What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

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Lost Dragon
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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Lost Dragon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:42 pm

Magazines i've read over the years have tried numerous systems of review scoring, be it marks out of 5, 10, 100 or 1000, along with predicted interest curves, uppers, downers etc, some even decided to do away with scores, instead opting for a colour scheme (dull grey, brill blue, groovy green, red hot etc), plus you had the 'awards' C.U screen star, Zzap Sizzler, Silver Medal, Gold Medal, C+VG Hit etc etc.But far too often i'd come across a statement opening a review along the lines of'I was never a fan of this game in the arcades or on Format X...' so i'd know the reviewer in question probably was'nt the ideal choice and the score would reflect that.

I've always prefered the 3 reviewer style approach where you get 3, often very differing views on a game and you get a much better 'feel' and it made for interesting reading to find out just which areas members of the team disagreed so strongly on, rather than just hearing nothing but praise or nothing but scorn.

I'd actually sought out some low scoring games (Robolt on C64 i had free with the computer, 3% in Zzap 64) just to see if they really were that awful and friends and i would totally ignore Zzap ratings if a 'crap' game had a Hubbard or Galway soundtrack on C64 as that made it an essential purchase.

There's nothing wrong with any review score as long as review has been done objectively, game rated on it's own merits and not compared to others in a very over-crowded genre and reviewer has'nt been given review as it needed to be done pronto and it's a genre he/she hated.

There's no point having any scoring system if your not willing to use the highest or lowest ratings avaiable, just explain exactly why you feel a game deserves the lowest rating you can use or the highest.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:43 pm

The Laird wrote:
Antiriad2097 wrote:Thanks for the detailed response Laird, the theoretical ratings do seem sound. Its a shame that by your own admission they're not being stuck to, skewing things upwards as this thread suggests is typical.
Interestingly I took a snapshot of one section, all written by the same reviewer and out of 70 games the scores broke down as:

1/10 - 1 game
2/10 - 3 games
3/10 - 4 games
4/10 - 7 games
5/10 - 15 games
6/10 - 7 games
7/10 - 11 games
8/10 - 12 games
9/10 - 7 games
10/10 - 2 games

Make of that what you will but I think it turns out to be quite balanced.
15 below average games.

39 above average games.

Weird balance you have ;)
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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by The Laird » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:52 pm

If you do a 50/50 split its 31/39 :wink:

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Lost Dragon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:56 pm

Might just be myself, but i've loved looking at things like Zzap Back (and later in interviews with ex-Zzap 64 staff members) on how opinions changed over the years on review scores handed out at the time and why, off top of my head C64 Elite being over-rated, lot of debate over Delta to this day.

Edge occ.did a similar thing,with both review scores and 'Did We Really Say That?' type comments (also seen Official PS2 mag do similar on scores) as they never name reviewers, where as i could get a feel for magazine regulars tastes in games in likes of Zzap, Mean Machines etc and you'd know who you tended to side with more than others.

End of the day though, as long as you, the purchaser feel your getting your moneys worth, does it really matter if a game recived only a 7 on various sites/magazines and yet 8's elsewhere?.

Only times i really felt 'cheated' is when i've bought a 9/10, 10/10 game on day 1, found it was'nt for me and kicked myself for not waiting for price to drop, trying a demo 1st or renting it etc.Only myself to blame there, each and every time, but even demo's are'nt fool proof.

I Am Alive on 360, downloaded demo, loved, bought full game, few hrs in, hating it, ditto with Mark Of The Ninja.

