My entry to Shawn Eliott's Symposium: Review Scores
What does one of the "normal" people (as Dan Hsu describes us) feel about review scores? From someone who has read reviews since 1989 for purchasing decisions to now, my attitude has changed
At first, review scores have become the litmus test of a game that I am on the fence about or now nothing of. I want a review to answer the questions of a cynic, a skeptic or just a confused gamer if the game is worth one's time. It is especially true for sequels, sports games and now, all those Activision games that get once a year treatment.
Reviews are no longer the only source that influences my purchasing decision, I often listen to podcasts, the vidcasts, demos and/or follow the "buzz." Even previews have time to time influenced a decision, just recently, Shawn Elliott's Far Cry 2 preview spark an enough interest to buy the game. Stephen Totilo's daily dairies have become like a book club, as I play similar games, for example, I experience the same frustrations that Stephen faced in Dead Space.
Reviews will never go away, as Dan Hsu points out, "It’s ingrained in society and it’s pointless and stubborn to fight it. People don’t always have time to read a 2000-word, well-crafted review to get inside the brain of the reviewer. For most folks in this short-attention-span world, that “4 out of 10” usually says more than enough." The problem with Review Scores are not the scores themselves, but the fact that one person can never review the bulk of weekly game, as Roger Ebert does with the movies he watches for the Chicago Tribune. The last point is better reserve for the next topics.