Last year, OnlySP used to do articles called Discuss This, where we’d pose a topic and have two writers converse about said topic to get two differing opinions. This year, we’re going to focus on your discussions and share your opinions on the topic.

Once a week, depending on the feedback we get from these posts that is, a new Reader Discussion topic will be posted for you to converse about and share your opinions on. We’ll start off the discussion ourselves by sharing a short piece of our own, but from there it’s your discussion to have in a controlled environment. We’re doing everything we can this year to really build up our community, and we hope these posts will push you to speak your mind more when visiting OnlySP.

So, this week’s question is: How often do you actually read reviews?

Normally, I’d much rather read a review than watch a video review. When I watch a video review, I don’t feel like I’m taking in the details that the writer is providing me, but rather look at what’s going on in the background. Sure, video reviews show you the game in action, and may be a bit more entertaining in nature, but at the same time, written content provides much more detail (usually) and that’s an important factor for me when it comes to reviews.

What’s surprising to me though as I browse through sites like Reddit looking at other people’s creative content, is the big interest in long form videos at the moment. A lot of people are really starting to watch these long, in-depth analytic videos about their favorite video games where people interpret the deeper meaning of the games they are playing. It’s especially interesting when someone provides a deep, thoughtful review of a games narrative.

Side Note: Keep an eye on OnlySP’s Youtube channel in early May.

So, what are your thoughts on this subject? Let us know in the comments section!

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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  1. Personally, I don’t want video reviews. I prefer to read and pause where I need to think. I also read spoiler-free ones on games which I might be interested in and maybe other ones on games I finished, but which give me food for thought. In some cases, I look at the negative ones on Steam, to determine if a game I might buy works properly or if there might be something seriously wrong with it.

    A lot of people love their entertainment as a social thing. They like hearing other interpretations and such. If it is on a game which has an interesting moral layer or then a mystery where theory creation is to be expected, I might check out a longer analysis. But I mostly just want to be alone with my game and my own thoughts on it. I do not feel I need another person’s take on something if it is clear to me and/or not complex enough to really call for such deep analysis and thinking.

    I could perhaps watch a review of ‘Ether One’ by someone who has a loved one with dementia, out of interest in how well the game did there and how such folks experience it. But I do not need a half hour analysis, written or in video form, on ‘Gears of War’ and Marcus’ popping veins. Overall, I do not read that many. I am one who writes reviews though, so I guess I am odd in that sense. :P

  2. Personally enjoy reading reviews more then watching a video review. Its great to see the game in action when discussing certain elements and features. But you can’t beat the written word, detail is needed and videos don’t quite provide that, or at least more short form videos.

    I will usually shop around and look at a number of different reviews of a game as well, just to gain a few different insights and opinions about a game. Its all well and good to read the opinion of a reviewer you always agree with, but its much better to see a different side to a game before purchasing.

  3. I prefer reading a review if I intend to purchase a game. If I just want to see what it is about i’ll watch a video. When reading a text review I can easily skip a section that will possibly give away information I find valuable and would rather find out on my own. I typically just scroll to the bottom and reach the list of pros:cons that the writer has given the review, criticism and praise for the game is what I am after, not 3 pages of why you did or didn’t like it through the ‘X hour long’ game play. For the video reviews I find them more helpful if I can’t quite imagine how the game is played, at least, played by someone who is playing it correctly. Besides, Twitch has been huge and someone will always be playing a new release. I can not avoid a video review and watch someone who is a gamer attempt or succeed at playing the game.

    1. That’s usually how I look at reviews as well. Although, some games like Metro 2033 per say, I read reviews, found the game interesting through that, and then went and found gameplay to confirm I wanted to actually purchase the game based on execution.

  4. Nope. I consider most game review articles as spoilers. I just look at summaries where available (list of “good” and “bad”) and the score.

  5. A lot of gamers watch or read the reviews for three reasons:1) to defend the game they think is good, but no one else seems to share their opinion 2) to do the opposite of 1 or 3) to confirm what they already know to level up their excitment and appreciation for the game

  6. I read the reviews of games I’m on the fence about getting. I generally like reading vs. video reviews simply because most video reviews just have the game playing in the background. It’s been some time since I’ve seen an example, but I loved video reviews that would illustrate points in the review with the video. This has been extremely helpful when trying to understand how certain battle systems worked (or, as the case may be, didn’t).

  7. I always read reviews.. I don’t take review scores as gospel but especially for any games where I am on the fence about buying then its normally worth reading the review to see if the game contains things that I like.

    I prefer to read a review but I don’t mind some videos showing the gameplay – I passed on Shadows of Mordor because despite the review it looked like an Assassins Creed game (with Orcs).

  8. I used to read reviews a lot when I was younger just to see what game I wanted to buy next. These days games keep me occupied a lot longer than they used to because I have other stuff going on in my life and I’m not totally 100% game focused anymore. And back then it seemed that a horrible game would be given a horrible score. A lot of games in my old PlayStation magazine would be given a 6 or a 5 or even a 4 because things like story and gameplay were actually critiqued. You know they were reviewed like a movie or music would be. It was looked at as a whole and if the voice acting was bad and the story was choppy, you’re getting a 7 my friend regardless of how good the gameplay was or how pretty the game was. It just doesn’t seem like anything that matters goes into the review of a game anymore. It’s more or less “I feel like this game gets an 8 because reasons.”

    I don’t know where I’m going with this to be honest but the point I wanted to get to at the end was that reviews seem so shallow these days. Very, very, very rarely I read a review and get a good sense about what the game actually IS. Like what package I’ll be receiving when I fork over my $80. I tried out a friends AC: Unity after feeling suspicious that it got a 10. Glad I didn’t spend money it but if I had have I’d be mighty pissed.

  9. As a writer, I still read reviews of most games for that reason alone, just to see how the review is written and to absorb something from it. I’m usually pretty decisive about what games I want to get but on the rare occasions I am on the fence I will read/watch reviews to help make up my mind. Both have their merits; I find you do pay attention to the little details more in a written review but seeing a game in action gives you an idea you can’t get from the written word – games are books you can judge by their covers.

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