Friday, November 4, 2011

A Brief Synopsis of the Rating Scale

Having posted the first review as of last week, I decided now would be a good time to explain the rating system we here at Wholly Accurate Reviews use to judge and ultimately condemn games with.  I was intending to toss out a review of Alice: Madness Returns, but you know what they say, "Intent is not content."*  So here we are.

Each game starts at 10 points out of a possible 10, which is "one hundred percent" in common parlance.  From this lofty starting score, points are deducted based on a number of categories: graphics, style, gameplay, plot, and frustration.  After each score, there will be an explanation of which categories are lacking and the amount of points lost.  Subtracting these points gets you the final score.  Fairly easy, and pretty obvious.

GRAPHICS - One of the most obvious categories.  Boils down to how many bump-maps and reticulated splines and polygons can they cram into a game, and does it run.  A game can lose up to one (1) point for hideous animation, poor models, juddery framerates, broken textures and more!

STYLE - Style is a more nebulous subcategory to Graphics, but in our opinion, far more important to the enjoyment of a game.  It indicates how cohesive the game's look is, how beautiful things are, how the graphics reinforce themes; essentially a gut reaction more than technical expertise.  A game can lose up to one (1) point for having a boring look or levels being pieced together with random doodads.

GAMEPLAY - Gameplay is the heart of the medium, and the thing that most separates it from movies and novels.  Being as important as it is, a game can lose up to five (5) points for being janky, controlling horribly, confusing button layouts, or poor camera.

PLOT - Though games rely mostly on their gameplay, plot does feature prominently in virtually every title.  Game plots are pretty much universally derided for their sub-high school-level dialogue and baby's first forced romantic subplots, so we won't judge too harshly.  A game can lose up to one (1) point for failing to meet even the low, low standards game plots are normally held.

FRUSTRATION - This category is basically a catch-all for anything that doesn't really fall into another category.  Things like overt racism, crippling bugs, shattered difficulty curves, poor feedback, required internet connections for single player games fall into the Frustration Factor.  A game can lose up to two (2) points solely based on how much it pisses us off.

And there you have it, the five categories and how much they're worth.  Hopefully this helps put our reviews into perspective.  Come on back next week for a double helping of juicy reviews - sequel to the semi cult-hit American McGee's Alice, Alice: Madness Returns, and Techland's undead kicking simulator, Dead Island.

*In keeping with our dedication to only bringing you fact steaks marinated in pure truth, I am forced to point out that they have not actually said this.

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