We the fine folks at www.indiegamereviewer.com use the 5-Star system. I love it, as it obliterates the perception gained from the 8-10 system we see from mainstream reviewers, where if it’s anything less then a 9, then it’s shit.
I can give a game that showed some effort, but just didn’t get some core mechanics implemented right a 2-star, and it’d be correct. I can give a decent game, but nothing spectacular a 3-star, and people would still feel it might be worth their time to check out if what it’s about is something they like.
When you think about it, every half-a-star is 1 point in a 10 point system. But, the issue is not with the 10 point system, it’s all in how the reader has been manipulated by pandering scores to only accept 8-10 scores as ‘good’, and everything else as awful. No, the problem is not the system, but with a person’s perception of the system, and I think it mainly has to do with numbered systems. Even the Out of Eight guy might not get a 100% effectiveness out of his review scores because of the stigmata from a numbered system. Where as I can give a 3-star review and people would still see this 6/10 score as an ‘Average’ rating. I bet you could even use words like ‘Average’, ‘Great’, ‘Poor’ and it would work just as well as a Star or other symbol system.
That is all really. I just think the numbered system needs to be abandoned for a few years until the way we view such ratings returns to a more rational state. For now, if you plan on starting up a review site, try representing your review scores via a Pie Chart. It’d be unique and you could give honest ratings. Go ahead and thank me later.