★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Windy's Review Feedback

09-27-2009, 12:00 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
Windy's Review Feedback

Hey guys,

Of late I've been pretty keen in directing my writing time to iPhone app reviews, and have set myself quite a number of apps to review over the next week or so aside from the few reviews I've already done. I've also been considering how I go about reviewing and what I include in my reviews.

The result of that is that I have a couple of questions to put to you guys, and I'm curious to see what your responses are. I thought I'd also use this thread as a general feedback, comments and criticism thread in regards to all my reviews. I'm very big on making sure everyone who reads my stuff is part of the process, because at the end of the day, my reviews are my recommendations to you guys.


Review Scoring:

So...my biggest concern at the moment is a general question about scoring. How important are the scores that a review gives? As readers, do you consider both the content of the review and the score itself, or do you rely on the closing comments and score to base your decisions?

I've been using the iTunes 5 "whole" star system so far, and I'm finding that as far as the scores themselves go, they don't give a whole lot of wriggle room.

I wouldn't want anyone to discount a game because I gave it 4 stars, when the body of my review would indicate that perhaps it was closer to 4.5, but I didn't feel it was deserving of the big 5. This is especially a sore point with regards to the App Store, where I have found that alot of people like their polar figures-- usually posting full 5 star praises/reviews, or only 1 or 2 stars with their negative comments.

I'm very interested to see what you guys have to say on this, and whatever other comments/feedback/criticism/suggestions you may have for my future reviews; as I don't get much of a chance to get your feedback any other way.

Thanks all!

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.

Last edited by Windburn; 09-27-2009 at 04:59 AM.
09-27-2009, 12:06 AM
#2
I feel a score and closing comments are important, because when reading a review, I tend to look at the score/closing comments, then read the entire review. If the closing comments are along the lines of,"I don't recommend this", or degrading the game, I will not continue to read the review. This isn't always true for me, but when reading reviews from people or sites I trust, then it is. This concept may have me missing a lot of good games just because I pass it cause of someone's opinion, but the less I buy the more I save.

09-27-2009, 12:10 AM
#3
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by IKnowHow2Fly View Post
I feel a score and closing comments are important, because when reading a review, I tend to look at the score/closing comments, then read the entire review. If the closing comments are along the lines of,"I don't recommend this", or degrading the game, I will not continue to read the review. This isn't always true for me, but when reading reviews from people or sites I trust, then it is. This concept may have me missing a lot of good games just because I pass it cause of someone's opinion, but the less I buy the more I save.
same here..closing comments are a big deal...though your most recent review I have to disagree with (had to throw it out there)

You can contact me @ Skyye06@gmail.com
09-27-2009, 12:15 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
And on that note, looks like the WordFlip review was approved:
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=27151

Thanks for the comments so far

PS. I have no issues with people disagreeing with me, it's bound to happen, as these are ultimately our own subjective opinions. Absolutely no point trying to be objective about reviewing, as it's almost impossible to know what's going through the head of that man on the Clapham omnibus.

Far easier to relate what I, as a gamer, am thinking!

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.
09-27-2009, 12:17 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windburn View Post
And on that note, looks like the WordFlip review was approved:
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=27151

Thanks for the comments so far

PS. I have no issues with people disagreeing with me, it's bound to happen, as these are ultimately our own subjective opinions. Absolutely no point trying to be objective about reviewing, as it's almost impossible to know what's going through the head of that man on the Clapham omnibus.

Far easier to relate what I, as a gamer, am thinking!

well not entirely lol.

I just dont feel its a 5/5 thats all though a fun game imho

You can contact me @ Skyye06@gmail.com
09-27-2009, 02:03 AM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Australia, mate!
Posts: 8,419
I'm not really interested in scores, as they can be biased and can vary between people. I'm mostly interested in the closing comments, and a brief list of the pros and cons of each game.

hi
09-27-2009, 03:36 AM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,755
I like your reviews, Windy. But I tend to read reviews in threads, not in the reviews forum where there is no dispute, so I can read different opinions if any. I think you do give a good overall picture of what a game is about and why you think it's enjoyable and who might enjoy the game. I do think you have to be careful when implying something is a must-buy because no game is.

I saw this in one of your reviews:

Quote:
Closing comments:

For its current price point of $0.99, boasting a comprehensive track-by-track leaderboard and high score system, Nano Rally is an absolute steal for competitive racers and value seekers alike. The gorgeously rendered backdrops in every one of Nano Rally's 25 tracks simply must be experienced, as they really do capture the creative charm and child-like exuberance of the original classic, Micro Machines. This is definitely one app that will woo your envious friends into a stupor at how incredible the iPhone can look and play. Do not miss this.

So Windburn, should I get it?

Do yourself a favour. This is one of those rare gems on the iPhone that everyone should take a look at, be they fans of the genre or not.
Someone should get it because this game is "a rare gem" in your opinion doesn't make it a valid reason for someone to get a game. Actually, why someone should get this game is already captured nicely in your closing comments.


