Jimquisition: Metacritic Isn't the Problem

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Metacritic Isn't the Problem

Oh you poor, sad little cretins. You are all so wrong. Always. Forever. Jim Sterling illuminates your path, but what good does that do when you refuse to open your eyes? Oh, he's so much better than you.

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Telegram from Capt. E. Blackadder.

Dear Mr Chaplain. Stop. Have discovered only person in the world less funny than you. Stop. Name Jimquisition. Stop. Oh and one more thing, please please please. Stop.

I like how Jim is outright flaming his haters on the site.

Also while i had no problems with Metacritic to begin with or even now its nice that i have another, realatively well argued reason to dislike Activision.

Three posts in and two of them are flaming, you're really picking up here Jim.

You make sense of course, meta-critic itself doesn't choose what reviews it hosts on its site, it just hosts. Nothing wrong with that.

Still don't like Jim's delivery style. That said, kudos for saying what needs to be said. Some people get a little thick when it comes to game scores, because obviously if it scored low, it's a shitty game. /sarcasm

Publishers, If your game scored low it means it S.H.I.T. not that reviewers are running some sort of underground cult too undermine *insert publishers name here* it just means you should try harder next time and stop being fuck bags.

Was that a reference to today's supreme court decision? if so, kudos on the speedy response. If not, kudos on predicting the future.

It is really sad that publishers are stupid enough to treat their employees they way they do whenever there's a low score, it's ridiculous.

I'm surprised there was no mention of the 7-10 scoring system, especially since you write for Dtoid.

I'm not *quite* as surprised that some people still aren't getting the humour. (blame ganondorf)

Telegram from Capt. E. Blackadder.

Dear Mr Chaplain. Stop. Have discovered only person in the world less funny than you. Stop. Name Jimquisition. Stop. Oh and one more thing, please please please. Stop.

An old saying comes to mind... now what was it? Oh yes: "don't like it, shut the fuck up and watch something else."

OT: I agree, and its why I maintain that scores are useful. If I had something to criticise metacritic for though, it would be its intepreting of some sites scores - if its not marking out of a 100% or decimals, just leave it.

Beyond that, I find it useful in cases when I'm desperate to know how a game's getting on but don't want anything spoiled. Also helps to be able to see why reviewer X felt mechanic Z was not a problem, whilst reviewer Y thought it was and how that gave a lower score.

I suppose this is a good place to talk about one of your earlier videos where you were ranting at the people for comparing your reviews to metacritic.

I'm going to play devil's advocate for this paragraph. Metacritic is, generally, an average score that represents what a large majority of the people think. When a reviewer is compared to this score, it doesn't imply that every reviewer needs to be the same, it is to represent how well their score matches a large majority of the public. After all, that's who you're talking to.

But being measured on this point is, in my humble opinion, inefficient because it leads to something I like to call "Objective reviewing."

For anyone who doesn't know, this is bad. Objective reviewing often leads to more safe aspects of games getting better reception from reviewers than more daring aspects. For example, in Journey there is a rather interesting aspect of the game. In that the camera is controlled by the sixaxis rather than the right analogue stick. In fact, you don't touch the right analogue stick at all. I personally think this is brilliant and goes with the style that the game is going for perfectly. And I hate it when games try to shove in sixaxis controls. But the press member admittedly said that if he were objectively reviewing, he would have wrote off the idea as inefficient because the right analogue stick goes completely unused. But within the context of the game, it is great. It allows you to keep your thumbs where they belong and still control the camera in a leisurely, "flow" like manner.

So I say that we need reviewing to be more based on the experience given to the reviewer rather than judging the mechanics as they are told. And people who still compare reviews to metacritic are still idiots.

Metacritic should be used as a compilation of many different viewpoints and experiences from many different critics. There aren't any "wrong" experiences unless they weren't playing the game to begin with.

This is probably the strongest point you've made since you started on the Escapist. I completely agree. I didn't even know this was an issue pervading the industry until the whole DA2 debacle. The interviews I read with DA2's project lead were pretty unsettling... he kept going on and on about how they couldn't compete with ME2's "amazing" Metacritic score. Its all about numbers to those people.

I like how Jim is outright flaming his haters on the site.

