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 taken various elements from different review outlets to come up with this consolidated format in a concerted attempt to hit a balance between simple and comprehensive. Every review on this blog follows this basic structure.
(As of 17 March 2022)
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 be what I like and vice versa.
The most important thing about reviews is honesty above all else. The act of objectifying subjective experiences is a hard one, but I believe it’s worth doing.
Some reviews may include videos for visual presentation. In those cases, the written review will be more about details that supplement the 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.
Titles are assessed through three major criteria, with different media having different criteria. This is done to best simplify reviews and assess the review subjects based on their fundamental components.
Video Games: Story, Presentation, Gameplay
Movies: Story, Cast, Direction
Anime: Story, Characters, Direction
TV Shows: Story, Characters, Direction
Documentaries: Writing, Presentation, Direction
Products: Design, Functionality, Value
As more types of review subjects are added in the website, this list will be updated.
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.
Despite that, I score my reviews as I can’t resist doing so. Since for me, reviewing is the act of objectifying subjective experiences, quantifying them is pretty much part of the deal.
For scale, I use a simple 10-point scoring system without decimals. This gives me both flexibility and simplicity in my attempts to scale the quality of the review subject through its technical and artistic merits.
Forget how other websites treat their scoring systems, with 7 being mediocre and 6 being bad. I shall be strict with this system; 5 is for the truly mediocre and 6 is an above-average score. If something gets a 6, it’s still pretty good; it just didn’t get 7 or more due to reasons stated in the review itself.
10 — Sublime
It’s the closest thing to perfection, being the pinnacle of ideals brought to life through its chosen medium. This is the result of the right circumstances and the right people coming together to create such a rare gem—a miracle event from beyond this realm, designed by the gods and forged by destiny.
While the above description can easily be for the score of 9, what takes it up to 10 is how perfectly the subject suits the reviewer’s taste and preferences. The score of 10 is not just an ethereal concept, but the full satisfaction of the reviewer’s preference.
You can say when something is given a 9 instead, the only thing wrong with it is how its theme or personality isn’t EXACTLY what the reviewer is into.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? Yes, this is the best I’ve ever seen so far.”
It makes you glad that you’re alive.
9 — Excellent
This title pushes the envelope and raises the bar across the board, representing top quality in virtually every single aspect. It’s a prime example of its category, leaving audiences moved and wanting more. “Beautiful” is the most proper description and it showcases its medium as a true art form with almost no flaws.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? Yes, there are only one or two things better than this.”
It makes you glad you woke up in the morning.
8 — Great
It can be appreciated by most audiences and stand the test of time. There are little to no flaws present; if there are, they are minor and negligible. The care put into it is obvious and the sheer effort in its execution is worthy of utmost respect. You would wish there was more like it, and the maker deserves your support and patronage.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? Yes, there are only a handful of things better than this.”
It makes you glad you spent your money on it.
7 — Good
It may not be the very best, but it’s something most people can agree on and can put a smile on your face. If you had this for the weekend, you’ll wake up at Monday morning without regrets. While with occasional flaws and not a masterpiece, it’s certainly nowhere near inferior either. Most people would like it, and whoever made it is obviously talented and skilled.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? Yes, but there are plenty of things that are better.”
It makes you glad you gave it a bit of your time.
6 — Fair
There are one or two things that make it acceptable. If someone likes it, you can’t blame them for to each their own. It’s not aspirational, but also neither bland nor offensive. It’s decent and deserves a nod, even if it may have problems. However, it would still have a considerable number of detractors. It’s decent and has more pros than cons.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? Yes, it’s good enough.”
It makes you think that it’s better than nothing.
5 — Mediocre
This is the median, the most neutral of assessments. Neither bad nor memorable and middle-of-the-road in every way. It’s not even equivalent to drizzle since there’s something going on in such weather. It neither brightens nor ruins your day, as if nothing happened at all—the very definition of blandness. It’s just meh.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? No, not really, it’s mid.”
It doesn’t make you feel anything.
4 — Disappointing
There may have been potential, but it falls short in the most important aspects. While it may be acceptable in some respects, it can’t stand on its own without those few good parts as if it’s on life support. This title has more cons than pros, thus making it inferior.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? No, while it could’ve been, but it fell short.”
It makes you feel bad because it could’ve been good.
3 — Poor
The quality isn’t merely questionable, but irredeemable. It could’ve turned out better if given to more competent people, but deliberate effort was not given to it. Maybe it can get more interesting in some circumstances, it’s certainly not good in most cases, especially if you paid good money for it.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? No, it’s no good at all and I feel bad for it.”
It makes you feel bad for it and whoever made it.
2 — Bad
It’s an absolute disaster and serves as an example of what to avoid, either as a creator or as an audience. From its initial conception to its dismal execution, things were going wrong left and right. The fruit of that tree had been rotten from the start, and it still goes downhill from there. No altered mental state or chemical substance can improve it.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? No, it’s really bad and I can’t ever like it.”
It makes you feel annoyed that you wasted your time on it.
1 — Garbage
Its very existence is an insult to its medium and those who practice the craft. Its creation was like an apocalyptic event, foretold in ancient times to be the doom of the art form. There’s a lot of bad stuff in this world, but among them is this special turd that’s a vision of hell.
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? No, it’s really offensive to my senses.”
It makes you really angry that you wasted your time on it.
0 — The Void
How can you reach this low? It’s not even low because it’s just nothing. This is oblivion, wherein nothing can be seen or felt. Whatever goes here shouldn’t even be spoken of in hushed tones; it shouldn’t be spoken of at all. Anything that gets a 0 must never be spoken of again (even if there’s a review of it here somewhere).
Litmus Test: “Is it any good? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!”
It makes you want to die.
To better understand how these scores stack up, here is a tier system:
S (Sublime): 10, 9
A (Amazing): 8, 7
B (Baseline): 6, 5
C (Crude): 4, 3
D (Dreadful): 2, 1
F (FUCK!): 0
Pros and 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 has a green plus sign; every con has a red minus sign.
There should be a concluding statement 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 include video games, tabletop games, movies, documentaries, books, products, and so on.
As of 2021, I’m working to get back into reviewing whatever I can get my hands on.