Since the dawn of the new TAY
in the late 1800's last year there have been many reviews posted for games, movie, shows and food. Usually the reviewer will have a set way they want to present their review with their own graphics and format. This leads to many many different types of reviews. Not that that's a bad thing.
I've been posting Lazy Sunday Reviews for about six months now and it's definitely one of my favorite articles to write. But. I (and many others) feel like the TAY needs one go-to format for those who don't want to spend the time digging out a niche of their own and to give us a nice consistency when people stop by from the main page or anywhere else.
Steve Bowling and I have been working diligently (him more than me) on this format that borrows from quite a few different places. Steve even managed to run the whole set up by Tina Amini to see what she thought. She liked it! Our hope is that these reviews (and more TAY articles in general) will be shared to the main site for all to see. That being said, please keep in mind that you do not in any way HAVE to use this format. We just made it for those who want it. If you don't, that's fine! Go do your own thing. We ain't even mad.
"The TAY Review" Breakdown:
1. The title of these reviews will be "Name of Game: The TAY Review" much like "Name of Game: The Kotaku Review". It may seem a little too similar, but we are part of Kotaku after all and everything else we tried out sounded too corny or confusing.
How do you italicize the game name in the title you ask? Simply surround it with < i > and < /i > (with no spaces of course).
2. The title picture should be from the game or of the thing you are reviewing. We have designed a little button to add to the pictures. It looks like this:
We will, of course, be providing files for everyone to use.
The key to the perfect image is a width of 636 pixels. This gets rid of those pesky "expand" buttons that tend to pop up in the left corner (like above).
3. After a quick intro paragraph the body of the review will flow much like a Lazy Sunday Review. In fact Steve and I have revamped the sections and their graphics for all to enjoy. There will be a "Fantastic!", "Not Bad..." and "Terrible" section on each review.
Under each section will be the main points (use header 4 size font for these), followed by an explanation as to why they are good, bad or mediocre. Example:
There have been many amazing video game sound tracks composed, but Jerkosaurous has the best one my ear balls have ever heard. The classical approach to dub step is both inspiring and confusing (in a good way). Sometimes I would just sit and listen to the beautiful sounds, produced only by blowing on jugs, until I fell asleep.
4. At the end of the review, under a "Conclusion" banner you should drop the closing scorecard which will explain who the game is for, who it isn't for, what games you might enjoy if you liked it and our overall rating. The ratings are "Go for it!", "Proceed with Caution" and "Not Worth Your Time." There will also be other basic information. This is somewhat similar to Kotaku's, YES and NO system, but we made it our own.
After the closing scorecard you should do a quick wrap up and that's it. Done!
Tag the article with "The Tay Review" and the name of the game. Any other tags are fine, but don't forget those two!
Obviously reviews can be as detailed, vague, long or short as you want them to be. They can even be in bear language!
Steve is going to be kicking off the new review format with his review of Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, which will drop tomorrow. I'm going to be following that up with reviews for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Tuesday and Adventure Time: Card Wars later in the week.
If you would like to do a review, but don't have a way to edit one of the closing graphics please contact me or Steve and we can put one together for you. Just have all the info ready to go and we can drop it into the correct spots.
All files can be found here.
GIMP files can be found here. (Thanks to Dex for that!)
Since it would be kind of awkward if two people both reviewed the same game in the same format I have created a document where you can essentially sign up to review a title in the future. Only sign up if you are using the "TAY Review" format. If you aren't then there is no need to. The document can be found here. Please do not add games without release dates.
If you have more questions about signup please use this helpful FAQ.
Consequently, I have been told that games Kotaku won't be reviewing will have a better chance of getting bumped to the main page. Getting bumped isn't a must, but sometimes it's cool!
Steve and I are working to contact developers so we can get early access to titles for review. We haven't had a ton of luck thus far, with the exception of Nintendo. But even with them we are at the bottom of the totem pole and we don't get much. If we manage to get a lot of review copies coming in we will hand them out to those who have signed up to review them on the list and have written quality reviews in the past.
As always, if you think of a way to improve upon this format please let me know and we can discuss it as a community. I'm excited to hear your thoughts!