Jimquisition: Hate Out Of Ten

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I think Jim has an excellent point! I recently read a "Guide to VG Scores" on some site, and they said 8's were not worth your time or cash unless you were part of the niche market or a fanboy. The 60 $ that a game is worth should make you choose which games you buy carefully, certainly (more in the cases of inflated prices abroad). That, however, does not justify complaining about a 7.5 onward; really shitty games ACTUALLY get shitty scores. Also, not READING the review leads to a lot of stupidity, and even Yahtzee has mentioned this kind of nonsense in most of his end-year review videos, saying that people can't seem to get through their skull the fact that numbers mean jack-shit and that you can have a less than AAA title and still have more or equal fun to that AAA title. Likewise, AAA does not = perfect or excellent game.

I think we should do away with review scores all together. Because it might actually force people to read the review before complaining about it.

i agree with him on that. 8 is still good. but i guess because you already read on the retail covers 10/10, lots of people believe it and seeing this game below 10, is a problem or an outrage. i guess you can call it a hardcore fanboy thing. damn, when i once talked bad about resident evil 4 for the pc, people of course complained about it. even when i explained why its bad like bad controls, graphics etc, people still made a fuss out of it.
i never believed it at all when i read such a high score on a retail cover. hell, even bad or silly movies still get a good score written on the cover.

mass effect 2 had 10/10 written on the box, and i love ME2, but even i have to say that its not a 10/10. not even half life 1+2. and these are my favorite games of all time.
why people are so stupid or blind is just amazing. but i guess its like this today. after all, politicians are stupid too and they run a damn country. george w. bush is a perfect example.

Wow. One video from Jim that I actually agree with through and through, instead of just with the acknowledgement of the problem.

For me, 10 out of 10 (or 100%) is that score that should never be used. And to the people who think games under 5 don't exist: Have you ever played one of the FMV games from the 90s? I dare you find one deserving of a score above 4... well, maybe excluding Phantasmagoria. But even then it is a 6 at most.

Still, objectively speaking, reviewers themselves have come to give 6 to games they think are unremarkable in every way, but aren't downright painful to play.

In general I like the PCGamer scores. Sure, I've strongly disagreed with some games that received 80-90%, but they consistently do give out 20-40% to certain bad titles and in the 50% mark there really are games they say is just mostly average, while games with 60% usually are average games with some redeeming qualities. Still, I can probably guess the shitstorm it would be if they, say, give the next Bioshock anything less than 80%, but they have on occasion given hyped games scores around the 70% mark (and explaining the shortcomings that kept it from something higher).

If I'm taking a test in school and I get an 80%...I celebrate with dancing, excited phone calls to friends and family and unhealthy rewards involving fast food and Netflix.

I expect the same from my games. An 8/10 is a fine score.

So much hate... And not only is it justified, I feel right within my mind to punch anyone in the face who dares say otherwise!

Honestly, what's the big fucking deal? 8/10 is GOOD! In fact, it's better than good! It's great! It's far above average! I can understand if people are upset about a 6. Maybe even a 7. But 8? Come the fuck ON!

Xanadu84:

In theory sure, game reviews arn't school. But regardless of the hypothetical Games as a medium with critical consideration are extremely young. The frame of reference most redily translates to grades. I know that when I hear "80 out of 100" my first thought is B-.

Games as a medium with critical consideration is extreme young? Games have been reviewed as long as games have been around. Ever heard of PC Gamer? It's a review magazine that's been around since 1993.

Computer Gaming World, now discontinued, was in print since 1981.

If you look at the context of these reviews, generally, a letter grade makes perfect sense

You're assuming that the education system in areas outside your own use the letter grade system. As far as my education was concerned, letters stopped in grade 8. After that it was out of a 100.

But complaining that a person thinks of an 8 out of 10 translates to a B- is like complaining that some crazy idiot thinks that 120 is fat when in reality, they measure weight in Stones. What we need is a standardized metric, and honestly, grades are a pretty good one.

I wasn't complaining I was merely stating the obvious that reviewing a game, and giving a school grade are not the same thing. The standards even for school differ at varying degrees of education. In elementary you need what, a 50 to pass? In university, or at least the one I went to you need a 65% or a 70% in my degree program. If you want to "pass" to get into one of the other schools like law or medicine your passing grade is even higher. And then on top of that some education systems in the US uses some grades on the 4.0 scale or something.

Obviously for you, you equate to school marks but personally I never have. And given how variable education systems are, equating it to school marks is inferring more than is actually there.

