How to review a game?
Yeah, that’s right is a simple question. It’s a question that gets overlooked on a lot of gaming sites. Before working here at Beer and Joysticks I wrote for let’s just say some other gaming sites, I’m sure some of you have been to a few of them.
Here are some of my experiences based other sites I have written for and then we’ll get on to the correct way how to review a game.
You get what you get.
One site in particular that I wrote for on a regular basis said that all games had a minimum of two weeks play time before a review was written. That’s great, but in reality they didn’t even care if you played the game at all. They just wanted to be the first to get a review out.
At another gaming site I was told what the review score was before I even played the game, but that was the score I had to use for my review. That was a little weird! When I asked why I would do that, I was told you do that or you don’t get paid for the review. That’s when I decided that I didn’t need to write anything there anymore.
A marketing joke?
I have a long running joke that kind of goes like this you are rushed to create a review. After the review is written the marketing department goes over it and edits anything negative so that the game company will continue to advertise on the site.
Is it really like that or just a joke? Well I have seen article and reviews get changed both ways, I think a couple of times I have seen them changed to make the game sound worse. Not sure if that was because we were advertising a rival game or not.
To me that is unethical and fraudulent. I do not employ methods like this here at Beer and Joysticks.
The right way to review a game!
I can simplify this in one line without any fluff. Tell the truth!
If the truth hurts to a game developer or game company then there in the wrong business.
I normally play a lot of a game before even trying to write anything down. Then I restart the game from the start and start taking notes as I play it through again. I don’t like sugar-coating anything if it’s bad I say why it’s bad. Is there something that could be changed to make it better, I always try to add a solution if possible!
I take a lot of notes while playing and that is where the meat of my review comes from. I don’t like missing any of the details so I keep my finger near the pause button at all times.
Reviewing games isn’t the easy thing to do, you must balance giving out as much detail without spoiling the game for the reader and be honest about what you have experienced in the game. If you follow that you will be a great game reviewer and you will keep people coming back to your site.
That’s just my two cents on how to review a game!
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