Hoo boy! It's been a good time for gamers lately, travelers, with the obvious cheered and jeered Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil 6 coming up, Fall of the Samurai in line, (personally I'm anticipating Magna Mundi, Risen 2, Dragon's Dogma), and such events. Yeah, Mass Effect 3 has people whining about the ending, but I don't care. I haven't played it so it doesn't affect me! Ha-ha!
The release of Mass Effect Tres, and the whiners, got me thinking... Metacritic is out of control. And has been for a long time (look at the top games of all time for PC). I mean seriously, it's so painfully broken I only look at it for release dates now. Sadly, it even makes me retroactively question the incredible rating of Half Life 2... which no one should ever do. That's a massive game, just ask DET (hit the link, there's new cool Skyrim screens!). So, in my righteous Valve-fueled fury, I wanted to get my opinion out here: aggregators, yes, even RottenTomatoes, are not effective, at least, not the way the public uses them right now. There's no way to make a general overview of worth in numbers for such broad categories, and people use the arbitrary numbers as a replacement for informed opinions about content. Let us explore.
Game reviewers are fallible sources, and human. They (for the most part) write and explain their opinions with the hope that someone reads their work, and use their intelligent and experienced opinion in conjunction with their own personal outlook to form opinions on something without commitment (monetary, time). Music reviews, movie reviews, book reviews, play reviews, game reviews, all the same. When you mash disparate and intelligently explained opinions together in an aggregate site like Metacritic, it devalues the already depreciated secondhand knowledge; it adds another filter to the success of the critic. It also breeds a new form of criticism which panders to number-evaluated end scores.
These game reviewers tend to rate to extremes because they are paid to do so. And don't get me started on the ever unreasonable "User Rating" feature on many sites (Metacritic is just a part of a bigger problem). Speaking of paying, there's always the theory that evil corporate suits pay people to skew the results of faceless numbers, which I personally think they don't need to do, because, fans will always rate by fanboy alliances, nerdrage, or HEY LOOK I'M THE VOICE OF REASON, mediate scores, or utter panning with poorly thought out "analysis," all the while thinking someone, anyone cares. Well, joke's on me, I dedicated an article to it!! Ha-ha? Hm...
Closing thoughts, utterly random: does anyone feel like Two Worlds II was on sale because Steam was like LOOK, PLEEEEESE JUST BUY THE GAME IT CAN'T HURT YOU THAT MUCH. Hmph, says them. My copy of arcania IV says otherwise.