Sunday, June 01, 2008

Reviewing and Scoring Video Games

I've been considering writing a few game reviews for my blog, which inevitably leads to thinking about scoring systems. Assigning a concrete score to any creatively produced work isn't something to take lightly. If a grade is assigned, it naturally creates an aura of objectivity and carries the weight of perceived authority. In many cases, the grade assigned carries more weight than the content of the review itself. The final score also opens the critic to criticism as well. If the critic desires the air of authority that concrete scores engender, he must take as much responsibility for the score assigned as he does for the content of his review.

It is for all these reasons that a critic should think carefully about any scoring system that he adopts. It is vital that the system used is consistent with the critic's philosophy of judging the medium in question. For me, the act of assigning a score of some sort is important because I believe that works of art CAN be judged objectively. I wouldn't bother with criticism at all if I didn't feel that this was the case. The challenge is to devise a scoring system which is informative enough to allow readers with their own varying predilections to make their own interpretations of quality without sacrificing the objectivity and finality of assigning a 'final' score. It is difficult to do this with a single, one dimensional metric.

In the old days game magazines would rate games on graphics, sound, difficulty, etc. Breaking the score down to this level of granularity is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, I might not be an expert in every category I might determine is necessary to judge. I feel much more qualified to judge a game's graphical quality than I do its sound design, for example. Second, it is important for a critic to take a stand on excellence, to make a final judgment. A myriad of small judgments certainly doesn't carry the same weight as one definitive score. And finally, the metrics used to describe one work's greatness may not paint an accurate picture of another.

Speaking of video games specifically, academics in the field of game studies can be roughly divided into two different camps, the narrativists and the ludologists(the wikipedia entry for ludology has a brief description of the differences for the uninitiated). I have yet to see a game scoring metric which synthesizes the current academic discussion on games. Therefore, I am proposing the use of a system which consists of two scores, one measuring the game's excellence from a ludological perspective and the other rating the narrative as it applies to the game. For lack of better terminology I will refer to these as the L-Score and N-Score, respectively. I am personally more of a ludologist, but that doesn't obviate the importance of narrative elements. After all, people play games for different reasons.

The L-Score is the score which is most closely related to the uniqueness of the medium. I have argued before that games are different from art because they aren't simply admired, they are also played. It is the interactive nature of games which ludologists emphasize, and so one can think of the L-Score as a metric for gameplay and game design. Mechanics, systems, and level design are the key components measured by the L-Score.

If the L-Score is a measure of a game's design, then the N-Score is a measure of its artistic achievement. The narrative, in this case, is defined rather broadly. It consists of the game's music, writing, visual style, sound design, overall setting, etc. All of these factors influence the player's involvement in the game and are therefore important even if they don't have much of a direct impact on the actual gameplay.

There may be some overlap between the components measured by the L-Score and the N-Score. For instance, the sound design in a first person shooter may provide an increased level of information and awareness to the perceptive player. Such a feature could be considered relevant to both the N-Score and the L-Score. Likewise, in an exploration intensive RPG interesting environments may be necessary to realize the goals of the game's design, making those environments important from a design perspective as well as an artistic one. Despite any overlap between what is being measured by the two metrics, each metric is still able to stand on its own.

All games are scored relative to what they are trying to achieve, with the very highest scores reserved for true innovation. The traits that make a good RPG are simply quite different from those of an action game, and so the game's concept must of course be in mind when considering the quality of the game's design. Similarly, when judging a game's narrative it would be silly to expect the same level of exposition from a shmup as from an RPG. The narrative of a shmup is less about plot and more about evoking a certain feeling through music and visual presentation. Genres which are more narratively focused will in some ways be judged to a higher standard. The fact that many story-focused RPGs require 40+ hours to finish places a huge burden on developers to create a consistently strong narrative and interesting setting. A five stage shmup should not be punished for having less content(unless more content would make for a better shmup.)

There has been a lot of debate recently concerning game review scores, with several print magazines altering or eliminating their review scoring system(EGM and Play, respectively.) I believe the main reason for dissatisfaction with most current game review metrics is that they no longer accurately reflect gamers' increasingly sophisticated view of the medium. Games are simply more complex than other forms of consumer entertainment, and as video game consumers continue to become more sophisticated they will demand more sophistication from video game critics. The solution is for video game critics to draw from the emerging field of game studies. My proposed L/N scoring system is the first step toward applying game studies research to video game review scores.

