How Long Should a Reviewer Play a Game?

By Al Zamora

July 21, 2009

Reviews are always a touchy subject, especially in the video game industry. Many people view game reviews as biased because of certain allegiances review sites have with developers and certain kick backs they take. Even more important for me is the fact that when I read some of the reviews out in the world, you can clearly tell that the reviewer only played part of the game. So this brings up an important question for me: how long should a reviewer play a game?

To me the answer is clear cut, the reviewer needs to play the game long enough to complete it. This is going to vary from game to game, especially with titles like World of Warcraft or something more straight forward like Contra. All game modes need to be explored before attempting a review as some games have a very solid single player campaign while sucking online and vice versa. No review should ever be rushed just to be the first to get your opinion out to the masses.

Reviews are never straight forward, but they need to incorporate all aspects of the game and as many different facets of the title as possible. Nothing gets me angrier than reading a review where someone played a few hours and then makes blanket statements that have no bearing on end game play. As I read through some reviews it is evident that people rush through their reviews or even paraphrase from other reviews, this is intolerable! A reviewer in my humble opinion must be able to defend their review and have the ability to speak about the game intelligently and not just about the opening cinematic. I wouldn’t mind seeing some reviewers put on the spot and asked a series of questions to prove that they played through the entire game. What do you think? How long should a reviewer play a game before writing a decent review?

DualShockers has made a pledge to never review a game before it’s time and make sure we show our readers as many possible views into the title while keeping in mind that the reader is interested in our opinion and is looking for a concise synopsis. Our goal is to point gamers in the right direction to purchase quality games and we are willing to put in the work for the gamer.

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Al Zamora

Al has been gaming as long as he can remember and will continue to game until his fingers break off or video games cease to exist. A New York native born and raised he crashed into the gaming journalism scene in 2006. Since then he has become the on air personality for DSTV and loves every second of cursing while interviewing developers about serious topics. Aside from being a gamer he also has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering that does not help in the gaming world but does provide for fun stories when people say "what?".Favorite games: Contra (NES), Mega Man II (NES) and Final Fantasy III (SNES)

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