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The stupidest review you can remember reading


Rex Grossman
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On 01/11/2021 at 20:09, Protocol Penguin said:

Didn’t buy it, thankfully, as a friend bought it on launch and I played it at his house. We found the game a crushing disappointment; couldn’t understand why the magazines gave it such high review scores. Really was that bad – and with the RAM expansion installed, it suffered from ridiculously low frame rates, which the magazines failed to mention.

 

Bribes. 

 

From what I recall all of Future publishing (who were notorious for giving massively inflated scores for exclusive reviews) reviewed it months before release. I don't think the multiplayer mode had even been implemented then.

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On 19/01/2023 at 13:28, gossi the dog said:

 

Bribes. 

 

From what I recall all of Future publishing (who were notorious for giving massively inflated scores for exclusive reviews) reviewed it months before release. I don't think the multiplayer mode had even been implemented then.

But it came on a black cartridge! That alone is worth 30 percentage points.

 

I stuck it on retro arch a while back and turned it off after about two minutes. Then again I only seem to be able to enjoy driving games and beat em ups these days.

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1 hour ago, Phantoon said:

I can see why Turok 2 got really high scores, personally. I played it on release and it was clearly much higher budget than most other N64 games. It had the scripted events that would become really popular later. It was a visually much improved sequel to an important early N64 game (which incidentally is still really good). It had fun weapons and (for its time) was really violent, which was unusual on the N64.

 

Yes it could be a bit of a slideshow, but show me N64 games of that generation that weren't. Yes it was maze like and far too big for its design - we're used to games mollycoddling us nowadays; early shooters were maze like and finding your way was part of the difficulty. Being big is still seen as a good thing today - you'll see comparisons of how big an open world is pretty often still - despite the fact that being big doesn't count for very much in and of itself.

 

It was a big, high budget shooter, on a console where arguably the most popular game was a shooter. I admit it hasn't aged quite as well as other games, including its predecessor, but we can't review it now outside of all context and say that the reviews were wrong.

All good points :)

One thing though, I find Goldeneye on an emulator in high Res or the Xbox version plays really well still. Infact I still find it's one player much better than any FPS I've played since (apart from Deus ex 1). But I think that's part of the problem, turok feels quite quake or halo ish to me, but GE plays nothing like that. And no matter how many times I play those games I don't find them as engaging as GE. Also I really don't like quake 2 which puts in me in the minority.

 

I now want to play the remake of turok. I'll hate it! But I want to know! Plus I keep adding games to my gog account I never play. Why stop now!

 

 

 

 

 

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Turok 1 is not Metroid Prime. But playing it feels a bit like playing Metroid Prime's dad. It's by a lot of the same people, so there's lots of exploration and hidden stuff, quite a bit of jumping. A very different game, but strangely reminiscent.

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6 hours ago, Phantoon said:

Turok 1 is not Metroid Prime. But playing it feels a bit like playing Metroid Prime's dad. It's by a lot of the same people, so there's lots of exploration and hidden stuff, quite a bit of jumping. A very different game, but strangely reminiscent.

Didn't know that!

 

 

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On 21/01/2023 at 08:54, Phantoon said:

I can see why Turok 2 got really high scores, personally. I played it on release and it was clearly much higher budget than most other N64 games. It had the scripted events that would become really popular later. It was a visually much improved sequel to an important early N64 game (which incidentally is still really good). It had fun weapons and (for its time) was really violent, which was unusual on the N64.

 

Yes it could be a bit of a slideshow, but show me N64 games of that generation that weren't. Yes it was maze like and far too big for its design - we're used to games mollycoddling us nowadays; early shooters were maze like and finding your way was part of the difficulty. Being big is still seen as a good thing today - you'll see comparisons of how big an open world is pretty often still - despite the fact that being big doesn't count for very much in and of itself.

 

It was a big, high budget shooter, on a console where arguably the most popular game was a shooter. I admit it hasn't aged quite as well as other games, including its predecessor, but we can't review it now outside of all context and say that the reviews were wrong.

 

I always think this, 90s 3d games were mostly rated by their technical qualities because so many struggled to hang together. And reviewers would have played all those technically poor games. Objectively, Turok 2 did have good graphics and impressive animation, it was atmospheric, bloody, satisfying to kill the enemies, and it was interesting as a kid when a game is difficult to navigate because you just blame yourself as you give yourself over to the experience. I had a prima guidebook and still found it difficult, i remember the despair of going around in circles and there's just something oddly more..beguiling about a game that you're desperate to progress in but simply can't. Ocarina of Time had a similar effect, got both the same Christmas, going back to the water temple is straight forward now but at the time it was hard to work out.

