Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Impressions vs. Reviews

I mentioned before that professional reviewers, for the most part, finish a game before reviewing it, and the ones that don't generally seem to be looked down upon. Despite being just some guy blogging his thoughts, I figured I could maintain a veneer of professionalism if I emulated that behavior. I neglected to take into account two very important things:

1 - Professional reviewers, including bloggers more established than I, get review copies often a week or more in advance. They have an opportunity to play and finish a game either before a game comes out or soon after, to insure that their review is close to the game's actual launch. The soonest I can pick up a game is launch day, which means you'd have to wait a couple of days minimum before the review could go up.

2 - Professional reviewers do it for a living. It's their job. They get paid to play the games they're assigned all day long and then write about it. I don't have that luxury. I have to buy my games, which means I can only get them here and there, and often nowhere near launch. And I play them for fun in my free time. I also blog in my free time, so typing this is actually going to cut into time I can spend playing games I can't really afford anyway.

With that in mind, I've decided that I will make two posts for may games, just like I did with Castle Crashers. One post will be the review, with the score, when I'm done with the game. Note that I said "done"... I'm an average guy. Sometimes, I don't finish a game. Sometimes, I'm just done with it. It could be too long and monotonous, it could be too hard, or it could flat out suck. I think it's probably like that for a lot of people, and I decided that it is fair to review a game without beating it, as long as I tell you why I didn't beat it.

The other post, meanwhile, will be my early impressions on a game. This is a lot closer to what I was writing when I was sending out my huge e-mails that partly inspired this blog. It's basically I get a game, open it up, and play it for a bit. Then, when I'm not playing it for whatever reason, I write about how I like it so far; whether I'm having fun or not, what's good or bad, etc. That way, with brand new games I buy at launch, you can get my thoughts within a day or two, and maybe decide if you want the game or not that way. While both types of posts will be similar, reviews should be more detailed, and impressions won't carry scores.

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