The popular Youtuber Hip Hop Gamer came under fire last week when he called out Chloi Rad of IGN for giving Resident Evil 7 a 7.7. I can totally see how IGN viewed his words as a threat to their writer, and it doesn’t help that he called on his fans to harass her on Twitter over her review. There are better, more productive ways he could have disagreed with her review.
This isn't the first time Hip Hop Gamer has called out a journalist for giving a game a score he doesn’t agree with. I remember specifically when he called out a former colleague of mine, Jakejames Lugo, for his giving a Naruto game a 5.5, which admittedly made me laugh. But I don’t want to focus on the journalists whom he’s called out because in my experience, his behavior is not that unusual when it comes to internet commenters.
In Hip Hop Gamer’s eyes, he thinks Chloi is wrong. No matter how much time she’s spent with the game before writing her opinion, no matter her experience with horror or Resident Evil, she’s wrong and he has proof. Nevermind that she gave it a “good” score by IGN’s own standards, while finding fault in the game for being tropey among other things. It’s just the wrong score, apparently.
This is an attitude I see often expressed by a vocal minority in the comments sections. How dare some journalist give a AAA game a score that's different from what I’d give it? This game is clearly a 9, so why did you give it a 7? Never mind that a 7 denotes a good game by most site standards. (Although if you grew up in the American educational system, it’s understandable that you’d think it represents a C.) Sometimes, a game journalist might get called out for giving a game too high of a score. It’s like reviewers can’t win.
Listen, sometimes, a reviewer will miss the point of a game. By all means, feel free to address your issues with the reviews in the comments section - that’s why it exists. But learn from Hip Hop Gamer’s mistake. Don’t just harass a reviewer and his or her site over it. Read what other reviewers have to say about a game. Find the legit criticisms in the scores that you disagree with, and see if you can find any commonality between reviews. A 7 and a 9 both mention, let’s say, the characters in an epic RPG are too tropey. Will this be a big enough issue that you think it will keep you from enjoying the game, or do you think you can get over that provided the world is well presented?
Whether you agree with Hip Hop Gamer or Chloi Rad, their perspectives are too different to be settled in a debate. Read more perspectives before you purchase a game. If, after playing the game, you truly feel like a reviewer has missed the point, then save it for your own review.