• Please check out our recent thread on handling different opinions and toxic behavior here.
  • If you are finding yourself unable to log in, you should be able to fix the issue by following the following process.
    1. Close all browser tabs with any part of Bulbagarden open.
    2. Delete all Bulbagarden.net cookies (and if possible, any cached site data for Bulbagarden) from your browser.
    3. Close and reopen your browser, open a new tab, and log into the forums on the new tab.
    If you've followed this process and are still having issues, please contact us via the "Contact us" link at the bottom of the forum.

Cabinet The Arcade Cabinet #3: How much stock do you put into video game reviews?

Praise Euterpe
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
2,006
Reaction score
2,070
Preferred Pronouns
She / Her
I rarely put any stock in reviews. I follow games I'm looking forward to long in advance and inform myself.

I have my own metrics for enjoyment that reviewers are not in line with, so they're not really useful for me.
 
Petals For Armor
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
8,040
Reaction score
2,723
Preferred Pronouns
he/him
I think for me it depends mostly on my personal experience, excitement, and knowledge of the game or series before release. Reviews do sometimes have the ability to push me over the edge towards buying a game if i've been unsure about purchasing the game (Recent example: Clubhouse Games) or the ability to educate me and convince me to buy a game I previously didn't know about (Recent example: Lonely Mountains Downhill) Reviews rarely ever dissuade me from buying a game, however. If a game gets reviewed badly, sometimes it even makes me want to buy it more to try it out for myself and see where I can agree and disagree with the review (Example: Paper Mario Color Splash, Star Fox Zero).

That being said, reviews are all subjective, of course. Some reviewers are better/more comprehensive at reviewing certain games than others and I will always try to get a comprehensive opinion before judging a game based on its reviews. I don't really use or like Metacritic, though I understand the irony in that statement, considering that is literally Metacritic's job.
 
Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
360
Reaction score
713
Literally zero - I’m usually more interested in who is making the game than the opinions of some random person I know nothing about.
 
Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
759
Reaction score
1,892
Literally zero.

As a Jedi Master once said, "Gaming journalists. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
6,484
Reaction score
6,190
I don't care about gaming reviews/journalists as most are annoying. If I'm interested in a game I'll do my own research and keep up with official sources from the company itself and go from there, and if it's a game from a series I love then I'm pretty much gonna get it anyway. On the chance I do want to hear input on a certain game then I just go to my close friends or my dad if they've played the game, I really don't care what a rando likes/dislikes about a game.
 
VoHiYo
Joined
Nov 1, 2011
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
1,555
mostly if it's the consensus I'll judge on that, but otherwise I form my own opinions.
 
we could be heroes
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
2,991
Reaction score
2,145
i find myself going less by what the reviewers say and seeing the gameplay for myself and whether or not i think it would be worth the purchase. as picky as i am, it takes me long enough to decide whether to buy a game to begin with without taking into account what other people say about it. that said, if a game has overwhelmingly positive or negative reviews, it is still something i take into account.
 
Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
654
Reaction score
914
Reviews (or at the very least, charts and broad player consensus) matter to me if I'm stumbling in the dark and looking to pick up something that wouldn't normally be an auto-purchase, or if I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone a little - Zelda isn't a series that has previously held my attention much but the need to break free of my usual Switch routine (variations on Pokemon and reheated Mario titles) saw me finally pick up BotW, and I'll also be acquiring Fire Emblem soon on the basis of recommendations.

That said, for the overwhelming majority of my purchases I'm well aware in advance as to whether or not I'll be picking it up, based on previous games, knowledge of the IP etc.
 
Last edited:
I've got spurs that jingle jangle jingle
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
6,154
Not much, for various reasons. Professional reviews suffer from the infamous "four point scale" issue with games from large companies and tend to review off the first few hours (which is sort of an unavoidable issue as games get longer and longer).
Non professionals reviews instead tend to fall into a two point scale instead where everything is a 1 or a 10. Steam is particularly bad because they let you flag reviews as "funny" and that encourages the deluge of unhelpful gag reviews some games get.

I do take a quick glance at them, but in general I find I get a better idea from gameplay videos and what players are saying on the boards. The reviews will give me an idea of certain elements (if positive AND negative reviews agree on something it is likely true to some extent) but not if I'll like it or not.
 
The flavor of coffee~
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
311
Reaction score
191
I like to read what other people like and dislike about games, but a score/rating doesn't really mean a whole lot to me. Whether it impacts if I buy a game or not is hard to say, since lately I haven't really been playing games that much (Ultra Moon is the newest game I have played). I could potentially see a good review about a game I don't know much about making me wanna try it though, especially if I know something about the person who wrote the review.
 
