ARE WE TOO GENEROUS WITH GAME REVIEWS?

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On the scoring system of games on this website, three stars is described as average. However, it seems as if four stars is the average score given to games. Go to the games page, scroll down, and count how many games have four stars, four and a half stars, and five stars VS games with three or less stars.

This means that either every other game on this website is the next Undertale, or we're all too generous with our reviews. I know for a fact that I'm guilty of being a bit too generous with my reviews, and I know that a review I've gotten of my game is way higher than it probably should have been. Be it that this is just a friendly community of people who want to be nice, or that we're just afraid of what people might say to us if we give their games bad reviews, I think we often give games on this website more credit than they're worth.

However there could also be multiple other reasons for most games seeming to have four stars that I'm not taking into consideration. I'm open for discussion on this, and I'd like to hear the opinions of people with opposing views. Feel free to brutally murder my post.

Edit: We've come to the conclusion that most games probably aren't four-five star reviews. The reason that it seems that way simply being that more popular games get more attention, and therefor get bumped to the top, leaving the less-popular games at the very bottom. Special thanks to PentagonBuddy for going out of their way to make a nifty pie chart about the whole thing.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20992
As long as the reviewer articulates their reasoning for their score, I don't see the issue for giving a game that reviewer enjoyed a 4, or even a 5. What the issue could be is that there is only one review for that game, maybe two. Games with a lot of reviews (How many is "a lot", exactly?) should mean that the rating is more accurate to what the quality of the game might actually be. However, games with multiple reviews get more and more scarce as the number of reviews for a game go up.

Let's take the recent stat-thread.

##################################################################
### NUMBER OF ACCEPTED GAMES WITH A DOWNLOAD WITHOUT A REVIEW ###
##################################################################
1016


##################################################################
### NUMBER OF ACCEPTED GAMES WITH A DOWNLOAD ###
##################################################################
2783

So, I read this as: out of the 2783 games that can be reviewed, 1016 of them don't even have one review! How many have one review? How many have two? Three? Four? As a point of reference/consideration, let's take a look at the games with the most reviews on the site.

##################################################################
### GAMES WITH MOST REVIEWS TOP 10 ###
##################################################################
Hero's Realm: 17
Forever's End: 17
Wither: 15
Pom Gets Wi-Fi: 13
Love and War: Act I: 11
Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer: 11
Star Stealing Prince: 11
HOME (OFF fangame): 11
Alter A.I.L.A.: 10
Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis: 10
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
All games deserve two stars at best, because they are products of a sin-cursed world.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12986
This is entirely dependent on the reviewers, and it's not something that's necessarily due to some "fear" of backlash from giving low scores (I sure as hell am not afraid to do that, at least), moreso it likely has to do with the perspectives of the reviewer themselves.

Some people will play a game and like a lot of things in them, other people with different levels of attention to detail may slam a game based on those minor details.

Compare this review with this one of the same game. Both reviewers clearly look for different things when playing games, and some are harsher than others.

As far as a possible solution to this? I really don't know. IMO maybe we should do away with a star rating system? It would get people to pay more attention to the reviews themselves.

EDIT:
author=Sooz
All games deserve two stars at best, because they are products of a sin-cursed world.
I agree with this. :P
author=Marrend
As long as the reviewer articulates their reasoning for their score, I don't see the issue for giving a game that reviewer enjoyed a 4, or even a 5. What the issue could be is that there is only one review for that game, maybe two. Games with a lot of reviews (How many is "a lot", exactly?) should mean that the rating is more accurate to what the quality of the game might actually be. However, games with multiple reviews get more and more scarce as the number of reviews for a game go up.

Let's take the recent stat-thread.

##################################################################
### NUMBER OF ACCEPTED GAMES WITH A DOWNLOAD WITHOUT A REVIEW ###
##################################################################
1016


##################################################################
### NUMBER OF ACCEPTED GAMES WITH A DOWNLOAD ###
##################################################################
2783


So, I read this as: out of the 2783 games that can be reviewed, 1016 of them don't even have one review! How many have one review? How many have two? Three? Four? As a point of reference/consideration, let's take a look at the games with the most reviews on the site.

##################################################################
### GAMES WITH MOST REVIEWS TOP 10 ###
##################################################################
Hero's Realm: 17
Forever's End: 17
Wither: 15
Pom Gets Wi-Fi: 13
Love and War: Act I: 11
Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer: 11
Star Stealing Prince: 11
HOME (OFF fangame): 11
Alter A.I.L.A.: 10
Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis: 10



Yeah, that makes sense I guess. Another contributor I thought of could be that bad games don't get a lot of attention, don't get bumped, and therefor it only appears as if most games get 4-5 star reviews, as the games people care about often get bumped to the front page.
author=Sooz
All games deserve two stars at best, because they are products of a sin-cursed world.
me too
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4773
author=InfectionFiles
No.
Yeah I see where you're coming from.
Well, since most games on here are a lot more fun than Undertale, maybe most of them deserve a higher score?

