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Editorial Entertainment Games

Do Game Review Scores Matter? 88

jasoncart writes "This piece on Ferrago discusses the use of review scores and the significance they play in gamers purchasing decisions. Ultimately, according to columnist Ben Parfitt, review scores are pointless." From the article: "Few things wind me up more than when what appeared to be a well-balanced and thoughtful gaming discussion descends into a successive barrage of review scores and Gamerankings ratings."
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Do Game Review Scores Matter?

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  • by Tanmi-Daiow ( 802793 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @06:49PM (#11662639) Journal
    I think that what you should do is read the scores that you want to read but dont believe them to the letter. I read a couple of gaming magazines, i look at the score they give some games and take those into consideration when buying games. I dont put all my faith in those scores but i at least see if other people liked the game and how much. Sometimes they blow certain parts of a game way outta proportion and ive found those kinda features. So i read multiple reviews from different sources of the same game. If all the sources give a decent review, then that also adds to my consideration of the game. So i think you should read them, if you want to, and if you do, take them with a grain of salt and read up on the games and the reviewers both.
    • Yeah, I agree that if you're going to use reviews as part of the decision to purchase a game, you should use several reviews from different sources. I primarlily rely on Maximum PC for advice, but also read other reviews if I seriously consider buying a game. However, frankly, I don't read the reviews seriously unless I'm already interested, which is a logical thing to do. No one actually goes out and buys a game just because it gets high review scores.
      • Exactly, i read reviews in PC Gamer, on,,, etc. But i also talk to friends who have the game and they help make my decisions on games to get. But i never fully rely on the scores.
  • by schild ( 713993 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @06:51PM (#11662667) Homepage Journal
    When game reviewers on the big sites stop writing like robots, maybe [the scores] will stop mattering.

    The best judgement of a game (because of the above), is to see anomalies in listings. If IGN or Gamespot or Gamespy or EGM give a review that seems to be an anomaly, ignore it. It's a bought review.

    Always read the review giving a game the lowest score. Or stop reading reviews with scores altogether. The latter works well for me.
    • Game review scores don't matter. I really think they are usually written by idiots who focus more on graphics and special effects than actual gameplay.

      Read the reviews of the game but in the end don't read the scores they are given, because if the game doesn't require a computer faster than has ever been built to render it will not display well.
    • by golgotha007 ( 62687 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:10PM (#11662810)
      If IGN or Gamespot or Gamespy or EGM give a review that seems to be an anomaly, ignore it. It's a bought review.

      You can be sure that at [] there are no bought reviews. In fact, in certain situations we've even received hate email by developers and publishers for not praising their game. We report what we consider to be fair and just, despite all the buzz.

      Of course, not everyone should trust a single reviewer's opinion over a particular title. That's why we have a special section (Newest Games []) in our forums to let new games fall under even more scrutiny by our members.

      Between reading a review and following up on other gamers opinions, one should have a rough idea if the game is worth purchasing.
      • You can be sure that at there are no bought reviews. In fact, in certain situations we've even received hate email by developers and publishers for not praising their game. We report what we consider to be fair and just, despite all the buzz.

        The upside to that is if you don't get angry when a game is poorly-received, it means that you weren't passionate enough about making it. :) Of course, yelling at your reviewers [] may not work out so well in your favor, either. I'm always reluctant to contac
      • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @10:53PM (#11664342)

        Gamers might not get money for review scores, but you guys seem to have an uncanny ability to give scores thatseem to match the text of the reviews. For example:

        Building on the success of Metroid Prime, developer Retro Studios has unleashed another masterpiece with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. While investigating a distress signal on the mysterious planet Aether, bounty hunter Samus Aran finds herself caught in a war between two warring factions, the peaceful dwellers of the light world, the Luminoth, and the evil creatures of the dark world, the Ing. The sequel features improved graphics, a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, new weapons, suits, and visors for Samus to use, as well as a host of menacing creatures to blast and puzzles to solve. There's also a tacked on multiplayer mode that, while not exactly as thrilling as other deathmatch games on the market, will still manage to suck away a few hours of your life. Beautiful, intense, and full of high production values, Metroid Prime 2 Echoes is one of 2004's greatest games.

