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  1. #1
    Member Corey's Avatar
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    Limiting a Wii bit of cynicism for future games

    A little bit of cynicism is healthy. But like most things, too much can be equally unhealthy.

    While we live in a day and age where our eyes are potentially open to the inner workings of almost anything, there's little wonder left in our increasingly small world to allow us to take things with the level of optimism afforded before the internet arrived. Not to say things have changed dramatically in our mindsets - people have always been sceptical and knee jerk – just the web does make us that little bit more… reactionary. As the saying goes: "a PERSON is smart. PEOPLE are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals"; throw the internet into the equation where you're potentially in front of an audience of millions and things tend to get a tad crazy.

    Even with all that in mind, it's amazing how we can seemingly judge something in just a few seconds. Especially in videogames. Worse, that judgement can be utterly destructive to a large number of people's hard work, just because we think we can sum up their efforts from a brief video clip that we can't even play. Barely two years ago I wandered into a flame fest against the first examples of admittedly unflattering footage of Perfect Dark Zero on Xbox 360, where a couple of high placed trolls were attacking anyone who had the nerve to look forward to it. In my foolishness, I asked why it meant so much to these flame-baiters that they had to piss on other's excitement, to which the replies from said trolls were not reasoned arguments, but more along the lines that I shouldn't get involved. Which to this day is an attitude that astounds me. Whether or not you ultimately enjoy PDZ or not is beside the point – but the very fact these people repeatedly condemned others for their optimism and desire is pretty disgusting. It's videogames, not world politics. Without some form of enthusiasm, no matter how misplaced it may seem to anyone else, we have nothing.

    This level of spite is probably more prominent now as Wii proceeds to twist and turn expectations, leaving the average gamer more uncertain than ever of how to take it all in. Which, in my opinion, is probably a good thing. People have to think and gauge their opinions more. With Wii, playing really is believing, because as churlish as it is to judge a videogame from an attract video or preview shots, it's even more misleading to do so for a game which relies on a unique control method as Wii titles do. Wii Sports was derided by so many when it was first unveiled, by those who judged it by its visuals and deemed the sports too simplistic to hold their attention, not taking into account the appeal and fun that comes from actually playing it. That feeling of control outweighs any misconceived slights of depth. For a title that relies on tactile feedback, increasing the visual sheen wouldn’t have made a difference in this case, but for all the positive previews and reports, the cries of "it looks like a crappy and basic N64 game" were the norm for a long while.

    The same happened with another surprise hit; Elebits. The videos that appeared after last year's E3 had many ask what the point was. It just looked like someone throwing lots of stuff around with a gravity gun. Where's the fun in that? Of course, when it came out people 'found' the fun immediately that was 'missing' in the footage. After all, it was the full game they had in their hands and seemingly unimportant things like 'playability' and 'gameplay' instantly became apparent. You'd think we'd learn from all this. But we keep on making the same nursery school mistakes that a child is warned off from an early age. We keep judging that book from its cover.

    It's not really fair. Not on the people who took years of their lives to make it only for us to shoot it down before we play. And it's not even fair on us because sometimes we have nothing else to go on. A company can only release what it deems worth releasing in terms of preview footage, and if it doesn’t impress then what else can we do? Yet there are far more constructive ways to make a statement and offer an opinion. The internet has turned us into badly aiming Quick Draw McGraws, trying to get as swift and clever response out as possible without truly thinking about it beforehand (the most amusing of which is the expression of apathy through rambling posts; if you're truly apathetic, then surely it would make more sense not to post at all).

    A few games have recently taken my interest in the pursuit of giving more things a fair throw. Wii's game catalogue contains a number of mysteries, most from Nintendo itself. As usual, we can't expect too much more than what we've been given, but it's worth taking another look to see what's flying under many a radar at the moment.

