Truly Madly Dpad does its reviews a little differently. Rather than grading on a straight score, it has a slightly more detailed system – a Dpad-shaped plus icon, where each direction represents a different thing.
These summaries will be reflected by the review’s content as well.
The “default” position for a game is the central dot. This simply means Good. In general, this means there is nothing of particular note about the game that might be represented with a different position – it’s just fine, not bad, not great.
Up: Outstanding & Superb
Upper positions on the dpad represent higher and highest quality games. These are games that are excellent with no particular problems that might bring them down, with Outstanding being a game that is either incredible outright, or one of the best games in its field, and Superb being just one step below – still great, still worth playing.
Down: Disappointing & Irredeemable
These are for lower quality games. Disappointing will generally be given to a game that should have been better than it was, or something that has a lot of promise and could be a lot better with a little bit of extra work. Irredeemable is for games that probably couldn’t be better – they’re just full of poor choices and bad in general.
Left: Problematic & Flawed
These are for games where issues drag them down. Flawed games are likely to be decent games with a bunch of minor issues that hurt them a little. Problematic games in general are decent to excellent games, with far more major issues that severely limit how good they could be. For newer “Problematic” games, it may be worth seeing if patches have solved noted issues.
Right: Quirky and Unique
These are for games that are difficult to score linearly. Quirky games are more normal, but with certain qualities that cause them to be better than they should be. So-bad-it’s-good would fall into this. So might a game with emergent gameplay. Unique is for anything that is purposefully different to anything else, and does it well.
Left and right positions are overridden by up and down positions if their overall quality calls for it. So a game like Fallout 4, despite being problematic, would be an Outstanding from us.
Lastly, it is worth noting that reviews of older games will be less about objectively reviewing it, and more about how it is to play in recent times, and what it means to us as a video game or as part of a franchise in our lives. We’re both lifelong gamers, and both enjoy periodically revisiting games of our past.