Tuesday, 26 April 2011

What's The Score?


Given how a fair chunk of this blog will end up being occupied by reviews, there needs to be some sort of scoring system so that when everyone's shouting at me for being unfair on their favourite game or film, there's a quantifiable measure of how irrational I've been. The problem is that different scoring systems suit different media: on my Destructoid blog, I reviewed games on a ten point scale. On my university newspaper, I scored films on a five-star scale, whereas on Flixist, we review films on a 200-point scale. Television reviews often don't get ratings at all. So where do we go from here?

It was tempting to either stick with Flixist's system, unifying the two sites, or go with letter grading, which is uncommon enough to work across all media, though is a bit of a challenge to decipher. Ultimately, I decided to stick with the system I know best and which seemed to me the clearest: the standard ten-point scale. This comes with the caveat that I won't be scoring individual television episodes - though perhaps will do full season reviews - because there are so many that I'd need to use a far more intricate system to reflect the differences between each, where I'd rather keep it simple.

So without futher ado, follow the jump to meet the scores you can expect to see at the end of each film or game review posted on this blog, and what each number means...

10 - Masterpiece. This will be one of the greatest examples of its medium ever created. There are no more than a handful of films or games I've ever experienced that would get this score, and don't expect to see many more. A 10/10 represents something approaching the pinnacle of a creative endeavour.

9 - Outstanding. 9s represent the finest examples of a medium in its given year, with the score appearing perhaps once or twice during that timeframe.

8 - Very Good.  An 8 is a strong accolade that means the film or game in question will without doubt reward your time and money, even if it hasn't quite taken that extra step from 'great' to 'exceptional'.

7 - Good. You can expect a perfectly enjoyable experience from a game or film scored with a 7, although there will be a few flaws.

6 - Above Average. A decent experience, perhaps one that might hold greater appeal for fans of the genre, but nothing remarkable for anyone else. It has high points which elevate it slightly above the middle-ground, but not enough to really stand out.

5 - Average. Inoffensive, unremarkable, probably not all that interesting either. A 5 either doesn't have any major flaws or memorable moments, or it has peaks and troughs severe enough cancel each other out. It is an endurable experience, but nothing more.

4 - Below Average. You might find a few decent things in a 4, but they will be drowned out by the negatives. You'll be able to survive this, but won't enjoy it.

3 - Bad. Just bad. Barely redeemable in any capacity, a game or film rated 3 is one to stay well clear of and will probably be among the worst examples of the medium in a given year.

2 - Awful. Verging on criminal. If you receive a film or game marked as a 2 as a birthday or Christmas present, consider it grounds for divorce/emancipation/murder. Not necessarily in that order.

1 - Reprehensible. A 1 is not just a reflection of a dismal absence of quality, but means the experience is loathsome on a whole other level. It is a disgrace and a stain on the face of the medium it represents.

0 - Non-functional. If a game literally cannot be completed or a film is unwatchable, it gets a 0. Not so much a reflection of quality as much the fact that it literally doesn't work.

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