Opinion on really bad reviews

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Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby deodorantthief1 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:00 pm

http://www.mediafire.com/view/t9m27g1il ... ba2k17.png
http://www.mediafire.com/view/w7k9xjnkq ... live16.png

How can this huge gap be closed? Back to this: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/nba-live-10. Again, I really don't know what happened. After that they decided to go in that direction.

I'm going to pick up a copy of this and the latest one soon for PS4. Getting an early START.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:41 am

Well they definitely didn't blur the lines between game and reality. They did succeed to widen the lines.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby mp3 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:21 am

I don't really go by a game review as most of the time I find the person writing them isn't much of a nba fan let alone a nba video gamer but for what it's worth if EA comes back with deeper modes full customisation and new animations I think the gap will close a lot between 2k
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:53 am

Those 'professional' reviewers get some kind of reward for their reviews.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby [Q] on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:11 am

If you know anything about video games, you know that reviews from big sites like that don't mean shit. It's only one person's opinion from the company and they take their own biases into the reviews. To me, a lot of times it seems like these writers get "assigned" a game like school homework so they might wind up reviewing a game they might not normally play or even a game in a series they dislike
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby deodorantthief1 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:34 am

Metacritic is an aggregate like Rotten Tomatoes though. It's a combination. 40 different pro sites and credible/popular reviewers. You can access the list fight? Should play it yourself, but to say it doesn't mean anything is quite unfair to consumers. That is a huge gap. Anyway, I can't account for journalistic disfunhonesty.

My outlook right now is (the con as well) is that it needs work on fundamentals bad. The comparisons are highly suspect in this regard. I'm hoping it would be different experience when I play. Like when you have your hands around a nice round juicy and firm watermelon.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby deodorantthief1 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:36 am

mp3 wrote:I don't really go by a game review as most of the time I find the person writing them isn't much of a nba fan let alone a nba video gamer but for what it's worth if EA comes back with deeper modes full customisation and new animations I think the gap will close a lot between 2k


Plural.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:01 am

[Q] wrote:If you know anything about video games, you know that reviews from big sites like that don't mean shit. It's only one person's opinion from the company and they take their own biases into the reviews. To me, a lot of times it seems like these writers get "assigned" a game like school homework so they might wind up reviewing a game they might not normally play or even a game in a series they dislike


Most of the reviews I've looked at look almost word-for-word from all other reviews, like they copy & paste and don't really play the game. It's obvious they don't play the game since they don't ever mention any of the OBVIOUS poor stuff in there, stuff you notice within the first 5 minutes when you play the game for the first time. It all seems pretty fraudulent to me.

As mentioned earlier, reviews are a person's opinion. I can tell you that I haven't read any 'professional' reviewer who has standards as high as mine. :lol:
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:24 pm

First of all, let's be frank about why NBA Live hasn't been getting stellar reviews for some time now. Going back to the game's launch on the Xbox 360 with the new gen version of NBA Live 06, it's had its fair share of problems. It's been trying to play catch up and get back to where it was and needs to be, an effort that's been derailed by changes in direction, changes to the team, and starting over from scratch a few times too many. While there has been some improvement over the past few iterations, as of NBA Live 16, there's still much that needs to be done.

Having said that, I think that reviews of basketball video games by all the major outlets tend to be pretty poor. Even if the critique or final score isn't completely wide of the mark, the reviews themselves leave much to be desired.

Some of the reviews of NBA Live in recent years have definitely delighted in being snarky, and tearing the game down without really talking about the actual problems (while also overlooking any good qualities and concepts). It's like the reviewer has spent more time trying to find creative ways to say "this sucks", rather than taking the time to explain how and why something is bad. That doesn't tell gamers much, and it doesn't give developers useful feedback either. In all fairness to those reviewers, that might be a reflection of what's popular in video game coverage these days. Caustic critics, ranting bloggers and vloggers, and acidic commentary gets attention and people enjoy it, especially if something they dislike is getting bashed. Unfortunately, it doesn't result in a lot of thoughtful and informative critique, and to that end, it's somewhat inappropriate for reviewers whose appraisals of a game go towards the Metacritic score.

The same goes for NBA 2K, even though it's obviously in much better shape. There are a lot of legacy issues, yet somehow they don't get mentioned in professional reviews, even though they should be obvious to people familiar with the series. Even if you're talking about the positive aspects, reviews tend to be very superficial, not touching upon some of the important improvements that basketball gamers immediately notice and appreciate. As Q said, it gives the impression that the people reviewing the games really aren't that familiar with previous games in the series, or know much about the sport itself.

