Forums - Gaming Discussion - Why I Use Review Aggregates like Opencritic/Gamerankings

If a game gets a couple points below 80/100 on Opencritic or Gamerankings there's a slim chance that I'll buy it. How interested I was in the game beforehand usually doesn't matter at that point. I know a lot of people will scoff at that and say "Seven out of ten is a good score! Five is the average!" Both Pushsquare and Destructoid have gone out of their way to say exactly that in the past few weeks. 

http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2019/04/soapbox_710_is_a_bad_review_score_the_worlds_gone_mad

https://www.destructoid.com/review-days-gone-549944.phtml

Chris Carter - "Since this is a AAA review with a score below an 8, now is probably a good time to say that a 6 is a good score at Destructoid. Every outlet has a different review scale, and a 6 here means "above average."I think a lot of people will dig Days Gone so make sure you read opinions of those you trust so you can make an informed decision! Don't let one review be gospel."

In a way I agree with them. When you take every game ever made a score of 7/10 is a good score. Why? Because most games never even get reviewed. Just the fact that a game looked good enough for a reviewer to bother writing about it, shows that the game has a high chance of being good, or at least decent. 

But I also disagree with them in a way. Among games that get reviewed 7/10 is not a good score. It's an average score. Middle of the pack. Neither good nor bad. Both Destructoid and PushSquare may say that 5/10 is average, but their Opencritic profiles betray them. 

You can see here that Destructoid's average review score handed out is 7.2/10. https://opencritic.com/outlet/90/destructoid

And here you can see that PushSquare's is 66.9, which is still closer to 7 than 5 is. https://opencritic.com/outlet/25/push-square

And it's not just these two sites either. As a whole the reviews industry has pretty much made 7/10 the average among reviewed games. Just look at Days Gone's Opencritic profile. https://opencritic.com/game/6846/days-gone/charts "Days Gone is ranked in the 48th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic."

What does that mean? That means that out of all the reviewed games on Opencritic, Days Gone was worse received than 52% of other reviewed games.

So anyway, now that we've established that 7/10 is the unofficial "decent" score, I'm sure you're thinking "So What?"

Well, I'm not here to tell people what games to buy, or how to interpret reviews. I'm just here to explain myself. 

Once upon a time, I only owned a single console. Why? Because I was a kid, or a teenager without a job. I had to get by with just a Sega Genesis during gen 4, and just an N64 for gen 5. During Gen 6 I had a GameCube, and my brother had an Xbox. Back during these days, I borrowed, bought, or rented whatever games looked cool. I played all sorts of games, because I didn't know what review scores were, and it didn't matter. And you know what? I genuinely enjoyed 90% of the games I ran into. I'm sure if I rent back to just owning a single platform I'd still genuinely enjoy 90% of the games I ran into. 

But then one day in early 2002 I found Gamespy, and Gamespot. I found their reviews section. Through Gamespot, I found Metacritic. And through Metacritic I found out about a ton of games that I didn't just genuinely enjoy, but games that I absolutely loved. A lot of these games I hadn't even heard of. Games like Fire Emblem, Eternal Darkness, and Jet Set Radio. Some of these games, I knew about but I hadn't bothered to get the platform they were for. And I came to a realization. If I wanted to play games that I absolutely loved, I would need to expand my list of platforms from just a handful, to almost all platforms. 

And that's what I did. I bought a PS2, NES, SNES, and a GBA. I started a collection. I started buying games left and right. Eventually in 2008 I even bought a gaming PC, and discovered one of my favorite series of all time. Civilization IV was awesome, and different than any other game I had ever played. 

Soon my backlog grew though, and I came to another realization. I couldn't possibly play every good game on the planet. There just wasn't time. I decided to limit myself to the greats. 

