Is it okay to form an opinion about a game without finishing it?



  • This post was inspired by one of the questions from last EZA podcast. When saying the game that is popular but they despise, Brad brought out interesting point that I'm seriously interested in.
    Youtube Video – [1:02:08..]

    Brad said that he would be OK with Jones not liking Final Fantasy VII, if he would have finished it. So here's the question:
    Is it really necessary to finish a game to form an opinion about it?
    Personally, I think you don't have to finish it, because the act of not finishing a game is another indicator of how well game held your attention and interest. If the game doesn't seem interesting enough for a player to continue playing it, this is a bad thing for a game. Similar if you feel no need to jump back into it after a break. It's basically meaningless, for that player at least, if the game is 10/10 later on, if the player can't reach that point.
    Ultimately, I believe that one can and should form an opinion about a game, even if unfinished. However, It is important to mention, when expressing your opinion in this case, that you haven't finished the certain game and you work with limited knowledge.

    So, what's your stance on this? Do you have any particular game that you have pretty certain opinion of, even if you haven't finished it? Mine is probably Witcher 3.

    L&R



  • It depends on the type of game, and how much time you put in before coming to a decision. For example you can probably play COD or Battlefield for a day or 2 and unless there are major server issues, still provide a good assessment of the game over all.

    Meanwhile just about any RPG is going to require a much bigger time sink, simply because some games don't really open, or have that moment where everything clicks (weather it be from the gameplay or story) till many, many hours in.

    For me personally I always try to use a "2 day" system. 2 days after starting to give my first impression of something, and 2 days after beating to get my final thoughts.



  • It's ok as long as you acknowledge the fact and dont make assumptions about things that may not be true.

    and of course, as long as you arent reviewing it. I've seen so many painful reviews of JRPGs that make complaints that only exist for an hour or two into the game



  • I think it's ok in the sense your opinion is valid on everything that you've played and sure it's also valid to say things like if the game only gets fun in 10 hours that's no good.
    But where it gets problematic for me personally is that while it is a valid assessment it's not a complete one and in that sense I think it's only valid for what you've experienced.
    It gets very tricky if people choose to make assumptions on what the experience might be beyond what they've played.

    This becomes especially a charged issue when it comes to reviewing games and when I think back to the me a few years ago that would still very much eat up all the reviews, I have to say back then I definitely was reading/watching every review with the expectation of it being a complete assessment from which I can base my purchase on.

    And I understand there are factors like review deadlines and limited time to work or not having access to certain features or tricky games that don't really end. Things are not always easy.

    I think the case I think about where this whole thing was taken in a way that really ticked me of is how the original Diablo 3 was reviewed and the whole attitude some reviewers had on it(basically lots of excuses and bad reasoning and ok I also understand that that's a natural response if you're getting hammered from all sides but... sigh).
    But really that game the way it reviewed + how its reviewers chose to handle it made me lose like all the trust in games media as an informative source.

    Because the truth was that the game was broken as hell(like entire systems from the problems of being so focused on primary attributes and those only being dmg+ anyway, inferno being a mess, the item system at high level not working, the auction house, etc etc) at release and in no way shape or form did it deserve any of the scores it did.

    It really hammered home, oh everyone only played until level 60 and stopped there. And this kind of sucked for anyone that intended to play D3 like the old games for a looooong time.

    This is also why I prefer content on games that is conversation based.
    With different views intertwining together I think the insight I gain from that is in almost all the cases bigger than what any traditional review could ever give me.

    TLDR: Of course it's ok to form an opinion but some people(nobody at EZA) really also need to remember that it's an opinion formed based on incomplete information.



  • If it's about your personal opinion sure, I mean I don't need to continue playing Banjo Cocks and Balls to know that it's utter garbage.
    But if you are writing a review for the public, no, I think you should have played through the game, maybe the end sucks, maybe there is a bug or gltch later in the game that breaks it, or maybe the end redeems a mediocre game.



  • Sure. In fact, I would take it a step further and say that its ok to have an opinion about a game that you've never played.

