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Topic: Nintendolife and worthless reviews... you need to step-it-up guys :(

Posts 1 to 20 of 20

DashKappei

Hey you know what, I told myself, second Banner Saga game is out so maybe it's time to get the first game! Let's head over to Nintendolife
...NOTHING. Totally worthless. You'd think the reviewer didn't even play the Switch version since it doesn't mention A WORD on the port...
framerate? Loading times? Portable mode concessions? Nope.
Well, surely it'll mention the resolution?! NOPE.
A whole lot of NOTHING.
Why even bother? Hell of a worthless review, game's been out for years already, even freaking Appstore reviews are more helpful than some NL stuff. Meh, very disappointed. This is a worrying trend, with Switch and its two very different performance modes (portable/tabletop and docked) it's of utmost importance to know what's up.
It's already annoying when you don't specify with filters or video modes are available for retro releases (Tiger's, Hamster, Zerodiv...) but it's straight up a disservice when you fail to mention that RUNNER 3 becomes unplayable in portable mode from World 2-1 because the framerate goes down to the 20s instead of locked 60 which is the target of the game and something mandatory for such an high precision game.
We're not expecting Digital Foundry, but at least basic info to make informed purchases and to actually review the SWITCH VERSION since Banner Saga could have been reviewed on iPad or Xbox and we wouldn't notice the difference. Now let the flaming commence! I fully expect a defense force calling for my skin now and plenty of "it's good enough" and "I only care if a game is fun or not" (like one would exclude the other, lol)

DashKappei

Switch Friend Code: SW-7921-9388-6881

Daftbomb

No site is perfect, I feel your pain. Always gonna be a spectrum of quality and style of reviews when theres a big team. I get fed up with the clickbait headlines, sometimes NL feels like its losing its edge, but to be fair all in all its a pretty good site with plenty of decent reading.

My solution is to follow a handful of review sites and news pages, even though this is my first stop for all things switch I have a handful of other regular haunts: (hope its ok to mention "rivals" here)

Nindiespotlight (really good focus in his reviews, and all by one guy)
Nintendo Everything (the most frequently updated site with plenty of news each day)
Nintendo World Report (great list of reviews with scores so you can see all of them at once)
SwitchWatch (found these guys on YouTube, very well written and thought out reviews)
Miketendo

NL is still my favourite though. I also often pop a game name in the steam store and browse user reviews there, can be much more reliable...but obviously not switch focused

Daftbomb

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spizzamarozzi

I've just read the review for Banner Saga and I didn't think it was that bad - you must have missed the really bad ones on this website. Plus the guy who wrote it is one of the few reviewers I've seen here who actually took criticism like a man and improved, instead of becoming aggressive like some of his colleagues.

Usually if a review doesn't mention framerate, loading times and other technical stuff it "should" mean that the game has no apparent issue in that regard. Of course with unprofessional reviews such as the one for Runner 3 around, you can never be sure enough - so one thing you can do is to drop the reviewer a line and ask. Or just ask in the forum. Yeah, you shouldn't need to, but that's free gaming journalism for you.

If you noticed, nobody on this board ever talks about the reviews on NL. If there's something we want to know about a game, we usually ask it here. At the end of the day, NintendoLife costs you nothing. That's what it's worth.

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JaxonH

Ya I kind of agree, although I wouldn't try be so abrasive about voicing my complaints concerning it.

I do think at least a passing "res seemed fine, no framerate issues I noticed, portable looks good" would suffice.

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Ralizah

I wouldn't call them "worthless," but I do agree that Nintendo Life reviewers should take special note of any performance or resolution differences between docked and portable mode. A LOT of reviews I see for Switch games across the internet basically act like portable mode doesn't exist, which is irritating given that, not only is the console's biggest selling point, but a huge number of Switch users take advantage of it. Most of them, in fact.

I often have to go on forums to ask about a game's performance, which is sad.

Ralizah

SwitchVogel

I appreciate the feedback and will be keeping this in mind for future reviews. Personally, I always try to make a point of mentioning performance or visuals in both modes, but there are few instances where I’ve felt it necessary to dedicate a whole paragraph to it. Basically, if there’s a noticeable difference in performance or looks (like Runner3’s undocked mode) I’ll highlight that in the review.

If there’s anything that you find lacking in a specific review, I’d encourage you to ask the question specifically in the comments under the article. We’re usually just an “@” away, and while I can’t speak for the rest of the team, I try to answer all questions asked by readers.

