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Author Topic: reviewers rpg length  (Read 1866 times)
macirex
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« on: September 10, 2007, 09:14:14 PM »

Now iīm always surprised at how many "professional" reviewers tend to make the lenght of a game so short saying how the game only takes about X hours to finish... and when you actually play it and finish it you say Wow it was longer than what they say ( and hey without doing the extra stuff), maybe itīs the speed of how some one plays a game... but hey this guys are flash or what? you can actually reach those estimated times by not enjoying the game, no levelling or playing it the second time... this personally makes me mad cause it takes less appeal to the game.

now this was just my opinion... and i donīt know if this was discussed yet...
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2007, 09:18:07 PM »

Well, to give a quick overview for me; I've been playing games now for twenty years.  TWENTY.  I've been playing RPGs, mainly, for over ten.  You see patterns emerge, you're able to more quickly make tactical decisions due to said patterns or other information, etc.  People said it was impossible for me to have the time clock at what it was (29 hours) for Tales of Symphonia - but I did.  I beat the Digital Devil Saga games in under 20 hours each.  As a reviewer, specifically doing RPGs, you learn how to beat them, and how to beat them thoroughly.
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Bernhardt
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2007, 09:22:57 PM »

I always appreciate being told my ETA as to when I'll finish a game.

They give you the length of time that a movie plays, why not a suggested length of how long you'll probably run your log timer up? Naturally, it's never going to be DEAD-ON (though, the lengths that other members have suggested it takes to finish particular games is pretty accurate).

For me, at least, it allows me to budget time for a game. If I only have so few weeks of vacation (and I really can't go much of anywhere within that time), I am, of course, going to stay home, and want to play a game I can finish within that time frame.
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macirex
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2007, 09:31:58 PM »

well i canīt say i have 20 years playing rpg... i have 14, (12 of them in rpg)  and well i also have learned my ways with them, for example something that i do in each rpg, if some event happens i tend to speak with each and every character thatīs in the village or near the location where the event happened... (maybe itīs not the best tactic, but hey it works for me) and that usually adds more hours to my play...
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Bernhardt
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2007, 09:35:47 PM »

Quote from: "macirex"
well i canīt say i have 20 years playing rpg... i have 14, (12 of them in rpg)  and well i also have learned my ways with them, for example something that i do in each rpg, if some event happens i tend to speak with each and every character thatīs in the village or near the location where the event happened... (maybe itīs not the best tactic, but hey it works for me) and that usually adds more hours to my play...

RPGs don't rely on NPCs to tell you what to do so much anymore, but use cut scenes to relay your objective and motivate you.

SO3, after so much irrelevant NPC text, and how it never changed all that often anyway, I sped through that game once I quit hunting down people to talk to.

IMO, only series that has ever had all that good NPC text that actually relayed valuable information you couldn't find elsewhere, or just convince you of your role and surroundings, is the Grandia series.
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John
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 09:36:34 PM »

Quote from: "macirex"
well i canīt say i have 20 years playing rpg... i have 14, (12 of them in rpg)  and well i also have learned my ways with them, for example something that i do in each rpg, if some event happens i tend to speak with each and every character thatīs in the village or near the location where the event happened... (maybe itīs not the best tactic, but hey it works for me) and that usually adds more hours to my play...


See, that's almost the exact opposite of what I do - I talk to only whom I need to talk to to advance in the game.  I really don't care what Bumbling Villager #4 has to say.
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macirex
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 09:53:45 PM »

whoa... but donīt you lose some tidbits from the story?? i always likes the little info the villagers tend to say.. even if some lines come out of nowhere
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Eusis
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 09:58:11 PM »

Some games like DDS are good there, as there will be story bits that you won't see elsewhere, and you just get to see how people react to regaining emotions and remembering past lives. But a lot of games have useless fluff.

Anyways, some people ARE exceptionally fast. I tend to be at the average playing length or a bit above average. And lets face it, everyone goes through games at different paces, there are probably only a rare few cases could everyone be near identical, and I'm not even sure there.
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Ramza
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2007, 11:55:01 PM »

Quote from: "macirex"
whoa... but donīt you lose some tidbits from the story?? i always likes the little info the villagers tend to say.. even if some lines come out of nowhere


Some games have interesting random NPC dialogue. Others don't. Reviewers will get a feel for that by trying it out here and there.

But your complaint (it IS a complaint right? If not, why are you talking about it?) was that "Professional" reviewers give game-completion times that are much smaller than yours.

