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Reputable Games Reviewers

Physiocrat

Member
Nov 2, 2020
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The other thread on whether games journalists actually complete games before reviewing got me thinking, who would be a broadly reputable computer games reviewer?

By this I mean actually finishes games before review, tells the audience what he actually thinks rather than just being a corporate shill and provides detailed insights as to why he reviewed the game the way he did.

It does not need to be a reviewer you actually agree with most of the time. An area of reviewing I know more about in England is film reviews. I often disagree with Mark Kermode's assessment of films but his reviews are generally insightful and I can work out in general if I am likely to enjoy them.

Edit - the reviews need not be written. They can be video reviews too
 
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TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
827
937
605
I dont think you need to finish a game to review it. If a game is shit in the first 30 hours its a shitty game and you shouldn't buy it, at least not at full price.

Its not much about how exactly they review games and more about whether or not you share the same taste as the reviewer. If you think IGN is spot on for you then thats fine as well.
I actually like it when several people have played the game and discuss it in a podcast (like giant bomb, easy allies and the like). Gives you different perspectives.

To add on to my point about finishing games: Its actually quite well understood that the ending experience has a disproportional impact on how the entire experience is viewed. So a good game with a luck luster ending will be a worse game overall for the palyer and vice versa. Look how much the ending experience of ME3 or FF7R has soured some peoples enjoyment of the entire game retroactively.
 
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Cyberpunkd

Member
Dec 16, 2020
843
1,323
410
The other thread on whether games journalists actually complete games before reviewing got me thinking, who would be a broadly reputable computer games reviewer?

By this I mean actually finishes games before review, tells the audience what he actually thinks rather than just being a corporate shill and provides detailed insights as to why he reviewed the game the way he did.

It does not need to be a reviewer you actually agree with most of the time. An area of reviewing I know more about in England is film reviews. I often disagree with Mark Kermode's assessment of films but his reviews are generally insightful and I can work out in general if I am likely to enjoy them.
It doesn’t matter who writes the review. Let me use an example: a physical media will always be better than 24/7 news channels or social media since they do not chase deadlines. New Yorker is leagues ahead of anything else in the journalist sphere.

A great review gives you something looking at YouTube will not - context, development history, etc. Think PC Gamer’s 10-page special of the Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows.

For me a great reviewer will use his vast knowledge of game design and video game history to do a sort of post-mortal on the game. I haven’t find that reviewer yet, so I mostly ignore them and just play classics.
 
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TheCockatrice

Member
Jun 16, 2019
2,763
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There will never be a reputable game reviewer. I make reviews on steam for whatever I finish and I don't consider myself reputable either because they're just opinions and there will always be bias, taste, feelings, and whatnot when it comes to games regardless what they say.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
Jun 10, 2004
34,594
49,138
2,510
California
manabyte.com
When I worked at IGN 20 years ago, you had to finish a game before reviewing it. Yes for some games like JRPGs that's hard, but you had to do it. For some games it was your life 24/7 just to finish it to review it.

These days it seems like there's a rush to the embargo drop and to play just enough to get a review up in time for that.
 

Majmun

Member
Dec 15, 2005
21,530
494
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NeoGaf
People read reviews? I just look at the Metacritic score and check gameplay on Youtube. It's been my thing since the Ps3-era.
 

sunnysideup

Banned
Nov 11, 2018
877
1,394
430
Isnt reviews sorta obsolete with forums, youtube and such services. I have not really read reviews in 20 years. With word of mouth, longplays, playthroughts you can easily get an idea what kind of game it is.
 

brian0057

Member
Jun 18, 2018
1,953
3,701
550
The most reputable game reviewer is the individual.
Everyone else is just giving their opinion.
At the end of the day, you're the one who decides if a game is good or bad to you.

Some people think Resident Evil 6 is a good game.
Others, like myself, think Hideo Kojima is a hack and his games suck.
It's all personal preference.
 

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
15,664
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615
Yourself and trusted people with similar tastes.

watch some gameplay, read some comments from trusted sources who play for passion and not money or internet celebrity.
I only read review for analytical datas like number of levels or weapons or characters or general flow but sometimes they even get that wrong.

no one can substitute your gamer experience and your eyes\hears, surely not a probably mediocre player who know how to put 2 words in front of another in a nice way.

