Metacritic and game length influence.

  • Just a curious thought and a question to the community.

    Lately I've found myself checking a games'/franchises' metacritic score and game length before deciding whether I should jump on board or not. It somewhat bothers me that I do this, and here's why:
    If most people like a game does is not a guarantee that you will like it. All it really says is "yeah most people enjoy this". When I get a game recommended to me or I get interested in a game, my decision can get swayed for better or worse by metacritic score.
    A bigger factor when trying to deciding on getting into a game/franchise is game length. If a game requires me to put several days of hours into it, I'm far less likely to make the jump. Making me possibly miss out on a game I might've thoroughly enjoyed.

    Do you get influenced by metacritic score and game length? What weighs in the most?

  • Let me guess: You end up buying a lot of open world games?

    I occasionally err and allow myself to be persuaded by review scores (Xenoblade) or industry hype (No Man's Sky). Almost as a rule, these decisions are poor ones. I have much better judgement with regard to my own tastes than anyone else, reviewer or no.

  • I have more of a RPG and JRPG problem than an open world problem. Loooooong games ahoy..

  • Score doesn't influence me.
    I mean one of my favorite games of 2016 is Mafia 3 which is getting a lot of hate and has a 69 Metacritic score while one of my least favorite games is Rise of the Tomb Raider which has a Metacritic score of 88.
    I always read reviews and judge for myself. Sometimes I don't even bother with reviews and just take the plunge.

    Game length can influence me.
    If a game is very short and has low content I will generally not pay full-price for it. I will at least want 8 hours of gameplay for a $60 game.

    What I value the most is if I want to play it or not. I don't really value the opinions of others that much when it comes to game purchases since I'm the one that's going to play the game. So if I really want to get a game I'll get it, even if it would have a metacritic score of 30 or whatever.

  • I have abolished Metacritic, it's imo not trustworthy and really just a lazy man's way to see if a game is liked by others, which to me personally is irrelevant, I bought games with a Metascore below 60 and loved them, I bought games with a score above 90 and was not impressed. I think I know best what I like and can often say from the 1st gameplay trailer if I care about a game or not. And even if I need more research, Metacritic is not part of it.
    Lenght is very dependable on the type of game, like from a JRPG I expect more than from an FPS, but from a shmup I expect less, a shmup is supposed to be played through over and over to learn the bullet patterns and eventually get the 1CC or even 1LC, and then do the same without using bombs, for that a lenght above 1 hour would be contra productive. Lenght for me isn't so much a decision factor if I purchase a game but how much I'm willing to pay, but that also depends on how appealing the game to me is overall, really nothing I can generalize.

  • Not in the slightest. I don't ever visit metacritic because I'm thoroughly convinced that I can decide for myself which games are and aren't worth my time. I'll stay up to date on what's happening with them, so it's not like I'm going in blind, but whether or not people enjoy the game as a whole is completely uninteresting to me.

    Because let's face it, it's a matter of taste. There are millions of people who like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Leage of Legends, and DOTA 2. And I despise all of those, because they simply don't match my tastes. Those are huge franchises, and yet they don't appeal to me in the slightest.
    Meanwhile I adore games that people would never even look at. We all like different things.

    So I look at a game, and if it looks cool, I'll buy it. Once I've done due dilligence and gotten a good grasp on what to expect of the game I don't care if it's 2 hours or 200 hours, rated 1/10 or 10/10. I'm the one who is going to be playing it, so why would anyone else's opinions on it matter?

    Not saying I can't be influenced by other people, of course I can. But it's specific people who I know have similar tastes as me already. If someone like that points to a game that I already looked at and dismissed out of hand, and says "Actually, it's really good." I might give it a shot. But the aggregate opinions of the internet as a whole?
    A world where that information is even remotely useful to anyone, does not exist.

  • I don't care about score or length. What matters most to me is if a game is trying to do something different. I'm much more interested in experimental games than I am in staid, AAA releases that aim for refinement over innovation. If a game is 90 hours or 90 minutes, I'm usually down. It is useful to know how long the game will take before jumping into it however.

    I will say that 95% of games are entirely too long though. Pacing is a huge problem across the medium.

  • Sites like Metacritic and Rottentomatoes are review aggregators, so they should never be taken as the be all end all for game suggestions. What matters most is finding critics or people whose tastes tend to line up with yours, and using their suggestions. In that sense, aggregator sites can be quite helpful, if only because you often have hundreds of reviews at your finger tips, which makes finding new critics that much easier.

    Regarding game length, I'm often in the same boat as you. Hearing that a game is super long will give me some pause, since I've gotten busier seemingly every year. That said, if a game is really speaking to me, I'll buy it pretty much no matter what. A good litmus test for me is to wait a week or two. If I'm still hyped on the game after that time, then I know it's not just an impulse, and that there's something else there.

    Combo example: I felt the urge to buy Donkey Kong or Shovel Knight recently, held off on it, then asked the community here (whom I trust) which I should get. Made a weekend of sickness way more enjoyable since I was bopping on some rude totems!

  • I've been picking up as many games as possible. My backlog is humongous so I don't feel the need to buy the newest games at launch unless I really want to support the project. But I keep picking up older games on the cheap. When it's cheap, i'm willing to buy all kinds of games, both good and bad. Eventually I'll get around to playing it and making my own opinion on it.

    Like Ian and Bosman said in the last podcast, I'd rate most games a 2. So I don't heavily rely on review scores.

