****ing Review Scores, How Do They Work?

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#1


I've been thinking about this issue for a LOOOONG time, and I still can't figure out what's best in terms of review scores.

How "good" is a 9/10 game? Common sense says it's pretty damn good, but in reality there are dozens of games with such a score for each systems out there. Clearly they can't all be that great. How bad is a 6/10? A guess would be that a 6/10 is just an average game, in the true sense of the word. The industry, however, practically reserves the 6/10 score for absolutely mediocre titles, and anything lower than that for joke reviews. Let's not even get into the argument of whether there is such a thing as a "perfect 10".

On the other hand, you have sites like Edge.com using a "true" 10-point scale, where they give a 5/10 to a game they really find average, and a 8/10 to a game they consider pretty great. This system might seem ideal, except the rest of the industry is already accustomed to thinking a game is just ok when they see an 8/10. Similarly, scores like these can mess up with Metacritic's or GameRanking's systems, which obviously have a big influence on how many sales a game can get.

Then another issue: how can sites like IGN (and I, too) say that both Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Skyward Sword are both 10/10 titles? One of them is a just a really good level-based platformer while the other is a massive adventure with a persistent world, characters worth caring about, an epic origin tale and a tremendously complex mish-mash of genres. What guidelines do we use to grade them?

There's just a lot of doo-doo to think about when deciding what score system is best for game reviews. What do you guys think, is it better to have a 5, 20, or 100 point scale? Should games be reviewed on a true scale (5 is average) or the scale mostly used right now (7.5 is average)? Should a game be scored based on how polished it is, or on how ambitious it is?
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#2
The system is definitely broken. When even the odd point on a Metacritic average can be worth (hundreds of) thousands of dollars to publishers, there's a lot of pressure to score games in a certain way. Metro Gamecentral is another publication that bucks this trend by awarding 7/10 to good games and 5/10 to average games.

Don't forget that your 10-point scale is actually an 11-point scale, and the 20-point scale is actually a 21-point scale. Assuming a game could potentially score a zero.

Personally i'd like to go with a 7 or 8 point scale where every rating can be defined by a single word:

7. Phenomenal
6. Brilliant
5. Great
4. Good
3. Average
2. Poor
1. Terrible
0. Horrific

Or maybe:

7++. Phenomenal
7. Brilliant
6. Great
5. Good
4. Average
3. Poor
2. Terrible
1. Horrific
 
#3
This is why I think a 5 point scale is superior. The score makes more sense from the perspective of "should you play this game or not" than just "how good is this game."

5 means it is really great and you should absolutely play it ASAP.
4 means it is very solid and you should play it.
3 means it has some major problems and you may or may not like it.
2 means it is bad and you shouldn't play it.
1 means it's so terrible you'd rather die than play it.

Also, Giant Bomb uses this scale, and that's why it's one of the greatest websites ever created (personal bias speaking).
 
#4
If you read my Skyward Sword review, you know that I have a beef with REVIEWERS, not so much the system they use to grade a game.

Here are just the first paragraphs that I wrote:

"I will remember this generation of video games fondly as the generation of the "overrated". Overrated games left and right on all platforms, reviewers trying to make the game sound better that it actually is, publishers sending hefty checks to reviewers so they score their games higher. A perfect 10, 5 out of 5, A+... whatever grading system they have can mean a lot of things to many people."

"Basically, reviews are obsolete right now... You can actually go to youtube and watch a video about a game that you want to buy and if you like what you see, you'll buy it, right? It's a no brainer."

It sounds contradictory right? since I wrote a REVIEW... here are my reasons why I wrote it:

"Well, first of all: I don't get paid to review games.

Second: I buy video games with my own money, so, I don't get games early for free to review them.

And thirdly: I love video games.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm a gamer who reviews games, and that's a huge difference from all the big corrupt websites."


I think we're in a time where game reviews are as useful as the Youtube comment section of every video. Yes, there are reviews with Youtube comment wisdom quality all over them... don't believe me? Just watch the X-Play review of Metroid Other M...



