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The Fat Bioware Nerd
12-16-2007, 11:38 PM
Do video game reviews influence what video games you buy?


For me the answer is yes because I don't rent games anymore...so unless I buy a game I have no idea whether it's going to be good or bad.


I take the video game reviews at face value because they played those games so they must know whether they're good or bad.

Aerith's Knight
12-17-2007, 12:00 AM
same here.. but sometimes i would get it anyways cause its a matter of taste..

i think money is more important

Shauna
12-17-2007, 12:15 AM
Not really. I will have different tastes from the person who wrote the game review, not to mention, if they dislike the game, they will have a horrible bias against it, omitting the better parts of the game, and only highlighting the bad parts.

Not that I look at VG reviews. I just buy games if I think they'll be good. No game I've got so far has disappointed me too greatly. :p

Vincent, Thunder God
12-17-2007, 12:36 AM
I have read very few game reviews I agree with, since they're generally very sugary and gloss over the negatives - Gamespot in particular. I just don't read them, so no.

In my opinion, to create your own opinion, it's important not to subject yourself to someone else's too much.

Bolivar
12-17-2007, 12:58 AM
I mostly buy games based on what I myself prefer. A few franchises that I've followed direct alot of my purchases, as do things that seem to just interest me.

One review isn't a good way to judge a game's worth, but if a game is receiving overwhelming support, that's usually a good indicator of it being pretty good.

Raebus
12-17-2007, 01:00 AM
Unless it's Edge or games then I don't trust their reviews. These two magazines are usually pretty accurate on what is and isn't a good game. Other than that, I don't trust reviews and prefer to try it for myself.

XxSephirothxX
12-17-2007, 01:05 AM
Yes, because people who play videogames and write about them might actually know what they're talking about! I read the opinions, see what they mention is good and bad, and then decide if it's worth shelling out a lot of money for.

Roto13
12-17-2007, 01:32 AM
Yes, because people who play videogames and write about them might actually know what they're talking about! I read the opinions, see what they mention is good and bad, and then decide if it's worth shelling out a lot of money for.

Yes.

I would also like to add that I think the opinion of someone who plays games nonstop all day for a living is worth more than the opinion of someone who only plays games they think they'll like. :P

Pouring Rain
12-17-2007, 01:56 AM
I buy games before I look at reviews. The reason why I usually buy games is because they look interesting, and then I'll see whether it has an interesting plot or not. If it looks appealing to me, then I'll buy it. I like to look at the reviews afterward to see whether someone's idea conflicts with mine.

Nifleheim7
12-17-2007, 02:04 AM
There are some franchises that i have a blind faith on them and i follow them no matter what the reviewers say.Same goes for a couple developers.

Having said that,i find reviews very helpful for games or developing teams that i'm not very familiar with.I trust reviews from Edge,Games and RPGFan.Although i have to say that some times Edge is getting a bit too hard on some games...

Slothy
12-17-2007, 02:11 AM
Yes, because people who play videogames and write about them might actually know what they're talking about! I read the opinions, see what they mention is good and bad, and then decide if it's worth shelling out a lot of money for.

Agreed. But I never limit myself to a single review since that would be ridiculous. I look at several reviews at least, usually ignoring a number score since people seem hesitant to give lower than a 7 unless a game really, really deserves it. Usually if you read a review you can get a good sense of what the pros and cons are, even if you have to read between the lines a bit sometimes. If I see common themes and complaints among several reviews, then it's safe to say said complaint is an actual problem with the game.

Madame Adequate
12-17-2007, 02:13 AM
Yes. I would have bought Empire Earth III without a second's hesitation until I saw the reviews. It's universally acclaimed as dire, why would I spend the money? Yes, they MIGHT all be wrong, but it's not terribly likely, and it makes sense to put the money into a game which is widely lauded. If just one person says something's good, I'm not terribly likely to listen. If thirty different reviewers say it, I'll probably pay attention.

Is it the only factor? Absolutely not. For example I'm unlikely to ever buy a soccer game on release day, no matter how universal the accolades. And I know they don't always say things I agree with, nor do games always get the scores I agree with. But to suggest that I am in no way influenced by reviews would be silly and untrue.

