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JSuarez

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#1 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts

Thanks for the blog posts gakon5.....I did not know they existed until you posted them...

Well, I have to admit that reading the blog posts actually only further reinforces the idea (in my mind, anyway) that the review system should have been kept the same...

One thing I noticed in the second blog was the idea of "fearing change" came up often (at least twice that I remember)...even though "this is the first time in its 11 year history" that the ratings have been changed, I am certain the weighting of the ratings has not remained constant over the years...as far as the fear of change, I think that is too convenient of an excuse to defend this change...kind of lame really IMHO

Another thing is the idea of "lets make it easier" also comes up a lot....what is so hard to understand that an 8.3 is slightly better than an 8.2? Again, a finer gradation is more desirable than not IMHO...

Third and last for now...hey, the medal system is cool, BUT WHY IS IT NOT AVAILABLE FOR USERS? The medal system does add some more "fineness" to the ratings, but as far as I can tell, it is not available to us rank and file users who want to voice their own opinions (or give their own medals)....and if I'm wrong about this I apologize in advance :blush:

Gamespot can do whatever they wish...hey, it's their site...but it simply seems to me that theyhad a nice tool and made it "dummer." I also think they are trying to cater to their base, whoever that may be....why would an entity change something without a reason?;)

(EDIT: Hey I really like the new spell check system! No complaints about that...)

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#2 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts

Hi again Skylock00

The new review system actually gives a deeper reason to justify and 'trust' the score, the actual written review itself, with a brief summary at the front end, and a video review to go along with the others in higher profile games. Skylock00

I don't agree, but I suppose we can agree to disagree, eh?

The old system was structured in such a way that the score had NOTHING to do with what the game might directly deserve as an overall score, but was a forced result of a system of weighted scores that didn't really matter as much anymore as they used to because of genres that have differences in importance regarding what makes games in those genres effective, period.Skylock00
...true, I seem to remember that somewhere it was stated the (paraphrasing) "the overall score is not an average of the five individual scores"...I'm not 100% sure where more weight was given...like mentioned before, the 0.1 (including the five scoring areas) was not perfect

I'm sorry you view it differently, but long story short, your viewpoint on how the weighted system worked and such is more or less wrong here, and your way of viewing the scores in general is not correct against what GS's intent of the scores themselves. .Skylock00
OK, lets read what "GS's intent" is (italics added):

Our Rating Scale (Post June 25, 2007)

We rate games on a scale of 1 (the absolute worst) to 10 (the absolute best). The rating we assign to each game is intended to give you an at-a-glance sense of the overall quality of the game relative to other games on the same platform. However, we encourage you to read our full reviews and watch our video reviews to give context to our ratings.

Our Rating Scale (Pre June 25, 2007)

We rate games on a scale of 1 (the absolute worst) to 10 (the absolute best). The rating we assign to each game is intended to give you an at-a-glance sense of the overall quality of the game relative to other games on the same platform. However, we encourage you to read our full reviews to give context to our ratings. Our ratings are generated from the component scores that our reviewers assign. That means the overall rating is not a pure average of five component scores--some components are weighted more heavily than others. GameSpot has consistently applied this same rating formula since we started.Gamespot

...I'm not seeing how my view is "incorrect" here, or your view is "more correct."GS issaying that the overall intent of the scoring system is to give the user an "at-a-glance sense" of the game relative to other games on the same platform...so what is wrong with a finer shade of grading? Don't students prefer to have a B+ as opposed to a B, an 8.9 as opposed to an 8.5? Also, to throw out an argument without support is perhaps a little lame, but I digress ;)...Not only that, but check out what I put in bold, the fact the "Gamespot has consistently applied this same rating formula...." so now, they are throwing out the baby with the bathwater and their ratings after June 25 will NOT be in line with what they have done all along (although I will grant that scoring has differed over the years...check out scores from 1996 to 2001, and then to 2006, and it does seem the weighting is different...again, I stated that even the 0.1 system is not perfect)...

Your music analogy also doesn't work. I know this because music is something that I kind of deal with as a profession. Let's take your analogy and put it in the context of how GS used to work. All music will be rated based on a 5 catagory system, with EVERY genre being rated within the same five catagories with the same weight for each catagory, regardless of the fact that some music genres have no relevency to some of these catagories at all, or others require different catagories to have different weights to accurately demonstrate what the standards are for that genre of music. Such a system cannot work in the grand scheme of things, because it assumes that all music has the same focus on the same aspects of music at all times, which is what the old scoring system was based on.Skylock00
...ah from one professional to another, how-do-you-do ;)...ALL music has rhythm, even those that seemingly don't...even if a piece has no start and no end, it still has rhythm...ALL music has timbre, ALL music has dynamics, etc...now, again, the 0.1 system wasn't perfect, but what I said was that "in essence" Gamespot was giving us "the elements of Gaming"...I did not say that it was an exact correlation, and to suppose that is just that, supposition. And speaking of every genre...YES INDEED, one CAN apply rhythm to ALL GENRES of music, as well as any other element of music...and Skylock00, I challenge you to present a piece of music that does not have one of the elements in it, and we can discuss it :) but again I digress

