Polygon's 2013 Game of the Year: Gone Home

SwiftDeath

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If only there was some obvious and easy to discern explanation for the discrepancy.
I feel like you are suggesting there is some obvious explanation but as you are you, it can't simply be the attitude that Polygon is in MS's pocket because that's silly and you're not a silly person so I'm a tad stumped.

Either you're joking and reenforcing the idea that Polygon is in MS's pocket is entirely illogical [which it is] or I'm missing something.

I honestly don't mind what polygon thinks is the GOTY. That is subjective like anything review-oriented and they are certainly entitled to their opinion as is anyone else but what I do find somewhat surprising is the clear acknowledgement that their number system for reviews is obvious bullshit. I personally despise the numeric rating system that modern review oriented gaming journalists find necessary in order to validate their reviews [this need is of course the fault of publishers desires for "objective" measures of critical success] but I hate inconsistency and find a lack of follow-through more annoying. Furthermore I find Polygon's system even more infuriating as its not up to the actual reviewer but a panel of editors to determine the "score" based off of the actual review written by the reviewer.

It is fairly obvious what happened in this case. The editors at Polygon viewed either TLOU or the reviewer's review of it at some "7.5" level. That is perfectly fine I have no problem with people's opinions. Not everyone is going to like a game, no matter what it is. Someone out there dislikes pong, someone dislikes tetris but my issue is Polygon clearly backtracked without trying to admit to backtracking. They realized the general sentiment for TLOU was praise and love etc. etc. etc. and thus realized they had to put it on their GOTY list or face more rage from the internet or more derision at their style of journalism or whatever backlash they believed such an action would warrant. It is poor journalism to backtrack on your own entirely subjective assessment of something simply because other people seem to like it more than you do.

For instance if the review numbers were to be taken at face value then the list should be something like this [albeit I doubt TLOU would even place]

10. The Last of Us - 7.5/10
9. Kentucky Route Zero - No review that I could find - ?/10
8. Super Mario 3D World - 9/10
7. Brothers A Tale of Two Sons - 9/10
6. Tearaway - 9.5/10
5. GTAV - 9.5/10
4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds - 9.5/10
3. Bioshock Infinite - 10/10
2. Towerfall - No review that I could find - ?/10
1. Gone Home - 10/10

And that would make logical coherent sense. It would be rational. At least compared to the actual ordering and review scores

The only conclusion I can draw from this GOTY list is that either Polygon are entirely incompetent and inconsistent when it comes to review scores or they pick the best game of the year with other metrics than "how good of a game it actually is"

In either case I have no desire for that type of journalism. It is lazy at best, downright disingenuous at worst
 

EmCeeGramr

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I think Stump was trying to say that just one (1) person from Polygon thought it deserved a 7.5: the person who reviewed it.

The other staffers (who did not review it and give it a 7.5) liked the game more the reviewer and thought it deserved to be on their list.


This... isn't rocket science. Unless you think that video game reviews work like a jury, where there can be a "hung review" if not everybody on staff agrees unanimously with the published review's score.
 

Stumpokapow

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May 21, 2006
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... long bizarre post about polygon
I already dealt with this in the thread, but sure I'll do it again.

Here's my complex theory about what happened:
ONE REVIEWER gave the game a 7.5 and justified why in the text of his review. You might not agree with his conclusion, but there's nothing there that smacks of deliberately misunderstanding the work or not playing it. The other reviewers on the site and the rest of the editorial team don't need to consent to the score. A reviewer gets to review a game the way he wants to review the game.

At the end of the year, A PANEL OF PEOPLE (presumably including all their reviewers but probably also their news staff) voted on GOTY. Obviously that one reviewer was either overruled or has since come to re-evaluate his opinion on the game. The aggregate consensus of the people involved in putting together the GOTY list came to a more positive conclusion on TLOU and that's reflected in the text justifying why they put it on their top ten list.


How disingenuous.
 

SwiftDeath

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I think Stump was trying to say that just one (1) person from Polygon thought it deserved a 7.5: the person who reviewed it.

The other staffers (who did not review it and give it a 7.5) liked the game more the reviewer and thought it deserved to be on their list.


This... isn't rocket science. Unless you think that video game reviews work like a jury, where there can be a "hung review" if not everybody on staff agrees unanimously with the published review's score.
I simply meant the obvious lack of consistency in opinion is doubly troubling with Polygon's review scoring system. There had to be a consensus reached but I suppose if the editiors really didn't play TLOU at the time and simply relied solely on the review written by their reviewer that could lead to these results but that's an even more baffling system than I realized

I already dealt with this in the thread, but sure I'll do it again.

Here's my complex theory about what happened:
ONE REVIEWER gave the game a 7.5 and justified why in the text of his review. You might not agree with his conclusion, but there's nothing there that smacks of deliberately misunderstanding the work or not playing it. The other reviewers on the site and the rest of the editorial team don't need to consent to the score. A reviewer gets to review a game the way he wants to review the game.

