I wanted to get into game reviews for quite some time now, so I'm sure to contribute Prerequisites:
If I take this as a vote, I would say: Yes, let's use a CMS (mostly for productivity porpuses)
But in the end we don't really need one just yet to see if this thing is going to work at all... But then it would be probably much harder implementing a CMS into an existing system and we might as well just make it work right away so... I'm for CMS
Maybe we could use out programming background for the reviews... like "Why is this game missing individual sliders if it isn't that hard to make and this game works with a lot of sounds!" or something? I mean, maybe we can assign some arbitrary values to the games other then just "first feels" ?
News section would be a good idea, it could easily even contain monthly/yearly updates about what games are about to come out and what new technologies were used recently. This might make this site even more valuable then just reviews as long as it keeps updates (I mean.. look at the gamedev site, last update 2 months ago.... nobody is going to wait 2 month for an update, wee need something at least monthly, if possible even weekly?)
controling self-reviews might be a little bit tricky. Even the admins wont be able to tell if it's a self-reviews if the user uses a nickname... Thats why I think there should be some kind of an activity system, so only actual active members can write review... this would discourage game developers to commit months of posting just to self-review a game.As for the Format:
I think each review should contain at least 3 screen shots. Thats Main menu and/or Options menu , 2x Gameplay (if possible avoid spoilers)
If we allow One screenshot, it might as well be a screenshot of the menu and that would tell nothing about the game by it self. I've seen that alot. In the end screenshots are what hooks you to even read the review in the first place (at least in my case)
ofc those reviews should be as objective as possible. Even if I don't like playing let's say fast paced FPS shooters, I'll should still be able to look at stuff it did well in comparison to other shooters i know (this is obviously unmonitorable, I'm just throwing it out there)
I'm okay with the 1 screenshot thing as long as a video showing the gameplay is present.
Yes, rating system are just horrible. instead we should just always include a conclusions section or pros&cons.What to review:
What weezl already said, the more interesting stuff we can find the better. not limiting this to games ofc.Lastly:
Well yes, professional journalists are pretty much our biggest competition when it comes to games, but not for tools and possibly technologies or updated games. They also use a 5 star or 10/10 system which makes the whole review kind of arbitrary in the end. This being a user based community should provide maybe less professional but much more honest and detailed reviews because there is no real set of moderators or Autors who write these reviews, instead anyone can write one and only the result is monitored! This also makes it a perfect place for people who want to get into game journalism but they don't know how or if they are good enough! So we might also just get few people doing this for references