Welcome to the Review Rating Guide.  This is a breakdown of how I review things.  This is how I roll.  I came up with this so that those of you who read my reviews can get a general idea of what’s going on in my head as I rate the games.  For media and PR out there, please feel free to contact me if you want your games to be reviewed on the site.  You may contact me at deacon@unscriptedxbox.com with any coverage requests.

My reviews come with ratings for you to estimate how enjoyable and challenging a particular game was to me.  The numerical ratings are categorized from one to ten, each having specific meanings and corresponding descriptions.  You can scroll down to find out more about the scores.  I hope my reviews are helpful in your game purchasing decisions.  Yes, I sometimes review things that are not games and games that are not just on Xbox.  You can apply these same guidelines to those.

Ok, let’s take a look at how I do it.  Please note that my reviews are not meant to make the purchase for you but rather give you an opinion that may help.

[UPDATE September 21, 2010]Audio recaps are a new addition I’ve added to the reviews in order to give you a quick audio breakdown.  This is for those of you who would rather not read (and I know you exist) or for those who simply love listening to the Velvet Voice.

[UPDATE December 16, 2013]To The Point reviews are exactly what you’d think they are.  They are reviews that are quick, fast and fun to digest.  They get straight to the point of what the game is about and whether or not it is good or bad.

How I Review Games

Gameplay, Presentation and Sound – I include a general breakdown of how the game plays, what the game looks like visually (presentation) and how the game sounds.  All of these elements work together so I give them to you in one section.

Xbox Live Extras – Most games will have some form of optional Xbox Live support.  I key in on those additional features a game may provide. For example, downloadable content, multiplayer or leaderboards. Some games may not include any extra features so you will often see this field empty.

Conclusion – This is just an overall recap of what I thought of the game.

Once these things are decided upon, a final score is given so that you can see how these things added up. I use a scale of 1-10 to rate these games; “10” being the best and “1” being the worst. There are no averages to compute or fancy calculations to be made when deciding the final score.  I give it a score based on where I think it fits on the scale and how far it goes up or down.  With that said, let’s take a look at the rating scale and what the scores actually mean.

10: “Untouchable … Eliot Ness”
Can it get any better? No, it can’t.  This game is close to flawless … it’s filled with awesome sauce … in no better, word it’s UNTOUCHABLE.

9 range – “Velvet, as smooth as the voice”
A game here is worth every penny you pay for it and if you buy two, no problem.  It’ll definitely be on plenty of “no trading” rules because you keep a game that scores here in your collection at all costs.

8 range: “Standout, let’s play it again”
There may be one or two annoying bumps that kept it from scoring ‘Velvet’ but that doesn’t take from the overall enjoyable experience.  It’s a Standout game that should warrant hours upon hours of enjoyment.

7 range: “Good, even if I don’t replay”
These games are good and without question can provide a good playing experience but they just fall short in delivery.  You’ll notice the faults more but you should still feel safe with purchasing a game that scores here.

6 range: “Average, decent fun”
It all depends on your taste as do most things.  The problems in this range tend to mount faster and more repeatedly.  It’s like a dance that you have to go to even if you don’t have a date.  You won’t be prom Queen or King but at least you made the dance.

5 range: “Meh, it’s pretty bad”
It’s not a game that you’ll tell your friends to go get but it could be a guilty pleasure when you’re home alone with nothing else to do.

4 range and below: “Poor, why bother releasing this”
Why bother? Games in this range have more negatives than positives and just don’t provide a good enough playing experience. It is at your own risk that you purchase a game that scores in this range. I will not be blamed!