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Should Game Of The Year Rely Solely On Review Scores?

The task of assigning Game of the Year Awards for any source is a little more complicated than it probably should be.

The biggest question many gamers ask is- "Why can't we just go by the review scores? Obviously, the highest one for any particular source should get Game of the Year." Well, that's not necessarily true.

For some of the bigger sources with many critics on staff, the end-of-year awards are a result of a collaboration. Hence, if the one person who, for example, gave Grand Theft Auto V an 8.5 was outvoted by all the others who claim it's indeed the top game of 2013, GTAV wins. Something similar obviously happened at GameSpot, where they just gave PlayStation 3 GotY 2013 to the stellar PS3 exclusive, The Last Of Us. The game only scored an 8 when it was reviewed there, and it was up against multiple 9-scoring titles.

One could argue that most of those other games were multiplatform, and one should give GotY for a particular platform to an exclusive production. But Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a PS3 exclusive, and that scored a 9. So did Guacamelee (exclusive to PS3 and Vita). So, what happened? Like I said, the rest of the staff must've stepped up and outvoted the original critic for TLoU. But shouldn't readers consider the review to be a product of the site and not of the individual? Granted, only the individual reviewed it, but it's published under the brand name of the website. Hence, giving a game an 8 and then calling it GotY for that platform seems illogical.

Then there's another problem- When a game comes out, it can only be compared against other existing titles. Obviously, when scoring Bioshock Infinite, there was no way to know what TLoU or GTAV would be like. So, doesn't this mean that games scored at the end of the year should be given more weight? After all, they were pitted against most all big titles from the year, while those great games in February and March didn't have much in the way of competition. Really, it's a lot more complicated than you think...

Tags: game of the year, goty, game of the year 2013

12/13/2013 11:24:50 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (33 posts)

Temjin001
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 11:47:38 AM
Reply

yeah, the bigger sites aren't a one man show. other editors probably weighed in, favoring TLoU.

EDIT: and if the whole product of the site thing were to be true then an editor shouldn't place their name on it. It should just be said it was reviewed by the staff of Gamespot.

EDIT 2: =p I also think TLoU, Bioshock, and GTA are all different offerings so Bioshock's release isn't going to change the standard of an open world game like GTA, nor is TLoU going to change the standard of a FPS-hybrid. Sure, indirectly a person could make comparisons where evaluating across genres could be approximated. But it's exactly that. one person's approximation of how one orange out weighs someone else's apple. this goty stuff really should be taken with a grain of salt.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/13/2013 11:54:51 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 12:01:02 PM

EDIT 3: yes!
and for me, when we're dealing with a group of seemingly equal games in quality and epic majesty I defer to selecting the game that feels to be the most significant offering in modern gaming. The game that says more about what the medium is capable of and may try things that are either rare or uncommon in gaming.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/13/2013 12:01:45 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 12:07:03 PM

Edit 4: You okay?

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Temjin001
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 1:57:56 PM

edit 5: okay-doh'kay!

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 11:58:01 AM
Reply

The game industry needs the equivlent of the Oscars at the moment the status of 'Game of the Year' is an utter joke. We see it slapped on every game box when they decide to release a DLC Edition.

The thing is the gaming industry is certainly renown enough these days to have such an event hosted. There are plenty of categories to hold too. But until there is an award ceremony which can be classed as official and not just a bunch of critics giving their own awards such a phrase will never hold any value.

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MRSUCCESS
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 12:01:46 PM
Reply

I have yet to play Bioshock Infinite or The Last of Us because I'm waiting for the price to drop. I'll probably give Bioshock Infinite a try with the PS+ 7 day trial that came with Gran Turismo 6. OUt of all the games that I played this year I enjoyed Ni No Kuni and Gran Turismo 6 the most.

It's true what Ben says, the games that are release later in the year have a tougher time with critics.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 12:07:47 PM

Prices on those games have dropped about as far as they are ever going to over Black Friday.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 12:06:34 PM
Reply

I figure it should be a product of the site with scores being just one thing taken into account.

I think GOTY should be the one that accomplishes the most overall greatness of all the games that year, which isn't always the highest rated. PSXE for instance often places most importance on technical proficiency, but that alone doesn't make a game great enough for the top title.