I think that the professional reviewers need to lift their game. There needs to be more professionalism with in-depth and informative critique that touches upon the important aspects of the games that the target audience is interested in the most. At the same time, there needs to be less snark and badly forced attempts to be witty. That doesn't mean that reviews have to be dry and dull, but throwing snarky shade is a poor substitute for demonstrating a knowledge of the series and the sport, and critiquing a title in a way that tells gamers what they need to know. By all means give your opinion and find a way to make your review interesting and engaging, but make sure that you're fair and balanced, and offer explanations so that gamers can make an informed decision about the features and functions you're talking about, rather than insisting they take your word that it's bad. After all, if you're not a fan of a certain gameplay mechanic or control concept, you're probably going to call it bad and leave it at that, even though it may be perfectly functional and appealing to other people.

NBA Live's reviews won't be more positive until the product is far more satisfactory. That's on the development team to achieve. However, I also think that game reviewers could do a much better job, for all genres in general but especially basketball and other sports games, where knowledge of the real sport and the annual releases is vital. That one's on the video game journalists.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:05 am

Andrew wrote:First of all, let's be frank about why NBA Live hasn't been getting stellar reviews for some time now. Going back to the game's launch on the Xbox 360 with the new gen version of NBA Live 06, it's had its fair share of problems. It's been trying to play catch up and get back to where it was and needs to be, an effort that's been derailed by changes in direction, changes to the team, and starting over from scratch a few times too many. While there has been some improvement over the past few iterations, as of NBA Live 16, there's still much that needs to be done.

Having said that, I think that reviews of basketball video games by all the major outlets tend to be pretty poor. Even if the critique or final score isn't completely wide of the mark, the reviews themselves leave much to be desired.

Some of the reviews of NBA Live in recent years have definitely delighted in being snarky, and tearing the game down without really talking about the actual problems (while also overlooking any good qualities and concepts). It's like the reviewer has spent more time trying to find creative ways to say "this sucks", rather than taking the time to explain how and why something is bad. That doesn't tell gamers much, and it doesn't give developers useful feedback either. In all fairness to those reviewers, that might be a reflection of what's popular in video game coverage these days. Caustic critics, ranting bloggers and vloggers, and acidic commentary gets attention and people enjoy it, especially if something they dislike is getting bashed. Unfortunately, it doesn't result in a lot of thoughtful and informative critique, and to that end, it's somewhat inappropriate for reviewers whose appraisals of a game go towards the Metacritic score.

The same goes for NBA 2K, even though it's obviously in much better shape. There are a lot of legacy issues, yet somehow they don't get mentioned in professional reviews, even though they should be obvious to people familiar with the series. Even if you're talking about the positive aspects, reviews tend to be very superficial, not touching upon some of the important improvements that basketball gamers immediately notice and appreciate. As Q said, it gives the impression that the people reviewing the games really aren't that familiar with previous games in the series, or know much about the sport itself.

I think that the professional reviewers need to lift their game. There needs to be more professionalism with in-depth and informative critique that touches upon the important aspects of the games that the target audience is interested in the most. At the same time, there needs to be less snark and badly forced attempts to be witty. That doesn't mean that reviews have to be dry and dull, but throwing snarky shade is a poor substitute for demonstrating a knowledge of the series and the sport, and critiquing a title in a way that tells gamers what they need to know. By all means give your opinion and find a way to make your review interesting and engaging, but make sure that you're fair and balanced, and offer explanations so that gamers can make an informed decision about the features and functions you're talking about, rather than insisting they take your word that it's bad. After all, if you're not a fan of a certain gameplay mechanic or control concept, you're probably going to call it bad and leave it at that, even though it may be perfectly functional and appealing to other people.

NBA Live's reviews won't be more positive until the product is far more satisfactory. That's on the development team to achieve. However, I also think that game reviewers could do a much better job, for all genres in general but especially basketball and other sports games, where knowledge of the real sport and the annual releases is vital. That one's on the video game journalists.


