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ReViewing 4 EmuViews - June 08,1999 by Maddog
Maddog is an independent contributor to EmuViews
Do you feel you were born to earn fame and worldwide recognition?Do you sometimes think there's a hibernating Shakespeare inside you?Even better,would you like your opinion to be influencing thousands and thousands of people worldwide? ;)Or,to get more serious,do you want to give back a little something to the emulation community? :)Well,have no fear,Maddog is here to help you achieve any of the above goals,by presenting to you the once in a lifetime chance to read the... DIY GUIDE to REVIEWING for EMUVIEWS!!!
Before I start,I want to remind you that the following reflect mostly my personal experience and opinions. You are always free to adopt a personal style for your ReViews and with JoseQ being one of the most receptive and kind people around in the scene,you are always certain that you 'll have all the necessary help and support. -Msg to JoseQ: Boss,the money should be deposited at the usual account :) I decided to write this guide after some people asked questions about the how-to and as an incentive for other people to jump in the wagon and become members of the (arguably...) best Emu site around ;)OK now,prepare yourselves and read on! :)
Well,actually it is very simple to write a review for EmuViews. First of all,pick up a game you wish to review (I tend to review games I like,I don't see much reason to write a review for a game I hate). Make sure it's not already reviewed-there are 100+ reviews here already,so check out the index ;) With literally thousands of games around,you won't have much difficulty to find one that has n't been reviewed yet...
Then,write down what you think about the game,as a plain .txt file. Just make sure you include the general info about the game (name, company,type,no of players) and your marks (range 0-10) on the six markable areas: graphics,sound,play control,challenge,replay value, performance. What do these mean? Hmmmm,graphics and sound are pretty self-explicable. Play Control reflects how well the game controls respond to your orders (ie,some fighters, where you have to be as good as a piano player to achieve any good moves might rate low) or how good the emulated controls are (eg. the original had some weird custom controls,which are not really decently emulated by keyboard or joystick -OutRun, Operation Wolf etc etc. spring to mind.- Challenge represents the difficulty/interest rate of the game. To me,a good challenge is a game that is hard but not impossible to master AND is quite tempting to come back to "...for just one more game". Replay Value shows mostly how well the game has aged and if it is still worth a go or two. High marks in this area would preferably go to games that are milestones in the history of computer games (I would n't dare give PacMan a low Replay Value for purely historic reasons) or to those that still ooze this good,pure satisfaction of a true arcade game. Finally,Performance equals to the quality of emulation AND potential of the original. Are there any obvious glitches,lack of sound,missing dipswitches/controls etc? Does the game crawl in anything less than a P-III? Is the original not good enough in itself? (eg. slowdowns when many sprites on-screen together and so on). All those are definitely no-no's for a good Performance mark. Of course you are free to give marks as you wish,it's your review after all!
There aren't any "real" rules on what you can write-use your own style!Just keep in mind to avoid any extremities or complex language, due to the fact that your review will potentially be read by all different kinds of people (young kids, people that are not native English speakers etc.). I consider it useful to include info about the plot,what you have to do,the levels of the game,some details about the markable areas,the highlights and lowdowns,the emulators it runs on and also some witty,interesting (or utterly annoying and stupid, depending on how you see it... :) prefix and suffix. And,remember to keep it short and sharp! (just unlike me...). Most people don't want to read looong, boooring texts while on the WWW :)Then,make some screenshots. Maximum publishable number is 3,but make sure you include a 4th with the title screen-it helps JoseQ a lot tomake his cute little icons :) I prefer to include shots with some hot action or from interesting/pretty points within the game. For example, end-of-level bosses, cutscenes, impressive scenery and the like, make for good, interesting screenshots. Unfortunately, JoseQ will probably refuse to publish the naked ladies from Pocket Gal ;) Luckily for you, most emulators feature a nice,built-in screenshot capture function, which helps your task a lot. When you have produced your great screenshots,it is very helpful for JoseQ if you convert them to .gif format, which is a very good and decent format for WWW usage,consumes only low bandwidth and adapts itself very well to the purpose of presenting screenshots from old arcades. I use Paint Shop Pro for this, but any similar utility will do. When all is done,pack the .txt and the .gifs in one nice .zip and mail them to the big Q :) The .zip won't be much compressed,but any help towards lowering the amount of bytes JoseQ's e-mail account receives daily is good and it also helps keep all related archives in one place,instead of being scattered around. As a nice side-effect,YOU get to attach just one file to your e-mail, instead of 4-5 ;) A very good utility for this job is WinZip. When all is done,all you have to do is to sit back and keep hitting reload until your review is posted,which usually happens a day or two later :) Of course you can also include a picture to be used as YOUR representing little icon on EmuViews,or kindly ask JoseQ to supply one for you, which he will probably be glad to do if he gets the time...
Well,I think that's all you need to know to get started...If any of you have any further questions,feel free to mail me at the address So,go grab your fave emu,play your beloved games and then...let the world know what you think about 'em!I am looking forward to any new contributors to the ReViews section and rest assured that at least one person is definitely going to read anything you have to say :)


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Add Your Comments

Name: DJ Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2000 - (13:04)
Subject: Reviewing
There can be only one great reviewer, and that must be me.....One for all and all for one !

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Name: Hattori Hanzo Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - (0:42)
Subject: sweet.
Time for me to go put some games to the test.

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