What do our review scores mean? This is the question that we will be answering with our review guidelines today. Oftentimes, each reviewer has their own idea on what a score means and consistency is very important. For a group, this means setting out guidelines for all members to follow.
Let’s get some basics cleared up first. Our review scores range from 0 to 100 and are designed to be easily comparable to scores on Metacritic and Opencritic . This means that we use a kind of grading system known from schools, which in a way limits our review scale and cramps most games into a similar range. This is a criticism to gaming scores that has been going around for a while. We want to address this by giving us the ability to score in single digit steps. The 70-90 scale that most games fall into at the moment now gives us 21 different points to use, while a 5 or 10 point step system would only give 3 or 5 different ratings respectively.
We evaluate the value of a game seperately; price is removed from the equation when determining the score. A good but overpriced game will therefore probaly receive a higher score from us than from other reviewers. Following from here, we will list some key points in our review scale, which should tell you what it means for a game to receive a certain rating. Ratings inbetween those are supposed to be a transition between two points that we have made out.
When a game tends to have weak moments that are a significant part of the game, these can be a reason to downgrade the rating of a game. For us it is important to see how good a game is over its entire duration, rather than how we feel about it at the end of it. We try our best to be fair to every game, which is why we look at what each game sets out to do and judge it for that accordingly. However, higher ratings become much stricter and require a game to really outshine its competition. Overall, these guidelines should also help you to be able to compare our scores to ones used on other sites. This should then help you make the best purchase decisions.
Less than 50: F
We struggle to even call games that fall into this range games, as the features required by games are either missing or broken. These are very harsh words, but it needs to be said to exemplify on what we mean by our ratings.
This game has managed to do something right. It is a game that launches with little problems and includes some form of gameplay, even if it has very little meaning and is without depth. The game lacks polish and all aspects like the gameplay, graphics, music and story are telling of that. This game might keep you occupied for a little amount of time, but you would probably wish that you were doing something else very soon. This is a game you would even forget telling your friends about how bad it is, since your time investment was so little that you completely stopped caring about it.
A game that has received this score has some sort of aspect that was done well, be it graphics, gameplay or something else. This aspect is something that will probably keep you playing for a while, rather than discarding this game soon. However, there is little else to the game that would really make you enjoy it. Unless the few positives that the game has, is what you actually like about gaming, you will probably warn your friends about picking up the game.
A game at this score is something you could probably pick and play for quite a few or even a lot of hours. It is somewhat enjoyable and can have features that a lot of players really like. However, a game at this level usually has some flaws that are hard to oversee and actually do affect the quality of the gameplay or other parts of the game. A game at this rating could also be a game that is just ok, lacking flaws but also anything that would make it stand out.
With this score, a game is fun. Playing through it is generally a good experience and will make you feel like your time and money, unless overpayed, were generally well spent. Only trivial things in this game were boring or tedious, but there is still quite little that stands out and unless the game or genre is specifically brought up, you would probably neglect mentioning it to your friends.
At this score, the game becomes something to talk about. The game has reached a standard of quality where it becomes something interesting to talk about and is a game that fans of its genre would probably want to pick up. If you are unfamiliar with the games genre, it is at a level of quality that makes it worthwhile to try out. However, the quality of the game is below a level at which people that favour other genres would be compelled to pick it up. Make sure to read the review here as you may find that you dislike the aspects we noticed about the game, even if the score is good.
Here we come: the magic 85. This is the review score that general public seems to agree on is the golden standard for a game. We believe that the game becomes a must play for fans of the genre at this point. A game that we give this score to is similar to a game that got an A, but one or a few of its elements really stand out so far that they manage to leave a strong impression on us. This is a game that we want to tell people about and actively recommend it to them.
With a score of 90, the game becomes a must-play title. You should definitely check it out as it has more than just a few unique elements that stand out. A multitude of aspects of the game fit together very well and overall, the game becomes a serious game of the year contender. The game is great enough, that you probably want to replay the game right after you finished it. There can of course still be a few flaws present, which are overseeable in the greater picture though.
This level is reached by doing everything the game has to offer extremely well. The game takes each aspect it offers and does those to near perfection. All previously mentioned positive aspects are valid here, but highly amplified. Be warned, if you play this game, you will probably struggle to stop talking about it for quite some time. The level this game has reached makes it really hard to find any flaws in the game that could be considered anything other than nitpicks.
The way we described the previous level makes it look like it is a perfect game and you may wonder: why does it get a 95 over a 100? We wanted to define our 100 rating to be something truly special and hard to achieve. This is a rating that is given very rarely and only a handful of games over the last two decades could be considered to achieve this rating. The S stands for standard. A 100 rating means that the game does everything like a game at a rating of 95 with one key difference. It also has to do something new and original and to be more precise, something that sets a new standard for other games in its genre.
So these are our review guidelines. We are going to be editing them for a bit of time to make them more relatable and understandable until we’ll set them in stone. Please let us know of any of your feedback in the comments. We really want to make sure that these standards are as snug as possible.
Thanks for reading!
The Red Value Gaming Team
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