50/100 is average because on the bell curve, 50 is in the middle. That's it.

Great video as always Jim, now go get a drink you look like you need it.

So fucking true.

I sincerely hope that the various review sites, internet wide, can be inspired by this video, grow some balls, and go back to giving games proper scores.

Nothing is perfect. Not the best game ever made. Nothing - ever - deserves a 10/10.

Link XL1:
ya no sorry, i watched the first episode and didnt like it. thought maybe i'd give jim another try, but NOPE i still cant watch this guy's videos. i just dont like him

good for you!!!!!!

anyway, he makes a point that should be so friggen painfully obvious..I always thourght 8 or 7 were good scores and ment it was worth buying

The more time passes, the more I find myself agreeing with Yahtzee when he said, "I don't believe that a complex opinion can be represented numerically."

The most effective reviews I've read have been ones without scores. When there is a score, it ends up coloring my entire perspective of what was said. When there isn't, I walk away with a better appreciation for what was written.

If there's going to be a numbering system, I like the way Rottentomatoes does it as opposed to the way Metacritic does it. On RT, all reviews are marked as either positive or negative based on whether or not the critic recommends the film. The average is then determined by percentage of positive reviews.

and holy crap...I just saw SR3's meta score...its 88 and thats WAY higher than I expected, I think 8 or 7.5 is fair score for SR3 and pretty much what I expected

Worgen:
snip

That game DOES have bad graphics. See the tree to the right? That is just a ball, with a leafy texture over it. The developers noised the crap out of the trees in the left of the second picture to give them depth, which they never had. Now that I look at it, all the trees are essentially stacked up lampshades. The fact that that game can't hold up on screenshots alone makes it obvious that its mechanics are painfully simple, as in static environment and static audio, plus a lack of intelligent pathfinding. Not only that but the aesthetic sucks as well. The grass varies from hand drawn to somewhat realistic in a matter of feet, and all the wood is hand drawn, while most of the trees are aiming to be realistic. I am fine with shitty graphics if it is a good game, but nobody in their right mind can say that that is technically advanced at all.

Bara_no_Hime:
So fucking true.

I sincerely hope that the various review sites, internet wide, can be inspired by this video, grow some balls, and go back to giving games proper scores.

Nothing is perfect. Not the best game ever made. Nothing - ever - deserves a 10/10.

Especially not uncharted 3. Can anyone in their right mind rate an 8 hour standard shooter over a 300 hour multi play style open ended epic like skyrim?

EverythingIncredible:
I think we should do away with review scores all together. Because it might actually force people to read the review before complaining about it.

No, you see, I can save time by not reading it, and spend that time complaining. If I took the time reading the review, I wouldn't have as much time complaining about it.

And this is why this is one of my favourite web shows on the internet.

Nail on the fucking head!

veloper:
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.

That doesn't answer the question. What's the difference between an 82 or an 83, or an 86 and an 87? By the way, there is no way to accurately summarize his opinion with a number. To paraphrase Yahtzee in his Mailbag Showdown video, complex opinions cannot be accurately expressed via a single number.

Abandon4093:
And there's a difference between giving a game an 89 rather than a 90.

Bullshit.

Abandon4093:
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.

Again, it's one point. What's the difference between an 89 and a 90? NOTHING. You say the reviewer is not comfortable giving it a 90? I say explain this clear difference between 89 and 90 that you see in real terms. And no, just saying "he gives it an 89 because he doesn't want to give it a 90" is not a clear difference. See these?

http://www.destructoid.com/the-official-destructoid-review-guide-2011-203909.phtml
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/7149-What-Our-Review-Scores-Mean

Write something like that for 80 through 90 showing a clear, reasonable difference between each increment so everyone can see the difference between an 82 and an 83, or a 89 and a 90, without confusion. If you can't tell me the difference between an 89 and a 90, there's no point in having an 89 and a 90.

Of course, the true solution is to not have review scores at all or to just stop paying so much attention to them and actually read the review itself, not to further complicate a system that most people are already too dumb to understand by throwing more numbers into it.

brainslurper:
Especially not uncharted 3. Can anyone in their right mind rate an 8 hour standard shooter over a 300 hour multi play style open ended epic like skyrim?

Anyone in their right mind would know not to compare the scores of a third person shooter and an RPG in the first place.

The solution is video reviews with "fuck off or watch the review" instead of score.
That is the only answer these fucktards would read.

