As stated in the tutorial that you should definitely read first, this blog will use both qualitative and quantitative metrics in order to judge video games based on the following categories:
- Time Value
- Modified Bechdel
- YOU (well… not at first. That’s impossible.)
Exciting times, right? I’m sure this process will evolve over time. So, in keeping with Pokémon analogies, consider this the lowest stage of an unknown numbered family. That sounds like nonsense.
Let’s move on.
The initial three categories will be equally weighted, and when/if this teeny blog gets traction, I’ll adapt and incorporate number 4. But since that’s not in my control (for now), let me go one by one through the other three. Starting with Chapter 1…
Previewed in the lovely tutorial, Time Value will have the following components that will be baked into an overall score out of 125:
- Time worthiness (Max: 50 points)
- $/hour (Max: 20 points)
- Replay Value (Max: 40 points)
- Price Trends (Max: 15 points)
I’ve scratched my head over this one. All else equal, this one is incredibly subjective and will mostly be supported through qualitative judgement. What it really, really breaks down to is: did I have fun playing this game? And because, as previously stated, I often find myself in a platinum-trophy-black-hole, I’ll give advice on what parts of the game are worth it. Should you find all 100+ shrines in BotW? Or is your time better spent finding Kokiri? Yeah, that’s an easy one.
But because of my need to make this blog diluted down to numbers, I’ll be granting points based on how much this game is (subjectively) worth it:
- All of it. 100%. Do not miss a second: 50 points
- Main storyline plus most side quests: 40 points
- Main storyline plus a few side quests: 30 points
- Main storyline: 20 points
- Parts of main storyline: 10 points
- None of it. Don’t bother: 0 points
Easy math? Nah, let’s complicate this a bit more. Reason being a score like this can easily be swayed by a giant, giant game or an MMO (which, sorry, I don’t normally play despite my love for Final Fantasy).
Points will be allocated based on the result of the following equation:
[(Initial Market Price of Game / # of Hours Played ) / (Initial Market Price of Game) ]* 100
I want things related to 1. That’s it. That’s the reason for the garbage above. Simply because the number 1 allows me to make easy calls like the below:
- $/Hour < 1: 20 points
- $/Hour = 1: 10 points
- $/Hour > 1: 0 points
Math is great.
This category has an extra 20 points attached to it versus $/Hour because I think it incorporates an important, extra element: content.
While $/Hour will only capture one run, Replay Value will take into account numerous other factors like New Game+, DLC, and just overall enjoyability. For more online/multi-player games, one important factor that replaces/works with the concept of New Game+ is community. Like I mentioned, my ACNH island is a lot less fun when no one wants to visit (can I short Dodo Airlines? No? Fine.).
The points for this get tricky. Especially when some games have no actual end. And others may be worth playing but for a price. For games with a definitive end, I will answer the question: how many replays and what does it cost me?
Complicated. Let’s take one of my more recent obsessions as an example: Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Spoiler: replay is NECESSARY. And yes, replay it at least three times. But what about the fourth (looking at you, Silver Snow), and what about the DLC? Using this game as a baseline, I’ve attempted to form a point system below:
- Playthrough > 3 at no additional cost: 40 points
- Playthrough > 3 with additional cost*: 34 points
- Playthrough> 2 at no additional cost: 28 points
- Playthrough > 2 with additional cost*: 22 points
- Playthrough > 1 with no additional cost: 15 points
- Playthrough > 1 with additional cost*: 10 points
- Playthrough = 1: 5 points
- Playthrough < 1 aka 0 aka don’t touch: 0 points
Okay, but why the asterisk? Because games will be penalized when extra content is just too much dollar dollar bills. I’m hesitant to give an absolute number as this is an egregious trend for some games/publishers. But that’s a rant for another time.
And what about the games that have no end? What’s the “replay”? As implied above, the “replay” will be qualitatively determined by the remaining community and any additional content added (with, again, the caveat of cost). Forgive me, but for now this will be left to my discretion with no formalized ranges. Max points of 40 still apply.
I’m gonna give publishers points for discounting their games. That’s it in a nutshell. As previewed in the tutorial, this factor is meant to be instructive and informative and eventually act as a “financial tool” (LAME, I know). But for scoring purposes, this category will simply be a bonus round for games that have been discounted from original market price.
- >/=10% discount after on market for 12 months: 15 points
- <10% discount after on market for 12 months: 7 points
- No discount after on market for 12 months: 0 points
“But Nicole, what about older games or newer games that you play before the year is out?“
Hm, yes, there is that. For older games that haven’t been rereleased, I’ll try to find historical data. Where that’s not possible, this factor will be removed from overall grading and tier construction entirely. For newer games, this will not be a component until a year of release has passed. Then I’ll update the scoring. Sound good? Yay!
Okay. Finance time is over. Next post will be the much more qualitative, super subjective topic of Art 🙂