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34 Comments:

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Terrell said...

This is great. I think this is simple enough and yet sophisticated enough that it may actually have some legs.

Please give an example of a 'current' review that doesn't hold up so well and would benefit from this dual L/N system.

I propose this to be your next post. Show the people the light, don't just tell 'em about it.

All in all, well done, sir.

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Thanks for the feedback!

I like the idea of contrasting a traditional review with one using the L/N system. I plan on doing several reviews using my new system to flesh out some specifics and establish some precedent for future reviews. Taking your idea into account, perhaps I should focus on games that were not served well by traditional scoring systems.

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Matt Zago said...

My opinion of reviews is that the traditional form of film reviews works.

When roger ebert gives a superhero film a review that 3/4 stars is a relative and subjective rating of the film against similar films. This is to say that he is judging a film by its genre.

So a review of Saints Row would typically be judged against similar films (GTA III, etc).

I don't believe in feature pro/con reviews because that type of reviewing is soullessly objective. A feature is only important if it benefits the user. Great music is only great in a game if it is enhancing the gameplay (a John Williams score shouldn't swell up on the soundtrack while I'm murdering people).

I prefer the verbose review that may have a summary score (4 stars, grading etc) because it encourages the reading of a review, and ultimately I become fond of reading reviews by certain game reviewers. Twenty to thirty years from now I would not find it surprising if there are game reviewers thought of in similar terms to a popular film critic. Every reviewer has their tastes and anything that brings the reviewers persona into a review makes me happy.

Heck why have review scores anyway. People can always surf IGN and Gamespot for that.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger El Oso Polar said...

I would add another score: the V-Score, that is "Value Score". It happens so many times to me that I find a game outstandingly great but that is so short it ends up being overpriced. For example, Metroid Prime 3 Corruption for the Wii, which has great graphics and gameplay, but is only 15 hours long, that is, too short for a game which costs 50 dollars. On the other hand, some games have great value but are incredibly boring. IMO, value is just as important as design or narrative.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous MaxWalters said...

Awful awful awful.
The narrative and ludology are already separated in games, and now we want reviews to do the same?

Narrative (as defined by yourself) is useless unless integrated into gameplay.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Just to clarify, I do believe that ludic elements influence the narrative. Perhaps I should have given an example(besides mentioning that there is overlap between the two and giving a couple of examples going the other way.) I also understand that the academic debate between the two viewpoints has kind of stalled out with both sides admitting that there isn't really a conflict between the two. I take that to mean that neither entirely excludes the other but also that there is no single grand unified theory.

However, that is all besides the point because it is just semantics. I have defined two different ways of looking at a game. Neither is a comprehensive view of what a 'game' is. Both are valid, somewhat distinct, and valued differently by different people. Now, perhaps I shouldn't piggyback on the existing terminology. That may be a valid argument, but it doesn't invalidate the underlying metric.

I admit that I have some tough questions to answer, especially when it comes to measuring different genres fairly and if there can be any comparison at all between the scores of games in different genres. I think this mostly comes down to evaluating the game's concept and how well the game pulls it off without judging the concept itself.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Jon said...

An example:

Compare a regular chess game with an identical game that added flashy animations like Battle Chess. I guarantee you there are lots of people who would enjoy the Battle Chess version a lot more, even though the gameplay is exactly the same. In fact, adding the animations could make the gameplay worse if they weren't skippable, but a lot of people would still prefer it to the standard version.

 
At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an Idiot. I use a capital letter in this case because you deserve it.

 
At 3:06 AM, Blogger Marko Dj. said...

I really do hope that game sites start moving away from giving numerical scores and using 'keywords' to describe what they feel. A number just doesn't translate the same way for game reviews since it's never black/white. When I write reviews on my blog (tastygames.blogspot.com), I highlight words to describe my feeling on a game rather than placing a number on it.

 
At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff.

