Balan Wonderworld has had some shockingly awful press around its release, including warnings of scenes that are unsafe for epileptic players, and a bunch of reviews that rarely poke their heads up above the 6/10 mark. Needless to say, it's not looking good for Square Enix's latest, made with Sonic the Hedgehog alum Yuji Naka at the helm.
Except... actually... maybe it's all okay! Over the past few days, a slew of 10/10 scores have been coming in from Metacritic users, bumping Balan Wonderworld's score up to a surprisingly high, overall positive average. It's starting to look a little... suspect, if you ask us (and the rest of the internet). What's the opposite of review bombing? Review... inflating? Review fluffing? Well, it's that.
Many of these users have names that look more like someone choking on Alphabet Soup than real handles, and all of their reviews are glowing. Even when we like games so much that we wish there was some way to pump them into our bloodstream, we still have criticism, like the fact that Zelda: Breath of the Wild doesn't have a fishing minigame (electrocuting the water doesn't count).
What's more, many of these comments are written in similar broken English, with repeated phrases across a few of them, and, weirdly, all of the negative reviews are getting downvoted to hell. Hmm.
Let's take a look at what some of these 100 per cent legitimate 10/10 reviews are saying:
"Live this game as an adventure And you will be rewarded with the best platform ever" - Larryor
"Overall, I'm feel satisfied by this Balan Wonderworld" - Ukaty
"Best game of this decade" - Omono
"A really shiny experience to live for just have some good moments of fun, with a nice platform" - Beryph
"This is the greatest platform game made in the whole gen" - Okuman
"Egregious and absolutely stunning game" - Uqln
"This Balan Wonderworld became one of my favorite platforming games after hitting the credits" - Ezynu
"If you love games like NiGHTS or Croc, you will also love this Balan Wonderworld" - Olony
"It's just like playing the old good platform games, like NiGTHS or Croc, and I love this" - Whastym
"I'm like it" - Klroph
Either every user reviewer here has unpronounceable consonant sneezes for names, and finds Balan Wonderworld "cute", "cool", and "surprisingly emotional", or, yeah, these are bots. It might have been less obvious if several of them didn't try to assert that Balan Wonderworld is the platformer of the decade.
We can only speculate, of course, but we do have a few questions: If they are bots, who paid for them? And did they really think this would work, instead of being awful press?
In the interest of fairness, here are a couple of the negative reviews:
"This game is a dumpster fire" - octoyoshi
"Final boss nearly killed me, and I'm not even talking about an in-game death" - JoeMamama
"this is such a dull, boring, repetitive & brain dead game that it physically hurts me" - FieryGarfield
Hey, this is just a news piece. We won't tell you what to think. You'll have to read our review for that, with quotes like "Balan Wonderworld simply isn't fun to play" and "Balan Wonderworld is a waste of your time". And we can promise that none of us are bots. Except maybe Alex, who's been beeping a lot lately.
So, what do you think? Bots, or legitimate reviews? Does this make you more, or less likely to try out Balan Wonderworld? Let us know in the comments, unless you're also a bot.
[source metacritic.com, via twitter.com]
Probably bots ig
This game is great sense of style and fun play that will remind you of games like NiGHTS or Croc, really love platform.
Balan Wonderworld rocks take it from me - podopsodwdwsd
I feel like it's just one guy who wasn't paid that really likes the game and wants it to succeed, so he made loads of alts just to force the rating to go up.
NiGTHS is probably my favoritest game evr. 11/10
definitely bots. a shame, really.
This game is just sad at this point, can we forget about it already? 😅
-the cutscenes have some really nice renders though! You can see where the time and money went...
Similar situation appeared to happen with Sword & Shield's launch and some other big name releases, as well.
After reading some of these "reviews"... it seems like bots.
Just as a reminder, you can get Super Mario Odyssey, A Hat in Time, Crash Bandicoot 4, Spyro Reignited, or Crash N Sane Trilogy on Switch.
And this is a full priced title, 80 dollars over here in Canada?! What a joke.
10/10 will never play this
What an egregious use of the word egregious.
Definitely lots of fluffing going on.
@RupeeClock I think you'll find it's perfectly cromulent.
Live this game as an adventure And you will be rewarded with the best platform ever
I wouldn’t be surprised if the developers were somehow behind it
There is a powerup that turns you into a cube "whenever it feels like it"
@Neopolitan reminder as well, monster hunter rise released the same day, and is the same price. Even though Rise isn't the same genre, it'll probably be more worth the 60 dollar price tag than Balan.
@Gauchorino There's review bombing and then there's review inflating(?). The former tends to be very common in many recent titles, but the latter, not so much.
@VoidofLight Exactly. There is no reason that this game should be a full priced "Triple-A Title".
