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 April 23, 2014, 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 full five star scale; that includes zero stars (which hopefully we never have to use) and half stars.

Here’s a one-word breakdown of what the stars represent:

  • 5 Stars – Epic Masterpiece
  • 4½ Stars – Superb
  • 4 Stars – Great
  • 3½ Stars – Good
  • 3 Stars – Satisfying
  • 2½ Stars- Decent
  • 2 Stars- Forgettable
  • 1½ Stars – Bad
  • 1 Star – Awful
  • ½ Star – Dreadful
  • 0 Stars – Absolute Garbage

And here’s the visual representation of our scale, from highest to lowest:

5 Stars



4.5 Stars



4 Stars



3.5 Stars



3 Stars



2.5 Stars



2 Stars



1.5 Stars



1 Star



0.5 Star



Zero Stars



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, underneath the score.
  • 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 some place 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 and a half stars, then that means we thought it was 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 April 23, 2014 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 4½ stars… they mean the same thing.

Last updated: April 23, 2014

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