Thursday, May 26, 2011

GamesTM issue 109

Another issue; another blog entry. Actually, I’ve now decided to subscribe, since I don’t want to rely on my freelancing to guarantee me a copy every month. If you read EDGE or EGM every month, you’re doing something wrong. Those magazines suck, especially EDGE for not crediting its authors. GamesTM doesn’t either, but I will criticise them for it every issue as a result. After the last issue, which was written by porn stars, I’ve been told by the magazine’s editor (who isn’t Rick Porter, that’s just a pseudonym, it’s actually Ricky Gervais), that this month’s articles were written by sentient inanimate objects bought from Tesco!. And you can’t prove me wrong, because it’s not like the articles have credits anyway!

Contents. Click the pick to see it enlarged.
Written by: Tesco’s budget range toilet paper

Region locking feature. Now online, CLICK HERE.
Written by: a bottle of Southern Comfort (the mini sized bottles).
The online version doesn’t include the Nintendo boxout where James Honeywell is acting like a total and utter **** (there’s no way that C&T word’s being printed uncensored). So here it is, typed up by me:

“Handhelds, traditionally, have always been region-free, and with good reason. If you take your DS abroad then you should be able to do so safe in the knowledge that you can buy a game in that country and play it while on holiday. 3DS is the first system that takes this common sense luxury away from the consumer, and Nintendo’s justification is once again unconvincing. “People can still take their Nintendo 3DS and software to enjoy on holiday with them, this hasn’t and won’t change”, says James Honeywell. “We will communicate this to purchasers in interviews like this, on hardware packaging and in-box information in Nintendo 3DS hardware and software. This model has existed for DVDs for a number of years now so we’re confident consumers do and will understand how it works.” Now, how many people do you know that take a DVD player on holiday.”

Like I said. Nintendo = absolute *****. I hope everyone who thought of region locking the 3DS gets trapped in an office fire. If I ran a multiformat mag, I would have every 3DS game that was region locked receive 1 out of 10. Man, screw that bullshit.

Dragon’s Dogma. Made a nice cover but in-game looks horribly generic. I can’t even be bothered to read the feature. I’m bored of hi-fantasy, I want more sci-fi in games.
Written by: a wilted lettuce from the vegetable aisle

Minipreview. Love this page. Wish it had more pages.
Written by: a packet of Durex condoms (extra small).

Angels and demons, a look at morality in games.
Written by: rolls of flypaper – by 2 get 1 free!

Was looking forward to this feature, but was sadly disappointed. It says most of the criticism against Bioshock was due to its morality system. No, my criticism was that the mechanics were simple / the mechanics were dumbed down / the mechanics were for stupid people with short attention spans / the mechanics were geared towards casual console play. I hated Bioshock because it was a lacklustre, simplified trod through ineptly designed levels with insipid functionality. For hell’s sake, it didn’t even have an inventory! System Shock 2 on the other hand was laden with complexity and intelligence. Bioshock was like System Shock 2 after being lobotomised and having its testicles removed. No critic – EXCEPT ME – ever seems to make this point. I don’t care about its morality system, I care about the fact that it’s a game designed for simple-minded people with simple minds. Bioshock is loathsomely awful – I despise its mere existence.

The rest of the article is so-so. It doesn’t mention either the Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series, which featured the best morality system I have yet seen in the gaming medium, BAR NONE, nor does it mention Pathologic, which GTM reviewed and gave an 8 to. Pathologic has an excellent morality system – trapped in a town where people distrust you, it’s not about simply black or white choices. You can kill innocent people to help your own survival, but you must be prepared for the townspeople’s reaction. Ultimately though, whatever you choose, it’s for the greater good of stopping a plague which threatens an entire country. Sacrificing one man for his organs to research the virus is surely worth the price, right?

Instead the article talks about Bioshock, The Witcher, Fallout 3, Heavy Rain, KOTOR and a few other games. Maybe the author didn’t play Zettai Zetsumei Toshi or Pathologic?

Fez article. LOVE THE DESIGN.
Written by: a pair of men’s Y-fronts from the clothing section

Indie game review. This is why I love the mag. Not many other publications will give 2 whole pages to this kind of game.
Written by: a tin of dog food

Another indie review, from XBLA. Love the opening paragraph. Genius.
Written by: a bottle of Fairy washing up liquid

Guardian Heroes. Six pages, with input from Treasure. Sadly the amount of interview answers could have filled only half a page. It’s passionate, but a little lacking in insider information. Shame.
Written by: reduced price pork sausages (sage and onion)

Gala Networks Europe
Written by: a copy of Marquis from the magazine aisle.
I’ve only included this here because of the artwork used. Who doesn’t like a bit of elf-girl on elf-girl action, eh readers?

artwork from the Guardian Heroes article. Click for full size.


