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Thread: Hate Out of Ten - Currents

  1. #1
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Hate Out of Ten - Currents

    In this week's issue of Currents, the PS4 and Xbox One are assigned scores, Nintendo's online network needs work, new hardware has defects, and how console teardowns are misleading. We also take some time to appreciate old school gaming.

    Currents!

    This week, I'd like to know:


    • What you think about review scores
    • Whether they should be applied to video game systems
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  2. #2
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Review scores in general I dislike, just because the real thing to ask is, is the game worthy of a rent, buying, or skipping entirely? To me, that's what it comes down to. But even then, the answer will be subjective. I'd personally love if we dropped the numerical review scores entirely, we did so well without them in place in the past.

    As for whether they should be applied to consoles...only at the end of their lifetime. Only then can you say with certainty how the console did overall as an experience. For example, despite people saying the Gamecube bombed, I'd give the console a B+ overall. If I were to rate the PS2, it would be an A. Dreamcast, a B-, and so on and so forth. Only at the end of a console's lifetime can we truly review them, for then we can see their legacy, what they accomplished, and overall what kind of gaming library forged the majority of the system.
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    chaotic neutral observer ironmage's Avatar
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    I don't assign much importance to review scores. Most of the work went into writing the text of the review, and that is what deserves one's attention. The review score is just some number that got tacked on at the end. I suppose a review score can help establish context to a certain degree, but "3/5" gives me nothing to base a purchase decision on. I might even say that the font the review is presented in can be more important than the score.

    Trying to score a console...well, I guess you can try to "score" the hardware itself, by using benchmarks, but even that is questionable. As the development environment matures and developers get experience, they squeeze progressively more performance out of the system (and benchmarks aren't always meaningful, anyway). You don't really know the limits of a system until it has been out in the field for a couple years.

    But trying to score the system as a whole? Are people actually doing that? How? Why? With Sony and Microsoft releasing at the same time, there is going to be a lot of competition over software features and exclusives, and the dust won't settle for months (if not years). Nobody should be going any further than an initial impression at this point.

    In the long term...well, the games will tell. As DarkRPGMaster said, the game library is an important part of the picture (the most important, in my opinion), and it's too early to say anything about that.
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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Review scores can burn in hell. They serve no purpose other than quick notches in the fanboy wars. Give me a well-written article, or better, a well-presented video review. Your Killzone: Shadow Fall/Shadow the Hedgehog example shows why arbitrary numbering is a horrible thing.

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  5. #5
    Reviews are useful for learning what a game is about and whether or not it sounds like something I'd like to play. For example, Earth Defense Force sounded like a whole lot of fun despite the average to poor reviews and I didn't regret purchasing it. The scores aren't nearly as useful, although I know the big publishers like to see numbers for marketing purposes. They can be fun for picking on fanboys though. I mean, heck, just look at the Fantasy Pool thread. We're basically turning scores into trading chips.


    As for consoles, it's pointless. Any review a console gets is often derived by the success of its games, so essentially you're just scoring the games anyway. That doesn't consider the fact new consoles aren't technically finished or fully available at launch: a launch 360 is very different from a 360 Slim, and a launch Slim is different from a late Slim. The firmware and service upgrades keep changing things, so you'd have to update your review every year. You're review would also have to be made purely from a technical standpoint, and what's the fun in that? "This console uses so-and-so developer's processor and silicon wafers and I approve, but this wiring and fan are iffy". Wha? Pfft. Boring.

    Finally...who gives a flying fadoo? On a purely objective basis, the 360 is a steaming pile of crap. My Atari 2600 puts it to shame. That huge hunk of plastic sat in a wet, mouldy garage for 10 years. Plugged it in one day. Works fine. Better than my Nintendo (I need to clean the heads, but it gets better the more you use it). My dad plays it now. Recent reports suggest the final tally for 360 failure rates, including the Slims, is in the 50% range. This is to say nothing of the accessories, which fail just as often from what I've seen. Anyone care? Nope. Told my cousin not to buy a 360. He got one anyway because of Halo. No one runs out to buy an old SNES or Genesis or whatever because they think it's reliable, but because of the games they want to play. My step-sister goes through old SNES's like crazy, and yet she keeps buying them for the games despite my insisting she can download most of them to the Wii.

