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Angry_Games

Bioshock - 4-6 reviewers needed...form committee here

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Ok, so this game is getting 10's and 9.7's and 9.5's all over the net. I can't remember the last game that was on fire like this honestly.

 

I know a lot of you are itching to play. I'm snagging the demo right now (already played it on Xbox360, want to see it with my 8800GTS and mouse/kb!).

 

I don't know if I am going to be able to afford the full game or not for a bit, but I know that isn't a problem with a lot of you guys (who were preloading it over the weekend lol). Here's what I'd like to do:

 

find a few good forum members who want to donate a little brainpower and come up with a good review template. Unlike most other reviews you'll read, there's a catch to my idea. If you can form coherent sentences and refrain from fanboy "sux0rz!!! gheeeeyyyy!!!" stuff and be objective as well as opinionated (can you separate the two?), and have the full retail game, I'd like to experiment with a game review that involves more than one person's opinions and such about a game.

 

We'd probably all get together on MSN or in the chat here and I'd moderate and ask certain questions and 4-6 of you could form good, robust answers (without going on for 3 pages and without screaming insults at the devs or whatever heh). Each question you would answer in a different order so in all but one or two questions you could have already had the chance to read 1-5 of the other guys' answers and could build a bit off that.

 

I've seen a couple of reviews like this at Gamespy once in a green moon, and I really liked them. While it may sound like I'm stealing that idea, there's two parts to it that say I'm not:

 

1. this is how we are going to do our hardware reviews (multiple hands touching the hardware to give a broader view to readers).

 

2. Gamespy almost exlusively does single-man reviews. The reviewer touches on how 'guys at the office' dig this feature, or 'we all stay late playing multiplayer', but only rarely do I see the multiple point of view type of reviews.

 

 

Ok, anyway, the other thing I'd like community input on is the review system itself. Do we go with a scale? Points? Stars? Fists? A 10 point scale? A multiple-10 point scale (like 5 areas worth 10 each)? A "I'll kick your butt if you don't like this game" scale? No scale and we just blab about the game, pointing out the highlights and lowlights, system specs and any technical issues?

 

What game review sites do you like best? Why? What do they do that you really like that you think a game review done at the street should have? What don't you like about them that we definitely shouldn't have? In a system where there will be 4-6 players all doing the review together, would your most-liked feature fit? Would your most-hated feature detract from the multi-review format we are wanting to use?

 

What should we review about the game? How much do graphics matter? Is the game totally customizable for control configs, graphics, audio, multiplayer? If applicable, was the single player good? Voice acting a sham or Oscar performance? Music...did it suck? Was it mindless and repetitive? Did the animation look choppy? Did the game crash when you bit the wizard on the neck? How detailed should we strive for? Would anyone read a 10-page 6-man review? How about a 3-page 6-man tag-team review and if those 6 wanted to have their own full review then so be it?

 

Games are a lot harder to review than hardware. Hardware is almost entirely black & white. It works or it doesn't. It runs cool or it runs hot. It overclocks or it doesn't. It overclocks stellar or poorly. The only real opinion the reviewer needs to add is whether or not it is a good product and worth the money.

 

Games on the other hand are all about opinion. Facts in games generally go like this: it ran on xp but not vista (heh), it was an fps, it was single player and multiplayer (or not). The rest is all subjective opinion from the dude who played it and wrote down how it made him feel. Trying to do that in an OBJECTIVE way can be very difficult. The cool thing for me is that I enjoy discussing games with other people that I like to hang out with that have played the game also.

 

This will hopefully be sorta like that, and hopefully readers will take from it all the facts and a lot of different opinions about a game they are interested in. The other cool thing is that reviewers can rotate in and out. What if you hate fps games but give one a shot and really like it? There's a lot of gamers who just don't dig fps but they might dig your fav genre like RTS and it can make a reader say "yeah I don't dig those fps either but this is the third guy who hates fps to say this game rocks". What if you only like RTS? You don't have to review any game you don't own. You don't have to review any game you do own.

