[My Profile] [My Settings] [Exit]  

Home Blog My Games Reviews Friends Exit

You are not signed into a user account. Please return to this page once you are signed into your free account for additional options.

EmP How to make an EmP
Ingredients:
5 parts anger
5 parts silliness
5 parts ego
Method:
Layer ingredientes in a shot glass. Add wisdom to taste! Do not overindulge!
I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend but I'm a little glowing friend but really I'm not actually your friend but I am.
BigSig Orange by ZaamIT.com

Title: Achievement Unlocked: 1000kb
Posted: November 22, 2008 (05:33 AM)
Im still not sure whether to be deeply proud or ashamed of this.

Running well behind schedule with a lot of reviews, so this figure is only going to climb with depressing speed. Next in line (deep breath) Disgaea DS, Crazy Mini Golf, Vampyre Story, Mini Big Bang (preview) Everquest II Complete, EUIII Complete and a few DS games that Ive not even had time to open from their forever-mocking envelopes yet.

I've also got half-drafts of three different reviews that I need to finish up, but never have time because of all the ones I have to do for this site first. Grrr!

Someone shoot me now. Most of you are American; its not like you cant spare the firearms.
[reply][view replies (7)]

Title: Achievement unlocked: 150 HG reviews.
Posted: September 27, 2008 (06:30 AM)
Nighthmare Circus is the one hundred and fiftieth review I have written for this site. Youve not done too badly out of me, you lot.

Im not sure if its fitting or disappointing that this landmark figure was reached through what is probably the worst game I will ever play. The next step, then is to chase and Catch Midwinter in the hit tables.

Youre all required to pick your favourite EmP review and mash the refresh button for half an hour a day.
[reply][view replies (8)]

Title:
Posted: September 18, 2008 (12:54 PM)
I just beat Blacksite: Area 51. Heres some artwork to make this post look bigger.



Its a short, by-the-number game that is beatable in, say, five hours. It was fun, but far from brilliant and Ill probably burn though it on a harder setting at some point. Review forthcoming. However, this post is to talk about ending spoilers:

ENDING SPOILERS

You nuke the big bad base of evilness, lose all your team mates that display a personality of their own and dont have a nice pair of breasts (and, really, as soon as someone starts talking about how much they love their young daughter theyve left at home, they may as well pre-order the casket.) The last bit of the game is quite challenging and gave me a decent boss fight and even a cool lead up to it. I kill the boss, I look smug. The ending is thirty seconds long.

You win. A helicopter gets you. The only survivor from you platoon that isnt you (the one with nice breasts) tells you that the real challenge will be surviving the fallout. You dont see the fallout. You see the credits. Credits splashed against the same fifteen-second clip over and over.

There is no post-credits snippet. Its back to the option screen. Games, especially mediocre ones, need a worthwhile ending. I expect someone to say thanks for putting up with me with random sexual favours or a bloody big sandwich, not a swift kick to the bollocks, and thats what cop-out endings always feel like.

NO MORE SPOILERS

I almost played Half Life afterwards, but I taught someone to play drums instead.
[reply][view replies (2)]

Title: EmP bitches about: Anime
Posted: August 18, 2008 (05:42 AM)
Its not often I do posts like these because, frankly, I know you all look up to me as some unflapping totem of awesomeness and I dont like to drop in to normal conversation that Im really just a huge geek like the rest of you, but sometimes, you should all just be happy to hear my opinion on things. So, Im going to talk about anime -- which I watch.



Claymore is an anime about skimpily dressed barely post-teen girls battling huge demons that eat peoples guts. Its surprisingly gory and tries to tackle subjects with a maturity that usually behoves its genre. At times, its sobering, graphic and depressing. It also has the single worst ending since Grandia.

Grandias ending is so bad that me and DoI like to pretend weve never finished the game. But, deep in our souls, we know we have, It has wounded us in ways were scared to speak of.



What follows is spoilers.

Imagine youre a young girl between 10-13. Its not hard; Boo does it daily. Your family has been eaten by a bunch of demons who spared your life just so they can drag you around torturing and sexually abusing you. Life is bad. One day, you are saved by a super secret sect of warriors by complete accident, and you start to follow one around until the two of you form a sugary-sweet bond of love. This continues until a well-written source of EVIL turns up and kills your guardian. Heartbroken and simmering with vengeance, you throw away your humanity to join said sect for the sole purpose of hunting down this EVIL -- an evil some hundred times more powerful than you -- and kill it until it is dead.

Shenanigans ensure. Demons are slain by your ridiculously oversized sword, seas of blood are shed, limbs are chopped up and interchanged in such a way to make Berserk look like a tame Broadway musical. You start killing Awakened Beings, demons that were once human but have reverted to huge beasties that want to eat you. Most of your story is a drawn out Rocky-like training monologue where you overcome some odds and get a little stronger. You kill, slice and main. Sometimes other warriors hang around in the plot for a while, but they mostly exist to get slaughtered to demonstrate how far the odds are stacked against you. You finally find the source of EVIL and, thanks to PLOT PROTECTION, hurt it enough to revert it back to her original human form. She bows before you, naked and sobbing, and all you need do is lop off her head. She's responsible for millions of random deaths, would slaughter again giving half a chance and has since her original sin, killed a handful of your closest chums.

You let her live because killing her would make you just as bad as her.



Seriously, what the hell? The entire anime has been about killing far lesser evils which you have done without pause and with apparent glee. You even go out of your way to kill an awakened being that tells you right out he only attacks and kills those that come to hunt him, meaning hed happily exits hidden away in his mountain and pose no threat to anyone if you leave him alone. But, here, you have one of the most bloodthirsty monsters you can find at your mercy, but killing her would be wrong.

Girls in anime: more often than not, fantastically dumb.

Title: Achievment unlocked: 200,000+ hits
Posted: August 15, 2008 (05:36 AM)
Do you have 200,809 hits, OD? I do.

I don't often look at my hits but I can remember a time when I was well behing MAsters and Ratking back when the table was first drafted -- look at me now! While I'm still way, way down on the top three, that's an almost scary amount of hits.

Go me, and such. Now, the unflagging praise from the rest of you!
[reply][view replies (4)]

Title: Tales of Oblivion
Posted: August 10, 2008 (06:15 PM)
So, Im at this point of the game where, to raise some allies, you have to go around closing a load of Oblivion gates that have popped up right outside some of the major towns. Its optional for the most part and Oblivion gates are, by far, the dullest points of the game, but Im trying to do everything so I can write a 20k review when Im done.

Going into a gate is the same thing over and over. You storm through some Deadra. Some are hackers and slashers, some are mages and some exist in between. You have big lizards, spider demons and golems. The landscape is always the same and its always a mini-maze dash to get to the big tower in the middle of the map to nick a stone and close the gate. Yawn.

One tries to be different in that there are already seven people inside: some group of amateur knights with illusions of grander. But, it just so happens, that the leader of this knights is the son of the towns Count. So, before hell agree to help you, you need to go in and rescue the little punk or bring back proof of his death. No problem easy. In fact, because the beasties inside spawn to the level of the knights that entered before me, its even easier still as Im now overpowered like crazy.

So, in I go, and see my first dead knight. As I progress through. I see the landscape stained with blood and I find corpses dotted around the place. I enter one stand-alone tower and find one poor guy spread-eagled on the floor, topless, and surrounded by cackling demons. Who I slew. Its a great change of pace from the same old trips into Oblivion that Ive had to endure a dozen times so far into the game.

I finally make my way to the bridge leading to the last tower and find the last remaining knights waiting at the mouth. Theyre bloodied, surrounded by the corpses of lesser demons and one of their number lies slain just before them. The leader approaches me, full of bravado and demands I help him finish his noble mission. The second knight gives a more realistic appraisal of the situation, but we all agree to press on. I can do this on my own, easy, but the help will make a nice change. We storm the bridge.

Halfway in, there stands a rock elemental, which is basically just a big golem. I charge in and whack it with my mace because a/ my nerd brain still thinks Its made of stone: whats a sword going to do!", despite the sword doing just as much damage as the mace and b/ because Ive over-maxed my sword skills and am training up my blunt. It falls with ease, and I watch my two knight chums rush past me to tackle a Deadra. The Deadra takes a few blows, then stumbles back, falls over the lip of the bridge and into the sea of lava below.

I turn towards the now unguarded door. The knights promptly jump off the bridge after him.

I roll my eyes and peek over the lip, watching all three spasm in pain before dying. A little task window pops up telling me that the guy I needed to protect is dead and that I need to take proof of his demise back to his father, the Count, The proof I needed was his signet ring. Which he was still wearing. In the middle of a sea of fire.

Which is exactly why Oblivions quick save and save anywhere features are downright vital. Theres a reason you and you alone are tasked with saving the entire world: this reason is because everyone else in the region is a bloody retard.
[reply][view replies (4)]

Title: Reviews, reminders and Oblivion
Posted: July 08, 2008 (05:40 AM)
I feel like a vacation has finished. I had to pen another review for a publisher-sent game. Here it is

I'm starting to see a huge difference in how I write my own reviews to those I'm contractually obliged to write. Sure, there's always been a certain lack of spark there because, sometimes, I simply don't have anything great to say. I'm not saying I just phone a review in (although it has happened once or twice), I still want to do the best I can, because I'm geeky with stuff like that, but I recognise that my best work comes from the games I chose to cover. I'm not sure I'm overly happy with that so, from here on, I'm going to redouble my efforts on that front.

In other news, look for the rumblings of the TT to start very shortly. Yes, it's late and getting later every year. It probably forever will so long as it's dumped in my lap every year. In the meanwhile, I want you all to start thinking about what role will suit you best this year -- and I want some of you lurkers out there to put your name down to this one. Turn out for BWHY has been great so far, so I expect this to carry over.

Obligitory Oblivion update: Thieves Guild done. Had to sidestep a few bugs, but the last quest was epic, even though some of the 'Old Ways' segments were a bit on the dull side. Decided to wander back to the Mage's Guild and pick up where I left off. Just starting now to get into the thick of the Necro wars.

Title: The Stay-Safe Bet
Posted: June 30, 2008 (05:02 AM)
Short version: I win.

My weekend of suspected injuries went pretty well, considering how much I had to contend with during this period. The patio was constructed without flaw (but with the crazy paving not looking as good as I had hoped. Might take the sledgehammer to it next weekend and try again) and football went pretty well. I have niggles, which aren't the same as injuries, so i still win.

We won all out initial qualifiers, which we expected to do well in, which put us into a league-set-up with the top eight teams. Which we also won, then got dumped out in the semi-finals on the way to the final which was a bit of a shame. Kept the score at 0-0 throughout then got caught on a counter-attack right at the death of extra time and out we went.

I had a pretty good showing. I did, admittedly, dislocate my shoulder at one point, but we popped it back in and now it just feels a little sore, like I'd slept on it oddly. Niggle! I'm also sunburnt to hell as we ended up playing more football than we expected due to doing so well. Obviously, what with being English, I'm not used to direct sunlight and now have a comically bright red face. I also got a really bad cramp in my right calf and the muscle still has yet to fully loosen up, but this isn't a big thing, either. Then I went home and ran into another bug on Oblivion that might very well halt me right where I am.

I plain cheated three times, too, and got away with each. Now, person-who-will-remain-nameless, pay me my bet moneys!

Title: Uncharactoristic reflections.
Posted: June 27, 2008 (08:14 AM)
I was having this deep discusson with a girl at work today. We were talking about why I'm forever turning up with some form of injury and she made a pretty good point. But it took her a few attempts to tell me as I couldn't hear her from my perch thirty feet up on a wobbly forklift blade, striping down electrical wires I was about 75% sure were no longer live.

"Maybe you should stop doing things like, I don't know, balancing on wobbly forklift blades thirty feet up, striping down electrical wires you're only about 75% sure are no longer live?", she said.

I was feeling very witty today, so, quick as a flash, I shot back with "What?". Then recieved a mild electric shock and nearly fell off.

Thing is, someone has to do these things. The big electric shutters had jambed up and I'm the only goon in the building who knows much about electronics and junk. She shot this down with claims of inane justification, so I'm going to use this point as a running record of what niggles, knocks and hurts I get for a few weeks to shut her up. Cash-money bets were placed on wether I can go a whole week without bruising, spraining or breaking anything, and EmP needs beer money. She's just as imcompetant at her job as I am at mine, so I know she's reading.

And I've a weekend rife with chance to maim. Saturday sees me finishing off the patio I've started building as well as putting crazy paving around the pond I put in years ago and have done nothing with. (It's collected a perfect basin of pure green goop. I like to think strange snake-like creatures live in it and eat all the cats that stray into my yard). Then, on Sunday, I spend the entire day playing football in a pub-team five-a-side knock out. If there was anything that's left me more battered throughout my life than a few games of footie, then I'd be long dead by now. Training Monday, playing Tuesday and, while I'm on the highway to the DANGERZONE, I think I'll squeeze in some Wii Fit on Wedensday.

If I don't make it, the first reply can have my copy of Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear. But they are to pay P&P

Title: EmP wears his sexy interviewer hat. It has blinking lights.
Posted: June 20, 2008 (01:22 PM)
Ages back now I was offered the chance to send a Q&A sheet to Bill Tiller. If you've never heard of him, he had a big hand in a lot of the classic Lucusarts stuff. He's been kicking around the industry for a while now, taking jobs in places like Midway before surging out on his own to make Vampyre Story. I bit at the chance, but Jason decided that most of my hard work was to die and wiped my site e-mail address so I had to pen it all again last minute.

I've never really thought of myself as an interview guy, so I had mad worries I would mess this up somehow. Bill turned out to be a really cool guy, though, and I'm stoked that I got my own sketch attached to the end of the interview. Check it out at the bottom of the page, it looks awesome.

You can find my initial foray into interviewing the stars by following the link. Maybe some day someone will let me do it again.

http://www.honestgamers.com/news.php?article_id=2770
[reply][view replies (7)]

Title: RARE: EmP admits a mistake
Posted: June 19, 2008 (04:38 AM)
Only a small one, but, still.

Both of the people keeping up with these blogs may nave noticed the reoccuring theme of my Oblivion addiction (some three years late) and will have seen my playthrough come to a crashing halt after I found myself locked out of a quest-vital object. This drove me to go away and play other games for a while, Like Ninja Gaiden II and Blue Dragon.

The former kicked my arse and the latter is so bland that I need to invent a new word to convey this blandness. This word is Blandonous. I also borrows GTA4, bu I've spent years scoffing at GTA games and it's hard to change this mindset, even if I've enjoyed the couple of hours I've put in.

I decided to have a little look and see when my last backsave was and was happy to see one only about an hour behind the quest I was unfairly halted at, so I went back in -- and I went back in pimped up, yo. This time I charged my lightening blade so that the monsterous ogres would die quicker (and I love that a killing blow from my awesome sword sends the hulking bastards flying, twitching as they soar). Through the ruins I went, trying to draw the ogres away from groups and take them one-on-one. It's painstaking at times, but a group is bloody tough to deal with.

There are a lot of ogres.

I'd killed the first three (only two stand in your way initially, but one a distance off must have heard me or seen me from afar somehow and ran the entire length of the ruins to try and kill me. Nice to be wanted) and got back to the sealed gate. The problem I had with the gate last time is that it didn;t want to open and I assumed the trigger was apressure pad that sat just before it. like last time, I trod on the pad and..... nothing. There was much swearing. Then I looked up. There was a walkway above my head.

Bringing up the map showed it connecting up with a passageway a little to my left that I had completly overlooked the first time somehow. I killed the ogre that was in my way, explored and found a button. Gates open, mission complete, handful of hours wasted.

I'm now right on the verge of completing the Fighter Guild arc -- the mission after the ogres was hard as all the mercs in the cave you needed to go into wore buffed armour. The up point is I've now pinched half of it and am decked out in uberwear.

So, there's the shocker. Even I make mistakes.

Title: Mode: Laze
Posted: June 15, 2008 (02:03 PM)
Its a rare time of life right now when I dont have a million review codes to go through and I can just sit back and play the games I want to play. This, of course, means Oblivion, until I ran in to what could very well be a game-breaking bug.

I was merrily running through the Fighters Guild quests when you come to a level where you have to recover a holy artefact from some thieves. You find the only one of the thieves alive, and he confesses that ogres took the artefact. I hate ogres. They may be the only thing left in Oblivion that can kill me.

So, I wander off to this ruin where the ogres live and painstakingly progress through the ogres. I kill an ogre, rest up, kill another ogre, rest up and so on and so forth. I find the room with the McGuffin in, but the door can only be opened remotely. Bleh. So, I carry on through the ruin, slowly killing ogres and looking for a switch. Nothing.

I go back to the door and notice theres a pressure pad I trod on. Its down, its clearly meant to open the door, yet, the door is closed. Im going to see if I have an earlier save later, but the thought that all my work in the guild could all be undone by this bug has put me right off playing for now. So, instead, I booted up Ninja Gaiden II.

I got through the first level fine. The second levels mid-boss ate my revive item and the end-of-level boss raped me in seconds. Seconds!

Its bloody awesome, though. The cameras still all over the show, but this version contains the gore they left out last time. Poor EU: last Gaiden, we had to have a watered-down version because the Germans wouldnt release the game without it and lazy Team Ninja decided to make the changes across the PAL board rather than just the German release. Now, Im happily lopping off limbs and heads and covering rooms in a slick coat of gore.

Bought Valkyrie Profile 2, EverGrace and Blue Dragon. Theyll all probably collect dust FOREVER

Took a break to build a manly patio in the back yard. Did manly things like mix cement and carry big bags of sand after making token females try and lift them up then scoff when they failed.

Scoff scoff scoff.

Title: The geeky things I did while I was offline.
Posted: May 28, 2008 (08:03 AM)
Because the non-geeky stuff would only bore you. I knows my audience.

  • Finally completed Eternal Sonata: Decided to wander into the secret dungeon and plough through that and it rekindled my enjoyment of the game. Going in there grants you a super combo attack that allows you to chain all three character's together in a sea of violent pastel colours and cliches. Finished the secret dungeon, killed all the super-powered bosses and went to finish the game. Had flashbacks of FFX when I beat the end-of-game boss in a couple of attack rounds.


  • Watched the European Cup Final: Nerve-wrecking stuff. Was in a room of people, most of them indifferent but with a solid number of Chelsea fans.I think I was the only one who cheered when Ronaldo put away the first and it was worth it for all the dirty looks. As an Englishman, I hate penalty shoot-outs with every fibre of my being, and this one was far too dramatic for my liking. Still get a good laugh from Drogba's lack of intelligence.


  • Beat Ghost Recon 2: Did I prefer the first? I'm not sure. GRAW 2 makes life easier in a lot of ways, including a less realistic approuch to healing (you can drag a medic around with you or a remote-control buggy equiped with morphine) but it has so many cool new gadgets in it that I still had a blast. My favourite is the gun cam which lets you poke a gun around a corner and see what it sees. I wiped out platoons without exposing a centimetre of precious flesh! Gets wild when the enemy employ them too. Review half-written.


  • Started Oblivion: I remeber vividly when I started. I had a very lear "Is this it?" moment and ploughed on through a sewer filled with rats and weakling goblins. Who I slew.Eight hours later, I stopped playing after accomplishing very, very little in the way of advancing the main plot and a dozen or so side-quests under my belt. Can't stop playing. Thirty odd hours in and I'm doing nothing but unimportant side quests -- it's like geeky crack with stat rolls and D&D beasties.

  • Title: Tentative returns.
    Posted: May 24, 2008 (12:17 PM)
    My PC is held together with duct-tape and my new wi-fi modem is the most expensive piece of junk in the world.

    I'm 25% back online. This may get better or worse in a heartbeat and I have no idea which way it will go.

    Just a heads-up. I know you all missed me.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: EmP talks about: Football.
    Posted: May 09, 2008 (10:19 AM)
    I'm going to do something a little taboo and actually blog. And I'm going to blog about something none of you care about. No, not genj's new musical interlude or the ongoing debate over how many figures OD's age has strayed into (my money is still on three), but on football.

    And not your dull American football nonsense.


    We do not allow girly sports in the Arena of EmP.


    With our premiership champions being decided on the last day -- and what could very well be on a margin so slim it will need goal difference to declare a winner, I've really started to enjoy the game again. There was an awful period where you could predict the champions and bet the house on it pre-season, be it Manchester United's fantastic run throughout the 90's , Arsenal's spell of dominance or Chelsea's successful attempt to buy the trophy annually, until last year, the surprises were few.

    This year has been great for football.

    Tottenham are in Europe! Portsmouth are in the FA Cup final and they're playing bloody Cardiff! And the safest bet is that the winner of the premiership will be the team who have scored the most goals. This team is going to be Manchester United. And this is the fairest result.

    Chelsea has always talked about playing beautiful football, but has always been happier to grind out a result instead. To watch Utd play the last few years has been a joy (although I can't believe I'm the only person in the world who can see Ronaldo is a shit free kick taker. He smashes it right into the wall, every single time!) The amount of goals they've scored has been a testament to their attacking football, to how willing they are to throw players forward. They do this because they know there's always a good chance they are going to score. Chelsea drowns their squad in defensive midfielders and is often happy to score then absorb.

    For a team owned by an open admirer of Barcelona's fluid football, this is often quite puzzling. Almost as puzzling as why they insist on wheeling out Frank Lampard for every game they can squeeze him into.



    In a fair world, Manchester United will be picking the trophy up this weekend. As for when the two clubs clash in the first English-only European Cup final later on in the week? That one's still up in the air.
    [reply][view replies (8)]

    Title: The overview: What I did with my last week.
    Posted: March 20, 2008 (05:36 PM)
    I'm going to put an end to all the holiday questions that almost everyone had flooded me with. Almost everyone because Veems is only capable of talking about herself, Boo seems to have saved a week's worth of maths nerdery to dump on me upon my return and all Jason has said thus far is "You're back? Get back to work!" and made whipping noises.