Vincent, Thunder God
12-17-2007, 02:23 AM
Yes. I would have bought Empire Earth III without a second's hesitation until I saw the reviews. It's universally acclaimed as dire, why would I spend the money? Yes, they MIGHT all be wrong, but it's not terribly likely, and it makes sense to put the money into a game which is widely lauded. If just one person says something's good, I'm not terribly likely to listen. If thirty different reviewers say it, I'll probably pay attention.

Is it the only factor? Absolutely not. For example I'm unlikely to ever buy a soccer game on release day, no matter how universal the accolades. And I know they don't always say things I agree with, nor do games always get the scores I agree with. But to suggest that I am in no way influenced by reviews would be silly and untrue.

In my experience, after reading several reviews of the same games, I find there are a lot of copy-cat reviewers though, who practically plagiarize one review to quickly boost the contents of their respective sites, so there's a good chance those "thirty reviews" aren't really thirty different points of view.

Shoeberto
12-17-2007, 02:26 AM
I read them to get an idea of the game, but not as an end-all be-all guide to what I play.

Madame Adequate
12-17-2007, 02:30 AM
Yes. I would have bought Empire Earth III without a second's hesitation until I saw the reviews. It's universally acclaimed as dire, why would I spend the money? Yes, they MIGHT all be wrong, but it's not terribly likely, and it makes sense to put the money into a game which is widely lauded. If just one person says something's good, I'm not terribly likely to listen. If thirty different reviewers say it, I'll probably pay attention.

Is it the only factor? Absolutely not. For example I'm unlikely to ever buy a soccer game on release day, no matter how universal the accolades. And I know they don't always say things I agree with, nor do games always get the scores I agree with. But to suggest that I am in no way influenced by reviews would be silly and untrue.

In my experience, after reading several reviews of the same games, I find there are a lot of copy-cat reviewers though, who practically plagiarize one review to quickly boost the contents of their respective sites, so there's a good chance those "thirty reviews" aren't really thirty different points of view.

I have not discovered this in any way.

Vincent, Thunder God
12-17-2007, 02:47 AM
Yes. I would have bought Empire Earth III without a second's hesitation until I saw the reviews. It's universally acclaimed as dire, why would I spend the money? Yes, they MIGHT all be wrong, but it's not terribly likely, and it makes sense to put the money into a game which is widely lauded. If just one person says something's good, I'm not terribly likely to listen. If thirty different reviewers say it, I'll probably pay attention.

Is it the only factor? Absolutely not. For example I'm unlikely to ever buy a soccer game on release day, no matter how universal the accolades. And I know they don't always say things I agree with, nor do games always get the scores I agree with. But to suggest that I am in no way influenced by reviews would be silly and untrue.

In my experience, after reading several reviews of the same games, I find there are a lot of copy-cat reviewers though, who practically plagiarize one review to quickly boost the contents of their respective sites, so there's a good chance those "thirty reviews" aren't really thirty different points of view.

I have not discovered this in any way.

What review sites do you usually go to?

I found this was true of several sites that seemed to copy Gamespot and/or IGN - perhaps vice versa?

Madame Adequate
12-17-2007, 03:45 AM
Well, first port of call used to be GS, until the Gerstmann business, since when I have found no particular replacement. After GS I'll hit up Metacritic and basically click on any link that looked interesting - whether to IGN or to some random print newspaper, doesn't matter. If the score is different from the majority, I'll check it. If the writing catches my eye in the preview, I'll check it. If neither occurs, I'll usually pick an internet-readable review at random and away.

escobert
12-17-2007, 04:03 AM
I read them to get an idea of the game, but not as an end-all be-all guide to what I play.

The Fat Bioware Nerd
12-17-2007, 04:08 AM
What about X-Play on G4? Do you guys ever listen to their reviews?

Vincent, Thunder God
12-17-2007, 04:11 AM
Well, first port of call used to be GS, until the Gerstmann business, since when I have found no particular replacement. After GS I'll hit up Metacritic and basically click on any link that looked interesting - whether to IGN or to some random print newspaper, doesn't matter. If the score is different from the majority, I'll check it. If the writing catches my eye in the preview, I'll check it. If neither occurs, I'll usually pick an internet-readable review at random and away.

Yeah, I've used Metacritic, they host some articles from independent sites that write original, different opinions, that can work well enough, by your method.

EDIT: And no, I don't watch G4 John.

Breine
12-17-2007, 10:19 AM
If there's a game I want, then no I don't care what the reviews say.. I'll just go out and buy it. But, if there's a game I'm a little interested in I'll definitely read about it and that includes reviews as well.

