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Topic: How do you look at review scores?

Posts 21 to 40 of 44

GrailUK

I go to the score so that I can read the review with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm.

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Ralizah

I read them, but they don't mean too much to me. Critical consensus (and user consensus, for that matter) often says more about what's fashionable at a given time in the gaming industry than the overall level of quality you can expect from a game. This means that more popular types of games will review easier than less popular types of games.

Moreover, the numbers assigned to a game often seem arbitrary. If I say a game is a 10, for example, am I approaching it from a subtractive perspective, where I start with a perfect score and then subtract points for every flaw I detect in the game, or from the viewpoint that it's such a great experience that it transcends its flaws? How is a 9 substantively different from an 8? And why does a 10 point scale even exist when all but the worst games never seem to score worse than a 6?
Even if a website answers these questions satisfactorily, this doesn't help when sites like metacritic take scores from different reviewers working under different scales with different standards and mash them all together to give you one number that many people consider representative of how good a game is.

Critical consensus can be valuable as a canary in the coal mine once in a while, though. If a game in a genre that's fairly popular in the West is getting universally panned, that probably merits a closer examination of the game. Conversely, if a game in a genre that doesn't usually review well gets good scores, it might be worth taking this fact into consideration.

EDIT: I should also mention that it doesn't help when groups of rabid fanboys band together and harass people who assign popular properties lower scores. If a reviewer can't give anything below a 9 to a game like Uncharted 4 or Breath of the Wild without being targeted and bullied, how are we supposed to trust the critical consensus on those games?

This doesn't just apply to gaming culture, but to geek culture more broadly. People were being harassed for giving low scores to films like The Dark Knight Returns and The Avengers as well.

Edited on by Ralizah

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NaviAndMii

BLP_Software wrote:

I dont look at a scores. I read the review. And I make my opinions because I dont care what random joes think.

But with regards to the 0-5 is bad, 6-7 is okay, 8-10 is amazeballs...thats a skewed scale with more points to mediocrity and below rather than being an equal weighting to each outcome. I think thats why I ignore scores.

I disagree - the way I see things, if you shift the scale so that 0 is 'average'; -1 to -5 would represent various shades of negative, 1 to 5 positive - it's not too dissimilar to grades at school: A to C good, D to F not so good...sure, it's kind of a crude way of looking at things - but when you start to look at the mean average that games score on aggregator websites like Metacritic, you get a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Of course, I agree, what really matters is the meat and bones of the game - and you can only really get a feel for that by watching in-game footage and reading reviews in full...but, to take the example I used earlier, I don't really enjoy turn based strategy games (personal preference) so, knowing that, I'd avoid even a highly rated one - and probably wouldn't even bother reading the review for it because it's not my kind of thing...on the other hand, if I see a highly regarded game in a genre that I do enjoy - high scores will get me to notice & the contents of the review/footage may persuade me to buy it if I like what I see.

I can't say that I've ever played a negatively reviewed game (5 or below) that I've really enjoyed - so I find it difficult to fault the scoring system on that front.

Edited on by NaviAndMii

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shaneoh

I don't, if I bother to look through a review for a game before buying, I look for technical issues.

Ralizah wrote:

EDIT: I should also mention that it doesn't help when groups of rabid fanboys band together and harass people who assign popular properties lower scores. If a reviewer can't give anything below a 9 to a game like Uncharted 4 or Breath of the Wild without being targeted and bullied, how are we supposed to trust the critical consensus on those games?

This doesn't just apply to gaming culture, but to geek culture more broadly. People were being harassed for giving low scores to films like The Dark Knight Returns and The Avengers as well.

For me, BotW was a 7 and the Avengers was a 4.

Edited on by shaneoh

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Tyranexx

I find review scores to be important, but I don't take them as gospel. It's still the opinion of one person (or a small group), and it's rare if not impossible for human beings to agree on every aspect of a game. Often, multiple factors go into my game purchases: Multiple review scores (with critical reading applied), the franchise/genre in general, a demo or two, and (if I'm still on the fence), YouTube footage and the general feedback of others.

Because my time is generally limited, I tend to ignore games that score a 5 of fewer. How I generally read scores:

0 - Kill it with fire
1-3 - Nope
4-5 - Average or below average with some redeeming qualities, but overall not worth my time.
6-7 - I'll consider it, especially if it's genre/franchise I like or if I feel like I can deal with any flaws that were pointed out.
8-10 - My preferred range, I'll normally get it unless it's a genre I really don't care for, or if I don't agree with certain aspects of it.