    Project H.A.M.M.E.R. (http://ms.nintendo-europe.com/wii/?s...er.html&l=enGB) has been targeted for cries of simplicity by some quarters because in essence it looks quite basic and there's not been too much time spent with the preview versions to date. The premise itself appears to have roots in the old school beat 'em up genre, as you control a half-man half-machine hammer wielding saviour, using the nunchuck for movement and the remote for hammering the numerous killer robots in the way. There's already been signs of destructible scenery and environments, but it wouldn’t be too much of stretch to assume the hammer will be capable of either different variations and/or power-ups, as typical for a game of this type. It should be interesting to see if Nintendo Software Technology will throw in an online multiplayer, which is more than viable for the genre. Given the release date is not until the latter half of 2007 there's plenty of time to add a lot more to what's been shown so far, especially if puzzles are likely to be introduced. Given how much fun can be had by the seemingly simplest of motions using the Wii remote (we're back to the Elebits and Wii Sports comparison again), I don’t think it's something anyone other than the developer should worry about quite yet.

    Also still in the depths of obscurity is Disaster: Day of Crisis (http://ms.nintendo-europe.com/wii/?s...r.html&l=enGB). This Monolith Software title has some of the biggest potential of the initially announced Wii games, and given the lack of hard information, has a large chance to surprise the awaiting audience. Being thrown into the chaos and destruction of a natural disaster, the blurb tells us we'll be able to "race a car down a mountain… dodge toppling buildings, and swim… in a raging flood." As a third-person action game that deals with multiple scenarios and apparently varying gameplay facets, I'm personally seeing something a bit similar to the sort of game I made up in a previous feature (http://www.wiichat.com/nintendo-wii-...es-bright.html) – where you're playing a host of different sub genres inside a Resident Evil 4 type interactive environment. This isn’t beyond the developing skills of a company that created Baten Kaitos and the Xenosaga series, and could provide a glimpse of how future action adventure games on Wii will shape up, although that acclaim may be snatched by the forthcoming Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. If these titles essentially end up as polished as RE4 but with Wii specific actions and sub genres then the results will be impossible to ignore.

    Much closer to release is Sega's closely scrutinized Sonic and the Secret Rings (http://www.sega.com/games/game_temp....=nav_pldwnlst), which is due within the next few weeks, to bated breath. Here some scepticism is warranted, given the horrible end result that was Sonic the Hedgehog on Xbox 360 and, in fact, the generally poor translation of everyone's favourite blue speedster into 3D. Some would argue vehemently that Sonic hasn’t been good since Sonic Advance on Game Boy Advance (and even that is attacked by some) although Sonic Rush was a step in the right direction where quality is concerned. Sonic's first Wii outing has several things going for it over its 3D predecessors, though. The much maligned Sonic Team isn’t responsible this title, for one, while most if not all traces of Sonic's rather ill conceived human friends and armoury have been removed, allowing a focus on the classic speed and platforming combo to bring the game back to its roots. And if the 70 different missions aren't enough, there are also 40 multiplayer party games for up to four players to keep the pace. There's even WiiConnect24 access, although it's unclear as to what exactly it may be at this stage. It's not putting too much stock in expectation to say that Sonic and the Secret Rings could well end up being the one 3D game a lot of people have been waiting a long time for. If you've not already checked out the newest trailer (http://www.famitsu.com/fwtv/asx/070130/070130_sega.asx) it's worth a look. You may want to cross your fingers for luck while you're at it.

    A potential mainstream killer app, Wii Music, could end up being a colossal hit if Nintendo can line everything up right. By that I mean offering a wide choice of tracks and game modes to stretch its already large prospective appeal. When it was shown at E3 last year, there were two main functions; Orchestra and Drums. The latter lets you simulate drumsticks using the remote and nunchuck. I would imagine a DrumMania rhythm action style of gameplay could be incorporated to couple the freeform play that was exhibited in 2006, with some sort of recording function to let you to keep your best (or worst) efforts. There was also a split screen multiplayer option on show. However, it's the former mode, Orchestra, which perhaps holds the most promise. With the remote you conduct the tempo and volume of your own virtual orchestra -likely consisting of your created Miis- as they play through a particular song. Slow movements drag out notes and tones, while sharper more manic actions make the performance edgier and jauntier. The E3 version gave you a rating at the end, although it's likely there will be a lot more to it than just making the song match as close to the original as possible.

