Topic: Quality of NintendoLife game reviews

Posts 1 to 20 of 61


Of recent it seems that many NintendoLife game reviews are reviewed with only one purpose in mind. That being to keep the pre-release review copies rolling in. They praise those games for that reason alone. The actual opinions the reviewer has of the game? Non existant.

Another issue with some reviews is the obvious lack of research or time with the game being clearly evident in the review. If you are going to review a game for NL, at least research up the IP a little so you know what you are talking about and play more than the first couple of stages. A recent example where this has not happened is the Warriors Orochi 4 review. The review is so bare bones, it's not funny. All I got was the same information that's on the back of the box and on the how to play instruction sheet. That's nice to say though but you need to into more depth.

Here's a few things that should have been in the review.

How does this compare to the previous game, Warriors Orochi 3 and give a few examples where this game is better and worse than WO3
The reviewer's opinions on whether they would recommend the game or not.
Explaning if there is any game modes in the game other than story mode
Actually go into depth about the perfirmance. Not in as much depth as Digital Foundry would, but does the game feel laggy? Is their any obvious input latency? How are the load times? How bad is the pop in? Does the frame rate take a hit in the more crowded stages? Is there any dynamic resolution scaling and is it really aggressive?

Also in the review saying
""Why did you rate the Hyrule and Fire Emblem Warriors so highly then?"
Um because the reviewers don't know what a good Musou game is?
Hyrule Warriors was pretty good and deserves the praise it got. Fire Emblem Warriors on the other hand is a terrible Musou game. How that got an 8/10 is beyond me. I am someone who really likes Musou games. I literally bout a PS4 Slim for DW8 XL. However I could not even finish the story mode in Fire Emblem Warriors, as it was that bad.

In Conclusion

I see there is two options NintendoLife can take here. The first being to actually hold their reviewers to account and get them to improve the quality of their reviews by actually doing the research required and putting in the detail that is required for a proper review.
NintendoLife can condone terrible reviews like these that give us very little information about the game and do not help anyone in their purchasing decisions.

I hope you do the right thing here.

Edited on by the8thark



I think the reviews are fine
That's my opinion though

Edited on by MasterJay

Well excuuuse me princess


I generally take off 2 points (sometimes much more, like Let's go Pikachu/Eevee) on the reviews here.
I like the site, I like Alex and the team, I like the people(even if it's not really in both ways LOL) but yeah the reviews are kind of "too nice" and the score too high... from my perspective at least...

8/10 to Let's go P/E here when I would give a 4/10 max... :/

Edited on by Cobalt



no one cares

Bioshock is 10 years old. Let's play through its horrific environment and see why its so beloved!
LeT's PlAy BIOSHOCK < Link to LP

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Disregarding whether or not reviews are ever influenced by business interests outside of what the reviewer honestly thinks of the game, the chances of agreeing with every reviewer on every game are pretty slim. So don't take things too seriously.

But that said, there's more than one reviewer here who I can't rely on and I have 2 games in my Switch library that were awarded a 9 by this site that I would have a hard time giving a 7.

And agreed, the reviews do often seem to completely overlook aspects that I'm particularly looking for.

But that's just the way it goes, I guess. There's been a lot of games released for Switch in a relatively short period, and many of them are not new games so have been played and reviewed elsewhere in the past. I guess it doesn't make much business sense to resource a comprehensive, quality assured review for every game, but they still want to put something out.

Edited on by gcunit

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

My Nintendo: gcunit | Nintendo Network ID: gcunit


"Fire Emblem Warriors on the other hand is a terrible Musou game. How that got an 8/10 is beyond me."

The only Musou games I've played are Hyrule and FE Warriors, but I disagree with this. I thought FE was great and I liked it more than HW. Granted, I haven't picked up HW definitive on Switch yet, just played the Wii U version.

I wish FE:W had a wider variety of character classes, but that's not enough for me to dislike the game.

Edited on by KryptoniteKrunch

Now playing: Crash N' Sane Trilogy, Dark Souls Remastered

Nintendo Network ID: KryptoniteKrunch


God forbid someone actually likes a game you don't

Edited on by Morpheel

Yeah I don’t know either.

Eh! My gameplay videos

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I generally like the reviews here. but the scores... I can't take those seriously at all. Like Cobalt I usually imagine the score should be at least one point lower for Nintendo games.

But when Ultimate arrives they will be in a predicament. The game must receive a 11/10 or else everyone will shout blasphemy, they know it, I know it, you know it, anyone want to bet otherwise?

