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Why would I spend time reviewing, let alone playing, a game from a genre I hate?
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Matt Brown
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Geosphere wrote:
Why would I spend time reviewing, let alone playing, a game from a genre I hate?


A number of reviewers get called out for only/mostly reviewing games they like.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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How many reviewers review games base on their own personel preference


all of them
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fenton1300 wrote:
I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through


That's the point of the review-- to find out how it lines up with that persons likes. There is no such thing as a completely objective review, because a review, by nature, is someone's opinion on a game.

Maybe you're more interested in an overview or something? Watch It Played or similar?
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emodiu5 wrote:
fenton1300 wrote:
I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through


That's the point of the review-- to find out how it lines up with that persons likes. There is no such thing as a completely objective review, because a review, by nature, is someone's opinion on a game.

Maybe you're more interested in an overview or something? Watch It Played or similar?


Since they are not androids with defective AI, I would bet money that the answer is all.

That's just my opinion.
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My purchases are also entirely based on my subjective opinions.. which are informed by others' subjective opinions.
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fenton1300 wrote:
This has probably been posted a number of times. If you know of any posts please point me in the right direction.

I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through. With a great number of games being released a review is always a good way of getting a generalised view of a game. It can be one aspect of whether you buy a game, but not the only aspect. After watching a huge number of reviews by different reviewers I have noticed a trend. Some will only review games that they are comfortable with, for example not having a high combat mechanic, euro and heavily dice dependant games (luck) this list could go on and on. So when these reviews are critical of a particular board game it feels more of a viable critique. This is down to them reviewing a board game that they have a passion for. Does that make their judgement more valid? There are some reviewers who will review all types of games, even ones they do not really enjoy. Sometimes their dislike to a certain type of board game can have an impact on the review of the game. Does this make their judgement of a game less important?

I know core mechanics of a game can be common across a lot of games. The issue here is there are many games which label themselves as Euro, Ameritrash(hate that word, who was the first to come up with that one). Actually does a game designer come out and say my game is a Euro? I don't think they do, they just make a game they want to play. It is us who then label that style of mechanic/gameplay.

Anyway, my point is, if you are a reviewer should you review a game if you know you have a personal dislike for that style of gaming? If you do review this type of game how do you prevent your dislike from creeping into the review?

The all-round review who likes all games does seem to be in the minority.

Look forward to any comments and this is not intended to be a dig at any reviewer. I appreciate all reviews but ultimately my purchase is always based on my judgement.


I would laugh my ass off at any reviewer who thought they were providing an objective review.

My guess is your talking about Tom, because I hear this ridiculous argument a lot when people discuss the Dice Tower and "Euro" games. If you know what a person's tastes are and you feel they coincide in some way with your own, watch the review, if you don't, don't watch the review.

Reviews have always and will always be based on one's personal preferences. Just because I think a game you enjoy sucks doesn't mean it's because I don't like the genre or that I just don't get it.
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The vast majority of them, or at least a game they thought they would like. This is moderately valuable given if your tastes align with the reviewer, it is good to know what they thought of the game regardless. I wish more people were critical and dissected games though.
 
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Legomancer wrote:
Quote:
How many reviewers review games base on their own personel preference


all of them


Exactly this.
 
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It makes sense that they like the type of game they review because then its safe to assume they have played quite a few games in that genre, which means they have a greater knowledge base for comparing gameplay and mechanics. For a quick overview preferences can probably be subdued but for in depth you want somebody who knows what they are talking about and what they want.
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broken clock wrote:
fenton1300 wrote:
This has probably been posted a number of times. If you know of any posts please point me in the right direction.

I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through. With a great number of games being released a review is always a good way of getting a generalised view of a game. It can be one aspect of whether you buy a game, but not the only aspect. After watching a huge number of reviews by different reviewers I have noticed a trend. Some will only review games that they are comfortable with, for example not having a high combat mechanic, euro and heavily dice dependant games (luck) this list could go on and on. So when these reviews are critical of a particular board game it feels more of a viable critique. This is down to them reviewing a board game that they have a passion for. Does that make their judgement more valid? There are some reviewers who will review all types of games, even ones they do not really enjoy. Sometimes their dislike to a certain type of board game can have an impact on the review of the game. Does this make their judgement of a game less important?

