Review Scoring Explained
As of March 2017, VGF will be introducing a new scoring system with intent on placing more definition between scores within the 7-10 range. At present VGF is independently run, and most games reviewed are games that the author already has some form of interest in, therefore it’s generally unlikely that the games reviewed are liable to be considered bad, or occupy scores below 7. With that in mind, the decision has been made to introduce a stricter scoring process designed to provide more definition, and discrimination between these these incredibly good games. The new scoring system is as follows.
Zero – Unplayable
Games scored zero were not able to be played for the purposes of review. These games would crash or cease functionality so frequently that the reviewer could not access a bulk of the games supposed content, and therefore a complete review could not be produced. Most of the time spent with these games would not have been with gameplay, but troubleshooting technical issues and attempting to get the game to begin.
One – Intolerable
Games with this scoring are playable, but utterly without merit. Every gameplay system, feature and its implementation lacks considerate design, and fails to engage, or entertain the reviewer. These games are considered by the reviewer to offer misserable experiences, unworthy of anyones time.
Two – Abysmall
These games have some potentially promising features but lack the considerate implementation required to facilitate any persistently enjoyable gameplay experiences. These games may offer flighting moments of entertainment, but these are brief, and far between.
Three – Poor
These games offer some promise, with some features that might engage the player for brief periods of time, but in general these features don’t work together to produce a cohesive whole, or a good game. For instance, the combat might but enjoyable in a game whose focus is placed on its terrible narrative and poorly considered exploration.
Four – Inadequate
Again this game offers some promise and a slightly more significant number of entertaining features than games judged as being poor, yet doesn’t quite hit the mark to warrant a recommendation. This are potentially enjoyable games but only for players that can ignore a very significant number of unenjoyable features.
Five – Mediocre
These games offer a balance between positive and negative features. Potentially possessing a well considered approach to their design, but lacking in some areas of their implementation. Exploration might be enjoyable, but combat might be lack lustre, or numerous of its systems may only partially deliver on their entertainment value. These games aren’t considered universally enjoyable, yet are often enjoyed by many who place more emphasis on the games positive features.
Six – Good
These games offer more positive qualities than bad, and depite various failings manage to offer compelling reasons to keep playing. While games with this grade won’t be universally recommended and many of there features may be similar to other titles, but they usually shine in certain areas, held back by a collection of smaller issues.
Seven – Great
These games are recommended to their target audience, they successfully achieve the majorty of what they set out to, even if some of their gameplay or system implementations could be improved. These games only suffer a small number of design issues that have considerable effect on the players ability to be entertained or engaged by the game and may offer some interesting ideas or innovation in the form of small tweaks on a traditional formula.
Eight – Brilliant
These games are brilliant titles that offer compelling and enjoyable gameplay experiences while either bringing fresh ideas to the table with innovative gameplay systems, or featuring a near perfect implementation of an existing set of ideas. These games are absolutely recommended to those within the target audience.
Nine – Phenominal
These games stand out as incredible peices of entertainment, with only a very small number of technical or design blemishes. Offering both compelling gameplay experiences, and a fresh set of ideas these games are considered unmissable experiences that would be
Ten – Masterpiece
These games are polished to absolute perfection, featuring compelling and engaging gameplay systems while successfully innovating, and providing consumers with fresh gameplay experiences. Very few games occupy this category which is typically occupied by titles while go on to have a significant influence on game design, and the industry moving forward.
With all titles, technical limitations will impact the games score if it is felt that they significant affect the games entertainment value. Minor issues such as occasional dips in framerate, may reduce the games score by a single point if it is felt that they harm the games immersive qualities, however more significant implications on the games playability, will result in more considerable reductions in scoring.