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And PushSquare gave a ten to an indie game where you glide around collecting pieces of a scarf and listening to pretty music. And a game with very little plot or character depth where you roam around empty Victorian streets killing monsters.

Yet those games are wildly popular with the Playstation crowd, and it's not really my place to try and ruin their enthusiasm.

You're never going to agree with every opinion published by any publication. Different games appeal to different people, and that's perfectly alright.



They gave Snowboard Kids only a 7 out of 10. They're evil soulless monsters!

I think the reviews here are usually fine. More generous than the average reviewer, but still not afraid to give out bad scores from time to time. However, there have been a few pretty poorly written reviews. For example, Senran Kagura Reflections got a low score but the review didn't really explain what was wrong with it other than "wah creepy sexism". And many generic indie games seem to get an 8 as long as they're functioning games.

I think the concept of giving games a number rating is flawed anyway. The example I always use is Etrian Odyssey. It's a niche hardcore dungeon crawler that many reviewers gave a 7 because despite being good, it wouldn't appeal to everyone. However, if it appeals to you, it deserves more than a 7, and if it doesn't appeal to you, it deserves less than a 7.

If I were a reviewer, I'd replace number ratings with two bulleted lists: "You should buy this game if..." and "You should not buy this game if..." However, I'm not a reviewer, so instead I just sit here and make fun of reviewers and their hard work.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3


I think that numbered scores are important, but sometimes I think that people put too much behind those numbers. Unless a game is from a franchise that I trust well, I typically evaluate multiple reviews, impressions, gameplay footage on YT, and even a demo (if available) before deciding if a game's for me.

Do I agree with all scores, particularly those here? Certainly not. Are some "reviews" on aggregate sites complete garbage? Yep. Thankfully, it's normally fairly easy to sift between the honest reviews and the ones that are either rushed or posted by trolls.

@gcunit: I'm curious; as a future Switch owner, which games were those?

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I must agree, I've been reading this site for a long time (only started commenting fairly recently) and I noticed the reviews (and the site in general) took a very sharp dip in quality as soon as Tom Whitehead left. I had no idea that that one man was apparently single-handedly maintaining the quality of the entire site.

The reviews mostly feel very barebones, and I also agree that the WO4 review could have done with much more detail. There are some cases where I agree with reviews here, but most of the time they feel either heavily biased towards or against a game without judging it on its actual merits (ahem, Senran Kagura, Warriors Orochi 4, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, ahem).

Mario Galaxy is ten years old, and now I feel old.


I am more concerned with the comments for those reviews. "Welp, I knew this game was terrible" is a well known response to a 'bad' review. Hmm imagine basing your game purchases on a single review.



ilikeike wrote:

I noticed the reviews (and the site in general) took a very sharp dip in quality as soon as Tom Whitehead left.

I have wondered if he left because he didn't like where the site was heading (I seem to remember the bigger focus on affiliate links crept in while he was still here, for example), or whether it was purely because he was offered something he wanted elsewhere.

@Tyranexx The games that come to mind for me are Danmaku Unlimited 3 and Detention.

I like Shiryu and his writing, but I'd like to be able to see a page where I can view all his reviews, because in my head the reviews he does seem to be nearly all for games he is predisposed to liking and they get a 9/10.

I'm not a fan of shmups particularly. Got nothing against them, but I haven't played many because when I have I've found they more often than not are pretty simplistic offerings, where the main hook is maintaining your combo streak to get a high score. They tend to offer very little in terms of narrative or gameplay variation (basically just moving a sprite around within a fairly confined area over and over, shooting and dodging).

Now there's two sides to this. One might say that DU3 is an excellent example of the genre and thus deserves a score that reflects that. But in my opinion, it's just a game with very little to offer. Every run is the same, there's very little variation in gameplay, narrative or graphics, no apparent innovation (not that I'd be a good judge of that), nothing really to entice newcomers into the genre with. Just a very limited offering in my eyes. And to me, where a game is so limited, it doesn't deserve to get a 9, regardless of any allowances you might be tempted to make because of the genre. If it's a great example of the genre, then the genre is limited and should be scored accordingly.

However, I do acknowledge that the score it got here was reasonable in the context of the few other reviews that were published, and so I should probably just avoid the genre. But that review initiated a suspicion in me against Shiryu's reviews that has been reinforced since, so I tend not to read his anymore.

