Although I’m not going to award numerical scores, I do want to have some kind of criteria for a final review of each game, following the pattern of CRPGAddict, AllconsoleRPGs, and Inconsolable. These are what I’m considering now, as things that I personally like to see in RPGs:
Story/Characters: I’m not as big on story as a lot of RPG players are, but it’s still nice to see a decent one, and interesting characters.
World: This is the general feel of the game world. Is it generic fantasy? Does it just seem like random towns and dungeons slapped together for the game?
Game Flow: Does it feel like you’re progressing through the story? Things that would subtract from this category would be large difficulty spikes requiring grinding, or long dungeons/fetch quests that get tedious.
System: What is there to do in the battles besides mash A for “attack”? Can magic users actually do anything? Is there anything outside the battles other than standard town/dungeon exploring (minigames, puzzles, complex NPC interaction, etc.)?
Side Quests/Optional Content: In the SFC era this wasn’t the mainstay of RPGs that it later became, but there are still plenty of RPGs that have some.
Interface: Is it easy to navigate the menus? Equip things, use spells, etc?
Graphics/Sound: Judged by the standard of the SNES, of course.
Am I missing anything?