As explained in Spoiling the Fun, we’re of the firm belief that ratings are utterly useless unless you know how the scale works (and even then we’re not convinced they’re all that helpful). Below is a guide to the thirteen grades used in our reviews.
Genius: It’s an unforgettable masterpiece. This grade is reserved for rare works of influence and innovation.
Excellent: It’s compelling and intelligent, and it never misses a beat. Simply put, this is how it’s done.
Great: It’s among the best of its genre. If you want to try the latter out, this is where to start.
Good: It’s engaging and well crafted. Fans of the genre will most definitely appreciate it.
Enjoyable: It’s solid entertainment but nothing to write home about… Unless you’re reviewing it. Ba-dum-tish.
Passable: It meets reasonable expectations, but only hardcore fans of the genre are likely to appreciate it.
Under-Ambitious: It mostly accomplishes what it sets out to do, but only because it doesn’t set the bar high.
Forgettable: Though technically sound, it fails to resonate emotionally, making for a bland experience.
Problematic: It’s noticeably flawed, but it remains bearable. Its faults are more distracting than offensive.
Mediocre: Though some parts are effective, major conceptual problems make it impossible to recommend.
Bad: It’s generally incompetent, but not outright terrible. There are one or two things in it that work.
Awful: It’s incompetent drivel. Everything about it is either amateurish or just plain stupid.
Evil: It’s morally reprehensible. The people behind it should take a long look in the mirror.