    It comes down to how this opinion is presented. Jones isn't going around telling people that FF7 sucks, he just says that he was never able to get into it. People can infer that it starts slow or he isn't into rpgs.

    A reviewer should have a more complete opinion of the game they're reviewing.....but as others have mentioned this can be tricky. Do they need to finish it on multiple difficulties? Get all the collectibles? What about games that are multiplayer focused? In the end a review is just somebodies opinion. I try to critically read/watch the content to decide if I agree with their points and to determine if they gave it a fair chance (if the opinion seems well informed).



  • We've all done it once or twice in our lives. It's an accepted idea. Companies realize this, and this is why they hold trailers so close to their chest. They want you to be excited about the game, but withhold story info until the very last minute.

    For example, you no doubt know that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare got so much hate just because of this trailer...

    Youtube Video

    People hate on it without even waiting for gameplay, which arrived at E3 2016...

    Youtube Video

    The worst part is, when the Infinite Warfare gameplay trailer was released during Sony's E3 conference, guess what? Haters took a 180 on their comments by saying that the game "looks good" because they had no idea it was Call of Duty until the logo came on. I laugh at those people. What idiots.

    That's relevant here.

    However, suppose you rent a video game, and you stop playing because of one reason or the other. I did the same thing for a few games earlier this year. I rented a few games, played it and returned it within the same day...

    Resident Evil 6 HD: I beat the game as one character, and didn't bother to finish the whole game or get the trophies, even though I have enough time to return it. I didn't even touch the disc until the next day when the game is supposed to be in the mailbox. Some games have multiple endings, this is one case where I believe there isn't. I didn't even dive into the other modes, either. Waste of my time.

    Tales of Zestiria: I bought the game. I played the game until a certain point, and decided it was boring until the next time I got really bored and wanted to finish the game. My complaint about the game is now because the controls got confusing. I loved Tales of Symphonia for a reason, Bandai/Namco! I wanted a mindless buttonmasher in a RPG. The story was a bit cliche, but I still enjoyed the later levels or stages because of the story. Here we have a big, bad guy that was killing humans or imprisoning humans. I got to the end of ToS, and thought that was a very good game. But ToZ ruined my taste in Tales of WHICH. IS A FREAKIN' SHAME! I loved the Tales of Symphonia engine.

    Hopefully Beseria is better than this.

    Just Cause 3: I rented it from redbox and played it for a while. The game got annoying with the load times and the save areas. So, every time you die in the middle of the mission, you gotta start ALL OVER AGAIN. I thought "this game is not worth finishing."



  • Not really, no. You can't form an opinion on the game if you don't finish it. You can say you're not interested in playing more of it, or playing it at all, but that's different from saying the game is either good or bad or meh. Depending on when you quit, you can't even really say you don't like it yet. In Jones' case he can't say anything about FFVII since apparently he hasn't even gotten past the tutorial. If he was at least a few hours in he could say he gave it a fair shake.

    Imagine reading the first chapter of The Lord of the Rings. For anyone unfamiliar with it, the first chapter deals with Bilbo's 111th birthday party.
    That initial chapter is probably where the vast majority of people who don't finish that book drop out. Because it's incredibly tedious and boring. But could you judge that entire book based on that? Obviously not.

    Or imagine watching the first 20 minutes of Taken. If you only watched that much you'd leave thinking it's a family drama-comedy about Liam Neeson trying to reconnect with his adult daughter and come to some sort of understanding with his estranged ex-wife.

    You have to give things a legitimate chance to win you over.



  • @Paper-Lion said in Is it okay to form an opinion about a game without finishing it?:

    Or imagine watching the first 20 minutes of Taken. If you only watched that much you'd leave thinking it's a family drama-comedy about Liam Neeson trying to reconnect with his adult daughter and come to some sort of understanding with his estranged ex-wife.