Guess what, bub? We're PROFESSIONAL f***ing reviewers! We got games to play, and a whole hell of a lot of them! We don't care to linger around from town to town in every traditional RPG, talking to (as John so aptly put it) Bumbling Villager #4, maximizing our characters with the absolute best gear and stats, etc ...

When reviewers give an estimated play time, they (at least, if they're anything like me) will give their own time, and maybe round up to the nearest five hours (because we're all so good at beating games in a short amount of time). Then we'll also say that this is a "bare-bones" playthrough, skipping side quests and other interesting things to do.

So what, exactly, is the issue again? I don't see one. And if I can come out and be a jerk, may I say that you might want to work a bit on grammar and punctuation. I honestly had a hard time reading some of what you wrote. No capital letters, a whole paragraph that you design as one long sentence separated with elipses (...), and some incontinuity in topic -- yeah, that's a problem. So if I didn't adequately or responsibly address whatever it is you're talking about, do understand why I place the blame on you.

Feelin' pompous,
Ramza
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macirex
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 12:50:52 AM »

ermmm... ramza i was just stating my opinion to promote discussion and  to see if some people agree with me and in no case i`m saying some of you donīt deserve the professional status. Besides i just think that when you review something you should check from beginning to end without losing track of every single detail.

 I say this because one friend of mine works in a magazine and he reviews books and you wouldnīt believe the ammount of work he goes through: grammar, quality of the paper, books handcover, type of print, and all that stuff. Now i thought the the same thing happened with game reviews... and now i can say it was my mistake, it does not extrapolate from book reviews to games rewiews... so sorry if i offended people in any way.

second, yeah maybe i have maded some grammar mistakes and that makes people misunderstand what i write (heck i could even doing it now), but hey i come from a non-speaking english country and i state it below my avatar in the location part... so yes my english is far from perfect and i do what i can
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AJR
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 01:01:07 AM »

Ah, I thought English wasn’t your first language. I don’t think anybody is expecting you to write with perfect grammar, but simple things, like capitalising letters, would help a lot and would make your posts a lot easier to read.
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macirex
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 01:07:21 AM »

Wow... does capitalising really helps that much? -_- i always read things just like that... oh well let me check in wikipedia to learn the correct way of using it...
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 01:57:35 AM »

I've also reviewed games (not for this site) and I just wanted to say as a reviewer you just learn to do things REALLY fast.  Remember, reviewers are always on a deadline--they learn...scratch that HAVE to get things done much quicker or it's their job that's at stake haha-talk about pressure!  If you ask me getting through the game is usually the easy part, it's writing the review that's difficult.

It's also not just reviewers that tend to either over or underestimate gameplay time.  It's game distributors as well.  One good example I can think of is Xenosaga Ep. 1.  On the back of the box it says over 80 hours of gameplay, I know it took me somewhere around 35 and I got every item I could get and did the sidequests.  And with XS, I wasn't under a deadline or anything forcing me to go quicker.  Similar to what Eusis said, everybody plays at a different pace. There are a lot of different factors contribute to this, it really just depends on the player.  Every player has their own unique experience and tactics with a game.

Ok, I hope that all made sense, I apologize if I have typos it's a.) late and b.) I'm suffering from a migraine (I honestly feel like my brain is bleeding haha.)

Anyway, cut reviewers some slack, especially if that's the only complaint you have about their reviews.  It's definitely not an easy task!  (You really have no idea until you've actually tried.)
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Eusis
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 02:13:49 AM »

Marketing, more often than not, is best ignored. They'll twist things like that or just plain make shit up in order to boost sales. I remember Legacy of Kain being advertised for 100 hours, and I'm pretty sure it was generally 1/5th of that to complete.
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 10:55:36 AM »

Not that any more needs to be said from the staff perspective, but I'm feeling chatty today.

Like Eusis, I feel like I tend to take an average or above average amount of time to finish games.  This is probably because I do feel so compelled to talk to Bumbling Villager #4, 5, 6, and even 7.  I love it when developers reward people who explore, and hate it when I'm playing a game where every dead end alley is just a dead end alley with no reason for me to have bothered to check it out.  (I'm not a huge fan of random encounters, either, but that's a topic for another day.)

However, as Kstar said, in order to review games, I have to play more quickly than I would if I were playing just for fun, and that's sad.  I also have to be thorough, though, so it can be a tough balancing act.  Of course, when you have to play an awful game, knowing how to play through quickly is a very useful skill to have. :D
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