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Simon Cann

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  1. Yes, Flood was a very nice title, but almost seemed like an embarrassment to Bullfrog and has seemingly been erased from the annals of retro history. Having a four letter password system that used everyday words was a bit of a flaw mind.
  2. I love the smell of market research in the morning, can't beat it. Politicians relying on focus group feedback to inform government policy is nice, also, and probably why they get it right all the time eh? Come the next election (and I know he's a fictional figure) I'll be voting for The Running Man's Killian, if he's running that is. "Who do you love and who loves you?" He knows/knew what the public wanted. Cheers. PS. How useful can market research, taken, I suspect, from a captive (and small) audience, be?
  3. No it isn't, but you knew what he was getting at. I'd say most games writers/reviewers are simply "not fit for purpose". I was able to work for a number of magazines for about four years and I can barely put together a coherent forum post, but hey, I was cheap so they didn't fire me. As you're hinting at, what sorts the men from the boys is the ability to write an intelligent feature or regular (regular and interesting) column. Most mag staff are either too overworked (often down to having to rely on doing tons of freelance to make ends meet) or just plain shite (but willing to work for sod all, so it's all good maan). The end result of this is dull, boring mags (packed with poor reviews) that aren't selling and an ill-informed general public. Everyone, as they say, is a loser. The typical videogame consumer really has changed over the last five years, but the magazine market hasn't exploited this; for such a greedy and stupid 'take the money and run' industry to miss a trick like this is odd, but to be expected I suppose.
  4. To be fair, I really didn't make myself terribly clear when I was rambling on earlier, but rather than attacking exclusive reviews alone, I was attempting to suggest that the whole news/previews/reviews topped-off with a big fat out-of-date exclusive review!!!!!! format, doesn't seem to be 'doing it' for the vast majority of potential mag purchasers these days; hence the general decline in mag sales figures over the last decade (the net and a whole bunch of other shit probably hasn't helped sales either). Talking of sales spikes, I'd say these could arguably be put down to any number of factors, an exclusive review may help, but I know with a lot of the mags I worked for it all often seemed to boil down to pot luck. I'd say the consumer has become very fickle, the odd exclusive review may boost sales for a month, but quality content would, I suspect, ensure stable (and importantly, healthy) sales throughout the entire year and *gasps for air* maybe (God forbid) even some brand loyalty. Have you seen the current crop of Xbox 360 rags? Christ, they're all so dull and samey.
  5. Mods, come on, delete this rubbish. I know shed-loads of people have been moaning about the current state of this site, but even I smell a rat here. EDIT: In answer to the original poster's subject title: 'Quite (In terms of asking price) a lot for not a lot'. Now wash your hands.
  6. Badger, I'd agree with most (if not all) of your points, yet, still, I see little sense in the current situation. To a great extent almost everyone, including: the reviewer/mag publisher/smaller-sized game publisher/retailer/consumer is on to a bad thing with the current set-up/set up/setup (told you I had spelling and grammar problems). Obviously, it would take a big man to slay the Internet beast, but there are alternatives. "The crux of it though is that it's bloody hard to sell the idea, or sell, a magazine with reviews of games that came out 2 months ago, and that the reviewer has actually completed etc. The traditional magazine/newspaper market is built on the latest news available now, despite the fact they never beat the internerd." Partly true, but I'd say it also seems bloody hard to sell a magazine with 'print exclusive' reviews of games (that haven't officially come out yet) when you're being beaten to the punch almost everytime by some kid on the net who has the import/pirated version and the time/desire to play the thing. This is getting into a print vs. non-commercial-net conversation (which is kind of going off topic a little). To be honest, I wouldn't dream of saying that I know what the videogame magazine-buying public wants, but it doesn't seem to want the exclusive!!! hacked-out stuff that it is getting at the moment. I also don't know much about ABCs and profit margins, but as an outsider, the traditional print magazine market appears to be dying and I'd say this is down to its blunt refusal to change. The Internet has been around for years and yet still the mag publishers haven't tried to adapt. The official mags sucking-off their respective sponsor(s) for the next big thing is a given, but, rather than trying to lick up the remaining drops of cum, why don't the unofficial mags play their strongest card(s) and champion some of the more interesting stuff and allow their writers to let rip. Pay the extra peanuts to good writers (good writers, with extensive knowledge of videogames and these are few in number) to write about, well, videogames and maybe the sort of jokers who have turned up to read this thread might start buying the mags. Reading back through this, I'm talking bollocks and don't really understand what my point was/is. It may come back to me tomorrow, until then...
