Well folks, it’s been since late November that Riddlethos.com officially started to produce reviews with numbered scores and all that razzle dazzle. Since their inception, I promised to bring you an outline of the way we’d be running them. I didn’t do that yet. Partially because we were still working out kinks and partially because I’m notoriously lazy. Still, while our review system will likely always be evolving, it’s important that all of you at least have a general idea of where we’re coming from.
Before anything else, I should address why we decided to include numerical scores in our previously text-only reviews. While text will always give a far more thorough and accurate assessment of a title, we felt that fact shouldn’t force readers to necessarily read text. The fact is that not every game is of equal importance to every reader, and while it doesn’t give the complete picture, final thoughts and a score is helpful to readers only casually interested in a title that they wouldn’t read the full review for anyway. No scoring system is perfect, but even an opinion written in text might not forever be the opinion of the reviewer, so no review is perfect anyway. Therefore, feel free to skip down to the last paragraph and take in the score if you want. Ultimately, the people who are truly interested in buying the game reviewed will read the full body of the text for the complete analysis. Onto the system itself.
Riddles and I decided to go with a 10 point scale. While not exactly as eccentric as many of you expected, the fact is that it was the format that made the most sense to the both of us when trying to think of a way to fairly and accurately assess games. It’s familiar and clear and a good starting point for the site. While we’re not using the full decimal spectrum to essentially make it a 100 point scale, there are a few intermediary scores you might see pop up. Using the score of “7″ as the example representing all possibilities, the sub-score values can either be 7.0 or 7.5. However, the overall score has a bit more flexibility. An overall score can receive a 7.0, 7.2, 7.5, or 7.9. We felt when it came to scoring a game overall, it needed some room to be just a bit better than a 7, or not quite good enough for an 8.
To supplement the numerical score, Riddlethos chose arbitrary words to accompany each major scoring point. Below is the list.
10 - Near Perfection
9 - Superb
8 - Awesome
7 - Sweet
6 - Decent
5 - Blah
4 - Ugh
3 - Ouch
2 - Why?
1 - Oh God, No!
0 - Wrong Hole
It’s worth noting that since Riddlethos is currently just made up of two people, we will very likely only complete games we enjoy. Therefore it makes sense that most scores will be in the upper spectrum.
Subscores should be considered to include the following traits.
Gameplay - Everything from fighting mechanics to menu navigation. This category covers the depth, ease, and fun of the gameplay.
Graphics - Essentially how pretty the game is and how well it runs. Art style, animations, frame rate, and texture pop-in are all covered.
Music and Sound - What more can be said? Quality and appropriateness of the musical score and sound design are taken into account.
Atmosphere - This includes story, presentation, themes, and how all the previous categories come together to make a consistent and powerful mood. The most abstract category, sure, but Riddles and I both value it
Well there’s that beast out of the way. Please to comment or e-mail with any questions or comments.