More help for the Game Reviewer

View part 1 here.
I realized there are pretty much a heck-load of  stuff I left out in the first part.
Here goes nothing.

Don’t overstep your boundaries

Image from s0.geograph.org. Labled for commercial reuse with modification.
Image from s0.geograph.org. Labled for commercial reuse with modification.

Don’t pretend that you are a developer/designer – you are not. Even if, in some rare occasions you turn out to be one, you are not the minds behind this game, so do not try to dictate how the game plays out. The developer(s) have a vision for the game, and that game is their game. You may pay for it, pre-order it, but you don’t own the game. You just get to play a copy of the game made by the developers. Thats it. They are the story teller, they write the story, so lend them your ears.

So what can we comment on?

Gameplay. But try to remain neutral(unless there are bugs), remember the aforementioned point. If a game is made to be extremely violent or absolutely fabulous then so be it – leave it be. What you can comment on is how fun or how engaging the game is. If the game fails to appeal to you because you don’t like rainbows, then the problem with this game is that its not marketed at you. On the other hand, if a game turns out to be a bug nest or fails to deliver what it proclaimed it would in their trailers(false advertising) you should highlight this to your audience, and in some cases it might stir a storm.

In somewhat rare cases a character in game may be imbalanced, overpowered or underpowered. Do your research before saying anything; you will be rage-bait.

Offer something unique to the table

320px-Table_setting-01

I cannot emphasize this more; having unique content is definitely a must have. There are a lot of things I want to talk about, like how Metro: Last Light is a ripoff with its launch-day DLC being a difficulty level. Sometimes you feel that you can use your presence in the community to highlight this issue to the developers and other gamers – which is not really a bad thing. In the case of Metro: Last Light, proverbial shit has already hit the fan over at Reddit and Angry Joe. Save your time and effort for something else.

As said in part 1, try to develop your own style and identity.

Speak well

Image from Pixabay, labled for commercial reuse.
Image from Pixabay, labled for commercial reuse.

Use Audacity to record and listen to your own voice. It might initially sound weird but keep trying, keep working with it. There are multiple techniques when it comes to developing a better voice. Here are some tips:

  • Learn to articulate better. Open your mouth wide, but keep the muscles around your mouth and jaw loose. This allows a richer, fuller tone.
  • Relax. A lot of people tend to tense up even when recording alone at home. Welcome to the club. I can only advise that you (and I) do more practices. I actually have quite a few videos that I refuse to upload because I’m not satisfied with the overall quality of the video, and I don’t think it deserves any views at all. But keep going at it, I’m sure it will work out some day. Practice makes perfect.
  • Don’t use a fake accent. I know the British accent sounds incredibly sexy, but most of the people that try to emulate it end up in the dumpster.
  • Listen to how other people talk. Bring a podcast along with you on your dally commute, listen to the radio. It’s not the accent you should pay attention to, its the pronunciation and choice of words.
  • Practice. Make a list of words that you have trouble pronouncing, practice saying each word into a voice recorder. Practice using a normal cadence when speaking. Your natural tendency may be to rush through your sentences, especially if you aren’t confident about pronunciation.

If you ever intend to literally voice out your comments, it is imperative that you speak well. Speech that is full of inappropriate language, harsh tone and no articulation communicates negatively to your audience.

Try not to use a score system

Fail. Try not to do this.
Fail. Try not to do this.

Personally, I think its ridiculous to score a game like how you grade a test paper. While graphics, sound effects and various aspects of the game can (arguably) be ranked on a scale, I find it impossible to quantify “how much fun there was in the game”, or “how engaging it was”.

Constant content

Keep uploading videos, keep writing your reviews. This is something even I find hard to abide to, because I keep scraping my own work. Nevertheless, keep doing your stuff and make sure you have some decent content. Content is what the internet was invented for.

Reviews vs First Impressions

If you haven’t been paying attention, then now is probably the time. This is the most important part of today’s post and if there is only one thing your brain can absorb, then let it be this. Reviews are not first impressions. First impressions are not reviews. A first impression is literally what the game offers at first glance and a good 1 to 2 hours of gameplay tops. A review is what you think of the game after completing it. That being said, a review is actually more indepth in comparison to a First Impression. But in genres concerning an absence of proper storyline, ending or in MMOs, a first impression is without a doubt the way to go.

And lets say you finish a game and decide to write a review on it, how should you go about in your review? If need be, include spoilers and warn your readers beforehand. But it is possible to review a game without disclosing all its grandeur.

Take Braid for example, a first impression might conclude it is a man’s overblown, fantasy-esque love story. But upon completing the game, the narrative leaves much room for interpretation. (See what I did there?)

A screen capture of Braid. Honestly, this game is mind-blowing.
A screen capture of Braid. Honestly, this game is mind-blowing.
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Currently this is all I have to offer, please hang on while I crank my brain a little more. 😀
The author blogs at pp1mt.com
Feel  free to reblog, repost and quote on your own website. Commercial use is allowed as long as credit is given.
Have a blast!
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