2013: A Year in Reviews

2013 has been one hell of a year, you guys...on multiple levels. Before we say farewell and/or good riddance, let's take a look back at the games that were reviewed on Giant Bomb this year. Unfortunately, this is the only year-end data that I have to present to you this year. Maybe 2014 will be the return of achievement data or site data. We can only hope.

It was a relatively slow year for reviews on the site. There's probably multiple reasons for this including a pretty sizable drought prior to the release of the new consoles. Even so, we ended up averaging a little over one per week. Admittedly, there's not going to be a ton of analysis in the images that follow, but I hope you enjoy the pretty colors and some of the best community art from this year.

Art Credits

Previous "Year in Reviews"

So, let's get to it...

Alex

Once again, Alex reviewed more games than anyone else this year (24). Maybe-not-so-surprisingly, he was the only reviewer to dish out a 1-star review this year, and there were three (Aliens: Colonial Marines, The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts, and NBA Live). The one game Alex truly loved? Rayman Legends.

Brad

Brad started off the reviews this year with a bang. The new Devil May Cry was the first review of 2013 and immediately put 5-stars on the board. His second was StarCraft, and if you can't figure out what the other 5-star review from Brad was this year, you've been living under a rock. Percentage-wise, Brad liked more games (4's & 5's) this year than in 2012 (56% to 46%).

Jeff

Jeff didn't hate any games this year! Okay, that's not true. Of the 15 games he reviewed though, he obviously liked most of them. Jeff's two 5-stars came from two of the biggest games of the year; GTA5 and BioShock.

Patrick

This is the most interesting pie chart ever created. Thanks, Patrick. His 5-star games are quite diverse though. I don't think there's anything similar about The Last of Us, Gone Home, and Super Mario 3D World. Also worth noting is that Patrick did not give anything 5-stars last year.

Staff

You've been staring at Rorie-Tingle for a solid three minutes before you even read this caption, haven't you?

Stars

Although there were fewer reviews this year, the percentages ended up being pretty similar. We had exactly 16% on 5-star reviews last year too.

Platform

As you can see, the new consoles are already making a pretty big impact on the totals here. Also, keep in mind that there is some overlap in this category. For example, Brad's review of Brothers covers the XBLA, PS3N, and PC, so that gets counted towards all three of those categories.
If you're a crazy person and want to yell at me about the order in which the wedges in my pie charts are, here's a bar graph just for you.

Monthly

Guess which month new hardware came out! Man, that Summer drought was rough. And when was the last time so few games came out in October. 2013, you so crazy.

Publishers

This is the first time I've put this data into the mix. For the record, "2K" includes both 2K Games and 2K Sports. Same goes for EA.

Annual

Lastly, here's a look at the total reviews per year based on stars. Blue is 5, green is 4, etc. While it may "look" like a steady decline in the number of reviews, it's actually not. From left to right, that's 98, 147, 107, 102, 96, 55 for a total of 605. So, 2009 and 2013 are the outliers, but we're still averaging almost exactly 100 per year.

Peace Out, 2013

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48 Comments
48 Comments
Posted by rmanthorp

Look RAD - Just away to sink my teeth into them nomnomnom stats <333

Great work as always! (y)

Moderator
Posted by Demoskinos

Wait, didn't Ryan review anything this year?

Posted by Tireyo

Wind Waker GB staff characters are genius!

Posted by Brendan

@demoskinos: I'm not 100% certain on this but one of the things I remember reading about one of the staff saying (I think it was Jeff) was that they were struggling a bit to get Ryan to do reviews in 2013. Actually I think it was just writing in general that Ryan was less interested in.

Edited by FunkyS

@demoskinos said:

Wait, didn't Ryan review anything this year?

Still waiting for his God of War review.

Great stats OP, a really interesting read.

Posted by dungbootle

groovy

Posted by MarkWahlberg
@marino said:

Patrick

This just makes it look like Patrick is just super drunk. 'All these games are greeat, man! E'rythings great. Fucking.. Gone Home... great game. 5 stars fer everybody."

Posted by MildMolasses

@funkys said:

@demoskinos said:

Wait, didn't Ryan review anything this year?

Still waiting for his God of War review.

Great stats OP, a really interesting read.

Also, as the charts indicate, reviews have become a very low priority aspect of GB. I think even going back to last year Ryan had very written very few reviews and he focused his efforts in behind the scenes stuff

Posted by Marino
Staff
Edited by wjb

I know this year is unique since it's a generation change, but the 55 kind of bums me out because I still like reviews. I know the site's focus is on videos now, but the one gripe I have is how many games are overlooked or ignored completely. I totally understand only playing what you're interested in, but I wouldn't be surprised if 55 or less is the new normal because they have three (and a half) reviewers.

I blame DOTA 2.

Anyway, good stats. I always enjoy reading these reports.

Posted by Fobwashed

Great collection of data. Love numbers. <>

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

This is excellent. The fewer reviews the better. They produce far more valuable content than reviews.

Posted by me3639

Excellent job.

Posted by Flappy

Quality job, homie.

Posted by Vuud

It looks like Jeff unloaded all the crap games on Alex to review and saved the good stuff for himself.

Posted by cooljammer00

@brendan said:

@demoskinos: I'm not 100% certain on this but one of the things I remember reading about one of the staff saying (I think it was Jeff) was that they were struggling a bit to get Ryan to do reviews in 2013. Actually I think it was just writing in general that Ryan was less interested in.

During the eulogy Bombcast, they talked about how he was SO good at writing reviews that it was a damn shame he stopped to focus on video content.

Edited by Pr1mus

My prediction is that 55 reviews isn't going to be an outlier for long but the norm going forward.