 

As new games come out, if you see one you damn sure know you are going to be playing, you can apply to be on the review squad for that particular game. We all know the pain of waiting desperately for a game to come out that we just know is gonna be awesome only to feel like murdering, in cold cold blood, the people who shamefully allowed such a travesty to even be born into this world. We also all know the joy of some friend just saying "hey try this game you've never heard of" and so you do just because you don't feel like another single minute of WoW this week, and blammo it's something crazy fun, maybe even from a genre you can't really get into ever.

 

That's the kind of stuff I'm looking to let other readers read about (and maybe entice them to do the same by reviewing something later...everyone likes to participate or you wouldn't still come here).

 

I want to get some reviews on the front page. We've got a Corsair psu and Ballistix DDR2-1066 and something odd from OCZ I'm sure haha coming and/or being worked on. While there's a zillion game sites, there's also a zillion review sites for hardware. So why not try a game review along with the hardware reviews we'll already (finally!) be doing?

 

This place is for you readers. Help me help you heh.

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Guest navinjohnson

As far as the actual review, I hate reading 5 pages of a good review, only to have the last page point out that there are some major problems in the game and you should think twice before buying. A good bulleted pro/con before the full article or a well formulated introductory paragraph can really help.

 

I've always liked the review system that goes something like "buy it" "borrow it" "avoid it". I'm sure there would be a clever way to expand on that. The traditional 10pt system doesn't say much, and it usually requires some kind of explanation anyway like 1 pt is poor 4 pts is fair 10pt is excellent.

 

The weighting system is going to be hotly debated. the only thing I would like to say is... don't count graphics unless there are graphical errors.

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I think we all have high expectations graphically in games these days. If the graphics are naff or glitchy this should certainly be noted. Also if the graphics are a little dated but in no way detract from a cool game then again this should be stressed. Talk about graphics should be more about style, atmosphere, suitability for the game/genre.

 

I'd like to see a separate rating for the audio as atmospheric and dynamic sound/music can add to the immersion. On the other hand naff audio can really peev you off. This assumes you end up using ratings (I would say no - see below)

 

When you pick the reviewers could you try to get a mix of set-ups as most reviews seem to use high-end gear. Not being on the cutting edge I'd like a bit of reality in the review.

 

I think numerical rating systems aren't overly helpful - is that 94% game really worse than the 95% game. It all depends on the gamer at the end of the day. Now a 92% game is almost certainly better than a 74% game but what is the 18% difference due to and is it something that would bother me? Its a handy quick measure but this could easily be met by a good choice of phrases (or symbols or whatever)

 

A simplified series of phrases, as you mentioned, would be preferred I know when I chat to my friends about games I don't get out the scoring card. We usually talk about problems, bad design, cool moments, cut scenes, plot twists, the funniest bit, the scariest bit.

 

How about getting the reviewer to give a bit of self background on themselves. How much time they spend gaming, preferred game genre, favourite game etc. that way I can get an idea of where their opinions are coming from.

 

Finally after releasing the final review how about the ability for the community to add their own rating (I suppose the polls could be used for this)

 

I would love to offer my services as a reviewer but the time difference, work, child and pregnant wife won't allow me the time to give it the necessary commitment. I'm certainly looking forward to reading the first reviews though.

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Great idea on a multi-person review system. It would give a better perspective of real-world performance; rather than on a top-end system with maxed graphics.

 

I'd say you should go with a fist-rating; the stars and point systems are all to common. If you're using a unique method for the revue itself, the the rating should be just as original.

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personally i always thought that if the review is made good the score is totally useless. if someone takes the time to tell about a game and is fair in its weak and strong point, any person should be able, after reading it, to decide if its a good game (for him/her..) or not. also about the 10 page reviews, they are great, but some sites (both hw and sw) forget to add conclusions with a short description and summing of pro's and con's. i would go for a full review, and a seperate conclusion, summing cons and pros, and giving a final rating, but not with nr's/stars/dancing teddy bears (though i like those), but by just saying something in the line of:"This is one of the best FPS i/we have played so far. some points are getting used too, but if you do its a totally new way of playing"

 

i also think its very important to stress out what is good or bad, becouse some things just dont matter all that much. i love Freecell, but the sound sucks, and i played Europa Universalis for months non-stop, but its not a graphical monster.

