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#1 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

It seems like every other question on jeff's tumblr is "when are you going to get real and start using a 10 point scale?" Why do people like the 10 point scale? It's terrible, with 5 you have 2 good 2 bad a one in the middle. With ten you have 6 bad 3 good and one in the middle.

I would actually really love a two point scale, just yes or no. Is this game worth playing yes or no?

#2 Edited by CaLe (4052 posts) -

    1. Devil may Cry - 75
    2. Antichamber - 85
    3. Dead Space 3 - 80
    4. Tomb Raider - 75
    5. BioShock Infinite - 85
                    1. Metro: Last Light - 80
    6. The Last of Us - 100
    7. Brothers - 85
    8. Splinter Cell: Blacklist - 85
    9. Saints Row IV - 65
        1. GTAV - 95

I've kept a record of the games I've finished this year and for me personally, a 20 point scale works best. I enjoyed Metro more than Tomb Raider, but they would both be 4 stars. I do feel there is a tangible difference between a 75 and an 80. That difference is 5. 20 point scale, friendo.

#3 Edited by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@cale said:

Devil may Cry - 75

Antichamber - 85

Dead Space 3 - 80

Tomb Raider - 75

BioShock Infinite - 85

Metro: Last Light - 80

Last of Us - 100

Brothers - 85

Splinter Cell: Blacklist - 85

Saints Row IV - 65

GTAV - 95

I've kept a record of the games I've finished this year and for me personally, a 20 point scale works best. I enjoyed Metro more than Tomb Raider, but they would both be 4 stars. I do feel there is a tangible difference between a 75 and an 80. That difference is 5. 20 point scale, friendo.

And what is that tangible difference? What makes a game a 75 rather than an 80?

#4 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@cale: but what if metro was just a "yes you should play this" instead of an 8?

#5 Posted by Kidavenger (3628 posts) -

I think you end up giving too many games a 5/5 on a 5 point scale.

5/5 should be maybe 1 or 2 games in a normal year, it's a lot easier to hand out a bunch of 9s, 8s and 7s to good games and save that 10 for games that really go the extra mile.

I really fucking hate that all reviewer cling to the notion that scores should not be compared, if that's true they really have no use, and I supposed they really don't if that is their intent, but that isn't how consumers use them and treating them as such is just wasting people's time, abolish or make them into what people want them to be and use them for.

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@hailinel said:

What makes a game a 75 rather than an 80?

5.

#7 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

People like a ten point scale because it gives them more shit to argue about.

Online
#8 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

I miss the age of specialized reviewers. Like when there was the JRPG guy, that knows what he's talking about with JRPGs. Closest thing we have to that now is Jim Sterling that actually likes DW and can tell you whats new with the new one.

#9 Edited by CaLe (4052 posts) -

@hailinel said:

And what is that tangible difference? What makes a game a 75 rather than an 80?

I finished both games pretty close to one another and my feeling was that I simply enjoyed Metro more than Tomb Raider, but only slightly. If I had a 10 point scale I would give them both an 8, and the fact I enjoyed Metro more wouldn't show in the score. I don't mean to say there is something I can measure precisely to determine this, I just felt that I enjoyed Metro more. For me, that's a tangible difference. Luckily I don't write reviews; I simply type a number into a text file when I finish a game.

Looking at all the games with the same score, would I say I enjoyed them all equally? Probably not, but price plays a part, and a 100 point scale does seem too arbitrary even for a weirdo like me.

@jz

If I wrote reviews I probably would use a scale with fewer gradations. I just find that this scale works best for me when judging how much I enjoyed a game. Saying "Yes" to both games doesn't tell anyone which game you enjoyed more, meaning they would have to read your review, and possibly also know your tastes. That's a lot of extra work for something a simple score could convey.

#10 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

@cale: but the 10 point scale is just the 100 point one with a decimal point.

