For over ten years now (first as deafgamers.co.uk and then as deafgamers.com) we’ve been putting numerical scores at the end of a review to indicate how good we think a specific game is. It’s always seemed an artificial way of rating games and despite its simplicity it’s misunderstood by a surprising amount of people. When you think about it a game scoring five out of ten is mediocre, it’s about as mediocre or as average as you can get and yet it’s often perceived as being a terrible mark. Most games publishers think a game is a failure unless it has an average Metacritic rating of eight out of ten (or 80%). It’s all rather silly.
From now on we are not going to put a numerical score at the end of our reviews. We could simply not put anything and let the reader make up their own mind judging by what we’ve written in the review.
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However, I appreciate there are some who simply want a definitive judgement so instead of using a number which is so often misinterpreted, we are going to use a single word. The possible ratings for a game from now on then are:
Benchmark – Quite simply the best, or as good as anything in its genre at the time of writing.
Impressive – Not quite the best in its genre but very impressive nevertheless and highly recommended.
Respectable – There’s nothing or very little here that you won’t have seen before but the game is absolutely fine and a solid example of what a good game should be.
Average – A completely run-of-the-mill game that may have some disappointing aspects but mostly does a decent job. Fans of the genre are more likely to be able to overlook any problems the game has.
Poor – The disappointing aspects of the game are outnumbering the good ones and whilst it’s possible to enjoy the game, you can’t help but feel disappointed with the game as a whole.
Unworthy – By unworthy we mean it’s not worthy of you hard-earned cash. The game has many problems and if you’re even thinking of a purchase we advise that you wait for this to hit the bargain bin which probably won’t take long.
Shocking – It’s not often we see a game that’s a complete shambles but if we do this is the rating the game will acquire. Avoid at all costs.
We have tried to use words that were self-explanatory and didn’t cause any confusion. For instance StarCraft 2 would be considered a Benchmark game, Heavy Rain would be considered Impressive, MagnaCarta 2 would be Respectable, Risen Average, Buzz! Brain of the UK would definitely be Poor, Prison Break: The Conspiracy has to be Unworthy and the tacky Lula 3D Shocking.
So there you have it. We’ve done away with the numbers and any possible confusion or misinterpretation of our verdict on a game.
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