Every time someone asks about it Jeff seems a bit less interested in reviews and it was obvious Ryan was also mostly done with reviews. He had like 5 last year if i remember?

Anyway reviewing games like any other tech gadget is so archaic and obviously not what the crew is about and i find proper critiques to be mostly useless. I can make my own mind whether i like something or not. They can get their feelings across through quick looks and the bombcast just fine.

Edited by Nightriff

Man i miss your nerdy numbers and graphs, it always got me giddy to read this pointless (yet interesting) information. I too hope for achievement tracking to be brought back, really miss that feature.

Bye 2013, may we forget your awful back half of the year and remember the memories we have before July 3rd.

Edited by Bulby33

Man, reading how few reviews there were this years bums me out. I'm hoping for more in 2014.

Posted by FinalDasa

Great work as always!

Kinda happy to see Alex didn't get stuck with only horrible games to review and it proves he's doing a lot of work out in NY.

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Posted by mlarrabee

Always fascinating to see! Thanks for all the hard work scraping data and drawing graphs!

Edited by Humanity

Nice use of my Jeff fan-art! From doing my own GOTY 2013 list I've noticed that I had a really hard time finding 10 games that I really LOVED this year.

Online
Posted by development

While it may "look" like a steady decline in the number of reviews, it's actually not.

I donno... you say that, but then it very clearly is, and you even list the specific numbers. Kinda confused by what you meant, there. Great work on this, regardless. I also feel like Brothers should have counted ten times, as far as data is concerned, but that's just me.

Posted by Y2Ken

Thanks for all the work you put into this, it's super cool to browse through!

Posted by Marino

@development: Before this year, it was a very slight decline. It was almost 100 every time except for that crazy 2009. The images of the bars (to me at least), seem to imply a much larger drop off year to year. That's all I meant.

Staff
Posted by development
Edited by LackingSaint

Love these things. It's interesting to see it all spelled out, because in my head I was thinking "Wow, the staff are being really generous with their 5-star ratings this year" and then woop pretty much the same percentage as last year.

Posted by Mycroft_Ampersand

@marino: Thanks for putting this all together. It is interesting to see how an actual breakdown of the reviews looks compared to just our own impressions during the course of the year.

Posted by ThunderSlash

Grand stuff. Should something like PSV and PSVN be separate though?

Posted by bigjeffrey

awesome dude

Posted by Marino

Grand stuff. Should something like PSV and PSVN be separate though?

Technically, no. That is how they are listed in the database, currently. Going forward, we are not differentiating between digital-only and retail games though. For example, Resogun is just listed as PS4. There is no PS4N platform page.

Staff
Edited by ch3burashka

Peace out indeed.

Edited by Castiel

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Peace out Ryan.

Great work Marino.

Posted by TheHT

Lovely data, as always. Thanks duder!

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Posted by MonkeyKing1969

Gotta love the data!

Posted by TugMyBanana

This is wonderful. I could spend all day looking at GB review analytics.

Edited by csl316

The metrics are always neat, but the presentation here is a 6/5.

Posted by shozo

@mildmolasses: For me the reviews on GB are not that important. It seems if they are putting out reviews it's simply because a title resonated with a staff member and they want others to check it out. A discussion on the Bombcast where a handful of staff members who are experiencing the game simultaneously and can get excited about some elements of a game is loads more interesting than a star rating. I'm way more willing to throw money at a game that gets the team talking than seeing a 5/5 on the front page.

Edited by Marino

@csl316: Thanks!

I'll take credit for 1 of those stars. The other five should go to the artists I picked from.

Staff
Posted by Beomoose

Quality charts, thanks a bunch

Posted by Contusio

How about some game of the year numbees???

Good stuff!

Posted by ReTarDedFisHy

Nice work duder! Love graphics.

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Posted by McLargepants

Pretty neat. But you should know, and maybe note in the main post, that before The Last of Us, Patrick had never given a 5 star review, not just that he didn't give one last year.

Posted by composite

I think having an outlet for criticism is useful, and shouldn't be disregarded so casually. Reviews should be the place to hash out the good and bad of the game, and how you reconcile those aspects with your own personal perspective. I find a lot of satisfaction out of reviews with angles that are interesting, that have something to say about the game, the contexts surrounding the game, and the personal experiences caused by the game. Attaching a "score" at the end of the essay is not important and should be dropped. What the review should be is an outlet for the great writers on staff to spit hot literary lines about the games that moved them. Whether that be good games or bad (Alex venom is potent and highly entertaining).

Posted by Marino

Pretty neat. But you should know, and maybe note in the main post, that before The Last of Us, Patrick had never given a 5 star review, not just that he didn't give one last year.

True. I hadn't thought of it that way.

Staff
Posted by Gamer_152

I still really like your crazy statistical compilations Marino, it feeds my need for metrics of things.

Moderator
Posted by Paindamnation

@brendan said:

@demoskinos: I'm not 100% certain on this but one of the things I remember reading about one of the staff saying (I think it was Jeff) was that they were struggling a bit to get Ryan to do reviews in 2013. Actually I think it was just writing in general that Ryan was less interested in.

During the eulogy Bombcast, they talked about how he was SO good at writing reviews that it was a damn shame he stopped to focus on video content.

Can you link me to that Podcast?

Posted by cooljammer00

@cooljammer00 said:

@brendan said:

@demoskinos: I'm not 100% certain on this but one of the things I remember reading about one of the staff saying (I think it was Jeff) was that they were struggling a bit to get Ryan to do reviews in 2013. Actually I think it was just writing in general that Ryan was less interested in.

During the eulogy Bombcast, they talked about how he was SO good at writing reviews that it was a damn shame he stopped to focus on video content.

Can you link me to that Podcast?

It's the one from around the week of Ryan's passing and the announcement. First/second week of July.