Looking for a good site for video game reviews.

What sites do you use to research a game before you buy it?

I’ve recently started buying games again but I’m reluctant to get something when I have no prior knowledge of it. I like RPGs and I’ve been looking at some old games for the original Playstation. I’ll like to find a good game review site before I start spending money though.

PS What do you guys think of Valkyrie Profile or Legend of Mana?

www.gamerankings.com is excellent.

It’s a meta-review site which links lots of reviews for each game as well as providing average scores. It’s got some very useful filters as well if you want to focus on particular genres, platforms etc.

www.gamefaqs.com is my favorite.

Reviews, codes and faqs all in one place. Just take the reviews with a grain of salt, as they’re all user-done.

I like going to www.gamespy.com.

There are reviews for PC games as well as console games, and it’s pretty easy to navigate.

It’s a little annoying though, because there are a lot of those ads that pop-up on the page itself.

Yep, I’ve used that site for a long time. The message boards are also pretty good - the people tend to be pretty helpful. Though on some boards the amount of fanboys is scary.

I like the boards over on gamefaqs.com but I’m not a big fan of their reviews. They’re kinda biased because it’s all user-done. Hmmm, is there such a thing as a unbiased review?

Every now and then I’ll see a good review at a site like www.toastyfrog.com or www.pennyarcade.com. Anyone know of more sites similar to them?

Valkyrie Profile is a great game. I haven’t played any PS1 game in years, but this one of the ones that stand out. I loved getting reports on how the guys i sent off to war where doing and seeing how much all the training paid off.

Modesty prevents me from pointing out my link down there.

Before you buy 'em, try 'em!

Gamer’s Hell has a huge list of demo downloads at rocket fast speeds.

Computer Games Online has over 500 demos to download.

File Front is another good site.

Gamespot usually has good balanced reviews but you have to pay a fee for any file downloads.

Firing Squad has a good mix of gaming and hardware info.

All of the above also have an extensive list of in game movie downloads as well, so you can get a “feel” for a game in the case that there is no demo released. I could list a dozen more, but these should keep you busy for awhile…

And last but not least, every gamer should keep an eye on Tom’s Hardware Guide for the latest hardware news and reviews.

I should also point out that Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is an excellent FREE standalone FPS multiplayer which has been consuming VAST amounts of my time (did I mention that it’s FREE?) 200,000 downloads at this site alone…

Game on dude!

A well-done review looks objectively at what’s good and bad.

On the other hand, Squaresoft could release a big pile of dog crap shoved inside a jewel case, and it would get rave reviews from long-time fans.

What I do with the gamefaqs reviews is skim the overall numbers and try to gauge the general feeling. A straight list of 9s and 10s is a very bad sign, usually. A good game will generally have some mid-range numbers, which means it was good enough to prompt reviews from people who didn’t enjoy it 100%.

Then, I skim the review titles. Reviews titled “Another Squaresoft gem!” or “THE BEST GAME EVER!” are immediately ignored in favor of descriptive titles like “I enjoyed it, but it could’ve been better.” These reviews are more likely to have constructive input. After reading a few of those, I generally know whether or not to rent it.

Because of course, you should never buy a game before playing it first.

It’s been a while since I’ve even played a console game so I’ve forgotten how many there were. I checked out gamerankings.com and it seems like what I was looking for. A nice starting point to other sites. Thanks for all the links too, Skybum.

Eurogamer is more critical than other sites, especially with over-hyped games. Unfortunately, it’s not very big and doesn’t always review the latest games when they come out.

For sheer size and coverage, Gamespot and IGN are the way to go. Gamespy is quite good for their industry reports and commentary.

I like www.ign.com

You need to click on the system you use, and there’s a little navigating to do. It’s good, though.

The message boards are also pretty good - the people tend to be pretty helpful. Though on some boards the amount of fanboys is scary.

Allow me to summarize 99% of the posts on the Madden 2004 boards:

  1. ESPN NFL Football sucks. Only losers play it. I don’t play it. Therefore, I am not a loser.

  2. I am the greatest Madden player ever. I beat all these people online.

  3. No, you only beat those people by using money plays (Mike Vick for example) all the time. If you played the “real” way, you’d get schooled.

  4. I started a franchise. Here is an extensive series of posts detailing my every single game, transaction, draft, and move, including raising/lowering prices.

  5. This game is too easy. I went 16-0 with the Bengals on All-Madden.

ElwoodCuse, # 1 applies to almost every game board I’ve ever seen. Just substitute any game for ‘ESPN NFL Football’. Oh, also complain loudly to anyone that cares that ‘any game’ sucks. :slight_smile:

Many of the sites on here are perfectly fine for reviews the only advice I can give you is to READ the review and ignore the score. I can’t count the number of totally negative reviews I’ve read that are basicly a rant against the deep flaws of the game only to end with “but inspite of it all it has a few good elements” and gives it a decent rating. I want a game that’s flat out good not one that manages to be good inspite of itself.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but…

Check my signature.