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When did 8/10 become a bad score?

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weesteev 17th February 2012, 10:33 Quote
People who leave comments like that should be banned from the site. This is a review site and the reviewer gives a personal opinion of the game having reviewed it from a neutral perspective. Calling someone's credibility into account because your favourite game didn't get the score *you think* it deserves its nothing short of trolling. Great article Joseph, great to see more content hitting the pages of bit-tech!
feathers 17th February 2012, 10:33 Quote
8 out of 10 cats refuse to eat dog food. I know from experience my cat was in that cat-egory. The first time I gave him dogfood he ate it, the second time he figured out it dint taste the same so he refused to eat it.

8 out of 10 isn't a bad score for a game.
Glix 17th February 2012, 10:37 Quote
Have review standards slipped though? There are more games scoring higher recently, yet there aren't more games I am interested in playing (I'm falling back to play older games sometimes).
collateral 17th February 2012, 10:39 Quote
@feathers do you know that 8 out of 10 cats is a gameshow in the UK? Thought you meant the panel were set a challenge to eat dogfood O_o.
On the article: I agree, high scores mean that I dont believe review scores as much as I did but instead read about the game and see if it is one I would like.
tranc3 17th February 2012, 10:46 Quote
I've always had the option if it had at least a 4.5/10 I'd give it a shot if it was something I was already interested in. In the end it is still an opinion, and I'd give World of Warcraft a 4/10 on my personal scale, but I'd give something like Counter Strike a 8/10. It boils down to a person preference, as well as overall value. I might even say that in some cases, not Bit-tech, That it seems the reputation, popularity and possible money flow of a production company for the game might even have an effect on the score. That's part of the reason that when ever I'm looking for reviews, Bit-tech is normally my first choice. If a perfect 10 rolls out of you guys it's certainly earned ever bit of it.
Sutura 17th February 2012, 10:54 Quote
I can't believe things have come this far that such an article can be written...I have always thought that people watching the scores are minority as compared to those who have their own opinion on the topic. That's so sad.
For me less than 7/10 I don't spend time playing. BUT it might hold good ideas I can borrow something from, so I don't write it off completely. However, I don't play many games, because my gaming time is always devoted to the best game ever: Starcraaaft :D
wuyanxu 17th February 2012, 11:02 Quote
agree with the fact that people are quick to defend their franchise, often the logic is that Game 3 will be better than Game 2. i think that is what's driving review scores through the roof (together with tight publisher-reviewer relationship).

sad part, however, is unless a new game is exception, it will be less likely to get a high score compared to sequels.
mighty_pirate 17th February 2012, 11:08 Quote
I don't choose games based on scores at all. I choose based primarily on demo's or beta's & secondarily based on reviews, not scores, reviews. I read what a reviewer has to say about it & decide if that sounds good. The score at the end is a barely relevent summary, it's a shortcut for people who don't have time to read. If anything, I'm of the opinion that the score should go at the front. A 1/10 or 9/10 is going to make me want to know what it is that warranted such a score & read on. But once I've read the article, the score becomes unimportant.
SMIFFYDUDE 17th February 2012, 11:09 Quote
Why do people pay attention to metacritic? The way metacritic works out scores means that Out of the Park Baseball 2007 is joint greatest PC game of all time.
Christopher N. Lew 17th February 2012, 11:15 Quote
Does anyone ever use the lower part of the scale, for example 4/10? Hardly ever. Reviewers - why have all those lower rankings if they aren't used?
damien c 17th February 2012, 11:16 Quote
To be honest a game could be scored as a 10/10 and it could be the worst game on the planet, from my point of view or it could score 2/10 and be the best game for me.

Everything comes down to what the reviewers feel's and thinks about the game and the score is given in there mind, now if they had a few people review the game and use averages across the board from say 3 people then, numbers might actually carry some weight and choose what people liked and didn't like and include that in the review then they would be allot better than they already are.

I don't buy games based on a number rating, I buy them based on what they look like and generally the games made by the developers of a game that I have played previously.

Battlefield is one that I won't be buying again regardless of what the reviews say, Call Of Duty will have to pull a rabit out of the hat and actually produce a good game for me to buy another one.

The reviews that people make of the games should be taken with a pinch of salt because there are always going, to be part's of it you agree with and part's that you don't.