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ethird1
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 1:03:57 PM
Reply

The Last of Us should NO WAY be the game of the year. Games should be about PURE FUN and Dragon's Crown was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more fun and had TONS more replayability. Too many people forget.

Bioshock Infinite was awesome. But all you hear are so called "Professional Gaming Journalists" say how TLOU was ingeniously blah blah blah.

Gaming is about fun. You can add artistic blah blah and blah blah, but if a game like Pacman is more fun than The Last of US, then give that 2d bastard the title and shut the hell up.

Again, gaming is about fun. And old nerds like me will always keep it real because that is the only way we know how.

And as always,

End of line.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 1:36:27 PM

I suppose it's pointless to explain that "fun" is 100% subjective.

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Temjin001
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:00:24 PM

ethird1 it's time to sell your PS3 and go find an old Nintendo 64 "The Fun Machine"

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ethird1
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:16:46 PM

I will have you know that I still play the old 8bit Dragon Warrior game from the Nintendo days, thank you very much!

PS4 has been kind of a disappointment, with BF 4 leading the crappy way. They need to put Dragon's Crown 2 on there or the new Diablo 3 expansion.

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Underdog15
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:49:23 PM

ladies and gentlemen.

We have a new blankline, but a younger, more twitchy model!

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Teddie9
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 3:38:39 PM

@underdog

His style hasn't changed but ______ has been actually fairly insightful these days.

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Beamboom
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 4:18:32 AM

That's what's always fascinated me about underline, Teddie9. There are found some insightful messages buried in his posts here and there, only to be completely overshadowed by some outrageous, polarized outburst the next. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/14/2013 4:19:05 AM

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Underdog15
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 9:36:42 AM

manic

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Kiryu
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 1:41:56 PM
Reply

Guys atleast now buy Ni no kuni its on the PS3 Digital store now that it has won awards. Its a PS3 classic

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 4:06:45 PM

Yup, it's timeless even though it's new.

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Beamboom
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:33:31 PM
Reply

I think you should just forget all ratings and reviews written over the year and use the luxury of now having the total overview of this year.

Start with a blank sheet, look back at the whole year and pick and weight the individual contenders accordingly.

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Teddie9
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 3:42:54 PM

While it would take more work it would definitely be the most objective way to go about it. Especially given Ben's last point.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 12/13/2013 3:53:13 PM

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Lunar_Miyuki
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:33:32 PM
Reply

no games should not be Goty by review scores Because alot of companys Pay off the review companys for their Big name games for instance FF13 with 1 review company gave it an 11 out of 10 which we all know FF13 is the most linear FF game and doesn't deserve that rating

what should make a game GOTY is the fans not the buisnesses id rather accept a game as GOTY if the entire world voted on even if i don't like the game myself

ive seen enough dirty unhanded tactics by Devs and publishers paying people off slandering other companys using the money you were funded for 1 game and putting it towards another project

so with all that being said why cant they pay off companys to get awards

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 3:34:59 PM

Reviewers being "paid off" by publishers is a myth. There is no conspiracy theory, I'm sorry to inform you.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 4:08:33 PM

It would be great though wouldn't it Ben? You could be rich and completely disrespected or keep your honor, be poor, and still be disrespected.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 4:21:12 PM

Yeah, that there would be a difficult decision on certain days. LOL

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Underdog15
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:58:17 PM
Reply

Nah, can't base it on review scores alone. It should be considered as a factor.

I think you have to go with a game that pushes boundaries. Was there a game that did something more for the audience/gamer beyond just playing the game? Does it do anything technically better than most if not everyone else? Does it bring any undeniably high quality elements like music? Does it also provide an -EXPERIENCE- and not just a game (while still being very much a game, mind you)?

Was there a game that, even if you haven't played it in months, still causes you to think about it from time to time?

I think to any good reviewer, the objective pieces like graphics, control, sound, etc. are considered in the decision, but the other less tangible questions, I believe, are also important. What game does the reviewer think in the last year is a gamer's crime to not give a shot? And I don't necessarily think the most popular or most purchased game is necessarily the winner, either.

