★ – Bad. Isn’t worth your time ever. Often falling apart at the seams.
★★ – Lousy. Often competent, but there’s better games out there.
★★★ – Average. Does as much correctly as it does poorly, but can still be worth your time.
★★★★ – Good. Recommended, even if it has some snags.
★★★★★ – Great. Play it. A sterling example of what the best games can be.
This website uses a five-star rating scale. The scale is intended to judge the work of the masters in videogame design, because there is no reason for you or anyone else to settle for anything less. To the outsider, this scale may seem harsh, but there’s no reason to separate the bad from the really bad. We seek to classify and order the games that are worth talking about.
Reviews may occasionally be published without a score. This will most often be done in circumstances where it is more important to understand the significance of the game. Nobody learns anything from being told that the game which pioneered a genre or movement has been entirely outclassed. In these situations, explaining what the game achieved will be the goal.
Ratings are the opinion of their reviewer. While Learn to Counter strives for editorial consistency, the site is more concerned with publishing quality reviews than using those reviews to fit a narrative. Even very smart people will come to different opinions on various games, and this will be reflected in the site content.
All reviews are contemporary. The smash arcade hit from the early eighties may have spawned a genre which now entirely outclasses it. Technology gets better, standards improve over time, our expectations grow larger, and with it, what scores highly today may not score highly in the future. We accept this reality in the course of giving you today’s reviews.
Games will be judged by an original, stable revision point. This means that games will be judged by what came out of the box. Or, if they have received patches or updates, a stable (and preferably final) version of the game. Many of today’s games employ a persistent update process that will make this difficult, and reviews of those games will be considered carefully.
All games are judged by the game. Do not judge a game by the gripping story of its two-man development team, do not judge a game by its price tag, and do not judge a game by the million-dollar tournaments surrounding it. While the circumstance of a game can be a valuable tool for understanding aspects of its design, you judge a game by its own merits, and not the extracurricular activities surrounding it.
This entry will be amended as necessary.