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#1 Edited by ThatIndianGuy7116 (255 posts) -

I'm at a point in my life where I really need to decide what I want to do with my life and i'm coming up with several different things. One thing I've considered is video game journalism. I always hear how if you want to be a better writer, you should start a blog or find some way to write everyday and receive feedback. I was just about to start my first review for the Game of the Year edition of Batman: Arkham City but I have only done about half of the side quests and I haven't completed every single Riddler Challenge and found every trophy. Do I need to complete the entire game before I give this game a review or should I complete it as much as I can. I only ask because I sometimes hear on the Bombcast about how someone completed a game 100% and I was wondering if that was something you have to do.

I apologize if this is a stupid question or if I have placed this in the wrong section. I just really want to make sure I give the game a completely fair review.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36271 posts) -

Just beat the game, dude. Trying out some of the side stuff is fine (even recommended), but not necessary.

#3 Posted by NickL (2247 posts) -


#4 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2453 posts) -

No, I don't think that's necessary. As long as you've finished the main story and tried enough of the side quests, that should be enough to decide if the game is good or not.

#5 Posted by laserbolts (5385 posts) -

No man that would be ridiculous.

#6 Posted by Owlright (117 posts) -

For game's with stories/campaigns, it's usually important that you complete those before you review the game, but you don't need to 100% a game before review. As long as you've checked out enough of the side content to form an educated opinion on it, you'll be fine.

#7 Posted by BionicRadd (616 posts) -

Just be transparent about what you played and play what you want to. A lot of games, like Saints Row 3, introduce the side stuff through the missions in the critical path, in which case there is no real need to go through and do more of that.

#8 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19395 posts) -

Play it as you normally would while observing the game critically.

#9 Posted by Demoskinos (15284 posts) -

100% no... playing enough to give a fair assessment of the entire product? Yes.

#10 Posted by dogbox (464 posts) -

I don't think it's necessary all the time. If it's something that has a story that's going to play out and reach a conclusion or something like that, definitely. But I don't think you need to reach the end of a game like, say, Spelunky to know what it's about well enough to review it.

#11 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

Some games like Xenoblade Chronicles or Disgaea would take you so long, you would be on the same review for weeks. Also, if you got really bored with a game quite early into it, you would be entitled to review what you played as the basis of why you had no desire to complete it - no point putting yourself through the pain of completing it.

#12 Posted by StarvingGamer (8603 posts) -

No as long as you are clear about how much of the game you played.

#13 Posted by Gatehouse (730 posts) -

No, not 100%. If it's story based, finish the story. Multiplayer based, play enough to give yourself an impression.

#14 Posted by kindpixel (2864 posts) -

@ThatIndianGuy7116: If you ever decide to review a part you haven't played, than yes. However, if you are simply reviewing Arkham City for the game as a whole, than no.

If I wasn't clear, an example would be something like this. If you are reviewing Batman and say it doesn't have enough quality side content, although you didn't finish it, than you are in the wrong. However, if you are reviewing Batman's core experience, which most people will only play, than you are in the right.

Hope this helped :)

#15 Posted by DoctorDanger99 (687 posts) -

again,no.you have to say that you saw and did more or less eveything there is to see and do.

#16 Posted by NickL (2247 posts) -

@ThatIndianGuy7116 said:

I sometimes hear on the Bombcast about how someone completed a game 100%

That's Vinny. He is a crazy completionist. And he hasn't reviewed a game in a long time.

#17 Posted by Vextroid (1445 posts) -

No. Play the main story line and enough of the side content to be able to talk about it competently and fairly.

#18 Posted by TooWalrus (13258 posts) -

Totally, I know that before reviewing GTAIV Jeff killed every single stupid pigeon in the game- without a guide, too, because that would've been dishonest.

#19 Posted by Draxyle (1903 posts) -

100% completion should definitely not be part of any review. For one thing, it's not realistic to be able to do so in any timely fashion. And another thing; it is extremely, extremely unlikely that the inclusion of silly side time-wasters would actually impact the score of the review. Optional content is optional, after all. It's not going to really impact someone's enjoyment of a game if they're able to just step away from it.

I think a review only really needs to be an inclusion of whatever is required to complete a game to its proper ending, and even then, some games don't really require "completion" for you to know how to review it. Reviewing Skyrim for it's main quest-line is silly, for example (that's an exception where side content is important, but you only need to do a little bit of it to know what to expect from the rest of it).

It really comes down to your best judgement. Whatever the game is selling itself as is what you need to review it for.

#20 Posted by Milkman (17483 posts) -

Fuck no.

#21 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

As long as you've got a grasp of what the game has to offer and review it competently, there's no need to get that far into a game.

#22 Edited by Daveyo520 (7138 posts) -

Wolpaw's Law can take affect in some cases.

#23 Posted by pweidman (2384 posts) -

No. Finish the game and tourist the rest at least for a fair review. Completionist is not required at all. And be honest in the review about how much you played and it's all good.

#24 Posted by Zleunamme (717 posts) -

No, just finish the main campaign or story. You would never finish the review if you had to complete every single challenge.

#25 Posted by PokeIkzai (384 posts) -

Beat it? Sure. 100% it? Hell naw.

#26 Posted by ThatIndianGuy7116 (255 posts) -

Thank you everyone! I really enjoyed the main story but when I saw all of the extra stuff I had left to do, which I'm not complaining about necessarily because all of what I've done so far has been really fun, I got a bit worried

#27 Posted by MAGZine (438 posts) -

Depends entirely on the size the game, and whether or not achievements count.

