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.
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|Calvin - July 03, 2007 (02:18 AM)
I like this idea, for blog posts. :) Was that what you might consider a good month, or rather, a productive month of reviewing, for you? Too lazy to look through dates and figure it all out, but still curious as to how much and how often you're keeping up with the writing.
|EmP - July 04, 2007 (06:46 AM)
Back when I was going at my own pace, I would look at releasing one a week. Sometimes I'd fall below or go above this, but it was the most comfortably norm. I would aslo have the odd lazy month were I'd only do maybe one review -- or none at all!
Last month I wrote 8, with about twice a week (and in once case, three in as many days). Because I deal in publisher-sent games, each of them come with specific deadlines that need to be met -- it's not as laid-back as just penning reviews when I had something of note to say, but it's more rewarding.
I think the optimal review rate is about one a week. It gives you the time to really slave over that one piece, let it go cold go back and edit till you're happy. I never get the chance to do anything more than warm-proof these days. I think this sometimes shows.