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Reputable Games Reviewers

Jan 14, 2018
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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
This is one of the worst person in review a game... Please stop watch him.
 

Patrick S.

Amiga Forever
May 4, 2013
4,971
1,955
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Germany
I really do enjoy Tom Chick's reviews. He doesn't give a fuck about any kind of consensus and I feel he's always been completely honest.

I used to love Angry Joe's reviews, but the two problems I have with them is that he spoils a lot of stuff, and also the whole "angry" character was much more fitting when he was a young teenage dude who liked to make vidoes than it his now that he's much older and probably a multimillionaire, and the schtick seems much more forced now and I feel that he's more of a businessman than he is a reviewer. He also reviews a lot less stuff now, because obviously streaming is much less work and he gets showered with donations and superchats. On a tangent, the other day I was a watching a video of a guy walking up to supercar drivers in their cars and asking them what they did for a living, and there was like half a dozen young guys who looked no day older than 24 driving McLaren's, and they were all Youtubers. Crazy how much money big Youtubers seem to be rolling in.

I enjoy Mack's "Is it worth a buy" videos a lot, but sometimes he's a bit stubborn, and frankly, he often seems a bit daft, and knocks games for stuff that doesn't deserve knocking at all because he just doesn't "get" it.

I enjoy ACG's videos a lot. I like his speedy delivery and his insight, and I sometimes laugh out loud at his awesome analogies. He's a true wordsmith. But above all, he seems honest. I don't care if I agree with your opinions or not. I care about honesty, a lot.
 
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Physiocrat

Member
Nov 2, 2020
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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.
Thanks for that, it was a good read. I can understand the issues with embargoes.
 

Hypereides

Member
Jan 19, 2009
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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.

(...)

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."

(...)

That's really sad, man. I bet a lot of actually worthwhile games got injustly thrown by the wayside thanks to this approach.
 

Elder Legend

Member
Jun 10, 2019
1,576
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That's really sad, man. I bet a lot of actually worthwhile games got injustly thrown by the wayside thanks to this approach.
How so? Not if you have a dedicated indie guy that likes to play indie games and we reviewed plenty of those.
 

Dr. Suchong

Member
Aug 17, 2020
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Edge magazine have steered me right for the best part of 20 years.
It's a pretty dry read these days though.
I miss the golden age of Games magazine reviews. *Sigh*
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Edge magazine have steered me right for the best part of 20 years.
It's a pretty dry read these days though.
I miss the golden age of Games magazine reviews. *Sigh*
PC Gamer. I think there starting mag was Transport Tycoon mid 90s.

I wasn't even a big PC gamer back then as I focused on console more, but the typical PC gaming mag was 10x more informative than a console rag. Only good thing about console mags was it had more pictures and weird sections like rumour mills and Japan import info for games not coming to other markets for a year.

If you guys want to read awesome reviews where they didn't hold back calling buggy games crap with an 18% out of 100 rating, that was a mag to read.
 

Shodan09

Member
Jan 24, 2018
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440
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.
I see your point but what about games that completely change after a significant amount of time, like FFXIII?

I don't think you can ever give an informed opinion without experiencing the full thing. It's like watching a film and walking out after the first half, or eating a starter and leaving the restaurant then reviewing the whole experience based on that.

They are getting paid to play games after all, the least we can expect is that they put the effort in to give a thorough evaluation. Sometimes this means slogging your way through a turd.

If you're giving me your opinion on something you've not finished, then your opinion means nothing imo.
 

Hypereides

Member
Jan 19, 2009
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How so? Not if you have a dedicated indie guy that likes to play indie games and we reviewed plenty of those.
Pardon the very delayed response. I meant to get back to you, but didn't manage to do so :p.

Anyway, In regards to your reply:

Well, if I understood your original post correctly ("not being assessed as is"), it lends the average game much smaller chance for a fair and possibly adequate assessment. Some games have some pretty low production values, but manage to compensate for it by its complete package or in some other way. If you don't assess the game "for what it is", and by its own merits, then there's likely going to be many decent games that are worth a play that'll fall through the cracks.

Some smaller indie or AA games will never measure up to that of the AAA production values, but can absolutely still have valid qualities to be worth picking up for a playthrough. I've noticed various games get low-middling scores, especially in the most recent decade, simply because they didn't match up to that level of surface polish. Its a disservice to those that try to achieve something different, but with far less ressources at their disposal.

Just my 2 c's.

Btw, I applaud you for handing games to people you specifically deem are experienced and qualified in a given genre to deliver an informed opinion. More outlets could learn from that. They usually just throw it to some random dude that has little to no knowledge or experience with a game's given genre.
 
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Sidesalad

Neo Member
Apr 28, 2015
34
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Reviews held a greater importance in the pre-youtube print media days. It wasn't uncommon for our only knowledge about a game to come from a magazine review. We had to base our purchase decision solely on that review, and even then, it always felt like a little bit of a gamble.

