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scores almost always generate controversy...or at least mild outrage.
Whether a reviewer heaps hate on your favorite franchise (probably
Sonic), or loves a game you think is unplayable, at some point you have
probably taken issue with a review score. However, there is one number
on our scale that has proven more controversial than all the rest: 10.
The argument goes something like this: No game should
ever score a 10, because that number represents an abstract notion of
video game perfection that no earthly game could ever achieve. No game
is absolutely flawless, and therefore, no game can ever rightfully be
assigned a 10.That's total B.S.I agree that no game is
perfect – but perfection isn't the point. No one expects perfection in
any form of entertainment. Does the Academy only give Best Picture to
perfect movies? Is the Hugo award only bestowed upon perfect science
fiction? Of course not...perfection is impossible to assess, especially
when it comes to subjective media like literature, film, art, etc.
Games aren't any different in that respect.I've
awarded three 10s in my years of reviewing with Game Informer: God of
War, BioShock, and Metal Gear Solid 4. All three of those games – each
adored by critics and consumers alike – had problems. If you look hard
enough, you can always find a reason to say that a game doesn't deserve
a 10. God of War had too many button-press sequences. BioShock's ending
was a letdown. Metal Gear's cutscenes were too long.But do you
remember how awesome those games were? The first time the Hydra
attacked Kratos? Would you kindly? The return to Shadow Moses? Those
weren't just mechanically assembled pieces of a commercial
product...they were artfully executed moments that defined and changed
the way I thought about video games. At the moment they happened, I
thought "Wow...this is the coolest thing I have ever seen." What more
could you ask for? If you don't think a game full of those moments
deserves a 10, maybe you don't like games as much as you think you do.As
a reviewer, it is tempting overweigh the flaws, to rationalize yourself
off the edge. A 9.75 is still a fantastic score, and will receive far
less scrutiny and raise fewer eyebrows. But then, who are you really
serving? It's disingenuous to your readers, who are presumably reading
your review because they care (on some small level, at least) what you
truly think. It's not fair to the developer, who should be given proper
credit for creating such an amazing game. Also, it's not fair to
yourself, because you don't want to think back and regret that time you
didn't go with your gut. Of course, a lot of thought goes
into this process; just because a 10 is under consideration doesn't
mean it should automatically be bestowed. However, to withhold a 10
because of minor flaws (yes, imperfections!) is ridiculous. Sometimes a
game is so mind-blowing, so immersive, and so fun that it simply
deserves the highest possible praise you can give it. That's what a 10
is for, and it wouldn't be a part of the scoring system if it weren't
meant to be used.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Nice man I agree. The experience of the game is what the rating should be! If the game gave you a perfect experience, it deserves a 10! The game itself doesn't have to be perfect! Wow!!!!!
YEA MAN PEOPLE ARE REALIZING THE FLAWS OF GAMES
"The argument goes something like this: No game should ever score a 10, because that number represents an abstract notion of video game perfection that no earthly game could ever achieve. No game is absolutely flawless, and therefore, no game can ever rightfully be assigned a 10."
Wait, there's people still out there that think like that? Can't we like gather them all together somewhere and just grind them up for food or something? It wouldn't be that hard, they're suckers for those scores; just lure them out in the desert under the pretense that they're right and all will be settled. ^_^
Joe is a guy...
...with good things to say!
HEY!!! DONT DISS THE METAL GEAR CUTSCENES!!! that said, I think the reviewer is entitled to his/her opinion by assigning the score that he believes best fits the experience he had with the game. Those games were given what they were given because they were just that, great experiences, not imperfect ones. Nobody is entitled to agree or disagree, (or b*tch and moan). I dont personally think Grand theft Auto 4, or Bioshock are anywhere close to perfection (10's, more like 9's, crap there's my bitching) Thats not what I'm posting about, but they're great experiences, so who cares. If you agree or disagree, buy the game and come up with your own opinion, because we all know sonic's soul is probably dead, but he'll carry on forever in our memories.... provided you never played any game released after 2001
...or she had, crap, if the reviewer is a she of course
Totally agree. A 10 definitely raises my eyebrows but I do not get mad. I get excited because they are so rare. Not to mention, everytime your magazine has awarded a 10, it was well deserved. No complaints from me.
Totally agree, Joe. thats all ive got to say.
Man Joe, just you saying "Would you kindly?" makes me want to fire up BioShock. Such a great game.
Is this where I put all my jokes about the MGS 4 story/cutscenes and the crap I give joe for his score?
NO YOU WILL NOT SIR!!!... YOU ARE GETTING HATE MAIL FROM ME AND MY FRIENDS SIR!!!. now that I've taken care of that guy, When I saw a magazine picture of Joe Juba clean shaven in 2007, then saw a picture of him with a beard I was like :(). what does he look like now.
I was so opinionated, I accidentally posted the message somehow twice!
I get why some people would argue this. Perfection is non-existant. It's a simple rule of life. But knowing that, shouldn't we accept a ten as "it's almost there"? And be done with it.
I agree with the reviewer.
....all I know is that I love the metal gear cutscenes.... and I can cry If I wanna
This is why I'd be a terrible games journalist.
I'd be handing out 10s left and right. It's so easy for me to love a game for one amazing moment that it has, even if it's weighed down by flaws.
Is Snake shooting that dude in the crotch in that picture?
Well said. I have written numerous reviews and some have been harder to rate than others. I know exactly what you mean. You want to be fair to everyone, but true to your own, rightful opinion.
i wanna see the new magazine!!!wheres my copy joe???
you are compeletly right its not the flaws that make a game great its the moments of amazing where you cant believe how the developers fit that on the disk.I have never seen a 10 and I wish I saw more because when I see a 9.9999999 i dont exactly think about the greatness of the game itself im thinking what flaw could subtract o.oooooo1 from that score. There are not that many games worth a 10 but the ones that are should get that score no matter what.