Jimquisition: Hate Out Of Ten

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Yeah, it's getting pretty sad. I saw someone complaining about Skyrim not getting higher than a 9 on Gamespot. They said that Gamespot received more "compensation" from Dark Souls and thus a higher score (9.5). WTF?!

Soviet Heavy:
Good points. And on the Uncharted front, allow me to mention once more the insanity of the G4 review by Adam Sessler. A 4/5 and the comment board went nuts.

Here's his response to the comments, if you haven't already watched it.


Why isn't the video working?

Man, I remember when gaming magazines would give out 3/10s for a bad game every once in a while or 5/10 for an average game.

Nowadays an average game gets an 8/10, and I have seen games so bad they are virtually unplayable score 6/10.

What the fuck? Not that I care all that much about review scores anyway, just saying.

(Although I was very pissed at the bonehead reviewer on this very website giving The Witcher 2 something like a 6/10 and Dragon Age 2 a 10/10. Doesnt make any god damn sense.)

It's so true that how much we been spoiled.

This video made me realize something.


It's really depressing.

This is a thoroughly valid point. But pointing out to idiots that they are being idiotic has the effectiveness of yelling at your scarecrow because it's not keeping the birds out of the field it's not even standing in. The best thing to do is ignore them, and hope for reason. But good luck with that.

excellent video,

the only point i felt that was left out is the fact that most rabid fanboys are merely petulant 8 year olds and thanks to the anonyminity of the internet we don't always see them for what they are, so their fanboy tempertantrums are given more credence than deserved.

Jim mentioned that most publishers take the reviews seriously and like for any other profession or craft, genuine constructive criticism is worth its weight in gold.

Harsh, well writen reviews will do nothing but good for the hobby we all love.

This is why more sites need to start using 2-5 more often. They'll give out a 1 if it's completely and totally bad (Big Rigs), but other than that I rarely see anything get below a 6 unless someone links to Destructoid or it's a review of Duke Nukem Forever.

Called this years ago.

Plus, the 1-10 scoring system is silly. At the least it should be marked out of 100. There's too much variation between say 80 and 89 for it to be averaged into an 8.

There's too little variation between 80 and 89 to make it worth it. What's the difference between a game that gets an 84 and a game that gets an 85? Nothing? That's what I thought.

If a reviewer can consistenly rank a bunch of above average games (but not great) belonging to the same genre, in order of preference, he'll need those percentiles, if he wants to accurately summarize his opinion in a single score.

I like the idea of a reviewer having a very clear insight into what he perosnally likes.

Scores are either too high or too low argh my brain. I wish we could just dump the whole x out of y system and switch to entirely text based reviews.

Rex Dark:
Shouldn't the average be like... 5 or something that?

Thats the theory... sadly people have forgotten how to count...

(awww @ avatar)

Maybe we need to crank the top review score up to 11.

This vid gets an 8/10...and yes that's a compliment.

I think most every game is overrated so most every game that has gotten a 10 didn't deserve it.

If I were to score the games of this gen, I don't think there is one that would get a 10/10.

Even Fallout 3 (which is arguably my favorite from this gen) wouldn't get one...maybe if it hadn't crashed so much it might have. But that's irrelevant to everyone but me and people with my tastes and pickyness.
I don't see how a number score is relevant to anyone who doesn't personally know the reviewer or their prefrences/tolerances.

I think the backlash just comes from kids who can only afford to get a couple of games every year and don't like being told (even though an 8 is good) that they wasted their money. It's probably the same kids who raved about the game console that had a tendency to spontaneously combust or the reason that so many are such big fans of crap like online pass and gamestop.

Yet you gave Skyrim 10/10, even thought it doesn't deserve it. At least In my opinion, TES fan since Daggerfall. But you are a console gamer, so you are forgiven.

Good example is just look at the comments under IGN's Halo CE2 review (an 8) People are going mental saying the original was a 10.

