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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

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Comments (25 posts)

ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 15, 2008 @ 11:27:52 PM
Reply

Wait...wasn't this guy supposed to defend his opinion on why he scored the game so low? Errm, so instead he calls us fanboys and sheep? Wow, say hello to the new definition of tool, Mr. Buffa.

His "because it's Kojima" defense also holds no ground whatsoever. I guess Mr. Buffa forgot the awful reviews Zone of the Enders received.

Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 6/15/2008 11:28:09 PM

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Tatsujin
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 12:42:22 AM

Arnold, I couldn't agree with you more. On everything you just said. And yes, Let us not forget the low scores Zone of the Enders recieved... and yet, no game has ever done anything like it... It's so fast, fun and challening. The way I see it, Buffa is trying to knock down the big guy... Kojima. (Hes just jelouse -_-)

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aaronisbla
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 1:27:35 AM

Honestly, he came off sound like some of the guys who post at gamefaqs. Instead of him defending himself, he points the finger, pulls the "fanboy and kojima" card. He really did make himself look like a tool.

His first mistake was DEFENDING his original score, he should have some balls. IMHO, a reviewer shouldn't have to defend his score, the article itself should do the defending.

I actually respected his opinion in his review ( until he got all defensive ), cuz we all know that this game isn't for everyone, but what game is? But its pretty childish to go pointing fingers at other reviewers.

Had he just respected other peoples opinions about this game and not try to lump them into the fanboy category, or the "i <3 kojima" category, eh wouldn't be getting the crapstorm thats coming his way shortly lol

Last edited by aaronisbla on 6/16/2008 1:31:51 AM

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 2:51:47 AM

Agree with aaron here. If a score states a reviewers opinion then the review itself is the defense, as soon as a reviewer decides they need to defend themselves again, they're in trouble. The way he went about it is especially stupid. He could very well be right, (many treat Kojima as if he is in fact the god of gaming) but he comes off sounding like a nine-year-old.

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karneli lll
Sunday, June 15, 2008 @ 11:35:34 PM
Reply

why do people say mgs makes no sense? it may confuse at times but it makes full sense. i suspect that the people who say mgs 'makes no sense' should stick to the storyless,random one minute cutscene games that they love so much .
As for game daily, it was either a publicity stunt or game daily is following gamestop's cue (showing no love for the ps3)

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Tatsujin
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 12:43:32 AM

People say it makes no sense because they played only one or two of the games and don't have a clue on what the fu** is going on, so they just say "This dosn't make any sense..." well, to those people... Go out and buy 1, 2 and 3 before you play 4... And play them in chronological order.

Last edited by Tatsujin on 6/16/2008 12:43:45 AM

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NoMoreWar
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 1:43:18 AM
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i personally have been finding this mgs4 stuff intriguing. i owned a ps1 and 2, yet i've never played any mgs titles. i have absolutely no position one way or the other. i had never really heard that much about them until fairly recently, and i've gotta say, there isn't much about this game that gets me too interested. i plan to try it out for myself, but i honestly don't know that i would bother if it weren't for the great review scores and hype i've seen on this site. i disagree with giving any game a perfect 10. 9.9 maybe, but to me a 10/10 means it is not possible for it to have been any better in any way at all. in my experience, that is impossible. there is always some room, be it 0.1 out of 10, for even miniscule improvement. that said, i will try this game, and as a gamer totally neutral to this franchise, i am really looking forward to experiencing this title for myself

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aaronisbla
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 2:15:40 AM

I will state this again, or as many times as its needed: a 10 out of 10 DOESN'T mean perfect. Why have the ten on the scale if its never meant to be used? cuz it doesn't mean its perfect and nothing can be better, ever.

think about it this way: When food critics give eateries a 5 star rating, its not to say its the best eatery ever, just means that its really a top notch place to eat.

Same goes with movies and their rating system. The same goes for games

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 2:47:26 AM

A lot of people for some reason think rating and ranking mean the same thing aaronisbla is right. 10 simply means it's spectacular not perfect. If 10 meant perfect then everytime a game got one all the other 10's would need to be changed (because they are obviously not perfect, as once believed).

