coolbeans (User)

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Why do single points between 90 and 100 on metacritic act as a barometer for "GOTY-worthiness" ?

coolbeans | 1107d ago
User blog

*Around the time the review embargo for Uncharted 3 has been lifted, it receives a 94 aggregate score at some point"

*Enter likely candidate here*: I'm not exactly sure if you've noticed, but Uncharted 3 has 94 metascore. That's 3 points higher than Gears of War 3 (atm) making it thrice as likely to win GOTY (Game of the Year) awards from major publications.

Where this fictional candidate comes up with such whimsical notions is beyond us; however, that doesn't mean such beliefs were in the heads of certain people at such a time. When I saw certain n4g posters post things along this line, the despits refreshing their seperate metacritic page every hour to see that next critical score come through, I was honestly disappointed to see people devolve to such a state where they can't stand the idea of a 9 possibly lowering the metacritic score. Even now there's sure to be some mentions of that to Skyward Sword just so it can have a higher-or the same-average as [Elder Scrolls V] Skyrim.

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*Time passes, and Uncharted 3 is now at a 92.*

*Enter another certain character*: "Looks like Skyrim, Skyward Sword, and Batman: AC will clean everyone out."

Unfortunately, I'm actually a witness to seeing statements 90% similar to that (that could even be verbatim of a certain poster for all I know). Despite the fact that Portal 2 has a 95 (I think) on metacritic as well, can gamers actually be serious [in that quote]? Who can honestly say 2-5 points of seperation should actually be a determinant of whether or not one game is more worthy of the now-easy-to-achieve GOTY award than another? With so many different biases, we all pick and choose which aspects are more important to games as a whole, thereby making our determination of "X game" being the best game we've played this year.

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http://www.gametrailers.com...

http://www.escapistmagazine...

These recent videos really hit one of the core facets of today's gaming journalism. Rather than understanding the reviewer's perspective of the game, many posters are ready to "show their fangs" if they believe a review is too low or too high BEFORE EVEN PLAYING THAT GAME. It's something that has plauged this community-in which I can admit to falling into in the past (I don't believe on here though)-for a long time. It makes me want to cry out to developers/publishers on the off-chance of reading this to personally speak out against fanboys crying out with reviews that go against the grain.

This is where I recently ran into a dilemma myself. If you check my public profile, you'll see I gave Resistance 3 a 7.7. It may seem like a random number, but I found it to be .5 points less as a 2011 fps than Resistance 1 was as a 2006 fps. Despite the fact that I personally believed the vast majority of fps fans (around 90%) will enjoy this game overall and highly recommended it, I'm still greeted with cries of scoring the game too low. Despite being called biased against the PS3, I'll go on record saying Resistance 3 would've scored a 9.5-10 by me had they kept the 8 MMO-lite co-op mode from Resistance 2 and kept the competitive MP player count higher than almost all other fps' on the market, like Resistance 1's fourty-player count and Resistance 2's sixty-player count.

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http://www.metacritic.com/m...

Despite the 95 metascore, The Social Network has to deal with David Edelstein's 60. Upon further study I discovered this reviewer gave "Avatar" a 100, despite that having a low 80's metacritc average. I've decided that I need some n4g users with enough time on their hands to help me uncover if Mr. Edelstein has any sort of bias towards David Fincher's directing, Jesse Eissenberg's acting, and/or Aaron Sorkin's screenwriting.

If this guy thinks he can get away with smearing one of Fincher's greatest works and praising a sci-fi film that lost to the director's 2nd (or is it 3rd?) ex-wife, then he's got another thing coming. Objectively speaking, "The Social Network" was considered runner-up to "The King's Speech" (2010 Best Picture winner) while "Avatar" was just...

You see what's going on?

It didn't matter what Avatar's metascore was. In the end, most considered it runner-up to "The Hurt Locker" (2009 Best Picture winner). Despite my feelings of finding Avatar to be mediocre, I'm still able to recognize different opinions from my own, and understand what average critics/movie-goers thought of the film. It's not a case of me being wrong or right, it's a case of me understanding-and possibly relating-to the context of their review.

