Where is honest game reviewing now?
The "7-9" scale being talked about is definately in effect at the second most influencial, and, unfortunately, "respected", game review site on the internet (IGN). Several other lesser sites follow this ideal. It sickens me that sites will give a complete and utter shit game, that everyone agrees sucks completely, a 7.0 or higher for god knows what reason (Path of Neo 7.8? True Crime NYC 7.8?!?! What the hell is going on here?)
The only consistantly trustworthy sites left are, in my opinion, Gamespot and Gamespy. Gamespot is, de facto, the end-all-be-all of console game scores. They hit the mark 90% of the time. The PC reviews, however, are a little hit or miss (Vietcong, for example, was an amazing PC game- and they nitpicked every minor problem with it and made it out to be crap). Gamespy seems a bit better rounded handling PC review scores.
There are other sites out there, such as Eurogamer, who judge games harshly. Unfortunately, Eurogamer is almost too harsh in certain instances. However, if Eurogamer says a game is good, it most likely is. I don't think I've ever disagreed with a Eurogamer 8-9/10 score.
Yet, Eurogamer is sometimes so overly critical of games that they miss out on who may actually enjoy the game. I can't cite an example right now, but there have been a few games that Eurogamer has slammed that I and my friends/coworkers have found extremely enjoyable.
The only happy medium I've seen is CGM, mainly with their PC game scores.
They are extremely critical of games, and spell out exactly why a consumer would or would not like the game. They also weigh each side as equally to as possible, allowing in that someone may enjoy the game even though the reviewer didn't.
CGM's console reviews are great in the fact that they cater to a PC audience, and try to break down if a PC gamer would be interested in the game. Unfortunately, I sometimes find them a bit harsh in shutting out certain games to "protect" the PC audience from something foreign.
In summary, I find these sites/magazines the only respectable reviews left on the internet/in print-
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From most respecable to least:
ConsoleGold (whatever it's called now)