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 NGamer Issue 4

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gjones
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PostSubject: NGamer Issue 4   Thu 10 Nov 2016 - 20:14

Ten years ago this week sees the release of NGamer Issue 4 (Dec. 2006).



Noteworthy for being the first issue with Matthew Castle in and
THAT review:
 

Reviews:

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario Slam Basketball
Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Baten Kaitos Origins:
 

Pokemon Diamond/Pearl IMPORT

There's plenty of Wii launch guide material and a review of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. A little odd that there's only two launch games reviewed.


Last edited by gjones on Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 13:02; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Thu 10 Nov 2016 - 22:09

Blimey, I still haven't got round to reading 3! The time between these issues felt a lot slower ten years ago . . .
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Thu 10 Nov 2016 - 23:28

Aye, I'm still halfway through 3 - but I saw the date in the Calendar section and realised I was doomed. DOOOOOOMED
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Thu 10 Nov 2016 - 23:38

You're lucky - I'm still on #2. Embarrassed I am into World of Nintendo, though.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Fri 11 Nov 2016 - 10:44

I've not started reading but I was never a NGamer person but I do think I would read a few around this time. I just couldn't seem to get the download to work, anyway what did they think of Baten Kaitos Origins as we never got here in Europe but is one of a few USA games I would think about importing for the Cube.

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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Fri 11 Nov 2016 - 11:21

masofdas wrote:
I've not started reading but I was never a NGamer person but I do think I would read a few around this time. I just couldn't seem to get the download to work, anyway what did they think of Baten Kaitos Origins as we never got here in Europe but is one of a few USA games I would think about importing for the Cube.


I'll type the review up tonight Mas.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Fri 11 Nov 2016 - 11:27

Cool thanks
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 11:37

I've been struggling to download this, so again I've not read the issue again. I definitely bought it in 2006 though, and I remember getting a bit excited by the high scores for Super Monkey Ball and Red Steel.

I have no idea how Matthew Castle got so excited about Red Steel. I was beginning to become very preoccupied with the Wii this time ten years ago, and I was so minded to believe that the Wii was going to be the "revolution" that Nintendo and the UK magazines promised it would be. Still, even I thought that Red Steel looked a bit dodgy at the time. I didn't buy it, but instead waited to borrow off of a pal in mid 2007. Once I played it, it was very, very clear to me that it was only an okay-ish FPS with some not-all-that-intuitive controls crowbarred into it. I don't see how anybody could have viewed Red Steel any differently - that's all it ever was.

Looking back, I usually felt that NGamer were a bit irresponsible with their scoring. I learned the hard way by spending hundreds of pounds on games that, according to NGamer, were supposedly fresh, creative and really good fun - but were actually a bit mince. NGamer was never so rash and misguided as they were with THAT review though. I admire 2006 Matthew Castle's enthusiasm, but what a mental overreaction that review was. Did anyone here end up buying Red Steel as a result of NGamer giving it 90?

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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 13:26

Have added that Baten Kaitos Origins review to the original post, Mas.

With regards to Matthew Castle's opinions - while I do feel he grew in to one of the best games writers out there, he does have some odd thoughts on certain games *cough* Timesplitters 2 *cough*
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 14:12

I'm nun the wiser with the review if its worth getting or not but thanks gJones.

On what Cappa is saying, do you feel their could be some fanboyness to it or keeping Nintendo happy as I also remember someone (it may even have been Cappa) say something about a NLife score which was a 9/10 for some game and then posted on here well that's really a 6/10 then.

On the keeping Nintendo happy but as when I've talked them about Gintendo they were right pain and I know its different but a few independent stores I know have issues dealing with Nintendo like getting games.

Now we know Matthew has gone on to OXM and from TRP does play games on other systems but I would think Nintendo is his first love and back then in 2006, you could very well have been a Nintendo only gamer and Red Steel may have been something new and fresher from the FPS's on Cube.

Just some random thoughts
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 14:16

masofdas wrote:
I'm nun the wiser with the review if its worth getting or not but thanks gJones.

On what Cappa is saying, do you feel their could be some fanboyness to it or keeping Nintendo happy as I also remember someone (it may even have been Cappa) say something about a NLife score which was a 9/10 for some game and then posted on here well that's really a 6/10 then.

On the keeping Nintendo happy but as when I've talked them about Gintendo they were right pain and I know its different but a few independent stores I know have issues dealing with Nintendo like getting games.

Now we know Matthew has gone on to OXM and from TRP does play games on other systems but I would think Nintendo is his first love and back then in 2006, you could very well have been a Nintendo only gamer and Red Steel may have been something new and fresher from the FPS's on Cube.

Just some random thoughts

I'm sure he's said he was a PC gamer in the 90s and only owned Nintendo consoles. Not sure if he owned a PS2 or Xbox.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 14:31

See if he was a PC Gamer then FPS was a genre which had vibrant library on PC.

Like I said it was just some random thought and it wasn't aimed at Matthew, it was more aimed towards Cappas last paragraph on NGamers reviewing and praise.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 14:51

There were certainly scores I disagreed with during its time: Super Paper Mario's 88, the 90 (I think it was) for Scribblenauts. I started to think that they rated games with novel ideas highly, regardless of the execution.

Never played Red Steel or its sequel.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 15:11

masofdas wrote:
See if he was a PC Gamer then FPS was a genre which had vibrant library on PC.

Like I said it was just some random thought and it wasn't aimed at Matthew, it was more aimed towards Cappas last paragraph on NGamers reviewing and praise.

