Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Review Criteria

Reviews are (hopefully) going to be a fairly central part of this blog. So it's about time I explained exactly what I'm going to be reviewing and how I will be reviewing it.

I'll be using a somewhat unorthodox 12 star review system, based on the Citizen Europe logo. However, something will have to be absotively ruddy outstanding to garner 11 stars, and I don't anticipate ever handing out the full 12 stars unless something is so 'gasmic it changes my entire worldview. So, essentially, it will be a 10 star system with an extra two stars available to highlight anything that really, truly stands out. Simple.


Rating - 0 out of 12

If something scores 0 out of 12, then it is unreviewable. Either it is broken beyond repair, physically unreadable or unwatchable. Alternatively, if something scores 0 then it may have made my brain bleed a little bit.

Rating - 1 out of 12

1 out of 12 might mean that something is almost (but not quite) so pants that it is unreviewable. It may technically be watchable/readable/playable, but it is a serious effort to do so.

Rating - 2 out of 12

A score of 2 out of 12 means I find this item deeply, deeply flawed. I'm a fairly forgiving bloke, but this item is just trash. At least it physically works (although it may even have serious problems in this respect).

Rating - 3 out of 12

In all honesty, something I was reviewing would have to be pretty bad to actually score a 3 or less. Certainly, anything scoring 3 is not something I would recommend to anyone I liked. On the up side, if it scores a 3 then it (probably) at least works properly.

Rating - 4 out of 12

If something scores 4 out of 12, then it actually had one or two elements I enjoyed, although the overall experience was negative.

Rating - 5 out of 12

5 out of 12 is a completely unremarkable product. It is not necessarily bad, but it has nothing to particularly recommend it either.

Rating - 6 out of 12

6 out of 12 has done at least some of the right things. It's not great, but it just about manages to do more stuff right than wrong... Ho-hum.

Rating - 7 out of 12

7 out of 12 is actually not so bad. It may have some genuinely interesting elements - but several things let it down. The overall experience was positive. If whatever this thing is falls within your general area of interest, then it might be worth hunting it out.

Rating - 8 out of 12

8 out of 12 is pretty good. It may have one or two things wrong with it, but these niggly little negative points are outnumbered by the positive things. I would recommend this thing, but not as an absolute "must-see."

Rating - 9 out of 12

9 out of 12 is very nearly great. There is probably only one negative thing about it, and this is something that is only just preventing me from giving it 10 out of 12. Definitely recommended.

Rating - 10 out of 12

10 out of 12 is a nearly perfect product (just look at how excited the little man has become!). If you have the opportunity, you should hunt this down and watch/read/play it. I highly recommend this.

Rating - 11 out of 12

Wowzers! Anything scoring 11 out of 12 is particularly noteworthy. If you can experience only some of the things reviewed on this blog, this should be one of them.

Rating - 12 out of 12

Anything worth 12 out of 12 has genuinely changed the way I view the world. Stop reading this. Find whatever it is I gave 12 stars and experience it. Now.


Pretty much anything can be reviewed. Articles, books, music, food, places, people, anything.

The only criterion for inclusion is that there must be some connection to Europe. I will be looking at things from a "European" perspective, and specifically looking at how much something can teach me about European history and culture. If I come out of the experience feeling I've learned something, then I will rate it positively.

Generally, the things I review will fit into a historical "theme." I will try my best to work my way forwards, chronologically, through the whole of European history. I'm starting with Ancient Greece, and I will try to finish with modern Europe (c'est vrai: this is hopelessly ambitious).

I'm more than willing to include "themes" that might fit outside the geographical borders of Europe (insofar as they exist) that nonetheless have had an impact on the development of European culture. Ancient Egypt, Persia, and the levant, for example, will probably qualify as "themes" of interest.

Ultimately, this will be a highly subjective series of reviews. I am doing all of this in order to get a handle on what is "Europe," and anything which helps me to meet this goal I will view positively.

By the way, if you can think of anything I should be reviewing, please send me an e-mail at citeur@gmail.com!

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