How To Murder Time 2.42: What’s up with game reviews?

This week we’re turning our untrained eyes on game reviews.

Are they still useful, what happened to magazines and why on earth do we even need Metacritic? What’s the future, and when was the last time you used a review to decide if you should buy a game?

7 thoughts on “How To Murder Time 2.42: What’s up with game reviews?

  1. A couple points:

    Steam is working on a replacement for Metacritic. Reportedly users will be able to review games themselves, and more importantly, only games they have played.

    Also Tim asked if reviews get updated over time. Polygon is the only outlet I know of which does and it has been rather controversial. For example they rated SimCity rather highly before release and then when the game developed horrible network problems after release Polygon lowered their score significantly. Thy did something similar due to lack of reliability on Battlefield 4. Some gamers seem to find this valuable while others say that it is indicative if reviewers not putting in the proper due diligence in the first place. I tend to side with the former but then I don’t buy more than one or two $60 games a year at launch so I don’t really use reviews that way anyway.

    • jonshute says:

      I don’t know what to make of the Steam reviews so far. I like the simple yes/no aspect with comments and seeing how long they’ve played, but the fact that publishers can delete reviews if they want is very suspect.

  2. I tend to ignore reviews in a normal sense and usually go to Amazon and find the middling customer reviews and see what they are complaining about and that usually helps me decide on my purchases. Enjoyed the show as usual.

  3. Akely says:

    Tim wanted to now if there is a Metacritic score that would make me buy the game right away. With the premise that it is a game I would be interested in at all I’d say that above 85% would get me to get the game right away. That does not take into account if I’m super-interested. A Falcon V I would pre-order or even Kickstart it. Thief (the re-boot) will have to be 85%.

    This sort of hinges on the fact that I only see the score and don’t read different peoples opinions. But I gather the gist of the question is what would make me buy it instantly.

  4. Dewar says:

    When I’m reading reviews on a game that I’m on the fence on, I like to find ones that have a bulletpoint list of the good and bad features of the game. That gives me a chance to see if anything on the bad list is something that would bug me particularly, and if anything on the good list really excites me. Then I can read those sections of the review if something stands out.

    As for the percentages, I tend to subscribe to the grading curve that my college used. 60% or below is a fail 60s and 70s are a possibilitiy, 80s and 90s are a good buy. Even if you subscribe to the idea that a game rated at 50% is a completely average title, I don’t have the time to deal in strictly average games when there are so many cool titles coming out every day.

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