I think that NGL is good but it can be a double edged sword sometimes, I would much rather listen to someones opinion on a game as to whether it is good or not rather than some in-house employee of the game makers company writing a review statement saying all things to everyone and it just turning out to be rubbish. But the one issue I would have with personal opinions in video games is whether or not the reviewers’ opinion is valid in the first place, by this I mean ‘is this person without objective or biased opinions or is he a ‘fanboy’ saying that the game is better for one certain console and rubbish on the others because that is his/her preference. A good games review for me would be one that lists the key features of the game as well as any issues that it may have and a personal deconstruction of the game itself informing me which elements throughout are good and bad. This would tell me (a) that the person has actually played the game and knows what it actually contains as opposed to relying on guess work and what he may have read in other game press and (b) that the person’s opinion is based on what they have experienced firsthand.
Personally I am not a huge fan of ranking systems, all this ‘8.2, 9.7’ score jargon seems a little bit petty to me; almost like ‘nit-picking’. By this I mean that a product could be seen as less of a game because it didn’t score well when in fact it might be an excellent game, or that a game with a high score (Kane & Lynch springs to mind here) is undeserving (which may lead people to getting fired...)
Out of all of the reviewing styles I far prefer a subjective style, provided it’s done in the right way; an example of this is Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw from ‘Zero Punctuation’. He methodically deconstructs a games good and bad points, its social impacts on players and the gaming community; whilst still keeping his opinion straight forward and precise all with a pinch of humor(you can see an example of whch here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/213-Too-Human ). I think this format appeals to others is proven by the how fast his popularity has risen over the internet and how his ‘Yahtzee’ persona has become such a cult character among gamers.