EGM – September 2005

August 26, 2005

Of the several enthusiast press magazines that I recieve, Electronic Gaming Monthly is easily the best. Game Informer tends towards blandness, being that it is the Gamestop house organ, and Play has a tendency to be a little umm…fervent for my tastes. The writing in Play tends to be pretty good, but sometimes they make odd review decisions.

In any case, first article – “Sequel Factory”. A whine-less look at the fact that the industry is ridden with repetition. The business rationale is explored, and a ray of hope: New consoles usually means new franchises. Two pager that explores the topic thoroughly and intelligently.

Liberty City Stories gets a look, back in the city of GTA III but set prior to that game. Intent is to have just as much content as a big game on the small screen. meh. Hilariously titled article follows “Why is Shigeru Miyamoto so damn happy?” A nice interview with the designer about Mario 128, the DS, the Revolution, and his family. Nintendogs game from familial input. Nice to know the man takes such inspiration from the little things. Another interview follows, with President Iwata. Much shorter, mostly to the point about the Revolution and company goals.

Echoes of the last GI witha piece on King Kong. A two page spread with details on the combat and graphics. Still looking forward to that one. A “Zelda Watch” article makes me sad…interview with Eiji Aonuma doesn’t realize that the game will be pushed back not long after the magazine hits the stands. Sales charts make me even more sad. Crappy Episode III games in spots 2, 3, and 7. Good lord.

I skip the Gizmondo article, because it’s about a non-existant system. A humorous article about Metal Gear Solid 4, centered around an interview with Hideo Kojima. I’m not a big MGS man, but I like that they’re going in new directions. Nintendogs is the next article. They really are the distilled cuteness of all of humanity squeezed into a single game.

Humor in gaming mags is usually forced and crappy. The “Overheard” column gets it right. Let the quotes speak for themselves. My personal favorite: “What gets me out of bed and into the office every day is the thought of Ken Kutaragi’s resignation letter, framed, hanging next to my desk.” – What J. Allard wrote as part of an exercise in what motivates MS execs.

NFS: Most Wanted. Eh. Next-Gen Console Report has a beautiful many functioned monstrosity of a controller smack dab in the middle of the page, with different “features” arrayed around the page. The Odds of any particular feature making it onto the revolution controller are listed. “Pressure Sensitive Grips — Wow! All of my ideas on how to use such a feature are extremely dirty. I can’t imagine Nintendo thinking the same way that I am. –Randy Pitchford, Gearbox”

The Beastie Boys as celebrity gamers. Kaaay. “The Top 10 Most Ridiculous Game Names” It’s Mr. Pants. Woooo! The #1 most anticipated game is Zelda. Long way, anticipators, long wait. “These Games Are Out There” talks about games that are apparently under the radar. I guess I have a different set of metrics, because I’ve been waiting on Shadow of the Colossus for quite a while. Ico’s sequel will be a wonderful balm for the soul. Stubbs looks good too.

“Soul Searching” gives a first look at Soul Calibur III. As happens occasionally with magazine articles, I finally have a better grip on the game because of a well presented bunch of text and art. I’m glad I started picking these things up. Aside from everything they’ve done before, there is going to be a semi-strategy mode to the game. Chronicles of the Sword mode has you moving your character around a map, completing objectives and earning goodies while also participating in the standard fighting mode. They also are going to have a make your own character mode, so you know that’s going to be creepy. :)

Reviews this month mostly seem to be on the money. I’m especially pleased to see how much they like Hulk (smash!). I’m surprised by how little they like Geist. Have to check it out via GameFly. Annnnnd Seanbaby for the closer. A breakdown on some typical nerd-types, including a large-bellied 4-Um Troll. Ahh, my readership.

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