About scores. (I'm going to rant.)

I find scores to be meaningless. Good reviews always end up having a score of 4 or 4.5 over 5. They are hardly ever 5 because no game is perfect. And if a game doesn't a get a 4 or 4.5, it gives people the impression that it's not worth playing all together. A game with 2/5 rating may as well be 0/5 because if one depended on ratings for a conclusion, it's probably not worth spending money on it at all. If you gonna use numbers, use whole ones imho. .5 smacks of indecision.

This perplexing problem with rating numbers is created by reviewers who try to be as fair as possible to the game they are putting a number to -- You are only giving it a 4.5 because you don't want to give it a full 5 but you want to rate it above the other rated-4 games, which don't seem to deserve it anymore if you rate this game a 4, because this game is much better, but it's just not a 5. Dizzying? If you think about it, it's ridiculous.

This game is good because of this, this other game is also good but for different reasons. The numbers alone don't tell you anything. They are good for creating averages. But here, no one is collecting all the numbers by the different reviewers to give it an average. So why use number ratings at all?

Maybe words would be a better conclusion. A person's opinion of a game is just down to "It's terrible and not worth playing", "It's so-so", "It's good" and "It's awesome." The details are down to why the game is good or bad, what needs improving and who might enjoy this game.

Last edited by Ravenblack; 09-27-2009 at 03:40 AM.
09-27-2009, 04:47 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,505
I've been here since June and saw atleast 30 reviews from BA and rarely read them completely except for the final conclusions. So that's extremely important for me. Scores is something I don't really care but still feel it's necessary as it gives the quickest impression one could possibly get. So they should stay too.

Anyways, Keep up the good work Windy. Try and review the games which are less known as you don't really need a review for games like MCS and Meteor Blitz which are already very active on the forums and have quite a few reviews as soon as they come out. Find out some rare hidden gems if possible
09-27-2009, 04:54 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenblack View Post
Someone should get it because this game is "a rare gem" in your opinion doesn't make it a valid reason for someone to get a game. Actually, why someone should get this game is already captured nicely in your closing comments.
Thanks for the write up, you raise a few interesting points!

With regards to this part right here, what you say is very true, that just because I find it a gem, it doesn't mean others would. However, at the same time, my comments were weighing into the mix the fact that it is only $0.99.

When I see a game with incredibly high production values, I find it extraordinairily difficult not to recommend to people to forgo their 8th stick of gum for the day to buy it and support these sorts of developers.

I will certainly scrutinise making those sorts of statements in the future though, though undoubtedly there will be some games that I'll champion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan View Post
I've been here since June and saw atleast 30 reviews from BA and rarely read them completely except for the final conclusions. So that's extremely important for me. Scores is something I don't really care but still feel it's necessary as it gives the quickest impression one could possibly get. So they should stay too.

Anyways, Keep up the good work Windy. Try and review the games which are less known as you don't really need a review for games like MCS and Meteor Blitz which are already very active on the forums and have quite a few reviews as soon as they come out. Find out some rare hidden gems if possible
Thanks

This is one thing I worry about, I spend so much time putting together my write up; I wonder if anyone actually reads it! And I'll definitely look out for those hidden gems, as I too don't see a point in doubling up where others have written extensive reviews.

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.

Last edited by Windburn; 09-27-2009 at 04:58 AM.
09-27-2009, 12:46 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenblack View Post
Good reviews always end up having a score of 4 or 4.5 over 5. They are hardly ever 5 because no game is perfect. And if a game doesn't a get a 4 or 4.5, it gives people the impression that it's not worth playing all together. A game with 2/5 rating may as well be 0/5 because if one depended on ratings for a conclusion, it's probably not worth spending money on it at all. If you gonna use numbers, use whole ones imho. .5 smacks of indecision.

This perplexing problem with rating numbers is created by reviewers who try to be as fair as possible to the game they are putting a number to -- You are only giving it a 4.5 because you don't want to give it a full 5 but you want to rate it above the other rated-4 games, which don't seem to deserve it anymore if you rate this game a 4, because this game is much better, but it's just not a 5. Dizzying? If you think about it, it's ridiculous.
What you're saying is actually a common misconception. A rating of 5 does not imply perfection. We're not talking about the condition of stamps or baseball cards, and I think that's where you're confusing the point.

A rating of 5 means the game is outstanding, and has nothing to do with the state of perfection because no game or otherwise will ever be. A 4 means the game is good, and often a .5 is used because the game is on the border of good and outstanding because it may be missing something or has limited audience appeal because of content in an otherwise solid game. IGN uses a number rating from 1-100 to account for variations from game to game. Using a 5-point system is even tougher for obvious reasons.

Having said that, a rating of 5 doesn't necessarily mean everyone should go out and buy it. That's why reading the reviews are important so you get a sense of whether a game will appeal to you. Everything is subjective, but the first thing to understand is the evaluation behind the numbers.