Publishers are well aware of the impact review scores have on the sales success of any given title; in fact, last year, one analyst said that titles that score at or above the 90% mark tend to sell three times more copies than games that fall below that elite level. This isn't necessarily surprising, because for the most part, the best games in this industry's history are also the best selling. There are a few exceptions – there are always exceptions – but we should take pride in being part of an industry where, typically, the fans reward the top-quality products.

Therefore, we have to believe that reviews play a significant role in the purchasing decisions of the consumer. If they didn't, we wouldn't bother to write them. However, to what extent do the reviews affect your decision when you're on the fence? Do you go more with your gut feeling or do you rely on the numerical scores the game drags in? We're relatively certain there are plenty of fans out there who will automatically buy the newest installment in their favorite franchise (for example, I'm getting Final Fantasy XIII , regardless of reviews). But when it comes to games you're not familiar with – IPs, for instance – we imagine that reviews may serve their intended purpose, and those of you who were initially reluctant to pick up something like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune were swayed due to the high critical praise. And with more new stuff, like titles going up on the PSN and Live Marketplace, it can be difficult to choose correctly all the time.

We're also well aware of the gamers who simply believe they know more than all the critics, anyway, and they'd rather listen to reader reviews. …well, based on what we've seen of reader reviews, you may find yourself either dropping $60 for a worthless game or needlessly avoiding one that's definitely worth your hard-earned cash. While no reviewer should place himself/herself on a pedestal above those he's supposed to be servicing, it wouldn't make much sense to install random people into such positions. We'd like to believe that most reviewers these days are experts, and that they know more about the industry than the average fan. Perhaps more importantly, they have a much larger "compare-and-contrast" base to use for each of their reviews, which in turn helps the reader. We're not trying to deify the critic – far from it – but to assume all critics are either "paid off" or "just kids who don't know anything I don't know" is a mistake. And we're just wondering- what kind of impact do reviews have on your gaming life?

By the way, this article was inspired by this same topic that is currently being discussed in our ever-growing forums. Comment here or jump in there to add your voice to the throng. What say you?

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Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Extremely important… I base my purchasing decisions on them; enough said!

Q!

"i am hOMe"

Random_Steve
Random_Steve
11 years ago

same, although i only really look at PSXE or mabye IGN for multiplat games. I tend to look for the good aspects of games, so i enjoy most of the ones i get. Thats the thing about most game reviews, they're so negative

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Reviews usually help me decide on games. Well, actually I just read the reviews here and base my purchase off of the information given to me from you guys. Like the other night I read your review of Flower and you had a bunch of good things to say about it so I looked up some footage and bought it soon after. But regardless of any review, I'll be buying Resident Evil 5. I have it preordered already. By the way, whoever reviews it, please go easy on the fact that you can't move while aiming ok?! It was left like that for a reason after all. Anyway, I just want to take this opportunity to thank Ben and Arnold and everyone else here at PSX for being so objective, honest, and informative in their reviews, previews, and everything else.

JaktheDaxter
JaktheDaxter
11 years ago

I feel like I contributed to something.

I like the idea of reviews, which I don't think came out in my posts, but I feel over the years the opinions of alot of reviewers get in the way of fair scores.

That was the main cause of my arguement against Edge's review of Killzone 2.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Well Done Jak.

JaktheDaxter
JaktheDaxter
11 years ago

Thanks I guess, but originally I was worried the tone would have seemed, for lack of a better word, demeaning, I guess. Towards reviewers and sites dedicated to them. If so, I truly apologize to all the reviewers of this site. I am not questioning you alls abilities or even the neccesity of reviews, just my personal stand point on them.

I just wanted to point that out.

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
11 years ago

Game reviews are very important to me II don't buy any game unless II hear good things about it the reviewers get to play it before we do so there opion is very important if I'm bout to spend my hard dollars on a game if the game sucks II save myself some money II review every game II have interest in buying that way II don't get disappointed.

JasperLoons
JasperLoons
11 years ago

I don't trust the reviews of any particular site (don't be offended, I haven't been coming here long enough or looked through your old reviews enough to judge).

What I do trust are averages, so in that sense reviews are very important to what games I purchase. Though, there are games that I will or won't play no matter what the reviews say.

