Review Score Guide

Hello there, beautiful people! Welcome to The Jimquisition, a website on the world’s finest Internet. Here, you can expect to find reviews for all of the lovely videogames that men and women sell in shops. I will write about the videogames, then I will nail a damn number at the end for my own salted pleasures. Some people don’t like review scores, and do not want to see them in reviews – that is okay! Scores here are subtle in their application, casually included at the end of the review, and you can always ignore it if you don’t think it’s useful. I personally like using scores, and intend to continue doing so until such time as I don’t.

But anyway, you might be wondering how I use numerical scores, and what each score might mean. In my prior work at Destructoid, I always aimed to use the full ten-point scale, rather than simply the higher end of it. There’s a popular belief that reviews are rated from 7-10 by major outlets, instead of 1-10, and while that’s an exaggeration, I certainly feel more publications could stand to utilize all the numbers a bit more readily. With that in mind, every number means something distinct on my scale, and I do include decimal  “point five” scores in between for nuance’s sake – in my way-too extensive experience, it’s generally useful to have that bit of wiggle room, that sense of, “this was *almost* good enough to rate higher, but didn’t quite make it.”

Anyway, here are the damn scores, and what they bloody mean!

10 (Sterling): A 10 represents the finest of the fine, an exemplar of its genre, and the current game of its type to beat. While nothing in life is perfect, these games come as close to the ideal as one can get. Such a score is not given lightly, and is reserved for true pinnacles of the medium. A pinnacle can be relative – another game may eventually come that bests it, but for now, this is the kind of stuff the industry ought to strive for.

9 (Superb): A 9 represents excellence in almost every area, or at least a consistently delightful experience from beginning to end. There may be problems with the game, but they’re of a negligible variety, and often include such criticisms as, “I wish there were more of the thing that was brilliant.” While not a genre leader, it’s truly a beautiful game in several significant ways.

8 (Great): An 8 represents something that could prove immensely enjoyable to a majority of people, if not everybody. There are one or two noteworthy blemishes on their records, something holding them back, but nothing so major as to not be worth a lot of peoples’ time and energy.

7 (Good): A 7 represents a favorable slice of entertainment that ought to prove welcome in the right house. Not the most glamorous, polished, or jawdropping, but most definitely good for a chuckle or two.

6 (Alright): A 6 represents an acceptable game, the kind of experience unimaginative reviewers (like me) would call “solid.” These workaday games put the hours in, do their time, and manage not to offend the senses too much. They’re okay!

5 (Mediocre): A 5 represents “true neutral” on the scale. It’s not good, it’s not bad. It sits perfectly in between, doing nothing to stand out. It’s not going to ruin your day, but it’s not going to add anything positive, either. Truly the kind of videogame that exists solely to exist.

4 (Subpar): A 4 represents a below average, inferior experience. There may be some high points, a couple of hopeful moments, but they soon give way to the notably less favorable issues.

3 (Poor): A 3 represents a game with some significant damage. While it may have had some potential at one point, that’s been lost to lousy design, glitches, or some other unfortunate failure. Might be interesting… sometimes… but rarely.

2 (Bad): A 2 represents a straight-up bad game. A thorough disaster, there is no hope of a positive experience ever shining through all the broken features and atrocious ideas. Only the truly desperate will be able to dig through the mire and find something passable.

1 (Accursed): A 1 represents not just a bad game, but something offensively bad. Typically, but not always, something so truly vile that the reviewer can’t even manage to get a fraction of the way into it. The game doesn’t have to be broken beyond playability, but that’s common. It could also be so unintuitively designed, intellectually insulting, or even morally bankrupt as to render it beyond salvation. Either way, there is NO potential for a good time, even a meager one. There’s no talent, no skill, no depth, and no hope. This is… The Accursed.

So that’s how The Jimquisition’s scores work! Thank you for reading and supporting the site, and for joining me in my bid to continue providing independent, unfettered, and interesting videogame criticism. Believe the hype!

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79 Comments on "Review Score Guide"

Timothy
Guest
Timothy

Hey Jim, I know your stance on Review Scores and I can understand that. They are all good and well when they are properly contextualized. The problem is people actually have to read the review then. And people are fucking lazy. You know that. People just wanna know what number a game has not in what ways it is good. I mean you have your scores contextualized here, can’t you just like copy these explanantions and replace some words with the title of the game?

Sh0ryu_Repp4
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Sh0ryu_Repp4

I’m surprised that a score of 1 wasn’t called “The Shattered” xD

Glad to see things going well for ya Jim! Love ya mate!

Roger Hågensen
Guest

You know Jim, your score system has 5 positive, 1 neutral and 4 negative scores, you are basically missing 0 (which would make Score 5 the neutral one thus the center point).

What would a Score 0 be though? May I suggest…:
0 (Fail): A 0 represents nothing, the damn thing failed to run or crashes so constantly that there is no point playing it or the interface or UI or input is so horrid that it’s impossible to navigate or bugs are so annoying that you’d rather stare into the sun than look at this crap.

