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Topic: Question for Reviewers?

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MickeyStruble

1. Posted:

When you guys are reviewing games do you play the games through to completion? Or do you just play enough to get the basic concept of the game? What if the game is to hard for you to finish? And do you write the review as you play or just do the whole thing after?
I guess this was more like "Questions" not "question", but I was just curious what went into the writing and formulating of a review. If NL ever gets the reader review forums going it might help some people write some better reviews. Giving us all more perspectives on the games we play.

MickeyStruble

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Corbs

2. Posted:

I play most games that I can complete within a 6 or 7 hour period to the end. It also depends on the type of game. Some require more time than others. I am constantly taking notes as I play the game. Things I want to be sure and mention or things that stick out to me. And very few games are "too hard for me to finish." In fact, I can't think of a game, other than a few bullet hell shooters with one credit, that I can't finish.

Edited on by Corbs

Retro Editor, Nintendo Life
Vita Editor, Push Square

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MickeyStruble

3. Posted:

Thanks Corbie. You don't ever get stuck in games? Like World of Goo for example I was stuck on one of the puzzles and used a gamefaq to get through it. You must have great skills. I can also get a little impatient especially with puzzle games.

MickeyStruble

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Philip_J_Reed

4. Posted:

I don't want to speak for Corbie, but I think with something like World of Goo, where the core concept changes very little, it doesn't matter whether or not you've completed every puzzle. It only really matters whether or not you've played a representative amount of the game to decide where your feelings lie.

The review is of the game as a whole, not of every stage individually. So I think it's just a matter of playing a game to the point that you have a firm and confident grasp on what it does right and what it does wrong. (Delete as applicable.)

Sometimes you can have your opinion within 5 minutes, and it won't change regardless of how much longer you play. Otherwise it probably takes a few hours to really assess its quality. (Bit.Trip: Core fits into that. My first impression was negative, but the more I played, the more in love I fell.)

So it definitely varies. Didn't mean to step on Corbie's answers (and if they differ from mine I'd still love to hear them!) but I felt compelled to chime in. It's an interesting question, and thanks for bringing it up!

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Corbs

5. Posted:

I agree that you don't necessarily have to finish a game to get a feel for how it is overall. But I always try to finish or at least get as close to finished, as I can within the time frame I have to write a review. But games like RPGs or those with more depth, I tend to stick with longer because some games can get even better later on or even dip down in the later stages. You get a feel for when you've seen enough of a game to accurately write it up. And as I said, it just varies.

Retro Editor, Nintendo Life
Vita Editor, Push Square

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MickeyStruble

6. Posted:

Do you guys ever feel like you gave a game an unfair score after more time with it or based on personal prefrences/biases. A game like Wii Music the more time you invest in it the more you get out of it. If you don't like music and the creative aspect one could find it boring and a waste of time (as seen by the many reviews). Do you try to keep your opinions to a minimum or just let them come out like movie critics?

MickeyStruble

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SonicMaster

7. Posted:

Wii music DOES NOT deserve am=n 8. A 4 at best.

I have trouble finishing games.
Current victims of shelving: Ni no Kuni, Dragon Quest VIII, Ratchet Deadlocked

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Philip_J_Reed

8. Posted:

Mickey wrote:

Do you guys ever feel like you gave a game an unfair score after more time with it or based on personal prefrences/biases. A game like Wii Music the more time you invest in it the more you get out of it. If you don't like music and the creative aspect one could find it boring and a waste of time (as seen by the many reviews). Do you try to keep your opinions to a minimum or just let them come out like movie critics?

Well, the fact is, you can't help it. If for some reason Wii Music was being reviewed by somebody who HATED music, it wouldn't be honest on the part of the reviewer (nor would it demonstrate much integrity) for him to try to approach it as if he did. Once you start compromising your honesty, you've got no place reviewing anything.

This is why games should be reviewed by somebody who actually has a chance of enjoying them. That way you get an honest opinion from somebody who has some experience with the genre or series, rather than a review by someone who is confused by what should have been a simple concept, or someone who pretends he enjoys the game because that's what he thinks fans of the game would want to hear.

NL does a great job of matching up qualified reviewers. I can't speak for other sites, but certainly, in the case of Wii Music, you'll find that most of the positive reviews come from people who obviously have an appreciation for music and how compositions are put together. The negative reviews, on the whole, tend to come from people who went in expecting Guitar Hero. (Which is a rhythm game, not a music game.)

SonicMaster wrote:

Wii music DOES NOT deserve am=n 8. A 9 at worst.

Fixed that for you. :P

Edited on by Philip_J_Reed

NL Forum Moderator / Part-Time Reviewer / One-Track Lover
Noiseless Chatter, my pop culture blog that will change your life
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Mega Man No Damage Runs, and more

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Sean_Aaron

9. Posted:

Wii Music certainly does deserve an 8!

With regard to the query I don't feel a need to play through to completion, but if the game has a conclusion that I can achieve then I'll do it. With a WiiWare game it's more of a matter of getting a feel for it since there is a time element involved in getting the review to people. I do feel experiencing different modes is important as well.

I have yet to play a game that I felt differently about after a review because I don't turn out a review without giving a game a few plays to overcome any possibly negative first impressions. Whilst playing I don't take written notes, but I do mentally note things to mention; I keep the review in a draft form in order to be sure I'm not leaving anything out that I want to get across.

BLOG, mail: sean@seanswiiworld.co.uk
Nintendo ID: sean.aaron

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MickeyStruble

10. Posted:

Thanks for all the input guys. Much appreciated.

MickeyStruble

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Kid_A

11. Posted:

The Wii Music thing is a great point because it's really clear that some reviewers like Game Informer only played it for 5 minutes and didn't give it a fair chance. I've been playing the game for a solid year and I'm still figuring stuff out. Animal Crossing is the same way. If you only play Animal Crossing for 5 hours, you're not going to be able to write a fair review of it because it's a game that get's more interesting the more time you invest in it.

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