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How to make the Perfect Review

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Maybe its just me, but of late I have been grossly disatisfied with how reviews are done in most games. Ther eis just a consistent inconsistency that I find very troubling. And no game seems to be reviewed exactly to its own merits and strenghts but rather compared to other games that are in a similar genre. As if being more like something else is recommended.

I find points being knocked off for things that to me actually make sense or for things that in another game were praised. I see multiplayer focused games getting reviews either on the same day of release or a few days later when in truth such games probably need like 2 weeks of play to truly explore and review properly.

Simply put, I do not trust reviewers anymore. Especially when I can pretty much tell you which games will get a good review and which will get a bad review before they ae even reviewed.  Bloodborne, will get 9s and 10s across the board, The order will get 7s and 8s. Halo:MCC will get 8s and 9s or 10s. Quantum break will get 8s and be unfairly categorized as an uncharted clone....etc. 

So how do you make a good game review? Well, I suggest a complete media blackout by the reviewer. The reviewer basically should not have seen anything about the game at all until the day he/she sits down to make said review. No screenshots, forum posts, interviews, previews, demos...nothing. That way the reviewer goes into the game having absolutely no preformed idea of what to expect or not expect. I also suggest that reviews are done based on how the game is designed. If the game has a heavy online component, then the review should not be made till the reviewer has actually spent a lot of time online. Case in point, the kotaku review of destiny is the best one out there cause they actually invested their time in the game. 

What do you guys think? And yeah I know most agree that reviews from mainline publications are generally untrustworthy, but I am just talking about how best to review games.. I am strongly considering creating a website that is free game related marketing or handouts and just purly made for gamers by the gamers. Where we can have lie 3 actual gamers make a review for a game and score it. A neutral, a hardcore fan of the series/genre and someone that hates the series/genre.



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Not sure but i know how to get one, send a bag with $800 worth of crap in it to the reviewer and pay people to say nice things about it.



Intrinsic said:

 That way the reviewer goes into the game having absolutely no preformed idea of what to expect or not expect.

I also suggest that reviews are done based on how the game is designed. If the game has a heavy online component, then the review should not be made till the reviewer has actually spent a lot of time online.


If the dude goes into the game without knowing anything, why would you force him to spend a lot of time online in the hypothetical case the reviewer in case does not like multiplayer/does not enjoy this online mode in particular?

 

No thing such as a perfect review because:

 

a) Journalists strive to reach objectivism, but such definition cannot be achieved.

b) Whatever they write is up to their public's judgment.



Bullsrun said:
Not sure but i know how to get one, send a bag with $800 worth of crap in it to the reviewer and pay people to say nice things about it.

sometimes just a bag of doritos will get the job done too



A good reviewer needs to do three things:

1) NOT pay attention to media before the game's release or other reviews to keep an open mind
2) Play the game, then form a preliminary opinion
3) Read other reviews before posting, to see what criticisms or comments you agree with you missed.

A review also needs something better than a number at the end; it needs a RECOMMENDED ACTION. A game which is great for series fans might be terrible for mainstream players and vice versa. The best formula I've seen was done by the now defunct Blistered Thumbs, where they gave the game a numeric value of how the reviewer personally liked it embedded in one of four recommendation graphics; "Avoid," "For Fans Only," "Try it Out" and "Buy it Now!"

Each of these recommendations also had its own color, so you could tell at a glance a blue score meant "Try it Out" and it would be a great buy if you saw it in a bargain bin, even if the score was 2/ 10. It was a fantastic setup which let reviewers admit their own biases and make solid recommendations at the same time.

Shame BT folded back into TGWTG.



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There's no such thing as a perfect review.

1. Humans are imperfect beings. An imperfect being can't create anything perfect in the truest sense of the word. Perfection means absolutely no mistakes. However, the things we make that are called "perfect", such as a "perfect chocolate cake" or a "perfect vacation" are subject to our opinions, biases and background. The reviewer's definition of "perfect" might include flying tennis balls with hair growing out of them but your definition might be tennis balls without hair. There's nothing we can do to reconcile that.

