Getting Review Copies and Writing Reviews

All I do is play games. I’ve got an excessive amount of games and I don’t need more. I still have 900 Steam games that I can review, but that almost feels useless. If I was really playing games for the fun, I’d probably just stick to Team Fortress 2 or FTL: Faster Than Light. My Steam reviews get a lot of up votes unless I don’t recommend something then it ultimately falls to 50 or 60%. I’ve got 210+ reviews on Steam, some are lazy that even predate Steam’s review system.

This is all building to tell you all that I found myself bored one night and I thought eh I’ll try to snag a review copy of a game or two. Well it worked. My first attempt at five developers caught me four review copies of fresh games. One game even has a publisher of games you’ve heard of and most likely never played. I am still surprised at just how easy it was to get games just because I referenced my reviews that can choke a horse and even offered reviews that were negative about games so the developers can see that’s what they’re getting into. I never really trash a game and that always confuses people on Steam that wonder “why are you so positive about a game that you don’t recommend?”

So I reviewed around three of them pretty quick, giving them lengthily reviews, but more than that, I give them feedback, notes and bug reports just like I’ve done for other games that I own on Steam. This includes the awful Time Ramassade that I’ve given half a year of notes, 11 hours of gameplay and enough bug reports to kill a mule…. that they’ve done nothing with. That’s cool though,

Then a day or so later when I was done with those reviews, I threw out the net again and captured two more review copies. Its getting progressively easier. The third net I threw out had two respectable nos. One told me there’s a demo coming if I want to review that. The other told me the game hasn’t been Green Lit on Steam, so there’s no reason to review it yet. Both are answers I’m fine with.

Some of the notes I’ve given have instantly been implemented. Games with painful difficulties were made easier enough to be fun. A couple of these games have been notably awful, but that’s why I give the developers notes to improve them before I write a review saying game was too hard right off the bat. Avoid at all costs unless you love pain.

While getting review copies for free may sway an opinion, I’m honest to everyone and it improves the products. Game halting bugs get fixed. Other games are too late to be improved like a game breaking progress preventing glitch I found in MonstaFish that the developer doesn’t care about. Small stuff is forgivable, but that prevents me from completing the game.

I just have to laugh what an awful generic name my website has. Posting a 3rd party review without posting a 3rd party link just makes the review look like its 1st party.

I’ve noticed that the more expensive the game, the more hoops I need to go through in order to get to review it. Three games I’m still waiting for the okay and may never get it. I’m a lowly amateur reviewer. Games that are on Steam don’t want me reviewing a Desura copy, they want me reviewing the Steam version where I can actually post a 1,350 word review and not have a 2,000 characters review. Plus Desura forces you to put a grade on the game and even if I write a glowing review, I might not grade it that high, so I chose not to post an abridged version on Desura.

I also don’t have ratings, because they’re insults not to the game, but to the review and the effort that I put in. Sure they make it a lot easier for people just to view at a glance and see ooo this game got a 90% it must be great. Yeah, but there are details, things that you might like and not like. Then I suppose there are pros and cons that you can make bullet points. That’s easy and sometimes writing reviews is a game all its own, if not an art form.

Once a game hits Steam there’s not much use for an amateur review. One game can have thousands of reviews in the span of a few weeks. There’s no need for Metacritic, paid reviews or even review copies. The people mass together and tell you an opinion, usually with a paragraph or a sentence. I feel like Steam always grades games too high overall. Its nothing compared to Desura. A game that gets 50% on Steam will be 95% on Desura. Its crazy to see the comparison of how forgiving Desura patrons are.

My reviews are becoming more beastly. Does a 2D game really need a 1,350 word review? That’s about the limit that Steam allows and what seems to be the extent of professional game reviews. However, on Steam I get people posting “too long, didn’t read,” which is odd they’d take the time to say that. I’m wondering if the review length turns into a detriment, its not like I’ve got a video review to keep people captivated. I try to put the most pertinent information first and let things flow, that way I don’t need to have bold statements like GRAPHICS, SOUND, GAME PLAY. While that makes it easy for people to find, I can’t imagine someone saying I’m only reading this review to see what someone says about the sound or gameplay! Then there are the professional reviewers that talk about why a game plays awful, yet never actually elaborate. These people are paid with college degrees too!

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2 thoughts on “Getting Review Copies and Writing Reviews

  1. Absolutely dig you’re perspective on written game reviews. It’s definitely not for everyone, and it’s always hard to find that happy middle-ground where you’re concise enough to not be wordy, but still informative enough to be worth reading. There is always a chance for redemption and game devs look for feedback in order to get there. Looking forward to more of your stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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