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Why You Shouldn’t Trust All Reviews You Read

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I will never make the claim that I’m a great movie/video game reviewer. What I do I do for fun and enjoyment, most of the time because I’m completely bored out of my mind. I’m not paid, though I certainly wouldn’t argue if I were. What’s baffling to me are those people out there who really get paid to do this. Reading through some so-called “professional” gaming magazines can be downright disgusting at times.

It has nothing to do with anyone’s opinion. I’m not some 8-year fan boy who’s going to send countless E-mails to a reviewer for giving the latest “Yu-Gi-Oh” games low scores telling them they’re wrong. They’re not wrong. That’s what opinions are for. If you don’t agree with the review, it should still be able to deliver enough information on the title to tell you whether or not you would enjoy it. Unfortunately, some “professionals” fail to do this.

In a semi-recent issue of Game Informer, Gamestop’s long running exclusive magazine, there was a review for “Tiger Woods DS,” one of the few measly releases for the dry console in some time. He did not like the game in the slightest, handing out a review score of 4 out of 10. So, why did he hand out such a score? He’s clueless.

His main complaint is that the rather innovative method of swinging is wildly inaccurate. Ok, agreed. It’s awful at times. He continues on until we hit his quotes about putting and putting backspin on the ball.

“Because of the slippery touch screen, your targeting reticle (sp) slides all over the place.”

“I still haven’t figured out how to put backspin on the ball.”

So, why can’t you trust this reviewer? You don’t need the touch screen to putt. It’s much easier and way more accurate to use the D-pad. Secondly, to put backspin on the ball, all you need to do is touch the giant ball with an arrow going around it on the bottom screen in the direction you need it go. You really can’t miss it.

Here is a person in a paid professional who completely fails to either spend enough time with the game or open up the instruction book to learn how to do something. In fact, not only does the instruction book tell players how to spin the ball, but also, so does the included training mode.

Does this mean his score is wrong? No. He genuinely didn’t like the game and that’s totally fine. Would he have enjoyed the game more if he actually knew what he was doing with it? Possibly.

What’s the point of this editorial? Know what you’re reading. If you find reviews are helpful to you, find someone who generally agrees with your opinion and is technically accurate. Don’t just read one review and take it as the be-all-end-all review if someone you’re familiar with does not write it. If your favorite reviewer is on vacation, read multiples.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.