How long can a good thing last...REVIEWS

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by shandog137, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    I am planning on doing a blog entry on the effect of add-on content on the relevance of reviews. Basically can a B/B- game be turned into a B+/A- game through add-on content? For instance I recently started playing Lair for PS3 which got mixed reviews when it originally came out mainly due to the control scheme. Since its release a free add-on for mapping the controls to the analogs as well as the addition of two new dragons has been added. Which in effect rectifies the main issue with the game and would justfy a second look at the game. Before the add-on era of console gaming you could read reviews of a game from several source after the game was released and for the life of the console the game's review and substance would remain consistent over time. My question is how long do you guys think a review is good for now and how often do you read reviews in order to decide whether to purchase a game?
     
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  2. Boringman54

    Boringman54 Rookie

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    No, because they are just fixing their flaws because of what reviewers have said. If reviewers were to wait for updates, they wouldn't really be reviewing the actual game. That goes the same for the downloadable content that's meant to increase the lifespan of the game or make it more fun. While they aren't fixing any flaws with that (most of the time), it still shouldn't be included in a review.
     
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  3. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    I guess I was getting at the fact that games may need to be reviewed more than once as opposed to not doing the initial review. If we think a game was an okay game and then they add-on all the bells and whistles people were complaining about, does it justify a second review? Kind of like restaurants being reviewed yearly or so...something like that, which gives the developer/publishers a chance to make meaningful add-ons to boost sales later from post add-on reviews.
     
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  4. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    I suppose reviewers can do an update review on the end of the original review - just like an edit. I'd like to see that.

    But I dont see GR doing that for some reason haha, maybe IGN or someone. In my case, I dont play many updateable games so it'd be pointless. But I'd like to see it happen just for curiosity I guess.
     
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  5. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    I didn't play many updatable games until I got my PS3 now it seems like everygame has to have an online mode and add-on content. I just figured that maybe after 6 months to 1 year, if enough content has been added maybe a second review is warranted. Feel free to discuss, I am signing out will reply tomorrow.
     
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  6. Solaris10

    Solaris10 Rookie

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    I agree with Boringman. They launch a game unfinished, it deserves and keep the bad review..... unless we knew about the flaws for a while and they promised to release a patch less than a wekk after launch.
     
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  7. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster Rookie

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    I think if review sites started doing this amended review thing, it would make game companies even MORE likely to release buggy, unfinished games.
     
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  8. voice-

    voice- Rookie

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    Games bought over the counter should be ready for launch. An alpha stage of a development should render a playable game, a beta stage should iron out all the flaws, all the bugs. Downloadable content should be used to add to a game, not iron out flaws that should be removed long before the disk was burned.

    Because of that, it actually pisses me off when downloadable content is ready for a new game. I don't feel I've been given something special, I feel as though my game's manual has been removed from the box and handed to me over the counter as I bought the game, presented as a gift. Fuck that, it's not a gift, it's what I bloody paid for.

    I believe the OP was meant to inspire good add-on content, but I feel it should not be needed for things like intuitive control. That should be there already.

    I've suggested this before, but I will gladly repeat it, they should hire professional reviewers (other reviewers than the ones they are paying for great comments) to play the games in late beta stages and then get an early review of the game, an outsider's perspective. If the camera is wobbly or the aiming controls are moronic, they would find it out before going gold, and all customers would experience new, intuitive replacements even without knowing of the flaws.
     
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  9. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    Its an interesting notion, but I agree with Boringman too, because the downloadable content doesn't make the game on the disc better when it first comes out.
     
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  10. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    This is the MMORPG effect. MMORPGs are almost impossible to review or grade when they first come out because there is so much that will change and is dependent on the community.
     
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  11. TheZoomZoomKid

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    PC games were the only games that suffered from the released before it's done problem. Now in the days of the necessity of consoles being online they unfortionatly suffer the same problem nowl
     
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  12. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    You guys bring up some great points. I understand your point about selling completed games and the crap about downloading an add-on to clean up the rough edges is a bit on the shady side. My point is still that a review is supposed to reflect what the game is like, and this can't work if reviews are only done shortly after release. Consider Folklore, which has so much downloadable content if I bought the game today and all the add-ons I would pay more than twice the price of the game. With that much additional content I would assume that the game would be significantly different than when it was reviewed a year or so ago. So I can't really rely on the reviews on this site because so much wasn't taken into consideration. I guess it just seems tough to research a game before purchasing these days because you still don't know what your actually going to get.
     
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  13. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster Rookie

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    That's what forums like this are for :wink:

    Seriously, if I want to know what a game is like now that it's months or years later, I go onto the game's website's forums. Check videos, read patch notes, all that sort of thing. It's not hard to do, it can save a person like $50, and it's usually pretty interesting.
     