    The holiday was not that great. It was a last minute thing that I decided to do because I was all kinds of burnt out. England was about to get hit with huge winds and whipping rain, so I figured why not?

    Me and a friend decided to go to Mallorca and we did this based purely on what we were sold in the package. 50 bought us an all-inclusive deal which means an open bar and as much food as we can eat. When food is free, I eat a lot of it.

    But you would never know I was in Spain from the food served daily. We never expected anything but mass-produced fried breakfast, but there's something very off-putting about trying to select a fried egg from a tray of sixty. These would come with a shot of juice, a tasteless tube they called a sausage and toast from a machine set to char. There was this pink lump that had a sign saying "Bacon" above it, but it was a lie.

    But this was expected. What came as a bit of a shock were the main meals which consisted of nothing but chips. You could have chips and something like pizza or a hot dog or a burger or you could have a salad. There was also always some kind of fish up for grabs, so I usually went for that. But it was food I could have eaten here without any fuss, which I felt was pretty pointless.

    The bar was a huge scam, too. I was limited to what I drunk, so all I could drink were house spirits, local lager and soft drinks. Oh, and chocolate milk for some reason.

    But the lager was tampered with! Usually resorts just water the lager down, and I can live with that, as could anyone when the bar is free anyway. They know this so they thought about it and decided to add more gas. The lager was fizzy to the point where if you drunk more than one in an hour, you bloated like mad.

    This made me pretty spiteful, but after a few days of forcing myself to keep drinking this gassy lager, I retired on account of my health. Instead, I decided to drink my bodyweight in coke. And even here they tried to foil me. While the bar menu advertises pints, what they give you is either a thick class beaker or a small plastic cup, fill half of it with two huge ice-cubes and give you a splash of coke. I decided the best thing to do was to sit at the bar, down the drink, and ask for another. Over and over again.

    This didn't make me any friends with the bar staff who would routinely ignore me when they could get away with it. And as they could just pretend to not understand English, this was a lot.

    A bigger annoyance was that all the stuff I wanted to do was closed until the day after I went home.

    I was told they did jetski hires fifteen minutes away from the hotel. The do, but it was closed. I was promised paragliding. Closed. Hell, the guy I went with was all excited about this big marine centre nearby because you can get a photo taken with a sea lion that's been trained to hug you. I didn't mind going because I could make tasteless Crocodile Hunter jokes by the stingray tank, but, though the marine centre was open, the sea lion was, get this, on holiday. So we didn't do that either.

    I'll cut the list short. The only thing on the island open was a crazy gold course. I played one hundred and eight holes of crazy golf. There was nothing else to do!

    Then there were the Germans.

    We were at this nice little bar watching the football. Liverpool vs. Milan, I believe. We went a few times for want of something to do and drink minus less gas than the sun. Feeling particularly British, we decided to drink pints of yummy John Smith's ale and worked in ye olde round system. The match was drawing to a close, and it was my round. I was hurried, but there was a queue and I politely waited in it, waiting a respectable distance from the person in front. No big deal, I could still see the TV and could chat with the locals about the good result coming Liverpool's way.

    With this, a middle-aged German woman barged into the small gap between me and the guy getting served and waved an empty half pint glass under the barmen's nose.

    I raised an eyebrow, but did nothing. I could wait another minute and the match was more interesting then some sour faced Germen. The bartender, a short, tubby but likeable Spaniard who could list every Manchester United player since the dawn of time, wasn't as forgiving. He brushed the empty glass out of his face and went to take mine. This did not go over well, and lots of ranting in German ensued.

    "It's fine", I said, probably thinking that the Germen would not understand English. "I can wait a few more seconds. Unlike some at this bar, it doesn't look like I might fall foul of senility anytime soon."

    If looks could kill. I was sat outside the bar and jumped no less than twice when I happened to avert my gaze inside and discover said woman had still got me locked in a death glare some twenty minutes later.

    There's a few more tales, like how I was attacked repeatedly by a finch, how the easyjet plane nearly decapitated me and the joys of trying to play table tennis on a table set at a 25 degree slant to the left. But I'll fast forward to the end, past the Spanish airport food stall that kept trying to tell me they were out of coffee when I'd asked for a bottle of water and past the small child who tried to snatch my GBA. Once back in Heathrow, we discovered we were one suitcase short.

    Amazingly, it wasn't mine, predictably, it would still be me that suffered. My bag came out early, but of my friend's there was no sign. Understandably annoyed, he stomped off to the baggage office to enquire and I stood guard in case his was burped out late. It wasn't, but security did wonder why someone with their case already in hand was so interested in other people's luggage. It was decided I was a luggage thief! Security apprehended me, took me aside and questioned my thoroughly as if being asked the same question over and over again would get me to admit to wanting to steal people's dirty clothes or that my passport would suddenly have the words "Child Molester" where my name should be if they kept looking at it.

    I explained the situation and was marched to the baggage claims office where I had to be verified. When I was, not so much as a sorry. Just a Hmph! and off they went.

    In a nutshell, that was my holiday. Aren't you all jealous?

    Title: The Spanis keyboard bows before my might
    Posted: March 12, 2008 (05:48 PM)
    Observe, in fear if you will, as I type without fear of odd keystrokes!

    Last days have been lazy as hell. Took on the 54 hole crazy golf course and finished it off in a morning. It was a good time killer, provided beer and I would play again. I'm somewhat annoyed that most of the stuff that I had planned to do this holiday doesnñt actually start until the day after I leave. This leaves the adrenaline junkie in my very sad. But the lazy guy in me pretty happy.

    Thinking about hitting the sights, but the sights are so tourist happy, I may as well have stayed at home.
    [reply][view replies (7)]

    Title: Somewhere in Spain - Day 1
    Posted: March 10, 2008 (04:29 PM)
    Observe the unneeded extra keys on my Spanish keyboard! ç¿ñªº

    Flight didn't crash and burn, which is a plus, and I managed to get out of England just before half the country vanished underwater. Flew on Easyjet, which meant we had to have a frantic fistfight to get seats that weren´t situated on the wings. One of the cabin boys clearly fancied me.

    First night here houses a violant storm with thunder and enough rain to flood the swimming pool. It also killed the TV reception. I complained.

    Other than that, not done much. Took advantage of the free bar which offers a scant selection of one whole brand of lager and coke (and chocolate milk!) and eaten the free food which comes in a buffet-style free-for-all and, as we are English, consists of nothing but chips. Everywhere we go, there are ads designed to attract British custom and this seems to be based around who can deep fat fry the most foodstuffs into solid globs of batter.

    Wandered around town for a while. Didn´t take long to find a McDonalds. Found this a little depressing. Was less depressed after Big Mac.

    There´s a huge crazy golf thing here that has 54 holes in it, which, frankly, sacred the hell out of me. Was wandering past it at around opening time and enough old people to fill the Titanic walked in. The clacking of zimmer frames will haunt my dreams tonight.

    I´m the youngest person on this island by a good thirty years, I swear to god.

    Been a very lazy first day. The flight´s seats was built for people under 2 foot tall, so my manly frame did not have a comfy ride and it´s thrown my back out of place. Still, one day in Spain and no angry mob with pitchforks. A new record.
    [reply][view replies (9)]

    Title: Mass Effect down
    Posted: March 01, 2008 (10:44 AM)
    I've just come back from finishing off Mass Effect, a game I very much enjoyed.

    It had some problems in it, and I'm hacked off at not getting my promised achievements right now (I lugged the same two soldiers through the vast, vast majority of the game, one of whom never left my side once, to collect two achievements, and I got neither for no reason whatsoever) but it was a solid as hell game. When I heard that it was going to be a venture into third-person shootery, I was concerned, but the mechanic was pulled off well and even the MAKO vehicle missions became enjoyable after the 10 hours into the game, I learnt the rover had a bloody cannon as well as a machine gun (My non-manual reading fault rather than the games. I didn't discover the maps until 13 hours in, either)

    There was a lot of dead space and unexploreable planets, but there was also so much to do. Branches and branches of overlapping side-quests, barren planets to explore and plenty of things to gun down. I'm pretty sure I've seen most of what the game has to offer with this play-through, but I'm keen to play through again on a harder setting. Maybe this time I'll appease DE and play "dark-side". He thinks that my playthough as a light-sider was out of character and done only to fool him somehow.

    I'm going to look up why I missed these squad achievements. If anyone knows how this could be, I'd appreciate being let known.

    I think I'll try and beat Eternel Sonata today, as well. Been parked on that last dungeon for months.

    Title: EmP breaks character, helps someone out.
    Posted: January 19, 2008 (04:46 PM)
    [I recently got asked by a friend to help him out with his attempts to make it as a writer. The guy is super-talented so I agreed to post his question here on the off chance any of you would show any interest.]

    As most of you probably don't know, I finished a novel about half a year ago. Most of you probably don't know this because it was too long to try posting on the boards - and also because the few people I've given it to (ahem) have each bogged down attempting to read it, and I've subsequently lost a bit of hope regarding it. ;_;

    But! I submitted it to an Amazon contest, anyway, and made it into the semi-finals (along with ~800 other people), and now I need good reviews from Amazon users to make it to the next round. I suppose it's all too obvious where I'm going with this. If anyone here has an Amazon account, and might trip over to that site and plop a favorable review and/or star-rating into the system, I'd be very appreciative. The winner of the contest gets a book deal with Penguin. I really, titanically doubt that I have a chance, especially considering the nature of what my book is, and how many other entries I have to compete against, but I made it this far out of a selection pool of 5000+, so I can't give up quite yet.

    The book, by the way, is a metaphysical western romance set in 19th-century Mexico and based around subverting genre cliches. -_-;; The first chapter and about a pinch of the second are up on Amazon for people to read and review. What feedback users leave will ultimately aid the people at Penguin in determining the contest's winner, but a star-rating without a review is still helpful. So, if anyone's willing, here's the link:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00121WEJ6

    5-star ratings would, of course, be the most helpful, but if anyone winds up actually reading it and thinks it deserves less, I won't mind an honest ranking. However, if you think it's horrible, might I ask you not to put in a review of anything less than 3 stars, and, instead, leave your criticism in this topic? And to, also, if you do leave a review, not make much of an indication that you've been recruited? ^_^;;;

    Thanks, in any event. If I win by some freak of luck, or even make it to the next round, I'll be sure to let everyone know. >_>

    [If any of you help out, thanks.]
    [reply][view replies (3)]

    Title: Year in Review (Part III)
    Posted: January 02, 2008 (05:04 PM)
    Tortuga: Two Treasures Preview (PC) January 02, 2007
    Number of Views: 372

    Never let my commitment be called into play! I wrote this still suffering from one hell of a hangover as I once again took on my old foe, New Years Day and lost in spectacular fashion.

    Previews are bloody tough. Don't believe me? Download a pre-release demo and try to write one -- I dare you! Most people who have stop at only the one, and I don't blame them. You can't even talk in an assured tone because you have no way of knowing if what you're talking about will even make the final cut of the full game.

    Anyway, I quite like how this one came out, although it does drag the points it makes onwards too far. Still, it's a tough job done in tough conditions, so I award myself self-kudos.

    Sam & Max 3: The Mole, the Mob and the Meatball. (PC) January 26th, 2007
    Number of Views: 834

    The hardest thing about this review was trying to say enough about a game I beat in about an hour and a half while still making it different to the last two Sam & Max reviews I'd written. I'm moderately happy with how this one came out, but it still reads a little jaunted and shunty to me. It's also the only review I wrote all January. I don't remember why.

    Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (XBox) February 08, 2007
    Number of Views: 1251

    Now with screenshots built into the body of the review!

    This was the first piece I'd written outside of the review codes I'd been swamped with for a while and served as a warm-up for Zig's tourney. I like the first half but feel the second half gets bogged down as it goes on. Adding the screens into the body of the review is something I wanted to avoid at one point, but I'm very happy with how they came out, so all's good. I was worried that this one would get buried under a slew of other works and will quickly become one of those 'lost' reviews that no one remembers, but a few people sent me e-mails saying that they loved it and had bought the game based off what I wrote. Which is about as big a compliment you can achieve for a praise review. Confidence bolstered by both this and Veems labelling it one of the best reviews she'd ever read, I put it in as my pick for the TT semi-finals while on holiday in Ibiza. It lost 2-1.

    Happy endings suck, anyway.

    Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (PC) February 16, 2007
    Number of Views: 826

    After writing for myself with Dreamfall, it was right back to the review codes. This game was a devil to play though, always mocking me with intricately hidden clues that remained just outside my reach. The review as all about letting the reader know what they were getting into, a logical point 'n' click that made no bones about having you re-examine evidence again and again and again. The intro and conclusion may feel cop-out-ish, but I quite like how it frames the less creative meat of the review. I'm happy with how this one turned out, but I'm sure many find it a dull read.

    Not that I'll ever know because most people don't even know it exists.

    UFO: Afterlight (PC) March 20, 2007
    Number of Views: 4576

    This thing was a major pain to get write. First we got sent a preview disk with an activation code that wore out after 28 days use. It didn't work on my system or on Ben's who got stuck with it shortly after me. Then we got a review version with the same code that nerfed the game after 28 days and, again, it didn't work on either of our computers. Eventually, I got something working and I played the game non-stop for a few days to try and beat it as quick as I can. Thankfully, it's about as close to a new X-Com game as I'll ever find, so playing it was a lot of fun.

    The review got basically written at work between dead spots as my time at home was spent playing it. I HG mailed what I had to myself and used the back-and-forth efforts to mould the review you see today. It does suffer for this, but it turned out okay. It's also racking up a lot of hits, which is somewhat gratifying after all the legwork I poured into this one.

    It took my about three or four bits of artwork before I found one that I liked for the focus window. Thank Tur's nagging for that, because every time I posted one, he promptly told me it sucked.

    But the biggest source of this review's hits? That would come from it being translated into Russian and hosted on a review site that you can see here. EmP has an international fan-base. Do you have an international fan-base, OD? No, you don't.

    Sam & Max: Episode 4 – Abe Lincoln Must Die (PC) February 26, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 809

    Before reviewing this one, I got an e-mail from Telltale (because I'm on talking terms with MANY game developers, you see. I'll name drop and show you all!) pointing out several things that had been worked on and explaining the deadlines and such. Pretty normal stuff, but I liked the way they mentioned how the feedback gained from the reviews written on their games had been noted and applied to the later episodes of Sam & Max. And in Episode 4, it does show. I wanted to try and mention that within the review but also wanted to come at it from a different angle than I did with the last 3 episodes. I change my mind constantly if I managed to pull this off or not. This was the first review where I inserted screenshots into the review, and I was happy enough with the result to go back to Dreamfall and do the same to that.

    Man, February kept me busy.

    Deus Ex (PS2) March 01, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 1428

    I'd always wanted to write for Deus Ex, but other reviews always ganged up and got in the way. I managed to squeeze this one in and went with it for Zig's tourney which really gave me the excuse to write (finished with a high-80's score.) Even Veems stopped listening to toneless metal garbage long enough to read this! The intro itself has undergone many, many revisions and edits but the rest of the review is pretty unchanged since first draft side a little editing and tightening here and there. It's so refreshing not to have to slave over a review for once and just have it say what you want to say first time out! Also drew Disco1960 out of hiding, so it receives bonus points for that.

    Me and DE originally planned to use both our Dues Ex reviews in our face off on the TT, but we took pity on the judges at the last moment.

    Not reading this review is the same as condemning a scabby ho to pimp abuse!

    The Mark (PC) July 18, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 645

    This was a bad game but one I felt cautious in just ripping into seeing as it was a publisher-sent title. As it was, said publisher sent an e-mail thanking me for the review and labelling it 'fair'. Phew! The game really is poor, though. The screens on site are from the game's official site as the ones I took got accidentally deleted in a snafu and I wasn't about to replay the game enough to re-capture them.

    Used in the first round of the TT against Draqq, where it bafflingly lost 2-1 and was slated by Genj. Get used to seeing this phrase.

    SkiFree (PC) March 09, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 725

    I wrote the majority of this on a slow day at work and e-mailed it to myself to edit when I got back home. Originally, I wasn't going to do anything with it aside from maybe sub it to FAQs or maybe on the b-side account, but after doing a little research and working on it a bit (then finding then adding the yeti .gif) I thought it had turned out well. So it got put up, and owned the focus window for only two days shy of a full week.

    PDC World Championship Darts (PS2) March 19, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 884

    I've just reviewed a darts game.

    It was a fun darts game that I still play quite often against a friend, but it's still a darts game. Writing this was more work than I would have imagined, though. Sports games are a pain to begin with, but when it's such a niche sport.... hard.

    Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels (PSX) March 30, 2007
    Number of Views: 1389

    This was a surprisingly tough game to write for. I couldn't decide on the angle to take and the piece suffered many re-drafts, deletions and mass edits. I went with having the primary focus on the dreaded Genestealers in the end and still have mixed feelings on it. It was my entry into the License to Review tourney where it received a pretty mediocre score.

    Patriots: A Nation Under Fire (PC) Date Submitted: April 02, 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 619

    This glitchy little game could and should have been better, but it's more of an unfinished beta than a full game.

    I'm torn on the intro. It was supposed to be a play against the media circus the 'States needs endure but it comes out as a tad U.S bashy instead. Despite Genj's claims, I'm not an anti-U.S terrorist! The structure for the review was first born I ranted at DoI over AIM for a fair while about how broken the game sometimes was.

    It partnered Veems' awesome NetHack review in the obscure tourney and got a good enough score to help me and my talented sidekick pick up the win. I was over the moon for this because it's the third time we've paired up and we've missed taking the top-spot by a single point in the past.

    Sam & Max Episode 5 - Reality 2.0 (PC) April 09, 2007
    Number of Views: 739

    This is probably my favourite Sam & Max episode yet in terms of script and giggles. The problem I face every month with these is what I'm going to bloody write about so as it's a new review and not a slight edit of the last. So in this one, I used that problem as the tone for the entire review! I walk away happy with what I finished with. Episode six is going to be tough to write...

    Spectrobes (DS) April 23, 2007
    Number of Views: 1194

    This is a pretty bland game. I should have known it would be when Venter shipped it all the way from the US to the UK because no one there was dumb enough to want to cover. Enter EmP. The idiot.

    Playing the game was a struggle because it was too grey to hold my attention but the review came with relative ease. The only problems I faced was editing some of the smaller complaints because the review dragged somewhat. Constant reminder to hide away next time Jason offers me a game -- I have enough of my bloody own to cover!

    Demolition Racer: No Exit (DC) April 24, 2007
    Number of Views: 387

    This was actually one of my very first reviews EVER that I was playing around with on a slow day. I dropped a lot of the redundant phrasing, the obligatory graphics and sound paragraph, mixed them into the body and played about with the pacing. It's still not a work of art, but it's solid as is. I was heartened to find that I could use the main frame of something I wrote when I first started off can be converted into something useable!

    Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (PC) May 03, 2007
    Number of Views: 399

    I love that most of the publisher sent reviews I get are for point and click games. And I loved this one.

    I flew through the game and then found the review came pretty easy. Obviously, the little lemur at the start had quite an effect on me, but it also allowed me to not spoil any of the main story by focusing on the alcoholic rodent. Starting to play around more with integrating screenshots into a review's main body, think I pulled this one off pretty well.

    Soccer '97 (PSX) May 07, 2007
    Number of Views: 408

    Pulled this one out of nowhere, but it's a game no one's ever heard of and really deserved some kind of coverage. Even though I wager no one will ever really read it, I always like covering the more obscure stuff. It's nice knowing that you have the best review for a game up on the internet, even if you have to cheat and make sure it's all but the only one.

    Sam & Max Episode 6 - The Bright Side of the Moon (PC) May 09, 2007
    Number of Views: 413

    Season 1 down. Thank God, because I was all kinds of out of things to say. I liked the time I spent playing the new Sam & Max stuff, but writing about them was a real bitch. Knowing that there's going to be a Season Two at some point worries me, but it's a while away.

    This was written pretty quickly, which is unlike me, but I'm happy with it.

    SBK '07: Superbike World Championship '07 (PS2) May 14th 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 536

    DAY 1 OF 3

    This was a much easier review than I thought it was going to be. The problem with reviewing racing games is that, unless they're awful, you don't have much to talk about and it's very hard to try and talk about them in an interesting way. I've made myself write about sports games in the last few years exactly because they are hard to do and, in covering them, I hope that it adds an element to my writing that wouldn't be there otherwise. I like how this came out, so all was good.

    SBK '07 is a fun little game that can't quite decide if it wants to be an arcade racer or a true sim. But it finds a cool middle ground and builds from there. I think I got that across well enough. This was the first review in the three-day review spree.

    Alpine Ski Racing 2007 (PC) May 15th 2007
    Number of Views: 656

    DAY 2 OF 3

    This is about as good as I can write a ski review!

    I mean, come on, it's not the easiest of games to cover. ASR07 helps me out with some pretty unique ways to slide down snow such as an awesome career mode but I had to cheat a little by padding the review with links to similar reviews and by making a talking point around the skis being waxed when it didn't really deserve such a focus. Still, in the scheme of things, this one turned out well, especially when you consider it was my second review in so many days. Most of you will never read it.

    Ankh: Heart of Osiris (PC) May 16th 2007
    Number of Views: 777

    DAY 3 OF 3

    The three-day streak ends with Ankh. This is a good thing because I was all kinds of burnt out by this point.

