If I received 70% in an exam at school I would have been awarded an A (these were the days before A stars. I'll get my walking stick). I would have been dancing down the pedestrianised streets of Norwich city centre. In fact, I might have done a little jig on the roof of the castle had I got 60%. To tell you the truth, I got a 2:2 at university which means all my hard work amounted to a score between 50 and 59%. I was quite happy with that.
Had I been a game, I would have been useless. A waste of space. Unemployable. Thankfully, while I was at university, I also wrote a review of a curry recipe book for my student paper which the Editor of PlayStation Max found amusing and gave me a job. I'm still reviewing games 14 years later.
Which brings me back to review scores. You see, when we post a review and give it a 70-79% review score, I often see comments from readers who think that it's a bad score. Take our LEGO Batman 2 review for earlier this year, for example. We gave it 78%, saying that fans will have a blast. Yet in the comments, we were accused of being hard on the LEGO games.
Which is why we're now giving a Bronze Award to games that get over 70%. We want you to know that we think a game that gets 70% is a good game and a worthy purchase if you are a fan of that genre. Okay, it's not outstanding and if you're not usually a fan of the that sort of game, it won't do enough warrant it being an essential purchase for everyone, but it is good.
If you saw a 7 out of 10 review score of an album by an artist you liked in a music magazine or a three star film review starring actors you liked, it wouldn't put you off downloading the album or going to see said movie at the cinema. Admittedly, games are more expensive than a cinema ticket or an album and you need to be sure of your purchase before you decide to spend £40 but the point remains the same. You should consider buying a 70%+ game if you like the sound of it.
With a new look and a new console, this is a new era for Official Nintendo Magazine but if you read a review online before you see it in the magazine - we will occasionally review games on the website first when a game's release doesn't fit with our mag deadlines - I thought it might be useful for you to understand our scoring system
Obviously you are entitled to complain if you disagree with our review scores (everyone is allowed an opinion) or thought we should have marked it higher or lower but by sharing our scoring scale, you'll know exactly what the score means when you comment.
To be avoided at all costs
Tending towards rubbish
Solid but unspectacular
Decent, mildly flawed
Good times guaranteed
A stone-cold classic
I hope that clears things up...