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    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    RR Review Of 2005: Boiling Point By Kieron Gillen For Eurogamer

    Not so long ago, Jim Rossignol asked the RR for a list of required reading of what we consider to be OGJ (old games journalism). This got us thinking of loads of great reviews we’ve read, sadly mostly from magazines that have long-gone like Amiga Power, Zzap and Crash. But, ironically, the first review that popped into our fractured minds was Kieron Gillen’s review of Boiling Point for Eurogamer. We’ll get round to compiling the OGJ list one day, and when we do, that review will be on it.

    The “concept review” was something that the old mags excelled at, but has now almost completely died out in the age of asinine journalism. This is why reading Gillen’s review of Boiling Point was such a breath of fresh air.

    His dilemma was that Boiling Point is a large and ambitious game, but is packed full of bugs. So, he split the review into three parts, and gave it three scores. First he looked at the game from the perspective of its brilliance and ambition, and awarded it 9/10. Then he reconsidered the game in light of its huge bugs, and gave the game 3/10. He concluded by reconciling these two views, and decided that despite the massive bugs, its good parts really are rather good, and settled on 8/10 as a final score.

    We consider it to be this year’s best example of reviewing and OGJ (although Gillen will undoubtedly argue that we’ve got it all wrong, and it’s actually an existential examination of post-feminist gonzo altruism) and we would have probably overruled the decision if nobody had voted for it. The concept review (when properly written) lies in the domain of OGJ, and is another reason why the pointless total subjectiveness and naval-gazing prevalent in NGJ is without merit.

    Other noteworthy nominations were for Consolevania’s review of Resident Evil 4 (although we’ve never had much of a taste for Consolevania), and cult-favourite NGC’s review of Gunstar Future Heroes.

    Taking second place though, narrowly, is Stuart Campbell’s “review” of Gran Turismo 4. Calling it a review is an injustice, as it’s more like a 3,000 word essay describing why the whole concept of games reviewing is faulty because of the fundamental differences between what reviewers and the games-buying public are looking for, and how the games industry in league with witless mag publishers have managed to diminish the relevance of reviews over the years. Oh, and it mentions that GT4 is boring shit, which it is.

    We’re sure Campbell won’t mind coming second to Gillen just this once.

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