    Ankh's a cool game, but what with covering so many adventure games this year, I was worried I was falling into a rut with the genre. I wanted to try and change out of this, but a lot of the reappearing habits still found their way in. The publisher really liked it, though!

    minDStorm May 28th 2007
    Number of Views: 445

    I hate all this DS 'Brain Training' rubbish; literally hate it. Not only do I not see the fun in doing what is nothing more than glorified secondary school homework, but the interfaces are broken and are the reason for 80% of my wrong answers (because I is smart). MinDStorm suffers from much of the same problems but has slightly more fun mini-games and a much cooler title. Not a fun game to cover, though: how do you write about doing your maths homework? In a very stuffy and listy way, according to this review!

    LMA Manager 2007 (Xbox 360) May 29th 2007
    Number of Views: 478

    I tried to get into the habit of writing one of these a year but didn't do 2006. This stopped me from doing my usually trick of just editing last year's review a little and claiming it was a clever dig at the rehashing of annual titles. But I didn't, so had to write it anew. Bah.

    If you call football soccer, you should probably avoid it. It also relies on some prior knowledge.

    Dawnspire June 4th 2007
    Number of Views: 475

    I'm over the moon on how this one turned out. The publishers even went so far as to get in contact and say that they loved the first 70% of the review and I should snip the last 30% away and score their game higher. I honestly wish I could.

    Had a few problems getting this one up and written. Originally it went to a freelancer but they had problems running it on their PC, so I had to recall it and do it myself. However, the Post Office screwed up and I still didn't have the review copy back some 10 days later. Luckily, I know someone who bought the game, so camped at her house for a few days and racked up a lot of game time while she made me butterscotch muffins.

    It's a hard life reviewing sometimes.

    Anyway, I wrote the review mostly on paper while there and typed it up at home that night, making little edits and changes as I went along. It was a quick write and the finished product came out a lot better than I had expected. When the review copy of the game gets here, I'll keep playing this one in the hope that the community picks up.

    Used in the first round of the TT against Zig, where it lost 2-1 and was slated by Genj. I think pretty unfairly, but that's what judges are for. Even if 66% of the panel didn't much like it, I still rank it amongst my best work

    World Poker Championship 2 (PS2) June 5th 2007
    Number of Views: 454

    Oxygen doesn't like to make life easy for me. The first game they sent me to review was a darts one, and now, poker!

    I held this one for ages, wanting to release it on-site with the PAL release date, but this seems to have been pushed back forever, so it got sent out now. Considering the source material (I know I'm saying that a lot, but I've had some difficult games to cover recently!) I'm pleased with how its come out. I also still find myself playing the game on and off as when I want to play something light. This surprises me.

    Pacific Storm: Allies (PC) June 18th 2007
    Number of Views: 717

    Here's a game that should have been a lot better than it was. The story behind this is that a solid war sim game was made combing three genres in a very clever way and serving the player with a unique way to wage war. Then it was sent to the publishers who thought it would be a super idea to jam in a anti-piracy code on the last day before retail release without any form of testing at all. There's now bugs all over the place including a very annoying one that doesn't show explosions so you have no idea whether or not you hit your target. This only applies to the UK game that I got; the rest of Europe and NTSC will have perfect version without moronic publisher choices.

    Rant aside; I'm lukewarm with the review. In an attempt to make the review applicable to all regions, I think the above point was undersold. I also should have maybe deleted the history nerd tangents I kept running off into all together rather than try and make a running joke of them.

    Safecracker (PC) June 23rd
    Number of Views: 536

    There's this bastard puzzle in here where you need to guide a ball bearing through a maze using magnets to attract the ball to up, down, left or right. The aim is to get it to fall in one of the five holes, but it can easily get trapped or roll off the table completely. It took me hours upon hours to do.

    That's the kind of game Safecracker is. It's not about plots or characters but all about puzzles. This makes it pretty hard to write about. I hate the intro as it's a blatant cop-out and one of the things I advise other reviewers not to do, but I had nothing in the bag and an incoming publisher deadline to meet. It picks up from there, but I hope to have a sudden burst of inspiration one day so I can come back and edit in a better intro.

    Loki [PREVIEW] (PC) June 28th 2007
    Number of Views: 277

    Loki's preview disk only gave me the chance to play as a Norse warrior out of the four playable classes, but it also came with a really cool glossy book that shows a lot of what the finished game will be. I usually just get a monochrome A4 press release note.

    What was on the disk was old-school click-and-die fun. Ignoring this, I got too carried away in writing about the setting to convey this as much as I would hope then proceeded to oversell this point in the latter half of the preview. Looks to be a blast of a game, though; Lisa thought so when I gave her the full build, only to promptly vanish a little time later. I get all the luck with Freelancers.

    Return to Mysterious Island (PC) July 3rd 2007
    Number of Views: 609

    This came in a box-set along with Journey to the Moon (which I got to later!) and was actually a lot of fun. The thing I liked most about RtMI was that each goal can be completed in a differing way. So this is what I focused on whit this review. While I like how that aspect came out, it feels a bit.. samey. Like I'm getting a little too much into a rut. I need a break!

    Armored Core 4 (XBOX360) July 4th 2007
    Number of Views: 707

    My attempt at getting out of my rut failed horribly and this review got lambasted for the fan-fic like cut aways I'd included throughout. Knowing when to cut my losses, the review has since been updated minus the cut-aways. Without them, I don't think it has any real soul to it, but it reads like an actual review and not a bad fan fic.

    The biggest pain, finding a new font to put the cut-aways in, vanished with their deletion.

    Exit 2 (PSP) July 20th 2007
    Number of Views: 333

    So, a freelance guy said he had a PSP thus I accepted a PSP review code. Said PSP was promptly sold and I was stuck.

    Now I [all but] own a bloody PSP, Exit 2 is the kind of game that makes the purchase seem worthwhile. It's a fun, quirky and unique little game that wouldn't be applicable on the DS or GBA. I played the game and wrote the review mainly from work where I decided to try and find out how much video gaming I could get away with over a slow week. The answer was a lot.

    Journey to the Moon (PC) July 30th 2007
    Number of Views: 346

    There's a real steampunk/sci-fi setting around this one, and how they've managed to bring the books to life is quite the feat. Even if lead character Ancell looks like a deranged killer and not the brilliant explorer he was meant to be. Also, got to love the English accents on the French protagonists.

    Like its sister game, Return to Mysterious Island, there's a multi-branch puzzle solutions deal going on, but it's not quite as free-flowing. For atmosphere, JttM destroys RtMI, but roles are reversed for gameplay.

    Interesting note: This game is called Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne in the states. Haha, your title sucks.

    Persona (PSX) August 22nd 2007
    Number of Views: 334

    I've been wanting to review this game for ages (HG already has a staff review for this but it's, to be blunt, awful) and despite it loosing to Boo in the TT (Curse you, tubby!) I'm really happy with how it came out. I threw the discussion points around a bit to take familiarity out of the picture and spent most of the review comparing the JP and NA versions, which are so different, they may as well have been released under different names. Whereas I caught some stick for this in the TT judgement, it's not something I'm going to change.

    PS: Mark dances sexy.

    Sam & Max: Season One (PC) August 29th 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 528

    Just when I think I'm done with the bloody series..

    The intro isn't just there for comedic effect: I really did launch into a huge spiel about the history of the series that went on for a good four or so paragraphs. Obviously, this was overkill, so I scaled it right back into what you see now.

    Big thanks to VM on this one. We had an obligatory fight the day before the TT deadline and proofed each other's reviews still with a very open air of hostility, but we predictably got bored of bickering half-way through. Shame, too; she's always so much quieter when she's sulking. Of course, by the time Ben had finished his review for the week (which, as usual, was late) we were too busy being overworked to remember we were still pissed off at each other.

    I must remember to go back and hyperlink the hell out of this later. I didn't review all six episodes separately to not spam them hard in a season sum-up.

    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (360) August 31st 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 380

    Time-killer review penned at work, written from a pretty smarky point of view, but it should find a niche, at least! Not actually played a wrestling game in any depth since the glory days of the N64, so comparisons are rather shallow.

    True INSOLENTLY didn't do his obligatory WWE review this year (or, hell, much of anything else), so I figured I'd have to do it for him.

    UFO: Aftermath (PC) September 15th 2007
    Number of Views: 204

    This was an odd title to review retrospectively as I had already played and reviewed the third title in the series and, as you can guess; this one still had a littering of teething problems the later game I played had long ironed out. The biggest problem with writing reviews for games like this is that they may still be fun but later titles have made them obsolete. And that's why it lurks right at the bottom of my hit-counter.

    All I wrote all September. Thank two weeks in Ibiza for that. And I still got online to help Ben and Veems for TT stuff without even a thank you between them. I'm such a martyr.

    Quake 4 (Xbox 360) October 2nd 2007
    Number of Views: 192

    This really hasn't been read much. Maybe because it's less a Quake 4 review for the first half and more a chance to bash the crap out of the awful Doom 3. Which, in case I've not said, is awful.

    But the review is far too long and really is in need of a good edit. I've already cut a lot of fat off this one, but despite there being some good ideas in here, it still feels like it needs to lose more. I may have to enlist an editor for this one.

    Boo had a lot to do with this one as we spent about a week basically saying "Quake 4 is pretty badarse." "Yeah, it is, but Doom 3 sucks." Blame the Boo.

    Requital (PC) October 15th 2007
    Number of Views: 2318

    Requital's an odd game and when I say odd I mean mediocre. It has some good ideas but never takes full advantage of them and remains mostly humdrum. Which makes writing about it pretty hard. Daggnammit.

    It's a good game to get covered, though, as not many sites seemed to bother, as the respectable hits on the title seems to suggest.

    Halo 3 (Xbox 360) October 18th 2007
    Number of Views: 330

    I know, odds are you've never heard of this one.

    I had no real intentions of covering Halo 3 for the site as I try to shy away from the bigger names, forcing Zig to carry that burden instead. But, much like the Gears or War situation, a certain editor insisted I took it up as soon as he (or she) heard I bought, played and beat it upon release. Which was a pain.

    What worked out was the FPS review tourney being announced, allowing me to kill two birds with one plasma grenade. I romped to victory.

    I like this one. The intro worked and by the time I got into the less interesting parts in the latter parts, I think I have enough momentum stored to not let it slow things down. Obviously, the internet is flooded with Halo 3 reviews, so it will just have to live with never being read, but that makes me no less proud of it.

    Valhalla Knights (PSP) October 24th 2007
    Number of Views: 190

    Buying a PSP for review codes has almost paid for itself already. Sadly, Valhalla Knights isn't a game I would feel happy dropping cash on to play. While it was nice to get back to penning a bash review (I was starting to feel that I would forever be stuck in the 6-10/10 range!) it came at a super-busy time and there were other games I would have prefer to get played and reviewed, especially since Zig already had a review for the same game up live.

    I like to think I made my argument differently to his. But I'm probably kidding myself.

    Urban Dead (PC) October 26th 2007
    Number of Views: 178

    So, I wrote a review on a browser-based zombie MMO for Halloween. Then I forgot it was Halloween based and released it early. Then remembered after I released and swore.

    Urban Dead's a tricky little game to cover and I think I maybe used a little too much creative license and not enough cold facts in this one. Still it's a cool game and it's free -- you should all be playing it.

    Recently went back to try and expand on stuff I missed, like the MS Paint-like graphics and the real downfall of reaching the point where your character is maxed.

    Honeycomb Beat (DS) November 6th 2007
    Number of Views: 157

    This was purely written on the publisher's request as both Jason and Pup have a review up for this game already. Three staff reviews and no users -- odd. Anyway, this meant that saying something new about it wasn't really going to happen, so I didn't bother checking on the aforementioned pair of reviews and just wrote. It's a puzzle game review, so it's not going to be my best thing ever, but it's adequate.

    The jellyfish pic used to be the paragraph that you'd see on the game's data page, but this made Jason uncomfortable. Probably because it alone upstaged the hell out of review.

    Sam & Max 201: Ice Station Santa (PC) November 11th
    Number of Views: 235

    Just when you think you're free from a series.

    Don't get me wrong, I love playing the new Sam & Max games, but writing about them gets harder and harder each review and and this is my 8th review! I'm enjoying the games far too much to let some other slacker take the contract, though.

    The new series seems to have a few key differences from the last, including an effort to drag in new players, so perhaps I'll have something new to write about. Here's hoping.

    Escape from Paradise City (PC) November 18th 2007
    Number of Views: 476

    Martin was set to review this one, so it was posted to him. He couldn't play it on his laptop. So I offered it to PAJ89, but he was busy with exams. Trying to get Ben to review a PC game (or, hell, anything that isn't bloody Zelda!) means trying to track him down and threaten him with copies of Basketball manager sims, and the boy's a good hider, so I gave up and did it myself. Pretty glad I did. The game's actually a lot more fun that I imagined and is probably the best of its kind since Syndicate back in '93. There are a lot of good ideas within so I'm hopeful to see more from the developers in the future.

    Luminious Ark (DS) November 25th 2007
    Feedback topic Number of Views: 371

    When I originally asked for a review code of this game, I was told I couldn't have one and was sent Valhalla Knights and Honeycomb Beat instead. It was only after the PR firm employed a new guy who actually came out and asked me if I wanted a copy that one arrived. The game then got busy taking over my life.

    I took it to my football matches and played it at half time. I took it to the gym to play on the treadmill a few times. Hell, I kept it on my bike and barely resisted the urge to play at red lights. It's a great game and one I'm still playing via the new game + mode.

    Best thing I've played on the DS bar none. But the review was tricky because it does have some rather glaring problems that needed to be addressed and not skipped over so I could praise the hell out of it. Everything considered, I'm very happy with how this one came out. I've even got some fan mail over it, once of which I will now share:

    Just wanted to thank you
    Got Luminous Arc for Christmas and I absolutely freaking love it. I can't even bring myself to go on in the story because I want to progress the intermissions... XD It's exactly what I've needed with my DS, some light hearted strategical fun.

    Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) November 30th 2007
    Feedback topicNumber of Views: 190

    So, this one was kind of fun. The rambly bit at the front is a real love-it-or-hate-it affair and the powers that be on site decided they hated it. This was quickly downgraded to a user review and then, upon my request, moved to the secondary account. The timing of its releases is either perfect of terrible, what with all the drama revolving around reviewing thanks to Gamespot and CNet's shenanigans, but the review was written long before these events mostly at work on the new blog forums which I have converted into a digital notepad or sorts.

    Hourglass is simply a dull game that's only shot on innovation is tied in with the gimmicky system it has been released on. Someone needed to tell the world!

    Felix linked it to the GameFaqs message board where it was quickly deleted for trolling. I did likewise with a review of his (Sex Vixens from Space) which was nuked for spamming.

    Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) December 1st 2007
    Number of Views: 134

    After the last attempt of the review was nuked, it was back to the lab again. It has pretty much the same critical commentary of the last with half the personality and none of the satire. Instead, I decided to pick on how the big Nintendo nerds like to scream about innovation before sitting down to play the newest Mario Party game. Aren't they in double figures by now?

    Crackdown (360) December 21, 2007
    Feedback topicNumber of Views: 143

    I've been threatening to pen this one for months now but never got the chance to do so. However, getting C in the AlphaOlympics was the perfect excuse, so I dusted off and three-month-old intro, edited it, decided I didn't want it anymore, binned it, started anew three times and finally decided on and angle. I came third in the tourney behind a great Suskie review and a Lasty review I may as well have written for him and certainly did enter on his behalf, so I might as well have won it, anyway. Either way, this makes it the third year Team EmP have walked away with the big trophy. Start looking for bets on DE or DoI in 2008.

    But, right, review. 272/300 is a great score and the criticisms levelled (same old EmP review, a few distracting errors not fixed and the odd overly-ambitious line here and there) are fair and just.

    Reviews aside, I've subbed over 3,000 cheats, worked PR for the entire EU side of the website, recruited, supplied with review code and edited for eight different freelancers (three since vanished, two nicked by the US side!), ran a dozen tourneys including a publisher-sponsored give-away, published hundreds of news storys, threw up five hundred plus cover arts and around a thousand screenshots, updated the site's database more than my sanity would have me recall and still found time to be an arrogant, smug prick. The sooner Venter gives me my paid vacation, the better.

    But until then, it's back to the grindstone. Here's to 2008. Here's hoping it doesn't kill me.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: EmP Hates on : Rap.
    Posted: December 25, 2007 (09:44 AM)
    Xmas is about happiness and nothing makes me happy more than telling the world that all avenues of music everywhere suck. So, my gift to you -- Rap. It's shit and the retarded culture around it is even worse.

    Look out for the cameo mid-video of HG's own Genj.



    Merry Christmas and such.

    Title:
    Posted: December 10, 2007 (12:01 PM)
    Today, while Xmas shopping (which I hate almost as much as the season itself) I, of course, wandered into a games shop and spend money on video games I will probably never play. This week I got:

    Guilty Gear XX #Reloaded (XBox)

    GGXX is awesome, but I already own the PS2 version and have done now for many years. As much as I love the game, I've not touched it in ages. Really, all GGXX# has over the version I already have is Robo-Ky and an online play feature long made redundant by the passing of time. Still, it was £3 and I regret nothing.

    Broken Sword 3 (XBOX)

    I've played and beaten this one before, but not owning the third Broken Sword felt incorrect somehow so I cabed when i saw it super cheap. There's a pretty good chgance I'll replay this one as I constantly replay the first two when I'm out of games to try.

    CSI (XBOX)

    Never seen the show, but it's made by Telltale who made the new Sam & Max games, so I can expect a solid puzzle game if nothing else. It also never hurts to have another C game sitting around for the Alphas.

    But buying these amde me look at all the other games I've bought and will probably never play. Here is a quick run down of the more recent ones:

    EDEN

    2001 shooter made by Core before Eidos decided to shoot them in their sleep and give their best games to Crystal Dynamics to rape. Because CD is a great company with a huge backlog of great games like, um, Gex? Looks brown -- a sign of things to come for SONY?

    Close Combat: First to Fight

    Sluggish, awkward FPS that tries to be as realistic as, say, GRAW but is a generation behind.

    The Seed: Warzone (PS2)

    Sci-fi consoles RTS. I played just past the intro once as was assualted with a scary amount of stats so turned off.Looks okay, but seems super complex. Maybe someday.

    Syberia II (XBOX)

    PLay as a sassy female New York lawyer as she searches for wooly mammoths in Syberia. Not yet tried this one, but I'm hoping for something DReamfall-esque. Looking to nab the first.

    Haven: Call of the King (PS2)

    Not so much as opened the game box for this one.

    Xenosaga II

    I doubt I'll ever bother with the only XS released in PAL. Just owning it is enough.

    Alter Echo (PS2)

    This one is actually pretty good. It's a cartoonish thrid-person shooter that allows you to change your form on the fly. I'd like to think it's one I'll go back to and grind a review from someday but, for now, it gathers dust.

    Resident Evil (GC)

    Only Gamecube game I own. Cost me £1. Which is roughly $36.

    THPS4

    Noteable only for being cheaper than REmake. 50p!

    Title: November: The Reviewing Chronicals.
    Posted: December 02, 2007 (03:54 AM)
    Honeycomb Beat (DS) November 6th

    This was purely written on the publisher’s request as both Jason and Pup have a review up for this game already. Three staff reviews and no users, odd. Anyway, this meant that saying something new about it wasn’t really going to happen, so I didn’t bother checking on the aforementioned pair of reviews and just wrote. It’s a puzzle game review, so it’s not going top be my best thing ever, but it is adequate.

    The jellyfish pic used to be the paragraph that you’d see on the game’s data page, but this made Jason uncomfortable. Probably because it upstaged the hell out of review effort!

    Sam & Max 201: Ice Station Santa (PC) November 11th

    Just when you think you’re free from a series….

    Don’t get me wrong, I love playing the new Sam & Max games, but writing about them gets harder and harder each review – and this is my 8th review! I’m enjoying the games far too much to let some other slacker take the contract, though.

    The new series seems to have a few key differences from the last, including an effort to drag in new players, so perhaps I’ll have something new to write about. Here’s hoping.

    Escape from Paradise City (PC) November 18th

    Martine was set to review this one, so it was posted to him. He couldn’t play it on his laptop. So I offered it to new boy PAJ89, but he was busy with exams. Trying to get Ben to review a PC game these days is an exercise in frustration, so I gave up and did it myself. Pretty glad I did. The game’s actually a lot more fun that I imagined and is probably the best of its kind since Syndicate back in ’93. There are a lot of good ideas within so I’m hopeful to see more from the developers in the future.

    Luminious Ark (DS) November 25th

    When I originally asked for a review code of this game, I was told I couldn’t have one and was sent Valhalla Knights and Honeycomb Beat instead. It was only after the PR firm employed a new guy who actually came out and asked me if I wanted a copy that one arrived. The game then got busy taking over my life.

    I took it to my football matches and played it at half time. I took it to the gym to play on the treadmill a few times. Hell, I kept it on my bike and barely resisted the urge to play at red lights. It’s a great game and one I’m still playing via the new game + mode.

    Best thing I’ve played on the DS bar none. But the review was tricky because it does have some rather glaring problems that needed to be addressed and not skipped over so I could praise the hell out of it. Everything considered, I’m very happy with how this one came out.

    Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) November 30th

    So, this one was kinda fun. The rambly bit at the front is a real love-it-or-hate-it affair and the powers that be on site decided they hated it. This was quickly downgraded to a user review and then, upon my request, moved to the secondary account. The timing of its releases is either perfect of terrible, what with all the drama revolving around reviewing thanks to Gamespot and CNet’s shenanigans, but the review was written long before these events mostly at work on the new blog forums which I have converted into a digital notepad or sorts. Hourglass is simply a dull game that’s only shot on innovation is tied in with the gimmicky system it has been released on. Someone needed to tell the world!