However, now that we're subjected to a deluge of content about literally every game under the sun, I really don't think traditional reviews are important at all when it comes to determining whether you'd like a game or not.

First of all, you already know what types of games you like. Within the first second, you'll identify if the art style is to your liking, and shortly after whether the premise and setting might interest you.

If you're even remotely interested, hop on youtube, watch some gameplay (really doesn't matter who's doing it to be honest) and then you'll have a very good idea if it's worth your time or not.
 

Lone Denjin

Neo Member
Dec 15, 2020
48
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Many youtubers do come to mind Gmanlives,Skill up, Avalanche Reviews off the top off my head. There are more who go in to the comedy review category as well.
Print media journalists are dead to me. Yea back in the 90s you could argue that they were better. But only because they were the only game in town.
In recent years, that have proven themselves to be hostile, egotistic and very politically driven. Many don't play games to a reasonable skill level at all. I could link the bird vs the Cuphead reviewer. Or the man who was so shit at DMC5, he complained about the music being shit, unwittingly outing himself as a low skill player. I don't expect E sport level play. I expect someone who has picked up a controller and put at least 50 hours in the last 3 months.
I also could link to that old review of that ps1 Alien game that shit on twin stick movement. But i feel i would be giving them a low blow if i went that far.
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
Dec 5, 2017
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a reputable game review is an aggregation review (like Metacritic or Steam) that is also free of reactionary reviews of thousands of people giving games a 1 cause they hate the creator or something stupid.

That's why I trust GAF for reviews. I generally take the pulse of a couple dozen people and that gives me a "review" for a game.
 

mxbison

Member
Dec 9, 2020
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Steam user reviews.

Reviewer doesn't get paid, you can see if they bought the game or got it for free, you can see how long they played it.
 
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mxbison

Member
Dec 9, 2020
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Until they review bomb the game off the back of a mistake

How often does that happen on Steam though? It's not like Metacritic where trolls can just review bomb a game without buying it.

And if someone buys a game and gives it a bad review because the servers aren't working or it's a bad PC port, that's justified and not review bombing.
 

nerdface

Member
Mar 22, 2021
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No such thing...they’re all in the business of selling the games they ‘review.’

The line between being an advertiser/promoting a title, and ‘reporting game news’ has always been fuzzy. Even in the old days of magazines.

You don’t see the washington post running full page ads for marilago across an article about dipshit, for example.
 
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Neo_GAF

Drunken Prophet
Oct 4, 2017
93
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everyone said it already, but i guess i write it again:
you dont need to finish a game to actually review it. how do you review online-games?
how do you review sports games?
how do you review strategy games?
sometimes you even miss a mechanic without ever seeing it displayed or being advertised or whatever.

what if you dont like strategy games at all but review such a game? it does not make sense.
i think you always have nuance reviews, it always has been.
what i found a disgrace was this polygon thing where that one dude was not even able to clear the tutorial.
why did they leave this in the footage at all?
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
Dec 5, 2017
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How often does that happen on Steam though? It's not like Metacritic where trolls can just review bomb a game without buying it.

And if someone buys a game and gives it a bad review because the servers aren't working or it's a bad PC port, that's justified and not review bombing.

Eh it happens. See all those chinese users who review bombed some old Monster Hunter game because of some off handed anti china comment in the Monster Hunter movie. Thats the most recent example I can think of.
 

Sander Cohen

Member
Sep 3, 2019
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Most relevant for me is Metacritic average, tbh. Don’t have complete trust in anyone individually, they’re all susceptible to influence and corruption depending on the game. Average score kinda weeds that out. I still have most respect for Gamespot and IGN (old-school guy).
 

Hypereides

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Jan 19, 2009
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Eh it happens. See all those chinese users who review bombed some old Monster Hunter game because of some off handed anti china comment in the Monster Hunter movie. Thats the most recent example I can think of.
Those kinds of people, that leave extreme review scores (straight 0s or 10s), are usually the least reliable or practically not worth listening to. Fuck man, there's been so many times some people took a minute detail or misunderstood something and blew it out of proportion as some significant flaw. I'd even argue no game is near a 10 or can ever achieve such. Every game has its flaws one way or another regardless. Those that herald a game as "entirely" flawless/terrible tend to derive it from their own personal experience and key values that they weigh on.

The outlets that removed review score scales completely are some of the better places if anything. I honestly want to see some outlets have the cojones to redefine the review scale from like '0 to 10' to something in the line of '1 to 9'.
 
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DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
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The outlets that removed review score scales completely are some of the better places if anything. I honestly want to see some outlets have the cojones to redefine the review scale from like '0 to 10' to something in the line of '1 to 9'.


Agreed, it makes no sense.

I do a movies/shows/games/books/comics review google sheets docs with some friends and we review stuff on a 10 point scale.

5 is average. 7 is good! Now it seems 7 is bad lol, makes no sense.
 

S0ULZB0URNE

Gold Member
Jan 27, 2020
2,424
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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.

Lol this one is funny as well!

