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I will soon start with writing reviews and guides for games and I am divided between simple raging of a game or in-depth rating, like considering few different elements in game.

The simple rating would be just to gather the overall experience and enjoyment of a game and just rate it from 1 to 10. This would be good on one hand because the regular visitors of the site have only one option for rating and it's from 1 to 10.

But as I am a person who usually doesn't go for short reviews and writings, it would be against my judgment to rate a game just with one rating. A good rating would be to get an experience with with each of elements in the game and sum up of everything.

For example: The storyline is important in every game, and than there is a gameplay how enjoyable it feels to play the game, the dificulty, multiplayer, graphics, special effects, optimization, etc... but while some elements would be interesting to one person, it would be bad to another, and also some things like multiplayer are not in all the games.

So what would be the most important 4-5 elements you would consider when rating a game?

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    Repeatability is an important aspect. Have you seen it all in one go or are you just starting to get into things by then? Also whether it is either skill or randomness that determines success in play. – Bookeater Sep 2 '15 at 6:32
  • Yes i must agree the repeatability is something most important, that's why i should chose only elements that are constant in every game. As i am very good in gaming i can distinguish between skill based and randomness when play so that part i would rate based on the game specific. For example in CS:GO you need a skills and success would depend on skill, while in Sims type game you have more randomness and specific type of hardness depending of few different and random variables. – Aleksandar Đorđević Sep 2 '15 at 11:54
  • "The storyline is important in every game" - that's already not true (say, racing games, arcade titles...), and it only gets more complicated from here. Even if you do want to rate elements of the game separately, the overall rating shouldn't just be a weighted sum of the factors, but a completely separate indicator of how much, overall, you've enjoyed playing the game. – Maciej Stachowski Jan 9 at 12:32
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The Dutch game society Ducosim (Site's in Dutch!) rates games on the following aspects:

  1. Design
  2. Repeatability
  3. Luck-Tactic
  4. Value for money

All ratings are 0-5 stars. Many types of games are reviewed.

Another method to enrich a single 0-10 rate is to list the most significant positives and negatives. (Like IGN or Gamespot does.)

A useful link may be the Wikipedia Video Game Reviews template.

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    Many sites adopted the rating system with single 1-10 grade but what i usually like to do (so far i just wrote reviews on some 3rd level sites and communities) is to divide a rating in few small aspects depending on game and calculate total score so i can get either 1-100 or 1-10 in 0.1 steps. But now im starting to write on some larger site and i need to select a few aspects that will be in every game. The link of wikipedia is great, there is a huge list of gaming sites but almost all of them have 1-10 rating system. although i can get something from their pros and cons lists. – Aleksandar Đorđević Sep 2 '15 at 22:23
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Mostly depends on the reader. Most people on the internet these days suffer from short attention span disorder, so many people will be looking for something quick like a short summary of the overall experience.

But to more serious gamers that will not be enough. Storyline, characterization, gameplay etc. will be important to them. And then comes the third category of people who will be looking for a more technical review like optimization, speed, graphics, playablity and movement and so on.

Maybe you can start with a short summary of the game for the short attention span guys and then move into the more technical aspects, and then maybe rate the game anyway.

Make your own rating system or use some established one.Also, don't look to make everyone happy(that's an impossible job on the internet to pull).

So for me this is how I will put it:

1) Short Summary
2) Review of the Creative elements of the game
3) Review of the Technical elements of the game
4) Rating

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When I was writing movie reviews, I had some unwritten rules, but chief among them was I was rating the execution of the story first rather than the stylistic choices. My official rating system was maxed at 4 "paws" (we called them "Paws" after the college mascot, which was a Panther, hence why we didn't have a five star system.) and could give paws in half-paw increments. For my rule, a movie with terrible story and awesome visual effects could only hope to win 2 paws max. However, the reverse was not true as a good story could net 4 paws and look terrible.

For video games, I would advise developing an averages rating system, where you have categories and rate the game based on each. If you wish, you can weight the category, but you should show your metric (i.e. all categories have the same stars, but not all stars are equal. Good story is twice that of good visuals... and mechanics are one third story). Award each category on a 1-5 or 1-whatever scale and then take the average of the numbers when adjusted for weights and give the score.

Alternatively, I would go with an idiosyncratic rating as really, what your readers are going to come back for is your critique... either good or bad, and so the points aren't worth anything. If they were a Pokemon, they'd be a lvl 100 Magikarp that only knew Splash... not good for anything. What they want to see is your praise or mockery of the target of review.

