The lights are on
Does a good review ever make you think twice about playing a game you hadn't thought twice about? Does a bad review ever cause you to check a game off your most wanted list before you've even played it?
I'm sort of biased in this discussion, because I write review for a living, and they definitely effect my purchasing habits, but many other gamers might feel differently. I had a professor in college who said that most people didn't read movie reviews to find out if they were going to see a film or not. He said that they already knew if they were going to see the movie, they just wanted to see if the review confirmed their discussion.
I kind of see his point when it comes to films; it didn't matter how many bad review The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was going to get, I was going to see that film on day one anyway. However, movies are a much smaller commitment than games. If you don't like a film, you're only out about two hours and 10 bucks, but if you don't like a game it can be a lot more costly. This is where I think reviews come in handy. However, even then I've failed to listen to them in the past; I'm such a Metroid fan that I had to play Other M no matter how much it disappointed me.
What about you? How much stock do you place in game reviewers? Has a review ever changed your mind about a game? Do you ever buy a game even after it's received terrible reviews?
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