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On 21/01/2023 at 13:57, Phantoon said:

Turok 1 is not Metroid Prime. But playing it feels a bit like playing Metroid Prime's dad. It's by a lot of the same people, so there's lots of exploration and hidden stuff, quite a bit of jumping. A very different game, but strangely reminiscent.

 

Metroid Prime's mum has been sleeping behind her dad's back then, because her real father is Exhumed.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 01/07/2021 at 10:10, 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?😆

Edge is a magazine that probably deserves its own thread.

 

I haven't religiously collected and/ or read many computer magazines - apart from Crash/ Zzap! way back when, and Retro Gamer now (and for the last 15 years!).

I bought the odd Xbox mag and Games TM, but Edge always seemed a little smug, dry, supercilious and perhaps trying just a bit too hard, so I avoided it.

 

But I got a whole bunch of early Edge issues from ebay, ranging  from about issue 2 to 120 (with several big gaps).

 

And they are way, *way* better than I thought. Maybe because the unbridled enthusiasm for all things new and exciting was genuine and palpable. There's also SO much content (another thing which the likes of classic Newsfield and early issues of GamesTM shared).

 

It's just great reading: the uncertainty of which formats and consoles would win (is the future CD?!); the excitement as the specs for the Jaguar or 'Project Reality' dropped; the review of the initial games (usually quite harsh); tracking the success (or otherwise) of new tech as you read subsequent issues - you can chart 3DO's journey simply by Edge articles across a year - it's all fantastic.

 

Edge were at every launch and press conference, they knew all the gossip and rumours and shared it with readers. Yeah, they talked a lot of bollocks on occasion, and they famously got some big calls wrong - but they got more things right. And it was a mad period of almost non-stop innovation in the industry.

 

It's ironic, given that they famously had no time for history or retro gaming (or anything that seemed 'old-fashioned) and strived always for the new and 'bleeding edge', that Edge is now by far the greatest retro resource we have. If you want to know what was happening in gaming and tech in the 90s, there is no better place to go.

 

Just be aware that you will smile and wince at least once per issue, especially when they try to stretch themselves into an area that they don't really understand.

 

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I was 19 years old when Turok 2 came out and, I'm not going to lie, the cerebral bore gave me hours of fun on it's own.

 

It's no classic, but as console FPS games went, it wasn't so bad for the time.

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I read every Edge until the PS2 / GC era and looked forward to new issues until my enthusiasm waned and I realised I was buying it out of habit. But by God their reviews were by and large complete fucking dogshit - consistently the worst written, most pretentious boneheaded twaddle in the magazine and the games press at large. Seems a bit too easy to single out Edge for special treatment in this thread (even though I did it already).

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13 minutes ago, Peter St John said:

Did the ebay haul come with feathers?

 

(opened that issue on a bus from Oxford to Bicester…that was fun :lol:)

Was that directed to me? An issue of Edge had *feathers* in it?!

 

Er, not that I recall. Perhaps they fell out?

 

In any case, between the years of 1990 and 2001, I was pretty much absent from gaming due to university, new career and having way too much fun; so didn't read anything at all. I got back into it properly when the Xbox launched. I didn't even buy a PlayStation when everyone else seemed to have one.

But these back issues are filling in the gaps nicely.

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3 minutes ago, Peter St John said:

Issue 27! The infamous "Don't be a dodo, buy a 3DO" advert :)

Have just ran upstairs to check and I do actually have that one, and those pages are a bit stuck together with the last vestiges of some feathers on it!

This has made me quite happy.

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An awful lot of the 'journalism' foisted upon us in the past by the gaming media was incompetent and woeful. Too many were only interested in the next big thing be that a new console, new genre, new graphical trick, lots of excellent games were written off by these numpties who were clearly spoilt by getting all these games handed them on a silver platter and so unable to appreciate them - think of all those copied compact disk collections that serial pirates had alongside their computers that had been played up till midway through the opening level and then never touched again. It is only thanks to Youtube that some of their more egregious review errors are rectified for me decades later.

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21 hours ago, mwaawm said:

An awful lot of the 'journalism' foisted upon us in the past by the gaming media was incompetent and woeful. Too many were only interested in the next big thing be that a new console, new genre, new graphical trick, lots of excellent games were written off by these numpties who were clearly spoilt by getting all these games handed them on a silver platter and so unable to appreciate them - think of all those copied compact disk collections that serial pirates had alongside their computers that had been played up till midway through the opening level and then never touched again. It is only thanks to Youtube that some of their more egregious review errors are rectified for me decades later.

