When I was a kid, games didn’t matter to me; I just saw them as an expensive form of entertainment. Back in 2002, I started watching TechTV to appeal to this gamer that was growing inside of me. On this network, I started watching this program that was called Extended Play featuring a guy that appeared to be balding but still had some hair on his head. In this show, the host would review games with a five star scoring system.
Soon, I became addicted to reciting what the scores were as I started watching every episode; sometimes multiple times. Since 2002, I’ve broadened my media coverage from a small TV show to multiple websites on the internet looking at different scores.
Around 2006, I started realizing that some reviews on different websites weren’t given scores similar to X-Play’s score, so I would immediately call them out. Eventually when I started writing about video games, I realized how arbitrary these scores were. When Yahoo Games UK posted their review giving Batman: Arkham City a six out of five score, video game scores became obviously irrelevant to the rest of the Internet.
How can Yahoo give a game a rating six out of five? Perhaps to just attract hundreds of thousands of views? The real question is: why does this even matter? Gamers like knowing that their favorite franchise gets high scores. Nintendo fanboys have the privilege of claiming that Ocarina of Time is the best game of all time since it has gotten the highest recorded press score according to MetaCritic.
Outside of claiming your franchise or corporation is better than others by comparing these arbitrary scores, why do these scores matter? Truthfully, they don’t matter at all; except to give lazy gamers a quick review without having to read anything more than a few words or a number.
Reviews attached to those scores truly tell the tale as many reviewers or bloggers give games incorrect gaming scores according to what is said in their review. Recently, there was a review I read from N4G that seemed like the game was going to get a 4 out of 5 but ended up getting a 2 out of 5 rating.
Review scores are about as important as a third fork at Applebees: an unneeded add-on to the review. The text of a review explains why the game is good or bad; not a number that is given. The score symbolizes a summary of the review. The review score is meant only to give game companies something to put on to their box art, and for comparison to other games within the same game genre.
The only number that should affect your decision of your gaming purchases is the number in your checking account or in your wallet. To let a review score dominate your purchasing decisions is ignorant; you may go back to read that review after you’ve purchased the title to learn that the reviewer suggested the game to only a niche audience in which you don’t apply.
To summarize: read what words are said in a review, as the number score means nothing.