Ed_Wayne
Ed_Wayne
11 years ago

I don't care about reviews at all. A single review or the average of all reviews means nothing to me. Why? My top 3 favorite games of all time got reviews ranging from bad to mediocre. If I paid any attention to reviews I would have never discovered them.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

What were those games?

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Yes, what were they W. I am interested to know!

Q!

"i aM hOme"

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
11 years ago

I feel the same way as Ed. I have really enjoyed games that got a mediocre review more that games that received great reviews.

Examples: I loved Dark Sector, Turok and Dirt. All had gameplay you can't find in other games. I still have all 3 of these games in my collection.

Traded in MGS4, RFOM2 and GTAIV because I was bored with them and they had that 'been there done that' feel from the start.


Last edited by Tim Speed24 on 2/17/2009 7:34:35 AM

infekt
infekt
11 years ago

Depends where the review is coming from. There are sources that really don't influence me (G4TV or Gametrailers). Then there are sources that influence me a little like IGN and 1UP where I find reviews are a little more balanced. At the end of the day, if I really want a game I will buy the game regardless. I bought Flower and Crash Commandos without reading much on them, just because they looked unique. Some podcasts are better at reviewing than others (yes, I'm looking at you NoobToob). What awful taste. But its their opinion so who am I to dispute them..

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

Well, now it matters. But back when it was the ps1 gen. I dont think so xD. I never looked at reviews back then, i just picked what sounded good. And what my friends recommended me to play. Gaming has evolved now, so i guess we need more in-depth information about what is enjoyable xD..

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

The only opinion that matters to me is mine. I might use reviews for games like Flower, that don't have a demo and I'm on the fence with in regards to purchasing. Otherwise, I know what games I want and don't rely on them.

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

I agree with this

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
11 years ago

Exactly. I know I will buy GOWIII and Killzone 2 and COD Modern Warfare 2 no matter what the reviews say.

Add in GT5 too.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Here we go again with the opinion card. News flash guys, if you haven't played a game, you don't HAVE an opinion…This would mean you're naturally being influenced by something subconciously: whether it maybe by a general preference for the genre, a franchise, or even by something superficial such as cover art, prerelease marketing hype, or just general consumer buzz. And I'd rather be advised by an intelligent review than influenced by anything else just to find out I was wrong, and that I could've saved myself the money/time if I'd only read the "writing on the wall", or to totally miss out on a killer-app just because I thought it wasn't "my type" of game.

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
11 years ago

Well if you know what types of games you like, why wouldn't you buy games in that genre?

I'm not going to buy a Country album because someone rated it a 10/10 or #1 on the country charts. Not my style of music.

I'm not going to buy an Hyundia because some magazine picks it as car of the year. So reviews of games are an opinion of the reviewer. I have my own opinions on games.

Sometimes you need to think for yourself and you might find yourself playing games that didn't rate high. Diamonds in the rough, Diamonds in the rough, Man.

L7 345T

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Oh, I'm all for "thinking for yourself". But part of that thought process doesn't necessarily involve playing every game to decide whether it's for you or not, nor avoiding every game that doesn't happen to be of a genre of your liking. For example, like you, I detest country music for the most part. However, if a country album comes out that happens to get rave reviews across the board, from country fans and especially non-country ones, then I'd be hard-pressed not to at least check it out. However, if a country album comes out, and it gets bad reviews from all sides, chances are I'll be avoiding it, too. This much we can agree on, I hope.

So, I'll admit, there are games that I know I'll get regardless of the reviews. These are quite few in number, and they do tend to get very positive reviews. Then, there are a whole bunch of games that I'll consider based on reviews from a respected source: LBP, GTA4, MGS4, Deadspace, Prince of Persia, Uncharted, Gears of War 1&2, Resistance 1&2, Ratchet & Clank: TOD are all games that I wasn't initially inclined to playing. But after learning more about them, again from respected sources, I picked them up and, boy, was I glad that I didn't miss out on them.

shadowpal2
shadowpal2
11 years ago

REVIEWS are absolutely necessary for me. I mean c'mon!!! Without them I wouldn't know whether the game I'm hyped up for really is good or not. Usually what I do after I read the review is watch a step by step video walkthrough which are usually on Youtube. And wow…when I look through the walkthrough and compare it with the game review – I CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND.

