As I try to make The Game Reviews Wiki a better and stronger community by telling people about it and telling them to drop by and contribute, I notice a consistent pattern; people typically decide against visiting because they don't have enough time, and a game review is just too big of an undertaking. Even those great people (thank these people) who consistently contribute their own reviews only do them in parts.
Now, make no mistake, going at a comfortable pace is not a bad thing at all. In fact, I encourage it. But, the point of this article is to help all you new users get your start in the practice of game reviewing, and to help those of you who contribute already to make a smoother process of it.
For this guide, I won't be using any corny lines or maxims from any observations of other people's work. I'm simply going to use some of the wisdom I've gained to give you some ideas or a way of finding your own direction, if you wish it!
So here are some of the things I go by:
Point #1: Use honest opinions.
This is an incredibly important point, because the entire point of The Game Reviews Wiki, and (in my opinion) game reviewing as a whole is to express your own thoughts about a game. Now, you probably find this a redundant point, but the one thing you might overlook is the fact that you may accidentally shape a false opinion after hearing a single point of view repeatedly.
So basically, what you should keep in mind is that you have to speak your actual mind about a game, no matter what raving reviews others give about it. If you have a problem that keeps irking you, tell people about it.
Point #2: Go ahead and nitpick!
If you've listened to game reviewing much, you've probably heard someone giving the negative points about a game and say, "This is a total nitpick, but..." But that's not anything bad; it's kind of like someone saying, "This is just a theory." It's a pretty good idea to detail every little good thing you notice about a game, and in turn detail all the bad things.
Some people care a lot about small things, especially negative ones. There's an old Roman story when one man was thinking about leaving his wife, and he told his friend about it. His friend was confused, and asked all the standard questions, like whether she was attractive and obedient, but the first man took off his shoe, held it up, ans said that even though it was fashionable and sturdy, there was one way it rubbed his foot that drove him completely mad.
This is the kind of thing that some people are like, including me to a degree. They understand that a game has a lot of fantastic qualities, but a single repeating problem can be maddening to them. So, it's a courtesy to point out small details, just in case it matters to a reader. (Just don't be overl'y negative.)
Point #3: Enjoy the process.
While there are a couple things you should try to do every time, game reviewing isn't a chore around here. It's a place you can go to say what you want about a game. So, you should try to keep it exciting. You know, review games that you're good with or really enjoy, even if you're bad. Plus, review any game! It doesn't matter if it's a flash game or a PS3 game, as long as there's something you want to say. Crack a few jokes, point out some weird stuff you see. Keep it loose!
Point #4: Give some info!
This isn't really necessary, but one thing I like to do is provide game categories (you know, stuff like genres, platforms, and publishers), plus a picture. That way, if someone is interested in a game you review, they'll know what it looks like and what basic facts to look for. Just a small bit of courtesy for the reading public. One of mah thangs.
Plus, while we're on the subject of technical stuff and junk, try to use good spelling and grammar and capitalization and such. You don't have to do this yourself, you can just tell people that they can edit for corrections, but it can't hurt to at least do a bit of it (:D).
So that's about all I have to say! I've left plenty of room for people's preferences, but this is just what I do whenever I review. I hope this little pamphlet helped you with your technique or just made you feel more prepared for reviewing. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the rest of the wiki!