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Posted: March 05, 2008 (12:57 PM)
My computer's still getting repaired. Or rather, it has yet to work its way through the backlog to the front of the queue.
Also, nobody comments on my brilliantly crafted reviews anymore. Zero feedback makes Wirr a sad Wirr.
"But Will, perhaps this is only because you've not yet achieved HG Celeb status?"
Just you wait, Imaginary Sidekick. I'm clearly on my way to the top of the ladder, having just led a team of pure awesome through the Challange(sic) tournament, where Team Will will no doubt do ridiculously well.
Title: Stupid Challange...
Posted: February 06, 2008 (03:45 AM)
Well I started on a draft for my review of Mechwarrior 4. Then I stopped after half a paragraph because I suddenly realized I was just ripping off Emp's Armored Core 4 review.
So I scrapped it. A week from the deadline. I know, how bold. I'm totally revising my review concept, and, in fact, thinking of dropping the italicized fanfic-esque interlude theme so prevelant in tournament reviews altogether.
Title: Great TV show, or GREATEST TV show?
Posted: January 08, 2008 (05:44 AM)
Anyone who hasn't needs to watch Pushing Daisies. Seriously.
Title: 2007 Year in Review: Cause All the Cool Kids are Doing It
Posted: January 03, 2008 (03:52 AM)
Armored Core: Nexus, Armored Core: Last Raven and Space Empires IV:
Half-assed reviews I wrote mostly because...well...I think it was because I lost a bet, or someone guilted me into it or something. Probably some combination of Emp and VM. I beg you, please, don't read them. I'd rather not even talk about them, although if pressed I'll say that Last Raven is the one I'm least ashamed of.
Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade
My first piece as an official Freelancer. This one, and my continuing adventures as a reviewer, began with this AIM conversation...
[11:55] Empleh16: Will -- you like Sci-Fi RTS stuff, right?
[11:55] WillTheGrt: Yup
[11:55] WillTheGrt: ...why...?
[11:55] WillTheGrt: >_>
[11:56] WillTheGrt: *dodges lassoo*
[11:56] Empleh16: It's okay, you can say no.
[11:57] Empleh16: One of the publishers I have on my books has sent me a preview download for a new Sci Fi RTS, but my system can't run it. So I need someone to do it for me. In return , they get the preview code of a game only press have played so far.
[11:57] Empleh16: Thought you might want it.
Emp was correct. I wrote up the preview and got myself all excited, because it was a fun little demo. Some time later...
[12:38] Empleh16: Will -- good news.
[12:38] WillTheGrt: ?
[12:38] Empleh16: There's a review copy of Genesis Rising for the taking.
[12:38] Empleh16: And it's in the US office. Intersted?
[12:39] WillTheGrt: Well yes, but for two things
[12:39] WillTheGrt: 1) It probably still has that NVidia bug
[12:39] WillTheGrt: 2) I'm in Canada >_>
[12:39] WillTheGrt: Postage would kill my already overextended bank account
[12:39] Empleh16: Canada is nearer to the US than the UK, was my point.
[12:39] Empleh16: And you don;t pay postage. The US office does.
[12:39] WillTheGrt: Oh
[12:39] WillTheGrt: Nifty
[12:40] Empleh16: The US senior editor is on AIM now, so if you want it, I'll tell him to contact you and sort it out.
That being, of course, the Honest Gamer himself, our beloved Jason. Thus I became a freelance reviewer and received a copy of GR in the mail. And was quite disappointed. :( A damn shame, too, because it had such potential, and had it not been shoved out the door prematurely it would have been really good. But eh, "premature release" seems to be Dreamcatcher's slogan these days, which is why I now tend to avoid their games like the plauge.
Ancient Wars: Sparta
My second official freelance review, and the first given to me by the Big Cheese. I was expecting something like Rome Total War, if not in gameplay than in historical accuracy. I got neither. It was basically an Age of Empires clone set in the Hellenistic period and rushed through development in order to piggyback on the popularity of 300.
American Civil War - The Blue and the Gray
Funny story: these guys gave us a demo and expected us to write a full review. This is part of the reason I was so unforgiving, because it was a bloody slap in the face. Other review sites got full copies...
A word to the wise: if you want to get on my good side, give me a full copy of the game you want me to review. But in this case I didn't really miss out on much, because like I said in the review, it's too little like a game and too much like the actual Civil War. And, much like this game, the actual Civil War wasn't a lot of fun.
Based on DoI's review, this was actually a good game, so I'm not entirely sure what was up with the crappy demo I wrote a preview on. I think the guy who compiled it needs to be shot. Or fired. Or both. In that order. Or maybe they just read my preview and took my suggestions to heart. Anyway, if I ever make an FPS, remind me to create a special demo level that showcases all the cool things without making it look like the game just hands them to you.
This was the first project since GR I was actually excited about. Also, I got direct developer linkage! Anyway, this is the demo that made me power through that Painkiller preview, because if EmP hadn't held it over my head I would never have written the damn thing.
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
This was actually on my Christmas wish list for a short time until I got an email from the freelancer mailing list saying it was up for grabs. Which is nice, because it retails for about $50 US. And plus, early Christmas present. Anyway, I absolutely adore this game, it was as much fun to review as it is to play.
