Metacritic  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Metacritic  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network So Is It True? Is Breath of the Wild the Best Game Ever? Sat, 04 Mar 2017 15:11:52 -0500 Bryant Pereira

The time has finally come upon us. Three years after its announcement, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild graces the world with its presence. Launching along Nintendo’s brand new innovative system, the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild has already taken the gaming world by storm with its expansive open world, its new survival mechanics, and its complete revamp of the traditional LoZ formula. The reception from gaming outlets has also been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s guaranteed to push the system all by itself -- regardless of the Switch's relatively small launch lineup.

Game reviewers receive tons of criticism for giving out high scores to games that don’t deserve them, but this generation of games received some of the roughest scores out of any other generation. Other than Grand Theft Auto V, which itself is a port of a last-gen game, the only games that even came close to getting the same Metacritic ranking as Breath of the Wild were Uncharted 4, The Witcher 3, and Metal Gear Solid V. 

Of course, all of these titles are spectacular works of art, but none of them has come close to receiving the same amount of praise as
Breath of the Wild. GTA V is only one point below Breath of the Wild on Metacritic, and it’s one of the best selling games of all time. The other mentioned titles all fall at 95 or below.

Breath of the Wild still hasn’t received a single score under a 9. Even our own critical editor David Fisher gave the game a 9/10, stating that “Should Nintendo decide to patch out the framerate issues, and possibly fix the UI a bit more, I could see Breath of the Wild earning a solid 10/10 without any issue at all.” Regardless of performance, the game received perfect score after perfect score after perfect score. 

This is the first time any game, even a Zelda game, was referenced as being even better than the legendary LoZ title, Ocarina of Time.

Metacritic scores themselves aren’t even the best representation of how well received a game actually is. Ocarina of Time sits firmly at first place on the charts with an average of 99/100. However, due to its age, there are only 22 official reviews charted on Metacritic. The three other games that share Breath of the Wild’s second place spot at 98/100 are Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Soul Calibur, and Grand Theft Auto IV.

Two of those games were released nearly two decades ago and also have a much smaller number of reviews. Grand Theft Auto IV, while critically appraised, was criticized after the hype died down for the number of flaws. Even The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a title that received stellar reception before launch, but is consistently referenced as one of the weaker 3D titles by fans after its release.

Looking at other aggregate review sites like Open Critic shows how loved Breath of the Wild is, as it’s the number one rated game on the website. There is no such thing as a perfect game, and there probably never will be, but critics around the world are putting Breath of the Wild as the closest thing to perfect.

After the hype dies down, people may start to nitpick Breath of the Wild for its framerate performance, user interface, and more. With any major release, from The Last of Us to GTA V, gamers down the line always find flaws and things that could be done better in games and will express themselves furiously on forums and on Reddit.

Nonetheless, what Breath of the Wild brings to the table is a whole new experience that can’t be found anywhere other than a Zelda game. It’s the only title to even come close to surpassing Ocarina of Time, and to many, it’s the one game that is good enough to take the crown. While it may not be a perfect game, Breath of the Wild is the best-reviewed game of all time, and to many, including myself, the best game we’ve ever played.

Metacritic Demands Exclusive Quotes From Non-English Publications Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:00:02 -0500 Rob Kershaw

Review aggregation site OpenCritic released a statement today accusing Metacritic of anti-industry practices, after their competitor's announcement regarding localization requirements.

OpenCritic have been accepting submissions from non-English publications since December 2016, and as a result have received over a dozen new non-English contributors.

In order to be listed on either site, publications must submit a review quote in English which summarizes their review. However, Metacritic have responded by creating a new rule, for all publications who wish to be listed, which states that all review quotes provided are exclusive to Metacritic.

This essentially means that any publication wanting to be listed on both sites -- and therefore increase their visibility and traffic in a crowded marketplace -- will now need to create two different English quotes per review. Describing the process of how this will affect the aggregation process, OpenCritic said:

Asking for English quotations is already a significant demand. Many of these publications, especially up-and-coming ones, operate at a loss while trying to expand their reach. This requirement effectively mandates that these publications pay engineers to alter their CMS in order to support their aggregation. The results are these special pages which have traditionally been open to the public and are what Metacritic and OpenCritic scrape to aggregate non-English quotes and reviews.

In their statement, OpenCritic said that this latest requirement from Metacritic is "an abuse of industry power," and that it unfairly forces the costs of extra development and localization onto publications.

They also argue that the review snippet put into the publication's own CMS should belong to the publication -- not an aggregation site -- and that the only party that benefits from this policy is Metacritic.