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

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I'll ignore the text side of the reviews, but NL's review of Nights of Azure 2: Bride of New Moon from Nov 14 2017 still has screenshots that look like they were from a Playstation version (square and triangle button prompts). This was unacceptable then, not having fixed it by now is even more so.

Other than that, there's my subjective impression that reviews typically don't have actual gameplay screenshots. Take the very recent review of World of Final Fantasy MAXIMA as an example. How many of those screenshots are from a moment where the player is controlling something?

"The review score of 6 becomes a 9 when looked at another angle. And vice versa." -me?


An opinion is subjective and should only be taken as such - if a reviewer thinks a game is fun, but you disagree, that just a matter of personal taste...but there have been cases where Nintendo Life have appeared to misrepresent objective facts - and that's where people are right to take issue.

Take, for example, their review of Cities Skylines on Switch - they describe the Switch version as "a performance quagmire" (citing poor framerate as a key criticism) and claim that it "proves that not every game can be ported wholesale onto the platform without serious issues" ..but when you read other players' testimonies of the game, or watch livestreams of it on YouTube - those claims do not appear to be representative of the actual experience:

Here are @Heavyarms55's thoughts (from the Cities Skylines thread) for example:

"I never experienced the slowdown and massive frame drops some review sites reported. Perhaps you can trigger that if you build your city really poorly, or perhaps it only happens if you have some kind of cascading massive failure. But I never saw any of that. Even in the extreme late game.

Seriously, ignore that horrible review on this site and others. This is a must have for fans for city builders, and runs just fine on Switch. I played nearly the entire 20 something hours in portable mode, it runs more than acceptably."

...and here's a livestream from around 20 hours in to the game which also appears so show none of the performance issues this site reported:

By the looks of things, the game will briefly pause when auto-saving - and there's some occasional pop-in here and there - but there's nothing like the "performance quagmire" Nintendo Life suggested.

Perhaps the game had a Day 1 patch, but Nintendo Life's pre-release review copy did not? If so, the developers (Paradox) would at least be partly to blame for not providing NL with something which is more representative of the final product - either way, in this day and age where Day 1 patches are (unfortunately) commonplace, it might've been worth the reviewers time to just dip back in for an hour or so on launch day, or at least check with the devs as to whether there would be a Day 1 patch which might fix some of the issues they're experiencing, to ensure that their final review matches what players can expect to be playing upon the games release (particularly if a game is digital-only, like Cities Skylines, where the patch would be included in the full Day 1 download)

As I say, they may not be entirely to blame for such 'wide of the mark' reviews as the above - but when you read one thing, yet see another - it doesn't look great...

Edited on by NaviAndMii

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@Pahvi We are provided assets to use in our reviews. I myself took upon to make my own screenshots for the Super Famicom import reviews for obvious reasons. This is of course quite impossible to do for every game we review in due time. It is in fact not even part of the job! If you see screenshots that are doctored or not part of the finished product you end up buying, point your fingers at the publishers who deliver their assets in such fashion.

@NaviAndMii Please take good notice of what was written here. I myself have had several of my reviews immediately outdated due to day one patches and even send bug reports to developers that I found during my playtime for reviews. This is THE trap of current day and age game reviewing: they ship what they have on release date and promise to fix it later. We review the game that was given to us in its present build.

However nothing I type here will change your minds, as such I hope one day you all realize how lucky we all are to have this team working diligently to bring you all the latest, greatest Nintendo content as it happens anywhere in the world, myself doing so 24/7 pro-bono.

Edited on by Shiryu

"No Surrender, No Retreat."

Nintendo Network ID: Shiryu


Shiryu wrote:

@NaviAndMii Please take good notice of what was written here. I myself have had several of my reviews immediately outdated due to day one patches and even send bug reports to developers that I found during my playtime for reviews. This is THE trap of current day and age game reviewing: they ship what they have on release date and promise to fix it later. We review the game that was given to us in its present build.

Totally fair - there are things that could be done on your end to ensure that you don't end up looking silly though...

For example:

  • The reviewer could've made it clear which version of the game they were reviewing (eg. v0.9 - may not be fully representative of the full v1.0 release)
  • The reviewer could've played the game on Day 1 to ensure that their review matched the final product (even if that means going back and just leaving an 'Editors Note' as to what changes/differences they noticed)
  • The reviewer could've asked the developers whether a Day 1 patch could be expected (and what they claim will be improved)

...certain things are beyond your control, but you could at least cover your backs by doing some of the above

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