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Checkpoint: Shortening Reviews Edition


Who reads reviews from beginning to end anymore? 1UP’s reviews were (are?) solid reads and the same goes with Edge’s, but the rest? Far too long. For those I ,admittedly, do flip to the final page for the verdict and skip the rest of the bulk. And why not? With the likes of Meta Critic and strong peer recommendation, what’s the point of sifting through hundreds and even thousands of word reviews?

Is it for validation? Opinion? Either way, you don’t need 3000 words to express that. You could express it with just a final score, but that’s just too simple. There has to be a middle ground and I’m continuously striving to find it.

As a an enthusiast who writes reviews for the fun of it, I’ve come to this realization several times throughout the years. My first reviews had word counts that were in the thousands. It was more of a report than a review. As time passed, I cut that number down to between 1000 and 1200. Now, I want to cut it down to 800 – 1000. Hell, maybe down to 500.

Twitter’s 140 character limit was an eye opener for me. I used it a few times to write “blurbs” on the movies I watched and I was amazed how much I could express within that space. It wasn’t eBay styled comments like: “A+++++++ would watch again!”. No, I managed to express the one pure thought/opinion on a movie and squeeze it into a Tweet.

And that’s what I need to improve on: the selection of thoughts and opinions.

I am getting better at it. For instance, I chose not to splooge on and on about how amazing Killzone 2 looks; you can see it for yourselves. It’s this kind of thought process which I need to nail down. Weed out the redundant,  the trivial and boil it all the way down to a handful of meaningful thoughts.

P.S – I find video reviews to be too revealing. It’s okay to run footage, but is it necessary to show that boss fight? Even if it’s out of context?

Still have yet to start Resident Evil 5. School has taken up my brother’s time and I refuse to play the game without a real co-op partner.

In the meantime, I’ve started MadWorld and dabbled in Peggle DS. Both are good fun.

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