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Do you believe reviewers have to end a game before reviewing it?

SchollA from Console ControllUs pronounced control-us writes:
Reviewing games have always been around but I don’t remember — back in the days — that being a “make or break” factor, or having the impact that it does now. Usually if the game had potential, add to that immaculate marketing and if the overall concept of the game intrigued me — I’d — or my mom (lol) would buy it. Now, these days reviews seem essential, they serve as a guide on many choices that are ultimately in the consumer’s hands. We’re always questioning ourselves, ”is this game worth it”? Sometimes we know and sometimes we need a little guidance, in comes the reviewer. So I looked at several things.

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xYLeinen2622d ago

From article:

"Integrity vs no integrity’ when it comes to the art of reviewing."

I'm sure there could be another whole article about that.

I don't know. I do watch reviews, but they generally don't affect my decision about a game. I know which games I want, and I know which games I don't want.
If it comes down to "shabby" games it's all down to the fun factor. The fun factor can be determined by many other factors, for instance, are you playing online, with friends etc.

There is really not a correct answer what fun is defined as since fun for one person could be a difficult game while fun for another could be a cinematic game.

I know people do strongly take reviews into consideration, and that's their choice, but what I don't understand is the "review score" war going on at times. But that's a whole another discussion ^^

Oner2621d ago (Edited 2621d ago )

The point isn't that your choice is (or isn't) based upon a review but that the review has been done properly, and I can't see how something that hasn't been played fully can have a full review on it.

Do/should teachers go over a portion of a test and grade all of it on a 20% completion rate? Or how about a review of an orchestra playing a newly found never heard before Mozart piece? Would that be right? Obviously not in either case and nor should a paid reviewer who is supposed to play a game.

I don't think it would or should apply to a game that has something like a 200 hour game time, but for those types of games a caveat of how much was played, what was completed or what was amassed would be key to gauge the validity of the review.

I, along with with many thousands if not millions of gamers (such as yourself) don't care for reviews (or at least the numerical ones I'd say) because it still comes down to your own preference and opinion upon something NOT someone else telling me their views when you don't know that person from a hole in the wall.

Think about it ~ would you be more inclined to listen to a close friend or family member who has similar interests as yourself about something they completed or a stranger off the street who may have an unknown bias or was pressed for time to do something half @$$ed and without passion?

I 100% completely agree with your point about ~

"There is really not a correct answer what fun is defined as since fun for one person could be a difficult game while fun for another could be a cinematic game."

As no one can tell you or me what WE believe is fun.

Quagmire2621d ago

Should a film reviewer watch the entire film before rating?

Of-bloody-course they should, and games are no different.

caseh2621d ago

Can't say I entirely agree with that, Dragon Age took me over 60 hours to complete. I could have easily reviewed that after about 10 hours.

mrsatan2620d ago

You couldn't have done a QUALITY review on Dragon Age after 10 hours. I would say on a game of that length at least wait till the midway point. Also that game changes quite a bit depending on where you start and what class you choose so I expect the reviewer to at least start the game with a few different characters to get a feel for it.

knifefight2620d ago (Edited 2620d ago )

If I had written a review of .hack//Link after 10 hours it would have been a decent review.

...However, it got so horrible, so utterly terrible, and so grating by the end that I ended up slapping 2/10 on there.

Finishing the game often makes a big difference in reviews.

klecser2621d ago (Edited 2621d ago )

Why do you read a movie review? To get a judgment of pacing, acting and story.

Why do you read a video game review? To get a judgment of gameplay, the mechanics, bugs and execution.

Do you want either of those spoiled? Nope. So the end of the video game only really matters for the "story" aspects of it, and you don't want that spoiled anyway.

A reviewer doesn't need to finish a game so long as they experienced ENOUGH of it to give an accurate judgment of the issues that are important to gamers. Hearing what the ending is like isn't one of them. Most players play so that they can get a sense of accomplishment from discovering that themselves.

Why expect a reviewer to finish a game when RARELY is that ever going to come into play in a review? Buyers remorse is a part of video gaming. Sometimes we get endings we don't like. It isn't somebody else's responsibility to play all the way to the end to let you know if you personally are going to be disappointed with the end. Heck, if story is something you really enjoy, video games aren't exactly a good medium for that anyway.

The other side of this coin is that many reviewers do quit a little TOO early. IGN's review of Samurai Warriors: Chronicles for 3DS is an example of this. SWC is a great game that was negatively impacted by being a launch title and giving people inflated expectations for the game. The game is a beat em up that actually has surprising depth in customization and positioning strategy within levels. You have four generals that you can switch between and command to different parts of the battlefield and success is pretty much impossible without thinking about where to send them to complete mission objectives. The reviewer clearly didn't play enough of the game because the depth of strategy really wasn't touched on in the review and the reviewer made the game sound like it was a mindless beat-em-up. During the first 30 minutes, sure, it is, but the next 99 hours of gameplay require much more strategy. Of course, I could have played it for 15 hours and reviewed it. Hours 15-40 that I have played since then isn't going to change my impressions of the quality of the game.

tarbis2621d ago

Definitely! They need to finish it, better if they can platinum it then show it off, that will give them more credibility. If they can't be bothered to finish the game, best they review it from a trailer.

