SCREWATTACK.COM REVIEWS GUIDE
ScrewAttack will always give the most honest opinion on video games, no matter how brutal or praising.
ScrewAttack owes allegiance only to the reader; not to developers, publishers, or PR companies. Our words are written and spoken with the goal of relaying our truthful thoughts and feelings on a game. We will not "pull punches" to avoid hurting the feelings of people involved with the game, while still realizing we may hurt the feelings of people who are involved with the game. It's no secret that ScrewAttack has gotten as well-known as it is because of our high-profile personalities, and we let those personalities shine through on reviews. At the same time, we keep that in mind when assigning reviews, so that personalities and tastes do not clash.
Since we let our personalities discuss the games, our reviews are very subjective. An "objective" review is an absolute impossibility, and does not exist anywhere. Reviews are someone's opinion on a game, making them subjective. Since each of us are unique, we each have our own way of delivering a review. Rather than conform to single format, each person is set free on the deliverance of their thoughts. We believe that someone's personality that you've grown attached to and trusting of will have a more meaningful impact. Think of it this way: when considering the purchase of a game, would you rather ask a good friend of yours you've trusted for years, or an advertisement?
However, we understand that a review is more than simply an opinion. It is advisory. Each review is written with objectivity and target audience in mind to deliver a verdict you can relate to.
ScrewAttack uses review scores with a full ten-point scale. With this, our scale has five being the average. Not seven, not seven-point-five, but FIVE. That is considered to be a standard, normal game. The numbers mean more than the single word monikers assigned to them, and those descriptors are taken into heavy consideration when assigning a review score. They are listed here, for your full disclosure:
10 - Legendary: 10s are the rare games that reach the ultimate plateau of gaming superiority. They are the pinnacle of their genre, and should not be overlooked.
9 - Excellent: 9s represent excellence. Any issues they may have are minor or are easily forgiven for what is a fantastic experience.
8 - Great: 8s are great games that have something holding them back from excellence, or some features aren't as polished. They are still extremely worthy of playing, but may not be the most impressive.
7 - Good: 7s are very fun games that have solid appeal. They have obvious issues that stick out, but can still be enjoyed by anyone.
6 - Above Average: 6s have good ideas, but may not be executed the best. Can be enjoyable by certain circumstances or fans, but may feel shallow to most.
5 - Average: 5s are all right. Not remarkably good, but not remarkably bad either. They could be a decent way to pass time.
4 - Lacking: 4s are hurting in quality. May have instances of fun that are overshadowed by major problems, technical or otherwise. They could be fun, but the issues may not make them worthwhile.
3 - Bad: 3s are problematic. Any potential they have is lost from poor execution or design. Any entertainment found within is sporadic.
2 - Awful: 2s are a mess. Riddled with poor gameplay, design choices, and/or numerous bugs. Whatever enjoyment involved most likely is not worth the pain you must go through.
1 - Garbage: 1s have no redeeming qualities. They are a complete waste of time to everybody.
We're frequently asked, "Why do you use scores at all? Why didn't you stick with the Buy It, Rent It, 'F It system?" There's a simple answer for that: scores are the industry standard, and that's not going away. It is easy for a person to associate a number to a certain grade, but keep in mind that the words said or written within the review are more important than the number score on its own.
We have kept the Buy/Rent/F system, which is a recommendation of a financial investment into the game. This means that scores do not dictate the recommendation. A seven or higher does not equate to a buy, and a four or lower does not equate to an 'F it. Highly praised games may get a Rent It, because they are short or offer minimal replay value, but they're still really good games. Fives or sixes may have tons of flaws, but can be fun for hours on end, making it a buy. Ultimately, it's up to you what you spend your money on, but this is just another way of having another opinion to consider.
COMPLETION OF A GAME
The general goal is that any game should be completed, but quite frankly, that's sometimes impossible to do with every review. Our policy is that game completion is not required. It is required that enough time has been put into any single or multiplayer modes to get a strong grasp of what is offered. 35 hours into a 40 hour game is more than enough to formulate an opinion on how a game plays. If a game is 8 hours long and 5 hours of it were unbearable and/or unplayable, the final few hours is not going to change that.
WHO REVIEWS THE GAME?
Any member of the ScrewAttack crew can review. Each of us have our own specializations and understandings of genres that others do not, which is a major factor in determining who will review what. It also depends on availability. Whenever any of us are simply too busy to take on another review, we have a small group of interns, volunteers, and trusted people to head up reviews too. Every week, the upcoming release schedule is looked at and reviews are assigned to people based on their knowledge, preference, and availability. If for some reason a review copy does not arrive, we will acquire it through our own means.
WHEN IS IT VIDEO, WHEN IS IT WRITTEN?
Generally speaking, we try to do video reviews as often as possible, because we know how much people on the internet hate reading. Review copies that get sent to us early and more noteworthy titles get priority on video reviews, as more people are interested in them. Our goal is to have reviews completed before or as close to the release date as possible.
Sometimes smaller games or big games that are late show up when we don't have time to get them into video. Written reviews take much less time to complete, which allows us to get more reviews out more often. Games that get written reviews are not done as such because we care less about them, but because we do not have the time and manpower available to get them a full video. With that, we still strongly encourage anyone to accept a written review, as it is also much easier to digest every word of the reviewer.
To wrap things up here, our reviews are made with the best in mind. We like playing them, and we like telling you how good they are. This guide was made to give you a better understanding of how we go about doing that. If you have any further questions you may e-mail our Reviews Editor Lauren Moore via firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you ever get insulted, offended, or angered that a review score is not the same that you would give it... tough. It's our review, our advice, and our score. You're welcome to agree or disagree, but nobody wants to see a hissy fit. This guide is here so that hopefully you will have a complete understanding of how our reviews work.
And if you really get that upset over a review score, calm down, take a deep breath, and remind yourself: it's just a video game.