Are reviewer priorities in step with gamers? Not an easy question to answer. Especially considering their schizophrenic standards, and the fact that they are occasionally shown to be massively out of step with gamer opinion (Read: Dragon Age 2). If we are to comment on the quality of a Site’s game reviews, then we must first know something of their intended audience.
Are “professional” game reviews written for genre fans?
Are reviews written for genre fans? Well, one look at the state of FPS reviews would say YES. 9/10+ scores are routinely given to games with mediocre five hour single player games and (allegedly) ZOMG multiplayer. OK, so reviews are written for genre enthusiasts, but then what about JRPGs? Should not JRPGs be judged on enthusiast standards also? Apparently not, for there is the JRPG tax to consider. Western games are rated on a scale of 7-10, yet in most cases Japanese RPGs are rated on a scale of 5-7 in recognition of the Japanese people’s inherent scumminess, which was reason enough for Poseidon to attempt to claim their entire miserable race. Many, many times JRPG low scores are richly deserved, yet when the most sublime JRPG of the current generation (Lost Odyssey) aggregates in the mid 70s, you can be certain that JRPG reviews are not being judged by enthusiasts. When reviews continually complain about menu based battles in games you can be sure that they were not written by JRPG fans, nor by RPG fans in general. Then of course we have entirely farcical situations as evinced by the Western media response to Hyperdimension Neptunia. The game was deemed to be mediocre by all accounts, and I’m sure it is just that, yet several big name game sites delivered reviews which appeared to suggest that this Japanese eroge game’s biggest flaw was the inherent sexism of loli porn. Now of course Lusipurr.com’s Otaku readership do not need me to tell them that this is no fault at all, they know it in their bones, and once they are done picking up all their Hatsune Miko wife dolls and Love Plus posters, I am sure they will contend just that in the comments section. Sexism is a laughable reason to award any product a 2/10 score, especially when the game is widely held to be at the very least functional, as it makes for an absolutely copout argument. In fact I am sure that a certain obese and impotently-ragefilled cat lady with a mediocre blogsite frequented by some of the most parasitic and useless sheeple on the Internet, could not have penned a more useless review of the game (you hear that Oprah?).
No, apparently game reviews are not written for genre enthusiasts. So, are game reviews written for the mainstream?
Are game reviews written for the mainstream? Well, one look at the state of WRPG reviews would tell you YES. WRPG makers are routinely rewarded for throwing away traditional mechanics, in order to turn their games into shooters or hack’n’slash button mashing titles, so yes, perhaps game reviews are penned for the mainstream. But no, they are not. Bulletstorm is a well refined game by most accounts, it is a AAA game produced by the darlings of the current gen (Epic), the originality of its combo system has been praised by virtually all reviewers, and yet the game is apparently a fizzer at retail. You see reviewers praised innovation without first asking whether innovation was wanted by the mainstream. I don’t see anything wrong with Epic’s innovative combo system, but I also do not number among the common heard. I have seen Bulletstorm reviews which disparaged the fact that FPS games have seen little innovation over the previous ten years, but is it a genre which requires innovation? In content certainly, in mechanics absolutely not. Reviewers may choose to situate themselves in the campy ‘it’s new so it’s good’ camp, but really the FPS is mechanically already at the height of its evolution, the genre only really demands for the most efficient method to point a gun and shoot someone. Epic should be praised for their experimentation, yet in doing so they appear to have prevented the mainstream from enjoying the game as one would an FPS, mainstream gamers do not appear to have taken to this alteration in the way that the FPS genre is played, and thus reviewers show themselves to be out of step with mainstream priorities.
No, apparently game reviews are not written for the mainstream. So then, who are “professional” game reviews written for?
Who are game reviews written for then? Game reviews are penned by weak willed maggots who like to jump on bandwagons. They are too scarred to fail anything popular, and too undeservedly proud to just give a free pass to everything, and so they attempt to hone their chops on the niche genres which languish well beneath the contempt of the Halo brotards (their primary readership). Beneath this overwhelming weight of evidence one could only conclude that game reviews are penned for fanboys. This is why games like Final Fantasy XIII (the worst game ever created) and Dragon Age 2 receive mid-80s meta-aggregates, awarding them with solid, albeit disappointing, scores. Such is the intellectually dishonest fawning of reviewers, that not even Bioware fans and Dragon Age tragics were prepared to give DA2 pass-marks, and yet the reviewers “privileged” enough to be allowed to write an early review, fall over one-another in their attempts to be the first to award this fucking terrible game a perfect score, while slowpokes are wont to give it a nice, safe 85. That won’t upset anyone, will it?
“Professional” reviews are written for fanboys.