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Most important thing in a game review

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#1
Hi all!
I wanted to ask about the most important thing when it comes to a game review.
Normally i want to know it because of my website, cuz am starting making reviews.
Any ideas? opinions? What would u like to see in a game review, whats the most important point of it?
 

Kreij

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#2
In my humble opinion, objectivity is the most important trait of a good game review.
I don't care if the reviewer liked it or not, or thinks it's a masterpiece/disaster, I just want to know the facts.
I've yet to ever find an unbiased review and I probably never will as the "gaming experience" is a highly subjective thing based on individual tastes and they always feel the need to include it.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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#3
Fun factor.
 
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#4
Hi,

Well, I would like to see a second opinion (or even a third one), because I read/see too many relatively good games being shot down because some flaws. So a second opinion may balance out such review by giving the reader a different view and opinion about that game.
 
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#5
99% game reviewers didn't play the game and even worse ... they have no idea about the series (if it's huge series and not just one single game). They just pick one game and say that it sucks/rocks. It's also annoying that they always compare games which ain't meant to be compared.

For example all those IGN reviews ain't worth a wooden nickel. Anyway I no longer care about reviews. If I like the game I play it if not I chuck it.
 
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#6
do it honestly and be thorough do not be like the pros when reviewing the games because alot have become biased and this is why

when a company like gamespot reviews a game they go to the publisher and the publisher(or vice versa) obviously wants a good score so the game looks good and start talking about ads with gamespot(to make money), and you will see ads everywhere for a certain game and that game NEVER gets a bad score, if it did then the publisher and their advertisers would not come back to gamespot(hence loss of money), this is why you will sometimes see certain games you know suck but get epicly bad scores on most review sites and then you see that good score out of nowhere.

and its not only gamespot doing this as said above IGN is even worst now with this than gamespot
 
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#7
I hate IGN too, dont even like the website.
It terrifies me how many games are in there and even those who will get published.
I don't like the idea but i think they get payed a lot.
Thanks for the cents :)
 

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#8
I guess the best thing to do for your site, Alek, is to set up metrics on how you will be gauging any given game. Stick to the metrics for your analysis, so that each game is assessed by the same process (like W1zz does GPU reviews). If someone questions your review (and they will), you can point them to the metrics and have some real data to counter their (usually flaming) posts.

Then just be honest, and have fun. :)
 
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#9
An example of a new method in rating a game:
- If it is arcade (i.e. MW3, NFS), fun factor is 30% of the final rating, graphic and sound 25%, original idea 15%, replayability 15%, technical aspect (bugs, controls) 15%.
- If it is a sim (i.e. ARMA2, rFactor), realistic behaviour takes 30%, durability 20%, original idea 20%, graphic and sound 15%, technical aspect (bugs, controls) 15%.
- If it is a puzzle game, original idea 30%, fun factor 30%, replayability 25%, graphic and sound 15%.

Every genre has different expectations from the people who like it. Of course it might happen that a game blends nicely arcade and sim characteristics (i.e. BF3). There might be confusing to rate it, but you may give two ratings for everyone to choose.
 
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#10
to me its the reviewer, i mean i have read many reviews online and they have raved on about this or that, and when i have then gone and bought the game i was like, meh its just a rip off of, or a reskin of..

i trust the opinion of a few of my mates more than these "pros" as they aint gamers but they are journalists, they got the job based on their writing skills and not because they are expert gamers.

i would rather a game review said, game x 9/10, plays just like game y which i enjoy than a 15 page essay on all the pr bumf they get sent with new games. i mean shit i see all that too with the games pr machine running around the net/tv/mags these days.

give me your honest opinion on what the game is, how it plays and what it plays like. maybe how demanding it is on your system, i dont need or want all the rest of the bs they do tbh.
 

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#11
give me your honest opinion on what the game is, how it plays and what it plays like. maybe how demanding it is on your system, i dont need or want all the rest of the bs they do tbh.
This is what I too stated in post #2.

For instance, I am no fan of shooters so I would not be a good judge of the subjective measures of the game (fun factor). But then again, if you have a shooter fan review the game will he be biased because he loves shooters?
 
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#12
Where's the difference between being honest and biased? Is biased person automatically means that person is not honest? Makes no sense to me. If someone is biased they truly believe in their own opinion and hence they're honest, at least they think that they are.
 

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#13
I don't recall anyone saying that having a bias makes you dishonest in you feelings about something.
We all have biases, it's part of being human (or sub-human in the case of some TPU members. :D )
 
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#14
Graphics are the most important factor, obviously.
 

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#15
Graphics are the most important factor, obviously.
So the game could last 5 minutes and it would be a good game because it has the best graphics?

I've always thought that story and game play are more important. Good graphics is just a plus.

I don't play Minecraft because it looks awesome, that's for sure. :p
 
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#16
Aquinus said:
I've always thought that story and game play are more important.
Indeed, the most important thing is the gameplay. And the funny thing is nobody even knows what that word means lol. Word "gameplay" is way too broad. It's subjective. It can be anything: interesting aspects of the game; things that make you addictive; elements that make the game look immersive; impressive, atmospheric and realistic scenes; environment; spectacular, standout and memorable moments; enemy/ally AI; soundtrack/voice acting/audio; realism/surrealism; game style and so on. It's all playing its part in the gameplay.

The other important part is the story. Unfortunately many games have cliche hollywood stories about aliens, zombies, nazies or they have no plot at all. Of course I'd never play games like battlefield or farmville.

And finally the other important thing is length and difficulty. I hate short linear games or games full of hints. It just an insult thrown at players' intelligence.

