I've had some trouble in the past putting a numerical value on appreciation. That all changed when I did my review on Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon which I gave a 3/10. The trouble came when friends thought my score was 'too low' and 'silly'.
After a few discussions on personal taste I came to the conclusion that my score is well founded. During one of the friendly conversations, as an example I asked for a personal review score of Duke Nukem Forever. My friend said "Its up there, it's easily an eight, maybe a seven." Which is a sharp contrast to the bellow average critical and consumer reviews. Although I didn't write a review for Duke Nukem I'd easily and outspokenly referred to it as a 5/10, on par with what should be considered a 'Good' video game. I stand by that score and my opinion very strongly because I don't believe Duke Nukem is above average in any way, just as I regard the new EDF as slightly bellow average.
Here is the kicker, I really enjoy Duke Nukem Forever. I've played through it twice now, going on my third run. And have spent many hours, heavily playing EDF. How can that make sense if I've ranked these games so low? This is where my friends find my scores to be silly.
Just because I like a game, doesn't make that game the greatest thing in the world. My liking of a game, might not even make it as a recommendation. And I could really deeply enjoy it and never speak of it. So how do I justify such odd and what I've been told is off balance review scores? How do I offset such a low score with a tactful and well established explanation?
I came into using review scores, now, because it was easy for me to regard a 5/5, 10/10, or 100/100 by considering perfect scores as perfection. Perfection on every facet, on every level, and on any detail you can think of. Because honestly, that is what a perfect score should dictate. That the context of the review, the thing in question, should be looked at as what it is and not compared to an ideal. Especially an ideal of perfection, because that's personal and individual. No, instead examine the product, piece of media, anything that you want to review as it is. And if you have some kind of unbelievable reverence for the thing, and you're totally taken by it walk away with those impressions. Walk away, give yourself some breathing room and then latter on, if you still have those ideas or get the same sensations, put that into words, give it form, edit the shit out of it and when you've distilled your opinion you should be able to easily look at it and say,
- This could easily be better. 3/10
- This is Ok by mine and/or what I would consider most standards. 5/10
- This is great, I love it, I mean it isn't perfect but god damn, does it need to be? 8/10
- I want to stick my dick in it. No, I want it to stick its dick in me. This thing is still going to matter when I'm 80. This thing is never going to go away, I can feel it. Its going to change the way things are done, its going to make such a splash ripples from it just having existed are going to echo for years. Outstanding, really just absolutely blew the doors off of every conceivable level. Its mind bending and brilliant, mind blowing and fantastic. If you do not experience this thing, you will have lived less and died without ever knowing what kind of bliss you could have had. 10/10
A numerical score will be included in all future reviews posted here or elsewhere by my hand.
In the meantime, try not to take review scores too seriously, you can never really know if you like something without trying it. Within reason of course, let's not go and compare milk to heroin ok?
I'll be back with a new review soon.
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