Author Topic: RPGFan policies/guidelines/protocols for commercial RPGM titles (est. 10/2009)  (Read 37067 times)


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I guess this is as good as any other place to mention it, but I find that RPGFan tends to give high scores to most games they review, not just the RPGM stuff. I rarely see any scores under 70%, and usually the reason that happens is because the game was truly filled with programming/porting issues like Grandia 2 or involved really stupid design choices (FFXI: ACP). Even then, the score is probably in the 60% range somewhere. I think I've only ever seen 2 or 3 scores in the 1-50% range on the site, all of them coming from Editors that I don't believe work around here anymore.

I pretty much agree on that (do I think that Champions of Norrath is as good as Ar Tonelico, which has about the same score?  No, but then I prefer that sort of game more.  Objectively speaking I couldn't say Ar Tonelico would merit 91% even though I loved it), but that isn't to say the inflated scores are necessarily a bad thing, you just have to realize that they are pretty much all high.  On a site that I rely on the most for anime reviews, the person in question scores very highly on most titles (anything below a B+ is EXTREMELY rare).  On the other hand, if you are an ardent fan of something or another, the odds are you won't quibble as much with the foibles as the general consumer would.  But really you can't as a conscientious consumer rely on any one source as the sole reviewing place either.  

Although the fact RPGFan even reviews independent RPGs is somewhat rare.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 07:22:46 AM by Ryos »
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With reviewers, it is largely a matter of taste as well.  There is a human factor where we use intuition and gut feelings when formulating opinions on games, or anything.  For example, Pat Gann scored Rhapsody DS in the 90s and gave it an Editor's Choice, but if I were to review that game, it would have probably gotten something in the 70s and certainly would not get a gold star from me.  On the other hand, you have something like Crimson Gem Saga where everything Gamespot's reviewer hated about the game, I rather liked.   Kinda like with teaching, you could give the same essay to two different Language Arts teachers and one would give it an A and the other may give it a C+.  

Indy- I think it works the opposite as well.  People tend to be most enticed by extremes so if a game they are interested in gets below a C grade or above a B grade, they'll want to know why it was so bad, or so good.  Kneejerk reactions and all that.  Any hate mail I've gotten was either because a reader felt my score was too high or too low.

I think most games period fall into that B-C range, and it's more pronounced since there are more RPGs released than many of us can keep up with.  It's like a Bell Curve where the majority part of that bell is the 75-85 range.  Most games fall within that range and truly spectacular and truly awful games are the outliers.  The black and white.  I think most games fall into that big ol' grey area in between and in varying degrees.  And even looking at sites like Metacritic or Gamerankings, RPGFan's scores usually aren't too far off from the rest.  

blackthirteen- no offense or anything like that taken.  You brought up a very valid point and I just replied to it.  At the very least, the record shows I thought about it.  
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Our mean average for all editor-reviewed scores is an 81%, according to GameRankings.

I think we're up-front in that we use a school-based grading system. Maybe half the numbers are "wasted," but in a school setting, how often do people get less than a 60% for their overall output in a year? Very, very few people. And they tend to drop out.

Similarly, most games that WOULD deserve a score that is failing (50% or below) probably get thrown aside before ever making it to published status.

Anyway, I think it was Hathen who said he's only seen a few under 50% scores, and from people who don't work here anymore. A quick check netted me these: -- 35%, written by me. -- 43%, by John McCarroll. - 48%, John McCarroll. -- 40%, Kyle Miller. -- 46%, me. -- 45%, me. -- though 58% overall, an awesomely-low 5% story score. From Ashton Liu.

Those were all written in the last 3 years, most of them in 2009. And all by current staff.

You see we don't really go under the 40% mark. But if you know of an RPG that you really think blows so hard as to belong in the 0-30% range, please tell us the name and I'll happily play enough of it to agree with you and write the review. Lord knows there are some free-to-play MMOs out there that deserve it...I just can't stomach the thought of sinking time into them.

Regarding grading philosophy in general, our take is that if a game makes it to market, it will generally have SOMETHING of redeeming value to it. Someone can find something to like. A game that gets under 50% means it's SO bad or SO broken that no one can enjoy it. NO ONE. There are very few games that meet that criteria, don't you think?