Home Gaming In defense of review scores

In defense of review scores

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Competition score

I am currently preparing my review for Evolve. I’m mulling over the good and the bad, I’m discussing my opinions with the rest of the lazygamer crew, and of course we are debating the most visible part, the score. While it’s difficult to quantify an opinion, it’s one facet of the job as a games critic. Many sites are choosing not to use numerical scores, butย I think they are working against their own aims.

In recent months, many influentialย sites have dropped review scores. Ranging from Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun to Eurogamer and the now-closed Joystiq, each announced that scores were bad. Why? According to them, the finger is largelyย at Metacritic.

For those who live under a rock, Metacritic takes a range of reviews from a variety of reputable sources and runs them through its top secret weighting system to give a meta-score for games and movies. Much like how Rotten Tomatoes uses this to give an average score for movies, Metacritic is a tool that gamers and publishers can use to assess a game’s quality. According to these other sites, developers and publishers abuse Metacritic – it can impact on developer bonuses or even affect which publishers are willing to sign on for sequels to games.

Disappointment

By taking away review scores and instead converting them into words like “recommended” or “Yes”, news outlet believe that players will take more away from the review. At the moment, anything less than 8 (or sometimes even less than 9) will be perceived as a bad game. However, often a game can only get a 6 or a 7 and still be a lot of fun to play. While score inflation is definitely a problem, getting rid of the numbers feels like a poor excuse for letting reviewers off the hook about their scores. Putting a number next to a game means that the reviewer needs to really consider the full impact of the game and stand by their words and numbers.

The main thing to consider is what is the point of a review? We generally write many words for a review. I believe the average is around 800-1500 words depending on the size of the game. With those words, we seek to answer all your burning questions: what’s the game about? Does it tell an interesting story with cool characters? Are levels well designed? Are the controls well thought out? How does it look? Is it worth my money? However, we know that many people skip all those words and scroll straight to the bottom. They don’t do this because our reviews are poorly written or because we don’t consider nuance. They do it because when push comes to shove, they want to know one thing – is it a good game?

Top score

The one number can say it all. The game you were looking forward to scored a 9? You probably won’t even bother reading the review to find out why – you’ll just go buy it. But if it scores a 7, that doesn’t mean you won’t buy it; it means you’ll read the words so that you can see if maybe the thing that Darryn hated is what you would most enjoy. Numbers are also a quick and easy way of assessing how one game stacks up against another. Are scores for Assassin’s Creed steadily declining? Did everyone rate Destiny somewhere in the 7s? This should be a good indication to gamers of what’s happening on the whole.

Recently in chat, Geoff has been raving about Dying Light. That doesn’t mean he disagrees with Alessandro’s score of 7.5 – there is a lot wrong with the game, but Geoff is still having a ton of fun. This is something clearly explained by Alessandro if you bother to read his words. Or, you could see 7.5 and come to the same assumption that I did – it’s a game with a bunch of cool things, but falls short in other areas.

Obama disappoint

Removing review scores doesn’t help clarify opinions on games, it muddies the water even more. Several games might get “recommended” or “yes”, but without a number I don’t know if that vote barely scraped by or is a wholehearted stamp of approval. Readers who used to scroll to the bottom and read the score won’t suddenly start reading every carefully selected word in a review – they will find someone else who can quantify how much fun a game can provide.

Picking a number isn’t easy. Often, we can only really give a game a number after we’ve written all the words. However, it’s part of the job. It’s the job of a reviewer to explain to a fellow gamer why a game is good or not and if it’s worthwhile. If we can’t rate the game on an easily understandable numerical scale, we are failing our readers and we aren’t doing our job properly. If you’re looking for nuance, read the words; if you just want to know if a game is worthwhile or not, feel free to scroll to the bottom for the score and three sentence summary.

Last Updated: February 11, 2015

122 Comments

  1. konfab aka derp

    February 11, 2015 at 14:13

    The other thing that a score does is help me review the reviewer.

    There is no point of reading someone’s review of a games if you don’t know what tastes that person has. Seeing the correlation between what games were liked and disliked by a reviewer and what games I like and dislike is important for me.

