While writing this text, I have already published one review. As I was writing it, I thought about what kind of things I want to review that game over. This further refined the idea that it might be good to write the rules clean, so to speak, regarding reviews. By doing this, the review process is always clear! And no one can explain why I criticized X in Y way.
So here I present the different sections for different product groups (video games, board games, movies & TV series) that I will review. In general, I can say about my reviews that they are nothing deep. I want to get my opinion out there, and it may be that sometimes I write what first pops up in my head. I usually go by gut feeling, often with a relaxed approach. Also, it’s good to know that I’m not an expert in all the categories I’ve reviewed. It may be that I say something negative about the game’s graphics, for example, even though someone thinks the game looks great. So remember that reviews are also opinions, and everyone has their own opinion.
The only thing common to all categories will be the end section of the review. At the end, I will give a rating on a scale of 1-10, and before that I will break down the pros and cons.
With video games, I will evaluate four different categories: story, gameplay, graphics and music & sounds. Let’s check next, what kind of things I might pay attention to in all of them.
Story is an important category for me. It’s one of the most important things in games for me because it makes games interesting. Of course, there are games where the story is not present or even important. For games like this, I don’t emphasize the story in the reviews. It would be foolish to give, for example, a bad rating to a Mario game because “again that pipe dude saves his princess”.
As for the story, it’s hard to determine how to rate it. In different games, even the similar story can affect and be implemented in very different ways. So I’m pretty much judging it by the feeling and atmosphere. On a game-by-game basis.
Playability can be briefly summed up by evaluating how fun the game is to play or how well the game is technically implemented. This also varies depending on the game, how this category can be rated, and what its significance is to the overall rating. For example, in Crash Bandicoot, playability plays a big role in the overall rating. In a story-based game like a visual novel, not so much.
In this category, you can better find individual criteria that can be evaluated. Such things can be, for example, the controls of the playable character, the camera controls, how much fun the game is to play, the replay value… The list can go on, but I often find out on a game-by-game basis where the playability is a pro or a con.
Evaluating the graphics is straightforward in itself, as everyone can see how the game looks. It can be analyzed more deeply through screen refresh rate, quality of animations, graphical look and things like that. In itself, it’s funny that I call the analysis “deep”, because I don’t really understand the ins and outs of graphics. So let’s go again with a gut feeling regarding the evaluations!
Music & Sounds
In the field of music, I have relatively the same “problem” as with graphics, that I don’t know the subject very well. I can listen and say if I like what I hear. But music is a matter of opinion. The effect of music on the mood of the game can be assessed more clearly. If the game plays a happy beat while the enemy is chasing you, you can say that the music choice is pretty bad. I can also review the voice acting and sound effects. You can hear pretty clearly from the voice acting if it’s done well or if the characters sound bad.
The categories for board games to be evaluated are: playability, components and replayability. In addition, of course, I will provide basic information about the game, such as the number of players, the estimated (and realized) duration and so on. In the same way as with video games, let’s now go through the categories to be evaluated.
This is certainly the most important category in the field of board games. In this category, it is determined whether the game is really fun or intriguing to play. At the same time, of course, I will tell you how the game progresses, what kind of game mechanics it has and whether the game is balanced. Depending on the game, there may be other things to evaluate in this category, but we will come up with them when writing.
By components I mean all the pieces, the tokens that come with the game and whatever other crap you can find in the game box. You can at least evaluate their logic and quality. If, for example, the tokens in the game tear, I will definitely mention it. Here, for example, the rule book and its comprehensibility can also be mentioned. Because everyone knows how painful it is to read poorly written rules!
Few people buy board games just for one playthrough. Of course, there are games like this too, the clearest example being the Escape room board games. In this category, however, I will be pondering about that theme in relation to the game. The replay value is affected by many things, such as the randomization of the game and the number of variations of the game. Different difficulty levels are also an additional example in cooperative games.
Movies & TV
I’ve never been a big watcher of movies or TV series. When I was younger, I used to watch a lot of anime, but it has become very little over time. After starting dating, however, the consumption of movies and TV series increased for some reason. Now I’m at the point where I might be able to evaluate them somehow.
Here are the categories I will analyze in my reviews: story, music, and viewing experience. Many will notice that this lacks an analysis of the acting. This is entirely because I don’t understand anything about the acting or the cast. Of course, I can mention if the exhibition is terrible, but I rarely notice a good exhibition.
This is a fairly clear category. There’s a story in the movie (except maybe in some art blasts, but I don’t watch those), and I’m looking to see if it’s good at all. Of course, I will also present it in its basic aspects, without spoilers. Spoilers are terrible.
As I already mentioned in the video game section, I’m no music guru. Still, it’s good to mention something about the film’s soundtrack in connection with the review. There’s no point in waiting for an in-depth analysis, but I still mention something about this topic. In movies, a good soundtrack can take it to completely new dimensions. On the other hand, it can also have a very opposite effect if it is sloppy. A good example of this is the new Mario movie, where the soundtrack was filled with confusing song choices. Here is a good chance for an advertisement, that I have already started writing a review of that movie!
This is probably the category that affects my grade the most. For example, if the movie is not entertaining or interesting to watch, I get bored easily. In this case, you can say that the viewing experience is not good. Many things can affect this category as well, and you have to look at them individually. A good example is a movie or TV series that is stretched too long for no reason. Often then something could have been cut, and the viewing experience suffers. Of course, the story also suffers from this outcome.