: In Defense Of Reviewing Before Completing

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In Defense Of Reviewing Before Completing

Perhaps some of you have seen this: another site's probably ill-advised accusation concerning a Destructoid reviewer.

First of all, let me be perfectly blunt: I rarely agree with anything Jim Sterling writes and in fact, it's painfully evident that the vast majority of it is designed for gathering attention. And the site he works for...let's just say it isn't one I'd recommend. However, that being said, I will bite the bullet and defend Sterling in this particular case. This is beyond personal feelings; this is about the ongoing belief amongst the gaming public that a critic must complete a game before issuing a review. In regards to Final Fantasy XIII or other games that rely heavily on the story, perhaps there's something to this argument...one cannot anticipate how a relatively deep plot will emerge in the end and of course, that should have a significant impact on the overall score.

However, this is dangerously close to an issue I've often spoken about and one that may place me at odds with many readers. But the simple truth of the matter is that gamers want the impossible: they want in-depth, fully accurate reviews on the day of a game's release (even a week after is considered "late") and at the same time, they refuse to acknowledge the length of the product in question. Hundreds upon hundreds of games get released every year and even the biggest staffs simply do not have the time to complete every last title (ranging anywhere from 6-60 hours) before providing the public with a review. I've heard people compare this to watching half of a movie and then writing a review, or reading half a book or listening to half a CD. This is a terrible analogy. Outside of the story, there are plenty of things to evaluate in a game and just about all of them really won't change over time.

The graphics won't change. Perhaps the choreography of this cut-scene will be better than that one or maybe one environment will be slightly more appealing than the next, but within the first ten minutes of playing, you can tell how great the visuals in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves are, and how lacking they are in Jurassic: The Hunted. The same goes for sound quality (although you might have to play a bit more to judge the diversity of the music). The same goes for game control. A loose or sloppy control mechanic won't suddenly snap out of its funk halfway through the adventure. Really, it's only the story that can significantly change, although if some sources score depth as a category, that may require more game time. The bottom line is this: after reviewing games for all these years, I have almost never finished a game after reviewing it and said to myself, "man, my score was off."

Sterling gave FFXIII a 4/10. Now, that's just plain absurd regardless of the reasons. It's not Rogue Warrior bad. However, I will freely admit that neither Arnold or I completed FFXIII before giving you our reviews. I will freely admit that we often don't complete entire games before reviewing them, and I will further guarantee that other sources do the exact same thing. Look, we do the best we can. I think all sites do. We play as long as we can; we play until we believe we can write an accurate and reliable analysis for our readers. Will our final scores for FFXIII (8.7 for me and 8.1 for Arnold) change after finishing the game? Maybe. But I bet it won't be by much and we should remind you of this: who exactly is going to play for 50 hours if the other elements of the game are disappointing? Some are; some aren't. But that's the point; those other elements do matter, they can be judged before completing the game, and they do represent the majority of the presentation.

There are really only two of us doing reviews here at PSXE. And considering that, I think we pump out a gigantic amount of work. Our relationship with Sony allows us to give you huge reviews like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Killzone 2, God of War III and Heavy Rain the instant the embargos lift. We will miss other titles. It can't be avoided. We will never write a review if we think it would be unfair to the readers, in that we didn't play long enough. In the end, I'd like to say this- any critic worth a salt knows all of this. Please understand the reality of the situation and accept that sometimes, most times, a game will not be completed before the review. And if you compare the highest-rated games to the most beloved/best-selling titles of all time, I think you'll see that critics do a damn good job in this industry.

So please, don't complain too much. ...as ridiculous as a 4 sounds.

3/17/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (110 posts)

ace_boon_coon
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:16:58 PM
Reply

this is why we love gettin our reviews from here. no biased bs

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Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 8:15:27 PM

I'll admit I'll go browse the web for news when it gets a little slow here. Im sure I'm not the only one that gets annoyed by the gaming journalism (Ben I know you agree). I just can't stand other sites because it is for the majority ALL flaimbait, ALL fanboy, All the time.

Though, I thought it was already a FACT that the ps3 was a superior console? Everything else is just opinion. Which is fine.

Facts:
Ps3=More reliable
Ps3=Raising the Bar of Games (Best Graphics from exclusives)
Ps3=HD gaming and HD standard media BD
PS3=Standard HDD
PS3=Rechargeable Controllers
Ps3=Free Online Gaming/Browser
Ps3=Best Visual/Audio in a console
http://www.youtube.com/user/Wip3ou7#p/u/13/JeY8Dzb-Vso

Do we really need to argue?

Anyways the only site that gets my attention, if that is worth anything, is PSXEXTREME!!! I know your reviews are always First Rate.

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to_far_apart
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:22:27 PM

I genuinely agree with everything on the matter.

Let's be honest, anyone who really wants a game, especially THAT one game you want, will get it despite whatever a review says. Now with that being said, those same people, like myself, will go to a trustworthy, no nonsense site *cough* notably PSXE *cough* lol, for insight of a particular game. Now, if it comes to a game where I like what i see but I'm still on the edge of purchasing it, then that's where a review becomes more important, what the strengths/weaknesses are, how the story is, graphics (doesn't bother me if the game is great), certain bugs like pixelation, repetition, etc, which do piss the hell out of me to be honest, any one of you would probably agree with me haha.

I feel that a lot of people take these reviews to seriously, if you will. What I mean by this is, some people, aka "fanboys" of a certain game, will take it personal if the review score isn't flawless. The fact is most people don't understand, with the exception of the PSXE crowd here in all honesty, that reviews are simply a tool for those who want to know a little more about a game or see another persons opinion. No review is without fault, despite all efforts, personal opinion in a broad retrospect, does influence a review. The beauty about the editors who do review (ie as exceptional as Ben and Arnold) is that they do provide a unique view, one which is generally neutral. That alone is one hell of a hard job, and i applaud you guys, you two are probably the best reviewers i've seen, along with you guys at PSXE. You guys always outdo yourself.

