Games for Windows: issue 01 (impressions)

Well, I got home from work and felt that rumblin’ in my tummy. The apricots worked their magic all too well. Twenty minutes later I emerge from the other side of the looking glass a different man. Not a better man, no, not in any way that matters. Just different, transformed as the larvae to the butterfly. I have different eyes, now. I… see things, now.

Oh, and GFW is exactly like CGW.

RTS? Let me guess: Tom won.

(I’m a subscriber, it’ll probably be in my mailbox tonight…)

Stusser, you and Whitta should just get a (bath)room.

Dude, spoiler.

-Tom

Tom, that was a guess. I haven’t seen the mag yet. (It was in fact not in my mailbox tonight.)

… But when have you not won a Tom Vs. Bruce RTS match??? (Civ4 isn’t an RTS!)

Yeah, but you guessed right, so it’s a spoiler. :)

Actually, Bruce beat me when we did Empire at War, the Star Wars RTS, earlier this year. It was a total fluke, but he still won fair and square.

-Tom

There have many attempts, some where very close calls, But they always miss me when I start lagging!

No, you confirming my guess is the spoiler, dude :-D Until then it was just a guess!

Is it a spoiler if I haven’t seen Empire Strikes Back and beforehand, I tell you that Darth Vader is Luke’s cousin? No. If, however, I tell you Darth Vader is Luke’s father…well, there you go. Ha!

BTW, I’m neither confirming nor denying that I beat Bruce at Company of Heroes. I can, however, say that I didn’t lose and he didn’t win.

-Tom

<Neo> Whoa. </Neo>

If I never saw the flick, and I tell you that I think Vader is Luke’s dad, is that a spoiler? Maybe it is. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Is it a spoiler if I guess that Venom and Spidey actually fight at the end of Spider-Man 3? I have no fuckin’ clue whether they do or not.

I’m getting all metaphysically hypothetical over here!

I liked the preview of the new PC game boxes. They’re purty! And Jeff needs his Greenspeak column expanded to 10 pages (ok, at least 5). Why? Just because.

Does this mean that CGW/GFW will be distributed here in the middle of nowhere?

I really like the new look and change in attitude for the GFW mag but it launched at the worse time. I just don’t care about the pc at the moment and I think a vast majority of gamers probably don’t either with the 360 coming onto its own and the launch of two other major gaming platforms. I think that next spring, everyone will be getting Vista, DX10 games and vista, we will all be loving pc gaming again but not now.

You hit for +5 suckup damage!

I agree! And I suggest the first 9 pages be used for part of it! Did I just go there? Oh yes I did!

Seriously, after wading through the ads I was happily impressed that the switch was very smooth and all my favorites are back with a shiny new cover logo. Grats to you guys on a smooth transition and also kudos on bringing back the numbered reviews.

PC gaming is never getting my wife and I back. We’re sick of all the headaches that come along with the PC and Vista coming out (and the inevitable upgrades it will require) only made it easier for us to ditch the whole system. We dumped our CGW and CGM subs, donated our windows boxes to a local youth group (we’re Apple zealots, only using Windows for games), and picked up an Xbox 360.

Last night we were thrilled to run around bashing things in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and then have our heads popped like water balloons in Gears of War.

Um, glad you are speaking for yourself, cuz with Burning Crusade coming out, 1701 AD just released, Medieval II just released, Company of Heroes, etc etc etc, I’m feeling the PC love right now! I’ll be looking for the mag so I can see for myself how good it is.

Lorini

Yeah man, Company of Heroes and Neverwinter Nights 2 alone are enough to keep me good and hooked on the PC. And early next year we’ve got Hellgate: London and Supreme Commander. Jesus Christ we’re talking PURE FUCKING GAMING GOODNESS HERE PEOPLE!

I also have a 360 and yeah Gears of War rocks (except for the goddamned VGA aspect ratio bug) and I’ll be getting Marvel Ultimate Alliance sooner or later too. It’s not an either-or sort of world out there. I’m gonna wait until 2008 for my Vista upgrades – if you upgrade only every four years it becomes downright tolerable.

I got mine a few days ago, which I think is interesting since I never bothered to subscribe to CGW or this one. I guess Jeff knows what a huge influence I have over the gaming plebians… or something. As for the “new” mag itself, it seems rather PC-centric, if you ask me.

Hello? Is this thing on? Ahem. It reads like CGW, only more white, which is basically a good thing. I can’t really comment on the review format choices other than to say I hope they pick a format and stick with it. I don’t care for the point scale myself, but whatever. I give it ten thumbs-up.

Just adding a voice to the chorus about happiness with the reviving PC scene. In 2004, I had pretty much given up the PC as dead, seeing a series of lackluster console ports and bug-ridden releases.

OK, we still get bug-ridden releases, but it seems publishers are returning to titles that play to the PC’s unique strengths - Civ 4, Medieval II, NWN 2, Crysis, Armed Assault, Dragon Age… there’s some real gaming goodness on the horizon.

In fact, the games I had the most fun with this year were:

  1. Rome: Total Realism
  2. Oblivion (w/Obscuro’s Complete Overall + many many mods)
  3. Red Orchestra

Two of these are major releases that were heavily modded to make them much better games, and the third is a niche product that would probably never exist on a console. The PC’s still alive and kicking. And glad to hear that with Bill Gates refocusing on the PC as a gaming machine, this trend back to quality may even accelerate in the future.

Now if only publishers will finally focus on releasing polished games (I’m looking at you NWN2), we might even hope for a second Golden Age.

Chris

Some of us PC curmudgeons have backlogs of games to go through. I’m so PC-centric that I’m looking forward to the new console releases so I can finally buy a PS2 (hoping for a $99 price point), so I was eager to check out the new magazine.

Good stuff:

  • Reassuring propagan^^words from Jeff concerning editorial freedom from Microsoft.
  • Fewer black pages with white text. It’s easy on the eyes, but starts smudging off onto my fingers within 15 minutes of reading the mag. I prefer the traditional white page with black text.
  • Return of review scores. I really didn’t like the old scoreless viewpoint; the reviews seemed like term papers where text snippets from major on-line sites served to back up the claims of the CGW writer. I read all those sites already, so I wanted a new viewpoint. Don’t care if it’s 1-10 or 0-5 stars, just use the whole scale.
  • Few or no other changes from good parts of CGW’s setup. I’m looking at you, Tom vs Bruce & Greenspeak.

Bad stuff:

  • The short four page Microsoft “advertorial.” Not a fan of these multipage ads, even though they usually don’t decrease pages of content. Of course, it could be worse – PC Gamer’s Holiday issue has 32 pages of pimpage for wireless/mobile gaming.
  • I think CGW’s tech section was, as a whole, the weakest of the three major magazines, and no significant revamps occurred in the GFW transition. I get most tech information from the Internet, so this isn’t a big deal, but it’s still noticable.

Bottom line:
My CGW subscription was ending with the first issue of GFW, and I wasn’t planning to renew, mainly because of the scoreless viewpoints. I got the issue Monday, and sent in a renewal today. Nice job, Jeff & crew.