Don't Skip vs Reviews

  • I just watched the Don't Skip for FF XII and I can't stop thinking about differentiating a Don't Skip from a Review, for me personally, hearing the opinion about the game, even though it indicates they haven't finished the game, felt like a very deep review and I feel like it deserved being called that, a review, despite the fact they didn't finish the game, especially since this game in particular is a remaster.

    Then looking at past episodes, I'm not even sure why Night in the Woods isn't a proper review aside from being a smaller title. Hollow Knight does feel like something that is not a review, with Ben just fascinated by the game but not really deep enough into it to make a full review.

    I also keep thinking about a comment that said the name Don't Skip implied the game was good, but there are also smaller games worth talking about that are not a "don't skip", but just a "maybe check it out", or they even might be a "skip" but they still want to post opinions about it (although I feel Frame Trap would probably be the place for these).

    In short, I wonder if "Don't Skips" are the best way to handle these "simpler than reviews" videos, because I keep thinking now that some of these should have a score and be called reviews, and how maybe they need to lower their bar on production value for a Don't Skip for it to be an effective way of getting opinions out there outside of reviews. I would like to know how the other allies feel about this.

  • I've been feeling the exact same thing. They are meant to be shorter and simpler, but the guys are putting so much effort into them that they feel like reviews. All they're missing is a score.

    But asking for Don't Skip to be of a purposely inferior quality to justify the distinction obviously feels counter-productive, so I don't really know what to suggest :)

  • The way I see Don't Skips, are that they are ways for allies to talk about titles they don't intent to make a full review on, but want to mention regardless OUTSIDE of their podcasts and streams. And so far, I have no problems with that. I think it's good way to highlight more games on their main channel in their own videos. But I feel like that instead of just having Brandon talk in each of those as well, they could be voiced by anyone, giving Brandon more time to work on their bigger stuff.

  • @Axel said in Don't Skip vs Reviews:

    But asking for Don't Skip to be of a purposely inferior quality to justify the distinction obviously feels counter-productive, so I don't really know what to suggest :)

    Yes, I want to say that I tried my hardest to not say this but it is a hard task choosing the right words. I just feel like we maybe don't have as much Don't Skips because they are basically as demanding as a review, and maybe other options could be explored.

    And also wearing a "corporate" hat, I believe reviews will be seen by the general audience as a higher tier of content than Don't Skips, and I feel like they are limiting their potential reach for not calling some of these proper reviews.

  • They're not proper reviews. They don't take as much work to make (which is the point of these Don't Skip videos, to try and cover more without making proper reviews for everything). You can also make a Don't Skip without having finished the game.

    So calling them reviews just to make them more into click-bait isn't a good idea if you ask me.

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    @jipostus said in Don't Skip vs Reviews:

    I feel like that instead of just having Brandon talk in each of those as well, they could be voiced by anyone, giving Brandon more time to work on their bigger stuff.

    Someone else doing VO isn't going to save Brandon much time really, and it would lower the quality considerably. Reading a script is a lot different than talking on a podcast, and there are few people in this industry as good at it as Brandon Jones. And as with reviews, hearing Brandon catches the attention of people who don't realize we're here. Lots of comments on the Don't Skip asking "is that the guy from GameTrailers?"

    As for where they fit in general, I understand that they don't seem that different from reviews, but again, it allows us to give a take on a game even if we can't give it a full review in a format that gives us more time to organize our thoughts than an off-the-cuff podcast discussion. One of the longest parts of the review process is playing through a game - particularly with RPGs that last 30 hours on the short end. I think remasters are a good case for that too since it might not make sense to replay an entire game we've already played before. Other cases for Don't Skips I think might just be for games that we want to talk about without having the score be the focus, which I think might have been the case for Night in the Woods. And as the title suggests, these are always going to be for games that we feel positively about.

    Obviously we don't have that many under our belt yet, so we're still figuring out the best ways to go about them. It's also Ben steering the ship on those, so he'll be the main one figuring out how they evolve. While I still do some last looks at the writing, Ben's the one editing the scripts when others write them, and most of the time, it will be someone other than Brandon cutting the videos.

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    Oh, and then the other part of Don't Skip I didn't bring up is that they aren't limited to recent games. I know there hasn't really been an example yet, but I know Ben has other episodes in mind.

  • I think a lot of people (myself included) share that sentiment. I was particularly confused when Night in the Woods showed up.

    That said I was thinking similarly to what Blood has said. Basically that this is a new thing for them and they're all still working out what exactly No Skip is. I actually think FFXII is a fantastic example of a Don't Skip so that experience is definitely showing.

    And just on a side note, I am one of those people who wouldn't mind seeing the end of scores so I didn't really mind the similarities between Don't Skip and Reviews.

  • I think overall that EZA content doesn't do a super good job differentiating itself from, well...itself.

    I love EZA, but when I first started following you guys I had a hard time understanding why there were so many podcasts when to my untrained ear they didn't sound all that different. Similarly, I didn't get at all what the difference was between Cup of Jones and Community Comments, or why there was both a Talking Syndrome and Hueber Syndrome

    I know that stuff now, but at the time this place was actually pretty intimidating, like there was this confusing barrier that I couldn't penetrate because I hadn't been here from the start to understand the context

    I feel there's a similar issue with Don't Skip. If I were completely new to EZA and saw a title like that I'd assume it was for a game that was so fantastic I couldn't miss it, and I certainly wouldn't expect what it actually is.

    Like LinkJr says, my impression of Don't Skip would change drastically if my first episode was FF12 ("Oh, this is just what they call reviews") or Hollow Knight ("Oh, I guess this is what they use for small titles they don't want people to miss")

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    @WarpDogsVG said in Don't Skip vs Reviews:

    If I were completely new to EZA and saw a title like that I'd assume it was for a game that was so fantastic I couldn't miss it

    I mean, it really is that simple. It's not a replacement for a review. In fact, I can envision a scenario where one person reviewed a game, but another person had a completely different take that they want to write a Don't Skip for. Don't Skip - Final Fantasy XII is practically a sentence, a thesis even, and you watch the video to find out why.

  • I like both, as was mentioned earlier about how Don't Skip also covers past games (Or will eventually) it means that the other niche things people typically bug the allies for (like ben with many JRPGs) could get some coverage. Helps fill in the things that fall through the cracks.

    And since they aren't scheduled it can easily ramp up production or slow it down when the need arises, and make for some tasty surprises here and there.

    Most of the time reviews are put up long after I've played through and beaten the game, whether it's an EZA review or someone else's since I'll have the time to explore multiplayer in specific games I'll have the breadth of insight that review sites typically spend weeks/months covering before reaching a final verdict.

    Which leaves reviews in a weird place for me, on one hand I like knowing if the ally reviewing a game shares my opinion, but I've also digested the game already so there's very few times where something is covered that I didn't already know about, whereas Don't Skip could potentially bring in an indie title I've only heard of once or twice (assuming it hasn't hit twitch overplayed hype status by then) or just an older game I never pulled the trigger on and it kinda got tossed aside by games media.

    So I find value in both. Also yeah....Jones is "The voice" I used to go on GT just to hear him on reviews before I ever put names to faces on any of the other staff members on GT Time, final bosman, etc. So changing him...would probably ADD work instead of alleviate it due to needing to train the other allies to be comfortable with narration (And as I recall it's not a job any of them seem to want anyway), and as Blood said it's actually valuable to continue having his voice associated with their content for anyone who was like me and would've originally only recognized GT from him speaking.