Official Feedback Issue 91

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

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Crunchy
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Crunchy » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:41 am

FatTrucker wrote:
Crunchy wrote: A good review has to cater for all.
I still don't really understand why 10 years down the line this has suddenly become an issue when the mag has been doing things this way since day 1 and when every other mag does things this way too and always has. What is it about this review specifically that suddenly makes it worthy of comment when the same thing can be said of so many games reviewed in RG over the years, and every other paper publication that's ever graced the newsstands?
What I should have said was "A good review caters for a wider readership".

My initial reply to Darran's post came about because RG is being discussed on my own forum in a very negative way and, around the time I posted, specifically about the reviews.
Unlike you I want an informed opinion rather than a biased one when I read a review. This is actually what you normally get from a review and it's been that way for years. There's a big difference between somebody with prior knowledge providing a review and somebody who thinks a game is the best game in the last thirteen years providing a review. One is credible and the other isn't.
The main difference between us is that you see the reviews as a minor thing in the mag. They're something to read for entertainment and that's all. You feel retro gaming is a niche hobby for the chosen few, that there's actually no wider readership beyond this or even a potential wider readership available. Reviews are merely there to satisfy the old hands with a bit of light reading.

Some points then, and I expect Darran to take this as genuine feedback:

RG will fail if it doesn't increase its readership. Rising costs with a static or dwindling readership ensure this will happen.

Retro is no longer a niche hobby. The easiest way to see this is to crank up your 360 and check out the Top Downloads and Top Rated lists for XBLA.

At a time when the number of people playing old games is rapidly increasing it should be the RG name that's on people's lips when they require a review. RG is the only dedicated retro magazine on the market. A credible review section provided by acknowledged experts in the field of old games on new systems can actually be a selling point for the magazine. Compare this to the fact that after this thread I'm no longer buying the magazine. If the review section is just the editor's playground where he can indulge his loyal fans (not an impossiblity, this is the same editor who said the letters page is merely there to fill some space) or, even worse, a PR outlet for whichever company has done a deal with RG for some coverage (not my personal opinion but the opinion of others) then it's two more pages of waste on top of all the other pages I think are a waste and really, why waste my money?

I don't think RG is going to last under Darran. There's no obvious ambition. There's no recognition of where retro gaming is going, only lip service and a can't-be-arsed attempt to court it. The community on here is an inward looking one and is becoming a millstone around the magazine's neck. When you've got a moderator on the official forum saying he wants fanboy or hater reviews instead of informed opinion the place has pretty much become a censored joke. Unfortunately, the editor is a member of this community too. I foresee problems.

I'd like to see RG actually get to that 100th issue. I think Darran's done a good job getting the magazine within striking distance of that milestone. I do feel if RG continues on with the same small-minded traditional retro niche "I'm alright jack" mindset of people like you it's going to be Mission Failed before too long.

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thevulture
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:46 am

Taking the point of Retro gaming becoming more and more popular thanks to likes of 360 XBLA etc.

Very true, lot of my friends re-discovering games of their youth via XBLA, PSN, CFW and Emulators on PSP, emulators on iPhone etc, but here's the crux-Are any of them looking for a dedicated Retro magazine, to further this interest? NO.They are no more likely to buy any magazine dedicated to, or having dedicated Retro sections in, Any more than they are a 360/PS3 dedicated magazine.

They know what the want to re-discover, quick goggle search tells them where to find it and off they go.Download, play, move on.

Printed media across the board is ever so slowly being eaten away by online, nothing is going to change that, way people obtain news etc, is changing.

If Retro Gamer devoted say 10 pages per month to reviews, did away with the scoring system, changed reviewers, nothing would change peoples buying habbits-Attitude i get from friends is why would i pay for a magazine, when i can find what i want online?

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thevulture
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:00 am

An iphone has become like an extra limb for so many people i know.It's the wonder device they always desired, it never leaves their person it seems.Anything they want to know? Out it comes, quick search, bingo, back in pocket.

They can pop over to Metacritic, get as many reader and magazine reviews as they want, goto any games site, get the same thing, reader comments, site review, you name it.

People want things for nothing! Sad fact, CFW to run pirate games? Pass the link on. Site offering to show you how to jailbreak iPhone..i'm there, i'll forward link to me mates etc etc.Posters on workplace message boards, offering chipping, back up's, etc.

The community on here is 'Inward looking' Is it...individual opinion, it's what it is, it's not perfect, but leagues ahead of the clique Gamestm, troll city C+VG, etc and whilst we are looking in, i beg to wonder why so much attention and time is given to here, on other forums?-Seen posts on certain Retro based forums of members boasting how they trolled RG :rol

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thevulture
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:07 am

Gamestm, for myself personaly, just was'nt showing any signs of improving or having an I.D of it's own, forum was very closed shop.So, 1 cancelled sub. saw me stiop wasting time+Money on a magazine.Don't waste time on the forum.

