Play Magazine: Youse guys neede a gud pruf-reeder

I love Play magazine. The art direction is usually pretty great, and the writing style suits my expectations of a gaming magazine for grown ups.

But this month, I had to put the book down after reading the Gears of War review. I’m certainly taking this a bit too seriously, but I don’t think it’s too much to expect a newsstand publication to know the difference between your and you’re, or to know when to use apostrophe-s (possessive and contractions only, people!).

Very shoddy. 6th-grade proof-reading is actually one of the reasons I stopped reading Computer Games magazine.

I hereby offer up my professional-grade proof-reading services. Send me a PM if you’re interested. :rolleyes:

Heh… Play’s reviews are kinda like the ones in Famitsu from what I’ve heard. Make of that what you will…

They do get the best interviews and have the nicest screenshots though.

Play is what it is. I’ve been following this particular wagon since it was Gamer’s Republic back in the day, and I’m on board for whatever they do.

You do have to take their reviews with a grain of salt. They’ll goober all over the latest Sonic game, or anything that Treasure has even breathed on.

Still, I discovered Cowboy Bebop through them, as well as some other hidden gems, and that makes the subscription worthwhile.

I really like Play’s layout and art direction, as well as their enthusiasm which is pretty rare in games journalism. And I appreciate that Halverson is still one of the few in the press banging the drum for platformers.

But, yeah, I would never buy a game based on only their reviews. They do a good job at alerting me to something I might have overlooked but I still need to see some kind of backup for their impressions.

I stopped reading Play when the editor said Enter the Matrix was more fun than the law should allow.

If they could make a version of their magazine that limits the maximum number of unnecessary adjectives per sentence, I’d think about a subscription. As it stands now, it’s too full of flowery prose and nonsense to be anything more than a casual newsstand purchase. Better than the other extreme (I’m thinking here of Gamepro with its circa 1985 layout and articles that must have originally been written in crayon) to be sure, but not by enough.

That said, they do come up with a lot of good random finds. I usually (as mentioned above) regard their scores as meaningless, and I would appreciate a far better signal-to-noise ratio in their prose, but random finds are often the best one can expect from game mags.

I haven’t picked up a copy of Play in a while. The last time I did, Dave Halverson was the editor and writing a surprising amount of material in each issue. The art direction was good, but the text was painful to read. “Enthusiastic” is the kindest thing I can say about it.

Play magazine prose is like the 80s-90s GamePro/EGM writing. Halverson splooges over everything as the Best Thing Ever™ and it’s really childish and annoying.

Agree on everything except the inference that Gamepro has improved. I didn’t read it back in the day when it and EGM were comparable (which I fully believe), but it is still a sorry excuse for a magazine. It’s like a cut and paste of gamefaq forums.

Aw, give 'em another chance! The errors used to bother me too, but they’ve gotten a lot better. I hardly ever use the red pen when reading CGM anymore. I have, however, used a black Sharpie to draw hair on Steve Bauman and mustaches on random Hawt Elf Chicks in the ads.

People read Play after that Sonic the Hedgehog 360 review? That was the single most ridiculous review I have ever read. Dave Halverson is not playing the same videogames as the rest of us.

I now. I use too hate that shit.

Did you read the Play Magazine review of FFXII? It was absolutely awful. The reviewer spent the entire time rambling about how astoundingly good the game was without giving the reader any worthwhile information. The grapevine says she was once Tom Chick’s Sith-like apprentice, but I’m hard-pressed to see the comparison. For those of you who didn’t see the review, here are a few examples of the author’s masturbation:

I’ve fallen completely in love with this game, and don’t want the relationship to end. I’d rather spend thirty more minutes not knowing how it concludes than ever draw my sword against the final boss

If pixels had gravity, then FFXII would be the dense center of the universe.

I’m not afraid to give Final Fantasy XII a ten. It’s just overwhelming to have played perfection. And that’s just what this game is; extraordinary to the point of awe. I’m confused by how good it is.

Final Fantasy XII is the first mature game I’ve ever played. Whether it be the wisdom of the story, language or of actual gameplay, its hard to imagine playing another RPG after this.

And I’ll add this: I’m embarrassed to love other Final fantasy games. They seem so childish now, the plotlines straightforward and sophomoric. How can I invoke an unsoiled memory of Squall or Cloud when Basch is a thousand times the man they were.

