What’s So Great About Game Reviews?
A video game review is an informative non Interactive form of the actual game itself, often reading more like an extended friend’s essay on the game. It ought to read more like a peer reviewed friend, sharing the context of the game in the popular video game history and outlining major decision scenes and components of the actual game to be used as placeholders for actually playing the game. These kinds of reviews are usually not comprehensive enough to act as an instruction manual, so one must look elsewhere for such a thing. Such reviews are best left for those who are already acquainted with a specific game or system, or for those who want to be informed about new games before shelling out money for them.
One can glean certain key areas for further investigation by reading through a game review, whether on a website, at a gamer’s forum, or in a print medium. The reviewer will usually discuss major areas of gameplay, including story line, character, and game play. They will also go into the key aspects that make up a game – how it provides enjoyment, how it achieves its goals, and how often it breaks new ground. They will discuss the replayability factor, talking about whether or not a game is repetitive, and quoting a user who said that some games are just too boring. Finally, they will talk about the critic’s personal opinion, usually summarising their opinion on the game based on how it felt while playing it, or how they managed to complete the game. All of these areas are important and well worth looking into when delving into a game reviewer’s review.
Video game reviews should also be accompanied by cutaway footage, showing off some of the game’s mechanics in action. In doing this, reviewers demonstrate their knowledge of how game systems work, but also show off some of the fun aspects of gaming. For example, a reviewer may talk about a cut away which shows the character searching for something in an inventory screen, but they also talk about how exciting the shot of inventory items is. This kind of cutaway is used to show off how the player finds things in-game, but it also shows off the little things, the little thinking that goes behind them. It helps drive home the point that the player is an active participant in the characters actions, and that it’s all happening “off screen”.