Wonderful 101 developer laments consumers’ reliance on review scores to help make purchasing choices, Kamiya wants players “to play games for themselves and judge for themselves.”
The Wonderful 101 is finally upon us – or nearly upon us if you’re reading this from North America. Perhaps anticipating a mixed reception from reviewers around the world, the game’s director Hideki Kamiya has explained that players’ growing reliance on review scores to help influence their purchasing choices is a trend that he struggles to understand.
“Even from when I was a kid playing games in arcades,” he tells GameTrailers, “you’d go into an arcade and all these games – there were no review scores set for them. It was a situation where you have to play the games for yourself – you have to spend your money to actually play the game… it was all deciding for yourself based on experience.”
Kamiya feels that players are less inclined to pick up games without reading reviews first – and points out that he would struggle to apply a numerical to some of his favourites.
“With review scores and their prevalence now you end up in a situation where people become overly reliant on review scores – and that situation sort of makes me feel sad,” he continues. “Take for example some games that I really like: Gradius or Space Harrier or Zelda – these are games that I can clearly say that I love – but applying a point value is a lot harder proposition for me. Saying it’s 100 points or even 200 points or whatever scale, I can’t put a point value on that – so I don’t understand the reliance on it.”
“It makes me wonder, is there a point to play through a game one time and apply a score to it? Not to mention the fact that this is a score that is being applied to a game by another person that knows nothing about me. I’d just say that I want people to play games for themselves and judge for themselves and when people look at a game, see it with their own eyes and judge and decide if the want to try it – and then dive in if they’re interested.”
If Kamiya had been worrying about how The Wonderful 101 might have been received, he needn’t have been. The game is currently pulling in some solid review scores and our very own Mark Seymour gave it a ‘Recommended’ badge in his review. Incidentally, we don’t put scores on games here.