As for reviewing without completing a game, I definitely have no problem with that. People don't understand the time and energy it takes to review a game, and like you said, if you can narrow it down (iw graphics, music, etc) when you see the first hour of the game, if you will, and you know it's good, then it will generally be good throughout the game. With all the games and different deadlines you guys have to meet and even your personal lives, because i'm pretty sure you guys frequently take work home hahah, so to review games like GOW III, Uncharted 2, FFXIII, is an accomplishment all in itself. I think this in accordance with what i mentioned earlier, a review is a service to us if you think about it. If you don't like the review, or do no want to deal with the reality of the constraints, then deal with it and keep the comments to yourselves, or don't bother reading reviews at all. The analogy of CD and movie reviews is not even comparable to a game review. In my opinion, the amount of time one must take to review a game is mind boggling: discussing the atmosphere of the game, how the game utilizes certain changes from its predecessor, graphical techniques, ideologies/influences brought into the game, how the story is, the problems, the list is endless. If anything, we should consider ourselves lucky to get such insight to games, it really helps a lot when deciding on a game you're unsure of. Especially when the review comes from you guys at PSXE...simply FLAWLESS guys!

Honestly, people shouldn't complain, this is a unique service to the community, and like you said, they have been pretty damn accurate, so i don't agree with the complaining either. It's the reality of life, deal with it.

You guys rock man, keep it up!

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to_far_apart
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:28:24 PM

My apologies guys, i haven't been on for a few weeks. I've had a few busy weeks and hope to be on more frequently now.

Hows everyone doing? Ben, Arnold, LV, Legendary, World, Highlander, etc???

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Taha1
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:25:34 PM
Reply

BRAVO BEN !!
lol

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hellish_devil
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:26:51 PM
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i'm still waiting for the Star Ocean International review... and I really don't care if it takes long, as long as it is good and reliable (as most of the reviews from this site).

Last edited by hellish_devil on 3/17/2010 3:27:34 PM

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daus26
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:28:22 PM
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Thanks for this editorial. It makes sense to me now. I always thought all review sites play every game all the way to the end. I've been thinking that most played enough till you guys feel like you can write a review about it anyway, but now I know for sure.

I have nothing against this, and it only makes sense.

Bty, a 4/10 does seem a bit absurd.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:46:22 PM

Funnily enough, the score mirrors an earlier review given by a Hong Kong based publication...

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ed_winchester
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:28:50 PM
Reply

I completely agree with everything you just said in the article

One game that I felt was punished for this - and I dont mean by this webiste but reviews in general - was InFAMOUS. It had one of the best endings in a game in recent times but reviewers had made their mind up about the game before finishing it which meant IMO that the review scores were lower than it deserved

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:42:17 PM

I understand what you're saying, but in looking back when you played inFamous, didn't you love playing it even before you got to the story's end? And could you say you would've continued to play it all the way through if all the other elements were lacking...?

I do agree that some scores for the game were low, though.

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ed_winchester
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:40:58 PM

Very good point you make Ben, I never looked at it that way before

Last edited by ed_winchester on 3/17/2010 5:41:38 PM

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piratedrunk
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:41:56 PM
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As long as it doesn't heavily factor into the content of the review then it is fine. If the reviewer makes claims that are blatantly false though simply because they did not get through enough of the game then it would be a problem.

I tend to take all reviews with a grain of salt anyways so this isn't a huge deal for me. In fact they rarely make an impact on my purchase decisions.

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WolfCrimson
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:44:23 PM
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This is somewhat... sudden. I can see this issue is annoying for you, since, well, you actually wrote up another article past your usual daily quota of articles. Don't worry though, your perception of what a review should be, and what a reviewer's/critic's should be, is the exact same as mine. I mean, it's quite logical, you review a game for the elements that matter, and you do it until you actually have fully appreciated what said elements are. No need to go beyond that, you're writing a review, not a walkthrough.

That being said, PSXe does seem to be understaffed when it comes to reviewing games. I've never seen a review by John Shepard here, so why not see if he's up for it? No pressure on him, though. Plus why not hire more people? Although I doubt there are many journalists out there of your and Arnold's degree of quality, honesty and non-biased-ness.

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Axe99
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:51:07 PM
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While I agree there are some games that can be realistically reviewed before they're finished, others I think need the full run. In particular, games that are _long_, need to be given time to develop their mechanics before a final verdict can be given - for instance, almost every (respectable) FFXIII review notes that the game picks up substantially at the 15 hour mark. An example I might give would be that I found the first 7.5 hours of Demon's Souls to be terrible - if I had reviewed it based on that, I'd've given it a 5/10 - but later bosses and mechanics (coop and the like) up the value considerably.

At the very least, my view is that any review not based on the full product has to disclose this or it is just plain misleading. I know it's not common industry practice, but if Sterling didn't do this, then he is at least partly at fault.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:01:12 PM

One again I will say that any game that requires 15+ hours of what is widely seen as less than interesting game play, before getting 'good', is a poorly designed game and deserves to be clearly labeled as such.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:39:38 PM

The mechanics never change; only the depth does. We know what the battle system of FFXIII is right off the bat; we just don't have all the available options until later.

As for Demon's Souls, same thing...the mechanics never changed. I was ready to give that game a high-8 in the first hour, honestly.

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to_far_apart
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:34:04 PM

I agree with Ben, after that first hour of play i was ready to give it a good score also, it really was that good. There are games, that are just that good.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:55:47 PM
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In a way that was better, knowing Sterling he would put a 3 on the game after see the ending.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 3:59:09 PM
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Ben,

May I just say BRAVO! Defending Jim Sterling is difficult at the best of times, and defending his score is even more difficult, but I think you pulled off this particular high wire act balancing the indefensible with the core issue. If a game takes upwards of 40-60 hours to complete even at 8 hours a day that's still 5 days solid for a 40 hour game. That's not practical, especially if your review staff is limited.

Oh, and by the way, for anyone about to complain that they should accept reader reviews or some such, consider this. There are many sites that accept freelance (aka reader) submitted reviews. Some sites (very few) try to at least proof and edit such reviews, however most sites do not. The result is often poor, cursory and downright amateurish reviews. PSX on the other hand maintains a high standard of writing and critical review by sticking to the limited number of reviewers - mainly Ben and Arnold. I personally appreciate that commitment to quality. It also protects PSX against the tidal wave of attention seeking style impaired reviews, that so many readers write, thinking that they are being smart or attracting hits.