Grading systems, for me, they all make sense... that is if the reviewer applies them in proper perspective. You have to realize that publishers bribe reviewers to get higher scores our just they feel the need to "troll" a game and that's why so many reviews don't make any sense.

Instead of reading reviews, why don't we all just watch gameplay footage of the game we kind of want to buy? To make our own judgement in buying a game. That way it would be our own fault if the game still sucks even if we did like the video gameplay footage.

To me, that's better than buying an overrated game only to find out that it was just decent.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#5
I've always thought the 100-point scale is complete and total b.s. What's the real difference between a 96 and a 97? Nothing. It's just a way for a reviewer to cop out of giving perfect scores for games that are too good to be 9's or 9.5's ("see, I'm a tough reviewer!"). Kill it with fire.

That leaves 5, 10 and 20 scales. I like the simplicity of a 5-point scale, because you actually have to use the whole scale. The other side of the coin is that it doesn't leave you a lot of room to qualify between really good, great and "don't die before you play this" games.

A 10-point scale is appealing and gives you more options, but again doesn't leave much discretion at the top. You'll inevitably run into "well, it's not quite a 10, but it's not a 9." At least I will.

So you'd think I'd love a 20-point scale. And I do...at the top. But the bottom is virtually meaningless. You've got a whole lot of options that you'll never conceivably use. Who REALLY wants to decide if a game is a 3.0 or a 3.5?

We could make up our own obtuse system, but then it's harder for casual readers to discern what it means.

I'd err on the side of a 10 or 20 scale. And I guess it's nice to have a little extra, so a 20 scale (I know I'm never going to dive 100m with my watch, but it's nice to know that it'll do that). But I'm not married to the idea. So here's a facetious 11-point scale.

10 - Sell your children to play this. If you have no children, sell your parents. If your parents are dead, sell someone else's parents.
9 - Like a first kiss, this game isn't perfect. Thrilling and a little sloppy, but you'll never forget it.
8 - You know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in France? A Royale with Cheese.
7 - A regular quarter pounder.
6 - Ever see "Road to Perdition"? This score is that movie. A great genre exercise that many will love, but it lacks the verve and polish of Godfather.
5 - Julia Roberts. You may love her and think she's gorgeous. Or you may wonder what all the fuss is about.
4 - Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen.
3 - A 1970s Fiat. This will get you from point A to point B. And possibly fall apart along the way.
2 - Nickelback.
1 - A Nickelback cover band.
0 - "They're coming to get you, Barbara. They're coming for you, Barbara."
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#6
I like the responses here. My personal thoughts:

I think a 5-star scale is great for personal recommendations, but like EvilTwin said, sometimes you want a little more room to differentiate between really great, greater, and greatest games. I can live with it if it's on .5 increments, so a 4.5/5 is definitely better than a 4.0/5.

On the other hand, a 20 points scale works great at the top, but the bottom is just baggage. Even so, you can't just get rid of it and use a true 10-point scale system like Edge does because it's counterproductive to the actual purpose of reviews, which is to provide an opinion that readers can organically weight against other reviews in the industry. In that sense, it's completely backwards for Edge to grade an average game a 5/10 when the vast majority of readers are going to think, at first glance, that this game is much worse than an IGN 7.5 game, when in reality they would be about the same. So, I think it's better to stick to the top half of the scale just because that's what's become easier for readers to internalize.

I think EvilTwin's scale is very well defined, but I think it should go from 4 to 10, not 0 to 10. Nobody cares about anything between a 0 and a 4, so I don't see any harm in dropping those out the equation. Frankly, any game that would score lower than a 4 doesn't really deserve a proper score but rather a strong recommendation NOT to buy or play it.

Is this something people can sort of agree with? if not, why not?
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#7
We also haven't mentioned the Famitsu way of doing things which is out of 40. Honestly, they only do that because there are four reviewers rating the game out of ten and then they add up the total. But, it does force you to actually think about what the score means because we aren't as used to it as the 10 or five point scale.

