EZA review scale changing to numerical system

  • This is probably for the best, the out of 10 system is so ingrained that the stars never really caught on. It's just one of those things where to trying to change it is like trying to swim up stream.

  • I disagree strongly with this change.

    From a purely emotional perspective the stars are part of the EZA brand for me. To lose them means giving up a major part of its identity, and that's a bummer.

    But it also doesn't even make sense within the context of their explanation.

    This is not a site that reviews bad games. We will never, ever see a game rated 5 or less. So what's the point of making the scale bigger?

    Further, numerical scales always invite comparison in a way that stars do not. reviews will always fall apart when you start comparing them, especially across different reviewers.

    This must be due to some outdated notion that Metacritic in any way provides visibility. It doesn't. Think of other sites on the same strata as EZA - how many use 20 point scoring scale? How many score games at all? Not Kinda Funny Games. Not Giant Bomb.

    You're removing something that makes EZA unique and replacing it with something that has no benefits. It's impossible to be happy with that.

  • I'm firmly in the camp of "scores are dumb and anything beyond a buy/rent/pass rating is a waste of time" but I get that such a thing doesn't gel with metacritic scores which is all most people (not the reviewers or the people on this board, but I mean at large) ever care about, so whatever. The only thing that actually matters is the review itself anyway.

  • Ya, I'm also in the camp of not really caring about the actual score but I'm glad they made this change for themselves. Clearly they didn't like how the star were thought of by aggregate sites and probably viewers too so now being able to get those a bit more accurate will help.

    As for the people that did complain that too many reviews were 4 stars or whatever, I really just don't get that complaint. It would be unbelievably negligence to just give one game 3.5 and another 4.5 just so the overall score spread of EZA reviews could be more diverse.

    For me, nothing changes, the words have always been the most important thing.

  • 10 points, 100 points or any system is stupid if you don't use the other half the scale. I fully support a 5 being an mediocre game. This isn't academics.

    The real problem is that the industry is so stuck in their ways and it would be risky for any reviewer to change the system with actually scoring an okay game with 5. It would anger publishers, your review would be pulled and you would be talked to by your higher ups. Because a 5 on any 10 point scale looks like complete shit because that's what we're so accustomed to with reviews.

    I dont think it really chsnges to much except that 10 points is cleaner to deal with and for ppl to understand.

    I would rather no scores and ppl read. But I do also like quick figures. With how limited I am for time for games I usually don't buy less than a 9 and am already liking what I hear. So scores work against publishers for ppl like me.

  • @cgamor7 said in EZA review scale changing to numerical system:

    The real problem is that the industry is so stuck in their ways and it would be risky for any reviewer to change the system with actually scoring an okay game with 5.

    With how limited I am for time for games I usually don't buy less than a 9

    Better start buying more 5's then

  • @tokyoslim said in EZA review scale changing to numerical system:

    @cgamor7 said in EZA review scale changing to numerical system:

    The real problem is that the industry is so stuck in their ways and it would be risky for any reviewer to change the system with actually scoring an okay game with 5.

    With how limited I am for time for games I usually don't buy less than a 9

    Better start buying more 5's then

    Lol. Hey I buy 7 and 8's too sometimes if it's game I want. Those are pretty much 5's.

  • @cgamor7 But they're not. That's the irony. The pattern of behavior you're describing is exactly why nothing below a 6 matters. There is no functional difference between a 1 and a 5 because neither are worth your time. a 5 might be halfway up the scale, but it's much closer to 1 than it is to 7. That's why we are where we are!

  • @TokyoSlim And that's why 10 points is useless. If nothing under 5 is if value then why use it at all. What's wrong with a 5 being an okay game? You can then use the numbers in between to be more meaningful.

    To many games are 8's that are just okay. Having a 7 8 9 to tell you the difference between a low good game vs a high good game. As for now scores are completely meaningless except 9 and up because it typically means they did something exceptional to be there.

    Overall id rather scores go away and you read the review. Or at least a rubric measuring different areas of the game.

  • @josh-bossie EZA does on occasion review games not so great (There are several 2 1/2 star reviews) but in reading your assertion that, "We will never, ever see a game rated 5 or less," I can simply point to Huber's Umbrella Corps. Review.

    Granted, it was a game in a franchise he deeply cares for, but there is precedent. (If you don't want to click the link, he gave it one star or "Terrible" by the now former standards.)

  • @CGamor7 I agree. That's why I feel that NUMBERED REVIEW SCORES are generally useless. The scale and granularity of an individual review in numerical form doesn't matter. There is no more of a difference between an 8.5 and a 9 from any one person on the current scale than there is between an 8.5 and an 8.6 on a 100 point scale because it's all just arbitrary values on a line that isn't accurate or consistent from game to game or reviewer to reviewer. The judging criteria changes and the number applied is a distillation of a "feeling" .

    If 7's became 5's industry wide overnight, less people would buy those same games, because why would you buy a 5?

  • I just hope that all my thoughts were well represented by someone in whatever group meeting was had to determine this shift. I'm ok with my position being overruled by the majority that wanted to change, but it would be nice to know someone at EZA takes this seriously and is willing to stand up against the tyranny of numbers.

  • @TokyoSlim I dislike the tyranny as well, however, we live in a world that represents things a particular way, and when you're just a small part of it, the best you can do, sometimes, is fit in.

    Me, personally, I follow reviewers and outlets. I read and listen to full reviews. The number means nothing to ME, the message does.

    But, to aggregators, to skimmers and to those who don't care to hear the whole message, the 1-100 scale (whether it's 1-100 or 1-10) is the way the world works. Won't change how I look at the reviews, which I look at as a whole, not as a score.

