It must sound fun for a lot of people to hear that a person can make a living out of making a video game review. However, what people don’t realize is that making a game review is just as hard as any job out there. I started a blog thinking that I could make 1 game review a week, but I was wrong. Even if you only plan to make a review for casual games or even browser games, it will still take sometime to make a quality review. The good news is, there are certain areas that you only need to focus your energy on in order to make a reasonable review of the game. Here, I reveal to you my steps on how to make a video game review.
Research About The Game – It is important to include in your review what type of game you are reviewing. It’s also useful to tell your readers when the game was released and on which platforms. Tell a little about the story or plot of the game but do not spoil the reader on important events.
Play the Game – You have to get some hands on experience of the game. I would suggest that you focus on the following areas
Gameplay – In this criteria you can say about how fun the game is, how difficult it is and what sort of enemies you’d encounter and even how many levels there are in the game. You can give some tips and tricks on how to play the game here. Useful to some readers are the number of hours you played the game, but I personally don’t record my hours played. It’s also useful to tell the reader something about the unique features of a game such as if the game supports a day and night system, combining items to make new items, online mode, etc.
Graphics – Mention specifically how the game looks like. Is it 2D or 3D? There are various kinds of 2D games like platform, isometric, sidescrolling, etc., the same goes for 3D games. Pay attention to details such as the character faces and animation, tell the reader how you appreciate or despise them. Compliment on the visual effects such as the glow of fire or shadows in dungeons.
Music or Sound – While not generally a deciding factor for people to buy games, some people are just fans of the game’s composer from different games and that might just interest your readers. Describe the type of music played throughout the game like is it rock, western, ballad, etc. Describe how sound effects help in playing the game or how it is not helping the player survive.
Controls – You can actually combine this with the gameplay category but it won’t hurt to make a special section on how the control system works. In my case, I start with the usual hardware required to play the game like a mouse, joystick or DPad and comment on how the controls are setup by default and if the controls are customizable. In some games like flash games, I include sound and screen configuration under controls.
Replay Value – If you can mention if there are unlockable modes upon beating the game then this would post a high interest for the reader. For example, on RPG games side quests are very typical aside from defeating the final boss. An RPG that doesn’t have a side quest are usually poor in this category. Castlevania games like Symphony of the Night and Castlevania Order of Ecclesia have very good replay values.
Score the Game – Based on the above criteria, it’s also useful to score the game. This is because some readers don’t have the patience of reading the entire review and just looking for some sort of second opinion of whether the game is good or not. Scores are made just for this purpose. You can use metrics such as a scale of 1 to 5 or scale of 1 to 10 or even just plain words such as excellent, good or bad.