Also, I mentioned on the chat to juegos that the reason games don't usually get less than a five is because the majority of games aren't released. Yes, there are many, many more games being released than we are aware of. The reason we don't notice is because we call them shovelware, although they often make a killing from younger gamers. So, those games would all be getting less then five, but sites have no interest in reviewing them. If they are reviewing a game it already has marked itself as a game that has had a decent amount of production and development put into it. So, it will most likely get more than a five unless it totally surprises people and falls apart at the seams.

So, the ten point scale is basically saying five is the average game including shovelware, whereas Edge is basically saying 5 is the average game out of the type of games that interest traditional gamers.

But, as I was saying to juegos on the chat:

"The issue with current reviews is that in essence the formula for determining the excellence of a game is execution/vision * vision= review score, and the determining ratio of execution/vision will always be based on how great the vision is, not just the execution alone, but other reviews don't measure the execution appropriately within the context of the vision. the problem being you can't compare execution from one game to another because execution can only be understood within a context of vision."

What the heck does that mean? Hopefully, juegos will deliver on that editorial he spoke about and we'll hear more about his fundamental review score principles: vision and execution. Then things will make more sense.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#8
Bump for any ideas on a sort of graphic or guideline we should use for our scale?

I'm trying to write some reviews in the new format, and I'm actually finding it quite difficult. Have to get used to this.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#9


Necro-ing this, because although I don't participate much in Skype, I think it's worth noting that the review score discussion that was brought up ain't new. We've been going on about this pretty well since the site started. That was before we even got to this thread, which will be two years old soon. And there was lots of Skype discussion after this thread was posted, where we ultimately ended up with the 20-point scale with high and low scores (so we could actually use the whole scale).

It's all been a compromise. I didn't get the facetious "11" ranking (the "Spinal Tap" range for the best retro games) I wanted, and others didn't get the 5 or 10-point scale they wanted. We also didn't go with defining each numeric ranking, because really, readers are smart enough to figure that out (at least I think that was the consensus we came up with).
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#11
^
Yeesh. But, to be fair, Destructoid has said they want to actually use their whole scale.
http://www.destructoid.com/the-official-destructoid-review-guide-2011-203909.phtml

On their scale, a buggy game is a 3. But this also shows the danger of what Alex has talked about before - step too far outside of what the industry at large uses, and your scores look laughable by comparison. It could also make your editorializing seem hypocritical, because by Destructoid's own scale, a game like No More Heroes or Fragile Dreams, or COD/Splinter Cell at launch, could easily be 3's.

