I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating lately on review scores and the impact they play on the success of a game. So many of us put so much faith into a review score that it more than often dictates our decision to purchase a game and in the end it often leaves the thought in the back of your mind if you had missed out on a great game or not.
Review scores, I’ve come to realize, are flawed. They are an opinion of not necessarily the site or magazine reviewing the game but the opinion of the REVIEWER. Everyone has different tastes and everyone has different biased opinions. Deny it all you want but it’s true. If you like Nintendo consoles, you are more likely to give a better review of a game on the Wii U than you are on the Xbox 360 and everyone has a system preference, I don’t care what you say.
The most recent display of flawed reviewing based on a score is that of The Wonderful 101. The range of scores vary from a 4 up to 9.5 on a scale of 10 which leaves us wondering if the game is THAT bad or THAT good. I doubt seriously that anyone ever stops to think about biased opinions or maybe the fact that the genre of the title being reviewed maybe just isn’t that reviewer’s forte.
How about the skill of the reviewer? If you are adjusted to a certain control scheme or controller, don’t you think you’d have complications with a title that has such a sophisticated control scheme as The Wonderful 101? Matter of fact, controls are one if the big topics discussed in most of the reviews I’ve seen on 101. I’ve read that they were great in one review and moving on to another I’ve read that they are horrible. I like to equate that to being poor skill on the reviewer’s part as I’ve played the demo many times over and the only time I’ve had problems with controls was my first outing. When I played it again for the second time I had absolutely no problems at all.
With that said I can determine that a lot of reviewers are just simply lazy. They think that games should just be pick up and play with no learning curve at all and as the generations go by these new reviewers just seem to get lazier and lazier. I doubt that even the majority of them even put any more than 5 hours into a game before they review it. What kills me is that gamers put a lot of stock into what these lazy reviewers are saying almost as if that review was the absolute final word on if the game should be given our money.
On the flip side of things, a lot of the “independent” sites like this one tend to review titles that interest us rather than every single game released for a particular system. I am guilty of that but hey, I don’t get paid to do this, and I don’t receive review copies like these bigger sites do. I’m simply a fan blogging for fans. This is more than likely the reason why most reviews you see tend to hang around the 7 to 9 range.
We need to stop putting a number on everything. It’s obvious the review score system is seriously flawed and with that I’m officially moving away from the score system. Over the next few weeks I will develop a new review standard for my site and base my conclusion on a recommendation rather than a score. At some point I will go back and rework my Pikmin 3 review to reflect this as well. I already have a couple great ideas for it and I think they will be more informational and beneficial in the end for it.
I can’t tell you how many great titles gamers have missed out on due to review scores. It’s about time that we start to put little faith into a number and more into our own opinions. It’s okay to read reviews to find out about the content but let’s not put so much thought into a number. Just remember….it’s flawed. I hope other reviewers will realize how flawed this dated system is and move on to a much more conventional one for the better of our gaming culture.
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