Jimquisition: Review Scores Are Not Evil

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Review Scores Are Not Evil

When Jim Sterling isn't busy being the voice of a generation, he's a videogame reviewer -- one that's constantly told to abolish review scores. This is a silly request, hinging on the belief that review scores are an evil we simply endure.

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Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
 

Waffle_Man

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Oct 14, 2010
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You're not responsible for our emotional well being?

That makes me feel so sad and I blame you.

:mad:
 

an annoyed writer

Exalted Lady of The Meep :3
Jun 21, 2012
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Funny that you mention assassinations over review scores. In the Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC for Borderlands 2, there's a mission where Mr. Torgue hires you as a hitman to take out a game reviewer he particularly dislikes over a review score. Jim, it's already happened.
 

Invadergray

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Something flashed by me real quick in that video. I couldn't figure out what it was but now I get this weird feeling that Konami is ruled by a cadre of whining crybaby crying baby crybabies who cry like babies because they are babies who cry and also they smell of shit.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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o.o

I wasn't even aware that there were people who thought review scores were evilbad and such. Seems kind of silly, honestly.

Nearly every electronic medium I can think of gets reviews with numbers, and that's damned helpful and quick. That is not to say I don't like reading or watching a full review of a game, but being able to look at the number scores awarded by several different reputable reviewers is really useful.
 

Domogo

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Aug 7, 2012
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As much as I agree I believe that Whilam De Foe needed to have some input into this argument!
 

KiloFox

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Aug 16, 2011
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i like the new gloves. they match the suit and make you look spiffy.
you don't wear enough Red for the red gloves to work in the same way.

anyway. i'm so-so on review scored... i don't really like how an 8 is seen as BAD. an 8 is simply 80%. it's still a B grade, and even without taking BS school grades into account it means you did 80% of stuff great! (making a 50% just "average" or "Decent") the scores themselves arn't bad, but rather it's the way that some people VIEW them that's really bad.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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I always found that funny when the true fanboys whine that a game they like got a low score of 8/10. lol
 

Kuomon

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I personally don't mind review scores, but we are definitely better off in an industry that does not universally embrace them. Otherwise, people might start thinking you can quantify things like fun and dread.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
It depends on how you look at the 10 point grading scale. If you look at it like an academic grade, then 7/10 *should* be the average/mediocre game. That's how most reviewers see it, even. Just look here on the Escapist where 2 and a half stars is usually accompanied by a "don't bother" recommendation and anything below that is pretty much considered garbage.
 

T3hSource

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I view scores mostly as an arbitrarily number attached to the end that's supposed to represent to reviewer's opinion.I do admit that I scroll down to check that number and see what the general impression was- good/meh/bad and then I have the option to read on or move on depending on my interest.As for scoreless reviews I just look at the last paragraph which should summarize the general impression towards the game.
 

Kuth

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Jan 14, 2009
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Scores, no problem with them. Now Metacritic can die in the pits of 8th level hell for the damage that has done.

For some reason, people are mixing the hate of Metacritic with scores. That is a very bad idea to muddle up on your stance. Many of us know that Metacritic have costed people jobs, not intentionally, but companies have relied on using it and thus have seen it as a way to see how well their product will or will not do.

Scores of an individual and the text for why that score exist, is fine. Throwing several different scores formats, and trying to find an average, along with customer scores is idiotic. It makes little to no sense and it's hard for people figure out or analyze why one game got mostly 8/7 score and some twat gave it a 2/5 stars.
 
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I half expected him to break into a Dr. Strangelove routine at the end, maybe that would have been too unoriginal, a subtle nod was maybe enough, if that's what it was.
 

Shameless

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Jun 28, 2010
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The movie and music industries have review sites that uses scores and they don't mind it.
 

Scars Unseen

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May 7, 2009
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Presentation: 7
Graphics: 8
Audio: i
Jim: 6.0221415 x 10[sup]23[/sup]

Final Score(not an average): frog
 

ZZoMBiE13

Ate My Neighbors
Oct 10, 2007
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More and more I feel like these videos are focusing on information or events that I've not been privy to. Not sure if I'm becoming less informed, or if Jim is focusing on more esoteric topics. But whatever. It's still usually entertaining regardless.
 

DustyDrB

Made of ticky tacky
Jan 19, 2010
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I really hate the over-emphasis and reliance [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.393040-Halo-4-gets-a-2-10?page=1] on scores by gamers. I hate that some people think that just because there's a number means its objective. I hate how Metacritic turn everything into a 100 point system (especially when the scale was a star system which the reviewers detail what each score means). And I hate how Metacritic gives some sites more weight than others (this recently became an issue with a factually incorrect Gamespot review of Natural Selection 2. They ended up re-doing the review, but the original score stuck because that's Metacritic's policy). I hate that bonuses, such as in the case of Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas, are sometimes tied to the Metacritic score. Are these the fault of the reviewer? No. It's just a broken system. Individually the scoring isn't so bad. But Metacritic's "opinion stew" (that's really what aggregated scores are) has too much sway these days. But the blame for these really does fall on the gamers and publishers who are too damn obsessed with it. If I hear one more person whining that a reviewer is just "trying to drag down the Metacritic average", I will...well I won't murder anyone. But I will sigh, shake my head and perhaps even write a perturbed reply! I'll do it, I swear!

Me? I do ignore the score and focus on the written review. There are a handful of reviewers (Destructoid has three of them: Jim, Jonathan, and Conrad) who "I get". Even if my opinion doesn't always align with theirs (though it fairly often does in the end), I have a good feel for their biases and what they emphasize. So I can read about what they didn't like and then think, "Yeah that really would bug me too" or "Meh, not as big a deal to me". This method works wonders for me.
 

Another

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I don't mind review scores, if it's a true scale score system.

In a scale of 1-10, five is average. Not 7 or 8. 7's and 8's can still be really good. Iv'e enjoyed a fair few games that have received such.
 

gardian06

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
It depends on how you look at the 10 point grading scale. If you look at it like an academic grade, then 7/10 *should* be the average/mediocre game. That's how most reviewers see it, even. Just look here on the Escapist where 2 and a half stars is usually accompanied by a "don't bother" recommendation and anything below that is pretty much considered garbage.
so by that logic (note: not all schooling systems use the same grade identifiers) and your explanation is only half accurate. the grading percentage is based on actual percent correctness, but the lettering system which has actually changed in definition was brought about as a short hand of quality measure. where 50% and bellow was deemed failing from a standpoint of do you really want an employee that is only right 50% of the time, and so on. while a A student is right 100% of the time (in an academic setting). so really the argument loses some merit because the way that the grade scale in which you describe it is based on a fallacy itself of accuracy of answers in an academic setting reflects how that person will perform in a work environment. where I know quite a few "F students" who are not only incredibly bright, but also a lot better in real world situations then "A students"

KiloFox said:
i like the new gloves. they match the suit and make you look spiffy.
you don't wear enough Red for the red gloves to work in the same way.
snip...
I think the thicker gloves actually make the entire outfit look bulkier, and by nature make his head look fatter (sorry Jim) If you are going to go with black gloves for your body type you might want to try slim line, or riding black gloves for bicyclists, or motorcyclists as they will make your outfit look less bulky, and also it wont break the outfit up like the red ones did, but you might also run into an issue where to much of a gap between your glove, and your sleeve will make it seem like you stole the hands of a smaller person.
 

LazyGlader

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Nov 29, 2012
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Draconalis said:
I don't get it... if you hate review scores so much, why do you use them?
If you are directing this question towards Jim, then I'll have to ask you if you even watched the video. He claimed he likes review scores.

OT: I have no problem with review scores, but I would prefer categories like Gameplay, Story, etc. then you average all of them together.
 

Lizardon

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Mar 22, 2010
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I agree that it's not the reviewers fault that some people are idiots and get upset or misuse review scores.

Personally, I have no real problem with a numerical score, as long as the reviewer clearly defines what sort of game deserves a 5/10, 7/10 etc. The Escapist and Destructoid both have review score guides linked in all their reviews elaborating on the scoring system, so I see no reason to remove the scores.

Also, was that just a joke or has a publisher really left you voice messages over a bad review score? To be honest I not sure if that is hilarious or just sad.
 

comadorcrack

The Master of Speilingz
Mar 19, 2009
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Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
Agreed that would have been interesting and agreed that pisses me off. I recall the escapists own Susan Ardent bringing up that point of the average being a sort of 7/10 score, but never really went into from there.

It seems ridiculous to me that the average is so bloody high, move the god damn average. That's how IQ works. The average IQ moves a lot... so they change the grading system to match it.

I personally like the way Jim's own site destructoid handles scores, Jim has a very specific scoring sheet which genuinely has 5 as the Average.
 

Evilpigeon

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My problem with review scores is that it distracts from the content and gives you a faulty metric with which to compare apples to oranges i.e. compare Crusader Kings 2 to Planetside 2, there's essentially nothing in common execpt for the presence of a map in both games. It's a preference and I can see why people who are interested in a shorthand version of the writer's opinion on a game like them, I'd just rather read the article and draw my own conclusions as opposed to being handed a hard conclusion.
 

themilo504

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Yathzee has a pretty good reason why he doesn?t use scores still I find it a bit silly to ban review scores outright they can be quite handy.
 

VonBrewskie

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Good perspective Jim. I also read a comment on here about how "anything below a 7 is bad". I don't think that's the case, and I think Jim pointed out that reading the score, then reading the article associated with the score is the way to go. If some people can't be assed to read an article attached to a score then that's their problem, and they won't get the reviewer's real opinion. People limit their own ability to form an educated opinion when they ignore articles as well. I actually like to read/watch multiple reviews of the same game and form my own opinion based on information I've gathered from sources I trust (like this site) before I drop my hard-earned cash on the counter.
 

AJey

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So you missed the most obvious point? How about the fact that scores provide zero information! None! Nothing!
 

Sylveria

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comadorcrack said:
Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
Agreed that would have been interesting and agreed that pisses me off. I recall the escapists own Susan Ardent bringing up that point of the average being a sort of 7/10 score, but never really went into from there.

It seems ridiculous to me that the average is so bloody high, move the god damn average. That's how IQ works. The average IQ moves a lot... so they change the grading system to match it.

I personally like the way Jim's own site destructoid handles scores, Jim has a very specific scoring sheet which genuinely has 5 as the Average.
It's born out of two things. The first of which being people are fixated on their "school" grading system where a 6/10 is probably just barely passing, if that. So, a 7/10, a C, is seen as "average." Reviewers and readers who are used to that scoring system can't psychologically break away from it. To them, a 5/10 is a 50%, a pretty solid Fail. That's why you get the people like Cliffy B getting his panties knotted up when his game gets an 8/10. To him, that's a B, good, not great, when in an actual 10 point system, it would be far above average and should be considered great.

The second issue, which Jim addressed partially, is when people are of the mind-set that a 5/10 is failure, 7 and 8 is a very safe number. A publisher sees an 7 out of ten and they're more or less placated. They can sit back and think they did "good enough" as most C students who don't aspire for better would. Their feelings aren't hurt so business relationships aren't harmed. Then you get places like Konami, Activision or SquareEnix who if you don't work the shaft good enough and give them that 9/10, they'll take their ball and go home.
 

Draconalis

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LazyGlader said:
If you are directing this question towards Jim, then I'll have to ask you if you even watched the video. He claimed he likes review scores.
Yes...I watched the video. I was being fictitious...
 