If I was reviewing games, I would use a few rules for the 1 - 10 scale:

'Average' in any area is FIVE. This means that the average triple-A title would receive a 5/10. Features that are better than average and push the envelope would get higher scores, thus bringing up the game's rating. Features that are substandard, suck, or are missing would drag down the rating.

A 5.0 wouldn't mean that a game sucks - merely that it is average. Spending millions of dollars in development means nothing special.

Take your all-time favorite game...ever. Is it perfect? Is there any feature anywhere in any game that you think would make it better? Or any feature you can possibly comprehend that would add to the experience? Then it's not perfect.

No game anywhere deserves a perfect 10.0 score. In my opinion, Half Life 2's storyline MIGHT qualify for an 8.0 - but that's pushing it. Eve probably doesn't deserve an 8.0 for its open-endedness. World of Warcraft likely wouldn't get an 8.0 for its social community from me.

When Modern Warfare 7 comes out...how many people will even remember that Modern Warfare [most recent one to date] even exists? Or how about Battlefield 9, Halo 11, or Madden 2023? If your game is transient, then it's not perfect. It's not great. It's probably not even that good.

It is average. (Maybe less.)

brainslurper:

Bara_no_Hime:
So fucking true.

I sincerely hope that the various review sites, internet wide, can be inspired by this video, grow some balls, and go back to giving games proper scores.

Nothing is perfect. Not the best game ever made. Nothing - ever - deserves a 10/10.

Especially not uncharted 3. Can anyone in their right mind rate an 8 hour standard shooter over a 300 hour multi play style open ended epic like skyrim?

You're no different than those people complaining about the review score because something got 8/10. Quite sad.

Link XL1:
ya no sorry, i watched the first episode and didnt like it. thought maybe i'd give jim another try, but NOPE i still cant watch this guy's videos. i just dont like him

Wow, what a waste of space. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

OT:

Given that Jim Sterling has been commenting about this issue quite a lot over the past month (on Destructoid), I'm not all that surprised about today's content. Needless to say, I agree with Jim's opinion. I think this is an issue that needs to be aired out more often because the attitudes and perceptions surrounding numeric averages have become a mea culpa of the gaming community.

I personally get around this issue by limiting myself to the text of a review and avoiding the winery of the gamer elite.

Good point on this vid Jim.People should stop hating on the number 8.

Also +1 because you took off your glasses for the first time on this show.

I'm impressed.

Hey, you made this argument with Russ Pitts on his podcast~! Not that I'm complaining, it's still interesting to hear. I agree though, there are entire websites I just don't use because their scores are far too high and their descriptions so similar that it's hard to distinguish between the quality of games. If anything nowadays I just skim over the review summaries of most review sites and pick based on that. In truth, most my memorable game experiences have come from games that are 7s. It used to be the case that 6 and up was good enough for me, the higher the better, nowadays I find myself more interested in the 6-7.9 games because that at least implies there's something different enough about them not to fit in what's quickly becoming a very generic bracket for game scores.

In other words most reviewers are being silly and it's getting hard to interpret their opinions in any coherent way.

All i gotta say is, if i made a game that got an 8/10 with reviews...i wouldn't complain i'd jump for freaking joy and shout everybody on the development team a night out at the pub! Good god, what is wrong with people: 8/10 is a damned good score. Infact, anything above 6 is atleast at a level of 'playable'. If something like, say, Skyrim got a 1/10 in an incredibly biased review...yeah, ok, start that shit-storm rolling cause something is wrong. But going that crazy over a 9/10? Wow..

mysecondlife:

brainslurper:

Bara_no_Hime:
So fucking true.

I sincerely hope that the various review sites, internet wide, can be inspired by this video, grow some balls, and go back to giving games proper scores.

Nothing is perfect. Not the best game ever made. Nothing - ever - deserves a 10/10.

Especially not uncharted 3. Can anyone in their right mind rate an 8 hour standard shooter over a 300 hour multi play style open ended epic like skyrim?

You're no different than those people complaining about the review score because something got 8/10. Quite sad.

if the 8 hour long campaign does what it set out to do perfectly then it should get a 10. just because you prefer a 300 hour long rpg doesn't mean everyone will.

and thats why i avoid reviews on general gaming sites. for me i have an interest in wargames, etc so i tend to use genre specific review sites like armchair general

Scrumpmonkey:

I Shall make my post in Poster Form;

I was going to write a very long post, but that picture nails every point. Good Show.

Oh my god. The zelda comment actually stopped him from reminding us to thank god for him.

