Game Scores: How Do You Prefer Them Evaluated?

I've been writing game reviews for a little over a year now and I have several video reviews under my belt now as well. What I am wondering has to do with what style in which the community of gamers here, at Giantbomb, prefer their games evaluated. I am sure that there are pros and cons to the many different ways people go about critiquing video games and displaying their evaluation, but I am interested in what gamers think. This doesn't mean I am going to change the way I evaluate games or display the score, all though I have been thinking about it, but I would just like to hear from alternate perspectives on the subject and try to understand why people like or dislike a specific evaluation style.

Which style do you prefer?

Scaled Scores

Scaled Scores are used in a multitude of different ways and different places, but what this is referring to is to evaluations like; 1-10, 1-100, percent, and so on.

Objective

Objective simply cuts to the chase and tries to explain the value of a game whether it be to own, spend time with, avoid, or situational to each individual's preference.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons quickly list several of the game's greatest and most forefront positive (if any) and negative (if any) features that a game has.

Multiple Evaluations In One

Or perhaps you like when a game is evaluated using several of these different aspects.

No Final Verdict

Lastly, possibly you don't like any of these methods and you believe that the written text and audio from a review should speak for itself.

Well?

Which gaming evaluation do you personally prefer?

1. Scaled Scores

2. Objective

3. Pros and Cons

4. Mixture of 1-3

5. No Scoring

40 Comments
40 Comments
Posted by TerraMantis

I've been writing game reviews for a little over a year now and I have several video reviews under my belt now as well. What I am wondering has to do with what style in which the community of gamers here, at Giantbomb, prefer their games evaluated. I am sure that there are pros and cons to the many different ways people go about critiquing video games and displaying their evaluation, but I am interested in what gamers think. This doesn't mean I am going to change the way I evaluate games or display the score, all though I have been thinking about it, but I would just like to hear from alternate perspectives on the subject and try to understand why people like or dislike a specific evaluation style.

Which style do you prefer?

Scaled Scores

Scaled Scores are used in a multitude of different ways and different places, but what this is referring to is to evaluations like; 1-10, 1-100, percent, and so on.

Objective

Objective simply cuts to the chase and tries to explain the value of a game whether it be to own, spend time with, avoid, or situational to each individual's preference.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons quickly list several of the game's greatest and most forefront positive (if any) and negative (if any) features that a game has.

Multiple Evaluations In One

Or perhaps you like when a game is evaluated using several of these different aspects.

No Final Verdict

Lastly, possibly you don't like any of these methods and you believe that the written text and audio from a review should speak for itself.

Well?

Which gaming evaluation do you personally prefer?

1. Scaled Scores

2. Objective

3. Pros and Cons

4. Mixture of 1-3

5. No Scoring

Posted by laserbolts

Scoring doesnt bother me but I really dont care about that part of a review. It just annoys me when people look at a score instead of reading the review and then make dumbass comments about the review.

Posted by TerraMantis

@laserbolts said:

Scoring doesnt bother me but I really dont care about that part of a review. It just annoys me when people look at a score instead of reading the review and then make dumbass comments about the review.

I like you...I like the words that come out of your face.

Posted by Dixavd

Of the ones you mentioned then Pros and Cons:

Scaled results in silly arguements and confusion between readers as to what a score means.

Objective seems restrictive and may result in scoring games that don't fit specific genres down or just get convoluted with many things to check list that might as well be specific to each game and review (which in turn might as well just be the final paragraph of the review). Plus, about half the words listed aren't going to be relevant information to the specific game each time (i.e. when "worth renting" and "worth buying" is ther then that is two points used to tell me one thing in most cases, giving an excess in not very streamlined information)

Pros and cons on the other hand has the detail from Objective-based scoring without having to force convoluted check lists and get to the point with less words. It also allows the score based idea of being able to see if the game is more good than bad.

However the problem with is is that sometimes a game may have only one problem but it is so massive it ruins a game (or only one good one but it carries the game really well) so to combat this maybe adding something to it to help the reader decide- it could be as a simple as thumbs up or down to say if it is an overall good or bad game or go more specific by highlighting the overall memorable part of the experience [so we know if it is one of the pros then we will mostly remember good parts, or if it is a con then we know it will leave a bad impression after] or putting a scaled score to each point to tell how much they specifically affect the overall experience.

