I came from a family of professors and have been a teacher a good part of my life, so I want you to bear with me if I come off as a pedant. I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. What’s more, these guidelines are meant to address writers of varying experience.
Avoid piling on adjectives and adverbs as a rule, strong verbs and nouns are hardcore. Merrily we roll along is not hardcore. We roll, is.
The verb to be and various conjugations therein can bog down a sentence, it depends of course. Keep it in mind. Trust your ear.
The best reviews are often more objective than subjective in function and detail. If you find yourself reminiscing about the tuna sandwich you enjoyed as you bested the game’s boss, then it might be best if your reviews address the player’s experience rather than your own.
Subjectivity however rules when it comes to style. An organic, authentic style is hardcore. We want funny. We want punchy. We want unfettered irreverence, but more than anything we want authenticity so don’t try to be funny or punchy if you are not, or are not feeling it, because there is nothing more hardcore than the truth. Play to your strengths, to who you are.
We’re attempting to assess the game’s value from the perspective of the average hardcore gamer’s experience. These are people who love RPGs, FPSs, and adventure and strategy games of various stripes, most likely people like yourself. So the question of how the average hardcore gamer would enjoy your respective game should always be in the forefront of your mind.
If you address the whole concept of the hardcore gamer and hardcore gaming with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek, good, excellent, just don’t get too mean or derisive.
we use a five star review system. Bear in mind the following five criteria. You don’t need to discuss each facet explicitly but keep them in mind as you are thinking and writing about your game.
Overall Concept – Is it novel? Unique? A trope with a twist? Or is it just a terrible rendition of a terribly cliche theme? Or a tired concept done terribly well? The quality of the narrative lies within this realm.
Gameplay – Overall fun factor. It is enjoyable to interact with the mileu that is this game?
Controls – Do I have to explain this? Feel no evil?
Graphics – See no evil?
Sound – Hear no evil?
Replay Value (don’t let this one be a stickler and unnecessarily bring down a game’s overall rating). Depends on the game, doesn’t it? Meaningful in Civilization-like builders, not so much in an adventure game.
You should also include a title for your review.
For now the convention for concluding our reviews is to give the game a score between 1 and 5 and give your final word as to whether the game is hardcore or not.
So hit enter and format as follows:
12 Not hardcore
The break down of our scoring system is as follows:
.5 – 1.5 – Crap. Virtually unplayable.
2–2.5 – Eh… so, so. Not exactly hardcore and not necessarily crap, it depends.
3 – Fair to good, depends, perhaps on the type of player, perhaps on some other context.
3.5 – We’ve entered the hardcore region, this is a rather solid game that will appeal to hardcore gamers. Hardcore.
4 – Hardcore.
4.5 – Definitively hardcore.
5 – This game has iron balls. Extremely hardcore.
5.5 like 0 this game doesn’t exist.
Also, a game that is advertised as free but charges you to finish is a rip-off in our estimation and you should subtract 1 to 2 points. If a ‘free’ game charges you to avoid an abysmal grind 1 – 1.5 points. I’m OK with an extraordinary game of the above type getting a good review but feel that the devs must always be taken to task for such questionable business practices.
Needless to say you need to grab the reader by the collar and knock him out with your conclusion, and please polish your first draft so that it’s as clean as newborn’s breath.
And be critical. That’s the whole point isn’t it?