“How To Make A Video Game Review Show That Doesn’t Suck” – Book Review (Kindle Version)

How To Make A Video Game Review Show That Doesn’t Suck by Mark Bussler released in April 2017. The Kindle version is $10.49 AU. His other books are available to purchase on Amazon.

CGR

Mark Bussler is the creator of Classic Game Room, the longest running internet video game review show. He’s also a comic artist and writer. I picked up this book to learn more about game reviewing and I am a fan of CGR.

At first I was concerned that there might be too much self-deprecation but that didn’t last long. After several introductory sections he gives a sample of his review process for the game Shinobi III. Then he discusses click bait and over saturation, which is good for keeping expectations in check.

Advice

Next is a good section where he talks about common legal issues and avoiding them. Such as to not talk in a way that could land you a defamation lawsuit.

Later he talks about equipment needed and various options for them. The camera section is good as he talks about several types and their uses. Throughout the book are many photographs of his set up, which are helpful. Still, in the equipment sections he mentions taking extra research in regards to audio and lighting. Given that this is a book about making a video game review show I feel that he should have put more effort into these areas. Instead he suggests finding tutorials yourself, which makes me question why bother with reading this. The information on retro recording is good, as older systems have other plugs than just red, white and yellow.

Reviewing

In this book Mark talks about being yourself, and seeing what works for you. However, in his Art of Reviewing section he says things I disagree with. Mark says to not dwell on technical details, however I believe most people want to know most everything they can expect in a game. So it seems weird that he’s talking about his style being the way to do things when the rest of his book suggests doing it your way. Later he also says number ratings should be avoided, which is an opinion many more places have nowadays. I still disagree with that as it’s a way for viewers to see your more objective opinion of a game.

He then talks about social media, monetization, growth and audience interaction. Next another sample review, this time of Omega Race. Again just the process, but to watch the review after to see how it all worked is good.  As this book is only a year old his advice and experience with the current issues in content creation is relevant. Though it mighn’t be news to regular YouTube viewers.

Does it suck?

The kindle copy is obviously black and white which means the illustrations and photographs are too. Everything still came across fine, but it was a shame to not see the photos in colour. They are all labelled and placed well. As a fan of his review show it was cool to see his process, and learn about his experiences.

While the photography and writing presentation are good, it wasn’t that helpful for me. I had already learned a lot of these things through either making my own videos, or watching other game reviews to study.

When I first went to buy it the paperback copy that was available was priced about fifty dollars so I got the kindle version instead. It’s a fairly short read. Now that I’ve read through all of it, I’m glad I didn’t bother with a physical copy.

 

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