Review Guidelines (old)

Want to know what criteria our reviewers consider when reviewing a new game? The subtle differences between a B+ and a B- grade? Or how we expect our review scores to be converted? (we’re looking at you Metacritic and OpenCritic)…

Read on!

A+ The best of the best and as close as “Perfect” as can be. Needless to say, those games awarded with an “A+” are absolutely must-haves.

Grade conversion: A+ = 20/20 = 100%

A A superlative title. One of the best you will see this year, in the reviewer’s opinion. An “A” title has virtually no flaws of import, and perhaps only the most niggling of design imperfections. One of the best in its genre. Generally speaking, “A “games push the boundaries in both presentation (with respect to the platform) and gameplay. Nobody should miss an “A” quality game.

Grade conversion: A = 19/20 = 95%

A- An excellent game narrowly missing an “A” due to a few slight flaws or a design oversight. A brilliantly conceived and executed title suffering from unusually long load times is a good example of an “A-” grade title. Definitely a game worth buying, regardless.

Grade conversion: A- = 18/20 = 90%

B B+, B, B- — Quality, playable games that have a few noticeable, but ultimately superficial flaws. A well-put together title with last-gen graphics or homely character design might be one reviewer’s idea of a “B” grade game. Obviously, a “B+” game has less flaws than a “B-” game. Overall, B games are worth your money if you are a genre fan, and a definite rental if you are not.

Grade conversions: B+ = 17/20 = 85%; B = 16/20 = 80%; B- = 15/20 = 75%

C C+, C, C- — Good games marred by an intrinsic design flaw or abundant superficial flaws. An intrinsic design flaw might be an awkward control and feedback scheme, or a blatantly unoriginal take on a well-populated genre. “C” grade games are, for the most part, entertaining, but not really worth the asking MSRP. Wait for ’em to hit the bargain bin, or just rent ’em for a day. For genre fans, a second opinion is recommended.

Grade conversions: C+ = 14/20 = 70%; C = 13/20 = 65%; C- = 12/20 = 60%

D D+, D, D- — Mediocre games whose potential has been drastically hurt by poor implementation. Despite an original idea or demonstrable technical accomplishment, these games really aren’t much fun. These games usually have several intrinsic design flaws sorely crippling their playability, and are only recommended as rentals if you are obsessed with the concepts they purport to deliver. Overall, don’t bother with them.

Grade conversions: D+ = 11/20 = 55%; D = 10/20 = 50%; D- = 9/20 = 45%
F Pure, unadulterated digital smeg. These titles are so inexplicably bad that you might contemplate purchasing them as cult-classic novelties. After all, you’ll probably derive more entertainment out of ridiculing them than actually playing them.

Grade conversion: F = 1/20 = 5%

Since tastes differ according to each individual, you may find that a perspective rather unlike your own was used to examine the title in question. For example, expecting a reviewer who hates first person shooters to give a Call of Duty game an “A”, to spite your personal feelings on the matter, is pretty unreasonable. We generally try to fit titles to the preferences of the reviewer, but the end result is still a subjective evaluation. Also, take into account that reviews are written with those who have yet to purchase the title in mind, not those of you who have already played it.

If you already feel that a particular game is the greatest ever, why are you reading a product review? Reviews are not written to reflect status quo opinion or to provide some sort of documented evidence for pro-system arguments, but to offer a meaningful, relevant, informed opinion on a product for the benefit of those who might contemplate purchasing it. Ultimately, all review scores are PURELY SUBJECTIVE and should not be used as an objective method for establishing a “hierarchy” of game or system superiority. Our reviewers don’t do this, and neither should you.