        And, right after claiming it's one of the best games of the year, the score is 3/5. The same score that "Hamtaro ham-ham games" and "The punisher", where the text of the review says "but to spend $49.99 on this game only proves that you're either a huge Punisher fan (which is fine) or that you enjoy "punishing" yourself". To me, that makes as much sense as Chewbacca living in Endor.

        Bigger sites coomit the same sin (just read the Halo 2 review in gamespot, and then look at the score), but if you guys want to gain the audience that gamers once had, you have to do better than this.

        • Bigger sites coomit the same sin (just read the Halo 2 review in gamespot, and then look at the score), but if you guys want to gain the audience that gamers once had, you have to do better than this.

          And you have to stop halting my experience with full screen ads every page because I refuse to let you put a tracking cookie on my computer. The "Click here to skip this ad" is also barely visible in Firefox.

          I know you need to feed the bandwidth family, but please come up with a less obtrusive advertisin
          • Thanks for letting us know about this issue.
            This type of ad is called a rich media ad. You should only see it once every 100 times you visit, so we didn't think it was that much of an intrusion. Personally, I've never seen the ad (and I go to the site 10 times a day).

            However, the entire reason we exist is for people like yourself, so I'm going to forward this up the chain and see if we can come up with a better solution.
            • I'd never been to your site or heard of it - despite the easily remembered title.

              The rich media ad could be dumped easily by moving the advertisment below the fold on the left to the right above the fold. Stretch out the top banners, make the page your typical 3 column jobber, and boom, you've got more advertising space above the fold and it's relatively unintrusive. Of you can go the route we went at f13 and make everything modular.

              On another note, if you want to convince people that your ads are worth r
    • The best judgement of a game (because of the above), is to see anomalies in listings. If IGN or Gamespot or Gamespy or EGM give a review that seems to be an anomaly, ignore it. It's a bought review.

      You have this backwards. Anomalies are usually the independent reviews, and will more often than not give you closer to a "true" score for a game (if there is such a thing - games are pretty subjective, moreso than a lot of other "arts").

      Actually, based on my five years in the game industry, f
  • article summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evilmousse ( 798341 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @06:52PM (#11662668) Journal

    a system meant to reduce all that is to be said about a game to a single-digit number somehow leaves the smaller nuances unsaid.

  • Well, duh. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The statements in the article seem so practically self-evident that they're almost not worth saying... since the dumb kids who get obsessed over numbers STILL won't listen no matter how many times you try to explain. :)

    For game review figures I mostly only care about very rough breakdowns... THe five-stars system is good that way because it gives you a rough idea of "Terrible" "Poor" "Okay" "Good" "Great" without getting all hung up on whether game x is .15 better than game y. Then you read the review for
  • Answer: NO! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oldosadmin ( 759103 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @06:58PM (#11662718) Homepage
    Until I see a game developed by an AAA game developing company rated at a 1 or a 0, their ratings hold no power in my book. If they think all high-budget games are "excellent" to the point of having 9.x ratings out of 10, then I certainly don't trust their opinion.
    • Re:Answer: NO! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 )
      "Until I see a game developed by an AAA game developing company rated at a 1 or a 0, their ratings hold no power in my book. If they think all high-budget games are "excellent" to the point of having 9.x ratings out of 10, then I certainly don't trust their opinion."


      Not challenging ya really, I was just wondering if a AAA game company released a 1.0 stinker.
    • Until I see a game developed by an AAA game developing company rated at a 1 or a 0, their ratings hold no power in my book

      Oh, I think I remember one []. Worst $4.99 bargain bin buy ever...

      (your point still stands)
      • I was going to point out another deeply flawed game, Master of Orion 3, as an example of a game which was rightfully panned by critics. Then I realized IGN gave it a 93.

        At least it competes for title of Worst 4.99 bargain bin buy ever.

        • While MOO III was a botched game, you'd have to purposely try to get one worse than this.

          • What, with a developer's website this good []?

            We combine stong management ( with our Santa Monica, CA based headquarters ) with superb creative, yet non expensive development teams in Russia. This allows our clients to cut development expenses 3-5 times comparing to cost of local European or US development team or employees. At same time we provide instant feedback to our clients, thanks to our management offices in Los Angeles and London.