At the end of the year, A PANEL OF PEOPLE (presumably including all their reviewers but probably also their news staff) voted on GOTY. Obviously that one reviewer was either overruled or has since come to re-evaluate his opinion on the game. The aggregate consensus of the people involved in putting together the GOTY list came to a more positive conclusion on TLOU and that's reflected in the text justifying why they put it on their top ten list.


How disingenuous.
Like I said originally I don't care what any publication gives any game scorewise I just dislike obvious inconsistency. I had reasoned that most of the same people that were involved in the original scoring of TLOU would be involved in the GOTY picks. Clearly I misinterpreted how the process actually works at Polygon as it is fairly strange nor did I account for the likely additional input from the rest of the staff that didn't occur in the intial interview.

However if you notice it happened in other places as well. Both tearaway and 3d world are platformer games. The same genre and yet the one with the higher score is lower on the list. I actually consider 3d world to be the better game personally but I just find the polygon system leads to general inconsistency
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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I simply meant the obvious lack of consistency in opinion is doubly troubling with Polygon's review scoring system. There had to be a consensus reached but I suppose if the editiors really didn't play TLOU at the time and simply relied solely on the review written by their reviewer that could lead to these results but that's an even more baffling system than I realized
what on earth
 

EmCeeGramr

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website make kollar play zombie game
kollar think zombie game is 7.5
kollar say so
other people at website think zombie game better than 7.5 because brains different
after end of twelve moon cycle, people at website say which games they think good
they say which games they think good
zombie game is fourth good in website brains

fire bad
 

SwiftDeath

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All right let's go full circle. How does polygon assign a review score because now I'm super confused. I thought it was not the reviewer who assigned the review score but the editor?

website make kollar play zombie game
kollar think zombie game is 7.5
kollar say so
other people at website think zombie game better than 7.5 because brains different
after end of twelve moon cycle, people at website say which games they think good
they say which games they think good
zombie game is fourth good in website brains

fire bad
So review scores are entirely pointless in the grand schemes of things? that was my basic point
 

ultron87

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All right let's go full circle. How does polygon assign a review score because now I'm super confused. I thought it was not the reviewer who assigned the review score but the editor?
http://www.polygon.com/pages/about-reviews

"Games are not scored until a review is written and finalized. Once a review is complete, the reviewer meets with a group of senior editors to determine which score on our scale properly reflects the text as written. We do not write with scores in mind."

They score it based on how the review reads, not on how the whole staff feels about the game.
 
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All right let's go full circle. How does polygon assign a review score because now I'm super confused. I thought it was not the reviewer who assigned the review score but the editor?



So review scores are entirely pointless in the grand schemes of things? that was my basic point
A person's thoughts on a game only count if he or she can convince everyone they work with to feel the exact same way?
 

Riposte

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At least it's a game most of the editors/reviewers there are likely to have finished.

It's pretty much mediocre as an adventure title, but the genre is mostly dead mainstream wise. I doubt most people could name entries that are not from Telltale
Zero Escape and Ace Attorney are kind of big. (Both way better than anything Telltale has put out.)
 

SwiftDeath

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http://www.polygon.com/pages/about-reviews

"Games are not scored until a review is written and finalized. Once a review is complete, the reviewer meets with a group of senior editors to determine which score on our scale properly reflects the text as written. We do not write with scores in mind."

They score it based on how the review reads, not on how the whole staff feels about the game.
Thanks I was confused on that aspect

A person's thoughts on a game only count if he or she can convince everyone they work with to feel the exact same way?
I was actually under the impression the editors had more say in the review score than they do. It seems they simply offer their input with the reviewer. Clearly I was confused

lol this is not turning into a good thread for me is it?
 

GamingIsDead

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Southern States.


I can grok this sort of game not being to one's taste, but this should-brandishing knee jerking is kinda ridiculous. I'm sorry that those games you like aren't getting top billing for once, but it was bound to happen with or without a Polygon or a Gone Home.
I don't think you understand the difference between an adventure game and a visual novel.
What.

All of those games are fantastic.
I've read books that were more interactive (seriously) then those "games".
 
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Decent list.

I do still think this is one of the ugliest websites in existence though. How the hell does someone manage to overdesign something so minimalist? That deserves an award itself.
 

Riposte

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I agree there is a shift coming, it's inevitable as values are being reversed, but where were all of you last year? Last of Us and GTAV dominating is a big step up from The Walking Dead and Journey.
 

Ivieto

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I agree there is a shift coming, it's inevitable as values are being reversed, but where were all of you last year? Last of Us and GTAV dominating is a big step up from The Walking Dead and Journey.
I feel GTA does not belong in that conversation. It was fun, and technically impressive but it did not grab me the same way as the other games did. Last of Us and Gone Home on the other hand would be front-runners of the Game of the Generation (I know there are no PC-generations but you get me)
 

Riposte

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I feel GTA does not belong in that conversation. It was fun, and technically impressive but it did not grab me the same way as the other games did. Last of Us and Gone Home on the other hand would be front-runners of the Game of the Generation (I know there are no PC-generations but you get me)
Well, I wasn't really talking about what you or any one person feels. As far as I can tell, GTAV is the second most popular GotY choice by publications and will likely be GAF's second place.
 

