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How do you rate your VNs?

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Quoting myself from this thread:

On 3/20/2018 at 9:46 PM, Dreamysyu said:

Basically, it's like this:

10 - my absolute favorite. It might have some not very serious flaws, but it's still good overall. And the key reason for giving something a 10 is always my enjoyment.

9 - excellent work. No flaws that I consider serious, I enjoyed it overall.

8 - either 9 with some serious flaws (for example, Grisaia, Ever17), or a 7 which I enjoyed very much for some subjective reason.

7 - simply good, nothing outstanding.

6 - two possibilities: it's either just above average (Grisaia and Umineko fandiscs), or something that I understand is good overall, but it had so many gamebreaking flaws for me so I simply couldn't enjoy it.

5 - absolute average. Somewhat equal amount of good and bad points.

1-4 - different levels of trash.

I only rate VNs when I drop them if I'm absolutely sure that I'm never going to continue reading them. And I don't use decimals. Seriously, I don't understand how it's possible to differentiate between 8.7 and 8.8. I used half-integers at some point, but I decided to drop them.

Also, I often revise my ratings. I try to make it so the histogram of my votes looks similar to a bell curve with an average at 7.

The only thing that changed since then is that I decided to start using half-integers again for the cases where none of the integer ratings feel appropriate. 

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3 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Quoting myself from this thread:

The only thing that changed since then is that I decided to start using half-integers again for the cases where none of the integer ratings feel appropriate. 

That's nice scale too. It looks like mine is still a bit "compressed" into 6-9 range, relying more on decimals, while yours makes better use of full range.

But now I'll probably have to stick with it, to maintain relations between different titles - or I'd have to re-rate them all...

Edited by adamstan
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  • Mr Poltroon changed the title to How do you rate your VNs?

So far I have yet to give anything a 10/10 so I will start with 9/10. Also these might not always apply since there is a wide variety in ways a VN can succeed or fail, for instance some parts can be really really good while others can be trash and my rating will then depend on my overall feeling of the work. 

For me a 9/10 is a really good VN which managed to really grip me push me to read for long stretches of times because I felt emerged in what was going on.

8.5 and 8 are VNs that I found to be really enjoyable and that I think back at fondly, this can be because it managed to sell me on the feeling of the VN with great comedy, music art or through a well executed story. For me the most important here is that I just feel really good thinking back on the title and have things I really liked about it.

7.5 and 7 are VNs that I found to be quite good, it was an enjoyable read and had some really nice high points, however it lacked the special thing that makes it really memorable.

6.5 are titles that are pretty close to a 7 however has some flaw that makes it not quite reach there.

6 are titles that for the most part are just decent but has some good points as well.

5.5 and 5 titles that just feel okay, they are not bad but they are not really good either. It does not feel hard to read through it, but the enjoyment I get out of it is rather small.

4.5 and 4 are disappointing titles, they are not outright horrible but can be boring at parts and lack really good highpoint. Often these just lack good writing and feel lazily put together 

3.5 and 3 are titles I find to be really bad, there is very little good to say about them 

2.5 and 2 are titles that really failed at being enjoying

1.5 and 1 are unreadable trash, I have not encountered anything I would give this rating to yet.

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For me It's...

10 : Phoenix Wright 3 is my one and only 10. Perfection does not exist but every rating system needs a sort of "standard meter". Therefore PW3 is MY reference for enjoyement and emotion in a (hybrid) VN.

Between 9 & 9.75 : Masterpiece/Unmissable (ex : G-senjou no maou)

8,5 & 8,75 : Excellent...except one or two minor flaws. (ex : Ever17)

8 & 8,25 : Excellent...if you forget one or two major flaws. (ex : Chaos;Head)

7,5 & 7,75 : Very good. One or two great ideas. (ex : Family Project)

7 & 7,25 : Enjoyable reading. Nothing outstandish though. (ex : Chrono Clock)

6,75 : Good potential. Unfortunately there are one or two fatal errors somewhere. (ex : Muv-Luv)

Between 6 and 6,5 : Not bad but forgettable. (ex : Da Capo)

Between 5 and 5,75 : Barely readable/considerable disappointment/Not for me (ex : Ikinari Anata ni Koishiteiru)

Bellow 5 : Different degrees of mediocrity/Unreadable (ex: X-Change)


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Let's see... For me, it's more or less like this:

10 - absolute God-tier VN. Almost flawless, unique, fantastic story and characters, beautiful art and music, just does (almost) everything right. I have not yet found anything worthy of a perfect 10.