#11 Edited by Wuddel (2100 posts) -

Because 10^n is the basis on how we write numbers, and the civilized world is even using it for units like kilometers! Also GB is not a "specialized reviewer" site. Its here for the silly stuff and the video content. In terms of "hours played" I hardly play games, which are discussed/reviewed on the site.

#12 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@cale: it does not matter which one the reviewer liked more, all you need to know is they are worth playing. I think tomb raider is the 2nd best game of the year. Thus if the reviewer liked metro more that would be meaningless.

#13 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

@hailinel said:

And what is that tangible difference? What makes a game a 75 rather than an 80?

What makes a game any score, it is all opinion and a 75 is as valid as an 80 or a 100 or a 117, or even a -7.

In the end is all a bunch of silly numbers and the only opinion that matters is your own.

#14 Edited by CaLe (4052 posts) -
@jz said:

@cale: but the 10 point scale is just the 100 point one with a decimal point.

The decimal point makes a huge difference. If you see a game get 9.1 you assume it's probably pretty good, but if it get's a 9.9??? GOD HATH DESCENDED UPON THY EARTH AND BESTOWETH US WITH GAME.

If someone tells me a game is worth playing I would have to read a review and see why it's worth playing. Ain't nobody got time for that. Tell me it's a 95 and then saddle me up cowboy, I've got a rodeo to get to.

#15 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@cale: I was just saying a 9.9 is the same as a 99

#16 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1933 posts) -

@kidavenger said:

I think you end up giving too many games a 5/5 on a 5 point scale.

5/5 should be maybe 1 or 2 games in a normal year, it's a lot easier to hand out a bunch of 9s, 8s and 7s to good games and save that 10 for games that really go the extra mile.

I really fucking hate that all reviewer cling to the notion that scores should not be compared, if that's true they really have no use, and I supposed they really don't if that is their intent, but that isn't how consumers use them and treating them as such is just wasting people's time, abolish or make them into what people want them to be and use them for.

The five point scale is better because you are not calculating some precise quality metric, you are simply stating how much you like something. When looking at a 10 or 20 point scale (let alone a 100 point scale), there is no point to the granularity. Do you really feel like you have more information when deciding between two games with very close but slightly different scores? Do you really need to know the difference between two games with close scores or do you only need to know whether the reviewer thought they were good or not.

You also say there should only be one or two 5/5 games a year, and I must ask why? 5/5 doesn't mean "this game is perfect", it means "I really like this game, you should play it". I don't think Bioshock Infinite is as good as The Last of Us, but I would still give both games a 5/5 because they are both really good. It's not important which of two fantastic games is slightly better than the other, only that they are both acknowledged as being fantastic, which a 5 point scale accomplishes just fine.

I suppose some people do like to know which game is better, but do you really see a game that gets a 9 that much differently than a game that gets a 10? In both instances I see a game that is really good that I should probably play, which is exactly the same point expressed by a 5/5. The differences are also undermined by the fact that most sites have different people reviewing different games. On Gamespot, Kevin Vanord gave Bioshock Infinite 9/10 and Tom McShea gave The Last of Us 8/10. Well, it seems clear which is better, but what would Keven Vanord give The Last of Us? We know Tom McShea gave Bioshock a 4/10, it just becomes a muddled mess of trying to figure out which game is "better". Switching to a 5 point scale wouldn't necessarily clear up these issues, but it does make it easier to see whether a game is worth getting and not get caught up in which is "better"

The 10 point scale is especially redundant because a lot of sites (like Gamespot) seem afraid to give anything a 10 (they have only given out seven 10/10 scores in nearly 20 years), leaving really only one score (9/10) as an unconditional recommendation (hmm, just like a 5 point scale). On the other end, the way most sites use the scale anything below a 5 might as well be a 1.

Perhaps if more sites used the entire 10 point scale there would be more merit to it, but as things stand now, it basically amounts to 9-10 (5/5), 8 (4/5), 7 (3/5), 5-6 (2/5), 1-4 (1/5), and that's just pointless.

#17 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3028 posts) -

I would rather have everything be words on a Likert scale. These words are a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires.

