Review Policy

Reviews are the main focus of PSXBoxIndies, so having a clear review policy seems like a good idea, right? 

2019 Review Policy Update

Towards the end of 2018 we started playing around with doing focused editorials rather than scored reviews - looking at games from specific angles rather than trying to do all-encompassing reviews - and we liked the results. So, moving forward, we aren't going to do normal scored reviews anymore. For example, if we really hate something, or really love something, or there is some particular aspect that is worthy or being showcased, that is what we're going to write about. It's more fun for us to write and probably more helpful for readers who don't necessarily need yet another boilerplate review with a score at the end.

I (Eric) have to admit that I'm kind of tired of review scores, personally, so in order to keep my sanity I wanted to move away from them. I still think they are a vital and important part of helping people make purchasing decisions, but IGN and GameSpot and "big" sites can handle that while the rest of us can take a more focused approach.

2016 - 2018 Policy

We review games with a five-star scoring system with half stars (so, basically 1-10, got it?).  We know that there are folks out there don’t like them and think the videogame industry should do away with scores, but for the vast majority of readers, review scores are important.  And, honestly, we just plain like review scores ourselves because they give you a fairly clear and immediate picture of what the reviewer thinks.  You obviously still have to read the review to get the context, but having a score to get the gist isn’t a bad thing.

The reason why review scores are seen as a negative by some people is because the rating scale has become a mutant shell of what it is supposed to be.  Going to school teaches us that anything less than 60% is a failing grade, but that isn’t how review scores work.    Review outlets need to do a better job of educating readers on the full rating scale, and readers need to understand that the full scale is being used.  And, honestly, gamers need to take some responsibility for breaking the review scale, too.  Ever look at reader reviews and see how everything either gets a 1/10 or a 10/10 with few scores in between?  With hyperbole like that it’s no wonder no one seems to understand how review scores are supposed to work.

To put it simply, we want to make it clear that we strive to use the whole 1-10 scale and not fall into the 7-10 trap that many sites end up in.  In other words, a 1/10 is absolutely awful, a 10/10 is fantastic, and a 5/10 is AVERAGE.  If a game makes us just shrug our shoulders and go “Eh”, it is a 5/10.  That means it isn’t good, or bad, it is just thoroughly mediocre.  Below a 5 will be otherwise mediocre games that have some sort of issues and problems that make them less than “Eh” and closer to “Ew”.  The more things wrong, the lower the score.  Above a 5 will be games that do things well that make them stand out.  The more good things a game does, the higher the score. 

We will consider gameplay – controls, content, fun factor, etc. -, value – length of experience, amount of content, cost -, presentation – graphics, sound, menus, etc. -, and more when deciding on a rating.  There is no magic formula to weigh all of these things to determine a score, however, as every game places emphasis on different things.  Instead, we’ll use our extensive experience – reviewer Eric Qualls has 15+ years of experience and 1500+ professional reviews and thousands more games played total under his belt – to assign a score.  Eric has played a ton of games across the whole spectrum of quality and that experience means he has a pretty good idea of what games actually are good and bad.

That’s how our review system works and what we’re trying to do here.  Thanks for reading and supporting the site!