Why are so many Japanese games score based?

I think it’s important not to get too stuck on specific games. There are always going to be poor implementations of systems that you can point to for examples of why something sucks but that doesn’t invalidate every other example where it’s fine.

As @roguefrog notes, the scoring system didn’t stop your completion of the objective and ability to continue playing. It just says, “Hey, you can do a lot better.” If you take it to mean you suck, well, that’s a you problem. You might actually suck, but they are letting you know you can do that mission in a better way.

It doesn’t even mean “hey, you can play better” in the specific Valkyrie Chronicles example: you are probably actually sucking when you get an S rank, as those were achieved by running like crazy to the last flag, while not caring about any casualty that might have happened on your side while at it.

Yeah, like I said, some bad examples definitely exist.

That’s the point and I don’t see how isn’t it obvious.

A bad ranking system devalues the game. The developer informs you about what actually matters in the game. You can play a game like Civilization and setting yourself a goal of making your people happy but it’s a game with objective measurement of success and world rankings will inform you that happiness doesn’t matter in itself.

Scoring system is a very important part of the design. It’s author’s way to evaluate if you play the game right. If you’re saying that ignoring authorial intent like that is necessary the you can explain away anything. Here’s a great game, only you have to ignore specific game mechanics. Or cheat to skip a specific level. And don’t watch cutscenes in that location.

My favourite similar take is “stop playing after XX hours because the ending sucks”. Which is my personal take on Dragon Quest V. Which I love. Hrrm…

Let’s make this thread more interesting: do any of you score haters enjoy achievements? (Maybe just a little, deep down inside?)

I do. I only rarely chase them actively, but I do like having them pop up. That’s a much better motivator for me than seeing some meaningless number go up. And it encourages a variety of methods/approaches/playstyles, whereas grades funnel you towards one specific path.

Achievements are nonsense, but sometimes I like a good score chase.

I don’t like grades, but at least they serve some sort of function for me. Scores do absolutely nothing for me, and don’t even register. They might as well not exist.

I used to think the same thing about scores.

What changed? It’s not that I like high scores. I simply enjoy games that have high scores now, and scoring systems are ways for me to explore the mechanics of games that I enjoy, in ways that I normally wouldn’t.

I don’t remember that at all, but it HAS been a very long time. I also don’t recall having trouble getting through the game, requiring I play the game some specifically weird way, tailored necessarily to get a high score. /shrug

Yeah…when it comes to gameplay, authorial intent can suck it. Gamers will skii, wave-dash, clip through walls, find shortcuts, find and exploit overpowered mechanics, do unconventional shit, often finding creative or even better ways through “emergent gameplay”.

Don’t see how a “scoring system” alters that. Unless the scoring has some intrinsic impact on game progression or something which it often doesn’t at all.

In case of Valkyria Chronicles it does impact the game cause the score has a huge impact on your XP making the following missions harder to play. You can always grind so it’s not a deal breaker. But it’s more than just a little irritation.

Twitch skill-based games like Devil May Cry or Metal Gear Rising are examples of good scoring systems. They have a set of requirements and not fulfilling some of them puts you out of S territory. In most of those games rank just goes in some table. If you really love the game you have a goal ahead of you that allows you to say you have mastered the game, you have hit 5 holes with 5 swings of your golf club. In this case the author tells me about their game through the scoring system, they think that excellence is in specific things.

Remember Command & Conquer with the post mission stats replete with a score and parser for entering initials?

Stuff like this never really mattered at all. If there is some resource benefit to getting a better score that’s carried into the next mission or what have you, well that is different but I think those cases are the exception to the rule.

Nope, couldn’t care less about them. I have no idea what my Gamerscore or whatever the Playstation equivalent is and I find people who buy games just to get easy achievements completely baffling.

That said, I don’t hate scores. I just don’t find them motivating at all. Progression is generally what motivates me in a score-based game. The only quasi-exception to this I can think of is Trials/Trackmania, where I do generally try to get gold. But if the medals weren’t tied to the progression system in the former, I doubt I would bother.