A Review Made Me Mad

Some of you may be familiar with those people that go absolutely crazy when a review comes out about their beloved <insert media form here>. Those people that threaten the lives of a critic because they only gave a movie a 9.9 out of 10 or something. I hate those people. But today, for the first time, I read a review that actually made me upset. Fable II, the sequel to one of the most popular Xbox games ever, launches tomorrow, and all the review sites posted their reviews today. IGN, one of the most popular review sites, gave the game an 8.8. That’s not a bad score at all, I’d like to point out. But the article itself was written extremely poorly. To me, it makes no sense that you can write in a review “It would have been better if they had done it this way”. Because, well, they DIDN’T. You need to review what is there, not what is not there. I don’t watch a movie and say, “Man, the movie was fine, but it really could’ve used some dead polar bears in it. That would’ve made it AWESOME.” Okay, I mean, maybe I do say that. But a reviewer CAN’T. The development team of a game made design decisions. They decided how the game should work. You need to look at the game as it is, not as you imagined it should be. That’s not fair to the company, and it’s not fair to your readers.

And then the other thing that enraged me was this quote:

If the online co-op works anything like couch co-op on a single system, count me out.

Why does that piss me off? Because if the reviewer had done the absolute slightest bit of research, they would know that that wasn’t the case. Instead of just being obnoxious about the system, why not take a quick peek to see whether it is or not. The tone of the review would have easily changed to “Luckily, online co-op allows you to use your character in another player’s world” instead of “Man, I hope it doesn’t suck as much as this does.” I almost NEVER take the time to check out extraneous links of information, but that’s also because I’m not a professional reviewer. It is your responsibility as such to do so, and I was shocked to see that they didn’t.

I find myself surprised that I feel so passionate about this, but never before have I actually noticed what makes up a poor review. It’s very strange, but I actually, for once, thought that IGN should probably have gotten a second opinion before posting their thoughts. Considering that UK IGN posted a review with a very different tone (a 9.5, along with a glowing review), I would hope they would look for another reviewer’s thoughts as well, like they do with so many games. I had slowly been edging away from reading IGN’s reviews, and I’m pretty sure this one pushed me over the edge.

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