Sunday, November 3, 2013

Why I currently don't do full-on video game reiews?

Now, some of you may ask that since my YouTube channel not only has video Blu-ray reviews, but also unedited video game playthroughs titled as "BluJav Game Looks", then why haven't I published any game reviews on this site?

Well the reason really boils down to 2 things:

First, if you have any knowledge of what goes on with video game journalists when they do a video game review, or if you are a video game reviewer yourself, than you would understand that reviewing video games is a long and time-consuming process. Well put it this way, when you review a movie, essentially you watch a 2-3 hour movie once or twice, then write some notes, then start writing the actual review, which would probably take about a day or two. As for doing an additional video review, this would probably take another one or 2 days extra. Now imagine that you apply this sort of process to a video game, a modern first-person shooter has an average single player campaign length of maybe 6-12 hours max. An RPG like say The Witcher 2 has 30 hours worth of single player content, maybe more. And RPGs, or open world games, to really review gameplay content fairly, you will need to play it more than once to explore different options you can explore, different endings, scenarios, etc. And then you need to write notes and write a review. If you're doing a video review, its even longer, you have to watch and consolidate tens of hours of footage and edit the best parts into your video review. Then you're talking about a week or more worth of work to get a review up from pressing the start button to having the review online in print or video. Now granted, this is not an impossible task, as many full time video game journalists does it, but as stated in my title banner, I do these reviews in my free time, I have other work commitments, and with that I am unable to dedicate a huge amount of time playing the game, recording the footage, editing the footage, writing the written review, and still deliver a timely review. So as you can see, reviewing a movie or a home video release is really relatively easy compared to reviewing video games thoroughly. So to those full time video game journalists who do these reviews on a regular basis, I really do salute you.

Secondly, as my blog title suggest, BluJav will always be, at its core, about Blu-ray reviews. So the gaming aspects of this blog I consider it a sideshow to my main event, which are the Blu-ray written reviews or the video reviews. I will also admit this, I'm relatively new to the gaming culture, as I'm not the kind of person who grew up with a game controller, I've only really got into gaming in the year 2009, I was more inclined to film and TV as my main form of entertainment. Early in my life I was influenced to avoid going into the realm of video games, because at that time I felt it was a waste of time spending lots of hours into these games and wasting your life away, or that I believed, through my early partial influence of Roger Ebert, that video games will never be art. But I realise that as film has evolved from a simple camera pointing at a train leaving the station to giving us films like 2001 - A Space Odyssey, video games has also inevitably seen that evolution, although given my limited experience with this medium of entertainment, I'm not really fully qualified to say whether video games have reached that stage of its evolution yet, but there are some game titles in recent years that pretty come close to reaching it. Nor am I really fully knowledgeable or skilled about the art of gameplay enough to really review a video game proper.

But why then I still upload these game looks on my channel? Because I feel that video games in recent years have visual and sonic presentation quality that has come very close to approaching film quality, and because of that, I believe they deserve to be given my first impressions playing them in a home theatre setup, with that movie-like visual and audio presentation to give them its worth. Many games today have brilliant lifelike graphics and superb multichannel sound mix that it would be a shame not to present them in the big screen and 5.1 setup as intended by the developers for the high-end video audio market that is typically only reserved for movies. Or course, not many gamers play their games in a movie theatre-like environment, but I would like to increase the awareness of the possibility of the level of increased immersion that these gamers can get if they play their games in that kind of environment. That's why I insist that every of the game looks I record has to be recorded a minimum 1080p video and 5.1 sound at its source quality. Then of course, since I don't really have the time to do a full-on game review, I will do a sort of long, "first impressions" unedited playthroughs, while also delivering a sort of impromptu impressions/review narrating over as I play the game (although technically I can't really call it a review because I probably haven't finished the game at the time of recording). These kind of "first impressions/quick looks" are not as time consuming as doing a full on review, and also prevents these game looks from taking away the attention from what BluJav is all about - the Blu-ray reviews.

Now this doesn't mean I'm totally shutting off the possibilities of a potential game review on this site, maybe I can do one when I have more time, or for games that don't have as much content to thoroughly explore like an RPG or an open world, but until then, I hope you enjoy these BluJav Game Looks.

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