The traditional notion of giving a game a score out of five, ten, or any amount is falling out of fashion with many outlets rapidly adopting more arbitrary systems for one reason or another. Personally I feel this is a step in the wrong direction, and a score based on a finite scale is paramount in promoting objectivity in reviewing any title.
Check out the video below where I delve into more detail to explain my position on this modern matter of muddled media; I'll know if you don't.
Common sense , really... something sadly lacking in a lot of things in current day and age.
Here is what I propose.
Give an objective score, X/10
Give a 2nd, subjective score for how fun the game was, X/10
That way you could objectively penalize Star Fox for not offering a traditional control scheme, but at the same time rate its' "fun factor". I feel this is very important because there are many games that would rightfully deserve no higher than a 7/10 yet to me are some of the funnest games I've ever played.
I think every review should be an opinion. I don't want to read/listen to someone telling me how they think I'll like I game, I want to know how they liked it. When you watch/read enough of said reviewer's reviews, you know what sort of person they are, how you can relate and then you can judge if you're likely to enjoy the same things.
Mark Kermode is probably my favourite film critic, I watch his reviews after every film I see and 9/10 he'll say EXACTLY what I'm thinking.
I think it's worth having a score, just as long as readers remember that it might be skewed based on the reviewer's opinion of the game - a game they love might have a higher score than expected, a game they hate might have a lower score. If you really want, you could also ignore the score and focus on the crux of the review to make your own decision.
I think Alex oversells the importance of objectivity in his argument. There must be some level of objectivity and academic knowledge in order to distinguish between a critical review and an amateur blog, but ultimately it comes down to a well written and well reasoned subjective opinion.
Scores are as subjective as the review text itself and only serve to muddy the water--get rid of them.
The numbers in the end can still be substituted for anything and yet the review will still hold merit in the written section. You can easily tell by the text what the opinion of the reviewer is so the number/letter system can just muddy it even more. Why be at odds with the numbers?
GameXplain does it just fine without numbers, and places like Eurogamer can review it just fine without an arbitrary number system. They are not all important like you say. All that numbers serve to do is give people a easy route to judge a game with no context whatsoever. If they read the review, then they might understand why it was rated the way it was.
I do agree that reviews should rely on a scoring system, but I think it makes more sense to review different aspects of the game individually than to lump everything under one big score. If a game has amazing gameplay but terrible music and story, for example, giving it a 7/10 overall doesn't tell me as much as giving the gameplay a 10/10 and the music... say... 4/10. I mean, if the reviewer also wants to give a score with regard to how all the individual elements come together, that's fine too, but I'd like to see more objective analysis of individual aspects of a game.
I actually fundamentally disagree with my wonderful colleague Alex
Out of 10 with no half marks.
If a reviewer is unsure about giving a score of 9 or 10, no half marks will force them to go one way or another.
The stated implication that scored reviews are almost always objective and unscored reviews are almost always subjective is absolutely baseless. Either type can suffer or benefit from a large amount of subjectivity or objectivity, respectively, depending on the particular content thereof.
The problem is that many major reviewers do not mainly rely on objectivity in judging a game's qualities, and this isn't new. The final score usually comes down to whether or not the reviewer himself/herself enjoyed playing the game, rather than describing specific significant and minor characteristics of a particular game, comparing them as clearly and IMPARTIALLY as possible to similar games, THEN allowing for a degree of subjectivity in explaining how much he/she liked or disliked each characteristic. So, final scores do not escape the bounds of arbitration, because they are so often arbitrary themselves! Even NintendoLife, which has more truly objective game reviews (both positive and negative) than I've seen probably anywhere else has its fair share of arbitrary criteria in reviews (with some of the negative ones openly mocking the game being reviewed; this is usually dependant on the maturity and level of impartiality of the particular reviewer, historically-speaking).
While it has been stated a few times on this website that a scored review is only about the value of recommendation, it is implied (occasionally here, but most often at everywhere else), whether by indirect statements in a particular review or by direct statements outside of it, that a game's given review score is not valuing a recommendation, but valuing its overall worth. Valuing the worth of something is most often purely SUBJECTIVE, corrupting the concept of reviewing for ALL PLAYERS (or at least for the target player demographic in regards to particular genre, age level, etc) in the first place. For example, notice how mockingly the content of 1-5/10 reviews tend to be. This demonstrates not a discouraging to play that game, but rather an expression of spite, personal to the reviewer's experience with that game. As one commenter previously stated, 5/10 isn't even average anymore for most major review sites; 7-7.5/10 is, defying logic, and simultaneously subscribing to new arbitrary trends in game journalism. Thus, the purpose of a final score being a concise frame of reference of a particular game's content is becoming increasingly meaningless!
I hope NintendoLife will return to striving to truly keeping their reviewers' opinions out of their respective scores, that their readers may have an actually informed idea of what they're considering playing, rather than buying into whatever opinion the reviewer wants his reader to have. The latter option lacks integrity and is unfair both to the consumer and to the developers and publishers of any game. Integrity should always be more highly valued than number of pageviews, unless a particular review company enjoys having a very small or uninformed readerbase in the long run.
There is nothing wrong with a scoring system, it's a fine way for the reviewer to represent how they felt about a game, the problem is when people skip the entire review and only look at the score.
The other major issue with reviews, and this is nothing to do with the reviewer, but is often one of the reasons for the score being contested, is when people are looking at reviews for entirely the wrong reasons. A game review's purpose to to help the consumer make an educated purchase, not confirm that a game you're hyped about is as good as you think it is when you likely have no way of actually making a fair judgement because you have not played the game yourself.
You want reviews that are helpful to you? Find a reviewer that has similar tastes as your own.
I agree! The biggest thing about reviews is comparing them to other sites and having a different system makes that feature much harder if not impossible to do! Besides, there are some games that watching a review are not worth and I like to just check the score they were given
The problem with a score system. Is people look to numbers, more than the actual written review. I find the score system can be more problematic when discussing about games with others. The best reviews I've read or seen don't have a traditional score system. Instead, they say what they thought worked, what didn't, likes, dislikes, and features in the game, to help inform you so you can decide if you will want to buy the game or not. Which is the point of the review in the first place. To inform the consumer. Now, I'm not trying to say all reviews that use a score are in and of themselves bad. It might help someone decide whether to make a purchase or not. But, to say it is needed, I believe, is going too far.
Thanks for your opinion Alex! Have a wonderful day!