Also while i had no problems with Metacritic to begin with or even now its nice that i have another, realatively well argued reason to dislike Activision.

After they attempted to sue tim schafer i don't think we have an excuse to NOT dislike Activision but yes obsession with 80-90 reveiws score and seeing below that being some kind of insult is the mindset that most publishers seem to have.

The real problem here is the pervasive reveiw obsession in the world of gaming, especially when it comes to pretty arbritrary reveiw scores. But once again Jim fails to realise that better people have discussed this at length before. and once again all jim is doing here is touching on some low-hanging fruit topic and using 60% of the video to insult everyone. Its like extra credits but if you had a 10th of the content and stopped ever 3 seconds to get cock-slapped in the face.

Jimbo, I really enjoy your videos here on this website, and I sincerely hope that you continue flaunting your massive ego at all the haters and continue unscathed, because it would be a shame if we were deprived of a relatively informative and funny series just because a bunch of people who just don't get the humor think they know better.

Good episode, what was that bit about the violent video game thing? Was that a reference to an earlier discussion on one of your videos or to the supreme court's decision today?

I didn't expect there're so many retarded people (that want to BAN Metacritic) that it would actually make for a jimquisition video.

Funny and insightful. We have a winner

I like this guy, he drinks your hate like sweet Arizona Iced Tea.

Seriously though the problem is with the developers. If they sign a contract that predicates a payment on a certain metacritic score they deserve what they get. If I was a developer I would tell the publisher to stick that contract up his ass because I have 0 control over what critics say. And double that considering 90% of the BAD things about games come from publishers constraining development time.

Apart from the useless resolution of the random trailers he insists on putting in the vids this show is great.

Big arse grin on my face start to end, only Feed Dump can do that too. Bonus points for being right too of course.

Some good points made here, but unfortunately a lot too much arrogance for me to actually like this video.
A little less ego and a little more depth on exactly why the misuse of Metacritic is harmful, and here I mean that in videogame reviews for some insane reason a '70' means mediocre and a '60' means horrible, and the video would have been much better.

Thanks for the warning, I'll keep in mind that only site contributors are allowed to insult people from now on! I shall move back to my life of being a sad little cretin.

Nice video. Good point, and I'm pretty sure that your image of Bobby Kotick is more accurate than any other out there.

A substancial part of the gamers and reviewers are rednecks that don't know how to count. For this peoples, in a scale from 1 to 10, 8 is in the middle. This is the real problem.

Yes! Shine forth your scorching light of unsealing truth Jim, and let your enemies be struck by your lightning of undiluted humour! *victoriously shakes fist*

Loved it, and you know, haters gonna hate.


(apparently Captcha now provides words that are upside down)

He's essentially right. And furthermore, you don't hear anyone complaining about how RottenTomatoes.com is ruining the movie industry.

As usual, a whiny minority seeks to change/ruin something for everyone else because they got their knickers in a twist of a perceived slighting.

I feel sorry for the guys who dont really have any criticism, they just bitch, or complain about Jim's obvious big bones.

But anyway, as always. And as you surely know Jim.

Thank god, for you.

'Kay Jim, you've kind of won me over. Still don't see why this was commissioned in the first place, but now that it's here I'm starting to really enjoy it. One thing though...why keep up the live-action segments? The audio quality nosedives, they're always worse than and disconnected from the recorded bits and they're visually boring (don't get like that, they would be even if you were prettier). Like most reviewers, you're a lot better at talking into a microphone than trying to ham it up on camera.

Easy fix, just don't take metacritic seriously. Find a few reviewers who share your views and trust their judgement, or rent the game and trust your own.

This industry takes itself too seriously.

Don't worry Jim. When you die, us loyal fans will just turn you into a zombie, or at least find a person who sounds like you and can use you as a corpse puppet. :)

Also, it is said that the people working on the games are all getting affected by some meaningless number. (I only talk about the number because somehow I doubt the people making this dumb decision are actually reading the whole review.)

I love Jimquisition's arrogant style, people seem to be taking him too seriously. I don't get all the hate he's getting.

