Posted by JeanLuc (3526 posts) 3 months, 18 days ago

Should episodic games be reviewed individually or as a single package? (104 votes)

Review each episode on its own 21%
Wait until they're all out and review as a whole 79%

This is something I was thinking about recently with Walking Dead Season Two out and all that and I'm not really sure what's the best answer. Most places (ign, polygon, gamespot, etc...) tend to review each episode on its own, while Giant Bomb seems to opt to wait till the whole game is out. To me it comes down to the idea of do you think an episode should stand on its own, or do you need the whole package to properly evaluate it? Curious what you guy's thoughts are.

#1 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

Review each episode on its own and after all episodes are out give it a complete score.

#2 Edited by xaLieNxGrEyx (2580 posts) -

@darji said:

Review each episode on its own and after all episodes are out give it a complete score.

#3 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

Review what you want to review. Do you want to review Episode 1 or do you want to review Season Two? The rest becomes clear.

#4 Posted by Lotan (215 posts) -

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

#5 Posted by spraynardtatum (2143 posts) -

@darji said:

Review each episode on its own and after all episodes are out give it a complete score.

#6 Posted by Chaser324 (5988 posts) -

Just like with TV shows that get early reviews based on screeners of the first few episodes, individual episode reviews, and season reviews - I think they're all valid approaches. The final season review is more of a definitive final opinion, but there's value in evaluating the individual episodes and the early reviews can be a good indicator of whether or not to join in with the social experience of following along as new episodes are released.

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#7 Posted by Beforet (2885 posts) -

Comes down to reviewer preference, but personally I prefer coverage for the episodes, and a final review for the whole product. Like how Patrick wrote up a big piece for each of the Walking Dead episodes. Reviews just seem real final to me, you know? It should be a capstone.

#8 Posted by altairre (999 posts) -

@lotan said:

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

If you'd ask me to pay for 1-1 and 1-2 seperately, then it is absolutely viable to review them that way.

#9 Edited by Rorie (2116 posts) -

@lotan said:

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

I don't think that that analogy holds up super well - few games sell levels on a subscription package. It's worth reviewing the initial release of an episodic game, in my opinion, in case there are technical or quality issues that might impact someone's choice to pay for the whole thing, even if it's not all available at the initial launch.

Staff
#10 Edited by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

If you can buy them separately, then they should be reviewed separately.

#11 Posted by EVO (3785 posts) -

Both.

#12 Edited by capaho (16 posts) -

It's better to review them individually. Being part of a series doesn't guarantee that the quality of the gameplay for each episode will be the same. There's also no guarantee of the continuity of the story across different episodes in a series, as with Far Cry or Red Faction, for example.

#13 Edited by MariachiMacabre (6942 posts) -

Review the game as a whole but also give your impressions of each chapter as it goes.

#14 Edited by FLStyle (4401 posts) -

Both.

#15 Posted by EternalVigil (224 posts) -

Review the individual episode first and then do an over-arching review of the entire season once there all out.

#16 Posted by gaminghooligan (1352 posts) -

I prefer the whole series approach. Hard to judge a story based on each chapter, same reason I don't care for episode reviews on tv.

#17 Posted by StaticFalconar (4849 posts) -

@lotan said:

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

But if the publisher made it possible to only buy and play 1-1 separate from 1-2, shouldn't they be reviewed as two different products?

#18 Edited by Davvyk (686 posts) -

I think each episode should be reviewed. Reviews offer a timely service to a ton of consumers and why wait until 8 months after the initial episodes release to make ti clear you have either enjoyed or hated the game?

I understand a games total vision doesn't come together until the package is taken as a whole but i think that just has to be taken into account when reading episodic reviews. The reviewers responsibility is to inform in a timely manner where possible and individual episode reviews are the best way to do that in my opinion.

#19 Posted by audioBusting (1321 posts) -

What is a review for anymore anyway... Personally, I read reviews not as shopping guides but for fun, so I'd like to have it both ways. Review each episode on its own, then review them as a whole. Heck, review whole series of games when they're all out! I guess it's too much work to ask from some people though, and most people would like the reviews done as soon as possible.

#20 Edited by hermes (1270 posts) -

@lotan said:

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

If you example was that reviewing 1-1 through 1-8 is different than 2-1 through 2-8, I would have seen the point of your analogy more clearly.

Then again, if they make the game so that you can buy and play each stage separately, it would totally earn a different review. The case is similar to giving each different DLC of a game different reviews.

EDIT: However, in terms of overall quality (like GOTY discussions), the whole game has to be released to be considered.

#21 Posted by Irvandus (2645 posts) -

All together considering most people buy the entire season. If certain episodes are weak it can be mentioned in the review.

#22 Edited by Vonocourt (2107 posts) -

I think it's fine to review every episode as a course of discussion, and then summing it up with a final season review, but I can't really see the individual episode reviews having much affect on purchasing decisions past the first. I'd be surprised if a lot of people actually buy piecemeal instead of at once at a discounted rate.

#23 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (4471 posts) -

I can see either one as a valid way to review an episodic package.

#24 Edited by TowerSixteen (538 posts) -

Personally, I find reviews of the first episode helpful, and season reviews helpful. A good rule of thumb- Will a review of this thing aid in a group of peoples purchasing decision? If yes, it is a perfectly valid way to do it. Therefore, both of those things a fine.

#25 Posted by Gamer_152 (13977 posts) -

Some people are going to consider buying the episodes separately, some people are going to consider buying the whole season as one package. I think this makes both kinds of review relevant and ideally sites would do both.

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#26 Posted by Monkeyto (30 posts) -

I think you need to have the whole experience to give an accurate review. Of course having opinions is cool along the way, and it's important to have that measurement of improvement/reduction of quality which of course, should be considered in your full review, but I wouldn't try and recommend a game based on one piece of content, especially content such as Walking Dead where each piece of content is so tightly connected to the next.

#27 Posted by mjk0104 (114 posts) -

I think some kind of first impressions for the first episode would be good, just so people get an idea of what they might be going in for. I think the full review should be saved for the completion of the season/series, mainly because the story component is best reviewed as a single unit rather than as 5 seperate entities (Assuming the story continues between each episode).

#28 Edited by cthomer5000 (669 posts) -

@staticfalconar said:

@lotan said:

Reviewing each episode is akin to reviewing each level of a game.

You wouldn't review 1-1 and then write a completely separate review for 1-2.

But if the publisher made it possible to only buy and play 1-1 separate from 1-2, shouldn't they be reviewed as two different products?

But you can't just jump into 1-3 or 1-4 in this instance. You literally have to at least own all the prior episodes to play a later one. So that argument kind of falls apart. I'm not even saying they shouldn't review them individually, but if they do it shoudn't be because of an invalid argument like that.

#29 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3600 posts) -

How didn't you include a "both" option...

Just like TV, you do both.

#30 Posted by Roger778 (949 posts) -

I chose "review the games as a whole" option, because I bought the retail version of Walking Dead Season 1, and it felt like a complete game to me, that way.

I plan to do that for season 2, and Wolf Among Us.

#31 Posted by crithon (2597 posts) -

The Half Life episode series is the reason why we should do individual reviews. But anything Telltale should be as a whole package, or at least early heads up "you should totally start with season 2 episode 1"

#32 Edited by RandyF (126 posts) -

I think it depends. You can't purchase The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us on PC without buying the whole season for $25, so one episode for that amount of money would be a crappy deal, even if the first episodes are great. You could be spending that much money on one good episode and the rest could turn out to be really crappy. So I think it depends on whether or not you can buy an episode individually or are forced to purchase a season pass.