    Hence why I hang around Lagz, collectively you lot share my taste in games. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      February 11, 2015 at 14:14

      Bwahaha I see we have the same train of thought going on!

      Reply

      • konfab aka derp

        February 11, 2015 at 14:14

        Hivemind ๐Ÿ˜€

        Reply

  2. Admiral Chief

    February 11, 2015 at 14:13

    I’m both for and against this, mostly for.

    Let me explain: If Geoff says it is a good game, I’d make a plan to get it. If Umar says it is a good game, I’d think twice. Now, its not that I don’t like Umar (heavens no, I think he is an excellent character), but I’m not quite interested in the games that he raves about.

    But mainly I agree with Lazygamer on gaming, hence why I frequent and frolic and not quite fornicate here

    Reply

    • So Hard (Umar)

      February 11, 2015 at 14:18

      WHAT?…you don’t like anime rpg# 57 featuring big swords…….This makes me sad..

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        February 11, 2015 at 14:22

        Big swords, they are compensating for something…

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          February 11, 2015 at 14:23

          Yeah the enemies. Did you see the size of those monsters.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            February 11, 2015 at 14:24

            Are you talking about their “girlfriends”? There is quite the symbolism there

        • So Hard (Umar)

          February 11, 2015 at 14:25

          TINY WEE WEES!!!!

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            February 11, 2015 at 14:26

            LOOOL

          • Admiral Chief

            February 11, 2015 at 14:26

            LACIST!

      • Captain JJ the crafter

        February 11, 2015 at 14:47

        I loved Kingdoms of Amalur. One of the reasons (amongst many) being that they have oversized weapons.

        Reply

        • So Hard (Umar)

          February 11, 2015 at 14:56

          Yeah, it was a bit too easy but the combat was satisfying. Big weapons are always a plus!

          Reply

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 14:59

            It was easy, but it was something I put on, lay back and just chilled with. Combat system was good too.

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 15:01

            This is true, combat was flashy and fun and that hooked me regardless of difficulty.

          • Rock789

            February 11, 2015 at 15:40

            I think it was ‘easy’ coz the combat system was responsive – so something that may have been slow in other RPGs / fighters was suddenly quick and intuitive… Either that, or we’re just gaming gods!! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 15:48

            True that.
            Hehe.
            Must be the controls though

        • Rock789

          February 11, 2015 at 15:39

          Really cool game! I’ve been meaning to play it again…

          Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      February 11, 2015 at 14:22

      I’d buy anything Umar buys.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        February 11, 2015 at 14:24

        O_O

        Reply

      • So Hard (Umar)

        February 11, 2015 at 14:24

        Hammer knows whats up, that’s why we play hentai games together, right Hammer?

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          February 11, 2015 at 14:25

          O_O_O_O_O_O

          Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          February 11, 2015 at 14:25

          * I’d mostly buy anything Umar buys.
          ๐Ÿ˜›

          Reply

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:26

            LOLZ…Your words cut deep….I’ll go play My Girlfriend is Alien on my own ๐Ÿ™

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 14:26

            Hahahaha I’m not emotionally there yet.

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:27

            Don’t worry, one day you’ll get there young grasshopper. For now, wax up, wax down.

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 14:30

            I will try hard, So Hard

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:30

            LOLZ!

      • Captain JJ the crafter

        February 11, 2015 at 14:48

        I don’t know. I have a feeling we have different shirt sizes.

        Reply

      • Rock789

        February 11, 2015 at 15:40

        For a dollar? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          February 11, 2015 at 15:48

          Yes, but not second hand and especially not from him ๐Ÿ˜›

          Reply

    • Captain JJ the crafter

      February 11, 2015 at 14:46

      Umar. Who’s he again?

      Reply

      • So Hard (Umar)

        February 11, 2015 at 14:47

        The guy every girl wants.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the crafter

          February 11, 2015 at 14:49

          So you’re telling me that you’re Iron Man then.
          Cool.

          Reply

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:51

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 11, 2015 at 14:53

            I think he said Iron Man, not Oros Man.