2. If I'm having a bad day, everything's suddenly bad as well. I can't even enjoy my favorite steak right after I step on dog poo. You'll curse the things you liked yesterday if today just sucks. The reviewer may have been rejected by his girl when he tried to initiate sex last night so he gave a good game a poor review.

3. Similarly, if I'm having a good day, everything's suddenly good as well. Even the shittiest food is enjoyable when you're sitting in front of a girl with huge boobs that are ready to pop out of her blouse. The reviewer may have been writing his review right at that moment and he was too distracted to say anything bad about a bad game.

4. Humans are easily influenced by outside forces such as money, fame, sexual favors, violent threats, puppy dog eyes, etc. These things are far more important than that useless abstract notion of "journalistic integrity". Nobody cares about that shit when there's $5,000 in front of me telling me to say something's good. I'd say my mother is the greatest cook in the world because she fed me every day for 25 years, not because she really is.

5. Games are just pieces of entertainment. There are so many genres and you can't really put one scoring system to rule them all. It's ridiculous to even try. It's like using basketball's scoring system in soccer (101 LA Lakers - 3 Real Madrid). All we're doing is trying to encourage sales based on who paid the reviewer or whether he/she likes violence over cuddly teddy bears.

So no, perfect reviews are impossible. Not even close.



There is no such thing as a perfect review. That's a subjective call about a subjective medium. Yes, a review should have as much objectivity as possible, in my opinion, but the entirety of the review is still going to be subjective.

That being said, I actually like the idea of the reviewer going in blind. The "hype" factor many people are throwing around, for example, is completely ridiculous. No game ever should get a lower score for being "hyped". Whenever I read someone cite "hype", my opinion of their opinion immediately drops several notches.

Unfortunately, a media blackout for reviews is simply not practical. That would mean that reviewers could not be writers or reporters on a regular basis, which would mean a much larger staff. I don't see that happening.

All we can really do, as consumers, is to qualify which reviewers we trust. We can isolate elements that we will and won't accept. We can compare reviews to see if something is off. We can contrast the opinions of a reviewer with our own regarding older games.

For example, I used to be a loyal follower of Destructoid and I remember reading Jim Sterling's reviews (KZ3 10/10, Deadly Promition 10/10, Kirby's Epic Yarn 9.5/10) and wondering what the hell this guy was smoking. When that happens, you just mentally cross that person off your "trusted" list and move on; on the other hand, someone else might agree with those scores and consider him the best reviewer ever.

It's about as an inaccurate science as you can get.



Just review yourself the game for you.

There is no better review than your own review.



Wright said:
Intrinsic said:

 That way the reviewer goes into the game having absolutely no preformed idea of what to expect or not expect.

I also suggest that reviews are done based on how the game is designed. If the game has a heavy online component, then the review should not be made till the reviewer has actually spent a lot of time online.


If the dude goes into the game without knowing anything, why would you force him to spend a lot of time online in the hypothetical case the reviewer in case does not like multiplayer/does not enjoy this online mode in particular?

 

No thing such as a perfect review because:

 

a) Journalists strive to reach objectivism, but such definition cannot be achieved.

b) Whatever they write is up to their public's judgment.

Couldn't disagree more. Journalist strive to enjoy their work and having litle hassle doing it. 99% don't give a crap about being objective, has long as people like the review (pandering to the audience) and publishers keep advertising on the website (pandering to the publisher), most of them coundn't care less. They're only professional in the way that they get payed to do the job.



Gamer do not exist in a vacuum so why should reviews? Public perception is largely based on expectations and past experiences. In reviewing games in a way which takes these things into account, the reviews will be more tailored to their target audience (people who play a decent amount of games and care enough to visit game sites).

I think that the perception of reviews need to change just as much as the reviews themselves. People need to realize that reviews are a persons professional opinion, and as such hold some bias and personal factors. That is not really a negative per se, it just needs to be kept in mind.

As for the perfect review, look up the extra credits episode on game reviews....they discuss some of the problems with modern reviews and how to move forward. Basically it boils down to better review mechanics instead of eliminating bias (if i remember correctly)