(i.e. bad tutorials could be 1/5 stars so we know it makes a mildly bad affect on th eoverall experience, while repetative level design could be a 4/5 so we know it makes a significent change on the experience).

But if you want to stay specifically with one of these traditional set ups then I would say the Objective based system would be best out of these.

Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie

Put me down for Pros and Cons. It's a system that seems to have the best chance of being more objective and useful to the reader.

Posted by Video_Game_King

I just want the damn review. I prefer scores for mathematical reasons, but it's best to hide that shit from your readers. Words speak more than numbers (even if that's statistically a lie).

Posted by MikkaQ

I kinda like how it is here. A big body of text, and a quick scale-based score. It just brings more attention to the review itself. I don't take Giantbomb scores as seriously as I do the review content. So any website that does that is cool in my books. Except 1Up because I can never understand the school grades scoring system. It's not immediately clear what a C+ or B- game is, a 3/5 says a lot more a lot faster.

Posted by Dagbiker

Objective, if you can't defend your score then give it a diffrent score

Edited by HerbieBug

 list of the good and bad plus a yes/no/maybe so opinion from the reviewer is plenty.  I don't need a number, letter, or percentage grade.  Most important to me is the content of the review itself.  Synopsis at the top is secondary. 

Posted by Blind_Evil

I hate to be super reductive but once I started making enough money to buy the games I want, review scores became totally irrelevant. Not that I'm making a huge amount of money, but I can buy 2-3 games a month if they intrigue me and form my own opinion. Reviews from writers I enjoy become more like companion pieces for the game experience. See if our likes and dislikes line up, etc.

That said, aside from GB reviews I really like the new Kotaku format. I hate the rest of the site, though.

Posted by captain_clayman

the 100 pt. scale is broken. 5 star scale is much better.

Posted by Moonshadow101

Scaled, although the particular image you chose to use for that option is obviously the worst possible implementation of such a system. Trying to influence the poll, eh?

"Worth Renting/Worth buying/etc..." both makes ridiculous presumptions about the usage habits of your readers, and doesn't seem to permit them to make their own judgments. It's an absurd system.

Pro's and Con's, while theoretically a more accurate reduction of actual review text, often feels very forced. Trying to cram a full thought into a 1-2 word un-sentence is generally less helpful than saying nothing at all. Additionally, it doesn't provide much information about a game's overall potential: "Pro : Solid story, Con : Clunky mechanics" is a qualification that could be applied to some very terrible games and some very good ones. It's a direction without a magnitude. It does not empower you to dismiss a game, nor does it have the potential to make you interested in a game that you weren't already.

Ultimately, the Pro-and-Con approach presumes to communicate the full text of the review in a few lines, but inevitably fails to do so. The numerical (or starerical, and tomatoes, or whatever) does not attempt to communicate that information, and thus commands the reader to actually read the review if they want actual information, and otherwise allows them to have a vague understanding the reviewer's opinion. And the objective approach is just stupid.

Posted by benspyda

I think giantbomb's system works well. The 5 star system forces them to really think about how much they enjoyed it because the difference between a 4 and 5 star score is a lot greater than something like 8.5 to a 8.9 on most other sites.

Plus obviously the most important thing is the review itself not the summary. Just looking at a game that gets 5/5 doesn't mean that its for me.

Posted by Masha2932

I like the five star scale better but looking at your choices I'd say Pros and cons. I like how Kotaku Australia do their reader reviews, they have their readers talk about what they liked and didn't like then they give a summary at the end. See an example here: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/02/reader-review-pullblox/ Think of it like an enhanced pros and cons system where the pros and cons are part of the review not a summary at the bottom.

Posted by BeachThunder

I really like the pros and cons system. I know it's frowned upon to talk about Gamespot, but I really like the pros/cons they list at the top of their reviews and the icons they use. Personally, I find it to be a very good overview of the merits and shortcomings of a particular game.

