Forums - Gaming Discussion - So here's why i dont like/use scores that much.

Title is misleading on purpouse because technically, i dont hate the concept, i hate the users.

In theory, i dont have a problem with the use of a metric system to rate art, because in theory, it wouldn't be the end all of every review. In a paralel universe were people would actually care about the point of a discussion, it would be understood that the number at the end of a commentary is complimentary, and its there more for the purpouses of indicating how much the person in question enjoyed the product or not, and also offer a way to show what the reviewer is more found of.

In that sense, a score woud not so much be a literal judgment of the quality of something,but more like a direct contribution to the more relevant parts of a review, which are the actual paragraphs in which the writer shows his perspectives on how the mechanics and general idea of the game works, and maybe even how his unique experiences in life make him interpret those same ideas in a different way. In that vein, a score should be contrasted against the text that accompanies it, and not so much with other scores, because its not meant to be a standard of judgment, is a visual help to compliment to tone of a piece of criticism, and looking at it outside of context should make no sense.

That would be in that nice dimension,but nonetheless we're on this blue jail for the foreseable future with no wall to build speed for 12 hours and escape, and here i think what actually happens is that everything anyone gives a shit about is that number at the end, and how you can compare it to other numbers to discredit someone who disagrees with you. The way scores actually work on practice is that they're distracting tools that have been gaining the focus since a loooong time ago, and because of that the actual written part of a review, which one would guess its the point, has been getting more and more poorly written over the years.

I know some won't agree with me, but this is not just doing the same thing in reverse, this is fundamentally making the entire process of analysing art more simplistic and dry. When you go out of your way, to creative a lot of checkboxes in which you will then try to fit a product on("6 is a game that is good but did this and this and this, 7 is a game that did that but also this and this and this, etc) you're not thinking on how the game is by itself, but instead creating a imaginary standard (that isn't really anything more than subjective most of the times, unless you only specifically cares about lighting and graphics in general, which can be quantified) that you will then try to cram any new experience on it, and then execute some sort of pseudo-mathematics, give it a number and call it a day.

This is the reason i think most of the reviews read like complete garbage, because the journalists that write them aren't really thinking about the games on themselves, they're trying to fit them into the metanarrative of consensus and outside scores, not only theirs. They dont try to interpret the point of having a character play one way, or animate one way, and how that interact with the story. My problem is not that they're trying to judge the game with numbers, my problem is that, because they only know how to use numbers, they can't even think in enough reasons to justify why they rated the game that way.

Of course, i know some people dont think like this. I know that, for some of you, objectivity is a thing and all that a review should do is just list what is on the game, and if he likes it or not. I know that some people will just try to find hypocrisy on what the writer says when he actually tries to give anything close to an interesting criticism, specially on ign, gamespot or any of the bigger sites. And you can actually do that, because i can't tell you how to live your life. You can create imaginary standards and believe they are objective, you can just look at scores and not the text and just agree with them or not, you can just call the game dogshit and go away and that is all valid.You can even believe that, just because something is very popular, it is a metric of unquestionable quality, and everyone else's opinion is valid but "not the truth". It's just not interesting to me, and i would never actually bother talking with you about anything, but i can't say that i'm right, because i am aware of how this would contradict what i just wrote.



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Finale said:

You're not thinking on how the game is by itself, but instead creating a imaginary standard (that isn't really anything more than subjective most of the times, unless you only specifically cares about lighting and graphics in general, which can be quantified)

Don't think I agree with this part. Lighting, graphics, that sort of stuff can't be quantified either, it's entirely subjective. The only quantifiable thing just about everyone can agree on objectively is resolution and framerates, everything else is down to personal opinion.

You make a lot of fair points. I've certainly done a lot of skipping to the final score when "reading" reviews, and I assume mostly everyone does it a lot too. Review aggregator sites are definitely part of the problem, as everyone started looking to them as this weird standard of how good games are. Suddenly the game rated 92 on Metacritic is objectively and undeniably far superior to the "shitty" game that's rated 89. And another issue that comes from this, is that people suddenly get mad when a reviewer comes along with a score far lower than that game's average, because it lowers the game's aggregate score that they hold so dear... and then they attack the reviewer. Guess the reviewer isn't allowed to have his own opinion anymore.

