GameSpy has new review scoring (and I pimp my own site, too)

(Firstly, yes, we have talked about review scoring before…)

GameSpy has unveiled a new scoring system, moving from the “out of 100” percentage based system to a 5 star rating system. Interestingly, the new GameSpy rating system won’t be using half-stars.

The new GameSpy rating system explained: http://www.gamespy.com/reviews/ratingsystem2/

Here’s a sample of the new scoring system: http://www.gamespy.com/reviews/september03/toeepc/

Since we’re on the subject, I thought I’d pimp out my own site’s (The Wargamer) system in which no score is given. I’m not suggesting ours is a necessarily better than GameSpy’s system, this is just plain pimpage. :-p

Our “no-score” review system explained: http://www.wargamer.com/articles/fifth_column_5/

An example of said system with a review of the Age of Mythology - The Boardgame: http://www.wargamer.com/reviews/age_of_mythology_boardgame/

I like that multiplayer is differentiated from the rest of the game. More sites should do this.

Wow, that’s just balls-to-the-wall cutting edge in gaming review technology. :roll:

Speaking for myself, I really don’t care what a game’s final score is because that number of just an attempt to distill the overall quality of the title down to a simple metric for people too lazy to read through the text of the actual review.

Wow, that’s just balls-to-the-wall cutting edge in gaming review technology. :roll:

Speaking for myself, I really don’t care what a game’s final score is because that number of just an attempt to distill the overall quality of the title down to a simple metric for people too lazy to read through the text of the actual review.[/quote]

The only useful thing about the overall review number is that, if you see a review you weren’t planning on reading but it got a high score, you might reconsider whether you’re going to read it or not.

I’ve found I do that with CGM and CGW as well as websites, and it’s led me to purchase games that otherwise I don’t think i would have looked at.

I’m surprised they’re not using half-stars, but I prefer the 5-star system over the 100 point scale.

When I did freelance work for them, I hated having to come up with some arbitrary number to assign to it. The new system seems very straightforward when it comes down to what each score means. I will admit I DID kind of like the seperate design/technical scores that they used to do, because it was a way to seperate out crash bugs from things that were just play un-fun, or to show that even a game was butt-ugly, it could still be fun as hell.

I would imagine that the reviewer’s stores will ‘stick’ more with the current system - with the game getting the # of stars the reviewer suggested more often. I know that a few of my reviews ended up getting ‘tweaked’ +/- 10 points on occasion, after I submitted them.

So Gamespy is copying Avault. That’s cool.

Avault hardly invented the 1-5 stars rating system.

Avault hardly invented the 1-5 stars rating system.[/quote]

…but they mastered it.

Heh, how does one “master” slapping a star rating onto something? Not a large margin of error when you’re only working with five stars, is there? 8)

Seriously, Avault does do a good job in how they break a game down and rate each sub-system/section of a title.

Sad to say but my favorite review rating system was NextGen. Sure they had “catchy” names and graphics for each level, but it basically bolied down to:

[ul]Dud: Very, very bad game
Miss: Not good game only worthwhile to genre fanboys or those with great interest
Hit: Good game, buy it if you’re interested, must get for fans of the genre
Direct Hit: All gamers should own this game if they have any interest[/ul]

That just fits with my thought process. I never went into a purchase thinking “well my limit for sci-fi FPS is 85% so I’m not going to get that game since it’s an 80%.”

I want the 100-point scale back.

Edit: To explain, I suppose. I appreciate being able to differentiate between a game that got a 9.1 and one that got a 9.8. Those should both be 5-star games… but one is clearly a standout. y’know?

It’ll be interesting to see how it works without using half-stars.

If you translate a 5-star system into percentages, for example, 3 out of 5 is 60%. 4 out of 5 is 80%.

According to their scale, 3/5 is a “Good” game. If you asked most people, 60% is a “Sucky” game.

…or a game that gets a 6.1 vs. a game that got a 7.9, which would both get 3 stars in a 5 point system. More opportunities to differentiate=better, in my opinion, provided that the system is consistently applied.

The bottom line is that any rating system can work well, if games (at least of the same genre or type) are held to consistent standards at the publication, so that they can be meaningfully interpreted by the readers.

Well, when they were doing the 100 point scale they pretty much spotted every game 50% off the top. So 60% is really 10%, or one star. With the five star system it sounds like they plan to use the whole scale.

I scored a few games under 50% when I wrote for them… Lowest I’ve seen there was in the 20’s, because some technical merit was given to the application actually executing.

Gamespy explains their review criteria:

Now, does this mean Tom will never write Gamespy reviews ever again? :wink:

Most people would agree that both a 60% game and a 1/5 game are probably sucky. So I would say that it’s your translation is flawed. :) I’d just start from 50% and add 10% for each star. It’s not like games regularly get less than 50% in the first place, so the total uselessness of the lower half of the scale is not an issue.

A 5 star rating scale for games is way too limiting and just not accurate enough. Especially if you don’t even do halves. The difference between a 4 and 5 is too huge. GameSpy is apparently embracing the idea that simpler is better(for the masses), etc.

The apex of any rating scale should mean perfection. No game is completely perfect, though it may be damn close. So you give it a 9.8/10 or 9.9/10. GameSpot and IGN have it right; a 10 point scale using decimals.

A ten point decimal system is the same as a simple hundred point system. But there is no way that the differences between games are as fine as 1 or 2 tenths of a point. Stars with halves is fine, but I’m not going to object to simply full stars. Sure the coversion to a number looks screwed up, but just don’t compare it to a number.

I like the five star system because is intuitive and familiar from movie and theater reviews. Outside of IMDB’s mass reviews and Rotten Tomatoes compilation grades, where do you see films evaluated as a percentage? If they are rated at all, it is with a four or five star system.

We speak of four star movies and four star hotels and people instantly know what you mean. I see no pressing need to have game reviews be a precision tool. All readers need to know is whether to play the damn thing or not. Save the finer judgments for end of the year lists.

Troy