I didn’t quite make it all the way to 30 reviews for FPSummer, but I’m taking a break until July 9 on account of being on vacation on the opposite side of the world. I’m also re-evaluating the way I do review series because while I’ve done more than a few review series, this one has proven to be the hardest because of the time crunch I produced it under. Because ARPGpril rolled into May and I went on vacation the last week of June, I had to cram 30 reviews into about four weeks. That can work with stuff like platformers but first-person shooters tend to be larger, more involved affairs, and I can’t say I’m terribly pleased with how I’ve handled it.
I’ve reviewed plenty of games I haven’t finished, and I never feel all that great about it. Sometimes it’s because I’m just not in the mood for it, sometimes it’s because I don’t leave myself enough time, but neither is a very good excuse. I took it for granted that I’d need to leave many of FPSummer’s features unfinished, and so I penned recommendations for titles like Crysis, BioShock 2 Remastered, and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood based off just a few hours of play. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I felt confident that my impressions of the game were enough to inform a robust opinion.
Then I played BioShock Infinite. I made it a point to finish this one, because I’d heard many different things about the late game and I found myself really enjoying it from the onset. Had I stopped just a few hours in, I probably would have given it a glowing recommendation. Playing it through the halfway point, I started to feel it more deserving of a qualified recommendation. By the time I finished it, I was struggling not to condemn the entire thing. The back half of the game and the ending specifically made a huge, huge difference in how I felt about it, and that realization shook my confidence in other reviews I’ve written on the backs of incomplete experiences.
So the first thing that’s happening is that I’m going to take more time with every review I write. Any game that I recommend I’m going to finish, barring some seriously extenuating circumstances. I’ll also try getting further into negative reviews and mini-reviews so that you can have more confidence in those as well. And I’m going to go back and finish some of the games I’ve recommended recently like Tower of Time to make sure those recs hold up the whole way through. This is obviously going to take more time than I’ve been taking with reviews, which prompts a shift in schedule.
The other thing is that honestly, I’ve been rushing too much with everything. My real-life work has been suffering as well, and if I’m going to do better at that (which I need to because, y’know, money) then this is the part that needs to be scaled back. Understand that this, being an independent reviewer, is my dream and the goal I’m working towards, but until my Patreon really takes off I have to prioritize my paying job.
All that being said, here’s how the schedule’s going to change.
- Tuesday and Friday reviews are not changing, except that I’ll be putting more time into finishing those games. Same with Weeklong Deals on Monday, those are ironclad.
- Wednesday indie features are going away for awhile. I love doing them but my priority is Steam reviews, so until I get into a better cadence they’ll be on hiatus.
- Thursday revisions are being replaced with a continuation of FPSummer. I’m going to revisit some of the games I half-finished and keep rolling with new reviews on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
- Mini-reviews are going to be posted individually on Steam as I write them, which is another reason why you should be following my curations. Once I get five done, I’ll bundle them and post them on the website the following Saturday.
- I’m pretty sure there will be no more review series until October. Originally I wanted to do a small one on space 4X or the Fallout games in August but I’d rather focus on regular reviews and spooky games.
On the bright side, this means FPSummer continues and my reviews across the board will be increasing in quality. The price is going to be a less dense schedule but I think quality really needs to be my first priority in all things. Hopefully you agree, but either way feel free to drop me an email or a comment to let me know what you think. Ultimately I want to be writing the reviews that you want to read, and I’ll always be working towards that goal as best I can. If you want to support those efforts, be sure to tell people about me or link my reviews, or donate to my Patreon to help me get the games you want to read about.
As always, thanks for following along!