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The stupidest review you can remember reading


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1 hour ago, ianinthefuture said:

Rich wasn't on Edge in 2001, his time was about 5-10 years after that.

 

OK, looks like I got my dates wrong. I do recall him mentioning the GTA3 thing though, in the context of him saying that the one of the main scoring scandals everyone bangs on about is an example of a time when it was genuinely a mistake.

 

I have that issue of Edge in front of me, and its interesting re-reading it in context with that Ste Curran quote above. The same issue had them review Halo, Oddworld, Amped, Project Gotham Racing Rez, Pikmin, Civ III, Jak and Daxter, Shenmue 2, Baldurs Gate DA, Virtua Tennis 2, and GTA 3 (among others) - so it was a pretty heavy month for games. It's quite a sparse review, it reads like they didn't spend much time with the game.

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2 minutes ago, K said:

 

 

OK, looks like I got my dates wrong. I do recall him mentioning the GTA3 thing though, in the context of him saying that the one of the main scoring scandals everyone bangs on about is an example of a time when it was genuinely a mistake.

 

I have that issue of Edge in front of me, and its interesting re-reading it in context with that Ste Curran quote above. The same issue had them review Halo, Oddworld, Amped, Project Gotham Racing Rez, Pikmin, Civ III, Jak and Daxter, Shenmue 2, Baldurs Gate DA, Virtua Tennis 2, and GTA 3 (among others) - so it was a pretty heavy month for games. It's quite a sparse review, it reads like they didn't spend much time with the game.

 

I had totally forgotten GTA 3 was in the Halo issue. If the Edge of 1993 was covering that selection of games GTA 3 would have been much more The Future than even Halo.

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34 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

 

And, because I'm shocking myself here, to clarify: Doom is an all-time personal favourite to a ridiculous degree and would be a 10/10 from me all day long, and I've never been a big fan of Edge. I just think the 'talk to the monsters' comment does actually work in the context of the review.

 

Well, even if we allow it to be a semi-gag, there's also "You don't ever get to explore those distant mountain ranges". And I think my contrarian comment is justified in the review itself "Edge has no intention of joining the rabble mindlessly praising Doom beyond its worth"

 

It all reminds me of that infamous IGN football management game review (surely another contender) where the guy was all why can you not even control the players. Just such a fundamental failure to engage with the game.

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42 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I loved Super Play but if you look back at old issues now a lot of it has aged really poorly. But at the time it was (mostly) on the money.

 

They certainly dropped the odd bollock, the versions of Jurassic Park and Robocop vs the Terminator they reviewed were both clearly unfinished (both Amiga Power writers there too actually).

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35 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

US Play, on the other hand, can do one. For one big reason, and that was I worked on the (original) UK version of Play for a few years and we'd always get mixed in with that Sonic 06-loving lot. Travesty.

 

This makes sense - I too found it frustrating when trying to explain the mag to someone, and they instantly assumed it was the UK PlayStation mag (even recently I saw someone mix them up with the recent Play relaunch in the UK).

 

I like to think of Play US as the Mandela Effect happening in real-time - the magazine being produced in some adjacent sister universe where Sonic and Heavenly Sword was great and everyone put Odin Sphere on the cover and Valkyria Chronicles was beloved on launch. And somehow it ended up leaking into our dimension.

 

I will say though, Halverson was right about Golden Axe. That game didn't deserve anywhere near the hate it got from the games press - and I enjoyed how he called out basically the entire gaming press because of it. I just love that degree of chutzpah!

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2 hours ago, Nick R said:

 

Nah, I always thought that Edge's Halo review was great!

http://halo.bungie.org/pressscans/display.html?scan=edge.promomag

 

It did an excellent job of concisely summing up what was remarkable about the combat, the weapon balance, the emphasis on the Legendary difficulty setting - in fact, I think it did it at least as well as a lot of people who analysed the game mechanics in later years in forum posts and video essays.

 

And it did mention the weaker opening level... obliquely. ("Induction takes a few minutes; thereafter, the action is relentless.")

 

 

Also, thanks to a chapter that Kieron Gillen wrote for a book about Halo, it's one of the few Edge reviews for which we have some juicy behind-the-scenes gossip on who wrote it, what the review process was, and what the reaction was:

 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UXMvftc-Cf8C&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&lpg=PT27&dq=halo&pg=PT22#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

image.png.8eba11346adf1fe03d56e55cd098e8b8.png

 

image.png.1099a3c7a52c2ef120becff5721b2034.png

 

image.png.28e793a88d6a545abcf91a8facd5d0ef.png

 

 

In a massive tie-up with Amiga Power, the mag were huge fans of the Marathon series of games which they thought were stone-cold classics and played in the office all the time,l on their work Macs. Those games were by Bungie, who had honed their gamemaking skills for years on them, so basically Halo was a refinement of years of FPS making, not a fresh kid on the block, and it was therefore unsurprising that it was really good.