Blood Brain Barrier

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Jim should do audio clips rather than videos. I don't need to watch streams of clips from Japanese games I don't care about while at the same time listening to completely unrelated streams of Jim's occasionally funny/entertaining monologues.
 

blackrave

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Scars Unseen said:
Presentation: 7
Graphics: 8
Audio: i
Jim: 6.0221415 x 10[sup]23[/sup]

Final Score(not an average): frog
Frog? FROG???
What is wrong with reviewers these days?
Are they all that stupid that they need to compensate their lacking intelligence (and probably small penis) by demeaning work of other people who are more talented, handsome and rich? You are just bias and jealous
That video deserved at least TOAD and if you don't agree with me, then I hope your penis will get chewed off by rabid chimpanzee.
Because I'm right and you're wrong. No, not even that, you're WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!!!






[sub]P.S.That was sarcastic comment, please don't ban me.[/sub]
 

muffinatorXII

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i don't really have a problem with scores it's just that they make no sense. first of all i don't believe a complex opinion can be quantified numerically and if it could you would have to decide on a universal scale to use it on, which also makes no sense because different people value things differently.

and there is this weird thing right now where 7/10 is average
 

shieldheart204

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Scars Unseen said:
Presentation: 7
Graphics: 8
Audio: i
Jim: 6.0221415 x 10[sup]23[/sup]

Final Score(not an average): frog
You reminded me of Conan O'Brien's scale of meaningless, WHY?
 

Catrixa

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I honestly think review scores are great from a "I'm thinking of impulsively buying a game I know nothing about and want to know if it's worth buying for $X"-standpoint. If you're disregarding titles you've been looking forward to based on the opinions of someone who you don't know, may not share your taste in games, and who may not even have the experience as a gamer to make these sorts of assessments (I'm looking at you, random Wall Street Journal game reviewers), you're probably doing it wrong. Honestly, scores are great if you want to determine what the overall opinion is, but you've got to have actual reasons for the scores in order to determine if it's something that's worth your time and money.
 

brazuca

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Consistency is the main problem with score. Keep up with sites like gametrailers.com and ign.com and you end up seeing the lack of consistency in them. Some games will get a much higher score that they deserve simply because they are a long runing franchise, that advertises on their site, like RE6.

PS.: thus episode was a 3 out of 5.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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Oh, hi to you too, Jim!

Generally speaking I'll look at the average score a game has received to gauge the overall reception it's garnered, and then look up gameplay of whatever game is in question to see if it looks fun to me. If I like what I see, I'll try it out.

There are cases where this doesn't work out so well, particularly with RPGs, in which case I'll usually go by word-of-mouth or read up some of the reviews done by people that I feel have similar tastes as I do, which more often than not leads me to none other than Jim Sterling on Destructoid. Oh, what a small internet it is.
 

Soak

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Well, there is a basic problem with "scores" of any kind you didn't mention: They imply an objective comparability of something (art) influenced by subjective perception, which is simply not true. You can't really compare a modern, to a medieval, to an ancient cavern painting, you can't even compare modern art with other modern art, at least not in an objective manner, otherwise it would look like this: "Painting a uses a slightly broader color palette than b, while b's color intensity and accumulation is slightly higher than a's". Transported to games that would mean: "a has x times more polygons than b, while b has yadidadida [...]". Looking on games as an interactive medium it gets even harder, considering the player has a direct impact on the experience, "if you find the game pacing to slow, maybe you just played it to slow". Though, this already goes into the general problem of reviewing, if we would act consistent on this, every reviewer would have to say "if you want to know how it is, just play the damn game yourself". However, we all know, that it won't work that way either.
Personally, i don't mind game related scores, i barely even care. In a way, you are right, Jim, they won't actually hurt anyone, except maybe a game gets "bad" scores for whatever reasons, while missing the point of the game, it would then probably sell lower than it could and not get the attention it probably might have deserved, while other games get unreasonable high scores and so on and so forth.
Some around mentioned what sites like metacritic or game ratings contributed to that. Well, maybe I don't know exactly what you mean by that, but in the end, those sites are nothing more and nothing less than the extend of statistical expression to its end. To have one without the other would be at least totally inconsistent. Here again Jim says it just right, ?don't blame the knife for the stabbing, blame the stabber?, whoever that may be.
But then again, that's not even the tip of the iceberg of problems the game industry has to face.
In the end, keep your game scores, or throw them away, i don't mind really... but i friggin hate the construct of school grades, i think they hinder the potential of our society at the base, where the subjects to its wrongs can't even properly fight against it and i blame those who cling to this concept, just because it appears easier... though, that's another topic.

Also, beware the gloves, i suspect they have evil powers!
 

Jimothy Sterling

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The only thing I don't agree in this video is drinking from a recently turd sprayed... water thingy... damn, I need to add a new word to mi English dictionary...

In any case, I don't hate numbers, but I think most people use them just 'cause. The only benefit I see in them numbers, is that I can skip reading a god awful rant about the game and see the bottom line number to get an idea of what the reviewer thinks.
 

Siege_TF

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muffinatorXII said:
i don't really have a problem with scores it's just that they make no sense. first of all i don't believe a complex opinion can be quantified numerically and if it could you would have to decide on a universal scale to use it on, which also makes no sense because different people value things differently.

and there is this weird thing right now where 7/10 is average
5/10 is funtional mechanically, which is not average, despite being the number between zero and ten, because consumers hold the industry to a certain standard. This is mostly thanks to the internet giving consumers the tools to have the developers by their dangly gubbins, and a game that does nothing more than function mechanically (like that X-Men game) won't turn a profit (it didn't). So 7/10 is 'average' in that it meets our standards, as in, it's entertainment that's entertaining, meaning it does more than function, which is what we expect, and have every right to at sixty dollars a pop.

5/10 is a car that runs, 7/10 is a car that runs well, and has air conditioning and a radio. It may not park itself, it may not be a hybrid, it may not have heated seats and a damn GPS, but it's what people consider 'average' in spite of cars not needing A/C or a radio to function.

It's not that complicated.
 

veloper

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Any arbitrary grade system works.
A scale from 1 to 11.3 where a 9 is just passable? It still works fine, just aslong as the reviewer is consistent in his grading. Know it and translate to your own scale.

The problem is never the scoring system itself. It's just bad reviews or bad readers.
 

babinro

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I agree that scores are fine.

The system breaks down over scrutiny but I'd argue that most of us genuinely know this.
We know that a game getting a 9 today doesn't make it superior to every 8.5 game in history regardless of genre.
We know that a 9.5 FPS game isn't necessarily better than a 9.0 FPS on another console, or on a prior console.
We know that one reviewers interpretation of a 7/10 game could vastly differ from anothers.

Numbers provide a quick glance as to whether the article is worth your time. If you've grown familiar with the reviewer, you can better appreciate what the numbers actually mean in terms of game strength.
 

Mrkillhappy

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Review scores by themselves can be helpful, if I just want a quick overview of whether or not a game is good however the scores should give some for of scale with them. For example let us know what qualifies a mediocre and what is considered good this can lead to a lot less fanboy complaints.
 

wolfyrik

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Wait, what? This is an issue? People who complain about review scores, get 3/10.
I'm giving them a point for being able to string a coherent sentence together, or at least enough of one that we can understand what they're complaining about. They also receive a further two points for having the gall to express themselves on the internet.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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I think they have become a bit meaningless and a crutch for bad review sites but that's just due to their misuse not their existence. Sometimes you can read a review and tell that an 8/10 has just been slapped on there as a compromise (**cough** IGN **cough**) and that is a real shame but let us not pretend that reviews in the past have not been subject to this kind of manipulation. Personally I don't like how they are used much of the time (especially when it comes to score creep) but scores themselves are completely necessary.
 

sindremaster

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AJey said:
So you missed the most obvious point? How about the fact that scores provide zero information! None! Nothing!
They tell you how much the reviewer liked the game. It doesn't tell you why, but that's what the text is there for.
 

Mahoshonen

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I kinda get how 7/10 became average if you think about it like a school grading system. A "C" is meant to be the average grade. By the same idea, 7/10 means you'll get you'll most likely get your money's worth from the game, but no more. The big issue that's brought up about scores, that they're subjective, is a problem inheiret with reviews themselves, and removing scores won't mitigate this problem.
 

Mythmaker

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True, Review Scores in and of themselves aren't bad. But there is a fundamental problem with rating a piece of entertainment like a consumer product. While a consumer product is usually meant to be replaced, entertainment is different. If you rated a movie when it came out in theaters, should you give it a second score when it released on Blu-Ray? No, because the quality of the piece doesn't change, just its value. Quality and value aren't the same thing, and the industry at large really needs to acknowledge that, IMO.

If the industry wants scores to mean something, they need to change two things.

First, the length of a game shouldn't affect the review score by itself. Sure, $60 for a 5-hour game probably isn't worth it, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the game. If something like Portal, for instance, were released as a stand-alone $60 game, should it be considered a lesser game than if it was sold for $10? Letting price factor into a review of entertainment also damages the score by dating it; in a year, a game can drop to half its price. Should it be considered a better game if it does? If people really want to address price, they should do it, but not as part of a score. Set a price limit, or a recommended format, but don't consider it in your score unless the length, or lack thereof, affects the quality of the game itself, not its value.

And second, the review scales should not use other games as their base. This might sound stupid, so let me give an example. New Super Mario Bros released more than 3 years ago, and got scores in the high 80's. New Super Mario Bros 2 released this year, with scores in the high 70's. Most (but not all) reviews I've seen credit the lower score to the game being too much like its predecessor. What does that have to do with the game's quality? Nothing. It has everything to do with the game's value. I see the same thing when games are compared to one another. A game's quality shouldn't be dependent on what its competitors are doing, but on its own merits. This also dates the review further, because its dependent on games that were out at the time of the review. Its value should be what's affected, not its quality.

Now I'm not saying that other games shouldn't affect scores at all; in fact, by defining a critic's quality spectrum, they already are. But the level of engagement should be what's scored, not how much the game is worth. If they want to include that, they should score the game's value separately.
 

muffinatorXII

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Siege_TF said:
muffinatorXII said:
i don't really have a problem with scores it's just that they make no sense. first of all i don't believe a complex opinion can be quantified numerically and if it could you would have to decide on a universal scale to use it on, which also makes no sense because different people value things differently.

and there is this weird thing right now where 7/10 is average
5/10 is funtional mechanically, which is not average, despite being the number between zero and ten, because consumers hold the industry to a certain standard. This is mostly thanks to the internet giving consumers the tools to have the developers by their dangly gubbins, and a game that does nothing more than function mechanically (like that X-Men game) won't turn a profit (it didn't). So 7/10 is 'average' in that it meets our standards, as in, it's entertainment that's entertaining, meaning it does more than function, which is what we expect, and have every right to at sixty dollars a pop.

5/10 is a car that runs, 7/10 is a car that runs well, and has air conditioning and a radio. It may not park itself, it may not be a hybrid, it may not have heated seats and a damn GPS, but it's what people consider 'average' in spite of cars not needing A/C or a radio to function.

It's not that complicated.
i disagree, 5/10 should be a game that isn't bad but isn't great, a game that you wouldn't mind playing but you wouldn't actively seek to play it. a 7/10 should be a good game, one that you would seek to play if you can (maybe buy it on sale because it looks cool) but probably wouldn't get in line for a day for it.

but anyway my main point still stands, review scores make no sense
 

GonzoGamer

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I don't care when games get underrated.
It bothers me when they're overrated, which is usually the case.
It's the reason I rent: after everyone said No More Heroes was amazing and I wasted money on that piece of tedious crap. Sure some reviews are just plain entertaining but I don't know if I'm going to like a game until I've tried it.
 

jmarquiso

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Kuth said:
Scores, no problem with them. Now Metacritic can die in the pits of 8th level hell for the damage that has done.

For some reason, people are mixing the hate of Metacritic with scores. That is a very bad idea to muddle up on your stance. Many of us know that Metacritic have costed people jobs, not intentionally, but companies have relied on using it and thus have seen it as a way to see how well their product will or will not do.

