Now what do I mean by rated or reviewed? Surely written reviews have ratings attached at the end; both can’t exist without each other right? Well I question the use of ratings. Personally I think there are many flaws in slapping a number or grade at the end- or the beginning for that matter- of a game review.
All hail numbers.
I would be completely over exaggerating if I said that ratings can brainwash people but there’s no doubt that they’re highly influential. The reviewer may complain about controls being too difficult to master and give a game a mediocre score of let’s say, 6. However you may not find that mastering controls as much of a problem at all but that 6 still looks quite off putting… So do you get this game or not? Does that 6 mean this game is bad? Should anything under 8 really be worth your time and money? It’s when people start focusing on the score instead of the review itself that problems arise. Especially if you see a score before you read the review. Scoresl give an immediate impression of a game and that impression stays throughout the whole review. Sometimes a very low and high rating can be more influential than the review itself. Ultimately none of this will matter if the review matched the rating yet that raises another problem.
Is not like an exam
I’ve heard several times about critics complaining that it is very hard to score or rate a game accurately, well that’s normal because it is. What you feel about a game or how you judge a game is not the same as marking an exam, there isn’t a criteria list or an answer booklet to assist you. Some may argue that you can rate games on graphics, sound, presentation and other criterion. However games now provide such varied experiences and have such different qualities that make it good, it would be unfair to force criteria upon it. It would be limiting creativity and originality if critics suddenly start taking off points for games that doesn’t fit in some set of ‘laws that make games good’. Games are not generic enough for people to score it like an exam; often they make you feel different emotions: frustration, joy, relaxation, fulfillment Something that an examiner probably won’t be doing when he or she stares at a math paper or an essay on Shakespeare (unless the student decides to doodle on their math papers or write an emotional, tear-inducing essay on Much Ado About Nothing). Since games are getting more complex, scoring would naturally be harder which is why sometimes reviews contradict ratings- thus the comment section is set on fire by people’s complaints.
Should it really be abolished though?
Of course it’s not always negatives, I understand that scores can be a quick guide for those in a rush or can’t be bothered to read for some reason- summaries and video reviews are better alternatives in my opinion. What I want to point out the most is that reviews should always serve as the better guideline for gamers and buyers. A good reviewer isn’t someone who can justify their score; a good reviewer is someone who doesn’t have to rely on the score to persuade and advice consumers.