These days I read reviews for entertainment, not so much as any kind of help towards purchase recommendations. I find that my gut is the best critic I know. However, lately I’ve been finding more fun in poking holes in other peoples arguments.

For instance: I’ve been playing Batman: The Brave and the Bold quite a bit, so I thought I’d tool around the internet for a bit to see what other people thought. I came across a review that chided the game because it should have been a downloadable title that’s best played in chunks. The first thing that came to my mind when I read that was…why can’t it be a disc based game that you play in chunks? At $40, were you to split the four episodes up, you’d more than likely pay that price anyways were you to sell them for $10 a pop, so really it’s kind of a wash.

My point of contention with the review wasn’t that it shouldn’t be played piecemeal, ’cause that’s how I’ve been playing it, but the fact that the writer had to sat down and played it the completely opposite way than complained that he did so. I understand that they were more than likely under a time restraint and had to push through, but why should that affect his score when he could have just come to the realization that it’s better episodically and left it at that?

It’s got me thinking how busted and rote the whole review process is and makes me wonder…should they die? I know there’s a lot of people who rely on the numbers, but they seem to have no bearing on what was written, making the whole process seem a little bullshit. No matter how we stack it, reviewers inevitably break apart the disparate parts of a game and quantify them. And soon enough everything has devolved into tropes and unnecessary expectations.

It’s why over the past year I’ve become a bigger fan of columns. I prefer to read peoples experiences and their commentary sans the need to critique it. It’s easier to swallow opinions when they don’t have to be quantified. And for some reason, it makes them feel more valid. @feenwager read an article I wrote about Halo: Reach and hated my message. But he read it. And that actually means a lot to me, because even though he didn’t agree, he at least took the time to ponder a different point of view. And that’s the thing: like anything else in life, you can’t always assume that you’re right and that your word is law.

The only reason I brought this big-ass thought blob to the SoS is because I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on the decline of reviews and the rise of the writer. Or if you even think there is a decline at all. Or, other examples of the contradictory nature between scores and viewpoints.