Another thing that I’d encourage you to do is to read other reviews. A wise man named Uncle Iroh once said “It is important to draw wisdom from many places. If you take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale.” Our publication’s opinion is far from the only one, and you’d do well to read what other professionals have to say before you go out and buy that game. It’s a given that you’ll come across new info if you keep reading, and you’ll also start spotting similar complaints or praises that help to solidify your perspective of the game’s quality.

Hope this helps.

Evisceratorloggery 4 out of 3 people are bad with fractions.

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ColePhelps1942

@SwitchVogel an incredibly dignified, diplomatic and polite response to a poorly written, ill-informed and disrespectful post.

A true touch of class. Well played, Sir!

ColePhelps1942

Shellcore

@SwitchVogel Perhaps a simple box under the banner which displays the resolution and frame rate for docked and undocked if possible. That way, if you didn't feel mentioning it in the review, you wouldn't have to. Such a strange consideration, but one I have seen increasingly become important. Not just with Switch, but also XB1X and PS4 Pro. Thanks for your response.

AlexOlney

@Shellcore Such stats are very difficult to determine. We don't have access to the source code and so have to resort to pixel-counting, which still isn't 100% accurate. As for the frame rate, that's an even tougher one to measure, and it's one of the reasons Digital Foundry have managed to make such a success of themselves. We have to do all of such analysis through captured footage to have any semblance of accuracy, and so it's little more than a glorified guessing game when it comes to portable mode as we can't capture in that instance.

Sometimes devs give us the info, but more often than not we're forced to resort to what few manual methods we have. It's a nice idea to be able to have resolution and fps so readily available for readers, but sadly it's by no means a simple process. And don't even get me started on dynamic resolutions

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meppi64

Daftbomb wrote:

I get fed up with the clickbait headlines,

This right here. That kind of stuff has become prevalent over the past year or so, perhaps longer.
Inflammatory headlines with little to no substance when it comes to an actual article, with tons of not only spelling and grammar mistaken, but quite often complete misinformation grabbed from Reddit or a random Twitter post. And when those things get pointed out, nothing is done to correct it.
Not gonna start naming names and throw certain people under the bus, but it's a big part of why I almost stopped reading anything on the front page.
There are still a few writers that turn in great content whenever they post an article, but these seem few and far between.

And I'm not a fan of most of the reviews anymore either, with a few notable exceptions.
Again, lots of this comes down to misrepresenting certain aspects of the game, or simply because they don't have a grasp on a certain genre, yet try to justify a certain score with statements that are either misleading at best of completely false at worst. Not saying this is being done due to a certain agenda or anything. It feels more like a lack of understanding while still trying to talk as an authority on something that they clearly don't fully grasp.
Like @DashKappei states as well, the technical side of the games gets ignored most likely due to a lack of understanding as well.

Now, I understand that not everyone can be a fan of all types of games, and that's fine.
So one person will like something, while someone else might end up hating it, that's just how it goes.
But when you deal with niche subjects, like pinball games, or old school arcade games (note, that there have been terrific reviews for these as well as horrible ones here), I feel that the least you can do is let someone with some good basic knowledge on the subject review there.
These might not be the easiest games to review when you look at how many people don't know anything at all about them.
So what do you do? Make someone who knows little about them and has only a passing interest in them review them for the masses that feel the same?
Or do you let someone who is passionate about them and has a far reaching history with them, review them, thus giving other fans of the genre some real insight into these titles?
I find option B to be the only choice here.
Sure lots of details might fly right over the heads of many casual fans, but at least you'll pick up some new people here and there that get their interest piqued when they see how deep something like this can go.
While others will completely ignore them as always.
Yet when someone reviews them from the viewpoint of the casual fan who doesn't care for this old stuff, you don't just alienate the actual fans of those games, or entire genre, instead you'll just reinforce those casuals fans original (and misguided) viewpoint that these games are a waste of time, just like they thought.

I know this example is a bit off topic, but the same logic can be applied to the technical side of things.
Many will just glance over the resolution and fps stuff, while others who are more sensitive to these things will get frustrated when they pick up a 8-9/10 game that they find riddles with technical problems that weren't covered in the review.

Guess I should stop rambling before I write another 6 pages...

meppi64

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Kimyonaakuma

I don't think the writers here make bad reviews but they certainly aren't always the best, it depends on the writer as some are better than others. But I think you're better off checking several reviews just to get a general idea, different reviewers might have different experiences with the game or be slightly biased.