"Reviews need to have a certain level of objectivity. Otherwise, they aren't really anything more than just an opinion...".
What does this have to do with scores? Objectivity has more to do with the writing of the review itself, not the number you put at the end of the review!
As a person who owns PN03, Natural Doctrine, Crimson Shroud, Demon King Box and GodHand, I sincerely disregard everything related to a game´s score. Even a straight 10 can be a bad game, like Journey or The Walking Dead. I prefer to see a game by myself and read about it to form my own opinion. If I had to say anything about review scores is that I go and see Metacritic before doing a purchase for the User´s score, and even then I have doubts.
While I prefer scored reviews myself, one has to admit that the benchmarks established for each score point, when not completely subjective, are more or less arbitrary, especially when the reviewer starts to factor things like the genre of the game into the equation.
I get what Alex is trying to say, but I think that last comment (although subjectivity comes into it all the time) is vital for this discussion. The more technical aspects of videogames can be analyzed pretty much objectively, thankfully enough, and the whole industry tends to play it so safe that deviations from the norm (especially when game design is concerned) are few and far in between.
...unless you get into the Wild West of criticism that is the indie game world. Then you'll have to reconsider those arbitrary conventions that we establish concerning aspects such as the lasting appeal of the game, how much "gameplay" it has (we really should be talking about player agency and degrees of interaction by now, but whatever) or how much it adheres to the blueprint of its genre (originality if you will, another term I'm not particularly fond of).
While I still think that playing lots of games and learning through experience is the most useful tool for someone planning to write videogame reviews, reading a book on game design now and again (even if it's only done with the purpose of learning some basic terminology) wouldn't hurt.
@DarkKirby 5/10 isn't even average anymore for most major review sites; 7-7.5/10 is
To be fair, I think that has more to do with the fact that most of the games getting reviews in the first place come from publishers with a good track record, and those tend to have capable engineers. It's the same thing with writing in basic education: your student might not have much to say about the subject at hand, but if the formal execution is correct, people tend to rate it above average. That's a seven for most people.
A score is important because it sums up the feelings about the game. Some people are overly critical... i.e. I could focus on each of the parts that were problems, but in the end, I think it was pretty good so I give it an 8.5. Other people are excessively flowery... i.e. I could focus on the best parts of the game that I am completely enamored with, but in the end, I think it was just okay so I give it a 6.8.
Basically, words can be vague, misinterpreted, misunderstood. A score or a grade provides clarity at the end of the day. Do the good points mentioned in the review outweigh the bad, or vice versa? The scores can have nothing to do with being objective, they are important even just to provide an opinion.
Screw the video, I need place the music that plays at the end of the video, I love it
What is more arbitrary than assigning a absolute numerical to a complex idea? Oh wait, right, I forgot, taking a bunch of those numericals, calculating an average and calling that the "XYZ-score" ... Oo
Seriously, anyone with an introductionary course to statistics would be able to tell you, that the scale of measurement necessary for such an operation is ... just not there. It's a 'common use' tradition, which is in itself arbitrary based on an arbitrary assignment of values. It's nothing short of voodoo.
Anyone reviewer can test this for themselves. Can I explain the difference between e.g. a 3.5 and 4? Is that difference equal to the difference between a 1.5 and a 2? Is a 4 then precisely twice as good as 2?
Anyone who can give serious answer to these questions in good faith, with a straight face no less, can go right ahead in pretending they "measured" something, the rest should be honest and bow out.
To be fair though, that is no an issue with only videogames, though there it is most prominent I guess, as in no other industry, scores like metaciritc, hold similar sway.
It's really just common sense, that you have to be able to answer these question, if you are going to judge a game like that.
Last but not least, if you looking at the average score received by games over the last 15 years or so, you'll notice and upwards trend, which basically lead to what would mostly be considered "MEDIOCRE" to be rated in the realm of the 7-8'ish, thus compressing the whole score (anything below a 7 is basically trash) ... meaning even the numbers, don't mean what the numbers suggest - and those numbers were arbitrary IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Pretty much madness at this point. (All of that is not even taking into account issues like social or economical bias that reviewers must face on a daily basis).
TL;DR: If you assign a numerical score, you are intentionally giving the impression that said rating is precise, and clearly defined. Unfortunately, in reality it is neither. If you mix those scores to create an average, you are furthermore creating the impression, that you are engaging in sound statistical analysis, which giving the underlying quality of the "data" you are most definitely not. If you then account for the skewed, absolutely non-gaussian distribtion ... it's just a cluster**** of misdirection and misrepresentation.
PS: Don't tell me, that you (the reviewer) are not responsible for what the likes of metacritic are doing with your "data" ... you know that and how your "data" is used, it's up to you to stop them, or to make it clear as day, that you are being misrepresented. I mean that is just common courtesy towards the public.
I forgot to add, that if reviewers were able to write up a proper "conclusion", a score would be totally useless anyways. So, in the end a score is always only a cop out. I actually foun that the conclusions over at EG are slowly but steadly improving these days, and I imagine that is thanks to the new rating system. The guys over at RPS figured all of this out a long time ago btw ...
I'm fine with scores but I'd like sites to create a rubric to follow, I don't know of many who do.
Perfectly said Alex!!!
Scores may have the appearance of objectivity, but it's just the appearance. Objectivity can be expressed better in writing than in a summary score, especially if you properly analyze a game. Most reviewers do not, though..
Couldn't disagree more. A score at the end of a review does nothing more than cater to the imbeciles who scroll to the end and then dismiss anything with less than an 8 as rubbish.
This very website has had to add explanations for the numbers in an attempt to educate. When your number grading system doesn't work on its own, it's time to put it to bed.
After the disappointment that was Uncharted, I read Amazon's user reviews before making the decision to buy. They highlight at least one (highly-voted) review from someone who liked the game and one from someone who didn't.
Nice Kotaku joke, and I, like everyone else apparently, have to disagree with your proclamation that all reviews need a score. I personally write reviews and began with adding scores to my reviews. I spent half the time worrying about the correct number instead of the actual review. Now, without a score, I feel more comfortable with my reviews. Nice video and point of view none the less!
I like the fact that some sites have moved to the vaguer system while others have stuck with more concrete numbers. It allows the reader (who in the Internet age is no longer restricted to whatever magazines they're subscribed to) a variety of takes on a given piece of entertainment, and at least means less inane bickering about how one site gave a game 87% while another gave it 84%.
