Game Ratings

  • Amajiro 5 Nov 2002 12:58:31 2,214 posts
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    Well, my post on this subject got a bit lost in the 'Gestalt - where?' thread, so I'm re-posting it here, paraphrased:

    I always felt that Gestalt compared each new game against the entire pantheon of all good games that have ever been released, and I thought he was correct in doing so.

    As a matter of fact, I think this is how games should be rated - you ask the question "against all other games, what percentile is this in"? When you do that, a score of 8/10 for Halo seems about right - unless you've only been playing games for a couple of years, which Gestalt quite clearly hasn't.

    My questions are really - is there a place for game ratings at all; should there be some clear criteria against which games are rated; and should they be relative or absolute? And also, what about my suggestion above?
  • Slim 5 Nov 2002 13:08:10 20 posts
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    Errol, do you ever have an original thought?

    Anyway, I disagree. Games are a progressive medium, and if you simply compared them with all games that have ever been, then you'll soon start churning out constant top marks. Compare AAA classics of yesterday like Gorf with the likes of GTA3 and wonder how you fit the difference on a scale.

    Why does it have to be a rating relative to other games? Why can't 10 just be superb and 1 be shite and then you fill in the middle accordingly?

    I also disagree that Gestalt reviewed things that objectively. He seemed to dislike certain kinds of games, and mark them down accordingly. Third person shooters seemed to be a particular pet hate of his (max payne, mafia), and got marked down accordingly.
  • Mr_Sleep 5 Nov 2002 13:10:29 23,333 posts
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    Amajiro wrote:
    My questions are really - is there a place for game ratings at all; should there be some clear criteria against which games are rated; and should they be relative or absolute? And also, what about my suggestion above?

    I actually quite liked the comparison technique used recently by EG, one buys a game in a certain genre then there is a certain style expected. When one buys a football game it should reflect the genre so far and improve upon its predecesors, a comparison system is more aimed towards long running genres or long term gamers, there is a brand awareness that all us 6+ year players know (and trust?) like EA releasing a new Fifa every year, you just know it is going to happen.

    The rating system isn't very important imo, I think the review or the comparison with predecessors is the important part of any review.
  • Amajiro 5 Nov 2002 13:18:02 2,214 posts
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    Slim wrote:
    Anyway, I disagree. Games are a progressive medium, and if you simply compared them with all games that have ever been, then you'll soon start churning out constant top marks. Compare AAA classics of yesterday like Gorf with the likes of GTA3 and wonder how you fit the difference on a scale.

    Actually, I think you'll find there isn't a problem. Rate Gorf at the time of its release, and it will score highly; rate it now and it will score far lower. I think this system allows for games as a progressive medium, but it puts that progression in a far wider context than just the last couple of years.
  • Slim 5 Nov 2002 13:25:29 20 posts
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    Well isn't that just the same as rating them all on a fixed scale of good or shite?

    And how do you expect a reviewer to rate every game? There's over thirty new games relesed this Friday, that's some 1,500 new games a year. Are you seriously expecting a reviewer to have played them all to give a fair comparative review?

    Far better to review a game objectively, on its own merits. It's good, or it isn't. Comparrisons can only skew things anyway, like comparing Mafia to GTA3 when they're plainly different styles of game. Why overcomplicate?

    Only time I see a place for comparative review is when very similar games are released in a similar timescale. Like Blinx vs Mario Sunshine. Or Timesplitters 2 vs Red Faction. Helps the punter decide which game/system to buy.
  • ssuellid 5 Nov 2002 13:29:00 19,141 posts
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    IMHO games rating systems should at least come with an explanation of what each score means i.e. 8 out of ten would be something like good worth getting. 10 would be a must buy etc.
  • Mr_Sleep 5 Nov 2002 13:36:49 23,333 posts
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    Slim wrote:
    Far better to review a game objectively, on its own merits. It's good, or it isn't. Comparrisons can only skew things anyway, like comparing Mafia to GTA3 when they're plainly different styles of game. Why overcomplicate?

    It depends on what you are using the review for, if it is being used as a purchasing decision then a comparison would be very useful, if one is just interested to know what the game is like then a comparison serves no purpose.

    Rating a system out of 10 overcomplicates things far too much imo, if you have a score of 7/10 that is no indication of how good or bad a game is, the number is entirely subjective to whatever the reviewer felt at the time. So Mafia gets 4/10 does that make it a better or worse game than GTA3? Well it was certainly a better story than GTA3 and that is an important point, some people play games for the story not just the construction of the game itself.
  • Amajiro 5 Nov 2002 13:36:55 2,214 posts
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    Slim wrote:
    And how do you expect a reviewer to rate every game? There's over thirty new games relesed this Friday, that's some 1,500 new games a year. Are you seriously expecting a reviewer to have played them all to give a fair comparative review?

    Well, not all of them but I do expect them to have played a large proportion, and probably all of the large-budget releases. That's what they get paid for, after all. More importantly, I expect a reviewer to have played several hundred different games in his gaming experience if I am to consider his opinion worthwhile. And so, I suspect, do you - otherwise you'd be satisfied with the quality of The Times games reviews rather than frequenting sites like EG.
  • Slim 5 Nov 2002 13:50:11 20 posts
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    Did you read what I said, there's some 1,500 games a year released. We're not talking a few hundred, we're talking thousands! I'd expect reviewers to have played a few games yes, but you can't possibly expect they will have played anything like the majority of games.

    Sleep: Which is why a review should be objective.
  • Gestalt 5 Nov 2002 13:59:46 98 posts
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    "Third person shooters seemed to be a particular pet hate of his (max payne, mafia), and got marked down accordingly."

    Hardly. GTA3 is absolutely brilliant, and there are plenty of other third person games that I've rated highly. Off the top of my head -

    Severance - 9/10
    Shadowman - 7/10
    FAKK2 - 7/10

    Not to mention games that mixed first and third person action or gave you a choice of either, like Rogue Spear (8/10) and Operation Flashpoint (9/10). The only time I would ever mark down a game for being third person is if the camera was really lousy and your view kept getting obscured by walls or something, which is down to sloppy programming rather than an ingrained hatred of the genre.

    FWIW, my own personal opinion is that reviews should come without scores - they're highly subjective and just serve to distract people from the text of the review, which is what they should be focusing on. So instead of people arguing over whether points made in the review are valid, they whine that you gave the game a higher score than Halo or that 8/10 somehow makes it a bad game. ;)

    Edited by Gestalt at 13:59:46 05-11-2002
  • skalmanxl 5 Nov 2002 14:10:29 982 posts
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    No matter how much we all may hate scores, they are neccesary.

    With no scores, the masses would not read the reviews and such not get the picture, and loose the motivation to visit the site. And no major site like EG can afford being towars the ultra hardcore underground gamers.

    Scores may be evil, but it's a evil we need.
  • MrWorf 5 Nov 2002 18:12:44 63,798 posts
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    "Scores may be evil, but it's a evil we need."

    I agree. We need guidance
  • terminalterror 5 Nov 2002 18:54:48 18,931 posts
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    Slim wrote:
    And how do you expect a reviewer to rate every game? There's over thirty new games relesed this Friday, that's some 1,500 new games a year. Are you seriously expecting a reviewer to have played them all to give a fair comparative review?

    Remember that this is November, leading into Christmas, so there aren't 30 games every friday of the year, but there are still a lot of games.


    I think that ratings should be done (kind of like Edge) where 5 is an average game, not 7 as in most cases (not as much EG)
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