Review Guide, Revision 3

This blog has served as an ongoing personal experiment in tracking my own gaming preferences and challenging myself to justify them.  I didn’t care much for the way game reviews were typically done so I decided that I wanted to try it out for myself.  After two years now my formula has been slowly tweaked for rating and reviewing games.  My main goal has been to reduce the scale on which games are scored to the minimal number of categories possible in order to try and make them more meaningful.  That begun with a five whole-star scale, then shifted to a four whole-star scale.  Now I am deciding to re-calibrate it to be a three whole-star scale:

Meritless: A game without any redeeming or otherwise positive qualities.

Negative: A game whose good ideas shine through in spite of its negative qualities.  It is a game that’s enjoyable to those who are willing to work at it.

Mixed: The positive and negative qualities of the game are roughly in equal measure.  These games can be enjoyed by the forgiving.

Positive: The game offers a largely positive experience whose good qualities are strong and the bad qualities are relatively negligible.

Exceptional: A game in this category is not only good, but great and it can exemplify the strengths of games as an interactive medium.

I’ve made change to the scale because I felt the difference between a 3/4 and a 4/4 was not the same as between a 2/4 and a 3/4. The difference between the former scores is important, but in a less punitive way. A game that’s scored at 3/4 appears to be missing something or has a caveat when none may exist. It’s simply a good game but not a remarkable one. Having the 3/3 score and the “Exceptional” score changes the nature of the scale to reflect that difference.

I’ll be using this scale to score games going forward, but will not be retroactively applying them to previous reviews.

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