Does anyone care about what so-called professional gaming journalists think anymore? Especially when they review games?
Everyone has made fun of IGN for their review of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. (The “7.8/10 Too Much Water” thing is a meme.) Meanwhile, I still think IGN's review of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is the worst game review ever written.
But it's not just IGN. People aren't taking many reviewer outlets seriously. Lots of people take issues with the subjectivity of reviewers, especially when they grade games based on some non-game ideology. Just ask #GamerGate what they think of some of Polygon's reviews, like Bayonetta 2's.
Anyway, there's some evidence out there that critic reviews are becoming less relevant over time — and might've never been relevant to begin with. Take a look at these GameFAQs poll results:
|Only 12.11% of voters will not buy a game because the critics are against it. (GameFAQs Poll 4991.)|
|This drops to 10.28% three years later. (GameFAQs Poll 6277).|
If you compare those results, you'll see a drop in critic reviews (already low) and an even bigger drop for people caring about demos. (I suspect the demos thing has to do with this disastrous Early Access/Beta crap.) Meanwhile, there were big increases for trusting a developer/publisher, and for previews.
Why do people put stock into previews and not reviews? Perhaps with the explosion in popularity of Let's Players, people actually do get their opinions to buy games from these YouTubers and treat them as thought leaders, to my chagrin. And that's considered a preview.
It wouldn't make sense otherwise, because previews — before the game comes out — come from gaming media outlets. Why would you think their feedback on an unfinished version of the game is more valid than their feedback after it's finished? Also, a lot of critic reviews nowadays make video versions of their written reviews. Are those more valid to anyone?
|Pokémon GO has poor reviews, but as you can see, it's a top-downloaded app and overnight cultural hit.|
(Shame on Metacritic for not putting an accent to make it Pokémon.)
The reviewers know they're losing influence and credibility. So they're trying to be more and more outlandish for attention. While gaming society is moving past critic reviews and leavin' 'em behind, gamers still have a long way to go until they no longer are slaves to clickbait. The urge to be baited outweighs the sensibility to not put special weight for critics.
Oh well. Give it another three more years.
I guess there is the obvious question of, “If it were up to Mr. Koopa, how should people form their opinions on what to buy?” User reviews are nice. Ideally, more people should have their minds made up concerning companies they enjoy the content of. That runs the danger of people being too hesitant to try other companies’ stuff, but that's where crossovers come in, along with getting other companies to develop your titles such as Namco with Star Fox Assault.
Also, I'm of the thought that (big) companies should do more stuff like Directs, and be far less reliant on giving the gaming media the monopoly of previewing your games. Then maybe these media dinosaurs will respond to the e-mails of smaller companies, and utilise their established media networks to get the marketing out. Just a thought.
You can check out KoopaTV's own Reviews here at any time. There's not many of them, and they don't try to give numerical scores. They're obviously written with an agenda in mind, which doesn't help make KoopaTV a better alternative to the rest of the gaming media.
A year and a half later, and even the guest posters on this site are going against the Metacritic establishment.