News Article

Over a Third of Wii Games Go Unreviewed

Posted by James Newton

That's a lot of party and sports games

We do our best here at Nintendo Life to cover every game that's lovingly pressed onto disc for Wii consoles, but even with our team of review robots working around the clock for less than a drop of oil, there aren't enough hours in the day. It seems it's not just us straining under the weight of Wii reviews, though - according to industry analyst Jesse Divnich, 37% of Wii games released in the first six months of 2009 began their lives without the joyful experience of being reviewed.

Speaking to Edge Online, Mr Divnich says the number of unreviewed games was up 12% on the same period last year, presumably meaning there was even more post-Christmas shovelware released in 2009 than 2008, as every unreviewed game was targeted at the casual market.

Of that games that do get reviewed, however, Jesse claims that the average review score for Wii games actually went by 6%, now hitting a meteoric 66%. Now, we may not have our own on-call industry analyst here at Nintendo Life HQ, but if the number of rubbish games going unreviewed has increased, surely it stands to reason the average review score would receive a boost of a few points. Sign us up to your analytical agency, Mr Divnich!

[via edge-online.com]

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User Comments (44)

LEGEND_MARIOID

#1

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Many aren't reviewed by more than a handful of reviewers as well. I know there is a lot of shovelware out there, but there are on other consoles too!

Reala

#2

Reala said:

Too much copycat shovelware, the reviewers would go mad if they had review all that, I'm sure it would have been similar for the PS2 as well though.

Stuffgamer1

#3

Stuffgamer1 said:

It's just as well the shovelware isn't getting reviewed. It would be needless torture of the reviewers and nobody would be likely to read the reviews anyway. Only people who would even CONSIDER buying most of those unreviewed games wouldn't read a review if one WAS available anyway. :P

V8_Ninja

#4

V8_Ninja said:

agreed with Stuffgamer1. It's kinda becoming the like what Mario Party will be in the (predicted) future, where the games eventually become so repetitious that people either buy it or don't buy it regardless of whether there's a review for it or not.

Sean_Aaron

#5

Sean_Aaron said:

No, there's definitely good games getting missed, hence some titles getting reviewed here months later (Anno: Create a New World is waiting on my shelf even now). Nintendo Life's main issue is that we don't get that many review copies (though this is changing) and therefore many reviews are out of our own pockets (don't remind me about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2!), so whilst we might want to review every last title of interest it's not financially possible.

Hopefully user reviews will help fill those gaps!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#7

Philip_J_Reed said:

I've been waiting on Corbie's Birthday Party Bash review for months now. What's the hold up?

Chunky_Droid

#8

Chunky_Droid said:

I promise that I'll look in my Wii collection, and if there's anything there that hasn't been reviewed, I'll ask if I can get a review up, even if it's a 2 year old game :P.

The guys here do do their best, as Sean said, the review copies situation is changing, which is fantastic to say the least!

@Chicken: He needs to get through Carnival Corbie 3: Ninjabread Corbie first, give it time!

Sean_Aaron

#10

Sean_Aaron said:

@chunky_droid: It took a public appeal to get you to do that? For shame, sir! Seriously I'd go through your collection and do a search on the site (that resulted in weeks of work for me!). Just don't forget to update the review plan!

WaLuigi1982

#13

WaLuigi1982 said:

I noticed sites like IGN and Gamespot review fewer and fewer games. And they are backed by bigger companies. And magazine publications like Game Informer do not really publish too many reviews for Wii. Its just become the new trend in gaming. Nobody (IGN,Gamespot,GI) wants to review Wii games. :(

bro2dragons

#16

bro2dragons said:

Hey, guys, i'd kill to do a couple reviews for you. i love the site and would see it as my way of giving back. i'm a print journalism major and will be editor of the perspectives (editorials) section of our school paper next year, so i'd say i can write well enough. right now i've got 4 unreviewed wii games: Call of Duty: World at War, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tankaichi 3, DDR Hottest Party, and Lego Star Wars. i've also got an ungodly amount of gc games if you still want retro reviews (so weird for me to think of that as retro when i still buy gamecube games at gamestop....), and will be getting Night game and the new Worms on WiiWare the day they come out as my next game purchase if you need someone for those. i'd be thrilled to contribute any way i can!

James

#17

James said:

We're not currently looking for any other reviewers, but keep your eye on our Join the Team page in case that changes in the future :)

bro2dragons

#19

bro2dragons said:

@Prosody: Thanks! I will certainly start checking regularly. And in the meantime I'll continue to love and enjoy the site from the average user standpoint. And I second WaLuigi, keep doing your thing. There's no other site quite like this one, so keep up whatever it is you do that makes this place so freaking awesome.

Egg_miester

#20

Egg_miester said:

i am still waiting for gamespot to review rune factory frontier, and x play to review both rune factory, little kings story both are AAA games but they can't review them it will let the wii look good, ign does seem to be the best at trying to review every game but even they miss a few, but nintendolife you guys are doing well

Egg_miester

#24

Egg_miester said:

@waluigi yes rune factory does so far i have put in over 50 hours and the mix of farming socializing with town people/action rpg in caves i am brealy 20% done, whatsoever nice is that really no one needs to do all of that if a player just wants to fight monsters then thats all one needs to do, or just farming sim then stay out of the caves.

