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GameFAQs apparently deleting negative user reviews

Screenshot from League of Legends showing Thresh.
Screenshot from League of Legends showing Thresh.Retrieved from gamespress.com

Originally launched way back in 1995, GameFAQs.com is one of the most popular and well-known gaming websites when it comes to stuff like walkthroughs, guides, and information about a particular game. The site is largely based off content submitted by users and there is a section for each game which allows for users to post reviews. Reviews come in three varieties. Quick (400 word minimum), full (800 word minimum), and detailed (1,200 word minimum).

Many gamers find user reviews even more useful than critic reviews when deciding whether or not to purchase a game they are on the fence about. Whereas some journalists try to word things constructively so as not to offend the game's publisher, users tend to be more upfront and honest with their experience. Unfortunately, the staff at GameFAQs have apparently been deleting negative user reviews of games. Or at least negative reviews of League of Legends.

Once such review, which gave League of Legends a 2/10 score, was removed by the site staff several days later. The reason given was listed as "trolling." I got my hands on the full text of the review and have included it below:

Poorly balanced and poorly administrated

Score: 2/10

I've been playing League of Legends for about 8 months and am severely disappointed with it. This game could have been fun if it was made and administrated by anybody other than Riot Games. While the premise of the game is sound, the champion balance is terrible. So much so that although at the time of this review there are 110 champions to select from, you'll see the same 10 to 20 game in and game out. Some champions are completely useless while others take such little skill, it is like you are given free kills. The items have the same balancing problem. Despite there being literally dozens upon dozens of items, everybody simply buys the same set of items depending on what role champion your playing (tank, mage, attack damage, etc.) This is the sign of bad balancing.

Summoner's Rift, the game's main map and game mode, plays tediously slowly. A normal game plays something like this: both teams walk in circles last hitting minions for the first 20 minutes of the game in order to farm gold. Then it comes down to ambushing people from the bushes. Jumping out of the bushes and killing someone before they react is not fun. It does not take skill, just patience.

The game is also policed by the community in something called the Tribunal. Players can report other players in the game via a special "report" button. You often get reported when you beat someone and they are discouraged. Reporting you makes them feel better about losing. Basically, it is a mechanism for trolls. After accumulating a certain number of reports, you then get a "case" presented to the Tribunal. The community then votes on whether or not you should be punished or pardoned. You would think you would get a fair "trial" but that is not the case. The people voting in the Tribunal are themselves trolls and simply want the ego boost of knowing they have power over another player's fate. That is why the Tribunal has an 88% punishment rate. This means you'll likely get banned a lot just for being a good player.

Please let this be a warning review to anybody thinking of spending money on this game for skins or "Riot Points" - DO NOT SPEND THE MONEY. You will eventually get unfairly banned and lose everything. There are no refunds. Riot Games has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and your money will go to waste. I have never and will never spend a single penny on this game and neither should you.

While it definitely has an acerbic tone to it, this review doesn't look like it is "trolling." It looks like an honest opinion about a game based on a user's negative experience.

What makes this even more weird, is that for a review to be accepted onto the site, it first needs to be approved by a staff member to begin with. If the review was considered to be trolling, one has to wonder why the staff would have ever approved it?

The GameFAQs staff could not be reached for comment.

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