Version 1.5. I'll be adding things to this post when I have the time, so check back every so often.
This guide is better for a quick run through of what not to do and what to do. My friend ThyReviewer has a more extensive guide (meaning it could fill a book) so if you want to improve to the ranks of XwaynecoltX, he is your best bet. (His second post)
http://sheizenhammer.newgrounds.com/ is where you can find some hilarious real-life examples of some pretty crappy reviews.
Note: Before you go rooting through my reviews, I am aware that several reviews of mine are complete crap. The point is I'm trying to change, and therefore so can you.
I've noticed a lot of crap reviews lately and I'm pretty sure most of you have as well. Here are some tips on how to provide non-useless reviews.
1. The review function is not like a comment system. Don't just say things like "this is crap" or "wow lol what just happened?". First of all saying this is crap doesn't explain why the flash is crap. Elaborate on anything you say, and if you don't feel like you can provide any information of value, then just don't review.
2. Avoid 2 word reviews. Simply putting "lol" does not qualify as helpful. Saying something like "good flash" is better, but it is always a good idea to say what you liked and disliked, as some people might not share your sense of humour.
3. Please capatilize a "SPOILERS WARNING" if you want to talk about a key plot point. nothing is more annoying than waiting for a flash to load and finding out someone dies at the end before you watch it.
4. Suggestions for what could have been done better are always appreciated. Though make sure you word your suggestions correctly. Good example: Nice effort. I suggest re-synching the music next time for better effect. Bad example: Next time don't suck so much.
5. Something that astounds me is the number of reviews that get marked helpful when the only thing written was a quote from the flash. Example: "Remember that laserbeam you took to the face? Cancer." That was from one of my reviews for WTFuture. Now let me ask you this: what information about the flash did that provide you? Exactly.
6. Don't waste a review by pointing out that you can't load the flash/get a medal/have a glitch. If the problem is wide-spread then other people will have complained about it as well. If other people are actually commenting on the flash's content, it's probably your computer's fault, not the author's.
7. Don't try and be funny by giving the "turd of the week" a 10/10. There's a reason it got that award. Don't give a flash that doesn't deserve praise a high score (plus it makes you look like a tool).
8. Commenting on every aspect of the flash is always a good thing. Here are the main categories: Animation, music, humour, control (for games). Don't just give a movie a 0 because it wasn't funny, if the animation was amazing, then your review is next to worthless.
9. Divide your reviews into paragraphs. Walls of text are hard to read and generaly mix together too many subjcts at once.
10. Use proper grammar. It makes you look like a douchebag when you don't capatilize your I's.
11. Another idiotic thing that is done by reviewers is giving good reviews because of an author's past work. Just because your favourite author just made a new flash doesn't mean it's the best thing since cheese.
12. Questions for the author do not count as reviews. Too many times have I seen things like : "What is the name of the msuic at the end thxs bye" or "When are you releasing *insert your favourite flash series here* *insert next number of sequence*." These are better suited for a PM, and most top notch authors don't read all their reviews, so your question is as good as unasked.
13. Another bad thing to do is to simply respond to another users review. Just because you disagree with their opinion, doesn't mean you're allowed to waste a review that they will never read. A PM to the reviewer is always a better choice, and the option of actually stating your opinion in your review is twice as good.
14. This next guideline is a simple observation of mine, but then again people are allowed to have their opinions. A lot of people seem to think reviews can only give two ratings: 0 or 10.
Think about it for a second, the flash may have been funny, but did it really deserve a 10? Some reviewers mention something they didn't like about the flash, but for some reason they still award the flash a 10. 7, 8, 9 still mean the flash is good, but awarding unrealistic 100%s to every second flash you see is just a flaw in the review system.
The same goes for giving straight zeros. If the person seems to have actually made an effort to create a good flash (IE: not the Kitty Crew, or trolls) giving them a zero might make them un-motivated to actually improve their methods.
15. This is just tip if you want to provide feedback that will certainly be helpful to people. Review an under judgement flash once in a while. Chances are your review won't be read by the average user, but a new author trying out flash for the first time will love to have some legitimate feedback (as in not telling them to go kill themselves). Reviewing a UJ flash will most likely make someone's day.
16. There's this odd misconception that Newgrounds is in fact Youtube. The review system on NG is not at all like the comment system on Youtube! NG reviews are for providing feedback on the movie, not trying to be a smart ass and getting the most thumbs-up. If you write a hilarious review that doesn't once mention the flash, your review is worthless. The review system is for helping out artists, it's not about getting people over the internet to laugh about your terrible pun.
17. For any flash that involves medals, I often see reviews that have guides for how to unlock them. In my mind, I think: "Cool, thanks man. *clicks on useless marker* Next time don't waste ten minutes compiling an extensive list of medals for a game that sucks." A list of medals in no way tells me whether or not the game is actually fun and/or playable. Always make sure to add your medal guide at the end of your actual review.