It's also worth noting how often a reviewer can be taken in by eye candy: Amiga CD32 gamer seemed to love Rise Of The Robots (as did C+VG) giving it 90%, yet in same issue, UFO:Enemy Unkown (Xcom) pulled in a lesser score of 80%.2 very different games and if you'd purchased on score alone, which would have offered far greater VFM, if you were into the genre?.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by kiwimike » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:29 pm

So many different ways of reviewing, and score systems...and of course subjective, personal opinion. 7/10 is 70% at the end of the day, and that's a pretty good score. And it's not black/white scoring like 70% in an exam, reviews are subjective with the personal opinion of someone who may or may not be a fan of that genre. So it may actually be better, or worse than that score.
IMO you read a good cross section of reviews before buying anyway- Good scores across the board mean you shouldn't really go wrong. :)

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Lost Dragon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:33 pm

:D 'Best' review section i ever saw was a non-serious mini-round up in Zero (it's Shorts section), with:

God, Pontius Pilate, Judas Iscariot, Noah, Herod and Doubting Thomas etc casting their eyes over select games.Would liven up a few mainstream reviews of today.

Mind you, Zero went a bit 'odd' towards end with awards...Mutts Nuts for great games, dog taking a squirty dump on poor games, Cows Conkers for best Arcade games etc....

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Sephiroth81 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:53 am

The Laird wrote:If you do a 50/50 split its 31/39 :wink:
You gave Sonic Jam 10/10, and Speedball 2 on the Master System 10/10. These are just two examples of many flaws, and I could write a whole essay on each as to why they barely deserve 7/10, let alone 10/10.

Sonic Jam - put simply, a total cash in. Compare it to Super Mario All-Stars - truly remastered all 4 titles on it from the 8 bit to 16 bit generation, as well as adding tighter controls and of course battery back up saving. Genuine effort was put into this package. Sega basically just dumped the ROMs on a CD, enhanced the sound a little, and put a 3D "tech-demo" for a game that never was to exist! From the 16-bit Megadrive, to the 32bit Saturn - the so called 2D powerhouse console, and no attempt was made to genuinely improve the games. Plus you had to wait for the games to load on CD, rather than the instant load times of cartridges! What a wasted opportunity, and definitely not a "perfect" score.

As for Speedball 2 - one of my all time favourite games, at least the 16-bit versions. The Master System version is awful, and is a pigging mess compared to the Megadrive game (and the MD is a backward step from the Amiga version). I get that the rating system has to take into consideration the hardware its on, but Speedball 2 is NOT one of the best games on the system, and we're also not in the 1980s. People have emulators or access to these games at a low cost. Don't tarnish Speedball 2s reputation by recommending they play this version, when clearly the Amiga and MD versions have stood the test of time so well.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by The Laird » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:39 am

Firstly - No I didn't and we discussed that fact already.

Secondly - This is not the RVG reviews feedback thread.

Thirdly - Reviews are subjective.

Lastly - Your obsession with me is scary

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:06 am

Sephiroth81 wrote:Sonic Jam - put simply, a total cash in. Compare it to Super Mario All-Stars - truly remastered all 4 titles on it from the 8 bit to 16 bit generation, as well as adding tighter controls and of course battery back up saving. Genuine effort was put into this package. Sega basically just dumped the ROMs on a CD, enhanced the sound a little, and put a 3D "tech-demo" for a game that never was to exist! From the 16-bit Megadrive, to the 32bit Saturn - the so called 2D powerhouse console, and no attempt was made to genuinely improve the games. Plus you had to wait for the games to load on CD, rather than the instant load times of cartridges! What a wasted opportunity, and definitely not a "perfect" score.
Well that's a tad inaccurate - the games aren't ROMs, they're conversions, so you can do things like use the Spin Dash in Sonic 1, or play as Tails in every game, plus there's all the challenges in the 3D world, and the artwork gallery and movie theatre. Considering the games that are included as well, it's easily worth 10/10.

Vastly off-topic, I know, but something had to be said there.
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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:52 am

The Laird wrote:If you do a 50/50 split its 31/39 :wink:
Even if you do include the games stated to be 'average' into the 'below average' portion of that score, there's still 20% more games rated 'above average'.
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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by The Laird » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:28 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
The Laird wrote:If you do a 50/50 split its 31/39 :wink:
Even if you do include the games stated to be 'average' into the 'below average' portion of that score, there's still 20% more games rated 'above average'.
I would say there are more good games out there than bad ones on most consoles. There are some systems out there, like the Atari Lynx and Neo Geo for example, that have very few poor games in their library. But I guess that is subjective too.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:45 am

