Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    A Review Of A Review – NGJ ALERT

    The RAM Raider jumps on the NGJ bandwagon for a review of an NGJ review.


    I took a deep breath in the blistering heat. The aroma of sweat, dust and overpowering perfume filled my lungs. Approaching the desk, passport in hand and fighting my way through a crowd speaking in an unfamiliar dialect, I asked where I could find what I was looking for. The checkout assistant pointed me towards the sorry selection of games magazines, and looked baffled when spotting the passport. I ventured over to the magazines. Between Microsoft and Sony’s manifestos and collections of press releases masquerading as journalism, I dodged the comics and picked up something with a glossy cover. My journey into another world had begun.

    I’ve had an extraordinary life. At any one time, there are thousands of twee anecdotes ready to be unleashed upon anyone brave enough to commission me. There’s one that immediately springs to mind when reading this review. I’m two paragraphs in, and have learnt about a free trip abroad lavished upon the author, paid for by the game’s marketers. Suddenly, the memories of these futile and pointless trips that I have been subjected to – personally, and through reading the accounts of reviewers – flood into my mind. It dawns on me that the second paragraph has finished, and nothing of any relevance to the game has been mentioned.

    Where do anecdotes end, and autobiographies begin? If readers want to know about the achingly cosmopolitan lifestyle reviewers would like their readers to think they have, they would buy books (“My Life Travelling Through The Virtual World” by M.Y. Egotrip), or read their blogs. God forbid they should restrict their fictionalised lives to those mediums though – why not just serialise them in their reviews.

    Reaching the end now, and I’m feeling elation. Elation that the review will be over soon, and the manager will stop looking at me in that way. Shuffling my weight to the other foot, I pick up an aside about how the reviewer has personal issues with the type of game he’s reviewing. His editor must be a genius.

    Closing the magazine, a haze of mediocrity washes over my mind as I’m dragged from the shop by security. The manager reminds me that it’s not a library, and counters my protest that I’m researching NGJ with the revelation that I should fuck off to an Internet café. Of course! There’ll be plenty more there. On the way I stroll into GAME, and hiss at the zitty lowlife who thinks about telling me to buy Fifa. As I approach the game I was thinking about buying, I realise that I still know nothing about it. After three pages, and over one thousand words, I still don’t actually know what the game is about. Its genre. How to play it. Whether it’s worth buying.

    I could read the back of the box or pick up an official magazine. Both results would be the same. Alternatively, I could carry on making a point to avoid NGJ, because it’s self-indulgent shit that’s subjective to the point of lunacy, boring and uninformative. A blog in disguise. This is where our journey in the games industry is going. I don’t want to know when we’re going to get there, I just know I don’t want to be there.

    Never again will I write in the style of NGJ. The risk of getting fashionably emo and killing myself is too high...

    7 comments:

    1. Please can you tell me the number of hitpoints that the security guard had? I need to find out how realistic this game is in non-NGJ terms before I can determine if it's worth engaging in.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Really, if someone explained NGJ in single-syllable words, and sellotaped them to a piano, and dropped it on your crazy-thick head, would you then, maybe, notice?

      Watch carefully:

      NGJ, godforsaken with its name as it may be, is writing about gaming experiences. It is not a review. It is not a review. It is not a review.

      It would be inappropriate as a review. It might make a helpful anecdote within a review - telling of the emotions felt in a particular moment, or the extent of an in-game experience - but it is not, nor has it ever been suggested to be, a replacement for reviews. It is not a review. It is not a review.

      What you read, from your description, was: a bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      Has it hit home yet?

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      A bad review.

      Getting it? Do you see? You read: a bad review.

      No, no you haven't got it, because getting it would involve your thinking for a nanosecond.

      John Walker

      ReplyDelete
    3. That would be giving useful information, therefore going completely against the finely smoothened grain of NGJ.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Anonymous11:40 pm

      Jesus wept, Walker. Are you actually fucking retarded?

      ReplyDelete
    5. I'm dumfounded by your argument. Touche!

      ReplyDelete
    6. Haha! This blog is full of silly people.

      ReplyDelete
    7. Anonymous2:32 pm

      it's like he's posessed by keiron gillen.

      ReplyDelete