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2 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

I’m still annoyed at N64 Magazine’s misleading review of Turok 2. Turned my opinion overnight of the publication being a worthy, and trustworthy, partial successor to Super Play and Amiga Power, to it being a generic advertorial-driven console magazine. Bah.

 

EDGE gave Turok 2 9/10, didn't they?

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5 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

There was a review in a short lived PC (I think) games mag of a football game I worked on. So short lived was the magazine that I only ever saw this one copy of it. It gave the game a fairly glowing review and an 86% score.

 

Every other magazine game it a most accurate 50%-ish score, because it was rubbish.

 

I was kinda aware that publishers did deals for exclusives, but that was the first time I can remember a score being blatantly bought. 

 

For me the prime example of this is the two rugby union games that were released for the 1991 World Cup.

ZZAP raved over World Class Rugby (Denton Designs/Audiogenic) and slated Domark’s official Rugby - The World Cup (apologies here to @carleton - when I played it a couple of years later, I felt that ZZAP underrated it slightly but it was too much like Kick Off on the C64).

 

Anyway, by coincidence Rugby - The World Cup was featured on the front cover of Commodore Format in an exclusive review (a matter of weeks before ZZAPs), and there was a special pull-out poster dedicated to the game. And wouldn’t you know, Domark’s game scored highly in Commodore Format and the rival World Class Rugby got a harsh review.

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Does anyone have a scan / photo of the Edge GTA 3  review from the Halo issue?

I half remember reading it at the time, and it was half a page of lukewarm text that absolutely fit the 6/10.

Would like to read it again, because I (like others) consider GTA 3 to be the most groundbreaking game ever. 

I think the talk at the time might have been about Edge being miffed at not getting early, exclusive code to review.  
Would love to read it again to make sure, but it must be the most stupid review of all time. 

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16 hours ago, merman said:

 

For me the prime example of this is the two rugby union games that were released for the 1991 World Cup.

ZZAP raved over World Class Rugby (Denton Designs/Audiogenic) and slated Domark’s official Rugby - The World Cup (apologies here to @carleton - when I played it a couple of years later, I felt that ZZAP underrated it slightly but it was too much like Kick Off on the C64).

 

Anyway, by coincidence Rugby - The World Cup was featured on the front cover of Commodore Format in an exclusive review (a matter of weeks before ZZAPs), and there was a special pull-out poster dedicated to the game. And wouldn’t you know, Domark’s game scored highly in Commodore Format and the rival World Class Rugby got a harsh review.

 

I wasn't aware of this controversy at the time but my Rugby game was really inferior to the Audiogenic one so it was a surprise it scored better and even got a "Corker" from CF. I think by that time I was coding on the Amiga and went back to do Rugby as a rush job. There was a very real deadline for the game with the tournament starting so we put out what we had.

The Zzap review was in the first issue of the post Newfield era so I never really considered it canon. ;)

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18 minutes ago, zipper said:

Does anyone have a scan / photo of the Edge GTA 3  review from the Halo issue?

I half remember reading it at the time, and it was half a page of lukewarm text that absolutely fit the 6/10.

Would like to read it again, because I (like others) consider GTA 3 to be the most groundbreaking game ever. 

I think the talk at the time might have been about Edge being miffed at not getting early, exclusive code to review.  
Would love to read it again to make sure, but it must be the most stupid review of all time. 


I definitely agree with that score. I always felt GTA 3 played like a tech demo rather than an actual game. Never got much fun out of it at the time other than when messing about in its sandbox world. 

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1 hour ago, zipper said:

Does anyone have a scan / photo of the Edge GTA 3  review from the Halo issue?

I half remember reading it at the time, and it was half a page of lukewarm text that absolutely fit the 6/10.

Would like to read it again, because I (like others) consider GTA 3 to be the most groundbreaking game ever. 

I think the talk at the time might have been about Edge being miffed at not getting early, exclusive code to review.  
Would love to read it again to make sure, but it must be the most stupid review of all time. 

 

gta.jpg

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Jesus Christ, if you ever needed a reason not to read Edge - "The considered and burgeoning topography of Liberty City feels both intricate and robust". Burgeoning topography?

 

Is the game fun or not, you wanker?😆

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I love reading reviews of stuff that's now considered classic, written by at the time, necessarily without any knowledge of what it'll become. It reminds of reading Pauline Kael's reviews of stuff like The Empire Strikes Back on my Cinemania CD-ROM back the 90s - totally lacking any kind of reverence. Just another film.

 

It's fascinating that the GTA3 review - ridiculously low-key in hindsight - is in the same issue as the Halo one. The latter is remarkable because the reviewer managed grasp and articulate what was so good about the classic-to-be in a relative vacuum and on a very short timescale.

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Thanks for the scan!

The moaning about having to buy a copy of the game (god forbid!) is right at the top, just as I remember it. How funny to lead with that.
And then to say ‘there’s a lamentable lack of freedom to your own criminal genius’….. I mean - what the? It is THE sandbox game that birthed them all. The review is worse than I remember. 

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It's fair enough to complain about having to buy a game, because the lead times will mean that your review will appear weeks after everyone else's. It would make the staff's jobs much more difficult. I don't think it's the cost they're bothered about.

