3/5 DONT BUY EVER SUCKS: Why do we consider these ratings shite

Bob_McMillan

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So I was on this other thread asking about how reviews affect you purchasing the game (here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.866970-How-much-do-reviews-impact-your-purchases#21682063) While others don't seem to bother with reviews of a game, its pretty much the deciding factor for me. I'm the kind of gamer you people hate, the guy who doesn't buy games that are less then 4 stars. And there are a lot for people like me. So I've been wondering for some time, why do consider these perfectly acceptable scores as bad? Far Cry 4 got 7, which is pretty good, but that dissuaded me from buying the game.

My own little theory is that because in school (at least my school) 7 out of 10 and 4 out 5 are passing, and borderline passing isn't really considered good, in fact, its considered bad. So when I see a score like 6 or 7, I immediately think of failure, and that makes me not want to buy the game. What do you guys think?
 

sanquin

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So you're saying you consider way above average to near perfect scores (because 4/5 is near perfect) to only be 'just passing'...well, to each their own I guess.

I personally don't bother with reviews because I've found out years ago that they're pretty much never accurate for me personally. I form my own opinion from gameplay and first look video's and such. Because that's the only accurate way to know if the game is for me. For instance, the new CoD games almost always get great reviews. But I'm not going to buy what should be an expansion or DLC (including what little single player there is) for the price of a full new game. Plus I grew up with CS 1.6. To me personally, CoD multiplayer can't compare to that.

The "3/5 don't buy ever sucks!!" 'reviews' can't even be called that. It doesn't explain -anything- about why the game sucks, or what the few good points were. Most official reviews are crap because...well, it's just too obvious that they give a rose-coloured view of the game, often skipping over glaring issues in favour of discussing the graphics, and story. And if they do mention issues, they seem to do it in the form of a "This game might not be for everyone" sentence somewhere in the review.
 

Jandau

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The reasons are simple:

Fanboyism. People who are fans of other franchises will cling to any excuse to decry a game from an opposing franchise, even if that excuse is "It's good but not quite perfect.

Self-aggrandizing snarkyness. The simple belief that if you can hate something, then you're above all the "sheeple" who like it. A bunch of people enjoy something, but because you don't, that implies you have more refined tastes (which naturally stem from your better education, higher intelligence and longer penis). So saying that you wouldn't stoop to playing a 7/10 game is your way of saying you are above such games and therefore above people who play them.

Finally, time limitations. How many games do you play? All of them? I'm guessing not. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that you have a finite time for gaming. And let's say you decide you feel like playing an FPS that day. So you go online and look at available FPS games. You narrow your choice through various criteria (like say, theme, price, platform, etc.) and let's assume you're left with 3 games. One is a 5/10, everyone thinks it's "meh"; one's a 7/10, solid but flawed; the last one is 10/10, universal acclaim, everyone says it's the best thing since penicilin. Which one do you buy?

These are IMO the three major reasons (or categories of reasons) and people can be guilty of multiple ones at once.
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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Hmm... never thought of the school thing before. If your school uses that, (and all of mine have) then for most people in a scale of 0-10 or anything divisible by 10, like 100%, 70% or a C is the minimum passing score ingrained in to our mind as the minimum of good enough and everything up is better.

Wow, that actually makes the skewed rating interpretation make sense, hit a C(70) and you pass, a D(60) is close but not good enough, and an F(50-0) is just a large magnitude of how bad on the scale of bad it is.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
70% or a C is the minimum passing score ingrained in to our mind as the minimum of good enough and everything up is better.
What the fuck? Is this the USA that does that?

Im at uni in the UK and our first, that is the best result you can get, is 70%. I consider 70% to be the one to aim for at least with 80% being above and beyond.

Thats so weird because it would mean 70% of the questions have to be easy enough for the average person to answer them, then one tiny fraction are VERY hard to weed out the good people. Thats such a stupid way of doing it, At my uni the average student will get 40-50% and all laddering is done from there on up.

I guess thats why I consider 7/10 to be definitely quite good. Id consider 6/10 to be meh, 5 to be a neutral time sink and all other things below to be actively unfun.
 

gorfias

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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
Hmm... never thought of the school thing before. If your school uses that, (and all of mine have) then for most people in a scale of 0-10 or anything divisible by 10, like 100%, 70% or a C is the minimum passing score ingrained in to our mind as the minimum of good enough and everything up is better.

Wow, that actually makes the skewed rating interpretation make sense, hit a C(70) and you pass, a D(60) is close but not good enough, and an F(50-0) is just a large magnitude of how bad on the scale of bad it is.
A C average in school means, IMHO, you should finish your high school education but not go onto college. Traditional school isn't really your thing. But especially due to grade inflation, if a game doesn't get an 8/10, given the sheer volume of properties out there, it likely isn't worth top dollar.

