Review Standards

BebitoMediumDiehard Gamefan Reviewing Standards

Greetings. I’m Bebito Jackson, Editor, writer, PR Manager and general overall swell guy. I’m here to provide you with a hopefully brief explanation of Diehard Gamefan’s Reviewing Standards.

Despite that this is of course all subjective, our main goal is to provide as informative, honest and unbiased of a review as possible. We hope to serve you, the reader, first and foremost rather than to pander to game companies or industry conventions. Our second objective is to enjoy ourselves and to hopefully pass that along to you as well.

Understand that our reviews are freeform so you’ll see a variety of styles from writer to writer. Some go into long extreme detail delving into specifics for each and every part of a game. Others give you what they deem to be the most pertinent aspects of a game you’ll need to know in order to make an informed buying decision if you so choose to use our reviews as a guide in that regard. We have a variety of styles to accommodate a variety of mindsets and readers. But one thing you will never see from any of us is a paragraph long un-backed opinion with a number attached to it.

Something that is consistent across the board is that at the end of the review we’ll provide a one or two word breakdown for each of the following ten categories:

Story / Modes

This rating is for the game’s narrative, but only if applicable. There are lots of good games without stories. Tetris for example. In those cases, and also in sports games, the story would equate to the Franchise, Season, or any other Modes the game provides.


Here is where we measure the visual quality as well as the overall artistic direction of a game. Basically, how pretty is it?


The “Sound” rating would cover any music, voice acting, and overall audio design… or lack thereof.

Control / Gameplay

This would cover play mechanics, level design, and the overall “feel” of the controls and gameplaying experience.


Is this a game you’ll play over and over again even years down the road? Or is the game something you buy, play once or twice and never play again? Note that multiple endings, different paths in a game, unlockables, extensive multiplayer features, online play, and non-linear plotlines enhance this aspect of gaming.


This may be the hardest of all the categories to understand. Basically, is the game even in all aspects? Does the difficultly level increase at a steady pace with each level, or is the game super ultra easy for 90% of it and then suddenly the last boss is mucho psychotically tough? As well, is the game priced correctly for the amount you get? For example paying $50 for a game that can be beat it in an hour. The opposite is true as well. If a game features crap loads of filler in it that make you waste time just so they can increase the amount of time it takes you to beat the game, then that would also be taken into consideration.


Perhaps the hardest one to judge. Are there drastic improvements or innovations to gameplay? Is it a sequel? How unique is the overall experience in plot and concept?


Not to be confused with Replayablity. Here we rate how much you WANT to keep playing a game. Is it something you can play for long periods of time or is it something you are not compelled to dive into as long or as often, no matter how bad or good the overall game may be.

Appeal Factor

Appeal Factor simply is: How well will this game appeal to a large audience of fans, and not just a niche group. Will it sell? Will it be an overlooked gem? Or will it be overlooked altogether regardless of reasons or overall quality.


This rating is for whatever the reviewer covers in the back of their minds which may or not be explained. If it’s an RPG… the battle system. If it’s a date sim, how logical the answers are. If it’s real time strategy, how decent it flows. Things of that nature.

The Final Rating

After taking all of these ten components into consideration the game is given a final rating. Again, basically a simple phrase or adjective (those of which we’ll get to in a moment) that describes our general take on the game as a whole. As already stated, reviews are subjective but hopefully this final rating will aid your understanding of a game when taken into consideration with the actual written review.

The Rating Scale

For each of the aforementioned aspects above we’ll provide a one or two word verbal synopsis using the following evaluations which are self-explanatory. Going in descending order these are our ratings:

“¢ BAD

Short Attention Span Summary

Again, we do hope you’ll pay more attention to the content of our main review. But we do recognize there are some who want to cut to the chase. To accommodate we’ll give you a concise overall rundown of the game that we tongue in cheekly label the Short Attention Span Summary. If you are looking for some sort of Final Word look no further than here.

You’ll notice that there is no numeral scores involved. In this we hope to be an alternative. The whole point of what we’re doing is to try and think outside the box and have fun with ourselves. Many times reviewing is taken far too seriously. So rather than to nitpick and quibble over a number, we’d much rather provide an honest, entertaining, and hopefully informative experience.

Thanks for joining me.


We treat all gaming publishers and developers equally. In the pursuit of this we publicly list all publishers sending us review copies so that our readers can be aware of with whom we have a working relationship with, so as to prevent any inkling of bias or conjecture that a review or article on Diehard Gamefan is pandering to those companies.

Current List of Friendly Publisher & Developer Affiliates:

2K Games

2K Sports



Aksys Games


Atlus USA

Atropos Studios

Bethesda Softworks

City Interactive

Clear Crown Studios


Crave Entertainment

D3 Publisher of America



DSI Games

dtp entertainment AG

Electronic Arts

EA Sports

Empire Interactive



Genius Products, LLC

Got Game Entertainment

Her Interactive

Konami Digital Entertainment

Legacy Interactive

Lighthouse Interactive



Matrix Games



Namco Bandai Games



Nintendo of America

NIS America


Paradox Interactive

Phantom EFX

Sega of America

SNK Playmore

Southpeak Interactive


Square Enix, Inc.


The Adventure Company




Vir2L Studios

Viva Media

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment


XS Games

ZOO Games


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