I like this descriptive rating system better than a 1-5 scale. Usually, the 1-5 ends up being an attempt to give the impression that the rating is far more scientific and objective than it really is.
The descriptive scale, and the deliberately "soft" definitions each description is based on, are perfect for my needs. "3" tells me only that, for some reason, someone liked it better than the "2" item, but less than the "4" item. "Above average" is useful to me as a consumer: this isn't junk, and I should look at it - but I should also look at some other similar items. "Highly recommended" tells me I really don't need to look any further (if my needs are pretty similar to the reviewer's.)
The numerical scale is OK for our reader reviews - they provide a mechanism to average out the input from a number of people - but for the single-reviewer article, I really like the descriptive overall rating.