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.
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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