They need to redefine the numbers system, where 8 is 'masterpiece' as they call it. 9 is 'perfect in every way' and 10 is 'quadruple simultaneous orgasms'. Then when some fanboy says 'boo why didn't you give COD a 10?' you can say 'Did it give you 4 orgasms? Then shut up'

Or the entire reviewing community should form a coalition to all give every game ever made a 10 and hold their opinions for ransom until the trolls agree to accept their scores.

Also part of the problem is different people putting different amount of emphasis on graphics.

This is why more sites need to start using 2-5 more often. They'll give out a 1 if it's completely and totally bad (Big Rigs), but other than that I rarely see anything get below a 6 unless someone links to Destructoid or it's a review of Duke Nukem Forever.

Called this years ago.

Plus, the 1-10 scoring system is silly. At the least it should be marked out of 100. There's too much variation between say 80 and 89 for it to be averaged into an 8.

There's too little variation between 80 and 89 to make it worth it. What's the difference between a game that gets an 84 and a game that gets an 85? Nothing? That's what I thought.


You don't move things around for the lowest common denominator. Just because the difference between a game getting 84 and 85 is negligible, doesn't mean any other number combination is as inconsequential. There is a difference between a game being given an 80 and it being given and 89. And there's a difference between giving a game an 89 rather than a 90.

an 89 acknowledges the game is extremely good, but at the same time tells the audience the reviewer wasn't comfortable giving it a 90. You don't get that with a straight 1-10 system.

At the very least, games should be marked out of 100. Or include decimal points, like gametrailers.

After I watched this video, I was browsing the internet more and found IGN review of Halo Aniversary. and the review score made me laugh my balls off considering Halo has some of the most shittiest fan-base ever.

I blame Newgrounds for starting this. People rate flash games with a handicap and then bring that handicap with them when they rate other video games by saying its good enough to be average which must mean its 9-10.

I remember when 7 was a low score and 8 wasn't, this is stupid... 5 is average 10 is perfect and 0 is (insert your favourite game here). You start all games at 5 and as you play you decide whether or not it gains points or loses points, no game should ever reach a perfect 10 its like saying the humans who created this are perfect and there game transcends age, gender, race and personal preferences to bring you fun for all the family.

Instead of giving a 10 say its a 9.5 and that it set a new standard in gaming, because if it didn't why are you so quick to give a 10?

THIS...ladies and Bruces...is why the most respected reviewers don't even USE numbers. Just look at Yahtzee.

What?! Jim gave Saints Row 3 a 7.5/10 BURN HIM AT THE STAKE!!!!

Who fucking cares? Seriously, this has gotten ridiculous. Between the bitching about scores and those bitching at those who score bitch, video game score reviews get entirely too much attention and press. People like Jim Sterling make it a big deal, causing developers and publishers to actually notice such things.

I glance at review scores now and then, but the thing that quite literally "sells" me the game is good in-game footage.


kinda has a point
technically, it's not very good
aesthetically, on the other hand...
and that's really all that matters, good aesthetics that make your game interesting to look at =P

Thank God for Jim doing this episode, it's something that really needs to be addressed more often, Adam Sessler is the only other person I can recall commenting on this in recent memory.

It reminds me of when I was on the bus the other day and I heard a group of high school students going on for about 20 minutes (I got off the bus at that point) on the "low score" that Uncharted 3 got and all I could think was if they cared as much about their grades as they did the reviews, and not just them but all students, we could easily solve this health care professional shortage here in Canada.

You forgot Yatzee

As much as some people hate him (or love him) Yatzee has never put scores to his reviews for just that reason. Just ike Adam, he does it because (as he said) he does not feel there is any point and the review itself should tell you wither or not you want to buy the game (For the recod I have in the past bought games that he has reviewed marginally favorably, based on his review).
While I presonally don't have an issue with the scoring system, I use it as a general information point (6/10+ and worth looking into, for unknown game), then read what is said regarding the game to decide what I wish to do. If it is just a score I look elsewhere before deciding.

I have never been interested in professional reviews, i just read what players say and make my own opinions. Good to know i'm not missing much.

1-10 system would work if it wasn't for the inflated average and sites beign afraid that publishers would take their privileges back if they get bad scores.



kinda has a point
technically, it's not very good
aesthetically, on the other hand...
and that's really all that matters, good aesthetics that make your game interesting to look at =P

True but they didn't say that, they just said the graphics were bad.