    Felix linked it to the GameFaqs message board where it was quickly deleted for trolling. I did likewise with a review of his (Sex Vixens from Space) which was nuked for spamming.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: Internet DRAMA: Of Gamespot, hidden chequebooks and the users who hate it.
    Posted: November 30, 2007 (10:48 AM)
    Obligitory summary: some guy got fired from Gamespot today and, although no reason has been given as of yet, we're all going to assume this: he wrote a Kane and Lynch review, scoring it 6/10 and Eidios, the game's publishers who paid 'spot a lot of money to run K&L ads, threw a fit. The fallout is the guy in the center has no job and other members of staff from the site seem to be walking. Whether it;s as seedy as it seems or not, Gamespot is still well and truely boned.

    It's an interesting situation, but rather than harp on about the mess CNet have seemingly dropped themselves in, I'm a lot more concerned with the public who view this sacking as a moral victory because he gave their game of choice a sum total of 1.2 points short of a perfect review score.

    Personally, I've never used 'spot as a review site because I'm not a fan of their reviews (and I question to worth of any site willing to slap a 10/10 on Chrono Cross) but I respect anyone willing to voice his true opinion on something as Jeff seemed happy to do (first name basis as his surname is impossible to spell). There are people out there pleased that they guy is on the unemployment line, and he's on that line because he did his job.

    Public opinion goes from:

    "He deserved it! I've hated the guy ever since that Zelda review"

    to:

    "Jeff is a hero! He was fired because he refused to take bribes from publishers to up game scores!"

    Blind hatred to martyrdom. And for all our well-thought words, these are the majority voices. This is our audience. As a reviewer, as an editor and as a gamer, this worries me more than I can put into words

    Title: Chrono Cross hate continues
    Posted: October 29, 2007 (03:13 PM)
    I recently subbed the 1/10 CC review over on 'Spot to give it a go in the next reviewspotting issue (ETA 2010) and it already has six negative votes towards it (and one plus, which I'll just assume was Ben)

    And now I have this PM:

    I respect your opinion but if you expect people to take you seriously you cannot just go throwing around 1/10's.  A review final score should be unemotional and based of facts to support the final score.  I don't feel that the aspects in your review support a 1/10 score though they do support a low one.  With all due respect (serioiusly) do yourself a favor and avoid 1/10's.

    I'll consider myself told. The fellow who has put me in my place goes by the name of Telekenesis123 and I urge bored readers to take the time out to check out his elongated good and bad list single review written to understand why he can lecture the most decorated reviewer in CCU history

    I can see this becoming an ongoing saga.
    [reply][view replies (9)]

    Title: A new hate topic -- all for me!
    Posted: October 07, 2007 (07:19 AM)
    OMG he said bad things about Chrono Cross! Get him!

    One of these pops up now and then, which prompts me to check the forums now and then to see if one has popped up.

    I always enjoy them, but they're just not as good as the Bulletproof ones I used to get.

    Sidenote: Bad Shotgun for not telling me said topic existed when you knew all about it!
    [reply][view replies (4)]

    Title: IGN. Aren't they great?
    Posted: September 21, 2007 (03:21 PM)
    IGN. Home of the dumb. Did you know that before the PS3 hit, they compiled a top ten list of why you should ignore the Xbox 360 and buy -- with money -- a PS3 instead? Sadly, I did and I even had the time to revisit it to see how many nails they hit on the head.

    Spoilers: There's 3 flat-out lies, several mammoth exaggerations, one only-slightly disputable claim based around a game not many people care about anymore and more hyperbole than you can shake a stick at.

    10 - 360 doesn't have a killer app:

    Name one system out there that has had a spectacular launch title. Can you do it? I can! But we're not talking about the Dreamcast; even now the 360 has so many titles of worth -- Gears, Crackdown, Bioshock, Halo 3. The PS3 has, well, nothing that can soar above the 8/10 mark. Heavenly Sword's the best they have and it's 10 hours long! Everything else looks like it's drowning in a river of mud.

    Sure, the 360's had a head start, but the PS3 is well over the mark IGN had set when this article was penned. Even then, the 360 had stuff like Quake 4, which still kicks the snot out of the PS3 library.

    9 - 1080p and TWO SCREEN support in PS3:

    Except this was dropped quietly, wasn't it. No explanation offered, Sony just stopped mentioning it and hoped people would forget.

    8 - Expandability/Connectivity:

    The PS3 has some weird online program that might save you from cancer. It also plugs into the PSP. The 360 is basically a PC in a box and as such connects up to one effortlessly (and their wired pads play without flaw on your PC too, kids!). Interestingly, it also plugs into the PSP and anything with a USB port. That this was mentioned in favour of Sony is mind-blowing inaccurate.

    7 - "You can still pre-order a PS3:"

    Now you can just buy one right off the shelves. There are millions of the overpriced turkeys sitting unsold in stores everwhere.

    6 - Seven player wireless support:

    Except this never happened, either. Probably because it's such a dumb idea. Those of us who crammed round a console to four player it up know that's a squeeze enough, but seven?

    Much like other claims, this was never mentioned again. Shhh, you're meant to forget!

    5 - The new camera:

    Yeah, that's taken off big. Let me ask you this: did you own eyetoy? If the answer is yes, then welcome to a very small club. Has the PS3 done anything like the eyetoy yet? Nope, not a thing. If you want a webcam on your console, then you can plug a PC one into the 360. Despite IGN giving it a black mark on the subject earlier, the 360 connectivity is leagues above the PS3s.

    4 - Backwards compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games:

    This blew out big.

    Here's the situation with the 360's backwards compatibility: they didn't actually own the main chip that ran the first Xbox and couldn't just carry the software right across so they're slowly going though the entire back catalogue, game by game, and making downloadable content available so that you'll someday be able to play every single Xbox game on your 360.

    Despite popular belief, you can now play Panzer Dragoon Orta on the 360 with the right download.

    Microsoft said this was what they were doing since day one. And they're doing a bloody fine job on making good on their promise.

    Sony broke all their promises from the word go.

    "You can play every single PS1 and PS2 game on the PS3!" Oh really? Not if you live in Europe where the most expensive strain of the machine is the least developed. PS1 games play fine, sure, but only about 30% of the PS2 games work and Sony refused to release a list of which titles would until the day of the console's release effectively asking consumers to buy a console not knowing what games it can or can't play. And if you've not bought an early version of the NA strain, then you have the same conditions to look forward to later on in the system's 'development'.

    Microsoft admitted that their backwards compatibility would not be flawless, explained why, and have worked hard towards rectifying this. Sony flat-out lied.

    3- PS3 has stronger Japanese support:

    Does it? What does the PS3 have from the land of the rising sun thus far? And, more to the damn point, who cares? Japan has not been the epicentre for brave new games for a long time now: Rare are British, Ubisoft French, to name just a few. There are great games coming from the 'states, coming from Croatia, Italy, and Spain... The 360 even has support from the big Japan names like Square who released the only console version of FFXI worth mentioning on the 360.

    The big PS3 game thus far, Heavenly Sword, is made by Ninja Theory, formally known as Just Add Monsters, who are English-based themselves.

    But here's the more obvious point: I don't live in Japan. I couldn't care less how it fares there.

    2 - Metal Gear Solid 4:

    MGS2 was exclusive on the PS2.... for a few months. DMC4 was exclusive on the PS3. It's not now. The safe money is on MGS4 following suit and finding its way on the 360 at some point.

    But so what if it doesn't? The Metal Gear series has already been outclassed and out-designed by the Splinter Cell games that play perfectly on the 360 without the vomit-inducing pseudo-intellectual plots and love-on-the-battlefield nonsence.

    1 - Plays Blu-Rays:

    So far the Blu-Ray has done nothing for the PS3 except push it out of most people's price range. So far, all the lack of Blu-Ray has done for the 360 is make it affordable.

    Let's make a painful analogy.

    Consoles are sandwiches, and you are hungry. You go to a sandwich shop and you ask for a cheese sandwich. The guy behind the counter produces two.

    "What's with this?" you asked, perplexed at the duality of foodstuffs.

    The guy smiles and points to the first sandwich. "This is a fine sandwich. It tastes great, as sandwiches are wont to do, and it costs a fraction of the other one."

    "Then what's so good about the other one?" you ask.

    "Well, it costs much more, for one."

    "Why?"

    "Because it's made from a special bread that is developed by NASA and made out of ninja particles that slice at nasty atoms with tiny katana blades."

    "That sounds more adventitious than the first, if not overly full of improvable hyperbole", you admit.

    "It does, but it tastes like crap."

    This is a startling admission. "What a startling admission." You say. "Are you not trying to sell me said sandwich?"

    "h, but that's the great thing about it. Right now, the sandwich tastes of arse, but thats because it doesn't have special cheese."

    "Is special cheese extra?"

    "It will be but it isn't now. Because, right now it does not exist. But someday it will, and then this sandwich will be so awesome!"

    You cock your head to the side and the guy notes your look. "This isn't a guarantee", he quickly adds.

    "So", you begin. "I, the sandwich-hungry consumer, have the following choices. I can either spend less money on a great tasting snack that I can enjoy now, or I can spend more money on a clearly inferior foodgood that might some day be vastly superior, but also might not?"

    "More or less", said the guy.

    "And will the pricier sandwich remain at this fixed price forever?"

    "No, but if you do not buy it now and instead wait for it to get cheaper, you get less garnish and the overall product is lessened greatly."

    "Right", you say, wishing you'd a/ gone for pizza and b/ never bothered reading this painful analogy.

    Here's the punch line, the PS3 is currently made obsolete BECAUSE of the very reason Sony is telling you that you should buy the console and the #1 reason IGN thinks you should not bother with the 360 at all. The Blu-Ray is a technology that we currently have no need for; games fit onto normal DVDs with room to spare (GTA3 was cracked and placed on a sodding standard CD, for Christ's sake!) and we've not even strolled into an area where dual-laired DVDs are commonly needed, yet the PS3 relies on the assumption that this time is just around the corner. And it is not.

    Here's another little thing to think about: every multi-platform game spread across these two consoles has looked (and, often, played) better on the 360. Want an American football game on the PS3? Go crazy with your archaic 30fps compared the 360s 60. When the big name guys like EA and bloody SEGA can't even get a resolution that has been common ground for over a decade for consoles, then it's time to ask questions.

    The old saying goes that you can't spell Ignorant without IGN. I always found them a laughable source of reviews and it's heartening to know that they can be relied upon to carry this across the board.

    They did a similar list for the Wii, but it's simply not as dumb. I may have a pick at it, anyway.

    [Should you want to see this list taken apart with twice the skill I possess and before the PS3 even hit the shelf, to boot, I recommend you check out Nick Evil's rundown on his SEGABASTARD site.]
    [reply][view replies (9)]

    Title: July & August. The forgotten months
    Posted: September 01, 2007 (08:00 AM)
    Return to Mysterious Island (PC) July 03

    This came in a boxet along with Journey to the Moon (which I got to later!) and was actually a lot of fun. The thing I liked most about RtMI was that each goal can be completed in a differing way. So this is what I focused on with this review. While I like how that aspect came out, it feels a bit.. samey. Like I'm getting a little too much into a rut. I need a break!

    Armored Core 4 (XBOX360) July 04

    My attempt at getting out of my rut failed horribly and this review got lambasted for the fan-fic like cut-aways I'd included throughout. Knowing when to cut my loses, the review has since been updated minus the cut-aways. Without them, I don't think it has any real soul to it, but it reads like an actual review and not a bad fan fic.

    The biggest pain, finding a text to put the cut-aways in, vanished with their deletion.

    Exit 2 (PSP) July 20

    So, a freelance guy said he had a PSP thus I accepted a PSP review code. Said PSP was promptly sold and I was stuck.

    Now I [all but] own a bloody PSP, Exit 2 is the kind of game that makes the purcahse seem worthwhile. It's a fun, quirky and unique little game that wouldn't be applicable on the DS or GBA. I played the game and wrote the review mainlky from work where I decided to try and fond out how much videogaming I could get away with over a slow week. The answer was a lot.

    Journey to the Moon (PC) July 30

    There's a real steampunk/sci-fi setting around this one, and how they've managed to bring the books to life is quite the feat. Even if Ancell looks like a derranged killer and not the brilliant explorer he was meant to be. Also, got to love the English accents oon the French protaganists.

    Like its sister game, Return to Mysterious Island, there's a multi-branch puzzle solutions deal going on, but it's not quite as free-flowing. For atmosphere, JttM destroys RtMI, but roles are reversed for gameplay.

    Interesting note: This game is called Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne in the states. Haha, your title sucks.

    Persona (PSX) August 22

    I've been wanting to review this game for ages (HG already has a staff review for this but it's, to be blunt, awful) and despite it loosing to Boo in the TT (Curse you, tubby!) I'm really happy with how it came out. I threw the discussion points around a bit to take familiarity out of the picture and spent most of the review comparing the JP and NA versions, which are so different, they may as well have been released under different names. Whereas I caught some stick for this in the TT judgement, it's not someting I'm going to change.

    PS: Mark dances sexy.

    Sam & Max: Season One (PC) August 29th

    Just when I think I'm done with the bloody series..

    The intro isn't just there for comedic effect: I really did launch into a huge speil about the history of the series that went on for a good four or so paragraphs. Obvioulsy, this was overkill, so I scaled it right back into what you see now.

    Big thanks to VM on this one. We had an obligitory fight the day before the TT deadline and proofed each other's reviews still with an air of hostility, but we predictably got bored of bickering half-way through. Shame, too; she's always so much quieter when she's sulking.

    I must rememeber to go back and hyperlink the hell out of this later. I didn't review all six episodes seperately to not spam them hard in a season sum-up!

    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (360) August 31st

    Time-killer review penned at work, written from a pretty smarked point of view, but it should find a niche, at least! Not actually played a wrestling game in any depth since the glory days fo the N64, so comparisons are rather shallow.

    True INSOLENTLY didn't do his obligitory WWE review this year, so I fugured I'd have to do it for him.
    [reply][view replies (3)]

    Title: For Genj
    Posted: July 30, 2007 (09:24 AM)
    [reply][view replies (7)]

    Title: Achievement Awarded: 100,000 hits
    Posted: July 06, 2007 (07:56 AM)
    DoI may have beaten me in for the "Developer bitterly complains about review" achievement, but I'm not (too) jealous. Recently I hit the magical 100,000 review hits (the current total standing at 101456 at time of writing).

    Soon I'll have the 100 total reviews one, too. Don't forget to read them, as well! I need to catch Mid.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: Anything for a quiet month. June wasn't it, though.
    Posted: July 02, 2007 (07:49 AM)
    Dawnspire June 4th 2007

    This is my favourite review that I’ve written thus far this year. The publishers even went so far as to say that they loved the first 70% of the review and I should snip the last 30% away and score their game higher. I honestly wish I could.

    Had a few problems getting this one up and written. Originally it went to a freelancer but they had problems running it on their PC, so I had to recall it and do it myself. However, the Post Office screwed up and I still didn’t have the review copy back untill some 10 days later. Luckily, I know someone who bought the game, so camped at her house for a few days and racked up a lot of game time while she made me butterscotch muffins.

    It’s a hard life reviewing sometimes.

    Anyway, I wrote the review mostly on paper while there and typed it up at home that night, making little edits and changes as I went along. It was a quick write and the finished product came out a lot better than I had expected. Now the review copy of the game is here, I’ll keep playing this one in the hopes that the community picks up.

    World Poker Championship 2 (PS2) June 5th 2007

    Oxygen don’t like to make life easy for me. The first game they sent me to review was a darts one, and now, poker!

    I held this one for ages, wanting to release it on-site with the PAL release date, but this seems to have been pushed back forever, so it got sent out now. Considering the source material (I know I’m saying that a lot, but I’ve had some difficult games to cover recently!) I’m pleased with how it’s come out. I also still find myself playing the game on and off as when I want to play something light.

    Pacific Storm: Allies (PC) June 18th 2007

    Here's a game that should have been a lot better than it was. The story behind this is that a solid war sim game was made combing three genres in a very clever way and serving the player with a unique way to wage war. Then it was sent to the publishers who thought it would be a super idea to jam in a anti-piracy code on the last day before retail release without any form of testing at all. There's now bugs all over the place including a very annoying one that doesn't show explosions so you have no idea whether or not you hit your target. This only applies to the UK game that I got; the rest of Europe and NTSC will have perfect version without moronic publisher choices.

    Rant aside, I'm lukewarm with the review. In an attempt to make the review applicable to all regions, I think the above point was undersold. I also should have maybe deleted the history nerd tangents I kept running off into all together rather than try and make a running joke of them.

    Safecracker (PC) June 23rd

    There's this bastard puzzle in here where you need to guide a ball bearing through a maze using magnets to attract the ball to up, down, left or right. The aim is to get it to fall in one of the five holes, but it can easily get trapped or roll off the table completely. It took me hours upon hours to do.

    That's the kind of game Safecracker is. It's not about plots or characters but all about puzzles. This makes it pretty hard to write about. I hate the intro as it's a blatent cop-out and one of the things I advise other reviewers not to do, but I had nothing in the bag and an incoming publisher deadline to meet. It picks up from there, but I hope to have a suddern burst of insperation one day so I can come back and edit in a better intro.

    Loki [PREVIEW] (PC) June 28th

    Loki's preview disk only gave me the chance to play as a norse warrior out of the four playable classes, but it also came with a really cool glossy book that shows a lot of what the finished game will be. I usually just get an A4 press release note.

    What was on the disk was old-school click-and-die fun. Ignoring this, I got too carried away in writing about the setting to convey this as much as I would hope then proceeded to oversell this point in the latter half of the preview. Looks to be a blast of a game, though; I look forward to the full release.
    [reply][view replies (2)]

    Title: EmP stomps May.
    Posted: June 09, 2007 (06:55 AM)
    Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (PC) 3/5/07

    I love that most of the publisher sent reviews I get are for point and click games. And I loved this one.

    I flew through the game and then found the review came pretty easy. Obvioulsy, the little lemur at the start had qute an effect on me, but it also allowed me to not spoil any of the main story by focusing on the alcoholic rodent. Starting to play around more with intergrating screenshots into a review's main body, think I pulled this one off pretty well.

    Soccer '97 (PSX) 7/5/07

    Pulled this one out of nowhere, but it's a game no one's ever heard of and really deserved some kind of coverage. Even though I wager no one will ever really read it, I always like covering the more obscure stuff. It's nice knownig that you have the best review for a game up on the internet, even if you have to cheat and make sure it's all but the only one.

    Sam & Max Episode 6 - The Bright Side of the Moon (PC) 9/5/07

    Season 1 down. Thank God, because I was all kinds of out of things to say. I liked the time I spend playing the new Sam & Max stuff, but writing about them was a real bitch. Knowing that there's going to be a season two at some point worries me, but it's a while away.

    This was written pretty quickly which is unlike me, but I'm happy with it.

    SBK ’07: Superbike World Championship ‘07 (PS2) May 14th 2007

    DAY 1

    This was a much easier review than I thought it was going to be. The problem with reviewing racing games is that, unless they’re awful, you don’t have much to talk about and it’s very hard to try and talk about them in an interesting way. I’ve made myself write about sports games in the last few years exactly because they are hard to do and, in covering them, I hope that it adds an element to my writing that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I like how this came out, so all was good.

    SBK ’07 is a fun little game that can’t quite decide if it wants to be an arcade racer or a true sim. But it finds a cool middle ground and builds from there. I think I got that across well enough. This was the first review in the three-day review spree.

    Alpine Ski Racing 2007 (PC) May 15th 2007

    DAY 2

    This is about as good as I can write a ski review!

    I mean, come on, it’s not the easiest of games to cover. ASR07 helps me out with some pretty unique ways to slide down snow such as an awesome career mode but I had to cheat a little by padding the review with links to similar reviews and by making a talking point around the skis being waxed when it didn’t really deserve such a focus. Still, in the scheme of things, this one turned out well, especially when you consider it was my second review in so many days. Most of you will never read it.

    Ankh: Heart of Osiris (PC) May 16th 2007

    DAY 3

    The three-day streak ends with Ankh. Thank god, because I was all kinds of burnt out by this point.

    Ankh’s a cool game, but what with covering so many adventure games this year, I was worried I was falling into a rut of forms with the genre. I wanted to try and change out of this, but a lot of the reappearing habits still found their way in. The publisher really liked it, though!

    minDStorm May 28th 2007

    I hated BrainStorm. Literally hated it. Not only do I not see the fun in doing what is nothing more than glorified secondary school homework, but the interface was broken and was the reason for 80% of my wrong answers (because I is smart). MinDStorm suffers from much of the same problems but has slightly more fun mini-games and a much cooler title. Not a fun game to cover, though: how do you write about doing your maths homework? In a very stuffy and listy way, according to this review!

    LMA Manager 2007 (Xbox 360) May 29th 2007

    I tried to get into the habit of writing one of these a year but didn’t do 2006. This stopped me from doing my usually trick of just editing last year’s review a little and claiming it was a clever dig at the rehashing of annual titles. But I didn’t, so had to write it anew. Bah.

