And thats exactly how a review should be done due to the fact some games can be quite shit the first few hours or others can start off amazing then become boring after a while ect ect. Game reviews should be no different to films or books. No film reviewer would watch the first half hour a a film then do a review of it would they.
I have previously disagreed with this notion, quite emphatically at that. Having to waste 20 hours to get to the good stuff is enough to say skip this, and plenty of times the story is but a side story (especially with the modern penchant for open world efforts). Similarly I don't hold game developers in any kind of vaunted position in my estimation -- they should by all means try to entertain me but I make my own entertainment most of the time, and by virtue of knowing me and having unlimited time (to say nothing of the million hour bug test) I can often do better than them too.
I have -- for Full Metal Jacket I quite often watch it either from the time they appear in country or just the training section and usually have a great time, and there is plenty of scope for doing things like watching the first half hour or a film before jumping to the sequel. I have seen others suggest a film as a backing visuals for a new album, and others watch films with a commentary just for giggles. Better yet we are all fairly happy to have people say skip series ? in a TV show, or even watch these episodes in this order which may be out of broadcast order (though that is usually studio interference). People do it all the time for books in a series too, even more so with prequels and side stories (presumably both penned by authors or their successors and thus "within their vision" or some such type of line people like to try to feed me).
The thing to remember about (all) reviews is that they are opinion. As much as some people cry that they are impartial and 'only deal with the facts' what it comes down to is opinion. What I may find exciting and engaging you could find tedious and boring and vice versa. Graphics, sound and gameplay are all subjective to our own tastes and hates. There have been so many games which according to reviews i should love and should be right up my street, but when I have played them I find i absolutely hate them and the flip side of the coin is true too. There are games that have reviewed pretty poorly but have found enjoyable.
Another thing I hate about reviews is of course the compulsory 'score' to me 5/10 is a playable game, not standing out in anyway just serviceable enough to get a lot of enjoyment out of worth the money. but that's not the way that people see it 7/10 is middling games, where i would say it was above average does what it does well with some quirks and things that detract from the experience but overall well worth playing. On the rare occasion i do review a game now don't give a score ( and i think it pisses people off more for some strange reason ). When BotW came out a friend of mine pushed for me to write a review for his website at the time then proceeded to lose his shit when i dared give it anything less than 10/10 (8/10 if your wondering Wii U version) he really didn't speak to me much afterwards but *shrugs* if he can't respect my opinion it's his loss.
I think it was IGN (isn't it always) reviewed a new MMO and absolutely slated it. Until the dev turned around showed the accounts they had been given for the review had only a couple of hours of actual play time, most of that in the character creation section to boot. Then you have cases where the review sites change reviews to fall in line with paid promotions ( kane and lynch and Donkey kong jungle beat spring to mind ). Guess what im trying to say is if you're reading reviews take them with a pinch of salt and if your writing them just be honest with just how much you have played
Well if you ever get a job as a reviewer, I hope you can finish games especially ones you don't like or enjoy. Since you don't consider game review worthy if you are unable to. Because you have to finish it to tell someone it's a bad game in your opinion, right? Or having to rush through the game's main story, especially if it's over dozens of hours long, and you have a short time frame from when you get asked to do the review before time to post (Which for most people are usually before game's release date)
After that, you probably say that would never happen, and you're probably right. But it's the difference of people with the luxury of having less restrictions and people having more.
Someone like me who does them at their leisure can do just about anything they want to, doesn't matter how long it takes to produce it or whatever it is you can't talk about. But people with a job has a deadline to finish under, not to mention other things they must do as part of their daily life.
I understand wanting to experience all the game has to offer before making a review. I like making sure I have enough details about the game to help someone make informed decision to buy. But I think people just want to know is if I had fun and would they have the same fun I had if they played it. I don't know why you personally feel is necessary to finish a game to review it. I don't know how many people want their reviewer to do that either, but I don't have a problem with either.
Reviewing games is a lot different than reviewing for other media, with film at most 3 hours and you have seen all it has to offer. With games it's completely different with some games it being possible spend 100 hours or more and still not being able to see everything it has to offer.
A good game review should offer a good snapshot of the reviewers experience. It's like that reviewer who trashed the game Cuphead because he lacked the skill to get past a jump. You have to ask yourself if the reviewer has the the tools to write a credible review of the game. And I hope anyone reading this would say of course not , as he couldn't get past a jump in the tutorial about all he can say is the game isn't for him and should have been passed on for someone else to review.
There is a lot that can go wrong when reviewing a game, you may not have the skill to review it properly or you may not understand core concepts or mechanics if the game is complex. It's all very subjective and nuanced. When all is said and done, no one is gonna force you to write a review and if your not comfortable writing a review until you have finished the main story, that's fine. You do you. Professional reviewers don't get that luxury.
Reviewing TV (especially now things are made for binging) or reviewing books can take a while.
That said the quasi speedrun and bug checker, all while working to something of a deadline (even if imagined in your own head) in addition to the actively paying attention to characterisation, writing, audio and graphics* and certainly not for fun (or at least I will push on past the "I'm not feeling it this evening") is an odd way to play games. Though is suppose the even odder thing would be seeing that also applied to my messing around portions (if I ever don't get something and mess around with it then I think I am done)... "this is designated messing around time, you are being watched".
*despite all I have done and do I can still mostly turn it off and just mindlessly enjoy something still. Science boy might occasionally rear its head and sometimes I will get the thing where I am not enjoying something and have to drill down lower but thankfully I have not gone full bore critic for entertainment.
On skills enough to play/understand a game that is an odd one. While I am probably not going to invent/discover the next rocket jump I can't say it has happened to me, and as close as I get is something is clearly going to bore me (I do allow for ironic entertainment) I will skip it, and most devs don't leave things entirely unapproachable for somewhat outsiders or marginally interested. Courtesy of ze algorithm I did watch a video the other day where some guy was getting his never played games before wife to play games and noting what went there, and while that was likely just anecdotal I reckon there is something there you could start to categorise.
The cuphead thing was an odd one. I would love to find out how it happened one day though, though I suppose it will end up being clueless investment group failed to ask more than the computer game equivalent of asking "are you anti vax?" when hiring a medic.
You could just review your experience as "first impressions", a review is really just your experience and your viewpoint or thoughts on what you experienced. Having opinions about the first x minutes of a game is still valid, just make it clear that the review only applies to those x minutes and not the entire thing. Just my 2 cents