9 - a fantastic VN with little or non-offensive flaws. Similar to 10, but whereas a 10 has pretty much achieved perfection, a 9 still has some way to go. Still, it has to be amazing to get this rating.

8 - a very, VERY good VN. It does a lot right, but in some aspects it falls short. Even still, its flaws don't ruin the fun in any way, tho they are more noticeable than in previous tiers. 10-8 are generally rather similar, as they're the cream of the cream of VNs.

7 - a good, solid VN. Well-crafted, but has something that keeps it from accessing the highest tiers. Perhaps it's generic, or perhaps the characters or story are nothing special. Either way, I would absolutely recommend checking it out.

6 - a VN that is above average. Does not necessarily mean it's very good, just better than most of the others. You can check it out if you want, you can definitely do much worse than this one.

5 - a VN that is absolutely, painfully average. It has nothing that make it stand out, and if it does, something on the technical side of things drag it down. It’s just… another one. That’s probably the best way to put it. Just another one of those. At least it makes a good Litmus test for other works.

4 - a VN that is below average. Honey, no, what are you doing, you were so close…! Unfortunately, something went wrong along the way, making this VN a little bit worse than most. That doesn’t mean that it’s awful, but it certainly won’t be making it’s way into any of my recommended lists…

3 - a bad VN. Just not good at all. The plot makes no sense, the characters are paper-thin, it’s not engaging… Perhaps there’s one or two good things about it, but overall, it’s garbage. Don’t waste your time. It’s not even “so bad it’s good”, it’s just plain bad.

2 - a trash VN. Just, garbage. Don’t even bother, it’s effin’ awful. Who made this. Who thought that it would be a good idea. Holy crap. Although, with the right mindset and enough alcohol it might be amusing in it’s awfulness. If you’re willing to risk it, that is.

1 - the most hellish, ungodly abomination of the VN world. You thought that the Necronomicon is the only written work that’ll make you go mad? Think again. Just… Stay away. Stay away and try to forget about its existence.


Then again, in the end it's all based on my opinion, so don't take it too seriously XD

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This is a pretty old thread, isn't it? I don't think my scale changed that much, but definitely got refined a bit. It is now:

1 - 3.5 - various levels of utter trash, stuff that most likely isn't worth picking up even to laugh at it (ex. Sakura Magical Girls & other cheap, ecchi trash);

4 - 4.5 - trash with some kind of actual entertainment value to it, be it a few funny jokes, art that is nice to look at etc. (ex. Sakura Cupid);

5 - 5.5 - mediocre VN, might be even enjoyable to go through, but doesn't (positively) stand out in any way (ex. Sakura Nova, Aozora Meikyuu);

6 - 6.5 - average VN, enjoyable and without any devastating flaws, but far from being truly great (ex. Sakura Dungeon, Negligee);

7 - 7.5 - a good VN, with some highly praiseworthy characteristics and no game-breaking issues, but not especially memorable/impactful (ex. Fragment's Note, SonoHana: Remembering How We Met);

8 - 9.5 - various degrees of greatness: VNs that are well produced and highly enjoyable to go through, and left me with a lasting impression (ex. Flowers, CUPID);

10 - a masterpiece, game that managed to enthral me and move me to the core - Analogue: A Hate Story has an honourable 10 on my VNDB list because of how it genuinely got me thinking about certain issues and sparked my interest in VNs as a medium, although it most likely don't deserve it "objectively". It's simply a 10/10 in my heart and will stay like that forever. :3

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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13 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

This is a pretty old thread, isn't it?

Yeah, I accidentally necro'd it by creating similar one and then spotting my mistake.

Your (and others) range seems similar to mine in the 6-7.5 range, and that's what I was worried about the most.


Edited by adamstan
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I'm a simple man. My rating is pretty simple and straightforward.

10 - I love everything about it; story, characters, gameplay design (bad ends, amount of branching routes, immersion, etc), and soundtrack. It doesn't have to be flawless to get a 10 (428 Shibuya Scramble), but its flaws must be trivial enough that I won't care. Above all, it must be exceptional, in that it does something no other VNs have done before. Generic or cliched VNs almost never get a 10 from me.

9 - I love it, or at least acknowledge its quality. Almost everything about it is great, but it either doesn't have as much emotional impact for me in spite of its high quality story (Muv-Luv Alternative), or it has one or two very trivial flaws that bothered me (Steins;Gate almost got this because of Nae). Its good/enjoyment value must not outweigh its "trivial flaws" to get this (hence why Steins;Gate got a 10 instead).