It seems to me, much like the political world, game developers give reviewers a list of talking points and THAT is what the reviewers use. As I said, I have not read many, if any, professional reviews that said anything different than any other review. I don't even bother reading them anymore. I know what I expect in a game and, just about all the time, it's not the same thing the reviewers want. :roll:

The reason they are so general, most likely, is because they use the talking points and don't actually play the games.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:14 am

I do think that they play the games, there's just no in-depth analysis, and too much trying to be witty (which usually means being as snarky as possible if they don't like the game).
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:19 am

Andrew wrote:I do think that they play the games, there's just no in-depth analysis, and too much trying to be witty (which usually means being as snarky as possible if they don't like the game).


Well, if they DO play they intentionally leave out the obvious flaws. That is pretty deceptive and they have no credibility, and never will, in my eyes because of that.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:44 am

Possibly, but I tend to apply Hanlon's razor here. It's quite possible that certain flaws aren't pointed out simply because of a lack of knowledge of the sport, and/or not being in the target demographic (ie. basketball gamers who want a product that's as realistic as possible). More generously, it could be that certain issues aren't of particular importance to the reviewer, and they don't see them as detriment. Again, that could be attributed to a lack of knowledge or expectations that aren't in line with the hardcore fanbase, rather than an intention to deceive.

That's still a problem of course, since it means that people who aren't able to give a proper appraisal of a basketball game are the ones writing the reviews and ultimately contributing to the Metacritic score. It may just be their assignment though, and in that respect, I can understand. For example, I liked South Park: The Stick of Truth, and didn't really see any major flaws in the gameplay mechanics. However, I've seen the combat criticised for being simplistic and outdated, which is an issue I don't recognise because I don't usually play those types of RPGs. When it comes time for publications to review sports games, they probably go with the person who knows the most about the sport and the series, but that doesn't necessarily mean their knowledge and expectations are on par with the diehard members of the demographic.

Then there's simple difference of opinion. For example, if you don't like the story-driven approach in MyCAREER and can't stomach it at all, it's going to be bad in your view, no matter how well it may be done. If you like the idea, and you have no problems with the story, you're going to be more positive about it. If you want a generally realistic basketball game but are fine with it taking some liberties, then you're going to be more forgiving. Even within the key/target demographic of basketball gamers, there's a sliding scale of how much realism people want and how much they're willing to forgive, so opinions are always going to vary.

Of course, whether it's deception, ignorance, lower standards, or simply different expectations, basketball game reviews could stand to be better. I'd like to see more attention given to the details, rather than vague explanations of key features. I'd like to see thoughtful critique, rather than reviewers trying to jump on the caustic critic bandwagon, and spending more time thinking up creative ways of bashing a game than they do explaining aspects of the game and why they don't like them. I suppose we're always free to ignore reviews, but given that they impact the industry and a lot of people do rely on them, I think they owe it to everyone to lift their game.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:02 pm

Andrew wrote:Possibly, but I tend to apply Hanlon's razor here. It's quite possible that certain flaws aren't pointed out simply because of a lack of knowledge of the sport, and/or not being in the target demographic (ie. basketball gamers who want a product that's as realistic as possible). More generously, it could be that certain issues aren't of particular importance to the reviewer, and they don't see them as detriment. Again, that could be attributed to a lack of knowledge or expectations that aren't in line with the hardcore fanbase, rather than an intention to deceive.

That's still a problem of course, since it means that people who aren't able to give a proper appraisal of a basketball game are the ones writing the reviews and ultimately contributing to the Metacritic score. It may just be their assignment though, and in that respect, I can understand. For example, I liked South Park: The Stick of Truth, and didn't really see any major flaws in the gameplay mechanics. However, I've seen the combat criticised for being simplistic and outdated, which is an issue I don't recognise because I don't usually play those types of RPGs. When it comes time for publications to review sports games, they probably go with the person who knows the most about the sport and the series, but that doesn't necessarily mean their knowledge and expectations are on par with the diehard members of the demographic.

Then there's simple difference of opinion. For example, if you don't like the story-driven approach in MyCAREER and can't stomach it at all, it's going to be bad in your view, no matter how well it may be done. If you like the idea, and you have no problems with the story, you're going to be more positive about it. If you want a generally realistic basketball game but are fine with it taking some liberties, then you're going to be more forgiving. Even within the key/target demographic of basketball gamers, there's a sliding scale of how much realism people want and how much they're willing to forgive, so opinions are always going to vary.

