I need a little help from my friends.
I started reviewing video games way before I got a job writing video game news and feature articles for Gameranx. I bought games the day it was released and wrote about what I thought on my personal blog and sometimes I would compare notes with friends during a podcast. I always envied the journalists who got their favorite video game copies for free and way ahead of everyone else. Fast forward to two years after I started my blog, I’m now being paid to write about topics I’m interested in.
The first game I ever reviewed was an iPad game. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it was a start and I’m grateful for it. It was also given to me for free so I really shouldn’t be complaining. I used to just sit and wait for my editor to assign me a review. I was growing impatient and I decided that I should be more pro-active. I started volunteering and even calling dibs on specific titles. It was risky because I didn’t want to be out of line. However, I learned that everything should be fine as long as I wasn’t an asshole about it.
I reviewed two games this month. The first was Bound by Flame by Spiders and I gave it a 5/10. I was able to play the game in advance and for free on the PC and the PlayStation 4. It was a surreal and awesome experience since it was a step up from mobile games. The last one was Watch Dogs by Ubisoft and you can imagine how psyched I was for that. You could imagine how excited I was telling my family and friends that I’m reviewing a AAA game without breaking any embargo policies. It was also nice to talk to other people who are reviewing the game in advance about their thoughts. We would actually predict and imagine how people would react to the game once it came out.
So, why do I need your help? It’s simple, I’m not perfect and I want to improve my skill on reviewing games in the future. Hopefully, I’ll be able to review all of the games that I’m interested in. I want to do right by the website I’m working for and its readers by delivering reviews that people enjoy. You guys are my audience. What do you like or dislike about reviews? What hooks you in? These are just some of the questions I want to ask you guys and I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments section.
I’ve noticed some video game websites have long ass reviews that are longer than the papers I write in college. To be honest, I normally skim through reviews and just skip to the bullet points and final grade. Do you guys actually read a review if it’s insanely long? Don’t factor in how good or bad the review is. Just imagine seeing a really long page with blocks of text. Is it better to be extremely thorough and long or short yet substantive?
I’m also interested in knowing if people prefer text or video reviews. IGN does both which is cool since I usually watch the video and I read the text version if I want it more in-depth.
The language of the review is also important to consider. Some people like objective reviews while others like it conversational. I know that there isn’t a right answer to this, but I’m still interested to hear why you would prefer one over the other.
I personally enjoy brief and concise reviews especially if I’m using it to help me decide if I should get this video game or not. However, I do like them a bit more in-depth if I’ve already played the game and I’m searching for another opinion. I don’t think they should be too long though because sometimes it’s unnecessary. It’s nice to know about it, but the review could live without it. I also prefer being more conversational because I easily get bored with formal language and technical mumbo jumbo.
So, how do you like your reviews? If you have the time to check out the reviews I linked, I would really appreciate it.