The Daily Zombies Rating System And Review Policy (Games)

Posted by Grey Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ever wonder how The Daily Zombies reviews games from all platforms, be it consoles, handheld devices and mobile phones? What does the ratings actually meant and what does it tells you? Here's a rundown of the mechanism behind the game reviews and ratings system over here at The Daily Zombies.

We here at The Daily Zombies takes Gaming, seriously, being devoted gamers ourselves (whenever possible). Time and money are two of the most essential elements of mankind (both in real life and in those Civilization kind of God Games) and you can bet your ass that everytime you decide whether of not you should purchase (or rent) a game, both elements are on the line. Don't get us started on the times spent on crappy games that you will never ever get back. That's where we come in. As value-conscious gamers ourselves, we provide reviews on the common ground as you: A consumer with buying rights and a budget, not some big-time gaming magazine or website that gets their games straight from the game publishers with exclusive insights (provided by the developers) and along the way, some "exclusively" profitable deals as well. We are honest and are perfectly affordable to be brutally so with no strings attached.

Despite being keen believers in the fact that numeric figures will never do justice to games of all genres and platforms as the nature of reviews is Subjectivism (for example, a hardcore gamer of a First Person Shooter will definitely scrutinize a FPS game in elaborate details based on individual experiences with the genre while a casual gamer will probably review the same game from a relatively facetious perspective) and thereby potentially capable of turning away possible consumers unfairly, we here at The Daily Zombies rate games on a scale of 0 (the absolute worst straight from the deepest depth of hell) to 5 (an absolute best and no, no reference to any fictional heaven will be found in any Daily Zombies editorial). This is done so with the intention to give all readers, casual or not, a relatively reader-friendly way of going through the review with both an at-a-glance level of reference and a more elaborate full frontal perspective.

While the final rating is up to an overall judgment of the reviewer, five key elements are our main focus:

1. Gameplay
The most important key element somewhat defies definition, yet is commonly deemed to have the potential to save a game that had failed miserably in all other factors singlehandedly. While enjoyment and satisfaction from a game differs amongst individuals, the gameplay control, design and the overall feel of the experience embodies this factor.

2. Visual/Sounds
On the visual end, both technical aspects (animation quality, texture design and frame rate, etc) and aesthetic aspects (characters and location designs amongst others) of the game's visual effects are being considered while quality of sounds consists of factors such as voice acting, music score and audio effects.

3. Presentation
Any factors other than the gameplay are being considered here. From load times, game menu layouts, packaging of the game, to the usage of licenses. The overall production are being scrutinized here.

4. Lasting Appeal
In short, the bang for the buck. The replay value of the game mattered most in evaluating this category, while any additional factors that can assist to prolong the lifespan of the game (e.g. worthy unlockable items, engaging trophy system, etc) after the single player mode will be instrumental as well.

5. The Rundown
While innovation in gaming always deserve recognition and encouragement, sometimes, just sometimes, it is perfectly okay to tread on old grounds, should it be an ass-kicking ground, that is. There is no hard-and-fast rule for a reason to like a game. All things considered, how do you like it?

Do note that the overall score will never be an average of the aforementioned five key elements but they do somewhat reflect the level of competency in these categories. You will need to read the full review for have a better sense of the reviewer's experience with the game rather than basing on a simplistic numeric figure to help you to make the right decision about which games may be right for you.

These simplistic numeric figures will be personified by... Zombies. Walking, crawling and twitching undead Zombies. Screw stars.

EpicEpicEpicEpicEpic
Epic
Few and far from between, a definite contender for the Game of the Year. A near perfect gem of the rarest breed, deserving of our highest recommendation. While the ever-evolving standards for gaming technology will one day rendered this game nostalgic, it represents the pinnacle of gaming at the time of its release. The reason it ain't perfect is simply because nothing is.

OutstandingOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding
Outstanding
A solid game that is highly recommended since they tend to be good enough to provide a highly enjoyable experience to fans of the game's particular genre and to new players alike. Titles in this range are excellent in almost every way and whose few setbacks are generally overshadowed by its brilliance.

DecentDecentDecent
Decent
While the strengths of a game with a Decent score are usually capable of outweighing its weaknesses, it tends to have noticeable flaws. Fortunately, these shortcomings are made less glaring by one or several saving elements. Still, while they may not be for everyone, these games are wholly capable of providing genuine entertainment while they last.

MediocreMediocre
Mediocre
It ain't the worse, but it's far from the real deal. While games falls under this range usually have a slim fighting chance to be worth playing by die-hard fans of its particular genre, a game that falls in this range has limited qualities complete with significant problems that hindered its redemption as well. Screams "rental" from afar.

Poor
Poor
Three words sum it best. Don't. Buy. It. Though, the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) in these games will only be glad to show you how artificial it is. Coupled with some absolutely disastrous gameplay design and painfully frustrating technical problem, games along this range are potentially hazardous to the youth. And the elderly. Hell, and the entire mankind's sanity.

Abysmal
Abysmal
While games rated "Poor" are potentially hazardous to mankind's sanity, humanity itself are at stake here. Do you believe in those archetypal mad scientist-type supervillains in comic book, always scheming some evil conspiracy to drive the world crazy? Damn, they're real. Games of this category confirms that.


The Final Word
Here at The Daily Zombies, each individual game are judged by its merits, and not by how it performs in comparison to another version of it on a third-gen console, a second-gen console or a handheld device's port. While a PS3 game will undoubtedly look more exciting than its iPhone port, we will only focus on how it performs within its specific technical capacity, comparing it to similar games on the same platform and to a much lesser extent, to the gaming industry in general. Therefore, we can justly say that we do have higher expectation and standard requirement for the third-gen consoles and reasonably so. That said, we will point out any distinct differences or platform-exclusive specifics when conducting reviews for the same title on multiplatforms. Do note that the same review contents will be used in such cases when applicable. For example, if the general gaming experience of the multiplatformer are relatively identical (Intentionally so or not), then the main bulk of the review contents will most probably be the same.

The desired effect of this policy would be to have an end result of a relatively relevant and updated review system that can stand up to any comparisons by any standards.

Being narcissistic living undead ourselves, we could still be wrong in our opinions and should you feel that there is some grievances, some wrongs that you felt compelled to right, (you self-righteous punkass), please feel free to point them out by leaving a message at the Silent Scream shoutbox or the Live Chat messenger available on the blog. In any case, we will prefer a more direct approach by emailing us personally at memeinitiative@gmail.com, or alternatively, myself at blackwhitebloodygrey@gmail.com.



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