It doesn't matter, since 5/10 is an average game. If the quality of titles on a system is consistently high, then the average quality will also be consistently higher, making a 'bad' game relative to that. This is sort of the point of this thread, that consistently high production values has skewed the average score to 7/10 instead of the 5/10 it should be, and the reason RVG has been held as an example of this.
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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by The Laird » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:52 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:It doesn't matter, since 5/10 is an average game. If the quality of titles on a system is consistently high, then the average quality will also be consistently higher, making a 'bad' game relative to that. This is sort of the point of this thread, that consistently high production values has skewed the average score to 7/10 instead of the 5/10 it should be, and the reason RVG has been held as an example of this.
Well I don't agree with you there whatsoever, this thread is about people perceiving a 7/10 as being bad. That has very little to do with what games have been rated on RVG. Also on RVG 5/10 is the average (which is clearly stated) and there are loads of games that have got this and lower, so that point doesn't stick either. RVG was brought up because of one person's obsession with constantly bringing it up whenever possible (as has been pointed out by Marko) not because it matches what is actually being talked about. Like I said people are welcome to disagree with any reviews there, they are subjective as always, but this is not the RVG review feedback thread so maybe it's time to talk about something else. I am starting to wish I had stayed away and never posted again, I have no wish to argue with anyone and have no wish to talk about other forums on this one either.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by Sephiroth81 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:03 am

The Laird wrote:
Lastly - Your obsession with me is scary
I'm amazed at how defensive you are about your reviews and how it touches a nerve. If you are going to publish reviews of videogames online, you should be able to take the criticisms, along with the praise. I'm not being nasty, and calling you an idiot - but you seem to be implying it from my critique. I'm merely saying I disagree strongly with some of these reviews. It is totally relevant to the topic - perhaps in a thread some weeks ago it was less so, but now its appropriate.
TwoHeadedBoy wrote:
Well that's a tad inaccurate - the games aren't ROMs, they're conversions, so you can do things like use the Spin Dash in Sonic 1, or play as Tails in every game, plus there's all the challenges in the 3D world, and the artwork gallery and movie theatre. Considering the games that are included as well, it's easily worth 10/10.

Vastly off-topic, I know, but something had to be said there.
10/10 - you cannot be serious? So you actually agree with Laird that Sonic Jam is a perfect game? Its perfectly reasonable for Sega to pile 4 old 16 bit games on to a new 32 bit console, and make no genuinely big advancements or improvements?

Note that i said its "basically a ROM dump". A spin dash and the ability to play as Tails brings Sonic The Hedgehog 1 back to life does it? Absolute nonsense. I've got Sonic Jam, and while I agree its nice to have all 4 Sonic games in one place (at the time), I still preferred playing them on the native Megadrive as there are no load times. I also noticed some glitches in the games that weren't present in the original games, and the extras (for the original games) in no way make me feel like i've gone from a 16bit console to a 32bit one. Its like Super Mario World having slightly different artwork and jumping ability in Super Mario World on the later Mario All Stars + World release.

Sonic Jam is a cynical and lazy collection of games, with a hastily put together 3D zone tacked on for absolute die-hard fans. It is also totally obsolete - one is vastly better off buying The Megadrive Collection or other Sega Compilations on the PS2 and other systems now. Retrospectively that would knock it down at least 2 or 3 points.

Incidentally, Gamespot gave it 5.9 out of 10 back in 1997. I'd be inclined to agree.
Last edited by Sephiroth81 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is wrong with a '7/10' review score?

Post by The Laird » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:10 am

This is not RVG, this is Retro Gamer, this is not the place to leave feedback on reviews from another website. You have repeatedly brought these reviews up in multiple threads and are still claiming Speedball 2 got a 10 when I have pointed out several times that it didn't and the reasons why it got a 9. You don't like me or my reviews, I get it, but no reason to keep bringing them up at every opportunity, it's getting tiresome. I welcome critique of all my writing as anyone who actually knows me will tell you, it is the only way you improve as a writer, but there is a right time and place for it.

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