My Stance on Review Scores

Review scores are extremely flawed, and I will not be including them in my website. My words cannot be summed up by a simple number, and giving a review score gives the reader a reason to not actually read my words and instead just glance at the number and leave the site. I will not be allowing this to happen, and will not change my mind about this subject. Let me tell you why.

    Scores do not take into account players’ various opinions on what makes a game great. While a score usually represents if the author would recommend the game to the audience, the score does not represent the subjectivity of what game mechanics matter the most. Some gamers believe that a story is the most important aspect of games, while others take the stance that gameplay must be fun in order for the game to be great. A walking simulator may have a great story that I absolutely enjoy, but due to the lack of variety in the gameplay, I could not recommend it to someone who thinks that a game has to be fun for them to spend money on it. A score of a 9 on a walking simulator could be seen by a reader without them actually learning about the game’s mechanics and the player would be spending their money on a type of game that is simply not for them. If a game has an amazing soundtrack, does that mean that it is worth being purchased? How many points are good characters worth? What if I think a game has really cool blades of grass that I believe everyone should see by playing the game, but the game itself is just a boring game about staring at blades of grass? Review Scores do not show this!

    My words are worth more than a number. As a writer, I believe summarizing my words with a number is utterly ridiculous. If I am going to take the time to write hundreds of words detailing the mechanics of a game and giving my opinion on how much the game means to me, then I expect the reader to actually read my words. Giving the option to completely ignore my words and to make the reader believe that they know my opinions on a game due to a number is not something that I want to allow.

    Scores Encourage Arguments. I am not saying that arguments should happen, but I just know they are more likely to happen if I gave review scores. Questions about why I scored What Remains of Edith Finch higher than Monster Hunter World, a game with far better gameplay, would be asked. If you are going to ask me about a review in a harsh manner, I at least want you to write “Why did you say that Monster Hunter World had a fantastic late game, but said you wouldn’t recommend it to players who want to enjoy all of their time while playing a game? I loved fighting anjanaths, bad reviewer, bad review!” instead of you saying, “WHY DID YOU GIVE MHW A 7?! IT IS A 10! A 10!”

    10’s Don’t Exist. This is honestly a point that I go back and forth on. At times I believe that if a game has minor flaws and is mostly amazing, then a reviewer should be able to give that game a 10/10, but I also believe that giving flawed games 10’s says that having some flaws is okay and that the game could not be improved. It gives developers a formula where they can have some flaws, but still get a 10. As a critic, I want to make games the best they can possibly be, and I want to make sure that all flaws that I see are stated and explained so hopefully they can be improved. A 10/10 does not give room for improvement.

To any of you who were hoping to just glance at a review score on this site, which is probably not any of you at this point, I apologize. I just believe that this decision is a good one for the site to help improve my writing and to encourage in-depth conversation about games mechanics and their worth instead of debating about a number I put at the end of the article. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy my reviews!

 

2 comments

  1. I propose a compromise. A middle ground between scores and 1000s of words. Simply put, people are busy. We got lots of things to do and as much as I look forward to reading others opinions about games, sometimes I just don’t have the time. Maybe consider giving review summaries for games you play. As in, giving a full detailed review but then also giving a 1 to 2 paragraph summary that sums up your opinions of the pros and cons of the game.

    Like

    1. The last paragraph will be a summary of the review and my final thoughts. So if you do not have time to read the full review, reading the last paragraph should give you the information you need, but I would still suggest reading the full review to be fully informed!

      Like

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