This isn't the first dispute between the two sites. In May last year, OpenCritic accused Metacritic of sourcing data directly from their website. OpenCritic routinely added changes to review URLs to make them unique to their site, and therefore obvious if another site took them without permission -- which OpenCritic claimed they did, and provided examples.

There was no response from Metacritic on that statement, or this one -- we will update you if they respond to this latest accusation from OpenCritic.

Note: GameSkinny is on OpenCritic as a review outlet.

The 5 Worst PS4 Games Based on Average Reviews Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:37:31 -0400 John Robson

In today's fast-paced, technologically-impressive world, video games are more common than ever and getting bigger and bigger budgets. But that increasingly means they require our attention and money.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, there are critics available who can guide us away from games which are bad or even completely unplayable. Here are the most harshly judged games available for the PS4 according to the critic's reviews on Metacritic:

5. Rugby World Cup 2015

25 metascore

Choose from among the 20 teams in the World Cup and take part in the most prestigious competition in rugby.    

This game suffered from an inconsistent application of rules, with a broken gameplay loop and even game-breaking bugs.

"I could go on. I could mention how the way the game handles camera rotations and, subsequently, rucks in end-on perspective destroys momentum and further damages already finicky gameplay systems. I could go on about the delay between a button press and its actual recognition, which destroys the limited immersion during rare moments of forward momentum."

-- IGN

4. Yasai Ninja

23 metascore

Yasai Ninja is a hack & slash game set in feudal Japan where Kaoru Tamanegi and Broccoli Joe face the most terrible vegetables. Play in 1 or 2 player mode and finish the adventure.

This game suffered from poor co-op and because of an unruly camera, actions like jumping were hit-and-miss, controls were wonky, gameplay mechanics felt poorly-timed, and the level design was poor and repetitive.

"For those among you feeling mean enough to subject a friend to the torturous local co-op, you'll see something really special as Yasai Ninja fails to cope with the demand of two active players. In one of our co-op playthroughs, the second player's camera angle glitched, rendering them useless in combat as the camera pointed upwards, unable to be corrected; in another, the sound looped while the second character was unlocking a door, creating an unbearable soundtrack of keys jangling. Friendships will be tested to their limits, make no mistake."

-- Push Square

3. Energy Hook

22 metascore

This game challenges you to chain together sequences of tricks, wall-runs, and stylish moves for massive scores. Bust through time challenges by using tricks to gain speed and seek out collectibles hidden throughout the levels.

Energy Hook had technical issues, was seen as unenjoyable and even unplayable, with plenty of bugs and non-existent plot.

"Energy Hook is simply atrocious. When I call it a "glitchy PS1-era tech demo", I mean that in the most literal sense possible. The entirety of the game is one awful-looking character swinging around a couple of empty, nondescript environments. There's no plot. There are no other people. It's just you, swinging around, trying to pull off achievements and tasks that are explained to you via floating blocks of 3D text."

-- Gaming Age

2. Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One

21 metascore

Head out on a journey of redemption, driven by bitter-sweet revenge. The saga of Afro Samurai continues, but this time follows the path of Kuma, one of Afro’s closest childhood friends.

Afro Samurai suffered from various technical issues, poor skill progression, sloppy combat, offensive dialogue and poor voice acting, and completely random game rules.

"Revenge of Kuma isn't worth your time, and I haven't even mentioned the confusing world map, the abrupt transitions between cutscenes and gameplay, the horrible frame rate, the dumbed-down boss fights, and the litany of technical glitches I encountered, including getting stuck in geometry or having to restart the game because it crashed altogether."

-- Gamespot

1. Rugby 15

19 metascore

In this game, you take the helm of official teams and clubs from the most prestigious leagues around the world: the Aviva Premiership Rugby, the PRO 12 and the TOP 14 and PRO D2.

Rugby 15 was penalized for having poor graphics, broken gameplay rules, tons of nasty programming bugs, and was even completely unplayable on the PlayStation 3.

"I went in to Rugby 15 with the hope that the arcade presentation would result in a fun, pick-up-and-play rugby game, but my expectations were quickly tackled by a never-ending stream of bugs and paradoxical design decisions"

-- IGN

Those were the worst 5 games on the PS4 according to average review scores. Know any others that deserve similar infamy? Let us know in the comments.

Why are most game movies so bad? Wed, 11 May 2016 03:30:00 -0400 StratGamer48

Ratchet & Clank released in theaters a few weeks ago on April 29, 2016. The film was inspired by the famous PlayStation game Ratchet & Clank. Like previous video game movies, Ratchet & Clank received a lot of negative feedback from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, only 18% of critics gave it a positive review, with a average rating of 4.1/10. On Metacritic, it is rated as 31/100 by critics. 

