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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Understanding Review Scores - Quit the Console Review War Crap

Dulfite said:

See, that's great and dandy for some, but others, like myself, want the opposite. Written reviews take all the surprise out of the game for me. Just give me a score and nothing else, then aggregate the scores. Anything 70+ meta or open is worth a shot to me if it looks intriguing, anything below is most likely a pass unless it really captivates me by a trailer or marketing. Simple, easy, and is spoiler free.

I don't mind written reviews existing, but they need to have a score, out of a 100, to matter to me. None of this /5 or /10 nonsense either. An 81 is a massive difference from an 89. An 84 is a noticable difference from an 87. Websites need to stop being lazy and do all reviews out of 100 if they want to matter to a gamer like me.

Scores on reviews are an outdated metric especially as the scale is inconsistent for example in Edge 5/10 is average but for most reviews anything below 7 is bad as 7 tends to be average which is stupid because you have 3 numbers for how good something is and 6 for how bad something is when all we need to know is whether a game is just bad, average or good, a verdict system not only does this but can have a pros and cons section with the verdict which would have a small summary with it anyway if you don't want to go through the written review.

It makes the clickbait culture harder as it becomes eyebrow raising if a game is being seen as universally good in verdicts and someone randomly marks it as average as they'll need to reflect it in their review content, verdict system is just all round better and healthier in marking games.



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Wyrdness said:
Dulfite said:

See, that's great and dandy for some, but others, like myself, want the opposite. Written reviews take all the surprise out of the game for me. Just give me a score and nothing else, then aggregate the scores. Anything 70+ meta or open is worth a shot to me if it looks intriguing, anything below is most likely a pass unless it really captivates me by a trailer or marketing. Simple, easy, and is spoiler free.

I don't mind written reviews existing, but they need to have a score, out of a 100, to matter to me. None of this /5 or /10 nonsense either. An 81 is a massive difference from an 89. An 84 is a noticable difference from an 87. Websites need to stop being lazy and do all reviews out of 100 if they want to matter to a gamer like me.

Scores on reviews are an outdated metric especially as the scale is inconsistent for example in Edge 5/10 is average but for most reviews anything below 7 is bad as 7 tends to be average which is stupid because you have 3 numbers for how good something is and 6 for how bad something is when all we need to know is whether a game is just bad, average or good, a verdict system not only does this but can have a pros and cons section with the verdict which would have a small summary with it anyway if you don't want to go through the written review.

It makes the clickbait culture harder as it becomes eyebrow raising if a game is being seen as universally good in verdicts and someone randomly marks it as average as they'll need to reflect it in their review content, verdict system is just all round better and healthier in marking games.

I can't see how that circumnavigates clickbait culture though.  Whether the final tally for Horizon: Forbidden West is a 6/10 or an "Average" badge emblazoned at the bottom of the page, all types of people are going to investigate it regardless.



I don't really pay too much attention to reviews, I'll check out the meta score of a game and that's probably about it. The majority of the games I buy, I buy based on recommendations from YouTubers or places like Reddit, also I'd say a significant number of my all-time favorite games are games that have scored in the 70s and 80s on Metacritic.

On a side note, many games that score 90 or higher I have found to be average games for the most part but you know, "that's just my opinion"

Last edited by NobleTeam360 - on 14 March 2022

Wyrdness said:

Scores on reviews are an outdated metric especially as the scale is inconsistent for example in Edge 5/10 is average but for most reviews anything below 7 is bad as 7 tends to be average which is stupid because you have 3 numbers for how good something is and 6 for how bad something is when all we need to know is whether a game is just bad, average or good, a verdict system not only does this but can have a pros and cons section with the verdict which would have a small summary with it anyway if you don't want to go through the written review.

How do you decide, which reviews are worth your time when you want some new games?

Or do you read reviews of every of the thousands of games released each year? Or do you just ignore most of the games due to lack of time to read their reviews?

Why is simple classification which allows only three outcomes (good, average, bad) better for a preselection than a finer classification where you can see, which games barely made it into the "good" category and which ones are much better?

And it is a lot more informative, when you have 3 numbers (out of 10) for how good something is (or 30 numbers out of 100) than when you have just 1 number for how good something is.



coolbeans said:

I can't see how that circumnavigates clickbait culture though.  Whether the final tally for Horizon: Forbidden West is a 6/10 or an "Average" badge emblazoned at the bottom of the page, all types of people are going to investigate it regardless.

Because the reviewer will have to present in their review how they came to that verdict, you can get away with given HZD2 a 7/10 and say it's not a bad game with out actually calling it average as the scaling is subjective but have a trickier time straight up calling it average as when people investigate the review it'll not only expose the outlet but in the long run it'll hurt the outlets future traffic.

Conina said:

How do you decide, which reviews are worth your time when you want some new games?

Or do you read reviews of every of the thousands of games released each year? Or do you just ignore most of the games due to lack of time to read their reviews?

Why is simple classification which allows only three outcomes (good, average, bad) better for a preselection than a finer classification where you can see, which games barely made it into the "good" category and which ones are much better?

And it is a lot more informative, when you have 3 numbers (out of 10) for how good something is (or 30 numbers out of 100) than when you have just 1 number for how good something is.

You should already have an idea of which outlets have views or tastes that line up with your own, tell me what exactly does this finer classification really add other than a load of cluttered numbers many of which aren't even used and a scale that is subjective to the reviewer it's not more informative in fact it's a mess look at GTA4 for example it's rated as one of the best games in history alongside games like OOT under the scoring system but many people argue it's the worst of the 3D GTA games. Three outcomes tells you what you need to know about the game with out any fussing about pointless numbers and the review's content will tell you if it's the type of game you'd be into this in the long run means anyone who wants to do reviews will have to be competent in presenting their view in why the game falls into the verdict they've given.

