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Praise Indeed



Few people would ever think that a game was totally perfect in every way. Even the best games off all time have their faults, minor or otherwise, so it would be unthinkable to give a game an overall rating of 100%, for instance. And yet, it’s surprising how many magzine reviews did dish out perfect marks in the past. If anyone did complain about the high marks the response would usually be along the lines of “if you're going to use a scoring system and yet not use it in full then you may as well not bother using it.” That may be true to some extent, but if you're going by that philosophy then why isn’t the other end of the scoring system used where we would see more 0% games? The majority of magazines did stick to a more realistc rating scale of 0%-97%, but there were occasions where 100% surprisingly cropped up.

One of the earliset 100% games was Quantox which was reviewed by Julia Forester in Commodore Computing International vol. 2 no. 10 in February 1989. The next 100% rated game came a few months later in June 1989, again from Commodore Computing International. This time it was Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition reviewed by Paul Rigby.

Amiga Computing dedicated the majority of its pages to the more serious side of the Amiga and set aside a small section for gaming.  However, that didn't deter them from lavishing perfect marks on a handful of games.  Their first perfect mark of 100% came in the Xenon II review by Jeff Walker from the October 1989 issue. Just a few short months later, in its volume 2 number 10 issue from March 1990, the staff seemed to have gone absolute bonkers. First up was editor Simon Rockman who gave Stunt Car Racer an overall rating of 100%. In that very same issue Stewart C. Russel went a few steps further with his Battle Squadron review. “Everyone went gaga over Xenon II, and rightly so – it was the best available then,” commented Stewart. “But now Battle Squadron is the best. Xenon II scored the perfect 100 per cent. How can we express that Battle Squdron is even better? Hmmm. I’ll show you how…” The ratings box followed immediately below with tops marks in sound and value and marks going off the scale for graphics and gameplay, but the real kicker was the ludicrous overall rating of 109%!

Battle Squadron
Battle Squadron
YC, formerly known as Your Commodore, had always been a bit on the eccentric side since its relaunch as a C64 games mag, but it still came as surprise to see a 100% rated game in its January 1991 issue. Editor Rik Henderson awarded Last Ninja 3 top marks in sonics, graphics, fix factor, half life and, of course, an overall rating of 100%. “The graphics are superb, and better than ever before,” stated Rik, “the music is much better, the puzzles are more involving, there are more variations of baddy to encounter, the status panel is much improved, in fact absolutely everything has been updated, so much so that the abilities of the commie 64 seem to have been stretched so far that nothing could possibly expand upon it. It is for this reason that I have no qualms about proclaiming Last Ninja 3 the best C64 game EVER...”

Last Ninja 3
Last Ninja 3

Amiga User International was a magazine that rated a handful of games in the 98% and 99% range, but 100% seemed to have been reserved for Lemmings which was reviewed in the volume 5 number 4 issue of April 1991. “On a final note,” commented Pat Kelly as he closed off his review, “I am going to tackle the ‘You can’t give a game 100% brigade’ by stating that in my opinion the game ranks amongst the likes of Kick Off and Tetris, now you can’t get a better accolade than that, can you?” Indeed.

Lemmings
Lemmings

In 1993, Mayhem in Monsterland was one of the last great orignal releases on the Commodore 64. Developed by The Apex Twins, who also produced the Creatures games on the C64, Mayhem was full of platforming trickery of which had apparantly never been seen before and pushed the hardware beyond its limits. Commodore Format had followed the game’s development for many months with the twins themselves providing a making of type diary for publication in the magazine. As the game’s release came, CF made sure that its November 1993 issue 38 covered the game in full with the front cover dedicated to it along with a covermount playable demo cassette. Not only that, but inside there was also a two page advertisement of the game, a Mayhem T-shirt competition and, finally, a three page review of the game, which was naturally given 100% by editor Andy Hutchinson. His reasoning for a 100% rating: “The best you’ll ever see on the C64 in this decade or the next.” Quite. So by that logic Stunt Car Racer, Battle Squadron and Last Ninja 3 should be 100% rated games? Oh, wait.

Mayhem in Monsterland

And here we come to the problem with the percentage rating scale which is flawed when used to rate video games. Gamers would constantly moan about why game x got 93% when game y only got 92%. Thankfully, in time, the percentage rating scale was abandonded by all in favour of the more realistic 5 star or a 10/10 system. So, here’s to the ludicrous percentage ratings and the perfect 100%.


Notes:
Special thanks to Mort at The Def Guide to Zzap!64and Amiga Magazine Rack.

 
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