Some games are great. Some games stink. Some game reviews are great. Some of the scores of them stink, too.
As 2012 draws to a close, let's take a pause from all the holiday cheer to officially gnash our teeth over the worst reviews—no, the worst review scores—of the year.
These aren't the games that scored the worst on the merit of them sucking. These are the game review scores that seemed so out of whack that they made you wonder if we'd moved off the base-10 counting system.
I'll go first.
I've got my incredulity-sense targeted at the gents at IGN and GameSpot, who scored the innovative, fun, super-hard, and smartly quasi-online Wii U launch game ZombiU with scores of 6.3 and 4.5, respectively. Say what?
IGN's what-numbers-actually-mean guidelines state that games that are 6.0-6.9 are OK: "No one should settle for "just OK." When games cost as much as they do, then it's up to publishers to deliver some bang for our buck. And while this game is passable, it's probably only worth a rental. Example: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2."
Hey, I'm not disputing that HAWX 2 score!
GameSpot's review guidelines state that games that get 4.0-4.5 are "games that just don't work right and maybe didn't spend enough time in production tend to fall in to this category. They simply lack the cohesion and quality that make other games fun."
Surely those aren't the only crazy scores of the year...
I was ready to rip Tom Chick's 1-out-of-5 stars review for Halo 4, since I liked that game in the way I liked New Super Mario Bros.' the-classics-with-better-graphics-and-one-or-two-new-things approach. Then I read the review and agreed with a lot of it.
And surely we can take a beating ourselves. We don't score games numerically, but I'm sure some will say that my Yes for Assassin's Creed III was equalled in lunacy only by Owen's No for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
And then there were all those perfect scores for Diablo III. Really?
But enough from me...
If you're a gamer who wants to complain about one of 2012's worst review scores... if you're a game developer who wants to rant about a score your game didn't deserve or wants to unburden the guilt of getting a score that was just too damn high... chime in below.
Note: One thing I'd like to make sure is clear...it's not how any of these reviews read; it's the number that these reviews have on them. It's tricky to boil a game's quality down to a number. And often enough those numbers are what get all of us talking. It's the numbers, not the words, that are the focus here.