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Old 07 August 2003, 11:23   #21
Echo
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Don't ever offer a different opinion to Stuart Campbell on a forum - he's actually an argumentative sod :eek
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Old 07 August 2003, 13:56   #22
CodyJarrett
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Quote:
Originally posted by manicx
Well, once again you are wrong! You make a comparison between a games only magazine (AP) and Amiga Active that was a general Amiga magazine. 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. This attitude turned me away of this magazine and you could see that it was wrong. I was a regular reader of AP, CU, AF, ACE, C+VG, Amazing Amiga and Amiga Active. I do rate AP really low just for this attitude. The AP team didn't vary in their game preferences. They were people with the same taste in computer games and this made them feel bossy and absolutists. Even if AP was not only a games only magazine, it would have been among the first to go down.
In the 80s, there was a symbiotic relationship between most magazines and publishers. Especially on the Amiga, publishers saw magazine reviews as extended advertisements for their games and in return magazines got exclusives, front page big names and free beer. In mags like Amiga Action, the plot of the game took up most of the review before a quick note about how nice the graphics were. In CU Amiga, a game like Superfrog would be an excuse for some uninteresting facts about frogs. Amiga Action even decided to review PC versions of Amiga games. Amiga Power came along and upset the status quo; they used the full percentage system, which meant that an average score was 50%.

Game reviews are a mainly personal opinion, although generic game flaws should naturally be brought up. What you saw as a bossy attitude merely came from the fact that AP weren't trying to please everybody at the same time. Game reviews must be based on an opinion of a game, or else they are a description of the plot and the game's features. You can read that from the back of the box. You are meant to read the review text and form an opinion about whether you like the game. It helps you to make a more informed decision on what to buy (which is important if you are paying a lot of money for each game).

You say that the "AP team didn't vary in their game preferences" and use football games as an example. Well, Amiga Power were the ones who championed Empire Soccer in 1994, so the idea that they had some sort of superiority complex with SWOS is ludicrous. Below is a list of games that got 90% or above - hardly a list with no variety in it.

As the saying goes, "Don't hate your enemy as it clouds your judgment".

Addams Family, The
Alien Breed 3D
Anarchy
Apidya
Arcade Pool CD32
Banshee CD32
Beneath a Steel Sky CD32
Big Six: Dizzy Compilation CD32
Bloodnet AGA
Cannon Fodder
Chaos Engine, The AGA
Civilization
Classics Collection: Delphine
Colonization
D/Generation CD32
Desert Strike
Dune 2: The Battle for Arrakis
Empire Soccer '94
F1
First Samurai
Flashback
Fly Harder
Formula One Grand Prix
Gem-X
Gloom
Guardian CD32
Gunship 2000 CD32
Harlequin
Head Over Heels
Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis (Adv)
Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker
John Madden American Football
Knights of the Sky
Legend
Lemmings 2: The Tribes
Liberation CD32
Max
Mega-Lo-Mania
Naughty Ones
Pang
Pinball Fantasies AGA
Pinball Fantasies CD32
Pinball Illusions CD32
Populous 2
Putty
Putty Squad
Rainbow Collection, The
Rainbow Islands
Rodland
Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo
Second Samurai
Secret of Monkey Island 2, The: Le Chuck's Revenge
Secret of Monkey Island, The
Sensible Soccer
Shadow Fighter
Sim City
Slamtilt AGA
Speedball 2
Stardust
Strike Fleet
Stunt Car Racer
Super Skidmarks CD32
Super Tennis Champs
Switchblade 2
SWIV
Syndicate
Syndicate CD32
Theme Park
Ultima 6: The False Prophet
Wizkid
Yo! Joe!
Zool
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Old 07 August 2003, 14:20   #23
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Quote:
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)?
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Old 07 August 2003, 14:33   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by CodyJarrett
You say that the "AP team didn't vary in their game preferences" and use football games as an example. Well, Amiga Power were the ones who championed Empire Soccer in 1994, so the idea that they had some sort of superiority complex with SWOS is ludicrous. Below is a list of games that got 90% or above - hardly a list with no variety in it.
C'mon mate, the AP crew were drinking wine in the name of Sensible Soccer. It's well know Stuart Cambell was just mad about this game. He reached to the point to speak about the best game on the Amiga. This is far from proffesional. One of the best? Maybe... But FFS! Not the best!
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Old 07 August 2003, 14:47   #25
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These types of discussions always arise whenever a magazine (be that printed or on teh intarweb) tries to reflect its opinion on something.

It's impossible to hold a grudge against AP because they liked SWOS that much. Even if they thought it was the best game ever, what of that? They're paid to have an opinion, write about it as eloquently as possible and sell the paper on which their articles are written. Period.

If you don't agree with a review or a score, fine, let it be know. But always bear in mind that a review is the expression of a subjective opinion, no matter how hard a reviewer tries to stay objective.

