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#1 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

What do you guys think? For those of you unfamiliar of what MetaCritic is, it essentially compiles all of the review scores on one website for a title, and puts them all under a x/100 scale and gives a grand total of the score, after being filtered, battered and watered down through their scale for easy digestion. Pardon my obvious biased, but MetaCritic is a failed idea in my eyes. If there was a standard on the entire industry to use a specific scale and MetaCritic just compiled these scores, I would be less opposed to it. There are several problems I have with this:
 
1. Since not every website uses the same score system, MetaCritic doesn't just convert it to what the score would be in another scale, with proper scaling. So, technically, a B+ (between 85 - 89, on a /100 point scale) could get transferred to a 75 or 76. I don't understand the logic of how this works, but it jumbles and fucks the rating. It essentially takes the rating and decides where it should go and just replaces it with what they think is correct, or using some obviously fucked math to transfer the score.
 
2. MetaCritic is not an all knowing entity that knows everything about games and what all of the reviewers are saying. MetaCritic is for idiots who don't care about the quality of a review, the face of the reviewer or their opinion. Parts of the industry are completely doing away with a point scale (I believe Edge is doing it,) and just having a "final word" ending sentence that concluded and sums the review without an obligatory, faceless number/letter behind it. Game reviews are meant for opinions and not to be taken at face value letter digestion without an opinion to back it up. Isn't this why we have actual fucking reviews for games? So this doesn't happen?
 
3. And basically, you end up with a completely off-point average for which people blindy decide on whether they are going to buy a game based on what the MetaCritic average is. These reviews... the content is not a throwaway paragraph. It's a full synopsis, opinion and review of the product and what the reviewer thinks. What do you have when you take away the opinion? You have a hollow letter that the reader can either discard or blindy agree with without ever having a context for that reviewers opinion.
 
So, what do you guys think? Should MetaCritic be abolished? Do you think it's a good standard? Does it work? Is it broken? Please elaborate on your opinion.
 
EDIT: Fixed some typos.

#2 Posted by Pinkshley1 (453 posts) -

it works well. So no, it should not be abolished.

#3 Posted by VWGTI (1919 posts) -

Nope. It's a good place to go for a list of reviews. Gamers who say Metacritic doesn't matter are wrong.

#4 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

Please elaborate on your opinions, guys, I'm looking for this to be a conversation.

#5 Edited by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -

Yes, but for another reason:
 
4. Because of metacritic, 90 is what 80 used to be
 
I completely agree on the other points. It's even worse with movies and books because practically no one uses a 1-100 scale there, but somehow metacritic conjures up a number.

#6 Posted by Bigandtasty (3203 posts) -

Metacritic is a good idea, but it tries too hard to incorporate review scores that just don't translate well to a 1-100 scale. 
 
On top of that, people (both consumers and game companies) put too much stock into how well a game is doing on Metacritic.
 
My ideal situation would be for it to still exist, but don't have people care so much about it - they should view it as an aggregator of reviews and not one uber-review.

#7 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -
@Bigandtasty said:
" Metacritic is a good idea, but it tries too hard to incorporate review scores that just don't translate well to a 1-100 scale.   On top of that, people (both consumers and game companies) put too much stock into how well a game is doing on Metacritic.  My ideal situation would be for it to still exist, but don't have people care so much about it - they should view it as an aggregator of reviews and not one uber-review. "
Kind of like Rotten Tomatoes, but for games, right?
#8 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

That's funny. The people who sort of agree with me or the only ones who actually backed their opinions with content. Thanks, guys. And yes, the issue also lies in this whole, "MetaCritic is the be all, end all of scores." Like I said, not only does it jumble the original intended score, but it also takes away the context and opinion.

#9 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@Napalm: I agree that MetaCritic is a poor tool for gleaning the quality of games, but we shouldn't infringe on the webmaster's freedom of expression, just refuse to support them with our web browsers. I don't think any private organization that doesn't engage in coercion should be abolished.
#10 Posted by xyzygy (9981 posts) -
@VWGTI said:
" Nope. It's a good place to go for a list of reviews. Gamers who say Metacritic doesn't matter are wrong. "
Who says so? To me, all reviews don't matter. In terms of getting someone to like a game from a review, it only works for blockbusters. If I had have listened to reviews I would have missed out on a lot of really great gems that I love. 
 
