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Scoring and Review Guide v2


A small update to how reviews are done that will explain exactly how the scoring system works on Movies. Games. TV. as scores can often be points of contention as many people assume they can take everything they need about a review from a single number.

Ideally, you should read all of the text to determine what the reviewer thought about whatever they are talking about. The score is a 'summary' in effect, but if that's all you look at then you won't understand why it was given that score.

Scoring Guide

[1/10] - Terrible. The review subject might have one or two things that hardcore, die-hard fans may find some value in, but something to steer clear of otherwise.

[2/10] - Very bad. Again, something that isn't very good at all and may be only fans of what's being reviewed who will like it, but not completely terrible.

[3/10] - Poor. Maybe something with serious flaws that stop it from being good, or a premise that just doesn't work, but could possibly still find an audience.

[4/10] - Disappointing. Not necessarily bad, but has issues that drag it down and stop it from being something good. The potential might be there, but unfortunately wasted.

[5/10] - Mediocre. Neither good nor bad, but smack-dab in the middle. This could mean it has poor elements that cancel out the good, or it could simply be average from start to finish.

[6/10] - Decent. Should be enjoyed by most, even if it isn't anything special and fails to leave a lasting impression. The good elements are still more than enough to cancel out the bad.

[7/10] - Good. A solid effort that the vast majority of the audience should be able to appreciate, and fans will definitely enjoy, although has deep enough flaws to stop it being considered great.

[8/10] - Very good. Something good enough that the audience will enjoy experiencing more than once. Very few flaws, if any, and of unquestionably high quality.

[9/10] - Great. An exceptional example of whatever is being reviewed and among the best of its type, if not the best. Minor flaws at most.

[10/10] - Phenomenal. This doesn't mean whatever is being reviewed is perfect, but is close enough to warrant the score. Even if there are minor issues, the overall level of quality is enough to render them irrelevant.

Note: With it never being used and never likely to be given, I decided to eliminate the 0/10 score because it's ultimately pretty pointless (literally, in fact).

Why a ten-point scale?

Personally, I think anything below a ten-point score is too imprecise, and allows for too wide a range of quality to be useful. Although it has just occurred to me that it could be deliberate to force people to read the whole review because of its imprecision.

On the opposite end of the scale, I think anything higher is overly-precise, especially hundred-point scales. This seems to be a particular issue in the games industry, and I do find it ridiculous when I see scores that are a point or two away from perfect, if not 100/100.

I also only use whole numbers - the people who score using half-points or simply using a different scale and should just switch to that. 3.5/5 is the same as 7/10, just like 7.5/10 is the same as 15/20, so why not just use a scoring scale where you don't need to use decimal points?

10/10? No explanation needed

Up to this point, I have added a small section after awarding a 10/10 score to explain why I think it's deserving of the rating, but it has started to feel a little redundant, if not also repetitive, and I would hope anything awarded a 10 will have the reasons why outlined in the main text of the review anyway.

As a result, I'm eliminating this section of reviews and will simply include anything additional that I would've added here to the review itself. In other words, this isn't saving me from any extra writing that hopefully adds something to the review, but more a change of layout that will save me repeating myself.

The 'Endgame' Rule

Like everyone else, I have limited time in my life and not enough to fit in everything I'd like to try out, so I'm instituting what I'm going to call the Endgame Rule. In other words, any piece of media has the same amount of time it would take me to watch Avengers: Endgame from start to finish: 3 hours, 2 minutes.

This won't really affect movies, as the massive, massive majority are comfortably under that length of time. As for those movies that are longer, they're not usually that much longer - as an example, The Irishman is 3 hours, 30 minutes long - and if I've already sat through just over 3 hours already, I'm not going to miss out on the final few scenes.

It will affect games though, and deservedly so - if a game can't grab my attention enough to make me want to play any further in that time, then it isn't a good game. On the other end of the scale, there are games that you can complete in much shorter time than that as they are intended to be played over and over again - Everspace and FTL as two examples - but will still be played for at least that length of time to make sure I've fully experienced the gameplay loop.

Shorter narrative-driven games that finish short of Endgame's runtime - for example, Dear Esther - will only be played the once, because they will be treated the same as any other media that is story-driven and that story should be satisfying enough that single time through.

This rule will affect TV shows as well, although it will obviously change how many episodes a show is given before given up depending on their length. 45 minute episodes will mean a show gets four episodes to convince me to continue, but shorter shows (mainly comedies) that last around 20 minutes will get nine. Unfair? Not really, each show still gets the same amount of time, so it will all depend on what they do with it.

It'll be a little different for books, audiobooks and comic books as I really don't like leaving these kinds of stories unfinished - although this will depend heavily on how much I'm enjoying the book in question. However, the Endgame Rule will mean that I at least give each tale plenty of time to grab my attention before giving it up.

TL;DR - the Endgame Rule will make sure I give every piece of media a fair amount of time to form an opinion of it's quality, while also allowing me a way out if I'm really not enjoying it or, in the case of games intended to be played repeatedly, I feel I have enough of an idea about the core gameplay loop.


I hope that provides some clarity for the scores that appear at the end of each review. Just to repeat, it's still worthwhile reading all of the review text, as review subjects with low scores might still have moments people would like, just as high scores might have issues that put some off.



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