In fact, I'm glad we've largely moved away from percentage based scores all together; they simply don't allow for ENOUGH variation in even the perceived OBJECTIVE quality of a game across players. As you've said, subjectivity is always present in some degree, and attempting to quantify a game down to single a percentage point is largely futile (and leads to silly situations where you've got your back against the wall having to justify that Galaxy is worth two percentage points more than Twilight Princess). I've heard from a number of reviewers that the percent system caused much more trouble that it was worth.
I think the 'Out of Ten' system is really the sweet spot for most gaming specific journalism, with the 'Out of Five' system working well for newspapers and other sources who can afford to be a bit more blasé. A 'qualitative assessment' or 'recommendation' system works well enough for some websites, and while I wouldn't want to see all professional criticism go in this direction, I think it has its place.
One advantage of a score is that it does pressure the reviewer to at least try and assess the game in an objective, professional, and thoughtful manner. There's an impetus to justify a score, and I believe that can cause the reviewer to try and look at the game particularly critically, rather than just play through it, think, "Yeah, I guess I had some fun", and give it a halfhearted 'thumbs up' or something equally airy-fairy. So I'm happy with how NL works.
All in all, I give the percentage system 77%, the five star system a score of ****, the recommendation system a 'cautiously recommended', and the 'out of ten' system a perfect 10/10.
And the 'fruit out of amphibian' system gets a persimmon/bullfrog because that only seems fair.
@JaxonH I had this exact same spot. That way they can reward games that are objectively good, while still giving their personal opinion. Because while objectivity is great, I also appreciate a more human view too.
Also this would help with games that are maybe a little more mechanically broken, but that are enjoyed nonetheless.
For example, games like Kid Icarus with its uncomfortable control scheme, and ZombiU with all its problems, can get a lower objective review perhaps, but still tell you that the games are enjoyable despite their flaws. 7/10 on objectivity. And a 9/10 on Enjoyment or something.
I disagree a lot with a numbered scoring system. With any two given games, if they receive the same numbered score, they should be same in quality. That is absolutely not the case. You have A Link Between Worlds a 10/10 and Bayonetta 2 and XCX a 9/10. This scoring system is saying that A Link Between Worlds is better than the other 2 games. We all know this certainly isn't the case.
I agree, scores are important. I don't read reviews without a score, I feel they're incomplete.
"The fact that we're now in a market where 5/10 is no longer average"
That's because we're now in a market where the average game is no longer average. The vast majority of games nowadays are above-average games. And the scores reflect that.
I know that doesn't sound like it makes much sense, but it does. Most games are above average- the scale being that of personal enjoyment rather than one based on what's available. Otherwise you could have 3 trash games, but say one is excellent simply because it's the best. Games should be graded on their entertainment value rather than how good they are related to other games available.
In the last 30 years game development has made great strides, and the free market has whittled away at the average and below average games. What we are left with is a large share of very good games. At least, in the retail space anyways.
People get so hung on numerical scores these days that it's ridiculous. Sometimes I would prefer a reviewer just to list the positives and negatives then give it "BUY/RENT/PASS" type of recommendation.
I enjoyed the video, but I have to say I disagree.
Personally, when you have people complaining about a review JUST because of the score and not reading the review (Look at Jim Sterling's reviews of Modern Warfare 3 and Mario Kart 7, specifically the comments below them) or you have people complaining that the score does not match what's said in the review itself, then shouldn't it be obvious there's something dated about the concept?
Alex's view here is that a score should give a more objective view of a game compared to the actual opinion. My problem with this is that nothing in Media is truly objectable. You can claim if a game inspired many more or was popular enough to change the entire market, and those would be closer to facts than opinions, but whatever that game is can still be good or bad depending on the view.
There's also the case where reviewers have no idea what the numbers mean. Going on Metacritic or IMDB, it's quite obvious that so many people have this 'Black and White' mindset where something deserves a 0 just because a single element ticked them off, or a 10 just because they liked a single element. Whenever I see this case, I just read the longest review with the most critical details listed, and put the number aside.
Now I'm not calling anyone out for liking numbers, that alone is also subjective. If you believe that numbers are paramount, then continue writing reviews with them in mind. People who like them will still read them, and people who don't can always look elsewhere. There's no right answer for this.
Sorry, but this is a weak fallacious argument that reeks of the marketing brain washing and ownership of the worst generation.
There is no such thing as an objective score, that is such a cringe inducing assertion.
The only thing scores are doing is enabling mindless morons to continue being mindless morons farmed by marketing campaigns, without any independent thought of their own.
This is why Activision and EA Publically crow that your generation is a bunch of morons they have brainwashed to gargle anything their marketing tells them, no matter how crappy, lousy, and de-evolving the garbage gets. Your generation doesn't give a crap about whether a game is actual quality or not. They want to look at a number and validate how 'Sophisticated' they are for listening to their platform of choices marketing splooge, as games are reduced to the digital form of jingling keys in front of an infant as they mindlessly giggle and clap their hands.
Jingle jingle jingle.
"Hurr hurr hurr"
clap clap clap
Jingle jingle jingle"
"Hurr hah haa!!!"
clap clap clap
All that matters is their precious cancerous metacritic average. If a review comes out with a number that is good for the metacritic score, regaurdless of what is actually written in the article, they giggle and clap their hands like those infants so easily amused by jingling keys. If its a score that is bad for the matacritic, they rave and foam at the mouth, and spew literary defication from their keyboard, demanding that the score matches the marketing hype they have been trained to believe the game actually is.
Maybe, if they are forced to read, use basic problem solving skills, deduction skills, and reading comprehension skills, the worst generation will just opt to forget the whole damn thing and go find a hobby that requires less thought and effort to mindlessly hurl idle opinions about, and we will finally be able to begin to repair the smoldering ruins of our hobby they have been defecating on for the past decade.
A Nintendo site ESPECIALLY should know the garbage associated with metacritic and weighted numerical reviews controlled by ad budgets, since they have been sufering from Tom Kalinske's manufactured Halo effect marketing campaign since the 90's.
Ever hear someone say Nintendo is kiddy? Give Tom a Nickel for every time you have ever heard it, that was the exact statement he said he wanted to achieve with his psychological anti nintendo marketing campaign, it was his marketing campaign that created that bias with kids and eventually the entirety of modern games media (Kids grow up, even stupid ones that are easily manipulated). Giving a game a damn near flawless written review, and then a 7 or 8 with some arbitrary garbage like 'its good, but its a wii game', because its that kiddy Nintendo has been a standard go to for over two generations.
