@Glassjawsh: Compared to the time spent actually writing a review, the amount of time deciding on a number is never going to add up to a lot. Most of the time you have a number in your head for what it's going to be. After all, before I go into writing a review I already know whether or not I liked the game, and to what degree. When I said I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the number, I mean I'm not sitting there going "Is this an 85 or is it more of an 86. Hmm, the dilemma." That is just ridiculousness.
As I said the Overall is probably going to get the most thought put into it, but what really is the amount of time spent. Five minutes tops? I'm hardly going to give it a score that's completely contrary to what I said in my review.
Also I'm not trying to make games sell when I write a review. I might like the game and hope it does well, but I never let a commercial factor seep in. You are right that scores influence how many copies a game sells, but all I care about is making sure that my opinions are represented as defined by myself. Not compared to another reviewer either on RPGfan or elsewhere.
Well it should take shape if it's a good review, so I don't agree there.
I will agree I liked a positive, negative or neutral scoring system better, which we actually do for DLC content.
Now I feel back at step one because that was my whole point is some of the reviews didn't take that shape correctly compared to what the person was actually saying in the review. There is quite a few of them that I feel that way and the biggest problem with them is that they are not giving the truly good games as much justice as they deserve if some rag tag game is rated only a couple percents under them.
That's already been explained as because you're comparing two different reviewers who have different tastes and differing scoring systems. You need to look at reviews on an individual level. If the review is good and answers your questions to satisfaction, what a completely different game was given is irrelevant.
I'm not trying to be antagonistic here (It's 4am in the UK and I might not be on the right level of tact), I'm trying to give perspective. It's actually really good to write for RPGfan as your given practically total freedom to say how you really feel, and when it goes through editing the proof-readers really try to keep your voice. I think a lot of readers really enjoy RPGfan reviews because they feel really honest, but the flipside of that is your going to have wildly different reviews from person to person.
Let's take for example a review that I wrote and a review that Kyle wrote for the same game, Bravely Default.
If you read both reviews, you will find our opinions don't differ nearly as much as a glance at a scoreboard might appear. We both likes the same things, we both disliked the same things. No major disagreements. It's just a matter of degree. If you actually take the average of the scores Kyle gave the review you come up with 80% which is 5% above what he gave it, and pushes the game into a different "level" of quality than he didn't feel comfortable giving it.
My average works out as more or less what I gave it, though I promise you I didn't calculate that at the time, just a happy coincidence. I merely knew I was going to give this game 90% something and did it. In short: Our reviews are pretty similar, the scores not so much.