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StaceyPowers

What goes into a useful game review?

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In this thread on whether we care or not what reviews say, @killamch89 mentioned, "The very best reviewers tend to minimize their bias or at the very least, try to be open-minded about stuff they don't necessarily like."

I thought this was a great point, as someone who does typically tend to ignore reviewers, and perhaps overlooks useful reviews.

It got me wondering, in order to make a game review as helpful as possible, what are some of the most important ingredients? I think what @killamch89 wrote is a great start, but I would love to hear more input.

@DylanC @Alyxx @kingpotato @skyfire @Executor Akamia @Aerielle del Rosario 

Edited by StaceyPowers

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I pretty much only review games I have an interest in since that helps me writing as in-depth as I can. If it's a game that isn't my cup of tea but is still a good game I'd probably be objective about it but I've never reviewed games professionally so I've always been able to pick what I want to review.

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The reviewer needs to be free from social constructs. They need to be able to review a game without receiving condemnation for reviewing it at all. What that means is, think of games like God Of War. There were a lot of evangelical christians going off the deep end because it was about the ancient Gods. Coincidentally enough, the very Gods and Goddesses that I pay homage to and worship. But since it was a different god than the one of christian mythology, they went ballistic. So a lot of reviewers were too scared to give it their full honest opinion. Granted there were also a lot that didn't give a shit what the radicals thought, but still. And it doesn't stop at religion. There's also racial games. There's anti-group1 and anti-group2 games that reviewers are scared to review. And it's because they are held back by the status quo. Anything that threatens that, no matter how small, is gonna make shit hit the fan and no one is going to have time to duck.

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2 hours ago, The Blackangel said:

The reviewer needs to be free from social constructs. They need to be able to review a game without receiving condemnation for reviewing it at all. What that means is, think of games like God Of War. There were a lot of evangelical christians going off the deep end because it was about the ancient Gods. Coincidentally enough, the very Gods and Goddesses that I pay homage to and worship. But since it was a different god than the one of christian mythology, they went ballistic. So a lot of reviewers were too scared to give it their full honest opinion. Granted there were also a lot that didn't give a shit what the radicals thought, but still. And it doesn't stop at religion. There's also racial games. There's anti-group1 and anti-group2 games that reviewers are scared to review. And it's because they are held back by the status quo. Anything that threatens that, no matter how small, is gonna make shit hit the fan and no one is going to have time to duck.

I see where you're coming from and it has always been like that in the video-gaming industry. Remember when Mortal Kombat came out? Christians and other extremists were all over it even going as far as to protest and it's not really done much to stem the growth of Mortal Kombat. Extremists will always exists no matter what industry and I doubt that will ever change entirely either but you make very valid points.

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These days gaming review should not be based on the paid influence of the company. A lot of writers do that. And it often shows in the game. I think review should point out bugs and other things which many people notice later. 

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Regardless if the reviewer is getting paid or not I enjoy looking at reviews, What I look for the most is story, gameplay and duration regardless if the game is bad or not you will normally see these 3 elements. Now to know if the game sucks or not I just go to youtube to look at the gameplay.

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5 hours ago, kingpotato said:

Regardless if the reviewer is getting paid or not I enjoy looking at reviews, What I look for the most is story, gameplay and duration regardless if the game is bad or not you will normally see these 3 elements. Now to know if the game sucks or not I just go to youtube to look at the gameplay.

I always google screenshots. I can usually tell from that if it's the type of game I would enjoy or not.

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A LOT of gameplay. I never write a review unless I've played a game extensively or at the LEAST have played through the story.

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i think what is good is if the reviewer says what he does and does not like to put his own review in perspective for the reader, like "blah blah blah but i am not really an open map kinda guy so blah blah blah" if reviewing a map in an FPS game.

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What would be the best, in my opinion, would be for the reviewer to be going in blind. Meaning that they play a game that they have no title for or company that puts the game out. No names of anything. That way they won't be able to play favorites of any kind. You won't have someone who has a back alley deal with Rare giving their games a glowing review and shitting on all other games when they don't know who put out what. That would be the only way to get an honest review out of a professional reviewer in my mind. You may have to tinker with the graphics design a bit for some games, because that can often give away the game, but still. A blind review. Hate it or love it, at least it would be more likely to be somewhat honest.

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