This game is incredible. I can't emphasise this point enough. I thought I knew what a great game was, but after experiencing the absolute torrent of joy pouring down upon my soul that Balan Wonderworld and the perpetually dancing NPCs instills within, I realise now I was totally blind before. This game has opened my eyes. I can only describe it as seeing a completely new color for the first time. A color so beautiful if I wasn't sitting down to play this game, I would fall to my knees in tears of pure elation.
I am not worthy. I have seen beyond the veil. I have witnessed God. He wears a hat and his name is Balan.
@BlackenedHalo Useless or not, it is still a rather strange phenomenon in this game's case.
I bet they won't get removed. Only negative reviews get taken down when people tell about bots.
Maybe everyone just forgot the /s? It’s not impossible since a lot of them seem to be coming from the same source. Boy are they going to be embarrassed (and tired) when they realize they have to go back and edit all those posts.
"Egregious and absolutely stunning game" may just be my favorite review of anything ever.
Probably the same people who ever thought this game looked good (it didn't) and just want so badly for Yuji Naka to be relevant these days.
Oh, nobody's questioning the wordiness of the word egregious here, just it's misuse!
The sonic fandom would do something like this
"I'm like it" - Klroph
Are you a dumpster fire then, Klroph? Lol
@CBordo Oh no they found a way to reach NL too! 😂
(I'm just kidding mate, hope you don't mind a silly joke; in case you do, tell me and I'll delete)
@BlackenedHalo you are one of them
A score of just 3, when I've been looking forward to this game, that's going to reduce the average score. 😱
It's pretty sad how easily manipulated metacritic's user ratings are.
A lot of awesome games get negatively review-bombed for various reasons. Maybe it's only fitting that a crap game receives the opposite treatment.
People forget that Square is known to pay for good reviews and massive hype for their ***** generic garbage.
"This may just be the best game of all time. I really didn't have high expectations for this game I though "Another platformer just like that mario trash, nothing like good games like cyberpunk 2077 (Though the "patches" have made it worse) or fortnite. But WHOAH did that game blow me away, the stunning graphics, fast paced platforming, everything. All this on the switch? Like WHOAH. This game is totally radical and I think you should get it, I did a pixel count and I got 1440p in handheld mode, 120fps, with 8k and raytracing. I haven't even mentioned the costumes, I absolutely love how each costume does 1 thing, it's like the odyssey capture mechanic but it's actually a good game! There are so many unique costumes that are all super fun to play around with! The only thing I would improve are the cut scenes, while they convey the story perfectly they look pretty bad. All in all 20/10 game I hope to see a sequel !" - Balanfan69 (Totally not me)
The ps5 version is not bad though not 10/10 but certainly higher than 3
Even the people that aren’t bots are going to insane lengths to defend this trash game even trying to use “games as art” drivel, if this ones a an example of “games as art” then that makes Bubsy 3D is the Mona Lisa of gaming.
One word for this scenario LMFAO
@SalvorHardin But Bubsy 3D 𝘐𝘚 the Mona Lisa of gaming
all fakes. lottk at their names and their profiles: only voting for balan wonderworld
I have full confidence that the game is rough in places but parsecs from as bad as the fandom (with a "video game journalist" cap in their heads or not) makes it out to be - one too many cases of subversive personal experience, fellow patients, - but this here really does look like someone just unleashed a counter-trollfest on the disgruntled side of the drama queens. Neither ends up informative about the game and both end up more of a cement boot pair on the feet of Metacritic and other "score aggregators". If I don't even come to Reviewland for actual useful game info these days, why would I come for fandom troll wars?
PS. besides NL's own lack of aptitude in aforediscussed regard (unless I'm a clone of the writer, "x simply isn't fun to play" tells me NOTHING about whether x is fun to play or not), electrocuting fish ABSOLUTELY counts, you ruffians. BotW is practically the Dreams of Zelda mini games in how players keep [ab]using the engine to come up with hundreds of new ones.😎😄
No, nobody pays for reviews, we have the most secure review system since Sony and TLoU2.
Believe all these with impunity, don't question it.
Best adventure platformer, if you like Mario and Croc, thisi s the best game of the year
@Bobb For sure
It's quite suspicious that not only is the game getting flooded with fake positive user reviews but there also weren't any critic reviews until a few days after launch. Seems like there have been some pretty dodgy practices going on to try to sell this load of garbage.
In all fairness I've been seeing several people on twitter talk about how much they enjoy the game. While it's obvious there's something fishy about the reviews mentioned, there's people who really like this game and have been defending it quite a bit.
I see no harm. Obviously it’s to be funny. But also, there’s some major sega/sonic/naka fans who enjoy this game. There’s a jankiness about it they find nostalgic and funny, and that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to like balan wonderworld.
