We were all Nolan Bushnell's "Neon Lovechild" in the 70s. It was different back then.
Here at Video Game Choo Choo, we use scores because we like using scores. We’re not in the business of making waves for its own sake. Companies and irrational fanboys misusing scores is not – and should not be – our problem. And the full review text is still there. It always will be, we have too much fun writing reviews to stop.
Even though we use the scourge of the games industry that is numeric scoring, we hope that doesn’t stop you from reading. Video Game Choo Choo’s editorial staff operates free of any kind of advertising pressure. Not to imply other sites do the opposite, mind you. But there seems to be a general distrust of game reviewers these days. We can’t let you inside our brains and show you that what we put on the page represents exactly how we feel about a game. All we can do is write an honest critique, make some edits, post the review, and hope for the best.
With that in mind, please take a look at our scoring policy so you understand what the numbers we use mean.
5 Stars – Superb
No game is perfect. You hear that in every review policy, and it’s true. A million tiny little problems are always nagging at you when you play a game, even if you don’t notice them. But games can be special. Games can sweep you off your feet, take you to places you never imagined, tell you wonderful stories, or just show you a great time. A five star game is mechanically sound, well written, and just plain brilliant. Recommended without an ounce of reservation.
4 Stars – Good
There are problems with games that fall under our four star category, yes. But they aren’t that prominent, and there’s still a fine experience to be had with a game in this camp. It could have great writing, a thick level of atmosphere, some neat design aspects, or be just plain fun to play. There’s something major or a bunch of little things holding it back from greatness, but it’s still a very solid game. Recommended.
3 Stars – Okay
A three-star game is not bad. Let me re-emphasize that: a three-star game is not bad. It’s not good either, but what works and what doesn’t exist in equal measure, cancelling each other out like some videogame science equation. It could also be a sequel to a decent game that didn’t make the necessary changes? Or maybe it’s just boring. There’s a gem somewhere in here, it just requires a little more polish before it can be considered good. If you would catch yourself making an “ehhh” sound when asked for a recommendation, this is the rating for you. Not easily recommendable.
2 Stars – Bad
Is there something good about this game? Probably, but it’s smothered by a horde of poor decisions. A two-star game has just too many things working against it, to the point where its bright spots have been marred by the poor quality of the overall experience. Significant changes must be made before it can be considered a moderate release. Very difficult to recommend.
1 Star – Abysmal
This game is an insult to the medium. At every turn, you’ll be shaking your head, confused about what exactly went so horribly wrong in the development of this turd. Impossible to recommend.