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  14. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    True. Maybe a link from the review to a forum solely dedicated to the discussion of updates/changes/user reviews may be helpful. If format of games are changing then so should the process by which we review them. You could look around on different forums to try to decipher an honest and indicative review of a game but it seems more efficient if the information could be found in one place. Kind of like the gamefaqs review section but maybe also with review from credible reviewers when a significant amount of change to the game has occurred.
     
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  15. mattimeo48

    mattimeo48 Rookie

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    Honestly, I can't think of a situation when an entirely new review is warranted. Reviews are all snapshots of a game at the time it is being reviewed. Like 99% of things related to journalism, it's all about timeliness -- not timelessness. Most patches simply add more content to a game rather than fix the fundamental problems plaguing a game. Going to a forum or reading a news post about the content added should be enough to tell you about the impact it has on the game.

    If a game actually is patched significantly a la The Witcher: Enhanced Edition and Star Wars Galaxy's infamous Jump to Lightspeed Combat Upgrade then I might say a new review would be warranted. Still, in most cases a short post would probably cover it.

    Most big game sites do this already from what I've seen. I don't read IGN or Gamespot much, but the last time I was at IGN they seemed to be doing this.
     
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  16. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    I guess I will check out some of the other sites, currently I tend to read reviews on this site and on gamefaqs to come up with a happy overall perspective of a game.

    "it's all about timeliness -- not timelessness."

    Didn't think of it like this. good point. My original focus for posing this question was that if you are kind of broke and can only get games every so often then you tend to research the games before you buy them. You might miss out on a good game that got an okay review a year ago but is completely different now due to add-on content. In this scenario you could go look at as many sources as you like but it seemed like if this add-on phenomena continues with console games it may be easier to just have a review update section or something to that effect. When I think of the format of reviews I tend to picture GR's set-up where the review is presented then at the bottom there are user reviews there just needs to be maybe a time stamp so you don't have to open the user review to see when it was created, and maybe reviews only relative to the additional content.

    "Most patches simply add more content to a game rather than fix the fundamental problems plaguing a game."

    This is how it currently is, but for all intents and purposes they could patch games to fix fundamental problems and I don't see why they don't already do this more often. This is not to say put out a flawed game then fix it but rather, create a game that you are confident is complete, then release it in the market and if an overwhelming percentage of the community you are directing the game at have the same issue with it then fix it. Why focus on adding more crap to a crappy game as opposed to just tweaking the game to appease the majority.
     
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  17. mattimeo48

    mattimeo48 Rookie

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    I like the ideas you're proposing, but the question is whether or not the gaming sites deem it profitable. I'm sure if the demand is high enough, websites will adjust. Right now we just have to deal with researching on our own.

    My advice to people who are strapped for cash and like to game is to always stay about a generation behind. They should keep up to date on the happenings of the gaming world and keep tabs on the games that interest them. Once all the "Top XX Best Games of the Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft Whosiwhatsit" lists come out, go crazy. That's how I've been doing it ever since getting into school. It's definitely cut back on the buyer's remorse I've experienced recently.
     
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  18. n00b_f00

    n00b_f00 Rookie

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    It's an interesting idea, maybe if enough content comes out an edit that can be added mentioning the addition and how it changes the game, but not necessarily a new score. Although I'm sure there are exceptions that warrant a new score, or at least a somewhat substantive feature. Thing like expansion packs for example warrant new reviews, often times they add new campaigns and maps. If the trend of DLC and expansions being so common for games continues, there's a good chance we'll see a change.
     
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  19. Rekkie7

    Rekkie7 Rookie

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    Fable 2 will be an interesting example.

    It comes out within the next week all over, without Co-op out of the box. However there is a patch on launch day that will allow for co-op play.

    Do reviewers download the patch and review or do they go unpatched? Is reviewing the unpatched game going to turn away potential buyers because they think there is a lack of co-op? Is that in the interest in the reader?
     
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  20. n00b_f00

    n00b_f00 Rookie

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    That's one of those things where I'm guessing they're going to say "Our review copies didn't have live coop but a patch available on release day will, so that's awesome." They're not going to penalize it, but they probably won't rave about it in the hypothetical either.

    If anything they should wait a couple days after launch to try it a bit, and then release the review. Testing the game in real world settings and all.

    In Fable 2's case it might be especially irresponsible considering that if you need live to engage in live coop and you'd get the patch as soon as you logged on. It'd be like if they complained about not having a blade for knife fighting, when you were automatically provided with one on the car ride to the knife fight(That is the best analogy I could come up with that wasn't simply switching out Fable 2 with Halo 3, and switching coop with deathmatch). IT'D BE UNCONSCIONABLE!
     
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