Information on Becoming a Game Reviewer for CCC


By: Vaughn Smith/Review Editor


As Cheat Code Central's main reviewer for over the past 16 months (I use the pen name John Doe), I have received countless e-mails that can usually be folded neatly into two categories; "I love your review of such and such" or "You are an idiot for saying that game is crap". Sure there are some in-between, those who hated a game I liked or those who like the in-depth coverage we give all of the games or simply those who enjoy the reviews for what they are; opinion pieces.

At a site such as ours, you can well imagine that reviews are definitely second to the awe inspiring amount of cheat codes to be found. But that doesn't mean we just spit out reviews as fast as we can. Quite the contrary. You'll notice that we may not have as many reviews as other sites, but that is due to the fact that there has been one reviewer who has to play the game to the end before writing a review. Hence the reason there are rarely any RPG or Strategy games reviewed. I just don't have that kind of time. That is all about to change though.

Along with the tons of letters I get that tell me I'm great, tell me to die, tell me I'm funny, tell me to actually play the game, tell me stop liking PaRappa and start liking Final Fantasy 7, there are countless requests from people asking to be able to do reviews for Cheat Code Central. We used to have a Visitor Reviews section, but a quick glance through there will tell you that it has been discarded. Not because the visitor reviews were bad, there are some brilliant reviewers to be found in there, but due to the fact that it takes time and effort to gather those reviews and up to this time Dave (the webmaster) was trying to do all that. I'd say he has enough work compiling all of those wonderful codes for you. This is where I come in.

If you've ever wanted to join the review team of Cheat Code Central, now is your chance. We are looking for a few good men and women. Why are we doing this now you ask? Simple. I've never wanted to be the only voice on CCC. I always felt that there is greater strength in numbers. After reading all of my reviews you'll know which game genres I tend to stick to. I don't play RPG's anymore, I don't play Strategy games, I rarely review Sports titles etc. This is where you come in.

We are looking for people who really know their way around a game. They must be avid gamers who own either a PlayStation, Nintendo 64, PC or Dreamcast or any combination. They must also be talented writers. This is by far the more important of the two. There are millions of fantastic gamers out there, but we need the ones who enjoy writing and flourish at it.

Simply write a review of a game (that isn't currently found on CCC) follow the guidelines below and send it to me. I'll thank you all now for taking the time to do that, as there is no possible way to write back to all of you. So, thank you. If your review meets our standards, you will be contacted. Please understand that this is a volunteer service. You will not be paid for your reviews. Your reviews however will be placed in a forum where they will be exposed to millions of people a year. Sort of like being famous without the hassle of being good looking. Eventually you may receive games to review from us, as my small team of reviewers already does, but they have the distinct advantage of living in the same part of the world as me. I'm not keen on shipping games to just anybody, but if you are truly someone special and stick with us for the long haul...who knows. However don't think that you can write 5 reviews and ask for some games or even make specific requests for games. The moment someone sends me an e-mail like: "Send me Perfect Dark to review!" is the very moment you are ignored for eternity. I toughed it out on CCC for over a year as a volunteer. We'll want to see quality and quantity. And who knows? You may even be invited to the gaming event as a member of the year 2000: E3 in LA. And no, it's not a free trip. Sorry.

When you send in the review I will want to see the following: (I filled in the blanks to give you an example)

For the review itself, please follow this format. Any review not following this format will have to be ignored. Check our site for a new review (Driver, Superman, etc.) so that you can see how the final review will look. HTML coding will be provided, you do not have to provide this!

Your pen name (this is a name that you may want to use instead of your own) and your correct email address, so people can write to you and tell you that they wish you were dead and get off my back for awhile.

The review length should be no shorter than 600 words and no longer than 1000.

One last thing and this is important. It's fun to write a review and pretend that you are a jaded gamer who has seen it all and played it all just like the big gaming magazines and websites do and as I have been even guilty of at times (I'm trying to curb that in my reviews). The more I write, the more I realize that that is just the easy way out. Not everyone out there is a pro gamer. Try to take an unbiased look at the game. Sure Tarzan's game mechanics are older than the legend himself, but some kids may be playing it for the first time. Try and see the game on many different levels. It's hard to do when faced with the Superman 64's of the world, but it is possible. Also remember that you will never please all people all of the time, so don't even bother trying. If you liked a game that everyone else hated, so be it. Live with it. Be honest about it.

That's it. All submissions MUST be spell checked and grammar checked. Read it over to see if it sounds correct or better yet, get someone else to read it. Only send 1 review. You may be contacted to send more. Please do not send follow up e-mails asking if I've received and/or read your review. If you send it to the right address, I'll get it.

Now's your chance to make your mark, so get writing! Please send submissions to this e-mail address: vaughn@cheatcc.com with the game name and the word "review" after it. For example: Jade Cacoon Review. Please note: do not send document files. Copy your review into the body of an e-mail. I know all this is a lot to do, but if you do it all correctly, it will be worth it in the end...