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Game reviewers are going nuts September 29, 2009

Posted by Cesar in games, gaming me.
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1 comment so far


There is something very wrong with game reviews. I used to talk a lot about this with a friend in Brazil. The best games don’t get the best scores and that’s just crazy. Now, I am not saying I don’t agree with the reviewers. That is normal. What is insane is when the review directly states the game is better but the grade is still lower. That usually happens with sequels. We see it all the time with sports franchises.  The one to blame is the so called innovation factor.

Sure, if a game breaks paradigms, does something completely original, it deserves credit. Obviously the sequel will not be all that refreshing, right? But is it weird to give it a lower grade. Just think about the utility of the grade: the buyer, curious, wants information on what skating game to purchase.  He goes to gamerankings.com, looks at the averages and then goes to his favorite store to get the title. He gets out with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 under his belt. The game is so old there was a Dreamcast version of it. Now if you actually read the reviews for Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground, the main complaint that pulls the grades down is lack of originality. The game itself is better. Want another example? Soul Calibur. The original, for the Dreamcast, is still the one with the best score.

I guess no one want’s to see the old classics surpassed by new ones that just steal the tricks from their older brothers. And I love to see Ocarina of Time at the top of the rankings. The reviews as they are make sense at the exact time they were written: the best game of 1995 is probably not the best of 2009, even if the grade is higher. It is logical, even though in a weird way. And for direct sequels, it is useful to know if the new one is worth buying, considering you already have the old one. I, for one, would like to see review sites at least include a separate space for a timeless game grade. A score that simply tells you which one is the best.

See you space cowboys…

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