Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Current State of Video Game Reviews

Video game reviews... Do you read them? I used to long ago when they were short and sweet. When they started to change from merely expressing general opinions about a game and turned into detailed content analysis, I just stopped. Every now and then I'd peek into a review or two of games that I have already played only to confirm that these reviews are still quite awful. The modern video game reviews from "organized" gaming sites include specific details on what you can find playing a game. If video games are like eggs, the reviews would proceed to crack them open, and then prepare those eggs into all the available variations of egg recipes. There is no room for discovery anymore if you allow yourself to read video game reviews these days. Do you write video game reviews? I used to and as you can gather from this site, I am very meticulous when I write them so that my reviews won't fall into the disgusting form I have described earlier. But you know, with the ability to view gameplay available all over the Internet, don't you think video game reviews should just... disappear?

Why would we want to read reviews in the first place? Well, I suppose we want some kind of a guarantee from a trustworthy person that the game that we are about to spend our hard earned money on is going to be worth that money spent. But we know that developers provide copies of video games to reviewers for the most part so doesn't that take a way a lot from the reviews? Now reviews from those who purchased the games themselves actually can be worse because sometimes people like to justify their purchases but even if the reviews ended up being negative, perhaps those writers are just taking things too personally? You see, opinions are like poop, everyone dumps one. Shouldn't people be worried if they think someone else's poop smells better than theirs?

Video games are one of those types of entertainment medium that begs to be experienced first hand, so why would anyone want to know everything about a game instead of experiencing those things on for themselves? This is why watching gameplay should take precedent over reading reviews because one could see enough of what the game is all about without having to see everything that a game has to offer. It's like going to the amusement park and watching all the thrill rides available. You look at what's available and then decide which roller coaster you want to ride. When you are not sure, you may actually ask someone who just got off s specific ride if it was too extreme and the person would answer with a yes or no - this is akin to the proper way of writing a review, which is a short and sweet description of an experience without telling too much. But yeah, you know which of those rides you want to approach by just merely looking at them. You don't need someone to tell you their entire 2 minute experience in a grueling by the second detailed account now do you?

Since I mentioned simple, direct reviews, I must then also discuss the trend of customer reviews. Particularly, Steam reviews. If you are familiar with them, then you must know that the most common top reviews are generally joke/meme reviews that to be honest bear no real significance at all. Steam reviews are simply a place for people to find their 5 minute of fame, writing juvenile jokes to get up-voted all the way to the top. So yeah, there are meaningless short and sweet video game reviews out there but if anything, at least this example shows us that most people are not looking to read proper reviews anymore these days.

If you really have to read a review, here's an example of a good one.
A simple explanation of what to expect from the game
and then the reviewer's general disposition about the overall game.

All I am saying here is that game reviews shouldn't matter anymore these days when determining what games you are going to play or purchase because more often than not, they will always take something away from your own experience with those games. Instead, visit the official websites for those games, play the demos if they were made available, watch some gameplay on your favorite live or on-demand video gaming sites, and make your own determination. Be an individual and more importantly, take some risks - there is always a valuable lesson to be learned whether you are richly rewarded for your efforts or when you ended up with pure duds. At least there's Steam Refunds?

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