If I read one more pointless post about Atlus' "Catherine" or somebody's controller mod....
June 3, 2011 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Looking for an RSS feed of just the right amount of video game news.

I'm having a hard time finding a good source for video game news. It seems that almost all sites either have way too many posts about unimportant things, or they miss covering lesser-known games, or both.

I'd like to hear about pretty much every game that comes out for every system (Wii, DS, XBox 360, PSP, PS3, PC, iOS, Android, etc). A lot of the time minor games seem to slip through the cracks with nobody covering them. At the same time, sites are flooded with dozens of posts every day that cover trivial minutia. I don't have time to read 300+ posts per week.

The ideal news source would provide the following sort of coverage:
  • Major announcements - ie. "Nintendo announces new console"
  • Before release, 1-3 preview posts leading up to a game - Maybe an initial announcement followed by a detailed preview article and/or trailer at a later date. But not a new article 3 times per week for each fact they can glean.
  • After release, a detailed review with a trustworthy score - Of course scores will always be subjective, but some sites/reviewers seem to have not even really played the game, or sell their reviews to the highest bidder.
  • Occasional continued coverage of major developments - Civilization 5 has a patch that adds hotseat multiplayer? Portal 2 is getting free DLC? Ok, that's good to know.
  • Other very high profile news
At the same time, I want to avoid sites that have an avalanche of this sort of news:
  • "We got 2 new screenshots of an upcoming game! We've added them to the 97 we already showed you."
  • "Voice actor for famous character admits they've never played the game. We interview them anyway."
  • "Check out this fanart we copied-and-pasted off DeviantArt!"
  • "You know what would be cool? If someone remade [classic game]. Please?"
  • "Man proposes to girlfriend using Mario or something."
  • "We still don't know much about the plot of [game], but a bad translation of blurry cell phone picture of a Japanese happy meal toy provides a hint!"

I want to find a game news source with an RSS feed that I can read in Google Reader, covers all games and systems well, and avoids minutia and news that is irrelevant to purchase decisions. Ideally this news source would have 50 posts per week or less on average.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I know I might not get exactly what I'm looking for, but a best-match would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Vorteks to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
How about rockpapershotgun.com? Good writers, wide variety, not a ton of posts.
posted by selfnoise at 12:14 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

This might not be perfectly gaming focused, but I find that Ars Technica does an admirable job. Alternatively, you might be satisfied simply reading Penny Arcade and following Tycho's links.
posted by Lifeson at 12:17 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @selfnoise - I'd never heard of rockpapershotgun.com, but on visiting their site I can see that they're PC-only, and the second post on the front page is about handbags. I don't think it's really what I'm looking for. Thanks though.

@Lifeson - I do follow Tycho's links, but the problem is that Tycho only links to a few games here and there. I do want to hear about every game at least once. For example, I recently found out about a DS game called "Radiant Historia" that I ended up really liking but don't recall ever seeing any news coverage for. My first thought was "how did I miss this?!". My second thought was "how can I find a site that reviews and covers even more obscure games like this without being overwhelmed by their coverage?".

I will check out Ars Technica. Thanks.
posted by Vorteks at 12:25 PM on June 3, 2011

Best answer: I've been looking for this for a while too. Best I could do:

VentureBeat has GamesBeat, it's focused a bit more on the business side than the consumer side but it has lots of "big picture" editorial content. Dean Takahashi is a better than average game journalist (take that how you will).

Also, Wired has GameLife, which is pretty sparse but tends to cover just the big news. Chris Kohler is the other above average game journalist (since Steven Totilo went to Kotaku).

PS: I totally get where you're coming from with this question. You either get a flood of crap (Joystiq, Kotaku, etc) or just a specific slice of the industry from blogs with blogs with an agenda.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:51 PM on June 3, 2011

Best answer: Maybe Wired Game|Life? Fairly low-volume, covers all of the basics, very little fat.
posted by aparrish at 12:51 PM on June 3, 2011

(my prior comment came off cattier than I meant, there are many fine game journo's out there, unfortunately many of them are ensnarled by AOL/Gawker/old media style management and are forced to post 20 times a day and get x0,000 views per post. Kohler and Takahashi have an unusual level of autonomy, Ars Technica is another good recommendation that I just added to my feed).
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:01 PM on June 3, 2011

Best answer: Here's a pipe of games released from metacritic. It's not perfect, since new platforms won't be added, but I'm not sure what's going on with their aggregation.