 

the main thing i have against gamespy/IGN/ random review site is that they always forget one rating: original. Sometimes games get great reviews, and when playing i usually only think: didnt i play this already or was that another game?

 

as for reviewing itself. i have done it a few times for some other forum, and i liked it a lot, but never got any feedback. but im always willing to give it another shot. For bioshock specific: i got it on pre-order, but since ill be gone over the weekend i wont be able to play a lot just after its release :)

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I purchased BioShock this afternoon for the 360 and plan to get through as much of the game as possible...So I dont know how great having reviews is going to be unless the reviewers can get access to games prior to their releases....

 

I have read through a lot of the posts and I see how offering reviews for games is a great idea, I personally like the 2-3 person reviews offering different takes on the game. But, my only concern is how soon the reviews can be done. If a game is released and we dont see a review from this website until a week later the review is somewhat pointless...

 

Metacritic, IGN, Gamespot, Gameinformer...and various other dedicated gaming sites will review a game atleast 2-3 days, if not more, prior to its release letting the buyer know whats up before the release of the game.

 

Either way I enjoy playing video games and normally purchase any and every game I see so I would be interested in helping or reading reviews provided by the community on DIY-Street.

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I purchased BioShock this afternoon for the 360 and plan to get through as much of the game as possible...So I dont know how great having reviews is going to be unless the reviewers can get access to games prior to their releases....

 

games may sell well in their first few days, but the majority of game purchases are in the 7-30 day period. Very few gamers pre-purchase their games except for the big name hits like Halo3 etc. The overwhelming majority of gamers wait a bit to read reviews. A very large chunk of these gamers are like me, and like to wait 2-4 weeks for a patch to come out and cure the most problematic bugs (especially for multiplayer).

 

I am not concerned one bit that we might not get a review up for 2 weeks after the game is out. I'm not interested in doing pre-release reviews. I want real users who buy the game with real money to give their take. That trumps any and all pre-release reviews that I read in my opinion.

 

 

PS that widescreen thing is bull crap. Why can't game devs (especially those who release it on the 360 which ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES PROPER WIDESCREEN SUPPORT FOR 720p/1080i/p????) get it right? Do they all work for EA? (EA = notorious for non-widescreen resolutions)

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games may sell well in their first few days, but the majority of game purchases are in the 7-30 day period. Very few gamers pre-purchase their games except for the big name hits like Halo3 etc. The overwhelming majority of gamers wait a bit to read reviews. A very large chunk of these gamers are like me, and like to wait 2-4 weeks for a patch to come out and cure the most problematic bugs (especially for multiplayer).

 

I am not concerned one bit that we might not get a review up for 2 weeks after the game is out. I'm not interested in doing pre-release reviews. I want real users who buy the game with real money to give their take. That trumps any and all pre-release reviews that I read in my opinion.

 

Fair enough..

 

I guess I am probably repeating either myself or others that have posted, but, when it comes to reviews I could care less about whats great about a game more about whats bad. Most games I buy, PC or Console, are games I have read up on. I have seen footage, played demos and watched interviews

. So when it comes to the review Im looking for a few things. Pros and Cons...

I like to see a list even prior to reading the review. If there are bugs and issues obviously they must be mentioned but I feel like some reviewers focus all of their attention on the bugs or flaws a game might have an neglect a lot of the better aspects of a game.

 

Look at BioShock for example....They cant get widescreen right and the forums go nuts...Its an issue, but really is it big enough to keep anyone from playing what could be a Game of the Year candidate? I would hope not.

 

Like I said before I think the whole review bit would be a nice addition.

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ya I def want to focus on the good and bad of the game, but I also want each individual to express the greatest thing(s) and worst thing(s) about the game (not necessarily technical issues or bugs either).

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Well after seeing the widescreen issues I'm definitely going to hold off for a month or two before grabbing this. Kinda sucks because this was definitely my #1 game this year, far ahead of Crysis.

 

I'm kind of busy with a different game at the moment anyways though, so I guess it works out.

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