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reviews of computer games are almost uniformely terrible. This terribleness tends to fall into several catagories:

1) The reviewer has not actually played the game. This is rarely quite as bad as it sounds, as they may have a pre-release demo version to gain some idea of what's going on. Unsurprisingly, most journalists do not voluntarily choose to do this. Instead, the publisher will encourage it in order to claim an exclusive. The reviewer will then travel to the programmers and look on as the unfinished game is played. A few screenshots will be taken, and the review written on the train back home.

2) Again in order to gain an exclusive, the publisher will force the reviewer to review an unfinished demo copy of the game. Often the game publishers will swear blind that the few niggling bugs left in will be removed before the game is released, when in fact they won't. If you've ever wondered how game reviewers could miss blatantly obvious bugs, this is why.

3) The game's publisher will fly the reviewer out to their Californian base, give them free goodies and the use of a swimming pool. And a promo video, the contents of which will form the basis of the review.

4) The reviewer will hate the game. However, the publisher is a major advertiser in the magazine and has threatened to pull out if a poor review is published. The reviewer will award the game 73 percent and say "If you like this sort of thing, you'll like this".

5) The same as above, except this time it will be because the reviewer is incapable of critical analysis.

The above have led to the stage where certain magazines will recommend almost every single game reviewed as "being worth buying". Bad games are now awarded 70% rather than, say, 10, with the result that anything below 90% is considered a bad review. This is obviously stupid.

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