The whole review situation is a complete mess and has been for years.
There was a time where you could pick up a games mag and see a whole slew of releases from 3's to 9's but because of the nature of a printed mag and its ability to tell you something without fear of a huge lash-out from the forums that online sites have the review itself contained a far better explanation of important things like the games camera, game design and longevity, most reviews i read online from places like CVG, JOYSTIQ, DESTRUCTOID,IGN,GAMESPOT,EUROGAMER etc etc seem geared towards things like wow moments and how good the multiplayer is.
Now i fly right in the face of the so called modern gamer because 1.) im old lol and 2.) Online shooters bore me to tears i really want to know how good the single player game is but most importantly how does it play, are the controls tight, is the camera good or does it harm the fun of playing and quite frankly if there is a story is it a good one, do the characters make you empathise with whats going on etc etc, for me a game has such an opportunity to beat things like books and film because you have control over how it goes your not just sitting there watching or reading someone elses take on events.
Anyone who even knows the smallest of things about the games media knows that during the 90's back handers and bribes flew around the place, reviewers would get all sorts of perks from tickets to football matches to actual arcade cabinets turning up with the review copy of a game, several friends of mine work or have worked for companies such as Eidos, Codemasters, EA and Lionhead and some of the things that are done you wouldnt believe if i told you, not that i would because i would never get people into trouble just to make my point.
Nowdays things are a lot better although we all know the fun and games that went on at gamespot a couple of years back so its not totally gone away and as i said before online review sites seem to have such a way about them that i find almost every 10/10 or even 9/10 review to be slightly suspect, i use the uncharted 3 change of control mechanic and total over use of drake fumbling his way through the single player which for a lot of people was a huge problem and almost no review went into any kind of detail about, the next day after release CVG had a story about it full of people saying how much they hated the change and a lot of my friends just did the game on normal and took it straight back.
I have my own system of seeing if something is worth buying and im sure a lot of people on here will do the same thing, i look at gamerankings to see overall averages from multiple review sources combined with the average of user reviews then after looking at moving footage of the actual game make a decision as to buy straight away, rent for a week or wait until it hits that magical 17.95 zavvi mega monday and just get it for the collection. A 7/10 result for me is fine, whats wrong with that score, not every game can be a 9/10 and theres no such thing as a perfect 10/10 game even the real classics like ff7, mario 64, goldeneye etc etc etc are not perfect.
You know theres something wrong with games reviews when people like Jim Sterling and that guy from zero punctuation throw stupid gimmicks onto the screen like jim's constant swearing and Yahzee (or watever his name is) using silly cartoons to get across how much he hates things rather than just telling people the facts, merits and disadvantages of a product. Im not saying dont use humour in a review im just saying make sure the review comes first not the reviewer.
This rant was brought to you by the hurry up and release WRECKED already .............. But whilst you wait play Disgaea 4 party.