I would say that Company of Heroes is a game that you should play through 100% (that is, the entire campaign). Other games which require hundreds of hours to play through 100% may not be worth your time.

#28 Posted by Spoonman671 (4833 posts) -

We had a bigass thread about this pretty recently.  The answer is, "no".

#29 Posted by deox (231 posts) -

Hell no.

#30 Edited by Aarownd (59 posts) -

I love how one reply is well written and detailed. And the next is "Fuck no."

But yeah, I'm trying to get into game journalism too, and that was the first thing some friends asked me, for whatever reason they really wanted to know.

EDIT: Why do you guys keep saying no? I think he gets it at this point.

#31 Posted by Deusx (1911 posts) -

Depends on the game.

#32 Posted by Muttinus_Rump (814 posts) -

No. You shouldn't have to play more than ten minutes if you don't want to.

#33 Posted by believer258 (12310 posts) -

You should play the game enough to give it a fair assessment; there is no set number of hours or percentage completion for this as every game is different. You could play Just Cause 2 for ten hours and only get 7% completion but still have a really good idea on its high points and low points, but ten hours and seven percent completion of, say, a Final Fantasy game probably isn't enough to give it a good and proper review.

You should try your best to complete the main storyline as well as a variety of the sidequests, minigames, and other stuff, though you definitely don't need to go collect all the hidden stuff and do all of those sidequests. You'd never finish games for reviews in time if that were necessary.

#34 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

I don't see why. I can't think of a single game that dramatically changes in the last couple hours.

#35 Posted by Emperor_Jimmu (249 posts) -

I don't even think you would have to finish the story in some cases. If you play 70% of a forty hour story and feel you can critically asses it, then go ahead. If you write well and convey your opinion convincingly I wouldn't personally care. As for 100% completion? I don't think getting all the feathers in Assassin's Creed 2 would colour your opinion either way, would it?

#36 Posted by rolanthas (256 posts) -

It should vary WILDLY from game to game. While I don't think a Skyrim review could be done with just finishing the main quest, I can't imagine how collecting all the fucking feathers in AC 2 mini series would help anyone.

#37 Posted by cap123 (2477 posts) -

It's a sad state of affairs but generally I complete games 100% as far as achievements go.

#38 Posted by Danteveli (1216 posts) -

You should play as much as its possible but 100% is not always necessary.

#39 Posted by Redbullet685 (6107 posts) -

No, but I would recommend playing through the DLC added in the Batman: AC GOTY Edition because that's the whole point of a GOTY Edition

#40 Posted by ThatIndianGuy7116 (255 posts) -

@Redbullet685: I was actually thinking of reviewing Harley's Revenge separately but you are right, I probably should review them together

#41 Posted by WilliamHenry (1231 posts) -

I understand wanting to be a game journalist, but its not really a career that is easily obtainable. You should really think about broadening your scope because you will probably be severely disappointed and unemployed if you don't. I'm not saying don't try for it, but I wouldn't be very optimistic.

#42 Posted by Aarownd (59 posts) -

I would say that becoming a game journalist isn't the thing you should solely try for. I'm trying to be a journalist, with games as my main interest. I'm also trying to just get any work as a journalist I can. That's what I was told to do, and I feel that's really the only thing you can do. Just keep trying, and take whatever work you can get. No matter how unglamorous it might be. Even just a small column in the paper is experience with editors and deadlines. While I'm still holding out hope that game journalism will be my main career, it's very important to look at all the jobs available to a journalist.

#43 Posted by avidwriter (665 posts) -

Beating the game should be the general standard. A review is a cover/general idea of the game and if you'd like it. It's supposed to give you an idea of the style, gameplay etc. It would be nice if the reviewer did all the side stuff at least once to get an idea about it. However sometimes the game is too long or too hard for them to complete. However they can still do a review as long as they've played enough of it to give them a general idea of the style gameplay etc to make a fair judgment.

#44 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5484 posts) -

Finish the main story. Try some side stuff and play an adequate amount of time in it's multiplayer if it has it.

#45 Posted by Tackchevy (269 posts) -

Some games, you can tell after a short time that they're crap. If you sink in a few hours and know you're most of the way through the main path, it's fine to call it if you're just doing it for the sake of a review Likewise, if a game seems awesome, you need not do everything 100% to know that it is awesome. If it's plot driven, then complete said plot before declaring awesomeness to the world. You need not complete every asinine side deal to declare awesomeness. In recent examples such as XB, I felt the extensive side quests took away from my focus a bit and diminished the game very marginally.

#46 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

It's slightly off-topic, but you should think about what makes your reviews better than the other reviews written by people trying to get into games journalism.

#47 Posted by Village_Guy (2694 posts) -

No, reviewers should complete the "campaign"/story mode, whatever it is called - and then at least take a look at other features, like multiplayer (and co-op preferably if in the game) and side-quests and stuff. They don't need to complete the game on the hardest difficulty or find all collectibles, though they should at least get a sense of how it works I think.

#48 Posted by DonutFever (3554 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:

Play it as you normally would while observing the game critically.

This. Many reviewers don't even play the entire story before they write a review. 
One thing to keep in mind though is being able to play a lot of a game quickly. If you're like me, and take a couple weeks to complete a game, it may cause some problems if you want to do this professionally due to deadlines and such. 
#49 Posted by AlisterCat (5786 posts) -


#50 Posted by krazy_kyle (715 posts) -

Depends on the game. It's pointless completing an MMO as you get a good idea of the game once you are half-way to full level.