I know core mechanics of a game can be common across a lot of games. The issue here is there are many games which label themselves as Euro, Ameritrash(hate that word, who was the first to come up with that one). Actually does a game designer come out and say my game is a Euro? I don't think they do, they just make a game they want to play. It is us who then label that style of mechanic/gameplay.

Anyway, my point is, if you are a reviewer should you review a game if you know you have a personal dislike for that style of gaming? If you do review this type of game how do you prevent your dislike from creeping into the review?

The all-round review who likes all games does seem to be in the minority.

Look forward to any comments and this is not intended to be a dig at any reviewer. I appreciate all reviews but ultimately my purchase is always based on my judgement.


I would laugh my ass off at any reviewer who thought they were providing an objective review.

My guess is your talking about Tom, because I hear this ridiculous argument a lot when people discuss the Dice Tower and "Euro" games. If you know what a person's tastes are and you feel they coincide in some way with your own, watch the review, if you don't, don't watch the review.

Reviews have always and will always be based on one's personal preferences. Just because I think a game you enjoy sucks doesn't mean it's because I don't like the genre or that I just don't get it.


Glad you quoted this because the first post up there now doesn't make sense considering all of the other replies agree with it.
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LOL. Sorry everyone I delete my original post because I didn't like the replys I was getting. Just joking my son was hassling me to get of the computer pressed wrong tab.

Not really getting at Tom. In fact love most of his reviews. Sam's segemnts are really good with the inclusion of painting guides too. Great!

Just putting the question out there on reviews and how objective they can be or should be. Should have listen to my son's review of my thread before I posted it. LOL

Just re-posted the thread here.

This has probably been posted a number of times. If you know of any posts please point me in the right direction.


I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through. With a great number of games being released a review is always a good way of getting a generalised view of a game. It can be one aspect of whether you buy a game, but not the only aspect. After watching a huge number of reviews by different reviewers I have noticed a trend. Some will only review games that they are comfortable with, for example not having a high combat mechanic, euro and heavily dice dependant games (luck) this list could go on and on. So when these reviews are critical of a particular board game it feels more of a viable critique. This is down to them reviewing a board game that they have a passion for. Does that make their judgement more valid? There are some reviewers who will review all types of games, even ones they do not really enjoy. Sometimes their dislike to a certain type of board game can have an impact on the review of the game. Does this make their judgement of a game less important?

I know core mechanics of a game can be common across a lot of games. The issue here is there are many games which label themselves as Euro, Ameritrash(hate that word, who was the first to come up with that one). Actually does a game designer come out and say my game is a Euro? I don't think they do, they just make a game they want to play. It is us who then label that style of mechanic/gameplay.

Anyway, my point is, if you are a reviewer should you review a game if you know you have a personal dislike for that style of gaming? If you do review this type of game how do you prevent your dislike from creeping into the review?

The all-round review who likes all games does seem to be in the minority.

Look forward to any comments and this is not intended to be a dig at any reviewer. I appreciate all reviews but ultimately my purchase is always based on my judgement.
 
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Aaa, OP has been deleted and I was just about to be clever.
Well, I can be clever regardless (as Mike managed to save to OP, Mike is da man, or da clock, thanks anyhow ).

fenton1300 wrote:
I was just wondering, after watching a number of different reviewers, how many review a game and allow their own personnel likes to seep through.


All of them (as Dave articulated above).

Because a review is a dialogue between a reviewer and a game and it's just not possible to cut out everything "personal" and still have a review. Without a personal input there's no review, there's description and a list of components, maybe even a reportage (not a good one as that takes a personality to pull off), but no review.

fenton1300 wrote:
With a great number of games being released a review is always a good way of getting a generalised view of a game.

Nope, that's not what a review is for. For this you want publisher's press and photos and maybe a walkthrough or a "how to play" video or just read the rules.

Review is analysis and evaluation and a "generalised view" kills its essence.

fenton1300 wrote:
It can be one aspect of whether you buy a game, but not the only aspect.

It's not a reviewer's job to help you buy a game, or anybody's really. That's a task of each consumer/buyer - get information that makes sense to you, make a decision based on it.

fenton1300 wrote:
After watching a huge number of reviews by different reviewers I have noticed a trend. Some will only review games that they are comfortable with, for example not having a high combat mechanic, euro and heavily dice dependant games (luck) this list could go on and on. So when these reviews are critical of a particular board game it feels more of a viable critique. This is down to them reviewing a board game that they have a passion for. Does that make their judgement more valid? There are some reviewers who will review all types of games, even ones they do not really enjoy. Sometimes their dislike to a certain type of board game can have an impact on the review of the game. Does this make their judgement of a game less important?


