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If you're shopping for video games on Amazon, you should now have one more point of reference in case you're wondering whether this one or that one is really worth the purchase. Ratings from Metacritic, which distills reviews from around the Internet, are now included in addition to the usual star ratings.
Amazon is the second major game seller to include Metacritic scores, after Valve's Steam platform. But as convenient as an average numerical rating might be, the review aggregation site has faced opposition over the last few years as games journalism has evolved.
A major backlash occurred several years ago when it emerged that some developers were having their pay cut based on weak Metacritic scores. And allegations of fake reviews being posted to raise the average score have dogged the site as well.
But more relevant may be the fact that reviews of games, as with film, often have far more depth than simply "three stars" or "7.5." Video games are now the subject of serious writing and criticism — and this inability to reduce the review to a number can exclude such serious critiques from inclusion in the Metacritic system.
Still, having more information at your fingertips when you're looking for a good game to try on a lazy Sunday can't be a bad thing. The feature is now live, but appears to be rolling out to some users before others.