Personally, when it comes to not reading reviews, I have many reasons for it. I dislike reviews that go at length detailing the features of the game, rather than stating their opinion on said features. I dislike reviews that try to separate the individual aspects of a game and score them separately, as if those things were detachable from the whole, and then leading to a stupid scoring system that is trying to judge every game on a cold metric that's not looking at each game's different qualities. And, um, I dislike poorly written reviews? I also don't really become interested in any game by reading other people's takes on it except in rare occasions, usually I get into something because it just naturally interests me - at that point, I'm usually more interested in reading reviews after I've played a game, to read other opinions on it, rather than before playing it. I guess that's why I don't care about overly explanatory reviews, then.

But yeah, with all that said, there's not a lot of reviews out there I'm gonna find worth reading, which is why I generally just skip to the number. But making the score its own culture like has been done by the gaming community is quite lame. I can only be glad that sort of mentality hasn't boiled over to different mediums.



Just about everything is graded with scores (movies, restaurants etc.), so scores themselves aren't the problem in gaming. It's the conflict of interest that review websites and magazines depend on advertisement paid by game publishers, so an unusually favorable score here and there is the norm. The scoring scale is also used wrong, hence why video games are already yellow when they get a score of 74. A score that would be green for pretty much everything else. These are the reasons why scores don't work that well for gaming, because the condensed scale all too often puts mediocre and good games on the same level when they should actually have a distinction. There's also a problem with reviews where the score doesn't represent the enjoyment of the game, because it's really odd to grade games on something other than that.

Scores have the purpose of being a guideline if a product is worth purchasing, so it's very common to look at the score of a review first in order to determine if it's even worth it to read the review. When you see a game that gets mostly 5/10 and 6/10, you can save yourself the time it would take to read because you won't be buying the game anyway.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

i rate your post a 7/10
points detracted for the bait and not being very outlandish



 "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.

the Rol+Kirby true combo



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mZuzek said:
the Rol+Kirby true combo

Don't forget about yourself. You also have an infamous image around here.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

RolStoppable said:
mZuzek said:
the Rol+Kirby true combo

Don't forget about yourself. You also have an infamous image around here.

>:(



mZuzek said:
RolStoppable said:

Don't forget about yourself. You also have an infamous image around here.

>:(

don't worry you will be awarded with the additional notorious benefit once you hit 50 moderations



 "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.

mZuzek said:
Finale said:

You're not thinking on how the game is by itself, but instead creating a imaginary standard (that isn't really anything more than subjective most of the times, unless you only specifically cares about lighting and graphics in general, which can be quantified)

Don't think I agree with this part. Lighting, graphics, that sort of stuff can't be quantified either, it's entirely subjective. The only quantifiable thing just about everyone can agree on objectively is resolution and framerates, everything else is down to personal opinion.

That is true, i should probably have used those.



Meta is stupid. It's an arbitrary number that tells me nothing. It's just a number. Numbers are used for something subjective that people treat as objective. People don't read reviews. They just look for the number for a reason to brag or shit on something. Meta is something that should be done away with. Review scores should be done away with. Context on things is also ignored. Read some reviews and it sounds like they were not pleased with it then suddenly "8.5" or reviews that sound somewhat happy then a "6" ..but that's the other thing. Peoples grading scale is way off. 6 is supposed to be above average. 5 is average. Now a 5 or 6 is seen as shit. People see something in the 70s as bad. Some old gaming magazines would divide the score into different categories. Music. Sound design. Graphics. Fun factor. Controls etc and each would be given a score then averaged out. This game with a long review and reasons for each. This back when Journalism school meant something and you had to break into it. So it was not a number slapped in there. Still, I just prefer a long well-written review. People are too impatient for that now.

People also act if you love this game rated in the 70s more than this game rated in the 90s on meta, something is wrong with you. People are letting a number decide their opinion for them now. It's sad. We also live in an era where brands are given higher scores for the brand name alone. Bethesda games are broken. Janky as hell and that stuff are just looked over. Free pass if you will. Final Fantasy has been pretty bad for years and still high scores. 13 series and XV are not good. Then we come to pay for it. Gaming websites that are supposed to be non-biased. Have a giant ad plastered all over it of a certain AAA game. Well, can't give it a bad score if they pay our bills right? Look up Jeff Gerstman Gamespot 2006. We also have publishers who will blacklist some sites for giving them a lower score on a game. Again I think Bethesda was caught doing this a couple of years ago.

The whole system is broken. Again the gaming magazine days were better in this regard. The magazine was full of ads but it was just ad space and not sponsoring the magazine itself. So I could see an ad for a game in the magazine then read a scathing review in the same magazine. bleh after all that rambling. Don't let meta decide for you. Find a YouTuber you trust and see what they say. Peers as well. I do that when unsure. Usually tho I know if I want a certain game and just go for it after seeing tons of footage and spoil myself some. Very very rarely been burned.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!