Originally posted by manicx
The thing is that if I compare AP with the gaming section of CU and AF, you'll notice that AP had the attitude to snob everything that they didn't like. A typical example was the Sensible Soccer reviews. Just because the editors liked this game more than any soccer game, everything and everyone else who liked other soccer games were considered by them as inferior.
What more do you expect from a games magazine? By its very definition, a games magazine is *supposed* to present the opinions of its reviewers. It's up to the reader to decide whether those opinions mirror his own. AP just avoided the tradition of awarding every game a minimum score of 73% regardless of how bad it actually was. If a £40 game is rubbish, I want to be told that it is rubbish so I don't unwittingly buy it.
If games like Pinball Mania, Rise of the Robots, etc, all receive scores between 70% and 90%, and games like Alien Breed 3D and Sensible Soccer receive scores between 70% and 90%, how on Earth is anyone going to sort the good from the bad?
What seems to have annoyed people most about AP is their conviction - if they thought a game was bad, they would say it was bad; similarly, if they thought a reader/programmer/publisher was wrong about something, they'd say so. This was partially for the ironic comedy value, something which may not cross cultural boundaries very well; mostly it was because they were doing what they were paid to do, ie. print their opinions. I respected and bought (subscribed to, in fact) AP for this reason; I'd rather be told what the writers honestly thought of a game than what the writers a) were told to print by their managers, b) thought of an unfinished version, or c) thought the game's publishers would like.
Moreover, is there anything particularly wrong with being assertive? I don't like Rise of the Robots. If anyone asked me what I thought of Rise of the Robots, I'd tell them that it sucked. If I had to write a review of Rise of the Robots, should I award the game 90% and say it's the Best Thing Ever (the Amiga Action approach), or should I say that it is turgid rubbish (the AP approach)?