Reviews, how useful are they?

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So, as the title says I was sitting around and wondering how useful reviews were. I mean we get them for everything from movies to eateries. They are suppose to tell us how good or bad a place is. The question is how well do they do their job? Can you really trust them?

So, this all comes out of reading a review for Scion. It read schizophrenic-like. One part was about how amazing the game was and the next was how something was wrong. Not in the standard way that reviews do that either. I mean it was like two people were writing the review. It helped to understand the game a little better, but it also confused the hell out of me. In the end I feel that I didn’t get the information I needed to make a decision on if I want to run the game.

It makes me think. How should a review sound? I mean, really. What makes a review “good”. I think all of us can tell a good review when we read it, but what makes it have the right “stuff”? I read a lot reviews for games I intend to run. It helps me to know what other gamers think of the system, the books and better yet the overall feel of the game. Scion has been a mystery for me. Most of the reviews turn out to be hard to swallow.

I like my reviews to be balanced. Not from some fanboy or girl who loves the game system from the start. That review is never going to give the information that you need. On the other hand, what happens when someone who HATES the game reviews it. You get nothing but negatives. The right stuff for me is the balance. The review will contain information, not conjecture about the item in question.

Where do we go with reviews? Can we use the information in them? I find that the best reviews help you to explain and pitch the game to your group. A bad review only is there to turn folks away. I am not going to say that some things don’t deserve a bad review. It is when the review is bad that it becomes untrustworthy. 

Last thought, what makes a “bad” review? To me it is the ones that refuse to give information. What I mean is the type of review where all you get is “This is the best/worst game ever” over and over again. No one can use that to make an informed decision. I hate those kinds of reviews. In short, I want my reviews to tell me why, not just the what.

 

How do you feel about reviews? What kind of stuff do you look for when reading them? Can you trust the ones that you read?  

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