I wrote a review for a few games for people where I work, and some people liked and agreed with me and others said I was crazy but the simple fact is they enjoyed the games and I didn't or they didn't but I did.

I think people shouldn't post if they are not going to contribute to the actual review or agree/disagree with it, but instead just attack the reviewer verbally.
Apocalypso 17th February 2012, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
It seems as thought the most vitriolic responses are from those most involved in a game or a franchise, as was mentioned in the article, the ire seems to be most focussed around the sequels of the bigger franchises. People invest a lot of time in what is essentially an extension of their personality. Calling their game in to question is to potentially raise them up for question in front of their peers, they're too wrapped up to see the distinction.

It's not just the latter half of last year that Eurogamer have been on the receiving end of this nonsense, they're widely regarded as regularly giving some of the lowest scores around for a long time now. It seems as though they've taken that mantle from Edge.

I remember back in the days of Total! and SuperPlay when 8/10 used to be a solid recommendation. I still buy 7/10 games when they're in the Steam sales because there's still enjoyment to be had.

Sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun have bucked the trend somewhat when it comes to review scores but they can be as contrary as they like as is their wont.

Personally I use Metacritic to see at a glance if there's general consensus about a particular game, it saves me time reading through countless reviews for second opinions.
AlphaAngel 17th February 2012, 11:28 Quote
Ok, i'm going to take a risk here saying this but I think that BF3 is a game that has sufferer from this phenomenom.
First let me say that I like the game and enjoy playing the multiplayer mode but it has its flaws.

The game is not just a multiplayer game, it has a single player too and it is rubbish. The story is boring, you never really play for more than 10 minutes without a massive cut scene, the action doesn't move around but is done in more of a 'dungeon' style i.e. run to the next scene, fight, cut scene, repeat. Now I know most people buy it for the MP part and Dice/EA have catered to this which is fine but alot of people like a good shoot em up story to. I totally disagree with having a campaign mode that acts only as a tutorial. By not marking down a game for this I believe only encourages it more

In MP I love that the maps are huge, and the use of vehicles is fantastic, but there is a lack of maps.

This said while MW3 got slated BF3 has received huge praise when it carries, in my opinion, many of the same problems. However prior to the release of both everyone had already decided which was best and why and if anyone disagreed then they were drowned in flames and venom.

I wonder, did this fan fanatisism affect the opinion of reviews (not deliberately mind but in the same way that juriers are not aloud to read newspaer reports about the cases they are deciding on as it can affect the personal judgement).

All this said (and apologise if it sounds like a rant, it is not) I appreciate reviewing games is more difficult than it seems and you can't please everyone all the time and BT seems to do a good job, and if they don't then 95% of the community here are polite and decent and are able to articulate any disagreement in a well formed manner which I think helps round out reviews.
mute1 17th February 2012, 11:30 Quote
Agree with the article but there are cases where a publication marks down a game to get publicity or seem like they have superior judgement or taste. And yet the same publicatiojn gives perfect scores to absolute crud.
Edge seems pretty notorious in that regard. Never trusted them for anything.
Digi 17th February 2012, 11:32 Quote
What a bloody joke of an article, BT standards going down the lavatory once again! I for one will be taking my copy of Mensa monthly with me when I decamp to a site that has somewhat more gifted individuals!

*cough*

(Good article, have noticed this trend myself but never looked into it in depth)
gm_crop 17th February 2012, 11:39 Quote
A shame then that when a magazine does stick to its guns it folds... PC Zone I'm thinking of here.
Mentai 17th February 2012, 11:45 Quote
A couple of things have changed since the PS2 days. First of all, multi-platform development is the norm for most major games, so in your graph is that 3 scores of 90 for PC, PS3 and 360? Secondly, iOS has saturated the market to an extreme degree. Of all the thousands of apps and games made available every year, many score over 90. These however aren't of the same scale or depth of full console/PC releases, so may artificially inflate the graphs numbers (Scrabble for iPad should not be considered under the same category as Mass Effect 2).

