Along with our new mission and tagline, we're also introducing a new game review format. Starting soon, all of our reviews will contain the following features:
Title of Review
HIGH What the critic felt was the high point of the game.
LOW What the critic felt was the low point of the game.
WTF Description of the funniest and/or most unexpected moment of the game.
With the Internet getting faster and noisier, and the hectic pace of life today, we recognize that not everyone has the time or patience to read through a 1000 word game review. Adding a title to the review serves as quick introduction to draw the reader in and rather than do a dry bulleted summary of the review, we cribbed an idea from The Onion AV Club and gave it our own twist with the HIGH/LOW/WTF points.
Body of Review
Not much is going to change here. We will continue to avoid writing reviews that try to quantify the monetary/time value of a game, which we feel is an impossible and meaningless task since each gamer brings a unique set of expectations and values that cannot be matched by any one critic. Instead, we feel our opinions and thoughts are most useful and interesting when trying to determine if a game is good by conveying and qualifying our personal experiences during gameplay and what it means to us in relation to own lives and world-view.
Disclosures: This game was obtained via [publisher/retail store/rental] and reviewed on the [game console]. Approximately x hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed x times) and x hours of play to multiplayer modes.
After GerstmannGate and in light of other questionable business practices in the video game industry brought to the forefront by Video Game Media Watch, the Sore Thumbs blog and others, we felt strongly that more transparency was needed and having additional disclosures is a step in the right direction towards restoring reader confidence. In short, we want to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
Parents: Questionable content in the game that parents may want to be aware of before letting their kids play it.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Content addressing the auditory aspects of games and how they may impact play experiences for the hearing impaired.
We are eliminating our Consumer Guides and integrating the information that we felt still had value to the standard review format. Since most readers do not recognize the difference between game criticism vs. the "is this worth your time and money" consumer content, separating the review and consumer advice only caused confusion and hurt the overall visibility of the writing.
These are the only points in the review where we step out of own perspective because we understand that parents and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have very specific needs and concerns that we can properly address.
We've put a lot of time and thought into developing this new review format. Look for its debut in all our upcoming reviews and let us know what you think.