Most of the time games reviews and previews strike me as being of the same level of honesty as the average politician. Both groups are happy to tell bland truths about their subject matters, and shade their unpopular opinions just enough that their core audiences won’t be too unhappy. Some, like Newt Gingrich and Yahtzee enjoy trolling the world with a pseudo-intellectual grinding that sounds clever for a moment, and then dissipates. Sadly, they’re both better in their fields than I’ll ever be.
That’s not to say that all games journalist (or politicians!) are bland, bad, or on the take. I can think of a couple of sites, and a few freelancers who do a very good job at telling me what I need to know about a game before I buy it.
And then there’s Tom Chick. He’s the best there is. I read his review of review of Final Fantasy 13-2 and knew what the game was. I understood it’s philosophy, knew what traditions it held to, and what made it tick. When I read his review, I realized that the things that made him hate the game were the very things that will make my girlfriend love it.
Now the question is: do I want to show her the review, and run the risk of not seeing her again for 1200 hours?