Or maybe it's the case that Sonic fans just have really, REALLY low standards?
I mean you say there's still criticism but this site and others still gave BotW 10s despite it's flaws
Perhaps these "people" just enjoyed this game so much theyre able to overlook the flaws too
I noticed this whilst perusing Metacritic yesterday and laughed
Opposite of review bombing is love bombing
More games should be Egregious.
@Judal27 There's a difference between something like BOTW and this. Of course, yeah people can hold their opinions on something, and probably enjoy something more than others, but Balan is effectively a broken game. If you didn't have internet to get the patch when you bought the game.. then you'll literally get violently sick at the final boss, if you don't know that the final boss can induce seizures with a glitch.
Effectively, Balan can actually be a danger to someone's health.
this is just stupid. this is a bad game, and hopefully the reviews will soon show it
Review... fluffer? It's been a long day @KateGray, and you've just broken my brain with that imagery. Good day to you.
I liked Devil’s Third. Will I like Balan?
Really surprised this doesn't happen more often on bigger releases, where they have obviously fake positive user reviews.
LOL @ ""Egregious and absolutely stunning game"
I’m certain these kind very real flesh and blood humans love Balan Wonderworld and cannot wait to get back to playing after their shifts at the Amazon Warehouse.
Well, no matter what, I wouldn't trust Metacritic user scores too much. Too much review bombing (often for some ridiculous reason) and extremely unfair or unjustified reviews (most games don't deserve 0 or 10, but instead something a bit more... believable).
This are best game evar! I not have play it yet but I know this game is bestest! I not bot too becuz I say so. The colors in game are best colors too! Play have fun!
@Xylnox If you enjiy bravely defult 2, then youll love Balan wonderwardl for the xnox one!
Why is it so bad if a person likes a game, whiles others hating it °n° Is it not allowed to enjoy a game just because 90% of the gaming community dislikes it °-°~?
Some people actually think Batman v Superman (Ultimate included) was great and not a dumpster fire so it goes to show, like with this mess of a game, there is no accounting for taste.
I have to admit, suspicious Metacritic reviews do sound better in Italian:
"Balan Wonderworld è un’opera d’arte, un monumentale esempio di game design e storytelling, una testimonianza per le future generazioni della grandezza di un sviluppatore leggendario, Yuji Naka, che ha firmato molti dei più grandi capolavori usciti nel corso degli anni sulle console Sega. Esatto, è proprio così, ed è bene proclamarlo ad alta voce e subito, prima ancora di qualsiasi descrizione e spiegazione, o di qualsivoglia analisi critica, in modo che il giocatore, anche il più distratto o superficiale, sappia immediatamente di fronte a che genere di gemma preziosa egli si trovi davanti, un oggetto che, sempre che non detestiate visceralmente il genere dei Platform con elementi GdR, non può neanche lontanamente essere ignorato, a meno di non volersi perdere il più grande videogioco mai uscito su Next Gen. E attenzione: persino i più feroci hater di Sonic, Mario, Crash o di questa tipologia di videogiochi dovrebbero seriamente considerare di dare una chance a questo episodio della lunga serie di successi di Yuji Naka, poiché molto probabilmente non avranno un’opportunità migliore di scoprire un universo spettacolare e meraviglioso e, in definitiva, convertirsi a Balan."
@Ulanda The thing is, there's no problem in liking a game. However, this article isn't about a person liking a game. It's about a person, or company, botting reviews and artificially inflating the score of a game itself.
Especially when the game can actually be potentially dangerous if you don't install the day 1 patch.
So, what? Is SE paying desperate foreigners to praise its game? If so, how stupid does SE think people are?
@VoidofLight Dangerous °~° What do you mean with dangerous °n°
@Ulanda The game can literally induce seizures at the final boss fight if you don't patch the game, due to a glitch. Eventually in the future, if people buy a second hand copy, and the servers are offline, they won't be able to patch it, effectively putting themselves at risk while they might not even know it. The game can also make people violently sick as well at the same instance.
This game is terrible no about of pretending to praise it will save it.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... something tells me that these review may ever so slightly be possibly not genuine..
Reverse review score bombing 😳
@KateGray Review defusing? I mean, it's already bombed in the ratings lol.
This Balan Wonderworld is fantastic success story, so filled with joy my body falls through floor and walls!
one way to embiggen sales I guess...
April fools is a thing, just letting ya know
@MantaPloc The only thing is, it's not April fools yet. Plus, I doubt anyone would review bomb a game for April Fools.
@Eel It was Eel, all along!! Hahahah
@JoeyTS He can count pixels? This guy knows what’s up.
@BloodNinja You could too, get a good magnifying glass and don't lose count.