    The kicker for Wii Music, as with any rhythm action game, will be what sort of soundtrack it has. So far there's only been the overworld theme from The Legend of Zelda and Bizet's Carmen, which suggests (hopefully) a mixture of classical and Nintendo driven tracks. A wide selection would be critical; classical music gives it an appeal to those who may not have even registered gaming before, keeping well within Nintendo's desire to hook non-gamers. In fact, it would be touching on a genre of music that has rarely been used by mainstream videogames, opening a wide array of possibilities for audience and game style. And by throwing in a batch of recognised Nintendo title themes as well, the hardcore demographic is covered. If the big N convinces other developers to contribute (unlikely, but you never know) then Wii Music could gather that rather large cross section of gamers and musicians who piled in to see the outstanding Videogames Live (http://www.videogameslive.com/index.php?s=home) concert that's been touring since 2005.

    Now while much of the above is critical to Wii Music's success, Nintendo could go one further and create an unstoppable phenomenon by packing in a microphone and karaoke/SingStar style mode with the game. While I don’t think there's a strong chance of this happening -more likely Nintendo will just make a separate title as it's more profitable, and the domain http://www.wiikaraoke.com/ has been previously registered- there's a slight chance the company may tease us with a scaled down variant. Such peripherals aren’t that expensive to create with a game and the rewards would be huge, but it's arguable Nintendo has a winner on its hands with Drums and Orchestra alone, both of which are likely to be joined by another couple music driven games for the pack. Either way, given Wii Music's relatively quick development cycle we'll be seeing what's in store sometime within the next couple months when it's released. But mark my words, if you're looking for the next major mainstream killer app on the system, this has a stronger chance than most.

    Something a little more esoteric is No More Heroes (previously known as Heroes) by Grasshopper Manufacture. Headed by Goichi Suda (aka Suda 51), No More Heroes is a spiritual successor to quirky PlayStation2 and GameCube action title, Killer 7. Set in the fictional town of Santa Destroy, you control an up-and-coming assassin called Travis Touchdown who's given the task of whacking the top ten contract killers in the area. The game is in third-person and free-roaming, allowing you to travel on foot or by a number of vehicles and partaking in various side-quests while wiping out anyone who stands in your way with a lightsaber style Beam Katana. Other weapons, swords in particular, will be at hand as well, with the Wii remote having a set calibration of moves for blade control. While this may appear similar to Red Steel, there's a number of combinations that allow for sword locks, finishing moves and additional attacks to keep things diverse, as well as the factor of having to recharge your sword. It all sounds fairly enticing and original in terms of gameplay dynamics, even if you weren't a fan of the cult classic Killer 7; No More Heroes offers a broader mixture of conventional and unconventional styles that's likely to bring in a wider fanbase come its mid to late 2007 release. It should also increase anticipation for the ominous Project 'S', which is an adventure game collaboration between Suda and Metal Gear supremo, Hideo Kojima. Next to nothing is known about this title as both designers want to finish their other projects first, but it's been hinted as a sequel to Kojima's 1988 adventure game, Snatcher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snatcher), popularised by the Sega Mega CD version. There's some hope Snatcher will be reborn on the virtual console as well.
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  2. #2
    Wii New and Reviews JerrodDRagon's Avatar
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    So true how may people hate the Wii because of the graphics's when I think game play means more.
    Look at zelda many sites game it the game of the year when if Gears of War had better graphics's and even a great online mode, this should show alot of people that game play is still important to a game not just graphics's.
    I think the new Sonic game for the Wii looks great (so great I wrote a article on the game) The game looks like alot of fun plus it includes a multilayer mode (that looks alot like the Sonic Party game on the Dreamcast)
    But one thing that Nintendo needs to get on is online gaming, I mean come on Wii sports could have been online and would have had any Wii owner that could go online playing it) They could have also made Mario Kart 64 online I bet every Mario Kart owner would be playing it online.
    But besides that Nintendo has done a great good of putting game play over graphics's and 2007 has over 10 games on the Wii that I want (not including VC games)