It's that simple.No magazine or forum is going to be everything to everyone, but thankfully in this day and age we are spolit for choice as far as places to vist go.

People should take a look at how magazines of old and how they would insult any valid points the readers would write in with, before kicking off a storm and putting out some bizzare claims about loyalty etc etc of the readership/Forum posters.

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:29 am

Crunchy wrote:

I don't think RG is going to last under Darran. There's no obvious ambition. There's no recognition of where retro gaming is going, only lip service and a can't-be-arsed attempt to court it. The community on here is an inward looking one and is becoming a millstone around the magazine's neck. When you've got a moderator on the official forum saying he wants fanboy or hater reviews instead of informed opinion the place has pretty much become a censored joke. Unfortunately, the editor is a member of this community too. I foresee problems.
I can't believe we get all this because you don't agree that I should have reviewed a game I've already played. Actually, I know your history here, so obviously can believe it :)

Answer me this. Do you actually think Zelda is a genuine stone cold classic? Do you think it deserves the score regardless of who reviewed it?

Ultimately though it doesn't really matter does it? Because as I've already mentioned we're just going around in circles because our opinions of both a score and how a game should be reviewed are never going to match and as such you've just simply derailed a thread as opposed to starting up would could be a genuinely valid thread elsewhere.

I do love though how you think the mag won't last under my control though when we're pretty much the only gaming magazine in the UK with an increased readership over the last year. But then what would I know? I've only been running the mag for over 70 issues and am obviously running it into the ground ;)

Anyway I won't be continuing, because let's face it. Like Dudley, you'll just keep going on and on like a dog with a bone so you can continue to laugh about this with your mates elsewhere.

Still, in a way I do hope you continue to hang around the forums, even if you don't buy the mag anymore, because when you're not intent on trolling for the sake of it, you actually raise a lot of valid points which I genuinely enjoy reading. And you're right, listening to a forum which doesn't make up even a percentage of of full readership would be very, very dangerous. Which is why we don't do it.
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markopoloman
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by markopoloman » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:56 am

Not sure if I am classed as an RG fanboy - but Crunchy, you don't half talk a load of bollox sometimes - yet can be bloody great most of the time.
Having re-read that last post a few times, I can only agree with one single point that you made:

'I'd like to see RG actually get to that 100th issue. I think Darran's done a good job getting the magazine within striking distance of that milestone.'

Now, this is a good statement and I doubt many would disagree - but it comes after this one you made:

'I don't think RG is going to last under Darran. There's no obvious ambition. There's no recognition of where retro gaming is going, only lip service and a can't-be-arsed attempt to court it. The community on here is an inward looking one and is becoming a millstone around the magazine's neck. When you've got a moderator on the official forum saying he wants fanboy or hater reviews instead of informed opinion the place has pretty much become a censored joke. Unfortunately, the editor is a member of this community too. I foresee problems.'

Eh? So Darran is sh!t at the job, yet he has done a good job? Weird.

As for the reviewing policy of the mag, could you not set up a poll/thread to get the opinion of the other readers? I have no interest in Zelda as I think it's a bit crap - so haven't read the review, but to date I haven't had any reason to think reviews have been any different to reviews I've been reading since Zzap!64/TheOne/PCGamer etc etc etc.
And as for your knowledge of FatTruckers views on reviews after his short comment is astonishing! It didn't sound to me like he was being a fanboy - just his opinion of how he saw the review.

Suppose I should go read this review so I can see what all the fuss is about.
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Dunjohn
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Dunjohn » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:07 am

I realise I'm interrupting some rather deep thoughts but I just wanna say, I got the issue yesterday and that cover stood out incredibly well against the sea of other Sonic-themed covers screaming for my attention. Easily the most attractive and distinctive thing on the shelf. Good job!
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Igorthegreen
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Igorthegreen » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:45 pm

Why are we getting so personal here? Let's face it; RG is the only magazine for retro gamers. Let's treasure it.
And it can be refreshing reading different views on a game you might like... but others don't and vice versa. Stop behaving like spoiled kids 8) .
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fredghostmaster
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by fredghostmaster » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:31 pm

Wow I thought this was the issue 91 feedback thread, not a discussion on who should or shouldn't review Zelda! I said last months issue was the poorest for a while, so credit where it is due, I really enjoyed issue 91. Loved the Spectrum games feature, Bugaboo, Sonic etc. Much better range of articles this month and very well written. Looking forward to the end of the 8 bit era article next month too.