 

I don't think it's any better now, especially on the major gaming websites. Far too interested in sharing their politics, world views and opinions about almost everything *apart* from games, and equally dismissive about anything popular or mainstream.

 

I don't give a toss what a gaming journalist thinks about anything apart from games, and even that's often a stretch.

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Three reviews come to mind, all at the tail-end of the spectrum years in Your Sinclair. 

The first was Turrican II, awarded a YS Megagame in issue 69. The screenshots were like cold vomit, and watching a longplay years later confirmed it as probably the worst entertainment software ever sold. 

The next was the infamous Outrun Europa review, in issue 71. It was just made up bollocks with no attempt to hide the lies, although at the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt and wondered if they'd put in some Master System screenshots in by mistake. 

The third was the review of Lemmings, issue 73 and my last copy of Your Sinclair. Another YS Megagame, it pretty much represented the spectrum scene at the time, a miserable and desperate looking game, all the fun sucked out of it, literally gaming in silhouette. 

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15 hours ago, Afternoon Delight said:

The next was the infamous Outrun Europa review, in issue 71. It was just made up bollocks with no attempt to hide the lies, although at the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt and wondered if they'd put in some Master System screenshots in by mistake. 

The game was being developed with a colour mode. There's a 10 year old RLLMUK thread about it.

 

 

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Ah, arcade conversions on the Speccy (and other 8-bit formats).

 

That's another thread-worthy topic - although I'm sure there's been dozens of them already!

Oddly, I have nothing but good memories, because I was careful about which ones I bought (thanks Crash) and rarely fell for dodgy YS screenshots.

 

Bombjack, Commando, Ghosts & Goblins, Gauntlet, Renegade....all crackers.

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I remember picking up the first issue of Edge in a shopping centre in Telford while on my lunch hour. I bought it because it was sealed and I was intrigued by a new multi-format magazine.

 

I can still remember this quite well and I now realise it was October 1993, almost 30 years ago, and just before I moved back to Newcastle. I still have issue 1 somewhere I think.

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I wouln't have quite the same fondness for Edge, as I hold them responsible introducing the trend for hyping up coming attractions constantly, more than what is currently available.

 

And the fact that they reviewed Halo with mentioning the Marathon series once.

 

Also:

'Japan'

'Neo-Geo'

'Zeitgeist'

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7 hours ago, Festoon said:

I wouln't have quite the same fondness for Edge, as I hold them responsible introducing the trend for hyping up coming attractions constantly, more than what is currently available.

 

And the fact that they reviewed Halo with mentioning the Marathon series once.

 

Also:

'Japan'

'Neo-Geo'

'Zeitgeist'

 

Well, I have just read that review and it was one that they seemed to get mostly right in how important and amazing the game was at the time.

And in their defence - hyping up what was new and interesting from a tech POV was their entire MO.

 

Annoying as I personally find Japan/ Nintendo fanboy tendencies, it's not exactly strange for a games title, and even more understandable given Jason Brookes was heavily involved from the start (and edited it for ages).

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On 13/02/2023 at 21:49, ManWithNoName said:

 

I don't think it's any better now, especially on the major gaming websites. Far too interested in sharing their politics, world views and opinions about almost everything *apart* from games, and equally dismissive about anything popular or mainstream.

 

I don't give a toss what a gaming journalist thinks about anything apart from games, and even that's often a stretch.

I gave up reading an online review of cyber punk after the reviewer complained that it's politics aren't radical enough.

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2 minutes ago, bplus said:

I actually can't remember. It was strangely depressing.

It might have been this one?

 

https://www.vice.com/en/article/ne5jg7/radical-politics-cyberpunk-2077?utm_source=reddit.com 

 

"It’s so much easier to fight about canonicity and the “right” version of the genre that we love than to confront the fact that maybe its origination point is one that disempowers us, dares us not to dream, and actively works to keep us justifying the dystopia instead of collectively working to build something new"

 

Hahahahahaha!

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5 hours ago, ManWithNoName said:

Hahahaha. God almighty. Was that Kotaku? Could be any of them really.

I remember reading a film review of It's A Wonderful Life whose great complaint about the film was that it was a bad critique of capitalism

 

I mean, it's not intended to be a critique of capitalism at all, it's about how everyone can be important even if they don't realise they are, and how kindness leaves great effects behind. But good job on arguing that it was terrible at doing the thing it wasn't doing, I guess?

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