Either way, from looking through the high scoring games of the last couple of years, I find it hard to disagree with the major titles that manage above 90. From a glance it doesn't look like there are many more 90+ scores than previous years once you exclude iOS and duplicates. I think that the hate out of ten phenomenon simply occurred thanks to the sequel glut we have right now due to this console cycles obsession with trilogies. There isn't enough of a gap gameplay or tech wise between sequels, since most of the time the iterations made are most dramatic with the 2nd game in the series and are more subtle by the third, leaving less 9's. Naturally fans are outraged that a sequel could possibly be judged worse when "obviously" more of the same with a few tweaks has got to be at least as good as the score from 2 years ago. The problem is, it isn't. Time moves on, and expectations, particularly of those who play most of what the industry produces, are constantly on the rise.

What I can't understand are people extremely enthused to play the third of any game that had it's first outing this generation. Talk about repetitive. Be interested in finishing the story sure, but if the game doesn't make major strides for the genre it shouldn't be classed higher than an 8. People calling that hateful BEFORE the game is even out are just being puppets of marketing. Speaking of which, I hope the marketers/community managers for Uncharted 3 got a raise, they certainly know how to foster an active defense force/fanbase.
Sutura 17th February 2012, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
To be honest a game could be scored as a 10/10 and it could be the worst game on the planet, from my point of view or it could score 2/10 and be the best game for me.

Everything comes down to what the reviewers feel's and thinks about the game and the score is given in there mind, now if they had a few people review the game and use averages across the board from say 3 people then, numbers might actually carry some weight and choose what people liked and didn't like and include that in the review then they would be allot better than they already are.

I think people shouldn't post if they are not going to contribute to the actual review or agree/disagree with it, but instead just attack the reviewer verbally.

I really like your last sentence. I've been thinking about this, but in different direction. Example: comments on uploaded movie torrent. People usually say the movie is dumb, or the movie is great. What has this to do with the quality of the upload? Same as is with the reviews.

The first part of your opinion made me think though. I consider that if the game has a certain level of technical performance- graphics, audio, optimized engine, innovation it shouldn't fall below certain criteria. In our case if we use the 10 point scale (since the are many others e.g Likert scale) here's an example. Let's take Dead Space. Let's say you don't like horror games, or find it sick or whatever. Does this mean the game's innovative approach to HUD, separate lighting programmers, and sound effects deserve 2/10? I am not saying a game with simple graphics is a bad game. What I mean is there is a common sense of what good and bad graphics, sounds, engine etc. is, which is independent of the reviewer's opinion. Thus a part of the game's score is always devoted to the technical features. Of course this technical features are defined by the genre of the game as well. You don't need a Crysis graphics in a side-scroll side platformer to be successful. Take Jamestown- awesome game with pixelized graphics.
Da_Rude_Baboon 17th February 2012, 11:47 Quote
Great article. This is not a new phenonmon though. I remember as a teenager showing my friends games reviews in PC Format (this is pre PCGamer) where an average game would score 50%. The magazines reviewing games for the Mega Drive and SNES would score an average game around 70-75%. You rarely saw a game score below 50% and if it did was deemed to bad to play.
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
I’m inclined to agree with Pat. Most gaming outlets operate in a symbiotic relationship with publishers. Journalists rely on them for access to preview content and review discs, while publishers depend on the reliable marketing push a positive review will garner. This back-and-forth has lead to a culture in which it is considered de rigueur to award good games a nine or ten.

I believe this situation is also why publishers get away with releasing broken and unfinished products. No other industry routinely releases products in this price bracket which aren't ready for sale. The gaming press should take them to task over it but with out a relationship between the press and publishers there are no previews or pre-release review copies so it becomes an acceptable practice.
Flibblebot 17th February 2012, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
No other industry routinely releases products in this price bracket which aren't ready for sale. The gaming press should take them to task over it but with out a relationship between the press and publishers there are no previews or pre-release review copies so it becomes an acceptable practice.
The problem with reviewing games is that you only have a relatively short amount of time in which to play a game before you have to put pen to paper - in which time you might not discover a particular game-stopping bug. Also, if you are playing a pre-release copy of a game for review, how do you know that the version you're playing is the final gold version? How many problems are down to the developer being lazy, how many are down to the publisher forcing a release date on the developer?

While I think it's up to the gaming press to point out and report where a game is unplayable on release (I'm thinking of games like The Witcher here), they can only report on what they find out during their relatively short playing time. It's down to the paying public to let the publishers know that forcing games out of the door before they're ready is not acceptable.

