The First Hour generally writes two main types of reviews: first hour reviews and full reviews.

First Hour review scores

From July 2007 until April 2009, we assigned scores of 1-10 for first hour reviews along with category scores for gameplay, fun factor, graphics and sound, and story.  Part of the reason why I did this was because I'm a very mathematically oriented guy, I like to be able to organize things by rank and order, and assigning quantitative scores allowed me to do just that.  The other reason why I did this was because it just made sense to me and I didn't know otherwise.  There were very few reviewers out there at the time reviewing video games and not telling us exactly how good it was in just one number.

Some of the scores became very polarizing, see Okami and Star Ocean: The Second Story for perfect examples.  These were games that people loved and how dare I assign them a low score!  I tried to argue that I was just reviewing the first hour of the games and that I had in fact beaten both of these games and enjoyed them immensely.

But the number reigned above all.

So I dropped the scores for first hour reviews. Yes, it would be harder for me to say that the first hour of this game was better or worse than the first hour of that game, but was that really important? No.  The scores are still on the review for historical purposes, but all that matters now is Would I keep playing?

Full review scores

I still generally assign scores to games in my full reviews (though not all the writers here do).  I believe after playing a game through its entirety I can legitimately decide how it ranks numerically.  Of course, the number itself isn't what's really important, but the entire review as a whole.

We also use the entire scale of numbers when reviewing games.  I consider 5 as average.  Whether you disagree or not is up to you, but this goes against mainstream review sites such as IGN or Gamestop who tend to see 7.5 as average.

Because we're not a professional game review site, we generally only play the games we actually want to play, so even if do have a wider review score range, most of our scores will tend to average higher.

So to make things a little bit clearer, here is how I would desribe the scores:

10 - Infobox Score 10 - A stellar game, not necessarily perfect, but an absolute must-play.

9 - Infobox Score 9 - Excellent, but with some flaws.

8 - Infobox Score 8 - Great, play this game if you have the system.

7 - Infobox Score 7 - Good, if you like the genre, definitely play it.

6 - Infobox Score 6 - Decent, could be good fun for the right person.

5 - Infobox Score 5 - Simply average, has some glaring flaws but might be worth playing if you're a fan of the series or love the genre.

4 - Infobox Score 4 - Below average, not a good game, but salvageable.

3 - Infobox Score 3 - Bad, don't bother playing this.

2 - Infobox Score 2 - Lousy, disparage this game in your spare time.

1 - Infobox Score 1 - Horrible, avoid this game at all costs.