You may have noticed that our ratings system is quite different to that of other gaming websites, mainly because we score games in four different factors to create a total score of 30. Of course, you'll likely be asking yourself why we chose to complicate things by doing so, and that's why we've created this quite guide to explain everything.
Example review score
26/30 - Very Good
Gameplay 9/10 - Excellent song selection, Hand Markers and Gimmicks are great new additions to the formula
Presentation 8/10 - Quality license list, slick menus, models could be sharper, KO's could've been stronger
Enjoyment 5/5 - Really good step charts that are satisfying and challenging, great multiplayer focus
Extra Content 4/5 - Going for top scores will take you months, especially if you're just starting, variety of modes
Equivalent to a score of 87% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)
Overall rating/30 - One/two word summary to briefly reflect what the score means
Gameplay ?/10 - Our score out of ten with regards to how well the game plays, followed by a brief summary explaining why we gave the score
Presentation ?/10 - Our score out of ten with regards to the game's appearance and audio, followed by a brief summary explaining why we gave the score
Enjoyment ?/5 - Our score out of five with regards to how enjoyable the game is, followed by a brief summary explaining why we gave the score
Extra Content ?/5 - Our score out of ten with regards to extra content in the game, followed by a brief summary explaining why we gave the score
Individual categories explained
We score games by looking at each individual category so that you can see what we think about each title's different aspects in comparison to the final, overall score, and so that we ensure a fair review that doesn't end up giving a game a high score on the basis of one of these factors alone. This also means that for a good overall score, games must have a good rating in each of the categories.
Rated out of ten - When rating the "gameplay" section, we look at the fundamental aspects of what you do and how you do it in the game, as well as how well the control scheme and difficulty levels have been implemented, amongst other things. When looking at gameplay, we give a rating based on the overall quality of both the game's concept and its execution.
Rated out of ten - When rating a game's "presentation", we look at both the visual and audio aspects of the specified title. This means that if a game has outstanding graphics, it could get a very high score, although since we combine both audio and visual aspects together, points could still be deducted for bad music or voice acting in the game. When rating this section, we also look at factors such as the layout of menus, and any other audio/visual aspects that may alter our impressions of the game. When we look at this aspect of a game, we do think about issues such as technical limitations and intended styles and take them into consideration, meaning that if we are rating a game such as Wii Fit, we will acknowledge the fact that amazing graphics aren't particularly needed. Because of this, we generally look at how much the visuals and sound suit the game, and whether or not they could have been improved in any way, rather than judge on technical feats.
Rated out of five - When playing a game, one of the main things you'll be looking for is a way to have some fun (I mean, you don't play games for the purpose of boring yourself, do you?). That is why we chose to look at how enjoyable a game is as a separate factor. Whilst we look at the quality of the gameplay when rating the first factor, here we look at the player's experience, and how much fun they should ultimately get out of it.
Rated out of five - When looking at a game's "extra content", we tend to look mainly at how long a title should last the gamer before completion, and the extra features that developers sometimes implement to give gamers more of a reason to keep on playing, or to add ways to enhance the gameplay. Examples might be bonus missions included, tweaks that have been made to a game in the case that it is a remake or re-release, implementation of online play or sharing features and extra unlockables such as concept art and behind the scenes features. In some storyline-heavy games such as Resident Evil 4, we might also factor in how good the story and cutscenes are, and how they affect gameplay. Basically, when rating "extra content", we're looking at every aspect of a game not covered by the previous three categories.
Note that whilst we rate "gameplay" and "presentation" out of ten, the "enjoyment" and "extra content" categories are only given ratings out of five, because we believe that gamers tend to regard the quality of the first two factors mentioned more highly than the latter two, meaning we give a fairer, all-round score.
We believe that a scoring system is a useful asset to help ensure that the main points in a review were understood correctly by the reader, whilst also giving our reviewers a chance to clarify exactly how they see different aspects of their game on a scale.
To help our readers understand what the ratings mean, we now include percentage equivalents (ie: a game rated 24 would receive an approximate percentage equivalent of 80%) for each final score to display them in a more easily recognisable format, and we always feature a short one or two word summary of how good the quality of a game is. These summaries can vary depending on the scores given, and aren't fixed to set scores, meaning that a game with a score of 23/30 could be seen as either a "good" or "very good" game, depending on the reviewer's justified opinion. Below is a rough guide to the summaries you can expect to find based on different final scores.
30/30 - Outstanding
This is to signify that the game excels in each individual aspect and is so close to perfect that words cannot describe how amazed it left us.
27-29 - Excellent
Games with this rating provide a high-quality experience and are well worth a purchase.
23-27 - Very Good
Games rated "Very Good" could be improved in several ways, but are generally still really good games that are neither "meh" nor fantastic.
19-23 - Good
Games rated "Good" generally have a noticeable amount of flaws, however they're still playable and shouldn't be considered a waste of money.
17-20 - Okay / Average
Nothing exceptional, but nothing bad either. Doesn't really do much to add to
the genre it's suited for but it's not something to shy away from. Games
with this score are also likely to have a good number of flaws.
15-18 - Below Average
This rating states that a game is of relatively poor quality. It could be worse, but we still wouldn't be able to recommend it, and would advise you to avoid purchasing it due to the fact that it is, as the name suggests, worse than average.
09-15 - Very Poor
If a game is rated as "Very Poor", your best bet would be to stay well away of its whereabouts. It will neither entice nor excite you, and will likely leave you bored, confused, frustrated or just hugely disappointed.
01-10 - Simply Awful
If we have rated a game as being "Simply Awful", we wouldn't even bother giving it a play for free, let alone spending your own money on it. If you even consider purchasing a game with this title, even as a joke, you are a terrible, terrible person.
00/30 - Catastrophic
A complete and utter failure, this is the worst of the worst. There is no reason for these games to even exist in the state they are in, let alone be sold to the public like this. You should feel insulted that the developers think you are dumb enough to buy it.