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Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers

Posted: October 25, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/55954/sesslers-soapbox-i-hate-numbers/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/286819_LGST/soapbox-10-25-11.jpg
Video_55954
Adam uses the response to his Uncharted 3 review to talk about his distaste for applying numerical values to the quality of creative works.

Comments are Closed

  • beebeebee

    This is how I feel about Bioware games. Trying to apply numbers to emotions (approval ratings or whatever you want to call it) to character relationships is just plain retarded.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 12:09 AM
    beebeebee
  • Shepard_Tone

    There is a huge problem with the rating system we have, but its there and it certainly makes a difference. I myself just seeing that 4/5 pop up when I clicked got very heated and I havent even played the game yet! Uncharted has become that franchise that you are going to defend and side with because it has touched a good deal of people. Just the way it seems to focus on cinematic story telling through gameplay has really resonated with gamers. It had so much hype that a 4/5 just seems to deflate that and has you saying "hey, hey, hey hold on now." The game comes out next week and I'm still excited to play and experience the game for myself. I have no doubt that its going to be fun and I guess I can judge for myself(which is what I do anyways). Reviews just come in handy on games that you may be on the fence about(something like a battlefield 3). Because they are huge investments of time and money.

    I do have a question though. Do games yall review in a franchise have to exceed there predicesors to get that allustriuous goldstar 5/5? Such as if the next Batman game to comeout cant quite reach the level of Arkham city, but the game itself is still very good. Just curious.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 12:01 AM
    Shepard_Tone
  • bigpaul

    its America Adam what did you expect we are a competitive country. Duh!

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:55 PM
    bigpaul
  • TGE0

    The numerical rating system is indeed stupid and makes a point of appealing to only those who are foolish enough to think that a you can gain ANY idea of the quality of something in such shallow terms.

    That being said I will take it a step further and say that the entire practice of comparing aspects of one game to another is horribly flawed. It leads to the the idea that you can cut a game apart and examine each tiny aspect and extrapolate that to an accurate view of the game.

    How about people just review that game for what it is and not against some useless scale or against completely separate games; The aspects of which should have no bearing on quality of ANY other game that is not directly related.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:53 PM
    TGE0
  • monkeyflip

    I don't think I've ever seen him so passionately upset. I agree with every word he said.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:48 PM
    monkeyflip
  • iGuy

    I have to completely disagree with this. What art and games currently have in common is that they are both sold and bought. Adam doesn't seem to understand what his job is. There is a dfference between critiquing and reviewing. As someone looking for a review I am essentially looking for an evaluation of the game as to whether or not it is worth the investment at full price. If Adam wants to simply critique games then that's fine too, and he can still contribute to the discussion but if he is going to continue to review games then their is an obligation no matter how difficult to try and quantify the quality of the game as a consumer product that will be competing directly with other products. The numerical score is incredibly important for this purpose as it not only determines whether a game is worth the full price investment of 60.00 dollars but also in comparison to the products it is competing with. If I am reading reviews of other products, for example a phone, part of my decision will include the price as the prices will differ. The problem with games however is that for the most part, they all cost the same. This further stresses the importance of the review in helping me to determine not just whether a game is worthy of a purchase but as to whether or not the game is more worthy than another one of its competitors. It is here where the numerical score is most crucial in discerning which among many will be purchased where financial restrictions will limit many in the quantity of games they can buy. This is both the purpose and importance of the numerical score and why larger scales than a five point are better as they allow for more accuracy and precision when comparing games from a consumer standpoint. A critique is essentially a review of quality without a comparison to price. I think it is also important to point out that in most cases art critiques will in turn set the price for the piece of art being reviewed or serve as a factor.
    Again, I have no objection if Adam wants to critique games, but as long as he is reviewing them, the score is part of the job.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:30 PM
    iGuy
  • spiralking04

    Agreed Adam. My suggestion for X-Plays new rating system:

    Horrible
    Bad
    Ok
    Very Good
    Great

    Uncharted 3 gets a Very Good!

