Standardized Review System

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For the purposes of standardization, I have created and refined a format for reviews that I’ll be posting on this website. My review format has gone through multiple iterations throughout the years, and it will be refined further as I post more reviews for this website. Much thought and effort must be put into the act of objectifying subjective experiences.

I’ve also adopted various elements from different review outlets to come up with this consolidated format that hits a balance between being simplified and comprehensive. Every review will follow this basic structure.

LATEST UPDATE: April 2, 2014

Disclaimer

First off, these reviews are made from my own observations and opinions regarding the review subject. I will do my best to do my homework and get important information right. However, I will not entertain every single complaint regarding whatever I get wrong, especially if it’s something I said about the review subject that is different from your own opinion. We all have our own preferences and inclinations, so what you happen to like may not what I like, and vice versa.

The most important thing about reviews is honesty above all else. The art of objectifying subjective experiences is a hard one, but somebody has to do it.

Review Video

Some reviews may include videos for visual presentation. In those cases, the written review will be more about details that supplement the review video.

I’ve previously attempted to make a video prior to posting a review, but this has resulted in the written reviews being delayed for an indefinite amount of time while trying to finish the video. Therefore, I will be posting the written reviews as soon as I finish them and not wait for the video. Once the review video is finished, then I shall add it to the entry as well.

Due to concerns regarding copyright, I’ll only be making review videos for games (video and tabletop) for now. I might be able to get away with anime review videos as well, but this will require further research before implementation.

Criteria

The hard rule here is to have up to three criteria in order to simplify reviews and assess the review subjects on their fundamental components. (A “trinity” per se.)

Video Games: Presentation, Story, Gameplay
Movies: Story, Cast, Direction
Anime: Story, Characters, Direction
TV Shows: Story, Characters, Direction
Documentaries: Presentation, Writing, Direction

As more types of review subjects are added in the website, this list will be updated.

Pros/Cons

To make it easier for readers who are browsing through the review to comprehend details, this part will enumerate whatever is good and bad about the review subject in an easily digestible format. It is put at the end of the review to serve as a summary.

Every pro will have a green plus sign in front; every con will have a red minus sign in front.

  • Pro 1
  • Pro 2
  • Pro 3
  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Final Score

I understand that keeping score is perilous in reviews as most people would refer to it as the ultimate benchmark, despite the numerous intangibles in every review subject that can’t be easily quantified and must be further inspected. Not everyone is detail-oriented, after all.

I have come up with my own solution to this problem by putting two metrics up for each review — an objective score and my preference. This combines the objective and subjective into something that I can address the review subject with in my own way.

Sometimes, there are review subjects that can be well-made and polished, but I may not like (i.e. Saints Row IV); and vice versa (i.e. Diablo III).

The final score of every review will look something like this.

7/10 – I like this.

Scoring System

For scale, I shall be using a simple 10-point scoring system with no decimals involved. This gives me both flexibility and simplicity in my attempts to scale the quality of the review subject according to the combination of its technical and artistic merits.

10 – Perfect
9 – Great
8 – Good
7 – Fair
6 – Mediocre
5 – Tolerable
4 – Disappointing
3 – Bad
2 – Terrible
1 – Garbage

My Preference

Beside the score is a second scale that shows my personal feelings about the review subject. Once again, this is by no means directly related to the score, but to show how I personally feel about the review subject.

I could score something with a 10, but not like it and vice versa. I will then summarize my reasoning in the concluding statement.

I love it.
I like it.
I don’t like it.
I hate it.
I don’t know.

The first four are easy enough to understand. The fifth one will be used when I’m undecided whether I like the subject or not in the end. (Being confused about something is a valid position, albeit neutral at best.)

Concluding Statement

After the score, there will be a short summary to round up the whole review and to explain the score and why I like it or not. I believe that having both an objective and subjective metric gives the review more ways to express my feelings towards the subject. This concluding statement should be no longer than one or two short paragraphs.

There will also be a small footnote containing a link to this entry on the very bottom of every review so that readers can click and read about the review system if they have any

What I Review

Review subjects will include video games, tabletop games, movies, documentaries, books, etc.

I’m currently focusing on video games, film, and anime; more will be added in the future.



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