8 - Solid VN with very good writing, but the flaw is big enough that it's distracting (a single poorly written sub-plot, character, route, or ending).

7 - Good VN, but its flaws are too numerous, and its writing not amazing enough to stand out from among the rest of the VNs.

6 - Even more flaws, and the game is now basically unenjoyable because of them (Corpse Party: Blood Drive, Cartagra). It still has some quality writing, but not enough to make me enjoy the experience.

5 - Mediocre. Middle of the road. Average. Whitebread. Boring. Neutral. Very little worth praising. The flaws didn't help how average (or generic) its story and characters are (DANGANRONPA, looking at you!). 5s can be entertaining at times, but because its story/characters are so boring and average, I'm not impressed at all.

4 - Bad. Just bad. 4s are usually nukiges for me because of their generic harem plot. Unlike 5s, 4s have very little entertainment value AND have a generic plot/characters. The entertainment value usually come in one or two decent scenes, or one or two decent character that catches my attention.

3. Terrible. It needs to have very little redeeming value. Note that "entertainment value" is not the same as "redeeming value" here, as the "redeeming quality" here isn't entertaining and I pay no attention to the VN at all because of it, but it needs to have competent graphics that are not an eyesore and a competent soundtrack that doesn't make your ears bleed (AKA at least '90s graphics/music quality level). The story and characters must not have anything remotely enjoyable, or it goes up to 4.

2. Horribad. So bad that I had to invent a new word. Aside from having no redeeming value and a horrible story, it needs to have very low quality graphic and soundtrack ("low quality," not "dated"). 2s are almost always nukiges because of their low production value.

1. Worst of the worst. No VN has received a 1 yet from me, so you can tell how much of "the bottom of the barrel" this score is for me. Aside from lacking in every quality I mentioned above, it needs to have something so offensively bad that I would outright go on a two-page tirade ranting about it to Internet strangers. If you find your VN landing in my "1" rating, you must've done something terribly, terribly wrong and should just quit your job as a creator. :sachi: But all jokes aside, the VN has to be really, really bad to get this score.

Edited by LemiusK
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I like to add points the more I like something rather than subtract the more I dislike. Even a low score like a 4 needs some good points to earn that score, and to earn a 5 and up the VN is actually quite good in my book. (6 really good, 7 great, 8 really great, etc). So for example Rewrite which is very much a mixed bag gets an 8 because its good points are simply that outstanding, even if there's some terrible content in it as well. Meanwhile I only gave Chaos;Child a 5 because while it's fair enough, it never really felt like more than a reasonably adequate work to me.

In order for a VN to reach a really low score like a 1 or 2, it has to be either almost completely devoid of good points (Let's say, Sweet Young Bride) or it's a mixed bag but it's actively pissing me off when it's really bad (Grisaia). So it would look something like this.

1: Hated it. It's so bad that whatever good points it might have becomes irrelevant.

2. Disliked it. Let's say this is a "baseline". An average VN with nothing much going for it.

3. Mild dislike, but I recognize some good points.

4. There's something genuinely good here, but I wouldn't say I liked it on the whole yet.

5. It's good enough to say that I liked it.

6. I liked it more than a 5.

and so on.

The result of this style has become a kind of "stairway pattern" by having the most 2's, followed by 3's and then 4's etc, due to reading too many average VN.

Also, while I do have my own taste, I am pretty openminded and can immerse myself in any VN regardless of genre or style. That's why my ratings can look kinda random (although there should be a clear pattern like for instance surreal things I generally like, moeges I generally don't) and while I'm hesitant to say a VN is "better" than another just cause I scored it higher. Scoring it higher just meant I liked it more for whatever it did right.

I drop a lot to VNs that score 3 and below, but I usually gave them a good chance (let's say, finish half the routes. sometimes I get close to the end but just don't care anymore. If I drop something early on I never rank it, but if I drop it halfway through I might, and I've ranked everything that I dropped close to the end.)

Edited by Being
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10 (Unironically Kamige and everyone who disagrees can engage in a horrible chuuni fight with a huge killcount with me)
9 (Ironically Kamige, Games without many flaws, cohesive storyline, good characters, rememberable Lines and make me want to read them more than once.
8 (Games with great value, good story, passable characters and great overall composure)

Everything below is depending on enjoyment.  

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I rate every game I finish on howlongtobeat.com, and when it comes to visual novels, I rate every ending I get. In other words, I have a ton of ratings for VN's with many endings, like Fate. This helps me keep track of which endings I actually enjoyed the most, in case I want to reread a specific one sometime.

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