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Thread: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    Is it just me or do most online game reviews seem to test games on only high hardware with no more than a cursory glance to the "normal" hardware that most people own??



    What is the point of this when 99% of people will probably not even have such a high-end computer??

    Look at the figures released by Valve for example.

    No wonder people will start gravitating towards consoles when they read these reviews!!

    Most games will run more than decently on midrange hardware!!

    Why do not the reviewers realise this and see how games perform on average systems??

    I think all of this nonsense of only needing the most expensive bits to play a game is actually killing pc gaming as it is putting off many casual and the average non-hardcore gamers whio make up a large percentage of potential sales!!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 18-09-2007 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Odc
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    If they review the game on just mid-range settings then they aren't really testing the game as it was meant to be played. They often mention performance problems if the games high-range settings are crazilly high.


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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    Yes but it is more relevant in the real world for games to be tested on the systems that they are most likely to be played on. People will then know for certain if an upgrade is needed.

    Sure games should also be tested on the more powerful hardware for image quality tests but like the figures show this is only relevant for a small percentage of gamers.

    It all comes down to money and the average person will baulk at having to spend 170-200 GBP to just play a game.

    Companies need to have maximum sales if they want to exist and that is why Half Life 2 could be played on a wide range of hardware.

    If it only needed the best hardware ever it would have not been as sucessful as it has been!!

    Reviews should be relevant to real world too!

    At least I am glad that some magazines like CustomPC bother to test their games on lower end gaming computers as well.

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    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    I think there is a distinction to be made between reviewing the 'game' and reviewing the game performance.

    Most reviews focus on the story, playability etc, not so much, your will get < 30fps unless you run this spec, and you'll get >40 if you change this driver and disable you onboard sound.

    I think the problem is that there are too many variables to offer a particularly detailed review of how a game plays on different systems.

    I would have thought most people nowadays would appreciate that meeting minimum specs is not sufficient to get 'top' performance, but then even that it subjective. Some people demand > 60fps whereas others are happy on 40. It would be impossible to offer a review telling you what was 'playable' because it's too individual. You know the game will play on minimum specs, which is what they are there for, you also see recommended specs which show you what the developers reckon you need to get a decent gaming experience.

    I don't see which part of this is a game reviewers responsiblity to explain.

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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    Ideally they should test on something resembling the minimum and recomended specs for the game. PC Gamer used to do something like this, but if it's an online review then they might not have a large store of hardware and time to rig up to a different spec for each game. You get what you pay for I guess!

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    I think it's rightly game first, hardware second.

    If you want to know how the hardware performs then you read hardware reviews.

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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    The guy has a point, way back in some of the older PC magazines, when hardware really did cost a fortune they would test games on a high spec system. The difference was that they also took the time and effort to test the games on lower, more realistically spec'd systems to see how they performed. Its something I haven't seen for a while now and it really would make all the difference when it comes to finding out if a game will be playable on your PC without having to rely on the manufacturers guidelines which are always so far wrong it cant surely be legal

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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I think it's rightly game first, hardware second.

    If you want to know how the hardware performs then you read hardware reviews.
    Except most of the game reviews seem to focus on playing the game on a uber rig.

    What about gameplay based on a average system NOT a top one??

    How about testing gameplay on a 8600GT as opposed to a 8800GTS for example or 6600gt/6800/7600GT or x1950 pro which are more common??

    For example how nice would it be if every car magazine/show only concentrated on reviewing Ferrari's and Aston Martin's and NOT family cars made by companies like Ford and Vauxhall??

    I am sure that Ferrari may be one of the "ultimate driving" experiences but most people have to do with something much more mundane;hence reviews of the later class of cars are more relevant to most people.

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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    PCzone generally mention if a game doesn't run properly at the stated minimum spec, and I find this very important owning an ancient cripple of a pc.
    "I Don't mind Lobster. It's like you could, you know... Punch... A lobster. I wouldn't eat anything I couldn't punch"


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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: The lunacy of modern game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    For example how nice would it be if every car magazine/show only concentrated on reviewing Ferrari's and Aston Martin's and NOT family cars made by companies like Ford and Vauxhall??

    I am sure that Ferrari may be one of the "ultimate driving" experiences but most people have to do with something much more mundane;hence reviews of the later class of cars are more relevant to most people.
    Then they should be reviewing Solitaire and Minesweeper rather than the likes of Crysis or Bioshock, to complete your analogy.

    You also have to remember that they are reviewing a game at or even before the time it comes out, yet people might well be playing it up to 5 years later than the review date, by which time their uber spec rig will be well and truly out of date.

    My view does come across harsher than I mean - I do agree that it'd be good to test on a wider range of hardware, and I made that point to Hexus ages ago about their game reviews - at least I want to know the points at which a game becomes CPU bound or GPU bound.

    But then, have a look at the likes of Gamespot - they do specific hardware performance articles for modern games, so I think they're already doing what we ask. However performance benchmarking *is* different to game reviewing, IMHO.
    Last edited by kalniel; 18-09-2007 at 02:24 PM.

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