2010 has been a very good year for gaming so far, says review aggregator Metacritic.
Metacritic isn't that hard to understand: Reviews go in, averaged score comes out. But what's trickier to spot, unless you're very good at mental mathematics, is that the average of the averages is on the rise, at least according to Metacritic's midyear report.
Scores rose by an average of 3.9 for each platform, with the PC seeing the highest increase at 5.1 points, closely followed by PSP and DS, which both saw a 4.0 point increase. The smallest increase was for Xbox 360 games, which only increased by 2.9 points. However, the difference in total scores between platforms is very small, with the highest being the PC at 73.7 points and the lowest being the PSP at 70.3. Oh, and if you were wondering, the average of the averaged averages is 71.8%
The number of "bad" games - games with Metacritic scores of 49 or lower - has gone down against last year, with only 16 versus 2009's 25. On the other end of the spectrum, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 all scored highest than Street Fighter IV, which was the highest rated game of the first half of 2009.
So what do these numbers actually mean? Well, that depends on what you think of review scores. It does seem to suggest that the average quality of games has increased over this time last year. The numbers are based on opinion, however, and there are so many factors that shape an opinion, any conclusion you might draw has a lot of ifs and buts and other qualifiers attached to it.