Of course, this is Sterling, who I have zero trust in at this point, so...yeah.
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#13
Review scales are fucked because many companies include those 10/10's and 9/10's in their marketing budget :-$ sad but true.
i've heard accusations of this for like a decade now, but i've never heard a journo confirm it. there was the gerstmann/gamespot debacle way back when, but even then it's not like gamespot redacted or refused to publish the review - which they easily could have done if there was any truth to the whole pay for reviews thing. plus you've got tons of has-been reviewers who could have confirmed that this was an industry practice, yet none of them have ever come forward afaik.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#14
Did someone say review scores? http://www.destructoid.com/review-batman-arkham-origins-264357.phtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
I'm playing this game now and can tell you for a fact that this review is utter garbage.... Origins is so much better than a 3.5....
I've seen more positive reviews about Wii shovelware games.... Wow....
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#15
Did someone say review scores? http://www.destructoid.com/review-batman-arkham-origins-264357.phtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
I'm playing this game now and can tell you for a fact that this review is utter garbage.... Origins is so much better than a 3.5.... Just shameful to read reviews like this that focus on basically calling the game garbage without really giving credible reasons to do so....
I've seen more positive reviews about Wii shovelware games.... Wow....
to be fair, as mike d pointed out, destructoid isn't on the typical 7-10 rating scale. i totally agree that it's low though. on their scale it think it deserves AT LEAST a 6.5 from what i've played. it's still a fun arkham game, it's just not as good as what rocksteady pulled off.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#16
Did someone say review scores? http://www.destructoid.com/review-batman-arkham-origins-264357.phtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
I'm playing this game now and can tell you for a fact that this review is utter garbage.... Origins is so much better than a 3.5.... Just shameful to read reviews like this that focus on basically calling the game garbage without really giving credible reasons to do so....
I've seen more positive reviews about Wii shovelware games.... Wow....
to be fair, as mike d pointed out, destructoid isn't on the typical 7-10 rating scale. i totally agree that it's low though. on their scale it think it deserves AT LEAST a 6.5 from what i've played. it's still a fun arkham game, it's just not as good as what rocksteady pulled off.
Oh I agree it's not as great a game as Arkham City, but I like it better than Asylum.... I think if someone said this game was average I would agree with that depending on how big a fan of Batman they are, but 3.5 is waaaaay off....
To hear it from this guy the game is a complete unplayable mess and what does work isn't fun at all.... He makes it sound like a complete cash in on the Arkham franchise.... That honestly could be true for some, but me being a huge fan of teh Arkham games and Batman in general, I am enjoying it quite considerably....
The game works fine, the action is fun and frantic, the story is just as well written as both of the previous Rocksteady games, and the overall tone is much more in line with what I have wanted in a Batman game from the very beginning....
The tone in Origins is so much better than Arkham City and Asylum imo.... It feels like the Batman from the Dark Knight Nolan film.... Which is a good thing imo....
In fact I would go as far as to say you can clearly see the inspiration taken from Dark Knight in terms of overall tone and design in Origins.... Batman is so much more badass at this early point in his crime fighting career....
The criminals he faces in this game haven't caught on to the fact that the Batman doesn't kill.... It makes for much more tense and interesting moments between him and the villians he fights.... He feels like much more of a loose cannon....
The early Batman is the best Batman imo and you can tell they tried to capture that feel in Origins.... To great success imo.... In Asylum and City the tone was dark, but it was still very late in Batman's career.... That made most of the encounters in the two previous games feel like Batman had this been there done that attitude....
This early look at the Bat gives me much more a feeling of satisfaction in terms of being the Batman....
It's really the first game I've played that makes you feel like the Batman.... Even more so than the two previous efforts by Rocksteady imo....
The whole idea of being batman at this early stage in the comics excites me much more than the later Batman who has fought some of these guys multiple times.... I like the freshness of it.... Batman's attitude in Origins is so much better than any Batman game I've played.... I feel like they nailed that in Origins....
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#17
i'm glad you're digging it. i'm not enjoying it as much due to the 2nd tier villains, and the presentation just isn't as gripping as i felt the other arkham games were. with that said, i'm only a few hours into it (maybe even like 1.5 hours, that 18 gig download took all day haha) so there's plenty of potential for my mind to change. it's pretty decent so far though and i'm looking forward to playing some more tonight.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#18
i'm glad you're digging it. i'm not enjoying it as much due to the 2nd tier villains, and the presentation just isn't as gripping as i felt the other arkham games were. with that said, i'm only a few hours into it (maybe even like 1.5 hours, that 18 gig download took all day haha) so there's plenty of potential for my mind to change. it's pretty decent so far though and i'm looking forward to playing some more tonight.
As a game I feel like it doesn't quite reach the heights of Rocksteady's efforts.... But given the amount of time they had to make Origins, they did a pretty decent job.... It's funny because I'm preferring the "second tier" villians much more than facing the likes of Poison Ivy again.... I guess I like the realistic type of villians more than the ones with special powers or gimmicks....
Oh and it is nice to have a Batman not in his undies as well, he looks so much more badass in Origins....
I like the whole getting hunted by assassins thing as well....
I guess we are digging Origins for different reasons.... But I haven't finished it either yet so.... I guess I should reserve full judgement of the game until I do....
 

running_in_jam

Videogame Sound Designer and Composer
#20
Review scales are fucked because many companies include those 10/10's and 9/10's in their marketing budget :-$ sad but true.
i've heard accusations of this for like a decade now, but i've never heard a journo confirm it. there was the gerstmann/gamespot debacle way back when, but even then it's not like gamespot redacted or refused to publish the review - which they easily could have done if there was any truth to the whole pay for reviews thing. plus you've got tons of has-been reviewers who could have confirmed that this was an industry practice, yet none of them have ever come forward afaik.

