#1 Posted by Winternet (8238 posts) -

Giant Bomb never had the intention to review every game. From the get go, this has been made clear, that GB would be selective on the games they decided to review. This was mainly because they run a small team. Giant Bomb counteracted it with long podcasts with lengthy discussions on the games the staff play and with Quick-Looks. Basically, with these two features, the user would get a general idea of what the game is and what the staff opinions about the game were. This has, in my opinion, worked just fine.

What I intend to know and discuss is the idea of reviews slowly disappearing and Giant Bomb (and other video game websites) working perfectly without them. Do you foresee this happening in the near future? Do you agree with it? Do you think it even makes sense?

I'll give two recent examples: Prototype 2 and Kid Icarus: Uprising. Both fairly popular and big games, both were played extensively by a member of the staff, both received the Quick-Look/podcast-discussion treatment, both were mentioned along a "maybe I'll write a review" at some point and both did not get a review. Do you guys feel like you miss a review and that Giant Bomb is at fault or you feel like the coverage was enough and that a review was not needed?

It's my opinion, that in the next 3/4 years we could see a no-review Giant Bomb which would work fine, make sense and be viable. Although, I think that Quick-Look/podcast wouldn't be enough to cover it all and that some new form of content would have to exist.

#2 Edited by No0b0rAmA (1511 posts) -

To be honest I don't follow or read the GB reviews. I just like watching quicklooks.

The last PC game review they did was Gotham City Imposters, which was like 3 months ago.

#3 Edited by TentPole (1856 posts) -

I already ignore all of Jeff's review.

Not that they are bad so much as his sensibilities and tastes are very far removed from my own.

On the other hand I would not be surprised if reviews are key aspect of getting new users on the site and that is invaluable.

#4 Posted by Blackhebrew2 (78 posts) -

I have barley ever looked at the reviews. The "Quick LookS" are more then sufficient. They would be fine without them but I wonder how much traffic they get from Metacritic?

#5 Posted by spankingaddict (2829 posts) -

I think so . They should consider this . It would let them have more time to do other crazy stuff !

#6 Posted by nintendoeats (6138 posts) -

I don't think that they're important, but it's nice to know that the guys will commit to an opinion from time to time.

#7 Posted by CptBedlam (4483 posts) -

Quicklooks are the new reviews.

#8 Posted by BabyChooChoo (5268 posts) -

@Blackhebrew2 said:

I have barley [...]

To answer the question though, I think they can live without them. I can't speak for everyone obviously, but I don't really give a damn about reviews these days personally. The only reviews I read are the ones on this site and it's only because I feel like killing time and I'm curious how they feel about game X.

#9 Posted by xXxLYNCHxXx (168 posts) -

In all honesty I find a quick look more valuable as a purchasing guide. I can tell if it's a game I would be interested in quite quickly. When I can see the gameplay it removes a layer of bias that is inherently within a review. I could see a future with less traditional reviews.

#10 Posted by Milkman (17900 posts) -

They could, sure. But they probably shouldn't.

#11 Posted by PatchMaster (263 posts) -

Are video reviews gone for good? Or has their absence been due to the move?

#12 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6420 posts) -

I read reviews for games I am considering buying because I feel as if, a lot of the time, if one person says one thing on the Bombcast, everyone will go on in agreement. For example, Brad had a totally positive review on Prototype back in 2009 (and for good reason- it was an awesome game), but recently on a Bombcast I remember hearing several qualified compliments, and many negative remarks from most of the crew (including Brad) even though it was reviewed as a very fun empowerment game. This happens often with Jeff as well, as positively-reviewed games will be spoken about in a negative tone a month or two down the road.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Bombcast and listen religiously, but I think the group dynamic can dilute an opinion and the reviews feel individualistic enough to the point where they are worth reading, especially if I am considering getting a game and want more details than offered in the discussion.

#13 Posted by drGiggless (225 posts) -

I like the quick looks and reviews.

#14 Posted by Spoonman671 (5028 posts) -

I don't read them.

#15 Edited by Neurotic (635 posts) -

I'd say so. We get most of their thoughts on a game from QLs and the Bombcast, usually in a more amusing manner. If Giant Bomb sells me on a game it's usually through those two mediums, not the reviews. I didn't really need a review of Kid Icarus and Prototype 2 to know I don't want to play them. I doubt I'd notice if they stopped doing reviews. That's just me though.

#16 Posted by Blackhebrew2 (78 posts) -

@babychoochoo Damned iPhone . Can't replace a trustworthy keyboard. But do you think try get a lot of traffic from metacritic.

