Recent (w)Riting Round-Up

(I’m too tired to think of a non-prosaic title. Sorry.)

It’s been, as always, a while – if someone were assessing my career based only on this blog, they’d think I was only writing about one article every two months and was starving to death. Actually, I’m generally horrifically busy, which I should really be more grateful for. I am starving to death though, but that’s because cooking and eating seems such an enormous hassle. Someone please invent the food pill.

For now, here’s a few word-farts from the last couple of months.

Published in: on Thursday June 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Exciting Links Round-Up

Whoops – I totally forgot about this place. I’m not sure I have the requisite motivation to be a blogging polygamist.

Anyway, largely for my own reference, here’s some stuff wot I have wrote lately:

A preview of Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
A review of Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance (in which I go to desperate lengths to shoehorn in the introductory anecdote)
A review of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
A review of Warhammer 40,000: Squad Commander
A preview of Pirates of the Burning Sea
A review of Timeshift
A review of Sega Rally

There’s also a review of The Witcher up on PC Gamer’s site, but I’d really rather no-one read that,thankyewverymuch. Note to self: demand a deadline extension the next time someone tells you to review a 70-hour-long RPG, and run away if they won’t give you one.

I do stand by the score (67%, miscontrued by many as being a shoeing, despite working out as a 7 if you mark out of 10) – in a game that’s largely based around people talking at you at length, what they say needs to a) make sense and b) not sound as though they’re hopelessly addled on industrial-strength methadone. The write-up’s not my finest hour though, and that’s made defending my corner trickier than it usually is for a contentious review. The angry fans I’ve encountered are apparently so pleased by this being the first relatively deep and adult PC RPG in quite some time that they’re able to shrug off its staggering array of flaws, most especially in the writing/translation department. While I’m glad folk are digging it (it does do some stuff well and it’s got genuine ambition), unfortunately I’m incapable of enjoying time spent in a world with dialogue that terrible. But to the craziest of the crazies, the only possible explanation can be that I’m inexperienced, unprofessional and hate all RPGs. Thanks, crazies.

And now, in honour of the birth of Santa, I’m taking some time off from playing games for money. Instead, I’m going to play them for fun. It’s been a while. First up: Mass Effect.

Published in: on Thursday December 20, 2007 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: Age of Empires 3 – The Asian Dynasties

Y’know, it’s great that Eurogamer’s justified desire to be completist means they wanted a review of this add-on for a game no-one, quite understandably, bothered playing.

But the (at the time of writing) 13 comments on the review is reasonably depressing. Curse me for a fool for playing it straight. I should probably have gone with an entirely fabricated look-at-me argument, like is this really an RTS or why it means a rennaisance in pastel colours in PC games. Sigh. It’s always tricky to be writing to a prescribed, small audience, and not a large, curious one.

Published in: on Friday November 2, 2007 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: Civilization IV – Broken Sword

Up on Eurogamer. A rare thing amongst expansion packs – one where the original game on its own is worse without it.

Published in: on Thursday July 26, 2007 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: Halo 2

Also hadn’t realised my reviews for Computer Shopper were going online. Here’s one.

Published in: on Tuesday July 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: UFO – Extraterrestrials

I have no idea what or who dictates whether reviews I’ve written for PC Gamer appear on CVG or Games Radar. My gibber about this X-COM remake is on the latter, which means I’m in the same August company as whichever human failure wrote Radar’s Asses of E3 horror-post. This last is so awful that I’m not even going to link to it.

Incidentally, the review has had its entire original introduction sliced off to match the Radar house style, and the score has been slightly inflated. Oh, for better ownership rights.

Published in: on Tuesday July 24, 2007 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: Lost Planet

Could and perhaps should have scored it much lower, but I’m now so used to videogame plot and characterisation being rock-bottom hideous that the fact they were so in this didn’t bother me as much as it did other reviewers. As I say in the conclusion, that 70% is good for right now, but come August and Bioshock, you can casually shave 10-15% right off it.

Published in: on Tuesday July 24, 2007 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kinda review: World of mods – Half-Life 2

Five of the best-ish on Eurogamer. Pleasingly, the creator of one of the mods turns up in the comments thread to say he’s taking my criticism on-board. It’s moments like those that make me feel I’m not just a useless, filthy hack.

Published in: on Tuesday July 24, 2007 at 12:50 pm  Comments (1)  

Review: Spider-Man 3

After the raging misogyny of the introduction, I fear this then turns into one of my more functional reviews. One of those situations where I was trying to dredge up enthusiasm I didn’t have for a messy, brainless game I knew a fair few people would nevertheless enjoy. Nowhere near as horrid as the recent Transformers game, but it’s a terrible shame Activision seems entirely complacent about all the big licenses it has these days.

Published in: on Friday July 20, 2007 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: Kudos – Rock Legend

The most innocent approach to rock’n’roll since Alvin & the Chipmunks.

Published in: on Thursday July 19, 2007 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment