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The following is an excerpt of a blog article.  Read Full Article

With the problems mentioned in part one, some are likely asking, how can we fix these issues? Some of the problems mentioned are obviously not able to be changed. Companies want to release games to make money, and there’s only so much money to go around. Likewise time is limited as well. So for three of our five problems, we have very limited things we can do to impact them. All we can really focus on are the reviews themselves and work on how we perceive reviews. A major hurtle is the focus on review scores. Review scores whether we like ...


Chosen Undead

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Any effort to improve the concept of reviews needs to push back against this notion that they have to be time-sensitive. In the digital age, sites are literally trying to shave minutes off their "publish time", so they can be the first ones out of the gate. While this might be fine for a 70 minute CD or a 2 hour movie, games now need to be played for several weeks (minimum) before a complete assessment can be made.

Take a game like Destiny, for example. In the first couple of weeks it had nearly universal acclaim, from critics and players. Then it became more apparent that the story was shallow, and the endgame consisted of one big hamster wheel. Much of this criticism came too late for those who bought into the full game and season pass. I suspect that's why Ubisoft is staying silent on the endgame for The Division. I'd bet money they're trying to figure out a way to monetize the game in perpetuity, not unlike imposing a subscription. Already I'm seeing references in DLC descriptions for "new game modes", which players may have to pay for. Yet none of this will be apparent for weeks or even months after release, when the luster has come off the game.



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I never read reviews..ever; not for games, movies, or music. I always found it hard to accept the opinions of others. I need first hand knowledge. With games it's easy because you can watch gameplay usually before and after release. Music is also another easy one as you can listen to virtually any song at any time if you have access to the internet. Movies can sometimes be a little tricky because all you have to go on is a trailer. But there are other factors inherent in all 3 that make the decision easier. Genres, producers, artist, directors, etc... Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and make a mistake. Lord knows it's happened to me (Defiance..... anyone?)

Off topic on The Division. I think it would be a huge mistake for UBI to sink money into this game as a long term project. Once GR: Wildlands drops, The Division is likely to lose a huge majority of the player base as players migrate to GRW for a truer PvP experience vs. the PvEvP of TD. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the beta, I just don't see TD as game I'll be playing for years to come; especially once GRW is released.



The Fire Innate

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Unfortunately, Metacritic makes any and all attempts to change review scores moot. You may be able to tighten up the numbers somewhat, but the problem cannot be corrected. Review scores are eye grabbing, and many review sites pay their editors by either page views or ad revenue.

I honestly think you're being too kind. Review scores do more than interfere with the politics of game development. Many review sites report their opinion on a game as though it were fact. It's practically an art critique - the snobby, obnoxious kind. This, coupled with the score, distract from the game itself. The result is people stop talking about the game, and instead get into pedantic arguments about the politics surrounding it. Sometimes the editors themselves fall victim to their own trap. Kotaku is especially guilty of publishing reviews that barely even talk about the game. Check out their Far Cry 3 review to see what I mean.

I unplugged myself from games media a long time ago, and rapidly found that the games I liked were not the games that got massive coverage. People don't need to be told what they like. They just need to know what a game is going for, how close it comes to that, and how well it runs. Scores do not communicate that information. This blog and a couple of YouTubers are the closest I come to reading reviews anymore, and not even to learn about games; I just like hearing what certain people think. I honestly wish Fex would outlaw review scores here. But it's a small site and needs revenue, so I don't think my plea will be answered anytime soon.

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@BlitzKeir we didn't add scores to some reviews for the revenue. Most of our reviews don't have scores. I never gave Bloodborne a score for example. We encourage users to add scores to their reviews at this time, because developers and publishers tend to respond to a number rather than an article. It's a sad state of affairs to be sure, but it is what it is, and we want our users to get retweeted and refacebooked by them. We want people who put in the time and effort to get noticed and if throwing a number or a letter on there might help get their article promoted, then we recommend it.

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Chosen Undead

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Honestly I think something like how iMbD rates movies wouldn't be a bad system

You would maintain a "score" from the critic and have the players scores below it. If a critic says 9 but players are coming in at 6 it would facilitate taking a deeper look unto the games merits.

However if you see a critic give 7 but players are coming in 9 you might check out a game you would've ignored

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XuitusTheGreat wrote:Honestly I think something like how iMbD rates movies wouldn't be a bad system

You would maintain a "score" from the critic and have the players scores below it. If a critic says 9 but players are coming in at 6 it would facilitate taking a deeper look unto the games merits.

However if you see a critic give 7 but players are coming in 9 you might check out a game you would've ignored

From what I've seen IMDb has tried to integrate videogames into their lineup of things to review, since if you were to research a game like Dark Souls or Destiny you could find all the casting info, trivia etc. The problem with the videogame reviews there at the moment is that it looks like the only games that get any attention are the triple A games. I'm hoping they can start focusing more on videogames soon though, since it'd be great to see that same system in place for videogames.
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Pretty much ignore reviews from major "review" sites these days.


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I think a good idea is to instead of give a score, list 3-4 games and say "If you like these games, you will enjoy this game". Thats often how i decide on my next game when there are new releases