Thursday, May 21, 2009

Regarding the review system

I've gotten a few questions about my Left 4 Dead review, and the complete lack of a rating at the end of it. Why is this? Well, quite simply, I've decided to ditch any sort of rating system altogether. While the new system worked for a while, it still didn't feel quite right to me. It resulted in me grouping together fantastic titles with games that were just simple fun. For example, take a look through "Review-a-palooza 2009: 55 DS games reviewed" and compare a few of the games that recieved "YAY" ratings. I've got amazing, epic-length games like Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Final Fantasy III grouped in with more basic games like Brain Age and Feel the Magic: XY/XX. They're all good games, yes, but it just doesn't seem right to group them together like that.

It also basically amounted to "YAY" equaling a game rating of 7.5-10, so while it was broader than numerical scores, it still fell back upon that primitive system I'd rather see the industry leave behind. Also, being a broader score, every game I've given a full review to since then has received a "YAY" rating. While I do think they all deserved the ratings they received, I'd rather the review board not turn into a massive field of green.

I actually started doing this back in the DSi review, but I suppose it went unnoticed due to the difference in subject matter. It wasn't until last night that things became completely clear. In hindsight, to avoid confusion, I probably should have made a post beforehand. I didn't expect people to react as if I'd made an error in my review. My apologies for that.

I used to think abandoning the conventional rating system and creating one of my own was the way to go. Now, though, I think I'm done with rating systems altogether (All: "I think I'm done with rating systems"*). A simple summary paragraph at the end is all any review really needs, and that's what I'll be sticking with.

And that's how it will be from now on.

*To any who didn't get this joke, watch AIRPLANE!, now.

1 comment:

MushroomVigilante said...

I always thought the "Yay, Meh, Nay" system was kind of flawed anyways. In retrospect, no scoring system is perfect, although I've always found the 1-10 scale good for critical analysis, but I'd probably consider the 1-5 scale the best because it sums up what's good and bad, as opposed to anything under a 5/10 being a different flavour of bad. Scores have always been secondary anyhow, it's what sums up the score, or lack there-of in your case, that counts.