Last Week on #DailyPoll – 8/5/16


Last week on Daily Poll, the twitter poll that gets posted daily to the @PSNation twitter account, was all about reviews. Specifically, what readers trust more when it comes to reading reviews.

Monday starts off with the divide between ‘critics’ and users. With sites like Metacritic or Amazon allowing users to write and review the games they enjoy (or don’t), I was curious which one people felt they trusted more.

A bit of a preference for user reviews. As I joked about in the discussion of the question on Twitter, I feel like user reviews have more openly biased reviews. Like the guy who is named “MarioFan” and who gives Nintendo games all 10’s and everything else 0’s. But we can more easily discredit those reviews. Interestingly the only responses I got were from those who voted ‘critic’ so here’s Tony’s response.

Internet denizens have often seemed leery of reviewers and one of the big reasons I see cited is that they want to give games higher scores because they want to continue getting free stuff from the game’s publisher. At the same time though, post-purchase rationalization is a very well documented thing which could be reflected in a review where the reviewer paid for the game. I was curious to see which side people fell on.

Very heavy preference for paying for it. However, there were a lot of responses to the effect of “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter as long as they disclose it” as Brien replied. So I wonder if the actual difference between the two options isn’t all that far apart in many people’s minds.

Another one where the reviewer’s pre-existing knowledge might bias a review. In this case, sometimes a review by a fan of that franchise can point out cool things the game does for the franchise. But they could also be overly lenient on a game because they like the series. On the flip side, someone new to it may end up being harsh on the game for something the series is otherwise well regarded for.

A pretty clearly preference for reviews by a fan. Sounded like, in the responses, that people like the extra insight that a fan might bring to a review. Ashaman would rather read reviews that have the same level experience, which is probably the most helpful. Fortunately there are often a mix of both out there if you know where to look.

This was actually something that came up in our internal PS Nation staff chat. As we are fans of video gaming in general some of us do end up backing games on Kickstarter. Which of course led to the discussion about if that person should be allowed to review that game.

Given that responders indicated they trust reviews more where the reviewer paid for it and where the reviewer is a fan, maybe it’s not surprising that they are largely okay with reviews from someone who backed the game. Most prefer that the fact be disclosed though, which is a pretty small and easy thing to do.

This one was a little different just in that it wasn’t about which reviews to trust but just which reviews are more fun to read. With people like the Angry Video Game Nerd and Zero Punctuation who seem to have made a thing out of mostly negative reviews I was interested in if people like those more or not.

Surprisingly not. Seems like the responders generally like to read positive ones. Clearly the review should accurately reflect the reviewer’s thoughts on the game (ie don’t be negative just for negative’s sake) but generally people don’t want to see something fail. Games involve a lot of work from a lot of people and it’s disappointing to see that end up poorly.

That’s all for this week. Say tuned to Twitter for more polls! This week, No Man’s Sky.

Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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