The Battle Between Being a Reviewer and Being a Gamer
I’ve been playing video games now for over twenty years, and in that stretch of time I have come to love them as a medium. Working as someone who writes about and reviews these wonderful things that are personally important to me (for a number of reasons) naturally makes this an amazing opportunity that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I plan on doing this for as long as I possibly can. But people, I feel, sometimes forget that the majority of video game reviewers still love games and are fans of the products.
I have been told on several occasions that I need to be more objective when writing about a game series that I enjoy and have enjoyed for a long time. I admit that when I learn about a game coming into development that I have some kind of history with or desire for, it can be difficult to separate fan from writer. I want to be as fair and uninfluenced as possible, and I do call out industry bullshit like stripping major content from a game to act as a pre-order bonus, creating DLC before fixing a game with bugs, or promising something at launch and it’s not there. I try to keep this caveat in mind: when talking about a game before its release, it cannot be 100% trusted.
Even if the studio has a perfect track record, the game isn’t out. I know pre-orders are bad, and I am guilty of reserving games myself. I am not a perfect unfeeling machine. My heartstrings get tugged just as much as all of you who see an upcoming title in a franchise they love and can’t wait to throw money at it.
I do my best to not let my love of something interfere with my work, but at the end of the day I know it’s a futile struggle. And that’s okay. A review cannot be totally objective. Your opinion will come out, and that’s what a review is: an opinion of a product. Of course, issues with gameplay, bugs, and graphical errors are included in what determines my score. The game’s story, voice acting, combat system, and music also impact my enjoyment of a game, however, and those things are subjective.
So at the end of the day, anytime you read any review anywhere, check out another (and another) to form your own idea of what to expect. Hopefully when you are forming that opinion you come read the reviews written by all the wonderful people here at Entertainment Buddha.
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