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Friday, 17 July 2015

How I rate mobile games and movies

(Please note that the content of this post may be revised in the future.)

(To understand why I prefer to write reviews on my blog instead of directly on Google Play, please read about it here.)

To make it simple, I'll use the universal 5-star rating system:

5*: Excellent
4*: Very good
3*: Average
2*: Bad
1*: Should be avoided at all costs

I'll also apply half stars if needed.

How do I rate mobile games?

I play with either an Apple iPad 2 or a Samsung Galaxy Trend Plus (GT-S7580). I rate mobile games after:

1. The possibility to play the game offline

Let's face it. If the game requires a constant Internet connection, it's impossible to play it unless you have access to free Wi-Fi or are ready to pay for a data plan.

Personally I think games should be able to be played offline no matter where you are - if you're in a tunnel while riding a train, camping in the woods or simply spending your time at a location with bad Internet connection.

One acceptable exception would be if a daily present/gift requires an online connection.

2. Controls

Self-explanatory. Is it easy to control the character and access the menus?

3. The Plot

An important part of my game experience. Is the plot interesting enough to make me want to play this game until the end?

4. Graphics

It's quite obvious: Whether a game uses 2D sprites or 3D models, it must be good to be looking at.

But I won't comment so much if the textures are good or bad. I'm rating mobile games after all, and we should expect that mobile games can't be as beautiful as their console or PC counterparts. And we can't expect all of the 3D characters to be able to move their jaws in a realistic way, can we?

5. Sound and music

Another obvious fact: Not only a game needs to look good, we must bear with the sounds and background music, don't you agree?

Classic java games for old cellphones can't play sounds and background music together at the same time, but games for modern (smart)phones can.

5. Multiplayer experience

In case I play a game where multiplayer exists. I'll rate it as well. I'll comment if the multiplayer session works, if it's balanced or unfair and if the game lags or not.

6. The possibility to share savefiles between platforms

If you get a new device, is it possible to transfer the savefiles from the old one to the new one? Or do you have to restart the game from the beginning?

7. The possibility to record a gameplay session

I bet that many of you want to record yourselves playing a game and developers sometimes include this feature in their apps, but not always.

Is this feature worth your time or not? That's the question.

8. My overall experience

The most important part of the review. Is the gameplay good or bad, despite the game having an interesting plot, great graphics, music and multiplayer experience?

How do I rate movies?

My movie reviews will be easier (and perhaps shorter) than my mobile game reviews.

In my movie reviews I'll give you my overall experience based on
  1. the choice of actors (appearance and how they act their roles)
  2. music (if it fits the setting)
  3. the plot (if I think it's logical or not)
  4. the 3D experience (if applicable; will I get a real 3D experience with my 3D glasses, or is just a gimmick?)

Why don't I rate a 'real' console game or PC game? 

That's because I'm too busy nowadays. I haven't touched any of them for a long time. If I play a PC game, it usually will be Champions Online (a free-to-play massive multiplayer online superhero roleplaying game by Cryptic Studios) since I rarely buy new games.

But mobile games however, that's another story. I can play them anywhere. Sometimes I think a mobile game title can as good as its bigger counterparts.

But I won't leave out the console and PC games completely: If there are news about them on other gaming websites which I find interesting, I'll share my thoughts with you on my blog.

Will you write reviews of every mobile game?

Actually, I won't because I don't have time and because I can't afford to buy every title. Instead I'll only focus on free-to-play mobile games which belong to or are spin-offs of famous franchises.

Why do I only rate movies shown at cinemas?

I don't have time to watch movies often, I'm afraid. And I don't think you're interested in my opinions of older movies which you (may) already have watched.

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