FI's Review Criteria
Our basic benchmarks are the average game and the typical U.S. movie experience. A typical movie is around $8 to $10 for approximately two hours of entertainment, while the average game is $50, with single-player campaigns that last perhaps ten hours. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the games, approximately half the rating relates to the quality of the game design. The other half relates to the technical aspects of the game. Neither an incredibly polished game that's entirely devoid of fun nor a brilliantly designed and hopelessly implemented game should score highly.
Furthermore, we don't review every game, so don't be surprised that the average score of the games we rate is higher than two or three stars. While we believe there is a continuum of game scores that runs the gamut from zero to five, we focus on the highest quality and most interesting games available. We have no plans to rate every collection of Mah-Jong games available in your local drug store, and don't believe you are interested in reading those reviews. We focus on giving you the information you need to decide how best to spend your gaming dollar.
A few things have changed since we originally established our review criteria. With the launch of yet another generation of consoles, prices of new games are creeping up toward the $60 mark. At the same time, episodic games are becoming more common and premium downloadable content is now available for all game platforms.
Keep in mind that our benchmarks have not changed. Unless stated otherwise within a review, premium content is not included in a review. If it is reviewed, it is reviewed separately – according to its price. Episodic content is also evaluated according to the same model. In other words, a two-hour game that costs $8 to $10 is comparable to a film or typical game. If that same content costs $20, it needs to be surpassingly brilliant to secure a comparable rating.