            And, apparently, their writing is outsourced to Bangladesh. But hey
  • by Nine Tenths of The W ( 829559 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:13PM (#11662825)
    A:Yes, but not as much as advertising budgets.
    • good point, especially if you include in the marketing budget money to 'entertain' the staff of less reputable magazines who are rather loose with their score system, just prior to your big game release...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:19PM (#11662876)
    Scores do have a place in reviews, I use them as a guide to which games I should look into further and which games I should not waste my time on. It is of course best to look at at least 3-4 reviews of a game you are considering buying and see if you can get a demo before you put down your hard earned dosh.
  • by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:27PM (#11662927)

    Professional reviews are useful for a very general overview of a game, but usually it is easier to find important details at places like GameFaqs. People posting on their own without a profit motive are more likely to mention that a game is really short or overly linear, for example. Of course the noise to signal ratio is very high, but the information is there for people with a little patience.
    • I still like the It gives you an overview of what 20 sites rate 1 game. Overall it's best to listen to the toughest critics. If the toughest critics say it's good, it's good.

    • I actually tend to ignore indie reviews, for the same reason people tend to ignore for the most part, the only people likely to rate the game in a public domain are the ones that are passionate about their opinion in either direction. A quick tally of all the "BEST GAME EVAR OMG!!!" and "TIHS GAME IS TEH SKUC!!" reviews is testament to this.

      • You are right, but if the indy reviews are read properly, there can be a useful nugget of information that is absent from professional reviews. If a game is particularly buggy, there will be no question of it on the discussion boards, for example.
    • A warning about, many reviews are by fanboys. You usually see a game getting 8-10's with titles liek "AMAZING!!!" or "Best Game...Ever". If you do use GameFAQs, look at the lower numbers. They hold more truths about the game, rather than people praising it.
  • Does anyone subjective view on anything have a place in my life?

    I personally thought kill bill 1 and 2 were so pretentious, oh, but they were cool movies, and how dare I speak out against them... people seem to think you are challenging them if you do not agree with thier movie viewing habits.

    Look, kill bill(s) were shit IMHO. ok, deal with it, love it. move on.

    Game reviews on the other hand, or music reviews. If you look at the Lemon Jelly website they are talking about thier mixed reviews, some say it
  • by sien ( 35268 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:38PM (#11663001) Homepage
    Film reviews have the same problems and the same methods can be used to get useful information.

    Sites like game rankings [] give you the review numbers from a number of sites. Given that you get a fairly good idea of where a game sits. For films movies [] does the same for films. Given that and active reviewers on the site gives you a fair idea of what is good.

    Knowing your reviewers is the other way to get good information. If you regularly read a particular reviewer you'll get a good idea about what they like and what they don't like. This is easier with films than games, but still possible.

    Reviews are definitely subjective, but are still a useful way to make your money and time go further and if a bit of thought is used are well worth looking at.

    • A way better site is []. They do games, music, books, films and DVD. They also excerpt portions of each review so you can quickly get an idea of what each reviewer said to substantiate their score. (Gamerankings just shows the scores with no excerpts and is a bit better than that.) Whenever I look up stuff in metacritic, I usually look at the comments for the top rated scores and the lowest rated scores and you get a very representative picture.
  • Why bother? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Otter ( 3800 )
    I don't get why people who believe they have something sufficiently important to say that they make the effort to write and publish it, then preface it with some pointlessly inflammatory, entirely offtopic half-witticism that only gets in the way of their point.

    Honestly, why go to that trouble and then distract or drive off a large chunk of your readership?

  • Personally, I think this guy is missing the point of the numerical reviews.

    "Does the quality of a game and the sum of the efforts put into its creation merely boil down to nothing more than a single or double digit number?"

    No. It's a measurement of somebody's reaction to it. It's not a bad one, either. If a game rates an 8.2, for example, then it means that the reviewer thought it was pretty decent, just not earth shattering. If a reviewer says the graphics are 70%, then he's saying that it's not th
    • I don't know why this guy is expecting more of this review system. I don't even know why he's hopping mad about it. He made a comment in the article that somebody gave him some shit about recommending Animal Crossing over Wind Waker with the reasoning that WW had a higher score. Sounds to me like his real problem is with stupid fanboy'ism, not with the reviews themselves.

