This is something I am rather curious about, for it is amazing how diverse and critical game reviews are…that is…game reviews written by the players, not the critics and what not.
I personally don’t care about others opinions on games, but I browse through reviews to get a general gist of what the game is like, and most importantly, in terms of PC games, if there are frequent crashes and other errors on certain OS’ and such.
The reviews vary from short and sweet to big drawn out, extremely detailed stories.
The short ones essentially say… “Fun game” or “Do not buy” where as the long ones just tell you everything you will experience from beginning to end with no spoilers.
I find it best not to take any review seriously, for they are that person’s opinion, and therefore one must be aware that yours will likely differ on more than a few matters. It is because of this that I quite often buy games with bad reviews, and I usually wind up enjoying them in the same way I sometimes hate highly praised games…it’s all up to what you think, so I never look at reviews for movies or pretty much anything in the entertainment biz.
But gamers are so critical on games. Many expect every game to be AAA masterpieces and if it isn’t then they tear it to shreds. This even goes for obvious, low budgeted games that couldn’t possibly stand a chance against Call of Duty, Mario or Halo and the likes.
The first thing most gamers mention is graphics. I stop reading a review at this point and try another one. To me, graphics should not even be mentioned. I get that it is the most obvious thing to start with because it is really what you see first, but a game is meant to be played, so shouldn’t the review focus on how the game plays? I want to know if it is fun, not how pretty it is. And I’ve seen plenty of great games get murdered online by gamers due to poor graphics. This makes no sense to me.
Length is another one people gripe about. I understand if you spend 50-60 bucks on a game, you want a good investment of time to justify the purchase, but again, these low budget developers who make games for under 10 bucks that give you 3-5 hours of gameplay are always ripped to shreds. Gamers need to understand that not everything is going to live up to your favorite, high budget AAA title, and given the huge diversity in development teams and funds, reviews should really only answer one thing…is the game fun?
That is all we need to know. Does it work, is it playable, is it fun. That’s that. It’s okay if they briefly mention some other things, but the meat should be all about how fun it is, and no, bad graphics, a poorly written story and bad voice acting don’t take away from the fun of a game, just the overall quality…though speaking of bad voice acting, I’m not sure what people consider good voice acting, because literally every game I have ever seen has been criticized for bad voice acting. There is just no pleasing people…
If gamers adjust their expectations, I feel they would enjoy games a lot more frequently and thus avoid steering other gamers away from potentially good games. After all, I am usually pleasantly surprised by games that have terrible reviews.
But anyway, this is all just my opinion, just like game reviews. Other people may want different things out of reviews, and if graphics are really what makes games fun for someone, than who am I to tell them differently?
The point of a review is to state your opinion and experience of the game, so naturally all of them should be taken with a grain of salt as they say.
Lastly, while we are on the subject of opinions, I must say how I am constantly under attack because my opinions differ from that which the majority of people feel. This goes for things outside of video games as well. I have been told many times that I am stupid or this or that because I wrote a review or voiced my opinion and then I’m told something along the lines of “The rest of the world likes this, so why would you even consider it being bad?”
This gets me every time. So because the rest of the world likes it, I have no choice but to fall in line? And the sad part is, there are countless people that do. It’s baffling how afraid people are of stepping outside of the “in” circle. It makes me wonder how many people actually like something or are just trying to fit in with everyone else.
But I think I’m getting a bit too deep into this. These are my thoughts, and I’m just curious what other people look for in reviews or what they put into their own.