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
3,454
Reaction score
1,437
Preferred Pronouns
Doesn't Matter
I used to only trust Good Game (an ABC tv show based around reviewing games basically) but ever since they got cancelled I haven't been in much of the loop of video games.
I don't like online reviewers, though there are a few helpful videos here and there done by people who actually love the games instead of reviewing them as their job, who better to convince someone to play a game, than a fan? One who can admit what flaws there are, while also listing all the good things.
I usually base my game purchases off store details (Like a steam store page, telling me what the game is about), game trailers and if I'm still on the fence, gameplay videos, such as Let's Plays or unvoiced game walkthroughs, typically skipping the first episode to avoid the kind of spoilers that come with the first 30 minutes of a game, second level of games usually gets into the proper gameplay instead of tutorial stuff.
 
Go for the eyes, Boo!
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,668
Reaction score
890
I like to watch video reviews of video games, but usually for games I'm already set to try myself just to get more pumped (lol). Generally, I just want to make sure I know it's my kind of game, or either take a look at the general consensus of a said game or look into reviews that go into detail about what the game is about (ie: What is the gameplay like?, etc.) and decide for myself from there.
 
Last edited:
Petals For Armor
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
8,040
Reaction score
2,723
Preferred Pronouns
he/him
I don't care about gaming reviews/journalists as most are annoying. If I'm interested in a game I'll do my own research and keep up with official sources from the company itself and go from there, and if it's a game from a series I love then I'm pretty much gonna get it anyway. On the chance I do want to hear input on a certain game then I just go to my close friends or my dad if they've played the game, I really don't care what a rando likes/dislikes about a game.
What makes gaming reviews/journalists annoying to you? Just curious because I find that a lot of the reviewers I follow are quite personable, knowledgable, and seemingly pretty kind.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
6,484
Reaction score
6,190
What makes gaming reviews/journalists annoying to you? Just curious because I find that a lot of the reviewers I follow are quite personable, knowledgable, and seemingly pretty kind.
What I find annoying about most of them for me is a lot tend to lead to clickbaitey articles, can be too whiny, or pushes their political leanings too much. I especially dislike anything from Kotaku, IGN, and OAG as those three are definitely guilty for what I mentioned (especially clickbait). Though to be fair I'm tired of journalism in general, so it isn't just specific to gaming.

That being said I do believe you when you say there are kind and knowledgeable game journalist/reviewers, I'm open to hearing about them since sometimes they're hard to find.
 
Petals For Armor
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
8,040
Reaction score
2,723
Preferred Pronouns
he/him
What I find annoying about most of them for me is a lot tend to lead to clickbaitey articles, can be too whiny, or pushes their political leanings too much. I especially dislike anything from Kotaku, IGN, and OAG as those three are definitely guilty for what I mentioned (especially clickbait). Though to be fair I'm tired of journalism in general, so it isn't just specific to gaming.

That being said I do believe you when you say there are kind and knowledgeable game journalist/reviewers, I'm open to hearing about them since sometimes they're hard to find.
Ah, I see what you mean. I'm not a big fan of major reviewer sites like that, moreso a fan of individual reviewers mostly on YouTube. Examples of some of my favorites include Arlo, BeatEmUps, and PlayerEssence. I think the biggest, more "corporate" reviewer I enjoy is probably NintendoLife, but even they are on the smaller end when it comes to reviewer websites.
 
I'm a funny bug.
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
586
Reaction score
1,314
For me... It depends on the game and the context:

For a big title that is close to coming out, I check review day for all the major pro reviewers I trust to gauge whether the game is overall worth buying. I like checking the brutally honest reviewers the most, as opposed to those that either are there to sell the game, those that have no clue what the game is about, and those that just want to slander the game for whatever reason. I tend to check metacritic summaries first, then see close up which reviewers are worth my time.

For titles already out for months and have plenty of players, I check more casual reviewers all across the web. There are subreddits and forums where many gamers give incredibly thorough reviews about the games - And I like reading them way more than the so-called pros. They are so much more tuned to reality, as they are the true consumers, and often know much more about the series and context of the games. I always feel I get more info about the gritty details in the games from such reviewers than others.