 
At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the gist of this post but I think it can be reduced further. I don't agree that there's any need to determine, for example, whether Command and Conquer is better than or not as good as Painkiller. I think that games fall into certain categories, from "not to be missed" at one end to "to be avoided." Using an L scale and an N scale is helpful for determining a game's place on that progression. A game with the most fluid mechanic imaginable but completely uninspired narrative and challenges is forgettable, but its mechanics deserve praise. On the other hand, sometimes a game comes along that is a narrative triumph but whose L problems drag it down awfully close to "fatally flawed." Few games do both elements exceptionally well, which is why a 10/10 is so often an insult to our intelligence. Any more, a 10/10 or 5/5 assigned to a highly anticipated sequel really means "they haven't ruined it, you'll still have the same kind of fun as before." All that means is that the predecessor deserved a high grade. It's why I've always been fond of Gamespot's "tilt" category, it allows a reviewer to account for hype and for series nostalgia outside of an evaluation of a game's individual merits

 
At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Ifer said...

Excellent idea. Unfortunately, any score will still be purely individual opinion, especially since we don't have a solid unit of measurement; but implementing this dual-score system would certainly improve the quality of information that we receive from reviewers. I approve.

 
At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very great idea. Still, it doesn't entirely account for if a reviewer is biased against one or either, like GameInformer and No More Heroes (my favorite game) for example.

They gave it a 6 (if you've read their description you'd assume they'd never opened the box), but on this scale, I'd at least give it a L-7.5 N-9.5

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger comedianx said...

So if I could coalesce everything I've read in the post and comments we need 4 scores: The L score, the N score, the V score and finally the M score is the Meta-Score of all the other scores. Sounds great -- now Gamespot can charge for 5 inflated scores instead of one.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Jon said...

I'd just like to emphasize that the the whole L/N duality is anathema to any kind of meta score. One advantage of dividing the scores this way is that it is up to the reader to decide what his own personal meta score would be. That is why assigning two scores isn't necessarily worse than one score, even if you question the concept of quantitative ratings to begin with.

I'll post more on the specifics of my scoring system in the next few days.

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Diziet Sma said...

This is the best article I have read on game reviews, period. Fantastic sir I applaud you!

 
At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a stupid idea.

When we read a review, we gather this information ourselves. We don't need silly numbers assigned by your weak grasp of academics.

 
At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but this is just making things worse.
The scores on videogame reviews are already focused on too heavily, when the text should give readers all the required information.

Imagine rating works of art such as paintings on two seperate scores out of 10. One for the emotional stimulation it provides, and one to rate how well the chosen medium (oli paints, sculpture) has been worked with. It would be terrible...

Read my blog for more of my thoughts on this matter
http://darkzero.co.uk/blog/game-reviews-they-get-a-410%e2%80%a6/

 
At 1:43 AM, Anonymous jpnuar1 said...

In addition to giving examples of recent games that were poorly served by the current rating system, I think it could be interesting to apply this method to some older games as well.

For example, what score would you assign to the Narrative of, say, Tetris?

 
At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping that some amateur reviewers take an idea like this to heart. I would be very excited to see an implementation of this in a current review.

I like that it highlights both the combination of aesthetic values in a game and the actual gameplay. I know little about ludic theories formally but assume it to encompass all pleasures associated with actually completing the goals of the game, whereas narrative aspects could technically be easily enjoyed by someone watching the game being played.

As for the V-score, I really have to disagree with that proposition. Things such as the length and replay value of a game are easily wrapped into the L and N aspects already. Eg, a game that is woefully short takes either hits to it's narrative, the satisfaction of the playing experience, or both.

Also, V-scores would hold no constancy, as the price of a new video game only remains at a certain level for anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. A V-score could quickly become obsolete or misleading due to actual changes in price.

Lastly, I just don't feel that price and value is really a consideration that I want to see in a game review. The "bang for your buck" mentality is something I expect to see in a more consumerist-minded review (or a casual Amazon review, for example), and I feel that the V-score draws the focus away from considering the game as an artistic creation.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger comedianx said...

The V-score would only become obsolete if you rated it a 10 point scale. If instead you used a 6 point scale it would easily translate to the 60 dollar price point of most games. A 6/6 would mean, "Buy it for full price (ie: $60)." A 2/6 would only buy if it is $20.

