Welcome to the new GameInformer.com! Have you ever read a review in our magazine and strongly disagreed with us? Or maybe you just picked up a new game, and you’re eager to tell the world how awesome or how awful it is? You’ll have the chance on our new website thanks to the “User Review” feature! Let me give you some tips on getting started with user reviews.

Thinking It Through: Before you decide to write a user review for a game, you should ask yourself two very important questions. First off, have you played the game in question to completion, or have you at least experienced enough of the game to give readers a full overview of what it’s like? Posting a hate-filled review just because you dislike the developer or the console it’s on isn’t going to help anyone or make you look good. Neither will writing a review based off of info you got from the game’s manual. Make sure you play the game first!

Second, do you have interesting and fully-formed thoughts about the game to share with the community? If not, you might need to take a little bit more time considering your experience before you write the review. Some Game Informer editors find it helpful to keep notes of their thoughts as they play through a game, while others make an outline of what they found good and bad before they start writing the actual review. Figure out what helps you write the best, most helpful reviews, and then run with it.

Making It Happen: So you’ve decided to write a user review. Good for you! The best way to start is by searching for the game you want to review on our website. In my example, I’m going to be searching for Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, since I recently played that game and have an opinion on it that I’d like to share with the Game Informer community.

On the search results page, look under “reviews” to find the published review written by the Game Informer staff. Click on it.

Once you’re in the review, look on the right side of the screen and find the “Write a Review” button. You’ll want to click on this to get taken to the text editor where you can enter your user review.

If you’ve posted a blog on our site, you should find the user review text editor very familiar. Be sure to give your review a title that sums up the feeling you’re going for. Also, make sure you give the game a rating. Trying to assign a number to your review can often be the scariest part, but don’t let it hold you back too much. Here’s the scoring system we use in the magazine:

10 -- Outstanding. A truly elite title that is nearly perfect in every way. This score is given out rarely and indicates a game that cannot be missed.

9 -- Superb. Just shy of gaming nirvana, this score is a high recommendation because the game reviewed is head-and-shoulders above its competition.

8 -- Very Good. Innovative, but perhaps not the right choice for everyone. This score indicates that there are many good things to be had, but arguably so.

7 -- Average. The game’s features may work, but are nothing that even casual players haven’t seen before. A decent game from beginning to end.

6 -- Limited Appeal. Although there may be fans of games receiving this score, many will be left yearning for a more rewarding game experience.

5 -- Passable. It may be obvious that the game has lots of potential, but its most engaging features could be undeniably flawed or not integrated into the experience.

4 -- Bad. While some things may work as planned, the majority of this title either malfunctions to varying degrees or it is so dull that the game falls short as a whole.

3 -- Painful. If there is anything that’s redeeming in a game of this caliber, it’s buried beneath agonizing gameplay and uneven execution in its features or theme.

2 -- Broken. Basically unplayable. This game is so insufficient in execution that any value would be derived in extremely small quantities, if at all.

1 -- Horrifying.