Why are you bashing on Klroph, though? They just said they are very similar to the game.
@doctorhino brb counting pixels
@Peteykins Mario: Breath of the Wilds is my favorite Sonic game.
I don't even look at the user scores anymore. It's always review bombs, whether overly positive (like this one) or overly negative (like any Nintendo exclusive from Sony fans who hate they can't play Mario or Zelda on PlayStation.)
In fairness, this decade is pretty young still, so I suppose it could possibly be someone's favorite platformer of the decade.
"We pumped up Gamestop stock... check out what we can do with this."
They more than likely gave it a 10 just for the lols. Like lots of people gave BOTW low marks for lols or they own a rival console or just hate Zelda with a passion. Sad but that's the internet for you.
Xbox one metacritic have a score of 91 in users reviews, one of the best game on xone lol.
This is pretty common for metacritic, it has been dominated by fans and fanboys alike. Either it's something with a massive fan audience that overrated it handing out 10's like candy, or it's the target of vitriol from angry fanboys rating it 1's. Either way I have lost all confidence in that site and no longer really see it as being particularly useful.
I think Steam does the best job when it comes to user feedback. They do a simple like or dislike system for their game ratings and it removes a lot of that over the top fan behavior as people can't just assign a number to it.
I just can't help but feel bad about this whole situation. This game may be the end of Yuji Naka's career.
You also at least need to have purchased or claimed the game on Steam. And the amount of hours played feature alongside the user's review. It's not a perfect system (you can have played the game on a platform other than Steam, after all) but it's better than whatever Metacritic has going on. Of course, review aggregators like Metacritic run into this issue no matter what. It comes with the territory. Rotten Tomatoes has the same issue with movie reviews.
Again, this is why Metacrictic is useless at this point.
@Beaucine Well that's the same reason why don't take those movie review sites seriously either lol. Honestly I think in this day and age it's really easy to get a good idea of what you're getting, especially when it comes to video games where you can just watch someone playing the game on youtube and decide if it looks like something you would want to play. I always prefer feedback when people just talk about it, describing what they liked and didn't like, and just give it a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, scores just complicate things.
I looked at the other versions of the game and noticed one of the users trashing the Switch version said for the PS5: "Balan has a really huge d*ck. 10/10 " (yeah, really juvenile but I can't stop laughing). Sounds like a troll/joke post, I wonder if there's any other users doing this.
Other than that, I think it's extremely obvious this is Square Enix trying to make a turd look like gold, and I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.
@SeantheDon29 [email protected], Gump. You're a [email protected] genius.
I like it too. Sorry but I think its great (technical issues aside)!
In unrelated news, also suspicious are the ads I'm seeing on NLife today supposedly for Humble Bundles including Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon and Pokemon Crystal.
Croc is one game that I can't defend despite the nostalgia, one of the worst controls and camera I've had the chance to experience. It's not like the Spyro trilogy, which I think still holds up.
It's a shame about Balan but Yuji Naka is still a genius programmer and I still look up to him, same as Iwata and all the greats.
I like the concept of NiGHTS but I'm not the biggest fan of the game, I didn't even like Rodea, or Ivy the Kiwi, I just like them 3D Sonic games that give me that sweet speed and control.
I.e.: I flippin love the Joel Schumacher Batman films, I think they hit the perfect balance between style/serious/funny it doesn't mean I have to like every film he's involved in.
Bots or not, just shows that Metacritic still has no quality assurance
Much funner thn other game. Best experience is my life! Sequel comes now soon. 10/10 Spectacular videoful!
I actually find official scores from big publications suspicious these days.
Metacritic should start requiring that users upload a valid proof of purchase before they can leave reviews for video games.
I find it funny how the game's page on eShop has 4 screenshots only and none of them are from the gameplay. Guess even the publisher is embarrassed to have released this atrocity of a game.
I think scores are usually completely meaningless, unless you have a very personal scale that doesn't grade games like we're at the Olympics or something and you're tallying up the amount of flaws and counting down from a perfect ten.
I've seen reviews even on this site which are, like, "This game is a tremendous, life-changing experience. It will solve poverty in at least a dozen countries. However, some players may experience frame-rate stuttering on the 17th level. And the prevalence of the color green in overworld maps can be distracting. 8/10."
@Ulanda They are allowed to like it sure, but they must be shamed for it! SHAME SHAME SHAME!
I love quirky games and totally enjoy playing this game I don’t pay much attention to reviews but it has a lot of NiGHTS undertones and I loved that game from the Sega Saturn so I could not wait till this game was released, if you like platforms if you played and remember NiGHTS you will like this sorry “Hello there lovely people Alex “ your reviews was just a little too harsh but that’s enough of me waffling.
