It’s not easy.
Game reviewers are not paid very well, they are expected to get a review out for a new game in 1 week tops.
You need to work fast, and when games become work, it’s hardly fun.Remember, you review games, you don’t have the leisure to savour all it’s goodness. Most of the time you hop from game to game without having the time to complete a single one. You’d have to polish your review, and make it stand out from others.
Be prepared to spend hours on that essay and racking your brains on how to get more views and publicity.
If it sounds like your kind of thing, keep reading.
How to get started:
- Brush up your grasp on your chosen language medium.
It would be best in your interest to keep your prose looking as professional as possible, unless you are aiming for another effect. The books you read don’t have to be gaming/computer related, read widely.
- Grab yourself a domain or youtube channel.
WordPress, tumblr, onsugar or blogspot. Pick your own. You might even want to purchase your own domain for a small fee. Also, customize your website. A little show of effort goes a long way.
- Think about a theme for your website
Do you want to review retro games, or become the herald of upcoming FPS. You can choose to focus on a genre, or simply review em’ all.
- Customize your site.
- Make it user friendly and easy to navigate. Create separate headers and menus if you have to.
- Visual clarity; making sure your font is of a readable size and free of unproductive media clutter.
- For better navigation, categorize your posts and include a nice little widget on your sidebar like mine (<–) or a separate menu.
- Make it more mobile friendly. For WordPress users, there’s a plugin to help you do that. Also, make sure your fonts are big enough to be read on a 4.3inch screen or even smaller. Not having a mobile friendly site would cause longer load times and possibly distorted images.
Writing your first review:
- Play the game
Play the game alone and with minimal distractions;focus. I get the most out of a game that way, it would also help to build more concise opinions at the end of your game session.
- Drafting a review
Avoid giving a plain, bland report of the game. Many reviewers have the same copy-paste materials from the game website itself. This fatal flaw will be your downfall. Do it for the gamers, not the monies.
- Paragraphing and using media:
Avoid text walls. Use color coding and paragraphing to make your essays more readable. Chose to add a little spice by using stock images. Don’t forget to give credits if you do!
This is actually the hardest part of game reviewing. It is common to at least take up to a day or two before publishing the finalized version of your review. Here are some tips to help you along your way.
- Read like you are your audience. Would you be bored by the third paragraph? Does it flow easily or do you keep jumping from point to point? Are you able to follow through with the author’s(your own) arguments and opinions?
- Make sure you don’t spoil the story. If you have to talk about major plot lines, at least warn your readers of the upcoming content.
- Be ruthless. Delete any repetitive sentences and stand behind your arguments and opinions like a boss. Infuse your opinions with authority while not forgetting the first point.
- Be clear about your opinions
Here’s an example. Instead of saying
The game needs more polish and could have done better. I would give the game a 6/10 rating until these issues are addressed.
Say something like:
The game would have been more enjoyable if the numerous graphical bugs were fixed. Gameplay can also get repetitive to the point where combat is more of a chore.
Be more straightforward with your opinions and avoid meaningless, vague comments.
A bit of juice for the road:)
- Develop your own unique style to keep your audience coming back for more.
- If you ever decide to start a YouTube channel, there are quite a few sites where you can get royalty free music.
- Need pictures? Get those stock images from sites like deviantart.
- For video editing, the basic Windows Movie Maker would do enough.
- Need photo editing software? What about Gimp or Paint.net?
- Camtasia is a good screen recorder
- Need to convert your video files? Try using Handbrake.