Really? A lot of tests I take require a 50% completion to be approved.
Then that says less about the reviewer and more about you.
If I take a GCSE exam, the teachers and the paper itself says "Get a grade D or above and you pass"
I then look at what grades I need to get in order to any A level class, I find that they won't accept anyone unless they get a grade C or above. Ok well maybe the job listings have something... hmmm nope... needs to be a C or above at GCSE level.
Exactly how is a grade D a pass when it's considered a failure by every single thing except for the exam itself? Even if GCSE's/A-levels were a number based grading system. Eventually that 50/100 is going to look like a failure.
Frankly back in the early 2000's if I saw 50% as a score, I'd certainly consider that a failure, as more and more people/things score above 70 and even into the 90's why on earth would you consider 50% anything but a failure when theres something better out there? Thats the perception. Is it right is it wrong? This topic probably isn't the one to debate that, but it's certainly a very strong factor in deciding success.
Now with Meta-critics system, it only works if every reviewer is reviewing something by the same guidelines... which they don't so it's totally broken in every respect.
I've seen people here say "Ah well destructoids 5 is really a 7 compared to other sites...." Well give the game a fucking 7 then or take them off Meta-critic!
You can't say "Look here is an average score of the game" if you have different boundaries for grading at the source material you gather from.
Wasn't there some controversy in the Sonic Generations review topic back in November when one website gave Generations something like a 4 or a 5 and then turned around and said "Oh we grade games based on what we think our website fans like and not what the game is actually like" Sorry what kind of bull is that!? Not only is that kind of reviewing completely wrong and the fault of the reviewer, but it's absolutely beyond me how this kind of review score should even make it onto a collective grading system.
So you have grade 5's which are actually grade 7's being listed as grade 5's.
At the same time you have grade 4's/5's which have been given to a small minority group yet being displayed and ranked into a grading criteria which is supposed to represent the mainstream audience.
The solution to the review problem? Scrap all grades.
Just give us the review to read and if the reviewer is good and the person behind it is a good writer, they'll be able to get across their opinion and thought of the game far superior than a random number or grade ever could. And if people complain or can't be bothered to read an entire review, bugger them.