NEOGEOKULT REVIEWS: USER'S MANUAL
A percentage system is used, with scores ranging from 0 to 100% for all of the criteria. Each game is rated according to its age: for example, the graphic rate for a game like R-Type, released in 1986, will obviously be less severe than for a game of 1996 as Ironclad, for the score accorded to each criterion takes into account the contemporary standards of the reviewed soft, and assigns a note on its performance in the era context.
On each review page, before the rating table, you'll find the description of the game: it contains the title of it, and the corresponding logos (Hit, Mega-Hit, expensive game, shitty game, etc :). From left to right and from top to bottom are shown: the size of the game in Megabits, the number of simultaneous players, the type of game, the year of release, the editor's name, and finally the difficulty graded on seven levels. The reference to 'ONE-CREDIT' specifies the difficulty to finish the game with only one credit, otherwise the difficulty mentioned takes into account the basic number of credits available with the basic level of difficulty. Here's what these levels correspond:
Each test is enhanced all along the lines with twenty-two screenshots, ie pictures of the reviewed game. The thumbnail images on the right can all be zoomed, enlarging up to a maximum size of 400x302. Below as example, here are some Karnov's Revenge screens.
GRAPHICS: The different elements judged are the overall quality, graphic finesse, level of detail, choice of colors, relief, innovations, ... but also the global artistic beauty. Variousness is also taken into account, as well as the 'quantity' of different backgrounds or elements present in the game. Well obviously, if the sets are ugly, the fact those are numerous won't raise much the note!
ANIMATION: Overall pace of the game, dynamism, decomposition of sprites, fluidity and smoothness... Many criteria are taken into account here, as the number of steps chosen to host this or that move at a particular speed, quality of the scrollings, playability of the game speed, quality and quantity of effects used and relevance of these choices.
SOUND: Overall sound quality, richness of compositions, artistic quality and variety of vocal performances; musical themes of the game relevance, variety and choice of the sound effects, but also adequacy -or not- of the musical color with the game itself!
Example: Metal Slug table's technical part.
Metal Slug has created a graphic style on his own. The game style, very detailed and cartoon-like is inimitable.
Highly fluid, over-decomposed and quick. Very rare slowdowns when played simultaneously.
Sound and music will put you in the atmosphere perfectly: a success.
REPLAY VALUE: life of a video game involves two values: the time spent by a regular player to clear the game itself (depending on the difficulty and duration) and the effective playing time which is more abstract, meaning the time taken to complete the game once. These two values are taken into account to calculate the final grade. But for the Replay Value, we have to pay attention to the attraction generated by the soft: Once it has been completed, does it still have us want to play again or store it definitely on the shelf? Some other criteria for RV: Multi-player play, cooperative play, amount of challenges to clear, difficulty levels, appeal of scoring.
GAMEPLAY: This is truly the paramount value of any game, the heart of every soft. Scoring Criteria: addiction felt, gaming pleasure alone or with other players, fun, richness and depth of play.
Example: Fight Fever table's gaming part.
Better speak about 'life expectancy', given that the cartridge might end in a wall or flying outside the
We hit the bottom of the sea here, tasting the worst of 2d fighting. And i assume those words...
This final note takes into account all the elements judged before, which are each assigned a coefficient, depending on the type of game and the importance of every part of its realization for the global rate. The gameplay is the key, while quality of the visuals and sounds can reinforce or alter an overall score, based on the significance of these for the fun of the game, alongside life and gameplay. Below, the 'NEOGEOKULT RATE', the final note that evaluates the whole game's qualities:
Fabulous realization and addictive gameplay, here is an unknown game that merits all your attention. Definitely in my Top 3 of
Neo Geo Shmups...
VALUE FOR MONEY: This ultimate part of the review analyses the money/gaming interest ratio of the game. Would you get what you had paid for? Wouldn't it be foolish to invest so much money for this game...?