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Thread: The Official Destructoid Review Reform Thread.

  1. #1

    The Official Destructoid Review Reform Thread.

    It appears that many of you are in favor of a change in the video game review system, to some degree. At the moment, Destructoid uses a 1-10 grading system, and the overwhelming response to the "video game reviews suck" articles has led me to believe that many of our readers would prefer a different grading scale.

    There are two ways you can effect these changes: by emailing Summa, as I suggested in the second linked article, or by simply discussing with your fellow Dtoiders what you would like done to our video game grading system (this thread will lthen be given to the bosses anyway). We've got some reviews coming up this month, so now is as good a time as any to have your voice heard.

    While we obviously can't make any universal changes to other websites (yet), I felt it would be beneficial to create a forum thread where you guys could decide exactly how you want Destructoid's personal review system changed, if at all.

    I won't personally take part in the discussion, but suffice it to say that your voice will most definitely be heard, assuming some sort of agreement is met on what you'd like our ratings system to become.

    If this topic garners enough replies, I'll sticky it and eventually send it to the Dtoid head honchos, where by all means it should have a very direct impact on our review system.

  2. #2
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    When's the third part coming and which review system do you prefer?

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    As mentioned in the comments I favour the price based review score, is a game worth:

    $50+ Can't live without it, here's my credit card I just gotta have it ASAP
    $40 If I can get a decent deal I'll buy it on release
    $30 Wait a while, If I still care I'll pick it up
    $20 I wanna play it, but not that much
    $10 mekh, I'll take what i can from it.
    0 I'd only touch this game if it were given away free (and even then I'd probably trade it in for store credit)

  4. #4
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    I've already voiced my opinion in the comments of part one of your article, but I guess I'll say it again. I prefer the five point grading scale, where 1 - awful, 2 - poor, 3 - average, 4 - good, and 5 - excellent.

    Five should not be reserved for perfect games, nor should one be reserved for perfectly bad games. In theory, we should end up with a nice bell curve with most games getting twos through fours.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    As mentioned in the comments I favour the price based review score, is a game worth:

    $50+ Can't live without it, here's my credit card I just gotta have it ASAP
    $40 If I can get a decent deal I'll buy it on release
    $30 Wait a while, If I still care I'll pick it up
    $20 I wanna play it, but not that much
    $10 mekh, I'll take what i can from it.
    0 I'd only touch this game if it were given away free (and even then I'd probably trade it in for store credit)
    Yah a price based score sounds good to me!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter345
    I've already voiced my opinion in the comments of part one of your article, but I guess I'll say it again. I prefer the five point grading scale, where 1 - awful, 2 - poor, 3 - average, 4 - good, and 5 - excellent.

    Five should not be reserved for perfect games, nor should one be reserved for perfectly bad games. In theory, we should end up with a nice bell curve with most games getting twos through fours.
    to me I don't like the 5 point system because the lines between 2 & 3 and 3 & 4 are too blurry. Also out of 100 is a bit too far to me. Takes too much thought so much that you ignore factors about the game and focus on where your rating should be, but thats just me.

  7. #7
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    I like the system Wintermute is talking about. Reviews are meant to inform the reader whether or not something is worth paying for, so why not be blunt about it so that there is less confusion?

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    I think it should be a 1-5 scale. But in addition to that, add a short Pro/Con list at then end summing up the main good and bad points so that people can get an idea of why it earned the given score.

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    [Level 4: Cyborg] Gemsi's Avatar
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    wintermute's idea sounds like it could work after all a unit of currency gives a better idea of worth over that just a number or percentage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wailing Alien
    I think it should be a 1-5 scale. But in addition to that, add a short Pro/Con list at then end summing up the main good and bad points so that people can get an idea of why it earned the given score.
    The pro/cons list thing is something that GameSpot includes already with their game reviews, which I personally like. That and the dollar scale, as opposed to the 1-5, or 1-10, or 1-100, or whatever else, is just about perfect for me.

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    I wholeheartedly agree with the monetary rating system, but I'd also like to add that any game that offers single player and multiplayer should be judged on those merits separately.

    For a relatively recent example, I'll use Gears of War. I'd say all around everybody agrees that's a pretty good title. BUT....I (and, believe it or not, plenty of other people) don't really care about multiplayer. I don't play it, I don't want it, I don't care.

    Almost every review I've read about Gears goes on and on about how fun the multiplayer aspect of it is. That's as maybe, but again, to plenty of people that doesn't matter one tinker's cuss.

    Take away the multi, and you're left with a rather short single player campaign. Tons o' fun, to be sure, but short. While there is definitely some replay value, it's just not a game that will keep me coming back for more.

    So, for my money, I'd rank GoW at $35-40. Damn good game, but not worth the full price.

    I think my over-extended rant here has simply reiterated one of the biggest challenges of game reviewing. Namely, the subjectivity of it. A review will always be peppered by the tastes of the reviewer. This can lead to a great deal of bias in either direction. A reviewer who doesn't care for RTS games will be harder to please when it comes to that genre. Some of us want immersion. Some want eye candy. Some want something totally new and inventive, and some want more of the same.