I thought AP's way of reviewing and scoring games was the closest to objectivism you could get. AP's journo's actually played the games they received to death (they died either of excitement or boredom). Other mags just wrote down the game's functionalities, added some PR blurb and threw a score at it.
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Old 07 August 2003, 15:49   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by manicx
C'mon mate, the AP crew were drinking wine in the name of Sensible Soccer. It's well know Stuart Cambell was just mad about this game. He reached to the point to speak about the best game on the Amiga. This is far from proffesional. One of the best? Maybe... But FFS! Not the best!
I personally think it IS the best game on the Amiga, you don't - fair enough, tastes vary. But are you saying that you hate AP because they had the courage to stand by their convinctions? Even though they lost a LOT of advertising revenue because of them? (and had Team17 threatening court injunctions for Christ's sake!)

AP cared about their READERS - to the detriment of advertising revenue - how many other publications can you think of that do/did that? Zzap did it in the 80s (I used to work with friend of Gary Penn's and met him a couple of times, I could tell you things you wouldn't BELIEVE), but who else? The line between arrogance and utter confidence in your mag is a very fine one - should AP be critisised for having complete confidence in their publication? AP was the best selling Amiga GAMES mag in the entire world for a REASON. I guess you're in a minority mate.
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Old 07 August 2003, 15:54   #27
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I think that perhaps Stuart Campbell/AP might have used such superlative language partly in order to emphasise the point that SWOS really is one of the best games ever, as good (but not necessarily classic) games were often described in terms such as "one of the best ever" in Amiga magazines, and readers might conceivably have become a little blasé about phrases such as that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marlon
I personally think it IS the best game on the Amiga
/me pats Marlon on the head
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Old 07 August 2003, 16:35   #28
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Quote:
I guess you're in a minority mate.
Noooooo! It was the minority who was buying the mag and that's why it closed down. No enough sales I am afraid.

SWOS may be good for one player game, but it will never ever get half as close to the 2-player mode of Kick Off 2. Sensi soccer's 2p mode sucks. And it will never ever have a strong community with 1200+ members, 2 official WCs, official rankings and so on... History proves which is the best, not AP reviews...
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Old 07 August 2003, 16:44   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by manicx
Noooooo! It was the minority who was buying the mag and that's why it closed down. No enough sales I am afraid.

SWOS may be good for one player game, but it will never ever get half as close to the 2-player mode of Kick Off 2. Sensi soccer's 2p mode sucks. And it will never ever have a strong community with 1200+ members, 2 official WCs, official rankings and so on... History proves which is the best, not AP reviews...
I give up!
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Old 07 August 2003, 21:17   #30
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manicx, youre being as much of an arse about this as you were about the Atari ST being inferior to the Amiga - WHICH IT BLOODY WAS!

Once AGAIN it is you in the minority!

Amiga Power stopped being made BECAUSE NO ONE WAS MAKING AMIGA GAMES ANYMORE!

Amiga Power gave honest, genuine opinionated and humorous reviews and was an entertaining read in itself independant of its intended content.

For me when AP stopped being made it was the end of the Amiga scene. As lets be honest, most Amiga owners were in it for the games and if you wanted to REALLY know if a game was shite or not it would be AP you'd check out first.
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Old 07 August 2003, 21:41   #31
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I was in close communication with J Nash & S Campbell during the court case (in a former life) and, although the case seemed to centre around AP2 (or "The A-Nows") vs just one individual (namely the CU Amiga editor at the time, I forget his name) and not the magazine itself, it's fair to conclude that the resulting damages paid by EMAP (not much!) were a huge contributing factor to the decision to close the magazine.

It was by no means a vindictive move by the AP2 authors, as they were both in otherwise gainful employment elsewhere at the time (by Future to name just one company who regularly used their freelance services, despite AP2's anti-Future sentiments) and had no allegience whatsoever to the Amiga and held no animosity to the "surviving" Amiga magazines (all of them losing money hand-over-fist as the months wore on.)

The action was driven by the principle that CU Amiga had stolen something that wasn't theirs to take. The editor's arguments were laughable and defence diabolical (claims included a lie that there were no copyright notices on the website; the fact it was on the Internet made it public domain; the website had no worth or value, etc.) It was also proved that the same CD as AP2 also featured copyright material belonging to Lucasfilm, The Football League and Apple Computer (!) all used without permission.

It was clear that things had become very sloppy at CU Amiga towards the end.

But anyway.

If I may join in the debate, I think it's important that the distinction should be made between Amiga power users and Amiga fanatics (who generally leant towards magazines such as CU and AF for a balance of techy articles and straightforward games reviews, mostly written BY anoraks FOR anoraks) and the solely games-mad users (who quite often wouldn't have even known what DF0: was, and, to be fair, couldn't give a hoot as long as they could play their new game they'd just shelled out 30 quid on.)

