@sinfony Spot on. I’m not sure where the whole scoring thing went wrong, but it’s been broken since the very beginning of the games press. I’ve seen all manner of different approaches, and not one that works particularly well.

The trouble we had in the beginning was that most magazines defined a “classic” (i.e. a game that you must play) as 90%+, a “recommended game” as 80%+ and everything under that was “meh”. 70% and below became “average to mediocre” and you rarely, as today, saw anything below that mark unless it was really terrible.

Some publications experimented with adding up scores for graphics, gameplay etc to reach a score of 100, with more weight being given to, say, gameplay vs sound (30% vs 10% in the example I’m thinking of, if I remember correctly) but even then, that’s overanalysing something which is ultimately subjective.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that if there has to be a scoring system at all (and I think there probably, unfortunately, does simply because people just don’t read shit properly any more) then the five-star system a la movie and music reviews is probably the way to go. And no, I’m not just saying that because GamePro uses it. 🙂

I think part of the reason reviewers are so hesitant to give less-than-70% scores is because of things like the PR debacle with TopWare recently over Two Worlds reviews. No-one wants to piss off the PR companies because ultimately they’re the people who determine whether your site or publication gets to see new shit first. I also think that Gerstmanngate is still fresh in some journalists’ minds.

Also, some people are just not very good at being critics. 🙂