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In the end, metacritic shouldn't really be the ultimate barometer of success to a game. What happened to posters who found inFamous 2 (83 metacritic rating) to be their personal GOTY in July/August? Of course, opinions can change. It just seems odd to see a community defend a low 80's as a great score (which it is) to seeing those same "gamers" fight tooth and nail over Uncharted 3 having one more average point than Gears of War 3.

-Alpha  +   1107d ago
It's not, but I remember it being heavily used as the go-to source for Uncharted 2's "Perfection" status. The 96 UC2 MC score, as well as the game's numerous awards were used as sources for UC2's greatness around here. Only recently have I heard people on here negating MC altogether.

MC is just the next logical authority after individual reviews. Like it or not, reviews are used to validate the worthiness of a game, and MC is the sum of the media, thus it will be used to validate "objective" or "universal" values to a game

When it comes to GOTY worthiness, there is no real barometer. A community like the Gamespot forums recognizes whatever Gamespot says as an official GOTY.

N4G using MC as the go-to site simply happens because this site doesn't have an affiliating "official" source for reviews
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coolbeans  +   1107d ago
I'm not trying to say we should disregard MC entirely or not have a central hub for game review scores. My goal was a bit different in this blog.

"When it comes to GOTY worthiness, there is no real barometer"

When looking at certain posts on here, I don't think that's the case. I sometimes get the feeling that some people fail to recognize that both a 9 and a 10-and everything in between-fall under the category for "universal acclaim" on MC.
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RedDead  +   1106d ago
N4G should hire a reviewer. Or get Cat to do it
StraightPath  +   1106d ago
this year Uncharted is a runner up there are higher rated games then it.
coolbeans  +   1105d ago
Sigh...Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen.
PhoenixDevil  +   1107d ago
The whole system of scoring with gaming reviews is pointless, I've always had the view that game reviews should not have any sort of numerical score.

First and foremost there is no 'Standard' for any game nothing for it to be back measured too in a clear way, instead we get these very random scores on parts of the game. Example graphics, Skyrim is a beautiful open world game with lots of detail in the majority of places variety of environments. Uncharted 3 a brilliant well told linear adventure game with amazing graphics and motion capture giving a beautiful cinematic experience. So which one of those gets a higher score for graphics?

Most aspect of game reviews can boil down similarly to the graphic example, the story, the gameplay, online etc. This all goes back to the 'standard' when all these games are given a total out of 100 they should be standardised in such a way that you could justify which game was the best (and therefore GOTY) based on the weighted balanced scores, in this case metacritic. So really I wouldn't mind the concept of GOTY being based off the best average review score were the reviewing system more stable.

This is before we even get to the fact most reviews are opinion based from one person or one group of people and the gamers opinions matter equally if a standard with these scores were to work then someone who loves open world games like Skyrim should be able to pick up Uncharted and enjoy it a similar amount, this may simply not be the case as they are very different games some will loath the linear story of Uncharted just as some cannot stand the wondering around a big world.

Sticking with the gamers we are actually terrible for encouraging so much belief based upon score as said in the blog people will fight over the score while totally ignoring the content of the review itself. I cannot confirm but strongly believe that many will not read a review just look at the score and go right to the comment section. More fuel is added to the fire when points are knocked for unjust reasons. The solution to all this - remove the scores, simply have a written or video review displaying the facts and the good and the bad about the game, people might still argue that 'oh they knocked the game for this blah' but if that doesn't matter to the person who's going to play the game then its not even a negative to them and thus they'd be happy.

Any thoughts or comments or other solutions reply and I'll get back as soon as. Thanks :)
coolbeans  +   1107d ago
Although I disagreed, I had to give + bubbles for such a well-stated piece. I personally don't want the removal of scores altogether because they're so inherent to our nature thanks to schooling-and other activities. Since childhood, we've needed some kind of stamp or medal that marks our success when words can be easily forgotten. It's just how these numbers are interpreted by the average user that needs an overhaul.