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:24 PM
    spiralking04
  • jamaicaninja23

    the thing about this review is not the fact it go a 4/5 its the fact that what everything else thats get a 4/5 and a 5/5 i sometimes dont agree with those reviews. also everyone has pretty much got a taste of the multiplayer which was very much improved. giving this game a 4 out of 5 suggests that it is not as good as uncharted 2 even though everyone else says it is better and even if it was like a continuation of uncharted 2 that would have still been perfect to consumer. uncharted 3 is a complete package with competitive and cooperative splitscreen and a compelling storyline that will attract and keep most ps3 users busy through 2012. there has not been one game that has recieved a 4/5 by g4 that i have found fun and this is the reason why alot of fans are complaining about the score

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:15 PM
    jamaicaninja23
  • Tacoboy1111

    I agree in the ridiculousness of a numerical system for any created works. I generally read the reviews carefully of games I have an interest in but at the end of the day it comes down to a recommendation or not. Does this reviewer feel like this game is worth your time and money for that particular genre or not. I would prefer so much more if a review simply said "I would (not) recommend playing this title and this is why..." That's it.. no numbers, just actual opinion of the reviewer of the validity of purchasing or renting that title.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:10 PM
  • Gumakaa

    Suggestion?.... I don't mind the number system 'cause I buy games based on what I want to experience and what I like anyways... but due to the mindset of people and the stigma of numbers on our daily lives, why not use something like the Jereymy Jahn's system of movie reveiwing?... check him out in youtube you might get some ideas out off it at least... not as punishing as the number system...

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:09 PM
    Gumakaa
  • Namzor

    They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but a number definitely does not hold to that same axiom. I can understand they are convenient for the lazy or the extremely busy, who can barely find time to play the game, let alone decide whether they should buy it or not. But one must understand that reviews in their simplest essence are opinions and just like their counterparts, no two are the same.

    I have little animosity towards Metacritic but I mostly only look at the concentration of user reviews instead of the critics as they sample a greater proportion of views on a game. Take Duke Nukem Forever for instance, critically panned as a failure, yet look at the user reviews. Not the score of the game, but the number of positive, neutral or negative reviews. Its either a love it or hate it game with very little middle ground. Is it worth $60, most likely not to many, but should someone try it down the road, knowing what they are getting into? Read the good and bad, and decide for yourself. That's your power and responsibility as a free mind. Anyone who reads only one thing and decides that it is the be all, know all of decisions, will be sorely disappointed at one or more points in their life.

    Now on to the review in question, one cannot deny that Adam has an enormous amount of love for the franchise and gaming in general. You can definitely tell that by his words, both written and in the video above. He is just merely stating, how he felt the game could have been better, by addressing what parts were lacking, relative to the entire series. It is his opinion and he is entitled to it, and I applaud what I consider a very honest appraisal of the games strengths and faults. Which is what a review should be. As to the video above, I can understand his frustration with a system that he hates but is forced to be apart of due to his love of gaming. Keep doing what you are doing Sess and hopefully somewhere down the road people stop overreacting to nothing.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:09 PM
    Namzor
  • Fiddytree

    I'll be honest, I generally just look at the score and the pros and cons.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:03 PM
    Fiddytree
  • MetalX224

    wow he was angry, but thats good! g4 is the only site (excluding gameinformer, because its a magazine) that i trust with reviews, and adam is always fair. fanboys gonna hate.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 11:00 PM
  • AJtheSanch

    We live in an era where people crave simplicity and instant knowledge. But the problem is that simple knowledge, obviously, lacks depth. You can't summarize emotional response and the qualities of something in a sentence or two, and yet everything that's big now is trying to push us towards limiting our expression. Facebook, and immensely popular social networking tool granting each user the ability to communicate with all of their friends and colleagues at the same time. But you can't even type 500 words per update. Twitter is an even worse offender. It was better when we just had message boards and blogs, honestly. At least a discussion of some merit had a better chance of taking place instead of a "Like" to someone's comment about eating at the local bagel shop.