Scene in Ratchet & Clank

Besides movie critics, the news media showed little mercy when it came to rating Ratchet & Clank:

Watching the generic computer-animated Ratchet & Clank, you’re flooded with reminders of familiar characters.

-- Andy Webster,·New York Times

Like “Norm of the North” and “The Nut Job,” “Ratchet & Clank” will, in all likelihood, make the under-10 crowd laugh — and everyone else cringe.

--Sandie Angulo Chen,·Washington Post

Besides Ratchet and Clank, video games movies have always been marketed as films with bad plots. In 2007, Hitman was released as a Thriller and it only had 14% of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and 35/100 on Metacritic. Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time and Tomb Raider are considered some of the best video game movies, and even they only have 50/100 and 33/100 in Metacritic.

Scene of Prince of Persia

So why are video game movies bad?

There are quite a few reasons.

1. Time Limitations

According to Howlongtobeat, it takes more than 12 hours just to go throughHitman's main story. This excludes the miscellaneous trial and error process and going full completionist. In movies, the director will need to cut that long storyline into a film around 90 minutes. Of course, a lot of details will be lost after shortening.

2. Game developing priority

During game development, developers will prioritize implementing the game's mechanic before working on graphics, sound, and storyline. This is common in big-budget game development. After developers have their levels made, they will write a storyline and setting that fit the level and bosses.

3.  Players are the main character

"With video games, the player is really the star of the movie, directing the actors, deciding what plotline to follow--and most importantly for most games, whom to shoot down to get to the next level. When this aspect of the game is missing, viewers no longer feel like part of the action. A time may soon come when video games are played by audiences in movie theaters. But until that time, movies will never be able to replicate the gaming experience."

-- Wheeler Winston Dixon, Film Studies Professor of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Like what Professor Dixon said, the player is the main character of the game, and what happens in the game is related to the player. While playing the game, player is the one that are making decision. But in movie, the actor is following a script which written by the director. And that script, as we mentioned previously, is already a really condensed version of the game.

In conclusion, video game plots may be good, but they're meant to be played by players -- it allows us get into the plot better than watching a movie. Lastly, it is hard for films to cover all details of the main story plot in 1-2 hours. 

Beamdog President pleads with players to leave positive reviews for Baldur's Gate expansion amid "social justice" controversy Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:34:05 -0400 Scott Simpson

Trent Oster, President of game studio Beamdog, has taken to the company forums to ask players of Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear a "favour", to leave positive reviews to try and cancel out the negative feedback left on Steam, GOG and Metacritic. He hopes fans of the expansion for the enhanced edition of the original Baldur's Gate will help to "balance out the loud minority which is currently painting a dark picture for new players", who he claims are giving the expansion bad scores as the result of "having a transgendered cleric and a joke line by Minsc [which] has greatly offended the sensibilities of some people."

Is that the real reason for the game's poor user reviews though? They say there's two sides to every story, and taking a closer look at this negative feedback paints a different picture.

While there certainly are cases of users of the aforementioned digital distribution platforms posting reviews purely out of malice, especially on Metacritic it seems, the majority of critical feedback appears to be concerned with a number of bugs in the game, broken multiplayer, issues with the UI and visuals, poor writing, and the game's linearity, among other things.

When it comes to the issues specificially mentioned by Oster, players seem to have a lot more valid criticisms than he proposes. Many explicitly explain that their issue is not with having a transgender character, but with the ham-fisted approach with which they are introduced to the game, and the stereotypical way in which they and other characters are depicted.

Others point out that the purpose of playing a game in a medieval fantasy setting is to escape the realities of the modern world, not be beaten over the head by gender politics and 4th wall breaking jokes.

Accusations of unnecessarily shoe-horning in political ideologies aren't really helped when the game's writer, Amber Scott, can herself can be quoted as saying:

"I consciously add as much diversity as I can to my writing and I don't care if people think that's "forced" or fake. I find choosing to write from a straight default just as artificial. I'm happy to be an SJW and I hope to write many Social Justice Games in the future."

In addition, some recurring characters from Baldur's Gate have had their personalities altered to appear less "sexist", or, as Scott puts it in an interview with Kotaku, have been given "a way better personality upgrade", going on to add, "...if people don’t like that, then too bad". It's not hard to see why this would draw considerable ire from fans of the original game.