To claim that a Music-Rhythm game has the same standards and weights regarding how it is viewed as a strong game in its genre as opposed to an RPG is crazy, because these genres have completely different standards about them, and it's unfair to rate a Music-Rhythm grade as if the music/audio part of the game was the least important aspect of the game, which is what the old system essentially was claiming.Skylock00
...now, here I tend to agree that it is somewhat unfair to pit DDR vs. Oblivion, and it would be better to judge games against their own genre (although then it becomes difficult when you have cross genre games)...still, if you have a rating system, this goes with the territory...there is always some arbitrary element in grading...trust me, I know ;) Still, as an individual, I like to think that I have a fair sense of a game's sound charasteristics and I can give a grade based on my experience of playing games...When I give a game like Civilization a grade of 9 for sound, it might be just as much because I felt the tunes were well composed as much as the "quality" of the sound...again, as an individual, it's my call, just like any official GS reviewer would have to make their call....what I am really arguing here is that the less gradations one has, the weaker the overall grade is...in this case, like I said earlier, we now don't have the why behind the rating, imperfect as the why was in the past.

You even said: "Not only that, I beg to differ that the sound is more important than the graphics....if it looks like crap, it probably will not be as fulfilling an experience (there are occasional exceptions to this rule)...sure the sound is the core of the rhythm games, but the better the graphic presentation, the better the package...."So, by your own words, you asserted what I claimed in the first place regarding audio being more important than graphics in a music/rhythm game, since it is a significant core aspect of the game's design...so why shouldn't audio be held with more weight than graphics? Graphics help the package, but the sound is the focus of the genre.Skylock00
...so, then give DDR a 10 in sound because you think so! Why can't an arbitrary 10 for DDR in the rhythm genre = an arbitrary 10 for Oblivion in the RPG genre? If it is to you, then make it so! Of course sound is the core of the rhythm games, because you need sound to dance/play to them, NOT that it's more important in a grading sense...a game with crappy graphics has crappy graphics no matter how important the sound is to gameplay....again, really what I'm arguing is that by removing ANY CHANCE of fine grading, the reviews suffer...

Instead of doing something even more convoluted (which would be essentially having different sets of weights on a genre by genre basis), GS removed these catagory scores because ultimately they were counterproductive to how one would score a game. Now, games are given a rating based on what it deserves as an overall product, taking into account the varients of platforms and genres freely without restrictions, and then justification for the scores are given by the summary, emblems, video review, and written review.Skylock00
...one user's "convolution" is another user's "treasure" becuase "the devil is (always) in the details"...and who is to say that the rhythm games will not now suffer because of a bias against them, where before, they may have actually done better in the old system...what if the reviewers decide that rhythm is out, and RPG is in...now, all we will have is the single score, and not the justification why, even if not an averaged score, the score is what it is...

I am not going to argue this stance further, as I've gone through with it with several users repeatedly already by this phase. Skylock00
OK

In closing, I am not too fond of email as a form of discussion...these points presented here could be discussed much quicker in person, and let it be known that I'm not flaming Skylock00 (BTW I encourage folks to check out his links and his music...cool stuff!), but just arguing my points to make sure that they are clear...

GAMESPOT, PLEASE BRING BACK THE 0.1, FIVE TIERED RATING SYSTEM! :)

JSuarez

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#3 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts

You don't get what I mean, Suarez.Skylock00

actually I think I do,but lets go on...

What I'm talking about is since the mid 90's, we've seen genres come out into the market where the balance of importance/focus between the gameplay/sound/graphics areas are not in a manner where sound is the least important aspect of a game, or when the graphics are even less important to the genre than they normally are.

Case in point - Music/Rhythm games. In these games, sound is highly important to the rating, and is more important than graphics, as the presentation is always a nice touch, but the audio quality as well as music selection are much more important factors regarding the quality of a game as a music game. Skylock00

this is what the 'tilt' rating is for: to balance out any inquities in a given area....as a matter of fact, even though it is hard to compare a "rhythm game" with a "strategy game," they both have sound (or a lack therof) that could be arbitrarily rated...look, I gave Pacific War a rating of 4 for sound, even though the only sound is this anthem that starts the game off, but even though it was small, it was decently done, and I've actually heard worse! Not only that, I beg to differ that the sound is more important than the graphics....if it looks like crap, it probably will not be as fulfilling an experience (there are occasional exceptions to this rule)...sure the sound is the core of the rhythm games, but the better the graphic presentation, the better the package....