Scores of an individual and the text for why that score exist, is fine. Throwing several different scores formats, and trying to find an average, along with customer scores is idiotic. It makes little to no sense and it's hard for people figure out or analyze why one game got mostly 8/7 score and some twat gave it a 2/5 stars.
Metacritic didn't cost people jobs. Publishers with terrible policies and stupid expectations have cost people jobs. Gabe Newall's talked about it as a stupid way to motivate workers - it causes people to latch on to winning properties (i.e. more of the same) rather than actually attempt new things, thus creating new properties. All metacritic is is an aggregation service. Hating on it is like hating on Google Reader.
 

jmarquiso

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Am I the only person who thought of Raif Feinnes during Schindler's list in the last few minutes? That was about dirt under the fingernails, so it didn't work QUITE as well.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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there isnt a point to review scores anymore as you only have a choice of 3 numbers 8/10 (worst game in decades), 9/10 (average), 10/10 (decent)
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Haven't watched the video yet, but let me defend that having average of 7 instead of 5 is understandable.
Why? Because the really shitty games people rarely play, those ones are the games that deserve bellow 5.

Also I'd like to add that not everyone should review any game professionally. Someone who never liked motion controls cannot review Zelda Skyward Sword. It's the same if I reviewed any RPG, since I don't like them even if they're regarded as masterpieces. it wouldn't be fair if I was a reviewer giving a 3 to Skyrim lowering the average on Gamerankings and Metacritic scores.
User reviews are another story, but that's why they are not professionals.
 

Icehearted

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Awe, there was a nut in that turd, wasn't there? :\

I have absolutely no idea where this ire for scores of 8 and below came from, or what kind of twit gets mad about a score. I've seen it happen, I've seen people try to drum up outrage because a game got a score of less than 9/10, but I never made sense of why it mattered to them or anyone else. I don't get the personal offense here.

All of this aside however, there was a nut in that turd...
 
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At the end, I could feel Jim's raging dictator boner through the screen.....

I tend to agree. Scores reflect an opinion and can be quite fun.

What needs to be stopped is Metacritic and other sites that publishers put so much weight on. Yeah, it would be best if they just didn't, but as long as it exists, they will.
 

geizr

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There's nothing wrong with a review score. There is something wrong with how review scores are often abused, and it's not just readers misunderstanding the context of the review score. It's also reviewers that have, over time, whether deliberated or accidentally, distorted the meaning of the score such that only a small span of the entire range are given meaning. The Hate out of Ten problem comes partially at the fault of reviewers who have, over the years, created the distortion that scores in the range of 7.0-8.0 are only average or mediocre, as opposed to the 4.5-5.5 range having that meaning. Back in the day, if a game was truly shitty, it got a 3/10, at best. Today, that same level of shittiness garners a 6.5-7.0, a range of scores that was once considered slightly above average in quality. Even further, a game having such a score would still often appeal to fans of the game's genre; I'm not sure if the same holds true today.

That segues into another basic problem that I perceive regarding the review score; it lacks context of personal preference. Just about every review score seems to be given an absolute context when the reality is that a game that is considered shitty or mediocre by one individual may be considered exceptional or superior by another individual. The difference is personal taste and preference. Review scores often don't take into account the skews in perception of quality that depend on the preferences of the target audience. Fans of a particular genre or series are more likely to have a more elevated opinion of a game in their preferred genre or series, whereas those who dislike a particular genre or series will have a much low opinion of the game. Those who are ambivalent are likely to be somewhere in the middle. No singular review score is going to properly capture this nuance.

It is for this reason that I think review score should really be done in triplet, one score for fans, one score for haters, and one score for the general ambivalent populous. Of course, this means you have to have 3 different reviewers for any given game and they must have the particular dispositions toward the game as required by the particular type of score they are trying to yield. The primary problem I see with this solution is that it is expensive (for the reviewing publication) and cumbersome (it's hard finding that mix of fan, hater, and "don't care" attitudes), meaning the review process slows significantly and can cost publications looking for rapid turn-around. However, in my opinion, this would allow a lot more context to be applied to the game and give a more complete view of the game's quality.
 

veloper

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Mythmaker said:
First, the length of a game shouldn't affect the review score by itself. Sure, $60 for a 5-hour game probably isn't worth it, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the game. If something like Portal, for instance, were released as a stand-alone $60 game, should it be considered a lesser game than if it was sold for $10? Letting price factor into a review of entertainment also damages the score by dating it; in a year, a game can drop to half its price. Should it be considered a better game if it does? If people really want to address price, they should do it, but not as part of a score. Set a price limit, or a recommended format, but don't consider it in your score unless the length, or lack thereof, affects the quality of the game itself, not its value.
This is a very good point. Prices drop all the time, especially on PC and length is only value for money (if the game is any good at all).
Game length should be mentioned somewhere, but it doesn't make an experience more fun. Some of us don't even want to waste much time.

And second, the review scales should not use other games as their base. This might sound stupid, so let me give an example. New Super Mario Bros released more than 3 years ago, and got scores in the high 80's. New Super Mario Bros 2 released this year, with scores in the high 70's. Most (but not all) reviews I've seen credit the lower score to the game being too much like its predecessor. What does that have to do with the game's quality? Nothing. It has everything to do with the game's value. I see the same thing when games are compared to one another. A game's quality shouldn't be dependent on what its competitors are doing, but on its own merits. This also dates the review further, because its dependent on games that were out at the time of the review. Its value should be what's affected, not its quality.

Now I'm not saying that other games shouldn't affect scores at all; in fact, by defining a critic's quality spectrum, they already are. But the level of engagement should be what's scored, not how much the game is worth. If they want to include that, they should score the game's value separately.
Trickier. A reviewer may want to reward originality somehow, but at the same time to a newcomer who isn't jaded yet, copy-pasta sequel X may still be worth their time.
Worse, a fresh experience may genuinely make the critic like the experience more. If this rule is to be taken to it's logical destination, then a critic would have to go something like: 'wow I loved this game! Hmm, maybe it's because it's something not done before, so I'd better substract a full point just to be fair to all the copycats that will soon follow'.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Well done Jim. xD The end of the show killed me! HA!

I don't see how people blame review scores or Metacritic for the choices of the people who run a company they aren't a part of. Even if review scores and metacritic left, or weren't ever there to begain with the people at the top of these companies would just make up some other bullcrap reason to fire people.

Also, those gloves do look better.
 

Mortamus

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I, for one, welcome our new Sterling overlord.

In reference to the removal of scores, it's as old an argument as any. It just has a different title. Generally, the idea of "Take away their [tool] and then they can't do [deed that is deemed awful by it's author]" has little to no sense. If someone wants to do it, they'll find another means to do so. Plain as that.
 

theultimateend

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Review Scores Are Not Evil

When Jim Sterling isn't busy being the voice of a generation, he's a videogame reviewer -- one that's constantly told to abolish review scores. This is a silly request, hinging on the belief that review scores are an evil we simply endure.

Watch Video
So I work at a game publisher, the videos on the escapist are technically work related [plenty of folks here have a routine of game industry shows we watch, others use their free time in the day to smoke, different strokes].

Now with that in mind, so glad the only penis in this weeks video was a guy in a cock suit.

The CEO of our company walked by and got super interested in the game scenes and was curious what your show was. I like that watching this show at work is a bit of a mine field :p.
 

Imp_Emissary

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wolfyrik said:
Wait, what? This is an issue? People who complain about review scores, get 3/10.
I'm giving them a point for being able to string a coherent sentence together, or at least enough of one that we can understand what they're complaining about. They also receive a further two points for having the gall to express themselves on the internet.
Yes, because it takes a lot of guts to say something terrible on the internet. That's why it almost never happens.
>_>
<_<

On a more serious note: The reason people hate review scores/metacritic isn't really because of the scores themselves, but because some companies have said they will fire anyone who works on a game that doesn't get a high enough score.

But they should get mad at the companies who say that, not the scores, or Metacritic.
 

PunkRex

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I miss the red gloves Jim, you looked like a facist magician.

Also, I thought you had already done this topic but I guess not... weird... anyways, what did Koonami actually say? It sounds freaking hilarious.
 

SonOfMethuselah

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I don't mind review scores. I read reviews in a similar manner to Jim: score first, and then the full text, to see how the result was arrived at. If it's a game I don't really care about, and I don't, for whatever reason, have the time to read a full review, I'll look at the scores on a couple of different sites to see if they match up.

I also don't have a problem with using numbers. Most sites have a pretty well laid-out system for scoring games, so even when the numbers don't match up, the thoughts on quality usually do.

The only reason why I'd want to see review scores abolished is because then the HUGE FANBOYS who only pay attention to scores would no longer be able to look at a number, and then ***** and complain for months on end that the reviewer in question was paid to give it the score it got. Christ, that pisses me off to no end.
 

xPixelatedx

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Jimothy Sterling said:
take their ball and go home as Konami did
...Wait, maybe I am out-of-the-loop here, but were you blacklisted by Konami because you said something mean about their game(s)!? Because if that's true I am going to be a little shocked and disappointed with them.
 

Mythmaker

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veloper said:
This is a very good point. Prices drop all the time, especially on PC and length is only value for money (if the game is any good at all).
Game length should be mentioned somewhere, but it doesn't make an experience more fun. Some of us don't even want to waste much time.
Precisely. As a consumer product its length is relevant because you want the most for your money, so it should be mentioned. But as entertainment its length should have nothing to do with its perceived quality by itself.

veloper said:
Trickier. A reviewer may want to reward originality somehow, but at the same time to a newcomer who isn't jaded yet, copy-pasta sequel X may still be worth their time.
Worse, a fresh experience may genuinely make the critic like the experience more. If this rule is to be taken to it's logical destination, then a critic would have to go something like: 'wow I loved this game! Hmm, maybe it's because it's something not done before, so I'd better substract a full point just to be fair to all the copycats that will soon follow'.
A reviewer should always score the game on their level of engagement; if the newness of the game is something that makes the game more enjoyable, that should definitely improve the score. But a lack of newness should not detract from the score. If NSMB2, for instance, was as good as the first game in every way it should not score lower simply because it is unoriginal. However, because you can get roughly the same experience with an older game, its value should be lower.
 

Aureliano

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I think the problem is that most of the 'X out of 10' outlets are secretly working on an X out of 15 system, where 15 would actually be a perfect game and 9 or 10 is just a bit better than average. And people get so confused by this that now they get pissed off at people like Jim for using the number system for its purportedly intended purpose: as a quick way to tell people how good he thought the game is in comparison to other games in the genre (i.e. games he has scored either higher or lower or the same number to).

Am I the only one who got a sympathy chub with Jim's narcissism boner at his own gloves? Fantastic Dr. Strangelove-type times.
 

PunkRex

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Siege_TF said:
muffinatorXII said:
i don't really have a problem with scores it's just that they make no sense. first of all i don't believe a complex opinion can be quantified numerically and if it could you would have to decide on a universal scale to use it on, which also makes no sense because different people value things differently.

and there is this weird thing right now where 7/10 is average
5/10 is funtional mechanically, which is not average, despite being the number between zero and ten, because consumers hold the industry to a certain standard. This is mostly thanks to the internet giving consumers the tools to have the developers by their dangly gubbins, and a game that does nothing more than function mechanically (like that X-Men game) won't turn a profit (it didn't). So 7/10 is 'average' in that it meets our standards, as in, it's entertainment that's entertaining, meaning it does more than function, which is what we expect, and have every right to at sixty dollars a pop.

5/10 is a car that runs, 7/10 is a car that runs well, and has air conditioning and a radio. It may not park itself, it may not be a hybrid, it may not have heated seats and a damn GPS, but it's what people consider 'average' in spite of cars not needing A/C or a radio to function.