    • Very Good
    • Good
    • Barely Acceptable
    • Poor
    • Very Poor


    • If you want a larger scale you could add to each end an extra scale level, but it won't be a 'true' Likert.



    • Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    • Barely Acceptable
    • Poor
    • Very Poor
    • @%$#
#18 Posted by CircleNine (381 posts) -

I don't even like the 5 star scale that GB and other review sites use. I think it should be a 4 star scale instead. Or you know just get rid of scores.

#19 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I think it would be just acceptable, putting barely in front makes it more of a slam.

#20 Posted by Gruebacca (570 posts) -

@jz: I don't really prefer either a 10 or a 5 over the other. However many points you have on your preferred scale, each distinctive point needs to have a defined description attached to it. Otherwise, the scores will sound arbitrary. For example, on Giantbomb, 5/5 = solid recommendation, 4/5 = good game, 3/5 = it has some core flaws, but it's ok. 2/5 = this game has more problems than good points, and 1/5 = total fucking garbage. I know what each score means, and if I want to know why a game deserves that score and that description for the score, I read the review. If done properly, it shouldn't matter what kind of point scale a site uses.

As for a two-point scale, that scale assumes the reviewer knows what each individual's taste in games is. It can't apply to a general population in a score, but a good review will relay such information so that each individual person can make a yes/no purchasing decision for themselves.

Hope this helps.

#21 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@circlenine: jeff said if your not putting any score on your review, your taking yourself too seriously.

#22 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

@gruebacca: well if someone says yes you should play this football game and you don't like football. I'd hope you'd know you don't like football.

#23 Posted by Snail (8661 posts) -

I go to Jeff's tumblr worryingly often and I have never seen that question once. I have seen questions about the "meaning" of the 5-star rating, and other silly stuff like that, but never one begging for a 10-point system I don't think.

#24 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@snail: that's a direct quote from a question I saw there yesterday.

#25 Edited by BigJeffrey (5178 posts) -

everyone should go on 40 point scale

#26 Edited by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Because with the 5 star system you can give 5/5 to games left and right.

#27 Edited by Snail (8661 posts) -
@jz said:

@snail: that's a direct quote from a question I saw there yesterday.

Hardly "every other question" though.

To contribute something to the topic: the 5-star rating is probably my favorite for video-games. By being simple and not having a mathematical "tone" to it, it emphasizes on the relative value of these things. Read the review, the score is an aid, an addendum to the actual text - not the other way around (note: this isn't an attack to you directly, just something I'm telling people in general).

Remember Patrick's three part interview with Manveer Heir (or whatever his name was) on "game criticism" (back when that was a prolific buzz-term, a "thing" if you will)? It's still on the site, obviously, and it's worth a read. A good case for something as simple as the 5-star system in this Metacritic-obsessed industry is made.

#28 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

Because we count in base 10.

#29 Posted by ShockD (2421 posts) -

Scale doesn't really matter for me, it's just to orientate you anyway.

#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#31 Posted by jimmyfenix (3753 posts) -

Tekken 3 getting a 9.9 is a perfect example of the problem with the 100 point scale. To this day i wonder what the 0.1 deduction was for.

100 point scale was always dumb.

#32 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

How is there not a video of @jeff going over the 5 point scoring system? I can't remember it but it's something like, Awesome, Excellent, Okay, Bad, Don't Play. How does that not tell you everything you need to know?

I do however hate the sites that have, Buy, Rent, Avoid scale, which I guess sometimes the GB scale could be broken down into. The idea of renting a game to me is disingenuous. Get what you can from it and then pass it along. This creates the wrong kind of attitude towards games in my opinion and promotes being passed around like the village bicycle. I think scores should be binary either Play or Don't Play, after that you can get into the nuances of game 'fans of the genre' etc but I feel telling a person to only 'rent' a game is highly detrimental to videogames at large.

#33 Posted by Marokai (3145 posts) -

@phrosnite said:

Because with the 5 star system you can give 5/5 to games left and right.