Opencritic only coveres the last five or so years of gaming. And yet even with such a small sample size games like Days Gone, and Kirby Star Allies are sitting pretty much in the middle of the pack. But I'm the sort of gamer that will play anything from any era on any platform so long as the game is highly recommended by reviews. At least for the most part. And if Opencritic had a sample size covering from the NES all the way to today, I'm sure that games like Kirby Star Allies, and Days Gone would sit in the "30th percentile of all games"  on Opencritic. That doesn't mean they are bad games though. I just don't have enough time to play everything. 

For people that only own a system or two. Or for people that don't have a massive collection. Or for people that don't like virtually every genre of game...

For those people a game scoring 7/10 is a good game. Why? Because their pool of games is smaller. It's a game that they will genuinely enjoy, and a game that I would also genuinely enjoy if I gave it a shot. The problem is, I have too many games, and not an infinite amount of time. 

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a flamefest. That was never my intention. 

Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 14 May 2019

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Tldr i only play good games and 6,7 and 8 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack so i dont waste my time on those

I can applaud that, i did the same thing due to being an mmo gamer hell i had barely time for even thr 9 out of 10s



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League http://www.vgchartz.com/predictions

Instead of seeking to convince others, we can be open to changing our own minds, and seek out information that contradicts our own steadfast point of view. Maybe it’ll turn out that those who disagree with you actually have a solid grasp of the facts. There’s a slight possibility that, after all, you’re the one who’s wrong.

This is why these days i use twitch to view if a game pleases me, aside from MMOs there is no reason to get a singleplayer game day one



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League http://www.vgchartz.com/predictions

Instead of seeking to convince others, we can be open to changing our own minds, and seek out information that contradicts our own steadfast point of view. Maybe it’ll turn out that those who disagree with you actually have a solid grasp of the facts. There’s a slight possibility that, after all, you’re the one who’s wrong.

kirby007 said:

Tldr i only play good games and 6,7 and 8 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack so i dont waste my time on those

I can applaud that, i did the same thing due to being an mmo gamer hell i had barely time for even thr 9 out of 10s

TL/DR: I only play good games, and 6, or 7 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack, and I don't have enough time to play those, because I have more games than God. :P

I buy more games in the 8 category than anything else. Eight stands for great! 




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Personally, I don't give a rats ass about any of aggregated scores, on average review standards have been abysmal for such a long time.



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Cerebralbore101 said:
kirby007 said:

Tldr i only play good games and 6,7 and 8 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack so i dont waste my time on those

I can applaud that, i did the same thing due to being an mmo gamer hell i had barely time for even thr 9 out of 10s

TL/DR: I only play good games, and 6, or 7 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack, and I don't have enough time to play those, because I have more games than God. :P

I buy more games in the 8 category than anything else. Eight stands for great! 


Nah hold up my friend, 8s can get bend
Eight sounds good, but usually ruin my mood.
9s and tens are the way to go, and 8s make me wanna blow.
Now I must admit even a game between a 5 and an one can still be enjoyed.
Aslong as enough beer has been deployed.
For example im playing epic mickey, this one is quite tricky.
On average it has a 7.2 which shouldnt be enough for you.
Its so kiddy i wanna hide, but this game isnt a game to skip
So i can say with pride, man for a remaster i would doubledip
I give it a 9.1 suck on it son!



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League http://www.vgchartz.com/predictions

Instead of seeking to convince others, we can be open to changing our own minds, and seek out information that contradicts our own steadfast point of view. Maybe it’ll turn out that those who disagree with you actually have a solid grasp of the facts. There’s a slight possibility that, after all, you’re the one who’s wrong.

kirby007 said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

TL/DR: I only play good games, and 6, or 7 reviewscores fall in the middle of the pack, and I don't have enough time to play those, because I have more games than God. :P

I buy more games in the 8 category than anything else. Eight stands for great! 


Nah hold up my friend, 8s can get bend
Eight sounds good, but usually ruin my mood.
9s and tens are the way to go, and 8s make me wanna blow.
Now I must admit even a game between a 5 and an one can still be enjoyed.
Aslong as enough beer has been deployed.
For example im playing epic mickey, this one is quite tricky.
On average it has a 7.2 which shouldnt be enough for you.
Its so kiddy i wanna hide, but this game isnt a game to skip
So i can say with pride, man for a remaster i would doubledip
I give it a 9.1 suck on it son!