I'm a sci-fi nut and nerd in general (so my wife tells me). I did pay $4 for Star Trek on Steam because, even if it sucks, it's worth $4 just to make kirk walk around a little for me. But if even I had paid $60 for this turkey? I'd be furious. The last few games I paid the full $60 for are all likely in the 8/10 or better category:
Last of Us
GTA5
Mario Kart 8
 

StriderShinryu

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I think the reason for me why I have nothing against games that get 3/5, 7/10, etc. is because I have had enough experience with game reviews to realize a couple of things. First, I've accepted that even games that do get 10/10 scores are not "perfect" games and, even if they are truly really really really good there still is a very good chance I personally won't enjoy them or connect with them at all. Second, I've played enough 3/5 games that I have ended up really enjoying to know I should not totally discount games based on that sort of score alone.

My perspective is that a game that gets a 9 or 10 out of 10 is one that everyone should try or at least look into. It's not perfect, because no game is, but it's an amazingly well crafted experience. Something that gets, say 6 to 8 out of 10 is still likely to be a well crafted experience but one with some notable flaws or design decisions that inherently limit the number of people who will likely enjoy it. It may be a great game but only if you're into it enough to overlook the flaws it does have.

I've never really compared review scores to school grading, and I almost always actually read/watch a review rather than going by the score alone. I'd imagine if you did view review scores as an analog to school scores, however, you probably would have a different perspective. Also, somewhat strangely, that perspective would actually shift entirely depending on how your own school/community perceives that scoring, which we've already witnessed in this thread. If you use the school grading analog then 7/10 can be either barely passable or fairly good just depending on who you ask.
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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BiscuitTrouser said:
Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
70% or a C is the minimum passing score ingrained in to our mind as the minimum of good enough and everything up is better.
What the fuck? Is this the USA that does that?

Im at uni in the UK and our first, that is the best result you can get, is 70%. I consider 70% to be the one to aim for at least with 80% being above and beyond.

Thats so weird because it would mean 70% of the questions have to be easy enough for the average person to answer them, then one tiny fraction are VERY hard to weed out the good people. Thats such a stupid way of doing it, At my uni the average student will get 40-50% and all laddering is done from there on up.

I guess thats why I consider 7/10 to be definitely quite good. Id consider 6/10 to be meh, 5 to be a neutral time sink and all other things below to be actively unfun.
At least in my path of Computer Science, work gets you most of the points. For example, one of my Calculus teachers who is notoriously difficult, admitted that a girl in one of his classes got 0 out of 10 questions right for the final but her work leading up to the answers got her a 90%.

Most of the classes and teachers in the US do this where the answer is only a part of the grade. And the multiple choice stuff is usually slim and easy, where as word problems, essays, and projects have multiple possible points so nothing hinges on the absolute correct answer.

At least its how it is in Arizona, don't know about the rest of the US though.

So that's how a 70% is minimum passing, because your work can catch you so a few mess ups aren't the end of the world.
 

tippy2k2

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For myself, a 7/10 a lot of times doesn't get picked up simply because of time restraints.

I got shit to do! If my options are to play a bunch of 9s or play a bunch of 7s, the 9s are usually going to win if I have zero outside interests in the 7.

That said, 7s are not bad games. A game that interests me that is a 7 will get played over a 9 that I don't really have any interest in. Some people use reviews as something to blindly follow; they're the ones who are shouting 7s suck and should never ever ever ever be bought and anyone that does it just an idiot for wasting their time. If you use them the way you're SUPPOSED to (a buyers guide rather than a buyers Bible), you should have no problem buying a 7.
 

crypticracer

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Reviews and sites like meta critic have made them pointless. On a 10 point scale there is 7-10 and everything below that is considered the same (unbuyable.)

Review scores these days mean literally nothing unless they are coming from the same person. It doesn't matter that IGN has a review scale, when each reviewer has their own opinion on what the numbers mean.

Scores are broken and are made even worse by metacritic. Seriously metacritic is just, the worst. I don't know if there is a solution to the problem. Because few sites are willing to drop scores.
 

Unsilenced

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BiscuitTrouser said:
Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
70% or a C is the minimum passing score ingrained in to our mind as the minimum of good enough and everything up is better.
What the fuck? Is this the USA that does that?

Im at uni in the UK and our first, that is the best result you can get, is 70%. I consider 70% to be the one to aim for at least with 80% being above and beyond.

Thats so weird because it would mean 70% of the questions have to be easy enough for the average person to answer them, then one tiny fraction are VERY hard to weed out the good people. Thats such a stupid way of doing it, At my uni the average student will get 40-50% and all laddering is done from there on up.

I guess thats why I consider 7/10 to be definitely quite good. Id consider 6/10 to be meh, 5 to be a neutral time sink and all other things below to be actively unfun.
TIL: I should have gone to college in Britain.

If you only know 60% of how to do something, I wouldn't say you've learned how to do it. It may mean I have to re-take a few courses, but I'm glad people aren't going into the field only knowing 60% of how to be a doctor or an engineer.


As for game reviews though, it makes a lot more sense to make 5 average and not... well... 8. Basically the entire bottom half of the spectrum is wasted the way it works now. Nobody really cares about the difference between a 1/10 or a 5/10. Neither one is worth buying. Really, if you think about it, most review sites basically use a 5 point system, but then just add another 5 points and say it's out of 10. 7/10 is actually "2/5, sucks ass," 8/10 is "3/5. Might play." and so forth.
 