It's not that complicated.
I can definatly see your point but these extras have become the standard due to the tech and goals within the industry. Im not saying that every game MUST include them, its very much up to what the creative people behind the game want to acheive, but as standards increase the bar gets pushed up. Isn't this how its always been? Im aware im being quite general here but this is artistic oppinion were talking about, even if I have no problem with the use of numbers everyone has there own way of doing so as this isn't technically maths as there is no universal formula behind it.

E.g. If I went out to buy a car and it didn't have a radio id mark it down, granted only slightly. I'd say at least 80% of cars these days have a radio, its become the standard, the absense of one would be a negative not a plus if it did have one.
 

CaptainOctopus

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Scores are great, how else will the robots know what is good or not when they kill all humans and take over the world?
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Eh...Jim's points about why we should keep scores are all valid, but the very concept of scores is something that has never sat well with me.

I mean, think about it: you're trying to sum up an emotional concept (how much you liked a game/how it made you feel) with a logical one (a number). This is just something that strikes me as bizzare, like describing the colour of the room in terms of how sonorous it is. I mean, it seems to me to assume that you can give every soaring, wonderous moment, every grim, disastorous failure and every annoying glitch an exact numerical value. "Yeah, it was deep and incredibly moving, but I only cried for 20 minutes, so that's an 8/10." The incredibly many ways to play each section of a video game drastically compound this issue. It doesn't really seem that I could even rate a small section of a linear game more accurately by giving it a number than by describing it how it is in more general terms, since the number would just be summing up all the information in the level about how I felt about tackling it, rather than giving a fuller picture and letting readers/viewers come to their own conclusions, with all the information at hand. Furthermore, even if you could objectively measure the good and sum it up numerically, it still wouldn't be that accurate because it assumes that all good is the same kind of good. I enjoy tragedy for very different reasons to drama, expect very different delights from a stealth game than a shooter and wouldn't try and hold my standard of what is good to someone else's wildly different idea of what consists of fun. In the end, this whole concept boils down to trying to place an objective measure on a subjective bit of information, and that's why it's iffy for me. Yes, I know you'd have to be stupid to take a number at the end of a review as fact (after all, it is still opinion, even in number form), but it still feels like the wrong way of summing up to me.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Mortamus said:
I, for one, welcome our new Sterling overlord.

In reference to the removal of scores, it's as old an argument as any. It just has a different title. Generally, the idea of "Take away their [tool] and then they can't do [deed that is deemed awful by it's author]" has little to no sense. If someone wants to do it, they'll find another means to do so. Plain as that.
Sterling overlord you say? So does that mean instead of ruling over us with a iron fist he'll have a SILVER one? ;)

Also, I agree with what you said about the issue.
 

IamLEAM1983

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I never understood how people could cry foul at an eighty percent or a solid B. As much as I hate throwing the "Fanboy" label around, there's some people who can't understand that everything - absolutely everything - should stand up to criticism. If you can take a game you honestly adore and still find niggles and small issues with it, you're doing your job adequately. If you're so blinded as to declare this or that game the epitome of perfection or are unable to understand that review scales change from site to site and reviewer to reviewer, then you don't understand the point of criticism in any shape or form.

No game will ever be perfect, and a eight or nine out of ten still denotes a very respectable and even commendable success. I'll buy games that sink as low as six or seven, sometimes, and I understand that all reviews are ultimately subjective.

Consider this: a friend of mine absolutely fucking loves Dead Island. He compares it to a Mêlée-centric version of Borderlands, and he loves the way combat can be fairly difficult or unforgiving. I played the same game for three hours and couldn't find a speck of enjoyment in it. It felt badly put together, poorly structured and thought out.

Who's right, then? We both are. There's no point in him trying to convert me, just as there's no point in me calling him a poopyhead for daring to like what I don't like. You can disagree with critics, and critics *will* disagree with you.

Yes, there's always going to be thorny issues like paid-for reviews and the general impression that payola is a common practice in the industry - allegedly, at any rate - but I'd still rather think that professional reviewers are hired for their ability to be honest about their preferences. This is why most pro outlets aren't just the voice of one guy testing out various games - a JRPG buff might have zero patience for a Western shooter or a sports sim. Making sure you nab reviewers from all corners of the gaming rainbow keeps things fair and balanced.
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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Okay, I'll give you that it's not the fault of the scores that people so blatantly misuse them, and yes I would love some kind of actual stand against these people beyond "well this guy is a dumbass, time to put them on my block list so I don't have to read more of their stupidity". Personally though, I still find review scores to be useless. Saying that a game is a 7/10 tells me one thing and one thing only: that whoever gave it a 7/10 liked the game despite what they felt were only minor faults. It does absolutely fuck-all to tell me if I'd actually enjoy it. I actually have to read the review itself to find that out, and by the time I've finished the review, I don't need a score anymore. It's just an extra summary put in after the written summary that uses a number instead of words.

I still want to repeatedly kick the genitals of every person who insists that because a game got good scores I'm not allowed to dislike it and it's better than a game I did like if it got higher scores. Just today some complete and utter dipshit on YouTube, in response to me saying I didn't like Sly Cooper while also recommending Ratchet and Clank to a friend, insisted that I must have never played Sly Cooper because it got better review scores than Ratchet and Clank and thus is a better game than Ratchet and Clank. FUCK. OFF. That is not what review scores mean you useless cretin!

Blood Brain Barrier said:
Jim should do audio clips rather than videos. I don't need to watch streams of clips from Japanese games I don't care about while at the same time listening to completely unrelated streams of Jim's occasionally funny/entertaining monologues.
...Then don't. This may come as a total surprise to you, but you don't have to watch the video just because it's there. You can open a new tab and just listen to the words while you look at something else. You can minimize the browser, turn off your monitor, or get up and do other things in the room while the audio plays.

Meanwhile, those of us who like the video, especially when it's a situation where the game clips help drive the point home (such as "Monster Boobs And Plastic Children", where I never would have known that the volleyball game he was talking about was that creepy if he hadn't been showing clips throughout the episode), can still watch them instead of having them taken away because the almighty Blood Brain Barrier dislikes them.
 

mjc0961

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
It depends on how you look at the 10 point grading scale. If you look at it like an academic grade, then 7/10 *should* be the average/mediocre game. That's how most reviewers see it, even. Just look here on the Escapist where 2 and a half stars is usually accompanied by a "don't bother" recommendation and anything below that is pretty much considered garbage.
Which is wrong, because if 7/10 is the average/mediocre game, then you have only 3 higher numbers to give a game a better score and 6 smaller numbers to give the game a worse score. This "7/10 means mediocre" nonsense is why people cry foul at 8/10's. 8/10 does not mean slightly better than mediocre, it means very good or great. 5/10 is mediocre, not 7/10.

PunkRex said:
E.g. If I went out to buy a car and it didn't have a radio id mark it down, granted only slightly. I'd say at least 80% of cars these days have a radio, its become the standard, the absense of one would be a negative not a plus if it did have one.
Exactly. For claiming that it's "not that complicated", he sure got it dead wrong and you got it absolutely right. Having a standard feature does not mean you did better than average. To go back to the car comparison, like you said, a radio is expected in every car, and having that is not worthy of a higher score. Not having one is worthy of a lower score, though. You'd have to go above and beyond with the radio to get a higher score, it would have to be more than a standard FM radio with a tape deck and/or CD player. Maybe it has a 5 disc CD changer, or maybe it has built-in satellite radio so you can listen to radio stations that aren't 75% idiot DJs talking about shit you don't care about and commercials. Then you get a mark up. Having a basic, average radio gets you a basic, average score. And not having one at all marks you down.

These "7/10 is the average because it should be the average" people really need to try out common sense sometime.
 

Frozengale

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Review scores in and of themselves are not bad. They are actually really great. They give you a quick glimpse of whether a game is good or not as viewed by a certain person or site. I like the */5 scores that the Escapist gives their games but sometimes I already know a lot about a game, I've been following it for months, so all I really need to know is whether it was good as everyone thought it was going to be. If I see it gets a really bad score then I'll usually look deeper into it and find out why and see if the problems listed would hinder my experience to the point that I wouldn't want it.

The real problem with review scores is how much emphasis is put into them. People will point to a game and tell you how bad it is with no other explanation then, "It got low scores." Companies focus on trying to get a high Metacritic score and will make stupid decisions because of this. People will Review Bomb a product because of some perceived slight. And quite possibly people will give something a good score just because they are paid to. Scores become this ominous thing that holds such a tight grip over the video game industry, and so many call for its destruction.

In reality the thing that NEEDS to happen is we need to change how we score games. There are many places experimenting with this in various ways. You can separate the game into categories such as Gameplay, Aesthetics, etc. and give separate scores for each of those. You can change the criteria on how a game is judged. You can give pass/fail grades to the games. There are a myriad of different techniques being tried, and I hope we find one that works the best, simply because the "Overall" grade that we tend to give games now a days doesn't really do them justice. But then again that's why you should read the review as well.
 

empirialtank

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personally i always liked X-play's old standards.

5/5 exceptional, everyone should play this game.

4/5 good, worth your money

3/5 average, worth renting, or buying if your a fan of games like this

2/5 bad, if you spent more then ten bucks on this, you were ripped off.

1/5 horrible, don't touch this sh*t with a twelve foot pole being held by someone else.

its nice, simple and keeps people from getting upset over that 8/10 crap.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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xPixelatedx said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
take their ball and go home as Konami did
...Wait, maybe I am out-of-the-loop here, but were you blacklisted by Konami because you said something mean about their game(s)!? Because if that's true I am going to be a little shocked and disappointed with them.
Yes, they got upset with me because of my Konami Jimquisition video, as well as some negative reviews. I am now less than dirt in their Eastern office.
 

Trokil

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Yeah, numbers totally work.

The 5 out 10 = bad, 7 out of 10 average and 10 out 10 good game "and the publisher also made a lot of advertisement on our site" system is flawless. The last spunkgargleweewee incarnation CoD Black Ops showed that.

Review scores are a stupid idea, because corporate chimpanzees now use the for team reviewing and bonuses. EA does it for example. So all hail to metacritic. Of course now everybody wants good review scores, so publishers and developers do everything for a good review and the system is getting more and more corrupt. Because videogames are serious business.

And because most game reviewers are not earning as much as the TV or movie critic, bribes have a bigger impact. Of course there is no money getting paid, just add space, early access or free trips to game presentations.

Jeff Gerstmann once gave a bad score to a game, gamespot and Eidos already had made a deal about and we all know what happened. Review scores made the system corrupt and that's why most people in the business want to keep them. Because as long as the do, publishers and developers will do everything to make reviewers feel like a very special snowflake and will pay good money to their employer. So review scores will ensure that the spice is flowing.

And the spice must flow.
 

Kapol

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May 2, 2010
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Wait, Jim takes our advice on fashion tips? Then I say he should do an episode nude! Muhaha! My evil plan is coming together! Now I just need to get the duck and a ray-gun.

Anyways, back to more serious business. I actually really like review scores. Why? Because they normally are a general indication if a game is really good or not. I'll normally look at the review of a game and read through it if it's something I'm already considering picking it up. But if it's something I don't care much about, I normally glance at the summary, the score, and move on. But if it's almost universally praised as a good game I might decide to check more into it. This has happened with quite a few games in the past and it's almost never lead to disappointment. Now, I might be missing out on a lot of games I might have liked because I didn't read the full review. But given my current financial situation (Read: Because I'm too piss-poor to be able to afford many games) I have to be more selective on what I pick up.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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mjc0961 said:
Lvl 64 Klutz said:
It depends on how you look at the 10 point grading scale. If you look at it like an academic grade, then 7/10 *should* be the average/mediocre game. That's how most reviewers see it, even. Just look here on the Escapist where 2 and a half stars is usually accompanied by a "don't bother" recommendation and anything below that is pretty much considered garbage.
Which is wrong, because if 7/10 is the average/mediocre game, then you have only 3 higher numbers to give a game a better score and 6 smaller numbers to give the game a worse score. This "7/10 means mediocre" nonsense is why people cry foul at 8/10's. 8/10 does not mean slightly better than mediocre, it means very good or great. 5/10 is mediocre, not 7/10.