And forget the fucking metacritic, we have countless examples of how that thing is utterly useless.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
1,679
5,402
545
Zeus’ butthole
Find reviewers who have similar taste as you. If you like the same 10 games a reviewer likes and dislike the same 10 games that reviewer dislikes, that's probably a match (just one shitty example, but you know what I mean).

It is gonna seem like I am ripping off GHG GHG , but he posted right as I started this post, and for me my go-to are

EZA
Karak Karak (ACG)
Skill Up

I typically try to "average out" their conclusions on a game and more often than not I find myself agreeing with them.

I haven't really checked out Worth a Buy but I will now.

Bottom line is everyone has bias, everyone has flaws. No reviewer is perfect
 
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AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,412
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Leeds, UK
Two ways I approach any sort of media criticism; either just get the broad picture, or find one critic/group who largely thinks on your wavelength. The first is easier to do.
 
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Karak

Member
Jun 22, 2009
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Crazy interesting to see the OP's want for people who finish games and a couple of recommendations of people who FOR SURE do not finish games or even play much of them prior to reviews lol. Steam developer discussions for the win ;)
But for me instead of saying a name I will say that patient gamers on reddit is awesome for what you might be wanting.
 

Karak

Member
Jun 22, 2009
13,632
2,140
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www.youtube.com
ACG, Skillup, and worthabuy are my go to reviewers, and even with them I sometimes totally disagree, I guess tastes are tastes.
This is why I tell people that if they find themselves saying "I follow ACG cause we always agree" they might as well leave now. Because I don't even agree with my real-life friends on everything on any single game in the world ever. No way in hell you will agree with some random person. It should never ever be about solely agreeing. If someone thinks like that I will Anikin their heart quick enough.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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I like Angry Joe reviews. Ya he gets tacky with his costumes and goofing around for sake of putting on a show (made worse as the costumes seem tighter the fatter he gets). And he plugs that energy drink every video. But I find his analysis and critique of stuff spot on.

And unlike some sites who have their balls in a vise balancing their 6-10 scale vs. ad banner revenue and gold copies, he isn't afraid to give bad review scores and upload a video two weeks after launch. So it shows he's not a day one video whore. Maybe he's a paid off bum after all, but it sure seems he just buys the game on launch day like every one else, plays it, then posts weeks later.
 
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MikonJuice

Member
May 8, 2018
67
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220
I pretty much think that you should stick with the journalists that you have affinity, be it same same taste in gaming, style, knowledge or even the quality of the text. For example:

- I like ACG because he pretty much have a consistent and reliable way of analysing games;
- Collin Moriarty because of his taste in gaming, a very japanese oriented taste, and I really like the games that he usually hypes up;
- EasyAllies, as the whole team is pretty much competent in the same level. I do prefer Bloodworth and Ben, but the others are very competent. Also to note... I do think they give some "too high scores" to my taste, but, nonetheless, the information is there;
- AngryJoe is pretty much on point with the criticism. Aside all the show and guns blazing, I do think that he's usually cirurgical at pointing the problems of the games he reviews. It's very close to my own opinions. He gives some really low grades, but the info is there. And, my god, Other Joe is fucking awesome.

There are two journalists that I should mention: worthabuy and Kellie Plagge from Gamespot. The first one has just quality writing, be it jokes or analysing a game, and the second one is pretty much because of her Cyberpunk review. I really thought she was a stuck-up, a very annoying sjw and after seeing her columm plus the discussion video, I bought Cyberpunk and... my criticism were almot identical to hers... so... I guess I might be wrong about her. I'm actually paying more attention to her reviews.
 
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eastcoastkody

Member
Nov 5, 2016
343
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anything but IGN for me. I can't stand that they have a huge staff...of ppl u know and want the opinions of. Then they just freelance out the reviews to joe schmo nobody.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Check out this awesome review from Joe about that shitty Predator game review. If you don't want to watch it, get to the 36:00 mark when he goes off about the paid DLC.

The first DLC is to download Arnold as a playable character. Costs $7.

 
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reforen

Member
Oct 1, 2018
236
444
335
The other thread on whether games journalists actually complete games before reviewing got me thinking, who would be a broadly reputable computer games reviewer?