Jerry Bender
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Jerry Bender

Jim, you vastly overestimate your audience. In the review scores you say: “Either way, there is NO potential for a good time, even a meager one” as part of the description for a 1. With the types of games companies like EA produce, very little fun can be had. Thus mainstream gamers become masochistic, and feel they deserve to be punished. Games from EA and/or with a score of 1 are exactly what they want. One man’s 10 is another man’s …

Uhuru N'Uru
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Uhuru N'Uru
the problem with scores is articulated very well by Total Buscuit in this video ▶ I will now talk about game reviews for just over 30 minutes – YouTube It’s not so much any individual Scoring system, however well thought out and specific to the reviewer. It means nothing and stands alone from the whole review. A 70% is just a 7/10 or a 3.5/5 stars no matter what and is compared, purely as a numeric value, with all context stripped away. Then sites like Meta-Critic lump them all together, add a dassh of secret sauce and give a definative… Read more »
Riah
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Riah

I don’t care for scores, but I don’t really have a problem with you giving them. Besides, you’re descriptive enough that I don’t need them to look at them anyway and you put them in the bottom where they’re not plastered obnoxiously everywhere like you’re questioning my ability to read the review. I have no reason to complain.

Mr Andy
Guest

No 0/10?

BIAS!

Mister Bork
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Mister Bork

I think that you need a 0. A 0 is the best score possible to a game like Ride to Hell for example, because that means the it didn’t even deserved one point of mercy

Leslie
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Leslie

Thanks for the review guide Jim. I’m really glad you have your own site that runs the way you want – very pleased with your content thus far.

WarpZone
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WarpZone

Don’t worry, folks, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of fresh, unplayed 1/10s to pick through on Steam after the annual holiday rush of AAA 2/10s dries up.

Craig the Intern
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Craig the Intern

Question: if there are 10 very well-defined levels of quality, why use half-stars at all? Won’t that come across as lacking confidence in your own judgement?

Vote Craig/Shub-Niggurath 2016.

SilentPony
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SilentPony
Hey Jim, mind giving an example of each? Just as kinda’ of a dip-stick of how you assign points? Like Silent Hill 2? Is that a 10/10, now and forever? Or can games depreciate in value and now that games like the Mass Effects, Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, etc…exist the characterization in Silent Hill 2 just seems lackluster, thus knocking it down to 9/10. Or Grass Simulator. You were insanely offended by the game, but is it a 1/10 or a 2/10(for having dubstep dancing cows) Thanks man, and glad to see the Patron is getting bigger every day.… Read more »
DClem
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DClem

– Too many numbers.

JTM
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JTM

Just reading this was a lot of fun! I like that I’m expecting to enjoy Jim’s reviews all across the ratings scale and not just the top tier games that get the most attention. It’s the kind of love-to-hate enjoyment I get out of those Squirty Play awful games on YouTube.

Sage
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Sage

I’m itching to see what glory would be assigned a ten!

Mark Davenport
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Mark Davenport

Glad to see this is thought out 🙂

TnTyson
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TnTyson

Always love a numbered review score. Gives a good idea of the overall tone.

BladedFalcon
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BladedFalcon

Thank you for this guide Jim ^^ And I’m also glad that you do believe in the fun and usefulness that scores can provide!

James I Cameron
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James I Cameron
I think the worst possible score a game could get based on those descriptions would be in the 3 to 5 range. There’s a morbid curiosity with the truly awful, to use an overly used analogy, it’s like watching a train wreck, you can’t help but look at the monumental wreckage. You can even get a lot of joy out of watching or playing a spectacular failure; like Plan 9, The Room, Ride To Hell, Deadly Premonition and Aliens: Colonial Marines. With the right mindset and someone to share the experience with they have the potential to be amazing unintended… Read more »
Seddon4494
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Seddon4494

I love the name for 1/10. Accursed. It really conjures up images of a game that’s the absolute depths of detritus, just a hateful game. A game whose existence somehow diminishes the good in the world :p

Willem Dafo
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Willem Dafo

Go on Jim, find something to bust out that 1/10 on.

No-one has ever seen it. You can have the honour of pulling out the first one the internet’s ever seen. I’m sure randomly scrolling through Steam’s offerings will get us one deserving of it in no time

BrianC
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BrianC

It’d be interesting if you had given examples of games you’ve scored/would score at each, so we’d have some basis of what to expect, for those of us who never followed you on Destructoid and just watch your Jimquisition videos.

Klas Kiander
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Klas Kiander

Really glad you managed to get your own review-site Jim! Congrats!

Horst
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Horst

I’m really waiting for a 1/10 review on Jimquisition. Score guide is good but seeing it in practice is a whole new level of fun 🙂

Dango El
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Dango El

The meanest reviewer in the world?