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Veteran Member - Level 13
I'd like to start by saying that I enjoy reading video game reviews. When I get my Game Informer in the mail, its the first section I turn to. From the outside looking in, it seems like a job that I would love to do. I envy those that get to write about video games for a living.
That being said, they wield an enormous amount of power. Many gamers let a review dictate whether they purchase a game, or even try it. Every seasoned gamer has their favorite game reviewer that they go to when a new game is released. Mine is, of course, Game Informer. People frequent IGN, Gamespot, and even their own independent reviewer. That's all fine and good. It's probably nice to get paid for your opinions...
Anyways, back to the point. Gamers are forgetting that game reviews are opinions. They aren't supposed to be the deciding factor on if you buy a particular game... you are. A video game review is one persons opinion of a game. Its not a universally accepted truth.
Let me explain. My favorite game series is Dynasty Warriors. That's no secret. Game Informer has never been kind to it. Other reviewers aren't any different. Thankfully I was exposed to the series before I began to read reviews, or I may never have played it. I have spent countless hours on each of the 18 related games I have played. They always provide me with an enjoyable experience. It never disappoints. According to reviewers, however, its not worth purchasing.
Another example involves my latest addiction, Rage. I did not read any reviews before trying the game. If you read my last blog, you know how fond I am of the title, and how much it has grown on me. I was curious, and looked up a few reviews. They were less than flattering, to say the least. One review said it was a 'pitstop between Bethesda hits.' Really? A pitstop? That seemed a bit harsh, especially considering that it's the only Bethesda game that I like. If I had read the reviews before I tried the game, I would have never purchased it and missed out on an amazing experience.
This can work in reverse, too. I am a picky guy, and the 'good' games I tend to try end up getting shelved rather quickly. Borderlands didn't last three hours. Skyrim has claimed extremely high praise, yet I have no desire to waste money on it. I liked absolutely nothing about Oblivion, a game that also received high praise. If I was a weak-willed person, I would waste 50 bucks on a game I would end up not liking.
Fallout 3 is generally highly praised as well. I tried, on three seperate occasions, to play and enjoy the title. It just didn't take. I got as far as Megaton, and couldn't make myself continue. I got as far as telling the sheriff about Burke and his plans. That didn't end well. I barely made it out of the bar after bludgeoning everyone with my baseball bat because they were shooting at me. I left the bar only to be shot at some more. So, I killed everyone I could find in the bombed-out village before I left.
If you know me, that should have given me an enormous amount of satisfaction. Even with all of the death I had caused, the game just wasn't my thing. I couldn't wait to eject it from my Playstation.
Of course, there are times that they get it right. Before I read the review for Red Dead Redemption, I had no plans of trying the game. Westerms aren't my thing, and it looked like a third person shooter, which I'm not particularly fond of. However, with all of the Game of the Year awards it won, and all of the perfect score reviews it received, I gave in and bought it.
It is now my favorite game. Ever.
What I am trying to say is pretty plain, and should be common sense. Many of us have lost that sense, however. We shouldn't let a video game review decide what we play. You can miss out on good games that way, and even waste money on some that aren't so good. Everyone is different, and has different tastes. A game that is perfect to a guy like Matt Miller may be awful to a guy like Stranger. That works in reverse, too.
Play what you like, not what other people like.