If you’ve been reading our reviews here at Gamnesia, you may be one of the many readers who pointed out that the link, “Read how our reviews work…” led to a page that simply said, “We’ll let you know soon enough.” That’s not very helpful, now, is it?

As a part of our continued effort to streamline the site and get everything up to snuff, we’ve touched up that page with an actual description of how we rate games in our reviews. You can find this review philosophy in its more permanent place right here, or simply click the “Read how our reviews work…” link at any one of our reviews. But for your convenience, we’ve reproduced out mission right here for you all to see.

Now, the truth is, review scores are totally arbitrary. This doesn’t apply to just Gamnesia but it 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. In an ideal world, we would forgo scores and use only words, but unfortunately, numeric scores are the cornerstone of the industry-wide system.

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.

Without further ado, the following is how we rate our games:

  1. 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.
  2. Bad. These games are bad experiences that leave the player dissatisfied or unhappy. They have little sense of purpose and should be avoided.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Essential. Games rated as a ten will be absolutely breathtaking titles that you will not want to let go. This rating is reserved 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.

This is our official review philosophy as it stands, but of course, much like our other statements of principles, it is a living document. If you have any suggestions or comments to make, please do. If not, we hope you continue to enjoy our Gamnesia Reviews!

Our Verdict

Colin McIsaac
I first played Donkey Kong Country before even turning three years old, and have since grown into an avid gamer and passionate Nintendo fan. I started working at Zelda Informer in August 2012, and helped found Gamnesia, which launched on February 1, 2013. Outside of the journalism game, I'm an invested musician who loves arranging music from video games and other media. If you care to follow my endeavors, you can check out my channel here: http://youtube.com/user/pokemoneinstein I was rummaging through some things a while back and found my first grade report card. My teacher said, "Oddly enough, Colin doesn't like to write unless it's about computers or computer-type games. In his journal he likes to write about what level he is on in 'Mario Land,' but he doesn't often write about much else." I was pretty amused, given where I am today. Also I have a dog, and he's a pretty cool guy. I don't care for elephants much. I suppose they're okay. You've read plenty now; carry on.


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