Perhaps I shouldn't have included the term mediocre, because you're absolutely right. Halfway between unplayable and perfect would be mediocre. But if we're looking at what should be considered "average" both mathematically and a standard of quality, then our medium should be aiming higher than halfway between unplayable and perfect.

That was the point I was trying to make. A game with 6/10 shouldn't be considered better than average. It should be a game that has it's fun moments, but definitely has room for improvement.
 

thesilentman

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DVS BSTrD said:
I don't care about scores, I care about the reasons behind them.
And that's the /thread for me.

If people are that gullible to be misled by scores about games that they haven't played, well, I can't help anyone. There's a reason that I don't trust scores anymore. Hint-it's not the inflated average.
 

Bocaj2000

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My compromise has always been to use X/5 instead of X/10 or X/100. When it's X/5 it's easier to interpret 3/5 as average than 5/10 or 50/100. It makes the review feel more like a suggestion than a grade on a test.
 

Magmarock

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I personally dislike review scores because I think they devalue the review its;ef; and let us not forget that Geff who worked at Gamespot who was fired for giving Kane and Lynch a low score.
 

TrevHead

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I agree review scores aren't bad in itself it's just that ppl put way too much importance in them. (metacritic, the industry, gamer)

Imo review scores are a symptom of a consumer market, where there are so many games all fighting for our money that most gamers put every little effort into choosing what games they buy and play. I a perfect world ppl would do their homework into discovering new games. Instead most ppl don't bother, they'll just play sequels and the same genres over and over. Where only the most hyped games are successful only ppl repeatedly tell them it's a good game, same goes for games like FTL ppl are interested due to the buzz surrounding it. (even if it's a good game) Thats most gamers who read reviews already plan on buying the game anyway.

This is why games that are clones or have gimmicky game mechanics sell best because that's what ppl understand, while so many good and unique games that might be critically acclaimed like Vanquish, Okami, Beyond Good and Evil Skull Girls and Akia Katana go under the radar and bomb at the retail counter. Then years later ppl are falling over themselves to sing it's praises and demand sequels even though 99% of them either ignored it of slagged it off when it first went on sale.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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The only arguments I've seen against Final Fantasy XIII are ones that seem to come from people who have never actually played the game. Even /v/ has favorable things to say about it. I'm not saying it's great, but it's far better than, let's say, Final Fantasy VIII. Or earlier titles that had endurance tests that tended to rely far more on luck than anything substantial. I have never been so bored or frustrated playing a game as I have playing Final Fantasy VIII.

No wait, that honor is reserved for Mafia. Oh how I love waiting in traffic while the AI sorts out its pathfinding under a street light. FUN FUN FUN.

I do agree that Metacritic is more or less harmless by itself, but you have to remember that there are retard publishers are there who think it means something. In a way, it does. Generally, green scores == money.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Bocaj2000 said:
My compromise has always been to use X/5 instead of X/10 or X/100. When it's X/5 it's easier to interpret 3/5 as average than 5/10 or 50/100. It makes the review feel more like a suggestion than a grade on a test.
It's weird how a 3/5 still sounds like a good game but a 60/100 is usually passed over. I guess with little numbers it's easier to focus on the fact that it still has 3 points instead of it not having those last 40.
 

Flunk

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I didn't realize that this was an actual problem. I guess there are whiney idiots protesting everything these days.
 

Tamrin

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Jimothy Sterling said:
xPixelatedx said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
take their ball and go home as Konami did
...Wait, maybe I am out-of-the-loop here, but were you blacklisted by Konami because you said something mean about their game(s)!? Because if that's true I am going to be a little shocked and disappointed with them.
Yes, they got upset with me because of my Konami Jimquisition video, as well as some negative reviews. I am now less than dirt in their Eastern office.
I remember watching the news once and the interviewer asked the person, "How does it feel to be rich" to which the person replied, "It feels great". It was bullshit because of how that person got to be soo rich. He ran a Ponzi scheme. But of course the journalist never would have gotten that interview in the first place had the guy thought he was going to get negative PR from the experience and had that interview turned serious the guy would have just walked out.

Journalists have the responsibility of calling saints, saints and assholes, assholes. Journalists are not supposed to be used as PR tools. Journalists are not pals of companies or certain individuals. If you call out Konami for doing what Konami does and they choose to back that up and, as you put it, take their ball and go home then they only have themselves to blame when people get upset at them.

We don't, or shouldn't, want Konami, EA, and others to fail, but when they do fail and fail hard it's because we wanted them to succeed that makes us upset and so vocal. It is in the best interest for all when they do good. If they treat you less than dirt because you did your job AND theirs then the problem isn't you. The defiance in not realizing that they are the root of their own problems is like Konami shit the bed and when people found out they just put on a diaper then acted to treat others with contempt out of embarrassment. That diaper is not a solution to the root problem that they are still shitting themselves.

At the end of it all they just create this cycle of shit and disdain followed by more shit and disdain and that is truely sad.
 

Xanadu84

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Another said:
I don't mind review scores, if it's a true scale score system.

In a scale of 1-10, five is average. Not 7 or 8. 7's and 8's can still be really good. Iv'e enjoyed a fair few games that have received such.
I'm rather irritated with that point. 5 does not have to be average. 5 just happens to be the middle number. I don't know about how you get graded but for me, if I scored a 50 on a test, I'm not going to complain that I failed because 50 is, "Average". To say that a 7 or 8 is average is EXACTLY as arbitrary as saying that 5 is. No, 5 is not inherently average. What is average is dependent on the kind of scores most games get. If average games get 7.5, then 7.5 IS average. Like...you know...by math.

All you have to do is think of review scores like letter grades, and everything makes sense. Whining over AAA games are just like the class genius who is obsessive about not losing a single point. To not accept review scores as following a trend like this is just pointless stubbornness that the rest of the world doesn't want to conform to your unit of measurement. You might as well tell someone that they are stupid because that road trip was NOT 15 Kilometers, it was 9.3 miles damnit, and your dumb for saying otherwise! If you must insist on 5 being average, just do the conversion in your head.
 

Andy of Comix Inc

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Scores are fine. I like scores. Even on the sites where 7/10 is "average," if its kept specific to the site its on then I don't really mind at all. I love Destructoid's scores that are very clearly marked and have purpose, I love Giant Bomb's scores which have one star through five star mean a very specific thing. Scores are great.

Metacritic, on the other hand...

Honestly. I'd be fine with review scores that don't align with each other (5/10 on Destructoid isn't 5/10 on IGN) if Metacritic weren't so incessantly popular. If Metacritic didn't weigh certain outlets more heavily than others based on ad revenue. If Metacritic wasn't the biggest point of call that publishers use to gauge critical opinion, to the point where jobs are on the line due to Metacritic scores. If Metacritic didn't convert - or in some cases, outright guess! - what the scores are out of a percentage. Giant Bomb themselves have said, hey, our five star rating doesn't convert to a out of ten score, and an out of ten score doesn't convert to a percentage! Since they only give whole stars. So when Metacritic says "Giant Bomb gave this game 80%!!" that's disingenuous. And then you get, say, Fallout: New Vegas, where the devs lost their bonuses because it rated below... what, 85? It's bullshit.

So scores are good. Compiling all those separate systems that every website uses almost on a writer-by-writer basis, and attempting to compile them and aggregate them, and then weighing the importance of jobs and bonuses and contracts on top of it? That's bullshit. If ever an argument for abolishing scores was strong, it would be that it would also mean the death of Metacritic. And that would be a victory.

Xanadu84 said:
I'm rather irritated with that point. 5 does not have to be average. 5 just happens to be the middle number. I don't know about how you get graded but for me, if I scored a 50 on a test, I'm not going to complain that I failed because 50 is, "Average".
I believe he's referring to 5/10 meaning "of average quality." Not the maths of it. On an opinion scale of 1 to 10, 5 should be the middle opinion, and if you weigh 1 as "worst ever" and 10 as "perfect," then 5 comes out as "average." Of course once you apply maths to the score system then things start to get a bit skew-whiff, but I think most people accept that the qualities associated with number scores - especially stars - are permanent, not dependent on a bell curve or what have you.
 

Colt47

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The problem people typically have with game scores have nothing to do with game scores. The issue is that people seem to look at the game score like it is some kind of enjoyment meter, where the closer to the high end it is the more the person is going to enjoy it. This really isn't the case, as there are interesting games that score only a 7/10 just as there are cookie cutter games that get a 8/10 to 10/10. One has to account for their own personal tastes.
 

RJ 17

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Jimmy my boy, I dare say you were looking at that glove like you've got a hot date tonight...by yourself. :3
 

yellowmage

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Great vid as always, Jim.

I read reviews for their entertainment value, and to try and get into the mind of the reviewer, carefully reading between the lines to parse their likes and dislikes and gain insight into their lives, making them seem more human and not just a sack of meat connected to a pair of hands at a keyboard. I buy games not because of review scores, ut based on whether or not the game itself looks good to me. Also, how much I've got on my plate at the time and whether it's good enough to justify adding to the already-ungainly-at-the-very-least pile.

One thing I do NOT do is meticulously scan the text of each review for spelling and/or grammar errors that I can use as justification for mental gloating. ...No, I definitely don't do that. ¬_¬

Also-also, NEW PAIRING!! Jim x Black Gloves. It's canon and don't you deny it!
 

Baresark

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I do the same thing as Jim here. I look at the score then read the article. But I would never look at a review score and then buy a game. And thank god, I would have bought some real lemons, and conversely missed some great games.
 

MB202

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I think people don't like scores for the same reason Yahtzee doesn't like using scores: he doesn't think a complex opinion can be properly expressed in numerical terms. I don't have that much of a problem with review scores, but I think too many people take them WAY too seriously, and THAT'S why people want to see them gone.
 

leviadragon99

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Yeah, just because one or two prominant names like Yahtzee have decided not to score things on a numerical basis, people have latched onto the idea that scores just don't have a place in the world, despite movie critics and the like using them effectively. Score inflation and the industry's use of metacritic aren't sufficient reasons to abolish scoring entirely, just wake-up calls to use the system more responsibly.
 

Something Amyss

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Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
I'm honestly fine with 7/10 as average. The problem is that now we've gotten to the point where 8 is bad, 9 is expected, and t10 is necessary for most games with hype.

I think of it more or less like school grades and treat 7 as a C. A 6 may not be a bad game, but it's either limited in appeal or lacks polish, etc. D is still passing in the school system. And while 4 or 5 could mean a bad game, I still think there should be a basement for absolute terrible games.

Then again, I wouldn't complain much if 5 was average.
 

Prosis

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My problem with the number review is that (in particular to Metacritic) good games with poor numbers sell
than they would have, while bad games with good numbers sell better. Usually its not an issue, but in sites which average all scores, it makes it possible to score-bomb a game up or down.

And, as already mentioned, it seem silly to have a 10 point system when the only scores ever given are 7, 8, 9, or 10. Why not use a 5star system?
 

Xelanath

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Xanadu84 said:
Another said:
I don't mind review scores, if it's a true scale score system.

In a scale of 1-10, five is average. Not 7 or 8. 7's and 8's can still be really good. Iv'e enjoyed a fair few games that have received such.
I'm rather irritated with that point. 5 does not have to be average. 5 just happens to be the middle number. I don't know about how you get graded but for me, if I scored a 50 on a test, I'm not going to complain that I failed because 50 is, "Average". To say that a 7 or 8 is average is EXACTLY as arbitrary as saying that 5 is. No, 5 is not inherently average. What is average is dependent on the kind of scores most games get. If average games get 7.5, then 7.5 IS average. Like...you know...by math.
I'd written out a whole response here before realising what the inherent problem with this argument is: we're confusing our definitions of "average". You're essentially arguing past each other because you're operating under different assumptions of what "average" means/should mean.

