GamingBolt’s Review Policy

Review policy updated on August 6th, 2015.

THE SCORING SCALE

Undoubtedly the biggest problem that reviewers throughout the industry suffer is the problem of grade inflation. Video games are a young medium, and video game criticism is younger still. Some form of uncertainty regarding just how an interactive product is to be scored is to be expected. This review policy clarifies the scoring scale, as it will be henceforth used on GamingBolt.

This is important, because we are also changing the scoring scale going forward. 0.5 increments are no longer a part of our scale, and the descriptors under each number have also been changed. These changes have been made to have each number on the scale have some meaning, and to make that difference clearer- as it stood until now, the full 10 point scale was rarely used, and on the lower end, there was scant difference between, say, a 1 or a 2. This will no longer be the case.

1: WORST

Really, that should say it all. 1 is a score reserved for games that are so fundamentally broken, they are non functional products. This is not a video game that you have received, it is a glitchy, unoptimized codebase that someone thought was a video game and distributed publicly by mistake.

2: AWFUL

A 2 game has failed at some very basic level at just being a good game. The mechanics are broken. The product is unpolished and rife with bugs and glitches. This is a game that at every possible level was just poorly conceived. Unlike a 1 game, this one is actually a game, instead of a digital mess- it’s just the most terrible instance of one that you can think of.

3: POOR

A 3 game is a bad game. There is almost nothing here that works. The mechanics are not fun. They are probably not well developed. If they are or were, other problems such as glitches or connectivity issues drag them down. Ultimately, this is a game where you can see what the developers were trying to do, but we think they failed at pulling it off satisfactorily.

4: BAD

Somewhere in here is a good game. There is a lot of potential in a 4 game, but it has entirely been squandered. This is not a case of poor development of mechanics or glitchiness like a 3 game. This is a product that you can see as having conceivably been worth your time had it been allowed more time in development, or just a different development path. As it stands right now, it’s not a very fun game to play, whether because of its mechanics, or because it just feels unfinished in some for or another.

5: AVERAGE

5 games are not offensive games. These are games that don’t do anything well, but they don’t do anything too badly either. They just… are. Maybe you can have some fun with them, but only if you are dedicated to the style of game they are, or their series or genre. Under most circumstances, we cannot recommend these games to people, not because they are bad, but simply because there are better instances of similar games out there.

6: FAIR

In general, this is a good game. It’s just nothing exceptional. It can easily be recommended for fans of the genre/developer/franchise/target audience/whatever other demographical parameter you want to insert here. People outside of that group of people, however, might wonder what all the fuss is about, looking in from the outside.

7: GOOD

Exactly as the subtitle says, this is a good game. Everything that this game was trying to do, it does it well. There are obvious ways that this game can be improved that we can think of, but apart from that, this is a game you can recommend to most players.

8: GREAT

You see that great there? That’s exactly what the 8 score means. Games that get these score are so accomplished, they do pretty much everything that they were trying to do, and do it incredibly well. There are very few flaws with the overall product, but these flaws do impede on your enjoyment of the product somewhat.

9: AMAZING

These are games that not only do whatever they set out to do exceptionally well, but have very, very few flaws that have almost no bearing on the overall experience.

10: MASTERPIECE

Let’s clear one misconception right here. 10 is not perfect. A game that is a 10 can still technically have ‘errors;’ they are just errors that could not conceivably have been removed given present day technology and the limitations it imposes. A 10 game is a game with flaws that are irrelevant, not only because they don’t impact your enjoyment of the game, but also because, simply because of technological limitations, they had to have been there. This is reserved for games that deserve only the highest recommendation possible that we can bestow upon a game.

Previous Review Policy [For reviews published prior to August 6th, 2015]:

1-1.5: DISASTER

Really, that should say it all. 1 and 1.5 scores are reserved for games that are so fundamentally broken, they are non functional products.

2-2.5: TERRIBLE

A 2 or 2.5 game has failed at some very basic level at just being a good game. The mechanics are broken. The product is unpolished and rife with bugs and glitches. This is a game that at every possible level was just poorly conceived.

3-3.5: POOR

A 3 or 3.5 game is a bad game. The mechanics are not fun. They are probably not well developed. If they are or were, other problems such as glitches or connectivity issues drag them down. Ultimately, this is a game where we can see what the developers were trying to do, but we think they failed at pulling it off satisfactorily.

4-4.5: BAD

Somewhere in here is a good game. There is a lot of potential in a 4 or 4.5 game, but it has entirely been squandered. This is not a case of poor development of mechanics or glitchiness like a 3 or 3.5 game. This is a product that we can see as having conceivably been worth your time had it been allowed more time in development, or just a different development path.

5-5.5: MEDIOCRE

Mediocre games are not offensive games. These are games that don’t do anything well, but they don’t do anything too badly either. They just… are.

6-6.5: FAIR

In general, this is a good game. It’s just nothing exceptional. It can easily be recommended for fans of the genre/developer/franchise/target audience/whatever other demographical parameter you want to insert here.

7-7.5: GOOD

Exactly as the subtitle says, this is a good game. Everything that this game was trying to do, it does it well. There are obvious ways that this game can be improved that we can think of, but apart from that, this is a game you can recommend to most players.

8-8.5: SUPERB

You see that great there? That’s exactly what the 8 score means. Games that get these score are so accomplished, they do pretty much everything that they were trying to do, and do it incredibly well. There are very few flaws with the overall product, but these flaws do impede on your enjoyment of the product somewhat.

9-9.5: EDITOR’S CHOICE

These are games that not only do whatever they set out to do exceptionally well, but have very, very few flaws that have almost no bearing on the overall experience.

10: EDITOR’S CHOICE

Let’s clear one misconception right here. 10 is not perfect. A game that is a 10 can still technically have ‘errors;’ they are just errors that could not conceivably have been removed given present day technology and the limitations it imposes. This is reserved for games that deserve only the highest recommendation possible that we can bestow upon a game.


 

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