Suggestions for fine tuning:
* Most blogs let you subscribe to specific tags, so you can probably get a few interesting tags
* something like all posts to reddit/r/gaming from yesterday that have a vote threshold above x, or maybe just the top X stories of the day to fill out the average posts per week. Filter out imgur and youtube to chop off most of the meme crap.
* if you can find a feed for system updates, that'd be a fairly important but noise free channel.
* augment the metacritic feed with actual metascores
* identify a couple of niche developers / publishers you're interested in to follow their work closely. For example, Atlus has a twitter feed, and they've published a lot of great imports with little advertising budget before Radiant Historia.
posted by pwnguin at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2011

Response by poster: @2bucksplus and @aparrish - Wired Game|Life looks interesting. They knew about Radiant Historia and they only had 6 posts yesterday, which is very manageable. They do seem to fall a little short of covering all releases though. I picked a few obscure-sounding Nintendo DS titles from this Wikipedia list and not all of them had been mentioned on Wired (I made sure to only search for North American titles to be fair). Still, it's possible that their coverage could be combined with another source to provide what I need. Thanks.

@2bucksplus - I didn't find your comment "catty", actually I felt you understood my sentiments exactly.
posted by Vorteks at 1:15 PM on June 3, 2011

Response by poster: @pwnguin - Awesome! That helps a lot. I had kind of been aware of Metacritic (they're linked from Steam pages) but had never thought to use them as a primary source.
posted by Vorteks at 1:26 PM on June 3, 2011

I'd never heard of rockpapershotgun.com, but on visiting their site I can see that they're PC-only, and the second post on the front page is about handbags.

That article is not literally about handbags, you know.
posted by empath at 1:29 PM on June 3, 2011

Was just going to jump in here to recommend Ars. I think their posting volume is still a little too high considering how casual of a gamer I am, but Ars is consistently high quality, and almost always worth reading.
posted by schmod at 2:08 PM on June 3, 2011

Best answer: Eurogamer's RSS feed is decent. They don't post fanart or "wouldn't it be awesome if" and usually don't post video game marriage proposals and similar. Their reviews are well-respected (they have some staff crossover with RockPaperShotgun and they don't grade on the 7-10 scale many sites do) and they don't get fanboyish.

You can probably guess what their RSS feed is like by skimming the front page.

It's Euro/UK-focused but games are pretty international so release dates on the site will be off by a couple of days but that's about it.

If you subscribe to all their feeds then they get a bit spammy (you get separate entries for the preview of Man Shoot 4, the new screenshots of MS4, and the new videos of MS4) but you can sub separately on this page. I suggest subbing to News, Features, Reviews and Previews.

Eurogamer is also home to Digital Foundry, a blog about game technology that also does regular cross-platform comparisons (i.e. Man Shoot 4 has smoother gameplay on the 360 but the textures and DLC are better on the PS3), although if that's your bag you can also check out Lens of Truth, a much worse but much more regularly updated take on the same idea.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:08 PM on June 3, 2011

Oh, and I know you've checked it out already, but I think subbing to RockPaperShotgun and skimming it sometimes could be worthwhile as they cover PC indie games -- with perhaps a greater vigour than they do commercial titles -- and I've discovered many a small gem thanks to them.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:15 PM on June 3, 2011

I am a big fan of Giant Bomb

I really enjoy their Quick Look videos. They seem to have a good staff. It's my first source for video game news.
posted by CancerStick at 5:48 PM on June 3, 2011

Rock Paper Shotgun is the best thing going. Good writers, a nice overall style, and humor that amounts to more than "look everyone, a set of human genitals!" Of course, if you like consoles, it won't be your thing.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:52 PM on June 3, 2011

Best answer: Came in to mention Eurogamer and I see ArmyOfKittens beat me to it! So then, just emphasizing the need to customize your feed choices, otherwise you will get a bit bogged down by screenshots and PS3/Xbox side-by-sides and the like.
posted by asciident at 2:01 AM on June 4, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I appreciate the helpful suggestions.

I've ended up subscribing to Wired's GameLife, a pipe from MetaCritic, and just the reviews from Eurogamer (to fill any gaps). I'm taking a look at Giant Bomb and Rock Paper Shotgun and may visit them more in the future.
posted by Vorteks at 8:40 AM on June 8, 2011

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