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Thread: Game scores

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    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    Default Game scores

    I've always felt that game scores have always been weighted too much on the 5-10 side of the scale and it's always been rare for a game to receive a score less than 5. In fact, most games of the 1990s received on average somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. Well if you are saying to yourself, "who cares?" Consider what a pool of video games looks like if you break down each score into standafd deviations. I did this for EGMs scores. What i found was that all the top scoring games had a standard dsviation of no more than 1.8 or so, and for those who are not great with statistics, a 1.8 is very good. Anything above 2 is outstanding, above 3 is almost unheard of. Meanwhile on the bottom rung of the scale of PS1 games is Flintstones Bedrock Bowling with an average score of 5/100. This is 3.38 standard deviations below the average.

    The problem if you don't see it by now is the fact that because the games averages are so high to begin with, no game will ever be as far away from the center (but in the opposite direction) as Bedrock Bowling.

    I believe that there are several reasons why games score so high and I'll break it down by most relevant to least.

    1) video games tend to be an enjoyable experience. No matter what game you are playing, you are still sitting on a couch and manipulating things on a screen in front of you. No matter what, it's going to be more enjoyable than staring at a blank wall or putting a puzzle together. So it makes sense that basically every game that gets below a 6 is complete garbage. In fact I couldn't tell you the difference between a game that receives a 5.2 and a game that gets a 2.3.

    2) advertising. Magazines had to rely on ad revenue for support and it's easy to see why a magazine may have been afraid to give a game a 3/10 when there is a full page ad for the game on the next page. A dumb 10 year old kid will see a 6/10 and still consider asking for it for Xmas even though we all know a 6/10 translates to a 3/10 or a D-.

    3) the wider the scale, the higher the scores. Understandably it can be very difficult to gauge whether a game deserves a 6 or 7 out of 10. But imagine having 100 choices as was the case with Diehard Gamefan. Countless games received scores in the mid to upper 90s. It's as if they started at 100 and docked a point for each major problem with the game. "Oh the game has some annoying glitches, well that's gonna keep me from giving it anything higher than a 97." Next-gen rated on a 5 point scale and there were plenty of 1 star scores. How many games did Gamefan give a 20% score to? Don't think there were any, if only a handful.

    4) they were comparing the scores to their test scores in school. Well since anything below 60% is failing, let's just not give any games below a 60% unless they are broken. Anything in the D or C range is below average, B or 80s is good, and A is very few mistakes. In my mind, a 2/5 Is lacking, a 1/5 is crap, 3/5 Is decent, 4/5 Is good, and 5/5 Is a classic.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on game scores?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    4) they were comparing the scores to their test scores in school. Well since anything below 60% is failing, let's just not give any games below a 60% unless they are broken. Anything in the D or C range is below average, B or 80s is good, and A is very few mistakes. In my mind, a 2/5 Is lacking, a 1/5 is crap, 3/5 Is decent, 4/5 Is good, and 5/5 Is a classic.
    That's exactly it. There is no other reasoning behind it. Just about any video game scoring system that's out of 10 or 100 is based on the school grading system, which I've always believed is thoroughly idiotic. It makes no sense to only use 40% of your scale to describe everything from mediocre to amazing and 60% to describe varying degrees of bad. School grading is also designed to assess competency, not quality. If you only understand half of something, that's really not good enough. Even understanding 3/4 of something is only so-so. But if a product is 3/4 good, that means it's mostly good. If it's half good, half bad, then it's square in the middle as far a quality goes.

    I mean, I get why they do it. Video game players tend to skew pretty young, so a school grading system is going to be very familiar to all in your audience who have yet to graduate high school or college. But familiarity shouldn't trump a more logical scoring system, so I have a lot more respect for any publication that either skips scores and lets people come to their own conclusion from the content of the review or uses a 5-point scale (where it basically goes: awful, bad, so-so, good, great).
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 11-18-2018 at 07:50 AM.

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    On another note I think that no one should be able to pass high school with a 59.5% average. That literally means you f***ed something up every two out of five times. I understand that many jobs don't require a very high IQ but I think that the low scoring requirements in US schools is sending a message that 60% is acceptable. I think anything below 75% means you should have to retake a test or not pass.

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    you bring up a lot of good points. I think personally that the marketing machine has more to do with it than most people realize. Truth in ANY journalism is waning, and in gaming, it's even worse than some others. The reality is that publishers need reveiwers as much as reveiwers need publishers. You can't do your job with out the others participation. If a game sucks, the reviewer knows it does. But a lot of the time they are risking there own professional career to say so. Plus, we have to realize that a review of a video game is based on an opinion. I personally cant stand rpg's. They are boring to me. So whould I be a good reviewer for a final fantasy game? Hell no.
    But most reviewers will be leaned toward following the trend of others because its what's best for the business. The gaming journalism industry essentially punishes those who have enough balls to be honest. Larger media companies will NOT go against the graine on a AAA title, and half the time won't review most indy games. Perfect example of what happens when someone just says F it and tells the truth? Adam Sessler.

