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Perfect Game ≠ Flawless Game
Editorial by 
Editor
July 21, 2011, 09:24:28
 
Every single gaming editorial publication is asked this at least once in their lifetime. Why did you give a perfect score to to a game with flaws? I was recently asked this question in my latest review for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. It's a fair question and, in order to answer it, I need to get a little bit technical and philosophical at the same time.

A perfect game is not a flawless game. Negative World, like some other sites, has a review scale that goes from 0-10. If there is a game that is so terrible with absolutely no redeeming qualities (not even one), then I think it should deserve a big fat zero. However, if there is a game out there that does absolutely everything right, with maybe one or two meaningless wrinkles that are wholly overshadowed by the rest of the positives, then I don't see why I should deny the rarely given and elusive "Perfect Score." Like Anthony Burch once wrote (yes THAT Anthony Burch), "Perfection is an ideal, never to be practically reached by any art form at any time. That's just the way it works. With that in mind, why would you waste an entire point on the 1-10 grading scale by devoting it to something that can, by definition, never truly exist? Instead of calling 10/10 "perfect," why not just call it "will cure cancer"? They're both equally likely to happen within our lifetimes. To hold the 10/10 score back as an ideal for the perfect game, just in case it ever exists, is to degrade the entire 1-10 system into a 1-9.9 scale."

I feel that a "Perfect" game comes out maybe 1-2 times per system (sometimes 3 if we are lucky) , if that system has a lifetime of 4+ years. Let me list how many "perfect" scores there are per system, in my opinion.

NES: 1
Game Boy: 0
Game Boy Color: 0 For now. There are 4 games I want to play before making my final judgment.
Game Boy Advance: 1
SNES: 5 I find that the SNES constitutes the Golden Era of gaming.
N64: 2 And you already know one of them.
Game Cube: 1 and it's not Wind Waker or Super Mario Sunshine
DS: 2 and they are both remakes.
Wii: 1 I have to finish another game to see if it is worthy of a 10, but I'm not playing it soon.
3DS: 1 for now.

Game Gear: 0
Genesis: 0

PS1: 2
PS2: 0
PS3: 3
PSP: 0

XBOX: 0
XBOX 360: 2

If you look at other sites, you will see that, even though they have perfect scores in their review scales, they all agree that there is no such thing as a perfect game. I leave you with some examples:

Gamespot:
10.0: PrimeThis exceedingly rare score refers to a game that is as perfect as a game can aspire to be at its time of release. Obviously, the constantly changing standards for technology and gameplay will probably make this game obsolete some day, but at its time of release, a game earning this score could not have been improved upon in any meaningful way.

Nintendo World Report:
10 - We don't believe any game can actually be "perfect." But some can get pretty close. We give our highest grade to games which are the best of the best. Games that aren't necessarily "generation-defining" can still be given top marks for this reason; if a game is all it can be and stands out among those like it, it can get high marks, too.

Game Informer:
Outstanding: A truly elite title that is nearly perfect in every way. The score is given out rarely and and indicates a game that cannot be missed.

And my favorite definition of a "Perfect Game" goes to IGN:

IGN:
10.0 - Masterpiece
The pinnacle of gaming, a masterpiece may not be flawless, but it is so exceptional that it is hard to imagine a game being better. At the time of its release, this game is the not just the best the system can offer, but better than we could have expected.

Example: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

I would like to conclude the same way I began, just to hammer the point. A perfect game is not a flawless game.

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Posted: 07/21/11, 09:24:28  - Edited by 
 on: 07/21/11, 23:10:02    
 
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@sirmastersephiroth

I don't think this guy is that funny. Am I the only one?

--And I just remembered that with my loss of my Twilight Princess file, and how I have to do it all over again; and how its so "easy" like so many of you (including this guy) say....what about finding all of the Poes and stuff? That can't be easy. How do you know where to look? I can't even remember where I looked last time. Terrible, terrible, terrible.


Posted by 
 on: 07/28/11, 11:13:01
You can't really judge a game's difficulty by the sidequests, though. And poes aren't really 'hard'. Tedious, maybe.


Posted by 
 on: 07/28/11, 18:50:17
@Anand

No, they're not 'hard' to defeat, but they're 'hard' to locate. I mean, you see them all over the place...but did you get ALL of them?

Also, I think I did it accidentally once and I FLIPPED out; can you accidentally kill them so you DON'T get a Poe soul (or whatever it is?). I was in the snow/ice/giant/chowder house, and I was using my ball 'n chain. I thought I slugged one and it dropped an orange rupee. Is there any truth to this, or is this simply my imagination?

There was another part where you take control of some statue looking deals and there are like teleport areas all over the place. Is there anyway to get back into that dungeon after you exit? I think I missed a floor.

That game is a giant headache. There shouldn't even be questions like this!!


Posted by 
 on: 07/28/11, 22:35:59
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