What Our Review Scores Mean

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What Our Review Scores Mean

A brief explanation of The Escapist's five-star review scale.

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So you're the new reviews editor, Jim?

Will you be writing any?

Sounds reasonable. If you could now get your reviewers to use it (I am looking at you, Greg) that would be pretty great.

Edit: Ok, NOW i get it. Well i wish you good luck, jim. This site is most certainly not known for it's great reviews. I wish you well on your quest to change that.

The Escapist just got a hell of a lot more sexy.

Thank god for you Jim, may your glorious reign of sexy terror never end.

Welcome aboard, Jim. I look forward to crying incessantly about poor reviews for games I like, and good reviews for games I have an inexplicable grudge against. I will also relish the opportunity to cast accusations of bribery/corruption your way.

I called it the minute you left Destructoid Jim! This makes me very happy, your reviews are one of the few I actually pay attention to.

Thank God for Jim.

Jimothy Sterling:
What Our Review Scores Mean

A brief explanation of The Escapist's five-star review scale.

Read Full Article

This sounds quite amazing. I truly hope that with your help we can get game scores to a reasonable level instead of the "Below 7? ITS SHIT!" that we have been stuck with for a few years now.

I know you are the reviews editor, but will you have time on the side to do a review or two once in a while? Your reviews are one of the few that I really enjoy reading, even though (as with any review) I might disagree with.

I shall work tirelessly to have The Escapist counted among the most harsh -- but the most fair -- review outlets in the industry.

Oh God yes! I'd love for this site to gain that reputation. I've seen people dismiss this sites reviews in the past, but no more!

Welcome to the helm, Jim. May you guide us well.

That's very exciting - Jim is in many respects Da Man. Although given his willingness to criticise games on the basis of their content as well as their technical achievement, I foresee great wailings and gnashings of teeth in the future.

Hmm when I heard Jim was becoming the reviews editor I assumed the review scoring system would change to some kind of mentally scarring dildo themed scale... but you know I guess these stars are good too. Welcome aboard Jim.

I hate you for the things you do. I want your head on a spike. You should be fired, you hypocrite. You are full of unfair bias and I can't even imagine how much publishers pay you off.

Congrats Mr. Sterling! I look forward to reading your reviews here :)

The dreaded half start isn't the bottom.
The half start is 1 out of 10.
Zero stars is the bottom.
I'd define it as.
Unplayable. Game fails to install, or has game breaking bugs. The game might be perfectly fine, but the bugs prevent the critic, or player from ever finding out.

I wish every rating had a Decepticon example.

Looks like a damn good scale at first glance. The "Games as Decepticon", particularly so.

And obviously, thank God for you, Jim.

medv4380:
The dreaded half start isn't the bottom.
The half start is 1 out of 10.
Zero stars is the bottom.
I'd define it as.
Unplayable. Game fails to install, or has game breaking bugs. The game might be perfectly fine, but the bugs prevent the critic, or player from ever finding out.

"The game made my PC come to live, eat my puppy, drink my beer and puke in my fridge before attempting to mate with the printer and enslave humanity. 0 stars.

I shall raise my champagne filled high-heel vodka-filled skull to your sexy reign of terror Jim. May the gross-sex-stuff be with you.

Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

..who am I kidding?

Teoes:
Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

..who am I kidding?

Yeah ... try telling that to Metacritic ...

Teoes:
Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

Well 70% isn't bad, it's pretty far above average.

It's just that people still use the grade-school system in critiques and consider anything <80 as bad, which is really dumb.

I was wondering when I should congratulate you, so I will congratulate you now.
Congrats on your somewhat new job!

I'm disappointed in you Jimmy (ok, you did probably not have much to do with this rating or that much power. The "average" should be the equivalent to "technical perfect".

i love that this system actually uses the whole spectrum.
and i will refer to this as the "chungus-scale" in the future.

Teoes:
Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

..who am I kidding?

3.5 stars equals
7 out of 10
Half a star equals 1 point
There are 7 half stars in 3.5
7 out of 10
equals
70%

Also 3.5 stars / 5 stars equals 0.7 which is 70%

Please, Please, Please consult your Algebra Teacher, or College Professor is you don't understand.

medv4380:

Teoes:
Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

..who am I kidding?

3.5 stars equals
7 out of 10
Half a star equals 1 point
There are 7 half stars in 3.5
7 out of 10
equals
70%

Also 3.5 stars / 5 stars equals 0.7 which is 70%

Please, Please, Please consult your Algebra Teacher, or College Professor is you don't understand.

I think you have not understood the points of the article. I suggest you re-read and note my statement that the Escapist star system is not a linear scale in that sense. Algebra has little to nothing to do with it.