@Beaucine Yeah exactly, I think it's just a flawed approach to base your gaming experience on a number score. If I gotta score a game I think the 5 star system is pretty decent, like you got a middle ground and you can rate if you really liked it or just enjoyed it and so on, but it doesn't get so complicated like "this game gets an 8.5 out of 10" when a 5 star review with some noted criticism would have worked.
The scores around here (and other gaming sites) are of course incredibly subjective. I have been around this site long enough to get a feel for the different critics and their tastes and there is some critics where I know I just can't relate to them. Some critics will have a passion for a genre that I really don't enjoy, others enjoy different styles of games, it's just the way it goes. Part of the reason why I just like to watch a gameplay video and read some basic criticisms to judge if a game is for me or not.
yeah those are bots
but if with those, i still love the game and gave it a honest 8/10 on metacritic
Sounds to me like bots at work. It really is a shame, though. I went into Balan Wonderworld without having read any reviews and I thought it was good despite its technical issues.
@Neopolitan amy of those will be more fun than this too.
Yeah, someone just try to convince me otherwise that Squenix paid off a bot farm. Thought they'd been acting a little coherent lately. Guess someone opened a window and brought half the team back from whatever carbon monoxide fever dream they were previously in.
But no need to worry folks; it's apparent someone closed the window. All's normal again.
What's with the Croc obsession? Like yeah, it's a historically important game but not a good one.
Mario odyssey has nothing on this 10/10.
@Crockin I don’t think there’s harm, but we can’t have a legitimate conversation about it’s appeal and - from their perspective - what it does so well that critic’s are not seeing if it’s going to be drowned out delusional statements and Knack-like sarcastic spit-posting.
Let’s face it most of, if not all companies use shady practices like this to benefit sales.
Most however are not so obvious and mostly go unnoticed... do your own due diligence and don’t be swayed by the (fake) herd.
I'm not sure if its just people that want to trick people into buying the game or if its really the company its self if its the company shame on them.
In a larger sense, though, the pure value judgement of how-good-is-this-game-out-of-ten is totally meaningless. I write movie reviews for a film website here in Argentina, where I live, and I hate doing star ratings. I have to, because of editorial policies, but it's pointless. The stars don't mean anything. There's a reason I'm bothering to type down all those words up above!
Ultimately, I think criticism, as a practice, is more interesting when it's asking The Big Questions, and these Big Questions have to do with history, culture, the advancement of the medium, popular reception, the context, the work's meaning, and so on and so forth. That's juicy stuff that makes we want to read words or listen to podcasts or watch videos — and you can't summarize any of it in a number.
I mean, I'm binging on Tim Rogers's stuff right now, and sometimes, like, it doesn't even matter whether he thinks a game is good or not. You're hearing about the experience of gaming, about game mechanics, about the social impact of this or that classic, and even when Tim talks about how a game is personally relevant to him, you always get the feeling that what he's really getting at is the relevance of videogames in our lives. And there's no putting a number next to that.
@Spiders what’s stopping you from having that conversation
Perhaps they used the archaic meaning where it meant remarkably good.
“It’s like Hideo Kojima but with a hat god” is my new most favouritest sentence ever.
I'm convinced this game was made while 80% of the team was on LSD.
10/10 Will accept bribes again.
@Bizzyb or they just consumed heaps of pot and junk food to make something this lazy and boring.
Bought out reviews, this is nothing new.
Id give the game like a 5/10 at best based on the demo, even for 1999-2002 standards its pretty mediocre.
The nicknames make it sound like a host of eldritch terrors, the Great Old Ones praising a video game. Lol.
Conglaturation you played great game!
@Beatrice pokemon sword and shield has sold 20 million copies.that speaks for itself
"in the whole gen" 😂😂😂
Sounds like the same people that enjoy Harvest Moon: One World, Light of Hope, and Skytree Village. It makes me barf.
@Crockin Discussion with who? A bot or a troll? You can’t take a positive opinion about it seriously.
Good thing that they at least released a demo...
@Zoomzeta The point is that this article is an acknowledgment that publishers are very likely paying for good reviews, regardless of your opinion on Sword's and Shield's relation to that (though it was widely speculated that those games were involved in nefariousness like this, due to extreme controversy about their content before release and the fact that almost nothing was changed about them, positively-speaking, once they were released, yet they kept getting 8-10/10s for some strange reason).
"become abundant in fun" These bots are Chinese. These comments are originally written in chinese and then translated on google to english. That's why they look weird.
@Beaucine Yeah I totally agree there, my favorite video game coverage is always when someone has a story to tell about a game or when they're offering a lot of insight. Scores are a terrible way to go about judging media.
I feel sorry for "I'm like it". A ***** game that gives you seizures. No one wants to be that guy.