I don't know how regularly it happens or who the main culprits are on either side (but anyone could take an easy guess on those). I'm not sure what would be in it for "has-been" reviewers to talk about it to be honest, as it would look bad on their ability to keep a secret and impact future work (potentially), but I don't know. I think journalists would be the least likely to talk about it though, since they're on the receiving end of the dough.
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#21
Review scales are fucked because many companies include those 10/10's and 9/10's in their marketing budget :-$ sad but true.
i've heard accusations of this for like a decade now, but i've never heard a journo confirm it. there was the gerstmann/gamespot debacle way back when, but even then it's not like gamespot redacted or refused to publish the review - which they easily could have done if there was any truth to the whole pay for reviews thing. plus you've got tons of has-been reviewers who could have confirmed that this was an industry practice, yet none of them have ever come forward afaik.

I don't know how regularly it happens or who the main culprits are on either side (but anyone could take an easy guess on those). I'm not sure what would be in it for "has-been" reviewers to talk about it to be honest, as it would look bad on their ability to keep a secret and impact future work (potentially), but I don't know. I think journalists would be the least likely to talk about it though, since they're on the receiving end of the dough.
what i'm saying is that i don't know that it's happened at all. by "has been" reviewers, i mean any of the countless gaming journos that have since dropped out of the industry for one reason or another. a tell-all article about the corruption of the gaming press would be a huge story and too irresistible for someone in that position not to break. then there are also those who are still members of the gaming press who have journalistic integrity. if someone like gerstmann or sessler or kuchera had been told to give a score that was paid for (and if it was anything approaching common practice, this would have happened with these guys), i thoroughly believe they'd know about it and would have talked about it publicly.
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#22
i'm glad you're digging it. i'm not enjoying it as much due to the 2nd tier villains, and the presentation just isn't as gripping as i felt the other arkham games were. with that said, i'm only a few hours into it (maybe even like 1.5 hours, that 18 gig download took all day haha) so there's plenty of potential for my mind to change. it's pretty decent so far though and i'm looking forward to playing some more tonight.
As a game I feel like it doesn't quite reach the heights of Rocksteady's efforts.... But given the amount of time they had to make Origins, they did a pretty decent job.... It's funny because I'm preferring the "second tier" villians much more than facing the likes of Poison Ivy again.... I guess I like the realistic type of villians more than the ones with special powers or gimmicks....
Oh and it is nice to have a Batman not in his undies as well, he looks so much more badass in Origins....
I like the whole getting hunted by assassins thing as well....
I guess we are digging Origins for different reasons.... But I haven't finished it either yet so.... I guess I should reserve full judgement of the game until I do....
i just beat the first fight with deathstroke and man it was definitely one of the cooler things i've done in a game this year. that was fucking awesome haha. it tooks me 5 tries, but i did have to restart twice due to bugs. this game is pretty glitchy, but it's fun as hell so far.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#23
Metascores are useless, I know. But I think this is kinda interesting:

Ghosts - 74
Black Ops 2 - 83
Modern Warfare 3 - 88
Black Ops - 87
Modern Warfare 2 - 94
World at War - 84
Modern Warfare - 94

(Stuck with the 360 version for the sake of consistency.)

It's not like the template really changed here. Short - almost guided - single-player campaign (of varying degrees of cheese), robust multiplayer. IMO, Ghosts' multiplayer is an improvement over BO2 and MW3, but it's the metascore outlier. Maybe the modern military shooter has finally become the WWII shooter of pre-2007.

But to me that's still too convenient if you're supposed to be judging on overall quality. I understand why with some games you have to factor in novelty and how revolutionary they seem at the time, but it seems a strange penalty to dock points for a game being of roughly the same caliber (if not better) than the past few similar releases, which didn't have any novelty going for them at all.