@the fox yes i do think that both games when they are reviewed the score is always around 8.5-9.0 and with rune factory being one of the best rpgs out this year that also helps

Knux

#25

Knux said:

You guys need to at least review Birthday Party Bash. Oh, I would LOVE to read that review! :D

Gajic

#29

Gajic said:

I used to work in product marketing for a large developer, and I can tell you most games go reviewed or unreviewed because of the PR people. Reviews are published because PR has relationships with the reviewers and specifically request them. Reviewers on big sites like IGN aren't getting copies on their own and deciding to do a review. They're reviewing the game because someone in PR sent them a copy and asked them to do a review. Journalists will even sometimes delay putting out a review if their score is a bad, since the relationship between the PR person and the journalist works both ways.

To that end, the reality is alot of studios don't want a metacritic score for a Wii game. They don't think it helps, and if anything it hurts it. I know at the developer I worked for, there was a conscious decision to stop having reviews of their Wii games done. They figured it just hurt the end product and they'd rather rely solely on the marketing push. I can't say with 100% certainty this is why other studios let their games go unreviewed, but I can tell you the PR/journalist relationship works the same at every studio.

Stuffgamer1

#30

Stuffgamer1 said:

Okay, I do admit not ALL unreviewed games are bad. Just look at NLife, which finally reviewed Opoona a year and a half after release! The fact that some review sources haven't bothered with Little King's Story proves the point very well, too.

Everything Gajic just said makes perfect sense, too. It's like I said...it's just as well some of these games don't get reviewed. Even the DEVELOPERS think that. What's the percentage on DS? I'm pretty sure the majority of Ubisoft DS games don't usually get reviewed anymore, and I think we ALL know why. :P

Chunky_Droid

#31

Chunky_Droid said:

@Sean: I have Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits, that hasn't been reviewed yet, jealous? :P

I also have Apollo Justice, Sonic Rush Adventure and I think a couple of other games, so I'll see about doing those :)

vherub

#32

vherub said:

mario galaxy doesn't need 50+ reviews. The upcoming new super mario bros doesn't need 50+ reviews.
But de blob, munchables, valhall knights, dawn of discovery, spyborgs, mini ninjas, etc, etc
these are the games that really need more reviews- especially around launch
I'm just kind of surprised with the internet and all, there are not more websites popping up that fill the review niche.
There still isn't a valhall knights review besides the 40% from nintendo power- that is craziness

IAmNotWill

#33

IAmNotWill said:

"mario galaxy doesn't need 50+ reviews. The upcoming new super mario bros doesn't need 50+ reviews."
thats because they are big games, that everyone is interested in.

I understand why this is happening. Devolopers don't want to be creative. They just want to a make minigame compilation with motion controls. Which is why theres all this shovelware on the wii.

dizzy_boy

#36

dizzy_boy said:

i suppose, most people who`ve had a reasonable amount of gaming experience can usualy spot a stinker from a mile off, regardless of there being a lack of reviews.
besides, we all know the wii is inundated with shovelware. so, do we really need to read how bad a game is.
as for some developers not wanting their games to be reviewed, isn`t that a some kind of admittance that they know they games they sell are of poor quality, and just don`t want to be publicly ridiculed for it.
lastly, i just want to know how these PR people are pushing the games they have to sell. because i`m sure atleast 75% of games go on sale without any form of publicity or advertising in any media.

Darknyht

#38

Darknyht said:

Even the shovelware has its place, and not all of them are as terrible as we think. It is just they might be targeting a different audience. For example, Dora the Explorer Wii might not be mine or anyone here's cup of tea, but to a 4 year old that is video game gold.

Good and bad are truly subjective when it comes to an artform such as video games. Heck, I remember a painting in the Andy Warhol Museum that was called "Urine on Canvas" or something along those lines. So basically someone getting wasted and peeing on a canvas was valuable art.

mjc0961

#39

mjc0961 said:

"Jesse claims that the average review score for Wii games actually went by 6%, now hitting a meteoric 66%."

Went what? Went up? Down? To the side even?

Stuffgamer1

#40

Stuffgamer1 said:

@mjc: Based on the context, I think it went up. I had noticed that error, but didn't bother to comment because I felt the context was enough to clarify anyway. :P

Meffaliss

#42

Meffaliss said:

Ifi could review i would, but i can't so too bad...Most of the games that have never been reviewed are pretty much the games that are ranging from mediocre to horrible, there might be SOME that are good or ok, but...i don't see the point why....I only buy VC games because no wii games really appeal to me...

ODOGG618

#44

ODOGG618 said:

Funny how the author says the staff works for "a drop of oil". If only you guys knew the cost of a drop of oil....how bout "workin for peanuts", I assure you the costs are much lower.

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