It's still better than all the review bombers who act like whiny wittle c*nts because they didn't wike the game's politics 😭.
well thats embarrassing, and also a shame that this will probably work on the 1% of parents unaware of this game.
its like they know the games a disaster so theyre just trying to squeeze cheap money out of it with "any publicity is good publicity" attempts
@VoidofLight Oh... epilepsy, I see °~° that is nasty, indeed, but when you spoke about a danger, I thought first the game could brick or break your console -_- Not that epileptic seizures are no biggie, but those are a common pain since ever after with tv, video games or flashing lights -n- Still, sad to see that things like this are still happening -n-
@Ulanda Yeah, but it even causes normal people to get violently sick, in terms of just throwing up.
I propose to call this "starwarsing", after a similar wave of bots inflated Rotten Tomatoes score for Star Wars when Rise of the Skywalker came out. Apparently someone at Disney was upset about the audience score for The Last Jedi.
Nintendo and Sega should sue Square Enix for stealing their character design and putting it in such an atrocious game.
Yeah these reviews are bots it's sad they do this because the actual game is complete garbage its not worth 60 bucks to spend.
Worse game I've tried to date?. Absolutely slow and not really much to do. Idk, just didn't really hook me. Seemed like a boring as game tbh. Sonic adventure battle 2 is better. This game needs rails lol. Grinding on rails in that game is a blast.
Definetly the work of Ardent Sonic Fans.
There can be no debate.
Judging by how many people here are irritated/upset about this, I’d say they are doing this to have some fun with you
@KateGray Late to the party but this line is pure brilliance:
"Either every user reviewer here has unpronounceable consonant sneezes for names..."
I tend to buy all major switch games but hells no to this one. It has always looked bad. Pro tip by the way if any launched game on the eShop has no trailer and hardly any screenshots it’s surely a bad game.
There’s a game called Ghostrunner by 505 games that I refuse to buy because they haven’t even furnished the eShop with videos or screenshots. That makes it a certain no buy.
The title should be "... Getting A Suspicious Number Of 10/10 Metacritic User Reviews". "Amount" is used for non-discrete/non-countable things, e.g., praise, love, etc.
KateGray: People have there own unique opinions on a hated game, therefore I they are called bots.
You don't need to be a jerkass because people don't have the same opinion as you. You should be ashamed of yourself. Plus the game is not bad, it's just you people trust reviewers too much.
It sure isn't a 10/10 but I thought it was fun. As long as you go in knowing that it's a puzzle game, rather than expecting what it's not, a platformer, I don't think there was much to complain about, at least from what I played of the demo. Aside from the bad framerates on Switch, it's one of the better puzzle games I've played in a long time. It kinda reminds me of Captain Toad but with more things to collect and a whole lot of powerups and item management.
@Neopolitan Eh... As great as A Hat in Time is, it runs as well on the Switch as Balan.
But how did they pass the "I'm not a robot" wall?! This is how it starts and then... BOOM! you have Skynet.
Review Bombing VI: The Opposite Cause
Trolololol, this is just rich. Either they are from people who are trolling, or those trolls just use bots to do the same. Or maybe mister Naka himself is behind it? Maybe he has a sense of humour and sees that his game is trash. He can't really think this helps, can he?
Either way, the game is trash. Yet another gaming legend that doesn't deliver. Mister Naka, please retire? You are tainting your good name, since people will only remember the trash and not the good games!
"Final boss nearly killed me, and I'm not even talking about an in-game death" - JoeMamama
okay that username has got me, also I really hope that didn't happen to this user.
Or maybe video game reviewers are so out of touch they cant accept that lots of people like a game they gave a 3/10 too. I miss the days of "Nintendo Official Magazine when video game journalists weren't pretentious uni grads.
Reminds me a bit of Left Alive as well. For some reason, that game got high user scores despite middling reception from both critics and gamers. Heck, the pc version was surprisingly high, despite the very low steam score.
Or maybe the game is really good? And the professional reviewers have a crux to bare or something?
(Maybe, them not buying ads on game sites, as that normally gets you a good review)
Dunno, as I’ve not played it.
I’ve played it on xbox series x and despite having the same shortcomings, the smoother Frame rate, more detailed graphics and higher res improve things enough to make it a little more palatable.
I’d mark it a 6 on Xbox and 4 on Switch.
Though if these (OBVIOUS!) bots/fake reviews are being paid for by Square Enix, a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission may follow, as this is false advertising created to mislead the public by the publisher itself. I think Ill begin an investigation just for kicks.
@Clammy why don't you actually read the article and see why the reviews are fake. Come on man, THINK!
@floridafilter : why does this reviewer care? Seems almost like they have a grudge against game..and look, no ads! come on man, THINK!
