Game Reviews – Are 'Perfect' Scores Ruining the Media's Credibility?

With my 40th birthday fast approaching (a little too quickly for my liking I might add), I think it would be fair to say that I've been playing video games for a pretty long time now. Ever since, in fact, I was 4-years-old and first managed to get my hands on our family's Acorn Electron. - Looking back at gaming during that time, however, it was significantly more of a roulette wheel than it is today.

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sourOG63d ago

Numeric scores are only good for manipulating the gullible. People that do embargo reviews don’t even finish games. My scale is:
1) day one
2) sale
3) skip

Fluttershy7763d ago

But some games you need to get them on day one: if you are into fighting games you have to... New World launch today, maybe you can wait like a week, but part of the fun of these type of games is getting them day one

sourOG63d ago

All competitive gamers know that though. If you jump into a game 4 months after launch after people have already learned maps and exploits it’s going to be a steep learning curve.

I think you are correct though, a fighting game rarely gets the “sale” option for me. It’s either day one or a skip. Unless I’m just buying it to play single player. But that sentiment crosses genres and it is more fun to be a part of the learning curve.

z2g63d ago

yup. I've seen reviews that give a game a 10 and then in the review complain about things that aren't prefect... well... if its a 10 those complaints shouldn't be in there. a 10 is flawless. no problems. I've also seen games where 15 reviews are in the 6's and 7's then suddenly a 10 pops up out of nowhere... then you look into it and you realize that its usually an exclusive game being reviewed by a dude who clearly has allegiance to one platform over another.

zacfoldor63d ago (Edited 63d ago )

If a 10 was flawless, no game could ever get a 10. So the scale would have a spot no game would reach. Just imagine that "perfect" is a 10.1 and 10 is "almost perfect."

zacfoldor63d ago (Edited 63d ago )

Metadata is based on the principle of the law of large numbers. In probability and statistics, the law states that was the number of samples increases, the mean moves closer to an average of the sampled group. Like if you flip a coin 5 times, you might get heads/tales in some weird ratio, however, as many more instances of the coin flip are recorded, the ratio would move towards the known ratio of 50/50.

Raw data points(like reviews) might tell us little of value by themselves(just like in the above example, any single coin flip isn't super relevant to the whole). Just datapoints to help us make a decision. Having them become too persuasive(or weighting certain reviews/data points without logical reasoning and then presenting an affected final figure) could be a problem, but I'm not convinced that sales are directly based on metacritic reviews besides small bumps. Tales of Arise got great reviews, and hopefully sells well, but review scores on metacritic do not linearly scale with how much money a game makes. In movies and games we've see example of high metascores bomb and low ones rake in the money.

When I use metacritic to help me make my decision, I'm using many data points along with my personal experience as well as watching reviews, gameplay, ect, and using my past knowledge to know who is most likely to deliver what I'm looking for. When one says they ignore metacritic because they know a youtuber they "always agree with," it is not I who is letting someone else make their decision for them.

sourOG63d ago

The average view only matters to the average. I would call a person that bases their purchase on a youbtuber they like “more credible” than a person that bases their purchase on a collective including the majors like ign and polygon. I’d rather watch some rando guy play an early build on twitch than hear the major media nuance about deep seeded systemic issues. The dev diaries are awesome. Nobody that would be on this site searching for game news should be basing any personal opinion or argument on metacritic. Unless you are talking about the manipulation of the average with the law of averages. That’s true, metacritic does matter and that’s why devs like Cory Barlog cries when the reviews come out. Metacritic can absolutely make or break a dev and it’s unfortunate.

spss1163d ago

My bar for a 10/10 game is RDR2 on PS4. I've never had a crash, glitch, or any bug while playing it. I know some people disliked the slower pace and realism, but I loved it. My favorite game last gen, easily.

Fluttershy7763d ago (Edited 63d ago )

For me it's Skyrim: full of glitches, crashes, bugs, basic mechanics and aged very poorly... Sometimes it was so boring, I did everything, I don't want to play it again.
But at the time... at the time it was offering me something unique, something new that felt like a real adventure... The music is engraved in my soul, l remember looking for hours how to get to that Dragon Temple in the Top of the mountain... and that's just a tiny memory of that game... Is not a perfect game but it felt perfect for the time.

So that's what I want from a game: I don't care if it's a glitchy mess but be ambitious and give me something new

jartoon63d ago

The problem with this article's argument is that it assumes "perfect" means "perfect for everyone"... The reviewer is only one person, and if person X felt game Y was one of the best games X has ever played, then a 10 is totally reasonable. Nobody who's truly researching reviews to decide whether or not to buy a game should rely on one single reviewer. This is actually what Metacritic IS good for-- not for the "average score" but for a bunch of reviews from different people on a single page, where one can easily find out what the recurring comments & themes in these reviews were, and then make an informed decision based on a variety of opinions.

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