 

KingT731

Member
Jan 9, 2018
614
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www.Twitch.tv
everyone said it already, but i guess i write it again:
you dont need to finish a game to actually review it. how do you review online-games?
how do you review sports games?
how do you review strategy games?
sometimes you even miss a mechanic without ever seeing it displayed or being advertised or whatever.

what if you dont like strategy games at all but review such a game? it does not make sense.
i think you always have nuance reviews, it always has been.
what i found a disgrace was this polygon thing where that one dude was not even able to clear the tutorial.
why did they leave this in the footage at all?
Well that depends. If inside your written review you critique the story then admit you only played the first 2 hours(akin to reviewing a movie but turning it off 20 minutes in)....or in some games the case of critiquing gameplay elements that aren't accessible until a certain point (I saw this happen with Death Stranding most recently).
 
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nerdface

Member
Mar 22, 2021
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I think it’s like Facebook, where people are legit confused about who the customer really is.

When you go to a webpage like say, IGN, to read a review, do you think you are the customer?...or is it CDPR?
 

Humdinger

Member
Apr 21, 2010
4,284
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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.

Interesting to hear. I've heard that a lot. Sometimes, I've wondered if that is the just the opinion of a minority of conservative/libertarian gamers, and they are blowing things out of proportion. But it's interesting to hear you say it. You're in the industry and in a position to know.
 

SEGA_2012

Member
Jan 6, 2020
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Mark from CGR



TJ and Derek from CGRUndertow

 
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TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
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I see your point but what about games that completely change after a significant amount of time, like FFXIII?

I don't think you can ever give an informed opinion without experiencing the full thing. It's like watching a film and walking out after the first half, or eating a starter and leaving the restaurant then reviewing the whole experience based on that.

They are getting paid to play games after all, the least we can expect is that they put the effort in to give a thorough evaluation. Sometimes this means slogging your way through a turd.

If you're giving me your opinion on something you've not finished, then your opinion means nothing imo.
I played XIII. Yes it changed after 30 hours. But it bored me to tears for the first 30 hours, so its still a bad game that I would not recommend. If you as a reviewer feel that the game isnt worth spending full price on (after a decent amount of time with it) then you can rate it as such.

I would want them to be hones about it of course, many sited and videos now show the time spend with the game and declare whether or not they have finished it. Transparency is a must of course!
But yeah, if a reviewer I trust tells me that after 20 hours he was done, because the game is boring, the characers are bad and the battle system is lack luster, thats fine. Even if thats only half the game.
Because reviewers dont have all the time in the world, they have deadlines to meet. And I also dont have all the time in the world. I cant play for 30 hours just so the game can get to a solid 7/10 after being a 5/10 for 30 hours. So I sympathize with them.

And I dont think thats its a good argument that they can play games during work time. A lot of them actually play the games at home, during their spare time and its kinda like saying, hey you worked the night shift and didnt have as many customers, so you can work the dayshift as well. Because thats what a lot of them do. Play through the night, so they can write up the review to meet a deadline. And if the game isnt worth that, its just not worth it.
 
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01011001

Member
Dec 4, 2018
5,408
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the only reviewers I have/had any respect for are TheGamingBritShow and Totalbiscuit and one of them sadly died a couple of years ago, but just to demonstrate how much respect I had for that man, he was a PC elitist at a time where I barely played PC and I still watched his stuff, he was able to get across the meat of a game WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING A PROPER REVIEW! all he did was play a game for a few hours and then talk about it, yet he broke down game mechanics and design better than any typical full review does in 99% of all cases... but I am not actively looking for any anymore these days, I basically completely ignore reviews these days as almost every outlet barely even analyses gamedesign, leveldesign, technical makeup etc. 90% of a typical game review is story, did it offend anyone and LOOK AT HOW PRETTY THIS IS! AND THAT HOLLYWOOD WRITING! OHHH!

no thx.
 
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sainraja

Member
Aug 15, 2007
1,447
873
1,310
I don't bother with reviewers. I like to make my own opinion on things and usually only watch stuff that includes gameplay. Not going to put more weight on someone else's opinion.....nah just can't do that!
 

Carna

Banned
May 7, 2019
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the reviewers from the late 90s and early 2000s that told you sonic adventure 1 and 2 were kino
 

j0hnnix

Member
Mar 15, 2014
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Popeyes chicken
I do love me some Karak Karak hits all aspects of the game without making it a 1 hour long puff piece.

Skillup some reason his reviews fall in line with what I see in certain games. not sure if that's good or bad but hell it works for me

Ranton while he's not always posting reviews it's damn entertaining, sometimes it's worth having fun with a review.

AngryJoeShow because Era hates him and I love it. Don't care for his offline views of certain things but his Angry reviews do hit all aspects.

I do miss the GamePro magazines but that's childhood nastolgia.

It's hard to find a reviewer in today's market that isnt somewhat paid for reviewing said games or given "review copies". Reading some of Era (Not reviewers) talk about how Returnal is true next gen makes me cringe.
 
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