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TA star ratings sytem broken - scores all too high

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10-01-2012, 10:32 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,408
Not sure how I missed this thread, but I'd just like to weigh in as well.

Eli, by virtue of being THE No.1 iOS gaming site, whether you like it or not, you have to take pride in the ratings you give. You don't just dish them out like you're serving sushi or burgers at a restaurant. TA has a lot of influence in the iOS gaming sphere, and as such responsible it must be in meting out review scores. I must quote a line from Spiderman here: "With great power comes responsibility".

I, like many others here, hope you will change your seemingly indifferent attitude towards game ratings. 5 stars, contrary to what you may want to argue, should only ever resonate with a perfect game (or at least a near-perfect game). The gameplay, graphics, controls...they all got to click together.

While, yes, 5 star ratings will always cause controversies due to people's very own likenesses, I was alarmed that TA gave 3 games a 5 star rating within 24 hours a few days back. 3 in 24 hours....can you believe that! Yet, if you go around asking the average TA forum-er, he'd say it was a week like any other, if not poorer, in terms of quality of games.

However, I will side with Eli on one thing - the high-end lopsided score. The Verge's mobile game review policy explains it better than I ever could: "By only reviewing games that we find interesting, that means that the vast majority of mobile game reviews we publish will be positive. For those who like scores: it'll be very, very rare to see a mobile game rate lower than 5 out of 10. " Hence, I will not fault TA for lopsided scores edging towards the high-end of the scale. Also, Eli's claim that no game which deserve lower than 2 stars deserves to be reviewed is also very true.

Having said that, I hope TA stops giving 'average' games 4 star ratings. In a true 5 star spectrum, 3 stars should be the average. And like Ares mentions above, this is not average in terms of all the games available, but the average amongst all the decently polished games (i.e. non-garbage/trash). I respect your balls in giving games like DT and TASM 2 stars. They rightly deserve it. But because so many worse game have gotten 3.5, 4 and even 4.5 stars on TA, people always react in anger and frustration. Consistency in meting out ratings is the key here.

And oh yeah, please save 5 stars for the game that really makes the hair on ones back stand. It isn't too late. Doing a slight revamp/rethink in the ratings distribution won't hurt a soul. Doing a predominant 3 - 4.5 scale will give 4 tiers, while the really bad ones get 2 and the mind-blowingly good one will get 5. This will, in my humble opinion, give game review scores more credence.

PS: I apologize for the long-winded post. I just couldn't contain myself. I look at TA as the bastion of iOS gaming, so I just wish their editor/writers take more pride in the review ratings.

PSS - New thought:
Would it not be better to give a breakdown? I don't know how viable this is, but just break it down to gameplay, graphics, sound & controls.

Last edited by defred34; 10-01-2012 at 11:34 AM.