The XX Show #5: The Steam Review Show.

Join Nate and Troy as they discuss the importance of Steam reviews. In this episode they analyze the impact of reviews on the games, their developers and publishers, as well as the gaming community at large. Additionally, they examine how review scores can be manipulated, what can be done to combat that, and much much more!

eXplorminate Music by MangaDrive

Show notes:

Categories: 4X, Featured, Podcast, XX

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10 replies »

  1. Good discussion guys
    I wonder if early access customers ought to be allowed write reviews while a game is still in development. Most players may be rational and reasonable, but there will be a few who will be irrational cranks who will use the review system inappropriately and vindictively.

    If there are to be early access reviews they should not affect the post-release score.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Data point: I don’t use steam (not 100% true, I own all of Amplitude’s games), but I still go and read Steam reviews before purchasing. Anything they can do to improve the, shall we say, reliability of those reviews is good by me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for another interesting show. I read steam reviews all the time, they definitely affect my purchase decisions. And they can be entertaining – the No Man’s Sky stuff was hilarious (that is if you hadn’t bought the game).

    As far as your suggestion for future topics – I’d enjoy seeing ‘update’ shows on big games that have big changes to them. Galciv3, Stellaris, etc. Games that you maybe started to learn but now they’re really different. FYI, I find most ‘let’s plays’ on youtube pretty useless. They seem to be made by people who are playing the game for the first time. I can play a game the first time myself, don’t need to watch someone else do it.


    • Yeah, the No Man’s Sky reviews took it to the next level for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever used the “Funny” button until I started reading those.

      Thanks for suggesting those topics, jodetblog! We greatly appreciate people responding to our question. We’ll do our best to meet your expectations! :)


    • utubes -They seem to be made by people who are playing the game for the first time.

      Yes what’s the point of us watching them learn how to play? Though I find Commisarbro and a few others are a step up from that.


  4. I had a recent experience with a review that I wrote on a controversial game. I wrote a mostly positive review, but some guy came along and commented on my review, adding in links to two youtube videos with the tag “Do Not Buy”. I was a little bit perturbed by this, so I deleted the comment (which you can do to comments on your reviews). Obviously, the guy is free to write his own review and his opinion should count as much as mine. But don’t screw with my review.

    Almost immediately after I deleted it, he tagged me again. I deleted it, and he tagged me again.

    So I was looking for a means to report him, and there is none. I looked in the forums, and there, at the top of the comment list, he had a thread with the title “Do Not Buy” — so he wasn’t just spamming the reviews. Once I called him out in the forums, he FINALLY stopped. I don’t know who this guy was, or why he cared that I liked a game or how many other people’s reviews he had done that with.

    So I don’t get why someone else would care that I liked a game that they didn’t. The same thing happens in reverse as well — I don’t like something and they do, so suddenly it becomes personal (hint: comic book movies hint). This never was an issue before now. I see someone else likes something I didn’t. Ok, They got something for their money. Good for them.


  5. In my opinion the review system works perfectly most of the time. If a game is really great and the Developer and Publisher is really great (I take Thea: The Awakening for example with 96% positive score at the moment of writing) you can see the positive feedback back in the reviews.

    For some titles it doesn’t work that well, but it’s not always the game itself what is judged.
    For example Heroes of Might and Magic VII (which I like a lot myself) is judged very negative but mostly because people hate the DRM (Uplay). Same for people who write negative reviews as a support ticket.
    I wrote a review myself for the title and within an hour I had 100 + dislikes (normally all my reviews are 80% helpful at least). So people angry for Uplay bombing my review and it ends up somewhere in the dungeon far beneath the negative reviews.

    I think they have to introduce a “mixed” button as well for reviews. It’s sometimes difficult to just choose between positive and negative.

    For example Warhammer da Orks is released today and while I love Slitherine and their games it’s hard for me to write a fair review. The game itself is ok, I like the company but there is much of features I expect in a re release of an old game missing. (No random maps, no skirmish for SP etc) so I have mixed feelings but can’t express them in the final score.

    Last but not least I think when a game is refunded a review should not be allowed. Time spend in the game is too short and people can make fraud (even other companies can do so) by buying lot’s of copies, writing negative reviews for them, and refund the title. This is a glitch imho.

    Last but not least like in Metacritic there should be a minimum of 500 words (or whatever) used so all those reviews with only one word text could be ignored.



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