Jim Sterling Angers Zelda Fans With “Negative” 7/10 Breath of the Wild Review

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Remember a time when review scores weren’t gospel to gamers? When one game getting a lower or higher number than another wasn’t cause for civil war? When people didn’t take opinion as fact? Me neither.

One critic who probably knows review score strife better than anyone is Jim Sterling. The independent YouTuber and reviewer has worked for big names in the video game media before and has had more than enough backlash for having an opinion that doesn’t match with others.

Even though it’s been adorned with enough critical praise to last it a lifetime, Sterling’s 7/10 review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has angered certain sections of the Zelda fanbase; emphasis on “certain sections”. While I don’t personally think that the review was Jim’s best work, he still covered just about enough to validate his lower score, which still paints the game as “good” and not the industry standard “average” that the likes of IGN have made it out to be.

An excerpt:

“At its absolute best, Breath of the Wild offers some of the most absorbing experiences a Zelda game ever has.

“Unfortunately, it makes you work harder for it than you should, buried as it is under a pile of small but constant irritations that collaborate to form a thick crust of frustration around a delectable center.

“Breath of the Wild is a delightful adventure, one that tries its utmost to be as big a pain in the arse as possible.”

Thanks his less favourable review and a similar effort from the guys at Slant magazine, Breath of the Wild has been bumped out of Metacritic’s best game ever pantheon, from a 98 to a 97.

While the disagreeing comments on the review itself were largely friendly and well-constructed, some felt aggrieved. Aggrieved enough to DDoS his site.

Sterling also reported that his website and Twitter also came under fire:

Although now back up again, the comments section isn’t working at the time of writing (probably for the best):

Jim Sterling review

And it just seems to go on and on, including a straw poll to vote on the following intellectually stimulating subject: “Should the Fat, SJW, Deceitful, Attention-Seeking, Japanophobic, Cuckolded, Thrush-infected CUNT that is Jim Sterling be Lynched by a Mob of Rightful Believers in Zelda?”

So far, 92% have voted no. The remaining 8% may still need to be bottle-fed.

This fiasco is, to be frank, embarrassing and unnecessary. Silencing criticism with a DDoS is the same as being part of a debate with your fingers in your ears. Cries of clickbait also make no sense; Sterling’s website isn’t monetised so there’s no incentive, other than for an ego massage. One “dissenting” opinion on a game you love shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of it at all, and if it does, you might not have liked it that much in the first place.

What do you think? I have to stop myself from spinning this off into a self-indulgent thinkpiece, so drop your comments below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently the guys from /r/circlejerk made the poll as a joke. Bloody rascals.