    By the way Great article
    -No External Links

  3. #3
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    Not on the people who took years of their lives to make it only for us to shoot it down before we play. And it's not even fair on us because sometimes we have nothing else to go on. A company can only release what it deems worth releasing in terms of preview footage, and if it doesn’t impress then what else can we do? Yet there are far more constructive ways to make a statement and offer an opinion. The internet has turned us into badly aiming Quick Draw McGraws, trying to get as swift and clever response out as possible without truly thinking about it beforehand (the most amusing of which is the expression of apathy through rambling posts; if you're truly apathetic, then surely it would make more sense not to post at all).
    Truly interesting article Corey, I would like to pick up on the above points:

    Whilst I concur with the view that there is a lot of: bull-in-a-china-shop mentallity with a great number of people, who with ideas formed by pre-conception or ignorance, make their minds up about things without chance to form a hands on experience or thinking things out (narrow minded imho) also propogated through, what can be essentially, chinese whispers via the internet. What about the products which are released sub par following good sound sensible critisism

    For Example: http://www.computerandvideogames.com....php?id=152119


    I imagine the main driving point behind the release of most games is a deadline; of course this doesn't ridgidly apply for every game i.e. Mario galaxy; so when games which are highly anticipated are released and disappoint, it's in people's nature to shout loud and long about the failure of the games dev to deliver etc... Now the game dev obviously reads reviews and forums to get an overall picture of how well / badly their baby has been received and be upset when people don't objectively (and most don't, to be fair) critique their work - they just slag it off.
    We would all be very upset and hurt at people tearing to shreds our work - wouldn't we?.

    Regarding the houses which release games which they know are sub-standard and won't ever live up to the interest, let alone the hype generated by the marketing dept.? Had they slaved over a product which they knew they couldn't deliver to a decent standard and have just done the best they could with what they had? Don't they deserve to be slaughtered in the "media" (print/video reviews/forums/blogs etc) for not being bold enough to hold back a release to get it right?

    To conclude with such an open ended reply would be very poor form indeed so I will add this into the mix - whilst houses need to generate hype around even the poorest game, would it not be financially & PR savvy to hold off the BIG hype until they have a product which is quite a ways along? I am thinking about Disaster: Day of Crisis - hell this game seems to have been soooo long in development that it's practically thought of as a sequel - it seems to be a slow burner which is generating just enough interest for people to be talking about it even when little was known until recently - that to me makes sense.

    I'd love to know what others think.

    I was once an app dev and do know all about budget constraints, beta test times, debugging, tinkering, line manager breathing down your neck etc etc - so I know it's not always possible to achieve even close to what you as a dev would like, let alone what the company and public want in a certain time frame. I will say this though - we always knew when an up-rev exe went out with obvious bugs in we were sending out a ticking time bomb...!
    User can really hurt a devs feelies you know - [sniff] My shrink advises me to keep those dark times locked away - I need to weep quietly in the corner for a minute....
    Last edited by Rolex; 02-14-2007 at 06:18 AM.
    ---Smithy...
    "This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"

  4. #4
    Aliens Exist freakpizzaboy's Avatar
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    Plain and simple

    The Sonic 3D games HAVE been bad

    and I'm not sure if changing the control style(to make it more like racing) is going to entirly help.