  1. I very much approve of the name you picked for me. Pretty much my favourite alcoholic beverage.

  2. GamesTM is one of the best games magazines out there. Unfortunately it still leaves a lot to be desired.

    I find it a waste that only about 10 pages of the magazine are devoted to genuinely critical reviews. And the reviews themselves often waffle on about the state of the industry for most of the article, instead of just quickly stating what the game is about and why it is fun. Usually the final few paragraphs are the most important ones, as that is where the bulk of the negative critism is. Often a more trustworthy indicator of the games worth than the score out of ten, which often appears to be pushed up subconciously by the reviewer as a result of their exposure to the game's preceding hype, as they wish the game was better than it actually is.

    And I don't trust previews. They make me form an emotional longing to something that has a 95% chance of turning out to be rubbish, and it is hard to be objective in your opinion when that inevitably happens. Most of the best games I have discovered as a result of reading reviews were completely unexpected or unknown to me beforehand.

  3. I'm getting pretty tired of this whole "They don't credit the authors" line. It seems to come up every time the blog post is about a games mag, and it just comes off as sour grapes. Plenty of magazines don't always say who wrote something.

    Take for example The Economist, considered by many to be one of the finest news magazines around and they never credit any authors.

    What's the big deal about anyway? I mean it seems as if the whole HG101 staff know all the names in the video games magazine business anyways which in my opinion would be the people to know if you want to be published anyways. Its not like the readers are the ones getting people hired to write for the magazines.

    Maybe this has happened somewhere before, but I'm pretty sure that no magazine editor is receiving mail clamoring for more articles written by "x author". Of course the counter argument to all of that is that readers might not know who wrote the articles and thus can't clamor for more.

    Nevertheless, I never bought a games mag because of who wrote the articles, even for the magazines where I know who writes for them. At least in my case it was more the format and what was covered by the magazine. I think that for many others readers that's probably the case.

  4. I don't care if anyone's tired of my ranting about lack of author creditship. If you're not with me, and part of the solution, then you are part of the problem - you are part of the apathy corroding the industry. Your absurd and baseless words only triple my resolve, making me ever more determined. Bleat against me and I only grow stronger.

    Regarding The Economist comment, I'd read from a writer commenting on this subject that the reason for this is the subject matter - in fact several economic publications omit authors. If someone is going to read it and make business decisions, it's safer not to credit the author in case something goes awry. Not that it matters - I don't write for The Economist. My focus is on who I DO write for.

    Before becoming a writer and still today, I keep an eye on my favourite authors in magazines. How you can take a stance of "I don't care and no one else should care" is so disturbing, so baffling, that I can only imagine you're someone who has implemented this in a magazine yourself and you are trying to undermine my message anonymously. Why don't you credit your OWN name to the comment entry? Your infuriatingly simple minded reaction makes me think you're perhaps the editor of EDGE, which also doesn't credit authors. If you're going to have the audacity to challenge me on this, at least have the courage to name yourself.

    How can a writer honestly cite examples of his work for his CV/resume, when applying for a job, when he was never credited for them? Or do you live in some kind of idealistic bubble where people never change jobs and they have a "job for life" and so never need to sit through more than one interview in their life? Because that's not how life works - an author's name on their article is like a golden ticket when being interviewed, because they show their next potential employer, IN BLACK AND WHITE, right there, their potential.

    This is fiery relentless passion of mine, and I will NEVER stop commenting on lack of author crediting until I am either DEAD, or my name is on EVERY article I write.

    How can you even think it is anything other than an abhorrent practice? HOW?! I mean, WHO ARE YOU EVEN TO MAKE SUCH LUDICROUS STATEMENTS?

    1. Re: The Economist.

      That's quite the sweeping generalised statement there.

      As an economist myself, I assure you that Economics is a subject with a far, far greater reach than business decisions, with a lot of writing on the subject completely unrelated to that. It's a subject applicable to every aspect of our daily lives, and for the few business-centric publications which would (understandably, as you mention) omit writer names, there are heaps of journals and academic written work which will have authors to name, even if their findings find their way into a publication that does not credit the writer of what is a secondary source.

      In fact, The Economist itself only has a tiny section each issue that even relates to business decisions itself, and you could argue they may credit writers there rather than elsewhere if your point were to stand.

      After all, a lot of videogames publications credit writers for reviews but not newsdesk-y content.


      On a slightly related note, why remove your article stressing your very point? I've tried finding it to no avail.