What the hell has happened to reviews?

Associate
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I remember when games would get reviewed at least 2 weeks before they were released, and that was only two years ago.

Lately (this generation) it seems we dont get any reviews from anyone worth listening too (IGN, Gamespot, Edge) until after the games have been released/

Case in point Splinter Cell DA.

Its out next friday, now unless every website is going to review it on monday surely its doing nothing to advise the consumer as to whats good and whats not.

Now i dont care so much as to what the sites/mags think of Franchises that I can make my own mind up on (gears of war, Halo, Metal Gear, etc.) I am however a little miffed about the fact there hasn't been a definative review of SCDA, if nothing else then to re assure me the changes havent harmed the experience, and that its good enough to get without Co Op.

Is it just me, am I crazy?
 
Soldato
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There are several reasons why games aren't reviewed miles before release.

-Review sites commonly want to review release versions, not betas.
-Publishers like to have the reviews at the same time as release, but often don't bother sending out review copies at all.
-Sending out review copies often means having them pressed by Sony etc which is pricey, so they limit the number.
-Reviews seem to be effecting less the decision of customers to purchase.
-When they release review copies, the game will end up being pirated.

Alas it is the latter one I feel is the most important.
 
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I assumed this would be about the fact so many reviews are incredibly biased nowdays. I am personally getting really fed up with reviews being so biased and based solely on a single person's view on the game :(
 
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DeFrEaTs said:
I assumed this would be about the fact so many reviews are incredibly biased nowdays. I am personally getting really fed up with reviews being so biased and based solely on a single person's view on the game :(

I know where you are coming from but, realistically how is one person ever going to be able to provide any point of view other than their own? The only way you could do this would be to have more than one person review each game, which would probably be good for readers but would greatly increase costs for the sites/magazines, although I believe some places do this (EGM in the US springs to mind).

I too fear that pre-launch piracy is the main reason review copies are sent out later and thus reviews turn up later. I think another major factor is the increasing importance of massively multiplayer gaming, which heavily depend on the community and can’t be reviewed accurately until they are available and have real people playing.
 
Soldato
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Cronox said:
I know where you are coming from but, realistically how is one person ever going to be able to provide any point of view other than their own? The only way you could do this would be to have more than one person review each game, which would probably be good for readers but would greatly increase costs for the sites/magazines, although I believe some places do this (EGM in the US springs to mind).

I too fear that pre-launch piracy is the main reason review copies are sent out later and thus reviews turn up later. I think another major factor is the increasing importance of massively multiplayer gaming, which heavily depend on the community and can’t be reviewed accurately until they are available and have real people playing.

Isnt that what they used to do in the old "Super Play" days IIRC? They used to have a main review text with the guy who wrote its opinion, followed at the end by a summary box from three of the other reviewers who had played it.
I personally think they dont release games to magazines etc to review when the game is dire. Marketing managers have to try their best to sell to you and me even the most crappy piece of drivel from the latest franchise/movie tie in that they have purchased. Bad review = a few less sales.
 

XPE

XPE

Soldato
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I think the real reason is that games are being completed closer to their release dates now.


Might just be that simple
 
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Associate
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Bobbler said:
I personally think they dont release games to magazines etc to review when the game is dire. Marketing managers have to try their best to sell to you and me even the most crappy piece of drivel from the latest franchise/movie tie in that they have purchased. Bad review = a few less sales.

That’s defiantly part of it too I think, makes sense from a marketing point of view particularly when it’s a big franchise/tie-in type game.
 
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Caustic said:
There are several reasons why games aren't reviewed miles before release.

-Review sites commonly want to review release versions, not betas.
-Publishers like to have the reviews at the same time as release, but often don't bother sending out review copies at all.
-Sending out review copies often means having them pressed by Sony etc which is pricey, so they limit the number.
-Reviews seem to be effecting less the decision of customers to purchase.
-When they release review copies, the game will end up being pirated.

Alas it is the latter one I feel is the most important.

No offence but thats not really true the full finsihed boxed retail games are pressed weeks before release and just stored (they have to do this to get enough stock for launch)
500.000+ units of any one game dont get made overnight.

There is no reason why some of these finished copys couldnt get sent out to reviewers weeks before launch they would have the same copy protection as any other game and it wouldnt be a beta

The main reason for this delay is simply down to the creators not wanting the game to be reviewed before they can get it in the hands of the punter i wonder why? :rolleyes:
 
Soldato
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Personally, I have never paid too much attention to actual reviews from anywhere, even magazines I used to buy. Simple fact is, the reviewer is not you, his/her taste is probably not the same as yours. I prefer to listen a community of fans like the people here, or for games like Saints Row for example, go on being a fan of the genre. There are of course those games that you will buy based purely on it looks and the hype. Anyone want to take a guess which game I might be referring to?
 
Associate
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EA have asked reviewers not to review their sports titles till the product is on the shelves for sale (for obvious reasons if you have played nba live 07)

The promo copies of Splinter Cell went out earlier this week to most buying departments so if you live in central london you will probably be able to get one now from the usual shops on tottenham court road.

Ubisoft are actually one of the more helpful companies when it comes to getting games from reps,

I remember when Sudeki came out on the original xbox and the microsoft rep tried to sell me 30 copies of the game a week before launch (all of them stamped with promo not for resale)
 
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Baine said:
No offence but thats not really true the full finsihed boxed retail games are pressed weeks before release and just stored (they have to do this to get enough stock for launch)
500.000+ units of any one game dont get made overnight.

There is no reason why some of these finished copys couldnt get sent out to reviewers weeks before launch they would have the same copy protection as any other game and it wouldnt be a beta

The main reason for this delay is simply down to the creators not wanting the game to be reviewed before they can get it in the hands of the punter i wonder why? :rolleyes:

No offense, but thats not quite right either. True, 500k games are not made over night, but because each part will be made in a different place, a finished product is not available much before the street date. But thats why most review copies are without manual and box. It doesn't take long to make each disk at all, what takes the time is setting up the presses. But that doesn't leave long for the copy to get sent to the reviewer, them play it, write the review and post it. Besides, remember that with console games, the publisher doesn't make it, Sony etc take the raw data and make the boxed copies, which adds another layer to the chain of command.

Besides, I did say as my second point: "Publishers like to have the reviews at the same time as release, but often don't bother sending out review copies at all."
 
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