If games have progressed where almost all games fall in the 8-9 region then I would argue that's a point that review scores don't provide the value they used to. All review scores are biased, but review scores used to help you identify the trash from quality games.
Sounds more like reasons he deserves to keep his job....I don't trust paid reviewers one bit. I can only trust myself.
Like JaxonH said, give two scores. One detailed,sound,gameplay,graphics,multiplayer, longevity,single player. The other one should be his private opinion. Like someone said,I want to know if he liked the game,not if he thinks I'lllike it..
Dear Mister Alex-San. I'm no one but after only about three well written commentaries, I do believe you'll have to write a new article hehe
DDon't worry though. We still like you hehe
Create multiple categories and score each of them individually, i.e. graphics, controls/gameplay, story, value, genre (how a game stacks up to similar games of the genre). Some people care more about one aspect than the other
The content of the review is what matters. If the reviewer insists on a final score, it should not be on a ten- or hundred-point scale, to avoid association with grades from school that renders half the scale worthless.
The more the community and industry wants to elevate the medium and the discourse around it the more irrelevant review scores become.
I can think of two recent examples of review scores grossly misrepresenting and damaging a product / work: Splatoon and Street Fighter V.
Splatoon was knocked for a supposed lack of content and the gameplay was reviewed at such an early stage with limited modes and a limited player pool - any opinion was premature and a lot of guesswork.
For one I think complaining about the limited stages as compared to games in seemingly similar genres like fps and 3ps was a mistake as the objectives and means of achieving them were so different, and with the actual level design being so perfect (warehouse, skatepark) I felt it was as stupid as complaining NHL 16 only has one rink. Plus every reviewer who turned off motion controls should have their credentials taken away.
Now Splatoon has a stronger base than most shooters on any platform; it's drip-fed content is praised in hindsight and even industry giant Blizzard are looking at a similar model with Overwatch; each round of updates have met with praise from the community and evolved the "meta" drastically over the lifetime of the game: and here I am still playing almost a full year later, baffled by the short-sighted reviews with numbers like 7 out of 10. That definitely hurt sales and misrepresented the actual, eventual product. This is mine and many others favorite game of this generation, my personal top 3 of all-time, and the easiest game to recommend to absolutely anybody. That is by definition a "10 game".
Street Fighter V's situation is maybe worse: every review has been scathing in the numbers 6s and 7s, but not one reviewer worth a damn has had anything but praise for the... well... "Game" part of the game. It is probably the best Street Fighter ever made ( as reluctant as I am to dethrone Third Strike ). It will keep getting better, as will the elements around it. It's incredibly fun to watch in tournament play. It will be the gold standard for years. YEARS. It's downright irresponsible to judge a game like this based on day zero impressions and harsh criticism of problems that will not exist in due time - It's not only embarrassing to give what will be one of the GOAT fighters a 6 or 7 (I remember GI giving Dark Souls [Edge: #1 all-time] a 7.25 or something ridiculous), it hurts sales which in turn hurts the game-as-service model's ability to improve on the problems with everything AROUND the game.
Moreover, old Gamepro-style number-centric game journalism is stuck in the monetary value proposition: is this 10 hour AAA worth 60 bucks? Is this endless rougelike indie title worth 15?
Movies and books are usually not held to that standard. Rather, they posit: is it worth your time? 1600+ hours of Splatoon and hundreds of hours playing SFV, watching tourneys, youtube videos, and poring over combos and frame data tell me that reviewers - rushing through games and assigning arbitrary numbers by deadlines- are doing me and the medium I love a great disservice.
We also have to consider Metacritic and other aggregate reviews. This is by and large the most important number for consumers and the industry, however misguided. Their policy of 'first score only' undercuts a sites ability to review games that are more and more becoming works in flux. I applaud sites that employ a scoreless review-in-progress, but that only delays the 7-10 scale nonsense number to come.
The problem as I see them are 1) the disscusion of games in journalism generally end on release unless it's something major (something ahem kotaku ahem actually does a great job with) 2) scores are aiming for this strange notion of objectivity in a medium that -aside from technical issues -doesn't possess objective qualities. 3) Playing games for review means you have a deadline and an obligation to be thorough and engage with every element of a title. I, as a player, have no such obligation. Xenoblade Chronicles X, for example: I milked every minute of XCX before I got my Skell (a common complaint among reviewers was how long it took to get) - 30 hours seemed too long for reviewers, my 70 hours are looked back on fondly. Because I wasn't in a mad dash to meet a deadline, I savored my time in Mira and thus: the music didn't grate on me, most requirements for missions were already met, I engaged with systems when I was ready to learn them, etc... most criticisms were for things simply not present in the game I played.
I think a solution would be to change the from reviews by release to a more prolonged period for impressions and discussion. Games should be revisited during sales and publisher issued price drops. Gamers should be discouraged from a wait-for-the-review attitude and be included in the period of discussion when a definitive "number"-type judgement is made for those who want a review at all.
Scores aren't needed. We all know reviews are opinions so you're best off finding a site which generally agrees with your views.
A review could be summed up in two points.
1) Is a game is worth playing/buying?
2) Give it a comment: spiffing, mediocre or horrendous.
Just say it, having a score gets you on metacritic and gets you more clicks. People like scores and NL likes ad revenue. (People also like 9/10s and hearing what they want to hear btw)
Reviews DO need a final score. For me it's important not only to read about the pro's and con's of a game but to have a score, also. How else can you make a list containing the best 10 games of 2016, for example. There are so many games out there, they have to be graded. I even think the x out of 10 system isn't sufficient. The graduation has to be more subtle.
For me, the system from wiig.de is the perfect one. They measure in percent, based on the following points (half steps possible). An example:
Graphics: 7.5 out of 10 -> 7.5 x 1,25 = 9,375
Sound: 8.5 out of 10 -> 8.5 x 1,25 = 10,625
Controls: 9.0 out of 10 -> 9.0 x 2,5 = 22,5
Fun: 8.0 out of 10 -> 8.0 x 5,0 = 40,0
Result: 82,5 = 83%
There you have it. A precise score which make the games comparable. And as you can see, graphics and sound is important, but more important are the controls and fun is the most important point. For me, thats the perfect system. Even if a game doesn't have high-end graphics, if it's fun, it won't get a really bad score. If all categories are high-class, the result will show it, also.