    I have learned to avoid all of the major players as far as reviews are concerned and head to steam and read the comments and reviews. The people playing the games are much more honest about the experience.

    I do agree about the school scoring system though, that totally makes sense to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1upgamesks View Post
    you bring up a lot of good points. I think personally that the marketing machine has more to do with it than most people realize. Truth in ANY journalism is waning, and in gaming, it's even worse than some others. The reality is that publishers need reveiwers as much as reveiwers need publishers. You can't do your job with out the others participation. If a game sucks, the reviewer knows it does. But a lot of the time they are risking there own professional career to say so. Plus, we have to realize that a review of a video game is based on an opinion. I personally cant stand rpg's. They are boring to me. So whould I be a good reviewer for a final fantasy game? Hell no.
    But most reviewers will be leaned toward following the trend of others because its what's best for the business. The gaming journalism industry essentially punishes those who have enough balls to be honest. Larger media companies will NOT go against the graine on a AAA title, and half the time won't review most indy games. Perfect example of what happens when someone just says F it and tells the truth? Adam Sessler.

    I have learned to avoid all of the major players as far as reviews are concerned and head to steam and read the comments and reviews. The people playing the games are much more honest about the experience.

    I do agree about the school scoring system though, that totally makes sense to me.
    I dont buy new games so I dont really have to worry about game scores but when I was buying new games I would usually look at gamerankings.com. it averages out all the game scores and is a pretty good indicator of how good a game is.

    I usually go by: 80 or more= good. 70 to 79= could go either way. Less than 70=id probably only like it if im a big fan of the genre or diehard fan of the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Meanwhile on the bottom rung of the scale of PS1 games is Flintstones Bedrock Bowling with an average score of 5/100. This is 3.38 standard deviations below the average.

    The problem if you don't see it by now is the fact that because the games averages are so high to begin with, no game will ever be as far away from the center (but in the opposite direction) as Bedrock Bowling.
    Heh, I actually enjoyed that game. It's no masterpiece, probably not even a good game, but if you try to get 100% on every course, there's some fun to be had, especially on Hard. It's certainly not a 5/100 game, since I've played much worse on the PlayStation alone.

    Most reviews are heavily influenced by a game's "cool" factor: let's call it the extent to which a reviewer is subconsciously afraid that, by praising or condemning something, he'll be left out in the cold. Human beings look heavily to others for social cues and how to react to something -- it's an ancient survival strategy -- and few people are willing to go out on a limb for anything. And it's therapeutic to attack things, so we attack the unpopular because it's less risky.

    FBB, which is basically a toboggan simulator using licensed characters, is pretty much the opposite of cool. So it doesn't surprise me that it's ranked so low: it's an easy target that won't hit back. You won't get blacklisted by a publisher for trashing it, and you probably won't get belittled by other journalists, fans, etc. either.

    But try that with a popular franchise, and watch all hell break loose upon your head.

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    Maybe no one played through the crappy games.

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    I agree with the OP that game score scales are too skewed toward the high end. It's a mess. Here's how I see it. If you take every game in the world and put them in a warehouse, then sorted how "fun" they are based on a scale of 1 to 10, then you should have 10 piles that are EQUAL in height.

    The problem that happens, is that reviewers box themselves into a corner during the first year or so of their reviews. Once you've created expectations the most games will be a 7 or 8, it makes it hard to give a game a 4 or a 5 without creating outrage.

    When I created my gaming channel on Youtube, I decided I was going to use the whole scale evenly in my game reviews. So I've handed out many 1s, 2s, and 3s. Some people think I'm nuts, but that's only because they are used to the 7 to 8 scale that the rest of the world uses. Okay, maybe I truly am nuts.

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    5 is average. 10 is perfect. 1 is unplayable. Most games should be getting between a 4 and a 6. Instead of between a 6 and an 8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeverThe7th View Post
    Maybe no one played through the crappy games.
    no, they played them, they just dont score less than 5 usually. I cant tell the difference between a game that scores a 5.5 and a game that gets a 3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    no, they played them, they just dont score less than 5 usually. I cant tell the difference between a game that scores a 5.5 and a game that gets a 3
    The game that scored a 3 didn't have an advertising contract with the publisher?


    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    On another note I think that no one should be able to pass high school with a 59.5% average.
    I was just talking about this earlier today.
    When I attended college, everyone passed. One teacher would write the test score ranges on the chalkboard, half the class was below 50% with some scoring in the 30% range. On those same tests I was scoring over 100% with extra credit. Everyone passed. Other classes were a similar experience. We were all just customers buying the degree. Grad school felt the same, so long as you turn in the assignments you'd pass. I got straight A's.
    Last edited by Koa Zo; 01-30-2019 at 10:08 PM.

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