Funny you should mention it, but I played Epic Mickey from start to finish. I got it as a christmas present from my Mom. And I played it. And I beat it. Because I love my Mom. The paint mechanic was interesting for it's time, but not enough was done with it. The platforming was kind of subpar, but maybe that's just me having been spoiled by Mario for decades. 

Also, funny poem. I know you're making fun of me, but I can't help but laugh. To a certain degree I deserve to be made fun of for this. 



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The modern review scale only uses (5-10), so 7 is a mediocre score. It's supposed to be good, but it's not, because for gaming 5/10 is 0 because that's the lowest they will go.



Bet with Intrinsic:

The Switch will outsell 3DS (based on VGchartz numbers), according to me, while Intrinsic thinks the opposite will hold true. One month avatar control for the loser's avatar.

John2290 said:
You're putting your entertainment in the hands of inept journalists. Aggregate sites would be fine and dandy if journalists were too but many of them either inflate a games score or bring it down because of politics or for the sake of their writing among many other things. It's a good way to gauge interest but it's not a good way to jusge every game that comes out, I used to go full on by MC's score when I had less than adequate funds but now I am so glad I do not go by these scores as I woulf ended up having missed out on so many games the past three years and have had bought a load of stinkers too, like AC oddessy which I bought on sale and that game deserves nothing over a 65 max, or other examples being Dirt 4, The Forest, Dark souls 2, all games to name a few that seem to be reviews by mass incompetence or reviewers sucking publisher dick which leads to less than mediocre games like Ass creed Odessy being rated so highly. I almost missed out on Days Gone because of the fuck wads and so glad I did not because I've had dozens of hours of fun with it and is so much better than the Ubisoft games that get mid yo high 80's every reskinned release.

There are quite a few inept journalists out there. Trust me I know. A lot of the worst ones like Kotaku, and Polygon have stopped giving out scores though. So that problem fixes itself to a degree. Opencritic used to let you blacklist certain reviewers, keeping them from being added to your own average. And believe me, I blacklisted a ton of publications. At the end of the day though, the difference between my personal scores, and the non-blacklisted average score was just two or three points on a 100 point scale. One day Opencritic got rid of the ability to blacklist, so I decided that I would give that two to three point leeway for games that I was really interested in. Hence why 78 is my true cutoff point these days.

Assassin's Creed has had a new game almost every year since 2007. Of course I'm going to skip that. Assassin's Creed III is on my shelf and that's it. I think. I might also have Black Flag. I forget. Anyway, I agree that some games should be avoided regardless of what reviews say. I guess I've developed a nose for those types of games. Anything GaaS related, looter shooters, loot boxes, or sequelitis. Also FPS games are always overrated. ALWAYS!

P.S. Never buy anything made by Paradox at launch. They always launch with a good game, and then add enough DLC later on to make it awesome. 

I loved Dark Souls II. Sorry. :(

Days Gone has one of the weirdest review pages ever. Half the reviewers gave it an 80-90, and the other half gave it a 50-70. Reviewers usually don't disagree this much on it. One half has got to be dead wrong about the game though. At this point I'm just waiting until a stable patch comes out and/or a sale, and I'll get Days Gone. I've decided that it is just a game that I'll have to make up my own mind on, since reviewers disagree on it so much. But anyway, I definitely notice when weird shit goes on in review sections of games. 



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The modern review scale, including aggregated scores, makes it near impossible to tell if a game is good or not. Bad games can score in the high 80s, so the spectrum of 70-90 covers games that fall into the categories bad, mediocre, decent, good and great.

I look at aggregate scores and pick out a review or two to read when it comes to IPs I have no previous experience with, but it remains a guessing game if any given title offers something of real value or not.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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