Yeah I'm pretty sure Castle wasn't playing Quake and Unreal Tournament though. More likely Worms and Escape from Monkey Island. This is purely based off of TRP episodes, mind.

But I see your point. There are games such as Blade of Honor that were in the arcades in the early 2000s doing what Red Steel was doing, but using lightgun mechanics, and then first-person sword fighting was around in 2006 in games like Oblivion. I have Red Steel and will be playing it next week, happy to engage in conversation with others that have it (it's 50p in CEX).
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 15:20

Yeah I liked Cappas plan of just going CEX one day and seeing what you can pick up on the Wii for a tenner or less then sharing your experiences on here.

I think I would go for Red Steel for 50p.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 16:49

mas wrote:
I'm nun the wiser

There's yer new forum name. Razz

---

On Red steel I think maybe he was caught up in all the hype of wii and the new controller that it just created a snowball effect that made it seem better than it was, looking back it was definitely the new controls that got me really into it whereas it would have felt very average controlling that game with a normal pad.

Zero wrote:
Never played Red Steel or its sequel.

The sequel is the better game by a mile & one of the best early uses of Motion plus.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 17:08

Need Balla to bring back the forum RPG, Jas.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sat 12 Nov 2016 - 20:17

Nun the wiser is definitely a mage.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sun 13 Nov 2016 - 9:00

Pissed myself laughing at Nun the Wiser. Jesus Laughing

I don't think there was any fanboyness from NGamer. That Mario Slam Basketball review in this issue is a decent example - a quick check on Metacritic shows that they gave it 69%, which I wouldn't agrue with. I definitely think that there was a proneness for NGamer to get overexcited about new things though, and I feel that that's not particularly good practice when reviewing for a gaming magazine. It's a problem that started with Red Steel, continued in 2007 (Super Paper Mario, Manhunt 2, MySims), and got really, really bad in 2008-2009. It seemed that anything with a unique vision would automatically get over 80% from NGamer, regardless of everything else.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sun 13 Nov 2016 - 11:11

GNamer never did anything as ridiculous as some of the scores ONM gave first-party games. 96% for NSMB, are you having a laugh? They did have an overall air of positivity, but I enjoyed it. I didn't pick up a Nintendo mag every month to be told Nintendo are doomed or their games are gonna be rubbish. I wanted to be excited, and NGamer delivered that. When the reviews did come, I thought they were fairly balanced. Giving innovative games high scores is a pretty solid editorial stance.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sun 13 Nov 2016 - 12:01

I wanted to be excited too, but NGamer was overgenerous with their scoring. I felt that I ended up wasting hundreds of pounds on games that weren't nearly as good as NGamer indicated. MadWorld, MySims, Grand Slam Tennis, Wii Music and Epic Mickey all come to mind - all a bit 'new', all a bit different and all rated highly by NGamer, but all a bit mince if we're being honest.

Anyway, getting ahead of ourselves. As a Nintendo gamer, there was so much to look forward to in late 2006. What an age!
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sun 13 Nov 2016 - 12:16

Drunkalilly wrote:
GNamer never did anything as ridiculous as some of the scores ONM gave first-party games. 96% for NSMB, are you having a laugh?

You've said "GNamer" again, dude. Wink And they must have been having a laugh - whilst NSMB was fun, I'm not sure it was even 86%-worthy.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Sun 20 Nov 2016 - 9:54

I'm finally on this one - I haven't got the Red Steel review yet (Grant, good luck playing this, but... well... we'll see), but it's interesting that Pokemon was sort of on the ropes with Diamond and Pearl there. Also interesting: the first appearance of Cooking Mama.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Wed 14 Dec 2016 - 20:48

Naughty double post following the re-launch of Issue 5! That bloody Red Steel review, Castle. I wasn't 100% convinced at the time, and I still bought the bloody thing.
Do you know what I miss nowadays? Pages like the Previews Bonus page, where there's time to cover things that they either don't really know about yet, or can't believe exist and will never make it outside of Japan. It's rife for Greener-sarcasm.
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PostSubject: Re: NGamer Issue 4   Tue 7 Feb 2017 - 23:10

I'd forgotten Nun the Wiser. Laughing Absolute gold.
Jimbob wrote:

Do you know what I miss nowadays? Pages like the Previews Bonus page, where there's time to cover things that they either don't really know about yet, or can't believe exist and will never make it outside of Japan. It's rife for Greener-sarcasm.
That's the sort of thing that happened because of the nature of magazines. In the internet age, nobody's uploading 100 previews that will never be clicked on. Sad.

Other than all the Wii hype, which I almost find myself getting caught up in 10 years after the fact, the thing I notice is the little story about people petitioning for Beyond Good and Evil 2. See, taking action does get results . . . eventually.

Anyway, some choice phrases:
  • At first, Sam Fisher's antics couldn't annoy you more if ol' Three Eyes took it upon himself to stealth his way into your home while you're asleep and wake you with a mouth-to-mouth re-vomitation.
  • More dry and boring than three-day-old toast.
  • Games this bad make us wish we gardeners for a living.
  • It's ironic that Twilight Princess is obsessed with light. Because once you have it, light is the one thing you won't be seeing for a long, long time.
  • Solid Snake. Old, like your dad, but still capable of loving a lady big-time. What a guy.


There's no denying Matthew got a bit too excited about Red Steel. That said, he was right about Wii having the best controls for FPS games, and it's a shame not much ever came of that.

And after my parents, my brother and Muss all failed, it's Greener who has convinced me to have another crack at watching Battlestar Galactica.
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