From now all games will be graded thusly on the JONdice Scale:

Metal Gear Solid 4:
L-Score: X Sequel Buff(+1) Genre Buff (+1)
N-Score: X
V-Score: X

M-Score: X

PS.
The V-Score will be weighted against the prevailing economic conditions (GDP, purchasing power, and unemployment percentages.)

The L-Score and N-Score will also be weighted against genre, (i.e. if you like the particular genre or story you can give it a Buff of +1 against the Naked score.) Sequels will also be given a Buff of +1 if you liked the original.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Thomas B said...

I disagree with both this article, as well as the comment on Penny Arcade today that numbers are a useless component of reviews.

The current video game rating system doesn't need more numbers, it's needs to stop giving everyone tens. To do that, we need to take reviews out of what are essentially trade magazines, disconnect reviewers from ads for the games that we need panned.

The rating system fails because of bias, not because it's one dimensional. All a number is supposed to do is tell me how much the average gamer will like a game. I understand it won't be accurate in every case, I'm just looking for a general idea whether "Rabbit Murderer 3D" is absolute unplayable shite or going to pioneer a new brilliant freaking genre. I don't care how ludological it is, if at all, or if that even means anything.

Penny Arcade are basically anti-number, they believe the content of the reviews should paint the picture for us. If reviewers in the industry weren't mostly comprised of illiterate shills, I would probably agree. As it is, ign and similar sites do little for quality content that might justify more than about 2 seconds of my time. Instead of producing literate reviews and similar content, they seem more interested in cramming that 2 seconds on the site with the most aggressive bombardment of advertising imaginable.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Forrest said...

For the most part I agree with many in feeling that scores aren't really any more necessary for games than they are for any other medium, like films, which nobody assigns sc.... oops.

Well. Be that as it may, The underlying idea that there are different metrics by which to judge videogames is sound. Personally, I find videogames to be a very schizophrenic medium and subject to issues (especially for reviewers) that nothing else has really ever had to deal with.

Clearly, the mechanical, gameplay aspects are critically important. Unless, of course, you think they aren't. A game that experiences this to a great degree is No More Heroes. The gameplay is not only sacrificed for the sake of message, but the act of sacrificing it is central to the narrative. As best as can be judged, all the rather unpleasant and horrible elements of playing the game are there for the sake of GHM's goals, such as they are.

Does this make it a bad game? Yes and no. If you are into gameplay elements, certainly. If you want to analyze and experience a shockingly deep social commentary with metatextual elements, it's a great game. Which is more important for a game review?

So I don't think we necessarily need two -scores- in reviews, but I certainly agree with the necessity of having two or more review schools addressed.

tl;dr great concept, but numbers aren't integral to the idea.

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger Jew said...

Fanatics like Jon really make things ridiculous from time to time. You claim to be more of a ludologist (made up phrase -_-), but then try to push up this whole games as art concept with your oh-so-awesome pseudo-intellectual post.

I don't know why you read reviews, but I tend to read them to stop myself from blowing $30-$60 on a game that just isn't as fun as I thought it would be. Not to compare Tetris with Morrowind on a narrative scale in terms of artistic interpretation.

 
At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great system, indeed. Your points are very valid and I never really thought about this sort of thing until it was brought to my attention. Most gamers probably don't even realise they think this way about games, which is why it makes reviewing so difficult to do these days.

The one thing I found very disturbing with this review is that it contradicts itself. When a sum-total score is made for a game, it stands out much greater than a score divided. This entire system is based off two scores that measure two different mediums, which on the whole, makes someone who reviews with one total score for each of these mediums have a lot more weight to it. Though a great idea in theory, it seems to lack the oomph to work practically.

Then again, I'm one to say that numbers can't measure a game's complexity. It's like saying you could give the Mona Lisa a 9.2 out of 10. It just doesn't seem right to judge art (and I do believe video games are simply a combination of several classic arts mixed to make one LARGE masterpiece) with a simple number. If you aren't willing to read the review for the game, don't buy it!

