Jul 24 2012, 04:31 PM
I've noticed other forums and reviewers in general moving away from giving scores to games when reviewing them. While within a community like ours where we are trying to help each other, giving bad scores can be counter-productive and discourage budding designers. But when my intention is to recommend a game to other people or when I'm reading a review, I like to see a number. I personally would not review a game that I would give below a 6; I'd give feedback instead. Nor would I play a game with a score below a 6, unless it's so bad it's good.
But then I run into the problem of comparing apples to electrical sockets. For instance, take Chain of Retribution,
an epic JRPG and Tina of Stars
, a Pac-Man inspired puzzle game. Both make me equally happy (I think - I'm still giddy over recently playing Tina), and I know the designers of each put a lot of effort into making the games, but after giving Chain of Retribution a 9/10, giving a numerical score to Tina seems unfair because the game's are so different, and I judge them by different criteria (for example, I can't criticize Tina for not having a complex plot because it doesn't need one, whereas Chain does merit criticism of it's plot because it is a plot-driven game). What do my other reviewers think? Do you like giving scores or no?
Jul 24 2012, 06:03 PM
I think context would be something to take into consideration if you are wanting to add numbers in there.
So if you were to say "8/10" then you might add something like "score only applies when compared to other relative games" (if, in fact, you judge/review the game in that way).
Hope that makes sense. ^^
Jul 24 2012, 07:47 PM
I don't know, I don't really like giving scores to people. I guess unless they really want one, or if the game blew my mind.
Personally, I kind of like a more personal approach? : ) Plus I feel like i am judging them from a number, percentage, not for who they are.
(Hehe, I think it carries off in the way I talk sometimes.)
But I kind of like negotiating and working with someone, and feeling more like a friend/ally.
Like someone they can feel relaxed, un-judged, un-ranked, unlabeled... open, honest, free with.
...It might also be because i know you are supposed to talk in first person when giving advice, though. And to make your opinion the central, independent clause of the sentence; 3rd person is good to use when you want to have an authoritarian or logos-based position.
If I was to give feedback and had to confront the person, I'd be using 1st person, detract attention away from them, and use external support. The subject would be you and nonthreatening, difficult to question, and subconsciously pressure the receiver to adapt to the group norms. But if I was submitting a report or something, I'd be using 3rd person and make statements. 3rd person distances you from the situation.
^this is why liars have a tendency to use 3rd person.
Jul 25 2012, 05:25 AM
Right before we ditched reviews in favor of feedback, we were looking into removing the score. While certain mechanics are black and white in terms of output, some features are all based on a matter of opinion, so one person's score wouldn't really provide any true insight, depending on who was reviewing. It's better to let the review stand on its own and let the reader make their own call without being biased by a score they saw beforehand, which could in turn prevent them from reading the review and realizing they would have enjoyed the type of game more than the reviewer.
Jul 25 2012, 06:14 AM
When I reviewed games, I focused on RPGs (and excluded horror games, for example) in order for the scores to be as comparable as possible. I used a star rating system from Zero to *****. I'm happy with the ratings I gave, and although there is a margin of error and a certain level of subjectivity, you can safely say a *** is better than a * game.
Jul 25 2012, 08:48 AM
For what it's worth, I've seen a few reviews on a "Buy/Rent/Pass" system. Essentially, it was just a reccomendation of whether to buy the game, rent it, or pass on it and play another game. Obviously rent wouldn't apply on this site, so it would just be a play/pass scale. I've also seen it done where there's a good/bad/average ranking next to different game elements. That way you can still differentiate the games. Maybe one game has a good story, average gameplay, good audio, and bad graphics, but it still got a "play" reccomendation. Another game however has a bad story, good gameplay, average audio, and good graphics, and it also got a "play" reccomendation. They still recieved approximately equal scores, but you also clarified why. I haven't given it enough thought to really identify the negative aspects of this type of review system, I just thought I'd pitch in and let you know what I've seen.
Jul 25 2012, 11:51 AM
If I was giving a score as such I'd be more likely to follow the ZERO-***** idea that Rob_Riv uses alot. Cause it is then slightly more obvious how strong the game is, this means that it is more structured rather than giving a 31/2 type thing, which can get quite confusing, Using stars means that you don't have so much to worry about in realms of style and etc.
Jul 25 2012, 12:25 PM
Whoa, that was a lot of quick feedback. Thanks!
So I guess I really had two topics in one: A) How to compare games of different genres and
The difference between a review and feedback.
For people who responded to "How to compare games of different genres": I agree with everyone and like the idea of "play/pass", but I personally wouldn't put the time into writing a full review of a game I wouldn't play :-) Which leads to the second topic...
"The difference between a review and feedback": The two have different audiences. If your goal is to help the designer out, you should always talk in first person. On our site, it's easy to do that, so the majority of everyone's posts are feedback.
Reviews on the other hand are directed at other gamers. I personally use first person in my reviews so I can make qualifications. I think of reviews as publicity, an honorable mention of sort. I've only reviewed three games but given feedback on dozens. Although I guess the problem there-in is that I'll never write a negative review, because I wouldn't review a game I didn't like. But when I write reviews, I send them to other forums in addition to this one (minus the RRR formatting) because my intention is to get other gamers to notice it.
This probably stems from my experiences with reviews - getting an official review from Penguin here at RRR made me really happy and inspired me to review Quick Quest
(play it if you haven't!), then that led to me getting involved with the forums as a whole.
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