  7. I think the real subject here, is, who, ultimately, is in charge of the 'what, why and when' of a game review? Is it: (and before we start, most of my limited spelling and grammar skills have jumped out of the window, but let's not worry about that too much, eh?):;?/ - The reviewer: Underpaid, overworked and hacking-out shite (often 'uniformed' and pissed-up shite). S/He needs the internal/external freelance money 'real bad baby' (because the basic wage of a staff writer is so small) for the next drink/line. Let's not forget that something has to take away the pain of knowing that their boss is really splitting them in two, but they're too much of a pussy/idiot to leave. Anybody, remember those motorcycle sections from Headhunter 2? It's all good. - The mag publisher/owner: They do love all that tasty ad revenue and, of course, the promise of another ABC boosting exclusive!!!!!!, but can't risk raping the ever-dwindling readership too much with utterly misleading editorial; it's a fucking tightrope eh? Poor lambs. - The game publisher/developer: These lovely people want to generate sexy/cool word-of-mouth hype via early and continued specialist press buzz. Give them a bad preview and you can fucking whistle for early review code (then again who ever needed review code to write a review?) Moving slowly on, Would GTA IV have sold any more or less if Rockstar had simply ignored the gaming press/websites completely and just given consumers (via Xbox Live, etc) the odd, carefully-selected, choice-cut mission? Are print/net reviews really that important anymore? Certain people seem to be convinced that there's some sort of Watergate/JFK/Roswell-style cover-up going on with the gaming press (just ask The RAM Raider, or whatever he/she/they are called these days). I never saw it happening. Granted, I was right at the bottom of the ladder and a shit writer, but was never (well, not quite never) told what to write about a game; why would a game's publisher care, what difference will it really make these days? I'd say most of the *ahem* poorer calls in reviewing are down to idiocy on the part of the writer and management and maybe some corruption involving that big old, bad old, outdated mag format (again). Why must a preview always be positive? Answers please.
  8. No, the only opinion I trust is my own. Although I do enjoy reading a good review that tears apart one of my favourite games or *coughs* bigs up (is that right?) a game I detest. Certain gaming publications slammed Shadow Of Memories, I loved it. I never lost any sleep over the whole matter.
  9. Yes, of course, did I say otherwise? Sorry, didn't want to sound too snappy there. I think the big trick these days is knowing (regardless of subject matter) who and what to believe.
  10. This is all very true. However, with a little digging I can usually find out everything I always wanted to know about a game (and wasn't afraid to ask) on the bad old net. It's not ideal, but what can you do?
  11. God, this 'shit/uniformed reviews thingy' is older than the unoriginal responses I'm about to fire out here (that's to be expected I suppose), also, why are you so angry these days Gwnyster? It doesn't suit you. Saying that, I do/don't (but mostly do) agree with your point. Yes, an opinion is worthless if uniformed. Unfortunately, unlike an album/film/book (which, can usually be done and dusted within hours) you simply can't expect some overworked and underpaid sod to completely explore/finish the average modern day videogame; certainly not within the timeframe of a magazine deadline. Straight up, you could mess around with something like GTA IV for months and still be finding new (albeit crap) stuff). It's hard for me to imagine when you could fairly class a review of most recent games as 'fully informed'. Myself, I thought the game (GTA IV) was quite good, but not great (one for the back of the Classics release box). This isn't completely a problem about the fact that people may "lie in print" or not finish a game completely. It's about the whole horribly outdated (hold your breath) news, positive only previews, EXCLUSIVE review!!!!!!! structure of current videogame magazines - a structure that forces good writers to knock out shit, lazy and *ahem* uniformed content. If some smart young lady or man had had the sense to scrap such nonsense years ago and had headed for a more "The making of" style, then the UK print/digital videogame magazine/site scene would probably be a bit healthier today. Obviously it isn't, which brings me round to my final point, why do you give a sod about uniformed print reviews? After all, nobody is reading the bloody things anymore.
  12. I thought this would be all about the old Amiga/ST tech demo public domain scene, but clearly not, shame. If we're talking game demos, then I'd agree with the earlier choice of Lemmings; it convinced me to cough up £24.99 (or was it £29.99?) at a time when piracy was rampant. That bloody demo made me need the game so much I had to buy it before my school chums had sorted out dodgy copies. Hunter was another good one; it just cut-off before you could reach the copter, or did it? As for tech demo stuff, I always liked an old Amiga 500 job where the silhouette chappy on the sign of a gents' door came alive and started dancing to 'Jack Your Body'. Granted, it was a bit of a rip-off from an old Heineken advert and a scene from Superman III, but at the time it seemed like good fun.
  13. Good grief, Blood Money looks rather bad today; I remember it being quite sexy 'back then'. I bet the developer never worked again after that one.
  14. SideWinder? Edit: didn't read the original post too well and coughed up a vertical shooter. How about Blood Money or Menace?
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