The people we used to call "lamers".

Amiga Power, (latter-day) The One Amiga and Amiga Action all catered for that latter audience, with Amiga Power outselling its rivals throughout almost all of its lifetime. Indeed, the entire team at Amiga Power were simply fans of GAMES and couldn't care less about the platform, except for the fact that they were all posted to a magazine specifically targeted at Amiga owners. Many of the writers came from C64, Spectrum and console titles and have since gone on to PC, N64, Playstation and X-Box titles.

Shoddy payola-based "give us money and we'll give you high scores" mags came and went. Amiga Fun anybody? Amiga Force?

I personally think that, at any point during 1995 and 1996, if Amiga Power had wanted to say "god, we're all getting a bit sick of these lame Amiga games, don't you idiots realise there's tons better games on the Playstation, N64 and - gagh! - even the PC (nngh!)??" then they should've been applauded for doing so. They never did, of course, but as far as journalism and creative writing goes, no-one - NO-ONE - in the history of videogame journalism has ever come close to the precedent set by Amiga Power for truth and honesty.

What people like manicx either forget or don't understand is that not every Amiga owner cared about the tedium that littered the pages of CU and AF "Workbench is great!" the tech mags lead you to believe, "SO GREAT, in fact, that you should download all these tools from Aminet that turn it into Windows 95! Let's see now, you'll need a *START MENU* and a *TASK BAR* and a *RIGHT-CLICK POP-UP MENU* etc." and page after page of "Accellerators are great! SO GREAT, in fact, that nothing of interest to any of you will ever require an acellerator. Nevermind, eh? You should all spend three hundred quid on something you'll never use."

For people who JUST PLAYED GAMES and saved up money to buy them, it was so important that magazines like Amiga Power were around. Whilst every other mag was accepting free lunches, promises of exclusives and other "revenue-generators" for their publishers, in return for a 90% Gold Award for the next shoddy Amiga game (many of which helped to kill the Amiga) Amiga Power eschewed the trend. It was hated by the establishment and by the companies who hoped to get away with sub-standard "product" (sounds of hundreds of disgruntled kids rioting in the streets after blowing thirty quid on a pile of poop).

So, yeah, just, like, shut up about Amiga Power. It was great.

[THIS CONCLUDES MY RANT. Or does it? OR does it? OR DOES IT?
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Old 08 August 2003, 03:21   #32
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Yeah! Mr Wright, you are Spot On (tm).

What I want to know is; WHY does Manicx (Surely pig-latin for "blighted, ignorant (michael Jackson, ed,) loving imblecile") INSIST on comparing the sales figures of mags that covered the ENTIRE AMIGA SCENE over those that JUST COVERED GAMES? You getting this yet MR manicX? You are a WaRzE BoY, this is both your crime AND your punishment. The irony...
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Old 08 August 2003, 14:51   #33
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Well, at least I didn't use any expressions to attack people like you did. This shows how low people can go when they don't agree with others. Mind you this is a community and in a community you can express opinions freely. But you have no right to attack members directly like you did. I attacked AP and its editors not you. I am an administrator myself in a community with 1200+ members and people like you are just banned.

BTW, editor in CU Amiga back then was Tony Horgan.
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Old 08 August 2003, 15:05   #34
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You took that as an INSULT? When it's so OBVIOUSLY just a joke? (I even used the "michael Jackson" gag from AP) If you're always this touchy and "deeply sensitive" maybe you shouldn't take the risk of expressing an opinion that others may disagree with. And I post on MANY different boards and have never had a problem.
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Old 08 August 2003, 15:11   #35
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I love the fact that we can all get along so well.
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Old 08 August 2003, 15:22   #36
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Yeah, touching isn't it?
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Old 08 August 2003, 16:02   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marlon
Mmm...not only are you a bounder and a cad; you're completely and utterly WRONG as well.
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Old 08 August 2003, 17:55   #38
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Amiga Power were the last true rebels of gaming journalism. Eurogamer gets close, but doesn't fill me with the same amount of awe as AP did in the days of yore.

AP was for games what Neon was for movies.
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Old 08 August 2003, 18:57   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by manicx
Well, at least I didn't use any expressions to attack people like you did. This shows how low people can go when they don't agree with others. Mind you this is a community and in a community you can express opinions freely. But you have no right to attack members directly like you did. I attacked AP and its editors not you. I am an administrator myself in a community with 1200+ members and people like you are just banned.

BTW, editor in CU Amiga back then was Tony Horgan.
Blimey.
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Old 08 August 2003, 18:58   #40
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It wasn't Tony Horgan that was involved in the court case. Maybe Andrew someone? Almost certainly not Tony Horgan (who was a fantastic Amiga journalist, advocate and all-round nice chap.)
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