Hats off to Joe, though - he, at least, is one reviewer who's not scared to score games badly. All hail Joe, saviour of the gamingverse!
b1candy 17th February 2012, 12:27 Quote
Issue 1: The reviewing industry is full of back scratchers. You give my game a good review, I'll white list you for our next release. You give my game a bad review, you're blacklisted. Reviewers are moving more and more freelance, where the individual rapport is more important than the company they work for, so individuals are pressured by the lure of 'more exclusivity' if they pony up the medals and top scores. This is also apparent in computer hardware, where every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to award every damn product with an award. A 'bad' product gets a 7/10 rating, even if it is deep fried turd.

Issue 2: Reviews and advertising. You post a bad review, they pull their 5-6 figure advertising deal with you.

Issue 3: Commenters. Man some of these do really get me down. A lot of comments taking personal digs at family life and stature, just because they disagree with one line or the other, or you haven't observed to mentioned 'X, Y or Z' which turns out to be an extreme niche that they (and very few others) deal with. Reviewing is hard people - it takes time, effort, structure and a deft hand to convey everything needed. It's not something they knock up in 5 minutes over coffee. It's not a cake walk, to play a game / test hardware - it requires a methodical strategy every time, and then persistence over 1000-5000 words of text. This is why people can't do two or three a day, more like one or two a week! Most of the time, the reviewers are freelance as well, and are underpaid for the time and effort put in.

(On the other hand, I have seen some shocking reviews where no effort is put in, missing the simplest errors, and then the product gets an award (see back scratching). Those websites have conveniently turned off comments and are forum only.)

One minor issue - a lot of these publications give 1/10 (or equivalent) as its lowest score. Since when did 10% become the new 0%?
Bauul 17th February 2012, 12:52 Quote
I'd be interested to see what proportion of games got a 90+ score. Could it be there are simply more games being released?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher N. Lew
Does anyone ever use the lower part of the scale, for example 4/10? Hardly ever. Reviewers - why have all those lower rankings if they aren't used?

It's more to do with the fact most review sites don't see the point of reviewing low scoring games. Would you rather Joe reviewed Tractor Simulator 3D, or Mass Effect 3? With limited resources, the focus has to be on the games people are most interested in reading about.

So, you only get low scores when a game looked like it was going to be very good, and then ended up being shite, which isn't all that common.
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1candy
One minor issue - a lot of these publications give 1/10 (or equivalent) as its lowest score. Since when did 10% become the new 0%?

Most reviewers use a ten point scale. If you go from 0 to 10, that's actually an eleven point scale, which makes less sense. However, you could argue using a scale at all is attempting to quantify something that can't be quantified, so conversely it almost doesn't matter what scale you use. But then you're down to the argument of ditching scores altogether.
alpaca 17th February 2012, 12:57 Quote
I must admit I rarely pay attention to the score. I played bastion because the article was loving, not because of any score (I really don't know which score it got).
dougal2000 17th February 2012, 13:04 Quote
With regards to the statistics in this article do we not need to consider the number of perfect scores per year as a percentage of games released per year to more accurately reflect the change in trends?
Also, correlating this to the number of sequels per year might reveal something interesting about changes in reviews. Perhaps each year can be broken down into two statistics, one for sequels and one for original IP?
MjFrosty 17th February 2012, 13:10 Quote
This was a great read and for the most part I agree with everything said. I think generally on the whole gamers these days expect more than they did 10 years ago. Personally for me an 8 indicates that a game is definitely worth playing and has good production value, anything below that falls into the category this article describes as 'not a hit' or distinctively average.

Although this is how I (and probably many others) see it, I definitely don't agree thats how it should be.
You've got to look at it from a typical point of view though, that there is (more so than ever) a lot of back handing going on. This doesn't really apply to Bit-Tech, which is why I go by a lot of the reviews written here.

A more brutal example would be Jeff Gerstmann who was 'let go' from Gamespot after giving Kane and Lynch a poor review. At the time the site was absolutely plastered in advertisement for it...Need I elaborate further? Jeff was giving his opinion on a game he was given to play. This may sound really cyinical but IMO questioning any of it is a waste of time. Everything is industry driven and no matter what the reason for it is, money motivates.

If you like gaming and like writing about gaming then go ahead and do it, and give as honest an opinion as you can give. Just because one person has shot your favourite franchise down in flames doesn't stop you from going out and buying it and giving your own opinion. That's the beauty of the internet.
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