I get a lot of emails from aspiring writers. “I want to write videogame reviews,” they say. “Where should I start?”
They usually add long, rambling sentences about their work history or education or some other nonsense that I can’t be bothered to read thanks to my busy schedule of reading websites about fantasy football. Then they ask for tips and tricks, as if I’m some sort of Nintendo Power hotline for game reviewers.
I can’t blame them. You see, writing reviews is awesome. Everybody wants to do it.
So here’s my tip: Don’t play videogames.
You see, playing games takes a lot of time. Time that you could spend doing far more interesting things, like flossing or reading books about how to become a writer. And there are so many games out there, you’ll never even come close to playing them all — so why even bother trying?
“But how can I write game reviews without playing games?” you might ask.
Good question. Fortunately, I’ve devised an easy, plug-n-publish template that you can use for all of your videogame reviews, a template that most of the big websites already use. Cut and paste this form, fill out all of the blank spots, and soon you’ll be well on your way to writing videogame reviews. You’re welcome.
VIDEOGAME REVIEW FORM
[TITLE] isn’t the type of game you’ll love. Nor is it the type of game you’ll hate. It’s the type of game that delivers a solid, yet flawed experience that you’ll enjoy if you enjoyed games like [SIMILAR GAME] or [KINDA DIFFERENT, BUT STILL SOMEWHAT SIMILAR GAME].
When I first started playing [TITLE], I didn’t know how to feel. It reminded me of my time as a carefree teenager, when I would spend hours and hours absorbed in the enthralling world of [SIMILAR, BUT OLDER GAME], killing monsters and solving puzzles. Except this one isn’t as good. But I kept playing, and soon enough I started to really enjoy [TITLE], despite its flaws.
You start off in a lush setting. The aesthetics are great, keeping you engrossed and absorbed as you explore the environment and navigate obstacles. However, the textures are sometimes blurry. Also, the music could have been better.
The main character, a [GRIZZLED/NAIVE] [WARRIOR/HERO/SPACE MARINE] with a bone to pick, is a fascinating look at the human experience. His voice acting left something to be desired, but his characterization was great. Overall, he is presented very well.
Though there is not a lot of replay value in [TITLE], there are some achievements and you’ll be able to collect lots of items throughout the game. You can even play several mini-games, which are usually fun albeit repetitive.
[TITLE] is a good game. It has its flaws, but overall it is a visceral, compelling experience with solid gameplay that fans of the [GENRE/SERIES] will really enjoy.
[NUMBER BETWEEN 7 AND 10]
Note: if you need more words, just add a personal anecdote about your arduous struggle with a terminal disease. If you don’t have a terminal disease, make one up.