    Adam, man...I feel your pain.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:43 PM
    AJtheSanch
  • hoof_hearted4

    Sad thing number 1) G4 would lose a lot of viewers if they took out the number rating cause too many ppl look only at that, ppl are lazy and dont like to read anymore unfortunately. sad thing number 2) Adam has to make a soapbox explaining his dislike of the number scale and why he didnt give they game he reviewed a 5/5 everytime he does a review. its a darn shame hes an honest good reviewer.

    but maybe this is an excuse to do more video reviews. they used to have them for most games, now its only few and far between. its a lot easier to describe what you mean via verbal words then it is textual words, and a 5 page review can be said in a 5 minute video.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:31 PM
    hoof_hearted4
  • Asklepios

    Wanted to watch this before bed, now I can't sleep. I understand your opinion and I just think it takes some maturity to see a game for what it is and be open minded to other's opinions. Its just as important to go formulate your own!

    Anyway thanks for a sweet soapbox, looking forward to next weeks.

    P.S. Post pics of your new office(penthouse).

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:31 PM
    Asklepios
  • SawKick

    Numbers are what they are, numbers. They don't tell the whole story, they just set an expectation for what is to follow.

    If a game receives a 1 out of 5, there is a pretty good chance little will be gained by reading 1500 words describing it's god awfulness. That is outside of the raw entertainment value provided from reading about things that suck.

    There are certain franchise's, Uncharted being one of them, that provide such a flawlessly positive experience, doing anything less seems impossible. Uncharted 3 still might be a fantastic game. However, based on Adam's honest opinion and Uncharted's track record, fantastic is not good enough. Those types of games (AAA+ maybe) are looked to each time out to set a new standard others will be forced to follow. I mean, I was seriously depressed for a short time after reading the review. Not because I disagreed with it, but because there now is a possibility I might not have the experience I was hoping to with the game.

    Adam, I get it. However it's just empty frustration. Ignorance and stupidity cannot be helped sometimes. I would hope you could separate that from the genuine disappointment and frustration people are dealing with knowing a game they love has stumbled, even if ever so slightly.

    In closing, getting mad at people who can't read and only count to five is like expecting someone who owns Nickleback's entire catalog to all of sudden understand the definition of music.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:15 PM
    SawKick
  • SawKick

    Numbers are what they are, numbers. They don't tell the whole story, they just set an expectation for what is to follow.

    If a game receives a 1 out of 5, there is a pretty good chance little will be gained by reading 1500 words describing it's god awfulness. That is outside of the raw entertainment value provided from reading about things that suck.

    There are certain franchise's, Uncharted being one of them, that provide such a flawlessly positive experience, doing anything less seems impossible. Uncharted 3 still might be a fantastic game. However, based on Adam's honest opinion and Uncharted's track record, fantastic is not good enough. Those types of games (AAA+ maybe) are looked to each time out to set a new standard others will be forced to follow. I mean, I was seriously depressed for a short time after reading the review. Not because I disagreed with it, but because there now is a possibility I might not have the experience I was hoping to with the game.

    Adam, I get it. However it's just empty frustration. Ignorance and stupidity cannot be helped sometimes. I would hope you could separate that from the genuine disappointment and frustration people are dealing with knowing a game they love has stumbled, even if ever so slightly.

    In closing, getting mad at people who can't read and only count to five is like expecting someone who owns Nickleback's entire catalog to all of sudden understand the definition of music.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:13 PM
    SawKick
  • zacsimillion12

    damn. adam went H.A.M. on em

    Posted: October 25, 2011 10:09 PM
    zacsimillion12
  • tumbleweed64

    The amazing thing about the human nature to is to evaluate the based on an objective number but if the number was made a 4.5 instead of a 4.0 almost no one would complain. Adams review would then be read for it value of content. Its like a piece of gum for 20 cents or 4 for a dollar. 4 for a dollar just sounds better, "a deal" or rather a greater verbiage for our social and economical psyche.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 9:58 PM
    tumbleweed64
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