View Full Version : Reviewing games that you like

18-10-2002, 08:09:52
Shining1 mentioned this recently, and the issue's been around for a while...

I realised that so far i haven't done anything but review games and say 'this is the best blah blah blah on this console blah blah blah' and i felt a little embarrassed about it :o

But i think that there are three reasons why games reviews on cg are likely to go this way

1) none of us are professional reviewers (no shit) so why waste our vauable personal (or work) time writing about something we don't like.

2) maybe we all have great taste but generally i expect most CGers are likely me and are only likely to buy/play games that we know we are going to get a lot of enjoyment about based on having read reviews/previews elsewhere

3) as much as we all love retro gaming, we have to bow to evolution and face that these days, most games are deeper, better looking and better sounding. Naturally the newest versions of the games we love will tend to eclispse their predecessors (and consequently impress us in review terms).

4) The evangelical factor - 'I love this game and i must tell the whole world about it!'

now of course there are often exceptions to points 2 and 3, and we all have games that we think we will like that come and bite us on the ass now and again, but for the most part cgers are going to end up buying and playing games that they like - and thus writing glowing reviews of.

18-10-2002, 08:20:08
The other point is that we're so old, and have been playing games for so long that we know so well which genres of games we'll like and dislike that we don't even bother going near something we know automatically we won't like.

18-10-2002, 08:35:09
speak for yourself mr happily married ;)

i'm still very open minded, in fact quite the opposite of knowing what i like i'm a bit fed up with playing the same old genres

18-10-2002, 08:48:46
Personally I buy so few games that it's very rare I even buy anything I don't like. Most of the console games I have are sequels or, like gitaroo man, recommendations from posters here.

Most of the time I can tell by what people I know, and whos tastes I know, say here about games whether I'm going to like them or not before I buy them. Any formal review after that just gives a more complete picture.

18-10-2002, 10:35:42
You do make a good point though - not being a professional reviewer means that if you did get a game you didn't like, you'd just give up on it and berate it here in a ascerberic 3-line post, rather than playing it for 30 hours and making a full review.

18-10-2002, 11:04:06
Aye fair point.

18-10-2002, 12:07:30
I almost hated Empire Earth. It was an error or 2 away from being a C- game.

If you guys want I'll review Medieval: Total War. I bought that and I think it sucks unwiped asshole.

18-10-2002, 12:08:51
i need to give that a fairer crack of the whip, too busy taming bears in ultima online

18-10-2002, 12:15:49
You chose the beastiality class in UO?

18-10-2002, 12:16:24
damn i've threadjacked my own serious thread :bash:

18-10-2002, 12:27:45
I helped.

Resource Consumer
18-10-2002, 12:30:24
As a penance you should slaughter Medieval Total Shite or whatever it's called

18-10-2002, 12:37:52
It shall be done.

18-10-2002, 12:42:02
The guy at work who's got it really likes it.

18-10-2002, 12:46:54
I think it's crap. Totally not fun. Limiting. Boring. I haven't played it in a couple of weeks.

19-10-2002, 02:47:02
I kinda of semi-massacred Dungeon Siege in my review. That was a very difficult game to look at because it did so many good things that they genre really needed, and yet had so much wrong with it at the same time. I've really enjoyed playing Dungeon Siege in multiplayer with a group of friends, there are some good options there. But while the SP had some nice moments, it also had some really really horrible ones, too.

21-10-2002, 08:49:32
yeah i was totally addicted to dungeon siege for about two weeks and played nothing else. But since i stopped i've not been tempted to go back.

I still think it was a good game but some very frustrating moments.

21-10-2002, 11:25:15
There was some very bad level design in places, but moreover the characters and the rpg system made it very dull, or very difficult, to do anything interesting with the game. Melee characters became very hard to kill but you did absolutely nothing except repetitive hacking at your enemy. If you wanted to cast a spell it took ages to go back and level up your magic on the peons so you could use that. Same for archers - just endless firing of arrows.

I'd prefer any other RPG system in the world after that, whether Diablo2 or NeverwinterNights.

What Dungeon Siege DID do well was to put everything in an fantastic looking 3D engine with some good music.

21-10-2002, 11:55:11
Ooops. Left my Total War review at home.

22-10-2002, 05:35:58
It's not worth tearing a game apart, KG. Not in a formal review. If it's a borderline game, one with lots of things we like, but has other things we hate, that gets ripped for the almost what we paid for factor. But not in a big formal way.

If a game sucks, we generally just say 'It stinks worse then Venom's feet.' and that's it. If someone asks us, we reply with why, but that doesn't tend to happen TOO much.

Reviews by people that like the game are fun/exciting works. It's art. The emoting comes across. Makes it more interesting to read. Otherwise... it's not fun to read a rip, unless it's a Trippin Rippin.

22-10-2002, 10:35:10
I guess there's an art to both kinds of review.

For the good ones, you are basically evangelising about the game (whether you think it is god or just a small miracle that only a few people will believe in). The idea is that people will read it, pick up on what you like, and play it based on your recommendation - if, of course, they share similar views about those kind of games.

For the bad ones, it's a simple job of making sure that no-one out there wastes $50US on it or 12 hours of 56k modem time downloading the warez. That can be done well too, but it's generally much less important because chances are few other people are buying it because it's crap and there's no community growing around it.