    If you call football soccer, you should probably avoid it. It also relies on some prior knowledge.
    [reply][view replies (9)]

    Title: Publisher review codes
    Posted: May 09, 2007 (10:09 AM)
    For my own piece of mind and to preserve sanity:

    Codes I need to do:
    Sam & Max 6 (PC)
    Ankh: Heart of Osiris (PC)
    SBK '07 (PS2)
    Genesis Rising (PC)
    Alpine Downhill Ski (PC)
    minDStorm (DS)
    Dawnspire (PC) N/A
    World Championship Poker 2 (PS2)
    Pacific Storm: Allies (PC)
    Safecracker (PC)
    Loki PREVIEW (PC)
    Armored Core 4 (360)

    [Jule Verne Collecters Edition (PC)
    [Journey to the Moon]
    [Return to Mysterious Island]
    Exit 2 (PSP)
    Sam & Max: Season One
    UFO Aftermath (PC)
    Valhalla Knights (PSP)
    Requital (PC)
    Sam & Max: Season 2 Act 1
    Return to Paradise City (PC)

    Runaway: A Road Adventure (PC) N/A
    Metal Slug Anthology (PS2)
    FIBA Basketball Manager


    Zaps has:
    Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
    Phantom Hourglass


    Lee has:
    Aura 2 (PC)
    Mercuary Meltdown revolution (Wii)
    Tourtuga (PC)
    King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 (PS2)

    Panzer Elite Action: Gold Edition (PC)
    [Panzer Elite Action]
    [Panzer Elite Action: Dune Wars]

    Lissane has:
    Spaceforce: Rogue Universe PREVIEW
    Call to Heros PREVIEW
    Trackmania United (PC)
    King of Fighters XI (PS2)
    Attack on Pearl Harbour (PC)
    Sword fo the New World
    Basketball Manager 2008
    Falling Star
    Loki (PC)
    European Street Racer (Preview)

    Escape from Paradise City [preview] (PC)

    DoI has:
    Bone: The Great Cow Race (PC)
    Attack on Pearl Harbour (Preview code) (PC)
    Virtual Skipper 5 (PC)
    Kudos: Rock Legend
    UFO Aftershock
    Anderson & the legacy of Cthulhu (PC)
    European Street Racer(PC)

    Painkiller: Overdose

    Veems has:
    Defcon (PC)

    Will has:
    American Civil War (PC)
    Painkiller (PC) Preview
    SunAge (PC) Preview


    Martin has:
    Red Stone
    Blitzkrieg II

    Condor (PC)

    PAJ has:
    Bunswick Bowling
    rFactor



    Stuff I want to do for kicks:
    Soccer '97
    LMA Manager '07
    Persona

    Brian Lara's Cricket '07
    Crackdown


    Overworked level: Dangerously high.
    [reply][view replies (9)]

    Title: EmP laughs at shit metal: i.e. all of it.
    Posted: May 04, 2007 (12:20 PM)
    EmP laughs at shit metal:

    Kamelot: Do people really enjoy this crap? Christ, anyone into this automatically loses several billion cool points. It's all about cheesy riffs overlaying a souless, dead bass and a singer who sounds more like an outdated town cryer than a spewer of lyrics. I won't even start on the lyrics because I need to retain sanity.

    Fans of this dribble: invest in a decent ear doctor. I'd rather listen to The Darkness: at least they knew they were a joke.

    But then, no one's dumb enough to like this.... right?

    Volta: Uses ambient noise to try and distract listners from the fact they're very untalaneted musicians with no sense of ratio or depth. Sorry, miscreants: not on my watch!

    Ulver: Interesting. I like that they're trying to evolve out of the talentless genre they started in and some of their ideas seem adventuresome and worth looking into.

    Opeth: Christ alive, this shit is dull. Someone wake me up when this ends. Not before, I prefer to live outside a coma.

    Arcturus: Castlevania-ripped organ chords and singing into a hollow pipe does not good music make. Shame no one told these losers. They do save us from oblivion BY oblivion, though. God help us all.... (sorry, Boo!)

    Cynic: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. As soon as the retarded-sounding singer opened its mouth, I was in tears. Shame, I liked the ideas behind some of the music. Textures kind of interested me.

    Agolloch: Actuaully, this is pretty goo... oh wait, the singer kicked in. No, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Next!

    Queensryche: No. Shame, prog metal can be pretty good. These guys sound like a bad 80's glam band, though.

    Within Temptaion: Huh. Female singer, can actually sing, music not bad. May listen to more.

    Arsis: Luckily most of the word arse is right there in the band's name. Fitting.

    Title: EmP in April.
    Posted: May 04, 2007 (07:42 AM)
    Patriots: A Nation Under Fire (PC) 2/4/07

    This glichly little game could and should have been better, but it's more of an unfinished beta than a full game.

    I'm torn on the intro. It was supposed to be a play against the media circus the 'States needs endure but it come out as a tad U.S bashy instead. The structure for the review was first born I ranted at DoI for a fair while about how broken the game sometimes was.

    Sam & Max 6 - Reality 2.0 (PC) 9/4/07

    This is probably my favourite Sam & Max episode yet in terms of script and giggles. The problem I face every month with these is what I'm going to bloody write about so as it's a new review and not a slight edit of the last. So in this one, I sused that problem as the tone for the entire review! I walk away happy with what I finished with. Episode six is going to be tough to write...

    Spectrobes DS 23/4/07

    This is a pretty bland game. I should have known it would be when Venter shipped it all the way from the US to the UK because no one there was dumb enough to want to cover. Enter EmP. The idiot.

    Playing the game was a struggle because it was too grey to hold my attention but the review came with relative ease. the only provblems I faced was editing some of the smaller complaints because the review dragged somewhat. Constant reminder to hide away next time Jason offers me a game -- I have enough of my bloody own to cover!

    Demolition Racer: No Exit (DC) 24/4/07

    This was actualkly one of my very first reviews EVER that I was playing around with on a slow day. I dropped a lot of the redundant phraseing, the obligitory graphics and sound paragraph and mixed them into the body and played about with the pacing. It's still not a work of art, but it's solid as is. I was heartened to find that I could use the main frame of something I wrote when I first started off can be converted into something useable!
    [reply][view replies (0)]

    Title: Back up, Gaylord!
    Posted: April 27, 2007 (09:37 AM)


    Gaylord comes with a bone of his own.

    Maybe it's because it's Friday and I have a weekend to look forward, maybe it's the small collection of empty beer cand already littering my computer desk and maybe it's my hatred of small children, but this did make me chuckle.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: This is what HELL looks like.
    Posted: April 24, 2007 (10:47 AM)


    It's like they've delved into my head, bought out my deepest, darkest fears and then made a concert out of it.

    If anyone has a biological warhead they don't want, I beg you to part with it! They're all together in one space! It's too good a chance to miss.

    And look where it's held: the very pit of all evil. France
    [reply][view replies (8)]

    Title: Two months of 2007... and the rest
    Posted: March 03, 2007 (07:38 AM)
    Tortuga: Two Treasures Preview (PC) 2/1/07

    Never let my commitment be called into play! I wrote this still suffering from one hell of a hangover as I once again took on my old foe, New Years Day and lost in spectacular fashion.

    Previews are bloody tough. Don’t believe me? Download a pre-release demo and try to write one – I dare you! Most people who have stop at only the one, and I don’t blame them. You can't even talk in an assured tone because you have no way of knowing if what you’re talking about will even make the final cut of the full game.

    Anyway, I quite like how this one came out, although it does drag the points it makes onwards too far. Still, it’s a tough job done in tough conditions, so I award myself self-kudos.

    I also like that previews haven’t been put into the new borderless, toneless review page style therefore do not look like complete crap.

    Sam & Max 3: The Mole, the Mob and the Meatball. (PC) 26/1/07

    The hardest thing about this review was trying to say enough about a game I beat in about an hour and a half while still making it different to the last two Sam & Max reviews I'd written. I’m moderately happy with how this one came out, but it still reads a little jaunted and shunty to me. It’s the only thing I wrote all January.

    Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (XBox) 8/2/07

    Now with screenshots built into the body of the review!

    This was the first piece I’d written outside of the review codes I’d been swamped with for a while and served as a warm-up for Zig’s tourney. I like the first half but feel the second half gets bogged down as it goes on. Adding the screens into the body of the review is something I wanted to avoid at one point, but I’m very happy with how they came out, so all's good. I get the feeling this one got buried under a slew of other works and will quickly become one of those ‘lost’ reviews that no one remembers.

    Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (PC) 15/2/07

    And back to the review codes. This game was a devil to play though, always mocking me with intricately hidden clues that remained just outside my reach. The review as all about letting the reader know what they were getting into, a logical point ‘n’ click that made no bones about having you re-examine evidence again and again and again. The intro and conclusion may feel cop-out-ish, but I quite like how it frames the less creative meat of the review. I’m happy with how this one turned out, but I'm sure many find it a dull read.

    UFO: Afterlight (PC) 22/2/07

    This thing was a major pain to get right. First we got sent a preview disk with an activation code that wore out after 28 days use. It didn’t work on my system or on Hobun’s who got stuck with it shortly after me. Then we got a review version with the same code that nerfed the game after 28 days and, again, it didn’t work on either of our computers. Eventually, we got something working and I played the game non-stop for a few days to try and beat it as quick as I can. Thankfully, it’s about as close to a new X-Com game as I’ll ever find, so playing it was a lot of fun.

    The review got basically written at work between dead spots as my time at home was spent playing it. I HG mailed what I had to myself and use the back-and–forth efforts to mould the review you see today. It does suffer for this, but it turned out okay. It’s also racking up a lot of hits, which is somewhat gratifying after all the legwork I poured into this one.

    Also, check out the assets section, should you feel bored. I flew through several focus window attempts before settling on the red one. Thank Tur’s nagging for that.

    Now translated into Russian and hosted on a review site over there. EmP has an internatinal fanbase.

    Sam & Max: Episode 4 – Abe Lincoln Must Die (PC) 26/2/07

    Before reviewing this one, I got an e-mail from Telltale (because I’m on talking terms with MANY game developers, you see... Really! I’ll name drop and show you all!) pointing out several things that had been worked on and explaining the deadlines and such. Pretty normal stuff, but I liked the way the mentioned how the feedback gained from the reviews written on their games had been noted and applied to the later episodes of Sam & Max. And in Episodes 4, it kind of shows. I wanted to try and mention that within the review but also wanted to come at it from a different angle than I did with the last 3 episodes. I change my mind constantly if I managed to pull this off or not! This was the first review where I inserted screenshots into the review, and I liked it enough to go back to Dreamfall and do the same to that.

    Man, February kept me busy…

    Deus Ex (PS2) 1/3/07

    I have always wanted to write a Deus Ex review, but other reviews also ganged up and got in the way. I managed to squeeze this one in and went with it for Zig’s tourney which really gave me the excuse to write (finished with a high-80's score.) Even Veems stopped listening to toneless metal garbage long enough to read this! The intro itself has undergone many, many revisions and edits but the rest of the review is pretty unchanged since first draft side a little editing and tightening here and there. It’s so refreshing not to have to slave over a review for once and just have it say what you want to say first time out! Also drew disco1960 out of hiding, so it receives bonus points for that.

    Not reading this review is the same as condemning a scabby ho to pimp abuse!


    The Mark (PC) 4/3/07

    This was a bad game but one I felt catious in just ripping into seeing as it was a publisher-sent title. As it was, said pubslisher sent an e-mail thanking me for the review and labeling it 'fair'. Phew! The game really is poor, though. The screens on site are from the game's site the ones I took got accidently deleted in a snafu and I wasn't about to replay the game enough to re-capture them.


    Used in the first round of the TT against Draqq, where it lost 2-1 and was slated by Genj. get used to seeinf this phrase.
    SkiFree (PC) 8/3/07

    I wrote the majority of this on a slow day at work and e-mailed it to myself to work on when I got back home. originally, I wasn't going to do anything with it aside from maybe sub it to FAQs, but after doing a little research and working on it a bit (and finding then addng the yeit .gif) i thought it had turned out well. So it got put up, and owned the focus window for only two days shy of a full week.

    Check out the game's assets for a disturbing and unsed added bonus .gif of our yeti chum.

    PDC World Championship Darts (PS2) 19/3/07

    I've just reviewed a darts game.

    It was a fun darts game that I play quite often against a friend, but it's still a darts game. Writing this was more work than I would have imagined, though. Sports games are a pain to begin with, but when it's such a niche sport.... hard.

    All things considered, I remain pleased with how this one turned out.

    Space Hulk: Vengence of the Blood Angels (PSX) 30/3/07

    This was a surprisingly tough game to write for. I couldn't decide on the angle to take and the piece suffered many re-drafts, deletions and mass edits. I went with having the primary focus on the dreaded Genestealers in the end and still have mixed feelings on it. The entry into the License to Review tourney. And got a pretty mediocre score.

    Patriots: A Nation Under Fire (PC) 2/4/07

    This glichly little game could and should have been better, but it's more of an unfinished beta than a full game.

    I'm torn on the intro. It was supposed to be a play against the media circus the 'States needs endure but it come out as a tad U.S bashy instead. The structure for the review was first born I ranted at DoI for a fair while about how broken the game sometimes was.

    It partnered Veems' awesome NetHack review in the obscure tourney and got a good enough score to help me and my talanted sidekick pick up the win. I was over the moon for this because it's the third time we've paired up and we've missed taking the top-spot by a single point in the past.

    Sam & Max Episode 5 - Reality 2.0 (PC) 9/4/07

    This is probably my favourite Sam & Max episode yet in terms of script and giggles. The problem I face every month with these is what I'm going to bloody write about so as it's a new review and not a slight edit of the last. So in this one, I sused that problem as the tone for the entire review! I walk away happy with what I finished with. Episode six is going to be tough to write...

    Spectrobes (DS) 23/4/07

    This is a pretty bland game. I should have known it would be when Venter shipped it all the way from the US to the UK because no one there was dumb enough to want to cover. Enter EmP. The idiot.

    Playing the game was a struggle because it was too grey to hold my attention but the review came with relative ease. the only provblems I faced was editing some of the smaller complaints because the review dragged somewhat. Constant reminder to hide away next time Jason offers me a game -- I have enough of my bloody own to cover!

    Demolition Racer: No Exit (DC) 24/4/07

    This was actualkly one of my very first reviews EVER that I was playing around with on a slow day. I dropped a lot of the redundant phraseing, the obligitory graphics and sound paragraph and mixed them into the body and played about with the pacing. It's still not a work of art, but it's solid as is. I was heartened to find that I could use the main frame of something I wrote when I first started off can be converted into something useable!

    Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (PC) 3/5/07

    I love that most of the publisher sent reviews I get are for point and click games. And I loved this one.

    I flew through the game and then found the review came pretty easy. Obvioulsy, the little lemur at the start had qute an effect on me, but it also allowed me to not spoil any of the main story by focusing on the alcoholic rodent. Starting to play around more with intergrating screenshots into a review's main body, think I pulled this one off pretty well.

    Soccer '97 (PSX) 7/5/07

    Pulled this one out of nowhere, but it's a game no one's ever heard of and really deserved some kind of coverage. Even though I wager no one will ever really read it, I always like covering the more obscure stuff. It's nice knownig that you have the best review for a game up on the internet, even if you have to cheat and make sure it's all but the only one.

    Sam & Max Episode 6 - The Bright Side of the Moon (PC) 9/5/07

    Season 1 down. Thank God, because I was all kinds of out of things to say. I liked the time I spend playing the new Sam & Max stuff, but writing about them was a real bitch. Knowing that there's going to be a season two at some point worries me, but it's a while away.

    This was written pretty quickly which is unlike me, but I'm happy with it.

    SBK ’07: Superbike World Championship ‘07 (PS2) May 14th 2007

    DAY 1

    This was a much easier review than I thought it was going to be. The problem with reviewing racing games is that, unless they’re awful, you don’t have much to talk about and it’s very hard to try and talk about them in an interesting way. I’ve made myself write about sports games in the last few years exactly because they are hard to do and, in covering them, I hope that it adds an element to my writing that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I like how this came out, so all was good.

    SBK ’07 is a fun little game that can’t quite decide if it wants to be an arcade racer or a true sim. But it finds a cool middle ground and builds from there. I think I got that across well enough. This was the first review in the three-day review spree.

    Alpine Ski Racing 2007 (PC) May 15th 2007

    DAY 2

    This is about as good as I can write a ski review!

    I mean, come on, it’s not the easiest of games to cover. ASR07 helps me out with some pretty unique ways to slide down snow such as an awesome career mode but I had to cheat a little by padding the review with links to similar reviews and by making a talking point around the skis being waxed when it didn’t really deserve such a focus. Still, in the scheme of things, this one turned out well, especially when you consider it was my second review in so many days. Most of you will never read it.

    Ankh: Heart of Osiris (PC) May 16th 2007

    DAY 3

    The three-day streak ends with Ankh. Thank god, because I was all kinds of burnt out by this point.

    Ankh’s a cool game, but what with covering so many adventure games this year, I was worried I was falling into a rut of forms with the genre. I wanted to try and change out of this, but a lot of the reappearing habits still found their way in. The publisher really liked it, though!

    minDStorm May 28th 2007

    I hated BrainStorm. Literally hated it. Not only do I not see the fun in doing what is nothing more than glorified secondary school homework, but the interface was broken and was the reason for 80% of my wrong answers (because I is smart). MinDStorm suffers from much of the same problems but has slightly more fun mini-games and a much cooler title. Not a fun game to cover, though: how do you write about doing your maths homework? In a very stuffy and listy way, according to this review!

    LMA Manager 2007 (Xbox 360) May 29th 2007

    I tried to get into the habit of writing one of these a year but didn’t do 2006. This stopped me from doing my usually trick of just editing last year’s review a little and claiming it was a clever dig at the rehashing of annual titles. But I didn’t, so had to write it anew. Bah.

    If you call football soccer, you should probably avoid it. It also relies on some prior knowledge.

    Dawnspire June 4th 2007

    This is my favourite review that I’ve written thus far this year. The publishers even went so far as to say that they loved the first 70% of the review and I should snip the last 30% away and score their game higher. I honestly wish I could.

    Had a few problems getting this one up and written. Originally it went to a freelancer but they had problems running it on their PC, so I had to recall it and do it myself. However, the Post Office screwed up and I still don’t have the review copy back some 10 days later. Luckily, I know someone who bought the game, so camped at her house for a few days and racked up a lot of game time while she made me butterscotch muffins.

    It’s a hard life reviewing sometimes.

    Anyway, I wrote the review mostly on paper while their and typed it up at home that night, making little edits and changes as I went along. It was a quick write and the finished product came out a lot better than I had expected. When the review copy of the game gets here, I’ll keep playing this one in the hope that the community picks up.

    Used in the first round of the TT against Zig, where it lost 2-1 and was slated by Genj. I think pretty unfairly, but that's what judges are for! Even if 66% of the panal didn't much like it, I still do.
    World Poker Championship 2 (PS2) June 5th 2007

    Oxygen don’t like to make life easy for me. The first game they sent me to review was a darts one, and now, poker!

    I held this one for ages, wanting to release it on-site with the PAL release date, but this seems to have been pushed back forever, so it got sent out now. Considering the source material (I know I’m saying that a lot, but I’ve had some difficult games to cover recently!) I’m pleased with how it’s come out. I also still find myself playing the game on and off as when I want to play something light.

    Pacific Storm: Allies (PC) June 18th 2007

    Here's a game that should have been a lot better than it was. The story behind this is that a solid war sim game was made combing three genres in a very clever way and serving the player with a unique way to wage war. Then it was sent to the publishers who thought it would be a super idea to jam in a anti-piracy code on the last day before retail release without any form of testing at all. Ther's now bugs all over the place including a very annoying one that doesn;t show explosions so you have no idea whether or not you hit your target. This only applies to the UK game that I got; the rest of Europe and NTSC will have perfect version without moronic publisher choices.

    Rant aside, I'm lukewarm with the review. In an attempt to make the review applicable to all regions, I think the above point was undersold. I also should have maybe deleted the history nerd tangents I kept running off into tall together rather than try and make a running joke of them.

    Safecracker (PC) June 23rd

    There's this bastard puzzle in here where you need to guide a ball bearing through a maze using magnets to attarched the ball to up, down, left or right. The aim is to get it to fall in one of the five holes, but it can easily get trapped or roll off the table completely. It took me hours upon hours to do.

    That's the kind of game Safecracker is. It's not about plots or characters but all about puzzles. This makes it pretty hard to write about. I hate the intro as it's a blatent cop-out and one of the things I advise other reviews not to do, but I had nothing in the bag and an incoming publisher deadline to meet. It picks up from there, but I hope to have a sudden burst of insperation one deay so I can come back and edit in a better intro.

    Loki [PREVIEW] (PC) June 28th

    Loki's preview disk only gave me the chance to play as a norse warrior out of the four playable classess, but it also came with a really cool glossy book that shows a lot of what the finished game will be. I usually just get an A4 press release note.

    What was on the disk was old-school click-and-die fun. Ignoring this, I got too carried away in writing about the setting to convey this as much as I would hope then proceeded to oversell this point in the latter half of the preview. Looks to be a blast of a game, though; I look forward to the full release.

    Return to Mysterious Island (PC) July 03

    This came in a boxet along with Journey to the Moon (which I got to later!) and was actually a lot of fun. The thing I liked most about RtMI was that each goal can be completed in a differing way. So this is what I focused on whit this review. While I like how that aspect came out, it feels a bit.. samey. Like I'm getting a little too much into a rut. I need a break!

    Armored Core 4 (XBOX360) July 04

    My attempt at getting out of my rut failed horribly and this review got lambasted for the fan-fic like cut aways I'd included throughout. Knowing when to cut my loses, the review has since been updated minus the cut-aways. Without them, I don't think it has any real soul to it, but it reads like an actual review and not a bad fan fic.

    The biggest pain, finding a text to put the cut-aways in, vanished with their deletion.

    Exit 2 (PSP) July 20

    So, a freelance guy said he had a PSP thus I accepted a PSP review code. Said PSP was promptly sold and I was stuck.

    Now I [all but] own a bloody PSP, Exit 2 is the kind of game that makes the purcahse seem worthwhile. It's a fun, quirky and unique little game that wouldn't be applicable on the DS or GBA. I played the game and wrote the review mainly from work where I decided to try and find out how much videogaming I could get away with over a slow week. The answer was a lot.

    Journey to the Moon (PC) July 30

    There's a real steampunk/sci-fi setting around this one, and how they've managed to bring the books to life is quite the feat. Even if Ancell looks like a derranged killer and not the brilliant explorer he was meant to be. Also, got to love the English accents on the French protaganists.