    IM open minded to the sonic game but will defiently enjoy a rent before I make any decisions.

    Official AOTS and Xplay Fanclub Member #1 and Leader




    Spoiler Alert!

    ^^^ serious spoiler

  5. #5
    WiiChat Member Scuba Steve's Avatar
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    Many of you may not like it, but I have to admit that I'm a little turned off by the sub-par graphics of the Wii. Don't get me wrong, I think buying the Wii was money well spent, but I don' think the new control scheme will balance out the graphical shortcomings on multi-platform games. In fact, I'm considering buying a 360 to get the best of both worlds. I'll take the Wii for all of the great first party and exclusive games (Zelda, MP3, Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, etc) that Nintendo is known for, but I'd rather have games like Splinter Cell and Call of Duty on the 360 w/ 3 times better graphics.

  6. #6
    WiiChat Feature Writer cbrotherson's Avatar
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    Hey Rolex, hope you're well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex
    I imagine the main driving point behind the release of most games is a deadline; of course this doesn't ridgidly apply for every game i.e. Mario galaxy; so when games which are highly anticipated are released and disappoint, it's in people's nature to shout loud and long about the failure of the games dev to deliver etc... Now the game dev obviously reads reviews and forums to get an overall picture of how well / badly their baby has been received and be upset when people don't objectively (and most don't, to be fair) critique their work - they just slag it off.
    We would all be very upset and hurt at people tearing to shreds our work - wouldn't we?
    Just shorted the quote for brevity, but this is actually something I covered very (very) briefly in a recent blog entry I made where I reviewed a title many years ago and a member of the dev team got hold of me via email with nary but a sad smilie face. At that point I became hyper aware of this sort of thing. Not to say I wont give a bad game a bad mark if the need be (I recently reviewed PS2 Superman Returns and gave it a terrible score) but I try to be more constructive in my criticism rather than pour scorn in the fanciest manner possible. Of course, some readers would prefer that you only rip a game a new one and make it as funny as possible – which I think works in some cases, but not all. There's a fine line between being entertaining and being just plain mean-spirited.

    Regarding the houses which release games which they know are sub-standard and won't ever live up to the interest, let alone the hype generated by the marketing dept.? Had they slaved over a product which they knew they couldn't deliver to a decent standard and have just done the best they could with what they had? Don't they deserve to be slaughtered in the "media" (print/video reviews/forums/blogs etc) for not being bold enough to hold back a release to get it right?
    It's an interesting issue. There's so many points of failure that it's hard to say blame rests at one particular factor in some cases. Most of the time, we never know the true story. Like a film can fail from a thousand different factors (acting, direction, writing, production, financing, effects, editing… the list goes on) a game can also become a mass of pratfalls for a large number of reasons. Alas, the reviewer can only focus on the product on a whole unless made aware of a specific issue, which is rare as members of the team will usually want to keep their jobs! So I guess, we can only do our own jobs to the best of our ability – after all, journalists are hampered by numerous forces out of our control as well in a typical month to make just a single article problematic at times, let alone a whole publication. I could tell you some horror stories about what I've personally been through in trying to get the most basic stuff off the ground when I was an editor and producer… I shudder at just thinking about them and the subsequent flak that came my way.

    To conclude with such an open ended reply would be very poor form indeed so I will add this into the mix - whilst houses need to generate hype around even the poorest game, would it not be financially & PR savvy to hold off the BIG hype until they have a product which is quite a ways along? I am thinking about Disaster: Day of Crisis - hell this game seems to have been soooo long in development that it's practically thought of as a sequel - it seems to be a slow burner which is generating just enough interest for people to be talking about it even when little was known until recently - that to me makes sense.
    I agree totally – although some people would see it as a sign that things aren’t going well, when that often isn’t the case! Too much application of one example tainting others (how many times have people had to be told Super Paper Mario wasn’t cancelled?!)

