Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:16 PM
Wombat stated that, “(Assassin’s Creed) is not a 4.5 game” as if it is a factual statement. A game review is inherently subjective, and based on a reviewer’s opinion; therefore there is nothing “strange” about a reviewer giving a game a 4.5 even if it falls outside the generally accepted range of review scores by other gaming outlets. There seems to be a feeling by gamers that review scores are somehow objective, when by their very nature they are not. This is the problem with the how gamers react to review scores, the assumption that there should be some sort of parity in review scores. Just take a look at the CAG forums, there is no general consensus on any game, ever, why should it be expected of reviewers.
Wombat’s second point was that the text of the review and the score,” don’t add up.” I don’t know what deciphering code Wombat is using to translate reviews into review scores, it’s not like there is a mathematical formula adding positive and negative statements to come to a final score, but Crispin’s review was pretty harsh. His last line was, “It all pseudo-ends with a badly handled sequel tease, but count me out if the next Creed is more of this repetitive crap."
There actually is a section in many gaming magazines devoted to asking developer’s “why” they made certain design decisions. The section is usually referred to as a post-mortem. I know “Games For Windows Magazine” does them pretty regularly. The post mortems and in depth articles are usually in the earlier parts of the magazine that most gamers skip past to get to the preview screen shots and review scores.
I agree with rocksolidaudio on this, the audience is the problem. All the focus is put on the review scores and very little on the actual content of the magazines, which is why the actual journalists are seen as disposable. The review score is really meaningless without the context of the text review, but that one single review is also somewhat meaningless without some historical context of how those reviewers’ opinions on games generally correlate with yours. I know some reviewers that would give a game a 10, and back it up with some substance, but their tastes in games differ so much from mine, that the score and review is meaningless to me. I also know some reviewers that I tend to agree with, and therefore the score and text hold more weight. Half the time people discussing reviews say “the IGN review” or “the Gamespot review”, when they should be referring to it as the Jeff Gerttsman review” or “the Crispin Boyer review.” These are usually the reviews of one person and not the review done by the entire company. When the audience starts holding up certain reviewers and game journalists as providing insightful and in depth commentary on games, they won’t be as disposable.