@Clammy Stop being ignorant son. The game is now at 27 metascore. The user scores and falling now that REAL scores coming in. You're inability to do research will make you and easy foe in "debates" like this.
@floridafilter : Who's having a debate? Feels weird to suck up to reviewers so much though. Maybe you're part of the ad revenue too?
Hm, Balan Wonderworld looking a little...
Balan Wonderworld cure my canker full remission emotional platform best ever!!
@Gauchorino Millions of people and reviewers actually really liked Sword & Shield, though. No one likes Balan Wonderworld.
"try this game and become abundant in fun!"
Words to live by.
@Deltath Many consumers like it simply because it's Pokémon (aka, brand loyalty). Many reviewers were paid to give it good reviews despite its overwhelming flaws (which they, themselves, noted), which they derided other games for that had many of the same flaws that Sword and Shield had (such as many of the flaws noted about Balan Wonderworld, here on the review on this website). Very few liked SwSh based on their merits (of which there are very few, especially pre-updates and DLC; note that the pre-update, pre-DLC versions of SwSh were being given extremely good reviews, absurdly and suspiciously).
@Gauchorino I can't sit here and tell you Sword and Shield is an objectively better game, because it all comes down to opinion, but as a non-Pokemon fan who was checking out the series, I found it fun and it kept me entertained for about 45 hours. I liked it. Balan Wonderworld, on the other hand, is one of the worst games I've ever played. I had high expectations because I like NiGHTS and I'm a huge 3D platformer fan, but nothing could save that miserable game for me.
Also, I know people like to say that reviews are paid for but legitimately, I've never seen any evidence that that's the case. How do you know these reviews were purchased and it wasn't just shoddy, incomplete reviewing? I mean to say.. I've seen numerous cases of reviewers clearly not actually playing all the way through a game or even lying and using preview materials to formulate reviews on games they've never played. I've even seen sites encouraged to review popular games higher because it's better for their traffic. But is there any real evidence beyond rumor, assumption and innuendo that they're just paid flat fees from devs for a positive review?
@Deltath I didn't say you couldn't have fun with Sword or Shield, but that they had serious (and acknowledged) flaws that were never addressed by launch, and yet had been given incredibly high ratings by games reviewers despite this, which is a pleasure few other games with the same sort of flaws had gotten likewise. Pokémon should not be an exception to this standard simply because it's a well-loved series, and yet it was. Please refer to my second comment in this comments section for my answer to you concerning evidence of payment for positive game reviews.
@Gauchorino Your comment just references this article and this situation as evidence. It's definitely true that these companies seem like they're hiring people to make positive user reviews, but that doesn't explain the hundreds of professional critical reviews and YouTubers, etc that really enjoyed the game and a lot of the best game of the year nominations it received.
Now, I don't think it was an amazing game and I'd probably never go for a second pass, but I'd have given it a solid 7-8. Most of the issues and flaws you mentioned are things long time adult fans of the series seemed concerned with, from what I read. Seems like newcomers were much happier because they didn't have expectations for it to be something else.
@Deltath This is going back to my point that we're selectively allowing Pokémon to get away with not being criticized simply because of favouritism. Why does this explain that Balan is getting paid fluffed reviews but not Pokémon? Just because one has "professional" critic reviews and the other (supposedly) hasn't? Can professionals not be enticed to spread dishonest evaluations?
@Gauchorino I think you're missing the point. One is not remotely evidence of the other. A company being willing to instruct or even just encourage their employees to go online and make a few hundred fake profiles on Metacritic to boost the user rating (or hiring a third party data firm to do it for them) is NOT the same as a news outlet taking financial bribes to alter their review scores.
Also, as a final point of fact.. if it's so easy to buy off professional reviewers and they're already paying people to up the Metacritic score.. why didn't they buy positive professional reviews? Why did they allow everyone in the professional world to review it so negatively?
I'm not saying that it's impossible it could happen, but it's a wildly different practice. Companies in the past have been caught with internal memos or documents showing they asked employees to go rate up products on sites like metacritic and Amazon. It's an easy thing to do and also fairly easy to get away with.
Paying a news outlet like Kotaku or Polygon or Nintendo Life to give a good review just isn't directly comparable. To be honest, I don't know if they do it. I hope they don't. They also have much less incentive to do it. Square wants their product to succeed because their games selling and having a good reputation is their lifeblood. But shilling a positive review isn't what makes a review site successful. If anything, the rumors alone of such a thing often hurts them. It's possible the risk is worth the reward, but your evidence literally is.. "People are willing to do shady things in the world. This is shady, so it's definitely happening."
