Less than a week ago a few eagle-eyed Reddit users noticed that a new update on Nintendo’s website meant that players could now leave user reviews for their favourite games on the Switch. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, Nintendo being Nintendo means that yes it seemed great… and today it seems to have been removed.
What?!!? Yes, exactly… so before we get into all that, let’s tell you a bit about the actual feature when it was still live and working. Not only could you tag games with words like “Challenging”, “Immersive” or “Great Value”, you could rate the game out of five stars, throw in a catchy headline and even a pithy comment or two (50 word minimum – so no unhelpful one-worders like: “Fantastic” or “Terrible”). Helpfully, it also included a “Spoilers” checkbox. My personal favourite section asked you to describe yourself as either a Nintendo Fan, Core Gamer, Casual Player or a Parent. I love getting information like that from whoever is reviewing a game; it tempers the way I will feel about the review. A Nintendo Fan hating Kirby will mean a whole lot more to me than the same hatred being hurled at the pink fluffball by a hardcore Call of Duty type. To each is own… It’s really ok.
However, to all you keen Nintendo Switch owners eager to let the Big N know how great or not-so-great their latest titles are, as mentioned above, the news isn’t great. Now when you try to open the web page and scroll down to Customer Reviews, all you will find is a section with the words: Customer Review status and a fantastically indefinite paragraph which reads as follows:
Customer reviews have been taken offline as we evaluate this feature and its functionality. We currently have no estimated date on when an update will be provided. We appreciate the positive response and thank the reviewers who provided such thoughtful commentary on the games.
Polygon originally reported on the sudden disappearance of the feature and since then have also received a remarkably similar comment from a Nintendo of America representative. However, Polygon did note that the new comment explained that the customer review feature had been up on a “trial” basis and had been removed in order to “evaluate the future of the ratings functionality on Nintendo.com”. So when did Nintendo decide it was a trial? What were they trialling exactly? How long in the future are we talking? Also, how does a Yoshi hatch from an egg fully-formed and already with a convenient saddle? All good questions. All with no answers. Oh no wait… that last one is a question for another time.
So really, what does it all mean? Well, some have already begun decrying the fall of Nintendo; A company that “CLEARLY does not value their customers’ feedback… Salty salty groan groan!!!” (You know the type – fun loving internet people just spreading the joy). Most, however, realise that at this point we just don’t know enough. It was up, it seemed pretty cool, but it is no more. Nintendo most likely was just testing the waters. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t and is now stomping the bugs. So I’m sorry intrepid traveller, but this princess is in another castle… at least for now. Check back in a couple of days.