If you're talking about an impact on sales, then yes I suppose it does matter. 
 
Reviewers are paid to find the negative aspects in games. Gamers use their spare time to play said games and have fun. Blindly listening to reviews and taking what they say as fact is what is wrong.
#11 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

I didn't know you were meant to take the average they give seriously.  I only check that site when I want to see if there are any reviews out yet for a new game.

#12 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@xyzygy said:
" Gamers use their spare time to play said games and have fun. Blindly listening to reviews and taking what they say as fact is what is wrong. "
Listening and reading reviews or taking the review score out of context? I'm curious to which one you mean.
#13 Posted by toast_burner (453 posts) -

I like it. it gives you a list of what all thecritics think of it so you dont need to look around for reviews
#14 Posted by MattyFTM (14383 posts) -

MetaCritic has it's place. It's a great resource for finding reviews of games. And it gives you a general ballpark idea of what the gaming press think of a game, which can be usefull. People just need to learn that the MetaCritic score isn't the be all and end all, and that going into individual reviews and reading the text of reviews is far more important than just looking the arbitrary numbers associated with them, and the average of those numbers. There is nothing wrong with MetaCritic itself, it's just the way many people use it that is wrong.

Moderator
#15 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@toast_burner said:
" I like it. it gives you a list of what all thecritics think of it so you dont need to look around for reviews "
You don't get a list of what "the critics think," though, all you get is a translated score. Isn't that the exact problem? There is no context for the scores.
#16 Posted by toast_burner (453 posts) -
@Napalm said:
" @toast_burner said:
" I like it. it gives you a list of what all thecritics think of it so you dont need to look around for reviews "
You don't get a list of what "the critics think," though, all you get is a translated score. Isn't that the exact problem? There is no context for the scores. "

Have youever been on metacritic? next to each review it has a link to the review where you can read it.
#17 Posted by xyzygy (9981 posts) -
@Napalm said:
" @xyzygy said:
" Gamers use their spare time to play said games and have fun. Blindly listening to reviews and taking what they say as fact is what is wrong. "
Listening and reading reviews or taking the review score out of context? I'm curious to which one you mean. "  
I guess I'm just referring to games which get scores between 6-8 and people pass them off as if it were the worst peices of shit ever.
#18 Posted by Lashe (1249 posts) -

No, it should just be used responsibly. 
 
It's great for a consensus at a glance, it does little for substance though. When I am in a store and I'm not entirely sure about the reception a game got and whether it's worth the price, I'll whip out the iPhone and catch a look on Metacritic. When I have time and want to hear critiques, I'll read reviews in full.

#19 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@toast_burner said:
" @Napalm said:
" @toast_burner said:
" I like it. it gives you a list of what all thecritics think of it so you dont need to look around for reviews "
You don't get a list of what "the critics think," though, all you get is a translated score. Isn't that the exact problem? There is no context for the scores. "
Have youever been on metacritic? next to each review it has a link to the review where you can read it. "
Yes, I have. I was dealing more with the average score given by MetaCritic and the godly views of that number. And besides, how many people are going to MetaCritic to read the reviews? Why not just go to the website where it is. I'm not going to MetaCRitic to read GiantBomb's review of Modern Warfare 2. I'm going to GiantBomb.
#20 Posted by MuzykMann (59 posts) -
@Napalm said:
You don't get a list of what "the critics think," though, all you get is a translated score. Isn't that the exact problem? There is no context for the scores. "
 
I disagree. I think you DO get a list of the general opinions different critics have about games. You get a sense of generally positive vs generally negative. Sure, what you may consider an 80 mathematically may actually be listed as a 75, but that's still a favorable review. I think the problem is when people, yourself included, place too much emphasis on a difference of 5-10% on a metacritic score. 
 
If you use the tool to judge general opinions, positive vs mediocre vs negative, then it works great. If you get wrapped up in 87/100 vs 82/100 then you have a problem.
#21 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@xyzygy said:
" @Napalm said:
" @xyzygy said:
" Gamers use their spare time to play said games and have fun. Blindly listening to reviews and taking what they say as fact is what is wrong. "
Listening and reading reviews or taking the review score out of context? I'm curious to which one you mean. "  
I guess I'm just referring to games which get scores between 6-8 and people pass them off as if it were the worst peices of shit ever. "
Haha, well that's dealing with the whole issue of companies only using the 6-10 point scale. That's an entirely different argument for another day, my friend.
#22 Posted by Jeust (10643 posts) -
@Napalm said:
"So, what do you guys think? Should MetaCritic be abolished? Do you think it's a good standard? Does it work? Is it broken? Please elaborate on your opinion.  EDIT: Fixed some typos. "
I think it's great and should be kept.
 