Also, I appreciate the effort you went to in making mockups of the various review types :o

Posted by Feruos

I think pros and cons are the most helpful to the readers. When I read game reviews, I want to find out what things stands out in these games, and whether they match my interest. And I want to know why people didn't like the game too since I could dislike it (or even like it) for the same reasons. Scoring is not very helpful as it's very hard to objectively quantify a game, and it does not provide any specific details to the game, only a general result.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I like what Giant Bomb does with its scale. Since it's more based around how the reviewer felt about the game as opposed to some sort of numerical sum it makes it far more honestly subjective and therefore more useful. That, and it's great to watch staff (meaning Brad) do full 180s on what their reviews have said once GOTY discussions come around.

Posted by Vonocourt

@MikkaQ said:

I kinda like how it is here. A big body of text, and a quick scale-based score. It just brings more attention to the review itself. I don't take Giantbomb scores as seriously as I do the review content. So any website that does that is cool in my books. Except 1Up because I can never understand the school grades scoring system. It's not immediately clear what a C+ or B- game is, a 3/5 says a lot more a lot faster.

See, I like the kind of abstraction that is given with the letter grading scale. With a 3/5 it all too often gets associated with a sixty out a hundred, which is pretty much considered a failure. Granted though I don't usually bother with minuses or pluses.

Posted by TerraMantis

@Dixavd: @Dad_Is_A_Zombie: @Video_Game_King: @MikkaQ: @HerbieBug: @Blind_Evil: @captain_clayman: @Moonshadow101: @benspyda: @Masha2932: @BeachThunder: @Feruos: @ArbitraryWater: @Vonocourt:

I just wanted to thank everyone who contributed. And in a very respectful and civil manor I might add.

I think I am going to go with a Pros/Cons list (not limited to four) in the future accompanied with a 5 star system. Although I do not see the 5 star system as being fundamentally much different than my "Objective" system it was nice to see how everyone pointed out the flubs in my system. I guess the presumptions about "buying/renting" and how that relates to a player should be replaced with something more along the lines of "highly recommended/recommended" instead. Or I can simply avoid the whole wording situation and simply use the 5 star system...which is most likely what I am going to do for my next, and future, reviews.

Also, for those of you that mentioned that site I really like it and I am going to check it out more.

Thank you again everyone.

Oh...also, BeachThunder, thank you very much. I was fairly happy with myself about the little glass-looking square thing I made. I thought it was pretty good. Thanks for mentioning the mock-ups.

Posted by crusader8463

Bad: The game was not enjoyable. Whether it's technical problems, bad characters, bad story, or just terrible game design choices the game is not worth spending any amount of time with.

Good: As the name implies it's just good. It doesn't blow you away, but it does enough stuff to make the game enjoyable and is not frustrating to play.

Great: If I spent more time having fun and enjoying the game then I did cursing at it or wishing death upon the designer who made a certain level/character/plot twist/game mechanic then the game is great and is something I feel others should play.

Edited by JoeyRavn

A scale of 5 points is perfect for me. And if you want me to specify: Terrible, Bad, Mediocre, Good, Excellent. Notice that "mediocre" means exactly that, "in the middle", not "bad".

Posted by BrockNRolla

@TerraMantis

Objective
Objective simply cuts to the chase and tries to explain the value of a game whether it be to own, spend time with, avoid, or situational to each individual's preference.

I think you need to reevaluate what the word "objective" means. "Meh and so-so" is about the opposite of what "objective." Objective would be more like "Is 20 hours long," "includes 3rd-person shooter and RPG elements," and "has an art style mainly using browns and greens." These are all "objective" points of review, as in, facts. Whether or not that tells a reader something meaningful about the game depends on what those facts mean to the reader. I believe you mean "subjective."

That aside, I prefer multiple evaluations. There is a worth to requiring someone to set a "score" but absent written descriptions to justify said scores, a number or a star is meaningless.

Posted by YI_Orange

I don't think a review should necessarily be forced into a system. For me, a review should just be your thoughts and feelings on a game constructed into something easy to read. It should be informative, but also opinionated. Though, I don't mean it should be like "This game is bad you shouldn't play it also it's a shooter". It should be more "I didn't enjoy this part of the game and here is why".

