Why we marked the way we did

AP was, and to the best of our knowledge remains, the only games magazine ever to use percentage scoring in any kind of meaningful and proper way, that is, to use the full range of marks from 0% to 100%, and to give games the exact literal mark they deserved.

Other mags openly and deliberately operate a rather different system, whereby an "average" game scores between 75% and 80% (rather than, for example, 50%), and the bottom half of the scoring range is almost never used. (Indeed, our dear rival ("Michael Jackson" - Ed) was once heard to voice the opinion, in all seriousness, that a game should be awarded marks simply for existing and having a box, and that merely working properly ought to guarantee a game at least 35%, on the grounds that a lot of time and effort must have gone into making it, and to mark otherwise would be pointlessly nasty to the poor programmers.)

Bizarrely, these other publications have on countless occasions attempted to actually seize the moral high ground regarding this ridiculous practice, claiming that our "negative" (in fact, entirely and literally neutral) stance helped to kill the Amiga, by causing owners to become depressed about their machines. This is clearly absurd, and here's why:

INSTANCE A:

1. Consumer reads review of terrible game in rival magazine, where it actually receives, for example, 73%.

2. Consumer thinks "Oh well, that's not a bad mark, since I liked the idea of the game anyway, and so should probably add a few percent to account for my personal tastes."

3. Acting on said thoughts, consumer buys game. Game is, as previously ascertained, dreadful.

4. Consumer thinks:

i. "Blimey, if this is worth 73%, the very best Amiga games available must be only slightly better, and hence must also be pretty grim. I shall buy a SNES forthwith," or

ii. "Blimey, if this gets 73% despite clearly being worth about 12%, I am clearly unable to rely on magazines (the primary source of buying information for most people) for reliable criticism, and am therefore likely to get my fingers expensively burnt on a regular basis. I shall start relying on pirate copies instead of originals forthwith, and hence hasten the decline of the Amiga greatly."

INSTANCE B:

1. Consumer buys several games over a period of time, based on realistic criticism, analysis and marking in AMIGA POWER.

2. Consumer plays games, and realises (by and large) AP review generally reflects relative quality of games, with allowances made for personal tastes.

3. Consumer feels able to trust reviews, and so confident in purchasing games which are recommended in the magazine without danger of wasting inconveniently large sums of money.

4. Game publishers think "Oh no, we're going to have to actually produce some decent games if we want to get good marks and sell lots of copies." Amiga market thrives on wonderful, successful games and everyone lives happily ever after.

Do you see? And if you don't agree, simply examine the historical facts - everyone else did it the first way, leaving AP isolated and reviled, and look what a mess the Amiga market ended up in. We were right. AS ALWAYS.