Sometimes, I wonder at just how useful a source of information like Metacritic is. I mean, you give people the ability to write and say anything they please about any topic, and you inevitably get properly useless comments.

Take, for instance, the user reviews for games like Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. Lots of zeroes, and admittedly, lots of tens as well. But seriously, while many of the complaints about both titles have their merit, an overall rating of zero seems a little extreme, as are many of the tens that are used to counterbalance the noughts.

To give something zero out of ten means that you found that it was completely crap, unplayable, nonsensical, not fit to be anything resembling its intended purpose, not just because one aspect of it annoyed you. It’d be like giving life zero because you had to share your toys with your little brother. Annoying, admittedly, but surely you could adapt?

One of my friends has said that he doesn’t trust the professional reviewers anymore because of perceived journalistic biases. Well, that may be true, with allegations (by some in the community) of EA paying off sources, but I’d trust the rest of the population far less, simply because they’re anonymous and you don’t know what their game is.

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2 thoughts on “The value of zero (and ten, even)

  1. Depends what side of Metacritic you look at. I only really look at the critic scores, but then there’s an issue there because most of the games wouldn’t receive anything below 50% unless there’s something horrendous about it. For statistical purposes you should eliminate the top 5% and bottom 5% of responses for your rating purposes to even things out, which would take care of the 0s and 10s, but then there may be an element of losing statistically valuable info too.

    In the end though I take a zero or a ten as a straight thumbs up/down indicator, with value judgements to be made yourself.

    (Of course, with patching these days, games change from release with every patch. Destiny on release was a 6 or so at best, but with recent patches it’s easily an 8. It’d need to have a story patched in to get any better there, but progress!

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