So, let's cut reviewers a bit of slack when it comes to completing a game, especially a long one. Besides, how many times have each of us played several hours into a game and made our minds up about it? Do you need to play to the bitter end of a game that is simply no good to know it's no good? Nope, you know that a couple of hours in. Do you need to play a stellar game to completion to know it's stellar? nope, you know it within a couple of hours, although for a really good game that isn't weeks long, I could see many a reviewer deciding to finish the game because it's that good.

As for Jim Sterling, there are so many things to criticize him over, why would anyone in their right mind choose to criticize him because he didn't play FFXIII to the end before writing his review? It's a LONG game, and apparently one he did not enjoy.

Ben, thanks again for a thought provoking piece.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:05:09 PM

You know that 'article' at dual shockers is verging on the creepy. It boils down to making assumptions on the basis of PSN trophy records. Am I the only one creeped out by someone checking out Jim Sterling's trophy records and then blasting his review on the basis of that?

It's just plain wrong.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:45:08 PM

Thanks. We do what we can. ;)

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D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:49:32 PM

Sometimes I find highlander a bit creepy.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:54:54 PM

Me? Creepy?

Well I do try...

It's not easy, but someone has to do it.

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Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 8:18:27 PM

Highlander rocks...he isn't creepy at all. Well, not when considering Limited Vertigo....

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 3/17/2010 8:19:45 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 8:39:13 PM

Well I like anime, have an avatar with three cute anime characters, and I tend to be positive about games with babes. Yep, no doubting my creepy-ness, especially for those that don't like anime or pretty women... ;)

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Snicket
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:06:44 PM
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I actually do take issue with this, though I may be in the minority. In fact I do see it as a direct link to the watch half a movie/read half a book argument.

My perspective is from someone in the Film and media arts program, so take this from someone who actually makes movies and games.

If the artists take the time to complete a full package, like a game or a CD then the person who does a review of something should invest some time to expearence the full package. I know of a reviewer who played Heavy Rain, but not the entire way though, in his review he called the game "slow", and it is, but only for the first parts.

If you write a review or give a game a score, and this is more the case when your opinion could help or hurt game sells, you need to take the time to be complete.

I know it takes time to play all these games, its hard to complete a 40+ hour game and give a review on release day. Look at Roger Ebert, the guy probably spends most of his day watching movies, its alot of time but people who do reviews are usually passionate about it, and he has been doing that for years and years. If I had to choose between a review of a half played game on release day or a complete review days or a week later, i'll take the complete version.

If this is a problem, then at the very least mention in your review that you did not complete the game, as to not give false impressions. Or if you cant play them all, focus on only a few titles.

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big6
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:18:12 PM

I see your point.
I mean, imagine writing a review for the movie,"Th Sixth Sense", after watching 90% of it?

I guarantee it'd be a lower score than if you were to see the whole thing, with the kick-you-in-your-face twist ending!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:41:06 PM

I get it but this doesn't change what I explained in the article, that the vast majority of the game elements can be judged well before the game is over.

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Snicket
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:05:23 PM

Very true, I see that here you guys review games based off of graphics, gameplay, sound, control, and replay value. Granted you can get a very good idea about the first four from not completing a game, (I still don't think you should still review a game anyways but we have already established that)But when it comes to replay value, that's something very difficult to score, if you haven't even finished the game.

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fluffer nutter
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:54:06 PM

How is replay value difficult to score if one hasn't completed the video game? It's very easy to see if games have replay value while you are playing them.
"Does this game make me want to save and go to something else?"
"Once I've saved it, do I really want to come back to it?"
"Why am I saving this game? I won't ever put it back in."
"I shouldn't be playing this game. I've got a presentation to complete which counts for 50% of my final grade!"
"Do these pants make my butt look big?"

These are the kinds of questions that may run through one's head while they are playing a game. If the game feels more like a chore, then I'm pretty sure that one can put a very low score for replayability.

Last edited by fluffer nutter on 3/17/2010 5:54:42 PM

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Snicket
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:15:09 PM

"I shouldn't be playing this game. I've got a presentation to complete which counts for 50% of my final grade!"


LOL, very true.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:36:16 AM

I have to disagree. Movies are all short and are primarily focused on telling a story. while they still have some cgi, music, acting, the same is true of them.

In 30 minutes of a movie you can determine whether or not the acting is good, does the music fit the type of movie, is the cgi good? If movies were 60 hours long no one would finish those either before reviewing them. It would be like saying reviews of star trek next gen released after the first season were unacceptable due to their being 6 more seasons.

The only thing that can't be determined by finishing a video game is how well the story rounds itself out. Ben is completely correct with this article and I support him on this completely.

@ Big6

As for The Sixth Sense, I'm a huge fan of M. Night, but I found that movie incredibly obvious. Go back and watch the opening scene, then consider what the plot of the movie is, I'm sorry it screamed obvious to me. I found some of his other movies very surprising though.

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DeejayDeez
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:12:48 PM
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First off I love your website and your articles. You guys do a great job. I would have to kind of disagree with what you are saying though. I know you said not to compare to movies or books, but unfortunately that would also be a form of media that deserves the same effort for a review. See a Film Critic or a Book Critic would get said piece of work well before it was ever released to the general public (ex. – advance movie showings for only members of the media or critics). This gives them ample time to complete said piece of work and give an accurate AND COMPLETE review. If you aren’t receiving the pieces of work in advance then the publisher obviously doesn’t really want or care about your opinion. Hence you are not a true critic, but just somebody with an opinion.

And if what you are sayingis true, then what stops a publisher from also knowing this and simply taking a really crappy game (rogue warrior), that they probably knew was gonna be crap and just make the first 2-6 hours brilliant so that “the critics” give it rave reviews. Only those who play after the 6 hour mark will realize that the graphics suddenly got bad and there isn’t any sound anymore.

Sorry for the rant! Again, I am not referring to you all, just the article and the new info about reviewing only half a game. I just feel jipped! Whatever happened to the day when people completed their work before giving themselves a pat-on-the-back and saying “DONE”?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:43:50 PM

Deejay: Well, that's a very unrealistic possibility. Developers aren't going to make something great for 6 hours and than suddenly implement junk controls and crappy visuals after a certain point, just to get a score. Devs WANT to make great games. If you've already achieved greatness initially, why stop? No need.