The whole situation raises questions about Beamdog. Even if there is an active campaign to try and tarnish Siege of Dragonspear's review scores, is it really appropriate for a developer or publisher to plead with fans to actively go out and leave positive reviews for their games? Do they have the right to so freely alter established characters from a much loved game to fit with their own social ideologies? And are the company just trying to capitalize on the controversy by asking gamers to overlook the game's legitimate criticisms and give positive feedback under the guise of trying to balance things out?

What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you have sympathy with Beamdog? Or do you think the criticisms aimed against Siege of Dragonspear and the company's reaction to it are fair? Let us know your views in the comments below.

In just one month, Indie RPG Undertale gets 100,000 Sales Thu, 15 Oct 2015 02:42:28 -0400 John Adamczyk

On September 15th, 2015, the indie roleplaying game Undertale was released - two years after the conclusion of its successful Kickstarter campaign, receiving little in the way of fanfare.

Below is the release trailer:

Fastforward one month, and we can see that over a hundred thousand people own the game on Steam. It seems that word of mouth and overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and players alike have led Undertale to become one of the highest-rated PC games to date, and the currently highest rated PC game in the past ninety days, usurping the throne from even long-anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. 

Advertised as "the friendly RPG where no one has to die," Undertale is the first game published by 24-year-old Toby "Radiation" Fox, known previously for his musical works featured in the (in)famous webcomic Homestuck. Now, however, it seems that the young developer is taking the gaming world by storm with his newest release.

The game is available on Steam, but you can download a free demo from the Undertale homepage

Top 20 Games of 2013 According To Metacritic Scores Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:17:16 -0500 GameSkinny Staff

'Tis the season for lists! As we all begin to think of our own "Game of The Year", let's take a moment to see what the critics had to say this year. While Metacritic is often unreliable in nature due to the aggregation of conflicting rating scales (is a "B" a 80? Who knows), it is still an interesting tool.

That said, here are the Top 20 highest rated games on Metacritic this year, excluding DLC and re-releases:

20. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - Score: 88

19. Rocksmith 2014 Edition (PC, Xbox360) - Score: 88

18. Pokemon XY (3DS) - Score: 88

17. Joe Danger (iOS) - Score: 88

16. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox360, XboxOne) - Score: 88

15. The Stanley Parable (PC) - Score: 88 

14. Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force (Xbox360) - Score: 88 

13. DotA 2 (PC) - Score: 90

12. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC) - Score: 90

11. Spelunky (PC) - Score: 90

10. Fez (PC) - Score: 91

9. Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption (iOS) - Score: 91

8. Asphalt 8: Airborne (iOS) - Score: 91

7. Rayman Legends (PC, PS3, Xbox360, WiiU) - Score: 91

6. Skylanders Swap Force (WiiU) - Score: 92

5. Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) - Score: 92

4. DEVICE 6 (iOS) - Score: 92

3. Bioshock Infinite (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) - Score: 94

2. The Last of Us (PS3) - Score: 95

1. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3, Xbox 360) - Score: 97

Anything on this list surprise you? Your favorite game not here? Let us know in the comments below!

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida Expresses Disappointment in PS4 Review Scores. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 09:57:06 -0500 Ryan Kerns

As I reported here on GameSkinny yesterday, the press embargo on reviews for the PS4 launch titles was lifted. It looks like I wasn't the only one glued to Metacritic as the scores came pouring in.

Now that the scores have settled, it looks like Killzone: Shadow Fall is sitting on a 74, Knack dropped a little to 59, and the $15 shooter Resogun is getting the most positive reviews at 82.

The president of Sony Computer Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida, sat down for an interview with and admitted that the review scores were very mixed... and lower than he would have liked.

Shuhei Yoshida: Yeah, it's disappointing to see some of the low scores. I haven't spent enough time reading reviews, but I would characterize them as mixed. I've played through all of our games, Killzone, Knack and Resogun, and I totally enjoyed playing through these games. I'm now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty - these games really grow on you when you play more. I'm very confident that once you purchase these games and play, you'll be happy that you've done so.

When asked specifically about Mark Cerny, and if he was stretched too thin to really put enough effort into making Knack a better game, Yoshida had this to say;

No, I don't think that's right. He spent maybe a quarter of his time during the development of Knack and in his position of giving creative direction and overseeing development, it was appropriate... He was in Japan every month for a week, working with the team, so the communication was very good.

He goes on to say that the game was never built with high review scores in mind, and was always considered as a "second purchase." Yoshida also explains the delay of the launch title Drive Club as the dev team being "over ambitious" with their design and needing more time to integrate everything into the final package. 

"[Knack is] not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase"

It's really an interesting interview so I suggest going to check it out in full. He's asked about the resolution issues in Call of Duty: Ghosts and what he thinks of Microsoft and games like Titanfall... his answers might just surprise you. 