Anyway, I'd love to discuss this further, but writing that original post really took it out of me. Yawn.
 

Blood Brain Barrier

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mjc0961 said:
Blood Brain Barrier said:
Jim should do audio clips rather than videos. I don't need to watch streams of clips from Japanese games I don't care about while at the same time listening to completely unrelated streams of Jim's occasionally funny/entertaining monologues.
...Then don't. This may come as a total surprise to you, but you don't have to watch the video just because it's there. You can open a new tab and just listen to the words while you look at something else. You can minimize the browser, turn off your monitor, or get up and do other things in the room while the audio plays.

Meanwhile, those of us who like the video, especially when it's a situation where the game clips help drive the point home (such as "Monster Boobs And Plastic Children", where I never would have known that the volleyball game he was talking about was that creepy if he hadn't been showing clips throughout the episode), can still watch them instead of having them taken away because the almighty Blood Brain Barrier dislikes them.
I do, sometimes. My post was more of a critique of Jim's video making, which comes across as lazy. About 5-10% of them is pretty damn funny and the problem is I don't know which 5-10%, which means I have to watch the whole thing so I don't miss anything.

So you can rephrase my quote as: Jim, stop putting random game clips in as filler because it's fucking boring.
 

Bocaj2000

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DVS BSTrD said:
Bocaj2000 said:
My compromise has always been to use X/5 instead of X/10 or X/100. When it's X/5 it's easier to interpret 3/5 as average than 5/10 or 50/100. It makes the review feel more like a suggestion than a grade on a test.
It's weird how a 3/5 still sounds like a good game but a 60/100 is usually passed over. I guess with little numbers it's easier to focus on the fact that it still has 3 points instead of it not having those last 40.
I wish I knew the exact psychology on it. I might ask some teachers and psych majors the exact reasoning behind it.
 

thiosk

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Watching the slow, inexorable acceptance of the inner facist was my favorite part to watch.
 

Xanadu84

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Xelanath said:
Xanadu84 said:
Another said:
I don't mind review scores, if it's a true scale score system.

In a scale of 1-10, five is average. Not 7 or 8. 7's and 8's can still be really good. Iv'e enjoyed a fair few games that have received such.
I'm rather irritated with that point. 5 does not have to be average. 5 just happens to be the middle number. I don't know about how you get graded but for me, if I scored a 50 on a test, I'm not going to complain that I failed because 50 is, "Average". To say that a 7 or 8 is average is EXACTLY as arbitrary as saying that 5 is. No, 5 is not inherently average. What is average is dependent on the kind of scores most games get. If average games get 7.5, then 7.5 IS average. Like...you know...by math.
I'd written out a whole response here before realising what the inherent problem with this argument is: we're confusing our definitions of "average". You're essentially arguing past each other because you're operating under different assumptions of what "average" means/should mean.

Anyway, I'd love to discuss this further, but writing that original post really took it out of me. Yawn.
Just want to point out that my definition is either the mathematical definition when scores are representing some sort of representation of quality, or the colloquial definition of middling in terms of quality. 5 is "Average" only insofar as it is the average of all the integers in the set. Which is completely arbitrary, because we are talking about game quality, and not arithmetic. Its an easy enough assumption to make initially, but reality has demonstrated that it is clearly wrong.

But I sympathize. Ive accidentally nudged the back button after crafted a 30 minute thesis. and hated myself so badly...it about the worst thing ever.
 

Kopikatsu

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Legion said:
I wish you'd went into more detail about why you like them, you mentioned they were fun and you liked debating them, but didn't really go into the reasons.

Personally I don't mind review scores. I just dislike the way 5/10 should mean average, but most people tend to think 7/10 is average and everything below that is bad. Obviously like you said, that's peoples problem, not the scores themselves.
It depends on how you look at the 10 point grading scale. If you look at it like an academic grade, then 7/10 *should* be the average/mediocre game. That's how most reviewers see it, even. Just look here on the Escapist where 2 and a half stars is usually accompanied by a "don't bother" recommendation and anything below that is pretty much considered garbage.
I don't know if 2.5 stars is considered below average on the Escapist. It's just that there are so many games above average, why would you waste your time with one that was only barely up to par? (Come to think of it, this would explain the 7/10 scores, too)
 

Kopikatsu

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Bocaj2000 said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Bocaj2000 said:
My compromise has always been to use X/5 instead of X/10 or X/100. When it's X/5 it's easier to interpret 3/5 as average than 5/10 or 50/100. It makes the review feel more like a suggestion than a grade on a test.
It's weird how a 3/5 still sounds like a good game but a 60/100 is usually passed over. I guess with little numbers it's easier to focus on the fact that it still has 3 points instead of it not having those last 40.
I wish I knew the exact psychology on it. I might ask some teachers and psych majors the exact reasoning behind it.
,
It's especially strange because it's the opposite with larger numbers. The difference between $10 and $10,000 'feels' a lot bigger than the difference between $1,700,000 and $2,000,000. It's like, "If you have that much money to start with, an extra 300k is nothin'"

Probably something about exponentials.
 

Joccaren

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I dislike review scores because they are meaningless and pointless, and in many cases just seem to be there so the reviewer doesn't have to go into more detail on things. I dislike them in the same way I dislike reviewers who say "Combat is tight and fast paced". Wow, way to say absolutely nothing. I go to reviews to inform myself about a game, and in general I can only do so thanks to the game footage playing in the background of video reviews. The rest of the time its all a very vague, general sense of what happens in the game, and more detail on whether the reviewer liked it or not.
Yeah, that's how reviews work. Maybe I just hate reviews in general. Were I to write a review, however, I would actually put some detail into explaining how the mechanics work so that my audience could get an idea of whether they'd like it or not, but hey, I'll never be a reviewer. I CBF writing up my opinions on a game unless its in a forum argument, so yeah.
 

Joccaren

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daxterx2005 said:
Did I just see a game where you were throwing turds at a toilet.....?
Duke Nukem Forever. Trust me, and the rest of the world, in saying this: Do not get it. It starts out ok with "Well, that's a bit of a novel idea, this really isn't as bad as people say it is", but less than halfway through the game you'll change your mind =/.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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No Jim, the "Stop using review scores" argument does not hinge on the belief that all reviewers hate them

It hinges on the fact that review scores are a fucking retarded, broken system that is actively damaging the industry.

Edit:

Oh, and I find it absolutely HILARIOUS, that you apparently now hold the opinion that people blowing up and threatening reviewers over "too low" review scores doesn't matter, when back when the Uncharted 3 debacle actually was going on, you couldn't stop going on about how poor reviewers were being forced to give better scores and how awful of a problem it was, I wish I still had the screenshots of those tweets you made back then.
 

Mikodite

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muffinatorXII said:
i don't really have a problem with scores it's just that they make no sense. first of all i don't believe a complex opinion can be quantified numerically and if it could you would have to decide on a universal scale to use it on, which also makes no sense because different people value things differently.

and there is this weird thing right now where 7/10 is average
I'm surprised that Jim didn't go over this argument, or is it because its the only sensible one against scores, and Jim likes his strawmen?
 

Jennacide

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I find scores mostly stupid and harmless, and don't care either way. The only aspect I'd like to see changed is if you do use them, use an actual scale of 1-10, or 1-5 stars, whatever, USE THE WHOLE RANGE. If a game is as bad as shit like Vampire Rain, give it a 1 or 2, not a frigging 6. In the mind of a sane person a 6 means it's not good, but passable. A grade I would not give something like Vampire Rain.
 

Bostur

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I like them. It's a natural way to summarize the subjective opinion of the reviewer. Any game will have its ups and downs and it can be hard for a reader to guess how much those ups and downs influence the game. A score will help keep the perspective.

Maybe the game looks very ugly, but if the reviewer gave it an 8/10 I suppose the graphical presentation isn't so important in that case.

Like Jim I like to look at the score first and then see how the reviewer reached that conclusion. It's an important piece of the puzzle.
 

el_kabong

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That's easy for you to say, Jim, but Review Scores killed my parents.
 

rebelscum

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I prefer letter grades to X/10 or X/100, since pretty much everyone who reads it is well aware that C = average. That said, one major issue I do have with the final scores is when, say, a game's campaign is awful but it has a really good, innovative multiplayer, the final score winds up being an average because the two balance each other out. Unfortunately, that means that really good ideas in the multiplayer get ignored because it's percieved by idiots/Metacritic as "just average". The same thing in reverse is likely to be what happened to Spec Ops, since the single-player was amazing but the multiplayer was blatantly tacked on.

I dunno, maybe reviews should have an individual score for every "part" of the game, so CoD would have a separate grade for campaign, multiplayer and zombies. That's just my opinion though.
 

BloodRed Pixel

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I like a lot of games rated only 5 or 6 out of ten.
And I consider myself an connoisseur, a game-gourmet. I don'T play every shit because it's got a high rating.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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It's not the scores that's the problem it's how they are viewed. A 7 is not a bad score.
Personally I think you might alleviate some of those kinds of issues by switching to a scale that goes from -5 to 5.
0 is a game that does not stand out. Minus 1 or plus 1 for every irritation or good feature.
 

GrimHeaper

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sindremaster said:
AJey said:
So you missed the most obvious point? How about the fact that scores provide zero information! None! Nothing!
They tell you how much the reviewer liked the game. It doesn't tell you why, but that's what the text is there for.
I'm sure glad I don't read anything.
 

Another

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Andy of Comix Inc said:
Xanadu84 said:
I'm rather irritated with that point. 5 does not have to be average. 5 just happens to be the middle number. I don't know about how you get graded but for me, if I scored a 50 on a test, I'm not going to complain that I failed because 50 is, "Average".
I believe he's referring to 5/10 meaning "of average quality." Not the maths of it. On an opinion scale of 1 to 10, 5 should be the middle opinion, and if you weigh 1 as "worst ever" and 10 as "perfect," then 5 comes out as "average." Of course once you apply maths to the score system then things start to get a bit skew-whiff, but I think most people accept that the qualities associated with number scores - especially stars - are permanent, not dependent on a bell curve or what have you.
Exactly what I was going for. I simply think that its silly that on a ten point scale of opinion only 3 of the 10 scores (8,9,10) are considered good. It think it gives the scale and the reviewer more flexibility.

I also seem to have offended Xanadu. Part of that is my fault, as I meant to describe the median, not the mean value.
 

Griffolion

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I don't inherently mind scores, but sometimes I look at what was said in the review article and go "wait, so, you just said that about the game and gave it that number?". It's about the reviewer as well, they can be as much as a raving chimpanzee as the troll who gets upset when their favourite game doesn't get a 10.

Also, Jim, that last bit was disturbing and hilarious at the same time.
 

Tallim

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No mention of Cliffy B throwing a tantrum because Eurogamer gave Gears Of War 3 an 8/10?

My biggest problem with the scoring system generally used is there is no consistency.
All the score tells you is what that particular reviewer thought of the game. Now the one thing that does annoy me about it is when the main body of the review contains little information that relates to how that score might have been decided upon, that makes me suspicious.
 

RobfromtheGulag

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I'm on board, but I don't know how I feel about companies (large companies, apparently) handing out paychecks or bonuses based on a game's metacritic score. These things should be seperated, in my opinion. I suppose it's your responsibility when getting hired at a developer to know what you're getting in to, but to be eagerly refreshing metacritic on release night in hopes you get another 2 grand on your annual salary seems inane.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Yeah, you are right there I think.