About the off ranking system, truth be said there is no chance of making something as subjective as an opinion, or aggregate of them, into a numeric result and say it is representative of them.
 
It's impossible of objectively without a doubt turn something subjective into something objective.
 
That off the way, games that are great will always be well graded, games that are bad will always have bad scores, unless the industry loves them.
 
And i like the summed version of the reviews as if i like them, i will want to read more, click in the link and do it. But it is true that rarely sums up well the reviewers opinion.

What really disturbs me, it the fact that whatever the game, if it is any good has always some shaddy magazine or reviewer giving them 100%, and the quantity of xbox and playstation magazines in there. 
 
Maybe it's nothing but it seems that some game companies, and console makers are tying to manipulate the aggregate score to their advantage.
 
That is wrong...
 
Though maybe i'm wrong.
#23 Edited by MAN_FLANNEL (2462 posts) -

Its fine.  Nothing is wrong with it.  Its like Wikipedia...not the best place to look for dense credible information, but is sure as hell is a good place to start. 

#24 Posted by neoepoch (1295 posts) -

There is a mad fat problem with it when publishers use it as a way to gauge whether or not to keep certain development teams or grant bonuses when a game reaches above a 90.
I think the EARS said it best when they were talking about Dead Space. They were expected to get a 90 or above, and because a few reviews strongly didn't like the game, it dropped them to an 89 and they were in trouble. There are big problems with Metacritic and they are things that can be fixed (i.e. Not all publications should be weighted the same and you cannot put a score on a text only review), but they don't feel the need to.

#25 Posted by pause422 (6181 posts) -

Everyone I know practically look at metacritic as a joke like everyone else...so yeah. I was saying it should be gone for years now.

#26 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -
@Napalm said:
" 1. Since not every website uses the same score system, MetaCritic doesn't just convert it to what the score would be in another scale, with proper scaling. So, technically, a B+ (between 85 - 89, on a /100 point scale) could get transferred to a 75 or 76. I don't understand the logic of how this works, but it jumbles and fucks the rating. It essentially takes the rating and decides where it should go and just replaces it with what they think is correct, or using some obviously fucked math to transfer the score."
  No site has to have their review hosted on Metacritic, they choose to.  If they don't like how their score is converted, then they should decline permission for it to be used, or make a special Metacritic score.  Whining how their score is converted is just whining.  There is nothing wrong with their maths as far as I am concerned.  It simply uses a number of the review possibilities and divides them into the hundred.  An F is not a 50 on a 13 point scale, it is a 0 for example and usually the review text would essentially back that up. 

@Napalm said:
" 2. MetaCritic is not an all knowing entity that knows everything about games and what all of the reviewers are saying. MetaCritic is for idiots who don't care about the quality of a review, the face of the reviewer or their opinion. Parts of the industry are completely doing away with a point scale (I believe Edge is doing it,) and just having a "final word" ending sentence that concluded and sums the review without an obligatory, faceless number/letter behind it. Game reviews are meant for opinions and not to be taken at face value letter digestion without an opinion to back it up. Isn't this why we have actual fucking reviews for games? So this doesn't happen?"
Metacritic does not claim to know everything, it is simply a repository for all reviews to end up in, for readers to use.  How the readers use it, is not Metacritics problem.  The readers are not idiots in my opinion.  They see a lot of scores and most likely read each summary and marry that that to a preconceived view.  If a game they think they like got a bad average, most likely they would read to find out what possibly went wrong.  You underestimate the reader.   
 
I do agree that scores are useless, but most people want them and they can be a useful guide.  A summary is the best place to start for me as well, but a number is not completely useless.

