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Posted by Magresda

Here's the thing: When I read a review, I usually know all the basic facts about a game. I know that there are XX amounts of weapons, XX amounts of levels and that the story continues from the prequel. I'm not at all interested in reading a review that is basically a summarization of all the features of the game. What I want to know, however, is how fun those weapons were. I want to know if the levels were well-designed and paced, and I want to know if the story was captivating (Obviously that is just a few examples).   
Preferably I want this to come from someone whose opinion I respect, which is exactly why I come to GB. 
 
However flawed they are, I think most reviews need scores. Only the best writers can write a good review without scores, and every day I read reviews without scores where the author fails to summarize his feelings about the game. Sure, you can write several pages of good and bad points, but the important aspect is how they all come together. Did the numerous bugs ruin the experience, or were they easily overlooked in light of the addictive gameplay? A good writer can easily replace scores with a small paragraph, and yet so many fail to do so.  
 
That is why I prefer writers to just give a score. The problem is, of course, that many people then completely overlook the review itself in favor of just checking the score. But hey, that's not my problem. If they wish to submit to stupidity then that's their own loss. 

Posted by Delta_Ass

Objective reviews don't exist, because games aren't mathematical equations.

Posted by sup909

I disagree, in fact I think things should be simplified even more. Why can't we go to the ebert style of film ratings and just say thumbs up or down? At the end of the day all that really matters is a recommendation of buy it or not. The rest is all conjecture by an individual that may or may not hold similar tastes to you. I have played 8+ rated games that I hated and 7_ games that I loved. 

Posted by pause422

No we actually dont.

Edited by Johnny5

I like how some people are just throwing out a "no" contributing jack all to the discussion. Its quite clear that review scoring at the moment is kind of iffy and its worth talking about.  I think the reason why the OPs idea is kinda bad is that the score is meant to be the quick glance option and people who want a more in depth analysis have the text, so that kind of defeats the purpose of the score anyway. (Consumers specifically as above, its a utility right?)
 
From my view I dont think we should aim to be completely subjective or objective but taking a strong middle ground and making a judgement based on the experience as was mentioned above. In regards to breaking it down, it still makes sense to include graphics if they did have an impact though right? 
 
Sites that use a concrete Gameplay, Sound, Graphics, Story etc rating system are flawed in that way. Like, if the game experience is a 9.0 regardless of the graphics being say a 6, then it shouldnt have an impact. You could mention it in the text but the overall score shouldnt change.

Posted by Icemael

Reviews already have a second dimension. It's called text.

Online
Posted by ShaunassNZ

no.

Edited by Jeust

Dagas that is a nice idea, but it has a big problem. Whatever angle you might look, grades are made to be easily understood by consumers.
 
I say embrace the subjectiveness of the question. 
 
Classify games according to and with: bad, mediocre, average, good and great.
 
There isn't the problem of considerating a game with grade "great" a  perfect one, as it happens with 100% or 5*'s, and it is comprehensible.

Posted by gike987

Why not spit it into technical and gameplay instead of objective and subjective. 
Technical  is for the graphic and bugs.
Gameplay is for how fun it is to play. 

Posted by darkmoney52

Honestly, I think the idea of being objective in game reviews should be ignored. Instead, just make it clear what you're preferences are so that I can get an idea of if your opinion is relevant to me. If you rate a certain game high but also note that you love Final Fantasy and hate Diablo and the Elder Scrolls than I would know that your reviews do not apply to me.

Posted by PenguinDust

Didn't Gamepro used to include "Fun Factor" in their accumulated list of scores?  And doesn't Gametrailers still include some sort of intangible along side graphics, control, sound, etc?  I don't think any "subjective" addition score needs to be published since invariably, the objective and subjective review scores will be averaged anyway to find an "actual" score.

