Gaming My Way

15 May

The Purpose of Video Game Reviews

Sometimes, people who play video games take reviews of games too seriously. I’ve been guilty of this too.

There are a lot of games I enjoy that scored relatively poorly on reviews… which is to say a 5 or a 6 out of ten, the point at which most decent titles have garnered a better score on many review sites. Having enjoyed these five or six point games, sometimes I could see what the big deal was, and other times, I thought the reviewer had to be insane to rate the game so badly. But in the end, it didn’t matter much. I liked the game, the reviewer didn’t.

It would do all of us well to remember that reviews of games are subjective, and based on the opinion of the reviewer. This means our favorite games may not be rated as well as we think they deserve, perhaps not even well at all. Reviews are around to help people make a choice about what games to buy, not to validate the purchases we’ve already made, or our opinions of those games.

Of course, if the reviewer doesn’t like the games you like, he may not be much of a guide. However, there’s a simple solution. If a given reviewer or site doesn’t like the games you like, find a different source of reviews that has opinions more in line with your own. Then you can find more games that will hopefully appeal to you.

Alternatively, you could look for reviewers who are universally harsh. If one of these reviewers gives a game a good rating, then you can likely feel good about buying said game, unless it’s a genre you just don’t care about. Even then, you might find the purchase worthwhile if the game is good enough. This is also true if a game is universally liked by a large group of reviewers.

The point I’m making is simply that if you enjoy a game, don’t worry about the score it got on some random review site or in a gaming magazine. You had fun. If that’s the case, who cares what the critics think? Use the reviews as tools to further your enjoyment and pick your next game purchases, not to feel good about games you’ve already bought. You already know if it’s a good game to you.


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2 Responses to “The Purpose of Video Game Reviews”

  1. 1
    The Carnival of Video Game Bloggers, June 2008 @ The Collected Writings of James Newton Says:

    [...] presents The Purpose of Video Game Reviews posted at Gaming My [...]

  2. 2
    Carnival of Video Game Bloggers Revival! @ The Collected Writings of James Newton Says:

    [...] presents The Purpose of Video Game Reviews posted at Gaming My [...]

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