Videogame Review Bombing

  • I feel relieved that I'm part of the EZA forums sometimes-because when it comes to the YouTube comments sections of IGN and GameSpot it makes me feel like I'm on another planet. The review bombing that I've seen for The Last of Us Part II and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom is freaking insane. Obviously I'm not going to spoil anything in regards to TLOU Part II, but I think it's a highly polished and fantastic experience so far. As for the SpongeBob reviews from IGN and Gamespot-both gave the game a low score, particularly GameSpot gave it a highly disagreeable 2/10. What's worse is the "fanbase" of IGN. All these IGN followers who only seem to watch their reviews to complain about them, ok so maybe IGN started the trend with their legendarily awful review of Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, but IGNs fanbase are so moronic. I understand many of us have probably taken review scores too seriously before, but on IGN it's like trash island-the channel is totally plague-ravaged with parasitic drivel spouted by disgruntled idiots of the IGN YouTube channel. Thankfully Easy Allies/GameTrailers has always been the home of amazing content and their fanbase reflects that with their passion and creativity. Does anyone else feel similarly about any videogame fanbase out there? What's the worst case of review bombing you've seen?

  • Banned

    Penny Arcade figured it out years ago.


  • @el-shmiablo And sometimes, anonymity isn't even required. See: Bruins 4, Canucks 0

  • I don't follow reviews too too closely. If I'm interested in a game, I'll usually just hear enough around here or from the Allies or elsewhere to decide if I want to dig any deeper. I did stumble across the Last of Us II's Metracritic earlier today and was absolutely amazed at how much time so many people have. I can't recall ever seeing anything like that before.

  • This is probably the biggest reason I'm avoiding comment sections and user reviews stuff on basically most social platforms of mainstream media channels like IGN. All of them usually has some annoying shit that would drive me insane, review bombing/inconstructive criticisms included. The worst thing about these comments is that they sound so snarky and arrogant most of the times, that it almost sounds comical and unreal. They talk as if the world need to cater only to their preferences.

  • Banned

    @e_zed_eh_intern In cases like TLOU2, it is mostly YouTubers pandering to their demographic of politically brain-dead manchildren, which perpetuates a vicious cycle of toxicity that culminates in hundreds of frothing edgy manchildren flinging shit in all directions and hoping something sticks.

  • Is easy to laugh & ridicule people who do it, but it's really sad & concerning that grown adults get so upset about entertainment media. These people have no social skills so they cant deal with real world interactions, hence the rise of incels. I do think the Internet is somewhat to blame when you get a hive mind of simular minded lost people. I fear for the type of world my kids are going to grow up in.

  • I can tell I'm the dissenting opinion here but I have no problem with review bombing. In my experience every single instance of it has happened because the fanbase had a concern that they thought was valid and wanted to voice. User reviews are one of the few avenues they have of actually having their voices heard, so I don't blame them for taking it. If all it truly amounts to at the end of the day is the same arguments that would be had regardless but they also lead to a number on metacritic that nobody seriously cares about changing then I don't see the harm.

    And of course this isn't going into the fact that I don't even consider most review bombs to be actual review bombs. A lot of the time, it's just the dissonance between the layperson and reviewers that some people aren't comfortable with admitting exists in not just the games industry but every medium. I mean, if it didn't exist you wouldn't have terms like "oscar bait" after all.

  • then reviewers should't use a 10 point score system for reviews. they should just state their opinion about the game. for example gamexplain gives you their review thoughts about the game and then instead giving it a score they just say they liked it, they loved, it was meh, etc rather than giving the game an actual score.

    the memes coming out of TLOU 2's Review Bombing are pretty hilarious though lol

  • I think the reason the IGN comments are so bad is just because they are so well known. I wouldn't say those people are their fan base, just that there are a lot of people who see the review, and therefore voice their dumb opinions. I think that's why EZA reviews get off (mostly) clean, because the amount of people who see it is a fraction of the amount of people who see an IGN review.

    Things like review bombing used to bother me so much, but I recently came to the realization that if I let it bother me, I am letting them win. They want it to bother me. Review bombing is an attack on the fans of a game just as much as it is the developers, and if I let myself care about it, then I give them what they want.

    Frankly I pity them now. They are sad little people who take their entertainment way too seriously, and use review bombing as an outlet for their infantile rage. Their lives are just so shit that they want control in any way they can have it, and spamming bad reviews is a way to get that control. I sincerely hope things get better for them, meanwhile I'll be enjoying TLOU2 without a care in the world.

  • I think review bombing should happen on a case to case basis and you should need proof that you’ve played the game before Metacritic, Steam, etc, even lets you post that 1/10.

    Like to be fair, if your game doesn’t even work (Batman Arkham Knight on PC) then by all means prove you own the game and hammer that 1/10 cause you know damn well the publisher won’t give a refund unless their hand is forced.

    But per the TLOU2 nonsense. Yup, YouTubers pandering to the manbaby demographics who don’t know how to articulate themselves through any other means than personal attacks and anger.

    I think IGN is just so insanely popular that it’s unavoidable at this point. They are essentially a mainstream media source and the loudest will rise to the top.

    I disagree with that type of angry discourse and I definitely don’t think you should be hammering 1/10 on a game you haven’t played based on arbitrary anger that some butthole YouTuber told you to be upset about.

