There’s an ongoing discussion around gaming media and the industry these days about the nature of gaming reviews, and whether or not they’re broken in their current state. We here at GamerSushi have been in a lengthy (pages of Facebook threads) discussion about what exactly makes a good game review.
Is it a percentage, a score out of 10, a letter grade, a thumbs up, or some other way of attributing a tangible rating to a product, like gold stars or smiley face stickers? Poop?
The thing that I think makes reviewing games so difficult is that in some cases games are meant to be artistic, much like a film, but they’re also pieces of software that have to function the right way and meet certain standards of quality. It’s simultaneously a critique and a “buyer beware” style product review. You need to inform gamers if what they’re thinking about buying is working or broken, fun or boring, moving or bland, and that even differs depending on if you’re playing Madden or Okami.
It’s like trying to review a blender that plays the movie No Country for Old Men. Games have several functions, so how do you accurately assess all of them in a way that is informative (without having too many spoilers), short (but still dive into the game enough to dissect it) and give a good impression of the game’s overall quality?
Personally, I hate seeing a game given an 8.8 rating. Or a 68/100. What decided those random 2 digits that kept it from being a 9 or a 70? It seems pretty arbitrary to me, and doesn’t seem to accurately relay the information that I find most crucial when making a decision about Super Mario Galaxies or Barbie’s Pony Adventures.
So, what do you guys find most important whenever you read or watch a review of a video game? What helps you identify with a score the most? Is it a letter, a number, etc? Are there certain categories like graphics, sound, replay factor that you have to know about? We’d like to get you, the early users of GamerSushi, involved in this discussion.
We have a pretty good idea of how we’re going to proceed, but we definitely want to hear from you guys. You’re all pretty smart. Except that one guy. You know who I’m talking about.