Reviews Policy Guidelines

At SVG, we take game reviews seriously — both as an art form and a source of entertainment, as well as a way to help our readers make informed decisions about their gaming purchases. We believe it's important to provide thorough, honest critiques that give players an accurate representation of what they can expect from the latest titles. To that end, here are SVG's review guidelines. We hope you find this guide to our approach helpful and informative.

Game reviews should be more than just a play for internet authority or fame. Reasons for reviewing games range from helping players decide which games are worth buying based on their interests and budget to helping developers adjust future titles based on feedback from previous releases. Is the latter a bit idealistic? Sure, but we like to think that constructive criticism can help inform developers on how they can improve their craft.

We provide honest and thorough assessments of video games. We believe it's essential to consider both the good and bad aspects of each title when forming a review. Our process includes analyzing a wide range of elements within each game including graphics, sound design, gameplay mechanics, replay value, controls etc., as well as any additional features such as downloadable content or online co-op play that may be offered. We also identify what exactly the game is trying to achieve and whether or not it is successful in that endeavor. Once all these elements have been analyzed and compared against other titles in the genre or series (if applicable), then a score is assigned to the title which reflects our overall opinion from a gaming perspective.

Our scoring system is an aggregate number based on a range of criteria. We assign each game a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest rating. Our scores are intended to provide an indication of the overall quality and value of the game when compared against other titles within its genre or series, while also providing our readers with an at-a-glance summary of what they can expect from it.

Here's a basic breakdown of how we score our reviews:

  1. Hands down, a bad game. We don't even know if a physical version of the game would make decent kindling.
  2. Fundamentally broken from a developmental standpoint. How was this game greenlit for release?
  3. The game seemingly has a handful of redeeming or fun moments, but fails to execute on any of its ideas.
  4. It's a "playable" video game, but it's boring, frustrating, or confusing, and not really worth anyone's time.
  5. This game toes the line of being boring, but we can see what they were trying to do (even though they didn't quite get there).
  6. The game is fine and/or has minor flaws, but it's not one that we'll be revisiting or doing any achievement-hunting.
  7. Something is just holding this one back. It's a fun game that does what it says it's going to do, but it doesn't really bring anything new to its genre. It'll probably get lost in the sea of other similarly average titles.
  8. We're not sure this game will make it onto our Game of the Year (GOTY) lists, but it's definitely worth an honorable mention at the very least.
  9. A Top-5 contender for GOTY. Bold, exciting, and brings new and refreshing ideas to its genre or gaming as a whole.
  10. This game will join some of the most iconic and legendary games of all time for perfectly executing on its new ideas or mechanics. All future titles within the game's genre should aspire to be this great.

That all said, we acknowledge that game reviews are inherently subjective. This means that different SVG reviewers may have very different opinions about a particular title (or even developer) depending on personal preferences, experiences, or tastes in gaming. It also means that some people may enjoy a certain type of game more than others. Don't get lost in the discourse. It's important to remember that a game's review score reflects just one person's opinion. So, while it can be taken into account when considering whether or not to buy the game, you should also take into consideration other reviews and opinions as well.

At SVG, we strive towards finding the best balance between quality analysis and personal opinion when reviewing games — but, ultimately, our goal is to aid in your decision of what works best for you and your gaming taste.

Lastly, we believe in transparency. As such, any review that is based on a game copy (either digital or physical) supplied by the developer will be noted at the end of every review – including the platform on which the review was based. We accept early copies to ensure our team has time to thoroughly vet a game ahead of release – so that our final review is as useful and complete as possible, so that our readers can make a fully-informed decision.

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