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paranoid marvin
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:52 am

Reviews should always be done by someone who has a love and knowledge of the genre of game under the microscope. Otherwise meaningful comparisons with it's peers become dificult. It's not a case of 'should I buy this game' , more a question of 'which game in the genre should I buy next'. All reviews are biased because all reviewers are biased ; we all like or dislike things proportionately.

I would imagine that someone reviewing a remake/rehash of a game that they loved would , if anything, look at it with a more critical eye. How often do we consider the new version to be better than the old? Let's face it , the vast majority of those considering buying the new version of OOT will be asking the question 'is it worth buying if I own/have completed the original?'. The review answers this question. Sure, it doesnt go into too much depth for people new to the game , but the problem with any specialist magazine is how far do you pander to the lowest common denominator? In a specialist games mag , for one of the best known games in the modern era, I would say that an assumed general knowledge of the original was acceptable. We only have 2 pages , and I would rather it was filled with new material than spending too much time on detailing the basics of the game. It seems that Nintendo with their sales pitch for the game are doing the same ; selling it on the back of fame than on the quality of the game itself.

It does surprise me that Darran states that the views of the forum aren't taken into consideration , especially given the changes that have occurred in the mag after negative/posiive feedback from the forum ; but perhaps this was said tongue in cheek , or maybe the opinions of forum members are reflected in sales figures or from directives from elsewhere.

Btw I think that awarding 'Sizzlers' to the very best games is wrong , especially if we are staying in the flavour of Zzap! as the mag tends to do. Shouldn't they have Gold Medals?
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:46 am

paranoid marvin wrote:It does surprise me that Darran states that the views of the forum aren't taken into consideration , especially given the changes that have occurred in the mag after negative/posiive feedback from the forum ; but perhaps this was said tongue in cheek , or maybe the opinions of forum members are reflected in sales figures or from directives from else
Of course you listen to forum feedback, it's a valuable way of keeping in touch with your readership and you're sometimes given inspiration for great ideas like Minority Report. We just don't listen to everything the forum says. Just look at things like the iOS issue for example. Ultimately you have to try and run a mag that caters to everyone, not just those that make up a tiny percentage of the mag. I hope that clears things up.
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nakamura
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by nakamura » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:27 am

Let us look at Crunchys thoughts over who should review Zelda.

A huge fan of the genre would most likely give it a score close to 100% much like Darran has.

A hater of the genre would maybe give it a score in the 50s or 60s.

A middle of the road person might score it in the 70s or 80s.

When reviewing a game, if you are not in any way a fan of the style of game you can praise many aspects such as the control, visuals, sound etc. Even perhaps the puzzles but surely if the game is boring to you or you don't like that style then how can you review it objectively?

For instance reading back over the years of the official PS2 magazine it is clear that almost any game that didn't have guns, racing or violence was given a small review and a score of 6-7. They had no balance in the review team at all. Almost every RPG on the PS2 bar a couple had clearly been given no play time.
You need a balanced review team to give a fair review score I think.
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FatTrucker
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by FatTrucker » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:43 am

nakamura wrote:Let us look at Crunchys thoughts over who should review Zelda.

A huge fan of the genre would most likely give it a score close to 100% much like Darran has.

A hater of the genre would maybe give it a score in the 50s or 60s.

A middle of the road person might score it in the 70s or 80s.

When reviewing a game, if you are not in any way a fan of the style of game you can praise many aspects such as the control, visuals, sound etc. Even perhaps the puzzles but surely if the game is boring to you or you don't like that style then how can you review it objectively?

For instance reading back over the years of the official PS2 magazine it is clear that almost any game that didn't have guns, racing or violence was given a small review and a score of 6-7. They had no balance in the review team at all. Almost every RPG on the PS2 bar a couple had clearly been given no play time.
You need a balanced review team to give a fair review score I think.
TBH mate, everyone's pretty much had their say and dragged the thread far enough Off Topic (myself included). Probably best to just let it lie now and get back to the mag feedback rather than create further argument that's just going round in circles.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by LAIS » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:23 am

Really enjoyed the magazine, but I'm a bit offended at the rubishing of Knuckles in the Sonic article - he's my favorite Sonic character! I think he's a great character, he keeps up with the cool, cutting edge Sonic character and fits in with the game world, unlike Big The Cat, Cream The Rabbit and...erm...all the others.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Igorthegreen » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:57 pm

Besides... Am I the only one who heard Darran say in the Youtube film about RG 91: "I really like that controller because it has the shape of a penis!"

Well well... :D
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