    Gamers, by their nature, invest large amounts of time into their hobby. A review isn't something that can be distilled down into some arbitrary number. A 10 on your scale might be a 2 on mine. Reviews should be far more based on what the game offers, what it does right and what it does wrong. Anyone willing to make an investment to get into gaming, and an investment it is, be it 360, Wii, PS3, PC, etc., should be willing to invest the time to read a review, as opposed to just looking at a numerical or bulleted summation.

    Sorry this went on so long.

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    As an alternative to my list above, here's a pirate friendly version:

    Torrent Priorities:

    Highest - Stay up all night watching the Percentage bar slowly fill, cos this is gonna rock.
    High - To hell with everything else, this sucker is coming down soon!
    Normal - Pause the copy of "Hitch" you have been so curious about, but have been too ashamed to watch elsewhere
    Low - Whatever. I'll get it when I finish re-downloading the new Lost "sode". (now the 700mb HD version, so I can read what was written in red around that Russian manuscript)
    Lowest - At 3.2 kbps I'll get it right after the Modem Warriors out there do.
    None - "Psst. you want this copy of Barbie Horse Adventures I burnt to DVD?"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    As an alternative to my list above, here's a pirate friendly version:

    Torrent Priorities:

    Highest - Stay up all night watching the Percentage bar slowly fill, cos this is gonna rock.
    High - To hell with everything else, this sucker is coming down soon!
    Normal - Pause the copy of "Hitch" you have been so curious about, but have been too ashamed to watch elsewhere
    Low - Whatever. I'll get it when I finish re-downloading the new Lost "sode". (now the 700mb HD version, so I can read what was written in red around that Russian manuscript)
    Lowest - At 3.2 kbps I'll get it right after the Modem Warriors out there do.
    None - "Psst. you want this copy of Barbie Horse Adventures I burnt to DVD?"
    oh wintermute, you bad! *but i luv the idea*

    I've had that same system for grading my eMule downloads.

  14. #14
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    Why don't we just get rid of a rating system all together?

    Instead of assigning a score to a game, just write up what you think of it, whether it is a good buy, the good, the bad and leave it at that. Really the numerical rating isn't what people should care about, they should care about what the reviewer writes about the game.

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    A monetary scale for grading games seems like a particularly good idea, however I also like the idea of the tie-in with pro's/con's added above the score.

    But then again you would have to include something like for a hardcore FPS fan wait till it hits this price, RPG nut this price, Strat nut this price, etc.

  16. #16
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    The price based idea seems like a good one. Just whatever you guys choose... Keep It Simple.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scape
    Why don't we just get rid of a rating system all together?

    Instead of assigning a score to a game, just write up what you think of it, whether it is a good buy, the good, the bad and leave it at that. Really the numerical rating isn't what people should care about, they should care about what the reviewer writes about the game.
    I have thought of that, and I don't see how that would work. Most (or all) game reviews have a write up and some scoring to coincide with it. I know that people shouldn't care about the rating, but used correctly, the numerical system should reinforce, or even summarize, what was written in the review. I will agree that the 1-10 bull-flop is pretty useless when rating video games. But when you use a practical rating system that relates to the bottom-line of all gamers, money, I think it will help avid consumers make a more educated purchase. But that's just one man's opinion.

  18. #18
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    Kind of a weird offshoot idea, but you could have each reviewer name their all time favorite game(s), and have a score that compares this particular one to that game. Seeing how each game stacks up against that game would add an interesting twist that nobody has touched upon before (I think, anyway).

    You could even expand upon this, and have your all time most hated game (the original Clock Tower in my case) at the bottom of the scale. Somewhere between this and the stellar title, the game in question would be.

  19. #19
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    Would it be possible to assign people to a certain category that's their strength? That may be hard to do but I think it would benefit readers most because nobody wants an fps junkie reviewing an rpg or vice versa and that goes for pretty much any genre. Some people are well rounded gamers, but not most.

  20. #20
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    You know, I was thinking back on what a couple of people have mentioned, and I think they may be onto something that could be a huge road block. While the monetary grading system is more "relatable" to gamers, this is still a grading system that can ultimately become just as skewed as the standard 1-10, and 1-5 rating system, and that has to do with the person reviewing the game. You can still have a review on a monetary grading system for, say Zelda: TP come out as $50+ because the reviewer is heavily into action/adventure. Whereas someone into sports/etc. would probably stamp the game in $20-$10 range.

    But gameboi made a pretty good point about maybe using the reviewer's top favorite game and least favorite games as a way for the reader to determine where the reviewer is coming from...

    But then again, I think whether or not someone is into one particular genre more than the other, it should all come down to what the reviewer really knows about gaming; and an honest, credible, review doesn't hurt either. But how do you control that???

    i dunno, just a thought.

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