Seven ET game reviews in seven days, with ratings. This one is ET: Digital Companion for the Game Boy Color. Links to the other days:
Day 1: (ET, 2600)
Day 2: (ET Phone Home, Atari Home Computers)
Day 3: (ET: Digital Companion, Game Boy Color)
Day 4: (ET: Escape From Planet Earth, GBC)
Day 5: (ET, Game Boy Advance)
Day 6: (ET and the Cosmic Garden, Game Boy Color)
Day 7: (ET: Interplanetary Mission, PS1)
Long explanation of my rating process:
Using authentic hardware, the game is analyzed and assigned a rating. Multiplayer portions are rated separately. This rating represents, in my opinion, how fun the game is compared to ALL other video games. Before rating, I make every effort to understand how the game is played and try my best to complete it. So far I’ve been able to beat about 95% of games that have an ending.
As I mentioned, I am comparing the game’s fun to all other games, regardless of its age or what system it is on. So if I rate an Xbox 360 game, I am comparing it to the thousands of games I’ve ever played, including the Atari 2600 ones. Note: I’ve been gaming since Pong.
I do NOT consider the following when assigning the fun rating: nostalgia (ex., no bump in score because the game reminds me of childhood), sales figures, arcade faithfulness, time of release (ex., no bump in score because it was “good for its time”), fanboyish views of the gaming companies, developer resources (ex., no bump in score because it’s a home brew), or how the game affected the industry (ex., no bump in score for being the first platformer). The game is either fun or it’s not.
Kids games are judged with an adult mindset.
I use a “true” 10-point scale for rating the fun. This means I use the ENTIRE scale, and the scores are evenly distributed.
Essentially, if I had enough time to rate EVERY game out there, 10% of games would have a 1, another 10% would have a 2, and so on.
Here’s another way of looking at it. All the games in the world can be grouped into ten, same-sized piles. The least fun games go into Pile 1, the most fun games go in Pile 10, etc. So my 1 to 10 rating is simply stating which pile that particular game would go in.
This concept assures that I am using the entire scale. Many other video game magazines and sites say they use a ten-point scale, but neglect to use the entire scale. Typically, they avoid 1, 2, and 3, and overuse 7 and 8. If the entire scale is being used, then the average score should be a 5, assuming that the entity has reviewed a large number of randomly selected games.
A possible reason for the misuse of such scales comes from the school systems we all grow up around. In America, a 50% in school means you get an F, which means Fail. In a true 10-point scale however, a 5 out of 10 isn’t a fail, it is average. They are two totally different scales, but I think people have trouble making the separation between the two.
To further clarify my scale (both for myself and my viewers) I have assigned a description for each point on the scale:
10 … The top 10% when it comes to fun. Games with this score are NOT flawless (no game is). The fun level completely overruns any perceived flaws. These games can be busted out years later, and still be fun.
9 … Games that are way above average and highly recommended. Good enough to play again one day.
8 … Still recommended, but with some concerns. Something may be holding them back from being in the top tier of games. These games are fun enough to be played again.
7 … Probably enjoyable to most of the gaming population. These games are fun enough to be played again after enough time has passed.
6 …. Just above average in terms of fun. These games have a good thing going which may not be brought all the way to fruition. Definitely worth a try for most people.
5 … Average in terms of fun. Games with this score contain enough fun to justify at least one playthrough.
4 …. These games fall just below average. There are things that are likable about these games, and people with specific tastes will be able to enjoy them. Not good enough to be played again though.
3 … This is the point of the scale where “avoid” starts to be used. There are too many flaws, or perhaps one gigantic flaw, such as “boring gameplay.”
2 … These games are flawed, but something in them saves them from being the absolute worst.
1 … The bottom 10%. These games represent the lowest level of fun you can have in video games. #GamingTheSystems
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