Reviewing Tweaks

I had been meaning to tweak my reviews for a little while, but I never really got to it. Last month, however, I was messing around with a very simple drawing tool – my limited skills do not allow me to tackle any of the more complex ones – when I created a simple “Review Summary” panel.

Given my design talent is limited at best, it is nothing special. However, I think it turned out to be good enough. As you can see from the sample posted below, the end of my reviews will now be followed by an evaluation bulletin centered around five criteria. I will try to add a simple list of qualities and flaws to it later.

banjo-kazooie

Aside from the traditional four areas of gameplay, graphics, value, and sound, I have decided to add one more category dubbed “fun”. I believe every game has various intangibles that can neither be filed under nor evaluated by any of the other areas, so the “fun” metric will allow me to rate those untouchable elements and also tilt the score towards a number I find to be more fitting for the game.

Speaking of scores, even though my reviews did not offer any grades up to now, I love numbers. I am aware some reasonably believe that using decimal increments is absurd, for there is little – or no – difference between a 9.6-rated game and one that scores 9.7. I disagree, though.

Therefore, although the categories will be rated by using 0.5 increments, from now on I will be using decimal increments to give a final grade to every game. The overall score will be calculated by attributing weights to each of the five criteria. The whole straightforward calculation can be seen below.

  • Gameplay (Weight: 3)

  • Graphics (Weight: 1.5)

  • Sound (Weight: 1)

  • Value (Weight: 2)

  • Fun (Weight: 2.5)

Calculation:

(Gameplay * 3) + (Graphics * 1.5) + (Sound * 1) + (Value * 2) + (Fun * 2.5) / 10

My previous reviews have already been updated with the new summary and grades. And I appreciate any feedback regarding the design of the board and scoring system.

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About Matt

A Brazilian gamer with a great love for playing Nintendo games, and a hobby of writing about his gaming experiences and thoughts. Even though that is what I mainly do for fun, I also love listening to music (especially rock) and watching movies (especially animations), so also expect a few posts on those matters.
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5 Responses to Reviewing Tweaks

  1. Yams says:

    I hate to admit that I’m one of those people who sees no real need for decimal increments in reviews. I know everyone will have a different opinion on the matter, but as far as I’m concerned an 8.7 and 8.8 are more less the same. 0.5 increments make sense to me though, since I can understand an 8.5 being a case of “an exceptional 8, but not quite a 9.”

    Whenever I get started on my new reviewing site, I plan on using the 0.5 system myself. It may be simpler than 0.1, but it can be just as strict and contemplative (for that matter, whole number systems can be if used a certain way). People seem to think a game that would be 9.7 on a decimal system would automatically round out to a 10 on a 0.5 scale, as it would be in proper mathematics. But we’re talking about reviewing creative works (creative, as in, not mathematical). So the 9.5-9.9 range could equate to a 9.5 on a 0.5 scale, should the reviewer see fit.

    Sorry, I’m rambling. Looking forward to your reviews and scoring.

    • Yams says:

      Also, you should definitely start reviewing classic games again as well. NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, handhelds. Your reviews are always interesting, and it would be interesting to see how you’d review some past games as they hold up (or don’t hold up) today.

    • Matt says:

      I can totally see the logic behind only using the 0.5 increments. And thanks for the feedback!

      I actually have a bunch of N64, SNES, and NES reviews published over on Gamespot. However, since they were written quite a while ago, they are not even close in terms of quality to the reviews I usually write today. Most of them were written when I was 16-17 and still learning English.

      I should probably try rewriting some of them to see how it turns out.

  2. I’m very glad to see a review scoreboard have something akin to “fun” as a metric, as a reflection of personal joy. Some games are in terms of mechanics and technical quality awful yet you are enjoying yourself, others are the opposite. It is important to understand how the reviewer is experiencing the game themselves just as much as how they experience the game as a system.

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