    I was once an app dev and do know all about budget constraints, beta test times, debugging, tinkering, line manager breathing down your neck etc etc - so I know it's not always possible to achieve even close to what you as a dev would like, let alone what the company and public want in a certain time frame. I will say this though - we always knew when an up-rev exe went out with obvious bugs in we were sending out a ticking time bomb...!
    User can really hurt a devs feelies you know - [sniff] My shrink advises me to keep those dark times locked away - I need to weep quietly in the corner for a minute....
    Heh, can you give me your shrink's number? I think mine gives me the wrong advice by comparison *cleans shotgun*

  7. #7
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    Corey,

    I'm doing really well, thanks for asking. Hope it's likewise?

    There's so many points of failure that it's hard to say blame rests at one particular factor in some cases. Most of the time, we never know the true story. Like a film can fail from a thousand different factors (acting, direction, writing, production, financing, effects, editing… the list goes on) a game can also become a mass of pratfalls for a large number of reasons
    These studios, be it game or movie, do have a small gaggle of quality control beta testers whom they rely on to give them a solid no BS review of the product which they are getting paid to test (btw I am now in Oil&Gas QC myself) and hence should have some control over the release standard of the game they are testing.
    If their objective opinions are not heralded as important enough to hold back the release of the product then it makes a mockery of the QC / beta / alpha testing process. Now, we all know that the games market is huge and games producers are all under pressure to secure the financial riches available but surely it's catch 22 - how can you make money with a product which in reality shouldn't sell due to poor quality and scathing reviews? Of course the release is ultimately down to the "BIG CHEESE" who may have a more financial than discerning agenda towards gaming (although you would hope not! )

    The current environment which is cultivated via the internet, surely must dilute the reviewers influence on the whole over whether a games successful or not anymore - there are so many voices and opinions swirling around, a potential purchaser could just gravitate to other opinions and be swayed; to a certain extent; into deciding?!? (Ahh that's where Communism failed..!)


    Have you noticed the advent of internet voiced opinions degrade the voice of the reviewer? I can't say that I have but it's been a long time since I had to save up for weeks to buy a game with my pocket money!!

    I could tell you some horror stories about what I've personally been through in trying to get the most basic stuff off the ground when I was an editor and producer… I shudder at just thinking about them and the subsequent flak that came my way.
    I would love to hear them My PM is available on all good forums ha ha

    Heh, can you give me your shrink's number? I think mine gives me the wrong advice by comparison *cleans shotgun*
    I would love to but I am in therapy with Superman Returns supervisory producer Jeff Peters and he keep mentioning your name over and over and over and .........
    Last edited by Rolex; 02-16-2007 at 10:13 AM.
    ---Smithy...
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  8. #8
    WiiChat Feature Writer cbrotherson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex
    Corey,
    I'm doing really well, thanks for asking. Hope it's likewise?
    Good to hear I'm not too bad thanks, been better, but getting by I guess...


    These studios, be it game or movie, do have a small gaggle of quality control beta testers whom they rely on to give them a solid no BS review of the product which they are getting paid to test (btw I am now in Oil&Gas QC myself) and hence should have some control over the release standard of the game they are testing.

    If their objective opinions are not heralded as important enough to hold back the release of the product then it makes a mockery of the QC / beta / alpha testing process. Now, we all know that the games market is huge and games producers are all under pressure to secure the financial riches available but surely it's catch 22 - how can you make money with a product which in reality shouldn't sell due to poor quality and scathing reviews? Of course the release is ultimately down to the "BIG CHEESE" who may have a more financial than discerning agenda towards gaming (although you would hope not! )
    Yeah, I would imagine there's a fair degree of 'external' forces keeping tabs over certain products that force them to bypass QC and general common sense. A couple games (that shall go unspecified) I know of from the latter end of the last generation were released unfinished because the market was 'right' at the time and the end of the financial year was looming. Not a new tactic to front load yearly reports, but targets have to be met I guess…

    The current environment which is cultivated via the internet, surely must dilute the reviewers influence on the whole over whether a games successful or not anymore - there are so many voices and opinions swirling around, a potential purchaser could just gravitate to other opinions and be swayed; to a certain extent; into deciding?!? (Ahh that's where Communism failed..!)

