MGS4 Review Controversy Continues
You may remember a few days ago when we ran an article pointing out the fairly obvious review score discrepancies for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Well, it's no surprise to see some of those reviewers who awarded the game an 8 (and there were several) are taking some flak for giving what some MGS4 lovers are basically calling an obscenely low score.
One of those critics is GameDaily's Chris Buffa, who has apparently caught a lot of negative feedback for his review that ended up with MGS4 getting a flat 8. In light of the backlash, he has decided to respond (via GameRush) and defend his position.
"There are a lot of perfect scores and 9s for MGS4, and I can only speculate why. First, I believe that some reviewers give Kojima a free pass because hes Kojima and that makes no sense. Ive read some reviews where the writer complains for a good portion of the article and then awards the game a 9/10 or a 10/10. Gamesradar (whom I love) is guilty of this. If youre going to make arguments against a game, then stick to those points by awarding the game a score that reflects your beliefs. The solution is not to go complain complain complain...but Kojima 9/10..."
"We can certainly speculate that some of the authors are fan boys and thats possible. I also have a theory that when reviewers see a few 10/10s and 9/10s that they are inclined to follow suit. Obviously, no one will write you an email if you fall in line and give the game the same score everyone has given it. The bottom line is some people gush over MGS, and its shortcomings matter little compared to its positives."
Everyone is allowed to have their opinion, of course, and we aren't about to criticize Buffa for writing a review that clashes with all those that handed out the perfect score...including ours. However, in addition to his theories as to why some may have handed out a 10 when - in his opinion - the game didn't deserve it, we'd like to add the following-
He mentioned some authors possibly being "fanboys," which we certainly wouldn't rule out. On the flip side, there's such a thing as anti-fanboys; those who love to dole out criticism on a popular and widely praised game, if only to place themselves at an "elite" level. We see this all the time in video game forums, for example. Furthermore, while he said some critics might be more inclined to hand out scores that gel with other critics, there's a flip side to that coin, too. To make your review stand out and grab a ton of traffic, it'd be a very attractive option to slap a very controversial overall score on a giant release like MGS4.
So here's our point: unfortunately, there tend to be outside sources that may influence a reviewer's opinion, as much as we try to avoid them at all costs. And they work along both sides of the spectrum; in the end, there's plenty of outside incentive to post a negative, eye-catching review as there is to post a completely positive one. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
6/15/2008 Ben Dutka