When I create reviews, I usually post them in a specific format derived from a template. I hope to explain these template elements for the readers, so they can understand my points learn the differences between different elements.
Contains all of the following elements in the greatest detail, and only reserved for games which I feel more obligation to review in greater detail, regardless of whether or not it was good or bad.
[Implemented March 28, 2014] A greatly shortened review excluding the elements marked in grey, with the purpose of cutting the time needed to write up the review. Lacks a large amount of detail, and often scores much lower than a game that receives a “Full Review”
Foreword: This is where I place my gibberish not related to the review. It usually represents my thoughts as I was starting the game, and may even include a bit of personal life story as well. I may also include some “conclusions” in this section, including comments like “It sucked” or “It was a great game”.
Title: The title of the game, in its 1) original language, then 2) in romanji, then 3) a title translated into English
Producers: The group of people who got together and created the game. Readers can often associate the quality of the game or even predict the genre/plot depending on the company’s patterns in gameplay
Release Date: The date that the game was released. I put it in standard format here, but when in brackets, follows a [yymmdd] format.
VNDB Link: The link to VNDB with the game’s information. I hate VNDB, but it’s pretty much the best website since it has the minimal information, no ads, NSFW warnings, and nothing heavily to load
Getchu Link: The link to Getchu (JP), which is the exact opposite: LOTS of information, lots of ads, NSFW (only after you go through the page confirming your age, though), and you can even purchase a copy of the game which comes with special Getchu bonuses.
Game Type: The genre of the game, but I often include themes of the games as well
Getchu Link and Game Type are not presented in a “Short Review”
Summary: My OWN words of the game’s beginning scenes. I NEVER use other reviews or previews for my summaries, and expect anyone else to acknowledge that they used my summaries when they do. I will never include spoilers in this section
Story Length: The length of time I spent on the game. While it’s not officially tracked, it is a good estimate to readers about how long they’ll be spending on the game. Generally speaking, my reading speed is about double to triple the pace of normal players, so the numbers may not be right depending on the individual.
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: If the game has choices to be made (hence multiple routes), the difficulty of clearing all the routes AND all of its extra features, including CGs and special bonuses at the end.
Comments: Comments only relating to the story length of its “clearing difficulty”. Often includes rants about how I had to use a walkthough if the game was considerably difficult to clear.
Character Design Rating: The rating I give on a scale of 10 on how well characters were designed. Includes and factors in CV (character voice), artwork (CG, HCG, and Sprites), its relationships with other characters, the character’s background or setting, and the character’s role in the overall story.
Story Rating: The rating I give on a scale of 10 on how well the story was designed. Includes and factors the quality of humor, plot, drama, fluidity, and various elements that one should have learned in a literature class in high school. Many elements can raise this score, but just as many can drop it. I often discuss which ones made such modifications in the “Rating Comments” section.
Game Quality: Quality of the game, expressed in an adjective. Factors in animation, special effects, cutscenes, Opening Movie, and UI (User Interface) Design
Protagonist Rating: Added quite recently, this rating is strictly for the actions of the central character in the game, the protagonist. It is affected by many things, but factors in most crucially the protagonist’s ability to influence heroines, as well as his own personalities to change the environment around him.
Overall Rating: The most complete and general rating given to a game considering the three factors above. It is recommended for players to simply look at this single number if they wish to see what I thought about the game. Any score above 8 is considered a “great game”, and any score at 10 is considered a “kamige”.
Rating Comments: The comments discussing explicitly the elements that contributed to the elements.
Character Summary: A longer section discussing the characters and their design, most often their background or setting. If any provided, spoilers will be placed in this section (of course, with its warning marked in red ahead of time)
Character Summary is significantly reduced in a Short Review
Sexual Content: The amount of sexual content relative to the game’s length. As a general guideline, a 1:100 ratio marks the “Moderate” amount
Comments: Any extra comments that doesn’t seem to fit neither the “rating” or “story length/difficulty” categories will be placed here, including my informal praises or rants.
Affection for the Characters: Personal affection for the characters, described in an adjective to express my attitude towards JUST the characters themselves
CG Score: The rating I give on a scale of 10 of how good the CGs were.
Music Score: The rating I give on a scale of 10 of how good the music was, which includes Opening or Ending songs. Any score above 7 usually accompanies a sample of the music.
Addictiveness: The probability, described as an adjective, on how likely I will play this game again.
A Short Review immediately assumes “Low” Addictiveness, or chances I’ll play the game again.
Conclusion: A wrap-up of the review that summaries the most crucial elements in the most concise manner.