Originally Posted by darklordjames
Who cares about review sites, when paying attention to specific reviewers is far more valuable?
Even those of us who read review sites rarely pay attention to the name in the by-line. Know who you're reading!
There are only a few review sources I trust. They're sites that go out of their way to avoid undue publisher influence and try to stay as "independent" as possible.
I really like what 1up
is about. Dan Hsu has done a fantastic job of keeping his writers free from publisher/PR/marketing influence. The recent switch over to the letter grade system is a great sign that he's trying to avoid being overly influenced by Metacritic averages.Edge
magazine is fantastic. It's got top-notch writers. Their scores are mostly
not inflated. Their grading curve is basically from 5-10, and they can get a little too trigger-happy with the 10's. But I read the magazine mostly just because the writing is so good. Their web site (Next-Gen
) is a bit pared down, though, so I prefer the print magazine.
Speaking of letter grade systems, I also like what Gamerevolution
is about. It's a smaller, lesser known site that's been around for over a decade. They're also very independent minded and only review retail
versions of games. Unlike most other sites, they don't review early review copies. Because they also use a letter grade system and are hard to impress, they're often at the bottom or near the bottom of the Metacritic scores.
There's a new site that just started that has some ties to some of the other big sites. In another attempt to stay free from Metacritic influence, they use three scores: buy it, try it, and fry it. Crispy Gamer
just started up a couple of months ago, so it's hard to say how it will turn out. But so far so good.
But I also pay a lot of attention to non-review sites. I really like N'Gai Croal's Level-Up
blog. If he's talking about a certain game, I'm pretty sure I need to check it out. More often than not, I end up really
liking the games that he thinks are worth a look.
The other non-review site I trust is Gamasutra
. It's run by Game Developer magazine. So the games they talk about tend to be smart, interesting, and trend-setting in the development world. They also have the best game-related features in the industry. Great stuff.