Print 19 comment(s) - last by inperfectdarkn.. on Feb 14 at 10:13 PM

Average review scores across two generations  (Source: Next-Gen)
Wii games rate significantly lower than Xbox 360, PS3 games

There is no argument that the Wii is winning the console hardware race. Even with its relatively unremarkable technology, aside from its controller technology, the Wii has won the hearts of the general public with its hardware innovation. The games available on the system, however, seem to paint a different picture.

Using aggregate game scores from GameRankings, Next-Generation compared the average rating of all reviews across the current consoles. The overall average rating across all Xbox 360 games was almost 70 percent, with the PlayStation 3 up slightly with 73 percent. Wii games collectively average a significantly lower 64 percent.

While some may argue that a six to nine point difference between the current platforms is unappreciable, the Wii’s apparent lack of quality software shows even when plotted against game consoles from the previous generation. GameCube, Xbox and PS2 all share lifetime review scores around the 70 percent mark, still well above the Wii’s current average.

There may be several explanations for why Wii games are performing poorly in reviews. For one, the instant success of the Wii has encouraged developers to rush out either basic, shallow software – most of which are mini-game-based – or shoehorn Wii motion controls into a title originally designed for the PS2.

On the reception side, game reviewers all of which are hardcore gamers, have been accustomed to traditional control schemes, consistently advancing presentation (graphics, sound) quality – things that the Xbox 360 and PS3 have, but the Wii does not.

Review scores for the Wii don’t seem to correlate strongly with sales. Wii Play earned an average of 61 percent, yet sold almost as well as Halo 3 (of course, coming with a Wii Remote probably helped at least half of those sales).

Super Mario Galaxy with its 97.2 percent average sold quite well throughout the holiday season, but it had instant street cred being a Mario title. (Sadly, it didn’t sell as well in Japan.)

Right now, it seems the Wii is two different things. Casual or new gamers see the Wii as a Wii Sports party machine, while hardcore gamers see it as a Nintendo player – strictly for playing first-party titles. The latter are currently salivating at the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Lost in the shuffle are great games such as Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, which sold dismally to Wii owners, yet earned nearly an 86 percent average. Sadly, the gutsy No More Heroes may suffer the same fate, despite its 83 percent average.

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Just for the record
By clovell on 2/13/2008 6:44:22 PM , Rating: 1
No More Heroes rocks!

RE: Just for the record
By Hiawa23 on 2/13/2008 7:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
I own all three of the consoles, but only bought the wii for my 10 year old daughter. Nothing on it even appeals to me other than VC as it has allowed to me to get some TB Graph 16, Neo Geo games I was missing, but other than that, I donot like the controller, the Gamecube visuals, sound. I have always loved Mario but I really donot like to play Galaxy with the forced Wii controls. I am a traditional gamer & all I needed this gen was better graphics, better sound, & some vibration. I agree, too many of the games are DS like & I prefer the PSP to that.

RE: Just for the record
By Spivonious on 2/14/2008 10:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't find the Galaxy controls forced at all. In fact, the only thing that really uses the motion-sensing is the spin move.

I am a traditional gamer & all I needed this gen was better graphics, better sound, & some vibration

Graphics are better than GC.
I agree, I wish Nintendo had gone the DD route instead of PLII.
The controller vibrates. What more do you want?

RE: Just for the record
By bighairycamel on 2/14/2008 11:36:55 AM , Rating: 3
I agree. I'm sure I'll get downrated for saying this, but the Wii system is a piece of "trend electronics", just like the iPods and iPhones. Sure some casual and hardcore gamers enjoy the system, but it's marketed to everyone but them. Most people buy the system to have 30 minutes of fun with their friends, so the crappy mini games appeal to them. Real gamers play them and say WTF then downrate them.

Pure nostalgia keeps the hardcore gamers with the system; seems as long as they keep pumping out Mario/Link/DK/Metroid games like they've done with every system since the beginning people will go bonkers even if it's the same damn game they played on the GC but with a wiimote.

RE: Just for the record
By clovell on 2/14/2008 11:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
Nostalgia defintely has its draw, and I definitely prefer some genres on other consoles, but I like the Wii. There are quite a few games I've been looking forward to, but I will admit, they're few and far between.

Again, No More Heroes rocks.

Time will change this?
By oTAL on 2/13/2008 6:46:13 PM , Rating: 3
There may be several explanations for why Wii games are performing poorly in reviews. For one, the instant success of the Wii has encouraged developers to rush out either basic, shallow software  most of which are mini-game-based  or shoehorn Wii motion controls into a title originally designed for the PS2.

Plenty of those...
I think it's even worse than the numbers show since Nintendo is arguably the best console game maker ever and its 1st party games usually earn plenty of praise (a lot more than average games on any other console) and are exclusive. That means 3rd parties must have an even lower quality to drag down the numbers like this. (By the way, it bothers me when people distort graphics to make a small difference enormous! If you have a percentage graphics bar make it visible from 0 to 100% - better perspective.)

I believe with time the average quality of releases will rise. Interest in the wii started rising during 2007 and games take time (especially the good ones). In the mean time buy the 1st party Nintendo games. Average quality on those is great.

RE: Time will change this?
By someguy123 on 2/13/2008 8:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much. looking at the list of titles for the wii right now all the good games are 1st party with a very few exceptions (like raving rabbids).

It's not really the wii's nor nintendo's fault games are scoring so low, it's the consumer's for buying crappy software. If 3rd party studios can get away with selling crap they'll keep pumping out crap.

RE: Time will change this?
By Scware on 2/13/2008 9:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
All these games keep being released for multiple consoles with crappy wii controls, that accounts for a lot of the low ratings. It isn't that hard to port games between xbox and playstation because they have the similar controllers.