    Like its sister game, Return to Mysterious Island, there's a multi-branch puzzle solutions deal going on, but it's not quite as free-flowing. For atmosphere, JttM destroys RtMI, but roles are reversed for gameplay.

    Interesting note: This game is called Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne in the states. Haha, your title sucks.

    Persona (PSX) August 22

    I've been wanting to review this game for ages (HG already has a staff review for this but it's, to be blunt, awful) and despite it loosing to Boo in the TT (Curse you, tubby!) I'm really happy with how it came out. I threw the discussion points around a pit to take familiarity out of the picture and spent most of the review comparing the JP and NA versions, which are so different, they may as well have been released under different names. Whereas I caught some stick for this in the TT judgement, it's not someting I'm going to change.

    PS: Mark dances sexy.

    Sam & Max: Season One (PC) August 29th

    Just when I think I'm done with the bloody series..

    The intro isn't just there for comedic effect: I really did launch into a huge speil about the history of the series that went on for a good four or so paragraphs. Obvioulsy, this was overkill, so I scaled it right back into what you see now.

    Big thanks to VM on this one. We had an obligitory fight the day before the TT deadline and proofed each other's reviews still with an air of hostility, but we predictably got bored of bickering half-way through. Shame, too; she's always so much quieter when she's sulking.

    I must rememeber to go back and hyperlink the hell out of this later. I didn't review all six episodes seperately to not spam them hard in a season sum-up!

    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (360) August 31st

    Time-killer review penned at work, written from a pretty smarked point of view, but it should find a niche, at least! Not actually played a wrestling game in any depth since the glory days fo the N64, so comparisons are rather shallow.

    True INSOLENTLY didn't do his obligitory WWE review this year, so I fugured I'd have to do it for him.

    UFO: Aftermath (PC) September 15th

    This was an odd title to review retrospectivly as I had already played and reviewed the third title in the series and, as you can guess, this one still had a littering of teething problems the later game I played had long ironed out. The biggest problem with writing reviews for games like this is that they may still be fun but later titles have made them obsolete. And that's why it lurks right at the bottom of my hit-counter.

    All I wrote all September. Thank two weeka in Ibiza for that. And I still got online to help Ben and Veems for TT stuff. I'm such a martyr.

    Quake 4 (Xbox 360) October 2nd

    Less a Quake 4 review for the first half and more a chance to bash the crap out of the awful Doom 3. Which, in case I've not said, is awful.

    But the review is far too long and really is in need of a good edit. I've already cut a lot of fat off this one, but despite this there being some good ideas in here, it still feels like it needs to lose more. I may have to enlist an editor for this one.

    Requital (PC) October 15th

    Requital's an odd game and when I said odd I mean medicore. It has some good ideas but never take full advantage of them and remains mostly hundrum. Which makes writing about it pretty hard. Daggnammit.

    It's a good game to get covered, though, as not many sites seemed to bother.

    Halo 3 (Xbox 360) October 18th

    I know, odds are you've never heard of this one.

    I had no real intentions of covering Halo 3 for the site as I try to shy away from the bigger names. forcing Zig to carry that burden instead. But, much like the Gears or War situation, a certain editor insisted as soon as he (or she) heard I bought, played and beat it upon release. Which was a pain.

    What worked out was the FPS review tourney being annouched, allowing me to kill two birds with one plasma grenade. I romped to victory.

    I like this one. The intro worked and by the time I got into the less interesting parts in the latter parts, I think I have enough momentium stored to not let it slow things down.

    Valhalla Knights (PSP) October 24th

    Buying a PSP for review codes ahs almost paid for itself already. Sadly, Valhalla Knights isn't a game I feel happy dropping all that cash on to play. While it was nice to get back to penning a bash review (I was starting to feel that I would forver be stuck in the 6-10/10 range!) it came at a super-busy time and there were over games I would have prefer to get played and reviewed, especially since Zig already had a review for the same game up live.

    I like to think I made my arguement differently to his.

    Urban Dead (PC) October 26th

    So, I wrote a review on a broswer-based zombie MMO for Halloween. Then I forgot it was Halloween based and released it early. Then remembered after I released and swore.

    Urban Dead's a tricky little game to cover and I think I maybe used a little too much creative license and not enough cold facts in this one. Still it's a cool game and it's free -- you should all be playing it.

    Honeycomb Beat (DS) November 6th

    This was purely written on the publisher’s request as both Jason and Pup have a review up for this game already. Three staff reviews and no users, odd. Anyway, this meant that saying something new about it wasn’t really going to happen, so I didn’t bother checking on the aforementioned pair of reviews and just wrote. It’s a puzzle game review, so it’s not going top be my best thing ever, but it is adequate.

    The jellyfish pic used to be the paragraph that you’d see on the game’s data page, but this made Jason uncomfortable. Probably because it upstaged the hell out of review effort!

    Sam & Max 201: Ice Station Santa (PC) November 11th

    Just when you think you’re free from a series….

    Don’t get me wrong, I love playing the new Sam & Max games, but writing about them gets harder and harder each review – and this is my 8th review! I’m enjoying the games far too much to let some other slacker take the contract, though.

    The new series seems to have a few key differences from the last, including an effort to drag in new players, so perhaps I’ll have something new to write about. Here’s hoping.

    Escape from Paradise City (PC) November 18th

    Martine was set to review this one, so it was posted to him. He couldn’t play it on his laptop. So I offered it to new boy PAJ89, but he was busy with exams. Trying to get Ben to review a PC game these days is an exercise in frustration, so I gave up and did it myself. Pretty glad I did. The game’s actually a lot more fun that I imagined and is probably the best of its kind since Syndicate back in ’93. There are a lot of good ideas within so I’m hopeful to see more from the developers in the future.

    Luminious Ark (DS) November 25th

    When I originally asked for a review code of this game, I was told I couldn’t have one and was sent Valhalla Knights and Honeycomb Beat instead. It was only after the PR firm employed a new guy who actually came out and asked me if I wanted a copy that one arrived. The game then got busy taking over my life.

    I took it to my football matches and played it at half time. I took it to the gym to play on the treadmill a few times. Hell, I kept it on my bike and barely resisted the urge to play at red lights. It’s a great game and one I’m still playing via the new game + mode.

    Best thing I’ve played on the DS bar none. But the review was tricky because it does have some rather glaring problems that needed to be addressed and not skipped over so I could praise the hell out of it. Everything considered, I’m very happy with how this one came out.

    Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) November 30th

    So, this one was kinda fun. The rambly bit at the front is a real love-it-or-hate-it affair and the powers that be on site decided they hated it. This was quickly downgraded to a user review and then, upon my request, moved to the secondary account. The timing of its releases is either perfect of terrible, what with all the drama revolving around reviewing thanks to Gamespot and CNet’s shenanigans, but the review was written long before these events mostly at work on the new blog forums which I have converted into a digital notepad or sorts. Hourglass is simply a dull game that’s only shot on innovation is tied in with the gimmicky system it has been released on. Someone needed to tell the world!

    Felix linked it to the GameFaqs message board where it was quickly deleted for trolling. I did likewise with a review of his (Sex Vixens from Space) which was nuked for spamming.

    Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) December 1st

    After the last attempt of the review was nuked, it was back to the lab again. It has pretty much the same critical commentary of the last with half the personality and none of the satire. Instead, I decided to pick on how the big Nintendo nerds like to scream about innovation before sitting down to play the newest Mario Party game. Aren’t they in double figures by now?

    Title: I'm already regreting this.
    Posted: February 11, 2007 (09:06 AM)
    I was given an Ipod this weekend. It's only a little 2gig nano, but I guess I should put stuff on it.

    God, I'm going to regret this.

    Hit me up with stuff and I'll listen to it. Keep my large negativity towards music these days in mind, or else!

    So far I've only thrown on a few Feeder albums I had lying around near the computer. Boo, don't tell Veems that this post is here, otherwise I'll be forced to break your legs.
    [reply][view replies (7)]

    Title: A [second] year in review.
    Posted: January 01, 2007 (06:51 AM)
    Beyond Good & Evil (Xbox) January 1st, 2006

    This is how I started off the new year -- by finding a dusty intro lurking in the back of my hard-drive and finishing it off while still slightly hung-over. This forever stayed the way of things to come.

    Alien Soldier (Genesis) January 20th, 2006

    I regret how I did this because it let VM and her awesome FO2 review down in the pro/rookie tourney that we probably should have won. Numerous people warned me the intro was too long, but I was so convinced I had made it DAMN HILARIOUS! that I kept it, was scored poorly, and lost. It will remain forever unedited so people can point and laugh.

    The rest is supposedly okay, but it's the bitterest review in my collection. Just like LH's Magna Carta, except this one remains readable.

    Conflict: Desert Storm (Xbox) January 22nd, 2006

    Just like Monsterseed (PSX) April 21st, 2005, Shining in the Darkness (Gen) May 5th, 2005, and Micro Machines (XBOX) October 16th, 2005, before it, this is a restored review from olden days, lovingly repaired and released back into the reviewing community. Look for infrequent Collector reviews to be released in the near future.

    This was actually my first ever RotD feature that I saw (I'm sure I got mentions before but I never checked the RC board back then.) Sportsman gave it a second place before quitting his RotD spot and migrating fully over to HG.

    Chrono Cross (PlayStation) Januray 30th, 2006

    Upon forming Team EmP, a blood pact was made between the original five members; a pact that decreed that they would all write a CC review in their career. LH's backed out as soon as the word 'blood' was mentioned, complaining of feeling a little queasy, and DE was disqualified from this agreement for threatening to give CC a 4. 4 is far too high.

    Anyway, this review did two things. First, it won a star-packed tourney over on FAQs by quite a margin and scored a career high of 97. Then it got a disappointing 75 in the KoR first round when I expected a high finish with it. 97, 75. That's not a bad split! I love this review and enjoyed writing it more than any in recent memory.


    Monkey Puncher (Game Boy Color) February 16th, 2006

    When I spied this game cheap on EBay, I envisioned a great reviewing platform. What I got was a dull, by-the-numbers tamagotchi game that is enjoyable in only short doses. But I wanted to write something for it anyway and forced this out. It's without voice, without personality and without depth -- like a Boo review. But it's serviceable enough, so it can stay. Besides, taking reviews down is lame.

    Drakengard (PlayStation 2)

    'Have you played Drakengard yet?" A volatile Ruder would demand every so often, and I would respond in the negative. Finally, I gave in and played the game while home sick from work and two days were instantly devoured by a mass murdering spree. I can't ever match the perfect review my nagging chum posted in the TT finals, but I can at least offer my own homage to a game that has revived a genre to me. The TT judges weren't so happy with it, and awarded it a lose while Ruder boasted "Not as good as mine!" Sod them; it easily won a 'Faqs tourney about M-rated games notching up a huge 98.

    I'm very happy with this one. Props to Boo for his HTML assistance and VM on the nit-pickiest proof-read ever.

    Arc the Lad: Twilight of Spirits (PlayStation 2) July 01, 2006

    Long review standing at about 12k, but one that I remain pleased with. In a round of KoR, Lasty gave it something like a 91 even through the second review I put in for that week scored higher. Still, this review languishes at the very bottom of my hit counts, showing that no one really cares about Arc the Lad games.

    Devilish (Genesis) July 01, 2006

    Silly little review for an odd little game and the only one I've written on Gamespot which wasn;t deemed good enough for the Reviewespotting feature. Despite that, I remain happy with it. It was written for the section KoR where it placed respectably.

    Legend of Dragoon (Playstation) July 09, 2006

    This one id under the B-Side account for no other reaon than I already have an LoD review under the EmP one. Written for the section-based KoR, it didn't actually place that high, but it was one of those reviews that I just wanted to write for the sake of writing it more than anything else. It embodies a lot of the quesations and stupid thoeries I had to endure during my time on the GFaqs LoD board (which i still hang at now and then) over the years and gives me something to spam link to when such questions come up again.

    Tony Hawk's Underground 2: World Destruction Tour (Xbox) July 27, 2006

    Awful game, which got both barrels in this review. I have to admit, although I've always liked this review, it was more like a guilty pleasure than one I expected many other to enjoy, but I was proved wrong! genj picked this to take part in the second round of Lasty's war (the round we lost, but we'll ignore that for now) and it scored well. I believe it came second in the sports themed KoR, but who really remembers those things.

    R-Type (Game Boy) August 03, 2006

    It might very well be the case that I'm the only person happy with this review, and if so, so be it! It got slated across the board in the TT, lost a crazy amount of points for a misunderstood tagline over on 'spot but still managed to win my third consecutive tourney over on 'Faqs ['least OD liked it!] It's a very different style of writing than I usually employ, but one I think I pulled off. According to all other sources, I'm living in denail, though.

    Silent Hill 4: The Room (Xbox) August 10, 2006

    OD would tell you that he [by the slimist of margins!] beat this in the 'Faqs based bash tourney because he had the better review. The truth is, people where getting tired of my winning and corresponding gloating afterwards. Never the less, it did well on 'faqs then won an even bigger bash tourney on 'spot which netted me a tidy $50 (which I tried to spend through VM, who purchased a copy of KotOR that doesn't work and a few bits for me that she, as usual, still hasn;t sent through to me.) Thinking, with all that praise behind it, it would fare well in the TT, I entered it in and got a responce that I was becomeing very familiar with. "This review has been done better by someone previous -- you lose!" Bleugh.

    Jade Empire (Xbox) August 17, 2006

    This one won its TT round! Hurrah!

    In the finals, no less, making this season a complete opposite of last season (where I won the majority of matches bar the final which cheatmonger Boo robbed me of!)This was the second attempt at this review after I felt the first was writtin in a more descriptive, serious tone that I used in reviuews like the few mentioned above and strayed away from the more light-hearted approuch, so I regressed my writing style and won. The straight-to-TV film of this touching tale will be available soon. EmP is played by Bruce Campbell.

    Panzer Dragoon Orta (Xbox) August 25, 2006

    Lillica rip-off of extenstion of new, descriptive writing style -- you decide. This one was rushed out to met a focus window deadline back when we bothered with changing the focus window.

    Ys III - Wanderers From Ys (Genesis) August 27, 2006

    Wrote this at silly o'clock on the deadline of the Alpha tourney because I'm too stubborn a review to pen a review without beating the game. So I sat up most of the night playing the game while complaining to Ruder and Zig that it wasn't much fun. With encoragment from my cornermen, and several pots of coffee, I managed to finish the review, post it up for the Alphas and gratefully sleep. My dedication was to be rewarded with the tourney win after a close tie-break with OD that saw this year's biggest foe relegated to second place. Go EmP!

    Bone: Out from Boneville (PC) September 07, 2006

    The second version of this review which I prefered to my earlier efforts. Rushed to finish this one before my birthday which was the next day over. Of the four Telltale games I've reviewed this is by far the mostr read at the time of this list.

    Bone: Out from Boneville (PC) September 08, 2006

    One day later (on the glorious day of my birth!) the first version of my Bone review is posted. This wasn't a bad review, I just felt it was a little too stuffy to lead with. The re-write (above) was an easier one to pen, but this still deserves a place on-site and that's wahts B-Side accounts are for, after all.

    Bone: The Great Cow Race (PC) September 28, 2006

    More Bone! Had to play these games back-to-back and throw reviews out quick and as such, this one feels a little rushed and cramped. Notice how much smaller the review explinations are getting as the end nears?

    Amped 3 (Xbox 360) September 30, 2006

    This wasn't supposed to be my entry into the first rounds of the war, but it was the only appicable review I had written, so it had to make do. Scored respectably (mid 80s, if I recal correctly) and gets my point across. However, Guts brought some interesting opinions into the mix via the talkback topics and now this review is subject to change after I play Amped 2, which I'm looking to pick up at some point. Watch this space!


    Pippa Funnell: Stable Adventure (Game Boy Advance) October 09, 2006

    Silly, short review on a broken, girly game that would probably appeal to no one. Competent review, but nothing else.

    Gothic 3 (PC) October 17, 2006

    Gothic 3 is a huge, huge game. And if I was to review it by the release date, as the publisher had hinted at, I needed to complete it within a week. The problem was, my computer wasn;t good enough to run it. In fact, you need a beast of a PC just to run it at minium specs.

    So I hijacked someone else's PC and played this almost non-stop. The finished product beat every single website to the punch, shaming sites like Eurgamer, IGN, Gamespot and anyone else you can think of! It also produced numerious hate topics that I gleefully tracked and enjoyed. There was a parise-heavy one, but it was all in Russian. I have more hits for this review than my top ten of other reviews combined.

    Sam & Max: Episode 1 - Culture Shock (PC) October 28, 2006

    This game rocks. And the review has already converted a few people who had never heard of Sam & Max (heathens!) to purchase and enjoy the new games, which, as a reviewer, is as big a compliment as one could recieve.

    Conflict: Desert Storm II - Back to Baghdad (PlayStation 2) November 08, 2006

    This is an edit of the first ever review I submitted to HG and one I remain happy with overall. I deleted all the clumsy narrative of the first and linked things together a little more smoothly and, as a result, have a new game to languish at the bottom of mt hit-counter. Yay!

    Blitzkrieg 2: Fall of the Reich (PC) November 12, 2006

    Not sure I wrote this review right. I wrote about it like it was a stand-alone game (which is how I recieved it) when it's a add-on more than anything else. But it does offer a different voice from the other reviews written about it on other websites, so i judged it acceptable! Tough little game at parts, but a fun one. Stopped playing online after getting repeatedly destroyed.

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox) November 30, 2006

    Wrote this reviews many months before I subbed it to HG. It underwent a tone change, several edits and a shot at a Reviewspotting issue. It came second. I held it back from submission here so it could fall into a focus window gap, which it did. It made no difference, the window remained frozen. Still, I like this review, it's briefier than a lot of the works on the same subject and gets to the heart of what I believe makes KotOR.

    Master of Weapon (Genesis) December 03, 2006

    Had been playing this on ROM on and off after finding it by accident and falling in love with the name, but had no intention of writing a review on it. Then one day after a night at the pub, I woke up the next morning and founf a poorly-typed review fo it sitting on word. A little perplexed on the subjet, I tidied it up a little and threw it up on site. Can;t waste moments of druken productivity, after all.

    Gears of War (Xbox 360) December 08, 2006

    Here's an idea of how much this game took over my life. Back when I lost interest in videoa games, a huge reason for this was because Wild Arms 4 didn;t ship over to PAL. Eventually it did, and it became the first game in eons I bought on release. I loved it and played it every chance I had. Then I got Gears of War, and WA4 was quickly forgotten about.

    I wrote this in one big sitting after it was suggested we needed a Gears of War review for the focus window and, as I had been vocal on playing the game until my thimbs bled, all eyes turned to me. I shook my fist, hid away my wireless pad and got to work. Easy review to write, in fact, it wrote itself.

    I've edited it since after it got mixed reactions for reviewspotting and after some sound advice from Zig and OD. The structured use of paragraph/one-liner has gone in order to make the one-liners that mattered all the more impactful and I've condensed some of the ideas a bit and I'm left with a review I'm really proud of. As a serious review, I rate among my best of the year.

    The Great Waldo Search (Genesis) December 14, 2006

    Quick review (spanning only 1k) on a complete farce of a non-game. Wrote it after discussing the game on AIM with Team EmP fledgling, Willthegreat. Modest chap.


    Sam & Max Episode 2 - Situation: Comedy (PC) December 23, 2006

    Although this feels a bit cramped and rushed, it says what I wanted to say without erroding the fun afctor this game has, so I'm pleased overall! I love the new Sam & Max games -- and so should you!

    Eragon (Xbox 360) December 27, 2006

    Eragon is awful in every single sense of the word. Only one kind of review can express this -- a mocking one!

    The biggest complaint on my reviewing has long been that I lack the ability to technically disect the games I bash and instead ridicule them into submission. This isn't the kind of title in which to remedy this. I enjoyed ripping into to Eragon and people were polite enough to lie about say they enjoyed reading it. This or GoW might evry well be my entry in the this year's challange.

    Also managed three previews, a handful of Faqs, some (correctly formated!) pics and the genesis cheats for all games A-C covered. Not to mention an ongoing fanfic for both Shadowrun and Doomsday.
    [reply][view replies (0)]

    Title: RANDOMNESS
    Posted: November 18, 2006 (07:36 AM)
    Gears of War

    .... has stolen my life.

    Music

    On the rare occasion of my soberness, I feel I might be harsh on Genj through my dislike of Volta, so I'm giving him his shot at revenge. Here are the last eight or so music video I watched on Youtube:

    Ash - Burb Baby Burn

    Vandels - My Girlfriends Dead

    Nirvana - You Know You're Right

    Feeder - Insomnia

    Alien Ant Farm - Attitude

    Hundred Reasons - If I Could

    Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench

    Manic Street Preachers - You Stole The Sun From my Heart

    Mock away!

    Zelda getting a 8.8

    The TP forums restored my lack of fiath in Snerds. 8.8 is a good score for any game, especially a port from a machine with a pad (not a good pad, mind. it was the Gamecube) and for amangled and recycled concept like Zelda has long beomce. Red Steel getting a 5.5 helped my smile, too.

    The Joys of a Broken Wrist

    It's finally happened and my wrist is irrepairably damaged. Apparently, cutting off the hard cast so I could put my 'keeper gloves on and continue to play football was a bad idea. The downshot of this is that typing for long periods of time now hurts like hell and ROMing is no longer an option unless it's in short bursts with long breaks. Yay!

    Brevity Tourney

    Sign up. All the cool kids are doing it! Aside from Usurper, who we'll let in anyway. Remeber, every review that gets submited is a moment of not drinking Boo has to endure.

