Destructoid Reviews are serious business.
As I promised in comment #142 (a comment I was subsequently mocked for making), here I am blogging my little heart out about the Destructoid Reviews system.
Let me go ahead and list a few things I feel are worth knowing prior to reading the meat of the post:
1) I have read the manifesto.
2) I HAVE NOT played Naruto: Rise of the Ninja
3) I HAVE played Mass Effect
4) This post IS NOT meant to debate the numerical scores given to any game by a Destructoid reviewer
5) This post IS NOT meant to preach about how awesome Mass Effect is.
6) Finally, I DO have experience reviewing video games for a professional website. Back before GameBattles.com was purchased my Major League Gaming, we had a news and reviews channel. I was one of the first writers hired. I worked with about eight or so other writers. Out of those, two of them were what I would consider true gamers. I had to deal with a scale that included a perfect score for Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike
, and a 7.6 score for Devil May Cry 3
, which was followed a week later by an 8.8 score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
. I clashed with my editor frequently, and as a result, I was tasked with reviewing such gems as Fantastic Four
and the original Untold Legends
for PSP. I was heavily criticized for giving glowing reviews to games like Psychonauts and Indigo Prophecy. I fought an uphill battle for two and a half years before MLG mercifully swooped in and purchased the site, which led to a redesign and the termination of our pathetic news and reviews section.
Now that I have all of that out of the way...
I didn't agree with the Mass Effect score. I did, however, agree with the most of the things written within the review. This is usually the same with most of Reverend Anthony's reviews. All the pretty words leave me in total agreement, but then I spot the score at the bottom of the page and an unnecessarily angry comment spews forth from my fingertips.
Now perhaps my gripe is not with the system, but with Rev's ability to turn negligible annoyances into massive, game-ruining flaws. But since the Destructoid scale is based on one of Rev's features
, I believe I'm directing my opinions in the right place.
The first problem is the scale itself. I've never been a huge fan of the 1-10 scale, and I'm in agreement with Rev, for the most part, on the way it is most commonly used in the gaming media. However, my main gripe is that the 1-10 scale is too intricate. On the Dtoid Scale, a score of 3 is "Bad". A score of 4 is "Poor". These two words mean essentially the same thing. And let's be honest, very few of us are going to want to play a game considered bad or poor, no matter what numbers are associated with those descriptives. The same can be said for games that are "Awful" or "Unbearable". These are games you simply will not enjoy.
You enter that rental gray area when you hit the 5-8 range. The word "decent" is used to describe a game given a 6. A game that warrants a 7 is considered "Good". Again, these two words are incredibly similar in meaning. So much so that, in my opinion, they negate each other. A score of 6 and a score of 7 might as well be the same thing, especially when they're both branded with the "Rent It" icon.
But rather than attempting to redefine the 1-10 scale itself, a different or brand new scale could be used.
As I proposed in the comments of the Mass Effect review, an A-to-F grade scale could work. No "A+" or "C-" scores either. Here's what I propose:
A - BUY IT.
The best score a game can be given, period. A must-buy game. Recent Example: BioShock
B - Rent It First/Buy If You Must.
This score is given to a game that shouldn't be missed, but isn't necessarily a "Must Buy" title. It might not be worth the full retail price, but it is worth the $40 pre-played price at Gamestop. Recent Example: Mass Effect
C - Rent It
A game worth giving a look, but not worth owning. Recent Example: Assassin's Creed
D - Play At Your Own Risk
It's not bottom of the barrel, but it's damn close. Recent Example: Soldier of Fortune: Payback
F - DO NOT WANT
Don't play it. Don't even look at the fucking box
. Recent Example: Two Worlds
This scale is nothing revolutionary, obviously. But it is more streamlined, which I feel is the way to go. Using this scale, Mass Effect and Naruto would be given the same score, while Assassin's Creed would be just a step below. The current 1-10 scale, there are a potential of 19 number scores (including the .5s). The grade scaled brings that number down to 5.
Yeah, we're all gamers. But in the end, our options when obtaining games (legally) are the same: Rent or Buy. The only other option is to not play them at all. 19 score options is too many.
I know Linde mentioned that it's not currently possible to have multiple staff review a game, but perhaps a community rating system could be implemented, similar to other sites.
Any and all feedback is welcome. I know Linde was at least a little
pissed at my unfairly harsh statements about the manifesto, and after having some time to calm down and think about it all, I felt this would be a more productive use of my emotions. read