While I generally trust Metacritic's aggregated scores from reputable websites, I take the user reviews/scores with a lot more salt. Some let their bias over something stupid heavily affect their score (FE: Fates had some unfairly low scores because of the removal of a certain minigame, for example), which may fool those who don't read between the lines.

The whole mentality that games that score a 7 or below aren't worth it at all is a load of Tauros manure, IMO.

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kkslider5552000

In the past, I've basically rated games in my head, just based on "how do I feel about this game?" Just as a super brief thing to think of from time to time. Generally two things consistent with me is that:
-I tend to in some way, entirely agree with idea that 0-5 games suck and the other typical numbered game review score number...cliches. Regardless of whether that's a bad thing or not.
-The absolute top score I will give a game, unless it's literally one of my top 20 or so games ever, is a 9.5. A looooot of games between 9 and 9.5. Either because I'm usually optimistic or because I haven't played so many games that great games are normally below that.

But the thing is, that's a fun thing for me to do because it's fun for my to score things. If I was a legit reviewer anywhere, I'd try far harder to be critical and judge stuff on a wider scale (for example, imo Star Fox Zero is a 7.5 but it'd get a 6 in a review). But the fact is, the Grade School logic of game reviews is not a mentality that's ever gonna change.

Also, the only games that I loved that critics didn't get (AFAIK) were Wonderful 101, Dark Souls and Kirby Air Ride. And only Kirby Air Ride was just straight up not liked by critics.

Edited on by kkslider5552000

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skywake

People like to complain about review scales being too high. Try and actually give scores to a bunch of stuff that you think is worth scoring and see how you do. I use a site for reviewing music and for quite a while now I've made a point of giving a star rating to just about every album I listen to. I've rated about 350 albums and the average score I've given is 3.8 stars (i.e. 7.6/10).

Try as I might I can't help but lean towards a higher score. Purely because there's not much point going out of my way to listen to stuff I know I won't like. Just like sites will generally not go out of their way to review games people aren't interested in. And how publishers won't go out of their way to publish content people won't buy. There's a general bias towards better content built into the scale and it's not a bad thing.

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gcunit

skywake wrote:

People like to complain about review scales being too high. Try and actually give scores to a bunch of stuff that you think is worth scoring and see how you do. I use a site for reviewing music and for quite a while now I've made a point of giving a star rating to just about every album I listen to. I've rated about 350 albums and the average score I've given is 3.8 stars (i.e. 7.6/10).

Try as I might I can't help but lean towards a higher score. Purely because there's not much point going out of my way to listen to stuff I know I won't like. Just like sites will generally not go out of their way to review games people aren't interested in. And how publishers won't go out of their way to publish content people won't buy. There's a general bias towards better content built into the scale and it's not a bad thing.

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Reginald

I usually just go with my own judgments when determining. If there is a game I'm considering but unsure of, I'll watch a short gameplay video (especially of things I'm concerned about) and judge by that. Sometimes I may read a review, but often I find many reviews nowadays to be highly opinionated and too personal. There are plenty of games I've enjoyed that a lot of people didn't, and likewise there are games that I did not like that others did. I'm not going to take a review as the be all, end all.

Reginald

Peek-a-boo

I just simply read the review, then look at whatever score said reviewer plonked onto the end.

These days, I buy what I like the look of and, nine out of ten times, they always end up being worth my time. I also enjoy reading impressions from both fans and newcomers of whichever game I am looked up on too.

I enjoy reading reviews on this website, but it’s hard to deny that the scores are often higher than the average. I don’t think Splatoon 2 should ever had received a 10, for example, and it was only one of two 10’s around the web too. I understand that this is primarily a Nintendo fan site, but take it easy on the scores!

Peek-a-boo

CanisWolfred

Reginald wrote:

Sometimes I may read a review, but often I find many reviews nowadays to be highly opinionated and too personal.

...isn't that the point, though? To hear their opinions so you get an idea of what works and what doesn't, compare them to your previous experiences so you can have a more informed judgment before buying a product?

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Late

I tend to do my own research before the reviews arrive by watching trailers, following news and reading early impressions. When the reviews come, I've often already made my decision and I just check them to make sure the game in question doesn't have bugs, design flaws or other bad things that might affect my enjoyment.

If a game I haven't followed much gets a lot of praise from multiple people, I take a better look at the game and possibly keep the game in mind as something that I might enjoy and I wait for a sale. If I buy a game that gets great scores but I didn't enjoy, it's not the reviewers' fault. It should be self-evident but it for sure doesn't stop some people arguing with the review.

