Our Review System Explained

Breakdown of the Overall Score:

Note: the Overall Score is fairly accurate due to our weighted system but obviously cannot tell the whole story. For the big picture, read the review and look at the individual categories that are important to you. If the Overall Score is close to another category, such as 7.9, read the nearby rating description as well.

  • 0 through 4.9:
    You should own this game. Really. It's likely it will be of value to historians down the road who want to know when the lowest point of human civilization was reached in this era, and you will have proof.
  • 5.0 through 5.9:
    A strictly average game by most accounts, with as many heavy drawbacks (if present) as redeeming qualities. In fact, it's likely that the bad outweighs the good when you consider the cost of the game itself. Definitely not worth your money unless you are a big fan of the genre, and even then, who wants a simply average game?
  • 6.0 through 6.9:
    Some, perhaps many, may truly enjoy this game, but it requires that you overlook a significant drawback or two, and likely requires some patience on your part to make it through. Occasionally, a game in this category has exceptional gameplay but is lacking in graphics and/or sound (or vice versa) and is still worthy of a purchase if on discount. PC Games falling in this category (and in any other) may improve significantly over time with patches.
  • 7.0 through 7.9:
    Here is a game with potential, surely appealing to some gamers and overall fairly good, yet likely destined for the bargain bin sooner than later. Games with scores in this range may have one or two outstanding aspects to make them desirable, or it may be merely "good" in most ways, never really shining in any particular category. If you want a decent title, give this one serious consideration. If you want the best value for your money, look elsewhere.
  • 8.0 through 8.9:
    This game stands out from the pack, and for those that play it, is sure to be a hit with most of them. It is a game made with intelligence, care, and quality. Unfortunately, there were also minor detracting elements. Perhaps it could have been even more fun, or it was too short, or the control wasn't spot on, but almost there, or the interface wasn't exactly user friendly but once learned, was acceptable. Not one computer sales clerk will snicker at you for buying this title.
  • 9.0 through 9.5:
    These are a select few of the best games of their respective class. Any fan of the genre should pick this up, time and money permitting. The bugs and issues are negligable for the most part, but yet the game is still not perfect. Gameplay must be very fun, contol is usually at least respectable, and its value is high. What negative issues there are can usually be summed up in short paragraphs, but the review will, for the most part, read glowingly.
  • 9.6 through 10:
    You can't touch this. Even the "best" bow down to these--games stacked with achievements, and with such few problems as to be barely noteworthy. If there is a negative issue, the rest of the game is so overwhelmingly good that the issue can be virtually offset. Production value is usually extremely high (with the exception of brilliant low-budget games), and its gameplay cannot be surpassed, only equaled or different. If you buy one game in this category, buy this one. If there should by chance be two or more, flip a coin and you can't go wrong.
    All games scoring from 9.0 through 10 receive GameBanshee's coveted Editor's Choice Award. This logo will be displayed across the top of the information bar on each page of the review:

    Our Review Categories:

    GameBanshee uses four weighted criteria to review its games: Gameplay, Graphics, Sound & Music, and Lasting Value. Following is a breakdown of what types of features we look for within each category. It is meant to be a general guide and not all-inclusive, due to the evolving nature of games.
  • Gameplay (50%):
    What we typically look at in this category: how the game controls, the interface, the story, character progression, how multiplayer is executed, and the overall fun. Any bugs or other detrimental issues will take away from this score.

    Our Gameplay rating will count for 50% of the overall score, because to us, gameplay is far and away the most important of the criteria.
  • Graphics (25%):
    What we typically look at in this category: the game world presentation, interface graphics, menus, animation, and framerate.

    Our Graphics rating will count for 25% of the overall score, because graphics are what conveys the game world to the player, and what gives the game much of its feel.
  • Sound & Music (15%):
    What we typically look at in this category: the sound effects, ambient or atmospheric sounds, and musical score.

    Our Sound & Music rating will count for 15% of the overall score, because these two criteria have the ability to convey the mood and feel of the game to the player. Graphics are weighted slightly heavier due to their impact on usually every aspect of the game.
  • Lasting Value (10%):
    What we typically look at in this category: the game's length and/or replayability, the inclusion of game modification tools, and the lasting effect of multiplayer, which is obviously somewhat influenced by its gameplay.

    Our Lasting Value rating will count for 10% of the overall score, because of all the criteria, a great game is least dependent on this category, but rather influences it by its gameplay and other strengths. The game's length and replayability is important, however, and will surely influence the final score of all games. Too often we are faced with brilliant games that end far too quickly (Full Throttle anyone?). This is where we would take note.
  • Bugs, Issues & Documentation (Not Scored):
    What we typically look at in this category: the summary of any problems with the game regarding bugs or other gameplay-related issues. This category has no score due to it's direct relationship with the gameplay, but we feel is nonetheless important to readers. Any major issues here will in fact take away from the gameplay score. We also talk about the documentation that comes with the game. Does it provide enough information, etc.? This can also potentially detract from the gameplay score, such as if the game is sufficiently difficult but the documentation is lacking.
  • Our rating scale:

    All scores range from 0-10, with .5 decimals in between, giving us an effective 20 point scale (well, 21 but who's counting). After all the scores are given out in each review category, we weigh them to build the overall score, which is then always rounded to the nearest 0.1. We will also round up all .05's, giving the benefit of the doubt to the game. So, if a game's overall score totaled 7.75, we would score the game 7.8.

  • Example rating box:

    GameBanshee Rating
    How We Score
    Gameplay (50%)
    Graphics (25%)
    Sound & Music (15%)
    Lasting Value (10%)

    The Gameplay category's score above, a 6.5, counts for 50% of the overall score. The math is simple. Take 65% of 50 (the 6.5 moved over a decimal), and that will get you 32.5. So the gameplay rating gets this game 32.5% towards the maximum of 100%. The Graphics scored a 9.0 and counts for 25% of the overall score. Take 90% (or .9) of 25 and you'll get 22.5. The Sound & Music score received 7.5 and counts for 15% of the overall mark. Take .75 x 15 to get 11.25. Finally, the Lasting Value score was 7.0. That's easy. 70% of 10 is 7. Now add up 32.5, 22.5, 11.25 and 7.0 to get 73.25. This game received 73.25% of a possible 100%. We simply move the decimal back, and round down accordingly, and the game gets 7.3 of 10. That's how our weighted system works.

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