One Hour Video Game Review?

KissingSunlight

Molotov Cocktails, Anyone?
Jul 3, 2013
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I want to thank everyone who have posted so far.

"Five minute" comment, I believe that was from either Roger Ebert or Richard Roeper. Considering movie critics watch hundreds of movies every year, I am sure they can figure out early on if they are going to like the movie or not.

Overall, I think the responses seem to indicate that you really can't give a good review of certain games from just one hour of play. As some people suggested, you can call it an "impression". Speaking of which, I did skim some of Jim Sterling's videos of him doing that. I liked that better than trying to watch a Let's Play video.

The one genre of games that will suffer from one hour of play are RPG's. I made an effort last year to play some RPG's. There is definitely a different mind set you need to have to play those games than you do any other game. How long should you play an RPG to get a reasonable impression of the game?
 

josemlopes

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Jun 9, 2008
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No, you can make a "First Impressions" out of it, something that is valid criticism, but with the acknowledgement that it is in fact first impressions and not the criticism of the product as a whole.
 

DrownedAmmet

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Apr 13, 2015
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I think games are like milk, you don't need to drink the entire carton to realize it's gone bad

An hour seems a bit quick but if the game hasn't held your interest in that hour then the game failed. As long as the review is up front about it and says they only could stand an hour of it I don't think it's a problem
 
Apr 5, 2008
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While it probably isn't fair to judge a game's story or other elements that simply can't be explored within an hour, I think it is actually perfectly feasible to judge whether or not a game is worth putting any more time into. Within an hour, a player should have been given an interesting enough introduction to the world, mechanics and if applicable, story. In the time, a player would or at least should have a chance to see many of the game's mechanics, or at the very least experience the main "gameplay loop".

By "gameplay loop", what I mean is the main part of the game which, if we were to take a vertical slice, what would the player be doing in that time. In most modern console shooters, it would involve some combination of running for cover, aiming down sights, reloading, ducking, using an ability on cooldown/throwing a grenade, etc, etc. In ME: Andromeda, right at the start on the prologue mission, the player reunites with Cora and they defend themselves against alien aggressors. That fight sequence is the "gameplay loop" for that game. All combat is more or less like that (obviously excepting available weapons, abilities and stats). That fight is absolutely representative of the game's combat and it is absolutely fair in this example for a player to play thru Habitat 7 and know whether or not they'll like it.

I'm sure I've come across posts and reviews in the past where players or reviewers have said that it takes a few hours to get going, or the first few hours weren't great but it got a lot better after that, things to this effect. If that is the case, the developers have made a bad game, or at best, a good game badly. If the first few hours of your game are bad, remove them.
 

zombiejoe

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Sep 2, 2009
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I would disagree with this. There are many games that can drastically change past an hour and turn into something better or worse than the original hour would suggest.
 

Lisker84

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Apr 2, 2017
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I think an hour of playing a game is too much for most games. Though there are plenty of games where you don't start unlocking the good shit until well after the first hour.
 

Rangaman

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Feb 28, 2016
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No, not at all. There are too many problems with that idea. Imagine judging something like Dark Souls on the first hour alone. It would be crucified by game critics.