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NoMoreWar
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 2:01:32 PM

alright, i hear you. i guess i just have really high standards for something to get a 100% score on the 10.0 scale, and i've yet to play anything that i feel deserves a perfect 10. maybe mgs4 will be the first. funny thing is, i'm fine with 5/5 ratings. i think it just feels different when you're trying to put such a fine-tune score on something; i mean, on a 0-10 scale, there's 100 possible scores with the decimal place, from "wtf is this?" through "average" to "amazing." on that scale, i'd say anything in the 90/s is pretty much amazing. a perfect 10/10 isn't required to recognize something as great. this Buffa guy, for example, recognized it as a good game, he just doesn't think its amazing. so maybe he's an idiot for redirecting the finger pointing as a defense, but the guy is entitled to his own opinion on the matter. he feels mgs4 is good. most reviewers think its amazing. as i said, i'm gonna check it for myself, and maybe it'll be a first 10/10 for me

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ei02028
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 3:46:47 AM
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I think that are two sides of the story. Those that played Metal Gear 4 as fan boys and those who played it as anti-metal gear.

Let's imagine that I hate football and I'm gonna to review Fifa or PES. Well, I bet that the global score wouldn't be good since I don't like the subject of the game.

I love to see the reasons why the metal gear review is so low sometimes: long cut scenes, it's like the previous metal gear's, the symbols that appears in the head of the guys like '?'...Well, for god sake, MG was always in this way.

It's like I review GTA with a 7/10 because it's the same of San Andreas, the city is smaller and I don't like to hear sh** words...

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kj313
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 5:02:19 AM
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I haven't read his review and will not. I don't read reviews anymore. Ever since I disagreed highly with everyones views, and scores wit GTA IV, I gave up. For me when I read a review it wasn't so much what the score of the game was. Its more the article. If I don't agree with what the reviewer is sayin than I disregard it.

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ThePoetRazel
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 5:35:57 AM
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From Buffa's statement i'd guess he only scored it low because he's biased against the success of it. He probably played the game looking specifically for faults just to discredit the game. Confirmation bias is something a reviewer should avoid, not embrace.
I wonder how many other reviewers base their opinions on the game's success rather than the game itself.

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Godslim
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 5:46:23 AM
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i couldnt give a rats ass if it as made by Kojima or not......the game is kick ass and so deserves 10 i bet they gave sumthing like halo a higher score or gta.....which both dont deserve it

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aaronisbla
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 6:15:09 AM
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sadly, some of my best friends wont give it a try cuz of this "hate" thing they have going for kojima since mgs2. They have every excuse in the book. Maybe its best that they dont play it, as they will look for things to hate about it, just like this guy in the article, hell, just like that guy from penny arcade, i remember when i use to actually find them funny...boy has crap changed...

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kj313
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 7:12:26 AM
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I DON'T SEE ANY FAULTS IN MGS4 FOR IT TO MERIT AN 8! Its the best game to come out on ps3 thus far!

Oh yeah before I forget gamesdaily and buffa would love to thank Arnold and Ben, also not to mention PSX for even dicussing this guys rating. He accomplished what he set out to do. He got people talkin bout his review, plus a bonus people know of his website now. I can only imagine how many others now know of this ASSCLOWN.

To tell u the truth I'm curious into what made him rate it an 8. Now I'm enticed to go on his website and see. THANKS A LOT GUYS!!!!!

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Bugzbunny109
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 7:58:28 AM
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EVERYONE DONT HATE ME FOR THIS!!!!!!!!!- Alright I agree with some of the stuff he said . I feel that MGS4 sould at least get a 9.9/10 or even 10/10. I also feel that his perspective of this situation is reasonable or rational, because he is entitiled to say what he wants and I kinda agree with the fact that when many reviewers saw all those 10/10's and they imediatly gave it that score[10/10], I mean it is a very humane thing to do, If it was me i would do the same.I disagree with the 'Fanboy' comment he made and i think that there could be a flip or refection to it.

