Here at Nintendo Everything, we sometimes write reviews of video games! Go figure. Our review methodology and scoring system aren’t exactly industry-standard though, so we figured we’d use this page to explain what you’re looking at when you see one of our reviews.
Primarily, the review will consist of three parts:
1) The analysis: This is the long part with all of the words. It will delve into what the game is, what’s it’s trying to be, and what aspects of the game may add or detract to that over-arching vision. Generally this should be viewed as a critique of the game in an absolute sense, rather than a comparative sense, and (if we’re doing our jobs) it will be a review irrespective of price, development cost, hardware limitations, development time, previous games in a franchise, or other extraneous factors. The analysis is based solely on the game itself.
2) The “score”: Here is where you’ll find our final stamp in the form of a “Thumbs Up”, a “Neutral” rating, or a “Thumbs Down”.
Thumbs Up: A “thumbs up” rating means that, at the end of the day, the game in question succeeded at what it was trying to do. If the concept and style appeal to you, it’s absolutely worth playing.
Neutral: A ‘Neutral’ rating means that, at the end of the day, the game in question succeeded at what it was trying to do, but not without some major flaws. If the concept and style appeal to you, you’ll likely still enjoy it, but it can’t be unquestioningly recommended to everyone.
Thumbs Down: A “thumbs down” means that, at the end of the day, the game in question failed at what it was trying to accomplish. Even if the concept and style of the game appeal to you, it should likely be avoided.
Scores are assigned by the writer of the review, but if a rating seems particular contentious then it’s discussed amongst two or three staff members to make sure it reflects what is written.
3) The Recommendation: If you just want to know whether or not to purchase a particular game, this is the part to skip to. If done correctly, it should give you all of the relevant information needed to make a wise purchasing decision quickly and efficiently, and may include elements excluded from the analysis like discussion of price or other versions of the game.
In terms of review ethics, we may as well make it clear that we don’t take bribes or anything from publishers to assign higher scores or more positive recommendations, and we strive to be open, honest, and artistically critical of everything we have a chance to sit down with. We are a Nintendo-focused site, but we go to great lengths to ensure that their games– or anyone else’s– do not get preferential treatment in reviews for any reason.