Also, if you missed the Black Friday episode of South Park last night, you can watch it now at Southparkstudios.

What Does GTA's Metacritic Score Say About the Gaming Review System Wed, 18 Sep 2013 23:27:25 -0400 Amanda Wallace

If you check over at Metacritic, you'll find that Grand Theft Auto V, one of the bigger releases of the year, has scored a 98. It shares that spot with one of Rockstar's other offerings, GTA IV.

For those unfamiliar with Metacritic, a quick run down: Metacritic is what is known as a review aggregator site, which means it collects the reviews from multiple sources. With Grand Theft Auto, for example, this means a collection of reviews from Official Xbox Magazine and the Escapist.  It then sorts these reviews into scores between 0-100, and gives the game (or really any mass media) a grade. 

I should preface this by saying that I haven't finished GTA V.  It is possible that this could be the Citizen Kane of gaming, or some other throwaway term that people use. 

Reviewing is difficult. Not in the sense of playing the game, but in the sense of comparing it to the library of other games you've played. Should GTA V be compared to Half Life 2 (which it out scored on Metacritic) or Resident Evil 4 (which it also outscored)? What does a number score mean anyway? I never liked grading in high school, and it's not much better in the video game world. 

There has been controversy in the past about reviewers being bought, and for the most part those fears have subsided. But as an industry we still have fairly over-inflated ratings. Take GTA V, since it's the most topical example. 

Is GTA V on par, in terms of great storytelling and contributions to the medium, with Pan's Labyrinth? Is it better than Dr. Strangelove? Spirited Away? Pulp Fiction? Because if you look at a straight one-to-one between the Movies and Games lists on Metacritic, they look like they're being compared as equals. 

From what I can tell, GTA V is a good example of the genre, in the sense of graphics and characterization. But is it perfect? Because a score of 98 certainly implies that it's pretty close to perfect. 37 critics thus far have given it a perfect score, have said that the game has nothing to change. That is, frankly, unlikely. In games development, we're still in a gestational phase, and it's time our reviewership stepped up. 

This Generation's Last Great (and Highest Rated) Game: Grand Theft Auto V Wed, 18 Sep 2013 01:22:26 -0400 Brian Armstrong

If the review scores are to be believed, Grand Theft Auto V is a pretty awesome game. So awesome in fact, that it is on track to be the highest-rated game of all time.

GTA V has received outstanding scores across the board, including 37 perfect scores, and is looking to take down the current record holder - Grand Theft Auto IV (which holds a Metacritic score of 98 and 97 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively). The GTA series has been one of the most popular and highly regarded series of the last decade, and Rockstar's latest release is not slowing down. With intense action, tight writing, superb graphics (though they are definitely "current gen"), and incredibly fun gameplay mechanics, GTA V will likely be atop many "Best of 2013" lists at the end of the year.

Grand Theft Auto IV holds the distinction of the highest-rated game of all-time, even ranked higher than Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, all of which earned a score of 97. Half-Life 2, BioShock, Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Resident Evil 4 are not far behind at 96, so for two Rockstar titles to be in the running for the top spot with that company is pretty impressive.

What Does It Mean?

While the opinions of journalists don't really matter in terms of how much fun individual gamers find particular games to be, earning such high praise certainly can't hurt sales. AAA titles like Grand Theft Auto typically enjoy good reviews and good sales if the game is truly great, but for something like GTA, this one game could set up Rockstar to be successful for the next five years.

With all the news of game developers being put out of work in the last year, it has to be encouraging for a company to sit back and just know that their game is going to sell like gangbusters. It is perhaps the last great massive success before the next generation launches, and that has to feel good. But it makes you wonder, what will they have in store for us in the next generation?

While I doubt we'll see GTA V brought to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, I am eagerly awaiting whatever they come up with next. Yes, I know, Grand Theft Auto V has only been out for 24 hours, so I should probably just enjoy it for a while before I start talking about the next game. But as I drive around the massive, seamless, open world Rockstar has created, I simply can't comprehend what they'll do in the next generation.

Sure the graphics will be better, but how can they top this world? This map seems like it may be bigger than Skyrim, and it certainly has more to do. I have to sit back in astonishment that I just got done playing a nine-hole round of golf, hopped in my car, drove a couple miles down the road, hopped in a blimp, flew across the map over to Mount Chiliad (the highest location on the map), stole a car, pretty much rolled all the way down the mountain, and then topped all of that off with a drink at a bar. I simply can't believe this was possible in the current generation.

And I can't wait to see what's next.