Video game reviews are important because whether we agree with a review or not,they give us a general idea of what a game is like and without them it would be much harder to decide which games we should buy.
Much of the gaming community trusts reviews done by ''professional reviewers'' who work for Gamespot,IGN,Game Informer etc. because much of the gaming community think game professional reviewers are experts and have the best opinions on whether a game is good or not.However,reviews done by professional game reviewers are still largely based on their opinions and if a Gamespot staff member reviews a game and says they don't like the game's story or gameplay,it doesn't make it a fact the game has a bad story or bad gameplay.One of my Gamespot friends told me he met a professional game reviewer who doesn't like JRPGs and the person is a talented writer and can write well-written articles/reviews but he has given negative reviews to JRPGs because he doesn't like JRPGs.Just because he's a professional reviewer and talented writer does it make his opinions of JRPGs facts? Also,my friend told me that guy(the talented writer) played a JRPG named White Knight Chronicles and he sucked at it a lot because he kept dying and he used a fire spell against an enemy named a ''Fire Dragon'' (people who play JRPGs a lot would know most of the time using an elemental spell against an enemy that's based on the same element will heal the enemy).Afterwards he gave White Knight Chronicles a low score.Even though he's a talented writer,would you trust this guy's reviews of JRPGs?
This guy might be a good writer,but does it mean you will feel the same way about a game that he does?
I've also seen an Australian video game magazine review of a Madden NFL game,but instead of explaining whether they thought that Madden NFL game did a good job or giving the player a realistic or fun NFL experience or not,the reviewers just talked about why they don't like American football and gave that game a low score.
Even though some of Gamespot's staff may have played thousands of games in which they can used to draw comparisons and standards between games and how games should be,in the end their reviews are still based on their own personal opinions and not facts.
A prime example is how one of Gamespot's staff members reviewed a game named NieR and gave it a score of 5.0 and said it's story is not interesting until late in the game and it's music is overbearing.But,many Gamespot members who've played NieR love NieR and they've said they love NieR's story and think of it's story as very emotional and think NieR's music is beautiful and some people even downloaded NieR's music because they like to listen to it.This is why many player reviews of NieR(reviews done by Gamespot members)say NieR is a great game and those people gave NieR a high score.
This is why many people place big importance on player reviews(reviews done by normal everyday people).If a Gamespot staff member says in his review that a game isn't good but a majority of player reviews say the game is good,it will let people know there's many people who think that particular game is good despite the fact that Gamespot staff member says it isnt'.
I think professional game reviewers are helpful nonetheless because many people are casual gamers or don't always keep up to date with the gaming world and if they want to at least get a general idea of what a game is like,they can read an in-depth and properly written review from Gamespot because many player reviews don't address every area of the game (story,gameplay,graphics,music,replayability)or can be annoying to read due to bad grammar.
From a personal point of view,I choose to buy NieR because it received many positive player reviews and I found it for a cheap price and NieR turned out to be one of my favorite games from this generation as well as one of my favorite games of all time.If it had only listened to VanOrd's review,it would have missed out on discovering what is one of my favorite games of all time,so this shows why player reviews are imporant.However,some people only listen to what professional game reviewers say and if they saw VanOrd gave NieR a score of 5.0 and read some of the negative things he said about NieR,they wouldn't want to play NieR.
That brings me to my next point,I've seen many people saying they won't buy a game that receives a score of less than 8.0 from Gamespot.Some people think just because Final Fantasy XIII-2 received a score of only 7.5 by Gamespot it means FFXIII-2 is a bad game,when in fact,a score of 7.5 is a good score,but the reviewer just didn't that the game was amazing,but it's his opinion.Gamespot constantly give Halo and Call of Duty games very high scores but I'm not a big fan of those games and even though Gamespot gave Halo 2 a score of 9.4,Halo 3 and Halo Reach a 9.5 and Call of Duty games score around the 8.5-9.0 range,does it mean everyone is going to like those games? No it doesn't.Gamespot gave Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy XIII-2 a score of 7.5 and they're both amongst my favorite games from this generation.
However,Halo and Call of Duty games sell very well,and part of the reason is those games constantly get high scores from professional reviewers(as well as lots of advertisement for those games).
I remember years ago when I was in a video game store,a staff member said ''Gears of War is a great game because Gamespot gave it a score of 9.6'' even before he had played the game.
Demographics come into the equation too.Many Japanese gamers have a different taste to western gamers.Many Japanese gamers love JRPGs and like games with anime influenced visuals and many Japanese gamers like visual novels,but FPS games are not as popular in Japan as they are in the West.Many Japanese games use male characters that have have ''emo'' or ''feminine'' features because in certain Asian countries,feminine features on a man are considered attractive.Where on the otherhand,western male characters tend to be more muscular or badass.In Japanese games,many of the female characters have a cute,bubbly personality which is common for women in Asian countries.But in many western games,female characters usually act more serious.My point is,you can't expect Japanaese people who've grown up and whom have lived in a country with their own distinctive cultural aspects to like a FPS game just because a western developer gave it a positive review and a high score.
A typical western video game character named Marcus Fenix
A Japanese video game character named Cloud Strife
I think people should listen to reviews done by both professional reviewers as well as player reviews because you shouldn't let the opinions of one person persuade or dissuade you when you're deciding whether to try a game or not.I'm a big JRPG fan but I decided not to play a JRPG named Unlimited Saga because it's received many negative reviews from professional reviewers as well as from many player reviews and this is an example of how I think game reviews have stopped me wasting my money/time on what most likely will be a game I won't enjoy.But like I said with my NieR example,if a game gets a negative review from a professional reviewer but lots of positive reviews from player reviewers and it's from a genre you enjoy playing,you should give the game a try,especially if you find it for cheap.