By this I mean actually finishes games before review, tells the audience what he actually thinks rather than just being a corporate shill and provides detailed insights as to why he reviewed the game the way he did.

It does not need to be a reviewer you actually agree with most of the time. An area of reviewing I know more about in England is film reviews. I often disagree with Mark Kermode's assessment of films but his reviews are generally insightful and I can work out in general if I am likely to enjoy them.

Edit - the reviews need not be written. They can be video reviews too
ACG is the best game reviewer in youtube, his reviews are the thing you are looking for
 

BigBooper

Member
Feb 28, 2018
2,913
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670
Professional reviewers get too much up their butts about story and how the game made them feel emotionally. I don't have any interest in their feelings, and the stories if they are pretty good, I don't want them spoiled anyways. I want to know if a game looks good, if the basic mechanics are fun, and if it's buggy. For my purpose, the user review headlines of an aggregator like Steam, and Metacritic are the best reviewers.
 
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Bartski

Member
Jan 15, 2020
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570
Katowice
Some interesting responses here.
I don't need validation for how I feel about an entertainment product and reviews that I know I agree with are a total waste of time.
If I read or watch reviews it's post-release, it's bad reviews of games I love or good reviews of games I that think are shit.

Pre-release it's only Metacritic bottom lines when embargo drops, as an overview of the general consensus. At the end of the day that doesn't matter either, I've had tons of fun with some universally hated games before. It's not the 90's anymore and you can usually see the game in action on youtube before it's out and that should be enough for anyone to know if they're interested.
 
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Handel

Member
Jun 9, 2017
581
741
370
It doesn’t matter who writes the review. Let me use an example: a physical media will always be better than 24/7 news channels or social media since they do not chase deadlines. New Yorker is leagues ahead of anything else in the journalist sphere.

A great review gives you something looking at YouTube will not - context, development history, etc. Think PC Gamer’s 10-page special of the Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows.

For me a great reviewer will use his vast knowledge of game design and video game history to do a sort of post-mortal on the game. I haven’t find that reviewer yet, so I mostly ignore them and just play classics.

If you're not opposed to more long form content, I'd say that the Lorerunner is a reviewer that meets that criteria. He isn't a traditional reviewer, and only sometimes will review a game close to it's release, but he does his review as he's streaming the game with a plus/minus system for story/gameplay. He will stop at intervals to discuss positives/negatives he is thinking of giving, and his viewers can debate positives/negatives to give. He's in his 40s and has been playing games a long time, being involved in the industry at points, and really knows what he's talking about. He also does ruminations on games, just his thoughts without any score as well as true deep dives in the form of lore runs.

https://lorerunner.com/reviews

 
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Dec 2, 2018
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Matthewmatosis is the best games reviewer around but he releases one video every four months. Tim Rogers is good too but he's not much better.

I generally like Brit sites like Eurogamer. A lot of people hate Edge but I like them. French reviewers are good too but I don't know many of them
 

UnNamed

18+ Member, acts like 12 year old console warrior
Dec 21, 2006
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I don't know who are the good reviewers, but I know who are the bad ones, those who think they have played tons of games so they are experts.

Actually, the best reviewers I knew were some guys who played videogames for just one generation.
 

ZehDon

Member
Jun 13, 2013
3,577
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I'll throw a voice behind Skillup and ACG.

For me, it's not about agreeing with an opinion, it's about understanding an opinion. A lot of published reviewers aren't particularly good at explaining their viewpoint or articulating their feelings; how they get published in the first place is often times beyond me, frankly. I gave up reading reviews from places like Kotaku and Polygon because, largely, I'd finish reading any given review and know nothing more about the game apart from what the game's own website and YouTube channel can tell me. With that said, I find Eurogamer is be more hit than miss, though they do put out some stinkers still. Anyway, with Skillup and ACG, they take the time to explain themselves such that I can understand their view point of any one element. ACG's Greedfall review is a good example, due to the comparisons - such as framing it within the context of Two Worlds - and better articulation of feeling - such as explaining the "more than the sum of its parts" music and tone - which all helped frame the reviewer's viewpoint so that I could understand if its a viewpoint I agree with or disagree with. Both Skillup and ACG do this, allowing me to say "Skillup/ACG enjoyed it for reasons that would mean I didn't enjoy it" or vice versa. In terms of pure buying recommendations, they're basically the only two subs I have on YouTube.
 
