Red ratings indicate works that I cannot recommend; for the most part, they’re not worth the investment.
Yellow ratings are used when I have trouble deciding whether to recommend a work or not.
Green ratings are for highly recommended works that you should definitely check out.
- 1/10 – Abysmal: Inexcusable. You would derive more enjoyment from staring at a wall for several hours.
- 2/10 – Terrible: It may have a saving grace or two, but you should avoid it at all costs.
- 3/10 – Poor: You will never see it in any serious list regarding the worst of the worst, but it’s still not recommended.
- 4/10 – Mediocre: There are interesting things about this work, but you’re probably better off skipping it.
- 5/10 – Average: Has about as many good ideas as it does bad. Whether it’s worth trying or not is up to you.
- 6/10 – Okay: An above-average experience that falls short in many ways. Consider this grade an honorable mention.
- 7/10 – Good: This is something you need to try out when you get the chance.
- 8/10 – Great: A solid experience that deserves a permanent place in your collection.
- 9/10 – Superb: A masterpiece. I point to these works when discussing the highlights of a given decade.
- 10/10 – Transcendent: An unforgettable experience that I cannot recommend highly enough.
General scoring rules:
- Only one 10/10 and only one 9.5/10 may be awarded to a given franchise or artist.
- Historical significance may be acknowledged, but will have minimal impact on final judgements.
- Works released in installments will not be reviewed until they have all been officially released.
- The highest score a fan work can get is an 8/10.
Scoring rules exclusive to games:
- The grade given to a game represents its absolute value. Remakes may bring polish to the experience, but the goal of assigning a grade is to determine how good the base game is absent any quality-of-life improvements or extra material.
- Related to the above, a remake must provide a substantially different experience from the original in order to warrant a separate review.
- As a second corollary to the first rule, unless it expands upon the game’s primary campaign, downloadable content (DLC) will not factor into my judgements.
- Porting issues may be mentioned, but will not factor into judgements.
- A game must have an ending to be considered for a review.
- Unless stated otherwise, reskins do not count as separate games, and therefore share the same grade.
- Games primarily made to educate or otherwise aimed at young children are ineligible for a review.
Scoring rules exclusive to films:
- A film must have a narrative to be considered for a review.
Any work that makes a severe enough mistake will be penalized. If a work is penalized, it cannot receive a passing grade. Works are subject to penalization if one or more of the following scenarios occur.
- The work in question has a terrible ending.
- The work ends with a last-minute sequel hook and seven years pass with no evidence that a sequel is being produced. An exception may be made for games focused primarily (if not, exclusively) on gameplay.
- An episodic work ends prematurely with no resolution and seven years pass with no evidence that the next installment is being produced.
- A game features microtransactions as the primary crux of its design. This specific penalization will always result in a failing grade.
If a work is penalized, you will see “Adjusted Score” instead of “Final Score” at the end of the review. The number of points the work receives depends on the quality of the work before it made its fatal error.
- If the work in question would have passed had it not been penalized, it will receive a 5/10.
- If the work in question was already flawed enough to the extent that it wouldn’t have passed anyway, the number of points it would have received is divided in half and rounded up to determine its final score.
- A penalized work will never have a score ending in “.5”. This is because a work with such a severe flaw isn’t allowed to rise to the top of its respective tier.
- If a series of works forms an ongoing narrative and the finale has a poor ending, the installments leading up to it may face retroactive penalization.