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:58

            If you believe hard enough, you can be anything you want

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 14:59

            “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 14:59

            It does make me something else though *waggles eyebrows*

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 11, 2015 at 15:01

            A Final Fantasy character? O_o

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 15:02

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:01

            XD preceded by
            Tyler : At least she is trying to hit rock bottom
            Narrator : What and I’m not?

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 15:01

            Thank you Hammer for always picking up my Fight Club quotes. ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:02

            I know that movie better than I know myself.

          • So Hard (Umar)

            February 11, 2015 at 15:05

            The only thing that ever sticked with me of that movie was Meatloaf’s man boobs

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:12

            Helena Botham Carter oozed with ………… I dunno. She just did it for me but I found her repulsive at the same time.

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 15:05

            So you’re Jack’s complete lack of surprise?

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:05

            Among other things.

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 15:07

            Hopefully not Jill’s nipple. Then you’re fine ;P

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:10

            Or Jacks colon O_o

  3. So Hard (Umar)

    February 11, 2015 at 14:16

    Nice read. I for one prefer numbers, though a part of the reason may be pure nostalgia as I’ve been reading gaming magazines from a young age, I always preferred a number as a basis for the game’s overall quality and comparing it to other scores, though the ultimate decision still lies with the consumer.

    I see this is the new bandwagon and everyone is just like whooo we need more outlets to stop adding a number to the review. Bullshit. What? We’re enabling the cancer of Metacritic that everyone sees as the problem, then Metacritic is the problem, even further down is the publisher pushing these numbers. This is the problem with modern society, we always fail to see the underlying issues and just hop on the first bandwagon we can find. “Purge it!” we scream, from the top of our lungs…for instance, DLC is not the issue, its companies abusing it that’s the problem…I see other local sites as well just jumping on this bandwagon. YEAH, scores are bad you guys, we don’t need em. F em….sigh. Thank God for LG….

    Reply

  4. Gavin Mannion

    February 11, 2015 at 14:20

    Just a note on Metacritic… You can ask Metacritic not to aggregate your reviews and keep your scores going.

    So anyone blaming metacritic for them changing their system is a flat out liar. There are sites on metacritic that don’t use scores and metacritic then uses their badges/levels as a range.

    I find the entire argument stupid and agree with Zoe.. your job is to review and rate a game. Don’t run away because it’s a hard thing to do

    Reply

    • oVg

      February 11, 2015 at 14:52

      • RinceThis

        February 11, 2015 at 15:00

        Fuck that, and fuck this too…

        Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        February 11, 2015 at 15:00

        BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I want that cat.

        Reply

      • Rock789

        February 11, 2015 at 15:50

        Now that is a cat! And it understands me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Reply

    • L337J1MB0B

      February 11, 2015 at 16:53

      Bit naive if you really think they’re dropping the scoring because it’s a “hard thing to do”… actually the scoring bit is the easy part. If you’re assigned the task of reviewing something then your job is to retrospectively examine the subject matter and express your views on it. Tacking on a score isn’t what makes it a review.

      Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    February 11, 2015 at 14:20

    Scores are very important for new IPs these days. If ‘n publishers first entry does well enough it ensures sales and it gets its foot in the door with gamers. Making them look forward to sequels . Watchdogs was a decent game and I’d play the sequel.

    So was Titanfall but I’m still clinging to SP. That’s one reason why I never played it and I still solo Destiny at least once a week. That’s why buying this game is such a tough decision. How long before people stop playing it like Titanfall and Destiny?

    Reply

  6. Matewis Jubilai

    February 11, 2015 at 14:26

    I am reminded of Starcraft original review in, either NAG of PC Format. It scored something like 75% or 78% ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply

  7. Ryanza

    February 11, 2015 at 14:26

    Dying Light got 7.5 to stay in the green on Metacritic. Unless it’s Unity or some other shit, a 7.5 is Lazygamer’s bad score for these industry hyped games.

    Reply

    • Ryanza

      February 11, 2015 at 14:29

      Just to add. Evolve is a 7 at best. But Lazygamer will give it a 8 and above. Unless if Zoe hated the game then it will get a 7.5. lol.