Just like in my Social Network part of the blog, that reviewer who gave it a 60 on metacritic still recognizes that it's a "fresh" movie on rottentomatoes. That means that yellows like Edelstein's on metacritic (50's-74's) don't always mean the reviewer found the game to be bad, or even "mediocre". He just found faults that made the movie 'only' above average compared to almost everyone else thinking it was flawless.

I can appreciate sites like Kotaku not bothering with numbers or letter grades, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone should be like that. There's room for both scored reviews and solely-written reviews.
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kramun  +   1106d ago
'Although I disagreed, I had to give + bubbles for such a well-stated piece'

The guy is replying to you. It's not a 'piece', it's a reply. He isn't trying to make an article, he is simply responding to you.
PhoenixDevil  +   1107d ago
You raise some good points about the scoring system, I totally agree that as we grow up from childhood we are given the idea of quantitative ratings, so I appreciate that there are scoring systems and weighted averages on those results such as sites like metacritic, however where I don't like these things is on the comparison side of things.

As you stated any points between 90-100 in a metacritic rating shouldn't be used as a benchmark for GOTY because the types of games are different and deserve their scores based on different factors which can't be generalised, for instances a game like Uncharted 3 is praised for its outstanding single player while games like Modern Warfare 3 are built upon online popularity, this is where I do not like the scoring rating that is currently used as these both could be GOTY contenders but for very different reasons with that in mind I go back to agree with the point of the blog which is that metacritic scores should not be used as a barometer in order to prove GOTY worthiness

I think I'd be happy with reviews were in not for the community being so uptight about them, as you said it happens with popular game reviews all the time fans feel scores are unjustified and will think they know better without having played the game. Also when good scores, such as 9s or high 8s are being touted as bad I don't think its healthy for the reviewers or the attitude of the community encouraging it, I saw the other day an article about Modern Warfare 3s user metacritic rating being 2.somthing this destructive nature of abusing review scores means that genuine reviews are not taken as seriously because of this and ruins the point of reviews

On reflection I don't think that scores do need to be removed from reviews instead I think my problem is more with the community of gamers that wont stand for anything to be said against their favourite games (I'm even a little guilty of that myself at times) but as long as there are proper well written and balanced reviews with or without scores I don't mind. Thanks for the reply its always nice to debate on these kinda things and well written blog :)
coolbeans  +   1106d ago
With posts like these, I'm wondering why you don't have 8 or 9 bubbles by now. Perhaps you're TOO kind for this place :P.

Funny enough, I can actually agree that having more gaming sites switch over from grades to just written material in some cases. I can't imagine there would've been any fallout of honestgamer's credibility had that reviewer who gave UC3 a 4/10 just ended with "It's not bad, but I can't recommend it to anyone" and then leave out the 4 entirely. Instead of being called a "hit monger", everyone would've just ironically called him an honest gamer.

Not to say that website shouldn't use a number grade anymore; only using that example as a way to show how extreme and unnecessary things can become when fanboys show their fangs over disagreeable scores.
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PhoenixDevil  +   1106d ago
Aww thanks :P you're to kind to me there, part of the reason I probably don't have that many bubbles is cause I've been on this site for 2 years check it daily and don't comment all that often, and when I do its kinda on this stuff and not the big main articles, I just like to read the comments on those more flame fuelled articles but I really enjoy talks about these kinda things and that's when the wall of text appears :P

The honest gamers review of Uncharted 3 actually held some really valid points and yeah that would not have attracted any attention if people didn't blow the score out of proportion I'm actually waiting to see a similar kind of review on Skyrim from someone otherwise I may have to break some hearts and call it out on how bad a game that it is in certain ways

This has been a good blog/discussion nice to hear about the other ways around the metacritic score stuff, if you have any other of these sort of things you want some opinions about I'm always up for it just give me a PM, thanks again :)
PhantomTommy  +   1105d ago
Great blog, things ain't gonna change though, you can bet all your schrute bucks on that.
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