I think the other articles have been of a lower quality recently, the amount of spelling and grammar issues has been a much more noticeable issue in recent months. Yes it's so bad it's entertaining but if you have readers are leaving comments with better English then that's slightly concerning!
There has also been more clickbait articles recently and one or two which have seem to be placeholders which are eventually updated. I know that it's probably not the easiest site to keep running and updated but you've managed to have it work better in the past, hopefully it will be fixed soon and isn't a permanent drop in quality!

Kimyonaakuma

Heavyarms55

@DashKappei Wow, okay sir, there's the door. Please leave. Go start your own site, or go find some other website that better suits your needs. Or please learn to make constructive criticism without all the rudeness and insults. NintendoLike is a fan site. It's not some big professional company with hundreds of thousands of pounds and a crack team of experts on hand to go over every release tooth and nail. I don't always agree with the opinions of their reviewers and I even do agree that some more technical information would be quite useful. But you can express that in a manner that is less condescending and rude. You are not paying for this content.

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Ark

DashKappei wrote:

framerate? Loading times? Portable mode concessions? Nope.
Well, surely it'll mention the resolution?! NOPE.
A whole lot of NOTHING.

These are the least important details a game review could ever offer in my opinion. They are more like a spec sheet or a PR release.

The background information in a review should be used to facilitate an opinion that is then backed by thoughtful analysis. Introduce a game's plot so that you can determine what it means and whether it is well-written, thereby offering insight that is uniquely valuable. Saying "Mario rescues Princess Peach" is good to know, but that information can be procured anywhere on the web. Instead, give me a couple paragraphs diving into how this plot's nuances are different and why that's good or bad.

Matters such as framerates and load times are dead-ends with objective answers, not to mention they can take considerable time to perform tests with depending on the type of game. In the end, authors would spend a game's review deadline procuring the same objective truth that anyone in the world could. Information that can be readily copy and pasted around by anyone who finds it, mind you. These topics have a very poor shelf life and in 10 years will have minimal value. Talking about the developer's vision and whether they managed to achieve it, though, is timeless and can be written in hundreds of different ways by different writers.

Questions about specs are better suited to a forum. Hit up Digital Foundry, play the demo, maybe watch a couple random gameplay videos. Besides, these days that information is threatened to become obsolete whenever a developer releases a new patch. The reviewer is not going to manually update every old review, nor should they. The internet is full of resources to answer objective questions.

I am more than satisfied when I read a review that says "the framerate is poorer than on system X, but it didn't affect my overall experience beyond this one thing". That sentence acknowledges the game has a flaw that I can read more about elsewhere and doesn't waste my time if I already know about it. There does not need to be more than one sentence about paper quality in a book review or the 3D effect in a movie review.

I'm not saying specs shouldn't ever be discussed, just that reviews shouldn't waste precious words telling you what is obvious with research.

Edited on by Ark

.

Seananigans

@Ark I cant disagree more. They're all important, portable mode concessions especially. That NEEDS to be in the review.

Seananigans

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Ark

That information is useful, absolutely. It's just better suited to a buyer's guide than a review. There's an important distinction.

.

Moroboshi876

What I'd like to know is what happened to ACA Neo Geo reviews. I can understand there is a lot of information to write about, and it's not the first time ACA Neo Geo reviews don't get published when the games are released, but now they just don't come. There have been several outings lately that haven't had any review. Not even in quiet days.

Did you guys notice it too?

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SwitchVogel

@Moroboshi876 To my knowledge, we had one guy who focused on covering most of those ACA releases, but I don't remember who it was or what happened with that. Which games specifically would you like to see reviewed? I've got a few games to get through first, but I'd be happy to give them a proper look.

My thought is that we've let that slip because of the sheer glut of new games coming out and those ACA games just got pushed back. Perhaps we could create a thread where fans request which ones they'd most like us to review?

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CroRock

SwitchVogel wrote:

Perhaps we could create a thread where fans request which ones they'd most like us to review?

That’s a great idea, please do that

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Heavyarms55

CroRock wrote:

SwitchVogel wrote:

Perhaps we could create a thread where fans request which ones they'd most like us to review?

That’s a great idea, please do that

I agree completely.

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Moroboshi876

@SwitchVogel Thanks for the answer! Well, as far as I know, the list of ACA Neo Geo games that have already been released but not reviewed is:

Super Sidekicks 2
Baseball Stars Professional
Top Player's Golf
Ninja Combat
Riding Hero
Super Sidekicks 3
The Last Blade 2

Of course it's a matter of backlog, that's what I thought. I just noticed at some point (and now we can establish it at May 10th) ACA Neo Geo games stopped being reviewed. I don't have a specific request, it was more of a question about the issue. But the suggestions are all good.

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