Things like controls, UI and HUD don't bother me much. But games full of cutscenes, useless dialoges and other mediocre crap are extremely annoying.
 

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#17
Indeed, the most important thing is the gameplay. And the funny thing is nobody even knows what that word means lol. Word "gameplay" is way too broad. It's subjective. It can be anything: interesting aspects of the game; things that make you addictive; elements that make the game look immersive; impressive, atmospheric and realistic scenes; environment; spectacular, standout and memorable moments; enemy/ally AI; soundtrack/voice acting/audio; realism/surrealism; game style and so on. It's all playing its part in the gameplay.
I agree with you completely, Drone, and what you list as making up gameplay are not mutually exclusive. In many games you can have one (ie. immersion) without the other (super impressive graphics). It's all completely subjective.

The other important part is the story. Unfortunately many games have cliche hollywood stories about aliens, zombies, nazies or they have no plot at all. Of course I'd never play games like battlefield or farmville.
Plot and fun do not always go hand-in-hand either. There are quite a few tower defense games that have a very shallow plot but are stupidly addictive and if they do the strategy/tactics right they are loads of fun.

And finally the other important thing is length and difficulty. I hate short linear games or games full of hints. It just an insult thrown at players' intelligence.
Some of the very short indie games have fantastic deep and introspective stories.
Games full of hints are just catering to those who do not wish to invest any intellectual time into the game, and yes, it is rather insulting to those who do, isn't it.

Things like controls, UI and HUD don't bother me much. But games full of cutscenes, useless dialoges and other mediocre crap are extremely annoying.
UI and HUD only matters to me if it's so bad it completely kills the immersion in the game.
Cutscenes are a great way to move story to the next step or section of a game, but they are many times used as a crutch for not putting the story in the game in the first place.

Great discussion, by the way ... and thanks for keeping it civil all. :toast:

BTW : I think that what people have been posting about what they like/dislike in games, gives Alek a good idea on some of the aspects he should take into consideration when reviewing a game and not just off-topic banter.
 
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#18
gameplay, controls, storyline and length of game. Nowadays Length of game is most important to me, i don't want to spend over $70 for a game i finish in 2 days
 
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#19
This is what I too stated in post #2.

For instance, I am no fan of shooters so I would not be a good judge of the subjective measures of the game (fun factor). But then again, if you have a shooter fan review the game will he be biased because he loves shooters?
yea man, but as a fan of fps games i would value another fps players opinion more than yours as an rts player(eg idk what you like) thats what i mean.

come out and say, i like to play x, y, z and this game is very much akin to y and z so dont buy it if you only like x.

its about being open and honest, if you tell me you think its like x tell me why, what it is you think reminds you of the other game and if it improves or falls short of the title its trying to emulate.
 
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#20
Kreij said:
shallow plot but are stupidly addictive and if they do the strategy/tactics right they are loads of fun.
Yes I know that. But I never play games just for the sake of time killing and I don't care about scores/achievements either. I always try to find something new even in games I played for so many times. Thankfully games like Deus Ex, No One Lives Forever, Drakan allow to do that. Even few minutes of gameplay is already orgasmic.

Some of the very short indie games have fantastic deep and introspective stories.
Could you list some of them? Because I don't know or didn't play such games. I can't see how deep story can be fit in a short game :confused:

Cutscenes are a great way to move story to the next step or section of a game, but they are many times used as a crutch for not putting the story in the game in the first place.
Many games just shove cutscenes for the sake of it, just to brag about their engine and fx. I think it's great when player unveils everything all by him/herself. It's much better and when cutscenes are used only for showing important events or some cool vista.
Because it's really awesome when players need to use their brains and eyes to solve a puzzle or kill a boss or for proper spacing/timing of some tricky jump or something. Automatism and monotony are really bad for the gameplay. Everything has to be natural, at least look natural. Braindead button tapping won't get anyone anywhere.


Yes I like such discussions where you can see what people say and where you can say a thing or two as well. It'd be even better if that mattered for game devs but yeah lol it doesn't :D
 
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#21
And finally the other important thing is length and difficulty. I hate short linear games or games full of hints. It just an insult thrown at players' intelligence.
This is exactly what i think. Anyway, like all said and suggested, its totally based on what the reviewer likes and what game is he reviewing. I will always make honest reviews, since i dont get any money from them :)

Still, a reviewer i don't think will like to review all games, while splitting up the word gameplay, this is why it has become so general.

Overall, a game needs at least 3 or 4 components.
 
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#22
The most important thing in any video game review is honesty.

It banes me to read a biased review, But bias is something that makes a review worth reading. Without bias it's impossible to find a reviewer with similar ideals of how anything should work and then evaluate what they have written so you have more power to make an evaluation. Honesty is key because of someone who writes reviews suddenly changes that bias to make a game appear better than it is then you can loose all faith in a review system.

The real key is reviewers ability to stick to their own opinion. It's far too easy to pay someone to write a good independent review, Getting someone established as a reviewer to give you a good review however can be a lot harder. This does not mean games should pander to a core of reviewers, and go out of there way to impress these people. In fact a good reviewers bias should be solely based upon opening a game as a fresh product, With little or no bias from other games already in existence. This never happens. It does however give a solid starting point when reading reviews, as if a review constantly links to other titles then they probably have a very limited understanding of the actual product, and are not reviewing it but linking similarities. The best reviews always take extra time to include sections about the game experience as a whole as well, Not just failures and good points. And extra time to actually have multiple people add opinions within the review to help eliminate company and title bias.
 
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