8.8: This tended to spring up a lot, especially since they had a section of the magazine (in their "old reviews" section, showing past scores) devoted entirely for fan comments about their scores. Most fans who didn't like a review insisted their favourite game should get a 100% — Bill Donohue eventually complained that every fan says that.
They gave a notorious review to EarthBound (known to some as Mother 2), giving it a score of 69% and pointing out flaws in the graphics, plot and standard uninnovative RPG battle engine. According to them, the game didn't compare to Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy or most of its contemporaries. Fans of the game freaked, and repeatedly wrote in over the following months to demand that the game should earn a 100% score.
After the switch to Ultra Game Players, one reader noted that it was unfair that a game which was otherwise flawless could get a less-than-perfect score simply because it wasn't groundbreaking, thanks to the inclusion of the new "innovation" category.
Critical Dissonance: Infamously, they gave a 77% rating to Shaq Fu (mostly for its visuals and music), despite being considered one of the worst video games of all time by a ton of people.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A less-extreme example than others related to this trope, but editor Jeff Lundrigan (who often covered games in the RPG genre) also held the nickname of "Lucky" in the magazine. Although he would work at Next Generation Magazine for some time after leaving Game Players, he would later become unemployed and fade into obscurity unlike Game Players alumni such as Slate (Nintendo Power), Donohue (PSM) and Roger Burchill (editor-in-chief of OPM before it closed down) who are still remembered. Pretty unlucky.
Magazine Decay: Game Players went from the wacky comedy-filled magazine with great info to basically a stodgy, boring book with only a couple snippets of humor. Bill Donohue specifically points out that removing the humor from the book killed it.
Something else that didn't help their magazine: their old reviewing system had five simple categories (initially Graphics, Sound, Bells & Whistles, Control and Replay Value but later Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, Innovation & Replay Value). Each category was rated from one to ten; the categories would then be added up and averaged to make the review score. This was replaced by a convoluted 18-point system.
Then, of course, there was the transition to Game Buyer. It reverted to the humor-free format of the early Ultra Game Players issues, and while the rating system simplified to a 5-star system, the bar graphs for the five rating categories (graphics, sound, controls, gameplay, depth) were needlessly complex.