Posted by TerraMantis

@BrockNRolla said:

@TerraMantis

I think you need to reevaluate what the word "objective" means. "Meh and so-so" is about the opposite of what "objective." Objective would be more like "Is 20 hours long," "includes 3rd-person shooter and RPG elements," and "has an art style mainly using browns and greens." These are all "objective" points of review, as in, facts. Whether or not that tells a reader something meaningful about the game depends on what those facts mean to the reader. I believe you mean "subjective.

That aside, I prefer multiple evaluations. There is a worth to requiring someone to set a "score" but absent written descriptions to justify said scores, a number or a star is meaningless.

Meh, of course, is a made-up word, but so-so is not. So-so means moderately well : tolerably. Which is basically the same thing as 'meh'.

Objective means to have a singular mind with a specific task or goal to accomplish. Like to quickly inform someone as to whether or not you believe they should purchase or not purchase an item. Objective - something that one's efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; purpose; goal; target.

Where as subjectivity is just that; is it mainly speaking about subject matter; like characters, art style, dialogue, narrative, combat mechanics.

Subjective - a subject's personal perspective, feelings, beliefs, desires or discovery, as opposed to those made from an independent, objective, point of view.

So, I guess you're probably right considering i used the word "whether or not you BELIEVE" right in my explanation of objective and then the word "belief" is right in the definition of subjectivity, which subjectivity's definition then clearly states is opposed to those made from an objective point of view.

I am sure I could debate that though. The fact of whether or not the wording of "meh or so-so" is objective would have to be backed by the wording of a textual review. Simply put, it would not be subjective if the game was factually only moderately well made and tolerable. Or if a game had a 20+ hour campaign I would say that is worth a purchase. Maybe the checked choices of "worth buying, worth renting, so on" are subjective, but the actual overall goal of what that page is doing is not, it is objective because my purpose is to simply state: buy, rent, situational, moderately tolerable product, awful product in an objective manner. Couldn't I say that objectivity and subjectivity are interchangeable here because they're both out of context with no actual review to draw upon?

I think the word objective could be subjective.

Also, you can forget all of that hyperbole I just spouted because I was basically just thinking out loud, but it is as simple as this: you're using/thinking of objective and subjective from its philosophical (plato's realism) context whereas I was not. I was using the word objective to state a goal to the reader not state truths or fallacies.

Oh, context...you dirty hooker.

Posted by BrockNRolla

@TerraMantis said:

@BrockNRolla said:

@TerraMantis

I think you need to reevaluate what the word "objective" means. "Meh and so-so" is about the opposite of what "objective." Objective would be more like "Is 20 hours long," "includes 3rd-person shooter and RPG elements," and "has an art style mainly using browns and greens." These are all "objective" points of review, as in, facts. Whether or not that tells a reader something meaningful about the game depends on what those facts mean to the reader. I believe you mean "subjective.

That aside, I prefer multiple evaluations. There is a worth to requiring someone to set a "score" but absent written descriptions to justify said scores, a number or a star is meaningless.

Meh, of course, is a made-up word, but so-so is not. So-so means moderately well : tolerably. Which is basically the same thing as 'meh'.

Objective means to have a singular mind with a specific task or goal to accomplish. Like to quickly inform someone as to whether or not you believe they should purchase or not purchase an item. Objective - something that one's efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; purpose; goal; target.

Where as subjectivity is just that; is it mainly speaking about subject matter; like characters, art style, dialogue, narrative, combat mechanics.

Subjective - a subject's personal perspective, feelings, beliefs, desires or discovery, as opposed to those made from an independent, objective, point of view.

So, I guess you're probably right considering i used the word "whether or not you BELIEVE" right in my explanation of objective and then the word "belief" is right in the definition of subjectivity, which subjectivity's definition then clearly states is opposed to those made from an objective point of view.

I am sure I could debate that though. The fact of whether or not the wording of "meh or so-so" is objective would have to be backed by the wording of a textual review. Simply put, it would not be subjective if the game was factually only moderately well made and tolerable. Or if a game had a 20+ hour campaign I would say that is worth a purchase. Maybe the checked choices of "worth buying, worth renting, so on" are subjective, but the actual overall goal of what that page is doing is not, it is objective because my purpose is to simply state: buy, rent, situational, moderately tolerable product, awful product in an objective manner. Couldn't I say that objectivity and subjectivity are interchangeable here because they're both out of context with no actual review to draw upon?

