Official feedback thread for issue 28

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Ash
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Re:

Post by Ash » Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:15 pm

Bobak wrote:I'd normally say sorry for bumping a fairly old thread, but I'm in the States and this is the most recent issue on the shelf (as always, we're one to two issues behind).

Here's my feedback: overall a solid issue. I enjoy reading about the people behind the games and all the various systems (particularly some of those we didn't get our here), the balance is solid. The only item that stuck out at me --enough so that I would register here to comment on it-- is the infobox on page 68, titled "The Price is Right?" (regarding Last Hope for the Neo Geo home cartridge system).

Let's take a look at how this section comes off: It purports from the outset to talk about whether the price is too high (even for a Neo Geo game), but what do we get? A complete side-step of any, any argument of why the price is incredibly high. It doesn't even compare the price of Last Hope to the normal Neo Geo home cartridges --This section merely toes the developer's line, taking any excuse for the high price, talks about why they say the game is as expensive as it is, taking every mindless argument at face value. The section concludes that we should be thankful to have such people making the games and we should purchase at full price --it stops short of saying doing so would be patriotic (but I did get the same vibe I get from the Bush Administration's proclamations on terrorism).

Now, that paragraph would've been passable if there was any semblence of similar consensus in the Neo Geo community on the issue. Alas there is not. The community is divided with a minority that find the twice-the-normal-MSRP acceptable, but a much larger majority that find the price unconscionable --this is the same group that wouldn't have winced if the starting price was £50 more than normal. I'll be the first to admit that Neo Geo fans are notorious for paying high amounts for almost anything, but this game was certainly a point where many of us finally drew the line. It troubles me that such a clear issue did not even get one line, not even a passing "some fans in the online Neo Geo fan base found this price to be too high" before repeating whatever the developers fed you in response. I'm not going to waste space here going over why the developers arguments are completely flawed, it's besides the point for your article. My only disappointment is that you'd let that small section go by without even a lick of an opposing view. That's troubling, especially when I read articles on systems I am not familiar with.

Other than that, your main coverage of the game was overall good --although, the Neo Geo community noticed that the kanji on their insert is actually a very bad translation of "Last Hope"; I guess that didn't make it in your article.

All the best, look forward to the next (or should I say second most recent) issue.

Well the reasons for the high price are explained the main article itself and the boxout is intended to expand on that. It's natural that the high price would put a lot of people off so and, as you point out, almost all of the Neo Geo community have reacted negatively to the cost - so I thought it neccessary to offer a counter argument to the dominat voice of the Internet. All of the points made were derived from the fact that the magazine does not condone piracy and that we believe indie developers deserve support but, of course, you're welcome to disagree.

In addition, I'd like to point out (again) that cheaper versions of Last Hope are on the way so complaining about the high price of a LIMITED EDITION cartridge is ultimately pointless.

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Rev. Stuart Campbell
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Re:

Post by Rev. Stuart Campbell » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:23 am

S3M wrote:1. There was a prototype Arcade game of Parasol Stars, a few people have also reported seeing it in arcade.
Sorry, but "a few people reporting" something (friend of a guy down the pub's mate's brother's cousin, was it?) isn't good enough for a series calling itself "Definitive". There has never been a single confirmed or authenticated sighting of a Parasol Stars coin-op, and if it was just a PC Engine in a cab then it wouldn't merit inclusion anyway, for the reasons indicated below. Nothing goes in the features that can't be in some way confirmed via official sources. For example, in the course of my research I found a scan of a PC Engine mag previewing Liquid Kids under the subtitle "The Story Of Bubble Bobble 4". I spent half a day looking for anything - a box shot, a prototype coin-op ROM, a magazine advert, an official release list, an arcade flyer - that would confirm the subtitle, but none existed, so it didn't go in.
Didn't take long for my brother to spot them as he's a Bubble Bobble nut, the article was also a little bit confused in places.
Um, that's kind of the point. The history of Bubble Bobble IS somewhat confused. The purpose of the feature is to - as much as is humanly possible - clarify it.
As the main five games in the series are Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Island, Parasol Stars, Bubble Symphony & Bubble Memories, with the rest of the games being clones, ports or unofficial story spin off's.
NONE of the games in the feature are "unofficial" in any way whatsoever. They're all completely official Taito releases. And none of the entries in the feature are "clones" or "ports" either - the qualifying criteria for The Definitive is that a game has to be significantly and substantially different in terms of its content to get a separate entry, not just that a few secret features didn't make the conversion. The two NES Rainbow Islands titles, for example, have completely different level designs, different graphics, different gameplay and different music. They're completely different games that just happen to have the same title, and leaving one of them out would completely betray the entire purpose of the Definitive series.
It would have been nice if one of the Puzzle Bobble games and some of their cameo appearances had also been covered.
Sure, if the feature had 36 pages it could have covered a lot of stuff. Several things had to be cut as it was to fit it into the space available, and including the Puzzle Bobble games would have doubled the size. There are LOADS of official Puzzle Bobble games - probably as many again as were included in the whole feature.
The only thing that get my goat about these articles, is the ‘play it now on box’ as it seems to be a pirates guides to downloading games, list formats not emulators please?
The original formats are denoted at the top of each box. Most people don't actually need to be told that if a game is listed as "BUBBLE BOBBLE PART 2 (NES)", then if you want to play the real thing you'll need (a) a copy of Bubble Bobble Part 2, and (b) an NES. Do you need detailed instructions on how to plug the console into your telly, insert the cart into the machine and turn it on, too...?

Many of these games were never legitimately released in the UK, and some of them run on formats that were never legitimately released in the UK. Emulation is the only sensible way to experience them now.

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