This discussion is one of the most inane I have perused in quite a long while. Let me see if I can summarize:
Complaint that CGM no longer lists the publisher’s minimum specs
Complaint that CGM no longer tests games on many different configurations and lists performance specs
Assertion that the reader should be informed as to how the game will run on his/her machine
Assertion that the technical specs are a deciding factor in a game review
Let me begin with issue #1. The magazine no longer includes information which can be found on the game’s web site, the game’s box, and in a multitude of other places. This is no big loss, and certainyl not a deal-killer.
Regarding issue number 2, I fail to see the relevance. If the game specs listed on the box are not accurate, then you are implicitly requesting that CGM test the game on many systems and give a performance review. Pardon me for being obtuse, but is performance the number one issue in deciding if you should purchase a game? I, for one, would rather have a more in-depth report on other factors, such as how enjoyable the game is. Battlefield 1942 suffered from horrible performance, and this was mentioned in the review. I didn’t need the extra space to tell me that, yes, my 1.4GHZ cpu and gForce 2 MX would probably not be running the game at 1280x1024 at 200fps. But the review also claimed it was an incredibly enjoyable game, and I had a great time playing it.
In addition, this breakdown of systems and performance requires two things in short supply: Time and Space. If knowing that Unreal II runs at 47.6 FPS on a 2Ghz processor with X details and Y card costs me a review on a game that is off the beaten path, I do not want those details. If the extra space taken up for the chart cuts 200 words, I do not want it. If the space is instead taken from one of the non-review, non-preview articles, than do not even THINK about putting it in. Issue #3 above goes hand-in-hand with this problem. There are things that are much more important to me than performance statistics, which can be found on any given gaming forum.
All in all, I question the amount of angst some people are displaying about the lack of either platesting the games on various setups (which is never done, and is patently a waste of time) and listing the publisher’s recommended hardware (which is a joke and a waste of space).
Besides, I would much rather read a 5 page article on griefiers in MMORPGs than a table detailing the framerates of XIII on our 15 test machines.
So while we are requesting changes in CGM’s format, I’d like to ask that even more columns are included that contain commentary, rather than publishing a giant advertisment for upcoming games like so many other news magazines (and websites). Because I really DO read it for the articles.