@Angelo-Noir You have great taste! I was thinking about how cool Crimson Shroud was and Natural Doctrine is a great example of a game that is not made for the review proceess. God Hand is another title reviewers bungled, focusing on the wrong things and dissmising a game that is now considered essential in it's genre.
Unfortunately, you're wrong about Journey. That's like the picture in the dictionary next to "10 game"
@Ralek85 Perfect summation of the "numbers" problem. Makes me think of the scores on Conan O'Brien's Clueless Gamer segment.
@Tisteg80 Are you joking? I can't tell if your joking.
@Spiders Of course not. I'm absolutely serious!
I really don't know why so many people don't want a scoring system anymore. I mean, what's the point? If you just want to read the text, then do it! I love to compare the games with each other and therefor a scoring system is absolutely necessary.
@DeltaPeng That's the old Gamepro style: graphics, sound, controls, fun factor, overall.
How do you rate graphics? Art direction? Resolution and frames per second? Utility? Clarity? Number of polygons? Does Pong have good or bad graphics?
Breaking a work down into its parts is reductive. Games are (ususally) experienced as audio-visual-control. You can't decouple them for judgement's sake. It's just makes nonsense. It's like rating a book's font-face. Yes, it's the actual representation of the word, but completely tangential to the reading of it.
@Spiders well of course I have great taste lol, but being serious, the only thing i enjoy the most out of a gamegame is not only a sense of identity but also of challenge. That's what put me off journey for example, stil enjoy it but Im the kind of people who argue that Vagrant Story and Supermario Galaxy are the pinnacle of gaming. And Killer 8
@Tisteg80 The only thing you can compare with game review scores are game reviews.
From the latest Edge: American Truck Simulator , Far Cry Primal .
Please compare these games based on that.
No, it s all still subjective. Even information in the review such as duration, content, controls, and difficulty are all subjective, and you still subjectively decide how it all affects your score, however methodical your process is. And all the number score does is make some people think it is more objective than it is.
However, i do appreciate when a review is as detailed as possible, picking apart specific things the reviewer enjoyed or was frustrated with, because this gives me an opportunity to decide if I may or may not feel the same way. I happen to like learning new control schemes, steep difficulty curves, and deviations from previous iterations of a franchise. However, that doesn't mean comments like "this control scheme is different," "This game throws you in the fire right away," and "this game is too similar to (blank)" aren't the reviewer's opinions. Unless you're only linking Digital Foundry's framerate tests and posting the amount of hours clocked on your Wii U after beating/completing it, or how many times you failed a challenge, you're probably saying how long it is, how hard it is, and whether the framerate bothered you or not.
@Spiders The answer is easy: In the reviewers opinion (very important - it's just his opinion!) the American Truck Simulator as a whole is a little bit better than Far Cry Primal.
The score system I mentioned above would help to point out, what's good and what's bad about these games. 6/10 or 7/10 - the Nintendolife system - is a bit too imprecise. Maybe the Truck Simulator would get 72% and Far Cry 68%. This would mean that they are nearly of equal quality. While 6/10 sounds quite worse than 7/10.
Nonetheless, if my budget is limited and I would be interested in both games, I would still read the text of both reviews and decide then, which to buy. For me, text and score is important.
@Angelo-Noir I totally understand. If I made a list of my favorite games Vagrant Story would be much closer to the top than Journey, but if I had to rate games, like a GOAT list, Journey is much closer to perfect by my definition of what a "10" should be.
You bring up a great point regarding identity - I feel like a player needs to bring a lot more to enjoy Vagrant Story, and it's a more rewarding experience for it. Because it does its setting and (some) systems so well, and was wholly unique in it's genre, you and me were able to forgive, deal with, or barely notice it's flaws. A lot of games are like that. A lot of our favorite games are like that!
Journey is the kind of game you can just put a controller in someone's hands and if they have a few hours will have the complete and intended experience that I happen to think is amazing. That's my definition of a 10, because really a rating is something for someone else, ya know? XCX, Bloodborne, Splatoon, just to name some recent titles were all some of the best experiences I've ever had. What does the number mean?
@Tisteg80 But the intended experience of Far Cry Primal and American Truck Simulator are so vastly different... Would AMS be like a 10 to someone who loved trucks and hated cavemen?
I think I understand what your saying, but that kind of granular comparison really only works within genres, or even series. Like a review for Forza vs Gran Turismo for example. And even then, is the intended audience the general gamer or a video gearhead? Forza might score higher when considering mass appeal, but for people really into tuning cars, GT would be far superior. FIFA vs. ProEVO is another example. ProEVO "won" reviews this year, but is it better if you want a particular club or all your mates play FIFA?
It's to subjective and the number belittles the discussion.
Personally I don't agree. What more do you need than 'avoid, neutral, recommended, essential'. So in effect a 4 point system rather than a pointless 10 or even 100 point system.
The reader should make up their own mind after reading the words and sentences in the review, but also get a view of the reviewer's opinion on the above basis. I always read the reviews of games I'm interested in, and even those I'm not. Plus, removing scores will annoy the stupid illiterate people who can't read words and sentences and just read the scores, then moan when it's 0.3 points off what they think it should have been.
There's no such this as an objective review. It's impossible. Ever notice how all Nintendo Life's scores are higher than the metacritic? It's because the reviewers are Nintendo fans, that shows, and it's okay.
I don't dislike scores, but they're not needed. Gamers seem to have this obsession with listing and ranking things.
I completely 100% agree with Alex here, Splatoon is a 10/10 game. I also don't play or love it as much as I used to, too many other games to play, but it's still chuffing brilliant.
I preferred the old skool magazine way of doing it, where they'd frequently set out scores for, say graphics, gameplay, music etc.
No you don't. You can give more than one score.
As always, very well said, Alex. I've always loved the way Nintendo Life does reviews games, and don't even bother reading other game sites any more. I also try to skip reading comments whenever I can manage to avoid it because it's annoying how people don't even read a review and skip straight to talking about how they know more than the people who make a living out of reviewing games. Keep doing things the way you do them, Nintendo Life, and keep up the good work! <3 <3 <3
Love you Alex, but I have to disagree on this.
I'm with you on the objectivity but I think it can be achieved by words and it's better not to have a number at the end of the review. The use of numbers itself can be pretty subjective and doesn't guarantee any more objectivity. And a lot of people will just skip the review and look at that number when you provide one.