The really difficult games are those like Dungeon Siege or Neverwinter Nights (for me, people). I found Dungeon Siege did so many great things, but ultimately suffered from some very bad level design in places and a two dimensional game system. It's very hard to know what to say to people about a game like that.

It's no coincidence that my two well recieved reviews were for Laser Squad Nemesis and the WarcraftIII one I did with Mike. The Dungeon Siege review was crap.

I think the moral of the story is that if you are reviewing something, you should have played it a lot. And preferably played a lot of other games in that genre a lot too, so it's not like you have been taken in by the amazing wonders of Emperor: Battle for Dune when there are things like WarcraftIII and soon Age of Mythology out there. Once you've got a good idea of the game's strengths and weaknesses, you can decide whether you love it or hate it. But you can't give a 50/50 opinion and still write a good review. A review is only a personal recommendation, after all, and what shines through far more than any careful technical analysis is whether you fucking hated the sucker or not.

22-10-2002, 10:40:25
Hmmm... most games fall between you loving or hating them. Venom's Empire Earth review was a good example of it's not the best game in the world but here are the good points.

22-10-2002, 10:52:27
i see the future...a future in which i write a review of pro evo soccer 2...and say it is the best football game for ps2...ooo....

22-10-2002, 11:48:35
Well I'm still posting my review about Total War.

22-10-2002, 11:50:14
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
i see the future...a future in which i write a review of pro evo soccer 2...and say it is the best football game for ps2...ooo....

You did the last PES review. :p

22-10-2002, 12:04:06
you want to do the new one eh?

22-10-2002, 12:55:06
I don't know. The reason I didn't do the last one was that I don't play Master League and that still stands.

Maybe we could combine for a review like I did with Shiny on WC3?

22-10-2002, 13:07:16
not a bad idea :)

22-10-2002, 13:12:48
We could come at it from different perspectives. Your attempts to force it into being a tough tackling long ball game reminiscent of Wimbledon in the 80s vs my silky one touch passing approach. ;)

22-10-2002, 13:23:58
You could commentate on a match :rolleyes:.

22-10-2002, 13:30:55
I thought of that but I didn't want to give away all the surprises. :D

22-10-2002, 13:32:33
Originally posted by Funkodrom
We could come at it from different perspectives. Your attempts to force it into being a tough tackling long ball game reminiscent of Wimbledon in the 80s vs my silky one touch passing approach. ;)

whahaaat??? i see that wink smiley!!! don't fuck with me pal!!

that frikkin extra time....aaaaaarrggrhrgrhgrhrhghrg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

more possession...grumble...more shots...grumble...

22-10-2002, 13:33:52
More posession, better chances, more shots. Less goals. :D

22-10-2002, 13:34:17
Anyway it's more Shoots.

22-10-2002, 14:26:33
Originally posted by Funkodrom
More posession, better chances, more shots. Less goals. :D
The mark of a better player.

22-10-2002, 14:29:33
I've always been efficient.

22-10-2002, 14:30:19
That game I was really lucky though. About 3 desperate last milisecond blocks and saves. 0-0 and I scored 3 minutes into extra time.

22-10-2002, 14:47:54
don't start getting humble, that's even more sickening :bash:

my biggest problem with pes was my inability to make chances into goals as consistently as i had in all the other versions

hopefully i'll get back on track with pes2

22-10-2002, 15:03:03
Maybe you've just lost your touch.

22-10-2002, 15:11:44
Gameplay part of the review in the form of a match report could be fun though. Although the pressure would be unbelievable. Imagine losing the review game? :eek: We'd have to hope for a draw.

Scabrous Birdseed
22-10-2002, 16:28:41
They should give us free games, I review any CD for the School Newspaper wheter I like it or not.

22-10-2002, 16:32:07
I think I discovered why you should only favorably review games.

22-10-2002, 16:34:12
No, that was interesting.

22-10-2002, 16:35:03
Next up: a panning of Champ Man 4.

22-10-2002, 17:00:03
i'll say this much: that 3d in game view sounds wank

22-10-2002, 17:35:27
It does sound rather stupid. Anyone paid for screenshots yet?

23-10-2002, 07:18:58

Look at all the traffic that's coming in, and all the bozo's that feel they have to register to tell Venom he sucks dead little kitten tails because they don't like what he said about their favorite little game. Maybe we should rag games more often... these guys are a hoot.

None of the nice reviews, or the 'Oh my goodness! This is the best game I've ever played! And here's why!' have ever gotten even a real ripple. Just a link or mention on a news site...

23-10-2002, 11:44:24
I'm going to find another game I can pan.

23-10-2002, 12:02:02
fuck i didn't realise what a success panning games and then pimping the reviews on the ball licking own game forums would be!!! it's like a whole new online game!

23-10-2002, 12:08:35
Self promotion is an art. In this case, I had my agent promote for me.

23-10-2002, 13:08:28
Although this goes without saying, I'll say it anyway: Venom is my hero!


23-10-2002, 13:27:06
All that love and attention Venom is getting may inspire me to review Pool of Radiance 2. Unfortunately, that game was so bad, I'm afraid no one will agree with me.

23-10-2002, 13:27:29
Originally posted by MDA
All that love and attention Venom is getting may inspire me to review Pool of Radiance 2. Unfortunately, that game was so bad, I'm afraid no one will disagree with me.