Tuesday, April 21, 2009

review timing

Yesterday, I spat out a couple theories (like I do every day) about game reviews, and I want to see what y'all think of them.

Any reviewer's fairness to a game diminishes with his or her workload. The more games a person has to review at one time, the more difficult it is to be patient with your thoughts and not rush to judgment on any one of those games. Time pressures can also discourage you from settling into a natural pace of play.

Also, any person is likely to be less fair in reviewing a game if he is playing that game while eager to play another game. For example, I think Medal of Honor: Airborne is a great game. But if I had bought it the same week that I bought Call of Duty 4, then I probably would have been much more critical of it. Even now, I don't like to play them back-to-back.

So, basically, timing matters. That means how long it's been since the last game you really loved, what similar games are released around the same time, what dissimilar games are released around the same time, how your playtime happens to be interrupted by life in general, etc.


  1. I know I'm guilty of these... I'm sure gamespy and gamespot and ign are too.

  2. That's the nature of criticism. If a movie reviewer is stuck watching a movie to review when he/she is more interested in another movie that came out the same day, the results will be impacted. Of course, many reviewers attempt to maintain a certain train of thought when reviewing games, in attempt to eliminate comparisons, etc.

    I know I've been guilty of succumbing to these types of habits when writing game reviews. It's a human thing.


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