The point is, I agree with your work ethic virtue. However, it's tough to get a "pat on the back" when it takes you 50 hours to complete three or four games, and none of the reviews can possibly be out soon enough to satisfy the readers.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:42:42 AM

also movie screenings allow companies to invite several people to view them at once. While a video game company would have to send out thousands of game copies to allow every reputable site to play their game before launch, which just isn't realistic.

There is no way to allow multiple critics to critique a game at once. A dev not sending someone a copy of their game doesn't necessarily mean they don't want their critique.

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darxed
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:29:07 PM
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Well I agree with you Ben, I mean, where do you draw the line in completeness? do you have to get all the possible endings in Heavy Rain to review it fairly? If you complete FFXIII, do you have to get all the items and weapons and complete all the missions to review it? A site like this would have to have a huge staff to accomplish that, and It wouldn't make much sense anyway.

Now, I really, really, REALLY don't agree with Jim Sterling on this, and some of the backlash he got is well deserved IMO. He is obviously doing this kind of reviews just to get hits and attention, no more.

He did gave Assassin's Creed a 4.5, btw...

Last edited by darxed on 3/17/2010 4:30:36 PM

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JPBooch
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:36:01 PM
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I can't blame the reviewers, but maybe the process. Perhaps developers can give you guys a cheat code to change the diificulty or your level so you don't have to do the tedious levelling or farming.

I think it's imperitive to know how a game ends to critique it.

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WolfCrimson
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:04:06 PM

Speaking of cheat codes, most games this gen seem to not have any cheats in them. Why is that?

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SnipeySnake
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:05:23 PM

@Wolf
I KNOW! Is it that hard? They help so much when im stuck for so long. Sometimes or even most times, cheats can make a game funner/funnier.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:45:22 AM

I disagree, I feel that a cheat code would only weaken the review. If you cheat on the game you don't receive the full impact of the game.

Seeing the end is not the same as experiencing the game.

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WolfCrimson
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:04:07 AM

Actually, I use cheats just for laughs, I never use them to progress through a game. GTA San Andreas comes to mind... good times, good times.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 6:15:53 AM

@ wolfcrimson

oh i agree that they are loads of fun, i definitely loved them on san andreas, but I don't think cheats should be used for reviews.

when I cheat I go all out, it becomes a very different game for me.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:41:07 PM
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I have no problems with some one reviewing the game prior to completing.

I do however have a major problem with someone who reviews a game and fails to explore all it has to offer. To someone who loves a certain game and has spent 50 hours plus in a title, it obvious that the reviewer is not doing any favors to the title, the fanbase, and especially the reader. Hopefully you keep yourself in check when it comes to your own ethics as a professional.

Get past the long paragraphs dealing with only certain features, and it's apparent the reviewer only played long enough to justify their pre-concieved notions and pre-judgements.

Bottom line is, certain titles demand more time being spent.

For example, it's painfully obvious that the a majority of reviewers failed to spend any decent time with Forza 3. If they did, they would have discovered a broken tuning system. They would have also seen the online features removed from Forza 2. I could go further. Instead, the majority of reviews all heralded it as the greatest racer ever created, 2 million copies were sold, and the fan backlash quickly followed.

It's the reviewers job (being key word) to provide the readers that trust them a fair, accurate, and well investigated game review.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 3/17/2010 4:42:22 PM

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Lairfan
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 4:46:22 PM
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IMO its alright if a reviewer doesn't complete a game before they review it, but I do have a problem when they don't learn all of the game mechanics and don't know how the game was meant to be played. It would be kind of like playing God of War without realising that you have the ability to dodge, or playing Uncharted 2 without knowing that you can blindfire.

Also, why are you defending this particular guy Ben? It sounds like he cares more about how many hits his site has rather than an informative review. It probably would have been better to defend a more well-respected reviewer who's done the same thing, rather than this idiot. I must say though, you did defend him really well; I just think the defense could have been better spent on someone who actually deserves it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:09:53 PM

It's not really in defense of him; I'm just using that story as a reason to write this, which is a real issue.

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JackC8
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:05:17 PM
Reply

The trouble with that argument is that once you start going down that road, where does it stop? A lot of games are maybe 10 hours long, so is it okay to play 8? That would leave someone with a totally false impression of FFXIII. How about if someone plays 7 hours? 6? 5? Where exactly does it become "not okay"?

I've played my share of games where my opinion of them was at least moderately changed in the last part. A good game with a terrible ending, or a game that took a long time to get going but finished up in fantastic form. Or an excellent game with a stupendous ending - I just finished one of those yesterday: Final Fantasy XII.

I generally agree with you - if you play quite a bit of a game, it's probably safe to say that the remainder of it isn't going to change your opinion much. But the fact that there are exceptions to the rule make it a somewhat risky proposition.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:09:22 PM

It's the same philosophy regardless of length; there isn't really any "road."

We play as long as we think necessary to issue an accurate review, and that's that.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:55:47 AM

I would question people claiming you have to "beat" the game more than someone saying you have to play it until you feel you have a solid grasp on the game.

Example: Oblivion

If I had only played the main storyline of oblivion I would have give that game probably only a 6/10. The story is incredibly short and would have left me with little knowledge of the depth of the game.

I'm just using this example to point out that Ben is saying that reviewers do need play the game until they have fully grasped the games content, not just play a certain amount of time.

p.s. I've never played a game that the ending drastically changed my opinion of it. For that matter I've played very few that changed my opinion much at all. While the stories ending may prove to have very good endings, they still will not change any feelings of the game other than the story.

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www
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:09:42 PM
Reply

Okay we hear ya, not that I've even thought about this before, I believe pro critics know how to do their work whether or not they play to the end. Its the final score that matters to me but then again seeing SF4 getting sky-rocketed scores when I find SCIV and Tekken 6 more enjoyable, let's just say I don't really pay attention to scores anymore. Like WE already agreed, if FFXIII had a different name, it woulda been a different story at metacritic.

