Now, the truth is, review scores are totally arbitrary. This doesn’t apply to just Gamnesia but exists as a truth in the whole of the gaming world. The experience of a game is subjective to the gamer, and the writing and reasoning — not the number — should affect a reader’s interest in any given game.
At Gamnesia, one of our strongest beliefs is that both readers and reviewers in the modern gaming climate over-inflate game scores to the point of insanity. In fact, on our very own site, we once received a comment saying, “An 8? Um, yeah, too mediocre for me. I’ll pass.” This is one of the biggest problems we see in the numeric system, but unfortunately it’s hard to avoid. At Gamnesia, we hope to return to a time where five out of ten meant “average,” and not “abysmal.”
That said, you may find Gamnesia reviews to rate games lower than you may expect to see on other gaming websites. Thus, we urge you to keep our philosophy in mind when glancing at our review scores.
Two Ways to View
There are two types of people who read reviews: those who like to see a quick score or assessment of the product, and those who like a richer understanding of the game and its experience. At Gamnesia, we provide both in order to please both types of readers.
For the glancers: At the top of our reviews, you will find a game’s score and a quick set of pros and cons. There will be a section titled “The Verdict” at the bottom, which is a final summary of why the game is or is not good, for those who care to get a slightly better understanding of the game.
For the readers: For those who prefer to get a more nuanced understanding of a game, we also provide full text reviews of games. These reviews describe the games, explain what is or isn’t good and why, and will give you a fuller understanding of the experience and whether or not it will pique your interests.
Because the enjoyability of a game is largely determined by the player, we encourage you to read the full text and better determine for yourself whether the games in question are right for you. But we also recognize the ease and convenience of the number system. Thus we are happy to provide accurate numeric scores for you, the readers.
The Scale Itself
Now enough rambling. I bet you’re here to see how we rate the games. Without further ado, here’s the scale:
- Worthless. These games will offer very little value and should be avoided. They may suffer from several major glitches or offer incredibly shallow gameplay experiences. There is no value in the experience these games offer.
- Bad. These games are bad experiences that leave the player dissatisfied or unhappy. They have little sense of purpose and should be avoided.
- Poor. These games are bad games that may display little originality, unpolished mechanics, or other signs of a bland experience. These games are not unsalvageable, but will more likely than not leave players unsatisfied.
- Lackluster. These games are nothing to write home about. We do not recommend these games, though it wouldn’t hurt to give them a try for yourself. These games will often show greater potential than that which was realized, but are ultimately low on the quality spectrum.
- Fair. These games offer an experience that is not outstanding either positively or negatively. These games are not strongly recommended, but you wouldn’t be doing yourself a disservice to check them out.
- Pretty Good. These games may be great experiences with a few major drawbacks. Games given a six out of ten are recommended by the staff, but missing out on them is no significant loss.
- Very Good. These games offer a great gaming experience and are recommended by the staff. Games with a seven out of ten may suffer from certain major flaws but should nonetheless be added to the wish list.
- Awesome. These games are very well built and should be experienced by all sorts of gamers. These games may have minor flaws or setbacks, but ultimately serve as a memorable gaming experience.
- Spectacular. These games will be brilliant marvels of gameplay, storytelling, or both. They are nearly flawless titles that you will not want to put down. Titles given a nine out of ten will contain negligible flaws and are a necessary addition to any gamer’s library.
- Essential. Games rated as a ten will be absolutely breathtaking titles that you will not want to let go. This rating is reserves only for the most exceptional, groundbreaking games of all time. Thus, you will rarely if ever see a game given a perfect score here, but if you do, prepare to shell out some cash fast.
We the staff will strive to adhere to these guidelines as well as possible, but we cannot guarantee perfect agreement. But like we said above, numbers are arbitrary anyway — screw those guys and read the text instead. You’ll be much happier.