Because we're supposed to trust an editorial that isn't going to lie to his readers and understate the actual value of a game. That's what we go there for, to read the review and determine what to get and if it's worth it. Seeing a new Mario game come out and slapping an "8" isn't going to get much attention; 3D Land is very popular with the casual community, but anyone looking for a great Mario game might pass on it. The sad thing is, they're missing out. Having been a fan for 20 years now, I've played every Mario game on numerous playthroughs, and I've found 3D Land to be my true favorite. I give it a 9.5 easily and see great things about it, from level design to the soundtrack and controls.
That's just an example, but GS likes to BS their readers and then give every Halo game (ODST??) a 9.0 each year it comes out. Why is that?
This is true many franchises. I don't necessarily like it but I don't think its unethical either.
- Dual versions to rip off customers
The intent of duel versions is to have you trade with your friends as the game was designed from day one. Just because you don't have friends that play the game doesn't mean Nintendo is trying to rip you off.
- DLC up the wazoo (especially in Japan) to rip off customers
The only Pokemon game with DLC is the latest Mystery Dungeon. The game itself is complete without it. The DLC simply adds additional, non-nonessential content. Mind you, I'm actually a supporter of DLC myself, at least in theory and I think people that hate it don't remember that even back in the day a lot of games had expansion packs/map packs.
- One save file per game (despite sufficient storage capacity for multiple files) to rip off customers
I'll give you this, but I don't really see Pokemon befitting form multiple save files, considering its potentially unlimited post-game. I know started a new game until I transferred my stuff to the newest version.
- Zero innovation since Ruby/Sapphire more than a decade ago
Special/Physical Split, Abilities, and two different battle types, all of which change the metagame.
- Production values far below what the system hardware and Game Freak's revenues are capable of supporting.
I'll give you this - but AAA games are the worst thing to happen to gaming. They're the reason Western RPGs are having an increasingly dumb-downed combat system because the average gamer doesn't want to have to sit down and read how to play a game since he only wants to beat the game and then trade it in.
If anything, these days it is better to get games that DON'T get a 9.
But that I can't do anything for 30 minutes because I don't have control over the game... I mean that "AAA" cinematic experience!
Frankly, my library is all Japanese titles because the developers still believe that gameplay is king.
Blizzard and Dead Space were the last Western bastions left for me, but both have fallen from grace as of late.
While I hate AAA games, there's still a lot of great Western developers - even some bigger ones that go to Kickstarter to get their funding to make games that big ~publishers~ would never do - Obsidian is making a 90's-Style CRPG! (And so are other developers - I'm excited in general for games like Wasteland 2 and Project: Eternity)
Which is pretty silly. A game should be rated on its own merits, not whether it's something that has been done before.
Pokemon: - Annual rehash franchise since 2008 - Dual versions to rip off customers - DLC up the wazoo (especially in Japan) to rip off customers - One save file per game (despite sufficient storage capacity for multiple files) to rip off customers - Zero innovation since Ruby/Sapphire more than a decade ago - Production values far below what the system hardware and Game Freak's revenues are capable of supporting
Is there any reason why these games should not deserve low ratings? The only surprise here is why they aren't lower (and why fans continue to eat them up)