Anthem, Review Scores, and Evaluating a Game on My Own Terms

Will be the first to admit that review scores play a heavy role in my game purchasing decisions. From the moment I got my first GamePro magazine in 1994, checking the opinions of critics before plunking down the funds on a game is a must. It sucks to spend so much on a game and not have it meet your expectations. Most recently, I cancelled my Crackdown 3 preorder after reading the reviews and watching its Metacritic score crash to a 60 out of 100.

Having said that, Anthem came out not long after and also was smacked with a 60 out of 100 Metacritic score. With the BioWare pedigree behind it, this seems like an even bigger disappointment than Microsoft’s exclusive offering. Yet, here I am, playing Anthem and generally having a good time with it.

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Confessions of a Gaming Hype Beast

Tetris Effect was not on my radar. I adore Tetris, to the point where I’ll gladly argue the stance that Tetris is the single greatest video game of all-time. However, it didn’t seem hard for me to build a case against me purchasing this particular version. Even with Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s flair for injecting games with hypnotic visuals and moving electronic music, the idea of paying $40 US/$50 CAD on a single-player-only version of Tetris seemed too hard to stomach. Especially when I’ve hemmed and hawed at picking up the cheaper-and-more-feature-complete Puyo Puyo Tetris on the Switch for over a year now.

Then the reviews happened. As of writing, it sits at an 89 on Metacritic, which is a fantastic score. All of a sudden, the game I’ve dismissed for largely rational reasons has flung to the top of my must-buy list. The only thing that’s changed is that a bunch of other people have said nice things about it.

In the world of urban fashion, the term often used for someone who chases trends is “hype beast”. If I really think about it, I am probably the video game equivalent of that. Sure, I’ll still play games and buy what I want based on my own personal motivations, and my final opinions on games are entirely my own, but the games I choose to buy and play can be heavily influenced by the conversations within the greater gaming zeitgeist. This is my story as a gaming hype beast.

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Boss Rush: Episode 7

The crew is back together to chat about games, as well as raise awareness and funds for Extra Life! Games we cover on the show include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mega Man 11, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Lego City Undercover, Street Fighter: The Movie – The Game, Mad Max, Hollow Knight, and Octopath Traveler! Also, the final segment pits the guys in a new game where they must guess the Metacritic user score! Do you have a better read of the Metacritic user base than Jason, Mat, and Jon? Play along to find out!

Whether you want to watch the whole episode in one shot, or watch it in parts, both options are available above!

How I Use Metacritic to Inform My Gaming Purchases

Metacritic as a service is viewed as divisive among gaming enthusiasts. On one hand, it’s the major site that gives you an easy-to-find aggregate of numerous major gaming reviews for one game in one place. On the other hand, critics hate how it marginalizes full reviews into a number, its methods for aggregating reviews, and the significance certain entities place on the final Metacritic score.

My stance on Metacritic is a bit from column A, and a bit from column B, but I do oftentimes refer to Metacritic to inform my gaming purchases. I’m sure everyone has a way of interpreting the data, though I thought I’d share how I use it.

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Video Game Reviews and Nerd Rage

As I often do, I was surfing through the NeoGaf forums when I found the following thread that caught my eye:

Reviews which you NEVER forgave (EGM/Nick Rox – Grrrr)

In this 500+ post thread, users go off on reviews, reviewers and gaming outlets that said something about games that they didn’t agree with. It’s kind of scary reading through some of the hate in these posts. Some of these users seem to be harbouring more ill will over a 15-year old review than I do about ex-girlfriends who cheated on me.

This behaviour isn’t isolated to NeoGaf. These types of angry and hateful comments are apparent on virtually every video game message board and every game review with a comment system. I’ve even heard numerous stories on podcasts where reviewers said they’ve received death threats from people who didn’t agree with their opinions. Tell me, why do people get so mad over video game reviews?

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The Top 5 Most Viewed In Third Person Posts of All-Time

Because I write In Third Person solely as a personal outlet of gaming nerdiness, I don’t pay much attention to my analytics. Even if no one in the world were to ever see this blog, I would continue writing in it anyway, just to get these gaming-related thoughts out of my head and onto something a bit more tangible. Well, as tangible as the Internet can be. If you or anyone else decides they want to read my musings, power to you.

And read my musings you have. Sure, my traffic may not rival the Craigslist posting your mom put up to promote your family garage sale, but there are a consistent number of people that frequent my site, according to my numbers. Thank you to everyone that has ever read my blog and a special thanks to everyone who checks in regularly.

Whether you’re a regular reader or just found my blog on a whim, I’m going to present to you the five most popular posts on my site. I was actually kind of surprised by the results. Click through to find out what the hottest content is on In Third Person.

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