Can You Really Trust People’s Opinions On Games?
I recently got a PS4. If you know me, you would know that this is a questionable decision because I’m such an avid Xbox gamer, but the potentially long wait to get an Xbox One was just too much for me. Now, the PS4 has trophies, as you all know. The counter to Microsoft’s GamerScore and I’ve been collecting them quite vigorously over these past few days since I got the console. The weird thing I have noticed though, while looking at the few friends I have managed to add, is that their trophy levels were lower than mine. Someone that had the console for a few days whereas they had it since launch back in December.
Yes, yes trophies and achievements are worthless as everyone manages to always tell me, but that’s besides the point here. This is just from a pure progression standpoint where the trophies they have unlocked can give me a rough idea of how far they have made it into a particular game. The results were rather perplexing. Someone that trashed Knack on Twitter would have like 2 bronze trophies. Someone that trashed Ghosts never got passed the first mission. And so it went on until I was finally left with the conclusion that I can’t really trust these people’s opinions anymore regarding those particular games.
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It’s one thing to critique a game. Go through its mechanics, its story elements, its setting and what have you and try and find the faults and the strengths. That’s perfectly reasonable and it should happen to every game we get. Nothing is immune of criticism. But it’s an entirely different thing to criticize a game that you played for maybe 20 minutes. I’ve seen some people trash a game so heavily, yet when I went into their gamercards, PSN IDs or even Steam profiles, I can see that they don’t really have the evidence to prove that they actually feel that way.
A game I like to use often as an example for how games do have the potential to be better the more you play them is Tales of Vesperia. I loathed this game because of the first hour or so and after becoming bored, I took it out and played something else. Fast forward a few months to a dry period, I played the game again and ended up playing it for about 50 hours in total. Don’t let the first impressions of a game fool you, it might be something you truly enjoy.
Back to people’s opinions. I think most opinions about games come from word of mouth or the bandwagon effect. People say a game is crap just because everyone else says it’s crap. I know this is true because I saw someone say Assassin’s Creed 3 was shit, yet never actually played the game. I like to be extensive in my opinions of games. Christ, I played Duke Nukem Forever to completion just to see if it’s as bad as everyone says it is (spoiler alert: it was). There’s no use saying something is bad unless you have experienced it yourself or saw enough evidence of the actual game (let’s plays and whatnot) to fully justify your opinion. I would certainly say that Guise of the Wolf is a shit game because I saw it in action and could tell that it was rather shit. I can say Dungeon Keeper Mobile is a travesty because I saw the evil and greed in action.
Just before anyone calls me an apologist or an overly positive gamer again, the same thing can be said about good games. Just because everyone says it’s good, it doesn’t mean that the game is actually good. But this is subject to personal taste more than anything else. I’ve come across a lot of gamers now that say The Last Of Us isn’t that good of a game and I’ll happily accept that opinion. But only if they played a fair amount of it. You can’t go past the tutorial and then say it isn’t as good as everyone says it is.
All I’m really asking is for you to be a little more mindful of the opinions you accept because they might not be entirely valid. Would you trust someone that saw 10 minutes of a movie to give you a valid opinion of it? Probably not, so why would you do the same with games?