I like the bits where its just a voice over, the rest is deeply irritating. I personally like Metacritic and use it as a handy guide to games I should or shouldn't buy. It's better than wading through dozens of long reviews and its often fairly accurate in terms of representing the quality of a game. Fable 3 and Dragon Age 2 both got 79(ish) which shows their relative merits but also their mediocrity when compared with expectations. L.A. Noire got 89, which, again, shows us that its a great game but not one without its flaws, and Oblivion got 94, which just shows its awesomness. There are sometimes mistakes (GTA IV) but that isn't its fault, it just averages numbers, its the fault of the people providing those numbers if a score isn't truly representative.

Jim, I don't dislike you because of your weight, but because of your style of delivery. Stick to the voice overs, they seem to be less theatrical and dickish.

Awesome, great video Jim, and I have to agree. I use metacritic all the time to peruse reviews of a game I want to purchase in one easy to examine database. It's when I hear Molyneux, Kotick, or others speak about how they are need a "90s metacritic game" that I get frustrated, because essentially it just feels like they are playing a simulation. Finish a game, check the score of the game, restructure based off of said score, repeat. It's diluting games by basing it solely off of the final numbers not what went into the game, or what people got out of it.

I always enjoy your stuff Jim, keep it up.

Telegram from Capt. E. Blackadder.

Dear Mr Chaplain. Stop. Have discovered only person in the world less funny than you. Stop. Name Jimquisition. Stop. Oh and one more thing, please please please. Stop.

Mr. Chaplain.Senet Studious.

Twise nightly screening in trenches exelent idea. Stop. But must ensist E. Blackadder be projectionist.Stop.

P.S. Don't let him ever.Stop.

I dislike Metacritic because I dislike the idea of numbers on a scale being used to quantify a game. Since there is no "perfect" game, then the score of a game in relation to a "perfect" score is useless. Since all Metacritic does is collect scores, it too is useless.

I'm much more interested in specific opinions reguarding what is wrong with a game, not "how many numbers out of 100" are wrong with it. Numbers are fucking useless to me, and I don't think anybody should make purchasing decisions based on it.

This is why I think "Metacritic is bad, and should go away."

Not because of "the negative impact Metacritic has, unfortunately and accidentally, had on various aspects of this industry," as Jim suggests. I agree with him on his stance reguarding that.

Let's say I get a message in the mail, like this, from Jim or a similar observer of popular culture.

The contents of the message could be poignant, topical, relevant and completely on the nose from my subjective point of view.

But if the envelope is covered in slanderous messages about my obvious lack of intelligence (since I'm not Jim) and disparaging remarks about my mom's performance in bed, written in human feces (because that's always funny), I'm not going to open the envelope.

Call me crazy.

The thing I don't get about Metacritic is this: that Metacritic uses a different scoring scale for games than it does for other media. And as such, the scale it uses warps reviews because of how they appear on Metacritic. Big example: Joystiq. When they launched their current design, they started adding scores to their reviews, in the form of 5-star ratings. They had their own scale that made perfect sense (5-stars is a must-buy, 3 is "buy if you like the genre", 1 is "avoid"). Then they started to notice that their 3-star reviews (again, "buy if you like the genre") were apprearing on Metacritic as "60", which was a bad review according to Metacritic. So, they had to introduce half-stars into their grading system to work around Metacritic.

Maybe to hit the point a little closer to home for Jim, I should point out this: Metacritic's scale is kinda bent around how IGN and Gamespot grade, i.e. not using the full 10-point scale. What does Destructoid pride itself in doing? Using the full 10-point scale. So, again, a game that Destructoid grades as "average" would get a failing grade on Metacritic.

Honestly, when it comes to movie review aggregates, I prefer Rotten Tomatoes to Metacritic. Why? Because of how they do their aggregation. They don't look at the score, yank that, run it through an algorithm to get an adjusted score, find a pithy quote that fits that adjusted score, then average those adjusted scores. They look at the review, judge if the review was positive or negative, find a good quote that sums it up, then they display the percentage of reviews that were positive. I honestly want a site like Rotten Tomatoes for games. I don't want my review aggregates trying to show an average adjusted score. I want my aggregates to tell me what percentage of critics liked it or not. After all, so many different sites grade on different scale, and trying to find a universal scale will just ruin it for everyone involved.

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