7/10: The review problem

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Opinion: Metacritic, 'bribes' and the MW3 storm - John Dean thinks the attack on game reviewers has got out of hand

Up until just a few years ago, the only shudders you'd associate with the word 'seven' revolved around Brad Pitt and a small cardboard box. Now however, it seems that times have changed.... read more

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7/10: The review problem

Postby NEO_SUPERMAN » 17 Nov 2011, 13:57

Good article, well written.

I give it 7/10.
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7/10: The review problem

Postby TheCrimsonFenix » 17 Nov 2011, 14:08

If you bitch at a review all because it didn't get the exact score that you wanted, you're a f**king idiot.
If you skip straight to the end of a review because the score is the only thing that matters to you and is the one thing that is determining your purchase, you're an idiot.

Scores do nothing more than give certain people an excuse to measure. Get rid of scores all together and write a decent review because the information in it is all that matters. All the info you're after for the game is in the review. As many points about the game as can be are in the review. Any questions you have about the game are likely to be answered in the review so what difference does a score which is only one person's opinion make other than to say one thing is better than another? No difference, that's what.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby dannyhulse » 17 Nov 2011, 14:08

Don't use review scores, problem solved.
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7/10: The review problem

Postby bamozzy » 17 Nov 2011, 14:10

To be honest with you, its not the review that I have issue with, but the inconsistency of the reviewer. Take the Eurogamer review of Uncharted 3 (whose main criticism was the Linear gameplay) now if that reviewer than goes on to praise BF3 or MW3's campaign (both are which are also very linear) then the credibility of the reviewer is lost.

More and more often, it seems, that one reviewer will praise one game but condemn another for doing something similar. Maybe its time to start looking at alternative methods of 'scoring' games.

Maybe instead of an overall score out of 100, the games should be broken down into sub-categories (i.e. gameplay, graphics, etc and then the overall score should be the sum total of all the categories added together - not averaged.

So if there was 5 sub-categories all scored out of 20 - the overall score would be the sum total of all 5 categories added together to give an overall score out of 100. Personally I love Uncharted 3 but I don't think it would have scored 100 using this method
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby FallenDesire » 17 Nov 2011, 14:17

Its the double standards of some reviewers that annoy me. Take Dynasty Warriors as an example. IGN gave DWG3 a 4. If you read the review its clear they couldn't be bothered to review it and said its the same as those that came before it. Then they give MW3 a 9 despite being almost exactly the same as its predecessors.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby slick loose » 17 Nov 2011, 14:20

I review this a 10/10, spot on!

I'm just waiting for the tirade of people to come here and say they don't care about review scores...which is a blatant lie. If the Uncharted 3 got 2/10 by every reviewer out there...it wouldn't sell, I know I wouldn't of bought it!

Personally I just want the review scores to go back to the way they used to be, when a 5/10 meant average...not a broken disgrace of a game. And 7/10 actually meant the game was good!
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby flash501 » 17 Nov 2011, 14:24

While I do believe that games are generally getting scored too highly, to be blunt, I think that the main problem is that the majority of gamers are juvenile idiots who think anything under an 8 is a disaster.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby beemoh » 17 Nov 2011, 14:24

I do hope that one day we'll grow out of the whole "Get rid of scores!" thing, which rarely, if ever, has any real thought put into it and is more to do with change for the sake of change than it is something that will make reviews inherently 'better'.

That aside, though, I agree with much of the article. Reviewers get an awful lot of flack from all sides- if they score too high, it's all moneyhats and four-point-scales, and if they score too low, it's because they've got their head up their arse or are looking for attention.

The games press could afford to review more bad games, though- the highly selective review process does invite a lot of lazy criticism.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby kirinnokoshin » 17 Nov 2011, 14:25

The said Gamespot reviewer who covered Skyward Sword gave my favourite portable game of the year Steel Diver a 'Poor' 4.5.

As a result, his assessment of Skyward Sword was about as glowing a recommendation as I ever could have reasonably expected!
Last edited by kirinnokoshin on 17 Nov 2011, 14:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby MPH » 17 Nov 2011, 14:25

NEO_SUPERMAN wrote:Good article, well written.

I give it 7/10.


I expected a 10/10. You've given no reason for the shortfall of 3 points that would have made it a perfect score. God you suck as a reviewer. I bet you've received a bribe from another journalist! :wink:
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby AvatarIII » 17 Nov 2011, 14:27

the problem isn't that people consider 7/10 a bad score, the problem is that there are too many good games, and games cost quite a lot of money, and money is tight everywhere, people look at these scores as an easy way to help them choose which game to buy. people don't want to have to buy both MW3 and BF3, they want one to get a significantly lower score than the other, a couple of decimal points isn't going to cut it. similar scores causes indecision, which causes frustration, which causes anger, which causes hate. and that's why everyone is flaming off about the situation.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby TheCrimsonFenix » 17 Nov 2011, 14:31

bamozzy wrote:To be honest with you, its not the review that I have issue with, but the inconsistency of the reviewer. Take the Eurogamer review of Uncharted 3 (whose main criticism was the Linear gameplay) now if that reviewer than goes on to praise BF3 or MW3's campaign (both are which are also very linear) then the credibility of the reviewer is lost.