  • An addendum to my previous post: I find it odd that people get so up in arms when a game gets hammered with 0/10s minutes after release but seem to be 100% okay with the same game getting hammered with 10/10s minutes after release.

  • @hanabi For the record, I think both are dumb, but it's much more palatable seeing unfounded love and enthusiasm than hatred and bitterness. I think that's a key difference. For example, I don't get upset when I see people love a movie I hate (e.g. The Lighthouse), but it does bother me when I see people relentlessly shitting on something, even when that something is also something I dislike (e.g. The Rise of Skywalker). Review-bombing also typically goes hand in hand with harassment, either of the creators, performers, critics, or some combination of the three, which is just never okay, IMO. If you don't like something or don't agree with some choices, cool! That's fine. People just rarely leave it at that.

  • @hanabi

    Both are absolutely stupid. You should have to provide a proof of purchase before you even gain access to user reviews these days.

  • I don't read user reviews or the comment sections of video gaming website's reviews. Mostly because they are weaponizing review scores in an attempt to validate their own opinion or push some hate fueled agenda. That shit is incredibly stupid and I don't want any part of that.

  • Banned

    I actually like Rich from ReviewTechUSA's take on the subject.
    Review bombing has it's place. If a developer or publisher has done something egregious with a game or something relating to it, review bombing can be an excellent way to have the voice of the fanbase heard very clearly.
    If, however, you're doing it because of some completely asinine bullshit like having an "SJW agenda forced down your throat" (and to anybody who actually thinks TLOU2 does anything remotely like that, I have to question how strong your grasp of politics and social matters really is), you're just dumb and making yourself look like a big idiot.

  • @el-shmiablo The problem with that logic is that it relies on the person using it being the sole arbiter of what's a justified excuse for review bombing and what isn't. Personally I don't like the idea of saying "you're right to be upset but you aren't" which is why I think every opinion is at least worth listening to and trying to see the logic in, and why I think review bombs are inherently a good thing since even if it's for a stupid reason you can use them to see WHY the general masses are upset about the subject at hand. Now whether you agree with their assessment is another matter entirely but I mean if I worked at a marketing firm I'd at least think such free and easy data would be really useful in the long run.

    Since you brought up TLOU2, I've personally seen multiple reasons people have had problems with Sony or Naughty Dog in the leadup to this game's release. If one group leaves 0's because they're simply upset about various aspects the game, another leaves 0's because of accusations of especially terrible crunch and other generally awful treatment of employees, a third group leaves 0's because of them DMCA-ing hundreds if not thousands of accounts on places like Twitter and Youtube (nevermind any other groups like the ones that are just upset about it conforming to their political/social beliefs, basic console fanboys/haters that would give any PS4 game a 0, or any number of other factors that I've forgotten at the moment) then it very quickly stops being an easy narrative of "all the review bombers are just sexist manbabies" and instead becomes a minefield of differing beliefs and reasons for why they dislike this critically acclaimed game.

  • @hanabi

    I hear what you’re both saying but I want to throw my proof of purchase hat back into the ring because I think we can have it both ways.

    If you bought the game and have your genuine gripes with the story, or with the studios unethical work practices, or with the political topics the developers may or may not note in their game; then you invested in and are reviewing their product and if you want to give it that angry 0/10 then you’ve earned it because the purchase shows you care.

    But what investment does somebody have when they haven’t played it, never will play it, and are generally unaffected by the existence of the game because they haven’t purchased or played it and therefore are essentially just booting and hollering.

    Per the 0/10 given to unethical business practices, I’m not entirely sure that’s much of a dialogue. Especially considering we just listed a multitude of reasons why somebody can decide to review bomb. It also doesn’t help the developers hard work. Just because the greater company betrayed their trust in this crunch culture, doesn’t mean they don’t want to see the fruits of their labour paying off.

    I can almost imagine how sad some of these people might feel after crunching all of this time only to find a vocal group of people with their pitchforks out calling this game a piece of crap when it’s so far from the truth. And that is an understatement.

    I definitely think you should have some vested interest before having the ability to review. And I know you can pretty much review anything online anonymously, but the gaming sphere has so much investment in review scores and it also contributes to a lot of toxicity. It might be a necessary step in the future to try to combat this type of vitriol going around.

  • @dipset I don't think that's a bad idea so much as one that'd require all the companies to be on board. I'm sure Sony wouldn't have a problem letting you link an account to a metacritic one but I kinda get the vibe Nintendo might not be as willing. Nevermind that with PC games there's so many different platforms you'd have to include as well.

    It'd probably work just fine for review systems the individual platforms had but on a condensed one like Metacritic (or especially any more niche websites that don't have its relevance to bank on to get everyone to work with them) I think the odds of it all coming together is just kinda dicey. But even then, Steam already does that with their user reviews and it hasn't really stopped people from complaining about review bombs whenever a controversial update happens that upsets the game's userbase.

  • For me, I look at it as being an informed consumer. Of product, and feedback about the product.

    I don't go to reviews for the 10s or 0s, I look at the 7s. I find the folk that bothered to tell me why. My favorite reviews, even unfavorable reviews of things I found I enjoyed, weren't the ones that said, "this is bad/good," without context, but the ones that said, "this isn't my thing, and here's why, but you might enjoy it if you're into that sort of thing. 5/10."