Good one, Jim.

But as we've learned time and time again, needing to be loud on the internet probably just means that you don't get the validation you're looking for IRL. In this case the riders of the low review score prior to even seeing the game yourself waaaambulance seem to be reaching incomprehensible street person level of passerby disinterest.

I've seen this on GT with their Zelda review. People screaming that it should of got a 10 not a 9.1. It got a lower score than MW3, GT has lost all credibility!

I don't understand if people love the game that much what does one review score matter to you. You're going to play the game regardless and a 9.1 is an excellent score.

I completely agree with the problem.
But surely of all the problems out there, an average score of 8/10 isn't bad. It should be taken as indicative of the market that there are so many 'very good' games out there.
I guess this assumes a totally unbiased system.

I was going to suggest that we just make 11 as the new highest value, but then I was reminded we could just make 10 higher.

This reminds me of the time I cornered Victor Lucas at a meet n greet and asked him if 7 was the new 5; Today it's more like 8 is the new 5!

The biggest problem isn't the fans of the games so much as the "overly pandering" reviewers, that will gladly give a 8.5/10 to a well polished P.O.S.

Where as a diamond in the rough


will receive only a score between 6-7.

The problem I have with the (borderline psychotic) fans is when a reviewer actually puts his/her foot down and says what they truly think about a game they get an undeserved backlash.

Are we living in the days where "great" isn't good enough?

I think William Shatner said it best when he said...


I don't know if this is a valid answer to that problem, but I think the idea that we need to rate games is a flawed concept. Movie reviews are a lot more than the number of stars under the movie's name - they're an indication of what the critic thought, felt or perceived as he was watching it. It's no different for a game.

People bashing reviewers and review sites because they dare to give an 8 probably are the sort of consumers who scroll straight down to the review score, because honestly, EVERYTHING deserves a TL;DR these days, because people can't be fucking bothered to fucking read, anymore.

So they see an 8 out of 10, reflect that on their own enjoyment or hatred for a given project and if both don't match up based on lacking data, then they fly into a rage. the "h8ters", to coin a phrase, are just as unnerving as folks who wander into a Skyrim topic (or any other game-related topic for that matter) and just drop "This game sucks!" or a variation on it - without making the least bit of effort at articulating their claim.

To these folks, I'd like to say that you need to brush up on your understanding and definition of games journalism, journalism in general, the art of criticism as well as your ability to get a clue, for once. Journalism does involve a fair share of statements of opinion, of course, but it's a lot more than just another soapbox we're giving to people that are randomly paid to state how much they hate or like a given product.

Journalism implies investigation. If you're going to say that a given game's set of mechanics feels unconvincing, then you should be able to explain why, and not just say that it's crap and move on. In comparison, hating a reviewer or a reviews site for a given score is pretty much the equivalent of hollering an uninformed opinion at the top of your lungs.

Look, we get it. The Internet is a wonderful place that favours self-expression and independent thought. The key word here is "thought". Going out on a limb and raging against a reviewer does not equal thought.

Considering all that, we'd probably be better off nipping the problem in the bud and eliminating grades altogether. As reading the entire review is conducive to understanding the purpose and thought process of the reviewer, that's a lot less likely to leave room for sudden unfounded flames. Any site could eliminate scores for a while to test the waters, then reintroduce them a year or two later - largely to see if this gives more worth to the now fairly commonplace and misunderstood 8, 9 and 10 scores.

In the best of worlds, 5 would still be understood as being the mark of an average game. It also means we'd have a lot more 5-scores around than we do now. Anything upwards of 5 would be the mark of something that goes from being above the call of duty to being exceptional. Ideally, perfect scores would be completely weeded out of the equation.

Let's face it. Nothing ever made by human hands could ever be considered perfect. Even Da Vinci would still be tweaking the Mona Lisa, if he could.

Go read Atlas Shrugged, in an world of mediocre people, mediocrity be praised.