I think the word objective could be subjective.

Also, you can forget all of that hyperbole I just spouted because I was basically just thinking out loud, but it is as simple as this: you're using/thinking of objective and subjective from its philosophical (plato's realism) context whereas I was not. I was using the word objective to state a goal to the reader not state truths or fallacies.

Oh, context...you dirty hooker.

I'll say, "Sure." Yes, to have an "objective" can mean a "goal or purpose." But when you see the word "objective" used in reference to criticism, I believe it is highly unlikely that anyone means it in your manner, and you're mixing the definitions inappropriately even in your explanation.

In criticism, objective means; "not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts." Subjective means; "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions." That being said, "meh" and "so-so" are not "objective" words. Their meaning is a moving target. "So-so" can be defined in any number of ways, one for example being "neither good nor bad." That is not the same thing as "tolerable."

My only point here is that criticism is by its nature a subjective art. Your suggestion that a game could be "factually only moderately well made and tolerable" is an impossibility. How does one define "moderately well made" in a fact based manner? Is it about the length of the game? Is it about the buttons used? Those are objective factors. Saying that a 20+ hour campaign is "worth the purchase" is not objective. That is a subjective belief. One may have an "objective" when writing a review, but that does not make a review objective. One is a noun and one is an adjective. You can't use them interchangeably

20+ Campaign = Fact = Objective = Adjective

Worth Buying = Opinion = Subjective = Adjective

I want to tell the reader to buy this game = The Objective = Noun

If this really is about context, then it's a simple misunderstanding. You've still got to use the words correctly though. Nouns and adjectives are not interchangeable.

Posted by TerraMantis

@BrockNRolla:

I like the cut of your jib. Very thorough and well-articulated indeed, while being short and concise. I think I pulled two separate 360s in my last statement. First, by throwing out the definitions and then by saying you were right because it was right in the text of the definitions. Second, by making the debate that the context of the two words were subject to interpretation and then saying that was all hyperbole and nonsense, only to then again state my contextual objective when not applied to a review and only when applied to the image at hand was fine.

I knew right from the first time you wrote your initial message that I had mostly misused objective in this case. I simply wanted to argue for the fun of it. Some people just call arguing by a different name --debating-- and that makes it not seem as childish. Regardless, it is still fun when someone seems to know what they're talking about and see if you can trick them into something. One of my favorite aspects of debating is that you sometimes have to defend something you don't necessarily believe or think is fact. I am sure that I could go into how even the intricacies of writing are circumstance to social convention and that the idea of 'this equals this which equals that and means this" is still subject to change when introduced to contra-standards and I could go all obfuscated on you, BUT you stuck to your guns and finished it off very analytically and I always find it hard to argue against that.

Was fun though. =)

Oh and by the way, my 200th post. You're excited, I know you are.

Posted by codynewill

The text of a review is always the most important thing to look for in a review, but a score is nice to have as a composite of all the ideas and criticisms in the text. I love the Giantbomb five point scale because of the deep differences between each star. I would prefer to see another opinion as well, like Game Informer does. Having a short second opinion in conjunction with the main review can be a nice perspective to see.

Posted by BrockNRolla

@TerraMantis said:

@BrockNRolla:

I like the cut of your jib. Very thorough and well-articulated indeed, while being short and concise. I think I pulled two separate 360s in my last statement. First, by throwing out the definitions and then by saying you were right because it was right in the text of the definitions. Second, by making the debate that the context of the two words were subject to interpretation and then saying that was all hyperbole and nonsense, only to then again state my contextual objective when not applied to a review and only when applied to the image at hand was fine.

I knew right from the first time you wrote your initial message that I had mostly misused objective in this case. I simply wanted to argue for the fun of it. Some people just call arguing by a different name --debating-- and that makes it not seem as childish. Regardless, it is still fun when someone seems to know what they're talking about and see if you can trick them into something. One of my favorite aspects of debating is that you sometimes have to defend something you don't necessarily believe or think is fact. I am sure that I could go into how even the intricacies of writing are circumstance to social convention and that the idea of 'this equals this which equals that and means this" is still subject to change when introduced to contra-standards and I could go all obfuscated on you, BUT you stuck to your guns and finished it off very analytically and I always find it hard to argue against that.