    Okay, a little ranty, but...no, review scores for consoles is silly. Go play an RPG instead.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 11-22-2013 at 09:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Veteran RPGamer watcher's Avatar
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    Yeah, the teardowns are a bit silly. I also like to point out that Sony doesn't get all the money you pay at retail. The retailer gets some and it also costs money to ship the units.

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    I don't pay much attention to review scores of games unless they are based on a full play through. RPGs have a habit of getting better (Blue Dragon) or worse (Tales of Legendia) and to review a game after playing only 2 hours is just not fair.

    For the same reason, reviewing consoles at launch is just silly. Tell me if I should buy it now or wait and see.

  8. #8
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    With consoles, it's always wait, wait, wait and see. There's always an improved, more energy-efficient, less likely to break down version made a year or two after launch.

    That said, my launch PS4 (I don't have the luxury of waiting anymore since I review games for a living) is pretty sexy.

    As for the questions:

    1. I don't like review scores, and I'm somebody who has to use them. I would much prefer to just write a text review, but it's not usually up to the individual reviewer. It's up to the site owner/editor/higher-up, and in this world of clickthrough ads, most site owners have determined that having a score = more eyes on the article.

    2. No, consoles should not get scores. That's crazy tawk.

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Yeah, the PS4 is actually impressive. Might just be due to the technology behind it being less exotic and more mature, but I'm surprised at how cool it runs compared to what the launch PS3 was.

    And it's sad most sites think you need review scores... Honestly, if AVGN and Zero Punctuation have taught us anything, it's that being an actual witty writer, maybe having a bit of humor, will bring more eyes to you than a damned number ever will.
    Last edited by MasterChief; 11-24-2013 at 10:00 AM.

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  10. #10
    Member Aurian's Avatar
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    1) If we are talking about an individual review, then no, they're not important. However, for skimming purposes, I do like to go to sites that post masses of review scores in a column (i.e. GameRankings) so I can eyeball a game. I have yet to enjoy any game that was below a 6/10 average score, so I avoid those period. If I see the majority of the scores are 7/10 or better, I start pulling reviews and start reading. Only by actually reading the articles can you really decide about the game. There have been 10/10 games that I decided were not for me, and 7/10 games that I decided were, and loved.

    2) No way. Console to me does not matter as much as what games are on it. If a console has at least 3 games I want to play on it, and a promise of more down the road, then I will buy it. I don't care if it has 0.01% less resolution than the competitor or its 1/10000000 nanoseconds slower.

  11. #11
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    Review score is just as useful as other parts of a review--and just as useless when stand alone.
    It provides a meaningful way to compare how much each reviewer likes a game--something that is only useful once you have understood the reviewer's style. For example, each site have different preferences. I know that Gametrailers.com usually give higher scores to well-polished games, etc. So I can use this metric to help me judge whether a game actually fits my preference or not. But unless I have read/watched a good number of reviews by that reviewer, I don't think numerical score can matter, since you can't compare it effectively to anything else.

    By that reasoning, since I have never seen anyone review a good amount of consoles before, numerical score is useless to me.


    Frankly, I would rather they just give commentaries of the systems' performance (how loud is it? Does it crash? Is the UI intuitive?), then bullet off "REGIONAL SPECIFIC THINGS"! This is what most site fails to account for. Yes, they're American consoles, made for Americans, reviewed by Americans. Good, good. But these consoles are also sold elsewhere in the world, where simply our language/region locking/lack of services may make or break a console. It's the reason that I can't give a dang about XBone--90+% of the services will still be unusable to me by the time the 9th or whatever gen rolls around, hence it's a piece of brick.
    Last edited by xocolatl; 11-26-2013 at 04:00 PM.

  12. #12
    New Member Member Panzerazelsaturn's Avatar
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    One of my very favorite games has a 51.98% average on gamerankings. I'll let you know when I care The vast majority, the very vast majority in fact, of very highly rated games would be games that I would not enjoy at all. Sports and FPS for instance are often highly rated and I'd honestly rather play an awful RPG than the best game in either of those genres. So, no, I don't look at the numbers at all and I only read reader reviews and reviews here and at RPGFan. I also find out about games on forums and fansites. I am unique and I'll decide for myself what I like. Speaking of review scores, every time I see JuMeSyn do a retroview I cringe before I even look at it. God he's harsh on some great older games and he often rates highly some of the worst. A great example of a person who has tastes completely different from mine. Except for the fact that he's obviously a Shining Force III fan. We agree on something

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