It really seems every marketing campaign now needs a "9/10 insert site name" quote and some programmers don't get bonuses if the games doesn't reach a certain metacritic score, even after terrible crunches to deliver the game...and all just because some journalists decided to be edgy that day.
An half-assed review like the one Kotaku did for Starfox Zero at least doesn't feed this number crunching monster.
Very flattering screenshot, Alex.
As a reviewer I feel the need for a score too, but the downside to it is if the scoring system is different for each site/publication for one thing, and if it is not perfectly understood by the whole staff. There can be no instance of a 7 with one reviewer amounting to a 9 by another reviewer on the same staff. The way I go about it to attribute a score is by the description all our staff agreed on for each score, so that hopefully my 6 or 7 amounts to the same level of quality as my colleagues' 6 or 7. But then, among different publications, there will never be a consensus on how a scoring system should be like.
Here's a reason I'm not keen on the score system, and that reason is when it comes to scores, reviewers jump on the bandwagon.
Devils Third for example, everyone gave terrible reviews.
I doubt a lot of reviewers even played that game properly, as from where I was standing it was definitely not a 3 out of 10.
Personally, I thought it had a lot of potential, but was dragged down by poor execution.
A 6 or 7 out of 10 would of been more appropriate.
I read all reviews with a pinch of salt, try it yourself.
Star Fox Zero for me was a 7 out of 10.
A very good game just let down by lack of content, and motion controls.
That's only one opinion though, you have to gauge it for yourself.
You can't apply an emperical system to one that is completely opinion based without also accepting the fact that it will be greatly flawed. One of the major issues with review scores boils down to two issues:
Reviews scores not only warp the discussion (see every comments section ever talking about what the article read like and score given), but then provide a point of contention for which there should be none because people treat them as emperical fact. Get rid of them, let people form their own opinions, let the review stand on its own feet and not be poisoned by the score.
"The fact that we're now in a market where 5/10 is no longer average"
...Where were you that it was average???
He means that 7/10 is now "average" and 5/10 is seen as being "below average", which is clearly wrong.
I occasionally write for a few places, and on one website we did propose removing scores, and just having the review text do the talking. Lots of readers argued we shouldn't do that. Evidently people WANT numbers!
Yeah, and that's how it should be. 5/10 is mediocre everywhere else, why should t be different here?
Games' quality cannot be numbered, but numbers can give a general idea of how good a game is.
It would be slightly hypocritical of me to praise ten-point scales altogether, given my school years hit a difficulty spike as soon as I entered high school, mostly because grades weren't numbered back in eighth grade (it was a scale going from 4-out-of-10-equivalent "Seriously Insufficient" to "Insufficient", to "Sufficient", "Good/Average", "Distinct", "Excellent" and ending with "Excellent With Praise") and because high school introduced even lower insufficient grades such as 1/10, 2/10 and 3/10, which are a lot harder to recover from (unsurprisingly, the two years I've been held back were high school years). Which is why I used to refer to numbered scales as dehumanizing, given I often poured a lot of effort into studying and still brought home fours and threes. But when it comes to games, we kinda need a score as reference, especially when we own already a game - if we really like a game such as, say, Mario Kart 8, knowing another game got its same review score would - and should, logically - cause us to look forward to that title, because we know it boasts the same amount of effort. Of course, we don't have to trust the reviews alone, either, as we should try demos (when possible, right Nintendo?), watch trailers and such, so we can get an overall feeling of the game's defining traits before opening our wallets.
I guess we're keeping a high standard because the price tag behind many games made it mandatory to know if the games themselves are worth our money. Purchasing a game, especially those on both eShops where players pretty much don't have any ownership (as in, if you screw something up, kiss your game library goodbye), is an investment in anything but name. Grand Theft Auto V is still sold for a hefty seventy euro pricetag, but lo and behold, contrary to the sour-grapes reasoning behind an old NL article covering the lack of "need" of GTA V on Wii U, the game lives up to the quality and quantity the price implies. A 10, a 9 and an 8 are a 99% sure way to tell gamers they can spend their money without any buyer's remorse afterwards.
Oh yes Journey, I actually bought that crap excited to play it. What a massive letdown but it's average is 92 on metacritic with a few 100.
I think review scores bring closure to a review.
Hard topic, but valid points.
Hard topic, but valid points.
Sorry, I prefer the buy, rent, skip method of reviewing that lists the pros and cons the reviewer saw in the game. Buy, Rent, Skip clearly tells you what the reviewer thinks of the game and whether it is worth the investment. The Pros and Cons list why the reviewer came to that conclusion. Scores are too arbitrary and inconsistent even within sites that use them as everything tends to fall on the extreme of the scales.
Netflix is a great example of a broken five star system. The ratings are from one to five (Hated It, Didn't Like It, Liked It, Really Liked It, Loved It) but rarely does things get two, three, or even four stars. Most things are either Hated it or Loved it which makes the system useless.
Horrible system to judge a game. Find a reviewer that has similar taste in your style of games and see if they like said game(s).
For example scores mean nothing when a CoD fanboi, who got a job writing reviews, hates on games like Splatoon.
I totally agree with @AlexOlney, I think reviewing without a score - as some sites do nowadays - is just cowardly. A review has to have a score, otherwise it's not comparable and meaningless in my opinion.
I also agree that Splatoon has deserved a 10/10 by now.
And I stared at that subscribe button for quite some time, but it didn't stare back.
But still, I have to disagree with @AlexOlney on one thing: there is no such thing as objectivity. Our human brains are just not capable to perceive the world objectively, everything we see, hear and otherwise sense is always subjective.
@JaxonH And that's the reason why your idea wouldn't work. Nobody can give an objective score.
Also, I don't see why Starfox Zero should be penalised for not having traditional controls? Quite the opposite, it should be rewarded for ditching the outdated controls of the prequels. Already in the 90's I always hated that you can't aim and fly separately in any kind of flying games, I never understood why games did that. So Starfox Zero did the long overdue thing and finally made it happen. The first proper flying game in gaming history.
Just because you're not ready to adjust to the new controls, doesn't mean they have to get rid of everything that makes Starfox Zero special.
@OneBagTravel: No one would give a fanboy a job as a professional reviewer.
The dream of "objectivity" in reviews is nonsensical and silly. Everyone experiences different things in video games and other forms of entertainment and art. You can try and distill elements like visuals, sound design, art direction, gameplay, controls, content, etc. into standardized, objective measuring systems, but you'll never be correct. You'll always be jaded by your own desires and opinions, and no one single system for grading visuals or controls can ever fit all audiences.
