Amaterasu Blog

30Aug/094

My Reviews in General

I figured I ought to have some general statements up here that apply to all my reviews, just so that everything is as clear as possible.

First, I always read VNs/eroge in the original Japanese. I never read one in English, except the ones I translated myself (in my opinion, Japanese is an objectively superior language for storytelling). So if you're reading a bad translation of something I review, don't be surprised if it's not as good as I say it is. The sole exception thus far is Hatoful Boyfriend, and that was only because I couldn't get the full version in Japanese.

Second, although I like being unconventional, the 10-point rating convention makes perfect sense to me, so I use it. Since everyone's definitions of the 10 points vary, here are mine:
10: Flawless; beyond objective criticism; potentially life-changing
9: Awesome; must-read; unforgettable
8: Excellent*; well worth your time
7: Good; if you want to read it, you should
6: meh, no real point in reading it
5: bleh, do not read
1-4: since I have standards, I'm probably incapable of reading anything this bad
*This "excellent" cutoff determines which VNs I'm willing to translate. Anything I give an 8.0 or higher I will probably translate someday unless someone beats me to it.

Third, story, writing and characters will always be the most important to me, although hopefully this is no surprise whatsoever. If the other parts of the game (art/voice/music/gameplay if any/etc) made any impression on me, they will be mentioned, but they often don't.

Fourth, since opinions vary wildly, simply giving a flat score doesn't seem nearly as useful to me as giving a range of scores. So each of my reviews will have a "polarization subscore" under the main score. This represents the degree of variation in perceived quality which I would consider rational. For example, if I give a game 8.5 (+1/-2), that means you should feel the game to be somewhere between 6.5 and 9.5, barring some form of irrational bias. Since I always list specific reasons for these ranges in the reviews, you should be able to get a feel for where in this range you will personally fall before playing the game.

Fifth, I like comments. Please talk to me. Not because I'm ronery, but because I want to know if there's a point to me writing these.

Sixth, I like short reviews. Everything that's really worth saying can be said in a few paragraphs, and anything else (especially plot summaries >_>) would be just cathartic ranting you don't really need.

Seventh, I like TV tropes. I will use terms from it, and I will link to it. If you are unfamiliar with this site, make sure you have a lot of free time before clicking on a link to it.

Eighth, I rarely go for 100% completion in VNs where it's nontrivial to get, so each review will list the routes and endings I felt like playing at the bottom. I may go back, play more routes and rewrite a review if given a compelling reason to do so.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Of course there’s a point in writing Visual Novel reviews. There’s such a lack of info on VNs that your contributions would really help. Personally I’d be glad to hear your impressions on any VNs you read.

    It’s probably a good idea to also include some standard Amaterasu updates here as well, so that people can stick it in their RSS and keep up to date that way. The blog also looks very wordy (or plain) at first glance. Using some images in your posts should help that, as well as getting a good banner.

  2. Really? Thanks then, I’ll be sure to post a review of everything I play (though it’ll take a week or so to fully catch up with what I’ve played in the past). *edit: this has been achieved as of Sep 9, 2009*

    I like the general Ammy updates though. This might help alleviate the problem with people missing announcements in the forum since they get buried in replies by the next day. *edit* this is now standard policy, see the Amaterasu post category

    I doubt I’ll go so far as to dress this place up. After all, like the forum, those of us using the site (though here it’s just me) are simply too busy doing actual tl work to worry about aesthetics like that. Ofc if someone wants to do it for us I’d be happy to let them.

  3. I was just wondering, but it is possible to give an estimated length when you review a game? Because I like your reviews, but it’s good to know how long a game is before setting in, especially for the Visual Novel genre where a game is only really worth it if you finish it.

  4. Unfortunately, I have a horrible sense of time, and I’m usually multitasking around my VNs which doesn’t help, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything more accurate about length than vndb does already (if anything I’d be less acccurate).


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