The Mobile Phone Section

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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hydr0x
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by hydr0x » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:10 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:I guess this problem's never going to go away, and, for me, much of the problem is in lumping iPhone in with 'mobile' rather than 'everything else'. I think all games should just be covered wherever in this section, be they iPhone, DS, PS3 or whatever.
That's exactly why having two dedicated iPhone pages is wrong. The DS has a lot more games of interest for us retro gamers but it didn't get a fixed size dedicated section, and neither did any of the other systems. That's my main gripe with all this. If a worthy iPhone game comes along, by all means review it (heck, I even pm'ed you a interesting one recently) just like you would review any other interesting game. But don't give it more coverage every month then the other systems, that's just not fair and not justified by quality either.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:21 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
FatTrucker wrote:Either that or Apple are simply flashing their wad in all the right places.
Oh, come on—that's borderline libellous. You really think Apple's paying for good reviews and good feedback?

No its not Craig. I'm not for one minute suggesting anyone at RG is taking a backhander as I was responding to the Gadget Show comment, but you can't work in the industry that you do and tell me with a straight face that deals aren't done, attracted or forged on the back of being friendly to a sponsor or company that's known to be on an advertising offensive.
hydr0x wrote: That's exactly why having two dedicated iPhone pages is wrong. The DS has a lot more games of interest for us retro gamers but it didn't get a fixed size dedicated section, and neither did any of the other systems. That's my main gripe with all this. If a worthy iPhone game comes along, by all means review it (heck, I even pm'ed you a interesting one recently) just like you would review any other interesting game. But don't give it more coverage every month then the other systems, that's just not fair and not justified by quality either.
Thanks for that mate, you've managed to compress into one neat, clearly worded paragraph what I've been trying to articulate for several pages!. :D
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by hydr0x » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:47 pm

FatTrucker wrote:Thanks for that mate, you've managed to compress into one neat, clearly worded paragraph what I've been trying to articulate for several pages!. :D
If only I'd written than instead of then :D
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Gabe
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Gabe » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:30 pm

FatTrucker wrote: In fairness Darran, I agree - at the moment. This months issue probably ranks as one of the best in recent months in terms of Retro content, I can still quickly flick past the mobile stuff with a satisfying grunt of disinterested arrogance, my concerns are more focussed on a general trend toward catering to markets outside your bread and butter audience. It seems there's real potential for the mag to become more diluted in future - I know a lot of the team are enamoured with the new phone stuff at the moment, but I can't be that unrepresentative of a lot of your audience, I'm in my early 30's, have been gaming since videogames were invented and am still very much a contemporary gamer. The thing is, I buy Retro Gamer for my retro games fix, I love reading, remembering, and discovering stuff about Retro Games. For contemporary stuff I'm already more than amply catered to virtually everywhere and in numerous other publications.

I would just hate to see the mag lose its credibility in a battle to remain profitable - I've seen great mags do that before and they all disappeared.
This is a very well-considered post, and I too share your wonder at where this will lead.

Going slightly off at a tangent, when looking back over the history of the mag you can definitely see the content has changed, and the inclusion of newer titles (the first that really surprised me was the Geometry Wars: Galaxies for the Wii Making-of) has become fairly regular now. But your comment I've bolded hits exactly the nail I've been hunting for; I buy RG because it gives me a fuzzy-feeling inside when I read about old games (whether I played or even knew of them or not), but even that has changed markedly, I find - we seem to be reading about much more mid-90's stuff than I ever recall before (although I this could just be my impression, rather than backed-up by cold, hard facts).

It's a shame, but I do find it easier to leave the mag on the shelf these days (I ignored issue 60 due to the content, the first time I've ever done that), and part of that is due to how I feel the content has shifted. It would be interesting to see how things would pan-out if another mag covering retro gaming were ever to surface.

Whilst that all sounds doom-and-gloom, I do still enjoy the mag and have even started to hang around the website a bit (leaving comments on various games as I go), so I may spend a bit more time on there to get a 'fix'.

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by clarance » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:02 pm

FatTrucker wrote:
Either that or Apple are simply flashing their wad in all the right places.
Exactly what I thought when I saw the Gadget Show piece. Seems to be a big push at the moment from Apple's PR dudes...
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Crunchy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:07 pm

What a fascinating thread. :D

And I don't even read the magazine. :wink:

Well who'd be a magazine editor, eh?

I think you're possibly seeing some magazine crossover at work here. Imagine publishes iCreate magazine and the associated website iphonekungfu.com I believe. The word "advertorial" is probably too strong a word for this sort of thing, maybe "cross marketing" describes these things a little better. It's as sinister or benign as you want it to be.
Does the iPhone stuff belong in the magazine? Very probably. Is it in there for financial reasons? Also very probably. Raising awareness of a product you cover with one of your magazines in an entirely different magazine you publish (but one with crossover potential, gaming in this instance) is part of a publisher's arsenal. You might end up buying into the iPhone and thus subscribing to iCreate. Drinks all round for Imagine if this happens.
One thing's for sure, the staffers at RG would have little to do with something like this occurring. All editors answer to higher masters if it isn't an indie publication.

The only time it would be really sinister, not to mention cynical, would be if Imagine were aiming to become a release portal for iPhone apps and games through iphonekungfu.com and the games reviewed in RG were those self same games. At which point you could probaly throw credibility out the window.

But then it might just be that the RG crew like the iPhone as a gaming platform and decided to cover it now and again. Not an impossible scenario IMO.

