Should review scores be abolished?

General and high profile video game topics.
gleebergloben1
Posts: 687
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby gleebergloben1 » October 14th, 2014, 3:15 pm

Reviews need to be clear, concise, and informative, with a clear review score. Like this one:

http://dmrozek.websitetoolbox.com/post/the-satirical-yet-not-so-satirical-neogeo-pocket-pacman-review-2845528?highlight=andrew&pid=27465994#post27465994

Vexer1
Posts: 883
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Vexer1 » October 14th, 2014, 4:32 pm

Having played quite a bit of Alien Isolation(i'm currently on mission 15 out of 18) I have to sort of agree with IGN, I don't get all those people raving about how "Scary" that game, I personally have so far not felt much in the way of real tension, suspense or scares from the game(I honestly thought Colonial Marines had more tension then this game does), when the alien kills it's more annoying then surprising, even on easy mode the game gets a bit too cheap for it's own good at times(I.E. the nest area).

People on comments sections can be pretty horrible sometimes, I dared to post a somewhat critical post on the game in PC Gamer and some assh*les just insulted me for no reason, saying I only liked "action" games and couldn't handle games that didn't "hold my hand", tried to explain my reasons but there was just absolutely no reasoning with those jerks at all.

Like Atarifever said, the biggest problem with review scores is that people fixate on them way too much and often ignore the actual content of the review itself, and I think removing review scores altogether would end asinine debates like the ones on IGN(or at least greatly reduce them).


scotland171
Posts: 816
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby scotland171 » October 15th, 2014, 7:14 am

I will put on my laconic hat. An issue is that a score is a single number with limited informational content. Instead, a distribution or at least other additional measures like range of review scores is warranted.

The statistically savvy will understand.

Atarifever1
Posts: 3892
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Atarifever1 » October 15th, 2014, 9:56 am

[QUOTE=scotland17]I will put on my laconic hat. An issue is that a score is a single number with limited informational content. Instead, a distribution or at least other additional measures like range of review scores is warranted. The statistically savvy will understand. [/QUOTE]

Interesting idea.  A nice bar graph with the range or standard deviation indicated would be neat when comparing games. 

Apparently Metacritic et al. do at least weight scores (so they give more weight to a review from IGN than from Nintendo Life), but that's not really helping much, as who is to say IGN is "better" at reviews than other sites?

Rev1
Posts: 1777
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Rev1 » October 15th, 2014, 7:03 pm

[QUOTE=Atarifever][QUOTE=Rev][QUOTE=Vexer]

I just don't get why people want to skim over reviews, I really don't see how time is an issue as it doesn't take that along to read a review(even a full page one only takes about five minutes to read).

[/QUOTE]

I can definitely understand that but we live in a busy world....[/QUOTE]

Minor note: No, we do not.  We have more time and ease than at any point in history, but we think we are busy because we consider consumption (both of physical and digital goods) a job.  Reading game reviews is not being busy.  That is leisure.  You can't be too busy with leisure.  Anyone skipping reading reviews is skipping something that is an enjoyable waste of time so they can hurry up and get to wasting money so they can waste time on something else, so they can decide 10 hours in that they really just want the next thing to waste their time and money on anyway.  [/QUOTE]

Hmm... I get your point but I completely disagree.

Take people with families for example, more then ever before both partners are working to support themselves and their family. It used to be that many couples used to simply have 1 person stay home (usually women) but that isn't the case anymore. Also what about students who support themselves? More people then ever before are going to college at night while working during the day (or vice versa). I worked full time and went to school full time for 6 years before I graduated college (went 12 hours a semester but that's still a lot of dedication when your spending 40 hours a week at a job and you get home and have homework, tests, and papers to write). Also, people who have jobs are being asked to spend more time at work and multitask to help streamline businesses. If they can have 1 person do three jobs why pay 3 people for it? Sure technology makes things easier but that doesn't do much.

Got a better car with great gas mileage? Well, awesome now you can work further away and get paid more. Many people live quite a ways from their job, traveling 50+ minutes just to get to work one way.

I think in many ways you are right, that things have never been more convenient then they are right now. Still with convenience comes more time to do other things. Got something done quicker because of that new software the company bought? Awesome, here is 1000 more to finish before you leave for the day. Picking one leisure over the other doesn't suddenly make your life busy, but that wasn't what I was saying. A lot of people don't have a ton of time, so it's unfair to say that all people who are busy only are because they consider consumption a job. Maybe they need 3 jobs not to buy the next best car but because they can barely afford the roof over their head.

Anyway, that's what I meant by "busy". If you're a busy person maybe you don't have time to read all the game reviews you could ever want, so review scores become a great way to skim through the garbage.

Atarifever1
Posts: 3892
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Atarifever1 » October 15th, 2014, 8:05 pm

Great reply Rev.  However, if you are "more busy" depends a lot on who you compare to doesn't it?   

Funny you should mention the three jobs thing.  There were pretty deep cuts at my institution (like a 15% layoff or more), and through some miracle, I'm still there.  However, not a word of a lie, I now hold what was originally three positions (with no raise for the added workload).  An hour and a half commute is part of two of those 3 jobs now too.  But hey, I have two and a half offices now and get paid for the commute, so there's that. [smile]  

Anyway, I still only consider myself as busy as my Father was.  Dad used to go to work 5:30AM, because the Shipyard expected everyone in before 7, even though that was technically unpaid overtime until 8:00 or so.  My Father's attitude was basically that that was just how it was done.  And in his off time, his hobbies generally involved the sorts of household repairs I would pay a person to do.  And he also volunteered with a neighbourhood beautification committee, the Scouting movement, and our Church's cemetery committee.  

