12 Steps to Video Game Reviews
Posted on Thursday, September 15 @ 15:00:24 PST by Anthony Severino
Step 7: Cracking that game case for the first time is like popping a bottle of 50-year old-champagne. But why do they have to make this plastic impenetrable. It's not like it could get stolen at a retailer, it goes right to us. Maybe we need to hit the gym more often. Who knows. All we do know is that the release date is in 3 days, and we've got to play this 80+ hour game. We know it's impossible to do it within 72 hours, that's simple math for ya. We take on this Herclean task to make sure you know where to spend your money come release date.
Step 8: OK, so this game is running a little bit long. What's more important to us? Getting the review out early? Or making sure we've played it all the way through so our review is the best representation of the game possible? Being thorough wins every time. We keep on pushing, despite other responsibilities, relationships, reality. Getting this review out takes precedence over nearly everything else in our life. We don't shower. We hold our piss until it hurts. We eat though, fuck that, I'm starving. The finish line is almost near... or is it?
Step 9: Time to write up this review. We can't just put a whole bunch of text on paper. We need screenshots (hey, I guess they sent those over for a reason!). We need to do a little bit of extra research to make sure we spell character's names right, names of towns, etc. (OK, so maybe the review guide is useful.) We're not hacks here, we're professionals! A few hours and a fifth of vodka later, the review is typed out. Now it's time to send it to the editors.
Step 10: Nick does the majority of the reviews editing here. You can't find a finer tooth comb than the one Nick runs through our reviews. It's tedious, and it takes a long time to make sure everything is perfect. [Usually it takes me an hour... or an hour and a half... or two hours... any longer and I turn all their errors into throwing stars... you writers know what happens after that... ~Ed. Nick]
Step 11: OK, it's written and edited. We've avoided angering Nick and facing his wrath. But now we must figure out the best time to publish the review. More often than not, the game is under embargo and our hands are tied as to when we can publish our review. If the embargo is already up, is it best for us to wait a little closer to release date? If release date has past, do we push it ASAP? Is there really ever a "best" time to publish a review? Believe it or not, there is. We find that reviews posted in the PM do far better than ones posted in the AM. We assume more people are off work, and have more time to sit down and really dig into our reviews. We take everything into account before we push that big red button to push it live. (Wait! Not that red button! What have you done?!?!)
Step 12: Published. Now we watch and we wait. We wait to see what our readers have to say about our review. A lot of times we'll fire off links to our review to our family, friends, or even the PR reps we just spent the last two years dealing with. It's all out there now. Two years... over in the push of a button. There's a lot of stress, anxiety, and most of all, hard work that goes into reviews.
We do our best to bring you the reviews that are most important to you in a timely manner. Sometimes we slip past release date, we're only human. Sometimes we don't get to a lesser exciting game because we were so focused on that AAA game. Hey, we want to enjoy our games too. 95% of the time we're stuck playing shit. So when Fall rolls around, we want to play the big guns, the heavy hitters. So shut up and give me Batman: Arkham City already.
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