Title: I admit, I love to look at numbers.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (03:01 AM)
GameFAQs and Honestgamers both list review hits, but what GameFAQs has so far failed to do is allow me to do something as simple as sorting the reviews by number of hits (nor can I easily copy the hits table to Excel to do it there). Honestgamers sorts on hits by default, which gets a special and usually pointless gear in my brain spinning and is inexplicably pleasurable to me.
I derive far too much fun from seeing my most recent review for Fatal Frame slowly claw its way past the bottom of my review list, outpacing other recent additions like Impossible Mission and Phoenix Wright, apparently purely on account of being a more prolific game (as the review is not necessarily superior, and besides, a reader would only find that out after having generated the hit).
On the top end of the list something even more interesting is happening. Metroid Fusion has always been comfortably on top, being one of the best known games I've ever reviewed, and one of my earliest submissions to HG. It's near the top of my GameFAQs hits too. Here, however, it is rapidly being overtaken by a Commodore 64 review of all things, and a relatively recent submissions as well, in Neptune's Daughters. I can only assume the name draws attention, in much the same way Zig's Rapelay review does (except of course that it has over 100k hits and for me, "near the top" means just over 300).
Another thing that interests me and that I can't quite put my finger on yet is the difference between what reviews draw the most hits, relatively, on GameFAQs and what reviews do so on Honestgamers. Taking reviews into account for at least somewhat recent games (Commodore does poorly hitwise everywhere, with the notable aforementioned exception of Neptune's Daughters), stuff like the Phoenix Wrights and Impossible Mission do well on GameFAQs, having overtaken half my earlier reviews there in about a year's time. Here, they don't do much of anything. At the same time, Fatal Frame has been edging its way upwards and if it continues at this pace, it'll find the middle of the list within a few months too, whereas on GameFAQs it is being utterly ignored - despite being among the "Detailed Reviews" at the top of the list, so it's not as though it's being drowned out.
I wonder if the cause of this should be found in the two sites having a different kind of audience. Or if I'm just reading far too much in arbitrary low numbers. No matter, this is the kind of stuff I love to think about when I have a spare moment to free my brain from work stress.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (03:17 AM)
I can't figure out the 'how' and 'why' myself, and I think about these things all the time, as well. I try to give users all of the information they need to track their performance on the site and inspire themselves to new and exciting things, so I'm always glad to see entries like this one that show when it works.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (01:38 PM)
It's not a hard and fast rule, but I find that obscure games tend to warrant more hits. If someone searches for GTA IV, I guarantee that sites like IGN, GameSpot, and various forums will appear a few pages before HonestGamers. We get a lot of hits from lesser-known and retro games because reviews for them are much harder to find on major sites. In fact, I found HG solely because I was looking for 3DO reviews.
I have done timely reviews for some major games, including Call of Duty 4, Turning Point, and Burnout, but they aren't my most popular reviews. Sitting at the top of my ratings are Red Orchestra and Super Columbine Massacre RPG!.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (01:53 PM)
I don't have my reviews up anywhere else... It just seems pointless to me, and I like it here anyway.
But even so, I can't make much of my hit list. I mean, sure, my top four are mostly obscure titles that have been up for more than a year (with the exception of two). Age of Empires is neither old nor obscure, but skyrocketed about three months ago for some reason. And Animorphs is new, but I suppose obscure. It also one RotW, so that probably helped.
My mainstream titles appear to be in the middle, with some of my more obscure but recent ones at the bottom.
It doesn't really make much sense.
I think having featured ones helps boost hit rate - my Animorphs and Rainbow Islands reviews are fairly above the middle.
Still, though, my hits go up at about 20 a day, so it seems, which isn't much. It's almost kind of discouraging, so I tend not to look at it too often. Or try to, anyway.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (02:56 PM)
It's odd. I only have 3 reviews over 300 hits. Knights of the Old Republic sits in 3rd, with justo over. Shadow Hearts is 2nd at around 700. And my stream of blogging review, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, sits at first with 1100 hits. That review got rejected at GameFAQs, won Review of the Week here, so it probably is the best example I have of the difference in audience, or at least, administration between the two sites.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (07:35 PM)
Heh, Neptune's Daughters... the name is too good, and always was. I remember when you put that up on gamefaqs.
Speaking of Fatal Frame ('Project Zero' as it's called in these parts - in this case, we do not have the better name) I'm playing it right now. I'll hold off on reading your review until I've completed it.
My broad guess about c64 reviews is that people who like the c64 are mostly of that vintage. Such people aren't hanging out on gaming sites, but they may google search the odd game from their past, and gamefaqs is of course the biggest port of call.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (08:01 PM)
Ah, you guys are hitting one of my fields of interest thus forcing me to stop lurking your site and contribute. Niche titles are typically going to be more popular because they sit atop search engine results, namely Google. Two of the more highly seen reviews, Rapelay and Battle or Raper II: The Game, are first page google results. Type either into google and you'll find this site's reviews. Honestgamer's Sagara Family is a second page result.
These are examples of SEO, Search Engine Optimization. I'd don't know where the list is but I'd be willing to bet that the most viewed reviews on this site appear in the top few pages of Google. It's a simple concept, a website will recieve more hits or organic traffic the more a particular term is looked up on google and the higher your pages on the ranks.
SEO is a topic you really need to look into Venter. This site has the age where I think it could outrank other game sites for particular or specific review keywords (I.E. "Bioshock Review"). Now I shall return to anonymously reading your site.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (11:26 PM)
You raise a good point on Google indexing - Honestgamer's review page for Neptune's Daughters, containing only my review, is one of the first search results on that game title.
Posted: June 12, 2008 (11:34 PM)
@ Jerec: interesting review for Star Ocean TTEOT. I guess that doesn't fit GameFAQs' ideas of what a review is (what they lack in quality control they make up for in strict adherence to the classic format), but I found it an interesting read. Another thing I like about a place like HG is the creativity in the writing, coming from people who can actually get away with it and still have a piece worth reading. (I can definitely understand a place as huge as GameFAQs not wanting to open the floodgates.)
Posted: April 05, 2009 (11:01 AM)
I wouldn't trust the GameFAQs stats too much. Many reviews that wind up being posted up there are a complete joke.
Also, when I recently submitted a review for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, it was well over 800 words, yet for some reason the submission template only gave me the option to select "Quick Review." Reviews were submitted after mine for that game that were added as "Detailed Reviews." Must've been a weird glitch.
So yeah, I would take any "data" from GameFAQs with a grain of salt.