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big6
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:20:06 PM
Reply

So, going forward, as Game Developers and Publishers know this, expect all future games have their biggest and best (visual/sound/impact) moments early on in their game!

Don't save the best for last!

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:58:24 AM

I've never seen a game released where the developer made one part of the game intentionally better than another. Dev's don't make games for critics, they make them for consumers.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:23:34 PM
Reply

Ben,
As much as I see jim sterling only as a reviewer wanna-be that just likes to stir up sh*t in order to get his 7 seconds of fame, I agree that you're defending him, and why(but just this once, LOL).

I think that this guy, "evan no-name what-ever" isn't any better than one of those scumbag paparazzi's who think nothing of rooting through a celebrity's garbage bags just to make up a headline.
Can you say internet stalker???

BTW Ben,
I was wondering if you or Arnold ever did a review on "Terminator Salvation" by Evolved Games????
I looked through the PS3 reviews here, but couldn't find one.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/17/2010 5:24:52 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:08:25 PM

No, sorry, we didn't.

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darxed
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:32:41 PM

Yeah, that game is no good, mediocre at best. Great if you're a trophy whore though! really easy golds and platinum, just to get through the story...

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Bugzbunny109
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:43:15 PM
Reply

I think that a game shoud be played for a considerable amount of time in order to be reviewed. The reviewer should have experienced most if not all of the elements of the game to be able to pass judgements about the game.

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Mr Bitey
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 5:53:23 PM
Reply

Why do Destructiod's reviews end up being counted into Metacritic? He writes sarcastic, snarky reviews, but somehow they are taken seriously.

He has single handidly dragged down scores for Heavy Rain, Assassins Creed 2, FFXIII, etc, etc It just goes to show how flawed the metacritic process is.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:08:42 PM

Eh, I think most real gamers know Destructoid isn't to be taken seriously.

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darxed
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:35:54 PM

The real kicker is... that Destructoid's review appears only on the PS3 version in metacritic, same with the 50 edge gave it... sigh... So the process is not only flawed but biased. And most people do take Metacritic seriously...

Last edited by darxed on 3/17/2010 6:36:31 PM

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:48:35 PM

It would be like counting Yahtzee in metacritic, except Yahtzee is actually worth following, lol.

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Highlander
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 7:00:50 PM

If I understand the way that Metacritic aggregates it's scores, they use a standard deviation methodology that results in scores that are really out there being dropped. There is still a slight influence but it is minimal.

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migabyte
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:46:40 PM
Reply

I think the kind of game it is matter a lot. RPG's should be completed. When I first started playing fallout 3 I would have given it a 6 at best untill I was like 25 hrs in, and then I saw why people loved it (mind you I would probably only give it an 8 or 8.5. Obviously you don't have to complete a madden season. Another one going in the other direction is Dante's Inferno, if I was a half or less through I would have given it like a 7 or 8. By the end it was so boring and repetitive I knock it down to like a 5 or 6. The thing is with that game is it can be beaten in a day. Why not have your review come out a day late and do it properly., The people who come to this site will come regardless. That's my opinion, said it before.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:03:38 AM

rpgs would take more time to play than an action game but still don't need to be completed. while the gameplay may change somewhat from the beginning, it will be the same for almost the entire part of the game, so once again, you only need to play it long enough to fully understand the game.

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 6:47:25 PM
Reply

Like and FF game, the only thing that changes throughout the course of the game is the story. Battle mechanics stay the same, performance stays the same...
If he took points off because he didnt like the story then i would agree that it is unfair. However, if he took points off for the gameplay then the last chapter isnt going to change his score anyway.


Anyone else think this generation of gamers is the most whiny group of gamers ever?

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JackC8
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 7:06:35 PM

That's just because we've got the internet to whine on. Before, nobody could hear us :)

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Temjin001
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 8:27:01 PM
Reply

I think IGN completes their games before posting game reviews. The IGN FF13 review guy had to post a "30 Hours in" editorial before posting the final review due to the fat-PS3 bug that crippled many systems.

And with my opinion on the "reviewing of a full game" matter. I don't feel strongly either way. I know, many times, I've ventured a good 1/4-1/2 way through a game and have come to a general conclusion about the quality of the overall product before having finished it. All I really want out of a review is getting a reliable analysis of somebody's impression they had with a game.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:06:27 AM

I agree about the reliable analysis and as for ign finishing their games, it depends on the game and the reviewer.

I have seen some of their reviews where they have completed the game and others where I discovered they only played the game for no more than 4-5 hours. (I know because I played said game and some of their claims were incorrect after that point.)

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JDC80
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:20:06 PM
Reply

I usually base my game purchases on personal taste but this site game reviews to me are more reliable to me.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:24:34 PM
Reply

I kind of agree with Ben on this one and kind of don't.. We can't expect these guys to play a game for 60 hours before releasing a review but equally I don't want to read a review of an incomplete product!

What does annoy me though is when this site writes previews of games that have just put a demo on the PSN!

Seriously, if the game is in the PSN I can play it myself! I don't
need a "preview" at that stage, as I imagine most people with an Internet connection don't...

Either preview it weeks/months in advance or don't bother, it kind of makes the site seem amateurish when you preview stuff that everyone is already playing.

Oh well... Peace in the middle east hombres!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:39:05 PM

Those are hands-on previews and delivers our own thoughts on the experience. It's the same as a review; based on those thoughts, you may or may not wish to download it.

If you hadn't noticed, people tend to prefer hands-on previews over regular ones.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/18/2010 10:57:36 AM

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:10:28 AM

I happen to like the hands on previews. It's kinda like seeing a trailer for the full review lol.

Even if we can play the demo ourselves, we are not trained to make ourselves pay attention to all the tiny aspects Ben and other reviewers are. As I stated in a comment on a previous article, true journalistic critics notice things the common gamer does not.

I sometimes read something about a demo that I hadn't noticed, I find it useful as I can go back and look for that issue or whatever.

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I_defenestrate
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 4:34:46 PM

Generally, depending on internet connection, it takes less time to read their hands on preview than it does to download the demo. I enjoy the previews because sometimes it'll give me some insight to something I may have missed. Also, I check this site more often than I look at the Playstation Store and 9 times out of 10 I find out the demo is there through this site. If there happens to be a hands on preview I can read that and decide if I want to waste my time downloading the demo.

