I saw a video review for Super Mario Galaxy 2 posted by Ryan and I have to admit that as a video game enthusiast and journalist myself, I was VERY disappointed in the Route Ryan chose to take on the video review. I am sorry Ryan, but rehashing your written review and adding one new sentence per paragraph that adds absolutely NOTHING to the substance is not acceptable. You honestly might as well not even attempt to add anything to the sentence structure of the review and just read it verbatim. You aren't fooling anyone.
The point of a video review is to add something for the end-user that they otherwise wouldn't get simply from reading a written piece. Standing in front of a green screen and slapping a few minutes worth of Mario footage stolen from other videos while you read your review is lazy, sir. Perhaps use the video as a platform for some engaging commentary on level design or control. I don't mean to flame against Ryan, I do love the man, but I also expect better from these guys. Do not let your standards slip simply to push out a video review without taking the time to make the review worthy of existing. I wouldn't be so hard on Ryan if every video review on this site was written in this manner, but that simply isn't the case. Take Brad's video review on Alan Wake for example. He uses the video in conjunction with his words to elevate the value of the video beyond the sum of it's parts. Notice how the video and his review work in harmony together to create something new and unique that previously wasn't existent in the written review.
Here is a link to the sloppiness, for all those too lazy to use the search field at the top of the page:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review
Here is a link to good journalism:
Alan Wake Review
OP is up right now working on a piece about local water poisoning in a neighboring town. I write some free lance and high school sports articles for the Springfield News Leader. It is the third largest newspaper in Missouri and you can check it out here. I don't know if that is more prestigious or less than Giantbomb.com but I would reckon that it's close enough to give me some credibility when it comes to critiquing language arts, even though I am not critiquing his writing, only his effort and creativity.
I have NO problem with the content of his review. I think it was a fantastic and well written review that really covers all the bases. Like I said in the OP, which it seems many of you didn't read, I do not think Ryan is a bad reviewer or that Brad is a better reviewer. I was simply critiquing the format and effort put into the video review, NOT the content. I LOVE all the member of the team equally.
I do, however, have a serious problem with posting a video review that is the EXACT same thing as the written review. Let me explain why again more clearly, since the internet is even more dense than I previously assumed.
The reason why I am disappointed in Ryan is not because I don't like him or think he is bad at his job, It's actually because I like him very much and think he is a great journalist. It is of my humble opinion that simply standing in front of the camera and reading your written review shows piss-poor effort and a total lack of creativity. Why waste time posting a written review at all? You might as well just write your review and immediately hop up on the capture set and recite your review verbatim (like Ryan did), and then have Vinny edit in some game-play videos that do nothing to add or enhance the review itself (like Ryan did). What is the point of a video review if the video has nothing to do with enhancing the content being spewed from the reviewer. If that is the level of quality you expect then just put up two links on the page instead, and skip the written review. Make one of the links a video of random game-play, the other link an audio file that plays Ryan's voice reading the review. However, if you actually want to engage the end-user and give them a quality experience, then make what's playing behind you on the video something new and refreshing for the viewer, even if they have already read your written review.
Once again, I am not saying Brad is a better reviewer than Ryan, but I am using his video review of Alan Wake as a wonderful example of how to engage the viewer and add something fresh and informative. Notice how when Brad is talking about something, the video being shown directly correlates to the information he is giving AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I haven't already heard what he is saying in his written review. That is exactly how you use a video review to add something new to the experience rather than just make it a lazy way for people who don't read to learn about a particular game. Basically, the proper term for this particular media conduit is a "video review", so make the video meaningful. Use the words and video together to create something greater than just an audio review with some meaningless video lazily slapped on at the end.
Ryan, if you ever read this, remember that you are a five star chef and while most of your restaurant is filled with palate-absent fools who are more than happy to eat any crap you cook up for them, there is always someone sitting alone in the back who knows your true skill and expects your finest dish every time.