As for what makes a good game, ultimately that's up to you. I'd recomend story, visuals, UI (including controls), and X-Factor (this would be where you talk about specific elements of the game that make it more enjoyable or less... not every game is going to please everyone and if there are bad bugs or whatever, this can be a good place to gripe). I'd avoid the PVP as new games often won't have the meta and community established by launch date, and these days games can be patched so the meta can change away from launch date. And some genres tend to have terrible pvp anyway (I've never played an MMORPG where the PVP was the main draw of the game, for example).

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I think by trying to decide the rubric you'll use, you're focusing on one of the least important parts of writing a good review. I think the most important thing to remember is that a review is a type of persuasive essay. Instead of thinking about what elements you'll rate and how, you'd be wise to be thinking about what goes into building a strong argument.

There are a couple things at play that make picking out a strong rubric an unnecessary task. One is that every game is very different. What kind of rubric could possibly fairly review a walking simulator like The Stanely Parable, a high-action game like Devil May Cry, a sandbox like Minecraft, and an online experience like Fornite? They all have very different goals and need to be considered on their own merits.

But far more importantly, people won't be reading your reviews because they want a scientifically precise score. They'll be reading them because they want to decide whether a game is worth playing. A rubric is a tool that can be used to this end, but it's not the end goal in itself. The end goal is for you to indicate whether you think a game lives up to its promises and why.

The way you accomplish this is with a well-argued explanation of your opinion. The key word is "well-argued."


A strong persuasive essay uses one technique very heavily: It backs up all of its claims using specific evidence. You could use a rburic to say, for example, that a game's story is a 4 out of 5. But why do you think that is? What specifically about the story makes it good, but not perfect?

For example, I'd say I rate the story of The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess a 4 out of 5. The game has a whole cast of side characters who go on surprisingly deep arcs. But the story has some missteps that keep it from being perfect.

(Notice that at this point in my review, it's going to be very easy to dismiss my opinion of the story. Perhaps you love Midna's character development and think the story is the strongest in the Zelda franchise. Maybe you think the game is overly dark, to the point that it's just silly. But I haven't given you anything to argue with, so the score I offered only serves to tell you what I think. And if you were considering buying Twilight Princess without knowing much about the game, this opinion doesn't help you decide whether you'll end up enjoying the story for yourself.)

What I like about Twilight Princess's story is that so many of the characters are surprisingly well-written. At the beginning of the game, a group of children are kidnapped by monsters. After you rescue them, they continue to show up throughout the story, and each one ends up having their own side story that lasts the entirety of the game. One timid boy learns to find his courage by following Link's example, and a different bratty girl finds herself helping other people and becomes kindhearted. Most dungeons are more than just looking for a mcguffin in an abandoned temple. Instead, they are tied to side characters dealing with heavy problems. One particularly memorable level is a mansion lived in by a friendly yeti and his sick wife. Not only are you looking for the mcguffin Link needs for his quest, you're searching for a cure for this sweet lady. The warmth the couple offer you when you interact with them contrasts surreally with how empty, inhospitable, and monster-filled the rest of the mansion is, hinting that something is wrong. When the pieces all come together, you're treated to a particularly emotional boss fight, and what happens to the wife hints at how pwoerful the mcguffins truly are, tying this couple's side story into the game's broader narrative.

And of course, you can't talk about Twilight Princess's character arcs without talking about Midna. Link's companion in this game is a strange imp who starts out openly emotionally manipulating Link to further her own agenda. She clearly does not care about anyone besides herself. But as you adventure with her, the consequences of her selfishness catch up with her and makes the very problems she was running from far worse. In order to complete her goals and help Link save the day, she finds herself caring, whether she wants to or not.

The story has one particularly large problem, unfortunately. It starts out with a new Zelda villain, the dark sorcerer Zant, who effortlessly conquers Hyrule before the story even opens. He's presented as frighteningly competent, and a Zelda game exploring a new villain is exciting. But halfway through the game, without any foreshadowing, it's revealed that he's merely the puppet of another big bad, someone very safe and familiar for Nintendo. It's disappointing that Nintendo would throw out such an interesting plot point, especially since it's handled ungracefully.

Now at this point in my review, I've cited several pieces of specific moments from Twilight Princess. I reference multiple side characters and describe one of the dungeons in detail, pulling out story beats that support my claim that the story is written strongly. And I focus very clearly on Zant being overshadowed by Ganon as the reason I think the story could be stronger. You can still disagree with my 4 out of 5 score, but now you know why my view is the way it is. And if you're considering buying the game, you know to expect a lot of cool side stories but not to be too surprised when the main story is a little sloppy. This lets you consider what you think it important in a game's story and form your own decision about whether the game is worth your money.


You should strive to write your reviews like this. You can use pretty much whatever rubric you find helpful. You can omit a rubric altogether if you want! But make sure that all of your opinions are backed up by specific references to the game being reviewed. This both makes your opinions stronger and gives readers considering which games to buy the context they need to make informed decisions.

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