Reviews are bogus, period. For everything; some more than others at any rate.
PC reviews are probably the least tainted of all platforms. I like to think it's because the people doing the reviews are PC gamers, and therefore have a modcium of sanity and experience to base the review off of. And given that it's the oldest platform, they probably know what the fuck they're doing. Whereas a new console comes out, any Joe Blow can kick off his gaming career on it.
All reviews suffer from two glaring problems. The first is the 'final score'. At best, they're ambiguous, at their worst, well, utterly misleading. While breaking down the aspects of the game to figure into the score can reflect where the game failed, is it really fair to have a game with brilliant gameplay and a gripping story trashed on the final review because the graphics weren't up to snuff? Who the hell decided how technically impressive the game is was worth exactly the same 'weight' as the meat and potatoes of it? If a game was designed to be an awesome single player experience, and had a lousy multiplayer thrown in just to satiate the annoying whining dipshits, why would a '10' for single player be marginalized by at '4' for multiplayer?
Were I, in my infinite wisdom, to change reviews, the 'Final Score' would be replaced with, at best, a "Cliff Notes" version of the full-body review. Sum up your thoughts for readers, don't package a gameplay experience into a single number. That's asinine.
The second problem and the BIGGEST problem is that... reviews are hardly reviews anymore. Those of you who have read the 'main body' of reviews instead of the score should know what I'm talking about. Most game reviews reek of being massive, verbose advertisements for the game in question. Even a heavily flawed game rarely gets more than a line or two thrown out about the weak voice acting or the repetetive gameplay, but the reviewer will go on for a paragraph or more about how fun it was to chop off heads. I find CRITICISM to be MORE helpful when it comes to deciding to buy a game or not. You can go on and on about how fun it is to blast zombies, but who cares when you're bored as hell of playing the same lousy levels over and over again? An equal portion, if not MORE, of a review should be soley dedicated to ripping it apart. Gushing about how awesome it was to see the mountains in the distance in Oblivion does nothing to stop me from noticing how hideously terrible the gameplay is.
Maybe some of it has to do with being starry-eyed. Reviewers rarely get to invest large amounts of time into a game, and initially the razzle-dazzle will probably stick with them longer. But that's the fault of the reviewer, not anything less. AAA titles these days are just massive hype machines that wind up to deliver a substandard product, and an amazing amount of morons customers get caught up in it. They're TOLD it's going to be a great game, so they CONVINCE THEMSELVES that it's a great game. The human mind of those more 'fragile' than others can sometimes do some amazing mental gymnastics to convince someone of anything.
And nowadays, and the PC platform tends to be largely excemt from this, reviews are just about upstaging. How many games have you seen get 10/10 scores BEFORE, say, 2004? I don't think I ever saw ONE. Go compare multi-platform releases of the exact same game. Why did Bioshock on the Xbox score way more 'points' than the PC version? Why is anything 85% and below considered to 'suck'? Go look at Metacritic for Killzone 2, Halo 3, MGS4.
When's the last time you EVER saw that many 100s? NO GAME is worth 100 'points' no matter WHAT you score it on. There's no such thing as a perfect game. The most brilliant, epic game I've ever played, Planescape: Torment, still has spots where it can drop a point or two. I figrue there's two reasons for this. First of all is that console gamers are easily impressed, usually have little to no gaming experience, and ridiculously low standards. And if that offends you, you can pretend that the second reason is why, that the people reviewing these are pressured by their magazine and advertising dollars OR publishers (In the case of "Official _ Magazine" handing out 100's obligatory to EVERY exclusive title).
Frankly, the best review site? There isn't one. Piracy, maybe. I don't trust my stupid friends, I don't trust any media any more. I have EXTREMELY high standards most people don't even begin to understand. Everyone at work thinks COD4 is the most amazing shooter ever made, the best I can do is scream at them with my mind and sigh heavily. Oblivion is thought to be the best RPG ever made, and I think that every single, minute aspect of that game (EVERY ASPECT - GO AHEAD, NAME ONE! EVEN THE UNINSTALLER LEFT SHIT ON MY HARD DRIVE) was an abomination, and the developers deserved nothing less than to be castrated and tortured. I'd have been fucking ashamed if I had had any part of that atrocity.
Reviews are one of the worst things the gaming industry has going for it right now.