I had to play as many games as reviewers do, I would become rather jaded as well. Reviewers also tend to not "get" more original titles, like Odama and Killer 7, which are more appealing to me.

If I'm on the fence about buying a game, I usually check GameFAQs reviews, since I feel that the average gamer has a different perspective on games than professional reviewers do.


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Ihar `Philips` Filipau12

11-16-2007 @ 1:00PM

Ihar `Philips` Filipau said...

> How much do you trust reviews?


you asking that a Mario/Metroid hater you have here???

Most modern reviews are load of utter junk: they do not even explain game play.

Recent example was Luminous Arc. Only one review out of many I have checked actually mentioned how battles go. Label "SRPG" isn't sufficient as describe for a game.

Or for another example, Mario Galaxy. Actually only 1UP mentioned that you die fast as hell on higher levels which require quite a skill (and time) to beat. Other reviews were repeating Nintendo PR that the game is for casuals and very easy and nice and it is pick and play etc. Junk.


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11-16-2007 @ 1:08PM

FlimFlammy said...

I use reviewers as a general idea of what the game is about. If everyone gives the game great reviews, I am willing to check it out more so than others.

However, I take all the reviews with a grain of salt ever since every reviewer bashed "God Hand" for its lack of real world plot/substance. The game was about having fun and enjoying the comedy. It was a throw back to Streets of Rage/Final Fight days. Because the game was so different from current generation of games, they (reviewers) compared it to current games and bashed it. I played games because they are fun. I guess that is why I am a DS Fanboy.


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11-16-2007 @ 1:15PM

chispito said...

Sure I trust reviewers. En masse, a la Metacritic.

But just because a game scores well doesn't mean I will like it. I'm more interested in *why* a reviewer likes or dislikes a game. That's what ultimately informs me if I should purchase it or not.


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11-16-2007 @ 2:31PM

Brello said...

I always check reviews. It lets me know in advance if a game is downright horrible, if there's graphical problems, glitches/bugs, or framerate issues. Those can really ruin a game for me.


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11-16-2007 @ 5:52PM

Fiefdom said...

I don't adhere to reviews unless they are universally low. I find I can get a far more accurate idea of whether I'll like a game by talking with fans of the game on message boards. Doing that gives a far broader perspective of what works and doesn't work in a game than trying to discern information from a review which is likely to be biased in some respect. A review won't necessarily be written from the point of view of a player who shares my interests so I personally don't feel that they are trustworthy. I'd much prefer a solid and objective overview of a game to a review intended to end up with a number intended to express the game's value.


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11-16-2007 @ 7:15PM

Ethan said...

I played Shenmue and liked it. Sitting on benches is my thing.


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Xian B.18

11-17-2007 @ 12:32AM

Xian B. said...

Tie another knot in the metacritics string. I use them all the time. I NEVER buy a game without consulting my metacritics oracle.

Like Brello, I rely on reviews to warn me when a stinker raises its glitchy, malformed head. Without reviews I probably would have bought Mortal Kombat on the GBA--and suffered for it. You absolutely can NOT trust product packaging, for good or bad.

I give as much weight to individual user reviews on message boards/gamefaqs/amazon as I do to professional reviews. I don't remember anybody's name, though. Tastes are just too individual for me to trust any one single person.


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11-17-2007 @ 12:00PM

L said...

@Alisha Karabinus
I didn't mean I thought that you thought Gabe was ifallable, it wasn't a knock at you or DSFanboy, it was more of a knock at Penny Arcade fanboys, like what onepointfivevolt said: "Penny Arcade is an unfunny piece of garbage. The fact that millions of people the world over worship that mess kills me a little every day."


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11-18-2007 @ 4:40PM

zachs said...

When a game comes along and gets such counteractive reviews, it does make people stop and think.

To be completely honest, I hate myself for letting reviewers influence my decisions to buy video games. Because most reviewers websites (1up and IGN) are high sponsored by game developers and that sway the way they review.

I ofter scoff at Penny Arcade, but I have to agree with Gabe on this one. Tycho also gave a great article (concerning Shadowrun) as he said that many reviewers will review games based on what they thought they should be and not actually what the game is.

But there are certain genres were i will play the game no matter what the reviewers say. Castlevania (even though most of those are amazing)


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