      Reply

      • Gavin Mannion

        February 11, 2015 at 14:30

        Personally I take offense to the insinuation we give higher scores to hyped games..

        Every reviewer is independent and reviews it on their experience.

        Maybe we over use 7.5, but I see that score as a good game that just misses being really good.

        Reply

        • Ryanza

          February 11, 2015 at 14:39

          I’ll wait and see for that 8.5.

          Reply

          • Lord Chaos

            February 11, 2015 at 14:40

            I was actually thinking they’d score it between 6.5 and 7.

          • Gavin Mannion

            February 11, 2015 at 14:42

            We haven’t finished the review yet and a score hasn’t been set on… I’m finding it a very marmite game.. loving the game when it’s 4 friends playing but strangers are a nightmare.

            Also.. not sure about its longevity

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 11, 2015 at 14:43

            Rants would give it a 7.7.

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 14:44

            We all know 7 is the best that a game like Evolve can muster. But on Metacritic with everyone giving nice scores and all green showing, Lazygamer giving a 6.5 will just look bad on Metacritic.

          • Jaded_Reprobate

            February 11, 2015 at 14:57

            Why do you keep coming back if you think that the staff at Lazygamer are that bad?

          • RinceThis

            February 11, 2015 at 14:59

            They are like crack?

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:02

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 15:03

            I won’t leave Lagz. Trying to leave the comments section.

          • Hammersteyn

            February 11, 2015 at 15:05

            Why?

          • RinceThis

            February 11, 2015 at 15:08

            hahahaha

          • Jaded_Reprobate

            February 11, 2015 at 15:04

            Crack?

          • Tosh "Did he just say that?"

            February 11, 2015 at 15:14

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 15:07

            Don’t give me that. I love Lazygamer.net. or was it Lazygamer.co.za that I loved.

            I’m just pointing out stuff. When it comes to review scores no matter what number you use, it will not please everyone.
            So it’s fun to play with numbers here in the comments section.

            Lazygamer is not bad. The gaming industry is bad.

        • Captain JJ the crafter

          February 11, 2015 at 14:51

          7.5 is a fair mean for games that didn’t blow your mind but is worth checking out.
          I get heated on reviews a lot, but I know people have different preferences and taste, so to each his/her own.

          Reply

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 14:56

            Back in the day a 6.5 was the lack luster games that was still fun to play. When did 6.5 become 7.5.
            5.5 was buy at your own risk. When did 5.5 become 7.5.

            I blame Metacritic.
            Don’t Support Metacritic.

          • Gavin Mannion

            February 11, 2015 at 14:58

            Game budgets happened… back in the day they didn’t have $50 million to hire top end developers, graphic artists and writers… of course the average game is getting better

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 15:02

            Don’t give me, when the budget goes up the review scores go up. Oh I see what you did there. Is there something you want to tell us about industry hyped games? Is that why GTA 4 got 10/10’s and GTA 5 got high scores because the game’s budget was so big.

      • Mark

        February 11, 2015 at 15:08

        Evolve looks like crap to me, but thats my opinion. Peoples opinions can be vastly different, for instance I dont care for SOM, yet it was lagz game of the year.

        Reply

    • Mark

      February 11, 2015 at 14:42

      Dying Light is actually really good. I would give it 8.5 easily.

      Reply

      • Ryanza

        February 11, 2015 at 14:49

        8.5 and up is for the good games that gets the story right, the shooting and gameplay right, no game breaking bugs, fun gameplay and story, and re-playability.

        7.5 doesn’t mean a game is not fun. it just means the game is lacking in certain areas. Like in Dying Light, what’s lacking is a good story.
        Dying Light at best 7.2

        Reply

        • Mark

          February 11, 2015 at 14:54

          Ok so for most people maybe 7.5, but for me personally I see no problem with the story and characters.. I actually find the main character reminds me a lot of Shepard from Mass Effect

          Reply

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 14:59

            Did you just compare Dying Light to Mass Effect story telling.