      No, his problems are with the review scores, and I agree with him. This has also been a debate in the film industry ever since Siskel a
  • I read multiple reviews for their scores, from Game Rankings [], etc. These various sources tell me if the games are good to people or not in an overall picture.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @08:51PM (#11663607)

    The article points out the flawed logic inherent in the system of averaging random scores assigned on a 0-10 scale. Is it possible for a game with an 8.1 average rating to be better than a 9.1 average rating? Yes. Everone is entitled to their own opinions. The author cites an example of where in his opinion a game with an 8.1 rating is more enjoyable than a game with a 9.1. Apparently the author was chastised for expressing his opinion. This is a downside to averaging: it can lead to groupthink.

    But what can we do to combat groupthink? Consider the following simple ranking systems:

    The binary version:

    • 1: Recommended
    • 0: Not Recommended

    The tristate version:

    • 1: Highly Recommended
    • 0: Recommended
    • -1: Not Recommended

    The two-bit version:

    • 2: Highly Recommended
    • 1: Recommended
    • 0: Not Recommended
    • -1: Panned

    At first glance it appears that any one of these systems would work adequately if used consistenly and then averaged for at least 30 reviewers. The average scores should then in theory be meaningful, right? Well unfortunately we have to note the key words there: 'used consistently'. If the reviewers cannot agree on a format, then you have to reduce it to the lowest common denominator. Similarly, many reviewers would simply ignore the 'recommended' option in favor of the extremes. This suggests that perhaps the best option is to average the binary review score.

    But wait! What if the system gets flooded with artificial reviewers? This happened in recent memory when Sony admitted inventing fictitious reviewers to gush about the movie "A Knight's Tale". What if those artificial reviewers get included in the average? That is a serious problem, but it's easily addressed with moderation! Examine each reviewer's track record before adding them to the mix. And then pull any reviewer that is consistently out of touch with reality.

    Recommendation: Find a bunch of games you like and a bunch of games you dislike. To be thorough, you want to find at least 30 in each category. Search out critics that agree with your tastes for at least 2/3 of the titles. Average the opinions of these critics when a new release comes out. If the result comes out at least 2/3 (0.67), then you'll probably like the game.

    Addendum: For better results, you can assign weights to certain critics and then perform a weighted average. For example, you might observe that critic A agrees with you 90% of the time, while critic B only agrees 80% and critic C agrees 70%. In this example,if only C dislikes the game, then your result will be greater than 2/3 (favorable); however, if A dislikes it, then the result will be less than 2/3 (unfavorable). Keep in mind that to be statistically meaningful, you need to have at least 30 reviewers, and also remember that if you get burned by a critic, you can always mod him down. In fact, you could in theory set up a dynamic system that continuously adjusts the weights of reviewers based upon how well they match your opinions.

    A note on resolution: If you're able to get tristate or better "resolution" in your reviewers, more power to you! In fact, I encourage this. However, on a practical note I think it will be difficult to find enough reviewers with a high enough common denominator. Of course, this does not prevent you from assigning special weights to the differing rating systems used by various reviewers. Be creative! Invent your own system. :)

    Pipe dream: It's my personal pipedream to have a website where everybody can register their opinions on various topics. Each person could then seek out (or be matched to) other individuals with similar tastes. People with less time to devote to reviewing things would defer their opinions to others. Eventually this would trickle up to a small set of individuals making recommendation

  • I think this problem stems from the same Spike TV issues. Gamers are stereotyped into A.D.D. MTV junkies. Therefore, we need a concise way of telling them what to buy. Nobody has time to READ anymore...sheesh.. antiquated... Another idea that the current media does not agree with is people making up their own mind. Heaven forbid that we provide them details, and them having to say hmmm...maybe I'll check this out. No that stops right at the A+, or, 4*'s, or three-out-of-four Pac-Men. I
  • by T-Bear ( 31340 ) <> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @09:41PM (#11663913)
    It's all about who's reviewing it and how much you trust them.