If the software ratings are lower than average for the wii, it surely is'nt Nintendo's fault, it is these software companies pushing out crap for the wii.

Another reason could be that the wii is different from the "traditional" console, so the developers actually have to put some creativity into how they use the controls.

RE: Time will change this?
By Macelind on 2/14/2008 11:14:14 AM , Rating: 2
You can't always know a game is crap UNTIL you buy it. Then it's too late.

Poor choice of graphs (Misleading)
By ChronoReverse on 2/13/2008 7:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
I won't disagree with the numbers since I have no practical way of confirming them, but graphs that don't start from Zero are a very good way of magnifying differences.

The Wii is scoring lower but the graphs make it look even larger than it is.

By cobalt42 on 2/14/2008 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed -- however, to have it start at zero you wouldn't even be able to see *any* difference at the size that image is. At least (a) the vertical axis is clearly legible even on the thumbnail image, and (b) the text points out the 6-9 point differences as potentially small. It could have been much worse.

RE: Poor choice of graphs (Misleading)
By srue on 2/14/2008 11:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
I was about to say the same thing. I hate graphs that don't start at zero or whatever the end of the spectrum might be.

And the fact that you wouldn't be able to distinguish the bars if the graph started at zero shows how misleading this particular graph is.

By 3kliksphilip on 2/14/2008 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
On a bright side for Nintendo, they're nearer everybody else when it comes to 50% being average... which is surely what half marks should mean. I get fed up of magazines claiming hat 50% is average, whilst anything scoring less than 70% is considered rubbish. *COUGH* Custom PC. Not sure if I've ever seen anything rated lower than 60%.

Maybe the problem isn't the software
By NicePants42 on 2/14/2008 10:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
The Next Generation article makes some good points, and is worth the read.

Reviewers, on the other hand, have spent years lauding technical achievements and ever more realistic gameplay. Now they have to answer a question for which their training is quite possibly ill-suited: “Are these games fun to play?”

I think the problem is that game reviewers are more representative of the PS3/Xbox360 demographic. The Wii is bringing games to new demographics; your daughter wants a Wii, your girlfriend wants a Wii, your grandparents want a Wii, etc. Game reviewers love games, but a lot of people buying Wiis love socializing.

If poorly-reviewed software like Wii Sports, Wii play and Carnival Games are selling well, it seems to me that the simplest explanation is 'the reviewers are wrong - or at least, wrong enough to enough people' instead of 'those games are crap, and the people buying them are dumbasses'.

Neither explanation is mutually exclusive.

RE: Maybe the problem isn't the software
By srue on 2/14/2008 11:32:09 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Your comment illustrates the problem with all reviews: it doesn't show whether the game is good, it shows whether that particular reviewer liked it. Since enjoyment of a game is subjective, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quantify game quality on an absolute scale.
The best we can do is get to know the tastes of a few reviewers relative to our own tastes and go from there.

By Legolias24 on 2/14/2008 3:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that a fundamental problem of any reviewer is that their personal biases/opinions are always in effect when they review games. Some reviewers are better at hiding these biases then others, but they are always there.

With that being said, you (Srue) do make a good point about getting to know a reviewer by seeing how your's and their gaming tastes align. That way when they review something, you know how many 'grains of salt' to take their review with! :P (although you should always take a grain of salt with every review you read :P)

Misleading graph
By astralsolace on 2/14/2008 1:25:07 PM , Rating: 4
I believe your assessment of various metacritic/gameranking reviews are misleading. Yes, you did say they were aggregate scores. However, any given system has multitudes of shovelware garbage games, and you'll see more of them for the most popular systems.

A better way, in my opinion, is to use the scores from the very top.

How many games on metacritic rate 9.0 out of 10 or higher for the mainstream consoles?

360: 11
PS3: 3

Out of the Wii's 4 games rated 9.0 or above, 3 are exclusive and 1 is multiplatform (Resident Evil 4.)

Out of the 360's 11 games, 4 are exclusive, depending on if you include PC and 360 only as being a 360 exclusive. If not, Only Mass Effect and Halo 3are exclusives.

Out of the PS3's 3 games rated 9.0 or above, none are exclusive. Additionally, 2 out of the 3 titles are rated -higher- on the 360, and the third is tied.

I'm a gamer.
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/14/2008 12:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
When time rolled around to buy a new console, I bought a Wii. Why? Because I have a PC, and most titles that are released for the XBOX will eventually be available for the PC. Also, I generally play alot of FPS's. IMO, the kybd/mouse is the only way to play 'em. I bought the Wii to play platformers, and other games I generally wouldn't/couldn't purchase for my PC. Also, when you have some friends over, it's just not the same huddling around my 22" widescreen trying to play COD4 one at a time as it is popping in GH3, sitting on the couch and tossing back some brews. I will purchase a PS3 after the next price drop. Honestly as much for the Blu-ray capabilities as the games. I think that the Wii has filled a niche long ignored by most, and I applaud Nintendo for putting some fun back into gaming.


RE: I'm a gamer.
By inperfectdarkness on 2/14/2008 10:13:07 PM , Rating: 1
i'm with you 100%.

i blame 3rd party manufacturers more than anything else here. you'll notice that nearly ALL (if not every single one) of the top rated games for other systems by 3rd party game makers have not been ported to the Wii.

it seems to me that it's not the Wii's fault, but rather that it hasn't been given a chance in the first place. notice how rockband wasn't going to be released on the Wii originally? think that was a fluke? nope! it's indicative of prejudice in the community.

it's almost like the Wii is a greater shite magnet than the ps1 and the atari 2600 combined. you can't blame nintendo. they just created the greatest 3-d platformer of all time; so you know it's not them or their system's fault.

in movies they call this exploitation films. that's what this is: exploitation games.


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