Games for Windows: issue 01 (impressions)

I just picked up the first issue of GFW at my newsstand today, and after reading through it only one word comes to mind to describe it…MEATY, its packed full of gaming goodness!

I’m not one to buy a magazine that states its an official anything, the word official (to me) tends to say this magazine leans to one side. But knowing that this wasn’t the case with GFW I bought it, besides its not like there’s a whole lot of choices when it comes to PC gaming mags.

My impressions:

Cover: I hate the large and annoying windows Logo, otherwise a nice cover. 5/10

The writing: Top notch as always. 10/10

Articles and content: Wide verity of PC game information, interesting articles like (secret history of religious games: the business behind God gaming), and great tech information. Glad to see Tom vs. Bruce is still featured! 8/10 (-2 *nothing about 1701 A.D., PC GAMER did)

Game review system: I liked the no score system that CGW adopted in its final days. But if GFW is going to use a score system I prefer the (0-10) score over the Star system, I glad they decided not to go back to the stars. 6/10

Game Demos: Come on guys not everyone has broadband, give us 56k’s some love. 1/10

Final thoughts:
Overall I happy with the magazine and will subscribe even though it has that silly Windows Logo on it and mentions GFW is the “OFFICIAL” Windows Magazine at least 100 time (we get it, Bill Gate’s now owns you).

I really hope this new “Games for Windows” approach to PC gaming catapults PC’s to its rightful place next to the consoles as a genuine platform in the gaming market.

Didn’t they kill all you guys yet?

My take was: people still have regular phone lines?

The irony is, the new PC Gamer has a big, fairly interesting article and interviews about MS’s Games for Windows program and even visits an EB that has the new kiosk system in place. In fact, the article read like it oughta be in the Official Gaming for Windows Magazine. :D

I leafed through the new mag at a Borders. I don’t really have anything to say about it – it really doesn’t seem much different than CGW, for better, worse or in between, aside from bringing back reviews with number ratings.

And yes you have some people where the cable company’s screwed up, and the DSL companies can’t get a line to your place for whatever reason, or your spouse doesn’t want you to go hiding in your MMORPGs. There’s still plenty of reasons people get stuck with dialup. What stunk with me is that by the time I finally got broadband (cable), my interest in online gaming was nowhere near what it was when I had a crummy dialup. It’s all about the timing. :p If only I’d had broadband when I was sinking my whole life into Diablo (“1”), Ultima Online and some other moldie oldies.

I just got it in the mail today, haven’t had a chance to read it yet as I’m still going through last month’s wired. I only read magazines while dropping a deuce, and haven’t pinched a sugarloaf since roughly 10AM this morning. I had a cobb salad and a cranberry muffin (not bran) toasted with butter for lunch, so that won’t be much help, barely even a stink nugget turtlehead there, but I did dine on slowbraised shortribs with red potatoes and a sourdough roll for dinner tonight, so assuming I get a nice chipotle carnitas burrito with beans (I usually get fajita, but I’ll make the sacrifice) for lunch tomorrow, which I think I can manage, I oughtta poopadoopaloop and wrap my off-hand around GFW tomorrow around sevenish.

I’ll be sure keep you all updated regarding my bowel movements as they progress. It’s the least I can do.

No, stusser, you can do MUCH LESS THAN THAT, and you SHOULD.

I lolled.

Where vocabulary meets improv.

I have to say that the first thing that struck me was the huge logo. But I hope to catch it on the newsstand, and good luck on your new mission :)

I found it eerily similar to Computer Gaming World.

Chuckle Midnight.

It was much the same for me as well. But the Tom vs Bruce was a classic again - Company of Heroes!

I give it 8/10 as an idea, 3/10 for implementation.

For the idea - I have to say that I like the scoreless system as well. And since 0-10 is the same as 0-5 stars with half stars, it is a decent system. So long as they aren’t half-pointing and scoring every technical detail individually as if there was math involved (writers and math … I shudder to thing ;) )

For the implementation - for me, the proof of the pudding is that they were unable to hold together a scoring system that works consistently within a single issue - reading the text of the reviews there are games with low scores that are reviewed more positively than games that got higher scores (don’t have my issue with me to cite specifics).

I am all for the full use of the 0-10 range and abolition of the 7-9 scale … but it looks like the reality is that some average to good games will be used as ‘test cases’ and fucked over with a 5 or 6 while others will sail through with a 7 or 8, leading GameRanking / MetaCritic scanners to assume they are actually better - and making it unclear what service is actually being provided to comsumers by ‘reinventing’ the scoring system …

I really like it, but then, I really liked CGW and have been a subscriber for 10+ years, and not much has changed from November’s CGW to December’s GFW:TOM.

The cover is kind of annoying, the big honkin’ logo makes it look way less artsy and cool than the old CGW covers, but that’s a nitpick.

The articles, columns, previews, reviews and features were all familiar warm and snuggly CGW fare, which was perfect. I was worried they’d try some sort of hip techno makeover to establish the new magazine, which would have been a disaster in my opinion. I’m glad to see common sense prevailed and the design remained mostly unchanged.

I was very happy to see the ratings system back in the reviews. Call me a content whore, but I enjoy reading every word of my gaming magazines, so seeing “2/10” doesn’t make me skip a review, it only makes me curious as to why the game sucks so badly. Seeing 9/10 on a game I otherwise wouldn’t have glanced at on shelves makes me want to read and find out why. So it’s win-win, I get instant gratification of the scoring system, and then I get to read long-winded opinions full of geeky Star Wars and Lord of the Rings references (nothing wrong with that, no sir!) about why each game merits said score.

In summary, great job with the changeover CGW…er, GFW! Kudos to Jeff, Darren and all the other great folks at the magazine for making the transition a smooth one and keeping us well informed the whole time. Hopefully this means the magazine gets much larger distribution channels, more subscribers and dumptrucks full of additional ad revenue. I expect to hear all about how the toilet paper in the men’s room at GFW has been replaced with $100 bills and how the vending machines now dispense free champagne and caviar, or at least Mr. Pibb and Red Vines.

I welcome our new alien overlords! All Hail Zune! Vista Is Life!

Yay scores are back! Sorry guys I wasn’t a fan of the scoreless reviews. Glad to hear the normal columns and Tom V. Bruce are back as well.

Inquiring minds want to know … Has Eggbert made a return appearance in another adventure tale?

I have not yet defecated. Unfortunately I had a light sushi lunch instead of a hearty chipotle burrito. This was forced upon me as it was a working lunch. However, on the way back to the office I snagged a bag of dried apricots from the deli, which should take stir things up in the basement recroom. I believe my 7PM target is still attainable. More to come as this ongoing story develops.

The Zinio website hasn’t been updated to reflect the new name, is the digital version dead?

I just got a message that I can extend my digital subscription for $8 … yet I got my print version but not the digital …

No, I’m pretty sure that post counted, Stusser.

Contact Penny Arcade, I think they’re looking for a fill-in writer.