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would you buy a magazine with NO reviews?


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in this day and age, do we really need reviews in our videogame magazines? Would a mag full of news, features and analysis be a better read?

please argue for as many pages as possible.

Isn't review just another way of saying you analysed a game? I think a games mag without reviews would be a bit like alcohol free beer or caffeine free coffee... its the main reason you get a magazine, so you know which games are good and which are bad without having to fork out £40 to find out. I read Edge because their reviews are the best, and the whole 5-is-average-not-7 thing works. The other stuff they do, like the articles and stoof, though very interesting, are the icing on the cake, and helps raise Edge above the crowd even more. However, without the reviews, wouldn't it all be just artsy articles?

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Isn't review just another way of saying you analysed a game?

not really. I mean analysing particular games to see how they fit in the big scheme of things rather than to see if it's worth buying.

I feel, however, that what with the speed and density of internet coverage, magazines are caught in a downward spiral regarding reviews. Surely print needs to adapt in order to survive and an article-based approach seems to be a good avenue to go down. Obviously, the current financial balancing means we'll probably never see the end of reviews in print, but I CAN DREAM!

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I'd buy a magazine without news, you can get that on t'internet. A good review however, they are much harder to come by online. I definitely read Edge because their reviews are highly professional and decisive.

So no, I wouldn't.

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What Popo said.

For me a magazine has to have a good mix between reviews (thorough analysis of a game, why it's good or not), previews (what can we expect, preferably hands-on) and background (articles about studio's, developers, publishers or history).

I'd like some more insider-info though. Game Developer Magazine's Post-mortem articles are brilliant for example (some of them can be found on www.gamasutra.com), and it's really nice to have the developers talk about their game, what went right, what went wrong and all that. A bit like 'the making of' in Edge, but then for modern titles that have just been released a few weeks or months earlier.

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Yes. I bought bangai-O wihtout ever reading a word about it.

I rarely do anymore, I rely a lot on forums tbh.

Same here. I'd much rather take the word of someone without an agenda or a PR rep breathing down their neck, which this forum in particular supplies in abundance. :D

Besides, I generally find that the lack of hardline objectivity with forumites opinions is a far more honest approach than a mag review. If someone gets psyched about a game, their enthusiasm rubs off on me, in much the same way a vitriol-packed rant does.

The thought of a reviewless games mag never occured to me and I'm not surprised it hasn't occured to publishers either. Saying that, the new GAME magazine isn't so far removed from this notion, is it?

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I think the question that really has to be asked is whether, in this day and age, you'd buy a magazine at all. The answer for me is no. All of them, without exception IMO, are crap.

I get better news via the internet

I get more honest appraisals via forums

I get better advance material via gameplay videos

I resent the fact that magazines essentially preview stuff far in advance and form the first wave of hype for a title, thereby making all those previews merely points on the advertising chain.

Here's what I am interested in seeing in a games mag (if anyone's listening):

Features on game cultures and styles

Interviews with individuals rather than companies, at the point where their work is about to show, not months before or after.

Humourous articles.

Retro stories of years ago.

Honest reviews of release code games. Less emphasis on having those reviews be the reason that the magazine exists.

Commetary, columns etc.

Eye-catching layout and design.

In my view, Edge gets it about half right, but they play the PR game way too much and far too much of the magazine is essentially advertising in disguise.

So something like Edge. But with credibility.

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I very rarely buy any magazines anymore. The Internet has made them pretty much pointless for me. And if anything interesting does get into magazines exclusivly, there's scans online anyway :D

As for reviews, I'd rather find out from people on forums, like here, than a single reviewer in a magazine. Gives a much better and more balanced measure of a game, IMHO.

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Isn't review just another way of saying you analysed a game? I think a games mag without reviews would be a bit like alcohol free beer or caffeine free coffee... its the main reason you get a magazine, so you know which games are good and which are bad without having to fork out £40 to find out.

Actually, I disagree with that comment. I don't need reviews to convince me whether to buy a game or not. I select which games I am interested in long before they are ever reviewed in a magazine. I am far more interested in how a magazine is written....and that is why I consider Edge to be head and shoulders above the rest. It is written in a clear, concise, and serious manner. I get rather annoyed by certain articles and reviews in other gaming magazines that seem to waffle on about various shades of horseshit for a thousand words before getting down to business. Childish humour and pointless analogies simply waste space. I would prefer to read something that provides me with useful information.

I would love to see a PC gaming magazine written in the style of Edge.

I'd buy a mag without any previews, only tiny news snippets. And non of that "exclusive" bullshit or 10 page reviews.

Amen to that.

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I would! I wish there was a magazine without reviews, i hardly ever buy games the month there released (the last one I did was Shenmue II on Xbox, but that was imported from the US so i diddnt get to read a review) I buy edge ocationaly when they have a good feature but the reviews dont realy interest me that much. So someone make an EDGE style nice double textured covered magazine NOW!

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Maybe not *no* reviews, but just one page of say a half dozen small reviews would be fine. What I want in more games magazines are talks with industry figures (NOT the suits/bullshitters that promise the world, the people working ON the game, programmers/artists/designers) about what they're upto/planning and *their* views on the happenings of the industry - thoughts on new console X, game Y, news, etc. I loved the 'Developers View' bit in the old Edge issues. I want a mag to tell me whats coming up and what to watch out for more than going into great detail on why they like/dislike a game.

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Actually, I disagree with that comment. I don't need reviews to convince me whether to buy a game or not. I select which games I am interested in long before they are ever reviewed in a magazine.

What if Driv3r, after all those previews, prescreen alphas, interviews with everyone involved and their dog, there wasn't a 3/10 review? I mean, there are a hundred and one games that I get interested in every month, but only a few are worth purchasing; the review is the final part of the journey from prescreen alpha. We can be told everything there is to know about a game, but without the review, we don't know if its any fun to play, and thats what games are about.

I think people are confusing reviews being bad in and of themselves with bad reviews in magazines with review scores detemined by how much cash the publisher gives them.

And yes, the internet is a usefull tool, but 'net reviews are just as open to bribes as magazines, and reviews by Joe Public are often him trying to persuade himself that he hasn't bought a shit game; look at Gamespy and see how the average user review score for every game on the site is higher than Gamespy's own score.

A magazine without reviews would be a brochure, and no matter how good the read, not worth buying.

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A magazine without reviews would be a brochure, and no matter how good the read, not worth buying.

You're mental. I'm not suggesting that a magazine with no reviews replaces anything currently available.

How can a publication full of articles relating to gaming be a brochure? I think you're confusing a really good read with a magazine consisting of nothing but adverts.

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You're mental. I'm not suggesting that a magazine with no reviews replaces anything currently available.

How can a publication full of articles relating to gaming be a brochure? I think you're confusing a really good read with a magazine consisting of nothing but adverts.

Where did I say anything about reviewless magazines replacing review magazines? ;)

Perhaps brochure was the wrong word... Surely, a reviewless magazine would also have to be previewless? If we don't know its fun to play, then it doesn't matter how much else we know about a game. If all we get is publisher hyberbole and info on games where the only source is press releases, then wouldn't we have a magazine that is essentially just ads? Ads that the publisher or who ever didn't have to pay for?

I think a gaming magazine with no reviews would have to be pretty damn good to warrant buying. I'm talking orgasmic good here.

Are there or have there been any reviewless magazines? I'm curious now.

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