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How to review a videogame

Posted September 19th, 2013 at 08:12 PM by Cygnus

There are various elements to reviewing games that have to be considered, since reviewing is actually no easy task. Reviewers for gaming companies (like this one) do not get a huge pay, and the job may be overwhelming when you get 3 days to finish a 30+ hours RPG, and that is not the end of it, then you need to write a full review of the game, and after that move on to the next game. Of course, some do this casually like many youtube users out there, which is much more relaxing yet it cannot be a full job. Now if you still are interested in doing it there are many things to consider and know meanwhile criticizing a game. Also, this blog is more oriented towards journalistic and more serious reviews, the comedic reviews can be different just for the purpose of laughter.

One of the most important things to know when reviewing a game is to judge the game for what it is, not for what it should be. I'll use the example of the Silent Hill franchise, Silent Hill: Homecoming was supposed to be a horror game, but it did not have the effect it's predecessors had. Yet I personally liked it, why is that? Because it had a good atmosphere, a main character that has a place in my heart, and good combat. It is a good action game with horror elements, it should be a horror game but it is not and there is nothing that can be done. Let us use another title of the same franchise Silent Hill: Downpour, the game had a massive focus on action, which diminished the atmosphere, it had an uninteresting story, and clunky gameplay. It is a mediocre action and a mediocre horror game, and that is why I did not enjoy it.

The next thing to consider is to not use words like "good" or "bad," since these very words are not specific and can be misleading. Be specific when talking about a game, describe it in detail so the reader or viewer has a good idea about the game, then give your opinion about the game. Saying that a game looks good but lacks polish does not give the viewer a clear idea about the game. Try to not contradict yourself either, since this will be highly misleading and might lead to harsh responses.

Now this is a thing that many discuss and I will give my opinion on it, giving a score. Many review companies give numerical scores, and the more casual reviewers seem to not be doing that. Numerical scores can be very misleading since if a game gets a 7 out of 10 many people will not give it a chance and might miss out on something wonderful. I personally believe that quality reviews should present the facts, let the person have an idea about the game, and then let the viewers or readers decide for themselves if the reviewed game is worth their time.

Also, and this is for both the reviewers and the ones viewing it, every review is an opinion, and there is no wrong opinion, many games have drastically different critiques by different reviewers, Final Fantasy XIII for example was both hated and loved by many, and both sides are just expressing an opinion, which is completely valid. That is why, as I mentioned before, scores can be misleading since Final Fantasy XIII got some 8.5 and 9 out of 10 scores and that probably led to many people buying and not enjoying after.

I hope I have given you, educated reader, an idea on what reviewing games is, and should be like. What are your thoughts and/or questions? Leave your comments below.
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