How do you use game reviews?

Anything to do with games at all.
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jawafour
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PostHow do you use game reviews?
by jawafour » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:29 am

I enjoy reading reviews and, nowdays, watching them, too. Beyond the hype and bluster pushed out by the publisher, I feel that they're a good way of building an impression of a game. They can build excitement and they can also deter.

Even so, the concept of a review is perhaps a little odd; particularly for entertainment. We all have differing tastes so why do we give value to someone else's viewpoint?

When weighing up a decision on buying a game, I don't assign as much importance to reviews as I used to. In the 80s I used to see maybe a couple of reviews of a game in magazines whereas now I have access to, say, fifty reviews online. With such a spread of reviews, the range of opinion often increases and it seems that you can find a "good" or "bad" perspective on virtually any game.

How do you use game reviews and what impact do they have on your purchases?

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by OrangeRKN » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:35 am

I'll check metacritic and read the summaries at the top and bottom ends to check for the general consensus - it's better as a collation of summaries than it is an average of scores. Tastes differ but you'll easily enough find out if the game runs at 5 FPS for example. More subjective opinions I can have a general idea if I'll agree or disagree because I know my own tastes.

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Met
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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Met » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:43 pm

I don't. Game reviewers are too spread out to actually get a solid bite out of a game, and are notorious for being terribly misinformed. It might be elitist, but you don't go to the BBC for scientific research, because they frankly don't know what they're talking about. Just like you don't go to the likes of Polygon for an opinion on Doom.

There will be the occasional person who focuses on a certain genre and so has a finer understanding of how each game sits amongst its peers, but then you have to hope that they value the same things as you.

Overall there's just too much to wade through to get an opinion that actually means something, and then it's completely different game by game. So it's not worth it.

I feel better off just making my own judgements.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Mommy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:43 pm

As long as it had a Crash Smash, I was happy.
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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Kriken » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:29 pm

I don't read reviews at all anymore. Not because I don't trust them - I just don't find them interesting.

I take a similar approach to OR. I go on metacritic and skim the summaries. Get a general impression of the game. Look at gameplay and look up impressions of the game, maybe compared to similar other ones I'm familiar with - and of course if it's a new game, I'll probably already be seeing those impressions everywhere like on my twitter feed.

I've seen a fair few video reviews I've enjoyed, but it's often just because I enjoy content from the creator and want to hear what they have to say. Years ago I used to get an issue of ONM and read it front-to-back for a similar purpose. Not just for the information but because I enjoyed reading them. Nowadays I find video reviews more palatable.

I don't think the concept of a review is odd. Reviews are a necessary part of holding the quality of games to account. Up to people to decide how much they trust reviews/opinions from certain sources though.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Pedz » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:44 pm

I don't bother with reviews. Well, I sometimes watch an Easy Allies review of a game I have played.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Clarkman » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:36 pm

Feel I go in the opposite direction to others in the thread.

I pay a lot of attention to reviews and hold off buying new releases (though there are a few exceptions) until I've read/watched a few reviews.

The majority of the time my personal rating doesn't deviate from the Metacritic score by more than 10% either side.

Reviews allow me to look past all the bs marketing and see how a game plays and what its influences are. They're the most nuanced tool for comparison and the best barometre for taste.

Sites I respect most are EasyAllies and Eurogamer.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Abacus » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:19 pm

Well, I'm going to go even further there against the concensus, and say that I not only use reviews all the time, but also enjoy them whether I agree with them or not. In fact sometimes most if I don't, if only to work out why.

I don't think I've ever bought a game without at least googling "X game review" first, even for a £1 bargain e-shop game, when there's usually only one person who has bought it before on some random website. If only because it might help me avoid a total stinker, or because I'm going to buy it anyway and will want to compare my opinion to theirs later.

There was a good point by Met earlier about how reviews tend to be done by generalists rather than specialists who actually know their subject. And I couldn't disagree more with that as well.

Often specialists are the worst people to review a game, because they are so locked into their own prejudices and expectations, rather than someone that understands the general form and can step back to explain simply if something is fun. Some people will never accept an FPS or an RPG in a certain style and can write paragraphs on why it doesn't live up to their ideal, whilst you back away from their descriptive halitosis.

Also, 'reviews' is a very general term. Do you mean professional reviews, reviews from the likes of metacritic or other aggregators, reviews from fellow gamers, or reviews from the likes of Amazon? I genuinely tend to use them all, and all for quite different purposes.