I actually think that RMN is the opposite of what you're asking about. Since reviewers here need to write actual reviews, instead of just giving a "thumbs up". There are a lot of games on the site that have less than 2.5 stars.

Like everyone has said and will continue to say; it depends on the reviewer. Now when I think about, I do feel that I was unfair to myself when I wrote my latest opinion. I feel like I should've given the game 3.5 stars instead of 4, since there were some issues with the game that I never took up in the review.

I'll probably go back and update the review some time during this week.
I beat the ever living shit out of reviews whenever I see them so no.
I don't think that the loose scoring system of voluntarily-written reviews on a site like RMN is really comparable to the aggregated scores on something like Metacritic.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4773
author=Pancaek
author=InfectionFiles
No.
Yeah I see where you're coming from.

I dont know anything about your knowledge of this place and will assume you haven't seen review drama or been part of it around here. That would be something fun for you to delve into.

And I don't mean to sound like a dick, not my intention. But while this place has some fluffy reviewers it also has those(alot) who aren't.
It's probably just because higher rated games get pushed to the top because they are good. Some shitty games get pushed too and sometimes it's because of review drama.

I'd say it's pretty balanced. There's more complaint of who is reviewing what and why.
author=InfectionFiles
I dont know anything about your knowledge of this place and will assume you haven't seen review drama or been part of it around here. That would be something fun for you to delve into.

And I don't mean to sound like a dick, not my intention. But while this place has some fluffy reviewers it also has those(alot) who aren't.
It's probably just because higher rated games get pushed to the top because they are good. Some shitty games get pushed too and sometimes it's because of review drama.

I'd say it's pretty balanced. There's more complaint of who is reviewing what and why.


Yeah, I mentioned that "higher rated games get pushed to the top" thing in my reply to Marrend, and I think it very well could be the case. I'd also rather stay away from drama, rather than to delve into it.

No, you don't sound like a dick. I created this post for the purpose of hearing people's opinions.
author=SgtMettool
I don't think that the loose scoring system of voluntarily-written reviews on a site like RMN is really comparable to the aggregated scores on something like Metacritic.


Yeah, that's fair. Although Metacritic scores are probably even worse, considering the fact that they value the opinion of critics depending on how popular they are.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
1237
A lot of people only review games they liked, thus those scores will be high.

There's much more to this data than black and white, there's a lot of factors to take into account ;)
author=iddalai
A lot of people only review games they liked, thus those scores will be high.

There's much more to this data than black and white, there's a lot of factors to take into account ;)


That makes sense. I never thought it was black and white, as I stated in my original post there are probably a lot of factors that I hadn't thought of.
I went through the list of full games, sorted them by score (from 5 to 0.5), and did some counting. I counted 1572 reviews scored 5 to 0.5 and here were the results:



This was very informal so I would not be surprised if my numbers are a little off.

Only 28.3% are scored 4 stars or higher, and 48.16% lie between 2.5 and 3.5 (so a little below average, average, and a little above average)

That being said, the amount of 3, 3.5, and 4 star reviews are very similar, so I could see why it might seem that 4 star reviews are especially common.

Most games have 1 review or less, which means that the opinion of 1 particular reviewer can determine...well, the entirety of a game's score, if it even gets one. I think people who have strong opinions are more likely to bother contributing a review, too. (These are numbers I found out previously but am too lazy to get the spreadsheet atm...)

Personally, I tend to leave unrated reviews, but this is something I'm trying to change when I review a game with no previous reviews/I actually have feelings about some kind of score. It's kinder to the developer's makerscore (though probably not their feelings if it's a low rating).
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4773
author=iddalai
A lot of people only review games they liked, thus those scores will be higher

This is a good way to say it.

Otherwise you get "if you didn't like it, why play and review it"
author=PentagonBuddy
I went through the list of full games, sorted them by score (from 5 to 0.5), and did some counting. I counted 1572 reviews scored 5 to 0.5 and here were the results:



This was very informal so I would not be surprised if my numbers are a little off.

Only 28.3% are scored 4 stars or higher, and 48.16% lie between 2.5 and 3.5 (so a little below average, average, and a little above average)

That being said, the amount of 3, 3.5, and 4 star reviews are very similar, so I could see why it might seem that 4 star reviews are especially common.

Most games have 1 review or less, which means that the opinion of 1 particular reviewer can determine...well, the entirety of a game's score, if it even gets one. I think people who have strong opinions are more likely to bother contributing a review, too. (These are numbers I found out previously but am too lazy to get the spreadsheet atm...)

Personally, I tend to leave unrated reviews, but this is something I'm trying to change when I review a game with no previous reviews/I actually have feelings about some kind of score. It's kinder to the developer's makerscore (though probably not their feelings if it's a low rating).


Thanks for the info, this is actually pretty interesting, whether the numbers are exact or not.
kentona
That thing you want but never who I am
20863
author=InfectionFiles
No.
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