The state of video game reviews?

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The state of video game reviews?

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 4th, 2009, 1:55 pm

One reason I started this site was to provide an alternative to other game review sites which I felt were really poor.

The reviews were usually long diatribes that ran a few pages, and there were more ads than text.  They usually dedicated about 2 pages to the backstory, like anyone even cares.  Sometimes the reviewer didn't even give a definitive grade, and when they did it was usually very inflated.  Either that or they used a bizarre grading scale that led to grades like 8.25.  And then there were idiotic comments like "I finished this game in only 50 hours!"  They didn't take into account the perspective of the average gamer.

Well I haven't visited other game review sites in a while, and I'd like to know how the VGC stacks up.   Have these other sites cleaned up their act?  Do you think the VGC has had an influence on the way they review games?


The state of video game reviews?

Postby Andrew » July 4th, 2009, 3:58 pm

  I think this site holds up perfectly against sites like IGN, which I have begun using for gaming news only. I feel that you give your unbiased opinion on a game, and give games second looks for re-reviews.

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The state of video game reviews?

Postby James1 » July 4th, 2009, 5:12 pm

For the most part they haven't cleaned up their act in my opinion.

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The state of video game reviews?

Postby N64Dude1 » July 4th, 2009, 5:28 pm

You've done incredibly well compared to most.(I prefer my little site but that is for egotistical and biased reasons)

Honestly I feel most sites seem to make grades and scores super high just get others to by the games,in fact the last site that seemed to not do that was IGN but those reviews go on for pages

10 years and you've still got the hang of it.


The state of video game reviews?

Postby Lou » July 5th, 2009, 6:58 am

I like your review style... you get to the key points and explain what you liked and what you didn't like. The scores are clear (A to F scale). Most long reviews are just padding.


The state of video game reviews?

Postby MappyMousePD » July 7th, 2009, 11:52 pm

I don't have a problem with length.  Some of my favorite game reviewers (Matt Sakey, Jim Rossignal) write lengthy reviews.  I do get annoyed when websites publish long, tiresome reviews that are just a list of all the game's features with only scant criticism.  I'd rather read two pages of why the reviewer thought the game was fun or not than read a list of the mini-games and character classes.   

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The state of video game reviews?

Postby BuryMe1 » July 13th, 2009, 5:39 pm

I have 2 main problem with video game reviews now, both of which you seem to do a good job avoiding.

First of all, you don't inflate your scores. Site like Gamespot tend to give games a 6/10 simply for being anticipated. They are, for some reason, too affraid to flop any game.
Second, you are able to avoid a bias of your favourite series, and tend to give games the scores they deserve, regardless of how much you loved the previous entry.

This website is about the only place I can come for good game reviews. You actually give information n how much fun a game is to play, not how technically advanced the game is


The state of video game reviews?

Postby TheBawwRadar » July 13th, 2009, 7:20 pm

I really dont prefer 1-10 scales, I prefer 1-5 scales.

Besides, no game can ever grant THAT much merit for a large scale...

(corresponding to Gameplay, Graphics, Controls, Entertainment, Sound)

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The state of video game reviews?

Postby JustLikeHeaven1 » July 13th, 2009, 8:34 pm

I think the internet and mainstream reviews in particular have hurt the creativity of the industry.  Sure videogame magazines used to have coverage about the industry back in the day, but nothing beats the round the clock coverage we now have. 

We know more about games before we even have a chance to play them.  We can read through 20 different reviews of a the same game while doing research before buying.  All this leads to letting another person's view skew your perception of game before you even play it.  It also leads to game designers being forced to meet the same generic criteria that videogame journalists find important.  The creative juices of games is more diluted than ever and the creative leash is getting shorter and shorter thanks to rising production budgets.

When I was a kid I used to buy games that had awesome box art and cool ideas ("trolls and mutants playing football...AWESOME").  I also rented a ton of games just trying to find good one.  There was a sense of adventure and discover that is now long gone.  Perhaps it has to do with growing up or maybe the constantly updated online blogs but I miss the simpler days of the 80s and 90s.

In order to keep my interest in the hobby alive I stopped reading review of new games.  It makes every game feel like a fresh discovery and I've never looked back.

Dave I find your succinct, informative reviews of classic games to be an indispensable vault of knowledge.  Your reviews of the new stuff is probably 10x better than the drivel that professional sites put out...but I stopped reading it a while ago.  Perhaps the only area that you are lacking in (and you really need to bite the bullet because you're REALLY missing out) is the downloadable games for the new systems.  I think your readers would really enjoy seeing you get joy out of the old school flavor that the downloadable services offer.  It can be a pain in the ass when you first get started, but the positives FAR outweigh any annoyances you might encounter.

J Dubs

The state of video game reviews?

Postby J Dubs » July 13th, 2009, 11:58 pm

People here are saying they come here for an "unbiased" review. No offense, but your reviews are somewhat biased. The thing is, you flat out say what your biases are. SNK Arcade Classics got an A-, what else could I expect from a gamer like you?! But that is part of what makes this site great. We have one reviewer to keep straight. I feel like my tastes in games are somewhat similar to yours with a few differences (for example, I love the F-Zero series... all of them!) so with just you reviewing we know what to expect. You are a gamer, through and through, enjoying games from Pac-Man to Gears of War 2. You are doing this because you want to, not for a paycheck, and I have to respect your views on games because of this, even if I don't agree completely (sorry for the run on sentence.)

The other thing I love is your ratings. An A to F scale. Something simple we all understand. Many sites have a 1 to 10 scale and say that 5 is an average, but really they work like "school grades" anyways, where a 7 is like a C. Also, having "fun" as your deciding factor really makes a huge difference. I get the sense that you aren't going to dock a game on the score for something stupid unless it got in the way of you having fun.

In addition, you don't seem to review games immediately after release (maybe there are a few exceptions) which definitely helps against the hype machine that is around these days.

If I was to criticize you a bit, your reviews have gotten a bit wordier these days. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something I have noticed. They definitely are not the 8 page reviews that I may come across on other sites, which is definitely a great thing!

Speaking of other sites, I would say that no you have not influenced others, unfortunately. Some blog sites may take some ideas (i.e. focusing on the fun) but really I doubt you have influenced big review sites.

Keep up the good work though! Still love the site, and I gotta say I come here for reviews more than any other site... even if I have absolutely no interest in a game you review! And of course, there is no better place to read up on classic game reviews either!

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