vglogo new chris1 -

Starting from July 22 with Pikmin 3 on Wii U, we here at are going to be making some substantial changes to our reviews.

Instead of bombarding you with a wall of text - which has become the industry norm - we've decided to shorten verdicts to around 300 words.

There are many reasons for this change, the major one being that when it comes to reviews, many people just want to know a simple thing: is the game good or not. Hurling thousands of words at you feels like a hangover from the days of magazines and as times change - and as online and mobile continue to shake up how we all consume our media - we feel it's time to move with them. If nothing else we're sure you feel the review format is replicated across nearly every site you look at.

We want to try and offer something different, but that doesn't mean we're about to reduce the amount of content we write about a game. While all reviews will remain concise and to the point - meaning you can find out whether it's worth your time in the quickest and most succinct way possible - is going to increase the quantity of articles related to each game, which will go up at the same time as the review. These will focus on elements we believe need to be talked about or highlighted in order to have a true appreciation, or the opposite, for the game in question.

Links to these pieces will be at the foot of most reviews, although if something doesn't need any further justification or thought we won't do it just for the sake of it. This gives you the option to learn more about a game's specifics, or how certain aspects of it may affect the industry as a whole, without having to wade through multiple paragraphs to find the information you're looking for. This may take the form of a written article, a video (which may also be the main review itself), a podcast or even variations of all three, the end result always being that you can digest tailored information that you want to, not that you feel you have to.

A review, as many used to believe, is no longer the full stop that ends the discussion. Now they start it, an idea which can been seen recently with the likes of The Last of Us, be that the opening, ending or the many themes Naughty Dog introduced throughout.

By cutting the filler and still giving you our honest opinion on a game - which we categorically will - we can then build out on the elements we believe are good, bad, or that must be talked about, regardless what they may be. For us, that's a lot better, and far more useful, than simply stating 'The ending is good - 8/10' but never explaining what impact that has on the game or what it means in the wider scheme of things.

We think it'll help. We hope you do too.

If you've scrolled to the bottom of this article, though, here's a video that explains it all:

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Highest Rated Comment

Catterick's Avatar


I always skip to the final 'summary paragraph" of reviews anyway, so yay to this.
Posted 01:29 on 19 July 2013

User Comments

Neon-Soldier32@ Mintyrebel

A big +1 to this.
Posted 00:18 on 18 May 2014
Mintyrebel's Avatar


OK I was curious about what you actually said was going to be happening with reviews so I came back, re-read this article and then checked out the latest 12 reviews published to the site.

Firstly I just wanted to say I have NOTHING against what you initially said you were going to do, I prefer longer reviews myself but I can get them elsewhere, I was sceptical but on reflection if these reviews were true to their word then I may well have enjoyed the added content.

However there is no added content. In the last 12 reviews on the site (at the time of writing) there are only FOUR additionally add on pieces at the bottom of the page, THREE of which are videos and only two of those really hold any true informational value, the other one is Simon and Chris messing about with Kinect Sports (which is fine for a YouTube video but isn't really great in terms of adding to a review).

"We want to try and offer something different, but that doesn't mean we're about to reduce the amount of content we write about a game." That line, simply put, is a lie. There is much less content offered in a VG review now.

Anyway just wanted to put that out there.

Edit: I forgot to mention that on top of the things above Altaranga made a very good point on Twitter yesterday.

"You know a website has got it all wrong when their Previews are more informative than their Reviews."

Out of curiosity I ran some numbers. The Crew preview Brett wrote contained 1080 words and a video feature at the end. Jim's Infamous 2 review on the other hand had 354 words and a video.

Although I do want to clarify I'm not saying that Jim's review was bad (I have no idea I stopped reading most things on VG a long time ago, I just come to the site for the forum's and community now).
Posted 11:13 on 09 April 2014
Batmamerc's Avatar


I like it, just wish the commenters took note if this same logic of which I am also guilty of with lengthy comments, can't be bothered to read an eternity of comments all putting the same thing cos no one else has read the other comments below lol.
Posted 12:50 on 08 August 2013
CorvoAttano77's Avatar


Sounds good. It's annoying when a review tries to be more than a review (EG, for example, is particularly prone to this) and ends up being both a needlessly long review and a too-short article. This new approach should give us the best of both worlds. Looking forward to the articles.
Posted 08:55 on 22 July 2013
LMP's Avatar


Came out from years of lurking to comment. yay?

When it comes to reviews I think we have two main types:

1) buying guide - what is this game, is it good, what makes it good, what are the problems, how long is it, how much of it feels like filler, etc.

This is what I want most of the time before buying a game.

2) "classic" reviews - they have an in depth discussion of mechanics, themes, story etc. This is how most reviews are written, but I generally can't be bothered to read them. Normally they avoid spoilers so everything still ends up pretty vague, especially when it comes to games where plot and themes are crucial to the experience.

Long form can be interesting to me, but mainly when it discusses games (or books, films, etc.) with the assumption that the reader has completed the game. Dissecting and discussing the way we experience something is interesting and you are liberated when you don't have to worry about spoilers.

I'm not sure whether this is the direction you're going in. If I understand correctly we will get A) buyers guide B) discussion of whatever you feel is the most important aspect of the game. I'd love to see sometime down the line, especially when it comes to important games C) which particular moments of a game affected you the most and why, or something along those lines.
Posted 20:19 on 21 July 2013
PeteWorth's Avatar


I'm really looking forward to how this pans out.
Posted 15:12 on 20 July 2013
DsonicX's Avatar


This is a great idea and to be honest I very rarely look at the score anyways most important part for me is the reviewers opinion and I regard everyone on this team as some of my fave reviewers great site great podcast and great videos now if Simon can find a bit of time to do some more dr threatlevel with Sam I'll be an even happier gamer thanks guys :)
Posted 03:13 on 20 July 2013


I caused all this! Aahahahahah!

Posted 01:27 on 20 July 2013
TomO's Avatar

TomO@ Catterick

You're a parenthesis limit.
Posted 23:58 on 19 July 2013
Catterick's Avatar

Catterick@ dav2612

I call for a parenthesis limit in all reviews now.
Posted 23:40 on 19 July 2013
Ghost_Dog's Avatar


I'm a busy man. This suits me.
Posted 21:56 on 19 July 2013
KennyFarthing1's Avatar


Will the reviews come with a score? It is hard to give something as broad as a video game a score based on a two-dimensional scale, and with a review so short surely it is unnecessary, and would end up poisoning a good review format? Just a thought...
Posted 16:17 on 19 July 2013
TenBensons's Avatar


Tbh, I'm all for more compact reviews. If I want a more detailed analysis I will generally find a longer review or a lets play vid on youtube.
Posted 15:40 on 19 July 2013
Karlius's Avatar


Click for Image
Posted 15:09 on 19 July 2013
dav2612's Avatar


So how many parenthesis will be in a review now?
Posted 14:46 on 19 July 2013
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