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Forums > Submission Feedback > Xyandar's Borderlands review

This thread is in response to a review for Borderlands on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 17, 2009 (02:21 PM)
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I didn't like this review. First thing I noticed were some spelling and punctuation errors. I'd suggest running this through a spellcheck (I think Firefox has one built-in if you use it), for starters. On a similar note, if a number is less than three digits just type it out, i.e. three instead of 3, only use numerals if the number is 100 or greater. These might seem like nitpicks, even minor stylistic pointers like these go a long way to making your review look polished.

The biggest problem I have is the Section style. While that might look snazzy at Amazon or GameFAQs, most of us at HG feel that breaking a review down into cookie-cutter sections like that detracts overall from the review, because a game is often more, or less, than the sum of its parts. For example, take Oblivion - fantastic graphics, wide-open world, responsive controls and a wide array of dungeons and areas to explore...but the overall experience is somewhat lacking when compared with, say, Morrowind, a game that is technically inferior yet somehow much more compelling and immersive.

At the same time, the section style breaks up the flow of the review. Instead of a smooth, effortless transition from point to point, it's like driving your grandfather's clunky old car down an unpaved dirt road in the middle of a rainstorm.

But don't be discouraged, or offended, or put off, or outraged. So, let me finish with a whole-hearted welcome to HonestGamers, and a nod of the head to your taste in games (Borderlands is seriously awesome). Take a look at some of the winners for past Review of the Week competitions, you might find you learn a lot about how to craft a better review. And I'm sure anybody here would be more than willing to share tips and advice.

"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe

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Author: randxian
Posted: November 21, 2009 (07:50 AM)
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I think Zipp hit the nail on the head in this ROTW critique - This reads like a first or an early attempt at reviewing.

Will pointed out how the sections break up the flow. I think the reason this person put sections in is because he/she felt every aspect of the game had to be covered. I know I used to have that train of thought when I wrote; I felt for some reason I had to make sure to cover every little thing, thus I would write in sections to make sure all the bases are covered.

Xyandar - Truth is, you don't necessarily need to include everything. Pick out what you think is most important about the game, and focus on that. Also, toss in some interesting anecdotes from your experiences playing the game. It's obvious you really like this game, but you need to give us specific examples from the game that illustrate why this game is a must play. What's your favorite scene from the game? Tell us about that.


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Author: Xyandar
Posted: November 28, 2009 (10:57 PM)
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I thank the both of you for giving me some feedback on my review. I agree I could have improved my review a bit and made it more longer and better detailed, and I am planning to do a better job in the near future. I have over 60 Xbox 360 games and I usually purchase the most anticipated games such as Call of Duty, Rock Band, Assassins Creed, and more. I will try to become a 'usual' with Honestgamers by reading other reviews and leaving my own feedback as well as adding some new reviews for the new games I have and the older games that may not have been mentioned :)

Thanks again and keep the feedback coming

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Author: randxian
Posted: November 29, 2009 (08:17 AM)
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It's not so much about making it longer and more detailed; it's more about making it more focused. In other words, zoom in on what's most important.

Don't confuse length with quality. I used to have the same train of thought, but some people here have astutely reprimanded some of my longer reviews and praised some of my shorter review.

Zig, one of the best writers here, keeps telling me that if you manage to say everything you want to say in fewer words, then you are writing a good review.


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