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How We Score Games on ActionTrip

So, you want to know how we score games? This should give you a good indication of the method used for scoring games on AT. We rate games from 0.0 - 10.0. Wait, let me say that again -- from 0.0-10.0! We do not rate games from 5.0-10.0, so if a game gets 5.5, it doesn't mean it's a complete miss. The review score is separated into several elements: The Final Mark, a textual description of the final mark, Highs and Lows (a short description of the most important positive and negative aspects of a product) categories.

Hope this helps you in figuring out how we rate games. Enjoy our reviews!
Text Descriptions

Text descriptions help to easily categorize the quality of the game in question. This should give you a good indication of what we generally thought of the game, even if you don't agree with the exact score we've given it.

0.0 - 3.9 - Don't Bother
These games are simply not worth your cash. OK, you might be a die-hard fan of the book, movie or whatever they're based on, but we'd still advise you to stay away.

4.0 - 4.9 - Tolerable
Tolerable means just that -- we could barely tolerate this one. The gameplay experience borders with Don't Bother, so you best be careful with these.

5.0 - 5.9 - Okay
There are some aspects to these games that are actually worth a while. But for some reason these aren't enough to boost this game above mediocrity.

6.0 - 6.9 - Above Average
These games had it in them to be Good. But, there is some crucial element missing. Ya know, they're better than Okay but fall short of being Good for one reason or another.

7.0 - 7.9 - Good
Here we're getting into the privileged section. You should get a kick out playing these. Sure they're not as original, or polished as Very Good games, but with some patching and engine tweaks they just might be exactly that - very good.

8.0 - 8.9 - Very Good
(Eligible for an Editor's Choice award.)
I mean, if a game gets 89, you know it's got it all. It's fun, it's immersive and most importantly -- addictive. This is a great game. Make no mistake about it. Usually, it would take a stupid little blunder to keep us from saying it's excellent.

9.0 - 9.5 - Excellent
(Editor's Choice award.)
Fantastic stuff! Don't miss it. Buy it! However, we believe that only the gaming community can decide if a game becomes a classic or not, so we'll wait a while before we score it that.

9.5 - 10.0 - Classic
(Editor's Choice award.)
A true classic of gigantic proportions. Very, very few games will ever get a score higher than 95, and if they do, they'll get it retroactively. In other words, we only give this rating to games that have proven to be both amazing and long-lasting in the hearts and minds of gamers.

NOTE: 9.0-10.0 games are automatically awarded an Editor's Choice badge.

Rating System Explained in Detail

Section 1: Graphics - 2.5 points

  • When scoring a game's graphics, please take the following into account:
    • 50% of the points should reflect the quality of the art design, textures, model/skin quality, etc
    • 50% of the points should reflect the implementation of 3D engine and its effects (quality of shadows, framerate, implementation of ragdoll modeling), etc.
      • If a game has no 3D engine, 100% of the points should reflect the overall art design.

Section 2: Audio - 2.0 points

  • When scoring a game's audio, please take the following into account:
    • 75% of the points should reflect the quality of the sounds as they relate to the game, ambient music quality, and voice acting.
    • 25% of the points should reflect any additional audio effects - environmental audio, transitional music, other special audio effects
      • If a game has no 3D audio or other special audio effects, 100% of the points should reflect the general quality of the audio.

Section 3: Gameplay - 3.0 points

  • When scoring gameplay, please take the following into account:
    • 67% of the points should reflect the gameplay mechanics (Combat AI for FPS and RTS, Unit Balancing for RTS, Weapon Realism for FPS, puzzles for Adventure, etc. Each genre brings different facets to the game. Please evaluate them as necessary).
    • 33% of the points should reflect the controls of the game and its interface. Is the reviewer comfortable enough with the controls and interface, do they hinder the gameplay in any way, etc.
      • Please note the game's genre - FPS, RTS, Adventure, Platform, etc. Certain aspects of gaming will be present in one genre and not in another, and judge the game accordingly.

Section 4: Fun - 2.5 points

  • When scoring Fun, please take the following into account:
    • 60% of the points should reflect the playability of the game - Does the game challenge the player enough to finish the game, and replay the game after completion (length of single-player, great multiplayer, bonus levels, etc.)?
    • 40% of the points should reflect the developer's vision - Does the game accurately portray what the developers intended? If the game is story driven, is the story worth playing the game to follow? If the game is multiplayer only, is the multiplayer action enjoyable? If the game is intended as humorous, is it?
      • This category is highly subjective. Please use your best judgement when assigning points.

Additional Points:

  • The Reviewer is permitted to, at his/her discretion, add or subtract no more than 0.5 points in either direction in order to push the score to the classification he/she thinks the game belongs.

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