This is about many things.

First one is that apart of few people who say they're doing reviews are actually doing reviews (analysis and evaluation), only very few will attempt a negative review. One factor is fear of backlash - from the fans and from the publisher (if you're doing this for free games). Which, btw., is how components breakdown video "reviews" were born - all the description, none review. Second factor is how many times do you play a game before you feel you can review it? - How often are you able to replay a game you do not like? (When we did Voice of Experience review contest in 2015 we asked negative reviews only need a reviewer to replay the game 5 times instead of our usual requirement of 10 plays). Thirdly I got the impression some people are just not comfortable with voicing a negative feedback/opinion/review as it seems more subjective than they think reviews should be (this is the same reason why many people writing/filming reviews shy away from doing reviews as they thing reviews shouldn't be personal, but they are by their nature).

I don't think any judgement is more or less valid. It's a review - it's the reader's job to figure out what significance does it have for them as readers. When I'm reviewing I'm making my point, based on a dialogue with a work (I was writing theatre reviews) and I try to make my arguments sound and the article readable. At the most I target building my integrity as a reviewer. Validity really isn't what my work is about. Writing a review is dialectic, it's half subjective (my insights) half "objective" (the work which is shared). I guess my review is valid as being mine (linked to my insights and preferences), but every reader has to figure it out on their own. Reviews are not truths.

fenton1300 wrote:
Sometimes their dislike to a certain type of board game can have an impact on the review of the game. Does this make their judgement of a game less important?

Huh?

You cannot eradicate like or dislike from reviewer's position about the thing they're reviewing. Doing this would create something not a review.

For me, personally, my like or dislike is like a compass - I start with it and then try to figure out why I'm disliking something or liking something; and from figuring this out the analysis part of the review is born. How did the game bring me to liking or disliking it? With a dislike, it can mean the work asks something of the audience, I'm not willing or able to give or me expecting something of a work it's not able or willing to provide. It's a bad dialogue - and then you can go about figuring out how did it come to this.

Reviewer's judgement of the game is reviewer's judgment of the game. It not more or less important in any way - it is what it is. Their personal preferences are the integral part of the review and the judgement and should be read as such. Importance is something that each reader has to decide about.

fenton1300 wrote:
I know core mechanics of a game can be common across a lot of games. The issue here is there are many games which label themselves as Euro, Ameritrash(hate that word, who was the first to come up with that one). Actually does a game designer come out and say my game is a Euro? I don't think they do, they just make a game they want to play. It is us who then label that style of mechanic/gameplay.


To read:
Schools of Design and Their Core Priorities

"Ameritrash(hate that word, who was the first to come up with that one)"
Robartin - in the way it means today (before it meant mass produced american games like monopoly). And it happened here:
A Tribute to Ameritrash


fenton1300 wrote:
Anyway, my point is, if you are a reviewer should you review a game if you know you have a personal dislike for that style of gaming?

Review what you want to review.

fenton1300 wrote:
If you do review this type of game how do you prevent your dislike from creeping into the review?

Should you prevent your liking creeping into a review as well?

Neither liking or disliking need to be eliminated from a review, they're constitutional parts of a review - but they usually sublimate themselves in the higher forms of at least an opinion, but hopefully into analysis and evaluation as well.

fenton1300 wrote:
The all-round review who likes all games does seem to be in the minority.


Err...

Look, it's you, the reader/the viewer who has to figure out what to do with a review. Review is not truth, it's not to be just consumed, you have to make sense of it on your own. You do this for instance by comparing your point of view with that of a reviewer and then figure out the validity of reviewer's conclusion compared to your position as a gamer.

Or as Stewart Lee often says to the audience: "You need to raise your game".

fenton1300 wrote:
Look forward to any comments and this is not intended to be a dig at any reviewer. I appreciate all reviews but ultimately my purchase is always based on my judgement.


Blasphemy, you need to initiate yourself in one of the review orders and buy everything the highest guru recommends.