I've recently played Mutant Mudds and I'm glad I decided to wait for a sale even though it got 9/10 from NL. While I enjoy it at times, the game seems to suffer from bad level design. Worst offender being one stage where you get bombarded by two flying enemies that you cannot kill. One of them is off-screen so you can't see where the bomb is coming from and the explosion is so big that as far as I know, it's impossible to avoid in the space that's given to you. It's not that hard of a level otherwise but there shouldn't be a spot where you have to take damage.

Late

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Tyranexx

Late wrote:

I tend to do my own research before the reviews arrive by watching trailers, following news and reading early impressions.

This is part of my process before a game releases. Sometimes my decision is made before a game is reviewed if it's an established franchise that I already know I'll enjoy. It's a bit harder if it's a new IP or a genre that I'm interested in but haven't dipped into much. Cases like that are when I rely more heavily on reviews and other feedback before throwing money at a game.

Take a mainline Pokemon game that just came out, and I'm almost guaranteed to snap it up. I may look through a review or two to see if there are any game-breaking bugs or other areas of worry, but it's almost a guaranteed purchase.

Conversely, until recently I was on the fence about Ever Oasis. I read some first impressions, watched multiple trailers, etc. However, I was still hung up on the oasis and material management since I wasn't sure those were aspects that I would like. A few reviews, user feedback, and a demo later, I now plan to pick up the game.

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Phazon

Review scores are a joke nowadays, just like they were in the snes/megadrive era

Zelda Breath of the wild: 3.5/5 - "It has it's flaws, I would have done these things different, ect..."

Dragon Ball Fusions: 5/5 - "hurr durr, it's Dragon Ball!!!1! Can't wait till the Naruto dlc!!11!

Edited on by Phazon

Phazon

JaxonH

For all the accusations of review scores being horrible, I find them incredibly useful.

Basically,

0-5 Avoid at all cost, forget the game exists and move on. Doesn't matter if it's a 1/10 or a 4/10, everything from 0 to 5 is equally bad

6-7 Research further. It's possible the game is much better than this and the reviewer is biased or has horrible taste- the higher the score you would rate it, the less likely the occurrence (for example, plenty of 8/10 games get unfairly labeled with a 6/10, but seldom does a 9 or 10... but it does happen- DKC Tropical Freeze got a 6 from Gamespot, and that game is 10/10 best 2D platformer of all time perfection). It's also possible the game is indeed a 6-7 due to flaws, and it's possible the game is just suited to your taste. So, research further.

8-9 Solid game, in no way can be considered bad. Up to you if it's your style of game or not. If it is, buy it without hesitation, otherwise skip it

10 Buy it buy it buy it, whether it's a genre you like or not. Any game that can score 10 does so for a reason and I truly believe that anyone can get into any given genre, provided they play the right game. Any game with 10/10 is worth any risk there may be of not conforming to one's taste.

As for reviews, I skip down, read the summary and score. If the score falls within +/-1 point of what I expected and what I predicted the game to be based on knowledge gathered from other various sources, I accept the score as valid. Unless there is something in the summary which contradicts the sum of my knowledge about the game thus far, then I don't bother reading the whole review. If the score is 2pts or more outside of my expected score, or if the summary states something that catches me be surprise, then I dig into the review for more information.

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Phazon

@JaxonH

that doesn't explain why gbatemp gave breath of the wild a 7/10 & Pokemon Sun/Moon a 6/10

Maybe I listed a bad example since sites like gbatemp tend to live in the past and won't acknowledge that 16 years have passed since 2000.

Phazon

Octane

@Phazon Reviews are subjective. If those reviews thought the games were a 7/10 and a 6/10, so be it. They aren't wrong, they cannot be wrong. I rather see people judge the game for what it is, than judge it for what they think other people will agree with.

Besides, the score at the end is the least important bit of the review.

Octane

JaxonH

@Phazon
Explain?

The only one who can explain why games are scored what they are, is the one who reviews them.

But good games get bad scores from time to time. In fact there's always at least one site that goes against the grain. Which is why it's important to follow a reviewer you trust and shares similar preference with you. It's why I don't follow Jimquisition, for example. He highly praises games I see as as just decent, and calls just decent the games I highly praise. So his opinions aren't worth squat to me.

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gcunit

I wouldn't place trust in any single source, no matter how consistently similar their views have been to mine, as IMO there's always the possibility of things behind the scenes influencing what gets published.

Right now in my head, it's all horses, horses, horses, food, and horses.

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