Ever since the Pokemon Moon fiasco, I rarely ever look into gameplay details from directs and commercials for deciding a game I want to buy. Deceive me once, shame on you. Deceive me twice, shame on me. As questionable as many external reviewers are, they are a necessary evil to delve into. v_v
 
Perfect Chronology
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
3,279
Reaction score
1,997
Preferred Pronouns
he/him
There's a handful of reviewers whose judgements I trust, mostly by being more honest or knowledgeable in their reviews - some people can be easily bribed or biased towards/against certain companies or genres in my opinion. Ultimately though I prefer reading discussions since it's the collective opinions of 'average gamers' (i.e. they're not professional reviewers). Regardless, gameplay/glitches makes or break a decision for me. Won't buy a game if I don't see myself enjoying it.
 
Standing Out
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
9,962
Reaction score
5,918
Preferred Pronouns
He/They
Depends on who's making the review and how generously you define a "review", really.

I don't pay any attention to the big review sites because they're all either paid off or don't want to give anything a bad review anyway, because nobody wants to anger the company so they stop giving you games to review and put you out of a job. So none of the reviews actually reflect anything about the game they're talking about.

Smaller, independent reviewers like YouTube creators I'm more likely to take into account. If someone like Arlo says that <game> is actually pretty good, then I'm more likely to take that into account because I know most of them usually aren't afraid to say a game sucks.

The opinions of friends and general consensus are the things I'm most likely to take into account, because I know for a fact that a friend is almost certain to give me their actual opinions on something, and a general consensus opinion wouldn't be so if there wasn't a reason for it. The entire reason I got Undertale recently is purely because it's such a beloved game, so there must be a good reason for it (and so far I can definitely see why). Of course, the consensus doesn't always align with what I'd think (I mostly enjoyed Sonic '06 after all), so I'm still not gonna take any of it as gospel, and I'll usually just decide to see for myself anyway.
 
Geek of the Games
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
3,497
Reaction score
2,493
Zip. Nada. Bupkus. Not even a nibble.

I don't put any real feelings into a game review. If it's a franchise I like or the game looks interesting then I'll commit to it myself. For example, I've never really watched Fairy Tale before (as I don't have readily access to various animes due to exposure and resource issues) but I decided to give the game a chance due to pre-release shots. I ended up loving it (the insane DLC price, however, VERY bad idea on their part), which has perked my interest in the series as a whole. Trials of Mana is another game that I decided to try because it looked really good in pre-release showings. While I got it much later than its initial release, as my only game store was closed due to the pandemic, I ended up loving it, too, despite the harsh game journalists reviews (and, as I said a while ago elsewhere, I actually like the English dub of the game, as it has a 90's narm charm that I like, with such a colorful cast of characters to make each voice sound interesting... except Charlette). The one time I did listen to a game review I ended up regretting it terribly. That would be Hacker's Memory, as I absolutely LOATHED the game, yet it got great reviews. I couldn't WAIT to get rid of it for store credit that I could use on something more enjoyable. That really taught me to never, EVER trust game reviewers and just rely on my own enjoyment instead.

While I hate buying a bad game, sometimes you need that trial-and-error to learn if it's something you'd like or not, so sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just take it from there. I also follow the same rule when it comes to new anime, like how Rising of the Shield Hero got so much heat for it's "controversies" like slavery and false rape allegations (while other series like Game of Thrones have FAR worse subjects yet got high praise) I ended up loving Shield Hero for it's fresh take on the isekai formula and interesting story telling. Generally, I learned that trusting someone else's review of anything is not a good idea, especially since I find many reviewers to be terribly narrow-minded with very limited tastes. If I want to try a new game then I'll judge it myself and not rely on any game journalists, as whenever I did listen to them I sorely regretted it. If a game seems interesting I'll do my own research and check out any possible footage of the game. If it seems to match up with my idea of a fun game then I'll take the dive, like what I did with Code of Princess when I first learned of it. Again, exposure issues will always plague me, and I tend to like the more underrated games compared to the more "popular" games (ie: I vastly prefer the terribly underrated Breath of Fire franchise over the far more popular Final Fantasy series as my primary preferred RPG of choice), but I've learned that you can't trust game journalists due to various reasons. You are the better judge of what you like over someone else, as you know what tickles your fancy more than some big-shot nobody who is probably paid to do a good review.

So, final verdict: No. I do not trust game journalists for what I look for in games. While I hate the trial-and-error aspect of new games, sometimes it's the best method to learn if you'll like/dislike a certain game compared to the gamer journalists. While, yes, they can at least expose you to whatever game they're reviewing, YOU are ultimately the judge for your enjoyment, not them. So, bottom line, I say don't trust those journalists goons and instead rely on your own judgment to decide if a game is worth your time or not.
 
Top