Scoring systems? SCORING SYSTEMS!? A thing of the past, my friends! Unless you count Gamerscore. Oh, we’re talking about reviewing. Well, then, I suppose it goes double.
Why would you score a review? Why on earth would you even consider this, unless you’d recently taken a severe blow to the head that had crippled your ability to think rationally? No one’s going to read your boring words if there’s a number at the bottom of the page that does all the thinking for them. I fear I must press my tongue into the flesh beneath the lower lip, stare at you and go “BELLLLLM!” in the manner of an 11 year-old boy chastising a dear friend for their lack of taste regarding which Doctor Who was best. BELLLLM! Of course it wasn’t Colin Baker! BELLLLLLLM! OF COURSE YOU DON’T SCORE A FUCKING REVIEW.
Deep breaths, Mid-Boss. Just breathe long, slow and easy.
Thing is, obvious as this may seem, it’s not that easy—the great unwashed (Ha ha! No, not the GameCola staff! You, the reader! No, not the GameCola staff!) like scores. As ascertained previously, they helpfully bypass the necessity of forming an opinion on the merchandise in question, saving the receiver no small amount of effort.
GameCola scores out of ten. So far, so standard. Thankfully it also prides itself on making “five” (that is to say “five out of ten”) the average, as opposed to the more commonly used “seven.” Anything below five is below average; anything above five is above average. Simple, eh? No. You see, GameCola actually scores out of 100. All the way from big fat zero to 9.9.
Nine point nine.
That’s the pinnacle. That’s the best that gaming gets, folks. Seriously, don’t hang around waiting for a ten. There’ll never be one. Would you like to know why?
OK. First, a little back story. Edge is a popular and influential British magazine about gaming and its culture. It’s also bollocks, but that’s another column. It, too, scores games out of ten.
An Edge ten is a huge boost for a game. Until recently, only a very few games had managed it: Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Gran Turismo and Halo. In the last two or three years, The Orange Box, Halo 3, Bayonetta and Super Mario Galaxy have joined it. There may well even be others. What an amazing few years we must have had, eh? Ten years of Edge with only four tens, ever, then that number’s doubled in the space of just a few! Astonishing. Either games are improving or Future Publishing is regressing even further into a disgusting cesspool of corruption, but that’s another column.
Edge is able to give games ten out of ten, because that’s all it is. Ten points. Out of a maximum of ten. GameCola does not currently do this. As I explained above, GameCola scores out of 100. Decimal points, you see.
What fresh hell is this?
What’s the difference between 6.3 and 6.4? What manner of insignificant gameplay feature is going to cause a reviewer to say “Ah, I was going to give this a 4.1, but that feature I’ve just seen has pushed it up to a solid 4.2.” It’s a demented, archaic system. Not to mention the “averaging” that goes on. The reviewer’s individual scores for the various facets of a game are tallied up and averaged to make the final score. This, sadly, does not allow the reviewed items to be more than the sum of their parts, which is often the case with the medium of videogames.
However, all this hand-biting has a purpose—discussions regarding GameCola’s scoring system have been taking place recently, and hopefully a consensus will be agreed on that will make what’s already a great site even better.
Oh, and by the way, it was Sylvester McCoy.
Until next time, Sodies—
The views of Mid-Boss do not necessarily coincide with those of the rest of the GameCola staff.