And my absolute favorite:

I don’t even know how to encapsulate the experience of FFXII in two pages. The title is so grand, so erudite, that I feel illiterate by comparison. It is so much greater than I.

Diehard Gamefan and Gamer’s Republic were fine for teenagers back in the 90s, and the ‘import gamers’ who wanted to be elitist. I remember the EGM/GamePro of my youth in the early 90s (Junior High)–I even loathed them then since the writing was all regurgitated ad copy fawning over each game. Back then, Diehard game store’s ads in the EGMs were ‘the’ cool thing since they had anime characters/licensed games and imports in 'em. GamePro was even more childish (I haven’t seen a GamePro since 2002) but that was what the writing was in all the magazines (Game Player’s multiformat, VCG entertainment, Electronic Games–not sure why at the time but fuss was made about Katz/Kunkel fronting it) even the PC gaming ones EXCEPT for CGW. I can’t even remember what CG’s previous name was anymore. I’ve unloaded boxes and boxes of PC magazines in the past 5-6 years so I’m losing track now.

What was the glossy magazine that competed with with CGW back in the day? Same publishing (Sendai) co. as EGM I think, the one with the 3 numeric scores from 3 reviewers? CGR? It wasn’t multiformat.

EGM grew out of it to grow something of an editorial backbone but GamePro hasn’t. GR/Diehard Gamefan/whatever that other magazine Halverson (or did he?) started stillborn (with the Stretchpanic cover) has graduated to full-blown self-masturbatory fanboyism over any/every game and anime. Still completely unfit to wipe my ass with. PC Gamer used to have better writing when it started. It and Next Generation were standouts.

Yes, PC gaming is dying. There were a hell of a lot more PC gaming magazines then. That or game magazines period are dying.
Remember Incite Gaming?

CGW-GFW went through the 00s turning to crap after Johnny Wilson (95-04) and only got better recently under Jeff.

Steady on there. If you’re suggesting that CGW was crap from 1995 to 2004, I think you’re casting too wide a net. Some of the best (not to mention thickest) issues of CGW are from the late 90s. I’d list some examples of articles that are still entertaining and relevant today, but I think I’ll just wait for that guy Stephane to scan the remaining issued onto PDF.

Regarding the magazine’s post-millennial decline: As a regular reader of both CGW and PC Gamer, I used to advise friends that CGW had great writing but was getting worse, while PC Gamer was sophomoric but improving. But, er, that was a long time ago. Let me chicken out by saying that I’ve since been pleasantly surprised by both!

Besides, I think it’d be great if the present PC Gamer staff were to dress up in medieval costume like they did in Gary’s day…

Some of those issues were great at the dawn of 3D acceleration and before Martin Ciriulis turned into a spiteful developer immune to criticism, he wrote a great grumpy gamer column.

I didn’t mean to tar the whole run–I apologize for not having narrowed it down to the George Jones run.

PCXL was decent too even though I didn’t like the misogyny.

Holy shiat, that was execrable. I flipped through the issue with the Sonic review and as the Angry Nintendo Nerd says, my penis had diarrhea.

Clearly she is now Halverson’s padawan, as only he could be the source of such unmitigated bullshit. FFXII is great and all, but you’d have to be fucked in the head to say such things about it. I have never heard of or seen anyone actually getting paid off in this industry, and I don’t believe it happens, but Play makes me seriously question that belief two or three times a year. I’d hate to think anyone would spout such drivel for free.

While we’re on the subject of Play-bashing:

Some of the best examples of Halverbole (hur hur) can be found in his scarily adoring anime writeups. Let me disclose that I haven’t seen 90% of the stuff he watches, so he just might be totally right. Regardless, here’s Dave channelling Walter Cronkite to wrap up a review (for FLCL vol.2) from a few years back:

Intrigued? It makes no difference. I have FLCL, so who the hell cares? If you don’t check this series out, your life can’t possibly be complete. That’s just the way it is.

The Sonic review was terrible.

You could put a garbled bunch of random code on a burned DVD-R and Play magazine would give it a rating of 8.0.

I must admit, however, that their presentation is very slick. Does anyone know how well the magazine sells?