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August 27th, 2008, 19:19
Well, the box sure doesn't help me. I normally don't see it until I have it in my hand standing in line at the store.

One big thing for me that's not on the list is publisher/developer reputation. If BioWare or Bethesda are making a game, I'm paying attention. I'm going to remember how CDProjeckt (sp?) put out some very good and free updates for a long time, though I'll also remember how desperately some of those were needed when the game first came out.

Screenshots and trailers are a big influence, as are previews. Developer interviews can often act as both and work great. However, I try hard not to use just those. There are too many holes in that method. It's too easy to hide game crippling problems like horrible stories, checkpoint save systems designed for no-hard-drive consoles, broken quests, mangled balance, and any number of other problems. That's where the reviews come in. Those can quickly point out those holes and, thanks to review copies getting sent out while the game is shipping, reviews are pretty timely, too.

I use demos on rare occasion, normally with stuff I'm on the fence with. I got The Witcher largely thanks to it's demo.

Reviews are static, though, and only relfect the game as it was upon release. If patches have fixed things up then I need to check with the forumites for confirmation.
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