To be fair...eurogamer are often excessively harsh. Not really worth getting so angry about, true, at least not for a near perfect game being seen as a great game, although it could be on the occasions eurogamer marks an okay game as rubbish.

Maybe it's the metascore? Alot of people depend on metacritic as a mark of how good a game is, I even use it basically as a series of links to reviews, so maybe fans of particular games get mad at scores only a couple of marks off of perfection because it'll harm the metascore? Seems petty, but at least it's some reason for this madness!

You said it yourself Jim... when the average of a good game is from 9.5 to 10, and then suddenly what you believe is going to be a great game gets an 8, you think "either this game is fucking awful, or the reviewers have some brain damage". Since fanboys just can't accept a game they are hyped about might not actually be as good at they think, the problem is obviously reviewers being "trolls" here.

What to do here: Stop giving games a number.

hit the nail on the head with this one. not quite as funny as some others, but by god it was one of the truest...

God I hate fanboism. Just come off IGN and the comment section was going mental over review scores. I have to say I completely and totally agree with this video; a 'ten out of ten' is a perfect and umique game that has no faults at all (giving it the best overall score)where as 'five out of ten' would qualify for most games as that is the average score in that system. To be clear, average = most games and in which an 'eight' should count as a great game (portal, hl2, RDR, etc) and only a couple truely exceptional games reaching higher.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one infuriated by 7 or 8 out of ten being considered "average," rather than a 5 out of ten.

"Games as a medium with critical consideration is extreme young? Games have been reviewed as long as games have been around. Ever heard of PC Gamer? It's a review magazine that's been around since 1993.

Computer Gaming World, now discontinued, was in print since 1981."

And Plato talked about theater, Shakespeare had his critics, and im sure that shortly after someone banged on some rocks in rhythm, the guy next to him made known what he thought of it. In the grand scheme of things, 30 years ago is downright infantile, and im going to say that to this day, Games still have a ways to go before they have a critical language that facilitates constructive review.

"You're assuming that the education system in areas outside your own use the letter grade system. As far as my education was concerned, letters stopped in grade 8. After that it was out of a 100."

In other words, you, like most everyone else, have an intuitive understanding of this system

"I wasn't complaining I was merely stating the obvious that reviewing a game, and giving a school grade are not the same thing. The standards even for school differ at varying degrees of education. In elementary you need what, a 50 to pass? In university, or at least the one I went to you need a 65% or a 70% in my degree program. If you want to "pass" to get into one of the other schools like law or medicine your passing grade is even higher. And then on top of that some education systems in the US uses some grades on the 4.0 scale or something.

Obviously for you, you equate to school marks but personally I never have. And given how variable education systems are, equating it to school marks is inferring more than is actually there.

50/100 is average because on the bell curve, 50 is in the middle. That's it."

First off, the details differ, absolutely. The exact cutoff points for grades varies a bit. But the very general point of the grading systems remains the same. Reviewing is an inexact science, and whether passing is 65 or 70 is not a significant enough difference to be noticeable. And yes, my school had a scale going up to 4. However, this score was calculated by adding up letter grades, where the excellent grades led to a good GPA, and a more middling GPA comes from...thats right...the C range, 7-8 out of 10, 70%-80%.

You say that other people don't view these scores as I do, yet the context of the majority of these views agrees with me. In most reviews, a qualitative description that seems to be describing a letter grade of B will probably get a numerical score in the 8's. Below 60, and they will likely talk about how the game needs to be avoided at all costs. If they are not thinking of letter grades directly, they are certainly thinking of a measure that corresponds with letter grade nearly perfectly. Which for all intents and purposes, is functionally identical to a letter grade.

And lastly, that is not the middle of a bell curve. That would be a bell curve assuming that a test full of true/false answers were answered by a class at random. That is a bell curve if the scores were picked at random. Were students to pick at random in a multiple choice test, the bell curve would peak at 25. In both reviews and grades, the bell curve peaks more towards a little above 70. Saying that 50 is the center of the bell curve is arbitrary and lacks meaningful context.

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

No apparently its 7... for some reason...

image
Personally as someone trying to become an artist I hate the idea of perfection. Its what we should strive for but acheiving it will cause many people to stop trying and things to become stagnent. I SPIT ON PERFECTION!!!

Fans. The reason for and the ruination of the enjoyment of anything. Fans have ruined some games to the point where I could only play them 10-15 years later so my antipathy could cool off and appreciate playing it.

It certainly helps my wallet, though. :)

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