Yet these games got pretty good scores (which reinforces the fact that most game review sites and magazines are pure joke)
You just can't blame Stardock because they don't have enough money to bribe many review sites to create hype.
You're right on the money.
What makes it worse is that alot of people haven't figured out that the gaming sites are actually a pure racket.
Gaming sites make money by selling banner ads, they only make money from showing us them. They make no money from us directly. Their paychecks are written by the big companies. It's not in their best interests to make those companies unhappy.
Further, it's the site with the early preview/review that gets the most hits, and therefore the most money. The companies aren't required to give everyone equal access. So if they're unhappy, you don't get preview and review copies.
As such, the companies can, and do, dictate what will be written. It's in the site's best interests to make sure the company is happy with the previews/reviews.
So it isn't in the site's best interest to tell us the truth.
As such, every preview will be "The greatest game ever!", every review is "This is the greatest thing ever!", no game from a big company has any real bugs, nor any real faults.
The very best example is Bethseda. Oblivion was the greatest game ever, faultless. Then Fallout 3 was announced. Many fans were concerned Bethseda would make it into an Shooter, and they did. The fans complained. Gamespot posted that they "Wished fallout fans would die", Penny Arcade did a huge article on how Fallout fans were so wrong, so did PCG, Gamespot, and 1up. Then the Fallout previews hit, and suddenly, the flawless Oblivion had a laundry list of faults "Fallout 3 fixes!". Never mind their reviews that claimed Oblivion was flawless, not it had faults. Then, of course, Fallout 3 releases and it's..."flawless", of course. The story's actually even more convuluted than that, you wouldn't believe me if I told you.
Suffice it to say, Gaming Journalism is very very dead. Gaming sites are just mouthpieces for the big companies, designed to look like free press. Personally, I'm *really* tempted to enlist some people and gather documentation to present to the Government arguing either payola or fradulent advertising by pretending to be Journalism.
It's just way out of hand today.