Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Revamp the reviews

I use game reviews frequently. First I check the general score, and then I read through to see why it was given that score. Odds are, by the time I read the review, I've already read or watched interviews, previews, and gameplay videos. I've already formed an impression of the game...I just want to see if there's anything I missed. Often enough, there's some insight that helps me make my buying decision.

Though the words are often helpful, the rating systems **suck**.

It's really easy to understand why. Ask any person to rate something with a number, 1 through 10, and they're certain to think of 1 as awful, 5 as mediocre, and 10 as excellent; or possibly 10 as awful and 1 as excellent. If 7 is mediocre in your review system, your system is plainly counterintuitive and likely to mislead some people; particularly people who are new to your site.

Explain your system however plainly... it's still counterintuitive and potentially misleading. Hell, ever readers who are accustomed to your screwy system probably can't help but be influenced subconsciously by the more common tradition, the system that everyone but reviewers accepts as good.

Why have a 1-10 scale if you'll never score a game below 5? It's a simple thing, but something that bugs me to no end.

Anyway, sometimes it seems to me that all of the sites I look to for reviews have a habit of a scoring things higher than they deserve. Right now, I prefer GameTrailers' video reviews to anything else, partially because they seem more critical than other sites.

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