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The irrelevance of review scores
by Nikki Wardhana on 11/28/12 02:11:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

In the age of Youtube playthroughs, multiple websites giving impressions of the same game, and peer forums, wouldn't it be smarter to educate ourselves about the game by multiple sources rather than hearing an opinion of a single writer?
Gaming experiences are subjective. Bioshock can get all the 10 it wants, it's still not my cup of tea.
If it is a game you anticipated, more than likely A) You will buy it anyway and B) You will enjoy it despite people's opinions. Disagreeing with reviewers is like forcing people to like your favorite tomato. Every reviews are subjective. In fact, reviews don't need to be objective. If you can explain why you like a certain part of the game or not, people can compare it with their own experience.
If it is not a game you anticipated and you are interested, multiple peer impressions are much more important than a score. If a JRPG lover friend of your didn't like a certain JRPG, then maybe you can set back your expectations about the game. If a survival horror loving friend of mine were gushing over a new survival horror game, I can conclude that this is the game to try if I ever wanted to play a survival horror--but not necessarily a "must have" game for now.
It's understandable for major sites to require some sort of scores. Their readers were not only gamers, but the wider audience who didn't invest as much time in gaming as us. They probably just want to take a quick glance on a games that receive high scores, read a bit about the reviews, then go out and purchase the game. But gamers (here defined as person who are heavily invested in this hobby) don't do that. They follow a game from when it is announced, views every trailer released. Gamers, most likely you and I, don't need review scores.
This isn't even mentioning the review "scandals" that appear every so often in major gaming websites. It's no secret that reviewers are reluctant to give low scores on certain games to maintain close relationship to its publisher--either to secure advertising or exclusive reveals. It's an unfortunate but understandable practice but we--as gamers--already know what's best for us.
Let's do what is smart--and less discussing about scores. They're not for us.


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