Makes perfect sense to me.

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I_defenestrate
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:33:27 PM
Reply

I'm with you Ben. There isn't a review I've read on this site that made me feel like you didn't know what you were talking about. Whether you finished the games or not, I couldn't tell. As a matter of fact, I thought you guys did play all of the games reviewed to completion.

Knowing that you don't now doesn't change my opinion one bit because your reviews are very well written and even more informing.

I think the thing is, if a reviewer gives a decent scoring game a bad score and it's found out that they didn't complete the game, then they are going to be reamed for not completing it to give a good review. The question is, could the same be said for giving the same game a high score? Would that review even come into question? What if they gave it a similar score to other reviewers who did complete the game? Is their score less credible than the ones who did?

Bottom line, if you're a crap reviewer, you're a crap reviewer. Whether you complete the game or not.

Last edited by I_defenestrate on 3/17/2010 9:43:14 PM

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Gordo
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:34:38 PM
Reply

Also, do you review on easy, normal or hard difficulty? That could definately influence things in may cases.

I'm ashamed to say that many games nowadays I play on easy and maybe switch up to normal later. Uncharted 2 I have played through twice on easy.

Pathetic you may say, but I've got a wife, kids and job that limits the play time.
I can't spend a week playing something solidly until I'm good enough on crushing!

Also, my idea of enjoyment is a good challenge but not one too frustrating or limiting so that I don't want to keep going.

So gameplay is very important and just because a reviewer hasn't gotten all the trophies or even completed the game it's their overall impressions that are most crucial.

Also a reviewers "body of work" helps as well because we will then know how they rated similar games and what their subtle biases are.

Some reviews of Heavy Rain and Assassins Creed II for example, sounded like they only played for an hour. You can always spot reviews with style over substance.

Ben's review of Heavy Rain on the other hand, was one of the most stylistic, in depth and heartfelt reviews I have ever read.

Kudos to you guys here at PSExtreme.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:38:11 PM

We always review on the default difficulty, because that's what most people will use.

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SolidFantasy
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:42:05 PM
Reply

What about Metal Gear Solid 2? That game would require a full play through. The game play mechanics change toward the end and the story changes almost exponentially.

In fact now that I think about you could probably make the same argument about all Metal Gears

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:13:43 AM

well if that is a trend of the series then a reviewer would probably know this and choose to complete that series of games. It's not an overly long game, so would not be hard to accomplish.

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telly
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:46:12 PM
Reply

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with PSX or anyone else reviewing games they haven't finished. But I wonder -- how would you guys feel writing a short synopsis at the end of reviews describing how much you DID play? Just something real quick like, "played campaign for 15 hours, two hours of multiplayer." Or something like that.

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Alienange
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 10:35:16 PM
Reply

You're absolutely right Ben. Nobody on earth is going to sit through three hours of a crap game and score it a 5 only to then play through the rest of it and say "well the story ends well so I'll give it a 9."

As nice as it is to have a great story in a game, if the game is crud, then that story is wasted.

That being said, if the game is 10-12 hours long, as the majority these days are, you had best finish playing it before broadcasting your review. That is not too much to ask and any less is just lazy.

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 10:47:29 PM
Reply

Great editorial

I'm no pro reviewer BUT I remember playing Final Fantasy XII and going through it slowly....
No doubt this game has so much to offer, from hunts, to deep environment exploration, to quests (many town related :) ), to unraveling the License system, etc.

I know for a fact that one can grasp and understand the game better by experiencing everything it has as opposed to RUNNING through a straight line to finishing the game. In most games what has been SET from the beginning up to the mid point of the game is what the game is made off. The rest is just the lead up to the end. Halfway a game doesn't go all radical and change everything.

All GOOD gamers know what this editorial is talking 'bout. The game reveal themselves once they reach the midpoint*

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Milonakis
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 11:51:58 PM
Reply

I don't usually finish most long games anyways so I don't care how they end. =)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 12:46:35 AM
Reply

I'm glad everyone seems to understand. I was afraid I'd create some enemies by making this plain.

But now it's off my chest and you know the deal...and you still like us. So thanks. :)

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SvenMD
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 9:04:02 AM

Well I just think you already know that MOST of us probably don't have a problem with an expert reviewer "getting all they can" out of a game to the point where they can give an honest review, even if that means they don't finish it. (esp if said game takes 40 hours to beat.

The problem with the reviewer in question is that ALL of their reviews are completely biased...and the worse part is that they actually get incorporated onto more legit sites like metacritic, where people actually do respect the score - I mean the idea behind metacritic is to remove bias. But when it's blatantly this bad, it's kinda hard not to get pissed off.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:57:14 AM

Well, yeah, that's a separate issue. I can't help that.

Places like Destructoid don't help the industry at all; I'll just leave it there.

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migabyte
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 1:11:55 AM
Reply

Honestly the whole game review thing needs a reboot. I am also interested in movies and music. So when I go to Metacritic, a great movie gets a 85-90, very good music get like a 75-85, but a decent game gets a 85, and 90's are given out once a month. The whole thing is ridiculous. They need to start over. The problem is precedent. Gears 1 got a 95, so the exact same game but better graphics deserves a 98 right? I mean, don't get me wrong, games aren't movies, I like sequels. I am just saying, they blew their load too early and now they are just grandfathering every decent game a good score. There is also too much competition to have the first reviews, I honestly don't even feel like half the GOW3 reviewers even had the game, the just wanted hits. So that's why I think it is important to finish the game, sites think first up is the best, yes, I like seeing early reviews, but I haven't forgotten about the game upon release, and I always check out what gamespot and IGN say, because I know they finish the games and are not just trying to get the hits. Sorry about the rambling, had a few tonight, it is St. Pats day.

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Deleted User
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 3:30:25 AM

Could not agree more with this post!

My biggest pet hate about this generation other than the extremely annoying amounts of fanboyism is the conpletely ridiculous attitude that has developed among gamers that any less than a 9 review score is a travesty!

