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Topic: Why do gamers go on about "bias" in games reviews as though it's a bad thing?

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The_Ink_Pit_Ox

21. Posted:

The guy at GameXplain expressed his disappointment with Paper Mario: Sticker Star, whereas everyone else is giving it good remarks. Because of this guy's review, a few people actually canceled their preorder. Someone actually said that his review wasn't biased and was merely his comments.

I'm giving it a shot (partially because I want DKOE).

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Hokori

22. Posted:

How is it unprofessional to give a good score to a game you don't like, arnt reviews meant to be there to give EVERYONE an idea?
Take wiiwarewaves review of NG3 as an example, rukiafan says he doesn't like hack n slash games and yet he gave it an 8/10 that I think is a professional review

Edited on by Hokori

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WesCash

23. Posted:

WhiteKnight wrote:

WesCash wrote:

But at the same time, I do think there should be a certain amount of objectivity to reviews. Generally, I read reviews to determine whether or not a game is worthy of my time. If I see one site award a game a score of 7 while another gives out a 9, I'm fine with that. That can be explained by a difference of opinions. However, when a game is earning 4/10 or 5/10 from some sources and 9/10 from other sources, I have to scratch my head..

Why does that matter, as long as the critic has argued his position well? Surely if one critic comes up with a solid and justifiable analysis and ends up with a 4/10 and the other comes up with a solid and justifiable analysis of 9/10, that would be a better source of information to you than two critics that score 7 and 9 and don't really give you any reasons for the praise of the game?

Gamers should care more about whether the critic has defended his opinion well or not, and less about whether the critic has a right to an opinion or not.

This is a different discussion, but too often people look at the scores and use that as justification for hating/ liking the review. Argue for/ against the content of the actual review, not the score.

Well, I suppose if you hate racing games, maybe it would be hard for you to review a racing game without letting your prejudice against them get in the way of providing a fair review. A good reviewer should be able to still judge whether it was a well-made racing game despite disliking the genre, IMO.

I dislike FPSers with a passion, and I will, in reviews, explain why I don't like them. If the reader doesn't agree with the reason that I give for not enjoying the FPSer, then that's fine, but they don't need to pay attention to my review.

Conversely I love Otaku RPGs and generally review far higher than other critics with those games. Again, readers can use my personal preferences to determine whether my review is one they agree with.

I don't see why I shouldn't review FPSer or Otaku RPGs, though. Surely if I praise a FPSer despite not liking the genre, that should mean more than a Shooter obsessive also giving the game a high score? And surely if I slam an Otaku RPG then that's a sign that everyone should stay right away?

This goes back to my original point - gamers should spend less time criticising critics for having a personal taste in games and spend more time figuring out whether they respect a critic's opinion - whether they agree with it or not.

I suppose you are right with regards to your point about the ability of a reviewer to argue their position. I guess I find it hard to believe that two reviews which conflict to such an extreme scale can both be "solid and justifiable" analyses of a game. Often, when I read a review that is a statistical outlier, I tend to notice that there are things that are not examined fully or problems that haven't been addressed.

And I wasn't intending to bring up the score/metacritic debate. I just like to use numbers since it's easier to quantify things that way.

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Odnetnin

24. Posted:

@WhiteKnight I thought your review of Halo 4 was a good example of this. You explained why you don't like FPS games (and it's not like you have an irrational hatred of them or anything; you identify the genre's problems), but you also judge Halo 4 on its own merits. You judge it subjectively, as all reviewers must, but you judge it on its own merits despite your dislike of FPS games.

It's really late at night, so sorry if this doesn't make sense.

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WesCash

25. Posted:

@DarkKnight
Makes sense to me. That's basically what I was trying to say, except that I'm too tired to be as clear as you are.

WesCash

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Aviator

26. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

How is it unprofessional to give a good score to a game you don't like, arnt reviews meant to be there to give EVERYONE an idea?
Take wiiwarewaves review of NG3 as an example, rukiafan says he doesn't like hack n slash games and yet he gave it an 8/10 that I think is a professional review

That's not the point of a review. You're not meant to write for an audience. You write about your own personal experiences with the game.

You say you hate COD but would still give it 9/10.

So you hate a game that you're enjoying?

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Hokori

27. Posted:

DarkKnight wrote:

@WhiteKnight I thought your review of Halo 4 was a good example of this. You explained why you don't like FPS games (and it's not like you have an irrational hatred of them or anything; you identify the genre's problems), but you also judge Halo 4 on its own merits. You judge it subjectively, as all reviewers must, but you judge it on its own merits despite your dislike of FPS games.

It's really late at night, so sorry if this doesn't make sense.

It made sense, and actually proved my point, because waltz is saying i should give COD a bad review since I don't like them, but I gave it a fair review, which everyone seems to be ganging up on me for

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Bankai

28. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

How is it unprofessional to give a good score to a game you don't like, arnt reviews meant to be there to give EVERYONE an idea?

No. A review is the opinion of a critic about a game. The assumption is that the critic is an expert about what he's reviewing (in this case, games), and therefore their opinion of the game is a legitimate one, rather than some random dude going off on a rant. Buyer's guides are there to give EVERYONE an idea about a game. And those are usually written by marketing people, not critics.

Edited on by Bankai

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Aviator

29. Posted:

No you didn't give it a fair review.

You said you hate it, then gave it a 9/10.