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Perrott

Member
Feb 23, 2019
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Víctor Martínez (@chiconuclear):

https://www.anaitgames.com/analisis/analisis-tony-hawks-pro-skater-12

 

Cyborg

Member
Aug 21, 2009
5,620
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I dont read reviews but do check review scores of some outlets that didnt let me down. Here are some guidlines I have set for myself;

1. If a game scores 8.5 or higher Im there on Day one (it still needs to fit my interest).
2.A game with a score bellow 8,0 I only buy the game if its a franchise I love and want to support.
3. A game with a score bellow 7,5 I dont even bother. I just dont have the time to play avarage games
 
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Daymos

Member
Jul 26, 2013
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I like RPG site. If you have a job where you can throw in earbuds (or a long commute) and listen they have a podcast where they'll talk about the game and how they did the review, and they'll straight up tell you if they rushed it. Then you can get a good feel for whether or not you agree with the reviewers mindset.

If your viewpoint and taste in gaming doesn't line up with a reviewers then the review isn't going to be much good to you.
 
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cromofo

Member
Oct 22, 2016
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I always check out WorthABuy.

Mainly because he knows what an RPG game actually is.
 
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Fbh

Member
Dec 6, 2013
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It's all just people giving their opinions. There's no reviewer that's objectively right or wrong.
Ideally you want to follow specific reviewers that align with your taste in games or that you've followed long enough to get that much needed context that's usually missing from some random review of a random reviewer you've never read before.

I often watch Easy Allies reviews, not because I think they are "better reviewers" but mostly because I've followed their podcast from time to time since the GT era so I'm very familiar with them and the types of games they like. It helps give context to their reviews, for example I know Brandon actually liked generic Ubisoft Open world, Huber is a bit hyperbolic specially regarding story, Ben has a higher tolerance for weeb shit than me and Brad is usually the one who aligns the most with my taste.

I also like ACG because his reviews are pretty in depth, so even if you don't necessarily agree with all his opinion, he is usually giving you enough footage and information to form your own one.
 
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jaysius

Member
Oct 3, 2019
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This is why I tell people that if they find themselves saying "I follow ACG cause we always agree" they might as well leave now. Because I don't even agree with my real-life friends on everything on any single game in the world ever. No way in hell you will agree with some random person. It should never ever be about solely agreeing. If someone thinks like that I will Anikin their heart quick enough.
100% this, if you agree with EVERYTHING the review is ALWAYS saying you've joined some kind of bandwagon because it makes you feel apart of something(the reviewer's friend/the reviewers community of fans), instead of actually strengthening your own individual views and thoughts. Reviewers aren't telling you what to think, or what mindset to think like, they're telling you aspects of a product from their own perspective.

A side effect from people getting too into the bandwagon effect for a reviewer is when the reviewer they love goes completely against what they believe in, they start hating said reviewer, but a review opposed to how you feel/think does not suddenly change that reviewer, it just means you've been using reviews incorrectly, reviewers aren't creating communities of hive minds, they're stating their opinions about something.

I skim multiple reviews, and check more honest reviewers that have proven that they're honest over time, then I form my own opinion.

Many reviewers from big sites/youtube channels these days that are post 0 day or before release are just trying to create a zeitgeist to form feelings of FOMO in gamers, to help their ad revenue, or to get more early access to content from said publisher they're making a review for.
 

RJMacready73

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Jun 25, 2020
727
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Angry Joe is my favourite reviewer, sure he has his schtick but he also backs all his shit up with sound reason and ensure he finishes every game, plus the big man Alex lends some solid opinions as well

having said that he was 100% wrong on his TLOU2 review even if i did laugh like fuck at it
 
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Elder Legend

Member
Jun 10, 2019
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I'll gladly chime in on this. I work in the industry and own my own publication. I, myself have written many reviews for several big AAA publishers including EA, Activision, Microsoft, Ubisoft and so on.

