Each title is scored by six categories and then divided
to calculate the average score. One category is optional depending on what the
game focused on most. (story, level design, online, roster, etc.) In the event
of a game that centralizes on multiple focuses, it will be graded by the
criteria that they were most proficent at. If the quality of work is of equal
value then all criteria of that specific category will be added & then
averaged so it can be graded as a single category within the six score slots.
I don't always agree with the averages, in fact many of the games that I enjoy
have only received a 7 or less. This is indicative of the product's many
flaws. The scores are there to calculate the quality of the produce, not by
how much I may enjoy them. A work in progress. Only reviews that are hotlinked
may be perused.
Gameplay: The interactive component of the game. This category judges how well a game utilizes its own rulesets. A ruleset is the body of rules to which it governs. The ruleset sets the boundaries of the possibilities in the game. A well enforced ruleset can elicit a variety of activities to do with an end goal in mind. The methods you achieve to work around or utilize the ruleset is what creates a game with complex gameplay. Games without well thought out rulesets, but just have a lot of activities for you to take part in, is not complexity if they do not form a cohesive whole. That's more of a collection. Most games that have a variety of activities are just sub games that you can easily ignore.
Sound: This category judges the aural aspects of the game. This includes music, sound effects & voice acting. Some games can be enhanced by their well crafted sound design.
Graphics: The visual aesthetics of the game. Graphic fidelity and art design are evaluated within this category. To most people, this is actually the most important category due to how the masses won't play a game unless it is attractive to the eyes.
Central focus: This covers the game's most important selling point or its greatest strength. The category scored is optional depending on what the game focused on most. (story, level design, online, roster, etc.) In the event of a game that centralizes on multiple focuses, it will be graded by the criteria that they were most proficient at. If the quality of work is of equal value then all criteria of that specific category will be added & then averaged so it can be graded as a single category within the six score slots. For example, a game that has strong online, level design & story will earn a 5% bonus for each on top of the value of 9 which would result in one numerical score higher if the bonus is 15% or more.
Presentation: This is the evaluation of the overall product's budget expenditures. How much time and money was spent on making sure that everything within the game functions, looks and sounds are both high quality, and appealing. The presentation is the user interface, ease of access, and overall outcome of the prior four categories. Presentation is not an average of the first four categories because some games can score all 10s on the prior four, but will still earn a 1 or 2 on the presentation if the game does a poor job of forming a cohesive whole. One game that comes to mind is Kingdom Under Fire Heroes, it scored all 10s on every single category except presentation, because it's extremely noticeable how cheap & half-hearted the presentation is. In all likelihood this is most likely the result of KUF Heroes running out of budget & time. They had to choose between fine-tuning the gameplay, or on the user interface. They made the right call, but they still get penalized for it.
Replay Value: This refers to how much fun you may have had with the level design & challenge, or how enthralled you were with the game's settings & story. Games that have extra modes or difficulties to play or unlock will be graded higher on the basis of its long lasting appeal to the player. Challenging and fun games will prominently score high within this category.
Total Score: The average of the previous six categories is the number that the game earned. In this category I explain how the scores were divided. I don't always agree with the score, but I do find that the numbers are an accurately assessment of the quality of the product. I may think a game is fun, but that does not imply that it is a well made product. Fun and functionality are two completely different things. I try to grade produce by how efficient they are at both.