Last week, we posted up a story about AI: The Somnium Files being review-bombed on Metacritic. The game went from an 8.2 to 1.9 review average in just a single day. There was speculation that the review bombing stemmed from positive LBGTQ+ comments in the game's dialog, but that has turned out to be false. The real reason is actually quite a bit stranger.
ResetERA user Krvavi Abadas stepped up to take responsibility for the review bombing, which he claims he did all on his own. The reason for the review-bombing was two-fold. First up, Abadas wanted to showcase just how easy it is to cause trouble on Metacritic. The second part of Abadas' motivation comes from what he perceives to be mistreatment of A-Set, a character in the game. Abadas admits to having a 'major crush' on the character, and he didn't like how she was treated in the game.
Abadas is now banned from ResetERA, but you can still see his entire post on the situation below. WARNING: The comments below do include spoilers on the game.
In case you’re wondering how absurdly easy it is for one person to screw everything up so easily, it turns out they
1. Don’t block every “temp e-mail” site out there, the “E-mail Alias” feature on sites like Gmail might also have the same effect.
2. Have zero protection against people making multiple accounts at the same IP address.
3. Doesn’t even verify if you own the damn game.
The main lesson here is that Metacritic is utterly worthless when it comes to user reviews, remember when people review bombed Portal 2, now considered to be one of the best games ever made, because the game had a tiny, completely unobstructive, hat store?
As a reminder, Steam, which actively protects against this sort of thing and requires you to own the game before reviewing it. Still has “Very Positive” reviews.
The plan was to make a proper thread a few days after my tests were finished, demonstrating how you can easily turn any obscure game into one of the best or worst games of all time with just a few hours of work. Hence why i ended up archiving everything each step of the way. Anyone who’s familiar with my previous threads (Or watched the Gamexplain video on Tomohiro Kawasae) knows i like doing investigative articles on Gaming, and this was going to be no different.
To reiterate my thoughts on the game from previous threads. I loved most of the A-set videos and found them to be incredibly endearing, even developing a massive crush on her due to my general attachment issues. But i hated the actual game for how it basically ignores everything said videos were trying to build up, to the point that it takes Naixatloz, the proper antagonist of said videos. and tosses it aside by cruelly making them a hallucination caused by A-set having a brain tumor, with barely any foreshadowing. and even requires you to rip her f****** eye out yourself, as part of a bulls**t “One of the Psync machines requires you to remove an eye!” plotline that other characters get to conveniently ignore, all part of a route that’s specifically about her.
the protagonist being a unlikable asshole who’s sole character trait is “hehe funny sex joke” + basically spends 90% of the game completely abandoning his adoptive daughter, and the fact that i personally find the storyline it uses instead to be complete and utter nonsense filled with plot holes and ridiculous logic.
Honestly, if there’s one takeaway you should get from this unfortunate situation i’ve gotten myself into. It’s that A-set means a lot to me. Even though i hated how her game turned out, it still makes me really happy to see people doing things like creating fanart, and hopefully this encourages you (and Spike Chunsoft themselves, i really wish they’d make more videos!) to continue supporting her.
…Even it does end with you acquiring Somnium Files and actually enjoying it.