Friday, October 24, 2008

New Review Scale

While I like the ideas behind my old review scale, I took a hard, objective look at it and realized... it's kind of stupid.

The descriptions add an extra layer of complexity to something that I wanted to just keep as simple as possible. To an outside observer, it would take longer to decipher the real difference between "delcious!" "mediocre!" and "digusting!" without having it explained to them, and that's completely against the entire philosophy of my review scale.

The whole reason I stripped it to three ranks was because I felt that numbers were arbitrary. I still stand by that sentiment. Honestly, what's the difference between a 67 and a 68, or a 6.7 and a 6.8, or even a 6 and a 7? But then again, at least people are familiar with that number scale. Having a personal scale that only applies to this blog? Stupid.

Beyond that, there were still flaws in my rating scale. Having a middle rank was always kind of a cop-out for myself, so the decisions wouldn't be quite so tough because some games really do seem to sit right in the middle of the scale sometimes.

Then I realized that spending time and money on a game is even simpler than that. Either you do or you don't. Whether a game comes out to an 8/10 or a 74/100 or a D-, it's always reduced to a binary value: "Based on the review score, I will/won't spend my time and/or money on this game."

This leaves me to present the new (hopefully final) scale:

Thumbs Up!      Thumbs Down!

It's a pretty self-explanatory scale: A "Thumbs Up!" rating means the game is worthy of your time and money, and a "Thumbs Down!" rating means the game is not worthy of your time or money. Simple as that.

Many reviewers have expressed resentment that the general public seems to skip over the text of the review and jump directly to the score. I feel differently. It allows people that aren't invested enough in a game to read the entire review to just get a quick thumbs up or down assessment. Occasionally there are times where I'm personally just not interested enough in a game to go deeper than finding out more than the basic "how was it?" And depending on the score, I might go back and read the review to learn more about the game.

I feel that the rating should be the most concise version possible of my review. My goal is that by the time you've reached the end of the review, you don't even need to see the rating because you already know what I'm going to put. You should never be surprised by the rating I've given a game if you've read the review.

I'll have some tough decisions to make with the games that feel unworthy of a "Thumbs Up!" yet a "Thumbs Down!" feels harsh, but I think that it leads to a much better experience for the reader.

No comments:

Post a Comment