What I don't do any more is listen to previews, or get involved with hype or, perhaps more sadly, pre game excitement. There are too many games for any normal human, and I only have time to seive the gold nuggets out as and when they arrive. I almost don't care what's coming out next week. I've got too many decisions this week

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Tomous » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:25 pm

Clarkman wrote:Feel I go in the opposite direction to others in the thread.

I pay a lot of attention to reviews and hold off buying new releases (though there are a few exceptions) until I've read/watched a few reviews.

The majority of the time my personal rating doesn't deviate from the Metacritic score by more than 10% either side.

Reviews allow me to look past all the bs marketing and see how a game plays and what its influences are. They're the most nuanced tool for comparison and the best barometre for taste.

Sites I respect most are EasyAllies and Eurogamer.



This echoes my feelings.

Simply put, I don’t have enough time for gaming not to use reviews to guide my purchases.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Dual » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:29 pm

Tomous wrote:
Clarkman wrote:Feel I go in the opposite direction to others in the thread.

I pay a lot of attention to reviews and hold off buying new releases (though there are a few exceptions) until I've read/watched a few reviews.

The majority of the time my personal rating doesn't deviate from the Metacritic score by more than 10% either side.

Reviews allow me to look past all the bs marketing and see how a game plays and what its influences are. They're the most nuanced tool for comparison and the best barometre for taste.

Sites I respect most are EasyAllies and Eurogamer.



This echoes my feelings.

Simply put, I don’t have enough time for gaming not to use reviews to guide my purchases.


This is me

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Abacus » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 am

I will happily listen to reviews from YouTubers that post a lot about games. I think they generally like games, even if from time to time they have to write a 'sensational' headline saying why something is the best / worst game they've ever played for clicks and so on. With the ones I like, I think they just do the clickbait headline and then explain themselves quite well.

I buy Edge every month, and I'll happily buy something they recommend strongly if it's on a system I own.

I'll also listen to people on here, and buy stuff they recommend cos, y'know they're just saying what they think. I just bought that Sega Virtual Racing game because Ad7 raved on about it, for example, as I get the impression he cares about this hobby. So yes, reviews are important, and sometimes they even make me change my opinion, when they argue it well enough.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by gamerforever » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:11 am

I used to love collecting magazines and reading reviews and trusted them, then came internet reviews and i still relied on them for a while.

Now, i just cannot trust any of them and might hover the scores, but even then i don’t feel games are properly reviewed or play tested.

If its a franchise i like i will likely get it, but if its a new franchise i would rather hear the opinion of gamers on forums than of reviewers.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Preezy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:06 pm

I only really pay attention to a review if it's clear a game is very buggy or have graphical/performance issues. For stuff like story, characters or whether or not the gameplay is fun - that's far more subjective and can't be relied upon, everyone has their own tastes and biases.

Having said that, if a game is getting high review scores across the board then I'll probably be more likely to buy it as opposed to one that's getting low-to-average scores.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Drumstick » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:19 pm

This is what I do:

1) I don't buy a game on release day (unless it's something like Zelda or Odyssey and it's sure to be incredible)
2) I monitor scores on Metacritic and then lastly (pay attention, because this is the most important step)
3) I read the impressions/opinions of users on GRcade that I've known for years

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Rapidly-Greying » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:57 pm

Mommy wrote:As long as it had a Crash Smash, I was happy.
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Your Sinclair was a great magazine.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Garth » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:11 pm

I don't really put much weight in them now, I tend to read forum impressions more. Now that I have Game Pass as well I expect I'll have even less need for them as I can try a lot of stuff for myself without any great expense.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by IAmTheSaladMan » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:28 pm

I used to follow reviews religiously but now not so much. I’m 35 and I’ve been gaming about as long as I can remember I think by now I have a good idea of what I’ll like and what I won’t.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by VlaSoul » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:54 pm

I used to follow them a lot as an early teen but these days I'll just check them out if I'm unsure on a game before I buy it

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by Moggy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:14 pm

I used to love videogame magazines, but I cancelled my Edge subscription a few years ago and since then I haven’t read any of them.

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PostRe: How do you use game reviews?
by IAmTheSaladMan » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:32 pm

I bought the official Nintendo magazine and NGC during the GameCube era then in the 360, PS3 and Wii generation I often bought all 3 official mags and at least one unofficial mag for each system every month. Right now I couldn't even tell you when I last bought a games magazine.

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