    I have a few sources that I trust pretty well. But even *those* it's not what score they give it. It's what they say.
  • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @09:54PM (#11663997) Homepage
    Here is a quote from the article.

    Games should always be considered on their individual merits, on the qualities that they offer and the accomplishments they boast. This can never be distilled into a percentage or ranking out of ten. Hold games up to examination and this evidently becomes the case. For instance, when I reviewed San Andreas I gave it a 90%+ review score. I would not on the other hand award as high a score to something like Castle of Shikigami 2 on the Gamecube though personally I feel it is the better game. It would score lower because it is less technically accomplished, far smaller in scope and offers far less variety. I still prefer it however because what it does it does extremely well and when push comes to shove I would rather play it than San Andreas. That's not to say I think it's more accomplished - I simply prefer it.

    I'd ask the writer of the article this: why the hell did you rate GTA: San Andreas better? This IS the problem with these scores. GTA gets a better score simply because the conventional wisdom says it is a more accomplished game, and NOT because the reviewer actually likes it better. He admits it in the article for all to see. Hype = high scores, and even someone who is writing an article about how the scores don't work is swayed by it.

    This is how a game like Katamari Damacy gets lost in the Half-Life 2s and Halo 2s of the world. Conventional wisdom says that a strange Japanese game with no real storyline, blocky graphics, and simple gameplay is not as "accomplished" as a sci-fi FPS. The $20 price tag alone almost screams "inferior game." But an expensive price, polished graphics, long development cycle, sweeping advertising campaign, and a big booth at E3 are not what makes a good game.
    • Saying that Katamari Damarcy got lost is nuts. Katamari Damarcy is the most hyped up 'sleeper' of the year. You can read about it everywhere.

      Not saying it isn't a good game, but it sure as heck isn't 'lost.'
      • One thing to keep in mind is that most of us here aren't "average" gamers. Hell, I develop games for a living so I'm automatically disqualified. Now, Katamari Damacy is well-known to the hardcore gamer crowd, but it doesn't really have mindshare with the more mainstream audience. However, a game like Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 are going to be covered in mainstream magazines. (One could argue this has more to do with the "realistic graphics" being more interesting to the average person than trippy Japanese ga
    • It's possible he rates GTA:SA higher because even though he prefers playing GS2 *now*, he knows that with GTA:SA's larger "scope" and greater "variety", it has a much better staying power in terms of keeping him entertained. So GS2 might burn out quickly, while GTA:SA could be considered the better value overall.

      Just a possibility, I haven't played either game.
      • What I am saying is that there are concepts of "scope" and "variety" that do not necessarily make a great game. I think we can all agree that Asteroids is far superior to Daikatana although Daikatana has far more "scope" and "variety."

        I actually haven't played GTA:SA or GS2, but I can say that the review should be based on what the reviewer prefers. He said that he prefers GS2, so it should have gotten a higher score from him. Rewiews are too much about what the rewiewer thinks we will feel about a game. I
  • by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @10:02PM (#11664041)
    As a teacher, I frequently deal with student complaints about why a particular paper was a "C" or "B" paper. "Because," I'll answer them, "your paper was merely average. It fulfilled the requirements of the assignment, but did nothing more."

    Similarly, game scores seem to evoke this feeling among fans of particular games. Anything below an 8/10 is perceived as "crap."

    In reality, I own games that I would rate as a 6/10 which are still enjoyable. These games may be merely average, but if certain aspects are present, they can still be anjoyable. "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds" would fall into that category. The game received in the 6.5/10 range all over, and it's a score I would agree with. The camera is lousy, and the controls are inferior to the original in almost all respects. Despite this, the story is entertaining, the voice acting is pretty good (with the exception of the knock-off Willow), and the subject matter is entertaining to me. It is a 6.5 game, and I don't believe anything to the contrary, but it's still entertaining.

    Dead or Alive 3 is another great example. It's probably a 7/10 game. The graphics are beautiful, yes, but the game wasn't really substantial change from DOA2. Weakening the counters improved the battle system, but the new characters were universally dull (except for Hitomi), and the game was otherwise nothing more than the second. It doesn't really deserve anything spectacular as far as scores are concerned, but it's a favorite with my friends and I when we get together at my place.