I've reviewed many types of games ranging from the recent massive games such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla for both old gen and new gen.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Dark Souls III Ringed City

Those are just very very few examples of games I've reviewed personally, while others have reviewed titles such as Sekiro, Division 2 etc...

Anyways.. in regards to length and finishing games that depends on what the game is and when you are given a copy. There have been times when the publisher hooked us up on the day off release (which is unfortunate, because you lose the hot window for clicks and embargo lifts) and there have been times where a publisher have given us over 8 days. For example games like Halo 5 Guardians was recieved upon almost 10 days prior to its release date. So it was a lot easier to play all of the game's content on top having enough time to sink in to the point to where you may form a solid objective opinion.

The issue is with most day game reviewers is that they focus on silly things such as politics or unrelated topics that don't tell the main points of the game such as the actual gameplay feel, technical prowess, bugs/glitches and most importantly whether the game is fun or not and provides enough entertainment value for the amount of money you pay.

Me personally, I look at games differently depending on their price tag, if a game is $30 i will make sure to have an objective mind on whether the game is worth the $30 or not for what its trying to achieve and provide versus a game that's $60 and assuming it has more or less content.

Another thing you have to look at is the game's intended game design and if you understand what the game is trying to do, you then have to evaluate whether it does its job well.

Resident Evil 7 is a good example of that. It's a game that intentially keeps exact same core old school resident evil mechanics such as puzzle solving and roaming around spooky areas. But its new camera angle going into first person created to create a more immersive horror experience and it also opened up a new possibly for VR as well. A 3rd person VR game will never be as imerssive as a 1st person game for the obvious reasons.

So in RE7 case, we have to ask ourselves - Is the camera change working? How does the world now feel? Is it more spooky or less? Does it still feel like I am playing a Resident Evil game? Do the puzzles feel similar to old RE games? Do we feel the same pressure from the new Tyrant variant when we're in 1st person or is it even more stressful and scary?

Truth be told, its near impossible to have a perfect person reviewing every single game. Simply because us as individuals have different beliefs, feels and opinions based on our previous experiences.

Also, the rule I run down in my publication is that my reviewers will only get the game if they A) have enough knowledge and experience in a particular genre B) If they love a particular series and want to review the remake or a sequel C) Prefer Multiplayer over Single player titles or vice versa.

Basically, I never give a review copy to a person if I believe they do not have the knowledge or understanding to review such a game or if they are are just not into it. I will never let a person review a game that's like Dark Souls if they do not enjoy it or don't understand its game design. Because then you end up with a review and it looks and read poorly because the person has no clue what his talking about. That's another issue with most reviewing websites, everyone and their mom reviewed everything despite them having a lack of previous experience and so on.

I hope this shines a bit more light on the behind the scenes. Sadly, the way I run things is very strict, but its because I care about websites reputation and want to provide best quality article/review. Most sites will never do that, majority of the people writing are nothing but disposable monkeys that are being used to push leftists ideologies in the gaming industry, create drama and drive their website clicks while being paid very poorly on top of that.

This is what's REALLY happening. It's not the old days anymore, where a game gets reviewed for what it is and whether its good or bad. However, thankfully a lot of our readers are super grateful and enjoy the content simply because we keep it what id like to call "Gaming and Gaming Only."

Reviewing Valhallnwas a very challenging, we recieved it only a few days prior to its release date.

I was really enjoying the game and wanted to take my time but also did not want to miss embargo. So I had to pick my battles and play until I feet I had enough experience to make my final judgment. Unfrotuantely, we don't always get to choose how much time we get to review long titles.
 
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Jan 14, 2018
4,705
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The other thread on whether games journalists actually complete games before reviewing got me thinking, who would be a broadly reputable computer games reviewer?

By this I mean actually finishes games before review, tells the audience what he actually thinks rather than just being a corporate shill and provides detailed insights as to why he reviewed the game the way he did.

It does not need to be a reviewer you actually agree with most of the time. An area of reviewing I know more about in England is film reviews. I often disagree with Mark Kermode's assessment of films but his reviews are generally insightful and I can work out in general if I am likely to enjoy them.

Edit - the reviews need not be written. They can be video reviews too
The best video game analyst is yourself.

Never .... Never .... Never let an analyst influence you.
 
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