Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Grading Scale

Project Gotham 3 Racing and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - The only two games to ever earn an A+.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been getting some emails asking me about how I grade games. Nothing angry or belligerent, just people who are curious as to what makes a game an "A" game or what makes a game a "D" game. So in order to clarify things and because I don't want anyone confused, here is my grading scale.

A+ This is white whale of video game review games, the perfect score. I've only given out two of these bad boys and both games deserved it. Essentially, if you see this score, it means you should leave work immediately (with no explanation is best) and drive to the store and pick it up. You're life is incomplete without it. In fact, take a few days off to spend with your new best friend.
Life Expectancy: You'll own this game until your system is obsolete (or longer).

A Unlike the A+, this means you can live without this game but probably shouldn't. You need to pick this game up quickly but you can wait until your lunch break. This game will cause you to ignore your wife/girlfriend/significant other for the next few weeks, so make sure to start a fight with that person when you get home so you have an excuse for sleeping on the couch.
Life Expectancy: 1 year

A- Another must have game. With a grade like this you might want to call your favorite gaming store and make sure they have a copy so you can pick it up after work. This will be a game you play a few times through and truly get your money's worth.
Life Expectancy: 6 months

B+ Now things are getting tricky. The B's run the gamut from need-to-buy-game to really good rental. A B+ means that even if you aren't a fan of the genre (ie Sims) you might want to pick it up because its a surprisingly fun game. For diehard fans of a genre that gets this grade, you really should pick it up.
Life Expectancy: 3-12 months

B This grade goes to games that are fun but are missing one or two key elements that prevent it from being a really good game. Its still a solid grade but there is a little something incomplete about it. Fans of this genre (ie Madden) will simply overlook its deficiencies and buy it anyway. Others will be slightly disappointed.
Life Expectancy: 3-10 months

B- This grade is for borderline rental fodder. There are 3-5 key elements that this game lacks and because of this only diehard fans will actually drop some coin on it.
Life Expectancy: 1-3 months

C+ The C's are rental games, pure and simple. The symbol after the C just tells you the games level of suckitude. A C+ game is like meeting a girl in South Padre Island during Spring Break. Fun to hang out with, share a few laughs, but you both know you're time is short and thats fine with both of you.
Life Expectancy: 1 week

C I call these "Eh" games. As in "Are you going to rent The DaVinci Code?" "Eh, maybe. If I find a few bucks in my couch."
Life Expectancy: 3-5 days

C- This is a "I can't believe I rented this crap I took it back to the video store one hour after I rented it" game.
Life Expectancy: 30-60 minutes

D Lets not mince words here, this game sucks. This game is an abomination and an insult to the greatness of gaming. There are no pluses or minuses here because there is no need. This game is flat out garbage, avoid it like Michelle Rodriguez in a nightclub. You don't want your name attached to it in any way shape or form because you will be teased mercilessly by your friends and probably even your wife/girlfriend will make fun of you. The only reason it isn't an F is because I hate to totally demoralize the work that people put into making a game. Just like every person in the world, no matter how evil, has to have one redeeming quality - every game has to have at least one somewhat redeeming element.
Life Expectancy: Zero, don't even look at the box, it may ruin your eyesight.

F I have never actually given an F so I'm not exactly sure what the criteria would be. But if you ever do see a grade with this, run. Chances are its one of the signs of the Apocalypse.


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