How Video Games are Reviewed and Ranked

This page offers a detailed explanation on how video games are reviewed and scored on this site. For the most part, these are general guidelines and give is permitted within reviews depending on the situation.

Like any review made by an individual, reviews are based on the opinion of a single reviewer. Intelligent disagreement is permitted here. If one reviewer disagrees with the point of another reviewer, an explanation about why a point is disputed should be inserted.

First Paragraphs

Typically, the information in this paragraph is bolded with an H3 tag. It is a lead in to the rest of the review. What is contained in this paragraph is typically the title of the game reviewed and, optionally, the system it was released on. This paragraph must include the genre this game might fit under. Additionally, it is also optional whether or not the game in question is a port, a sequel, or an original game.

Second Paragraph

The second paragraph contains no additional formatting, however, a jump is inserted before the second paragraph so as to not clutter up the front page.

The text of this paragraph contains information about this game. It must contain what year the game was released (ideally, source the year it was released). After this, any additional information about the game such as whether it’s a port, part of a series, or a standalone game can be inserted here. To add to this, one can add information such as brief information about the producer so long as this information is offered in an unbiased and neutral fashion (i.e. This game was produced by John Doe who also produced this other game that more may be familiar with. A poor example might be, “John Doe, best developer ever produced this game under the best production company ever and you should buy everything this company produces”). A good thing to add would be reviews that may be relevant to the review in question (i.e. “The prequel of this game was reviewed earlier this month [linked to review]” or “Bill reviewed this game and I decided to offer my own perspective on this game.”

First Portion of Main Body

The next paragraph can contain brief information on the storyline surrounding the game in question. From there, the reviewer can aim the review so that it’s a comparative review (how this game differs from another game) if the game in question had a different port released on a different platform or if it’s a sequel or prequel to another game. Again, a link to the review that it is being compared to should be added. Otherwise, the review should stand on its own.

To make the review stand on its own, a brief rundown of the game mechanics should be added so readers have a general idea of what the game is like. An example might be that the game is a first person shooter that not only allows players to use weapons, but also utilities. A notable feature of this game is the fact that each level is timed and one can earn cheat codes if the level is beaten within a certain amount of time. Another game might require players to solve puzzles, mix potions, use key cards, or mix up something else. How this information is displayed and constructed can be left up to the reviewers discretion because some things might be more important to mention than others.

If this review is about a particular game that contains an add-on. Note whether or not the game you are playing uses any add-ons or not (and which add-ons are in use while playing) as this greatly impacts how the game plays in many cases.

Next Portion of Main Body

After a rundown of what the game is like, reviewers can begin offering their own thoughts on how they felt the game played. Were certain features making the game in question addicting? Were some features making the game difficult either necessarily or unnecessarily? What annoyed you about the game? Reviewers can briefly touch on music and graphics, but these are mostly left to their own paragraphs after. This section deals primarily with how the reviewer might score gameplay and replay value.

Graphics and Audio Paragraphs

The next paragraph discusses the graphics. This is merely how the game looks. When rating graphics – especially graphics from older games – reviewers should take into consideration the graphics of other games released on the same year, the next year or two before, and possibly games released a year or two after. It’s unfair to compare the graphics of a game produced in 1985 to a game produced in 2012 because hardware limitations are vastly different.

The next paragraph discusses audio. This includes both music and sound effects. The rules around this are similar to that of the graphics paragraph, though one should distinctly talk about the music and sound effects separately within this paragraph. Again, it’s kind of unfair to compare music on something like the Nintendo Entertainment System and the XBox 360 because there are hardware constraints involved.

Wrap-up Paragraph

From here, a wrap up paragraph or two should tie up what was discussed. It gives a final overview of how numerous elements of the game tie together to provide an overall experience. Briefly describe some of your points of how you felt about the game that was covered in previous sections.

Scoring

This has it’s own header. It’s bolded and says “Overall”. The next line should describe how far you got into the game. Optionally, describe why you left the game at a particular point because the distance you accomplish in this game can have a major impact on how you view the game in particular.

The math is quite simple when it comes to points scoring. Again, this is purely feel or what the reviewer thinks is fair about a particular game. Here are the numbers:

General gameplay: /25
Replay value: /10
Graphics: /10
Audio: /5

After this, multiply the total by 2 to get your percentage.

“Overall rating: ###%” should be boldfaced and the percentage number should use an em tag to italicize it.

Multi-Game Games

These games are those “2 in 1”, etc. games. Games like Mario Party which emphasizes on mini-games do not count in this. There has to be more than one distinct main game in the pack in question. When reviewing this game, separate paragraphs should be made to describe each game on a section by section basis (i.e. “How I felt about game 1”, then, “How I felt about game 2”, then, “Graphics of game 1”, then, “Graphics of game 2”, etc.). A score of each individual game are given in each section. From there, add the numbers of each game and divide by the number of games that are in this game to give an average score on each section. Do your standard rounding (4 rounds down, 5 rounds up). Then, add up the averages and do the usual multiply by 2 to get the overall percentage of the game.

Images

Images should ideally be the games cover art. It should not exceed a width of 250px or exceed the height of 350px. In the absence of any available cover art, the title screen will have to suffice (typically a problem with abandonware games).

Tags

Tags should be “game”, “gaming”, “review”. The other tags should be the title of the game, the genre (if multiple genre’s, put the two most prominent genre’s as individual tags) and the platform it was released in (i.e. Atari 7800, PC, Mac, DOS, etc.). Optionally, you can add “16 bit” in front of something like Windows or DOS in the same tag for older games but this isn’t mandatory.

Addition to Index Page

Once a review is finished, it can be added to the video game review index. If a review is done by someone else, the link should be modified so that the initials of the reviewer is linked at the end of the line.

If the reviewer is the first to review the game, then the following format should be used in the line itself:

[title of game (platform)] [<-linked to the review] (genre or top two genre's separated by slash) (overall score or final percentage awarded to game) Insert game in appropriate year and go by alphabetical order within that year. Again, these are just general guidelines. There will likely be scenarios where certain rules will need to bend. Judgement can be made by the reviewers discretion.


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