Posted by Meptron
@bjorno said:
" 6d reviews, PLEASE "
I agree. We need a review system so complex that advanced theoretical quantum physics is required to interpret it.
Edited by MattyFTM
@dagas said:

"Then I ask how else should be solve the problem I was talking about? For example, should I give Dreamfall a 7 because it's not that good gameplay wise and put it in the same score department as Tomb Raider and such games with better gameplay but worse story even though Dreamfall moved me emotionally more than almost any other game? The other option would be to give it a 10, but that seems just as wrong as it clearly is not a perfect game or even near being perfect. And any score in between would just be a poor compromise.  "

The thing is, the score isn't the be all and end all of a review. 7 or 10, or even a "poor compromise" between the two would all be valid scores to give it, and then you go on to write a review that explains this score. You could explain that it isn't a perfect game but you gave it a 10 because it moved you emotionally. You could explain that you gave it a 7 because the gameplay isn't perfect, but it moved you emotionally. Either would be perfectly acceptable and would voice your opinion on the game. 
 
Scores are the least important part of a review. They're designed to be a brief glance at the overall feeling the reviewer has about the game, and a one dimensional scale achieves this perfectly. No more detail is necessary in a score. The detail of your objective and subjective feelings about the game come in the text of the review.
Moderator
Posted by Deathawk

   Obviously you care more about numbers than you let on. A good review will tell you everything your proposing now the only difference is that you want to assign some contrive number algorithm to  it. A good game is a good game, and reviews for the most part reflect that. I have yet to see a review where the reviewer actively liked the game but gave it a low score for technical merits. Mass Effect's texture pop in's did not stop it from receiving a better score as much as the fact that the actual shooting system was craptastic.

Posted by Gamer_152

It would be an interesting idea to see in practice but I really have two issues with it. Firstly you've already shown that you are aware that a reviewer can never truly make an objective assessment of the quality of a game, the quality of a game is a subjective concept to begin with. This essentially means the objective score will be the reviewer's prediction of how well-received the game will be by people overall and this is an extremely difficult call to make. Considering there are already systems out there which can take a large number of reviews from users of sites or video game critics and give an average overall score, it seems like it would be a much better choice to turn to these systems for the "objective" review score rather than looking at the educated guesses of individual reviewers. Secondly and more importantly I have to agree with something Jeff Gerstmann once said. That people have such hugely differing opinions about how videos game should be done and what is "good" and "not good" that it is impossible to cater to all these people with a single review score and so the best option is to just give them your own personal opinion and let them work out what they think of the game from there.

Moderator
Posted by Jimbo
@Vito_Raliffe said:

@Jimbo

said:

 "I enjoyed the story." vs. "The story doesn't make sense." - the latter is not a subjective opinion, it is a statement of fact and the person making it is either right or wrong, the story either makes sense or it doesn't. "

 Not so. Just because the story doesn't make sense to one person, does not mean it can't make sense to another. That is completely subjective, not a matter of right or wrong. Everyone is different and have had different experiences in their life that may assist in the understanding of something that another cannot.  Objective reviews of videogames are impossible. I am getting really tired of discussions like these. "
"The story doesn't make sense to me." is a completely different sentence to "The story doesn't make sense".  You don't like that example?  How about this one:  "There are regular drops in framerate".
 
I didn't say the review would be objective, I said there should be elements of objectivity within a review.  It's no coincidence that independent reviewers regularly come to very similar conclusions about any given game - some games really are better than others.  Forza 3 is actually a better game than Big Rigs, short of some teenage philosophy bullshit about nothing being true.  
 
There is value in both the reviewers emotional response to a game and their detached, technical critique of it.  Currently these elements are represented with a single combined score.  The OP is suggesting those elements could be represented with seperate scores, and he's right, they could be.  Like I said, whether they should be or not is a different matter.  It seems the response du jour is to basically suggest that game reviewers are entirely unskilled idiots who can't tell a good game from a bad one; not that such things even exist because a games quality is entirely subjective.  The implication is that all you need to review games is a pulse and the ability to form an opinion - any opinion, because you can't be wrong anyway.  If I earned a living reviewing games and had to read "It's only his opinion." about 200 times after every review I would get super pissed off about it.
Posted by crystalskull2

Not a very good idea because different sites will give different numbers and it will be very confusing.

Posted by Synthballs

I like this kinda review
 
"Games shit, shouldnt touch it"
"Games not bad, be careful"
"Games great, go for it man"
 
Thats about how I like my reviews. Extra detail optional.

Edited by TheJollyRajah

I'm just loving the cynicism in this thread. I guess it's cool to post "no" without giving any explanation, as HeartBreak did. If that post doesn't qualify as spam, I don't know what does. 
 
That said, I don't know if I'd agree with the OP. I think you can't be objective without being subjective, because everyone thinks objectively in a different way. Everyone has different ways of arriving to a conclusion, and everyone views things through their own pair of glasses because we've all had different experiences throughout our lives that dictate how we see things. I hope I make sense...
 
When someone tries to be objective when they write a review, they're really being subjective, because they score it based on what they think everyone else thinks is a good game. I hope this doesn't sound like a jumble of words.... believe me, it's hard to explain.  
 
I do think you're idea is an interesting one, but not necessary. 
 
And to those who want to eliminate scores altogether- I think that's the dumbest idea ever.

Posted by dagas
@21stCenturyJesus said:
" @dagas: well first off, i think we should do away with scores altogether so more people would stop basing their buying decision on a score. However thats totally unrealistic given the current state of the industry. So needless to say i completely agree with you. For example, crackdown is technically not a great game. On an qualitative scale i would have to give it around a 7, or on the gb scale, 3 stars. But when i rank the game on how much fun i had with it, it's a 5 star game. I mean something like Gta4 is technically superior to crackdown, but i still spent way more time  playing crackdown. What you also have to keep in mind though, is how the scoring system on different sites work. A 7 on destructoid means something completely different than a 7 on ign. The rating scale on destructoid, for example, is from 1 - 10, and is more subjective than the ign spectrum which generally feels like its from 7-10, and is more objective. "
Which is a good argument against sites like metacritic and gamerankings. It's hard enough to give a score in a review, but to take several of those scores from different sites that use different systems and try to come up with some sort of mean number...I started my education to become a statistican in August and I can tell you that if I took numbers from a bunch of different places using different scales my teacher would not be happy. 
 
As you say though, as it seems metacritic is only getting more and more important to gamers and to developers.
Posted by PureRok

I actually like this idea, but not based around "subjective" and "objective".

Posted by TobyD81
@Bigandtasty said:
" Reviews are inherently subjective. This reminds me of that scene in Dead Poets Society. "
You too? When I hear "objective review" I think of that being a list of facts and statistical data about a game, which I don't think many people are looking for to guide their purchasing decisions. I want to read reviews that are people's subjective opinions about how the game made them feel; I'm happy to read more than one too, as different reviewers with different tastes will have different opinions, maybe some that align more closely to mine.
Edited by 21stCenturyJesus
@dagas:
well first off, i think we should do away with scores altogether so more people would stop basing their buying decision on a score. However thats totally unrealistic given the current state of the industry. So needless to say i completely agree with you. For example, crackdown is technically not a great game. On an qualitative scale i would have to give it around a 7, or on the gb scale, 3 stars. But when i rank the game on how much fun i had with it, it's a 5 star game. I mean something like Gta4 is technically superior to crackdown, but i still spent way more time  playing crackdown. What you also have to keep in mind though, is how the scoring system on different sites work. A 7 on destructoid means something completely different than a 7 on ign. The rating scale on destructoid, for example, is from 1 - 10, and is more subjective than the ign spectrum which generally feels like its from 7-10, and is more objective.
Edited by Hamst3r

There's no need for that separate score. What needs to happen is the removal of all that extraneous stuff from current review systems. The only important factor is the experience. I call it fun factor though it encompasses more than fun.
 
I find it ridiculous that some review sites still have a score "breakdown"; Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, Story and Replay Value which they then add up for the final score. It's completely useless.
 
A game rating shouldn't literally rate the game - "DiRT 2 - 9.0, except that the ground textures aren't that great and the water effects look like shit...so, 8.5" -, but the experience had with the game. Sometimes reviews sound like the writer hasn't even played the game but is simply observing it from behind glass. :P
 
EDIT: just read your Dreamfall example. Well, did the "poor gameplay" actually hurt the experience of the game? If not, it shouldn't affect the score and who cares. If it did, then clearly it's an issue and should be noted and should indeed affect the score. Either it moved you emotionally and it's a little funky to play or it moved you emotionally but it's fucking broken as shit. :P

Edited by CharlesAlanRatliff
@iAmJohn said:

" There is no such thing as an "objective review."  Reviews are subjective. "

This.  
 

@Jimbo

said:

 "I enjoyed the story." vs. "The story doesn't make sense." - the latter is not a subjective opinion, it is a statement of fact and the person making it is either right or wrong, the story either makes sense or it doesn't. "

 
Not so. Just because the story doesn't make sense to one person, does not mean it can't make sense to another. That is completely subjective, not a matter of right or wrong. Everyone is different and have had different experiences in their life that may assist in the understanding of something that another cannot.
 
 
Objective reviews of videogames are impossible. I am getting really tired of discussions like these.
Posted by Bigandtasty
@dagas: I understand your dilemma, but I think making the review system more complicated is not the answer. I would prefer eliminating review scores rather than doing that.
Posted by dagas

So it seems most people think it would be a bad idea. Then I ask how else should be solve the problem I was talking about? For example, should I give Dreamfall a 7 because it's not that good gameplay wise and put it in the same score department as Tomb Raider and such games with better gameplay but worse story even though Dreamfall moved me emotionally more than almost any other game? The other option would be to give it a 10, but that seems just as wrong as it clearly is not a perfect game or even near being perfect. And any score in between would just be a poor compromise.
 
Do you at least understand my dilemma? 
 
The only other solution I have is to go the way book reviews are and not try to put a number on how good it is, simply explain what we like and dislike about it and why. Because it just seems wrong IMO to put a game I care nothing about, but that is a competent game and another game that I care very much about but that isn't really a good video game in the same category.

Posted by chstupid

Over 9000 D reviews!!!!!!! 
I'm sorry I had to do it
Posted by JJWeatherman
@MrKlorox said:
" Yeah... let's rate things according to D&D alignment. GTA4 is totally a Chaotic Neutral. "
lol
Posted by AltonBrown

I'm usually a 2d6 when it comes to reviews, but if the game makes a Save vs. Opinion throw at a -6 penalty, I'm knocked down to 1d10.

Posted by TwoOneFive

okay OP 
Review WET with your idea...

Posted by bjorno

6d reviews, PLEASE

Posted by CL60

No thank you.

Posted by dagas
@iAmJohn said:
" @gike987 said:
" @Cornman89 said:
" And how does one formulate an objective score regarding a game's quality? "
If it's free from bugs for example. "
Uncharted 2 is a game that's filled with occasional graphical glitches and there were numerous times where I jumped into a wall only to be stuck suspended in mid-air for a couple seconds before the game put me back down.  Also my game crashed once.  None of this affected my enjoyment of the game in the least, and I probably wouldn't even bother bringing them up if I were writing a review, but would I still have to mark the game down in your goofy scale for being glitchy in spots even though the glitches never affected my enjoyment of the game?  Further proof that there is no such thing as an objective review. "
I agree with you that it should not affect the score because in the end it's about how much you enjoy the game. That is why I want to separate the scores. As it is now, a game like Mass Effect which at least to me was one of the best experiences ever in video games gets lower scores because people bash on the technical aspect of it like texture pop-in and slow elevators and that is legitimate criticism, but how should I judge such a game? On the one hand I haven't enjoyed a vidoe game as much since KotOR so I want to give it 10/10, but on the other hand it has issues and it could certainly be better from a technical point of view. That is why I want two systems, I want to be able to say both that I think it's the best video game experience I've had in a long time, but that it's not perfect and has issues and one number doesn't convey that.
Posted by dagas

The objective, subjective distinction was a bit misinforming perhaps. What I meant was 1 you judge the game as a game (gameplay, game design etc.) and 2 you judge how the game makes you feel, how it moves you etc. Both are subjective, but one is based on reason if you like to call it that while the other is based on feelings. Maybe a brain and heart score would be a better way to put it, but of course that oversimplifying it as well.

Posted by Civraz

You sound like Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, PhD.

Posted by misterpope

Nope.
Posted by Jimbo
@iAmJohn said:

" @Jimbo said:

" Take the 'Reviews are only opinions!' bandwagon with a pinch of salt, that shit is everywhere at the moment. "
Please tell me, then, what a review is if it's not an opinion piece written by someone claiming to have an expertise in a field? "
A review should be a mix of both subjective opinion and objective fact*.  It would not be impossible to have a review scale represent them both seperately - whether it would be desirable or not is a different matter.  
 
I'm sure you have played janky games which you really enjoyed and extremely well made games that you didn't enjoy as much, right?  You can still enjoy the former more whilst appreciating that the latter is the better game - I believe that's what the OP wants to see represented.
 
*eg.  "I enjoyed the story." vs. "The story doesn't make sense." - the latter is not a subjective opinion, it is a statement of fact and the person making it is either right or wrong, the story either makes sense or it doesn't.
Edited by Dark_Jon

Screw 2D grade systems, we need 3D ones! 
 
If Mass Effect is the vector [3 5 2] and Dragon Age is the vector [1 4 3], what game is the resulting cross product of the two vectors?

Posted by JeffGoldblum
@Heartbreak said:
" no "
Edited by ThatFrood
@W0lfbl1tzers said:

" @ThatFrood said:

" I think we should just be robots. "
I agree. I hate sleep and that would help me with my sleep "problem" "
Dude man, if we were robots we wouldn't even need to bother with this review stuff. We could just calculate this shit.
 
Indigo Prophecy? Oh, that's 53 Pi Sigma quant(87)
Forza 3? Ki Delta 34
Posted by Bigandtasty
@Jimbo said:
"Take the 'Reviews are only opinions!' bandwagon with a pinch of salt, that shit is everywhere at the moment. "
Without opinions, reviews are just a list of features. Even things like "good graphics" and "good control system" are subjective. People may be able to describe some parts of the game objectively but how are they to assess those features objectively?
Posted by Metric_Outlaw
@Cornman89 said:
" And how does one formulate an objective score regarding a game's quality? "
You pick either 1, 2 , 3, 4, or 5.
Posted by W0lfbl1tzers
@ThatFrood said:
" I think we should just be robots. "
I agree. I hate sleep and that would help me with my sleep "problem"
Posted by gike987
@iAmJohn said:
" @Jimbo said:
" Take the 'Reviews are only opinions!' bandwagon with a pinch of salt, that shit is everywhere at the moment. "
Please tell me, then, what a review is if it's not an opinion piece written by someone claiming to have an expertise in a field? "
Well every book I read in school said a review should try to find an balance between subjective and objective.
Posted by ThatFrood

I think we should just be robots.

Posted by iAmJohn
@Jimbo said:
" Take the 'Reviews are only opinions!' bandwagon with a pinch of salt, that shit is everywhere at the moment. "
Please tell me, then, what a review is if it's not an opinion piece written by someone claiming to have an expertise in a field?
Posted by Jimbo

I wouldn't say we need it, but it isn't a terrible idea by any means.
 
Take the 'Reviews are only opinions!' bandwagon with a pinch of salt, that shit is everywhere at the moment.

Posted by Bigandtasty

Reviews are inherently subjective. This reminds me of that scene in Dead Poets Society.

Posted by iAmJohn
@gike987 said:
" @Cornman89 said:
" And how does one formulate an objective score regarding a game's quality? "
If it's free from bugs for example. "
Uncharted 2 is a game that's filled with occasional graphical glitches and there were numerous times where I jumped into a wall only to be stuck suspended in mid-air for a couple seconds before the game put me back down.  Also my game crashed once. 
 
None of this affected my enjoyment of the game in the least, and I probably wouldn't even bother bringing them up if I were writing a review, but would I still have to mark the game down in your goofy scale for being glitchy in spots even though the glitches never affected my enjoyment of the game?  Further proof that there is no such thing as an objective review.
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