Doing that YouTube review thing


Rear Admiral
Hey, so after doing a play thru on WC1, and losing some videos at an attempt of recording each system mission, I figured I would do something potentially more useful. A video review of Wing Commander! Yeah, yeah, it's been reviewed many times, but it was something I wanted to do for a while.

So, to make it different from all those other youtube reviewers I decided that I would do two things to seperate it from the others:

1) Keep it simple stupid (read, short)..
2) Keep it simple stupid (read, no thrills).

The result:

What I would like is some constructive criticism. The good things and the not so good things, as they now say :p

There are plenty of other WC titles to review, so I would like to hear your expert opinions and advice before I do another :)
The video was pretty good. Nicely cut, no scene lagged and got boring like a lot of these reviews can. Good stuff.
The audio...

That lets you down. First, the recording itself is very muddy (that's an av tech term :) ). I guess what I mean is that there is a lot of noise that makes it hard to hear you. This could be for a number of reasons.
One of those reasons could be ambient noise. It's odd, but until you do some audio recording, you don't appreciate just how noisy our environment is. Right now I can hear my computer, creaking of the house, a ticking clock and a TV next door. If I were to record a monologue now, all those sounds would be in the recording. Without a studio, you can only do so much about this. The major one though, is eliminate the computer noise. Desktop/tower pcs are amazingly loud when you actually listen to them. Try to record using either a laptop as they are quieter, or on a separate thing entirely, like a smart phone.
Second thing is that your accent is fairly thick and even though I am English myself, I found that I have to concentrate slightly, just to understand you (this is compounded by the 'muddy' recording).
There are two things you can do about this. You can get someone else to voice the recording or you can try to enunciate you vowels more and not run words together. These are the things that tend to be casualties of accent. There's no shame in asking for someone else to be narrator, I've done it myself before now.

A few more tips...

You sound very un-enthused when reading your script. This is the hardest thing to do when doing voice over work, even semi professional work like Stand-off suffers from this.. I find the best way to eliminate this, is to have someone in the room and record the piece as if you were talking to them.
Another thing that creates this, is the amazing pressure of not making a mistake while recording. You can make your life a lot easier by getting a free sound file editor and cutting the audio later, so if you make a mistake, it doesn't matter, you just wait a second (to leave cutting space) and start the messed up line again.

Sorry for the essay, but I've done a lot of AV work and the truth is, you generally only get better at it through experience, so I hope my words of advice can help you skip over some of the pitfalls that are so easy to fall down. Believe me, I've fallen down them all :)
Thanks for the advice Flashpoint. It was recorded in my living room, using the built in mike of my laptop. I guess its poor quality, I'll try my phone next time and find a quiet spot to record lines. I suppose I got lazy with my speaking, if my accent came across that bad :/ I thought I came across reasonably, I was trying to lower the pitch of my voice while speaking, and that's why I wanted feedback :). I'll practice reading to get a more natural and enthused as suggested.

Any suggestions on the format? Too short, not enough detail, pointless?
I'd be inclined to echo Flashpoint's points on audio. For my own reviews I've found that using the freeware audio editing software 'audacity' has been invaluable.

As for your style of reviewing, I like it. Short, straightforward and markedly trailer-esque. In my own reviews I can never help but dive into detail and dedicate at least a paragraph to each facet of gameplay, story, music etc., and in the end they're better suited to existing fans of the game or movie or misc. in question. Your review seems like the kind of thing that might have more luck getting newcomers to play the game.