Vortex Effect Review Guidelines
If you’re a long time reader of this site then you know that our review procedures have changed several times. We’ve experimented with different scales and ways of doing things to try and find what works best for all of our reviewers and the site itself.
We review many different things: games, movies, TV shows, wrestling events/DVDs, technology, tea, board games, and so on. We believe it’s best to have a unified review scale for everything, as that makes everything consistent.
Effective January 1, 2017, we have settled on a permanent review scale that we feel bests gives our reviewers the flexibility to accurately score a game based on their true feelings of the product. No more silly averages where one less than important category can artificially inflate a score, and no more 100% scale where people are left wondering what exactly the difference is between an 8.8 and an 8.9.
We have switched permanently to a five star scale, and one that includes zero stars in extreme cases that we hope to never have to use.
Here’s a one-word breakdown of what the stars represent:
- 5 Stars – Excellent
- 4 Stars – Great
- 3 Stars – Satisfying to Good
- 2 Stars- Forgettable to Decent
- 1 Star – Awful
- 0 Stars – Dreadful
You’ll notice that both 2 stars and 3 stars have two meanings, and for that we say read the review. On average, most reviews will probably end up being in middle there, the two to three star range. If we operated on a full five star scale, one that includes half stars as we once did, then 3 and 1/2 would be “good” while just 3 would be “satisfying.”
We don’t use half stars anymore because outside of those two middle instances, we don’t fill they add much. They serve to complicate, and if we used them then we might as well be on a 10 point scale. We’ve tried many different systems, and ultimately believe that the fewer ratings available the easier the standard is to see.
For all intents and purposes we should only have five possible stars. Excellent doesn’t mean perfect, and so they aren’t overly rare, but if you see us give zero stars to something then you know that something has gone terribly wrong.
Other Tidbits Regarding Vortex Effect Reviews:
- We do, on occasion, receive products for review. When we receive an item to review, we will ALWAYS disclose that to you, the readers, so that you’ll know it isn’t something the reviewer spent money on. This disclosure will be posted at the bottom of the review.
- Our reviewers write 100% honest reviews. We don’t care about publishers or distributors or anything like that. We care about YOU, our readers. Our job as reviewers is to provide HONEST opinions based on what we thought so that we can better help you decide to make a purchasing decision or not. We’re not interested in advertising products for publishers or scoring products to try and please publishers.
- No Vortex Effect staff member will ever attend what is called a “Review Event” in the gaming industry. If a publisher wants to fly us out to a hotel or someplace to play their game in a controlled environment with other members of the press then that game isn’t worth us reviewing. Simple as that.
- We hope you understand that we have our own review scale (clearly outlined above) and that we don’t care about the review scales of other outlets. If we score something two, then that means we thought it was mostly decent. Decent doesn’t equal good, but it isn’t bad either. To that end, read the reviews before arguing with the reviewer if you think a game, movie, or whatever is scored too high or too low. Reviews are merely OPINIONS. This is all subjective, and it’s okay that we’ll have different opinions from time to time.
- Effective January 1, 2017 we have begun the process of going back and updating our scores from older reviews to reflect the new scale and provided a consistent experience. Rest assured though, the score ultimately remains the same. So a 9/10 may disappear, but it’s just been replaced by 4 stars… they mean the same thing.
- We are in the process of retagging old reviews so that you’ll be able to view all reviews with a specific rating. We’re also creating full review indexes, with special pages for “Excellent”ratings. This will be a lengthy process, but once complete this page will update with links to the new index and excellent pages.
Last updated: March 17, 2017