I get quite a chuckle out of reading game reviews. Other than what is available on the internet from regular schmucks like me, game reviews are a huge pile of sycophantic BULLSHIT. If you were to believe what GameInformer and PC Magazine (step off, I read it for the hardware reviews), et al, write, you’d (mistakenly) think that every game ever released was, at the least, playable, and in many cases, A MUST-HAVE GAME FOR THE SERIOUS GAMER!
Which, we all know, is unmitigated bullshit.
I have three conspiracy theories about this issue. Theory #1 – They’re all on the take. Maybe the editorial staffs have decided, since these are “just” games, what could it hurt to take free stuff, go eat free stuff, listen to 20 minutes of hype and write a softball review? Are they reviewing most of this crap by reading the press releases? Or fanboi websites?
Theory #2 – They don’t actually play the games longer than one, maybe two hours. If they are indeed giving these games a more thorough testdrive, then they must be the worst gamers on Earth if they can’t spot poor design, dull storylines, HORRID interfaces (Shadowbane, I’m looking in your direction here), lag like a brick wall, or learning curves so steep I need a sherpa to ascend its incline.
Theory #3 – They’re idiots on the take that don’t play the games for more than one hour.
Which is why, I love to compare the pre-release reviews to the second-look reviews after the game goes live and everyone (like you and me) starts thinking “wtf is this piece of crap I just bought?”
To be fair, word-of-mouth pre-release hype from schmucks (like me) isn’t much more reliable. If I were to believe all the hoopla, World of Warcraft is going to change ONLINE GAMING AS I KNOW IT and is more absorbing than THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST and Blizzard has NEVER RELEASED A PRODUCT UNTIL IT WAS PERFECT.
Except Diablo II, but that’s ancient history. Right?