I think you end up giving too many games a 5/5 on a 5 point scale.

^^^ What these folks said. The five point scale is too vague and imprecise, for my taste, and leads to a lot of contradictions. It essentially turns a perfect score into a "yeah you should totally go buy it" and if that's how you're going to treat the five-star scale, you may as well switch to a Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down system. If Jeff had gave GTA V a 9/10 instead of a 5/5, him going on about a lot of minor, surface-level complaints about the game seems more consistent with the score, and makes more sense to me as a reader, for example. For someone who claims to take the idea of scoring games seriously, and wants to legitimize scores as a part of game reviews, the five point scale trivalizes high scores.

A 10 point scale that people actually put thought into and use appropriately (Destructoid and Edge are good examples of this) is a far better system than the vague recommendations masquerading as a scoring system that is the five-point scale. You don't need decimals or any of that bullshit. Just ten points, that's it and that's all. There's a middle ground between using ten points with decimals, and using only a few points out of five.

Besides, as others in this thread have already stated, 10 is how we measure things, and, as George Carlin once joked when dismantling the Ten Commandments, is a very psychologically important number. Nobody ever thinks of "the seven best game consoles" or "the six hottest couples" or "the four most beautiful places in Europe." 10 is just a widely used, understood, and satisfying number.

#34 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@razielcuts: well renting is totally fine for something like beyond two souls or playing just the single player of a shooter. Games don't have feelings, the game does not feel warm and fuzzy because you bought instead of renting it. If I lived in a town where I could rent games I'd never buy a game again.

#35 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

@marokai: why is more games being deeded good a bad thing?

#36 Edited by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

I use an infinite scale! Every time I play a new game the rating scale changes! If I liked Deus Ex: HR more than I liked The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess but less than I liked AD&D: Curse of the Azure Bonds, then it will take the 7345 score that CotAB had and CotAB (and all games above it) go up 1.

Super simple! And you always know where everything stands at all times! All reviews should adopt The One True Rating System!

Yo! People! Stop looking at the score and read the words...

#37 Posted by Chaser324 (6744 posts) -

I've always tended to prefer a five star or letter grade system. I think those provide plenty of granularity for clearly communicating your overall opinion of a game.

10/20/100 point scales offer far more granularity than it's even feasible to make use of. There's just no way that you can approach a review in a way that is objective and quantitative enough to allow you to effectively make use of that entire scale. It inevitably just leads to issues where it's impossible to justify the difference in a 7 vs 8, 8 vs 8.5, or an 8.1 vs 8.2.

Moderator
#38 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
#39 Edited by Marokai (3145 posts) -

@jz: It's not like the score system changes the quality of the game itself, I just think if you're going to have a scoring system it shouldn't be so vague. There are wild differences in how certain games that get 3, 4, or 5 stars are treated. Some games that get 4 stars get constantly shit-talked, while games that get 3 stars get talked up and remembered very fondly. A ten-point scale allows for an appropriate level of specificity. Like I mentioned, look at Destructoid and Edge as great examples of the ten-point scale done right. Edge only gives out 10s to games they view as truly incredible and important in the grand narrative of video games, and Destructoid clearly denotes what each point means at the bottom of their reviews and actually use all ten points. (Though they still use decimals on rare occasion, I think, which is silly, but they at least take scoring more seriously than most.)

Jeff acts as if the only two scoring systems are 1-5, or a system of hundredths of points up to 10. Is there an appreciable difference between a 7.75 and a 7.9? No, that's super stupid. But there are actual differences between a 7 and 8. Letter grades all AV Club style are good too.

@oldguy said:

Yo! People! Stop looking at the score and read the words...

I'll stop paying attention to scores when reviewers stop using them. Until then, they are making the conscious decision to include a number to their review and it's fair game for being judged.

