/

How does everyone write their reviews?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of mastermetal777 mastermetal777 6 months, 1 week ago.

  • Profile photo of mastermetal777

    POSTED BY mastermetal777 on Dec 03, 2016

    As the first post for this new thread, I’m curious as to how everyone prepares and writes their game reviews.

     

    I usually start by making a pros and cons list. Once I’m ready to write the review, I go in the following order: story (plot, writing, characters), visuals (graphics, art, animation), gameplay (various dynamic and static mechanics, multiplayer if applicable), sound (mixing, soundtrack), negatives (glitches and anything else I failed to cover). That’s usually how I structure my reviews overall.

     

    How about the rest of you? Any particular writing quirks you apply to your reviews?

    Profile photo of elheber

    POSTED BY elheber on Dec 22, 2016

    At first, I kept a notebook next to me and wrote down things that stood out to me as I played. Later, I found this part to be completely unnecessary for my writing style. It made me write too wordy and include too many things which, in the long run, weren’t all that important to the overall experience.

     

    As I play the game, I try to figure out who this game is trying to be for. What type of person would like this game and why? I want to find the real underlying reason someone would like the game. These are called the “core engagements,” (or as Extra Credits calls it, the “core aesthetics of play“) and they’re super important.

    Once I sit down to write (whether it be a news article, game review, or short story), the first thing I try to do is find a hook. A first sentence or paragraph that will entice you to keep reading.

    After that, I need an expository paragraph(s) to make sure all the readers are on the same page. An example is me explaining what Uncharted games are. We all know what they are, but there might be someone that doesn’t. I try to keep this as short as possible because it could be boring for people who are already informed.

    Once that’s done, I go back to the core engagements of the game. For Superhot, the core engagement was creative problem solving. The game fulfills the same engagements that Portal did: Expression (doing things “your way”) and Challenge. Plus there was a hint of story mystery as well for Narrative. So I wrote about all the things that may seem attractive to people who like those things in games.

    Most of the industry has moved away from the categorized sections of STORY, GRAPHICS, SOUND, etc. and I agree with this change. I’ve avoided it as much as humanely possible. I just focus on the things that would make you want to buy a game, and the things that would make you want to stop playing the game. By focusing on the big picture, I can avoid spoiling the game while keeping my review short.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    Profile photo of mastermetal777

    POSTED BY mastermetal777 on Dec 22, 2016

    I always try to avoid spoilers too. Though I try to do the experiential side, its easier for me to do step by step. Maybe if I do videos next year it’ll be different

    Profile photo of xsuicidesn0wmanx

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Dec 23, 2016

    I don’t think I necessarily get this right all the time, but the most important thing I want to do is give a general idea of how much fun I had with a game. While also sprinkling in a few details here and there.

    This is really hard though. I’m still trying to figure out my writing style. I don’t feel like my personality comes through in my writing. You look at how I talk on gamespot and there’s a lot more snark and wit behind my comments. On here it’s very sterile. Mostly informative and trying too hard to act like a professional.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    Profile photo of elheber

    POSTED BY elheber on Dec 23, 2016

    If I had written a review for No Man’s Sky, I’m 95% sure I would have gotten it wrong. Although I was enjoying my time with the game, I was completely unaware of the false expectations that had surrounded it. So even though giving a general idea of how much fun I had with the game would be honest, it wouldn’t necessarily be true for many readers.

    That’s the eternal question: Should you be objective or subjective? Fact or opinion? Generalize to a lot of people or be accurate to a few people?

    Each is great in their own way. I like to think I’m mostly objective.

    Back to the original question: When I’m done writing my review (or anything, for that matter), I go over it a couple times more with pruning shears. You have to trim the fat. The best writing is concise writing IMHO. It’s counter-intuitive, but the longer you spend on a piece of writing, the shorter it should get.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    Profile photo of xsuicidesn0wmanx

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Dec 23, 2016

    I like to edit mine several times as well. Some of my reviews take me 3-5 hours and have up to 6 edits.

    In relation to the NMS comment, I think once you completed a game, just describe how you feel about the game at that time. We can always post an update later if something changes.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    Profile photo of mastermetal777

    POSTED BY mastermetal777 on Dec 23, 2016

    Well, reviews at the end of the day are just the opinion of one person regarding one game. If a review becomes a critique, it has to be placed under the microscope a bit more, like seeing where it fits into the grand scheme of the greater world of media. In short, reviews are both opinion and buyers guides for the most part. Critique is examining the significance of the piece (and its individual parts) in regards to society and culture.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.