Of course, whether it's deception, ignorance, lower standards, or simply different expectations, basketball game reviews could stand to be better. I'd like to see more attention given to the details, rather than vague explanations of key features. I'd like to see thoughtful critique, rather than reviewers trying to jump on the caustic critic bandwagon, and spending more time thinking up creative ways of bashing a game than they do explaining aspects of the game and why they don't like them. I suppose we're always free to ignore reviews, but given that they impact the industry and a lot of people do rely on them, I think they owe it to everyone to lift their game.


Well, the obvious flaws I'm talking about have to do with animations, the crazy cheats the developers have built into the game like the ball going right thru a human player to prevent them from getting a steal while the human loses the ball near the paint if anyone is close by. Obvious stuff like that.

Especially the animations. You don't have to be a fan of a game to see the clunky, cheesy stuff, and the animations do lead into very clunky gameplay. As someone else keeps talking about, the flow of the game is terrible. You don't have to be an expert to see you lose control of your player quite often during the game cuz some animation sucked you in, like the example I used when I had my controller sitting on the table and my player ran from the corner to the top of the key to foul someone. Or when you try to move your player and he freezes and there is nothing you can do about it. Another, defender who can ice skate sideways to prevent you from getting around. No feet moving at all. In any other game out there, no one would mind that? There are numerous things that are ridiculous in the game that have nothing to do with basketball, per se.

It does seem rather stupid to me that people review games when they don't know anything about the thing the game is about. That would be like me trying to review a game about hunting, brain surgery, etc. When people do that it ruins their credibility, at least in my view, and once that's gone, they won't ever get it back.

I really wish the developers of The Show would teach the 2k crowd how to do animations. In the meantime, keeping my fingers crossed for NBA Live 18.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:32 pm

If a reviewer has a more casual attitude towards realism in sports games, and especially if they're playing on an easy difficulty level and doing pretty much whatever they want when they want, they'll probably let a lot more slide and think "Wow, what a fun game". Whatever the case though, it would be nice to see more in-depth and credible professional reviews, but in the meantime, that's what community reviews are for. The diehard members of the target demographic, talking about the things that matter the most to their peers.

As I said, I do think the "open mike night" approach to critique doesn't help matters either. Wit is enjoyable, snark has its place, but a lot of people don't really get how comedy works, and so they end up sounding like a YouTube ranter who isn't as funny as they think they are. I get the impression that there are some video game journalists who really want to be a "name" in the industry; someone whose opinion carries the most weight, someone whose words are treated as gospel and quoted relentlessly at people who dare to disagree. I get the feeling some reviewers like the idea of being a big influence, and wielding some power over developers as a result.

To the topic's original point however, even though there are problems with the way games are reviewed, some of those low scores and criticisms of NBA Live are definitely on the mark. It's on EA to turn that around.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:16 pm

Andrew wrote:If a reviewer has a more casual attitude towards realism in sports games, and especially if they're playing on an easy difficulty level and doing pretty much whatever they want when they want, they'll probably let a lot more slide and think "Wow, what a fun game". Whatever the case though, it would be nice to see more in-depth and credible professional reviews, but in the meantime, that's what community reviews are for. The diehard members of the target demographic, talking about the things that matter the most to their peers.

As I said, I do think the "open mike night" approach to critique doesn't help matters either. Wit is enjoyable, snark has its place, but a lot of people don't really get how comedy works, and so they end up sounding like a YouTube ranter who isn't as funny as they think they are. I get the impression that there are some video game journalists who really want to be a "name" in the industry; someone whose opinion carries the most weight, someone whose words are treated as gospel and quoted relentlessly at people who dare to disagree. I get the feeling some reviewers like the idea of being a big influence, and wielding some power over developers as a result.

To the topic's original point however, even though there are problems with the way games are reviewed, some of those low scores and criticisms of NBA Live are definitely on the mark. It's on EA to turn that around.


And I am hoping EA does turn it around. I can't deal with 2k anymore.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Dee4Three on Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:14 am

If the reviewer is playing on Pro, or Rookie, or whatever, they are basically playing the game at an arcade level. Because any sports game I've ever played on the low/medium levels it feels like that. When the game is played in an arcade fashion, you miss a lot of the glaring issues within the game, and I think they may be what happens sometimes with 2k reviews.

2k games are fantastic for the most part, but many of the legacy issues are never discussed, because honestly... I don't think the reviewers even see them.

I feel like reviews should be done like this:

1. By a regular person who doesn't work for the company, that proves competent in video games (somehow that would need to be proven)
2. The player needs to spend atleast 100 hours of TRUE gameplay on a higher difficulty than default.
3. The player would need to be proven as not biased (somehow).