Was fun though. =)

Oh and by the way, my 200th post. You're excited, I know you are.

Ha, well, I'm a law school student so by nature I ought to be always up for a debate. Glad to see this didn't get defensive either. Nothing wrong with a little back and forth, right? Glad to have been your 200th as well.

Posted by Napalm

I thought this was about audio scores for videogames. I am disappointed.

Posted by Soapy86

I just popped in to say that the whole "buy it, rent it, skip it, whatever" scale is completely retarded.

Also, the five point scale is perfect. I wish every other site would adopt it as the standard.

Posted by dantey

I don't know if the pros and cons system is such a great idea. As a summery of a review, it looses context of the text found in the review or the game it is about. Let's say, that a Call of Duty review gets a pro for great multiplayer and a con for a short campaign. Now, anyone that knows anything about CoD, knows, that these game have been this way for a long time. They could even argue, that the short campaign in not a problem, since these game are mostly about online play. Or, if a game like BioShock got the same pros and cons, then it would have a whole other meaning, since those games are about your single player experience.

Cases like these require knowledge of the prior games in the series, which not everyone might have. Ideally, a review would point out, why a specific game should have robust online features, or why a different game should have a great lengthy campaign. But, if the pros and cons systems is set out to describe a game in a short format, then it fails to do that. It just does not give the needed information abut the game, without it being too long, which then would just make it useless.

I also think it is too much of a black and white system. How do you describe mediocrity with it? Like, you can say about Dragon Age two, that, while the combat system is a bot too shallow, it is flashy, fast and great looking. Now, is that a positive or a negative thing? Or should it be separated into two different statements? But then does one outweigh the other? If yes, the which one? I guess you could try to solve these problems by adding a score next to it, but it also can make things more complicating.

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

I want pros and cons in the main categories: Story, gameplay, sound, graphics, bonus features. And just break it down how all of those are. Don't review them, just tell me the good and bad about each.

Posted by GuyIncognito

@captain_clayman said:

the 100 pt. scale is broken. 5 star scale is much better.

I like how you didn't justify your statement. 1/5. F-

Posted by Subject2Change

I don't like scores. I like well written reviews that will help me decide if the game appeals to me or not. Expressing any issues they had the game whether it was part of the game or bugs.

Posted by Hot_in_rhinos

@MasturbatingestBear said:

I want pros and cons in the main categories: Story, gameplay, sound, graphics, bonus features. And just break it down how all of those are. Don't review them, just tell me the good and bad about each.

Your first sentence "I want pros and cons in the main categories: Story, gameplay, sound, graphics, bonus features." just sounds like a very boring review. And the second part "Dont review them, just tell me the good and the bad about each." um, isn't that just a reiteration of your first sentence with different words? Also, isn't a "review" supposed to tell you what is good and bad about a game? So, how do you NOT review them, but just tell you the good and bad about each thing without reviewing a game?

Either I'm dumb or you need to elaborate more on what you're saying.

Anyway, I like a 1-10 scale and I'm not talking about throwing decimals into the mix. If decimals are introduced at any level (even halves) it is no longer a 1-10 scale and it becomes more like a grading scale or people think of it as a percentage.

If you look at a true 1-10 scale with strictly whole numbers then a scale like this makes much more sense and is much more in line with the 5 star system but allows for a varied degree of expressing your enjoyment you had with a game. The numbers 5 and 6 are in the middle of the spectrum with 4 numbers on each side of the scale. Meaning, that 5-6 is medicore, like that of 3 star score in a 5 star system, which indicates a game that is neither good nor bad. NOT an "F" like a 50% would be from a grading scale. If 5 is middle ground that means you should not ignore games that get 5-10 because there could be greatness in there and it is on the "good side" of the spectrum. With a true 1-10 scale there is a little more wiggle room between truly awful games, bad games, okay games, good games, great, and amazing games.

Edited by OldGuy

I dislike scores and do not look at them. I read the words... but if you HAVE to score games you should use the BEST scoring system, which would be to slot each game into a list compared to all other games that you have ever played and use that as the score.
 
