Gw Temp

Menu

Article - 'Reviewing a Game' by Angroth

An item about Miscellanious posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Help on how to do decent reviews for a game.

Body

Hopefully this article will cover all kinds of games and not just rpgs on rm2k. Basically when reviewing a game you are generally looking for 5 elements within a game.

Element 1: Aesthetics:
This is merely the way the game looks. This aspect can sometimes be hard to judge; afterall who says things such as RTP are bad? They get discriminated upon many occasions but the RTP graphics are actually quite good so it usually takes a Staffer such as AG to say something like ‘Despite the RTP looks this game is very good and worth a try.’ Before people will accept it. Not just that but a game may have some really good looking things throughout it however if these things just don’t blend then the aesthetics aren’t very well balanced or consistent. When this happens it’s hard to give a grade for it.

What do I look for?
The aesthetics of a game should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. Do the graphics fit together snuggly?
2. Are the quality of the graphics good themselves or are there silly glitches on the characters and such?
3. Is the game presented well or are tree’s on castle walls and ‘pictures’ noticably in bad locations on the screen?

Element 2: Gameplay:
Gameplay affects many aspect within the game itself. If the game has bad gameplay then it will be very dull and lifeless and the player is liable to become increasingly bored and may stop playing the game itself, which isn’t what we want now is it!

What do I look for?
The gameplay of a game should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. Does the game have a good equilibrium for its difficulty? Not too hard or too easy.
2. How mundane is the gameplay? Are there any mini-games or extra little sections in the game which allow alternate or a variation in the gameplay itself?
3. How original is the gameplay? If it has been done before then players won’t be as excited or amazed by what they find.

Element 3: Audio:
Sounds can be used in a game for a variety of things. They can especially help develop emotive scenes and build a general atmosphere in which you play in. Sounds count as the music (midi) and the actual sound effects themselves (wav). Never underestimate this element of a game because it is as important as anyother thing a game has.

What do I look for?
The audio effects of a game should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. Are sounds used in appropriate locations and utilised to create an atmosphere relivant to what is happening?
2. Is the audio quality good or do the sounds and music need more ‘professionalisation’?
3. Is there enough sounds used throughout the game? Too much can become tedious and confusing, too little will make the game very bland and hollow.

Element 4: Game Design:
Game design covers many points from glitches and bugs to how a map has been put together and coding within a CBS. Game design in general links all of the other elements together. I would have to say that if something is terribly wrong in a game’s design then it is likely to be more laborious to fix than if it were the aesthetics or audio etc.

What do I look for?
The game’s design should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. Are there any / many coding errors and glitches?
2. Does the game run correctly or do certain maps stop you from moving and others allow you to walk on walls and water?
3. How good / complex is the events & coding? Credit must be given for a highly complex yet perfectly working custom menu or system eg. Bank, Summoning etc.

Element 5: Replay:
A games replay is what kind of experience and impact it had upon you. Was it worth playing again to see how certain twists come about and to understand the plot more or was it worth playing again because it has lots of side-quests, alternate modes, alternate endings and unlockable goods? Replay is whether a game was good enough to allow someone to come back to it whether they have finished it or even if they are still playing it. Replay can be induced by a variety of forms, take Space Invaders for an example, so simple yet so addictive!

What do I look for?
The replay should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. Would you play the game again after completion?
2. Are there many reasons to go back and play the game again?

Overall:
The games overall score is entirely based upon how well it fared against the 5 elements. As we all know lots of good scores will usually give a good game. However a game can sometimes have high scores but lack something vital, lack a pneuma which makes some games with bad scores be actually better. Anyways, more about that in a moment!

What do I look for?
The overall score should be judged by the following key factors which you must ask yourself.
1. What was your overall impression?
2. How well did the game fare against the 5 elements?
3. Could you give critisism? The more so then the worst the game is likely to be.

But wait a moment! What’s this!?
(Secret) Element 7: The ‘Spark’ of Life:
The thing that can make craply scored games better than highly scored games is the spark of life. Some people include this is the overall but there really should be another section called ‘Bonus’ or something. Some games fail to give much of an impression yet some games grow on you like a large hairy wart. Whether due to character development or what I’m not sure why this happens; I have a strange affinity for Breath of Fire games and they have little character development. It’s the general enthusiasm that the game spurts out which some games will never have. Kindred Saga is once again one of my examples; its graphics and gameplay are really a work of art but it doesn’t have any of the secret element 7. Without it you are bound to have a dead game!

What do I look for?
What can you ask yourself to know if the game has the spark of life?
1. Did you (nearly or actually) laugh, cry, get angry and feel different emotions throughout the game?
2. Did the game grow on you in such away you didn’t want it to end?

The End
And there you have it folks. That is what you must do when reviewing a game. Obviously I have missed things because I’ve just mentioned bold categories which could be expanded to have more however what I have written should hopefully be sufficient for you to know if you’re playing a good game (as if you wouldn’t anyway!! Dumb me!).