LunarWeaver
12-17-2007, 08:33 PM
I definitely do. I also don't rent games and I can't be gambling 60 bucks on anything.

I think game reviews differ from those of movies because gameplay is a major focus. If the game is broken and unplayable, then it will get horrible scores no matter how pretty the graphics are or how great the plot is.

Like Milf, I hit up Metacritic and poke around the links I find interesting. I mean, if there's 32 reviews and 30 gave it a 90-100 then it's safe to say it deserves all its attention. If there's 32 reviews and 30 gave it a 0 then there's a problem. I very much take that into account. There are always a few that are radically different from the majority, but that will happen no matter what in any medium.

Oddly, I find myself attracted to GameTrailers these days. I look up their video reviews on YouTube (since the actual site is a big mess) and find I agree with them almost all the time. And they're long and explain their reasoning behind what they say. They've become my favie fave <3

Evastio
12-18-2007, 03:25 AM
If I let game reviews affect me that much I would've stop playing Bomberman games eons ago (check Bomberman on Gamespot, see the reviews it got, and see what I mean).

Game reviewers should really be less biased.

darkchrono
12-28-2007, 08:39 PM
I think game review sites/magazines gives you a much better overall picture of how good or bad a game is than say gamer reviews from a fan forum would. People who are reviewing the game professionally will review how good the game really is while fan forum reviews will pretty much just give a good or bad rating based upon rather the things that they were wanting to see in the game were in it or not.

So pay more attention to the advice given about the game from a review site than to what a fan forum says is good or bad about the game.

Odaisť Gaelach
12-28-2007, 08:47 PM
Generally, yes. If I see a game I'm interested in, I'll try and find out if it's worth the money. Reviews are good; demos are better.

Ashley Schovitz
12-28-2007, 11:25 PM
Nope I only read game reviews just for entertainment. I just buy games that i'll think I'll like it has only dissapointed one time so far.

Northcrest
12-29-2007, 07:17 PM
Yeah all reviews I see influence what games I play and how good I think the game is. Only one game made me relize not to relie only on reviews.

Gnostic Yevon
12-29-2007, 08:53 PM
I tend to put more faith on private reviews -- things like Gamefaq reviews. I tend to be distrustful of the pro reviewers for very simple reasons.

First off, like movie critics they tend to emphasize things that no one cares about. Some of them seem to want to bash the popular stuff just because it's popular. Yes, we've seen the same ol' ATB a million times before. That doesn't mean that it suck, it means it works. And just because the story is bland, gamers who like shooters probably don't give a fig.

Second, There are no hidden biases. Look at any "gamer mag" and you'll see the same games advertized and reviewed. Not a great shock perhaps, but that and the fact that they get a copy of the game for free is going to color the reviews they write. If they blow apart Call Of Doody by a major publisher, that publisher can pull their ads for other games. They might not get the exclusive interviews. Essentially the gamer mags exist to *sell games*, so there isn't a lot of incentive to disuade you from buying a crappy game.

The third thing is that game reviewers literally get the game for free, which is different from most of us peons who shell out $50 on release day. They can't really know how disapointed a fan of a game series will be when they preordered and bought the game at retail. They don't buy em at all.

With amateurs, you get a lot of advantages. Generally, they're fans of the genre and probably the series. So they're familiar with most of the conventions and the expectations of the game genre. If an RPG fan doesn't like an RPG, they won't hate it for being turn based, or having bad graphics or something that isn't a big deal to most RPGers. They won't rip apart Halo because the plot was predictable. They'll blast RPGs for boring plots and Halo for sluggish controls.

You also don't need to worry as much about bias. Square doesn't pay RPG fans to play FF, they certainly don't give away the gamedisks. The reviewer isn't going to be coy about his feelings. If he hates Sephiroth, he'll say so. If the soundtrack makes his ears bleed, you'll hear about it.

The Fat Bioware Nerd
12-29-2007, 09:15 PM
You know it's funny sometimes well reviewed original i.p.s like Zack & Wiki will suffer from poor sales but GTA knock-offs like Scarface with mixed reviews will sell like hot cakes. I guess somtimes you don't need a solid original i.p. to sell video games...just a half-baked game with a popular license.

Roto13
12-29-2007, 09:18 PM
I think there's a LOT more bias from amateur reviewers because they're more likely to play games they think they'll like. Take a look at your own video game collection and see how many games you have that are pure crap.