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Not a review, but does anyone else remember that weird period where every third person action game that wasn't one of the big games, was automatically kneejerk labelled a God of War clone by every online outlet, including games like Nier and Dragons Dogma?

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52 minutes ago, JamesC said:

Jesus Christ, if you ever needed a reason not to read Edge - "The considered and burgeoning topography of Liberty City feels both intricate and robust". Burgeoning topography?

 

Is the game fun or not, you wanker?😆

 

You've just reminded me of the time Edge described a game's art style as "pointillist", provoking much discussion here about whether it was a helpful description, or just pretentious.

 

Fortunately it's not a very frequently used word, so it was easy to search the forum - it was in issue 172's Time Extend on Jet Set Radio Future. Discussion starts halfway down this page:

 

https://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/149085-edge-issue-172-scores/page/3/

 

 

In that thread, I responded to the Bioware feature in that issue by saying that it "succeeded in making their new game's plot sound interesting". And that little game grew up to be Dragon Age...

 

 

That thread is quite a time capsule! Discussion includes such specific-to-the-period subjects as: is Edge more dry and dull than it used to be? Is Edge biased towards Sony? Are the current columnists as interesting as the old ones? What caused the 2004 Edge staff walkout? Is Edge too expensive at £4.50? Does Jeff Minter fuck donkeys? And what is "Margaret Robertson's slanted criteria" anyway?

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1 hour ago, K said:

It's fair enough to complain about having to buy a game, because the lead times will mean that your review will appear weeks after everyone else's. It would make the staff's jobs much more difficult. I don't think it's the cost they're bothered about.

 

I wonder why they got screwed over this way? I remember having read plenty of gushing reviews before Edge's appeared.

I remember reading the review at Heathrow en route to Chicago and thinking "huh?".

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20 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I wonder why they got screwed over this way? I remember having read plenty of gushing reviews before Edge's appeared.

I remember reading the review at Heathrow en route to Chicago and thinking "huh?".

Could literally be as simple as Rockstar/Take Two PR not sending enough copies to Future's office. Or them not paying attention ahead of time.

 

I wasn't reading every mag out there back then, but I don't remember a huge amount of hype surrounding GTA III. Genuinely could have snuck up on some mags.

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2 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

Could literally be as simple as Rockstar/Take Two PR not sending enough copies to Future's office. Or them not paying attention ahead of time.

 

I wasn't reading every mag out there back then, but I don't remember a huge amount of hype surrounding GTA III. Genuinely could have snuck up on some mags.

 

You're right, its release wasn't an event like it is now. But by the time Edge's review was published the game had become A Very Big Deal Indeed. With the way deadlines are my guess is they hadn't read other reviews at the time. Not that this would've affected the score/criticism but it might have got more space.

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23 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

You're right, its release wasn't an event like it is now. But by the time Edge's review was published the game had become A Very Big Deal Indeed. With the way deadlines are my guess is they hadn't read other reviews at the time. Not that this would've affected the score/criticism but it might have got more space.

Definitely, there is a rushed air to things.

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58 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I wonder why they got screwed over this way? I remember having read plenty of gushing reviews before Edge's appeared.

I remember reading the review at Heathrow en route to Chicago and thinking "huh?".

 

I recall a review for - I think - either Max Payne or its sequel, where the magazine openly stated they were not sent a review copy so just pirated it. I can't be sure of which mag it was though, not without trawling. Anyone else recall that?

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4 hours ago, carleton said:

 

I wasn't aware of this controversy at the time but my Rugby game was really inferior to the Audiogenic one so it was a surprise it scored better and even got a "Corker" from CF. I think by that time I was coding on the Amiga and went back to do Rugby as a rush job. There was a very real deadline for the game with the tournament starting so we put out what we had.

The Zzap review was in the first issue of the post Newfield era so I never really considered it canon. ;)

 

As someone who has been part of ZZAP since those days, it’s all canon... It’s probably the biggest discrepancy between ZZAP and Commodores Format, other than Catalypse.

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I wonder why they got screwed over this way? I remember having read plenty of gushing reviews before Edge's appeared.

I remember reading the review at Heathrow en route to Chicago and thinking "huh?".

 

I dimly recall knowing the reason behind this at some point, but I can't remember. It might be something like not agreeing to Rockstar's terms for the review, but then again the release of GTA3 was so low-key at the time that I would be surprised if Rockstar / Take Two were in a position to throw their weight around.

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1 hour ago, ianinthefuture said:

I wasn't reading every mag out there back then, but I don't remember a huge amount of hype surrounding GTA III. Genuinely could have snuck up on some mags.

I was doing work experience for the short-lived 'PC Gameplay' magazine and was in a staff meeting where they discussed what was going on the cover of the next issue. The editor said "well there's GTA3…" and everyone just shrugged before it was dismissed in favour of something else.

 

Did the hype only start after the game came out? I distinctly remember becoming aware of it via people saying "you've got to play this fucking game man".

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