Should reviewers wait for patches? (Bitmob)

Bitmob Community Writer Tim Henwood: Ars Technica knows I’m excited about Brink. They’ve also taken the interesting step of not reviewing their Xbox 360 copy until it receives much-needed patches.

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EYEamNUMBER13022d ago

no that's a silly thing to even suggest

Solidus187-SCMilk3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

developers should wait till the game is done to release it.

MintBerryCrunch3022d ago

i dont think last gen gave devs the ability to patch a game...doing this would only be another excuse and lame ass cop out by devs if they rush an uncompleted game to market

Pandamobile3022d ago

Except that in the real world, developers RARELY have any say in when they're products get released.

Pandamobile3021d ago

Wow, I used the wrong their/they're/there. I am ashamed of myself.

TheDareDevil3022d ago

Reviewers should only review the retail copy of the game.

Serjikal_Strike3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

Reviewers should only be allowed to give reviews when they play the game till the credits roll...
sometimes i think they dont play all the way through most games

TenSteps3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

You can't really blame some reviewers though I remember one N4g User who had his own game site told us about how much more difficult the system is than it seems I'll try to find it for ya'll

But basically the gist of his comment was that they still work like your regular 9 to 5 person but unlike some bigger sites they won't be able to get enough time playing all the games they need to review to meet their quota that they end up reading some of the bigger sites reviews and adding those in their own words to their reviews.

TenSteps3022d ago

Reviewers shouldn't wait for patches they reviewing this for potential consumers and that includes consumers who don't even have the option of going online.

Yes in this day and age some people still can't go online. So if a reviewer waits for a patch to review a game than they'll be sending information that might trick offline users into buying it only to realize they were misinformed.

wsoutlaw873022d ago

no they shouldn't but i don't see why they cant go back and update the review if a lot of problems stated are fixed. That will help anyone who is buying the game post release.

reznik_zerosum3022d ago

Should gamers buy unfinished game that needs patches ?

callahan093022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

It's not a silly thing to suggest at all. It's actually a question that invokes an important discussion. It points out a huge difference between games and other forms of media that undergo criticism.

Nowadays, it's common practice for games to come out and have a patch deployed on day 1. The question of how to deal with this is actually rather complicated. On the one hand, you've got a game that's potentially completely different from the one you actually reviewed, and thus your criticism likely no longer applies in a multitude of ways. Even without a day 1 patch, this can still apply for multiplayer games because the pre-release servers that reviewers play on may be -- and likely are -- a totally different experience than the day 1 public servers everyone who goes out and buys the game will experience. Waiting until a game is out could have the potential to positively or negatively effect critic's perception of the game under criticism.

The real interesting and important thing to consider, however, is just how different games are from other media. Games are unique in that they *change*. When a critic reviews a movie, he's seeing the same movie you're going to see. That movie could play in theaters for weeks or months and it will be the same movie for that entire span.

Games change. They change often and in sometimes significant ways via patches, updates, etc. The game that a critic played before it even came out is potentially a different game the day it's released to the public, and possibly a drastically different game 1 year down the line.

When a movie "changes" it's because of something like a Director's Cut version, but this happens rather rarely and it doesn't change the original version which will still be available. It doesn't happen with the flip of a switch where one day at the movie theater they're showing version A of a movie and the next they're showing version B. And when it does happen, the critics will re-review it. Two separate reviews, one for the original product, and one for the new product.

In the games industry, this process of changing the product is incredibly frequent and often the changes are significant. I don't want to cause any kind of rift in the attitudes towards this comment by bringing in a game that has incited a lot of arguments on N4G before, but you have to just take a look at MAG as a shining example of what I'm talking about here. There is an object truth to it when I say that the game that released in January 2010 is a significantly different game than what you play right now. The changes were numerous and frequent and began the day the game came out. Changes in performance, balance, stability, features, control schemes, etc. were all regularly implemented right from the start to the extent that the vast majority of criticisms that were levied against the game upon its initial release are largely or completely irrelevant and invalid today.

But game critics don't revisit these games after they've undergone a bit (or a lot) of reconstructive surgery. And for that, we wind up with reams of outdated criticism that largely no longer apply to the actual game you'd be playing if you bought it.

callahan093022d ago

The rest of my comment:

Criticism of movies, music, book, etc. are practically timeless: the work that the critic is writing about is exactly the same now as it was, say 40 years ago, when it was first published. The critic's views on the work may be interpreted in different contexts as the world changes, but those views are still based entirely upon the same work that you'd be experiencing today, so the criticism is valid and you can interpret their views in perspective of a modern world.

With games criticism, this is not the case, and it is perhaps what makes games criticism such a derisive issue: it is virtually impossible to actually have a solid opinion on a game in today's market, because what you experience as a critic today and what your readers will experience tomorrow may be completely different things.

TenSteps3022d ago

I see your point but that in my opinion is what those "Look Back" reviews are for. The thing is patches over the course of a game's life end up significant but more often than not they present it bit by bit. A reviewer of games should take into account those that still don't have access to upgrading their games via patches.

What say a game ships with an unavoidable game breaking glitch, if they wait for a patch to review and said offline gamer sees the review he will not be aware that he will encounter this glitch likewise the changes by these patch although significant will matter little to these people.

If a game changes through the patches then by all means review it again but to wait for a patch to review a game it separates those who have with those who don't. Offline gamers maybe the minority but they still spend their money on games they should be informed on what they're getting identify the major flaws of the game then do a second look when a patch to said flaws could be made that way the information is much more clear and no one has to be misinformed and criticism will be placed properly.

Plus if reviewers review patched games what's to say this won't encourage developers to rush development and just patch what they missed out.

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jay23022d ago

Patches shouldn't be needed for launch and at all really, devs need to get their act together.

FAGOL3022d ago

No that will only make developers more reliant on patches to fix problems after launch.

Urmomlol3022d ago

No. If you ship a game broken, then you review a broken game.

cyborg3022d ago

pretty much sums it up.

If reviewers should wait for patches to release, then so should the consumers, and then so should the developers.

In a nutshell they shouldn't release a game in a state which requires patching up and if they do, it's our duty to let readers know that the game's got issues.

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