The Summoner of Leviathan
12-29-2007, 09:19 PM
I tend not to read reviews often. If there is a game I want, I will buy it. Like KH II or FF XII, regardless what the reviews said (though they were good in both cases), I bought both games without a second thought. Sometimes, on long trips I will buy a gaming magazine and have fun reading the reviews and looking at the screen caps. If something catches my attention then, I might look up the game a bit more before considering buying it.

I think probably the best source is from friends who share your taste. In things. When I am looking for a new fantasy novel, if I ask for suggestions I take those of people who I value their opinions (i.e. like similar stuff as I) than some random person. The same is with video games. Sometimes a friend will be like "Hey, I played this cool game, that I think you'll enjoy" thus I get interested and wanna buy it. Which reminds me, what was that name of the game my friend recommended a month ago? x-x;

The Fat Bioware Nerd
12-30-2007, 01:56 AM
Take a look at your own video game collection and see how many games you have that are pure crap.

I have only one video game right now (Mass Effect) and it's a very solid title in my opinion...Also the reviews for Mass Effect are positive.

Ashley Schovitz
12-30-2007, 03:14 AM
I think there's a LOT more bias from amateur reviewers because they're more likely to play games they think they'll like. Take a look at your own video game collection and see how many games you have that are pure crap.

I only see one in my collection Roto and that's Shaq Fu not that I intentionally got it though., actually I can't even remember. What was the point of your post/ I'm not trying to be rude or sarcastic if you think so.

NeoCracker
12-30-2007, 03:50 AM
I read them to get an Idea of what the game is like. If it tends to only point out either good or bad things, I tend to ignore it.

Though I buy a lot of games regardless of the revies.

Like Harvest Moon Wii, the current Review on IGN isn't exactly a good one, but I'm a HM fanatic, so I'm so getting it.

Same with Xenosaga, though I got the game first. I find that the majority of the reviews on it are trash, claiming the story is a mess and confusing. I saw that review a lot.

But overall, reviews can be a good way to get an Idea of what kind of game it is.

Ouch!
12-30-2007, 04:07 AM
I look at reviews, but they're rarely the deciding factor. Usually I buy a game if I hear good things about it from people who I know have similar interests. Sometimes that's friends, sometimes it's reviewers I tend to agree with regularly (although I can't think of many of the top of my head).

Odaisť Gaelach
12-30-2007, 05:21 AM
I think there's a LOT more bias from amateur reviewers because they're more likely to play games they think they'll like. Take a look at your own video game collection and see how many games you have that are pure crap.

Come to think of it, when I read a review of You Are Empty (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/youareempty/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;review), I was really tempted to get a copy... :D

Rase
12-30-2007, 06:02 AM
Yes. I would have bought Empire Earth III without a second's hesitation until I saw the reviews. It's universally acclaimed as dire, why would I spend the money? Yes, they MIGHT all be wrong, but it's not terribly likely, and it makes sense to put the money into a game which is widely lauded. If just one person says something's good, I'm not terribly likely to listen. If thirty different reviewers say it, I'll probably pay attention.

Is it the only factor? Absolutely not. For example I'm unlikely to ever buy a soccer game on release day, no matter how universal the accolades. And I know they don't always say things I agree with, nor do games always get the scores I agree with. But to suggest that I am in no way influenced by reviews would be silly and untrue.
Hey look, someone posted my thoughts already, only in a better worded fashion. That sure makes things easier.

Zora
12-30-2007, 06:15 AM
No to press reviews. I tend to take reader reviews (or unofficial reviews, or whatever you call them) with a grain of salt.

The problem with press reviewers is that they are very biased. Some sites, such as 1UP and Gamespot, are known for a bias against Nintendo. Nintendo generally gets lower scores, except for games like SMG and SSBB which will get praised regardless of their actual quality, which brings me to my next point.

The reason I do not trust press reviews, and why I am not influence that greatly by reader reviews is hype. Now obviously, if a game is as under-hyped as let us say Disgaea, I will trust the reviews greatly. But I do not trust reviews for games like Halo 3 or Galaxy, they are so much based on hype they never match (nor close) to my opinion.