Mirror's Edge was a good example. I read IGN's review of it. They said it was ok and that it was mainly one of those games that really depend on the player's tastes. So I watched this walkthrough and found the game to be only 2.5 hours or something like that.

I'm ok with that, since the gameplay is so…god IT JUST REALLY PUTS YOU INTO IT! Like when you're making a jump…I was seriously jumping out of my chair wondering if Faith was going to make it. And bam she made it. And I WASN'T EVEN PLAYING!!! It was a freaking video. That was one positive aspect the game review told me. Then…it told me about some cons like the short gameplay time and how levels looked very similar to each other. During the beginning and the end you could see some differences in levels. But during the middle WOW – the levels look very very similar. Especially with the whole "Go through a door and pass this hallway with this colored stripe" thing. Also there were moments when the gameplay was sort of defeated and instead of running you actually had to fight. I can understand that with bosses and stuff but not…like regular enemies. The review told me about that as well.

So yea…reviews are helpful. VERY HELPFUL. And I appreciate people doing it. Well…I appreciate people who DO IT HONESTLY. And of course PSXextreme never fails on those. It's just in my blood to go to IGN first…sorry =(.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
11 years ago

Reviews are almost completely worthless to me. I much more prefer to try the game out myself and see if it's worth it instead of trusting somebody elses opinion. I used to live by them years ago, but too many occassions I was let down. Not everybody likes the same things. Case in point, movie reviews. Most of the movies critics love, I hate. Movies they hate, I love. Same goes with game reviews. Just not as consistently. I just read them to learn what a game is about if I've never heard of it. Otherwise I pass over it so not to spoil anything. Then on to my Gamefly queue it goes.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I like to strike a balance, I am unlikely to just drop a bunch of money on something that everyone says sucks no matter how much I want it, in those cases I will sacrifice the smaller price of a rental to see if I really do like it. Then I review it myself and if it belongs in my collection I get it, or if it belongs but isn't fantastic I wait for a price cut and then get it.

One thing I've learned this Gen is not to put too much weight on demos though.

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
11 years ago

I agree with this 100%. One thing about reviews though, they help me persuade my friends that dont game as much as I do into getting some games so we can play them together.

Advent Child
Advent Child
11 years ago

My gut feeling is almost always right. I can't think of a title in recent memory that I was off…

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Oh yeah? Well, what did your tummy say about Deadspace?

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

My gastrointestinal track said it was going to be ok, but when I played it, it got really hyper :S

www
www
11 years ago

lmao Aftab!

Kryptoknight
Kryptoknight
11 years ago

I will try a game based on several reviews, good ones, not just one persons or organizations. That doesn't mean I'm going to buy every game that gets a 9.6, or 4 1/2 stars or whatever, Im still going to get what I want, what interests me, not just what everyone else says I have to have. However, I care nothing whatsoever for movie reviews, I'll watch anything just to spite them 😛 !!!

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

Long story. Gather round' kids =D

PS1 games were getting cheap so I didn't need reviews, 75% of games I played were completely awesome anyway.

Back in the PS2 days the only reviews I've ever seen and read were Official Playstation Magazine – Australia.
I never read reviews apart from buying an occasional OPSM mag.. and ironically they all the right score for me.
I loved every game they gave a 7-8/10 or more. It was a very easy videogame picking process.

;P

But now new games costs $100+ (NZD) so looking for reviews is recommended.
[Mini-story]
The complete opposite of the time I had $50 to spend on a game, I went to a store with my neighbour. There were no good games on sale so he told me to buy Kingdom Hearts. And there we were thinking it might've been too kiddyish but it happened to be my greatest PS2 surprise.

That, is all.

=D

blitz30952
blitz30952
11 years ago

You hit the nail on the head right there buddy, new games out here at $100+ is a bit pricey.. 😛


Last edited by blitz30952 on 2/17/2009 3:08:25 AM

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

You would have to go to 5 movies in New Zealand to make up the money spent on a game. If the game is good and has longevity… well, you can't really go wrong… which is better…

But ya still need to read a few reviews to get a really good idea of what the game is about, especially new I.P.