So what if the game requires 200 hours to finish. They have at least 2 weeks in advance to play the game before release.
Don't tell me they can't find time to do the one thing they are required to do.

klecser2621d ago

Yep. Totally realistic expectation for a 200 hour game, right! They don't need to eat, sleep, spend time with their family, take care of their kids, work or do anything else that we do, right? They're just paid to play video games 24/7 and do nothing else!

Were you serious tarbis, or do you really expect a game reviewer to have no other life than to help you to decide to spend 60 bucks? I guess it just occurred to me that you could be facetious here. Maybe we should throw up a "Not sure if trolling or just really naive" meme here.

tarbis2621d ago

You are paid to do 1 thing only. 1 freaking thing, and that's to review a game and still can't do it right? What kind of idiot are you then?

If they're gonna use family, kids or any other shit as an excuse for not doing their job best they quit and find another job.

Do you even know what work means? Guess people who lives off draining their parent's money wouldn't know shit.

tiffac0082621d ago (Edited 2621d ago )

The only real reason I see for the reviewers to not to be able to finish a game, is if they are given a very unrealistic time table on when they need to submit their reviews from the time they got the game.

Otherwise they should try to finish a game (at least pour in a lot of game hours into it) to have a complete and better understanding of the game rather than just an incomplete experience before sharing their opinion.

Impressions after all can change depending on what moment or part you are in the game.

klecser2621d ago (Edited 2621d ago )

@tarbis: Its pretty clear you have absolutely no clue how that job works.

Your entire argument is predicated on the assumption that from 9-5, a video game industry writer does only two things: 1) Play games and 2) Write about them. You honestly believe that that is all they do during their 9-5 workday? Are you 15 years old? 17? An adult with the maturity and life experience of a 15 year old? I mean you comment on people who "live off their parents", yet your opinion seems to be the opinion of somebody who doesn't understand how real jobs work.

tarbis2620d ago

Then what else do they do, twiddling their thumbs? trolling their competition? or just stroll around the office like they're on vacation?
And what makes you think they only work for only 9 hours a day? Work continues even after office hours. Do you honestly think they can't take home the games they are reviewing? It's a freaking easy job, unlike if you're a sailor that you are required to be away from your family for months and years.

You're the one who doesn't know what a real job is like.

Chrono2621d ago

IMO, they must spend at least 10 hours to get the full picture. So if it's a short game, they should end it.

Scribe812621d ago (Edited 2621d ago )

I'm actually compiling a database of game reviews right now to try and open up my own website in the next 6 months specifically because of this. I'm a writer. Problem with being a writer is it's insanely difficult to get jobs in it. I've found job ads for video game reviewers where right in the ad, they say,

"You don't need to even play the game, just go on other websites, read their reviews, and write your own from that."

As a lifelong gamer, as you can imagine, I was appalled when I read this as I'm sure some of you reading this are. Then I found another ad, for a different game site and you know what? They had basically the exact same set up. Reviewers weren't even required to play the game at all! How on Earth could any gamer make an educated decision after reading one of these false reviews?

I know it's not every game review site that does this, but it of course begs the question of how much of a game do reviewers even play before they put their review up? One of the posts above commented on Dragon Age. Took 60 hours to beat, but they felt they could've reviewed it after 10 hours. I respect that. But in my personal experience, I was floored with the game after ten hours, and might've given it a superb score. But once I hit around 25-30 hours, I started getting bored, the graphics in some of the levels really started looking dull, and it was a chore to get through anymore of the game. So if I'd stopped to review it here, the score would've dropped significantly. Then when I made it to Orzammar, the graphics seemed to pick up again (indoor stuff seemed to look way better than outdoor), and the storyline and quests were more interesting and I started having fun again. I got there at about 45 hours, and just left at around 58 hours. If I review it now, the score goes back up.

Reviewers should finish the game before they review it. I'm writing reviews based on this notion. However, I do have some rules. The only time I won't finish a game is if it's so absolutely terrible that I can no longer stomach playing it, or if like Demon's Souls, I just can't figure it out and am tired of getting my ass handed to me--these are both things potential players would want to know in a review. Now I didn't bash Demon's Souls. I still gave it a 9.0 out of 10 because of the high quality game that it was, I was just able to eliminate my own subjectivity to the game's difficulty, and review it based on its actual merits--something I wouldn't have been able to to if I'd played five hours and stopped to review it. I trudged through trying my best until I realized it just wasn't my type of game.

But out of the 50 or 60 reviews I've already compiled, a good 85% of those games have been completed. When I open my site up, I want people to know that the game has been played and played, and most likely completed.

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