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Hokori

30. Posted:

@gagagaga so a review is just meant to be yours? Then why post a review? So NL shouldn't review anymore since the reviews arnt meant for us? Super cool story bro

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Chrono_Cross

31. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

How is it unprofessional to give a good score to a game you don't like, arnt reviews meant to be there to give EVERYONE an idea?
Take wiiwarewaves review of NG3 as an example, rukiafan says he doesn't like hack n slash games and yet he gave it an 8/10 that I think is a professional review

You're not being honest with your opinion. You're basically writing down someone else's view to cater to your community's desires. I mean, if every reviewer took your logic, then every game released would get a solid review with a 9/10 stamped onto the bottom.

@gagagaga so a review is just meant to be yours? Then why post a review? So NL shouldn't review anymore since the reviews arnt meant for us? Super cool story bro

Exactly. It's NintendoLife's opinion expressed to give everyone else an idea of what the game is like. If the community doesn't appreciate one's opinion, then they're obviously on the wrong site.

Edited on by Chrono_Cross

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Odnetnin

32. Posted:

This sort of reminds me of the essays we write in my AP World History class. We spent some time looking at (and assigning numerical ratings to; lol) sample thesis statements. These are comparative essays pertaining multiple societies or change over time essays pertaining to one society. It's essential that we have an opinion of the societies in question, and it can be a strong one; we can argue that Imperial Rome was of greater significance than Han China, for instance, as long as we can justify/defend our opinion.

However, one thesis statement that we agreed was poor talked about how much Russia prospered under the rule of Stalin and how there was complete equality in all social classes during that period. This is obviously a rubbish opinion, as the author would've had a heck of a time trying to back it up. The lesson learned here that you can have any opinion you want (and it can be completely different from everyone else's), as long as you can argue it properly.

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Aviator

33. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

@gagagaga so a review is just meant to be yours? Then why post a review? So NL shouldn't review anymore since the reviews arnt meant for us? Super cool story bro

CactusJackson wrote:

You're not being honest with your opinion. You're basically writing down someone else's view to cater to your community's desires. I mean, if every reviewer took your logic, then every game released would get a solid review with a 9/10 stamped onto the bottom.

That's for writing that so I didn't have to Cactusman.

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WesCash

34. Posted:

Aviator wrote:

That's not the point of a review. You're not meant to write for an audience.

I disagree with that. Reviews are meant for an audience. They are supposed to give people an idea of whether the game is worth their time and money.

WesCash

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Aviator

35. Posted:

I'll rephrase that.

You shouldn't alter your review to fit the audience's way of thinking about the game.

If you don't like COD, then you would write your review as to why you don't like the game, giving examples, rather than saying you hate it, and giving it a 9/10.

Edited on by Aviator

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Bankai

36. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

@gagagaga so a review is just meant to be yours? Then why post a review? So NL shouldn't review anymore since the reviews arnt meant for us? Super cool story bro

The point of criticism is for a critic to write an expert opinion about a subject, and for people who value that expert opinion to pay attention to it.

For some reason the film, literature, food and arts audiences seem to get it and don't play these silly games, but in the games industry you've got people who would rather tell people to play a game they hate. How is that an expert opinion? It's not. It helps no one.

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Morpheel

37. Posted:

HarmoKnight wrote:

@gagagaga so a review is just meant to be yours? Then why post a review? So NL shouldn't review anymore since the reviews arnt meant for us? Super cool story bro

Reviewers are sharing their experience with a game with us so that we can make ourselves an idea of what's the game like.

They're like the kid next door who tells you "froot loops are awesome!", there might be another kid living on your street who says "froot loops are ew!", and that's completely ok. It's his opinion.

Edited on by Morpheel

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RR529

38. Posted:

Yeah, there are lots of times I've disagreed with a site's reviews, but instead of bashing them, I just ignore them, & go to a site I generally agree with.

I tended to really trust NP's reviews. Sure, they're really "biased" towards Nintendo, but so am I, so more often than not, their opinion mirrored what mine ended up being.

I don't read NP anymore, but I've now moved on to NL, who I've grown to trust. I also respect IGN's views (I bring up their "eShop roundup" each month in the NL forums), NWR's views (I often disagree with them, but I bring up their reviews often, to show the NL community different views), and Nintendo eShop Gamers' reviews (although their site hasn't updated in the past few months).

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Hokori

39. Posted:

Ok how about just 2 reviews then? One for you shooter lovers, and one based on my own opinion

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Odnetnin

40. Posted:

RR529 wrote:

Yeah, there are lots of times I've disagreed with a site's reviews, but instead of bashing them, I just ignore them, & go to a site I generally agree with.

I tended to really trust NP's reviews. Sure, they're really "biased" towards Nintendo, but so am I, so more often than not, their opinion mirrored what mine ended up being.

I don't read NP anymore, but I've now moved on to NL, who I've grown to trust. I also respect IGN's views (I bring up their "eShop roundup" each month in the NL forums), NWR's views (I often disagree with them, but I bring up their reviews often, to show the NL community different views), and Nintendo eShop Gamers' reviews (although their site hasn't updated in the past few months).

Yeah NP's reviews are super biased, because, well, they love Nintendo! But I love Nintendo too, so that means more often than not I can trust their reviews to steer me in the right direction.

Edit: Just realized I should be referring to NP in the past tense. This is depressing.

Edited on by Odnetnin

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