I also noted someone asking for a game that would be used as an example to show something that may have been better represented through the L/N system. The first thing that sprung to mind was Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, a third-person shooter with average mechanics (though some nice little innovations like CPU partners being able to revive you) but an increadible storyline that kept me (and many others) engaged throughout the game. Because shooters are generally known as being more L-score orriented rather than N-score orriented, it passed under the radar as a poor game because it didn't focus on the regulars standards of that genre. Two other examples could be Killer 7 and No More Heroes, with amazing storylines and puzzle elements, but with an obvious shooter oriented style of play. Maybe those are some good examples to think about when looking to the future of how games should be rated?

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Sapphire Wyvern said...

This concept is actually long familiar to players of table top games, especially table top RPGs. There are even jargon terms for it: Crunch (ludology - game mechanics & rules) and Fluff (narrative/setting/theme).

Different RPGs are also rated for the relative importance of the two aspects of game design; for instance, White Wolf's games (eg Vampire, upon which the CRPG Vampire: Redemption and Vampire: Bloodlines were based) generally focus more on the fluff than the crunch, while the newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons is a supremely crunch-oriented game, dedicating hundreds of pages to specific tactical maneuvers and monster powers and relatively little to description.

A good example of the possible divergence in computer gaming is Oblivion. This game was astoundingly pretty, and had a lot of interesting gameplay features (steeds, etc). However, I personally found that as an experienced tabletop RPG gamer, the character advancement mechanics of Oblivion were among the worst I've ever seen, both in pen-and-paper and computer-based RPGs.

The way the attribute bonus mechanics interact with tag skills results in players being punished for using the skills they've chosen to favour, resulting in ridiculous exercises in care & feeding of the game rules (such as using maces when the character favours blades; and boring grinding exercises of repetitively casting spells from particular schools rather than spending time exploring and completing quests). As a rules system, it failed utterly at rewarding fun, intuitive gameplay. So Oblivion scores well on Fluff, but for me was ruined by the Crunch.

You may find this article interesting:
http://www.timewastersguide.com/view.php?id=284

It's about GNS (Gamist-Narrativist-Simulationist) theory, which is something used in the academic analysis of tabletop RPGs. The Gamist approach is pretty in line with your idea of a ludological score. Narrativism and Simulationism both line up with your concept of video game Narrative scores to some degree. In games, simulationism isn't necessarily about simulating the real world (although it can be); it's about coming up with mechanics that successfully encourage gameplay within the desired genre. So, for instance, in a game like Stranglehold, it's easy to do John Woo-style gun-fu stunts, because that's the whole point; while games like Thief don't encourage that kind of gameplay, instead providing sophisticated stealth mechanics.

The N in GNS refers specifically to story & setting. Most games do not encode the setting much within the actual gameplay mechanics, although there are certainly exceptions. Disjoints between gameplay mechanics and the narrative setting can often be quite jarring, to the point of humour. In fact, it's the source of a lot of Penny Arcade's jokes; consider the strips about the in-setting uselessness of Mass Effect's security systems, or the absurdity of the boxes of hats in Heavenly Sword.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Christian said...

Hm... kinda like the idea, it's something that fits a game well, as it's not completely a liniear narrative or a "total" simulation.

There are probably a couple of problem...

1. explaining the system: it's not as easy to explain as just one score or scores split up on metrics such as "graphics, sound, gameplay" or "presentation, story, gameplay".

2. it is somewhat overlapping in score systems that do a split up (ie. Gametrailers etc.)

I know some sites that also do a score, with a pro/con list that lists/recaps some of the points of the full review.

but I feel that no matter which system is adopted, it will never be able to replace reading the review, where the "true" rating lies, but it will serve as an appetizer for people to read the review, and that might benefit from a more "broad" rating system. ie. some games would be able to score high on some of the sub parts, but still overall be subpar. which would be better for the games I think. For instance, if a game you aren't really interested in gets a high score/sub score you read the review to see if it's something you might be interested in, or if a game you were looking forward to get a mediocre review, maybe scoring high on some point, you want to know why and find out if it scores low because of some factors that you don't mind/care about. ie. a game get a high L score, but low N score, you might want to pick it up, because you don't care about story/graphics etc, as long as it fits the game/genre etc.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

To concurr with what has already been said, I want to add the example of some of the games from the "Final Fantasy" series, in which the Narrative part is so developped (High-N score) that it prevents the game to be enjoyed as a game and lowers its L-score. FF8 comes to mind... The game managed very high scores by all reviewers, but I just shut it down after the 10th or so cinematic scene that I couldn't pass.