People going beserk on the IGN boards because GOW3 "only" got a 9.3..?!

What is going on?? Clearly someone went abit crazy at the beginning of the generation with their review score and that set a precedent that everyone feels obliged to along with.

When Resistance 2 (a great game) is being given scores equivalent to Super Mario 64 something is going seriously wrong...

I think PSXExtreme should write an editorial on this perhaps. I remember the days when a 9 blew my mind...

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 1:40:28 AM
Reply

One of the biggest culprits here in this incident, unfortunately, is Square-Enix and all the other publishers who refuse to hand out preview builds of games before they come. Some of which that refuse to even send out a retail copy for review, forcing us to buy the game and then do a mad rush to get a review done as timely as possible. This puts us in a very bad position, because we want to tell you guys whether or not the game is good as soon as possible in order to try and prevent you from making a $60 mistake.

But allow me to clarify this much, there are a ton of games that I review that I'm basically 80-100% done with at the time the review goes up, because many publishers send me their games much earlier on, allowing me to play them on my debug PlayStation 3 unit. Games like God of War III, Uncharted 2, Street Fighter IV, Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, Darksiders, Batman, BlazBlue, Call of Duty MW and MW2, Killzone 2, Uncharted 1, and the list goes on and on.

If you guys notice a review we have is late, that's because we took our time to play the game as much as possible - like Ben said, we won't deliver a review until we're absolutely confident we get it. So don't get us wrong, we're not playing these games for 2 hours and calling it a day (unless the game is that short), we'll put in considerably more time than that. And no, we don't complete every single game, but in many cases we are very close. And don't forget that these days, the average game is less than 10 hours long, so hours in most of us already see a giant chunk of the game and understand exactly what it's all about. So, in a way, it makes reviewing games today a little easier.

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I_defenestrate
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 1:55:46 AM

That's what gets me. From what you listed, it seems you guys get the games people will most likely want in advance. It's the lesser known ones that I'm most curious about before release. Games like Resonance of Fate, Valkyria Chronicles, Demon's Souls and Yakuza. I didn't even know about the first two Yakuza games until I had already sold my PS2 to go into the next generation. Had I seen a review or any kind of "Hey! You need to check this out!", I would've been all over those games. Makes me wonder how many other awesome games I've missed out on.

Last edited by I_defenestrate on 3/18/2010 2:04:33 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:56:04 AM

Yeah, the lesser known ones...we don't get them as readily. It's just part of the process. I'm still trying to get Resonance of Fate.

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Highlander
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 12:37:30 PM

Will be very interested in a review of Resonance of Fate...

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I_defenestrate
Friday, March 19, 2010 @ 1:48:56 AM

@Highlander

I'm in no way a reviewer, but I started playing it today and while it does have a bit of a learning curve with the battle system, it has a lot of potential to be very fun. Not to mention the art style has already grabbed me. I'm a big fan of steampunk though so that may be a bit of bias. I've been playing for about 4 or 5 hours and the story is making no real sense to me at the moment, but that could very well change.

I borrowed it from work, but based on my initial play period, it's going into my collection.

In the first hour though, I experienced a town, a world map, AND npcs. Hmmm...

Last edited by I_defenestrate on 3/19/2010 1:52:36 AM

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___________
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 2:26:45 AM
Reply

simple question.
how can one review a game if they have not finished it?
there going to look seriously stupid if one reviews a game and complains about something not being in the game when it is they just did not get up to it.

for example dantes inferno, if you played only half the game you could say the enemies are the same they rarely change but if you played the full game you would find out that in the last few circles theres a good amount of new enemies.

or a game could be polished to a tee for the first half, than the second half is a utter mess.
now you would look really stupid to say in your review the game is well polished when in fact its not, you just dont know because you did not get to the part that isnt.

obviously not the side missions, getting 100% like GTAIV the story mode is only like 40% if memory serves me well. (which it dont)

what is the point of reviewing a game?
to give the user a idea, a window if you will in to a game so they can get a idea if they will like it or not.
now how can the reviewer give me a window into a game if he has not played it all yet?

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Snaaaake
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:02:31 AM

I got my copy of Dante's Inferno regardless of all the score it gets because I love GOW, tell me I didn't waste my money.

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___________
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 7:35:59 AM

good.
no one should base a purchase off of reviews because as they say one mans garbage is another mans pulp puree!

if your unsure if you should buy a game, play the demo if available, if not the video store is your friend.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:54:51 AM

How? For all the reasons I stated in the article. Maybe you should actually read it.

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kraygen
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:30:45 AM
Reply

To all the people claiming that a reviewer must finish the game in order to give it a proper review.

With the way that video games are designed I have to pose a question to you. What do you consider finished?

Should the reviewer simply play through the story? Do they need to play the story and every side mission? Do they need to unlock every item? Do they need to get every trophy available or even more drastic, see every dialogue option?

What is acceptable? By your reasoning the game cannot be understood until you have examined every possible word, every decoration, every nuance of the game. That is preposterous.

It is a reviewers job to play the game until they understand what it offers to gamers and then give an unbiased, factual, review of the content of the game. It is not their job to tell you every little thing that happens. Once they have experienced what the game as a whole is about then they can relay that to us.

You do not have to experience every sidequest to know whether the gameplay is good or not. You do not have to hear every piece of music to know whether the music in general fits the tone of the game.

In the end what Ben has said is true. You can understand a game without discovering every last little thing that it offers.

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Highlander
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:34:53 AM

Playing a game through to the end of the story only accomplishes one thing, it gives the reviewer the complete story, but since revealing that would be spoiler material, no reviewer will reveal it. So unless a game utterly changes it's graphical and play style towards the end, I can't see why a reviewer would have to play to the end of a long game to give a fair review. Like you said earlier, you don't have to watch every Star Trek episode to review Star Trek, a random half dozen episodes would give you everything you need. but by the logic of many here, the reviewer would have to spend nearly 8 straight days 24-hours a day with minimal breaks watching Trek in order to review just Star Trek The Next Generation. Not sure anyone, even the most ardent Trekkie, will do that.

