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June 16th, 2013, 19:02
Interesting article and I agree 10 point scales are odd because in general we're all sort of pre-programmed to view the point-scale in terms of letter grades. 5 Point scales always made better sense to me. Anyway, here is my take on why so many reviews seem inaccurate:

- Reviewer dislikes the genre of the game he is reviewing. This happens so often these days that every now and then the reviewer admits as much in the review itself. "I really don't like RPGs but I was assigned this review and I have rent and a car payment to make so here goes…"

- Reviewer spends an amount of time with the game that is inappropriate considering the scope of the game. I remember reading a Two Worlds 2 review where right at the start of the review the writer stated something similar to, 'I spent 10 hours with TW2…' STOP. No need to read any further than that. 10 hours with a game like TW2? As a reviewer you're not even qualified to comment giving the game just 10 hours of time. Might as well apply to NASA and state on your application you hate math and science and have a clinical fear of flying.

- Reviewer makes too many comparisons to other games and/or conducts her analysis based on personal expectations that were never promised by the developer instead of judging the game primarily based on its stated features. It's ok to compare a little bit and it's ok to say things like, 'I wish this game had xyz' but so many reviewers these days indulge in every sort of comparison and/or expectations and spend little time analyzing the game to its stated features. These kinds of reviews read more like a user forum and much less like a 'professional' review. This trend is particularly rampant with online reviews.

- Lack of coordination and consistency by publishers to marry reviewers to appropriate genres. This is why you'll sometimes see bizarre scoring results over time between similar games and even with games that are generally considered improved sequels over predecessors scoring lower. I read a Skyrim review that praised the game up and down for 3 pages and then realized the reviewer gave it a lower score than the same publisher gave to Oblivion. This result is debatable either way but personally I thought it was odd as their Oblivion review seemed much more critical of that game but yet it received a higher score than Skyrim.

- Reviewer/Publisher is given 'gifts' or is otherwise bribed in some way (I do believe this happens a lot despite all the eyes rolling just now…). Even though Metacritic user reviews are an exercise in what bi-polar is all about, I thought D3 provided a fantastic example of 'funny business' going on behind the scenes when the first few metacritic "reviews" offered spectacular numbers for D3 while on the user side quite the opposite unfolded. In the case of D3, the poor user scores gave a more accurate picture over the review scores by a very wide margin. Things that make you say, 'hmmmmm….'

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
Last edited by TheMadGamer; June 16th, 2013 at 19:15.
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