Here is another point, speaking of music....the elements of music to be precise...when learning about music, one learns that all music has rhythm, dynamics, timbre, tempo, melody, and harmony (and all of these can be purposeful or non-purposeful in various shades)...even if it's a one-note hip-hop bass, it still technically has harmony...with the ability to grade sound, graphics, gameplay, value, and tilt, in essence, Gamespot was giving us the "elements of gaming" to determine each individual game's strength/weaknesses....now, everything is lumped together...it's like saying that Run-DMC and Elvis Presley are exactly in the same category, and now we must just slap soime non-meaningful number on a game and be happy with it...there are reasons why each of us place certain games above others, and the 0.1 scoring system (EDIT: with the five categories) allowed that to happen.

However, the old system forces the reviewer to rate the game in these catagories with the same weight as any other genre, which simply didn't work..Skylock00
....heh heh, NOW IT'S EVEN WORSE, because we won't know why Dance Dance Revolution got a 9.0 as compared to Oblivion's 9.0, let alone the fact that "I" would have given DDR a 8.9 and Oblivion 9.2...instead, they now both look the same!

I'm not saying that the catagories became less relevent, I'm saying that the weighting of the catagories became less relevent, which is absolutely true given the genres that have popped up over the years. For all intents and purposes, the old formula-based system was a broken means of assigning a score to a game.

Skylock00

To get even better ratings, it probably would be good to look at games within a genre (or even sub-genre) to compare as opposed to trying to judge as my example above shows (DDR vs. Oblivion)...obviously, I disagree that the old system was "broken"...not perfect, but definitely not broken....now, we do have a rather broken system that will be abale to be controlled even more to decide who gets the better ratings or not, and I must admit I will not be as trusting of the new rating system..basically put, the new rating system does not give us the why, it just expects us to trust it...yeah, whatever! ;)

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#4 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts
Every aspect of the forumla was weighted out. The way it was done so was in the following fashion (weighing based so that all components add up to ten):

Gameplay - 3/10

Graphics - 2/10

Sound - 1/10

Value - 2/10

Tilt - 3/10

I believe this was the way it was done, and one of the problems was that this implied that these catagories had to be weighted the same across all games in all genres, which became less and less relevent as time went on, and genres that either were less focused on graphics, more focused on sound, and so forth came forth in a manner that made catagory based scoring less meaningful.

That's one of the main reasons why they moved to the current system, to remove a more or less broken means of measuring and rating a game, that was also done in a fashion that really wasn't going in line with GS's mentality of what scores should stand for, and how they're treated.

Skylock00

Hi Skylock00...I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that issues like graphics and sound quality have become "less relevent." The "tilt" rating was designed to offset less desirable ratings in areas like graphics, and even games like Civilization IV (still seeming relavent based on sales and longevity) probably don't have the same level of graphics of say Oblivion, but they are different and need to be rated accordingly...even now, not all games are 3D-realtime shooters, and (once again making the point) having less grading options dilutes the quality of the rating. Hey, there are still games being released with crappy sound quality, too! ;)

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#5 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts

JSuarez, it's interesting that you say you used to read CGW (aka now GFW). IIRC they used to use a 0-5 star system. That didn't bother you?

......(getting out my cane and geritol, which I'm probably sooner to than I care to admit).......

To be honest, once they started having the online site, it didn't bug me so much (having the simplified rating system in the mag), because I could always just come online.....IIRC, this website was first marketed as an add on to the magazine, like an extra bonus to the written material...I still have nearly every mag I got, and I do go back into them occasionally.....for example, I still have the November 2002 episode handy with the XP tweak guide....blah blah blah

The ratings system change, IMHO, is just another situation where things are being "dumbed down"...I'm as goofy and silly as the next guy, being able to enjoy banal humor, games, etc., however, I notice that there is a general lack of sophistication in most games, with an attempt to employ "flash over substance"....mind you not all games are like this, but many many more are...I could go on, but the point here is, Gamespot, please bring back the 0.1 rating system!

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#6 JSuarez
Member since 2003 • 25 Posts

Chiming in here (and I'll try to keep my flaming to a minimum ;) )

I've been a member of Gamespot online for exactly 4 years now, and I suscribed to Computer Gaming World for about 10 years (1995-2005)...I'm happy to see old games from over ten years ago and their ratings still up on the site, and I've even reviewed some of these old games, being the first user to review them, and sometimes even the first PERSON to review them on this site....

That said, I do lament the fact that GS has decided to go to a 0.5 point rating system....it IS important to have that extra fine shading in a score....it's kind of like when you buy a game, and it's good, but you know the devs could have done more in making it better, and so it feels half-done....this is the same effect the 0.5 system will have. It may have the unintended effect of resulting in lower scores for games because users may feel like a game is worth 7.9, but because they don't feel it's an 8.0, they will give it a 7.5 instead. Why change a system that was in place for four years, let alone in use by your magazine for much longer....it appears this will be for ALL reviewers, even your official ones....this dilutes the quality of the review IMHO....please consider going back to the 0.1 method. (EDITED for writing errors)

I've said my peace, thank you

JSuarez