More and more often, it seems, that one reviewer will praise one game but condemn another for doing something similar. Maybe its time to start looking at alternative methods of 'scoring' games.

Maybe instead of an overall score out of 100, the games should be broken down into sub-categories (i.e. gameplay, graphics, etc and then the overall score should be the sum total of all the categories added together - not averaged.

So if there was 5 sub-categories all scored out of 20 - the overall score would be the sum total of all 5 categories added together to give an overall score out of 100. Personally I love Uncharted 3 but I don't think it would have scored 100 using this method


If scores have to remain then ^ this ^ is what should be done by default. I'm sure quite a lot of printed games magazines did this like Gamesmaster. Even then though it just ends up coming down to personal opinion of the reviewer. What one may consider an 8/10 in looks, another may consider 10/10 so at the end of the day scores are like marmite. Either scrap scores all together or just come up with a summary at the end of the review (like they already do now anyway) and leave it at that. I may not speak for every gamer on the planet but if I ever read a review these days the only things I'm looking for are replayability/lifespan, gameplay, and whether or not it's fun to play through for the most part. As long as the review itself contains information regarding those areas, I just don't bother looking at the score at the end. The whole approach these days that scores are made with is just all over the place. The second a reviewer gets to the end of writing their own review, they're quickly thinking that they MUST put a number on the end and never give it serious consideration other than thinking, "hmm, if put down a 9, that makes it better than that other game". A game review should be about the game's strengths and weaknesses and never bring in what other game does whatever thing better. If another is better, the reader will understand that based on what has been written and can come to the conclusion themselves.
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7/10: The review problem

Postby Megatrons_Fury » 17 Nov 2011, 14:33

The whole review situation is a complete mess and has been for years.

There was a time where you could pick up a games mag and see a whole slew of releases from 3's to 9's but because of the nature of a printed mag and its ability to tell you something without fear of a huge lash-out from the forums that online sites have the review itself contained a far better explanation of important things like the games camera, game design and longevity, most reviews i read online from places like CVG, JOYSTIQ, DESTRUCTOID,IGN,GAMESPOT,EUROGAMER etc etc seem geared towards things like wow moments and how good the multiplayer is.

Now i fly right in the face of the so called modern gamer because 1.) im old lol and 2.) Online shooters bore me to tears i really want to know how good the single player game is but most importantly how does it play, are the controls tight, is the camera good or does it harm the fun of playing and quite frankly if there is a story is it a good one, do the characters make you empathise with whats going on etc etc, for me a game has such an opportunity to beat things like books and film because you have control over how it goes your not just sitting there watching or reading someone elses take on events.

Anyone who even knows the smallest of things about the games media knows that during the 90's back handers and bribes flew around the place, reviewers would get all sorts of perks from tickets to football matches to actual arcade cabinets turning up with the review copy of a game, several friends of mine work or have worked for companies such as Eidos, Codemasters, EA and Lionhead and some of the things that are done you wouldnt believe if i told you, not that i would because i would never get people into trouble just to make my point.

Nowdays things are a lot better although we all know the fun and games that went on at gamespot a couple of years back so its not totally gone away and as i said before online review sites seem to have such a way about them that i find almost every 10/10 or even 9/10 review to be slightly suspect, i use the uncharted 3 change of control mechanic and total over use of drake fumbling his way through the single player which for a lot of people was a huge problem and almost no review went into any kind of detail about, the next day after release CVG had a story about it full of people saying how much they hated the change and a lot of my friends just did the game on normal and took it straight back.

I have my own system of seeing if something is worth buying and im sure a lot of people on here will do the same thing, i look at gamerankings to see overall averages from multiple review sources combined with the average of user reviews then after looking at moving footage of the actual game make a decision as to buy straight away, rent for a week or wait until it hits that magical 17.95 zavvi mega monday and just get it for the collection. A 7/10 result for me is fine, whats wrong with that score, not every game can be a 9/10 and theres no such thing as a perfect 10/10 game even the real classics like ff7, mario 64, goldeneye etc etc etc are not perfect.

You know theres something wrong with games reviews when people like Jim Sterling and that guy from zero punctuation throw stupid gimmicks onto the screen like jim's constant swearing and Yahzee (or watever his name is) using silly cartoons to get across how much he hates things rather than just telling people the facts, merits and disadvantages of a product. Im not saying dont use humour in a review im just saying make sure the review comes first not the reviewer.

This rant was brought to you by the hurry up and release WRECKED already .............. But whilst you wait play Disgaea 4 party.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby jim2wheels » 17 Nov 2011, 14:37

Personally speaking, I think a dilution of the system is required. When I'm looking at a game there are 3 options open to me.

1:Buy it.
2:Don't buy it.
3:Buy it when it's cheaper.

Easy as.
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Re: 7/10: The review problem

Postby ckempo » 17 Nov 2011, 14:38

Cracking article. More pieces like this please!
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