Example: You've played 1257 games and then you play Alan Wake's American Nightmare and decide to slot in at 702. So the score is now 702/1258 or (if you insist on having a decimal number) it gets: 55.802861685214626391096979332273. All other games on your list from the original 702 and lower are re-scored in accordance with their new position on the list.
 
No one is going to convince me that this isn't the ne plus ultra of scoring systems.

Posted by bvilleneuve

@OldGuy said:

I dislike scores and do not look at them. I read the words... but if you HAVE to score games you should use the BEST scoring system, which would be to slot each game into a list compared to all other games that you have ever played and use that as the score.

Example: You've played 1257 games and then you play Alan Wake's American Nightmare and decide to slot in at 702. So the score is now 702/1258 or (if you insist on having a decimal number) it gets: 55.802861685214626391096979332273. All other games on your list from the original 702 and lower are re-scored in accordance with their new position on the list.

No one is going to convince me that this isn't the ne plus ultra of scoring systems.

That's a really cool idea. I might start doing that on GoodReads.

Posted by ddensel

Pros and Cons. Just give me a description of the gameplay, whether or not the game plays competently and short notes on graphics and sound. Keep it simple, Buy it, Rent it or Skip it.

Decimal scores are ridiculous. "Oh, I'll play a game that rates a 8.5, but an 8.3 game?!! CRAP."

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

@Hot_in_rhinos said:

@MasturbatingestBear said:

I want pros and cons in the main categories: Story, gameplay, sound, graphics, bonus features. And just break it down how all of those are. Don't review them, just tell me the good and bad about each.

Your first sentence "I want pros and cons in the main categories: Story, gameplay, sound, graphics, bonus features." just sounds like a very boring review. And the second part "Dont review them, just tell me the good and the bad about each." um, isn't that just a reiteration of your first sentence with different words? Also, isn't a "review" supposed to tell you what is good and bad about a game? So, how do you NOT review them, but just tell you the good and bad about each thing without reviewing a game?

Either I'm dumb or you need to elaborate more on what you're saying.

Anyway, I like a 1-10 scale and I'm not talking about throwing decimals into the mix. If decimals are introduced at any level (even halves) it is no longer a 1-10 scale and it becomes more like a grading scale or people think of it as a percentage.

If you look at a true 1-10 scale with strictly whole numbers then a scale like this makes much more sense and is much more in line with the 5 star system but allows for a varied degree of expressing your enjoyment you had with a game. The numbers 5 and 6 are in the middle of the spectrum with 4 numbers on each side of the scale. Meaning, that 5-6 is medicore, like that of 3 star score in a 5 star system, which indicates a game that is neither good nor bad. NOT an "F" like a 50% would be from a grading scale. If 5 is middle ground that means you should not ignore games that get 5-10 because there could be greatness in there and it is on the "good side" of the spectrum. With a true 1-10 scale there is a little more wiggle room between truly awful games, bad games, okay games, good games, great, and amazing games.

My bad. I meant don't review each category. I don't want a number rating for each category.

Posted by Ubersmake

I like review scales, but only if that scale is clearly defined. What separates a 4 from a 5, or a 1 from a 2? If a reviewer lays that out, and sticks to those metrics, then I like having that score, because I know what that means both to the place where that review is published, and to the author who wrote up the review. And then I'd like a write-up that justifies that score.

For the latter, I like Giant Bomb's reviews because I have a good idea of what Jeff and crew actually enjoy in their games. I may not always agree with them, but I can always consider what I enjoy, compare it to what the Giant Bomb guys enjoy, and weigh their relatively lengthy reviews accordingly.

For the former, I have no idea how PC Gamer does their review scores now. But I remember admiring their scale when I read it years ago, when I used to depend on their magazine to get a CD full of demos, before I left the world of dial-up Internet. What separated a 7 from an 8, and an 8 from a 9, was clearly defined. The decimals were pointless, but there were lines drawn between the whole number boundaries. If a game got a 9, that was a game that was recommended to everyone who played or was interested in playing games. If it was an 8, it was recommended for fans of that genre, and people interested in that genre. 7s were recommended for fans of the genre, but not necessarily anyone else. It's not the best example (what does a 5 mean?), but those scales were clear, and I think a lot of score-based review publications and websites could use some consistency and transparency in their scoring metrics.