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Touch Arcade's Reviews just rewritten PR releases?

05-10-2012, 12:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Touch Arcade's Reviews just rewritten PR releases?

In the comments of the NOVA 3 review CptQuint brings up a point that I personally feel has some validity and could use some discussion:

This has to be the most bought gaming website I've ever encountered. To say the reviews are cookie-cutter is an insult to hard working hacks the world over. I've been browsing here now for about twelve months on and off (purely for release news and sale alerts) and the review 'style' is so embarrassingly agenda-ridden that I'm frankly amazed more people haven't noticed.

"As for the visuals, you make a good point which I should address: I reviewed the game on my devices, which are a 4S and new iPad. Unfortunately, I don't have any earlier devices so it's kinda tough for me to discuss any potential issues. Thankfully, folks like you and the rest of the community do a great job of filling in the gaps."

Oh, the ever-reliable forum community we hear mention of in every other review (albeit this time it was buried away in the comments). Seemingly and frequently incapable of delivering well-rounded and complete review themselves, the 'journos' at TA are predictably quick to point visitors to the forums "where the guys seem to be loving X game" - as if the reviewer is basically saying, "look, I've covered the basics and run out of things to write about it myself without upsetting our sponsor, so please continue to our forum to gauge whether or not this review has any merit whatsoever, let alone the game itself."

Really, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Thankfully the more discerning reader knows exactly where to find journalism with integrity.

On a positive note, I do appreciate the [sponsored] sale alerts. But would it hurt to include titles on sale (some, very high-profile) which aren't necessarily lining your wallet? It'd be, you know, helpful.
05-10-2012, 12:26 PM
Originally Posted by Alex DeLargest View Post
In the comments of the NOVA 3 review CptQuint brings up a point that I personally feel has some validity and could use some discussion:

Haven't paid for a single of the 3 front page posts my games have gotten. Also - their reviews are long enough, the forums will obviously have more information since an 8 page review of Angry birds space wouldn't interest me at all.

TA wants you to engage in the discussions on the forums. The more engaged you are the more you return and the more you return the better ratings, ad displays and what have you TA gets.

That whole quote is a load of BS.

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05-10-2012, 01:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
I wouldn't disagree that the reviews are pretty cookie-cutter, but show me a successful review site (doesn't have to be iOS) for which that term doesn't apply. The times that I've seen a more unique style, it tends to be very niche and oftentimes it's from a blogger or something. It's no surprise that it's easier to reach a larger audience with a more standard approach to writing.

I'm not sure what the guy has against the forum links in reviews. A long time ago, when it wasn't standard for TA reviews to contain a link to the forum thread, I almost made a suggestion that every review should have said link. Sometimes it can be annoying to try to dig around for a specific game's thread while not knowing how many pages you'll have to search through. Vbulletin's less than stellar search capabilities don't help much either.
05-10-2012, 05:41 PM
I can clarify a couple of the points raised:

The TouchArcade game reviewers are not given any instructions on what to write in our reviews. We're free to express our own opinions. The editors do review our submitted reviews, but their edits are for English improvements, not applying any "agenda". And there are no constraints placed upon us to give TA advertisers better reviews.

Do we refer to the TouchArcade forums? Hell yes. The forums are an excellent source of IOS gaming information and we're proud of them. Some of the TA members know heaps about games, and the developers are often active participants, so of course we refer to the discussion threads. Plus, as a regular forum reader myself, it's handy to have a link for jumping into the discussions, as Dazarath mentioned.

As for PR releases - these might bring a game to our attention, but most of the time they're not circulated to all reviewers, so we're not working off those!

Last edited by Red1; 05-10-2012 at 05:49 PM.
05-10-2012, 05:49 PM
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,988
I deleted that comment because we're not going to promote conspiracy theories. If you have any questions on our advertising and editorial policies, we've got them all spelled out here: http://toucharcade.com/toucharcade-a...rial-policies/

If you still don't trust our editorial integrity, this guy has put together an entire spreadsheet of basically every other iOS site out there.

Last edited by Eli; 05-10-2012 at 05:51 PM.
05-10-2012, 05:54 PM
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,988
Also, this is Gameloft's PR they sent out, feel free to to a diff against it and the review:

N.O.V.A. 3 Now Available for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch on the App Store!
Gameloft is pleased to announce that the latest installment in their critically-acclaimed, epic sci-fi shooter franchise N.O.V.A. 3 is now available for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch.
You can download it from the App Store here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/n.o.v.a.-3-near-orbit-vanguard/id474764934?ls=1&mt=8
N.O.V.A. 3 follows the rollicking adventures of Captain Kal Wardin and the brave space marines of the Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance as they fight to liberate the Earth from the alien Volterites. With a single-player campaign spread across 10 levels, and 6 multiplayer modes supporting up to 12 players not to mention an advanced 3D graphics engine developed internally by Gameloft - N.O.V.A. 3 is an exceptionally feature-rich and visually-stunning game for smartphones and tablets.
For more background on the game, or just some visual proof of N.O.V.A. 3s amazing graphical technology, check out these videos:

First Teaser: http://bit.ly/INZOfL
First Gameplay Teaser: http://bit.ly/JQB4Py
Multiplayer Trailer: http://bit.ly/JoivXv
Producer Trailer: http://bit.ly/KKjbU0
Single Player Trailer: http://bit.ly/JWVTgQ

For screens, click here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hvce89h29mnqymb/JYap1MKaJn
Please let us know if you need any further information or assets and stay tuned for more info on N.O.V.A. 3s upcoming release for Android devices.
Best, Tom