So just to quickly assuage fears that 5 isn’t good enough, here is a quick rundown of the scores and what they mean to me.
A game which gets a 10 is both technically accomplished, polished to a mirror shine, engaging and entertaining in almost every conceivable way. A game that get a ten from me is a game which utterly blows my mind and makes me wish I could still do cartwheels around the garden, and an industry-defining moment in time for gaming in general.
When a game isn’t quite perfect in every way, but still makes me think it’s an industrial point of brilliance, I will award a nine. Games which attain this score will ultimately be awesome and worthy of your time, but of course may come with one or two slight niggles that don’t ultimately impact on the game as a whole.
Most games I really enjoy end up with an eight. These are brilliant games, truly worthy of your time, but of course not all games come without their own set of issues and problems and even brilliant games come with their own set of problems that just reduce it to this point. Which is most games these days, sadly.
Good games are good games, and really depend somewhat on your own tolerance to the genre but are perfectly good examples of said genre. They aren’t great, but certainly worthy of a look if you can pick them up cheap, or second hand, or on a rental. Good games are pleasant, enjoyable and ultimately nice.
Games which are okay. They don’t really resemble pivotal changes in the market, or real demonstrations of what games can do, but they are at least technically polished and pleasant enough that most people who buy into it will find something nice to enjoy. Okay is for those games which just don’t quite get themselves together to be better…
Average games are just that: average. They come with deeper flaws and never really aim higher than simply average, these are the games which frustrate me most really. A sea of beige; games as window dressing, neither aiming to offend nor inspire, just frame those above and below it. Games with no ambition. Games lacking in quality.
4: BELOW AVERAGE
Below Average is the steady step down into the depths of hell. A fundamentally broken game, or one which has been rushed onto the market unfinished and without any polish or technical check-ups, that simply cannot be called average but just can’t be called “bad” either. A sort of limbo for games that aren’t quite sure which side of the coin to be on…
Bad games are bad. Horrible experiences, chock full of errors, visually horrendous and ultimately unappealing in every respect, bad games shouldn’t exist but unfortunately they do, so I need to have a score like this that denotes their fundamentally poor quality. Games like this really should be avoided as much as possible.
Terrible games are worse than bad. These are games that are just playable, just about resemble “games” but lack charm, fun, polish or anything that would otherwise resemble a product worthy of purchase. Terrible games are usually just barely functional and really can’t be enjoyed by anyone except the most masochistic of people.
1: TRULY AWFUL!
A game that gets this award really is broken. In every single way. There’s no way to recommend such products, because they don’t actually resemble a product that you’d consider buying. Games which crash all the time, barely function, barely operate and just seem truly nasty in every way. Fortunately, this score is very rare.
0: THE GOLDEN TURD AWARD!
But if a game is so unspeakably bad that it defines a new low on the gaming scene, then congratulations! You shall be awarded the most prestigious of bad awards – the Golden Turd Award! Games like this can only be congratulated for their total inability to do anything right at all, and should never, EVER, exist at any point, ever.
Generally speaking I try to choose games which are new to the market. I have to buy and/or rent the games so the review tends to be a week or two after their commercial release, of course.
Generally I prefer to end with a score. When I write, most feelings crystallise into something more tangible and I can make a far better grading assessment based on what I’ve written.
No. Not unless I forgot to put one there, really. A score is a score. I don’t like them but they are a necessary evil.
Would you re-review a game that had significant updates?
Possibly, but I prefer to move on. Some turds can be made to shine, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Do you review MMOs?
I used to, but I try to avoid that as much as I can at the moment. MMO’s rise and fall so rapidly nowadays that a score can be meaningless from one week to the next. Of course, games like Diablo 3 and SimCity aren’t technically MMOs no matter what they say, and I will probably say as much.
Do you get review copies of games?
No. I get to pick and buy/rent the games I want to review, however I am totally open to the odd suggestion for an older game review. Tuesdays are free days here. You may as well suggest a way to fill it!
Have you ever given a game a zero?
Twice in my lifetime. The first was Superman 64, a horrible awful game that insulted the Nintendo Seal of Quality. And Resident Evil Gun Survivor 2: Code Veronica X – frankly the worst game Capcom have ever made.
Can you review my game?
Probably. But just suggest I take a look at it. I won’t accept free copies, as I kind of feel for a blog like this, they’re tantamount to bribes. That’s just my stance. No insults meant.