My plan for 2019 and onwards is to review as many books and games as possible on my website because I enjoy helping others make purchasing decisions and also enjoy being able to look back at my own interests and how they evolve over time. Before I start putting out extensive reviews, however, I just wanted to take a moment to explain my own personal rating system and what it means to me. Even if everyone rates on a scale of ten, everyone may have a very different definition of what each number means.
Honestly, when I started reviewing, I struggled a lot with how to actually give a game or book a set “score”. Distilling all of my thoughts and feelings into a single number is really difficult for me, especially once I start taking objective quality into account alongside my own personal opinions. I thought about doing away with this all together in favor of simply doing a written review, but ultimately scrapped this idea because I do still like using the score to give people an idea of whether I think what I’m reviewing is above or below average.
My review scores act like a see-saw with my positive and negative feelings on either side. A perfectly balanced see-saw means I felt neutral about what I was reviewing, often meaning that it didn’t stand out in a positive or negative way. In game reviews, I give a five out of ten in these cases, and for books, I give a three out of five. Therefore, a score higher than the middle point represents something that I had positive impressions of, and a score lower likewise means that I had a negative experience.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a good example of a game where I came away from it feeling relatively neutral.
Another important thing to note is that I rarely review anything that I end up not finishing for some reason or another. The reason I am talking about this in the context of reviews is that, while I frequently finish books I hate because the time commitment is often low by the time I decide I dislike them, this is not true for games. Games tend to be quite long, meaning that I usually drop something I’m not enjoying long before I would have the chance to give it a low score. On this blog, I will likely give far more variable review scores for books than I will for games. I don’t want this to be misconstrued as me being overly critical on books or too lenient on games. The difference in scores is simply a product of how I choose to review.
Finally, I want to close this out by making sure everyone understands that the scores only show my personal enjoyment of the product, not its objective quality. I used to try and balance how objectively great the product is with my personal opinion and I decided that I never struck a balance that I liked with it. Instead, giving scores based on how much I personally enjoyed what I just played or read is more useful in the long run. Readers should be able to take a look at my review scores on different games and books and get a good feel for what I tend to like and dislike. Looking through the written content of my review will still give insight into the more objectively good and bad qualities of a given product, but if those qualities didn’t affect how much fun I had, they won’t factor into the final review score.
I’ll be linking this in below my review score in future reviews. Hopefully, this will shed some light on how I approach the reviewing process. How do you review books and games? Let me know in the comments below!