Hello friends, and welcome to the ancient tradition that is the system wars meta-game. If you've heard some crazy person referring to one of the best games in recent memory as a 'flop' or find yourself confused by an intense debate regarding official hype-readings, this might just be the thread for you.
Let's take some questions, shall we? First, the short tl;dr version. Longer reading may be found at the bottom of the thread.
- The System Wars Meta-Game is a long-held tradition of keeping score on which system has the highest number of top-rated games, with special preference for exclusives.
- ONLY GAMESPOT SCORES COUNT
- But Metacritic....
- ONLY GAMESPOT SCORES COUNT
- But yesterday on Eurogamer....
ONLY GAMESPOT SCORES COUNT
- A game is AAA, AA or A if it scores a 9, 8 or a 7 respectively. Or AAAA for a rare 10. E denotes an exclusive.
- As a system owner/fan, you want as many top-rated games as possible, which involves 'hyping' upcoming and newly announced games which you think are going to be excellent entries in your game library
- If a game is hyped up to be amazing, and it fails to meet that hype, it's officially a flop
- A flop is not a bad game. It can be a great game. It can be one of the best games of the year. But if it failed to meet expectations and its followers over-did it with pre-release hype, it's a flop. Accept it and move on.
- You are allowed to talk about metacritic/any other review as much as you like. It just doesn't count towards the meta-game.
- You do not *have* to play the system wars meta-game by any means if you'd rather just talk about games (but keep in mind it's been here as long as this board has, and trying to reject it likely wont get you very far)
- There is no such thing as 'official hype' and 'official hype poll' threads or similar are irrelevant. The extent to which a game was 'hyped' will always be debatable/open to individual interpretation
- But.... hype threads or polls are perfectly fine to use to throw a last-minute prediction out there, or to look back on for a source of ownage if individuals predict a certain score and the review crushes their dreams
That's all there is to it! There are no 'rules'. You aren't going to be punished for not playing along. But join in and you'll find system wars to be one of the more enjoyable pits of silliness on the internets.
Take your flops like a champ.
Read on for a little more depth, should you so desire:
The meta-game has evolved since the very earliest days of system wars and endured through thick and thin. In its simplest terms, the meta-game is a loose set of rules that the board uses to track how many top-rated games each new system accumulates during its lifetime. At the end of yet another generation of gaming, whichever system has the most top-rated games - with bonus emphasis on exclusives - is said to have 'won' the generation, regardless of sales or how filthy stinking rich it may have made its manufacturers.
AAA refers to a game which scores a 9. AA refers to a game which scores an 8, and A a game which scores a 7. Very rarely a AAAA game will grace us with its godliness, scoring a 10. Add the letter E to any of those categories to denote that it is exclusive to one system. Easy!
That's great 'n all, but for meta-game purposes we are only concerned with games scoring A and above.
First rule of the meta-game:- only Gamespot scores count. It doesn't matter what Eurogamer says. It doesn't matter that you much prefer the prose of IGN. It doesn't matter that metacritic is giving a very different score on average. Only Gamespot scores count. This does not, in any way, mean that you aren't allowed to talk about metacritic or use metacritic as evidence of how good or bad a game is. The meta-game isn't here to stifle discussion. But for the purposes of determining the definitive score of a game, for purely meta-game purposes....
Hype simply refers to how much attention a game is getting. Is it getting threads all the time every time a new tidbit of information comes out praising it as the greatest thing to ever grace gaming? Is it hotly anticipated? Are you seeing wild predictions about how it will change gaming as we know it? You've just found yourself a hyped game!
Hype can also be expressed in 'official hype threads', however system wars hasn't been too fond of this approach in the past and rejected the notion of 'official hype' when put to a vote. This does nothing to stop you making an 'official hype thread' should you so choose, but there is never really such thing as 'official hype'. The extent to which a game was hyped is always going to be open to debate and interpretation.
A flop is not a bad game. A flop can be an EXCELLENT game, even. A flop is simply a game which failed to meet its hype. So if something is hyped to be incredible, and it only gets an 8, it's a flop. A great game, surely, but a flop. It didn't meet the expectations of the good people of system wars.
The password to the Based System Wars Spreadsheet is classified information, and its maintenance entrusted only to the most venerable of system wars participants.
The spreadsheet will track a particular generation of new systems which are in competition with each other, not every system in history. The slate is wiped clean with each new generation.