Ivieto

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Well, I wasn't really talking about what you or any one person feels. As far as I can tell, GTAV is the second most popular GotY choice by publications and will likely be GAF's second place.
I dont agree that GTAV is a clear 2nd place. I think Zelda has stronger position at second place with TLOU very clearly ahead.
 

ab.aeterno

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Hey man, have you checked out them Goosebumps choose-your-own-adventure novels? Revelatory.
Yo man I flipped through like 5 different pages to read my story, shit was cray. So much deeper than some linear asset roller coaster indie art """"game"""". Didn't even get to kill no ghosts. Shit was lame as fuckkkkkk.
 

toastyToast

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I respect the amount of detail that went into the house although the over abundance of written notes became comical after a point. Aside from the presentation, it's one of the poorest adventure game over every played. The story wasn't even that good. The level of drama was just so by the numbers, I found it hard to care about anything. The father plot was clever but I wouldn't have played a whole game for what I could have read in a paragraph.
 

SoyTits

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What I find shocking the most is how everyone talks about how terrible Polygon is and that none of their staff is credible and yet, an article about their opinion on game of the year descends in to a 7 page thread of pure madness!

If, tomorrow, the gaming press tells us that, like, DMC is a great game, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when they say The Last of Us is the 4th best game of the year, well then everyone loses their minds!
 

PaulloDEC

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As much as I loved Gone Home, this just demonstrates why picking a single GOTY has never made sense to me. When you've got two or three (or more) games of equal excellence but wildly different design vying for the top spot, it's ultimately going to come down to an arbitrary decision on which one wins.
 

inm8num2

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GOTY lists are always interesting to me because I like reading about WHY people found certain games to be so memorable for them.

It wouldn't be fun to read all these lists if everyone had the same opinions. And certainly I think we should agree that others' opinions do not invalidate one's own personal enjoyment of a particular game.
 

3rdamention

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I already dealt with this in the thread, but sure I'll do it again.

Here's my complex theory about what happened:
ONE REVIEWER gave the game a 7.5 and justified why in the text of his review. You might not agree with his conclusion, but there's nothing there that smacks of deliberately misunderstanding the work or not playing it. The other reviewers on the site and the rest of the editorial team don't need to consent to the score. A reviewer gets to review a game the way he wants to review the game.

At the end of the year, A PANEL OF PEOPLE (presumably including all their reviewers but probably also their news staff) voted on GOTY. Obviously that one reviewer was either overruled or has since come to re-evaluate his opinion on the game. The aggregate consensus of the people involved in putting together the GOTY list came to a more positive conclusion on TLOU and that's reflected in the text justifying why they put it on their top ten list.


How disingenuous.


So change the review score? IF, that reviewer re-evaluated his opinion of the game. That is what Polygon does right? Isn't that part of their "Press Reset" that gaming scores are fluid and can change at any time?


Otherwise, I still find it funny that a 7.5 out of 10 game made it on their Game of the Year list. That score doesn't reflect a Game of the Year Candidate, at all. Whether one guy did it, or everyone agreed on it, it devalues their scoring system if a game review that they publish, no matter who wrote it, received that score yet makes their Game of the Year list.

I am not saying the reviewer isn't entitled to his own independent opinion, or he cannot be critical of the game, but the reviewer writes for and is employed by Polygon. What does that mean going forward for the weight their scores hold?
 

yurinka

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If a 7.5 rated game is the 4th best game of the year then I assume it has been a shitty year.

BTW, imagine Gone Home in XBO: 'Xbox, Gone Home!' Oh, no! xDD

It would be nice to see a "gaming journalism GOTY" article in Metacritic where they would make an average of the top 10 from all the sites.
 

spekkeh

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I like how in a year that was locked for triple A domination, the GOTYs are very diverse among the major sites. In fact very few actually chose the blockbuster favorites. This makes me a lot more hopeful for the future of game criticism than I previously was.

Gone Home is still waiting in my Steam folder. I guess I need to tweak it because for some reason the middling visuals cripple my laptop. I'm loving my last few weeks of catching up on the critical darlings. I hope it's better than KRZ though. So far that feels a bit too pretentious for me.
 

benny_a

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Apr 25, 2009
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website make kollar play zombie game
kollar think zombie game is 7.5
kollar say so
other people at website think zombie game better than 7.5 because brains different
after end of twelve moon cycle, people at website say which games they think good
they say which games they think good
zombie game is fourth good in website brains

fire bad
I was under the assumption that the reviews team decided on a score. Arthur Gies has the final word. That's what I remember from reading about Sim City.

So, why is it laughable that someone questions that the review they decided on 6 months ago is now so wrong? Is there no lesson to be learned from this discrepancy?