The Videogame Backlog is an unconventional site that requires an unconventional rating system. Thus was born the rating method that is currently used. The reasons are plentiful, but the main reasons are that numbers don’t give accurate descriptions like words do. Whenever I see a rating number, I always wonder why they gave that number and what exactly that means. Then there are those times (which occur a lot for me personally) where a highly rating game is something I don’t care for while a poorly rated game is one that I put way too many hours into.
Game reviews shouldn’t start from the top of the rating list or the bottom. When we’re rating a game, we should be walking into a game completely open-minded. Some games can be riding the hype train and can start out slower than one expects. That can create an artificial crash in the score and the game has to build itself back up in one’s mind. In the end, these are all our opinions and you have yours as well. If you feel differently, why not explain your opinions below the article.
The ratings from “Ugh…” to “Tasty!” are for games that are officially released and not in beta/alpha. That is, of course, if the game says it’s in beta, but we all know that the state the game is in is what the final game is going to be.
This is the sound you make when you drop money on a game and no matter how you look at it, the game just isn’t fun. Sometimes you can find something fun in a game, but that is not the case for a game with this rating. These games, in our minds, aren’t worth paying money for. Sometimes these games aren’t worth a free price tag. You shouldn’t notice many games with this rating on this site since we pay for our own games (for the most part). Nobody I know would buy a game they expected to be terrible. However, sometimes a horrible game just jumps out and surprises you.
Ah the titles you are indifferent to. Luckily I haven’t run into many games like this. While this is the “2nd lowest” rating, that doesn’t mean it’s a horrible game. Sometimes you can play this game and you feel compelled to finish, but at the end you still don’t feel it was worth it. This may be a tittle where one aspect of the game can be played independent of the rest and it’d be fairly good. However, there’s something about the game that keeps it down. This type of game could still garner a good following.
The majority of games that come onto my personal backlog will probably be given this rank. This is helped by me deciding which games I play and review most of the time. This is a game that you enjoy maybe a little too much while it doesn’t fully excel at anything specifically. It doesn’t blow you away, but you will recommend this game to your friends and maybe a perfect stranger. You may even have 200 hours invested, but something holds it back from being the next best thing since sliced pizza.
This game blows you away, period. It doesn’t mean the game is perfect and it could be an overdone genre or concept, but this game does it much better than you expected it to. You will tell your worst enemy about this game because it’s just too good. You love almost every single minute of this game. Whether the game is linear or open doesn’t matter, you can play this over again simply for the amount of fun had. Not many games should be getting this, but I won’t really complain if I come across a lot of them. I am always looking forward to finding a game that should get this rating. (Yes, this was inspired by Monster Hunter.)
For actual alphas/betas there are only two ratings for games like this because the game isn’t actually released yet. How can you judge a book by its cover if it the author hasn’t created one yet? Right? That is the saying… isn’t it?
This is a game that is good enough and playable as it is. It may be the greatest thing since sliced pizza, but they are not done with the game yet so you never know. However, at the time the article is/was written, the game is worth the money they are asking for and you should help progress the game along by forking out the usual $5 to $20. Who doesn’t have that kind of money to throw around on a possibly amazing game?
This rank isn’t to say that you should write a game off. That’s left up to personal opinion, but the writer feels that the game isn’t worth what they are asking for it. Maybe the author doesn’t even feel the concept will work very well. However, if a developer is willing to listen to customer feedback (which a lot of indie devs are lately), there’s a real chance that the game will turn around. This is more of a fair warning. Sometimes there will come a stipulation with this rating like, “If you’re a die-hard X-Type of game fan, you may enjoy this.” but most others should probably check back in a few months and see if the situation has changed.
That’s the breakdown people! I hope this helps to explain more what’s going on around here on the Backlog. Until then, we’ll see you in the comments section!