I was listening to the latest episode of Gamespot’s Hotspot today and they were talking about video game reviews and such. And while they were talking about how they didn’t feel people were interested in people’s opinion on games and the art of games, etc and that is why reviews on games are more technical and neutral than movie and music reviews.
I don’t necessarily agree with this however. People like knowing others opinions. It is like the Siskel & Ebert syndrome… people had their favorite, I tended to like Siskel personally… and it is like that not just with those two… alot of people read the review of a certain reviewer for movies because they feel that person’s taste matches their own taste. Why can’t it be this way for games? I mean there are a billion places online you could go to to find the more technical and neutral review… but where do you go to find out whether you will actually like it based on your style? Not many places… you are still left wondering, well will I like this?
What this ends up with is a system of consumer buying where people will just buy nearly every decent reviewed game of their favorite genre instead of breaking the genre and getting just good games. This is a boon to the industry because all they need to do is make a game technically sound to get a good review and not make it actually a game worth getting.
The hotspot also brought up that the game industry is not an art right now because it is very corporate and games are made fairly safely. Maybe this is also because reviews are on the technical merits. The movie and TV industry are probably more corporate than the games industry and they still have their art. Yes there is still absolute crap like Fantastic Four, but from time to time you will get a movie like The Matrix or Lord of the Rings, or a TV show like The Office or Nobody’s Watching.
So I am going to start offering reviews of games from time to time. They won’t be often unless I see traffic going up and I can start supporting myself more on just that…. Because after all I actually have to buy all these games and put in the effort to review it. I don’t just get the games sent to me for free and am paid to sit there and play all day long like a gamespot reviewer. But I will try reviewing games that I get, offer what I think of it more than anything. I will talk more of art style rather than framerates. I will talk about storylines and plot rather than ignore this. And I will talk a bit about interesting new mechanics, and cost vs content. And yes it will have my style involved so there may not be a ton of FPS games around but I will do my best to try to get some games that maybe I wouldn’t normally get. We’ll see how this works, it might only be one game a month but I think it would be interesting to do. I will think of a system on how to rate games later.