This, I think, is the reason why reviews are starting to abandon a scoring system. Delve in-depth into what the game is, analyze its systems, show off footage and gameplay, and give your own recommendation while being honest about what the game is and let viewers/readers decide for themselves. Different people see different things in games in a different light. We have to recognize that entertainment and art are not objective mediums no matter how much we want them to be. The truth is that, to paraphrase The Little Prince, we cannot see everything correctly with our eyes alone - we need to see things with the heart, too. And everyone's heart will be spoken to differently by different experiences.
Oh it would work. Just because opinion is involved doesn't mean a person can't do their best to give objective feedback- how well does the game run, how fluid is the gameplay, how well do the controls work, how good are the visuals, etc. It doesn't have to be 100% objective to be an objective opinion.
As for Star Fox, it should be penalized and here's why: the controls have proven difficult for many gamers. That's a problem. Regardless of whether you and I picked it up just fine, it's still a problem nonetheless. Particularly when all they needed to do was provide an optional method.
I very much love Star Fox Zero, and the controls (though difficult at times) have made the game fun. And that's where the subjective review comes in to play: the controls are undeniably an issue for many. Too many to pretend otherwise. But, in spite of this, I found the game to be incredibly fun. Objective score- 7/10. Subjective score based on fun factor- 8.5/10
@JaxonH Many? I don't know about that. Do you have any statistical proof for that? Because a few random posts on gaming sites aren't representative. If anything, they're the opposite, they distort reality. Because as everyone knows, it's always a ranting minority that voices their displeasure. However, the majority that has no problems at all rarely voices their pleasure. It's basic human nature and it's amplified by the internet.
And for that minority that has difficulties with the controls: They should just try harder. Or actually try at all. Because from what I read, most people didn't give it a fair shot. I mean, yeah, the controls are challenging, I haven't fully mastered them myself. But isn't that great? Wouldn't it be boring if the controls were traditional? Plus, the game would be way too easy otherwise.
But taking the controls away, no way! Why bother playing the game at all then? It's like someone wants to play a round of Pro Evolution soccer but they're too lazy to learn to control the ball. So you're solution would be a cheat that never lets them lose the ball. That's exactly what you're demanding for Starfox Zero, a cheap cheat to make it more accessible. Then what's the point of playing Starfox Zero? They could just play Starfox 64 instead.
And actually, if there was something like an objective score, it would probably be higher than my subjective fun-based score.
Also: Sorry for putting it that way, but this sentence of yours is nonsense:
"It doesn't have to be 100% objective to be an objective opinion."
a) There is no such thing as an objective opinion. And opinion can never be objective, it's the exact opposite of objective.
b) If something's not 100% objective than it's not objective, it's as simple as that.
Talking about an "objective opinion' is like talking about a 'peaceful war'. It's contradictory and impossible.
I think you're just misunderstanding what objectivity is. You can look it up on wikipedia though.
Humans are biologically unable to perceive the world objectively. It starts with the fact that what our eyes perceive is actually upside-down and it's only our brain that puts it into the right direction. Then there's the fact that the brain filters an enormous amount of information that we pick up with all our senses, so that we don't get overflooded by our perception (and go nuts in the process - it's actually part of Asperger, not being able to filter information). And the fact that we only see and hear what we want to see and hear, meaning that we block out a lot of things based on our opinions and tastes. And then there are our past experiences which make us perceive reality in a distorted, subjective way. Like maybe as a child you ate a rotten tomato and now you don't like the taste of tomatos for the rest of your life. Or maybe a person of a certain gender or ethnicity betrayed you once and that resulted in you developing a personal prejudice.
This element of subjectivity is there in every single moment of our lifes, because our perception is subjective.
You're not getting it. Can make can make subjective statements in an objective manner. Yes, you can.
Call it whatever you want, subjective, objective, it doesn't matter what LABEL you put on it. The point is- one review that docks the game for its shortcomings and another that disregards shortcomings and only focuses on fun.
You're arguing technicalities and missing the point
And yes, many. MANY. When almost every review mentions the controls as an issue, when half the comment section is filled with complaints... that would constitute many. You're all too eager to defend a game that has shortcomings. Nobody is saying the game is BAD. I loved it. But it was a problem. Undeniably. If you can't see that then I have no desire to argue the point,
@JaxonH Not at all. I'm not trying to defend the game, in case you've forgotten, the topic was subjectivity in reviews.
And no, it does make a difference what you call it. Otherwise words become meaningless and I could write "space fork" when I mean "subjective statements". That's what words are for, to specify what you mean. And to know what one means by them, they have definitions. And subjectivity and objectivity are already defined. So you can't just change the meaning of 'objectivity' and say it doesn't matter what label you put on it. It does.
"Can make can make subjective statements in an objective manner."
Nope, you're still not getting what objectivity is. If there was something like a god, an omnipresent and omniscient being, then that would be objective. But 'make subjective statements in an objective manner' makes as much sense as 'ashjgsdkjf kjsdhfsdkjf hgskdjfg'.
And you're wrong too about the other part. Not every review mentions it as an issue, what makes you think that? And as I mentioned before, a 'comment section filled with complaints' means nothing. It's just a very loud minority, as always. No one who likes the game just fine will go there and post: I love the controls. They will just play the game if they like it.
But those who dislike it or even haven't played it themselves will go into those comment sections and bombard them with complaints. That's just how it is. Not just with Starfox, not just with Nintendo games, not even just with games. It's the same with every movie, TV show, mobile phone etc. It's just human nature, we overemphasize negativity.
Essentially, what you're trying to do is explain a complex issue (thousands of individual opinions about one game, e.g. Starfox Zero) with a simple solution (comments in a comment section, which probably make up 1-5% of all players of that game).
Comments do make up a small sample size. BUT the members here post regardless, whether in favor or against. And the percentage will extrapolate to the vast majority of gamers.
If I make an objective statement- the sun is bright. The sky is blue. The grass is green. That STILL is a person's interpretation. I PERCEIVE a bright sun. I PERCEIVE a blue sky. I PERCEIVE green grass. There is no such thing as objectivity.
