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Changing the Game: The Review Problem

Default Prime columnist Matt Hearfield examines a couple of evolving issues with game reviews, including the way that consumers interpret them, as well as the ever-present "10-point scale, but really 4-point scale."

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StifflerK2150d ago

They should scrap the scores , that way people will be forced to read reviews and make their own minds up.

lumley6662150d ago (Edited 2150d ago )

yes, i do agree with this article but its just the way it is now, i was one of those unhappy gamers with the u3 8/10 review.

if a game is getting a majoriety score of 10/10 and it gets an 8 in my opinion the reviewer has a personal opinion on the game and what i find almost all reviewers contradict themselves.

for an example mario galaxy 2 was a fantastic game but it was basically a carbon copy of the original game but it got a free pass to 10/10, where as the same reviewer wud review another game and knock points off because it wasnt much differnt from the the original game, its happened with halo aswel among other games.

i find these days most reviewers arnt that great at there job and you can never go by just any one review, i think it wud be more profesional if the 10 point scale was just abolished and people reviewd the game with just there words, maybe even have a section for there personal opinion because its fact they are bound to have one.

IGN have gotten allot of heat this gen for there constant contradictions tho i still like to see what they give a game.

anyway thats my 2 cents lol

buckley2150d ago

I don't think it's valid to say that giving a game a particular score is wrong provided that the text of the review matches the score provided, and that points are defended.

A reviewer is "not great at his/her job" when they make points that they don't explain or provide a score that doesn't match the review. If they have a different view on a game than the majority but effectively explain it and back it up, mission accomplished.

If a game is getting a 10/10 from a majority of sites, we're supposed to assume right off the bat that all of those reviews are better-written and fairly critical over the one that gave it an 8/10? Those kinds of assumptions are not fair, and typically doled out by people who have not actually read the reviews and are fixated on numbers.

Reviews are not tests. They are not "right" or "wrong." They are an analysis. They do not exist to back up your already-formed opinion, they exist to make you consider aspects and details of the game that you may not have, and take them into account if you so choose.

You're allowed to disagree with a review. Because, like you said, they are a personal opinion, and the result of the analysis from one person. Every review is a personal opinion. I'm not sure how you would expect any review not to be a personal opinion. Reviewers are not robots.

lumley6662150d ago

yes reviewers are not robots but a review realisticly shud be the same from everywhere, it shud be a fair unbiased review, so i stand by my point if a game gets a 10 mostly everywhere then thats wat it shud mostly get, i can understand a 9, but an 8 is leading me to believe that the reviewer is adding personal prefrence/opinion. and i was never saying that i even agree if a game gets 10/10 everywhere then that wud be my personal score, its up to us gamers to give it our own personal score not reviewers. there paid to give a review not us. my personal scores are often differnt to 'profeshinal' reviewers, like alpha protocol for example, was bashed to death but me personly loved it, wud of given it a 9, but if i was paid to review it i wud have no choice but to give it an average review

''If a game is getting a 10/10 from a majority of sites, we're supposed to assume right off the bat that all of those reviews are better-written and fairly critical over the one that gave it an 8/10?''

well ofcourse, if the majority are giving it top scores then an 8 comes along, and by my knoledge its the only profesional 8 its gotten then that speaks for itself. in my opinion profeshinal reviews shud almost all have the same score.

buckley2150d ago

I don't agree at all that a review should be the same from everywhere. Two people are not necessarily going to get the same thing out of a game. I saw people pan Nuclear Dawn for having a tough learning curve, but I loved the result of the game after getting through said curve. Does that mean one of us was wrong?

No, it means one reviewer thought that the learning curve made the game not worth playing, and the other thought that the experience on the other side of the learning curve made the effort very worthwhile.

Reviewing is not an exact science. As a consumer, your best bet is to find a reviewer whose personal tendencies coincide with yours.

But a reviewer who scores a game differently than a majority is not a bad reviewer. A reviewer who PRETENDS that he had a different experience with a game than he actually did in order to score it similarly to those around him, that's a bad reviewer.

lumley6662150d ago

While I agree with some of your points not all of em lol let's just say we have a difference of opinion lol

MasterD9192150d ago

I prefer the actual grade system...A, B, C, D, F

That works fine IMO because everyone can deal with A's, B's and C games. D's & F's are purely useless.

You add in 8/10, 7/10 and 6/10 and it seems to turn off gamers because its not a 9/10 and 10/10. We all know some games these days shouldn't be getting 9/10 like they do.

buckley2150d ago

I'm with you on this. I like the letter grade system and the 5-point scales. The 10-point scale is used as a 5-point scale as it is anyway, if that.