This is a game I played many, many years ago on my very first computer, the much-talked about 486 I inherited when my father purchased a shiny new high-tech Acer-build Pentium for The Family Computer. It was on one of those shareware CD compilations alongside other gems such as Doom, Jazz Jackrabbit and Fire and Forget II. I played it. I loved it. I forgot about it until eleventh grade when I needed something to kill time on my craptop - sorry, laptop - after I finished Exile. Fast forward to the Alphas, where Emp pestered me to enter. I got "J". I started thinking, "Hmm...what games do I know that start with 'J'..."
Then I remembered Jetpack.
I include this among 2007's reviews because I began writing it before the New Year. First it took three weeks to get mailed over from Jolly England (thanks again Emp), then it took another two weeks for me to actually write the review what between family obligations and Christmas shopping and driving my girlfriend to the hospital because her nosebleed wouldn't stop for three hours and she actually almost passed out from blood loss. Luckily my second-favorite Englishman (only to Winston Churchill) was able to buy me some time to write the damn thing in what spare moments I had. SunAge, though, was certainly worth the wait, because in my book this is the best game of 2007.
Also, Turducken needs to start writing again, because he's really good at it even if he doesn't think so. Be sure to tell him if you see him!
Title: Exposition time
Posted: January 02, 2008 (02:23 PM)
Sometimes I feel the need to explain myself.
I've occasionally been criticized for harping on about the whole Gameplay/Graphics dichotomy. You all know my stance, that the latter does not make or break the former in any sense of the term. This is partly why I chose Jetpack as my Alpha entry - the other part is because I couldn't think of another game that starts with J.
Pup mentioned in his comments "If old-school graphics don’t bother you, why even bring it up?" Indeed, this is a question I am often faced with. The answer is quite simple: Because there are some people who are bothered. Because there are some people to whom top-of-the-line graphics are a crucial prerequisite of a good game.
This is why my reviews constantly emphasize a game's content over its graphical niceties, why I constantly try to advocate the view that graphics should be one of the last priorities of a game developer. Because the industry is filled to the brim with game titles that have wonderful graphics, but nothing else.
While it's true that you can create a market for something by forcing it down your customers' throats long enough, it's far more common for a market to arise through demand of a thing. It is my belief that the glorified 3D picture books that pass as games these days have arisen because the consumer base wants them, on the misguided belief that graphics are all that's important. Thus, in order to scale this back, it is necessary to reduce demand.
This is why I bring it up, Pup, in Jetpack and all my other reviews. It is my hope that my reviews can help educate the unwashed masses and show them that it's possible to have an engaging, entertaining video game with craptastic graphics. This is why I write reviews.
That said, expect something similar from the review of SunAge, because it is very much MY kind of game. To both EmP and Lighthouse, I apologies for taking so bloody long. I've had an interesting week which included, among other things, driving my girlfriend to the ER. She's okay though, so don't worry too much.
Title: Tis the season to be hungover
Posted: December 29, 2007 (02:48 PM)
Oww, my head. >_<
I have discovered, though, that the much-lauded Irish hangover cure("Ow, my foot really hurts! Hey, my hangover's gone!") is far, far surpassed by the Scottish version. That's the one where, instead of banging your foot against a table leg, you simply drink more.
Title: Story Time! For real!
Posted: December 28, 2007 (12:31 AM)
About a year and a half ago, because I had nothing better to do, I wrote a parody-summary of the plot for Starcraft in script format on the GameFAQs forums. It was quite well-received - so well, in fact, that a user from Warboards.org reposted it on his forum and claimed it as his own. Though the original GameFAQs post has long since been purged, the Warboards ripoff is still up. Here, the final post in the topic verifies that I am the original author. Just in case anyone's wondering.
With that out of the way, I recently reposted my work on the GameFAQs boards by popular demand, and then got the idea to post it here on HG under fanfiction, even though, not being a wholly original work, it doesn't quite qualify as fanfiction.
So without further adieu, I present to you the third and (possibly) final draft of my work, entitled "A Brief History of Starcraft: HonestGamers.com Edition", Volume 1 and Volume 2. If you happened to read an earlier version, you get a cookie if you can spot the revisions.
Title: If any of the Alpha judges are reading...
Posted: December 22, 2007 (04:04 AM)
...do you accept bribes?
On a totally unrelated note, what, according to etiquette, is the lowest permissable sum I can successfully bribe a tournament judge with?
Title: Of ACUs and Strategic Missiles
Posted: December 19, 2007 (09:26 AM)
I don't think I can overemphasize how full of awesome and win the Supreme Commander expansion is. Go play it.
Seriously. Go buy a copy right now. Don't just sit there reading my blog, go!
Right, now that that's done, should any of you foolish readers actually GET a copy of Forged Alliance I have *cough* yet to actually play against another human. Drop me a line if you'd like to go a few rounds.
Posted: November 15, 2007 (06:41 PM)
Apparently Lighthouse liked my SunAge preview. Check it out:
Direct linkage from the publisher webpage, baby.
Title: Hmm, let's see...
Posted: July 16, 2006 (01:48 AM)
Does that stupid avatar follow me HERE, too? Or will the site use the one I gave it?