As a former game reviewer, I am fascinated by discussion of the review process. Contrary to popular internet belief, reviewing games isn’t easy. Deadline time pressure, limited review events, considering your audience and the outlet’s voice, and other factors can all contribute positively or negatively—and that final score can be a difficult thing to arrive at. And, then once you are done considering your text, sometimes all anyone looks at is the score itself.
That’s what makes this second episode of The Back Page such a great listen. Despite the episode’s title, “Game Review Scores We Got Wrong,” that’s a bit of a clickbait enticement—it is more an exploration of structuring a game review and writing for a print magazine. Highlights include the stories behind reviews of games like Red Steel, Metal Gear Solid 4, Mario Kart Wii, the original Nier, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (and giving it an EDGE 10), Epic Mickey, and more. Give it a listen and consider subscribing to this new but very engaging podcast.