    Opeth

    Boo send me a song which didn't suck arse but it was monotoniously dull and flat. They slip from the axis of God Awful bands and fall into the simply bad catagory. I need to find an awful third band to join Volta and Iced Earth in the axis. PoS hold a temp spot for being disgusting petentious and having the worst band name ever.

    Gears of War

    So good, it gets two mentions.

    Title: PRAISE/BASH
    Posted: September 14, 2006 (02:14 PM)
    In memory of the cool Praise/BASH tournmey we held years back, here is the last PRAISE and BASH e-mail I have reciewved from my fanbase.

    PRAISE!

    Dear Emp,

    First off, awesome job on your guide pertaining to the best equipment for each character in Legend of Dragoon. Before I read your guide, I was the ultamate pwnasaur knob, choosing almost instantly Kongol over Meru, dissing on Shana/Miranda at every turn, and, of course, having the perfect "noob" team throughout much of the game (as stated in your guide, Dart, Rose, and Albert). I had actually taken time to save up for an Ultimate Wargod for Al(at the beggining of the game mind you, in the Home of the Gigantos), thinking his final addition was going to be so hard that I'd likely puke before actually completing it. And, unfortunately, I bought it, and now am thinking about selling the damned thing at a loss of 5,000 gold. Even when I bought it I had the ominous feeling that I was being a moron.

    Now, make no mistake, I know you probably have no interest in reading up on some random player, who, by happenstance started playing his childhood RPG favorite (Well, I guess it wasn't THAT long ago, but I like to think I've come along since then) after 5 years of looking the other way. This is by all means a digital handshake, a bow, a thank you from a fellow LoD enthusiast. And also an apology for my hiddeous grammar. Please forgive, I usually have a way with words. We'll just say that I'm babbling, in awe of your greatness. :-p

    Send me some feedback, just for the satisfaction that you recieved my mail and I'm not mailing to an out of date address. (billy.schock@gmail.com)

    Again, many thanks

    ~Some random noob.

    See? I rock!

    BASH!

    Hi there,
    My name is Kourtney and I would like to tell you this about Silent Hill 4.It's the best silent hill game I've ever played.Sure it's hard and everything but that's where the fun is.I think it's great that Konami did something new for Silent Hill 4.I have played all 3 Silent Hills and they are good too.What do you mean by the way of waste pontial? I think it's a great sequel and what I've seen so far it's scarier than the first 3.Resident Evil series is good also but Silent Hill is known to be scarier.I've heard bad things about Silent Hill 4:The Room.I haven't beat it just yet but I can't wait until I see the ending.Sure this time around you are not in the town but each sequel should be different.Being able to play somewhere different is a nice change of pace.Silent Hill 2 is about the same as the original because you are in Silent Hill.What I liked about Silent Hill 3 is that it's different than the first 2.What makes this one interesting is that it's connected with Silent Hill 2.If you remember the name William Sullivan? His name is mentioned in Silent Hill 2 but you don't see him.You'll finally see him in this one.
    Kourtney

    I'm not sure what I'm being told or if my review is beinag attacked - argghh! Translation welcome.
    [reply][view replies (3)]

    Title:
    Posted: July 10, 2006 (01:26 PM)
    I have discovered a fun new game.

    What you do is go the the featured reviews list, pick a random Janus review and then guess to see if he's deleted the bloody thing or not.

    75% of the time, the answer is yes. He has.
    [reply][view replies (8)]

    Title: Take this, Mario!
    Posted: July 06, 2006 (01:19 PM)
    The joke review that prompted a Bacon hissy fit. Enjoy!

    ---

    Sometimes you want something to happen so badly that your expectations soar. You throw away guarded optimism and instead expect perfection. New Super Mario Brothers is that kind of title; one that flat-out promises a perfect slice of retroactive insanity based on an updated old-skool foundation. In this, it fails.

    Well, no, that's not exactly fair. If you mindlessly play the game with your brain turned off, you can enjoy the experience. But dare to take a peek beneath the brightly coloured veneer, and you'll find a game engine that ran out of steam long ago.

    Tubby fat-arse Mario returns to once again promote outdated Italian stereotypes as he runs through the atypical smattering of slightly-differently themed worlds for some improbable reason I choose not to acknowledge. And that's great; all the Mario games have basically been the same game with cosmetic alterations, but have still managed to be a lot of fun. They've not done much to dig Nintendo out of the 'innovatively challenged' hole they've dug themselves into, but fun was still had by all. NSMB is more of the same with a smattering of new features that doesn't work.

    It's great to grab yourself a power-up mushroom and double your size, allowing you to add extra lard to any unfortunate target Mario will land on. Throwing Koopa shells at unwary foes still provides as much of a giggle as ever, but the new powers feel gimmicky and tacked-on; they serve no purpose but to appear right before you need them. Nintendo have decided their players are incompetent enough to need their hand held throughout. Hell, they're probably right.

    Take the tiny Mario power-up. This little fellow can increase on Mario's new(ish) ability to double-jump off walls, can squeeze into tiny gaps and even run across water. Whereas that sounds cool on paper, take a moment to think about how it will apply. Mini-Mario is useless aside from letting you explore new areas or get across obligatory set pieces and the power up will only ever show up at such a place. A thoughtful gamer will stop and look around, already having been tipped off that a special area is around.

    And speaking of gimmicks, the touch screen aspect of the game is underused and pointless. Sure, this happens a lot with DS games, undervaluing the failing system all the more, but with a flagship game like NSMB, you'd have thought some effort would have been made to include it. They could have taken this chance to think up an innovative way for fatty to actually do some plumbing for a change.

    The new 'Evil Mario' option is the worst addition, though. Spare the Koopa's and attack Toad & Co, and Mario will start to do things a little differently. Power-ups will not come in the shape of pretty flowers of huggable stars, but in bloody infant corpses Mario must devour. Doing this often enough will mutate our cuddly plumber into a tentacle ridden monster that wouldn't feel out of place in a Lovecraftian nightmare. Instead of chasing down Bullet Bill's, Mario's evil glare will fall upon Japanese schoolgirls and baby seals, ensuring that popular singer, Morrissey has added NSMB to his never-ending list of things he hates.

    757/ Canadians
    758/ New Super Mario Brothers.
    759/ Post offices
    760/ South-Easterly winds.
    761/ Old Super Mario Brothers
    (and so on)

    Fun often turns to frustration, overwriting the enjoyable aspects that the game did have to offer occasionally. You need to collect special coins to unlock secret paths, but thanks to the aforementioned power-up placement give-aways, these are more of a chore to collect than a challenge. Controlling Mario feels looser and more floatish than in previous titles, ensuring that returning vets need readjust. And it's a shame; clever little touches like having the Goombas dance along with the background music means they could jig out of your attacks at a crucial moment. Of course, when you get sick of the sugar-heavy soundtrack and mute your DS, the audio clues to when your foes will get funky will disappear and you'll be left with a twitching target to try and dispatch instead. If only Nintendo would get a clue and start using popular licensed music like Linkin Park to soundtrack their videogames.

    More of a shame is the levels themselves. Some of these work brilliantly, giving Mario and/or Luigi, his up-to-now ignored beanpole brethren, the chance to frolic in open environments that provide the chance to actually have some fun. And then, some of the more gimmicky levels don't. Dive the brothers underwater and see them lethargically stutter across the screen while faster-moving fishies swarm towards them with unpure intentions. The custard level is just as bad; the level is an off-cream colour when everyone knows custard is yellow! The sticky pudding dressing makes squelching noises and leaves stick tendrils trailing from exploratory boots, but at the cost of mobility and enjoyment. For every twist of genius this game exhibits is a broken and flawed link in the chain that detracts from it.

    Sometimes, EmP slips randomly into talking in third person.

    Bottom line is that a lot of these flaws could have been fixed with a little bit of thought and not the inane mindset Nintendo have adopted that any old crap with Mario in the title will sell. Sure, I expect New Super Mario Brothers to sell in it's millions, I expect glowing reviews from those unwilling to look at the distressing lack of evolution this title has. But I also expect people like me; people whose faith in a series is being steadily eroded. Happily, this game has yet to be released in my region, and I'm all the happier for it! Nintendo hates Europe, and we hate them right back when they try and peddle spoiled wares on us a month later than the rest of the world!

    Could have been. Should of been. Isn't.
    [reply][view replies (8)]

    Title: A more EmP-like farewell.
    Posted: April 11, 2006 (10:12 AM)
    So as not to leave a trail of sourness in my wake, the previous topic has been deleted by my own fair hands. No censoring has taken part here, kids; this was a decision made by yours truly. I don't wish to be remembered for an angst filled rant, neither do I wish to leave something so negative laying around for just anyone to read. For that would be petty.

    So in its place you get the reviews that never made it; the few never-finished projects on my hard drive that will probably never be. Odds are this will be a long post -- apologies for taking up so much room!

    Knights of the Old Republic -- XBox
    There was never a staff review of this, which baffled me into action and helped me justify trying to write yet another review on the over-saturated game! I was never sold on the whole mocking DE angle, because I doubted very many people would get it. And that the poor guy gets the brunt of my mocking when LH is out of range.... I was going to edit both his and my names out on the next draft, dropping jedi alias' all together. Me and DE always talk like he's a shining beacon of all that is good and I'm some kind of watered-down antichrist, which prompted this stylistic choice to start with.

    It's also very barebone. Things like a better battle explination were to be added before final proof.

    It's an early draft, errors are to be expected, info will be missing.

    ---

    This is the tale of two Jedis.

    Both awake on the Republican battleship, the Endar Spire, while under heavy bombardment from Sith forces. One forms a quick bond with his room mate, allowing them to work as a cohesive unit, mowing down vile invaders with flashing blades in the name of self defence and the prosperity of the Republic way of life! We'll call him Eternal. The other holds less noble goals; he strong-arms the same room mate into service as a meat-shield and uses him to deflect enemy attacks while he slinks around the boarders of battles, lighting singed corridors with a plethora of laser fire. Honour be damned when there's a body-count to rack up and bubbling corpses to be looted! We shall call him Emp.

    See what I've done there?

    The fate of their travelling companion is quickly sealed when a Dark Jedi crashes the party. Eternal begs him to take flight towards an escape pod instead of throwing his life away in a futile battle, and morns the loss of a comrade when his words are unheeded. Emp shoves the fool towards certain death and makes with the escape, dodging the need to fight a doomed battle against a much stronger foe than he can currently handle. Both eventually arrive at the same destination; fleeing the flaming battleship for the relative safety of Taris, helped by the Spire's captain, Carth. Eternal finds Carth to be an honourable man, a war hero and a trusted ally. Emp finds Carth to be a whining bitch, and wonders if he can club him unconscious and steal his shoes.

    Both arrive at the same detonation, only their actions on the way there are different. Knights of the Old Republic cleverly boasts its openness by hiding the linearity it does possess behind a curtain or morality. Both of the aforementioned Jedis arrive at the forgotten planet Taris, a world that has fallen from prosperity and is buckling under the inherent bigotry and specism that runs rife on its streets. Eternal strides through these streets with his companions proudly beside him, a champion of the people and an upholder of all that is right. Emp plots to bludgeon anyone who looks like they might be carrying something valuable.

    And his chance comes when a downtrodden alien is accosted by rowdy children shouting racist slurs and pelting the unfortunate creature with stones. It pleads for aid as the Jedi's pass, and receive it in differing ways. Through selectable dialogue choices, Eternal mildly chastises the children and sends them on their way, offering medical help to the blighted off-worlder. Emp instead threatens the kids with the thrashing of a lifetime before pistol-whipping the moaning extraterrestrial and pinching all his possessions. Eternal is rewarded with Light side points. In time he will be enveloped in a holy aura that signifies his connection with the force. Emp's dastardly actions garner him Dark side points; eventually his skin with become marked and his eyes will darken in accordance to those who travel the path of darkness.

    But still their paths take them to the same places. With the help of Carth, the uptight Jedi, Bastila, the odd pairing of a nimble T'welk thief and powerful Wookie warrior and a bloodlusting Camadodion mercenary, Taris will be left behind and other worlds will be explored. The sand people of Tatanooie will either be appeased or slaughtered. Eternal clad himself in robes and, with the help of a language-savvy driod, bartered safe passage through the dune sea and earns the respect of the tribe. EmP armed the same driod with a blaster rifle and wades though their ranks, slaughtering every last one of the little sand monkeys with sadistic glee and glowing red dual lightsabers. Both paths lead to the safe travel of the endless desert, but both are undeniably different ways of going about things -- that is the base of Knight's much flaunted openness. Even the obligatory light/dark endings the game offers have nothing to do with your position between halos and demons

    But it feels different, each action you decide on feels like it matters. Resist the urge to sneak a peek beneath the veneer of open play, and lose yourself in a world of possibilities. A beautiffuly and cunningly created world that you can almost shape with your morality. Or lack thereof.

    Obi Wan Eternal's quest ended in the freeing of a galaxy, in the slaying of an evil empire. Darth EmP's interest laid not in saving the universe but in bringing it to its knees. One Jedi is loved by the people he saved whilst the other is feared by those he enslaved. Maybe the paths they chose to walk are more similar than they are made out to be, but the differing scenery makes the walk more than worthwhile

    ---

    Tony Hawks Underground 2 -- XBox
    This one's been kicking around so long, I forgot I had it until I went to look for half-finished reviews. The dig at Boo is pretty good, the rest is a bit rambly. Needed more focus and ends just after the intro.

    Errors ahoy! This isn't even a completed draft.
    ---

    I own every last Hawks game ever made in one form or another aside from American Wasteland. Its omission will be made clear soon.

    Each and every title sits on my shelf collecting dust. Like all yearly franchises, they retain water like Nintendo retains sanity, so getting rid of them seems pointless. 1-4 and the first Underground collect dust because I've gutted them; every level completed in every way, multi-player games abandoned as soon as I started thrashing my foes by millions point deficits rather than by the skin of my teeth. I dominate, and now I don't play. There's no reason to.

    Tony Hawks Underground 2 collects dust because playing it makes me weep. In a manly way, of course!

    Every now and then I forget this, the following conversation will take place:

    Random victim: "Why don't we play THUG2, again?"
    Me: "Why, I remember not. Verily, let us partake in its glory of see why this puzzling omission exists, dear pleb."

    And in playing it, I remember why I abandoned it. THUG2 is less about skating and more about a basic and ludicrous toilet humour that not even rugby players would find amusing.

    FOR EXAMPLE!

    While putting together a combo that would make Killer Instinct look like Britney's Beat Dance, my special bar fills up, allowing me to pull off a trademark stunt garenteed to draw gasps, points and glory! Trained fingers input the simple button combination as I soar from a half-pipe, launching this crowd-pleaser into action -- will it give me a 540 Backflip? A McTwist? A Stalefish Somersault?

    My custom-built skater sticks out his arse, farts loudly, and lights the noxious fumes that exit noisily from his anus.

    Other 'hilarious' tricks include grinds that see your skater launch a kite to help pull him along, don bullfighter gear and squashbuckle imaginary foes to the distant dry of "Ole!" or violently puke on the move. It's obvious that Neversoft have decided to try and cash in on the Jackass craze that the world was suffering from at the time, so much so that Tony Hawks takes a back-seat here to Bam Margera. A talented skater in his own right who owes his fame and popularity to repeatedly beating up his tubby, bearded father.

    Sure, I love watching rotund gentlemen get hurt, as I will now demonstrate....

    Empleh16: *pokes in the eye with pointy stick*
    almightyfatness: Ouch! ;_;
    Empleh16: Hahahaha!

    ... but I'm sure that the box said something about skateboarding being the focus of this game

    ---


    Silent Hill 4 -- Xbox
    Wrote this a while back, but never finished the game so the review ground to a halt. The fact I won't top Master's review of the same game on the PS2 (which you should check out if you haven't!) probably didn't help much either. Bascially just the intro; I had no idea where I was going after this and was relying on the competion of the game to help. I often nab my ideas for my writing as I play.

    ---

    Some ways into the game, your foppish-looking and persona-less lead, Henry Townshend, slips into an alternative version of this own apartment building. Rather than tread the pristine hallways that he's always called home, corridors are coated in a rust red substance that squelches underfoot. Rather than pass by friendly neighbours as he explores, he instead encounters the mundanely-named sniffer dogs, canine catastrophes with elongated tongues ripped right out of the Aliens franchise. These can been seen off with a sound pummelling from his trusty lead pipe before slumping to the ground where Henry will stomp on their heads in a fatal coup de grace. The perversion of what was once an everyday event is something that has long been a trademark of the Silent Hill games, and the Other World Apartments are unquestionably eerie.

    You enter one room to find it crawling with slate-grey leeches that explode into a puddle of gore when stomped upon. You march through them, raining boot leather down upon any foolish enough to block your path. There is a telephone in the room, and, upon prompting, a number on fast dial is activated.

    A new phone rings in the background. A sharp, shrill noise that pierces the sombre atmosphere.

    You move through the floors, the ringing noise getting fainter or stronger depending on how hot on its trail you are. Finally, you reach the right apartment door and enter a well-lit room; a jarring contradiction to the gloom-filled apartments you've become used to. Portraits hang on all available wall space depicting characters you have or are yet to meet; axles and paints and brushes are strewn carelessly across any free surface. The room is almost normal; a startling opposite to the twisted abominations of your reality you'd witnessed thus far in your journey. And on the kitchen counter is a ringing phone. You've spent a lot of time tracking down the source of the unrelenting ringing and now you've found it. Nervously, you lift the receiver.

    "There is no one on the other end."

    Silent Hill 4 is all about anticlimaxes like this. The set-up is there, the conclusion is not.

    ---

    Others I won't bore you with!
    LMA 2006
    Pro Evo Soccer
    Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
    Koudelka rewrite

    Planned
    Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
    Jade Cocoon 1/2
    Phantasy Star IV
    X-Com Apocalypse
    Jupiter Strike.

    That's my wonky PC purged of reviews for now; time for that ill-deserved break!

    [reply][view replies (4)]

    Title: EmPs year in review -- a clever pun.
    Posted: January 14, 2006 (11:15 AM)
    This is the best year of reviews post of the year!

    Conflict Desert Storm II
    December 18th 2004

    My first HG review and maybe my fith or sixth overall. I liked it a lot back then, no one else did. Bob gave it a third place in the RotD, I recall, beneath an Auto win and someone else I can't remember. I can still read it now without many complaints, though, and it was close enough the the start of the year, so it gets mentioned!

    James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
    December 21st 2004

    My attempt for Mid's doomed reviewer book, and as such, my most proofed review to date! Options came from the likes of Venter and Bloomer, and Bob even managed to give it another third place spot on his name-heavy RotD. It got dusted off in the TT to face Mid in the first round (Which seemed fitting) and drew with Sprung.

    Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
    January 6th 2005

    This has been touched up from the snorefest that is still to this day used as a sleeping aid up on Faqs, but it still sucks. I remember after writing it, DE was quick to point out that it wasn't as much fun to read as earlier efforts, VM said I was too instruction-mannel-esque and Genj still bashes this attempt every damn chance he gets! Yet strangly, it awarded me a RotD win when such an accolade still slightly mattered. If I was the type of person who takes old reviews down, this would be the second to go just behind Track & Field.

    Breath of Fire III
    January 8th 2005

    My dramtic entry into the world of tourney writing in the much-vaulted RPG tourney. I finished in the bottom third - even Ruder slammed this one! It was because of this I decided to sit our the next one (Beat Zig) and work on getting better. But it did muster up my first praise topic on the BoFIII board, which was nice.

    Doom II
    January 24th 2005

    I wrote this in an hour or so, wanting to be short and too the point, then asked a young(er) VM what she thought. Her first reaction was to re-write the intro and tell me that I was a crappy writer. Unabashed, I threw it up on FAQS where it was promptly trashed by Genj who said I was a crappy writer. Feeling a little tender, it would be a whole two weeks later when I submitted it to HG where Boo gave it full points. "It's the best thing you've written!" enthused the gossip-monger. It was then I decided that you were all a weird bunch.

    Wild Arms
    January 26th 2005

    The would-be Beat Zig entry that I pulled. I still kind of like it, but it's long since become a forotten review that languishes at the bottom of my hit-counter. Awwww

    Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
    Febuary 21st 2005

    A silly review that I enjoyed writing in a tone that I wish I employed more. This ranks as VM's favourite EmP review and it's also one I look back on with fondness. Mainly because it also atracts such hate from illiterate Zelda fanboys who attack the review despite the fact it score the fine game a 9/10. Rereading this makes me miss a time when I was perhaps a little less serious about my work. It also bombed big time in the RotD.

    Bust-a-Move 2
    March 6th 2005

    Quick, short effort and it shows. Nothing special here - move on! Although I do like the addiction tone set throughout

    Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear
    March 12th 2005

    "Dude!", screamed annoying yank VM, "That review is hilarious, but it doesn't belong on that site you've been hanging at latley. They'll reject it and laught at you!" See? Even before she was winning Alpha tourneys and spewing out a review every lunar cycle, VM was my most supportive fan. Ignoring her sage-like words, I submitted it some four months after writing it but not before employing some careful editing, and in return made Boo lick his elbow like a fool! Whether it's too gimmicky or a work of new game jounalism genius is an opinion that varies from person to person, but it got soundly thrashed by Sho in the TT and warrented a long-winded explination in an earlier blog post.

    X-Com: Enemy Unknown
    March 16th 2005

    This review goes on and on and on... My Praise-Bash effort that wound up on the upper half of the middle of the pack -- if that makes sense! It's in need of some serious editing, but I want to keep it as it is out of something other then laziness. It also won me a RotM on Faqs. I gave the winnings to VM for her birthday. She was 6 that year and she bought pokemon plushies.

    International Track & Field
    March 22nd 2005

    My worst review on HG. Enough said.

