Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Using Review Scores to make purchasing decisions

I found an article on BBPAS about the KnL drama between Eidos and Jeff Gerstmann. The situation doesn't really interest me enough to dig into, but I did want to comment on how ridiculous it sounds.

Kane and Lynch itself isn't a terrible game, but it certainly isn't deserving of it's ad campaign or a reviewer losing his job. The game is average at best, whether Eidos thinks so or not. They can attempt to portray KnL as some deep and involved game that should sell out, but it is far from it. I'd rather play Jericho by a long shot, and it gets about the same review scores with no advertising.

The question comes up: do review scores affect your purchase?

In my case, it does somewhat. However, I don't rely on one source or even just reviews. I talk to my fellow gamers and check out comments on the internet. Right now, I'm thinking about getting Mass Effect, but all the mixed reviews mention some of the same negative aspects that lead me to think that I won't like it. These points made on the game are from both good and bad reviews. We have to do our homework in order to get the most of our gaming dollar.

Speaking of just reviews, I can sum this up by saying the content of the review is more important than the actual score. This is part of the reason why I don't use a star or 10-point rating system in my reviews. A game such as Resident Evil 4 was great once-through, and it deserved its rating for that respectively. But the game's overall value is low to me since the replay allure is limited. A game like Halo has a mediocre campaign, but the multiplayer is stellar, leaving increased value via replay. Even still, a solid game like Bioshock doesn't have multiplayer but is good enough that I want to play it again, so it has value.

I want my readers to keep this in mind when reading my reviews. If I appraise a game $29.99, that doesn't mean the game is horrible. It could be a fantastic game but it is too short to justify full MSRP price. Resident Evil 4 is a good example there.

Feel free to post any comments on the reviews-to-purchase relationship.


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