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The Removal of Review Scores

I’ve been thinking a lot this week, mainly about the 8-10 page essay I have due sometime in May, and about finishing the Dragon Age 2 review that I have started. I’ll be walking to school or glazing over my Economics text book, formulating sentences and thoughts in my head about what I want to say in the review. They seem like great points, though they never evolved into actual text which disappoints me, since whenever I tried to recreate them, they feel different.

During the busy week of thinking, I have also made the conscious decision to again change my review scale, which will now not include any score at all. Before I thought scores were important, but looking at how they affect the gaming industry overall, I think its better that they didn’t exist. It’s not longer as important to publishers and developers about what is being said regarding their game, the score is what seems to confirm their hard work. And since I do read reviews from multiple outlets, it’s also confusing why one site has the review ready on day one, and the other site has it weeks later.

I thought the late reviews was related to lack of staff or time, then I heard how one site doesn’t always receive reviews copies from publishers, because their five-star scale doesn’t translate well to MetaCritic’s 100 point system. The five-star scales aren’t meant to be translated; it’s supposed to be interpreted the way it was originally intended. Now the reviewer that I depended on to provide their insight on a game was left behind because their review scale isn’t good enough, in this industry that is slowly being controlled by meaningless numbers. It almost makes the most important part of a review – the text – feel like a secondary source to the given score.

So from now on I write. I put together reviews and concentrate on words and sentences that best describe my feelings and experiences with a game, not write a review to match the score I have given. It’s a weird feeling, I feel confident in my reviews, not the fear of having words that don’t match the picture or meaningless number at the bottom of the page. I wish I didn’t just write about review scores this entire article, I wanted to talk about Bayonetta which has been preoccupying my time recently, and all the games I have been playing on my newly acquired iPhone 4.  There is nothing grabbing my interest between now and L.A Noire’s release day, so I hope to actually finish that Dragon Age 2 review and that essay which I should finish before I throw myself into L.A Noire’s world.