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TOPICAL: How much stock do you put in review scores?

MattGardner |  Jul. 27, 2012 at 18:29

Following on from the Irrational story earlier today, I published a little opinion piece about half an hour ago, ( http://www.dealspwn.com/metacritic-spectre-feast-108856 ) but I'm keen to get some of your personal opinions on the matter too.

How much stock do you guys and girls put in review scores? Do you skip to the score first? Is the bigger review more important to you? Do these things affect your buying habits?

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targetbsp  Jul. 27, 2012 at 22:43

I used to go by metacritic scores until fairly recently. Then Krater came out. I played the beta, obviously before any reviews - and loved it. Along with many others on various forums and metacritics users. The critics absolutely hated it. Some of them quite clearly didn't even 'get it'.

After that event, I actually went back and demo'd a load of games that had looked interesting but I'd rejected based on low scores and ended liking and buying a few of them.

Maybe everyone just needs that one game to prove to them how pointless such things are for what can only ever be a personal opinion.

It should really have sunk in to me earlier. Last year I had Grotesque Tactics 2 4th in my top 10 games of the year - and it has a metacritic score of all of 48%. And last year was a good year for games! There was a lot of competition for my top 10.

X10  Jul. 28, 2012 at 17:41

For me looking at review scores is subjective.

For example - If it's a game I'm interested in, I will usually ignore the score and read the whole review (this would also depend on where it was written/who it was written by).
I would probably jump to the Final Comments or The Short Version or something similar to see if anything I would be interested about the game came up short. Then I might go read the full review.
If it's a game I know nothing about I would usually read a full review, again depending on where it was written/who it was written by.

I only recently discovered MetaCritic and am quite glad such a thing exists, but I don't find it of a similar calibre to Rotten Tomatoes.
With MetaCritic I check the User Score and read the User Reviews to see what people who bought the game actually thought. And then sometimes I might filter it by date so I can see reviews after say a patch was released etc.

Reading the reviews is far more useful than a number although more time consuming.
Case in point would be The Walking Dead by Telltale Games. That game has been given a low review score by lots of reviewers, mainly on the User Reviewer side. Normally this would be a reason to go past it. However reading the reviews you see that a lot of the complaints are that it's not really a 'game' but more a point and click interactive story. Knowing that, and given that I like that kind of thing from a game, I'd be quite happy to try it out (or at least read other reviews that talk about other aspects of the game).

The internet has simply fuelled people's attention deficit (and congratulations if you read this far!) so a number is the only way the masses will base their opinions about a game, without understanding how that number was acheived - But that will probably be the downfall of our society I should imagine.

My view unfortunately is biased. I have worked in marketing, I know how to read between the lines and what kind of evocative wording generates a link with certain groups of people - so I'm generally able to avoid it.

A review does not sway my buying decision, but it does go a long way to helping make an informed one.

Quietus  Jul. 28, 2012 at 17:56

Almost none.

Beyond a general glance to see whether its overall score is favourable (metacritic is good because of this), as long as it's above about 70%, I'd ignore everything else, and check out gameplay footage. That's what I usually base my purchases on - actual gameplay.

MattGardner  Jul. 28, 2012 at 18:26

Case in point would be The Walking Dead by Telltale Games.

Now this is one that passed us by, we didn't get code for it and with 101 other things happening, it's only now that I've gotten around to playing episodes 1 and 2...

...and I love them!

The whole point of The Walking Dead as a concept was to explore the emotional cost of the zombie apocalypse - the hard choices, the loss of humanity and so on. And, for me, the game does just that. Plus it's an adventure title...most of the best examples of that genre have been point and click interactive stories.

May have to write a belated review for that.


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