Ps2Fantasy.com is not the usual gaming site. Our reviews are extremely detailed, in order to give you all the information you need before buying a game with your hard-earned money. Many gamers can't buy more than 4-5 games a year, so it's important for us to give them all our suggestions and ideas about each game we have carefully tested and played.
We give each game 5 scores: Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, Replay Value, and a final Overall score. Our votes for each section go from 0 to 10, with half votes. We never accepted to use decimal votes, like other gaming magazines do, because we consider naïve the idea of being able to give a game a score like 8.2 instead of 8.3. Since we know there are gamers who will use our reviews to decide which game best fits their needs, we prefer to put all the games within a "range" - in other words, when we give a game a final overall score, let's say 8.5, it's like if we are putting it in a category that contains all the games with the same score. Then, within that category, the user can read our reviews in search of all the details that may help him/her in his/her decision instead of discarding one game over another because it got 8.6 instead of 8.8.
The 5 scores
The most important part of any game - its core. In this section we talk about controls, game balance, storyline, game options. For us, "gameplay" means more than how a game plays. Gameplay is a more delicate concept, the equilibrium between pure gaming elements and storytelling (for games that are supposed to tell a story), and/or between pure gaming elements and presentation. While graphics and sound have a separate score, the quality of the graphics engine and of the sound engine can have a direct effect on the quality of the gameplay - for example, bad camera angles negatively influence also the perception of the gameplay.
This is a score assigned to the whole visual department: it takes into consideration the more "artistic" side (characters and environments design, visual aesthetics) and the more "technical" side (the graphic engine).
Voice acting, sound effects and first of all music of a game are rated here. This is an extremely important factor for us. We'll never give a game with a low score in this section a high overall score.
While in this section we try to include, when possible, a precise indication of a game length, the overall quality of the experience has a fundamental role in our score. To be clearer, we prefer 1 hour of a truly fun, truly brilliant game able to surprise and involve the player to 10 hours of boring random battles necessary to level up your character. Then, the replay value isn't an absolute, cross-genre, score. We give replay value taking into consideration the game genre and the average of other games in the same genre.
The final score, an overall look over the whole gaming experience, and not a simple average score. The reviewer can better express, in this way, his/her feelings about the game.
From 0 to 10
10 - It's the highest score a game could get. Games with a 10 as an overall score are, in a word, masterpieces. If you don't have the money to buy them, start thinking about renting your room.
9-9.5 - An incredible game, with many innovative ideas, that's able to surprise you, your grandpa and your dog. Speaking of overall scores, just two or three minor flaws or a not excellent replay value kept this game from having a ten.
8-8.5 - A brilliant, exciting game, strongly recommended by Ps2Fantasy.com, that anyhow has some problems in one or two categories.
7-7.5 - A good game, probably a must have for all the lovers of the genre, but with some evident flaws that may discourage the casual players, or that can easily become tedious. Games with a 7.5 still contain innovative ideas and moments of gaming brilliance.
6-6.5 - Welcome to the realm of mediocrity. Games with this score are worth a buy only if you really like the genre. Serious flaws make the gaming experience quite boring, and/or irritating.
5-5.5 - The happiest part of the danger zone. It's a game with many big flaws that you shouldn't buy unless you've previously rented and liked it.
4-4.5 - A bad game. Do yourself a favor: don't buy it. Or at least, suggest it to your worst enemy.
3-3,5 - Curse zone. From this score, and below, we enter in the realm of "I've wasted my money". Yet, games with a 3.5 have still something to do, in some way, with the word "game".
2-2,5 - Probably, your brain cells would be healthier if you put your head into a microwave oven instead of playing this game.
1-1,5 - Run! Run! Run!
0-0,5 - Everything comes full circle, they say. Games with a zero are the absolute opposite of gaming perfection, so, in a sense, they are perfect too. Yes, because they are an impressive, dreadful expression of what a game should never be, a negative definition of gaming brilliance. If a game with a 10 is white, a game with a 0 is black. The "zero game" is a mythological beast that few people can say to have seen with their own eyes. It's an urban legend, something that lives in our worst nightmares, that we fear one day could really enter into our gaming console. And...