Sunday, April 18, 2010

Star Ratings

Any time I do a review I include a star rating. I usually put these at the end as I feel star ratings aren't all that informative but I like to use them and I always have specific reasons for how many stars I've assigned. Here's an explanation of the method behind my star madness.

Short version:
5 stars - excellent
4 stars - above average
3 stars - average
2 stars - below average
1 star - better used as toilet paper/coaster
DNF - Did Not Finish

Long version:
5 stars - The book/movie/video game is a perfect example of the art. The craft is excellent, the subject matter engaging, the characters realistic and sympathetic. Overall, a joy to experience.

4 stars - The b/m/vg is definitely solid. There are a few flaws but nothing that would severely undermine the work as a whole. It'll appeal to more than just its target audience.

3 stars - The b/m/vg is alright but probably not something I'll go out of my way to remember or even recommend. I'm just as likely to enjoy something I give 3 stars as not. It's probably the most uninformative rating I give but it basically means that if you like this kind of thing you'll like it, if not then probably not.

2 stars - The b/m/vg is so flawed that it's not enjoyable. Thoughts that start popping into my head with a 2 star rating are unrealistic characters, boring, plot holes/devices, characters are caricature-like or walking stereotypes, etc.

1 star - The b/m/vg is so bad that it's offensive.

DNF - Most common reasons I don't finish a b/m/vg: it's so bad it's offensive, the writing is poor, the story doesn't interest me, the characters don't interest me, it's boring.

I've never posted a DNF review because I never do them. If I can't be bothered to finish the b/m/vg then I certainly can't be bothered to sit down and compose a few words on it. It's very rare that I write/post 1/2 star reviews because most often the b/m/vg would end up getting a DNF. If I'm not liking something I tend to stop doing it. Also, if I dislike something I'm generally not that interested in sitting down and reliving it by writing something up. I have been known to take requests on these, though. :)

So what you'll get here are mostly 3/4/5 star reviews. And even though I said the 3 star rating is the least informative, if I review it that means I liked it for what it was and if you like the genre/story/character types then you will probably like it, too. The 4/5 star ratings mean that I think it's worthwhile for anyone to at least give it a try even if it's not something you would normally reach for during your free time.

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