          • Mark

            February 11, 2015 at 15:07

            No, just the main character reminds me of Shepard. Its obviously not anywhere near the storytelling of Mass Effect. Actually the guys voice is maybe whats reminding me of Shepard, very similar.

          • Ryanza

            February 11, 2015 at 15:08

            Oh you mean the bland Shepard. I get you now.

          • Mark

            February 11, 2015 at 15:10

            Sorry just for interest what are your fav games besides the Witcher.

        • RinceThis

          February 11, 2015 at 14:55

          7.2? BWAHAHAHAH

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 11, 2015 at 14:56

            If it had better ammunition management it would’ve gotten a 7.56! GEDDIT! ๐Ÿ˜€

          • RinceThis

            February 11, 2015 at 14:57

            Give that man a 8.42!

  8. Matewis Jubilai

    February 11, 2015 at 14:28

    I am reminded of Starcraft original review in, either NAG of PC Format. It scored something like 75% or 78% ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply

  9. Tosh "Did he just say that?"

    February 11, 2015 at 14:31

    I give this article an 8.5/10. Informative, interesting, and relevant.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the crafter

      February 11, 2015 at 14:48

      I give it a 10/10 because Gavin paid me.

      Reply

      • Tosh "Did he just say that?"

        February 11, 2015 at 14:55

        What did he pay you in? Liverpool trophies?

        Oh wait.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the crafter

          February 11, 2015 at 15:00

          No, I don’t accept muggle currency. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

          • Tosh "Did he just say that?"

            February 11, 2015 at 15:03

            In this case it’s wizard currency. Muggles are in fact real.

          • Captain JJ the crafter

            February 11, 2015 at 15:06

            Haha.

  10. Blood Emperor Trevor

    February 11, 2015 at 14:41

    READING IS HARD! And who’s got the time?

    I like review scores, it gives me a quick indication what I can expect when reading a review. I only read full reviews when it’s something I’m interested in anyway. Metacritic gives me a handy summary of both press and user reviews, which is especially helpful for games I don’t know much about and if I want to read further then I can. By not providing one you’re not helping anyone, you’re abstaining from the process.

    There’s two issues with review scores:

    1) Peoples’ misunderstanding of how numbers work – 5/10 is bad! It’s not, it’s average. You might enjoy it or you might not, that’s why you read the review. A 9/10 from a reviewer doesn’t mean it’s good for you personally. Just looking at a number & not reading the review is incredibly short sighted. If our hobby is an art form, then it also can’t be judged simply on a number because personal experience & interpretation can’t be quantified in a uniform way.

    2) Blaming something like Metacritic for the contracts pubs & devs enter into that take into account review scores for bonuses is silly, they didn’t enter into those contracts blindly.

    What annoys me about review scores is when the score doesn’t seem to match the content of the review – as in tons of snark & criticism, then the game gets a good score. That irritates me to no end.

    Reply

    • Tosh "Did he just say that?"

      February 11, 2015 at 14:56

      tl;dr

      Reply

    • RinceThis

      February 11, 2015 at 14:59

      tl:dr

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        February 11, 2015 at 15:03

        OMG Why does this keep happening?…

        Reply

        • RinceThis

          February 11, 2015 at 15:13

          I thought you got pills for that?

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 11, 2015 at 15:48

            Which one must I take to not have a Zelda TV series made? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • RinceThis

            February 12, 2015 at 08:00

            Both!

    • Hammersteyn

      February 11, 2015 at 15:03

      READING IS HARD!

      Reply

  11. Morne Nell

    February 11, 2015 at 14:43

    Metacritic is not to blame, Publishers paid for good reviews and that let to people not trusting reviewers.
    Do find that reviews influence decisions to much, you don’t buy the game because of the low score. But when you do get it eventfully you realised you missed out on a good sometimes brilliant game.
    I like the idea of no scores, let the gamer make up his own mind tell us what you like and don’t like. I want to make my own decision and don’t want to be influence by someone else’s.
    Writing a article without a score is much harder in my opinion.

