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After reading blaze6106's recent blog herding, I decided I'd like to elaborate on one of the questions Saint chose to ask. He asked, (or was it Masterassassin?) "Should the Media give out perfect scores to games?"
This question got me thinking. Is there really a perfect game? I went back on the Reviews Archive and looked up at the past games that have earned 10s from GameInformer
God of War
Grand Theft Auto 3
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Metal Gear Solid 2
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Resident Evil 4
Super Mario World
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 2
Call of Duty 4
God of War 3
Grand Theft Auto 4
Metal Gear Solid 4
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Their games are often regarded as "Perfect", but are they?
Now, I, and the gaming world, can say that every one of these games is amazing, legendary, untouchable...but are they perfect? I'm sure I can find a fault in ever one of these games here. God of War 3 told a lackluster story with an unfocused narrative. Bioshock's narrative takes a nose dive after the twist. Twilight Princess takes a few hours to get rolling. Grand Theft Auto 3 had god awful aiming mechanics. The list goes on.
But, all of the games I listed there have features and qualities that far surpass the glowing negatives. God of War 3 took the intensity up to 12 and featured the best graphics in a game I have yet to encounter. Bioshock was completely fresh and original with a shooter and a story. Twilight Princess showed a darker Link and, like Phillip Kollar said, is one of the best, if not the best, Zelda game. Grand Theft Auto 3 CREATED a genre of open world anarchy.
The Pioneer of Open World Chaos, Ladies and Gentlemen, GTA 3.
Like Blaze stated, a perfect game is all preference. I wouldn't necessarily give a 10 to Starcraft, but I wouldn't hesitate to give one to Chrono Trigger. Some games create a lasting impression on others, and some don't. Some games have a certain charm to them that appeals to gamers, others not so much. To me, Donkey Kong 64 is the perfect game. It made such a lasting impact on my life (see my Bio), so if I were to do a Retro review, it would receive a 10 hands down.
And that's where the main point comes in: Impact. No game can ever be technologically perfect. Graphics get outdated, mechanics are improved upon, and you realize just how bad the lip-syncing really was. Nevertheless, a game such as Final Fantasy VII, Mario, or Portal could easily warrant 10s. Final Fantasy was a game where most people suddenly realized "This game...its like a movie, but I'm PLAYING IT! Maybe other games can be like this!" And how much wonder did you feel the first time you played Super Mario Bros.? Portal created the most ingenious mechanic in a game since, like one said before me, the Russians started dropping blocks. Games like this may not be perfect on a technological standpoint, but its the heart and soul of the game which really makes it "perfect"
That's why I prefer the Game Informer rating system over IGN's. IGN rates games as just that: Games. They tally up scores from Graphics, Presentation, Gameplay, Audio, and Lasting Value to make an average. This justified their review for Deadly Premonition, a wince inducing 2 out of 10. Game Informer gave it an 8, stating that the graphics are horrible and the mechanics suck, but the soul and story of the game sucks you in. This also delves deeper into the "Are Games Art?" argument, but I'll shy away from that.
All and all, I'm saying that a game is perfect if you think it is. I only use reviews to place games on my wish list, but a perfect game is totally personal.
Well, that's 2 blogs in the course of 6 hours! Sorry if it is a little unfocused as I had this idea and instantly began to write.
So do you think games should be given 10s or Perfect Scores? Why or why not?