    A games length is important to me. But I don't think game length dictates it's value. If a game is long with lots of padding that takes away from the overall experience. I believe a game should only be as long as it needs to be.

  • @matt I too have a huge backlog (I'm working on it though) which is why game length can put me off so much. I know I have a lot of games that I feel a need to finish.

    If I'm playing a long games I can feel a sense of guilt that I need to wrap it up quickly because I have more games to play. It's a stupid way of thinking, because the total time needed to finish my backlog will remain the same regardless of which game I choose to play.

    I still can't shake that feeling of being stressed while playing long games though, which is bothersome.

  • Global Moderator

    I don't really care about reviews that much, or well with that said I do look into what reviewers ARE SAYING about a game. But it also comes down to watching trailers/gameplay of a game before I buy it to see if it something towards my taste. I have played enough games to know what "type" I like and what things are offputting to me.

    The things that may have an influence on me are EZA's reviews and perhaps IGN. Length are important to me, but I am also a lot for quality over quantity and hate when games seem to just drag it our for sake of dragging it out, like "oh no the person you needed to see wasnt here, turns out they are on the other side of the world, go and get em, lol".

  • @Fridge-man I get it and can understand where you're coming from. But you just gotta remind yourself games are about fun. I try to listen to my mood and have a variety of games to playthrough at the same time so I can change it up whenever I want.

    Im having a hard time finishing Zelda Ocarina of Time. Everyone holds it in such high regard so I feel obligated to play through it at least once. But it really doesn't interest me that much. And I'm fine taking my sweet ass time with it. I accept that it's not my kind of game and have started and beat a bunch of other games while still working through Zelda.

  • @Lotias Padding can kill a game. Games that are more concentrated in what they do are far more enjoyable than games that drag things out for the sake of "it's gotta be X hours long.

    @matt One day, I will (hopefully) reach your level of acceptance!

  • @Fridge-man Sometimes I feel there's just too much good stuff to do out there to waste time on things I'm not enjoying. That goes beyond video games.

  • Banned

    If I guaged my interest in a game by it's length and metacritic, I wouldn't have played some of my favorite games.

  • Banned

    @El-Shmiablo I feel the same way about movie reviews on RottenTomatoes.

    I've watched some "certified fresh" movies that were garbage.

  • Metacritic no, but game length yes a lot.

    I'm pretty selective with what I buy, and specially stuff that I buy at launch, so I do think a lot about a game lengths before jumping in, reviewer scores I usually don't pay a lot of attention to, but I do pay more attention to user scores, I guess that it is easier to relate to the sensibilities of other users, if I can see that they are like minded.

  • As far as Metacritic is concerned, it is a review aggregator. This means that it simply polls together many other review scores from other game journalists into one universal score to give an overall view of how the game is being received by a large majority of people. In theory, this can be a good thing. However, you have to take all Metacritic scores with a grain of salt. Have you ever disagreed with someone about the quality of a game? Probably more than once. There is guaranteed to be a massive number of games on Metacritic with scores that you would believe are too low or too high. This is because those reviewers aren't you. You have your own tastes and preferences, and the things in a game that matter to them might not matter to you (and vise versa).

    The most effective way to judge whether you will enjoy a game or not before playing it is to first understand what you are looking for in a particular game. Make a list of your favorite aspects of a game. Or list the games that you consider to be your favorite. What are some of the things that they have in common? Once you have a relative handle on what you are looking for, find a reviewer that shares the same views of games that you have. Not all reviewers are the same. They are people, too. There is bound to be a few that you can identify with. Then when a game comes out, look to see what these reviewers are saying about it. Listen/read the scripts that they write and look for the areas of that game that matter to you. How did the reviewer say they performed? If they were satisfied with them, then you will probably be satisfied as well. Not all the people on this forum are here because they agree with EZA's views on games. Some are here simply for the community. Take that into account.

    As far as length, a limited schedule is a good reason for avoiding a lengthy game. A game's length has little bearing on its actual quality, however. Saying a game was bad because it was too short is like saying a song was terrible because it was only 2 minutes or a film was garbage simply because it didn't have a long enough run-time. However, if you simply don't have enough time to finish a game, then preferring a shorter experience is perfectly fine. There are people who have all the time in the world but don't like long games because they lose patience for them. That's fine, too. Don't let anyone judge you for your preferences. You like the things that you like. And there is nothing wrong with that. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

  • Scores never interest me, but if a reviewer happens to touch on something that I'm concerned about prior to buying the game like technical issues, then that gets my attention.

    And length of the game definitely matters, I never buy shooters that don't have a decent multiplayer for example, because I know the campaign is an average of 5-10 hours. 10 hours alone is a stretch, most don't even last that long which for $60 is not acceptable by any means.

    But I also have to take into account that most reviewers.....suck at playing video games, they really do. So when one of them says an RPG should take about 25-30 hours it REALLY means 20 max, and usually far below that.

    So I don't really go off of reviews for anything, it's nice as a reference when you know their opinions match yours but it's never enough to influence my opinion unless again there's something wrong with the game.

  • I don't give a crap about scores, nor the length. If a reviewer/person who I can relate to says that game is worth the price, I trust that opinion. And how I have determined which reviewers/personalities to trust? I looked their opinions/reviews of games I played before, and see how much I agree/disagree with their opinions. After I started to do this, I haven't bought a single game I have been disappointed with.