Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Games and Us Review Score Guide

Hey everybody. Games and Us will soon be publishing its first video game review. We're going to look at Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS. Before we do that, it might be useful to understand a little bit about how reviews on this website will work, and how the scoring system operates.

First off, Games and Us reviews will not be simple breakdowns of the categories we often used to see in many reviews. We're not about graphics, or sound, or even gameplay - unless we decide that they need to be focused on, and even then, we're not just going to assign it a number or throw buzz words (like amazing, wonderful, decent, etc...) at it.

Part of the idea with game reviewing on Games and Us is to tell a story, if not always the most serious one. Games are often about a wonderful romp through something, whether it's a battlefield or a set of beautiful obstacle courses. Games are about ideas and things, and those aren't the kind of things that we can just quantify. Each game is reviewed in a way that focuses on the experience.

That being said, a ranking/score idea helps connect with the reader in some way, so here at Games and Us, we've devised a way. Games will be given a score on an alphabetical scale, like many of us should be used to. The scores will essentially break down in the following manner, however, the review itself will contain the sweet details and the real interesting parts - it's one hundred per cent recommended to read the review.

These scores are incredibly subjective, and the definitions for each aren't concrete, but they're decent guidelines.


A+ : This game is reaching for perfection, but no game is perfect. However, this game comes highly recommended - you can expect a lot of fun, a very unique experience, or something incredibly interesting. Chances are, games with an A+ are all three of those things, and more. These are the kind of games that one might call 'important'.

A: This kind of game is one that should be played, and it does things really well. Sometimes, there might be a slight flaw, or the experience has some issues from time to time. Whatever these flaws may be, they don't detract from the game too much, so make some time for these kind of games.

A- : A game with an A- is much like a game given an A, it's really good at what it does. This rating is used when the game simply doesn't offer up enough, whether the game is too short, or has issues that affect it more than the issues in a game given an A.

B+: Now we're getting into the more problematic side of things. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves, a B+ game is still a good to great game. However, the experience has seen its fair share of compromise, or it simply isn't interesting enough - with some improvements, this kind of game could be one for the ages. As it is, it's a good game but there's not enough to set it apart.

B: This is a good game, but like the B+, there's nothing setting it apart from other games. The formula has been done, the experience is difficult to distinguish. We like this game and what it offers, but what's stopping us from playing something better?

B-: There's a problem with the game, and it's stopping us from really getting into it. Whether it affects how we play it or how we experience it, there's something in there that could have been fixed or changed. As it stands, this is a game that's striving to be good. While it does make it, it's not by much.

C: A mostly mediocre game with some good ideas that don't work as well as they could, or if they do, other parts of the game bring it down so much that it can only live or die by the strength of its few good parts. This game usually manages to live.

D: This is the game that a C game turns into when those few good parts we mentioned are not strong enough to hold things together. With a little bit more, they could be the glue. We don't recommend playing a game like this, unless you're really curious about why it doesn't work. This is the more forgiving cousin of an F, and the more common cousin, too.

F: Get this game out of our sight. This is bordering on intellectual insult, and there's very little fun to be had. It takes a lot for a game to get an F. It's as hard for a game to actually get an F as it is for a game to get into the A range. Usually, something this bad is usually entertaining for all the wrong reasons - but occasionally, a game will come around that is completely void of enjoyment.

And that is the very loose way of interpreting the game scores at Games and Us. Will this guide ever be useful? Hopefully a bit. Again, the only real way to read a review is to...well, actually read it.

With that, we hope to see you soon with our first video game review!

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