@Napalm said:
" 3. And basically, you end up with a completely off-point average for which people blindy decide on whether they are going to buy a game based on what the MetaCritic average is. These reviews... the content is not a throwaway paragraph. It's a full synopsis, opinion and review of the product and what the reviewer thinks. What do you have when you take away the opinion? You have a hollow letter that the reader can either discard or blindy agree with without ever having a context for that reviewers opinion."
Why do you think people buy games on a single average number?  I don't believe they do.  People know what games they like and usually decide in advance of a review that they will buy a game.  The reviews and scores simply act as a back-up before they buy.  Don't forget that Metacritic is mainly used by traditional gamers.  Newer gamers who play more casual games probably have never heard of it.  The summary that is placed with the score on Metacritic gives the number context and again, if reviewers want their review on Metacritic, then they should be mindful of what that summary is, so that it matches the score. 
 
So, no, you wouldn't abolish Metacritic.  One, it only hosts what reviewers allow to be hosted and two, it is a free market.  Plus, it is a useful tool.  Use it.
#27 Posted by TheKidNixon (1564 posts) -

I think the problem with MetaCritic is less with the site itself (which is essentially amoral, just a one-stop shop for reviews and criticism) and more with the industry reaction to it. Basing people's pay raises on how a MetaCritic score shapes up is really dodgy, and it places a certain unfair weight on the reviewers. Listen to the latest episode of 4 Guys 1UP to hear Jeff Green discuss just how important impressing critics is for your livlihood as a game developer, even if in all honesty you have no chance in hell in really winning that meta-game, pun only mildly intended.

#28 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4914 posts) -

Even though Metacritic is kind of broken in what its supposed to do, i still like going there once in a while just to give me an overview what most sites are giving a certain title. 
 
Now i don't takes it's numbers to be accurate not even a little bit, but it still gives you a good idea of what people in general think of a game. That said if it went away i would not miss it, i really don't like numbered scales for reviews or meta scores.

#29 Posted by Dudacles (1454 posts) -

I think Metacritic is handy because it allows me to find lots of reviews for specific games with ease. So no, it should not disappear.

#30 Posted by Demyx (3237 posts) -

All reviews or scores should be taken with a grain of salt anyway.

#31 Posted by AgentofChaos (1565 posts) -

A lot of people tend to compare metacritic and Rottentomatoes. I think thats a bit of an unfair comparison, because people will go see movies with less than stellar reviews because they think they will enjoy, whereas in the video game world a game with about a 60% is doomed to be called "bad."

#32 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3501 posts) -

If MetaCritic didn't exist, another site just like it would do the same thing.  You'll see it done no matter how much you don't want it to exist.  I think it would be nice if they separated letter grades, five point scales, ten point scales, and 100 point scales, but I don't see that happening.  They want one and only one figure.

#33 Posted by ErgoProxy77 (550 posts) -

There is simply no need for it.  It is sad that developers and publishers give bonuses based on metacritic scores.

#34 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@Origina1Penguin said:
" If MetaCritic didn't exist, another site just like it would do the same thing.  You'll see it done no matter how much you don't want it to exist.  I think it would be nice if they separated letter grades, five point scales, ten point scales, and 100 point scales, but I don't see that happening.  They want one and only one figure. "
I suppose that's the issue. My distaste for MetaCritic comes from the translated reviews and average. If MetaCritic decided to do away with their own scale and just post a huge library of reviews using the review scales (or lack thereof), then I would be fine with that. The last time I checked, (and it has been awhile), that's what GameRankings does. Constantly seeing people just say, "MetaCritic says 72! That's awful!" is disconcerting.
#35 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

I've never been on Metacritic. The only opinion on a game that matters to me is my own.

#36 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

I disagree, it should be utilized because you can't trust any one site. All sites has something valuable to add to the statistics of the overall average. Just because the average is low doesn't mean you shouldn't go buy the game if you like the genre. Also think of it like rotton tomatoes, you might see the movie, however it might give you an idea should should skip it or it's not that good. 90% scores are movies that are great like the dark knight and stuff like that. Overally I like metacritic and gamerankings opposed to ign said this game is better. They are just one site and they give out AAA scores for alot of games that doesn't even get close to the 90% average. Then again those high scores contributes to the overall average and low scores can help drop the score a bit. Uncharted 2 passed the test of all reviewers bringing in 96%. I expect something similar for modern warfare 2. However a game like resistance 2 didn't score any better on gameranking than resistance and I used that score and rented it instead. The best decision i've made all year because I really didn't like it at all. It's like saying let's throw out the concept of report cards, your just as smart as that other person over there with top scores, which I don't think it's true at all. 
 