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:24 pm

Crunchy wrote:
But then it might just be that the RG crew like the iPhone as a gaming platform and decided to cover it now and again. Not an impossible scenario IMO.
Bingo!
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by rossi46 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:26 pm

Am I being naïve to not read any more into it than the iPhone is just another platform for releasing retro games on?

Like the N-Gage, but not so rubbish?
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ToxieDogg » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:47 pm

I've already made my feelings known in thid months magazine feedback thread, and I'm not going to go back on anything that I've already said.

However, this comment really doesn't sit right with me.
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:
FatTrucker wrote:
As I said Darran has since clarified that any iphone or other modern format coverage will still be happening under the current allocated section for that type of thing meaning we've all f**ked our toys off for nothing.... :wink:
Yeah I just didn't make things very clear did I...

If you opened up next month to find a 12 page reviews section with two pages dedicated to iphone games then yes, you would understandably be upset as this would be a blatent case of 'proper' content being sacrificed for stuff that you feel isn't relevant. As it is, the review section's size is staying exactly the same, so all that will be happening is that there will be two less, single page reviews than normal. Seeing we always manage to cover stuff we've missed in the two/4 page roundups we do within that section, I can't see a real issue.

Now if next month's making ofs were a six page article on Vector Tanks and a 4 page interview with a company who specifically makes mobile phone games then you'd all have reason to get angry (although I am tempted to do a two page article on Vector Tanks, it really is a remarkable little game).
Well what actually happened is that I opened up this month's mag to find a 9 page review section (well, 12 if you include the homebrew stuff) with....lo and behold....2 pages dedicated to iphone games, with a short Q&A session on the making of some iphone game called Labyrinth tacked on for good measure.

I can fully understand why a number of people are feeling p!ssed off and maybe a little betrayed in this instance.

In my case though, I am actually interested in trying a couple of the games now.
Last edited by ToxieDogg on Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Antiriad2097 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:49 pm

rossi46 wrote:Am I being naïve to not read any more into it than the iPhone is just another platform for releasing retro games on?

Like the N-Gage, but not so rubbish?
That's pretty much my thoughts on it. Can't say it especially excites me as I don't own one, but stuff like the Battlezone remake does look interesting so its nice to know they're out there if/when I change my phone (though the iPhone probably will be retro by the time that happens ;) )

Not so keen on last month's presentation where that one platform sucks up all the reviews, I much prefer the scattershot platform approach, as there's far more chance I can play at least some of the games then. If its all single platform then the section is largely redundant for me some months.

But then I really like the homebrew section too.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by SirClive » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:50 pm

I can fully understand why a number of people are feeling p!ssed off and maybe a little betrayed in this instance.
How can you be betrayed by getting exactly what Darren said? How can you be betrayed by getting retro styled games reviewed - just like every other issue of the mag?
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ToxieDogg » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:05 pm

SirClive wrote:
I can fully understand why a number of people are feeling p!ssed off and maybe a little betrayed in this instance.
How can you be betrayed by getting exactly what Darren said? How can you be betrayed by getting retro styled games reviewed - just like every other issue of the mag?
Have you actually read Darren's original quote again, and my response to it? :roll:

Have you read through all of the concerns of the other people posting on this thread? :roll:

I'm playing devil's advocate here. I didn't say I was feeling betrayed, did I? But when Darran says something like 'you would understandably be upset' at opening next month's mag to find a lengthy review section with 2 pages dedicated to iPhone reviews, and then goes ahead and does just that, what does that say to you?
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:08 pm

SirClive wrote:
I can fully understand why a number of people are feeling p!ssed off and maybe a little betrayed in this instance.
How can you be betrayed by getting exactly what Darren said? How can you be betrayed by getting retro styled games reviewed - just like every other issue of the mag?
To be fair he's got a valid point.

I specifically stated that there would be no more than 8 pages (i wasn't including the homebrew stuff) but the very next day we went into a redesign meeting and it was felt that those 8 pages I'd put forward wasn't strong enough for the revamped section and it was quickly changed. Therefore, it now looks like I was lying, which would no doubt cast distrust on any future claims I may make.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ipmarks » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:29 pm

This debate still interests me....

I'm definitely on the side of the anti-iPhone lobby. I can't myself accept remakes of old games as retro, they're retro-style possibly, but not retro. Retro to me means old. If it was up to me I'd leave it to GamesTM magazine to review these re-do's and such. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not anti new games - I own all 3 current consoles and am presently working my way through Little Big Planet, The Force Unleashed and Twilight Princess, but I wouldn't want them reviewed in retro gamer... same as I had doubts about Street Fighter IV reviews. There are so many old games out there, so many old system, hidden treasures I missed the first time that I could be bidding for on ebay. That's what the info I want retro gamer to give me. If I want modern consoles/phones I'll read (and do read) GamesTM, Edge etc. Retro Gamer to me should avoid these newer systems. And although I think the current issue is great there are 8 or 9 pages in it I won't be reading, and there's always that nagging worry this may increase.

Still each to their own, and if it's popular with the general readership then I'll live with it. I mean I'm not a big fan of the Commodore 64 (it goes back to my Spectrum owning developmental years I'm afraid) but I'd never say I didn't want to see articles about it in the mag! That'd be crazy talk....

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by SirClive » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:46 pm

ipmarks wrote:I can't myself accept remakes of old games as retro, they're retro-style possibly, but not retro. Retro to me means old. If it was up to me I'd leave it to GamesTM magazine to review these re-do's and such.
That is an interesting position and one that, even though I support the coverage of iPhone stuff at the mo, I would support. Having Retro in GamesTM has always sat a little uncomfortably for me, so retro styled new stuff in TM and real Retro in RG would make perfect sense. Now which MP do I have to lobby to make it happen :D
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