I'll say it, I'm not a big fan of Sterling. Pundits (i.e. people with opinions about everything) don't impress me, let alone smug pundits (not an insult - he's smugly acknowledged his smugness). Then again I'm not a big fan of centralized power. I've been noticing lately the staff is getting reduced while a chosen few remain in charge of an increasing percentage of the place. Sterling and Chipman have how many shows again? All I'm saying is it doesn't do a lot of good for diversity of opinion. They could use some new blood. But whatever, it's just my opinion. Congratulations.

Teoes:

medv4380:

Teoes:
Hopefully this'll start to get it through certain skulls that 3.5 stars =/= 70%. This is not a linear scale in that sense. That they should read the text of the review rather than focusing solely on the number at the bottom.

..who am I kidding?

3.5 stars equals
7 out of 10
Half a star equals 1 point
There are 7 half stars in 3.5
7 out of 10
equals
70%

Also 3.5 stars / 5 stars equals 0.7 which is 70%

Please, Please, Please consult your Algebra Teacher, or College Professor is you don't understand.

I think you have not understood the points of the article. I suggest you re-read and note my statement that the Escapist star system is not a linear scale in that sense. Algebra has little to nothing to do with it.

I understand it just fine, but you should realize that 70% means exactly the same thing to every student as it does to Jim. Though I suspect Jim was a little more accepting of D grade 3/5. They may be passing, but they aren't really acceptable to most.

After a few disconnect from the reviewers I don't really come here for the reviews anymore, but good to know anyway.

I dont think setting a star system with a description for each result being set in stone is that great of an idea. You can have a 2 star rating game (by following those descriptions) that shines in a particular area but is terrible at some others, if you dont care for the parts the game is terrible at then all you have is an opinion for a great game (basicly all niche games fall into this).

And you should know this as you love some rather niche games (the quirky kind).

I made a topic not long ago about the way people interpreted reviews and how it was key to know if the tastes of the reviewer matched the tastes of the consumer.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.832634-Knowing-your-reviewer#20345190

I guess it was well received and to be honest I think its something that people dont take much into account (even though its important as hell).

In the end I think a clear summary on how the reviewer felt about the game making clear where his perspective is coming from is a lot more important then a score.

For example, if a review for Battlefield 4 is made by a guy that doesnt care for multiplayer he really needs to make that clear because you know that a lot of readers do care for the multiplayer and that review wont be aimed at them, its still a valid review for people that only care for singleplayer but for the rest it needs to be clear as water where that perspective is coming from, otherwise they will think the game (multiplayer included) sucks for the wrong reasons.

Dear Jim,

Let me get to it right away: Just don't get carried away by one aspect of the game that particularly irks you in a way that makes you overlook all the human effort and other overarching achievements of the program. After all a game is a computer program that is trying to convey emotion, and while both seem to be on different lobbies in the human brain and popular opinion, both are incredibly hard work.

I've seen some of your reviews where you get fixated upon a particularly jarring aspect that jumps at you, that while valid, eloquently expressed and cleverly mocked, it eclipses the rest of the experience (and review) and polarizes the final score. It makes for good, quality comedy and fanboy-ism fuel for the comment section's witch burning, but not so much for a compelling review in terms of garme jurnalizm.

I'm a big fan of your Jimquisition video-column, your opinions are well versed and intelligently presented. I've always liked the way you side with consumers over corporations, even with low income consumers rather than rich gamers that can have it all. You've always stuck with the people, and that's the main reason I'm a fan of your editorial. You seem to be morally righteous and unfaltering, and that is admirable. My small caveat with some reviews is that sometimes they feel a bit too passionate and not as fair as they could be. That is something to consider for a review editor.

*begins chanting*

Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim!

(Congrats by the way, I'm sure you'll bring a lot to the reviewing on this site).

I'm really looking forward to this, the Escapist reviewing always did a pretty decent job, but mainly in the more 'If it functional? Is it fun?' style of things (indie games being the big exception). I'm hoping you'll be the perfect guy to bring in that touch of personality/insight that might make them more unique

hes not the reviews editor the escapist wants hes the reviews editor the escapist needs. it seems the expo was a potent of things to come when i close my eyes i can still hear the crowd chanting his name Jim! JIM!! JIM!!!!!!

Wonderful first article on the escapist. I always loved your reviews on Destructoid, and this will continue onto the Escapist. Will it be slightly weird for you going from the 20 point scale that Dtoid had with the .5s to the 10 point scale that Escapist has? Anyways, excellent news that you are here!

Best news I've heard all week. Long may you reign supreme, Jim!

I don't have a HUGE amount of time to address everything right now, sorry. The week has been hectic, as I am sure you can understand. To briefly answer a couple things:

1. The scale is not up for debate at this time. I know this system works. :)

2. Yes, I will be writing reviews. My first review for the site will be Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus.

3. The Jimquisition persona is a exaggerated portrayal of myself. Those of you worried based on only seeing my videos will learn that game critic Jim is a lot less about the smugness and much more about the games. Game reviewing is what I do. I don't fuck around with it.

Thank you for the warm welcome, most of you! <3

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