Here you can learn everything about gamrReview reviews, from our scoring to our reasoning. If you want to know what our scores mean and what you should be comparing them to, this is the page to find out.
gamrReview gives out three component scores that we feel represent the most important aspects of the game in addition to an overall score. The component scores can only be in intervals of .5 (0, .5, 1, 1.5, etc.) all the way up through 10. These components do not average into the overall score of the game. The overall scores can be anything from 0-10, and allow for any number up to the first decimal point (8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, etc.) up through 10.
Numerical scores are not a perfect or exact measure of quality. We give them as a general guideline to give people an idea of what they may expect from the game. What we offer is our best analysis of the game, but your opinion may vary, and we understand that. There are many possible correct analyses of games. We do hope you’ll read the text of the review to understand how we came to our conclusion, but we respect that yours may be different.
gamrReview game scores are not meant to be compared across genre or platform. The only time scores across platform can be accurately compared is in a multiplatform game’s review. Otherwise, scores do not cross these barriers. We do not necessarily consider the best PS3 FPS better than the best PS3 RPG, and we do not necessarily consider the best PS3 FPS better than the best Wii FPS. All games are scored for their relevance on their platform, and for their quality within the expectations of that release window. A 9 two years ago is not necessarily as good as a 9 today.
Multiplatform game scores do compare to some extent in order to inform multiplatform owners which platform the game runs best on. These comparisons still take into account a platform’s limitations and advantages. For example, we aren’t going to automatically score all PC FPS games higher than their PS3 and Xbox 360 multiplats for mouse controls and higher framerate/resolution. We will, however, score them higher if there are major technical or gameplay issues on the console versions that are detrimental to the experience.
- Presentation: The presentation component score covers every aspect of a game’s visual and audio design. It includes graphics, art style, music, voice acting, menus, loading, and performance. In addition, presentation also includes any and all story and character development aspects when applicable.
- Gameplay: Gameplay is just as it sounds. It covers how well the game plays. This covers the controls, level-design, choices, AI, and any other factors that may influence the way the game plays. If technical issues are bad enough, they can effect gameplay scores as well as presentation.
- Value: The final component score, value is a measure of how much time you’ll most likely get out of the game before you get bored of it. This includes the length of the main game as well as additional components such as sidequests, multiplayer, unlockables, and replayability. Of course, if a game is not fun at all and extremely repetitive the value is hurt as well because you will get bored quicker. Price is also a factor in value. A $10 downloadable game is not expected to have the same value as a $60 retail game.
9.5-10 – A near perfect game. This game transcends all expectations of its genre and platform, and misses no major opportunities for improvement. We have not yet given a 10 to a game.
9.0-9.4 – Incredible. These games are an astounding example of their genre and the capabilities of the platform, and have very few shortcomings.
8.5-8.9 - Excellent. These games are excellent in all aspects of design, and feature only a handful of minor drawbacks.
8.0-8.4 – Great. These games may have a few slip-ups and issues, but most people can expect them to be extremely enjoyable all-around. They fall short of being superb examples of their respective genres, but they're noticeably better than most games.
7.0-7.9 – Good. These games are enjoyable to play, but don’t manage to stand out particularly due to a range of mistakes which may or may not be seriously detrimental to the experience, depending on the person playing.
6.0-6.9 – Decent. These games are usually not particularly memorable, and only have a couple of redeeming features that keep them from being truly mediocre. Some people may enjoy them, but they don’t excel in any way.
5.0-5.9 – Mediocre. These games are bland and ordinary. They barely make adequate status, and will likely not be particularly enjoyable if at all. Note that we do not expect the “average” game to fall into this range. Ideally most people are making games that are at least good, and the majority of games do not need to be scored in this range or below.
4.0-4.9 – Dull. These games do more wrong than right. Playing them will be boring, and there are not many things the game does well enough to make it worth your time, even at low prices.
3.0–3.9 – Bad. These games are genuinely detrimental experiences. Filled with issues, most of these games will have only very small amounts of redeeming features. Hopefully very few games from here below make it out in a decade.
2.0-2.9 – Horrible. These games are nearly unplayable. They must fail in almost every aspect of design and/or be filled with so many technical problems that you literally have trouble playing the game.
1.0-1.9 – Horrendous. This game is absolutely useless. The only reason it doesn’t get a zero is it does, on some level, function. There is no reason to ever play such a game, even if it’s given free. It will be a genuinely painful experience.
0.0-0.9 – Wretched. This game functions so poorly that it could be argued it’s not even a game. It cannot be realistically completed by any sane human being. We hope we never have to give a score in this range.
gamrReview Review Process
VGC has a very specific review process and set of guidelines our reviewers follow for every review. This part of the methodology explains how we review games and what we look for in good games, as well as our approach to reviews as analysis and their function regarding you, the reader.
We review games for the audience the game is targeted at. We are not going to review point and click adventures for the FPS crowd, and we won’t review shooters for those interested in minigames. This is reflected in both the text and scoring of the game. Our scores represent how well we feel the game will appeal to those interested in the genre and style of the game.
Played to Completion
gamrReview always plays games to completion unless otherwise stated in the body of the review itself. We will experience every aspect of the game’s gameplay modes, singleplayer, multiplayer, and online play options before writing the review, even if it means our review takes longer to release than others. The only exception to this is when a game is so broken or difficult that it’s unplayable or virtually impossible to complete, in which case we’ll still play as much as possible before releasing the review.
Our reviews go through what we call an active editing process. After a review is written it gets not only a standard copy edit but also a content edit. The content editor examines the review for consistency and accuracy. If they find issues it’s discussed with the reviewer and edited to ensure our reviews are always content-complete, well-justified in their scoring, and well-written.
Games Should be Fun
We always care about how fun a game is when we review it, even if it’s not a specific component score. There are many different ways something can be enjoyable, however. It can be simple and fun, suspenseful and intriguing, action-packed and thrilling, and any number of combinations of factors that contribute to how much you enjoy a game. We will always try to explain what sort of enjoyment you can expect out of a game within the text of the review.
Reviews are an Analysis
More than anything else the goal of our reviews is to be informative. Reviews are not an absolute statement of quality. That said, they are not simply opinions either. Our reviews are an analysis of the game. This means that they make deductions about quality based on visceral and identifiable elements which will be broken down and explained within the review. However, as with almost any analysis, there are multiple correct ways to analyze a game. We provide one such correct view, but yours may be different. That doesn’t make us wrong or you wrong, and we only ask that you be respectful of our review. We hope that the text always justifies the conclusion, even if it’s not necessarily a conclusion you share.
Thanks for Reading!
Reviews are nothing without people to read them, so of course the most important aspect of any review is you, the reader. We love to hear feedback on our reviews as long as it’s presented respectfully, and we absolutely appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to what we write. We spend a long time on these reviews and nothing makes it worth it more than seeing thousands of people read the final product. So thank you, very much, for supporting us and our reviews. We really do appreciate it!