As someone also mentioned, they get their games for free. Aside from the intial flaws he pointed out (such as having a poor idea on how much value you get from the game), it also leads to an overflow of Video Games. Underhyped games are generally ignored, unless they are top-tier quality (even then, top-tier quality comes around once in a lifetime, even underhyped good games like Radiant Dawn and Phoenix Wright come acroos this) is that they simply don't play a substantial amount of the game. Maybe they play from seven hours (and make it so obvious half of the time it isn't funny), that it really makes you doubt a review. This is especially problamatic for story-based games. They can get a bad score for a poor story (Radiant Dawn anyway) even though they have an amazing story but it doesn't come up IN the first ten hours.

It is a bit ironic how games like Final Fantasy get praised for a good story, even though they "suffer" from the same fact the story is not in a substantial form until ten hours. Heck, even some titles like Final Fantasy IX don't even have the bulk of the plot happen until 30 hours in (for FFIX, I was referring to the introduction of Terra). I am not saying it is a bad thing, no it is a good thing. But the press are prone to ignoring simply becasue of the overflow of video games.

Nationality and genre bias has an effect. If the game is Western, it will get a better score. It is difficult to explain, but it just look at Western games, they get higher scores. This is of course because they made in the Western world. Not only are they developed to better fit our culture (IE, almost every Western game is realtime, because most of us honestly lack patience), but they know how to market too.

As for genre, a shooter will get a higher score than an RPG. Halo, which I would personally consider to be a average shooter (though I will admit it can be fun online) got near-perfect reviews. A game like Blue Dragon (an average RPG IMO) got average to mediocre reviews.

The problem is that the hype has so much ponetial that it isn't a mere factor in reviews, it dominates reviews.

Aside from the hype and the biases don't effect the review to begin with, the press are utter hypocrites.

Okay, let us go to Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn Gamespot review. They utterly complained that the game was too difficult, even on easy, and praised PoR way too much. Now for those of you who played RD on easy, it isn't any harder than PoR normal or hard from what I heard (all of PoR's difficulties were laughable BTW). Recently I picked up FFTtWotL. The game isn't hard per se, but I am having more challenge with it than Radiant Dawn. Yet.... Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for PSP Review - PSP Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions Review (http://www.gamespot.com/psp/strategy/finalfantasytacticspsp/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;review)

Also, FFT has issues that FERD lacks, such as a poor camera.

Or another example I gave above was Blue Dragon and Halo 3. Both of them were recycled material, yet the difference in reviews was ridicolious. Hype, nationality, and genre bias obviously played a factor, but seriously. I am not saying either game is bad, but the fact that Halo 3 got away with being recycled and Blue Dragon was held back to it is really unfair.


Another small factor which both press and reader reviews share is series formual expectations. We all know that a review is a contrast between quality and expectations (which, as ironic as is, but they are written like that nonetheless). A great example would be Final Fantasy XII, as I am sure most of you here played it. FFXII was generally attacked for one thing-it was different from most FF games.

FFXII lacked was an epic storyline (and instead a political storyline), a revamped gameplay style, among other things. Had FFXII been called something different and wasn't part of the FF series (but a enw series entirely), I highly doubt people would complain to the extent they did. A title is just a title, the fact it should have that much influence in reviews is just sad.

Now a more presonal reason I never trust the press reviews is because they never matched my opinion. Never. I feel this is enough reason to ignore them. If I never agreed with them a million times before, what will make this time any different?


So in short, I ignore the press reviews (except for laughs). I am not overly fond of reader reviews, but I am not going to base a purchase off a game based on that.

So in short, I don't trust the review because of:

-General bias towards stuff
-Hyped games are played more, so more "apt" to get fair reviews
-Hype dominates reviews in general
-Nationality bias (Western games get better reviews moreso than Japanese games)
-Console bias
-Hypocrites
-Sometimes base a review more on what they expect from the series, not how good the game is
-I never agree with press reviews.

Among the things that determine reviews, the quality and value seem to only be a wave in a sea of factors, when they themselves should be the sea itself (okay, over-poetic?)

The only time I find it safe to get an opinion is sometime after the hype has died and go to a forum and ask for people's opinions. I rent game too, which also helps. I determine my own opinion. There are also a few people who I can trust more than others, such as a person named BattleFranky40 on SPPf (he is arrogant, but he is also gives accurate opinions most of the time). I also buy a lot of games that look interesting to me, and once done with them often sell them to get more games that interest me.

Dear god I type a lot.

Markus. D
12-30-2007, 06:34 AM
Maybe I should in the future.

The last two games I got for Wii were crap.