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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 45: How to Write a Game Review, Pigsy's Perfect Ten

Tim Spaeth's picture

Aspiring game reviewer? Maybe we can help. Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Richard Naik share their best trade secrets. Plus, our take on the best DLC no one's talking about: Enslaved's "Pigsy's Perfect Ten." Your host is Tim "Yes, Thanksgiving Was Like Two Weeks Ago" Spaeth.

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360  
Developer(s): Ninja Theory  
Series: Enslaved  
Articles: Best Work   Podcasts  

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I absolutely loved Enslaved.

I absolutely loved Enslaved. Loved the characters and the setting. The part I loved best was escaping from the ruins of NYC into the badlands that felt very much like a Full Throttle setting - remember that old LucasArts gem? - or Beneath a Steel Sky.

I loved it for the way it made me feel and I didn't care a jolt that it was too easy. Ultimately it has low replay value admittedly, but the single play through left a stronger and more lasting impression than open-worlders like Fallout 3 ever did.

I can't emphasis enough how directed games like Enslaved are superior in character and story-telling to the necessarily limited character interactions that games like Fallout 3 are capable of providing. GTA series has always recognised this problem and rather than ruin the immersion effect with wooden character interactions, they don't provide for this at all, choosing instead to script the interactions that occur.

Can you imagine trying to interact with Ray Boccino or Roman Bellic of GTA 4 using the crass conversation system in the Bethesda engine? ..... Exactly. Wake up and smell the coffee Bethesda, your game engine is waaaayy overrated.

Enslaved is an awesome game. I want more.

Nice podcast

As always, enjoyed the podcast. Couple of things:

1) I don't know if you already do this, but if you advertised your podcast topic beforehand, that could give listeners an opportunity to send questions that could prove valuable for the podcast discussion. This wouldn't be appropriate for every podcast, but it would seem very applicable to some of them, in particular this one.

2) Now that you plugged the User Submission process, give me some feedback on my Flower review! :P

Writing Conclusions

I have a hard time writing conclusions too, Richard. As you said, the ending isn't the place to bring in new information. It's actually the place where the writer summarizes what they spent the whole piece saying, which is counter-intuitive.

Man, I'm writing like a robot this morning.

Listener Questions....

Odofakyodo wrote:

1) I don't know if you already do this, but if you advertised your podcast topic beforehand, that could give listeners an opportunity to send questions that could prove valuable for the podcast discussion. This wouldn't be appropriate for every podcast, but it would seem very applicable to some of them, in particular this one.

It's a great idea, and I used to do it, but I've been lazy. Your comment has revitalized me though -- you'll now find topic threads for the next two episodes in the Podcast section of the forums.

Great podcast again

Great podcast again chaps!

Also just wanted to highlight what you guys said about where amateur reviewers usually slip up when they mainly state features of a game, and not actually give a unique opinion on it. I completely agree with that, but also think it can be applied to even "professional" reviewers on the whole too; take a look on Metacritic, and at least 80% of reviews are exactly what you guys describe - non-unique opinions on a game with a list of how it functions.

Until actual professional reviews begin offering unique opinions on the whole (for e.g. like this website), it is likely potential new reviewers are always going to use the pretty dull and pointless reviews which overrun Metacritic as inspiration.

I for one don't find seeing "Best FPS ever 10/10!" or "Multiplayer owns 9/10!" very helpful when seeing if a game is actually good or not. More often than not it'll be the lower scored, yet more opinionated reviews that tell me whether I want to buy a game or not. Food for thought potential reviewers!

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