To me personally, the choice is obvious this year. But I recognize there is some subjectivity that must factor in. So long as the reviewer accurately justifies their reasoning, I'm ok with it. (for example... sites that choose from all platforms... how do you compare TLOU to Pokémon X&Y?????)

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greg238
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 4:51:12 PM
Reply

Yes and no I think games should win game of yr on graphics gameplay reply value not js on a review that does have a effect on weather u decide to buy this game or not but also remember it just somebody opinion

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Cuetes
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 5:39:31 PM
Reply

I'm not sure scores shouldn't matter but at the same time they shouldn't matter as much.

Personally I make up my GOTY, If you like said game it shouldn't matter what the score is. I've always played games people considered flops because the scores don't take in to consideration what I like...I guess sometimes I'm too drunk to taste that chicken.



Last edited by Cuetes on 12/13/2013 5:40:42 PM

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greg238
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 7:08:46 PM

The review can come in to affect it ur new to a game franchise u wanna a second opinion

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 7:25:46 PM
Reply

I think that GotY should be more about the what the source/site/individual is most representative of the most beneficial future direction of gaming. Some regard that as the fun factor, some say bombast, others say intricacy and some just want to go by the review scores.

For me, it ultimately comes down to the story, not just the directed narrative as delivered via cutscenes and audio logs and the like, but also the ambient narrative, the world building and how well the gameplay ties into that. Also, the quality of that gameplay plays a massive role, subpar mechanics can rule out even the most fantastically nuanced narrative. Right now, I'm really struggling to decide whether to give my personal nod to Gone Home or The Last of Us as both are simply fantastic at what they set out to do.

Anyway, agree with the sentiment that GotY is a lot more complicated than it seems on the surface, especially when there is a group of people trying to come to a common consensus on it.

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PC_Max
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 11:13:37 PM
Reply

Sometimes the great game or GOTY is the game that is overlooked by critics and audiences until a year or years later.

Just a thought.

Keep playing!

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Gordo
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 2:15:19 AM
Reply

Gamespot for all their faults have have a few good GOTY. I remember their Demon's Souls GOTY. That was spot on. That game was a breath of fresh air!

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___________
Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 2:24:23 AM
Reply

if reviewers actually did there job properly, and actually were consistent, than thats how it should be.
but sadly they cant, they bitch about one game for something, than dont even mention it for others.
miss so many things too, i mean how many reviews are there for knack?
and not ONE mentions the really stupid hit detection where the hammer goblins are able to attack you through walls.
so many times ive been on a higher platform, and somehow there hammers go magically through the wall and instantly kill me.
WTF!?
same with the archers, so many times ive been attacking one enemy and the archer is behind them and the archers arrows somehow magically go through the enemy im attacking, without doing any damage to him, and instantly kill me.
again, WTF!?

but GOTY is not really about the best game, its more about the best overall package.
if you were to pick GOTY on just the best game, than no games better than GTAV!
not only does it have everything, including the kitchen sink, it does it better than every one else out there!
but then the story is not the best, and theres allot of games released this year which really sucker punched you.
TLoU, game wise, a seriously flawed game.
heres a game set in a post apocalyptic world, the sh*t has literally hit the fan, yet it really does not feel survival one bit.
you dont craft much, ok you have to create shivs but its extremely controlled and restrictive what you can create.
and items are in abundance!
when you think of survival you think of i am alive, thats how the gameplay should of been.
but treat it as a experience and its a total different story.
one thing games have always really struggled with is pacing, and that really is what set TLoU apart, what really made it shine.
theres constant ups and downs, it really is a roller coaster ride!
when your down and out all hopes lost, you find something to lift you back up and remind you not everythings gone to hell.
not yet at least.
so does GOTY strictly specifically mean that, game of the year?
or can a game be defined by more than just the simplicity of the gameplay?

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Twistedfloyd
Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 10:56:50 AM
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The Last of Us wasn't "fun" in the traditional sense. It was a stressful, engaging, sometimes heartbreaking, butt clenching adventure.

It was brutal, violent and sometimes quite difficult. But it was extremely well made and presented. Not every game is going to be Mario. The industry needs to expand and keep innovating to give us new experiences. This is exactly what TLOU did. I had a great time playing TLOU, I may not have had fun like I do with Rayman, but I had a truly great experience.

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