You're arguing how will you know well it's easy you do the same thing you do now only instead of a number the will be a straight to the point verdict with pros and cons and and small summary along the verdict.



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Wyrdness said:

You should already have an idea of which outlets have views or tastes that line up with your own,

You have an outlet where EVERY reviewer has views and tastes that line up with your own? Most outlets have no consistency in their reviews and have different reviewers with different opinions. Not every reviewer tests every game. Do you ignore games which aren't tested by your favorite reviewer?

tell me what exactly does this finer classification really add other than a load of cluttered numbers

It adds more quality gradients for better comparisons. There are a lot of games which are right between "average" and "good". Why not put them in their own category between "average" and "good"? There are also games that are much better than most of the "good" games. Why not put them in their own category of "very good / great" games?

many of which aren't even used

Which scores aren't used? Only the scores on the bottom of the bottom. Are there games soooooo bad that they would deserve a worse score than "Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust". Sure, I've seen a lot worse on Steam or in the AppStores. But most professional reviewers don't waste their time with this crap, they have limited time resources and focus on better games.

Three outcomes tells you what you need to know about the game.

No, maybe it tells YOU what YOU want to know about the game. Other people would prefer a simple thumb up or down. And many people prefer a scale with finer gradients.



Wyrdness said:
coolbeans said:

I can't see how that circumnavigates clickbait culture though.  Whether the final tally for Horizon: Forbidden West is a 6/10 or an "Average" badge emblazoned at the bottom of the page, all types of people are going to investigate it regardless.

Because the reviewer will have to present in their review how they came to that verdict, you can get away with given HZD2 a 7/10 and say it's not a bad game with out actually calling it average as the scaling is subjective but have a trickier time straight up calling it average as when people investigate the review it'll not only expose the outlet but in the long run it'll hurt the outlets future traffic.

But that still runs into a huge snag when you consider that most sites have both the numerical score and one-word translation paired together already.  On VGChartz, if we went with the site's set "Average/Acceptable" score (5/10) for Horizon FW there'd be no avoiding anything.  I just don't see how this magical threshold of a non-numbered scale blunts clickbait-y stuff like you're describing.



I miss the days of walking into the store, having no idea what game you're going to leave with ,looking at pictures and reading the backs of boxes, and leaving with a new game to experience on your own, without the taint of other people's opinions.



VAMatt said:

I miss the days of walking into the store, having no idea what game you're going to leave with ,looking at pictures and reading the backs of boxes, and leaving with a new game to experience on your own, without the taint of other people's opinions.

Those were also the days when I was a poor kid and most of my game-getting came on Christmas and on my birthday, which is two weeks after Christmas. So I was pretty picky with my games. That meant making safe bets on Nintendo and on home ports of arcade games, which were a little more risky depending not he quality of the arcade port. Knowing that I wasn't likely going to get much more in the way of games without an awful lot of yardwork or paid babysitting made me a lot more risk-averse in terms of being stuck with a crappy game for an entire year.



Conina said:
Wyrdness said:

You should already have an idea of which outlets have views or tastes that line up with your own,

You have an outlet where EVERY reviewer has views and tastes that line up with your own? Most outlets have no consistency in their reviews and have different reviewers with different opinions. Not every reviewer tests every game. Do you ignore games which aren't tested by your favorite reviewer?

tell me what exactly does this finer classification really add other than a load of cluttered numbers

It adds more quality gradients for better comparisons. There are a lot of games which are right between "average" and "good". Why not put them in their own category between "average" and "good"? There are also games that are much better than most of the "good" games. Why not put them in their own category of "very good / great" games?

many of which aren't even used

Which scores aren't used? Only the scores on the bottom of the bottom. Are there games soooooo bad that they would deserve a worse score than "Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust". Sure, I've seen a lot worse on Steam or in the AppStores. But most professional reviewers don't waste their time with this crap, they have limited time resources and focus on better games.

Three outcomes tells you what you need to know about the game.

No, maybe it tells YOU what YOU want to know about the game. Other people would prefer a simple thumb up or down. And many people prefer a scale with finer gradients.

- This same argument applies to score numbers so you've argued against reviews in general here, reviews are the to detail why they came to their verdict not just to put a number down and be done all you're telling us here is that you can't be bothered to read a few reviews or go through a summary that's not a problem with a verdict system that's a problem with how you use reviews.

- Quality gradients that not only are not universal across all outlets but most are clutter, it's down to you to do your research if a game that's divisive is to your taste or not and this element of forcing you to look into it more benefits you as a consumer as reading a few reviews, looking up gameplay and even trying demos can help you figure it out before you spend your money, it even helps you in the long run identify which outlets have tastes that align with your own.

- Then why have them? May as well just call them bad and detail as such in the review the is no point having 6 numbers for bad as it'll make no difference which of those numbers is used once a game falls into that category that's it, if reviewers don't bother with such games to never give those scores even more reason to drop them and change the system.

- Except it does tell us what we need to know is a game good, average or bad regardless of what you prefer, you can prefer numbers but so far I've not seen an actual argument detailing why so called finer gradients are better. A verdict is simple and straight forward as it makes no difference if games like BOTW, Elden and HZD are all ranked as good or if bad games are ranked as bad etc... we don't need finer gradients to differentiate from games in the same bracket we need better content of reviews to convey how good, bad or why something is average and people to improve their use of reviews and scores have just become something that undermine that it's time to leave them behind for another system.