Do we need to review our reviews?


Out of ten, 5 stars, letter grades or a total percentage score? As gamers, whether we’re on either side of the gaming press, we see many different review techniques. Everybody has their favourite system to review and it seems that more and more recently, these techniques are being called out by the masses on the internet.
This piece of writing on my part has been triggered by the response to Killzone 2 on PS3. KZ2 is currently receiving glowing reviews from a vast majority of the gaming press as can be seen on metacritic. At the time of writing this KZ2 currently has a total rating of 92, Which is a very good score for any shooter on any of the top tier of consoles.

The main cause for the furore on the internet is the score given by EDGE, the score in question was a 7 out of 10. Now, to many people this may seem like a very unreasonable score to give. Especially when we are talking about a triple A title such as Killzone 2. However EDGE use every number of their “out of 10” system, which means that if a game is average but still playable, it will get a 5. By this thinking a 10 will only be given out to the best games on the market, games that are considered the peak of their genre.
In reflection a 7 is perhaps quite a good score after all, but this hasn’t stopped people from calling the score into question. A lot of people (I won’t refer to them as fanboys or trolls, much like other sites) are saying that EDGE has given this score purely for a reaction.
One thing I personally would like to know is why are these people getting so uptight about the review? Do they usually listen to a review before buying the product or is it just a witch hunt based on someone’s honest opinion of a game?

We have to ask ourselves, how important is the number/letter at the bottom of the reviews we read? and will we the gaming public as a whole ever be happy with a score given?
I see review scores as a personal opinion from the individual who is tasked with reviewing the game. I think that the gaming public sometimes forget that and become enraged when a game they love gets a “low score”
Society is based on opinions, you made an opinion as to whether to bookmark this site or not.
So why does one persons opinion matter above others?

The many different review methods were recently discussed on Rebel FM, the podcast from the guys over at eat.sleep.game.com and hearing the views from some of the best guys in the business shows that it is a very sticky subject. One thing that was discussed was idea of not using numbers/letters at all and just using the expression of the reviewer. This would obviously be detrimental to sites like metacritic however it would stop people hanging on the result of the scoring, But could those sites guarantee that people would read their reviews without the ability to skip to end and read the score as many people do.

In my view, this will be an argument that goes back and forth as long as games are being reviewed. Here at Hi-Score we use a 5 star system which gives us a less staggered view on the games we play, But one day it may change to another system that proves to be more universal.
What’s your view? Do we as the gaming public take reviews too seriously? Do you take review scores into account when deciding what game to buy?
Leave us some comments and let us know.

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  1. I dont really look at reviews anymore, Ive bought alot of “risky” titles and loved them just as I have bought some “dead certs” and not enjoyed them. Read reviews for the info and the opinion but dont let it make the decision for you.

    As for the style, i dont really mind, I do like EDGE’s style though. I think the idea of using the expression might work.

  2. Edge have been mentioned on a vast amount of podcasts with their scoring and game reviews.

    Personally I think that people tend to get hung up to much on the score and ignore the review for what it is, a persons opinion on the game. The only way a scoring system can work is in a room where varieties of people play the same game and sore it to a set of criteria and an average is taken.

    The guys who review for Edge all might like the Barbie goes Pony Riding games and not the FPS’s….and thus score the FPS down as it is not to their flavour.

    Personally I will take for what they are, your opinion of the game score or no score.

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