#17 Posted by Subjugation (4786 posts) -

Quick looks usually let me get a sense of their opinion as well as let me formulate my own from seeing the game. I don't think a review in the traditional sense is completely necessary.

#18 Posted by Phatmac (5919 posts) -

They should keep reviews, but do them better. Don't know how they'd do that though.

#19 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1357 posts) -

I am pretty sure most of Giant Bomb's audience doesn't come here for the reviews, not that they are sub par or anything, it is just not the focus of the site.

#20 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6116 posts) -

I think quicklooks are more than enough for anyone to decide whether or not they are interested in the game. With that said, you know what's quicker than a quicklook? A review. Besides, there were some great fucking video review moments. Giantbomb can function perfectly, very much the way it has, without reviews, but I don't see why the GB crew would cut out the reviews.

#21 Edited by Brendan (8756 posts) -

You guys know that they have data for what content gets how many views, right? I'm guessing that they get tons of views on those pages, so it doesn't really matter whether you think they "need" them or not, because they already know better.

#22 Posted by BraveToaster (12636 posts) -

I rarely read game reviews. The site will still be awesome without reviews, though it may suck for people who rely on the staff for that sort of thing.

#23 Posted by Bocam (3993 posts) -

The games I want them to review never get reviewed, so I don't care

#24 Posted by h0lgr (958 posts) -

Whether the site survives or not I don't know, but I certainly do like my GB reviews.
Love reading them.

#25 Posted by UitDeToekomst (783 posts) -

i can't remember the last time i actually read a review here. i don't mean to take anything away from the guys' abilities to write or review games critically, but i just find things like Quick Looks, Bombcast conversations and all the other stuff on the site to be much more informative about games than any review i've read. plus, i just really like the video and audio content here, so if they dumped reviews completely, i wouldn't come here any less.

#26 Posted by xbob42 (570 posts) -

Reviews are like, the only feature on the site I don't use. I don't care about reviews at all. From anywhere.

#27 Edited by Blair (2550 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo said:

@Blackhebrew2 said:

I have barKley [...]

EDIT: Giant Bomb could easily do without reviews.

#28 Posted by adoggz (2081 posts) -

I don't really read there reviews so i wouldn't care if they went away.

#29 Posted by Draxyle (1935 posts) -

I've long grown out of any desire to rely on reviews. There's no way to describe a game in any meaningful way unless you actually see it in person.

If anything, a quicklook stands to be a much more useful "shoppers guide" than anything else. Just seeing a 20-40 minute chunk of a game will tell you all you need to know before making a decision (with some exceptions of course. MMO's and JRPG's don't quicklook well).

That said, I still enjoy the reviews on the site. GB's reviews are the only ones I'll actually take the time to read if I care about the game (or if it's an Alex review). If they disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't be a tragic loss, but it would be a shame.

#30 Posted by xbob42 (570 posts) -

On second thought, I'd actually watch video reviews if they were more long-form. Trying to condense a review --that is, a judgment on an hours-long product-- into a 2-3 minute segment is just a really, really bad idea in my opinion. I want a video review to be longer, more informative. I want it to be like the written review but with lots of footage and examples of gameplay rather than 2-3 second clips that match up to "OH AND SOMETIMES IT'S BUGGY."

That just doesn't jive with me.

#31 Posted by SlightConfuse (3995 posts) -

i know my own taste so i dont rely on reviews but i like quicklook/podcast disuccon more than some text. Being able to say what you mean is easier than writing it down.

#32 Posted by JasonR86 (10007 posts) -

No. No matter what the forums say, reviews are a big part of GB. It is one of the cornerstones and a huge part of the editors' job.

#33 Posted by xbob42 (570 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

No. No matter what the forums say, reviews are a big part of GB. It is one of the cornerstones and a huge part of the editors' job.

Are they? Is that why we almost never see any?

#34 Posted by crusader8463 (14744 posts) -

I have never looked at a GB review so I wouldn't notice if they went away.

#35 Posted by JasonR86 (10007 posts) -

@xbob42 said:

@JasonR86 said:

No. No matter what the forums say, reviews are a big part of GB. It is one of the cornerstones and a huge part of the editors' job.

Are they? Is that why we almost never see any?

There have been fewer lately because of the transition. Plus it is the summer and fewer games of note are out right now.

#36 Posted by X19 (2370 posts) -

I honestly don't read reviews; I rent the game and try it myself, talk about the game with friends or hear about it on the Bombcast.