    Side Comment: I. LOVE. TAKEN! :)



  • I think it's alright to not like a game before even playing it. We all have different tastes and people can use their own discretion by taking a look at a game and deciding for themselves if they think it either looks good or bad or if they'll have fun with it or not. Reviews are also great for this purpose as by looking at several opinions of the game that also show gameplay, people can determine if a game they were looking forward to is worth their time or not. If everyone just bought games indiscriminately regardless of pre-purchase impressions and waited until beating the game before coming up with an opinion about it, then they are relaying a message to game developers that they can make the crappiest game in existence but it wouldn't matter because people would just buy the game regardless.

    However, people can have wrong impressions about a game. This is where word of mouth and civil discussion comes into play. If a friend of yours won't give a game a chance, but you are pretty sure they'd like it, you can convince them about the game's strengths that would interest them (we've seen this on the EZA Podcast and Frame Trap several times) and at the very least get them to try it with to see for themselves. However, if there are certain aspects about the game that prevent them from enjoying their experience, then they don't have to complete the game. Jones tried the game, and although almost everyone loves FFVII, it is totally within his right to just not like it.



  • Anyone can have an opinion that doesn't mean it's a good or valid opinion. You can have an opinion on anything even if you have only tried it, never played it or barely know anything about it but for me that doesn't mean that opinion has any really meaning to it, it's kind of an invalid and pointless viewpoint if you can't really give good enough reasons why you have come to that conclusion and people would say the same thing to you: "you have not played enough of it". You don't see reviewers playing a game for the 1st 10% and then giving their opinion on it as that would make it a pointless review and meaningless. If you haven't finished it you can only give your initial impressions on it on the amount of time you actually played or if you haven't even tried it you can only based your opinion on the things you seen which isn't really playing it which is the whole point of gaming in the 1st place.

    I would change your question to: Is it necessary to finish a game to form a "good enough" opinion about it?

    The answer to this is yes you have to finish a game to have a good enough opinion about it as some games have great starts but have bad endings, others start off bad but end up being great, your opinion can easily change over the course of the full game especially if that game is extremely long. Also your opinion isn't valid to others who have finished it as you can't really have a proper discussion about it, you can't really give legit reasons why you hated or loved it as you don't know enough about it just like Brandon and Bradley with FFVII, the reasons Brandon gives is kinda disrespectful as he doesn't really give any real valid reasons to why he does not like it and this made Bradley mad about it as Brandon's opinions ain't good enough to come to that conclusion when he simply hasn't finished the game.



  • @ZellosWilder said in Is it okay to form an opinion about a game without finishing it?:

    Anyone can have an opinion that doesn't mean it's a good or valid opinion. You can have an opinion on anything even if you have only tried it, never played it or barely know anything about it but for me that doesn't mean that opinion has any really meaning to it, it's kind of an invalid and pointless viewpoint if you can't really give good enough reasons why you have come to that conclusion and people would say the same thing to you: "you have not played enough of it". You don't see reviewers playing a game for the 1st 10% and then giving their opinion on it as that would make it a pointless review and meaningless. If you haven't finished it you can only give your initial impressions on it on the amount of time you actually played or if you haven't even tried it you can only based your opinion on the things you seen which isn't really playing it which is the whole point of gaming in the 1st place.

    I would change your question to: "Is it necessary to finish a game to form a good enough opinion about it?"

    The answer to this is yes you have to finish a game to have a good enough opinion about it as some games have great starts but have bad endings, others start off bad but end up being great, your opinion can easily change over the course of the full game especially if that game is extremely long. Also your opinion isn't valid to others who have finished it as you can't really have a proper discussion about it, you can't really give legit reasons why you hated or loved it as you don't know enough about it just like Brandon and Brady.

    If only that were true, I've seen several times on big sites people review JRPGs playing only the first 20 something hours of them giving it a score and then go on their podcast and go all "I've played enough to have a good opinion on the game, totally!".

    salt



  • Yes, because if something really ticks you off in the beginning of the game, whatever issue you have with it is a valid opinion. Finishing the rest of the game doesn't change that part of the game.