But as often you are forgetting the implications of review scores outside the immediacy of games themselves, as you say I personally dont have an objection with honest review scores, I understand they represent a particular experience, which is fine but they also can be used for motives fully outside the games themselves, and as you say it's hard to judge the reviewer when someone plays the "its just my opinion" card.

I personally believe the question about what should the average score be, is rather pointless. I do find it funny that people want 10's for their fanboyish needs. But I also find it funny that anyone thinks 5 should be the average, since most games released are normally not just "a test" but a number of tests, QA corrections, talented artists, and dedicated developers. Not to say that no game is BAD, there are many BAD BAD games, but as a whole, the quality of products that actually get published is at least technically quite proeficient. So its hard to judge it out of context.

Of course, the world is not going to end because a review score responds more to money pressures or the desire to stand out, but it can be annoying, especially when someone takes games seriously.

And dont get me wrong, for me the important aspects in a review are: clarity, coherence, honesty and the intention of objectivity. When Yahtzee does a critique, I don't ask those values, because I expect it to be a more visceral, raw and personal view of the game, but he does not score them either, which makes perfect sense to me.

You may be a good reviewer, and as such professional, someone who wants to really inform the audience about the quality of a game based on a coherent score that you give. But as good as you might be, it doesn't mean you are the norm, or that it doesnt lend itself to bad practices.

The problem is when these situations start blending: A pretty funny case was a single negative review I read of this year's Journey in a web called quarter-to-three(which is the only negative review of the game that you can probably find anywhere). I personally thought that beyond any technical criticisms (and many can be had), Journey was a fantastic, well crafted experience, that spoke insightfully to the current state of gaming as a whole and managed to debase my "artsy fartsy" worries by also delivering an extremely engaging -game-. But then I found this review that spoke with almost inslting ignorance (almost felt trolling), and I couldn't find any other explanation for it other than getting hits on their web.
Is this ok? I suppose, but it bothers me as much as when resident evil 6 gets a suspiciously inflated score on IGN even when the written review is actually quite critical about it $$. More than a review these are ADs for different motives.
Let me ask you Jim, are you okay with paid reviews? Is it fine if a company offers money to get their product rated higher as to -cheat- people into consuming? I don't like it in any order of things, I can't lie.
Am I going to go on a murderous rampage because of it? no. But in my views it does shine a negative light on the ecosystem as a whole.

So, no I dont think review scores are the issue, obviously. As everything -objects- Guns, Bombs and Drugs are not the problem, its what people do with them... but that would have been a more interesting discussion that we chose to avoid here.. again
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Yes, they got upset with me because of my Konami Jimquisition video, as well as some negative reviews. I am now less than dirt in their Eastern office.
Is there an article on this or something with more information? Did they really just throw a fit?
 

Di-Dorval

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You go on to say that reviews scores can do much harm and that they bring nothing to the review and that you use them mostly for 'fun and debate'.

You also say that the main reason you keep them is because they provide more traffic to the review.

I don't see how you justified review scores at all. They are still useless things that do more harm than anything.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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CrossLOPER said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
Yes, they got upset with me because of my Konami Jimquisition video, as well as some negative reviews. I am now less than dirt in their Eastern office.
Is there an article on this or something with more information? Did they really just throw a fit?
There's no article yet. I am considering revisiting Konami in a future Jimquisition though, and I can detail it there. It's a really fucked story.
 

Strazdas

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finally, i met a reviewer that likes scores, im going to read your reviews from now on.
 

kodra

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This video is all well and good in a magical world where things like MetaCritic doesn't exist or doesn't have any real world value, but since MetaCritic DOES exist, you putting a review of anything lower than a 9 is essentially you casting your vote of "I want this game to fail commercially".

That is the power you as a journalist have over this industry and not owning up to that in this video just portrays game journalists as the irresponsible hack writers you too often get labeled as.

EDIT:

I'm sensitive about this because of The Secret World, a game that was probably the most impressive steps forward in MMO content design in years, that was essentially killed a month after launch because it got a good number of middling review scores followed by one guy who basically torched the game based on his experience with the beta client.

What this tells me is that gamers aren't ready for games to innovate, because they'd rather play 95 metacritic score games than any that are willing to take any risks in upsetting the review-class journalists.
 

Rabidkitten

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This Jimquisition wasn't as well compiled as some of your better episodes. I felt like it lacked direction, had no clear conclusions, and was more or less a jumble of ideas on the said topic. Just some friendly criticism. That said, I don't care at all about this topic.
 

Urh

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Jim is discussing people's reactions to review scores, so naturally he juxtaposes footage of Duke Nukem flinging shit everywhere. A perfect metaphor, if lacking in subtlety.
 

Kopikatsu

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kodra said:
I'm sensitive about this because of The Secret World, a game that was probably the most impressive steps forward in MMO content design in years, that was essentially killed a month after launch because it got a good number of middling review scores followed by one guy who basically torched the game based on his experience with the beta client.

What this tells me is that gamers aren't ready for games to innovate, because they'd rather play 95 metacritic score games than any that are willing to take any risks in upsetting the review-class journalists.
Actually, I'm 90% sure that Secret World failed because of it's $60 + $15/mo pricing scheme.
 

Triaed

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Well, the issue that I have with scores is when the reviewers use them inconsistently.

For one game they might say "... this game is fun but the mediocre graphics and forgettable sound makes it look like something we have played before, it is alright but don't rush out the door to buy it I give it an 8"

Whereas for another they will say "... man I had so much fun with this game, it was original, had innovative gameplay, and I could not stop playing; however, it had some technical issues and that is why I give it an 8"

What the hell?! It is not the score itself, it is how they got to the score that bugs me. One is obviously below par and the other is supposed to be great. I see this happening all the time
 

Brad Gardner

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I don't like scores myself because they don't make a damn but of scene. I tried to ask some reviewers 10 years ago what do the scores mean and I got something to the effect of they are an opinion brought into easy number form. But to me let's say a 1 to 10 score was made then wouldn't 5 me OK not my cup of tea but not bad. But it goes to saying 5 out of 10 might as well be shit on a waffle for breakfast.

If I would do score I'd have to break them down in technical and opinion.
 

Aurora Firestorm

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I see much more complaining on the internet about how scores average around 7-8, and any game that got a 5 (which *should* be average) is seen as total crap, than how scores suck altogether. They're just weighted funny, giving them much lower resolution. Has any game ever gotten a 1? Ever?
 

Jimothy Sterling

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This is something that makes me cringe every time I see it.

Honestly, if you want to complain about where the average is, fine, but stop saying it should be five because "that's the average" because it isn't. An "average" is not necessarily based on what the middle number is, that's the median you're talking about).

And frankly there's nothing wrong with a 7 being "average", either, provided you apply your scale consistently. The problem isn't that the scale is bad, it's that the scale isn't applied with any degree of consistency and that larger companies have been known to be able to buy better ratings. Address the REAL problem rather than creating a fictional one.
 

Colt47

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Actually I believe the reason most people see anything below a 7 as abysmal is because the normal grading system used in the education system. 50% and below is an F, where as 60-69% is a D, 70-79% is a C, 80-89% is a B, and an A is 90-100%. Converting that to a 10 point scale, we get 7-10 being desirable scores while 1-6 are the scores we wish to avoid. We are basically taught that is the way things should be.
 

SlamDunc

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To me game scores do not work like they seem to for some others. I dont think they can work for comparing two games as much as saying how much a game lived up to the potential of its concept. Though some concepts are so bad there is no winning.
 

Nimzabaat

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KiloFox said:
i like the new gloves. they match the suit and make you look spiffy.
you don't wear enough Red for the red gloves to work in the same way.

anyway. i'm so-so on review scored... i don't really like how an 8 is seen as BAD. an 8 is simply 80%. it's still a B grade, and even without taking BS school grades into account it means you did 80% of stuff great! (making a 50% just "average" or "Decent") the scores themselves arn't bad, but rather it's the way that some people VIEW them that's really bad.
I agree. If the scoring system made sense (0 awful 1-3 bad, 4-6 average, 7-9 good, 10 exceptional or something like that) then I wouldn't mind critics using that system. Take Duke Nukem Forever, on this very website the reviewer slammed the crap (no pun intended) out of it, then gave it a 7.
 

godofslack

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Review scores are just dumb universally. The belief that it'd be a good idea to measure subjective opinions with numbers is pants-on-head retarded, even more so when you factor in there isn't even a consensus of what each number means. You can ask anyone if they like a game for example, if you asked a normal person how they felt about portal they'll say they loved it, hated it, or somewhere in between, not 9 or 4 stars or 13 gophers because such statements are nonsensical. In order to talk in terms of scores you need to translate your feelings into a number and then the reader has to translate your number back to feelings, even worse is that they often do so incorrectly.

Also, review scores are dishonest, they represent subjective opinions as objective facts; 9/10 of a pizza is universal, 9/10 on a game review is not.
 

Olas

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I think what some people like about review scores is how they can very precisely sum up you're feelings towards a game in a short span.

6/10
done.

You can't do that with words without being vague. Of course that doesn't make them any less limited and trivial. But if you just want to pour over a bunch of reviews for a game without spending 5 minutes on each one numbers can at least give you something.
 

vezon

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I don't really understand why the scores need to be so exact like 1/10 or even on a 100 scale, when their is to much subjectivity in that number. The only thing that is matter that is good, ok or bad. The one example of that (the reason why I stopped reading Jim's reviews) was Witcher2 and Skyrim. U see Jim criticized Witcher for different reasons and voila in Skyrim in some of the same areas was doing MUCH MUCH worse but there didn't count. Both games have cons and pros, both games are good, which are better is more a question of tastes (I liked more Witcher than Skyrim), so how does justify Jim score of a 6 and a 10. An 8 and a 9 that would be subjective but 6 and a 10, sorry Jim but I expect from a reviewer to be as objective as possible.
 

Mr F.

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Right, I keep seeing this and now I must point it out.

Aurora Firestorm said:
I see much more complaining on the internet about how scores average around 7-8, and any game that got a 5 (which *should* be average) is seen as total crap, than how scores suck altogether. They're just weighted funny, giving them much lower resolution. Has any game ever gotten a 1? Ever?
What do you mean by "Should be average". What on earth does ANYONE mean by that.

If the average game gets a 7 then 7 = Average.

The problem is that the average game gets a 7.

So unless a site specifically states that they use a different system from other sites etc et etc, 7 = Average.

There is no "Should" with averages.

Most people who hate review scores seem to forget that. Yes, it fucks up the system, but we all have internalized it. If something gets a 6 we dont think "This is an above average game" we think, quite rightly, "This game is below average". Because it is below the average that has already been set.

You see where I am going with this?

I have nothing against review scores. I believe them helpful. Nor do I have anything against either metacritic, well the review scores from professional critics at least.

I guess I hold a hated view these days. Yes, I accept that the system is a bit broken. But that aint the systems fault.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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kodra said:
I'm sensitive about this because of The Secret World, a game that was probably the most impressive steps forward in MMO content design in years, that was essentially killed a month after launch because it got a good number of middling review scores followed by one guy who basically torched the game based on his experience with the beta client.

What this tells me is that gamers aren't ready for games to innovate, because they'd rather play 95 metacritic score games than any that are willing to take any risks in upsetting the review-class journalists.
I don't mean to rain in your parade, but that is actually a really common misconception of today.. (and of a lot of people in history) Innovation, is a risky thing, it means to make NEW things (that is questionable on itself), but it doesn't necessarily make GOOD things. The fact that something is innovative, doesn't make it automatically GREAT! just NEW, but it very well can be HORRIBLE (which incidentally was my personal experience with the secret world, because let's face it, other than content design, the game was stagnant in EVERY OTHER TECHNICAL SENSE).