    EGM was one of the few magazines I discovered that was willing to make this stand. a 5/10 game was AVERAGE. You might enjoy it if it had a particular point that really appealed to you. If you were a huge RPG fan, a 6/10 RPG would be worth buying if you'd already finished the last three 8/10 games. The 6/10 was not crap. Games at 3/10 and below were crap. And a game had to be spectacular to get into the 9 range. Unfortunately, people don't seem to be willing to accept that scale; everything needs to be between a 6 and 10. The problem is that it just dilutes the actually worthwhile games. Gamepro was notorious for this. They gave straight 4.5/5 and 5/5 to Starfox64. The game was good, but it was not worthy of that level of score. When compared to something that truly was, it served to make the worthy game's scores "lesser."

    Do scores matter? In EGM's case, I'd certainly agree. Back when I still kept up with that sort of thing for professional reasons (I was an assistant manager at a game store), they were generally pretty trustworthy. In a case like Gamepro's, which unfortunately seems to be more the standard than the exception, it makes the scores completely inconsequential. At that point, I learn to just ignore the score and read betweeen the lines of the reviewer's euphamisms.
    • I guess your post examplifies everything wrong with rating systems.

      You say a game should score 6/10 if it is really fun but has lousy graphics, controls or whatever extraneous detail. I only read the word "fun" and would give it 10/10 if it really is that enjoyable even if the graphics and such sucked. Why? Because you'll enjoy it anyway!

      I sure hope you score your students' papers on content rather than the font they use.
      • Err, yeah, you'll enjoy it anyway. Unfortunately, it's not perfect, or even worthy of being at the top of a stack.

        A game with little replay value is still capable of being fun while you play it. Is it worthy of a perfect score?

        A game with frustrating controls is still capable of being fun. Is it worthy of a perfect score?

        My point there was that I'm still capable of enjoying a flawed game, just like I'm still capable of enjoying a flawed movie, book, or even a website that routinely posts duplicate new
  • For example, I use Gamespot as my first source for a game review. I feel they are pretty much on point with my own opinions with gaming reviews. I also defer to G4 Tech TV's "X Play" and the two guys from "Judgment Day" I find it's a good mix of opinions, and especially with Tommy Telarico's views, he's like a Simon Cowell of gaming.

    The scores aallow me to gauge whether something is worth reading up on more or not. If a game is 80% or higher, then I like to see if it's a good fit for me. The scores provid
    • You just made me think of something here. The reason that games tend to get inflated review scores (i.e. 70% for a mediocre game) may very well be that, as consumers, we consider ourselves too good for everything but, say, the top 20% of games. This makes perfect sense, given that we have a scant amount of money to spend on gaming every month. Since most games are in the same stratospheric price range already, we'd rather get the most bang for our buck.

      (This is opposed to the silly idea that a rating be
  • I'm just about to publish the first issue of a pop culture mag here in New Zealand.

    Over the last couple of weeks I've been scratching my head at the score system I've been using and asking others to use. Invariably, nothing is ultimately compatible. And everyone is biased.

    So the right answer here is that I'm actually going to remove scores from all the game and comic reviews.

    That will actually force readers to REAd the mag. What a novel concept.
    • > That will actually force readers to REAd the mag. Or not read it at all.
      • Or not read it at all.

        If they want a magazine to just look at the pictures, then they should be buying a porno. I've made sure that mine is less outright review and more article.

        we'll see what happens. If people decide that they want scores, they'll tell me. Or not buy it. Hmm..
  • It only has a rating of 65%.

  • From the article: "Article score: 65% - whiney"

    If I'd looked ahead I could have skipped it instead of wishing I had 3 minutes back.
  • Game review scores are meaningless, according to the author, because games of different genres cannot be compared in such a numerical way. Of course, what the author doesn't recognise is that the review does indicate a raw level of quality within the genre.

    FPS is a particularly good example - games like DooM3 and HL2, both excellent FPS games with their own strengths, reviewed very highly compared with games like Sniper and The Thing (full of bugs). As a result, if I go to gametab or another aggregation
    • To me, it appears numerical ratings are being interpreted as a measure of the quality of a game. I think this is largely doomed to failure, as a number doesn't indicate anything about gameplay, graphics, sound, and the countless other characteristics that constitute a game.

