|Understanding Game Reviews, Reviewers and the Scores
|Before you can get the most out of our reviews, you have to know what each category means. And if you're curious
about our game scores, this is also the place for help. There are five areas in which we judge each video game when
reviewing it. We believe in providing scores along with reviews so you can see how each game compares to one
another. The five categories are as follows: Sound, Control, Graphics, Replay, Design. Look below for each category
and a list of what we look for in each category for scoring.
- Includes sound effects, music, quality and clearness of the sound effects and music.
- Whether or not the audio blends well with the rest of the game.
- Graded also on originality and variety of music and sound effects throughout the game.
- For GCN games, extra if it supports Dolby Surround sound or Dolby Pro Logic II.
- For GBA games, extra if it supports stereo sound with headphones. DS games' should sound well mixed.
Additional Comments: Video games would be less fun without the music and the sound effects to accompany them, so it is
good for a game to have some great stuff here.
- Includes menu selection, camera control and basic ease of use.
- For GCN games, deduct if the game loads unusually slow.
- Camera control is very important. We expect a well paced camera in GCN games. For GBA games, we have different
expectations for camera control depending on each game.
- Menu screens and options in the game should be easily accessible.
- Items and actions during gameplay should be easy to execute.
Additional Comments: Control is important because you can't enjoy a game without being able to control the character.
Fortunately, there usually isn't major problems with controls for most games.
- Includes the amount of resolution, detail of artwork, lighting effects and other cool effects.
- Deduct for slow framerate; even GBA games are expected to have a good framerate.
- For GCN games, high-polygon figures are a must; blocky figures are a definite wrong.
- Extra for any other special creative effects in the graphics. We look for originality here, too.
Additional Comments: Some games don't have to have great graphics to be able to enjoy the game. Nowadays, however,
we've seen what the newest game consoles are capable of and we expect to see only the best graphics come out of them.
- Includes the amount of time into the main game and the amount of time into the extras.
- Extra for multiplayer modes that are fun to play.
- For GBA games, extra for interesting link-cable options.
- There are standards for how long each game should last, depending on the genre. An RPG should be longer than an
adventure game, for example.
Additional Comments: The last sentence above this pretty much sums it up. We all like games that give you more for
your money. The more to do in a game, the higher this score will be.
- Includes plot of game, idea of what players do in the game and basically everything else that doesn't have to do with
sound, control, graphics or replay.
- A high-scoring game in this category will be well structured for its genre of games.
- If it's a franchise, there are certain expectations based on each one, since they must uphold their status.
- This can be considered a miscellaneous category as well. We all have different definitions of what we look for in this
category, so this depends on the reviewer.
Additional Comments: Describing this category is difficult. We're basically looking for a well structured game that's fun
to play. It's basically a fun factor. If we review a new game in a genre, we'll compare it to the top games in that genre for
Design. As stated above, though, different reviewers have different appeals so if an action guy really likes an action game,
then it has to be good, whereas if a strategy guy recommends an action game, it won't mean as much.
The rating system we use averages the score from all five categories. Each category is scored uses decimals out of 10. Below
shows what each score represents, and described in one word what the range is.
|Closing comments from Josh
I try to put the most influential review that I get from the reviewers on the site, and I only post one review per game, so I
assure you that I pick a good person who understands that genre. The scoring system is to help compare other games so
gamers know how it scored compared to other games. We're called Nintendo Reviews for a reason. We strive to create
only the most informative reviews, and that's what you'll see in each one.
|All content on this page is Copyrighted 2005 by Nintendo Reviews. A special thanks goes out to Nintendo,
because without them, this site wouldn't exist. You can visit Nintendo of America's homepage at