    It's like Final Fantasy 13, it's a boring, linear slog through 30 hours of tutorial just to get you to the part that opens up. Does it get better after 30 hours? Who cares. You were probably bored before then.

    I tried to pose this question to the podcast because there has been divisive opinions between the Allies. Bosman played 2 characters of Overwatch, but Brad argues he needs to play all of them before he gets it. I don't think Bosman needs to if it just doesn't interest him. I played all the characters for a good 20 hours, and still found it as boring as it was in the first hour.



  • As someone else said, it depends on the game:

    From the first mission past the tutorial/first 20 turns, you'll know if you like X-COM, Civilization, Starcraft, and other strategy games. It won't change half way through, there's no point where it needs to click.

    RPG stories? Definitely need hours, sometimes tens of hours. Sometimes that can be mitigated by immersive world, I played hundreds of hours of Skyrim and I still couldn't tell you what the main storyline of that game is, all I know is I pimped out the ArchMage's quarters and became a badass spellslinger.

    Case in point: I don't care about Undertale. I hear it's this wonderful thing, but about 40 minutes into it I was bored by the mechanics of it (which is something which turns me off from many RPGs, the awful mechanics). Is my opinion on Undertale valid? I'd say my opinions on its mechanics are - but as a game overall? Probably not.

    Edit: For games like OVerwatch, I kind of am halfway between Brad and Bosman. To me, the overall design is pushed towards being able to hot swap characters, counter a comp, then counter their counter, etc. That meta is something that "clicks" about 30 hours in, and you start understanding how to pick against the opposing team and having more fun - it's sort of how you draft players in MOBAs like LoL and DOTA. But if you don't like FPS games as a whole, or co-operative team shooters where characters aren't balanced against each other 1v1, you'll know in trying out the first two characters that the game isn't for you.



  • Like DMCMaster said, it depends on the type of game that it is. Some games you can get the gist of in a couple of hours, and some you can't.

    Example of a game I formed an opinion about that I never finished: Wild Arms 2. I logged around 24 hours in the game (nearly half of the game), and then decided that I wasn't enjoying myself enough to continue, which hurt A LOT. After loving the first game greatly, it was extremely disheartening to come to terms with the sequel being lackluster.



  • You can definitely form your own opinion about a game without finishing it. You can decide that you don't like something if you only play a little bit of it.

    However, the more you play the game the more you'll understand why you don't like it. I think it's fair for other people to put more weight into the opinions of people that have finished the game as well.

    I'm only using a negative opinion as an example because if you like a game you're a lot more likely to finish it. But the same principle applies. You might play a game for a few hours and enjoy the hell out of it. Someone might have finished it and perhaps the quality drops off towards the end of the game and the ending is unsatisfying. So I'd say that person's opinion is more useful to most people since they have more experience with the game.



  • I think you can form an opinion of something regardless of how much or how little you have played of it.

    The validity of your opinion is what comes into question, at least in my opinion.
    For instance, back on the old GT forums, a young autistic boy named Yoshi said the entire Uncharted series was boring, even though he had only played the tutorial of the second game.

    Now, his opinion was already in question due to his severe mental handicap, but had further shade thrown on it due to the amount he had played.



  • @El-Shmiablo said in Is it okay to form an opinion about a game without finishing it?:

    I think you can form an opinion of something regardless of how much or how little you have played of it.

    The validity of your opinion is what comes into question, at least in my opinion.
    For instance, back on the old GT forums, a young autistic boy named Yoshi said the entire Uncharted series was boring, even though he had only played the tutorial of the second game.

    Now, his opinion was already in question due to his severe mental handicap, but had further shade thrown on it due to the amount he had played.

    alt text



  • @El-Shmiablo Let it go Shmibble.



  • I'm on the side of, if you're judging a game based on it's story, content, etc, then you need to finish the game to have a valid opinion.

    However, if the issues you have with the game are purely mechanical or it's just not to your tastes then it doesn't take much effort or time to figure that out, so long as your opinion isn't flat out "This game sucks".

    But that's just me.