Friday, December 28, 2007

"Professional" Video Game Reviews

I just read a post by Dean Takahashi on his blog about his take on Bioware's Mass Effect.

I don't have a problem with his point of view. I have a problem with how he expresses it.

Takahashi, in his review, goes on to state how certain design decisions were stupid or ridiculous. He also states that he didn't bother to finish the game before writing his review.

First, in my eyes, any reviewer should speak about the work being reviewed as objectively as possible. Obviously you're not going to like everything but as a professional you should be able to avoid using words like stupid when you describe things you didn't like. Secondly, a reviewer should finish reading/watching/listening to the work in its entirety before expressing an opinion on it. When I was in elementary school, I had to read the whole book before writing a report on it. Professional reviewers should not get a pass.

When reviewers don't take the time to write a proper review it shortchanges gamers and developers. If someone is on the fence about a particular title and they look to that review for feedback it's only fair that the gamer gets a complete review of the developers' work. FYI, when I say proper I don't mean positive; if something is poor say so but be prepared to back it up.

Edit Jan 02 2008: Takahashi took a step back and admits in his blog he didn't do his best work in the original review.