Quick Key for Game Reviews
Here’s the explanation of my Quick Review System. This system was originally inspired by Miranda Paugh and the review system used by her Mega Man Homepage (www.mmhp.net). My system is a considerably scaled down version of this.
All my past game review scores are stored at the Game Review History Database!
Each game gets a score of 1-5 in the five basic areas which are gameplay, graphics, animation, music and sound.
Gameplay: With the gameplay score I simply take a look at how well the game responses to the controls and how over-all the controls seem to fit and work within the limits of the game. With Wii games I tend to be a bit more critical if I feel the controller hasn’t been utilized enough.
Graphics: Here I evaluate the variety and the cleanness of the graphics, how well it utilizes the available technology and how do characters and other visual aspects stand out over-all. Graphic bugs may of course weaken the score.
Animation: This means both in-game animations and cutscenes. Especially in games with storylines I tend to evaluate how well those animations are used to tell the story.
Music: The variety of tunes, the over-all production but also how memorable the tracks are get evaluated with this score. Annoying and/or repetitive music will naturally cause this score to drop.
Sound: Usually if a game has okay sound production it instantly gets a 2.5. This score also evaluates the level of voice-acting and I only punish games if I feel that they haven’t seen enough effort in directing voice-actors or if something in the audio department is a constant annoyance.
Most games will receive either one or both of the following scores. I’ve also made it that from now on all games I review will get at least one (I’ve usually not evaluated the plot in platform games for instance) to add to the variety of game-grades. Games with no plots (sports, party, puzzle etc.) naturally can’t be given a plot score. I’ve also tended to neglect the replay value score since I usually review games immediately after finishing them.
Plot: The plot score is simultaneously my evaluation of a game’s storyline, how well it influences the game as a whole but also how it structures the game.
Replay value: This score basically boils down to the following: 1.) Is the game worth a second go around, 2.) Is the player rewarded for playing the game more, 3.) What sort of extras can be unlocked by playing the game more, 4.) Are there alternate routes or hidden levels, 5.) Does the game become more enjoyable over time?
Also with some games I include a comment on the game’s difficulty level, but this does not influence the score and is simply graded with any of the following: easy, normal, hard, easy-to-normal, normal-to-hard, challenging, infuriating etc.
The final score is compiled mathematically from the score averages of the 6 or 7 areas that the game has been grade on. A game that manages to get a score ranging from 90-100% is of course exceptionally good. A game in the range of 80-89% is also good and definitely worth a try. Games in the 70-79% range are still enjoyable but may suffer from some minor weaknesses. Games ranging in the 60-69% range obviously have some major issues that make them rather unpleasant to play. Any game with a score lower than 59% is readily considered just a bad game.
Basic break down of grades for genres
Basic 5 + Plot: Adventure Games (all genres)
Basic 5 + Replay Value: Platformers (all genres), Fighting Games, Driving Games, Sports Games, Shoot Em Ups (all genres), Action (most generally)
May have all seven: First Person Shooters, RPGs, Zelda games, Survival Horror (in rare cases: Platformers)
Games I never review: Mobile, Facebook etc.