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This is the Video Game Geek (VGG) review guide. While reviews are a personal creation that should not be stifled, it may be beneficial to read through these guidelines to help write better reviews.

Getting Started

These rules are just a guide and should not be strictly adhered to. A review, in a journalistic sense, is an informed opinion. The one thing every game review should have is an opinion on the game, whether it's good, bad or a combination of both. It should also be supported.

"I like the game" is an opinion that's unsupported.

A.) Why do you like the game?
B.) What makes it good?
C.) Why does it stand out from others in its class?

Or if the opinion is "I don't like the game," there should likewise be reasons why that is the case.

A review should not be:

A.) A link to offsite content.
B.) A sentence worth of text.
C.) Do not try to review a game you don't know well.

General Structure

Everyone's review tastes are different - some like detailed reviews, others like concise ones. A review can be as detailed (or not) as the reviewer would like. Consider your perspective; where you're coming from and what motivated you to review this product in the first place:

  • Think broadly: as you play the game, consider how other people with different backgrounds might react to the material.
  • Write clearly: think about your page organization, especially if the review is long.
  • Express your opinion: people are reading your review to get your opinion, so give it!
  • Back up your conclusion: nobody will believe you unless you can explain where your feelings are coming from.

A basic review structure:

1) General plot outline
2) Gameplay
3) Outline good points
4) Outline bad points
5) Give your opinion, justified with references to 3) and 4).

Further notes:

1) Write reviews as standalones - the assumption that someone will read your review and no one else's.
2) Try to provide a feel for the gameplay, unless you want to assume that the reader has already played games similar to the one you are reviewing, which is a huge assumption to make. Suitability for casual gamers and serious gamers is also a good subject to cover.
3 - 4) Point of view matters. You have a different voice or way of seeing the game from everyone else.
5) Finally, it's important to talk about how you feel about the game and whether you feel it's worth owning.

Improving A Review

Subject Headers

Headers are tremendously important for breaking up reviews so that they don't appear as an imposing wall of text. Paragraph divisions also help. They're not really needed in something this short, but they're very handy when you return to a review for a specific point - easy to find things.

Spoiler Text

If you're using tags, you may not be writing a well-presented review. Spoiler tags break the flow of the review and make it more difficult to read. If you do add spoilers to your review, you may want to put a spoiler warning in your first paragraph if you choose not to use spoiler tags.

Images

Video games are a visual medium. A few pictures will do a lot to alert people to the overall appearance of the product and highlight your points. External Images are added by pasting the image url of an "off-site" image into image tags. You may need to ask for permission to use an external image and give credit to the copyright holder. Internal Images are added by pasting the image ID number of an "on-site" image (Picture found on VGG) into an image tag. You do not need to ask permission to use on-site images for material posted to VGG.

External Images:
[IMG]PASTE IMAGE URL HERE[/IMG]

Internal Images are added by pasting the ID of an "on-site" image into image brackets. You do not need to ask permission or post credit for internal images because anyone can click on the image and see who the uploader/copyright holder is.

Internal Images:
[imageid=PASTE IMAGE ID HERE]

You can add small, medium, large or original after the image ID to change the image size.

Related Links

Reviews require a lot more work than a box scan or screenshot. Be sure to tip GG or thumb reviews to show your appreciation.


Misc

Microbadges

We have a special set of system awarded Microbadges for submitting reviews to VGG. There are currently six thresholds for VGG award badges:

Microbadge: Copper Reviewer for 5 Reviews (Copper)
Microbadge: Silver Reviewer for 50 Entries (Silver)
Microbadge: Golden Reviewer for 100 Entries (Gold)
Microbadge: Platinum Reviewer for 250 Entries (Platinum)
Microbadge: Herculean Reviewer for 500 Entries (Herculean)
Microbadge: Ultimate Reviewer for 1000 Entries (Ultimate)

We have a separate set of special Microbadges for video game Review Contest participants. These microbadges are handed out manually.

Microbadge: Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest participant for participation.
Microbadge: I have placed 4th in the Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest (and I had to buy this lousy microbadge with my winnings!) Placed 4th in the contest. (Steel)
Microbadge: I have placed 3rd in the Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest (and I had to buy this lousy microbadge with my winnings!) Placed 3rd in the contest. (Copper)
Microbadge: I have placed 2nd in the Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest (and I had to buy this lousy microbadge with my winnings!) Placed 2nd in the contest. (Silver)
Microbadge: Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winner Placed 1st in the contest.
Microbadge: Two-time Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winner Two time 1st place winner in the contest.
Microbadge: Three-time Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winner Three time 1st place winner in the contest.
Microbadge: Four-time Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winner Four time 1st place winner in the contest.
Microbadge: Legendary Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winner Five time 1st place winner in the contest - Legendary. (Gold)

(Return to Video Game Review Contest)

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