For the record, I don't see any evidence that Balan Wonderworld bought critical reviews either. It does seem probable or at least plausible that they helped boost their own metacritic score, though. Which, again, is a very different and easier thing to do. I also imagine many developers do that. Give themselves positive reviews. But at this point, everyone essentially knows the Metacritic userscore is meaningless. It's too often boosted or bombed based on reasons having nothing to do with whether or not the actual game is good or bad.
Also, as a final point of fact. If professional reviewers are so easily bought, why didn't Square pay them off for good critical reviews for Balan Wonderworld? It was universally panned.
@Deltath On the whole, I think we'll have to agree to disagree, then. The crux of this article acknowledges that it is likely that Balan Wonderworld had been using paid (or in any case, dishonest) ratings. That said, I think you make a fair point by assessing that this is not proof that the conclusions of this article are true or not.
"I think you're missing the point. One is not remotely evidence of the other. A company being willing to instruct or even just encourage their employees to go online and make a few hundred fake profiles on Metacritic to boost the user rating (or hiring a third party data firm to do it for them) is NOT the same as a news outlet taking financial bribes to alter their review scores."
Again, you may be missing my point. What I stated from the start is that this article acknowledges that there seems to be likely interference in game reviews by game publishers. I didn't claim that this the methods used or even the analogy was exactly the same. Just something to think about, really.
"If professional reviewers are so easily bought, why didn't Square pay them off for good critical reviews for Balan Wonderworld? It was universally panned."
Good question, and I thought about this earlier, myself. We couldn't say for sure, but possibly because Square had less to lose with this new, unestablished IP, so they thought it less necessary to use as expensive and extensive means than to just use "bot"-esque postings on Metacritic, while The Pokémon Company and Game Freak had a lot more to lose if Sword and Shield caused their reputation to be tarnished, especially after the major setbacks they faced with Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee's highly mixed reception (and the same with some of EA and EA's recent releases, etc). It's also possible that Square-Enix does not have the sort of means or connections to the press that The Pokémon Company, but I'd think this is not likely. But remember, (according to the implied conclusions this article leads to, and my own agreement with it) Square allegedly did try to influence the review score of Balan Wonderworld, so it was not universally panned. It was only panned by a particular aspect of its total reception.
@Gauchorino I agree that companies try to influence the Metacritic user score, but I don't believe there's sufficient cause to think that they generally have much viable sway over professional critical reviews. I also think that the community in general doesn't respect or care at all about a Metacritic user rating so it's a mostly fruitless endeavor. However, despite some negativity surrounding the process, there are still quite a few people who follow professional gaming news sites for reviews
I don't disagree with this article, I just don't think it applies at all in any way, even loosely, to an example that would include Pokemon Sword and Shield or really any other professionally reviewed title that people don't think deserved their respective scores. I think that can be attributed to a myriad of other things, but not tampering on behalf of their publishers.
@Deltath Since we agree that it does seem likely that the (broad) phenomenon of financial interference in games reviews exists (eg, like Balan Wonderworld's, according to this article's implied conclusion, at least), then I suppose the contentions come down to these: 1. Can professional reviewers be bought off, and are they?, and 2. Is there direct evidence that they are?
1. I think yes, and I base this off of the disparities between (detailed) negative coverage of certain games (like Sword and Shield) and their final review scores (even when said reviews mention negative aspects previously reported on, yet waive them away without explanation, especially among more than just a few professional review hubs ("hub" is the best word I can think of to describe a multitude of places that a particular professional reviewer is affliated with). Moreover, just type "review bomb" (a highly-opinionated term) at the top of this page to see several examples from this site of how preferentially certain combined negative consumer review scores (of popular game releases) are treated (again, despite highly negative coverage of a game prior to its release qnd professional review), at least recently (since NintendoLife gave a far more negative score to past Pokémon games with far less noted flaws, such as (from what I recall) Pokémon Emerald). One other notable example of this that comes to mind (that should appear in your results after you type "review bomb" in the search bar above) is a recent FIFA game.
2. Though there may be some out there, no, I'm not aware of any.
To reiterate, I think it's fair of you to not draw this same conclusion as mine because that this inference isn't convincing to you.
"Someone choking on Alphabet soup", 😂😂.
First off, you realize that people in certain countries have names that don't fit with what we expect from English speaking countries, don't you?
Second, while I haven't played enough of the game to form an opinion on how it should be rated, it's certainly much better than all the negative reivews it's received. I personally think there's a lot of anti Sega bias out there, and a great SEGA game will get a lower score than a mediocre Nintendo one. Maybe these people are overcompensating for the overcompensating hate toward SEGA?
Third, just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean it's a bot, "hater", "troll" or any of the other accusations you millennial and gen z kids resort to when you can't form an actual argument or opinion. Most of you conform to the slang and internet jargon that's been around since the advent of the internet instead of using your own thoughts.
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