So, a bit off topic but lets not continue this fallacy!
Remember:

NEW != GOOD

GOOD != NEW :)

BETTER == NEW °o°

And on topic: people, people, stop saying 5 should be the average, 5 is the average out of 10, which does not mean that most games should be in that average. Please think about it, most games are rather decent, at least functionally, as a general law I'd say in fact that most games are in fact good, SO THE AVERAGE IS ABOVE THE MATHEMATICAL CENTER POINT. Tough luck that too many rather good games come out so often, since most people simply have to discriminate to their prefered genres/highest critic scores...
 

mrpropal

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Why does every other Jimquisition contain images of poop? It doesn't go well with the fascist theme!

Doesn't Jim care about what the OSS wrote about that German dictator?

Cool gloves though. Please bring back the tie. Or perhaps a foulard would be nice.
 

oskalaboska

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vezon said:
I don't really understand why the scores need to be so exact like 1/10 or even on a 100 scale, when their is to much subjectivity in that number. The only thing that is matter that is good, ok or bad. The one example of that (the reason why I stopped reading Jim's reviews) was Witcher2 and Skyrim. U see Jim criticized Witcher for different reasons and voila in Skyrim in some of the same areas was doing MUCH MUCH worse but there didn't count. Both games have cons and pros, both games are good, which are better is more a question of tastes (I liked more Witcher than Skyrim), so how does justify Jim score of a 6 and a 10. An 8 and a 9 that would be subjective but 6 and a 10, sorry Jim but I expect from a reviewer to be as objective as possible.
You've hit on why I don't follow review scores. I've read reviews where aspects (like shoddy cameras and repetitive levels) lowers a game to a 7 but another game as has the same issues and its still a 9.5.

Also reviews on multiplats are totally skewed. Just because you reviewed the 360 version of a game doesn't mean the PS3 version deserves the same score. There is no way that Skyrim for PS3 deserves that 10 (or 5) that it got.

Personally I think we should get rid of the number and just have the rankings be: Buy it Now, Buy it Later, Rent it, Never Look in this Games Direction.
 

Sheo_Dagana

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I have always been a fan of the simple -/5 score system. It's very simple and gives you an idea of what the review is going to read like, without being ridiculously overstated. -/10 scores tend to exaggerated by quite a bit. Maybe it's because I was raised on GamePro, I dunno.

In example:

1 - Horrible, shoddy game that should never have existed. Technical errors, game breaking glitches, and poor graphics are just the start of where this went wrong.

2 - A game that is so bad that it is unplayable or not enjoyable. Games in this category usually have poor graphics, bad voice acting, a terrible story, or overly ambitious mechanics, and may also suffer from bad bugs. Should generally be avoided.

3 - A game. A mediocre title that is neither good nor bad, the game hits the mark of 'playable' and can be fun to play, but does nothing special to earn any recommendations. Usually something worth renting.

4 - An excellent game that is of above average quality. Great graphics, solid gameplay, and a good story, with maybe only a few technical problems holding it back from true greatness. Usually worth owning, but should maybe be rented first by those interested.

5 - An amazing game of superb quality. Everything from the sound, to the voice work, to the story, to the gameplay is incredible. Even a few minor bugs will go unnoticed, or will be forgiven, for the sheer amount of enjoyment to be had. A must-have for any interested.

That kind of thing. Obviously one could be more specific but that's just a quick run down of how I feel the -/5 system works and would/will personally use it.
 

Aurora Firestorm

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Mr F. said:
Right, I keep seeing this and now I must point it out.

What do you mean by "Should be average". What on earth does ANYONE mean by that.

If the average game gets a 7 then 7 = Average.

The problem is that the average game gets a 7.

So unless a site specifically states that they use a different system from other sites etc et etc, 7 = Average.

There is no "Should" with averages.

Most people who hate review scores seem to forget that. Yes, it fucks up the system, but we all have internalized it. If something gets a 6 we dont think "This is an above average game" we think, quite rightly, "This game is below average". Because it is below the average that has already been set.

You see where I am going with this?

I have nothing against review scores. I believe them helpful. Nor do I have anything against either metacritic, well the review scores from professional critics at least.

I guess I hold a hated view these days. Yes, I accept that the system is a bit broken. But that aint the systems fault.
Yes. Yes there is a "should."

What is the average of 0-10? 5. Start with the hard numbers, not the opinions.

The average game should, therefore, mathematically be *set* at 5. Just do it. Statistically, most of *anything* that has a large enough population, will be average. Reviewers should give a game that you consider to be completely average and unremarkable but still playable, a 5.

At this point, fairly good games will be then compared to this 5, and they will get around 7 or so...but right now, *average* games are at 7. So you have a massive, enormous range of "how much games can suck" (because 0-6 is apparently considered bad), and a tiny range of "how much games can be good," which are three numbers. In three numbers, can you really describe how much one game is better than another? No. Not really.

We messed this up because we started out by putting early reviewed games around the wrong number. Average games were given a seven. I like the theory that it's because Americans think on the grade-school report card system, but who knows why. So if your first unremarkable games are given a 7, then the rest of your games are going to be compared to that, and we're off to the races.

If you start out asking what your average game *should* get, mathematically, you will start at the right point.

Set your ratings at average 5.
 

Neferius

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"Review-Scores are HARMLESS" Pictured: Kirby aka. THE DEVOURER ...did anyone else find that ironic o_O?
 

Atmos Duality

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The problem I have is that review scores are implicitly quantitative, not qualitative.

ANY review must be qualitative to have any meaning. You can't quantify an opinion, no matter how hard you try.
(and before some smartass comments about polls, that's counting a number of opinions within a population. The number itself cannot form the logical basis of those opinions. It's like saying "I believe him, because he used the number 3 in his review.")

So, I read a score of 10/10. This tells me you liked the game. Great. Fantastic.
Anyone can do that, even if it isn't true.

This tells me nothing about the game. Some people THINK it tells them is that it's an excellent game.
And those people are fucking sheep who don't actually think for themselves. Reviews are opinions. Not facts.

If I'm reading reviews to research a game, what good is that 10/10 to me? The READER?
As a summary opinion, it's valid (since opinions are subjective), but still quite useless. It's filler.
How do I know you aren't just typing that to suck off the publisher? How do I know you even played the game?
I can jump onto Metacritic right this fucking second and give any game a 100/100, without having played a minute of it.

OK, so lets assume you actually wrote a review, and you're attaching a score to it as a sort of summary.
Knowing that I JUST FINISHED READING/WATCHING YOUR REVIEW AND GET TO THE SCORE, I should already know your feelings on the subject matter, no?

A little number at the end isn't going to change what you wrote, and if you didn't write anything but that number, I logically have no reason to trust you. So, logically, I don't get why you would include a score except for either purely arbitrary reasons, or pressures from within your field.

In the absence of stupid business practices (like publishers using Metacritic as a basis for payment plans) I do agree that review scores are harmless...but because I think they're useless more than anything. Ignorance and the inability to logically recognize that fact is more harmful IMO.

I won't demand any critic change their style unless they are objectively misrepresenting their subject matter (flat out lying to the audience); as for review scores, I ignore them. They're useless to me because the score is arbitrary, and the scaling is arbitrary.
 

God of Path

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Jim, I think it's worth mentioning, I nearly pissed myself laughing at the end of the video. Great job!
 

Teh Jammah

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I can both support the arguement you make here Jim, and see the opposite.

On the plus side, an x/X or X% rating gives you a general snap judgement of the overall feeling the reviewer had (or by their wording should've had) for the product. And I personally tend to read/watch/listen to the full review to put the score in context. For example, Angry Joe gave Asura's Wrath a 6/10 but with the BASoA and his review explained the hows and whys, which basicllay translated into (as i interpreted it) 'good game, not worth the full price' (in fact I'm pretty sure he said rent it/wait for it to price drop). I did the latter, enjoyed my £20 experience, even went on and bought the DLC.

On a related note, prolly wouldn't've shelled out for Sleeping Dogs had the 2BFP of it not made it look like so much fun. Could go on, but, yeah.

On the other side you have the AAA bought & paid for reviews where a 9/10 is the minimum (and is in fact now the score for an 'average game with a good ad campaign' &/or latest popular franchise sequel) and it seems to exist to be plastered in ads to sell more copies of Clone Shooter 2013 Edition. THIS is the kind of score we all want to be rid of... and since it's, for better or worse, the dominant for of scores, thats how we end up with this week's episode.


... Also I like the new murder gloves. Although Defoe needs some more input
 

Jimothy Sterling

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It's the review score inflation that people are having issues with.

I don't understand why you would make a video to debate a point so very, very few people would defend.
 
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For what it's worth, Jim, you're one of the few people who uses the review scores PROPERLY.

As in, beside the score, you say exactly what the score means. 8 being a great game with a few flaws, 6 being for genre fans only, etc.

A lot of other sites seem to arbitrarily slap the numbers on and make it seem that a 7 is a bad score, when it's really not all that bad.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Aurora Firestorm said:
Yes. Yes there is a "should."

What is the average of 0-10? 5. Start with the hard numbers, not the opinions.

The average game should, therefore, mathematically be *set* at 5. Just do it. Statistically, most of *anything* that has a large enough population, will be average. Reviewers should give a game that you consider to be completely average and unremarkable but still playable, a 5.

At this point, fairly good games will be then compared to this 5, and they will get around 7 or so...but right now, *average* games are at 7. So you have a massive, enormous range of "how much games can suck" (because 0-6 is apparently considered bad), and a tiny range of "how much games can be good," which are three numbers. In three numbers, can you really describe how much one game is better than another? No. Not really.

We messed this up because we started out by putting early reviewed games around the wrong number. Average games were given a seven. I like the theory that it's because Americans think on the grade-school report card system, but who knows why. So if your first unremarkable games are given a 7, then the rest of your games are going to be compared to that, and we're off to the races.

If you start out asking what your average game *should* get, mathematically, you will start at the right point.

Set your ratings at average 5.
No that is a misconception, an error.
In a class of students, you can have the average be a B+ if your students are great. Or well any score that THEY AVERAGE, this doesn't mean the AVERAGE SCORE should be the mathematic average of the scale. SO if there is a clear evaluation criteria, and games accomplish to effectively fulfill most of the criteria, they should get the numeric score that applies, and not the average, even if in general most games succeed to a certain measure.

IE: if most games are GREAT, you shouldn't give them an AVERAGE score, because they are the average quality of games, obviously.
 

CapitalistPig

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Jim my boy. It must be a slow season. I love your show but I find the irrelevance of this episode almost as irrelevant as the 10 billion review scores that are shouted at me from TV commercials.

But since were on the stupid subject. The only review scores I've ever respected come from X-play which I've watched since it was extended play and it was just Adam (huh? anyone? yeah!) This opinion has been formed over almost a decade of watching this show, understanding the nature of the game reviewers, and overall being entertained by the whole process. I trust them because at this point I know what they like. When some commercial flashes up with whatever the latest pop/rap crap stating "review junkie gives this a 5/5" or "game monster weekly 5 stars out of 5." Well you get the idea. That crap doesn't matter. You have to know and trust a reviewer to respect their ratings. Therefore most ratings don't matter. And vice versa from Jim's standpoint I don't know why he cares about the trolls. Because if they don't trust his review numbers then they don't really have much business reading his reviews.

On that note I've watched this show long enough to say Jim probably gives pretty fair reviews.

Keep on keepin on Jim. But please find some new topics, these past few weeks are topics that only the darkest corners of the internet are even privy to.
 

CapitalistPig

New member
Dec 3, 2011
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Aurora Firestorm said:
I see much more complaining on the internet about how scores average around 7-8, and any game that got a 5 (which *should* be average) is seen as total crap, than how scores suck altogether. They're just weighted funny, giving them much lower resolution. Has any game ever gotten a 1? Ever?

Indeed. They do exist.