I've known this was a problem for a while now but I think the real indicator is that I saw a review on Game Trailers that had nothing - NOTHING - nice to say about a game (I forget what it was) and summarized with a 5.1 as the score. You tell me if this review makes any sense at all:
This game is terrible and any good ideas it had are weighted down by poor implementation, bad design, and glitches: 5.1 out of 10.

I'm experiencing this today on Machinima's review of AC: Revelations. It got a 7. Commenters are tearing the shit out. Even the one's that have coherent arguments are misrepresenting what the reviewer said.

Half the comenters thought he said "I haven't played the game" instead of "Having played the game, [point here]"

Others say that Machinima don't like fun. And don't seem to understand opinion. And the ones that do understand opinion thinks it makes what they say more important, even though they haven't played the game yet.

Reviews aren't primarily given for journalistic integrity anymore, the attraction of traffic is of more concern.

The top (and bottom) review in Metacritic is the most hit "View this publication" - so there is a lot of logic in either fighting for top or bottom.

I personally believe the only way something can be trusted is if it's accessible by subscription only. When hits don't matter.

However, the conundrum of how to get subscribers without those initial traffic attraction tricks is a concern.

Personally, I only read reviews for how good the control scheme is - then I watch gameplay videos and go from there.

I don't particularly make a habit of watching this guy's videos or trying to give him too much attention, but the headline for this one got to me...

Let me guess, he's bitching about people "reacting negatively" to his awesome reviews, when he is widely known as the ultimate review troll, systematically giving either the highest or the lowest score on the Metacritic scale to try and force "controversy" and get more hits for his page, the latest attempt for this for instance being Battlefield 3 e.g.:


Notice how the entire first page of the comments being mostly his "followers" do nothing else than post pictures of people eating pop-corn and waiting for the "inevitable shitstorm" (which in that case never came, it was more people eloquently discussing the game and telling him why he is wrong and to "sod off" instead)

Some other examples from the past:


"Positive" e.g. giving games a 100 or similar:


Jim Sterling taking a "high horse" on this issue given his obvious "troll/getting hits" reviews and past is as ridiculous as can be, he is probably the last person on the planet that should be allowed to seeing as the only thing he is seeking is attention and respectively more hits/money and doesn't possess a fibre of integrity...

It's only more saddening to see how many people are falling for this based on the Comments...

It's like that old bit: everyone thinks they're an above average driver (which even if true, if everyone is of a particular quality of driver, then it isn't above average, it's average).

I could go on at length on the unusefullness of scores in themselves, how biases can affect them, or how many people use them to overcompensate for cerain sexual shortcomings, but overall you are correct: 10/10 is somewhat too common just because the fanbrats won't let reviewers give it an "average" rating, even if what was once "exceptional" has become average. We're blessed in a reletively low amount of the god awful shovelware games that could dominate the NES, SNES or even PS and PS2 eras. Games that just weren't quirky, or not to taste, but games that were downright unplayable (see any angry video game nerd video for examples), and the number of high quality games is so high we can ignore their existance. I guess they still exist, but no one cares about reviewing playstaion minis, and ios casual games. But back then we had not onle a lot of crap to keep us grounded in what good and bad are, we also had good reason to distrust the term "average" because what was average was a lot of crap anyway.

Today, average is still pretty damn good.

Jim Sterling:
Hate Out Of Ten

Review controversies are nothing new, but things went from bad to worse this year with gamers going crazy every time a major title got scored by various outlets. The "Year of Threes" have created more high profile titles than ever, and spawned more insane fanboys than the world knows what to do with. Even worse, the review score system has gotten so thoroughly screwed that 8/10 just doesn't cut it anymore. It's now become Hate/10.

Watch Video

Just a thought

Five shouldn't be average in a 1 to 10 scale (I don't mean in a mathematical sense but in a subjective(qualitative) one), average sholud be around 3 because numbers under 5 are barely used and so many games fall between average and perfection. Quality testing and publishers, and the risk of losing money, make it difficult for games under 3 to be released. More numbers between average and perfection would give critics a wider range of options and a chance to rate games more specifically.

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