Welcome to our official scoring guide. If you’re here, chances are it’s because we’ve pissed you off and you’re stockpiling ammunition for an unholy comments thread rant. You might also be a developer or PR person, or (snigger) somebody who respects our judgement deeply and needs, NEEDS, to read more. Whatever your motives, I hope the following makes sense. If it doesn’t, give us a yell.
A few things you should know. First off, we promise to play each game we review to plot or campaign completion or, where resources are scarce, for a solid 10 hours. In an ideal world the former would always be the case, but as I don’t appear to be sitting in an enameled sedan chair with platinum cup-holders, conveyed through Kikizo Network’s glass-fronted offices by an army of writers and editors just begging to cancel their daughter’s birthdays in exchange for code, there will, alas, be times when we struggle to hit the credit roll. We feel 10 hours is more than sufficient time to form a rounded impression of most games.
Secondly, we’re sometimes sent “99% proof” debug code for review. This is true of every major review site, particularly when the embargo on coverage lifts a week or more before release day. In such situations, we promise to liaise with PR contacts over remaining technical issues (if any), and to check the review copy against a retail or promo version as and when we get hold of one. In the very, very rare event that there are notable discrepancies between versions, we will update the review to suit.
Thirdly, a review is just an opinion, and everybody’s entitled to one. A day will come when we won’t have to remind people of this.
Fourthly and finally, we now use integers (whole numbers) rather than decimals when scoring a game. No silly “six and three ninths out of 10” nonsense round these parts.
And now for the tasty bit: what our scores actually mean. Short answer: nothing, the text is king. Long answer is over the page.