There are people I trust who follow a franchise for years and even do youtube reviews for free, because they're passionate about that given franchise. Their opinion is more valid to me than someone who reviews lots of games and has to do it whether they want to or not. This is especially true for multiplayer components to video games.

#37 Posted by Giefcookie (625 posts) -

I don't read reviews, quicklooks and the bombcast are more than enough to get informed/interested in a game.

#38 Posted by VierasTalo (1089 posts) -

Joining the crowd of people not reading reviews. It's not so much that they're bad, but everything else is more fun. Also, long reviews tend to not fit in so well in a site that is overall basically a speeding train headed for awesomeness. They slow the pace of the site down in a weird way. If sites have pacing. Which they don't, really.

#39 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5904 posts) -

I'd be really bummed, they do great reviews and would miss them a lot. They've sold me on games I'd never have even looked at if not for their review.

#40 Posted by RoyCampbell (1092 posts) -

I appreciate the reviews. I read them; that and it's somewhat part of their jobs. Their job isn't just playing video games and getting free shit in the mail.
That and the site obviously gets more traffic and users when a big release is reviewed and the site is pinged from tons of "call of duty #438 review" google searches.

#41 Posted by SmilingPig (1370 posts) -

It’s easier to sell ads on a video game site when you haves review (especially scores on /10).

I hope that it won’t come to this, but I wouldn’t blame them.

#42 Edited by Giantstalker (1883 posts) -

I read most of the reviews on this site, it's important for the crew to take a stand on certain games and say "this is good" or "this sucks."

I think they're also obviously useful as a purchasing tool. This is especially true because quicklooks often go sideways (the staff have no idea what they're doing) and an actual review shows that a professional opinion has been formed with an adequate understanding of the game being played. Giant Bomb could go on without them, sure, but it'd be a much worse off site in my view.

I wish they would review more low-profile games, if only to raise some awareness, but they get most of the big titles so I suppose that's the most important thing.

#43 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -

Like others have said, i bet they are the prime way of getting new users. People checking metacritic and browsing to the reviews from there. I personally will not miss them.

#44 Posted by katanalauncher (224 posts) -

Without reviews there would be no point in giving into depth of a game, then we would have nothing to talk about on the podcast.

#45 Posted by bybeach (5152 posts) -

I have a fundamental problem with their scoring I cannot let go of, but I always enjoy reading their reviews. I do agree, Quicklooks, the podcast and such are also good sources of their thinking. At the end of the day, what they think, and even perhaps especially, from multiple sources. that is what I am interested in.

#46 Posted by wjb (1760 posts) -

I still read reviews on this site, but it's something I won't miss. Sounds like they don't want to do them either. Wasn't Brad trying to convince Jeff to write a Prototype 2 review in last week's ILM, and Jeff wasn't too thrilled at the idea?

Anyway, reviews always felt like they were more trouble than what they were worth. Either no one reads them, and the percentage who do end up complaining about the score being too low/high. Ever since podcasts became a thing some years ago, I'd rather listen to someone talk about their experience and interact with other people and their experiences than reading a page or two.

#47 Posted by ADAMWD (681 posts) -

I don't look at the reviews other than a glance at the score. Usually the QL of a game + podcast discussion + metacritic score = good idea if the game is worth buying.

#48 Posted by emem (2047 posts) -

The only way I could see reviews go away on Giantbomb is if Gamespot would become the review site and GB the video/interactive site (basically GB linking to GS reviews and GS linking to GB videos). It could be pretty nice seeing the guys travel more, interview lots of people, and the "grown up talk" could stay on GB if GS would only link "family friendly" GB videos to their site. But having said that and having thought about it for a few seconds I doubt that reviews will go away and I think things will stay the way they are... I'm just making things up here though, we will see what happens over time. :)

#49 Posted by planetary (377 posts) -

If I could go to a games page and see both the Quicklooks, subsets of all video content which apply to a game, and links to precisely the relevant audio snippets (in the podcasts, etc), then I think living without formal reviews would be fine.

In terms of textual content, I'd appreciate shorter-form text "perspectives" from several members of the staff, rather than one.

#50 Edited by Jazzycola (670 posts) -

No reviews are thought out,in-depth arguments on whether or not to buy a video game while quick looks/podcast discussions are usually impromptu and usually reflect the persons view of a game they've barely played. Now do I read every review they put up? No but if I am completely unsure of whether or not I want to buy said video game I would.