I'm saying you can buy whatever game you want, however at least consider it's sort of like a rotton tomatoes sort of site, you probally should consider the average as being important before you watch the movie or play the game. We need a site like that instead of IGNorant giving ps3 and wii games over 90% for just about everything. If anything that should be abolished, it's ign.com. Rather it's mathematics because you are using numbers from every site as a statistic which has nothing to do with written worded opinions, imo.

#37 Posted by yakov456 (1908 posts) -

I always notice that Giantbomb's scores on there are translated into odd percentages. Maybe they are right but a lot of times it just seems wrong.

#38 Posted by Wolverine (4281 posts) -
@Napalm:
I think MetaCritic is a useless site and I have not visited it for a long time but I don't think the site should be "abolished". Come on now, don't use strong words like that.
#39 Edited by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -
Just some points to consider:
 
a) What is the review selection based on? There are many obscure reviews from sources never heard of before (and again)
b) How do they assign scores to non-scored reviews? 
c) How is the metascore itself mathematically derived?
 
They say that they use a "secret formula" to calculate the metascore, so there is some sort of bias going on behind the scenes - larger websites might be considered more credible by default, for instance. Who knows.
#40 Posted by Akeldama (4246 posts) -
#41 Edited by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -
#42 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@atomic_dumpling said:
" Same could be said about you posting in this thread.
 
If you are not interested in an interesting discussion
"
Thank you for taking care of that cleanly, haha.
 
And yes, I'd really like to know about the secret formula they have.
#43 Posted by happyfatman (149 posts) -

I really don't see the problem.  Metacritic just takes the scores of all the major reviewers out there and compiles them into a rough average.  It's not intended to be the ultimate say on a game or how good it is, it's just supposed to give you a rough estimate of the general consensus about a game.  No offense (really) but I think you take the Metacritic averages too seriously.  I don't think very many people have "godly views of that number" that is displayed on a game's Metacritic page.  I personally like it because as MattyFTM said: " it gives you a general ballpark idea of what the gaming press think of a game, which can be useful."

#44 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4895 posts) -

I got no problem with MC if they stopped aggregating the scores, because they suck at it. 
 
But their not going to stop aggregating so, yes, it should be. 
 
Will it? No.

#45 Posted by Red (5995 posts) -

Metacritic is a good way to capture the basic quality of a game, but as far as actually making a purchase based on it, it's kinda useless.

#46 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -
@happyfatman said:
"Metacritic just takes the scores of all the major reviewers out there and compiles them into a rough average. "
That's exactly the point. No one knows how they do that, exactly. Also, how do you define a "major reviewer"?
#47 Edited by happyfatman (149 posts) -
@atomic_dumpling said:

" @happyfatman said:

"Metacritic just takes the scores of all the major reviewers out there and compiles them into a rough average. "

That's exactly the point. No one knows how they do that, exactly. Also, how do you define a "major reviewer"? "
The ones everyone talks about: 1UP, Game Informer, GamePro, GameSpot, IGN, etc, etc.  But MY point is that Metacritic is just an average and should not be taken as seriously as some people on this thread seem to be taking it.  And here's your "secret formula":  http://www.metacritic.com/about/scoring.shtml right there on the main page in plain sight.  Not very secret if you ask me.
#48 Edited by Geno (6477 posts) -

Metacritic is a useful tool for guaging the overall quality of a game. While you can't say a game that scored 96 is better than a game that scored 92, there is still a tangible difference between a 90-something and a 70-something game, which should help you decide during purchasing. I don't think metacritic should be abolished, I think the people that strictly use metacritic for an objective opinion on games should be abolished. 

#49 Posted by ThatFrood (3375 posts) -

yes, we should go get the magic internet hammer and abolish a website.

#50 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@happyfatman said:
" @atomic_dumpling said:

" @happyfatman said:

"Metacritic just takes the scores of all the major reviewers out there and compiles them into a rough average. "

That's exactly the point. No one knows how they do that, exactly. Also, how do you define a "major reviewer"? "
The ones everyone talks about: 1UP, Game Informer, GamePro, GameSpot, IGN, etc, etc.  But MY point is that Metacritic is just an average and should not be taken as seriously as some people on this thread seem to be taking it.  And here's your "secret formula":  http://www.metacritic.com/about/scoring.shtml right there on the main page in plain sight.  Not very secret if you ask me. "
We weren't talking about color coding. We were talking about the actual math to translate the scores.