That's a lot of somehows, but we would atleast get a more realistic review of the games.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:41 am

Logging 100 hours is probably going to be a tough ask, since they need to get the review done by a deadline and they're probably being counted on to review other games for the publication as well. Of course, that brings to light another problem: the rush to be the first one to post a review, and get the first word on the game. It's understandable given the competition between publications, but it also means that greater emphasis is placed on speed and beating other sites/magazines to the punch, rather than the quality and depth of the critique.

Bias is a tricky one, because it's pretty much impossible to find someone who doesn't have some biases (even if that's just through having certain preferences), and since reviews are heavily opinionated by nature, you can't really have an objective review. However, I believe that when most people refer to an "objective review", they're really talking about one that is fair-handed, and avoids being influenced by personal bias to the point where explanations and detailed critique are replaced by attempts at snarky commentary (or unwarranted gushing praise for that matter), and factors such as the developer, previous games, and minor nitpicks play too large of a role.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby mp3 on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:07 pm

Dee4Three wrote:If the reviewer is playing on Pro, or Rookie, or whatever, they are basically playing the game at an arcade level. Because any sports game I've ever played on the low/medium levels it feels like that. When the game is played in an arcade fashion, you miss a lot of the glaring issues within the game, and I think they may be what happens sometimes with 2k reviews.

2k games are fantastic for the most part, but many of the legacy issues are never discussed, because honestly... I don't think the reviewers even see them.

I feel like reviews should be done like this:

1. By a regular person who doesn't work for the company, that proves competent in video games (somehow that would need to be proven)
2. The player needs to spend atleast 100 hours of TRUE gameplay on a higher difficulty than default.
3. The player would need to be proven as not biased (somehow).

That's a lot of somehows, but we would atleast get a more realistic review of the games.


Exactly.

I always find that if you want a good honest review of a game then the best place to go if YouTube
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:15 pm

I'm obviously biased, but I do think that community reviews are always going to better and more in-depth. They also have the benefit of interaction with your fellow gamers, allowing for clarifications, answers to questions, and further discussion. Since the professional reviews do contribute to the Metacritic scores and that's what the industry runs on, I still feel they need to do a better job, though.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby mp3 on Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:55 am

To be fair to then tho if I were a game reviewer anything outside of my wheelhouse of nba video games and CoD/Battlefield I think I'd be giving some pretty shitty no in depth reviews of other games too
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:10 am

For sure. And like I said, some publications probably have to do the best they can, giving the assignment to the person with the most knowledge of basketball and basketball video games (which may not be quite on par with hardcore fans). Or they have different preferences, or biases they can't overcome. Add in the rush to have the first review out and pressure to be entertaining, and the quality of the review can suffer.

Once again though, it doesn't mean that some of the criticisms of NBA Live haven't been very on point, because there's definitely been justified criticism, professionally and otherwise.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:43 pm

Andrew wrote:For sure. And like I said, some publications probably have to do the best they can, giving the assignment to the person with the most knowledge of basketball and basketball video games (which may not be quite on par with hardcore fans). Or they have different preferences, or biases they can't overcome. Add in the rush to have the first review out and pressure to be entertaining, and the quality of the review can suffer.

Once again though, it doesn't mean that some of the criticisms of NBA Live haven't been very on point, because there's definitely been justified criticism, professionally and otherwise.



The result being loss of credibility. It be better to skip reviewing something you know nothing about then to have people think you don't know what you're talking about and not bother reading any reviews of anything in the future. There are numerous places I won't read reviews from anymore.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:03 pm

That might disqualify pretty much every publication from reviewing the game.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby StyxTx on Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:45 pm

Andrew wrote:That might disqualify pretty much every publication from reviewing the game.


Well, there ya go. Why do people do stuff they aren't qualified to do? Just makes them look incompetent and in my view, that means they aren't professional, so why do they claim they are?

These people who review 2K basketball, for example. As I said before, they all sound like they are writing talking points given to them by the game company. None of them give a different perspective, so why on earth anyone gives them any mind is beyond me.

I get most of my info from forums, but even then I don't let it over-influence me because everyone has their own preference for play. If there is anything in particular I want to know about I'll ask in the forum and see what info I get. At least I get an answer that is more detailed than any review.
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Re: Opinion on really bad reviews

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:29 am

Video game publications pretty much have to review big releases, though. When it comes down to it, the best information is going to come from the hardcore fans.
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