    Reply

  12. Matewis Jubilai

    February 11, 2015 at 14:45

    Just reading “800-1500 words” made my chest tighten. Must be due to some repressed memories from having had to write essays in highschool ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

  13. Captain JJ the crafter

    February 11, 2015 at 14:46

    I find the metacritic user reviews very helpful, the other ones not as much

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      February 11, 2015 at 14:50

      They ain’t loving Evolve that much right about now :/

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the crafter

        February 11, 2015 at 14:56

        It’s actually proof that even those professional reviewers also have some preferences (and there’s nothing wrong with it), because often I cannot understand how they could possibly give a game 80 while other times it’s pretty much exactly what I would’ve said.
        .

        Reply

  14. Nikola

    February 11, 2015 at 14:56

    Well I must say your reviews are really good Lagz in general you dont’t really rush them too fast and you are very unbiased, all I want from the review is facts what the game has and does well and I decide for myself is this something I will like. Reviews are more as a guidance you honestly have to play the game to see if you going to enjoy it, Destiny had very average reviews still bought it and was definitely one of my favorites games in last few years. We all have different opinions and what we like you can not always blame the reviews for getting a game and you don’t like it.

    Reply

  15. Captain JJ the crafter

    February 11, 2015 at 14:58

    I’ve seen a few reviews on very genre specific games and then the professional reviewer starts off by saying “I don’t really play (insert genre here) types of games but…”
    I understand if no one on the team likes that specific genre. But that’s when I can’t trust a review fully, because the person doesn’t have a comparative history to work
    on. It’s like me driving a FIAT Multipla every day, then getting into a Porsche
    for the first time and give it a rating.
    The FIAT being Colonial Marines and the Porsche being The Witcher ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  16. Brady miaau

    February 11, 2015 at 15:01

    So gamers are just like clients, then? Do not read what is put in front of them, that explains what they will get and why. They wait till they get it and then ask why. A lot of people fail to read a lot of important documents, in my humble opinion.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the crafter

      February 11, 2015 at 15:04

      I was JUST showing a colleague something they signed for that they should’ve read before. Almost 10k less coverage than they meant to get.
      So yes. Your point has been proven. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

  17. RinceThis

    February 11, 2015 at 15:05

    Nice Zoe. Most comments on the week right here ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      February 11, 2015 at 15:06

      LIES! Oh wait, one more

      Reply

  18. ChronopandaZA

    February 11, 2015 at 15:06

    Thanks for the other side of the coin Zoe! Personally, I prefer the subjective opinion of a reviewer I trust over the score they give at the end (yes I read all the words you lovely people at Lagz post up for us). I think the problem is no two review publications/outlets will have exactly the same criteria for scoring games and so the number at the end of a review becomes arbitrary – it is as subjective as a qualitative score such as ‘recommended’. Metacritic itself tried to resolve this by aggregating scores, in order to give a general idea of the quality of a game. At the end of the day, these arguments are cyclical and I’ll leave a link to an argument against scores in videogames by Simon Parkin in 2008 as an example: http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2008/06/videogame_review_scores_pointl.php

    By the by, I don’t think RPS has ever used review scores, they’ve always leaned towards an opinion-blog type approach.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the crafter

      February 11, 2015 at 15:09

      I agree.
      Just look at Angry Joe. As emotionally involved as they come, but he makes good points and generally I share his taste. Some reviewers work for you, others don’t. Simple as that.

      Reply

  19. Morne Nell

    February 11, 2015 at 15:38

    What would help is if you tell us how you score games, the scoring system needs to be constant. To me it feels like the scoring system is thumb suck based on feel, rather than a scientific calculation and that is the problem. If there was lets say 10 points and each point had a weighted average the system will make a lot of sense.
    You might not like a game but based on the scoring system it gets a good score.
    Sometimes it feels a game gets a low score because of one or two points (perception), but those points might not bother me at all if I knew how you score.

    Reply

  20. Ragnar The Vengeful

    February 11, 2015 at 17:34

    TL:DR… I scrolled down to read your three sentence summary ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

  21. Leon de Bruin

    February 11, 2015 at 22:16

    Great article. I agree fully. We had this discussion internally a year ago and decided to stay with scores as it makes more sense.

    Reply

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