And the previous generation to that here in rural Newfoundland?  Forget about it.  We're talking days spent out in tiny open boats blistering your hands and hoping you didn't drown and winters spent in the woods to earn enough not to starve.  Unless you were lucky like my Mother's father and got a super sweet gig at a mine.  Then you had a car and everything, until you died from the uranium exposure when you were forty.  Then my Nan got to work two or three jobs to make ends meet AND raise four kids.  Dad's Mom wasn't that busy though, she just had to care for her nine children.  

I don't consider my life half as busy as it would have been in the 50s and 60s, or any more busy than my Father or Mother.  

Full disclosure though, my wife works in the home babysitting, so we don't have childcare to worry about.  However, to be fair, I'm also on three volunteer boards of directors at local non profit groups, and am in a couple faith based groups, and am a leader in the scouting movement, so there's that.  [smile]  I'm busy, but certainly not to the point of finding reading a review of something I love to be difficult.  Still, maybe I'm odd person out these days.

Vexer1
Posts: 883
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Vexer1 » October 15th, 2014, 10:14 pm

Even with being busy like that I still don't see how reading a review takes up that much time, the way I see it is if you manage to find time to play video games in spite of being busy, then it's not too much of a stretch that you should also have time to read about video games.

Rev1
Posts: 1777
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Rev1 » October 16th, 2014, 7:36 am

1 review doesn't take much time. 20 reviews takes much more time. One of the side effects of no review scores (or something comparable) means you have one less way to filter what you read. I think most people can agree that they have time to read 1 review but that isn't what you're saying. You are saying that we should abolish all review scores so unless you are just picking games at random or looking only for things that could possibly be interesting you are reading every review. Either way you run a good chance of missing a game that you may not have considered before. Still, it's only one of many ways people hear about games but by abolishing review scores you are removing one more tool that people use to research games.

Atarifever1
Posts: 3892
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby Atarifever1 » October 16th, 2014, 10:13 am

[QUOTE=Rev]1 review doesn't take much time. 20 reviews takes much more time. One of the side effects of no review scores (or something comparable) means you have one less way to filter what you read. I think most people can agree that they have time to read 1 review but that isn't what you're saying. You are saying that we should abolish all review scores so unless you are just picking games at random or looking only for things that could possibly be interesting you are reading every review. Either way you run a good chance of missing a game that you may not have considered before. Still, it's only one of many ways people hear about games but by abolishing review scores you are removing one more tool that people use to research games.[/QUOTE]

I don't know.  I tend to use things like reccomendations here on the boards ans site to determine if I want to play a game.  For older systems and newer ones, there are great full length reviews available all over the place.  And if you type "best games for *insert genre* on *insert system* into google or youtube you can get instant reccomendations, with reasoning.  You can do similar searches for "best non violent first person games", or "hidden gems for X console" or "most overlooked shooters" etc.   With youtube let's plays, "best of" reccomendation lists, forums, quick shot reviews, long form reviews, deep genre history guides, video reviews, 100 games in X minutes videos, etc. it seems to me scores are possibly the worst way to find games worth playing, and are, thus, the bigger waste of time.  

Knowing Destiny has a 77% might turn someone off from it.  Meanwhile, a "let's play" video not only shows them what the game is about, but also demonstrates how it is played.  With the ton of people still playing Destiny, I would assume in many cases, seeing how it plays would win over a ton of people who would have been turned off by the review scores.  Given how quick a "let's Play" is, isn't that a better use of limited time than searching metacritic? 

I really don't think of review scores as a tool anymore.  It's like batting average.  People might argue that batting average is one tool for assessing how good a baseball player is.  I would argue it is a completely useless number that actually provides no usefull information about a player, making it less of a tool than nothing at all.  Similarly, deciding based on some number what games might be worth your time, regardless of personal preferences, past experience with games, personal motivation for playing, financial considerations, genre burnout, franchise fatigue, and a pile of other considerations makes the scoring pointless.  Some of my favourite games score low, and some of the best scoring games do nothing for me.  If I "weeded" games out based on score and not review content or personal reccomendations, I'd be wasting my time by paying attention to many things that wouldn't appeal to me, and missing some really great experiences I would love. 

You can use a blunt insturment like review scores to "speed up" a search, but you're not getting good search results doing that, so you're actually wasting time. 

I want you to compare the Metacritic top scores list of games:
http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/release-date/available/ps2/metascore

To the user score rating (you can hover to see which have too few scores to really qualify)
http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/release-date/available/ps2/userscore

In particular, check out both the Dynasty Warriors games, Drakengard, and Predator: Concrete Jungle.

Is there really enough agreement to argue this is a good tool? 


scotland171
Posts: 816
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Should review scores be abolished?

Postby scotland171 » October 16th, 2014, 1:02 pm

Consider job applicants submitting resumes like game reviews. Resumes do not come with overall scores. If there are a few, read the resumes. If there are many, a filter is needed. Someone skims resumes looking for keywords, and awards points, and the top few scores get an interview. If game reviews lacked scores, the same thing would happen.

To choose between three major consoles does not need a filter, but to choose amongst a legion of games does. Scores are useable filter, but there are others, like 'Games that defined the X console'. They are essentially the games with the top scores. Personal things like genre fatigue matter, but those will just be YMMV modifiers to the score.

I give review scores a 7 out of 10 for usefulness.


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