Fox12

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Bob_McMillan said:
So I was on this other thread asking about how reviews affect you purchasing the game (here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.866970-How-much-do-reviews-impact-your-purchases#21682063) While others don't seem to bother with reviews of a game, its pretty much the deciding factor for me. I'm the kind of gamer you people hate, the guy who doesn't buy games that are less then 4 stars. And there are a lot for people like me. So I've been wondering for some time, why do consider these perfectly acceptable scores as bad? Far Cry 4 got 7, which is pretty good, but that dissuaded me from buying the game.

My own little theory is that because in school (at least my school) 7 out of 10 and 4 out 5 are passing, and borderline passing isn't really considered good, in fact, its considered bad. So when I see a score like 6 or 7, I immediately think of failure, and that makes me not want to buy the game. What do you guys think?
For me the answer is even simpler. I work. I go to college. I write creatively. My budget and time is constrained, so I only play the best games (or the ones I know I'll like). To be fair, I usually watch lets plays, since I don't trust review scores, and enjoyment is subjective. The fact is that a 3/5 game isn't bad, it's mediocre, and I don't have time for a $60 mediocre game when the 100 hour persona 4 is on sale for $10.
 

Pyrian

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I don't think review scores are all that meaningful; a mediocre review could still be a fantastic game that just didn't happen to hit the reviewers' pet beats. Forget the number, read the review.
 

Tsun Tzu

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Pyrian said:
I don't think review scores are all that meaningful; a mediocre review could still be a fantastic game that just didn't happen to hit the reviewers' pet beats. Forget the number, read the review.
^ This.

I'm finding, more and more, that user reviews are a lot more on point when it comes to titles I'm interested in.

It apparently depends entirely on whether or not the reviewer is a member of the target audience. People aren't able to separate themselves from their likes/dislikes. *shrug*

A 6/10 for some dude at IGN may be a 10/10 for some chick who's reeeeally into anime and loves the design/mechanics.
 

Muspelheim

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I usually don't base my decision on the stars or point ratings. A video game is not like a test or a school project. I'm of the opinion that you can't judge a game objectively and place it along a scale of quality that suits every taste.

Taste is individual, and that includes reviwers. Taste, background, implications, quirks and preferences, the general mood of the author when they played the game and when they wrote the piece... All of it factors in. Sometimes, a review aligns perfectly with your own tastes and preferences, sometimes it doesn't.

A review is a good place to start looking, and the score might give a decent general idea. But it shouldn't be the main deciding factor. Know your tastes, do some research.
 

Gretha Unterberg

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Yeah, guess it comes from the academic rating.
Perfect score minus the flaws and things it didn't deliver.
less then 50% ? FAILED !
so the average result is in the 2.0 / B / 80% area.


what clashs with the assumption that the middle of the scale (50%) is the average .
>>50 must have ,
>50 is outstanding ,
<50 only if it is your prefered niche ,
<<50 stay away from it !
 

Jmp_man

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I'm probably going to get slamed for a low content post but this is all I really have to say:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourPointScale

*obligatory TVTropes warning*
 
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The Very Reason I don't listen that closely to Review scores [http://www.ign.com/games/god-hand/ps2-822478]

don't get me wrong, I pay attention, but I look for key phrases that might turn me off or get me interested. Broken. Glitch. Unplayable. RNG items (I'm a loot whore and I love random generated items).

But Godhand was something I freaking treasured. I bought it on a whim, as I was in Montreal at the time and it was winter... so, yeah, I wasn't going outside. I was so glad I did. A combat system when you design your combos and special moves, 'Musou', Roulette wheel power moves.... the Humor. I couldn't love that game more if I tried.

And if you search, there are tons of articles on why people should distrust the entire site because of being robbed of Godhand's glory [https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=godhand%20is%20why%20i%20don't%20trust%20ign]. Look, if they give your new fighting game to be reviewed by someone who doesn't like fighting games, his opinion will bleed into it. I think for every reviewer, they should have to list their favorite genres and favorite games in said genres. So you can see if your tastes run somewhat similar.

As it is now, I don't even know why they assign some games to some reviewers. Limited people, I get. But If I hate young adult stuff and you send me to review the Twilight series... it can be well done to shit and I'd still hate it with all that I am.
 

Scars Unseen

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Way of the Samurai got a 74 average on Metacritic.

And that's why I don't pay attention to review scores. The End.
 

Evonisia

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I imagine that's the reason OP, because otherwise I don't see the logic behind it. 5/10 or 3/5 is average (or just above average in 3/5's case), the rest is either better or worse than that.

Personally I think review scores are just a nice little extra to a review. I can't pretend that I wasn't going aww yiss when I seen Jim Sterling give an 8/10, 8/10 and 9/10 to Silent Hill: Downpour, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War Judgment respectively. But the writing is what we should be looking at and seeing why they thought that. Going back to me squeeing over the Judgment review, I was quite surprised to see how it lead to 9 and I agree with it (for the most part).