      However, I do believe that numerical ratings have their place as a measure of how strongly the reviewer recommends the product. An earlier post []) was on the right track in terms of using ratings as a measure of recommending the game, t

  • the 9/10 reviews across the board for DOOM 3 suggests the answer proposed.
  • If a game review has screenshots, i can see myself if the graphics look good or bad. For the rest, i don't really care what a professional game reviewer thinks of a game. I much rather play the demo myself and see how i like it. Now i know demo's aren't always available so i look for comments in forums about the game.

    I get much better reviews from regular users than from 'the professionals' (i.e. 'This game sucks, the controls are terrible', 'I played this game in 2 hours, it's too short!', 'This is the be

    • I think that game companies have finally figured out how to tap into the fact that most of us take the recommendations of friends far more seriously than those of professional reviewers. Halo 2 in particular had it's fans so worked up about the game, the only question people could ask me after the preview event (at the end of a certain ARG) was whether it was, and I quote, "totally awesome."
  • You're supposed to get to know your reviewers and that way when they tell you things you know where it's coming from. What does that reviewer say in his other reviews of games that you've liked, etc? These are just people. You have to treat them as individuals.
  • As an avid reader of all things gaming, I'll definitely prop up my favourite rag : Computer Games Magazine. Their reviews are "spot-on" (at least for the games that I've personally played).

    Woeful name for a publication, however, I perceive their reviews as being extremely honest and balanced. They won't hesitate to pan a game, and I definitely don't get the feeling that they are giving a bia$ed apprai$al. Their coverage is detailed and offers a refreshing maturity compared with most of the magazines that

  • Xenon 2 (Score:2, Troll)

    by Robmonster ( 158873 )
    Anyone else remember Xenon 2 by the Bitmap Brothers?

    When it came out in the UK one gaming magazine (I think it was CVG) gave it 100%.

    I wonder if that reviewer is still playing it today, as it was obviously the best game ever. It must have been impossible to get tired of the game if he scored it 100%, right?

  • ... loads of undeserving games got high scores: Halo 2 (not finished), Doom3 (dull), HL2 (it was OK, nothing amazing), GTA:SA (slideshow, poor controls), NFS:Underground 2 (dull), MGS3 (rubbish camera).

    Anyone who reads a game review to make a buying decision needs their head examining IMHO. The reviewers give the scores they're paid to by the big publishers.

    These days I decide on a game by either playing a demo or looking at screenshots and movies and seeing if it looks interesting.
  • In my mind, if a review is good, all the "scores" should be obvious from reading the review itself.

    If one reads a review and the reviewer is making the game sound great, and then there's a score of a 4/10 stuck on the end (or whatever), that's because the reviewer didn't do a good job of explaining themselves.

    Too often with reviews, though, people don't even bother reading the review, and just go by the score. In my mind, reviews in general would be much better if scores were completely omitted. That way,
  • They totally matter! Points rulez! Later today I'm going to an art gallery with my friend steve but he's such a jerk I told him that Leonardo's Divinci's Last supper was a 9.3 hands down but he said it was only a 9.1! I hate him so much he doesn't know anything and then he said the work of Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments is only a 7 cos he totally copied Nam June Paik when they bothh lived in Düsseldorf in the 60's.
  • Simply put a few games up for opinion that came out each month and see which ones get voted up. It'd be not a single people's opinion, but a democracy of opinions.
  • I find this to be an interesting discussion, especially because it's a topic that gets revisited every so often without ever being resolved.

    If we pull back and look at the big picture, we can see that a lot of the same issues are raised, or example, against film reviewers (biased, paid-for reviews, etc.). But film criticism is still held in higher regard than game reviews - largely because film critics are most often journalists first, while game writers are gamers first, journalists second (often a distan
  • 1) Go to: Gamefaqs []
    2) Click on my gaming system of choice.
    3) See what the current Top 10 FAQ Pages consists of

    More often than not, if a majority of people are looking for a guide for a given game, they're looking for it because they're enjoying it.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant