#1 Edited by tokyochicken (849 posts) -
HEY BIG EDIT: SCORE NOT SCOE ALSO FORGOT QUESTION MARK...god dammit.

I honestly have no opinion on this myself, which is why I want to ask everyone here to formulate some kind of opinion on this. The question sprouted from a few people saying that Halo: ODST didn't deserve a 4/5 on Giantbomb because the game's price was too much compared to the amount of content it offered. 
 
So I ask you guys, should the price of a game be considered in a review, should a game's price affect the score?
#2 Posted by Hailinel (23915 posts) -

As long as a game is of a high enough quality to justify paying the money for it, I don't see why price should enter the equation.

#3 Posted by eroticfishcake (7782 posts) -

Some reviews do take price into consideration as far as I know. Though most of them don't since it's not exactly one set price everywhere at any time. Bar DLC.

#4 Posted by bwooduhs (1616 posts) -

No because a game review should be purely based on the quality of the game.

#5 Posted by Novyx (479 posts) -

I think it deserves a mention, but the quality of a game should really not change based on the price. Darkest of Days, for example, is bad at any price. It's only when you go to actually buy it that the semi-budget price makes it slightly more palatable. Very slightly. But really, I consider price, reviews, word-of-mouth and demos and past entries in a series as all the factors to consider when buying, and all separate. Price should be a factor for the buyer, not the reviewer.

#6 Edited by tokyochicken (849 posts) -
@Novyx said:

" I think it deserves a mention, but the quality of a game should really not change based on the price. Darkest of Days, for example, is bad at any price. It's only when you go to actually buy it that the semi-budget price makes it slightly more palatable. Very slightly. But really, I consider price, reviews, word-of-mouth and demos and past entries in a series as all the factors to consider when buying, and all separate. Price should be a factor for the buyer, not the reviewer. "


I definitely agree on that, I'm usually more interested in the actual content of the game. To me, if a game may come off as too expensive I usually like to see that mentioned in the review but not affect the score. I feel the decision on whether the amount of time it takes to finish the game is equal what I spend is more of a consumer decision. 
#7 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1478 posts) -

I think it matters on games that are harder to find, or older ones since they sometimes cost more than you think they would.
Lest it was a game like that, I don't think it should.

#8 Posted by EVO (3864 posts) -

No. And for a number of reasons:

  1. Price is subject to change
  2. Value is subjective
  3. Film, music, literature etc. reviews don't
That last point is especially important to those that think games are art.
#9 Posted by Artemis_D (817 posts) -

While they don't out and say it, I imagine most reviewers do, considering they are reviewing games for us, the consumer.  "Is this worth you spending your hard earned $50+ on?"

#10 Posted by Novyx (479 posts) -
@Artemis_D:
But what about when someone goes back and reads the review next year, when it's not '$50+'?
#11 Posted by GHT (164 posts) -

reviewers do take price into consideration when they review games, and they should. It doesn't matter if years later you can buy the game for less.

#12 Posted by Novyx (479 posts) -
@GHT:
It's a good argument, except you haven't stated a reason. So, why should price be taken into account by the reviewer, instead of the customer? In the case of ODST, for example, a Halo 3 player who has already bought all the map packs will get a lot less value than someone without any Halo 3 multiplayer a all. Should there be multiple scores because the value might be different?
#13 Posted by Chokobo (1228 posts) -

Guys on the bombcast discussed this exact topic when talking about the new Wolverine game and how if it was 30 dollars the game probably would have gotten 4 stars instead of three.
 
I believe that release value is always factored into the reviews, on this site at least.

#14 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Yeah, definitely. You're not going to expect the same quality from a $5 downloadable game as you would from a $60 retail game.

#15 Posted by Icemael (6312 posts) -

Reviews always take price into consideration. For example, do you think Shadow Complex would have received the scores it did if it was a $60 game? If reviews didn't consider the prices, there would never be any complaints(or praise) about length, quality or.... anything. They might not write that they consider the games' prices, but believe me, they do.

#16 Posted by c1337us (5751 posts) -

No.

#17 Edited by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

No, it's a review of a game, not of how easy it is to obtain a game.  If a games price is too high then it won't sell as well as it could have.

#18 Posted by tokyochicken (849 posts) -
@c1337us said:
" No. "
Haha thanks!
#19 Posted by c1337us (5751 posts) -
@tokyochicken: Ha ha no worries. Just to clarify though, I think when you start bringing cost into the rating you aren't rating the quality of the game but the persons means to purchase it. And theres no way for a reviewer to be able to factor in everybodies financial situations. Nor should they have to. There is also the fact that games are worth different sums of money in different regions and they depreciate over time. 
 
Theres no reason why it shouldn't earn a mention in a written review, but it has no place in a games rating.
#20 Posted by strangeling (1260 posts) -
@Icemael said:
"For example, do you think Shadow Complex would have received the scores it did if it was a $60 game?"
I still think it'd be interesting if the review score was a dollar amount. 
"Shadow Complex scores $15 out of $15."
#21 Posted by JJOR64 (18910 posts) -
CAG kinda does that already.
#22 Posted by Brackynews (4045 posts) -
@Novyx said:

" @GHT: It's a good argument, except you haven't stated a reason. So, why should price be taken into account by the reviewer, instead of the customer? 

Several reasons, and these are borne out by comments and discussions you can hear on the Bombcast, and others.  The debate/philosophy is too deep to settle in a forum thread so I won't claim to be thorough in this ramble, but I recommend you look up some of Greg Kasavin's editorials on game reviewing.  Here's a funny one to get you rolling. ;)

1. The point at its core is to advise consumers in making purchases they won't regret.  Most commercial sites including GB don't make a habit of reviewing free games. The community and word of mouth often take care of highlighting what's free and good.  Price is the biggest bone of contention, because it's the biggest barrier to entry.  In order for a professional reviewer to treat price as meaningless, it would actually have to be meaningless, and it's not.  How much fanboyism would there be if all three consoles cost $100, and all games cost $10?  Would we care about reviews at all?  People like defending their purchases, and believing them to be good decisions.  Why should I buy game X instead of game Y, because it's better, Giant Bomb said so!
 
2. A review on a commercial site or magazine is normally timed to coincide with the release date of a game.  The review reflects how the game works, doesn't work, and how much it will cost the consumer, at that time.  The publisher sets a specific price for a game at launch, that it believes is appropriate for the market.  What other question should be asked first than, "is it worth the money"?  Net code broken? Bad review.  Doesn't matter if they fix it a few months later, though reviews can certainly be amended and still be reputable.
 
3. All games do not cost the same.  How much value for money does Noby Noby Boy give you, versus Metal Gear Solid 4, versus World of Warcraft?  What if you scored them all a 9?  Clearly that has nothing to do with comparing prices, but it likely does have something to do with perceived value.  How much is your time worth, and what entertains you?  What expectations do you have?  This is what a good reviewer tries to quantify.  Heavenly Sword is a good game that is too short for $60.  Lair is a bad game at any price. (I'm not kidding.)
 
4. Truly good games are timeless, and cost may be less important, therefore it's not the deciding factor in a good review.  Phantasy Star II is as fun to play today as it was in the 90s, providing you like JRPGs and have some nostalgia.  When it came out, I could buy it brand new at local stores for about $120, and it held above $100 for the first month.  Reviewers said it was pretty expensive, but worth playing.  Now it's $5 on XBLA, but a physical copy in good condition might be $40 on eBay.  There is no accounting for what a price might be in the future, or how available a game will be.  Jeff apparently paid over $1000 for a Garou cart.  What rating would a game have to be for you to shell out a grand?  :)

5. Mediocre games are easier to appreciate in the bargain bin, which is where consumer choice comes in.  Listen to the Bombcast talk about Too Human after the review came out.  There's still a lot to like about it, and if you can grab it for $20, that's a great deal.  It's a given that games will become cheaper over time, unless they are rare.  I'm usually at least a year behind on releases, because I like paying $30 for games.  That's my choice.  Triple-A titles might decrease $10 in a year if you're lucky, but PC games might drop $10 in the first month. Simple supply and demand, and reviews impact demand, so they are absolutely tied to the notion of price. (And to the notion of developer paycheck bonuses, unfortunately.)

It's not an exact science, and you can certainly start up your own website based on your philosophies.  Personally I prefer reviews that have no ranking at all.  The CO-OP crew is one of my favourite review teams, because it's about discussing what's good and bad, shared experiences, and different opinions.  GB made a good trade-off with whole stars, I think.  Because if you don't assign a score, Metacritic will. :-p

 In the case of ODST, for example, a Halo 3 player who has already bought all the map packs will get a lot less value than someone without any Halo 3 multiplayer a all. Should there be multiple scores because the value might be different? "

Not multiple scores, but there are multiple reviewers for this very reason.  Check out Annoyed Gamer's opinion of ODST for someone that doesn't give a damn about the multiplayer.  It is impractical to expect one reviewer to cover all the bases, and naive for a consumer to make a decision after reading only one person's opinion.  Sure I respect Jeff's opinion, but I don't like Mortal Kombat, so I'm not going to buy it no matter what score he gives.  Batman games are usually horrible... but oh, dozens of people who play games for a living think Arkham is almost perfect... I should check that out. (And I got to pay $40 for the privilege. ;).
 
-B

#23 Edited by Johnny5 (1354 posts) -

Well... in regards to the question  this comes to mind.  Yes it is from Gamespots review guidelines which are quite well done. Even though it doesnt specificlly mention price I think its similar.  Price should be a factor, albeit a small factor. 
 
For example, car reviews are done in comparison to similar models most of the time. I know a Ferrari testarossa is going to be better than a Toyota Corolla 86'   

 We Acknowledge That New Games Do Not Exist In a Vacuum

Each game we review exists in a competitive environment. That is, a game always has direct or indirect competition from other, possibly very similar games, which causes the game in question to be held to a higher standard. In other words, while technical merits are generally particular to a specific gaming platform, we believe that certain collective, universal standards also exist. GameSpot editors are expected to be familiar with current games on all platforms, in order to maintain an acute sense of global standards for gaming at all times.


 
EDIT:  Also the question comes in. If you are scoring these games, is it fair to put them in direct comparison if you are using the same system? For ages people were making comments about Diner Dash being one of the top 5 games of all time next to the likes of HL2. Or even right now on Metacritic, their 2nd best game of all time is a baseball simulator. In terms of baseball simulators ITS REALLY GOOD. Top 5? Eh.
#24 Posted by Big_D (169 posts) -

the whole reason for reviews in the first place is to better direct your hard earned dollars to quality products. Turtles in Time ReShelled is a perfect example of price vs. content. that game started at $15. Dropped to $10 because of some uproar, and I saw everything that game had to offer from the demo which was free.

#25 Posted by demonbear (1859 posts) -
@bwooduhs said:
" No because a game review should be purely based on the quality of the game. "
No its not, its about the quality of what you buy, and the price is a part of that. A good example was Orange Box, everyone gladly paid 60$ for it because you had so much for your money. Therefore yes its a factor.
#26 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

I'd say yes.
 
But I don't see why ODST needs to be brought up as a point.  Although it originally started off as a much smaller expansion, it easily has just as much, if not more content than most games, especially compared to other first person shooters.  I'd rather not turn this into another thread discussing that, but yeah.. if people are going to keep bringing it up.

#27 Edited by MetalGearSunny (6986 posts) -

I think so. If a game is 6 hours, and you're paying $60 dollars, that's a big problem.

#28 Posted by MattBodega (1903 posts) -
@Metal_Gear_Sunny said:
" I think so. If a game is 6 hours, and you're paying $60 dollars, that's a big problem. "
At the same time, high quality can make up for a game's short length .
Call of Duty 4 was a 5 hour game. Granted, that game has multiplayer, but If i told you that this 60 dollar game had only a 5 hour long campaign, you wouldn't think you were getting your money's worth.....except that Call of Duty 4 has the best campaign in any FPS game ever made. The quality of that game is a result of there being no fat and no nonsense in the pacing or design. In that case, I think you can wave the price argument, because the quality of the game outstrips the importance of quanity .
You could make the same argument for Portal as well.
#29 Posted by Icemael (6312 posts) -

Let me put it this way: A review score is based on a game's value, not its quality. A game's value can be calculated with this formula:
 
V = (LQ)/P 
 
V=Value  L=Length  Q=Quality  P=Price 
 
So yeah, price does affect the review score.

#30 Posted by Cerza (1653 posts) -

They already do factor in price. The whole purpose of a review is to determine if the game is good enough to warrant purchasing it.

#31 Posted by Novyx (479 posts) -

I still personally think it's absurd to assume that a consumer doesn't know how to calculate the value of a game for his or her self when they go to buy. If someone tells you, "Hey, this game is really awesome, with a 6 hour campaign and some pretty good multiplayer," I'm pretty sure they know how much that's worth to him/her. You don't need to tell someone the game is or isn't a value unless it's a major barrier to enjoyment, because you sure as hell know the price you pay when you pay it, but you don't know how good a game is for sure until you get it home.

#32 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

Yes, but only when there is a notable price difference between the reviewed game and the rest of the market.  Games like Beatles: Rock Band (with kit), Tony Hawk: Ride and last generation's Steel Battalion all have price points that are much higher than the average game.  Obviously, this is because all of them include specialized controllers.  When a game company is asking the consumer to pay well above the standard price for a game, I think the reviewer should take that into consideration when assigning a final recommendation.  
 
On the other end, I think that when a reviewer looks at a cheaply priced game, price should be mentioned by not effect the overall review score/tone.  So after the critic sights all the positives and failings of a game, then they can mention price in recommending the game.  
 
In other words, I think it's okay to say "This is a great game" but not "This is a great game for the price".  It's either a great game or not a great game regardless of price.  However someone can say "This is a mediocre game, but it's cheap and you'll get some fun from it for the price."

#33 Posted by tokyochicken (849 posts) -
@PenguinDust said:
" Yes, but only when there is a notable price difference between the reviewed game and the rest of the market.  Games like Beatles: Rock Band (with kit), Tony Hawk: Ride and last generation's Steel Battalion all have price points that are much higher than the average game.  Obviously, this is because all of them include specialized controllers.  When a game company is asking the consumer to pay well above the standard price for a game, I think the reviewer should take that into consideration when assigning a final recommendation.  
 
On the other end, I think that when a reviewer looks at a cheaply priced game, price should be mentioned by not effect the overall review score/tone.  So after the critic sights all the positives and failings of a game, then they can mention price in recommending the game.    In other words, I think it's okay to say "This is a great game" but not "This is a great game for the price".  It's either a great game or not a great game regardless of price.  However someone can say "This is a mediocre game, but it's cheap and you'll get some fun from it for the price." "
Yeah, personally if I wrote a review I'd probably only let the price come into play with the score in the most extreme examples. I dunno, trying to effectively form an opinion on this is hurtiing my brain.
#34 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

Yea, they should usually consider price when reviewing their games. *is aware of hypocrisy*

#35 Posted by Irishjohn (581 posts) -
@Cerza said:
" They already do factor in price. The whole purpose of a review is to determine if the game is good enough to warrant purchasing it. "
Ditto. 
#36 Posted by xyzygy (9895 posts) -
@EVO said:
" No. And for a number of reasons:
  1. Price is subject to change
  2. Value is subjective
  3. Film, music, literature etc. reviews don't
That last point is especially important to those that think games are art. "
This... because what if you're looking to pick the game up when it gets cheaper, the game will have gotten points taken away for something that doesn't even matter anymore.
#37 Posted by Novyx (479 posts) -
@PenguinDust:
Couldn't have said it better myself. Also, don't think I did say it better, so yeah.
#38 Posted by Wally (70 posts) -

Absolutely

#39 Posted by damnboyadvance (4059 posts) -

Yes, it probably should. If a game is of super quality in terms of gameplay and graphics, but is super short and still costs full price, it deserves a 4/5 at most.

#40 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

no, not really as price could drop later in the year. video game prices are different everywhere. so a game could be $60 when somebody across the world could read it and say the game is $80 or something like that. the review would effect other countries. the reviewers would have to review the game again when the price drops. 
 
i do think that it should be said that this game is/ going to be $60. they should also mention if the game is going to be download able or not.

#41 Posted by Bigandtasty (3202 posts) -
@Cerza said:
" They already do factor in price. The whole purpose of a review is to determine if the game is good enough to warrant purchasing it. "
Yep. A lot of GB reviews will talk about the price somewhere near the end.