    Have you noticed the advent of internet voiced opinions degrade the voice of the reviewer? I can't say that I have but it's been a long time since I had to save up for weeks to buy a game with my pocket money!!
    Ha, I wish that were the case with me – I was richer when I was a child!

    But in the case of a reviewer's voice being lost in the net, I 100% agree. When I was younger (lord, that makes me sound ancient) there were no more than 30 prime games mags out there in the UK spread across all the formats which would give a very sharp focus on what was said about a certain game. It was all just opinion of course, but it was the sort of climate which led to pseudo objective language such as 'definitive review' and 'the voice of the industry' (which helped Edge rise quite quickly). The net changed all of that, because the viewer/reader who was previously limited to sending in reader reviews could now set up their own voice. Power to the people. Between that, rental schemes, better demos and such I cant say it's not for the better, although the flip side is that the net has made us far too reactionary because we're brought closer together. We're such a knee-jerk and attention driven species that it panders to our bad aspects as much as the good ones and now while reviewers used to be attacked through the filters of a letter column, we're all now attacked en masse for expressing an opinion (a backlash of the 'definitive review/voice of the industry' in a way, along with typical opinion conflict). Ah well…

    I would love to hear them My PM is available on all good forums ha ha
    Lmao, I couldn’t divulge in written or recordable form (at least not yet ), who knows who's listening...

    I would love to but I am in therapy with Superman Returns supervisory producer Jeff Peters and he keep mentioning your name over and over and over and .........
    I told him our break-up would be hard the first few months…

    …oh, wait, you're talking about the review? :P

  9. #9
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a scathing review...!

    Corey,
    I told him our break-up would be hard the first few months…

    …oh, wait, you're talking about the review? :P
    Oof - easy tiger, keep something back for the autobiography: "Jeff 'Superman Returns' Peters - The wilderness years" [A tale of savage supervision by cbrotherson]

    Going back to this:

    When I was younger (lord, that makes me sound ancient) there were no more than 30 prime games mags out there in the UK spread across all the formats which would give a very sharp focus on what was said about a certain game.
    It's so true about [magazines] lacking impact on reviews nowadays. I still buy at least 3 Nintendo mags and all of them are diluted in some form or another to curtail reviews: not always in an objective capacity either: and appear less critical as opposed to what we had in the Atari, Specturm, C64, ST, Amiga etc.. era. I suppose some form of allegiance to Nintendo must reign in these days of platform specific mags. Although they tell you they are 100% independant, people still must rely on good PR and palatable diplomacy to get access to the lastest "scoop" from the big devs.

    The magazine which really, for it's time, that made the biggest impact reviews wise was the original 'Computer & Video Games' [C&VG] - this emerged at the time of the Spectrum(ish) etc..and mixed a lot of humour with some quite savage reviews balanced with an overwhelming "HIT" moniker when games like: Spellbound, Pyjamarama, Skooldaze etc etc poured onto the scene, especially amongst the dross - they had no problem either way.

    Maybe it's just rose coloured specs I am fondly staring through but [eg.] ZZap64; and I did read Edge now and again later on - they just didn't have the same passion to me.