Then again, perhaps it's perfectly valid to say "hey, you're killing us with the constant, every-year release schedule." I dunno. I'm not terribly receptive to that stance, but you can't deny when a franchise is being obviously milked, either.
 
#24
This is why reviews shouldn't merely come down to 1 definitive score. A single score won't be able to warn readers who aren't looking for more of the same that the game they are buying is exactly that. One might say that the solution is to have no score, but the goal here is not to punish the reader.

Low scores and high scores are the solution imo and need to be a part every review format. This way, you can still give games the definitive score they deserve while also dropping the low score for not doing 'this' thing in particular or raising the high score for doing 'that' thing in particular right. Low/high scores should be seen as the second and third opinion rather than the means to the average of the final score. At least I think so.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
#25
If you read my Skyward Sword review, you know that I have a beef with REVIEWERS, not so much the system they use to grade a game.

Here are just the first paragraphs that I wrote:

"I will remember this generation of video games fondly as the generation of the "overrated". Overrated games left and right on all platforms, reviewers trying to make the game sound better that it actually is, publishers sending hefty checks to reviewers so they score their games higher. A perfect 10, 5 out of 5, A+... whatever grading system they have can mean a lot of things to many people."

"Basically, reviews are obsolete right now... You can actually go to youtube and watch a video about a game that you want to buy and if you like what you see, you'll buy it, right? It's a no brainer."

It sounds contradictory right? since I wrote a REVIEW... here are my reasons why I wrote it:

"Well, first of all: I don't get paid to review games.

Second: I buy video games with my own money, so, I don't get games early for free to review them.

And thirdly: I love video games.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm a gamer who reviews games, and that's a huge difference from all the big corrupt websites."


I think we're in a time where game reviews are as useful as the Youtube comment section of every video. Yes, there are reviews with Youtube comment wisdom quality all over them... don't believe me? Just watch the X-Play review of Metroid Other M...



Grading systems, for me, they all make sense... that is if the reviewer applies them in proper perspective. You have to realize that publishers bribe reviewers to get higher scores our just they feel the need to "troll" a game and that's why so many reviews don't make any sense.

Instead of reading reviews, why don't we all just watch gameplay footage of the game we kind of want to buy? To make our own judgement in buying a game. That way it would be our own fault if the game still sucks even if we did like the video gameplay footage.

To me, that's better than buying an overrated game only to find out that it was just decent.

Proof that reviews are paid for, nobody has provided me with any yet.

But yeah, "troll" reviews are dreadful to look at.
Did someone say review scores? http://www.destructoid.com/review-batman-arkham-origins-264357.phtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
So wait, he gives Arkham Origins a 3.5 for being a "cynical cash in" & Ghosts a 5 for being "predictable" and then turns around and continues to praise a yearly franchise like Dynasty Warriors?

What a fucking pretentious hypocrite.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#26
So wait, he gives Arkham Origins a 3.5 for being a "cynical cash in" & Ghosts a 5 for being "predictable" and then turns around and continues to praise a yearly franchise like Dynasty Warriors?

What a fucking pretentious hypocrite.
Just a tool. Not to belabor the point, but Sterling is one of the least-trustworthy reviewers I've ever come across. FFS, he's a guy who says he plays COD for the single player. Does he also watch porn for the plot?

But this also goes back to Destructoid's scale, which doesn't do much to help him out. By their standard, a 4.0 is "below average" (whereas the rest of the industry seems to put "below average" in the 6.0 to 7.0 range), which is just stupid, as it would mean that 5.0 would be average, thus the vast majority of their reviews would have to be be 5.0's. I think most people look at scores like they're grades, and I never passed a test in my life with a 50% grade making me "average."
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#28


So I think is an interesting take on criticism in general:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat...rman_s_success_is_devastating_to_critics.html

