In last week's First Person column for Bitmob, I wrote about the fact that I'm still playing Fallout: New Vegas, and with 70 hours clocked into the game am nowhere near beating it...so I was curious as to how the hell any of the professional reviewers could have possibly had enough time to play the game thoroughly enough for a review.
One of Bitmob's editors contacted me today to inquire about a line in the piece regarding the blurbs that sometimes show up on game boxes. My copy of Black Ops for the 360, for example, has quotes from GamePro and OXM lauding the game. I was made to understand that those quotes came from reviews that were written very early such that the publishers could ask for the review copy to pull quotes from.
What I found out tonight was that sometimes those blurbs are taken from previews, not reviews...which makes no fucking sense whatsoever.
I have over 70 hours clocked into Fallout: New Vegas. I can see the final storyline developing but have no idea how it will actually turn out, and judging from my long list of open quests I'm nowhere near triggering the finale. As I continue experiencing just how insanely huge New Vegas is, I wonder how any of the professional reviewers managed to play enough of the game to issue a definitive statement as to its quality.
I tried to read all 77 critic reviews of Fallout: New Vegas on Metacritic in order to see how many of the writers actually finished the game, but I could only get through 26 before I almost died from boredom. Of those 26, only one reviewer stated that he finished the game. Another five reviewers suggested that the game was finished and mentioned how many hours the reviewer logged before writing the review, but the other 20 reviewers gave no indication as to how much of the game they played -- and some of these reviews were from fan sites that were certainly under no pressure from anyone to review New Vegas quickly.
"That's not writing, that's just blogging." "He's not a writer, he's a blogger." I may be relatively new to the conversations that take place in the comment threads of video-game journalism sites, but I’ve seen these refrains, or variations thereof, often enough to know that this is an open question. To a point we may consider it nonsensical because of course blogging is also writing in the purely mechanical sense of stringing words together, but why, then, do so many people want to insist upon this difference between blogging and every other version of that mechanical operation we collectively could refer to as "writing?"