    I know C&VG are still about in some guise or other, they can't have kept up the original format, after all it sort of rode the crest of the original games explosion. Even the Wii specific mags seem to fawn over Nintendo on the whole...and they're entertaining but hey I'm as old as you at least.....[I remember when sweets were sweets, shuffle shuffle cough splutter ]

    ** Can I just point out that I do relalise I'd linked to the C&VG website for the rampage link in an earlier post and that the review is quite damning but c'mon..Rampage!! Man that's such an easy target even Pam Ayers would savage it**
    Last edited by Rolex; 02-19-2007 at 09:21 AM. Reason: I'm going senile...
    ---Smithy...
    "This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"

  10. #10
    WiiChat Feature Writer cbrotherson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex
    Oof - easy tiger, keep something back for the autobiography: "Jeff 'Superman Returns' Peters - The wilderness years" [A tale of savage supervision by cbrotherson]
    I'll have you know I was gentle… like a cool sea breeze… *cackles*

    It's so true about [magazines] lacking impact on reviews nowadays. I still buy at least 3 Nintendo mags and all of them are diluted in some form or another to curtail reviews: not always in an objective capacity either: and appear less critical as opposed to what we had in the Atari, Specturm, C64, ST, Amiga etc.. era. I suppose some form of allegiance to Nintendo must reign in these days of platform specific mags. Although they tell you they are 100% independant, people still must rely on good PR and palatable diplomacy to get access to the lastest "scoop" from the big devs.
    It's quite a strange and occasionally messy symbiosis – some devs are surprisingly petty about certain things. I would hate to speak for anyone else, but there's been some legendary bust ups between publications and publishers in the past. I sadly had one with a large publisher a few years back, resulting in almost a screaming match down the phone. It somewhat soured my viewpoint on that company a little, but that's the industry at times. I'm working on a project about it at this very moment…

    (well, not right now, but you understand what I mean).

    The magazine which really, for it's time, that made the biggest impact reviews wise was the original 'Computer & Video Games' [C&VG] - this emerged at the time of the Spectrum(ish) etc..and mixed a lot of humour with some quite savage reviews balanced with an overwhelming "HIT" moniker when games like: Spellbound, Pyjamarama, Skooldaze etc etc poured onto the scene, especially amongst the dross - they had no problem either way.
    I remember those days fondly… Jaz Rignall is still considered a legend among many journos, even though he left the games industry a long time ago now. I met former editor Paul Davies as well on a press trip some time back; an absolute star. Nice guy and even helped me out a couple times. Made me extra glad for supporting CVG and Mean Machines back in their heyday.

    I know C&VG are still about in some guise or other, they can't have kept up the original format, after all it sort of rode the crest of the original games explosion. Even the Wii specific mags seem to fawn over Nintendo on the whole...and they're entertaining but hey I'm as old as you at least.....[I remember when sweets were sweets, shuffle shuffle cough splutter ]
    Heh, I know, god knows what we sound like to anyone under the age of 20 (I'm 28 in barely 2 weeks… feel about 48 sometimes). Mags tend to get a lot of stick compared to how they used to be, but sadly it's just down to survival and publishing edict – they're told their audiences rarely want big in-depth features or wordy reviews, they just want lots of screenshots and snappy patter. So that's what the writers often end up offering – they can only really provide what sells because when they try anything else they lose money from it. I'm sure you've seen around the site here alone and noticed some of the more recent responses to my articles; "I cant read through that, it's too long" and "can you highlight the most important parts" etc. This is partly the reason why magazines have the form they do now – if we're struggling to get people reading for free, what hope do writers have in making people pay for it? GamesTM was on deathwatch for a long, long time before it (thankfully) pulled out of its troubles but that and Edge are quite niche, catering for the 'older' audiences while 90% of other mags have to aim for the younger.

    But getting people to read is difficult full stop, these days, so the market is caught in a Catch 22. While people like me, who have to try and make a living off our words, struggle to keep up through a batch of confusing audience messages. It's enough to drive an insane man, sane

    ** Can I just point out that I do relalise I'd linked to the C&VG website for the rampage link in an earlier post and that the review is quite damning but c'mon..Rampage!! Man that's such an easy target even Pam Ayers would savage it**

    I think, if given the chance, I probably would have done the same… I can only be a saint (yeah right!) some of the time…

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