"I’ve never met a critic who wanted to “kill” any work, or who truly expected their harsh review to significantly impact the success of a mass-market product like Batman v Superman. We know the limits of our power, which is modest indeed. Sometimes, of course, critics hate a chart-topper, but the negative reviews we write in response are meant as a cry in the wilderness, an attempt to speak for and draw together all the far-flung dissenters and grapple with a work whose overwhelming success we hope to understand. Because here’s the thing: Every critic knows that the person most eager to read your take is the person who’s already seen the film, watched the TV series, read the book. They come to you not for consumer advice, but for company and (to use Scott’s favorite metaphor) conversation. They want to compare notes. They hope you can explain why they found the work so profound or so stylish or so ridiculous. Sure, sometimes we critics try to drum up enthusiasm for an overlooked jewel, but it’s much harder to interest readers when they haven’t already invested time in the work."

I hadn't thought of it that way, but I think that this is at least partly true.

For games, most of the time I don't read critic reviews as a sort of guidepost. There are a few examples - like Devil's Third - where critical revulsion gives me pause. But 9 times out of 10, I've already made up my mind on buying a game. So if I'm reading a review, I'm mainly reading to see if the writer reveals something about the game that I may have missed, or something I liked but couldn't quite articulate.
 
#29
I haven't read this thread as I'm on my phone here but, my favourite review score/grading system that is in use is Kotaku's.

The essence of any review is to help the end user make an informed purchase. So a "Should you buy this game" system is right up my alley.

So fuck all scores and percentages. Tell me should I buy the game and why either way. PLUS what would make it even more valuable is the counter argument from someone else. So say the main reviewer said don't buy this game and here's why. Then let another editor have a second box where they list the points as to why you should buy it.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#31
So fuck all scores and percentages. Tell me should I buy the game and why either way. PLUS what would make it even more valuable is the counter argument from someone else. So say the main reviewer said don't buy this game and here's why. Then let another editor have a second box where they list the points as to why you should buy it.
Numbers detract from the written words.

How is a 7/10 suppose to tell me what I'm looking for? A summary paragraph is all that's needed at the end of a review.
I agree with both of these posts in spirit. The score is essentially the money shot before we clean ourselves off behind camera. I look forward to the day - if it comes - when scoring isn't needed anywhere. But it is because we live in an age where it's still a tool to deliver critical evaluation to readers as a sort of shorthand. I mean, gaming ain't above a scoring system any more than movies are (Kotaku can get away from the whole deal via having Gawker paying the bills). So it's kinda about working within the confines of established norms.
 
#32
I agree with both of these posts in spirit. The score is essentially the money shot before we clean ourselves off behind camera. I look forward to the day - if it comes - when scoring isn't needed anywhere. But it is because we live in an age where it's still a tool to deliver critical evaluation to readers as a sort of shorthand. I mean, gaming ain't above a scoring system any more than movies are (Kotaku can get away from the whole deal via having Gawker paying the bills). So it's kinda about working within the confines of established norms.
Well yeah. But wanna know something? How many s**ts do I give about established norms? Well depends what it's about but this time very little.

My opinion on this matter would stand if I cared about reviews of Movies or books. Then again I don't really care about game reviews. I find them useful if I'm unsure about a game but 90% of the time I decided on my own if I'm going to buy a game.

If I'm going to spend time reading a review. I don't care about some meaningless number at the end that isn't a standard industry wide. Of far rather be given the reasons why I should and shouldnt partake.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#33
For games, most of the time I don't read critic reviews as a sort of guidepost. There are a few examples - like Devil's Third - where critical revulsion gives me pause. But 9 times out of 10, I've already made up my mind on buying a game.
Sometimes there are reviewers that are after your own heart. Once you find them, their opinions may matter before you buy a game. I usually read reviews from writers that I agree and trust.
 
#35
Then again... they are all critics.

At the end of the day (its night) its all about how receptive the person is to the experience. Like food critics, they may not like their experience because it doesnt fit in with their own personally preferred style. Its all about your experience, and thats why I like the "you should buy this because/you shouldnt buy this because" method because its giving me the reasons for them saying one way or the other and that would heavily influence my decision put simply like that.
 
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