Yet words are used to describe things as you said. And objectivity is always a matter of interpreting perception. So if I say the graphics aren't up to scratch with other games- that is objective. You can objectively compare. If I say fe controls are not as fluid as most other games. That is objective. You can play other games and compare. Of course it's still interpretation- of course there's ALWAYS a degree of subjectivity. But that doesn't negate the objectivity of such a statement. That's as objective as it gets. Even the most objective statement is still a matter of perception.
So ok, sure, but like you said words are use to describe things. And despite the fact objectivity doesn't actually exist in the world it's the best word we have to convey the meaning, which is going right over your head
I remember some magazine I used to read in the 90s gave several scores. Controls, graphics, difficulty, fun factor, and then an overall score. I like that concept.
Specifically, I think a review should ideally give an "objective" critical score but then also give a subjective fun factor score.
Star Fox Zero is a great example. The subjective fun factor for many gamers (myself included) is much higher than the objective score it deserves.
Even NintendoLife gives games wrong scores. All a score should be is shorthand for the scoring policy.
Witch & Hero II was given a 4/10 which going by NintendoLife means
A game with a four may well have some redeeming features, but we're clearly issuing caution to stay away from this game. Broken gameplay, bugs, bad control schemes, inflexible options, and repetitiveness - all these are factors which may contribute to a score of four.
Other than being repetitive, Witch & Hero II was none of these things. I may not have agreed with the review text but I want every reviewer must agree with their site's own scoring policy. Its okay for a reviewer not to like a game but I will object to blatant untruths.
@JaxonH Oh so you agree that objectivity doesn't really exist, I hadn't realized that. I thought you meant humans can be objective, sorry.
When I read your second paragraph, I wanted to throw in that the the sky and grass are perceived differently by other animals (b&w or different colours) and even by humans with colour blindness, so that we can never know if they are truly blue or green (but maybe we could 'objectively' say that they move at a certain frequency of the light spectrum?). But you already mentioned that it's still an interpretation, so I have no further remarks on that. ^^
So if I understand you correctly, you mean while we can't perceive objectivity itself, we should still have a vocanulary placeholder that describes things that most or all humans agree on subjectively so that we at least can approximate objectivity in our conversations? That actually makes sense and in that regard, I agree with you.
@JaxonH Like Pokemon Channel (feel free to substitute with a movie tie-in or other poor game of your choice here though). It barely qualifies as a game from a gameplay perspective yet I've had some hilarious gaming nights playing it with friends. The purpose of videogames is to entertain. Does that make this a successful game, if not a good one?
That cough should have vaguely sounded like Polygon. Totilo at Kotaku actually gave a fair and measured SF0 review.
I couldn't really care less. At the end of the day a score is just another opinion. I don't pay attention to scores, I watch gameplay videos, ignoring any commentary to decide to purchase. I do run a check to make sure the said title runs decently.
If anything Famitsu is the only one to get scoring right.
I think not using a number system WOULD be a good idea. I thought about this one. I REALLY thought about his one. At first I was thinking that a number score should be kept, for the same reasons Alex states. He puts quite well. But after some pondering I realized that metacritic holds perhaps a little too much weight for the simpletons who DON'T actually read. In a broader view, people would actually learn more about upcoming games than they do now, rather than waiting for a score.
More people would know what the game is actually like, and buy it according to whether or not THEY actually like it. I mean, it's easy to do this but apparently people are stupid. But what else is new, right?
In any case, Nintendo Life will ALWAYS be my go-to for news and reviews. Just because they are so darn honest and reliable. Don't ever change, guys. I love this site!
Art and numbers? Not a great combination IMO. People get extremely pedantic about numerical scores, and I think this seriously hurts constructive criticism as a whole. With numbers, people don't read the review, they skip to the score and ignore the content. Rotten Tomatoes is an example. I absolutely hate it when people use an RT percentage as "evidence" that a movie is good. How shallow and simplistic.
It's a number. It holds little meaning, given that it's being projected onto a creative piece of media, and the connotation is different for everyone. I'd rather see a summation of how a reviewer enjoyed something or a descriptive scale, like GameXplain as someone pointed out. I appreciate it when labels are at least attached to numerical scores, like how My Anime List does it.
@Spiders Reviews judge graphics / gameplay / sound as is, you just gotta fish for it in the review. Having it separate could help. It's all subjective, but breaking it down by category could still be helpful, you could still maintain an 'overall' score if you want. It just indicates how highly/poorly you thought the individual categories / elements scored within that game.
Could be helpful to also add descriptive text near each individual score, to indicate what similar games it compares to. I.e., graphics are an 8 as the aesthetics fit the theme well and did not detract from the other elements, it's retro pixel art in the vein of say Zelda Link to the Past. Or like VVVVVV. Or this gameplay is similar to...Mario 64 / Banjo Kazooie / Crash Bandicoot, etc.
Per Pong's graphics, one could say it is functional and adequately depicts the action, but no bells and whistles. Score 7.0- 7.5 (adequate and functional, not distracting, but not phenomenal / creative / extra). Could've added color swaps, differently designed paddles / balls. Could've added character portions to give the feeling of different players (if Pong were created / reviewed in the present time)
The problem Alex hints at is that games these days update, and Splatoon is a VERY minor example of this, as Nintendo's fairly new to the update scene. Look at MMOs. Those update maybe 4 times a year. Do you re-review the game each time that happens? Very few outlets do. As a teacher, I can tell you that grading isn't always perfect (kids with good grammar but who write only a few sentences might score lower than a student who has poor grammar but is great at communicating and writes several paragraphs).
Unlike a movie, book, or even food, modern games are products that are being shipped incomplete, often for a reason. I actually will sometimes wait until AFTER a game has been shipped to read POST-RELEASE reviews because pre-release reviews often don't reflect what a game looks like after content updates and/or multiplayer servers are truly tested.
However, I appreciate an analysis of the game. Much like a movie review, I don't need to know all the details of the game. I don't care if the reviewer liked or disliked it. I want to know how the parts fit together. I don't need a score for that, I need some specific examples. I trust that more than a score for exactly the reasons Alex mentioned.
I disagree on almost every level. I'm sure some comments have already gone over why in great detail, so I'll be brief.
I, as well as people I have asked, not exactly a survey, just asked a couple of my friends, agree that we don't care about how good the game is visually, mechanically, or creatively. What we want to see in a review is how it effects the people that play it. If they hate it for petty reasons, that's something we want to know. If they love it because of bias and not because of clever design, we want to know. Screw fair reviews, when I play a game I'm not going to judge how much I enjoy it fairly, I'm going to judge it the way it effects me.
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