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spiderboi
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 5:31:13 AM
Reply

Wow. Only Ben and Arnold are the ones making the reviews for PSX? And we get them on a daily basis (oftentimes)? Whoa, you guys are sick! Talk about dedication. Hats off to you guys. That's the main reason I visit this site everyday. The only other site i visit is yahoo just cause its my default page. (Yeah I can make PSX my default by I like looking at the spot news :)

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D1g1tal5torm
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 8:12:17 AM
Reply

Maybe another categroy needs to be added for clarity...

Playability, and this could then be separated out from replay value.

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Milonakis
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 8:35:12 AM
Reply

I understand some games but I think Fallout 3 you should probably have to play through all the missions as all the classes in order to get a true review. (jk)

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:00:44 AM
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I think that a 4/10 is a great score. It fits perfect. A 4/10 is a perfect score for a game that feels unfinished or like only half a game, which is what FFXIII is. It's got story, and the story is good. But the game itself....we're rating the GAME, not the story, and the game lacks so much that all your left with is a hasty battle system that takes away that feel of control that is what makes a video game fun. So the only thing you really feel that you're in control of is pushing up on the joy stick to see the story unfold, and you still don't affect the story. At least in Heavy Rain, you can destroy someones life and even reputation.

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Highlander
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:36:46 AM

All the automation and limits on flexibility and character choice feel to me exactly like the combat system was broken, and the developer didn't have time to fix it so they limited the player's options and claimed it as a virtue instead of acknowledging the true situation.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 10:53:50 AM

Uh...the story is a gigantic part of any RPG. It HAS to be rated.

And I think you're vastly overstating the flaws.

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D1g1tal5torm
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 12:07:00 PM

I think the battle system was a conscious decision on SE part.

Trying to appeal to 360 fanbase.

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 3:09:16 PM

I think that stating the game feels like you're prompted only to move forward isn't that much of an exaggeration. I've played nearly all the Final Fantasy, excluding XIV (even the side games like the GB games and all that) and it just isn't on par with any of them, even with the Gameboy FF's. Even if it weren't a Final Fantasy, I would probably have felt the same way. It's like it's trapping you into a one way street. It started back in FFX when they took out the whole world map. I'm sorry that my opinion strikes a nerve apparently to most, but it's just that.

I wasn't TOO worried when it came to be a multiplat, that was alright, though still shocking. Really wondered why they did that, but nothing I could do about it. Then the gameplay changed, I thought well, that's alright too, I guess...really hoped it stayed with the 2007 footage, but works. But what's really sad is one of the biggest things that hit me before it's release in America was its English theme song. Her voice is annoying, the music doesn't fit the way FFXIII feels or looks, and what was even worse is they nailed her name into the whole thing like she owned the title. Then everything else fell into place.

Needlessly to say, by the time it came out, all my expectations of the title that I was so excited for were melted away, and the only thing left was a single straight line. That was the end of me being excited. A whole image and excitement was stripped away and I was left with a game that, other than the spectacular quality in graphics and scenery along with the deep story, it felt like I was left with a cheap third party game with a song at the end that I leave the room while it plays. Or mute it...

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 3/18/2010 3:09:46 PM

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Robochic
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 12:05:02 PM
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honestly their is no way anyone could 100% complete a game and review it in the time frame that is allocated to the writer.

Reviews are only ment to be what you see and play in a few hours, honestly nothings going to change through out the game for graphics, sounds, mechanics ect. If it does no one cares or notices it.

I comes here for my reviews because of how well written and unbiased the reviews are plus Ben and Arnold tell you how it is instead of tip toeing around the issue and they never spoil anything.

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migabyte
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 2:45:33 PM

100% not necessary, just a playthrough.

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 3:11:13 PM

The first hour or so of a game is where the biggest impression is made for most gamers, so naturally, that's what a review should be written about, right?

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Irievibes
Friday, March 19, 2010 @ 11:58:58 AM
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hmmm...commenting on this....

i remember companies used to put codes or made enhanced versions of the games for reviewers so they could skip ahead on content and check out differnet parts of the game and features without having to play thru the entire thing (A.K.A. Cheats, god mode, etc. )

i dont think companies do that anymoredo they?

although i realize there are some titles you just dont wanna spoil jaja, but would help you guys review all the other stuff you gotta review that you dont necesarily want to play ;)


Last edited by Irievibes on 3/19/2010 11:59:37 AM

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acdc
Saturday, March 20, 2010 @ 11:06:10 PM
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When I was younger, I wanted to be a video game reviewer. What's more fun than playing video games all day and getting paid for it?

But the reality is that when you are forced to play games because it is a job, it becomes a grind and not quite as enjoyable.

I fully endorse putting out a review for a game without finishing it. But at the very least, let everyone know far you got into the game.

Let's face it, things like level design, pacing, and story may be very uneven throughout a game. The only way to gain a handle on the whole is to actually finish the game.

I'm fine with game reviewers playing a game just long enough to get a "good enough" assessment. But can they at least tell us how far they got into the game? Not putting completion percentage info in the review gives the impression that you actually finished the game. That is intellectually dishonest if nothing else.

Guess what, this site doesn't do it. Neither do most of the other "big name" review sites. Hmm. I wonder why?

There's a distinct lack of transparency in video game reviews on this area. Why give the impression that a reviewer finished the game and was able to review the game as a whole when that did not actually happen?

If every reviewer put the game completion information as part of video game review, the original editorial would have never been written.

Ben, I know you can't fix the review process on other sites, but you can fix the review process on this one. What do you say?


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stub3n
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 @ 10:10:18 PM
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How bout ya just finish the game before writing reviews? People look to game reviews mostly to see if the game is worth 2 shits on spending $60... I know I do so why even share your opinion when, guess what, it doesn't count!

If your too busy to finish games before reviewing, hire more people or don't write reviews.

That's my 2-cents and that's the same rules I apply to my blog and it's writers. iheartdestroy[dot]com - shameless plug. I like PSXextreme and they often have news up before other people. I have nothing against reviews before finishing games only in cases such as ff13 but the writer should CLEARLY state it's unfinished and there review only covers 10hours out of the 50+ hours in the game. 1 other thing it's ok to be have a bias opinion, everyone does but a lot of reviewers pretend not to until their readers find out for themselves and call em out.

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