#40 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

@jz: Well then my response to that is to stop playing games. No offence but you're not contributing anything to the industry so just stop. So long, see ya later, you're done here. Movies, Music have multiple shots at getting some of that money, which by the way makes the world go round. Games however don't, they come out, people play them, then they fade. That's it. There's no double revenue there's nothing so congratulations on diminishing what you love, I hope it's around for you in 20 years because it probably won't be with that attitude.

#41 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@marokai: but everything 5 and under is a 1 anyways so the 10 point scale is just a 5 point scale that starts at 5 instead of 1.

#42 Edited by Marokai (3145 posts) -

@jz said:

@marokai: but everything 5 and under is a 1 anyways

Only for reviewers using their scale incorrectly and not making use of all of their numbers. (Edit: Which is actually another problem I have with the five star scale. I don't understand what anything under 3 even means. Games that have gotten 2 stars on this site include Catherine, Duke Nukem Forever, and Resident Evil 6. These games are not anywhere near each other and all ended up at 2 stars for wildly different reasons.)

#43 Edited by me3639 (1849 posts) -

I remember someone on a podcast, not GB, that said this generation has really been defined but not bad games. Previous gen it was clear there was a distinct difference between excellent and bad. If you look at the games released this year as an example, there is a case to play, really, almost 90-95% of them. All are not great games, but they are all good games. I could really care less of what reviewers say these days as they dont play games from my perspective. I play what i want, when i want. Their opinions dont carry my thoughts as i just want to have fun. Current example is Dan Stapleton, who i have been a fan of for a long time, gave Alien Rage like a 4/10. It may be the most fun i have had with a shooter this year but i feel bad for the real talent developers who have to listen to crap after working hard to entertain us. Anyone can review games, it takes talent to make something out of nothing.

#44 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

@razielcuts: wow just wow do you need some wax for your cross? trust me I've pumped more money into the videogame industry than you'll ever have in your entire life. I own over 2,000 games 90% of them bought the day they came out. I'm just saying if I had a rental place in walking distance it'd be really convenient.

#45 Posted by JJWeatherman (14569 posts) -

Guys, I think we could all learn a thing or two from Conan O'Brien.

#46 Edited by Pr1mus (3946 posts) -

My personal scale has 3 point.

  • Great!
  • It's alright
  • Don't care

If i come back to a game years later and still think it's great then i know it's a very special game. For example Super Mario 64 is a very special game but i doubt i will still think as highly of Uncharted 2 in a couple years. A great game of its time that goes on to be forgotten.

#47 Edited by fisk0 (4485 posts) -

I'd rather see a two or three point scale, pretty much "I recommend this", "I do not recommend this" and possibly some kind of "maybe you should wait for a sale (or patches) or check more reviews?" thing in the middle.

#48 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

@marokai: has nothing to do with the reviewer people will never think a 4 out 10 is anything but total crap.

#49 Posted by bybeach (4995 posts) -

I personally favor the 10 (or rather the 100) scale. I'm not arguing for it, this site does as it thinks best. But I would tell you one thing, there would never be a game rated 10/10. Or better put, I myself have never seen one yet. But on this site I have seen the equivalent as 5/5, which surprises me. Nor would I rated the equivalent of a 60 when I thought it 70. But of course there I am committing the sin of thinking as grading.

But there is a strong reviewer oriented preference for the whole number 5 scale(no decimals or 1/2 stars.)

Okay. Back to the written review which tends to be above average at GB.

#50 Posted by Hunkulese (2875 posts) -

Most rating systems are meaningless so I could care less if they use a five point, ten point, or Conan O'Brien's 166 point + Roman Numeral system.

It's by no means scientific so anything above a five point scale is pretty absurd and Giant Bomb should clarify what their ratings mean or they're just as useless.

Five stars should be everyone will probably enjoy this game.

Four stars should be you'll likely enjoy this if you're a fan of the genre or the series.

Three stars should be you might enjoy this game and should read some more reviews to see if this game is for you

Two stars should be you're probably not going to enjoy this game but the chances are slim that it'll make you throw up.

One star should be no.