Also, lest not forget readers comments; they can be very helpful sometimes – again though depends on the group of people that usually comment… and of course, here at PSX… there are opinions you can trust… what a wonderful group we are 🙂

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

dfm078
dfm078
11 years ago

I wish a game was *only* 5 times a movie… Here in Paraguay a movie is about 5US$ just do the math, a game is worth easily 12 times a movie, not to mention that avg income is less than 500US$. So I do HAVE TO base my purchase on reviews (at least of new games)

dfm078
dfm078
11 years ago

well, thats buying them from amazon because picking em up from the store will cost around 80US$… 🙁

raztad
raztad
11 years ago

Hey dfm078, so you are from Paraguay, arent you? pretty cool, I am from Venezuela man. What is your PSN ID? Mine is raztad feel free to add me.

Now on topic, if you are going to spend 60+ $ in a game you need to do it wisely, so the opinion of trusted sources are always welcome.

Talking about prices, I think games need a price cut, a 50$ price will make them much more accessible to more people. I know it sounds crazy, but the high price is what makes people go to second hand games to get their fixes.


Last edited by raztad on 2/17/2009 9:02:55 AM

dfm078
dfm078
11 years ago

Hi raztad! cool, I'll add you tonight!

Kevadu
Kevadu
11 years ago

I typically read several different reviews of any game I am interested in before purchasing. However, I place very little value on the final numerical score and tend to go more by the text of the review. Why? Because my values and priorities are not necessarily the same as the reviewer's.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I wouldn't have purchased GTA4 were it not for the review it had gotten here. A particular line rang very true that was something to the effect of…"A must play even if GTA isn't your cup of tea".

www
www
11 years ago

yea gtaiv is definitely a must-play.Lookin' to get the dlc on 360 too.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I wonder if it's a timed exclusive?

ceedot
ceedot
11 years ago

Well, we all know they are extremely important to you ben.

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
11 years ago

Demos influence me more than reviews. I do rely on reviews to inform me of any technical issues a game may suffer from.

ps92117
ps92117
11 years ago

Those that give there reviews are human, and like all human they are at times biased, not always but sometimes, certain people review's maybe influnce by the situation( if the situation is somehow tied to the game doesn't matter ) this dilemma can be avoided by taking the average of multiple reviews, but sometimes the average of the reviews may also be influenced by greater things like established brands or unfortunately the origin of the creator and platform of which it belongs to. So in my opinion, you should try to compare how you feel about games that you already own to the reviews of certain sources to get a feel of whom you happen to agree more often with ,though maybe not always agree but at least agree more often. Fortunately though most games nowadays come with a demo to help you make your decision.


Last edited by ps92117 on 2/17/2009 1:35:49 AM

crapreviews
crapreviews
11 years ago

for me it depends. i go by certain sites that i trust (like this one), but also take in my own research of the game and also other players that i know.

BeezleDrop
BeezleDrop
11 years ago

Sometimes it depends on the game, if the hype level is HUGE then I can't help but gather feedback asap. Generally if I'm stoked about a game I buy it, I'm usually satisfied with my own review. Also -some- sites know how to review a game which would help very much.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
11 years ago

game reviews to me are references but not definitive, the combination of my own interest, intuition and review as whole is what I follow, not the review alone.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/17/2009 2:57:16 AM

JaktheDaxter
JaktheDaxter
11 years ago

This is my favorite answer. Well said.

blitz30952
blitz30952
11 years ago

Reviews definitely influence game choice and are more important this gen (are we still calling it next-gen?) than ever, what with the current economic recession especially. Reviews help us make informed decisions about what we spend our hard-earned money on.

Woops! Just read Banky A's comment and I basically wrote exactly the same thing.. 😛


Last edited by blitz30952 on 2/17/2009 3:06:45 AM

FLYING_APE
FLYING_APE
11 years ago

Score doesn't bother me. If the review is poorly written like cough EDGE review then i have a problem.

That why i come here for detailed review and ign

orangpelupa
orangpelupa
11 years ago

review is important (the article).
and the review score is not too important for me.