    LMA Manager 2004
    March 31st 2005

    This was posted up on HG long after it won its OD-run RotD on Faqs. I wasn't sure that HG would really want a football managment game that openly makes fun of the girly version of football employed by the yanks, but the respectable amount of hits racked up for it begs to differ. Most of you won't have a bloody clue what I'm talking about, of course.

    Ring of Red
    April 7th 2005

    "The intro was mostly ok, and it would have got a RotW mention if it wasn't for a late surge of hugely better works later in ther week" said Venter of this review. Thanks, Jason!

    The Thing
    April 10th 2005

    My first RotW winner, and the review that defeated Cario in the TT! A review I wrote all in one mammoth sitting, as I recall, despite the slightly disjointed read that makes it seem like two reviews wielded together.

    Monsterseed
    April 21st 2005

    My second ever RotW win, sandwiched in between Thing and SitD, and my obscure entry that caught me a fith place overall and helped me and Bob claim third as a team. Ironically, was later used to beat Bob in our first match-up in the TT. That's what you get for slamming GitS, you cow! DE's favourite EmP review.

    The Secret of Monkey Island
    May 15th 2005

    The first review I wrote as a staff member and the effort that beat Masters in the TT. Gogo pirates and primates! Warrented a big edit nearer the tourney to make it the legend-killer effort it is today

    Dark Cloud
    June 2nd 2005

    This got its own hate topic on FAQS where I was called stupid, thick and believed to be 11 years of age. It was helped fuelled by the usual gang of myself, VM, DE and Boo. Good times! Oh, and the review is huge but makes good use of monkeys at typewriters.

    Operation Wolf
    June 7th 2005

    This is where the curse started. A review written for a Gfaqs tourney where it was scored 95 by one judge and 62 by the other. Sixty-bloody-two! Ever since then, I always seem to get panned by at least one judge on the panal in a most vexxing manner. On the other hand, it was written primarily as a Boo-mockfest and did its job well, even credited as Boo's favourite review written by yours truely. "It makes me feel important and loved", he says. Beat an awesome Splinter Cell review by Bob in the TT.

    Broken Sword
    June 22nd 2005

    I wrote this to convince a chum how awesome the Broken Sword games are, but it turned out she didn't care anyway. Still. I got some France-bashing in, so I am pleased.

    Star Ocean 2
    July 9th 2005

    Written to face Fix in the TT and it earnt a hard-fought draw. EmP who, indeed! Take that, you well-versed swine!

    Shadowrun
    July 30th 2005

    Originally, this was written to face Bob in the TT semi's, but it was usurped at the last minute by Operation Wolf. To this day, I still don't know why I went with Op Wolf over this, but I won, so no harm was done. My only SNES review on HG, and likely to always be my only!

    Legend of Dragoon
    August 1st 2005

    Written for the TT tourney final but didn't meet my expectations of it, and it lost 2-1 to Boo of all people. Boo! I've never heard the end of it since. DoI's favourite EmP review.

    Bio-Hazard Battle
    August 25th 2005

    I liked how this long-winded effort turned out, and so did the judges in the shooter tourny -- for a change, I wasn't slughtered by one judge and walked away with a hard-fought second to Zig. It was the first side-scroller I'd played since Jupiter Strike scarred me for life back on the release of the PSX.

    KISS Pshyco Circus
    August 31st 2005

    A happy return to silliness that I enjoyed writing and people have been kind enough to admit to enjoy reading. Bless them all!

    Brian Lara Cricket
    September 13th 2005

    The only review I wrote all September! It contains VM mocking, quotes from DoI and Boo and has bought me by far the most amount of hits from any single review. Despite being about cricket. Go Lara!

    3 Ninja's Kick Back
    October 1st 2005

    So, my piece of crap computer was dead and all I had was AIM and E-Mail. "Pick me a spot in the Alpha's would you?" I asked sidekick, VM, and she picked me the bloody #. I struggled on, played through this poor, dull game and wrote a long winded review which two judges seemed to like. GUTS gave it a 50/100 though and the review was effectivly dead in the water. HOWEVER! It won me my second RotM over on 'FAQS and purchased me the Macross saga which VM has stolen and will not return.

    Fahrenheit
    October 9th 2005

    After writing a preview on this, the scene was set for a review to cement Fahrenheit's place on the site. Janus beat me to it and stole all my thunder. Bloody git. This review followed his up afterwards, but as a counter-point not a ground-breaking review. Curse your hide, Janus!

    FIFA '06
    October 15th 2005

    Although I liked how this one came out, it was never going to do well on a mostly-American website. I apologise for all the confusion this may have caused yank readers.

    Micro Machines
    October 16th 2005

    This was written a good year before it found its way onto HG, and it probably shows. Still, it's an obscure game that is now covered by this site, so all is good! If you don't mind a reasonably mediocre read.

    Atari Anniversary Advanced
    October 25th 2005

    Easy to write and reasonably well focued piece that no one cared about. Can't win them all! The intro is also a lie; I picked this game up when away at a football tourney to kill time between matches.

    Phantasy Star II
    October 29th 2005

    Short, to-the-point review that is Ruder's favourite amongst my works. Not everyone agrees. The feedback topic reached some thirty posts arguing back and forth the worth of this piece and it only manages a rather poor 7/20 in a Sportsman-run review-off. For the record, I really like it despite what all you haters have to say!

    Disruptor
    November 5th 2005

    I wrote this for the FPS tourney originally before Zig told me that he hated the little-known PSX shooter. Dejected, I wrote for Doom instead, which he scored lowly. The moral of this story -- never trust Zig!

    Doom
    November 18th 2005

    Got a huge score from vet judge Bob in the FPS tourney but wasn't as liked by Zig, the very person who put me off my original effort of Disruptor. It's that tourney curse again!

    LMA Manager 2005
    November 19th 2005

    Since this game is the exact same game as 2004 with only slight changes, I used the exact same review with only slight changes. It's political, not laziness! It amused me, but no one else.

    X-Com: Terror From the Deep
    December 4th 2005

    My origainal Challange entry before Ruder would yell at me until I caved and bought GitS. He commented that this review "wasn't dull" once, which is the closest this one got to being praised.

    50 Cent: Bulletproof
    December 5th 2005

    Hate mail? Check! Hate-filled topics full of gangstar talking idiots on Faqs? Check! Bulletproof is EmP at his most venomous! Check out the news article that goes with it, too!

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    December 18th 2005

    "Write a GitS review!", demanded Ruder, shaking his fist angrilly in support of his demands, so I did. And it got mixed reactions at best. But I'm happy with it, and that's what counts!

    Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3
    December 28th 2005

    "Short reviews are haaaaaaaard!, moaned professinal harpy, VM, so I wrote this in half an hour. Take that, you whiney hobbit!

    Beyond Good & Evil
    January 1 2006

    And this is how I start off the new year! By finding a dusty intro lurking in the back of my hard-drive and finishing it off while still slightly hung-over. May this forever stay the way of things to come!

    ---

    Been a busy EmP... Here's to a productive 2006!
    [reply][view replies (3)]

    Title: Oldie, but a goodie
    Posted: December 08, 2005 (04:07 PM)
    Went into my realm today to play with the avatar listings and decided to rescue an old journal entry: Enjoy!

    This just in - salvating fanboy attacks 9/10 review for inadequacy (February 27, 2005 - 11:31 AM)

    Today I received a rather interesting E-Mail marked up as simply 'Zelda review'. I don't know what I was really expecting, seeing as the only Zelda series review I've written was quite recent, awarding 9/10 to the rather sublime Links Awakening. However, the fact that the senders E-Mail was blocked gave me a clue to the substance - which I'll share with the unlucky few who stumble across my humble realm.

    I assure you the typos are those of the anonymous culprit from here on, and not my own.

    ---

    I clicked unhelpful on you're review.

    zelda games arent all teh same and saying they are just shows how little you now about the series. U should take you're review down until you now enuff about games to talk about them properly

    Link is clearl;y a male, and he isn't stumpy the graphics just make him look that way sometimes like in Ocurina of time when he starts out as a 8 yr ols kid and is an adult of 30 yrs at tghe end. he is not gay and you're stupid for saying he is probably gay yourself.

    I hope you're review gets taken down. I will send an email to Gamesfaqs asking them to.

    ---

    I'll throw the review link up here. If anyone can point out where I called Link gay, there'll be a cyber cookie of sorts in it for you - my own alleged rampant homosexuality must have blinded me to this claims presence. I also find myself drawn to the rather ballistic attempt of grammar and spelling, and the fact that I'm accused of not understanding Zelda when Links age gap in OoT seems to have flown well beyond my critics grasp.

    Hate-Mail. It's much like suger-heavy foodgoods - now I've had one, I crave more.

    http://www.honestgamers.com/systems/content.php?type=readerreview&console_id=16&review_id=3355

    [The 50 Cent: Bulletproof review is attracting some hate-mail, which I may or may not share.]
    [reply][view replies (4)]

    Title: RotW: State of play.
    Posted: November 11, 2005 (12:09 PM)
    I was hurt to find that after bearing my soul on the horrific events that have left me physically and mentally scared and led to my W&WX:FoF review that sympathy didn't pur from all angles. Thus far, the most commonly asked question was if it really didn't make it onto the RotW.

    It didn't win. It didn't get a placement. It got a footnote at the end where Jason commented it was 'mostly' entertaining.

    The fact that people show shock at this surprised me at first until I remembered what a sorry state the RotW was in nowadays. You see, back when I was still a regular user, I had to battle out for RotW placements with great writers such as Fix, Zig, Ruder, Sho and OD. Winning RotW meant something and when reviews I liked, reviews like W&WX:FoF, Everything or Nothing, Link's Awakening and Wild Arms didn't even place, I wasn't surprised.

    But when I won one, when The Thing finally stood atop the pile, it meant something big. I had beaten off a slew of awesome writers to claim the top spot. The next week was just as big when Monsterseed hit the top spot. I took the next week off, then won my third RotW with Shining in the Darkness, and then Jason begged me to join staff.

    [There's a secret 'mistake' which led to my hiring, but it is just that: top secret. Don't ask.]

    I was never around when Gamefaq's RotD was in full flow. I showed up while it was in decay, taking over my own spot and doing a competent job of churning out a report every other Tuesday, but when the topic comes up with my elder brethren, they talk about these days with vigour and enthusiasm. They talk about the emergence of Masters, the never-say-die attitude of Zig, how Spork came out of nowhere to almost snatch himself a series of wins. It sounds like a great time to be a reviewer.

    It's not captured here.

    It saddens me, genuinely saddens me, to see users not want to challenge themselves as much as they can; that they want the RotW to continue to be a shadow of what it could and should be. Back when I started here on HG, I knew that I would have to pull out something special to grab myself a placement, let alone a win, but when I did, it felt like I had made it. RotW seems to go to whoever bothers to show up these weeks rather than who wrote a killer piece. And people want it to stay this way!

    A lot of the wins that have taken place in the last few months strike me as shallow, and I would take no pride in these.

    I got to where I was because I wanted to take on the people considered better than me. I had and have ideas above my station, and I wanted to take on reviewers that were considered top teir because I wanted to be up there too. It's because of this attitude that I have done so well on this site, and it is this attitude that I hoped to have impressed upon the people in my wake. You don't get any better if you let yourself stagnate in mediocrity.

    The easier answer to the implied question on why W&WX:FoF didn't place would have simply been that the field was a lot less forgiving back when it was submitted. I miss those days.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Title: I am the walking dead!
    Posted: November 07, 2005 (12:32 PM)
    Some of you are actually surprised to find out that I spend a hell of a lot of my time bent, burnt, bruised and broken. This surprises me, because I made this obvious early in my HG career.

    March 12th 2005 was when I submitted my Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear review, and it pains me to learn that people out there actually thought it was a clever bit of gimmicky writing. It is with this in mind that I have chosen to revisit my legendary write up -- the very review that the mighty Zigfried describes as my breakthrough review!

    Observe!

    I need you to bear with me. I have something I want to share, and it may sound irrelevant, but just give me some time; I promise to be brief, and it will all make sense in the end.

    I want to tell you about the worst day of my life.


    Yeah, this is embellished. Compared to some fo the injuries I've suffered, this is the equivalent of a slight cold.

    It was cold out, and, in keeping with the tradition of ominous and fateful days, overcast and dark earlier than usual. I was innocently training with the rest of my football [Americans: read - soccer] team when a rouge ball sent me sprinting into a shard of metal randomly jutting out of the ground, hidden mystically by the early dusk. To the amusement of the others (and the pained shock of myself), two rather huge gashes resulted, the bigger of the pair gushing a blood fountain akin to that of a cheap B-grade horror movie. One of my loyal team-mates managed to subdue his rambunctious laughter just long enough to phone an ambulance, and a short half an hour later, one swung by to take me and my ravaged leg to receive the care it so obviously desired.

    This is true, but the gorier details have been spared. The bigger of the gashes (which has since become a rather big and manly scar on my upper thigh) was basically a huge hole from which bits of muscle protruded from. My team mates did laugh their arses off at this until the saw that bits of my leg were hanging out. One threw up, one rang the ambulance and one tried to persuade me to stop trying to poke the escaping muscles back into my legs with my dirty fingers. I didn't even notice the smaller cut until it was pointed out to me some minutes later.

    Also, notice the mispelling of rouge. Dutch sure as hell did when this lost to Sho in the TT


    I won't bore you by telling of the numerous traffic jams that slowed my angelic yet tardy rescuers; I won't waste your time by expressing my horror at the promised empty hospital waiting room looking like an extras cast assembly for the latest World War II film; I'll skip past the bit that details how someone with two sizeable leaky holes in his leg had to stand in said waiting room, as no chairs were available. I've digressed from the intended point long enough.

    Hugely under-embellished. The ambulance took forever, so a worried chum rang them again out of fear that I would get bored and just go home. As it was I was bitching about how it wasn't that big a deal and how I could probably push it all back in and whack some duct tape over it to seal the gap. A few minutes later, two ambulances turned up within thirty seconds of each other, and I was ushered into on. "Don't worry, mate", he remarked calmly as we sat stuck in one of the numerous traffic jams that slowed our progress, "The hospital is dead at this time on a weekday. We'll have you sewn up in no time!"

    The waiting room was standing room only. The people within looked at me evilly, making it clear they would batter me to death with a bedpan if I dared delay their waits any longer.



    My pains momentarily forgotten, I gazed lovingly upon my salvation as my eventual lift home arrived to wait with me -- and did not come unarmed. With them came the form of an aid parcel containing as painkillers, reading materials, and, in answer to my deepest prayers, my Gameboy SP.

    You see, standing in an overcrowded waiting room full of casualties does little to help you escape the fact that your shoddily bandaged leg is leaking a small crimson puddle beneath your foot, but immersing yourself in a the wonderful world of everyone's favourite mobile console would. Greedily, I snatched my prize and noted the two carts that had been brought along, a nonfunctioning copy of Tetris and Wizards & Warriors: Chapter X: The Fortress of Fear.


    Even my own family hate me.

    We all own games like Fortress of Fear, games we've never heard of and have no recollection of ever purchasing yet have somehow managed to smuggle themselves into our collections unheeded. Just like the fact that you can't lick your own elbow, it is undeniably true, yet no one will ever really know the reason why this happens.

    Alright; you can stop trying to lick your elbow. It can't be done, promise.


    Boo actually fell for this! He was trying to lick his own elbow when he read the next sentence. Sucker!

    Fortress of Fear opens to show your hero equipped with his knight's gear, set against the background of what might be a poorly-drawn mountain range and some squiggles that might make passable clouds if squinted at for long enough. Relentlessly happy and upbeat electrical beepings assaults one's ears immediately; they gained me sharp looks from those suffering from head wounds, so I mercifully killed the sound right there. I dislike playing medieval platformers accompanied by the squeaky-sounding pipe organ noises that most carnivals employ as the dodgems soundtrack, so I was at no loss.

    Braving a little further into the game brings up the standard multilevel platform shenanigans every side-scrolling platformer game employs. A few experimental swings of my mighty blade proved jerky but serviceable as I found that a more powerful overhead swing action is available. A few seconds later, I discovered that all that armour must weigh your poor nameless protagonist down, seeing as he has the jumping power of a small boulder. Determined to make do in such dire circumstances, however, I struggled onwards.

    Ignoring the curious blobs that I assume are bats, the treasure chests that seem incapable of being opened, the giant snakes that randomly emanate from holes in the grounds, and the hails of arrows that plague my every move, I found myself presented with the game's first real jumping challenge. In front of my heroic avatar lay a fearsome void with two mobile platforms scrolling vertically, no doubt requiring jumptastic timing to traverse. Unabashed, I leapt at my only means of progressing, missed, and died.

    I soon discovered that the trick to these fiendish jumps was to blindly jump at them as they scrolled off the sceen and hope they'd catch you on the way back up. On my last life, I made the first platform -- but missed the second. The game over screen rolled, then sent me to the high score board. After the game's opening screen came by, I realised something very depressing: there are no continues here. The sadistic bastards who made this game apparently decreed that if you are to complete it, you'll do it with your original set of lives or not at all. This prompted a flick of the power-switch and the folding of the screen in disgust.


    Blah blah blah, game info!

    But notice the misspelling of screen!


    Back in reality, a small baby to my left noisily vomited. The young mother mildly chastised it before returning her attention to the three-month-old fashion magazine she'd previously claimed from the waiting room table. The sickly yellow pile emanated visible stench lines. Life out, Gameboy in.

    This actually happened, but not in the time-scale I put it in here. Call it artistic licence. The mother, who was ugly and obviously a little bit thick, was wearing a pink felt jump-suit kind of set up. I hated her for that.

    I dodged the bats, slew the snakes, found that the chests could be opened by myriad hidden keys to reveal gems that were utterly worthless except to gain points with, and still ducked arrows coming from no visible source. This time, plan in hand, I foiled the platforms' dastardly schemes and completed the stage. Before being thrown into the next level, a small message of congratulations was presented.

    The evil wizard Malkil awaits to unleash his wrath upon thee.

    Who the bloody hell is Malkil? Why am I the target of his wrath? Did I unknowingly insult him in some way? Steal his magical book of dark spells? Take the last doughnut? Buy him a copy of Wizards & Warriors: Chapter X: The Fortress of Fear for his evil anniversary? This baffling degree of hate must have thrown me, because shortly into the second stage -- a generic castle interior -- I fell victim to what might have been a poorly-rendered wandering guard and was again greeted with a game over.


    More well-written game info!

    Power off, screen down, I limped over to the coffee machine, my love/hate relationship with caffeine getting the better of me. No sooner had I purchased the scalding-hot plastic cup of liquefied goodness than someone in a wheelchair bashed into my leg. The corresponding gulped scream earned me another harsh look from the room's collection of head-wound sufferers. I dutifully offered a muttered apology before I dragged my poor, cursed leg back to my seat, now with a coffee-blistered hand to add to my list of dissatisfactions. 'Bling' went my Gameboy's opening screen as the game loaded back up.

    This is true! I wasn't even thirsty, I just wanted something to do, so I limped over to the coffee machine, which was hugely overpriced and looked like it dispensed the black plague rather than black coffee. But I bravely bought a coffee -- I even tipped a little bit out into the machine's drip-tray because I knew my walking would be unsteady and I didn't want to spill any. It was then that some swine swerved to hit me in the leg in their manual wheelchair. It bloody hurt!

    Two things sucked here. The first was that anyone could see I was in a huge deal of pain, yet they looked at me like I'd just pissed in their mouths. I had to apologise for being put in agony! The second was the real kicker: the idiot in the wheelchair gave me the filthiest look ever as if to say "at least you can feel your legs, you bastard."

    And the coffee spilled over my hand and wrist. And it scolded. And it blistered.


    Bats dodged, snakes killed, useless chests ignored, floating platforms bypassed, with still no sign of the source of the constant arrows, I dragged myself back through the game's stages. After several attempts, I did well enough to get to the first end-of-level boss. It's a large bat. A large, nimble, incredibly fast bat that's impossible to hit or dodge. I lost enough lives to figure out its attack patterns, and, on my last attempt, sliced at it enough to build some vain hope of defeating it. Then I mistimed an attack slightly, dropping down to the level below me to avoid its advance. I took fall damage and died. That was the last straw; I made like the phantom archer that had plagued me throughout the game and disappeared from the scene.

    It really is a crap game.

    Minutes later, my name was called over the waiting room's PA, and I was ushered into a room where demented madmen poked me with all manner of sharp objects in an attempt to patch me back up. Skin that parted like butter to contract my injuries took on a leather-like resistance to their needles. It was sheer agony.

    Events considering, it was the highlight of my day.


    Minutes later? Pah! I was sat in that waiting room for two hours plus! I had two holes in my leg, a blistered hand and a room full of people that obviously wanted me dead! And when I finally did get in, the anaesthetic they used point blank would not work, so an area of the leg that would normally require on painkilling injection took about five.

    I don't care what you say; needles bloody hurt.

    If that wasn't enough, the doctor couldn't put the needle through my skin. He had to force it through, and there isn't enough anaesthetic in the world to stop that from hurting. While this butcher was carving me up, I had to lay on this cot-thingy which gave me a perfect view down the huge hole in my leg. No one should have to view their own thigh-bone. No one.

    He even have to chop the bits of muscle off with a pair of sissors. For you lucky gits who have never seen their own leg muscles, the outer layer is a sponge-like, fatty substance that expands when not compressed. The more he cut away, the more sprang out. I felt like a meat joint at a BBQ.


    The price I paid for my breakthrough review. And it didn't even make it onto the RotW list.
    [reply][view replies (5)]

    Archived Posts:
    [01] [02] [03]

    eXTReMe Tracker
    2005-2012 HonestGamers
    Opinions expressed in this blog represent the opinions of those expressing them and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of site staff, users and/or sponsors. Unless otherwise stated, content above belongs to its copyright holders and may not be reproduced without express written permission.