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Loogs
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 11:53:08 AM
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"What will PSXE give MGS4?
A perfect 10, it's MGS4!
Between 9.0 and 9.9, it'll be amazing
Between 8.0 and 8.9, it'll be a shock!
Below an 8...and we riot."
"A perfect 10, it's MGS4!"...and you wonder why there's controversy on these 100% reviews... "Below an 8...and we riot", there is no honesty in that statement. I've got no problem with the review on this website, and I've got no problem with Buffa's review (everyone's perspective should be respected) but that poll is downright arrogant. The poll itself is appropriate and so is 10, 9, and 8 as answers, but those comments are ludicrous. I believe MGS4 did deserve high scores and I'm playing it right now, but I find it hypocritical that you can list this extremely biased "fanboy" poll, and then comment on what fanboys and anti-fanboys are as if you're not one(s). Plus, you list this article focused directly on a reviewer who issued an 8/10 simply out of spite because it has a different perspective then your own. Why would you immaturely criticize a criticism? People have different perspectives and are entitled to their own opinion, how can you be blind to respecting that? Who is ANYBODY to act as judge to Buffa? Let the man be! Besides, it's just a f*cking number people! Embrace the game, not the scores! *quickly returns back to playing MGS4*

Last edited by Loogs on 6/16/2008 12:00:37 PM

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aaronisbla
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 2:40:42 PM

I think you fail to realize this: We don't really care about the man's score, we think he is entitled to his own opinion. If you clearly read the article, Ben doesn't even bash the man. Where is this poll you were talking about?

But the man issues a statement "defending" his review (that needed no defending)by casting speculation on hi scored reviews, basically calling it fanboyism.

THATS the gripe people have with this guy, not the 8 out of 10 review. Hell, i don't think this site even reported anything negative on him till he made that idiotic statement in this article.

How can he expect people to respect his opinions when he doesn't do the same thing?

Last edited by aaronisbla on 6/16/2008 2:43:42 PM

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NoMoreWar
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 4:21:35 PM

aaronisbla:
thats the poll on PSX's home page...

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aaronisbla
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 8:22:00 PM

Oh that poll, i tend to skip over the home page cuz of the subscription i have for this site goes directly to the articles. So forgive my ignorance

That being said, I don't think that poll had anything to do with targeting reviewers who gave it an 8.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, June 16, 2008 @ 9:00:09 PM

Loogs: You're reading far too much into that poll. I put it up well before we did our review, and before I even noticed the 8s from other reviews. It's all in good fun and "we riot" is just a joke.

Don't take it so literally.

P.S. Just changed the poll again. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/16/2008 9:02:41 PM

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Loogs
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 @ 1:45:32 PM

Aye, I hear ya. I just think it set me off when I'm seeing all these people actually *care* about a number that means nothing, and then this one-sided poll is saying an 8 is blasphemy and that MGS4 deserves nothing less than 10...those comments contradicted the neutrality you were trying to have with these "numbers". Lmao I really could care less because I have never cared about a reviewer's score and only interpret the details in review (Kind of like the pointlessness with the Kane and Lynch scores? Everyone gets upset about nothing and one of gaming's most respected reviewers get fired over it). The poll just seemed like fuel to the fire of the "great review debate" and I threw in my 2 cents...

I like the new 'neutral' poll =P
Keep doin' what you're doin' Ben, the site rocks!! I love you man haha jk, but I think I went a little overboard yesterday, was having a bad day =(

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Tatsujin
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 @ 1:20:30 AM
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Damn, no riot I guess :(
-Put's the torches and pitchforks away-
Maybe next time...

Last edited by Tatsujin on 6/17/2008 1:20:36 AM

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Blarghonk
Thursday, June 19, 2008 @ 2:12:25 PM
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Ok all you crazy MGS "fanboys" heres the deal, that site is entitled to its opinion, sure it gave it an 8, deal with it, if you dont like it then go read all the 10 its recieved, because there are plenty, just because ONE guy out there doesnt like the game doesnt mean you need to get all defensive and sad that poor ol MGS4 got a bad review, it happens, we all have opinions, I for one dont like MGS games, and thats MY opinion, Im especially concerned for game reviewers due to the fact theyd actually make an article about this, mail it to peoples emails, and then say how sad they are it happened, thats not very professional, youre acting like a hurt child, you can defend yourselves all you want but you say the reviewer is entitled to his opinion, leave it at that, dont go putting this crap in my mailbox because youre so sad it got an 8/10, leave the opinion to the person who has it, dont go crying out to everyone because youre so sad for yourselves. Have fun going CRAZY :)

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