  • @brannox said in EZA review scale changing to numerical system:

    After re-watching the video, I'm kind of surprised that they didn't implement quarter-stars instead of half stars; keeps the current star system, but adds the 20-point scale.

    shrugs shoulders

    It all doesn't matter anyway. Only the Allies' thoughts on the games themselves.

    It depends on how aggregate sites translate the score, that's a big part of why I'm sure they're doing it this way now, this allows them to have full control over the score they want to give.

    Otherwise, no big deal to me either way. Most of the time I've already played the game they reviewed by the time they get it posted so I haven't found myself ever waiting for a score to make a decision from them or anyone.

    If this helps them get a review out quicker with a score they're satisfied with then all the better.

  • @zylowolfbane I agree, and I only pointed out quarter-stars because of the logic stated in the video. When Mr. Jones says, "Most multiply our score by two," and "The reviewer thinks 4 1/2 is too high, but 4 stars is too low," then 4 1/4 does the job: Keeps the stars, intros the 20 point scale, is between in this hypothetical instance, and 4.25 x 2 = 8.5.

    But again, it's nothing more than talking points as the decision has been made. For the most part (not all of us certainly), I'm seeing the same response of (and I'm paraphrasing of course) "Whatever helps the reviewers better deliver on their reviews to their liking. The numbers really don't matter and we care about substance, not a number."

    And most of the time, I have been generally within a half of a star, if not right on, in terms of guessing the score while listening/watching the review, which in itself is a clear indicator of both the quality of the game AND review. I watch every review, and most of them are games I'm not into, but I like how I can learn how good/bad a game is with their words, not numbers.

  • One thing I vehemently disagree with is that the stars are part of their identity and that without them, there's some huge change occurring. In the end, it's still a group of 9 individuals that produce content we like. Done deal. I'm not going to suddenly be confused as to what is happening in the group because I didn't see some stars flash before my eyes at the end of a review, just like I wouldn't stop knowing what McDonald's is "about" when they change their slogan. If you're on the side that numbers do not matter, sure, I see your point, but this whole loss of identity angle makes little sense from my perspective.

    The most important aspect of this for me personally is this is a change (most of) the Allies want. They didn't cave in to immense pressure from the community, it was a sense of contention within the group for awhile and they obviously put a lot of thought into making this change. It wasn't rushed or forced, it was wanted. I give what little funding I can to the fellas because I trust in them and trust they will continue to make good decisions and create content that I like, so when they make a decision like this, I'm trusting they are doing what is best for them. If they don't like the results, I trust they will put their brains together and come up with another solution. At the end of the day, nearly everyone here has said the words matter more than the numbers, so we're putting gasoline on a non-situation.

  • I dislike this change, but I empathize with the metacritic argument. Still even with all that considered, I want to keep the stars!

    "Why not do both?"


    Seriously. EZA could display their star score at the end of the video as they do now, and then some time after that display an out-of-ten score in a less grandiose fashion.

    To me this works because:

    • Aggregate sites get what they want.
    • EZA retains a very nice piece of their image
    • once in a blue moon the reviewer can nitpick over the decimal increments they want to give it. (I think this reason is given too much weight but I do understand that it genuinely happens.)

    I'm going to quote my own youtube comment here but The recent Frame Trap https://youtu.be/5nEQWkrA-rc?t=2h36m25s had an email with the best defense of the star system. Put simply, the email explains that stars are perceived as a "general mark of quality". If you don't want to click the link to hear the well spoken words of that commentator yourself, I'll briefly summarize that he went on explain that a "3 star" carries with it a decent perception and a "2 star" is not a damning indictment (contrary to the out-of-then scores). I found this to be a very valuable insight.

    I also have two final random comments that aren't really important but I'll get them out of my system now:

    1. I find it confusing that the video in the OP starts off by saying something like "we used stars to get away from nitpicks". To me, a 4 star, 4.5 star and 5 star is already the maximum amount of nitpickery I want from a score for a "great game". Personally, I want the text of the review to be the place for that fine toothed criticism. I like it when everyone involved worries less about the particular score.

    2. I also find it confusing that a reason against using the stars is (to paraphrase some allies) "we don't like it when people multiply by 2", but implicitly I am supposed to believe that the in the new "out-of-ten" scale they are going to be giving "3 star scores" just as often as before. I won't be upset though if EZA starts handing out inflated scores like everyone else. It is "okay" in some sense to cave into the way other sites handle out-of-ten scores, but specifically the messaging here is confusing.

  • i don't like the stars or the 10 point scale system.

    my favourite type of scoring system i've seen so far is the way GameXplain does it. rather than having a silly points system, they just focus on the review and then at the end they tell you if they either loved it, liked it alot, liked it, thought it was meh or if you should avoid the game.

  • I'm not too fussed either way, but I'm a little concerned after the Dissida review I watched this morning.

    The score didn't seem to match the words in the review at all. The word "too" comes up a hell of a lot and overall I get the impression that this is a below average game that is not fit for purpose.

    Don't change the system to a 20 point scale if you're not going to use the scale.

    The reveal wipe is crap too. Need at the very least some added audio effects, but come on, you're about to score the game, it should be flashy, like the slick star reveal.

  • admin

    @hazz3r It really doesn't have anything to do with the scale change. There's always going to be some element of "review not matching text" perception from time to time, just based on what people choose to talk about. It's easy for it to take a lot of time to describe infrequent problems, and not have as much to say about constant strengths that are good but not necessarily outstanding. Plus, Damiani will often have a lot of gripes even about some of the best games ever made.