Reviews of game reviews

Chris Miller, Reporter

The integrity and overall trustworthiness of video game reviews has plummeted over the years, and as time goes on, it seems to only be getting worse. Video game reviews, along with any kind of review in general, are sacred. They are personal opinions about a game after a reviewer has spent enough time on that game to give his or her own thoughts and share those thoughts with other people. What makes video game reviews so sacred is the fact that people take what reviewers say about a particular game to heart. There’s a certain level of unspoken trust established between the reviewer and the general public.

That’s the major difference between a video game review and other types of reviews. Video game reviews are more than just some pros and cons about any particular game, they’re also the biggest indicator of whether or not a game is even worth investing in. People trust that the reviewer will be fair and honest about his or her review on the game and there lies the problem.

Video game reviews, many years ago, used to be written by professional and credible journalists who understood the process of reporting and always wrote their reviews in an unbiased manner that made them trustworthy.

These reporters worked for professional publications like Nintendo Power or Game Informer. Game Informer is still a professional publication with genuine reporters, but video game reviewers aren’t all real journalists anymore. Nowadays, there’s an oversaturation of websites like IGN or Gamespot that, like Game Informer, are dedicated to reviews and video game related news.

That’s not to say these sites are in any way bad or that there aren’t good reviewers working for or submitting reviews there, but the reviewers are not held to the same standards as they should be. In a recent IGN review for the new game Pokken tournament, the reviewer gave the game an 8 out of 10. While that is still an excellent score, the review itself and the reason the game received an 8 instead of a 9 or 10 was absurd.

The reviewer had nothing but positive things to say about the game and even claimed to be a fighting game enthusiast with years of experience.

The only negative the reviewer gave was that the game was too complicated.

That is simply untrue as the game has multiple tutorials that literally hold your hand and teach the player what each button does as well as show how to perform some simple combos.

That means the reviewer knocked off two whole points from the overall score over a false implication that the game was too difficult which puts into question how much time the reviewer even put into the game or how much of an “expert” at fighting games this person was.

The problem doesn’t just lie with half-assed reviews like this, it also becomes an issue when games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate are given high scores and praises for being fresh and innovative when in reality, they’re not deserving of such praise.

It raises the question about the integrity of these reviewers and how true they are being. As an amateur video game reviewer aspiring to go pro one day, I’m appalled by what constitutes as a “reviewer” these days. Especially when they get paid for it.