 
At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the inherent problems with game reviews is that the medium is so varied it is nearly impossible to lay multiple games upon a universal metric, whatever that metric may be. You cannot objectively tell me why Splinter Cell is better or worse than Final Fantasy, or within genres, why Final Fantasy is better or worse than Morrowind. The best you can ever do as a reviewer is recognize the individual elements of a game, and leave it to the player/reader to decide which of these elements when put together make the games he/she want to play. I cannot, ever, purchase a game based on a number without reading a review to see how that number was derived. The extrapolations, really, need to be so specific as to render a numerical score unnecessary.
When you try to solve this by splitting ratings, the biggest problem with any score-based system remains obvious: if you equal the weight of factors by which a game is judged in order to make the score objective (for example, music becomes as important as visuals) you unfortunately are not painting an accurate picture for anyone who rates one factor greater than another, unless you tell him/her how you got there.
Say I gave xyz game a 7/10. Or even used your newfangled dual score motor oil system and gave it a 7L6N, that tells no one anything about why it got the score, or what that score means. Its the equivalent of writing a game review that consisted of a random series of smiley faces, question marks, ampersands, and 4s.
Without a brief narrative detailing the specifics of gameplay experience, a number score is incomprehensible. At the same time, said narrative makes the number redundant.
Why have numbers at all?

 
At 2:38 AM, Blogger Jon said...

A quantitative score can never supplant the text of a review. I am in agreement with everyone on that.

For a detailed argument on why quantitative metrics are still useful, see my post A Defense of Game Review Metrics

 
At 3:31 AM, Anonymous user_error said...

I'm more of the school that ratings are just telling you how likely some schmoe is to like the game! If it's scored 9.2 out of 10 or A- some guy will have a 92% chance of feeling the game was worthwhile. It's not a value judgment or something, because reviewers are being trusted on how accurately they judge the pulse of the gaming community, even if they themselves only felt the game so-so. As far as I'm concerned, all this ludic/narrative is already perfectly well-represented in the internals listed directly below an overall score. Sound, story, gameplay, mechanics, replayability, value, etc is already well-explored. Overall score is just the "how likely am I to like this game?" number. Generally, gamers have for taken reviews with a 5 pound brick of salt anyway! and I'd take a friend's A+ over a reviewer's C- any day.

 
At 3:32 AM, Anonymous user_error said...

PS, grats on being featured in PA, albeit in a bit of a bad light ;)

 
At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with you. Game reviews don't need more numbers, they need fewer numbers.

Point for point regarding your defense of numbers post:
1) Numbers are still arbitrary. Until some consortium of reviewers can get together and agree on a standard, it's nearly impossible to find a reviewer one agrees with, because they all not only differ in opinion, they differ in rating system. The numbers become meaningless and abstract. You may as well use letters, symbols, or mating calls of the African Swallow. As long as it's relative, the user will understand.

2) Metacritic doesn't work because of point #1. I *do* believe in the wisdom of the crowds, though, and if every gamer who played a game logged on to metacritic to score it, that would be the closest I could come to supporting a numeric rating system. But they don't.

3) I do agree with the *theory* in theory, but I disagree with its use in practice because it doesn't work like that. Reviewers give subpar games (eg: Halo) perfect (10) scores because they feel they ought to anyway, even from multiple perspectives. A "multi-dimensional framework" does absolutely NOTHING to the likelyhood of a reviewer giving a perfect score to a flawed game. It is a hope and a wish, but not quite a reality in every reviewer's mind.

Any review that summarizes a game into a number has simply facilitated the hype machine. You have not helped any consumer make a decision. You have simply angered fanboys or delighted them, or perhaps sealed the fate of a developer whose job banked on getting that perfect "10" from 5 of 6 review outlets.

The numbers. Mean. Nothing.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Lutzifer said...

i dont really see what is so new about having a different subjective (!) score for gameplay and story. It s basically subjective times 2 and assigning an arbitrary number to it, doesnt take away that essential flaw. See my more indepth thoughts on your post here:

http://psygamer.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Itemid=1

 

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