Of course, everybody is making their own judgement (even deciding to trust somebody else's opinion is their judgement). Reviewers make their own judgement of games, you make your own judgment of reviewers and games.

edit:typos
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To answer the subject question, all of them, hopefully.

Second question, I don't know, why would you?
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Agreed. Hopefully all.

I expect quality reviews from people who know what they talk about.

So I expect heavy euro gamers reviewing their stuff, CCG players reviewing their stuff, and wargamers reviewing... Yeah you guessed it, wargames. Not the other way around!

Call me crazy
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Great replies. Thanks for the references too.
 
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Geosphere wrote:
Why would I spend time reviewing, let alone playing, a game from a genre I hate?


Reviews by default are the 'opinions' of the reviewer. I wouldn't want to hear someone's personal opinion on things that aren't interested in.
 
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As a former reviewer in a different media (I was a film critic), I can tell you that it is impossible to do a good review without injecting some of your own preferences. Otherwise, it's not honest.

I could write a long review about the technical aspects of Avatar, for example, the advances in 3D technology, etc, but if I don't talk about how I responded to the movie, I'm not giving anything informative.

The same goes for games. It's really hard to objectively critique a game aside from obvious things like component quality (which I don't think is typically highest on people's priority list over mechanics and such), or to compare it to an existing game -- for example, how Star Realms is basically Ascension: Deckbuilding Game with some variations.

A good reviewer however can make comments about the quality of something oftimes in spite of their own personal views. For example, I really dislike deduction games as a genre, as a personal taste -- I hate Hanabi. I just don't enjoy playing it. But if I were to review it I would still call it a masterful, deep game, just one not to my particular taste.

Personally, I find far more insight in NEGATIVE reviews than I do positive ones--across all media. If I am looking at a product on amazon, I skip the positive reviews most often and go to the negative reviews, mostly to see if the negatives identified would make me pause on it.

True story: When attempting to buy a water bottle for my wife as a gift, I read several reviews online and one stuck out for the Hydroflask where the guy gave it a negative review because when he filled it with ice and water and left it on his porch in 85 degree weather, it only kept ice for about 7 hours. (I guess the Yeti keeps it for 20? I don't know.) That told me this was the product for me, because all my wife needs is something to take to work in her office. She fills it with ice in the morning at home, and then uses the water fountain and has ice water the entirety of her work day. So his negative was the perfect positive for me.

Oh, and by the way, sometimes you review something that you know going in is going to be awful. You just kinda have to. If all people ever did was review things they expected to be good, it'd be kind of pointless. During my film critic days I was assigned by my editor to review Sgt. Bilko (the film version starring Steve Martin). It was probably one of the blandest things that I had ever seen, and most challenging for me because it evoked absolutely no reaction to me. I didn't even know what the heck to write in the review -- it wasn't bad enough for me to tear it apart and point at bad writing or bad acting. It just was there -- like a paycheck for all involved. But, someone had to review it. Because that was our job.
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Not only is it not possible to review a game without injecting your personnal opinion, it is not desirable either.

About the only thing you can say about a game that is truly objective is what's inside the box when you buy it. Beyond that, it's all personnal opinion, of course. There exists no mathematical equation, as far as I'm aware, that objectively gives the quality of a game, its mechanics or its components. Doing a review will always be a 100% subjective process.

People only complain about reviewers giving their personal opinions when they disagree with said opinion. As long as Vasel or whoever is praising the game they like or trashing the game they don't like, no one panics. Yet people can post reviews to BGG which are clearly not very well written or informed, as long as they're praising a game all the replies will be positive and no one will scrutinize the review for errors or inquire about the amount of times a reviewer played the game.

It all comes down to people not being able to cope with the fact that others don't enjoy what they enjoy, or the inverse.

So yeah, all reviewers give their personal opinion of games, and many people are not ok with that (but only when they disagree!) and that's that.
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Lots of good commentary here, so I'll mostly say "ditto" to them. And add this one thing -- it's good that you watch lots of different reviewers. Developing a relationship with a reviewer over time is a good way to understand where their interests do and don't intersect with your own. The best is when you encounter a couple different reviews of the same game by different people whose opinions you value.

For instance, it's been interesting for me to see how nearly all the reviewers I listen to interacted with BETWEEN TWO CITIES, which seems to have gotten high penetration in the review-o-sphere.

It also helps when they disagree.
 
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