Wow! A game review worth reading

Trotter’s a great writer and one of the nicest guys I know.


Are we supposed to be shocked you’re backing up one of your own writers? :)

— Alan

Without a doubt one of the best in the wargaming genre. Just for my taste, I dislike reviews where the writers go off on personal tangents that do nothing in terms of describing the game. “Good” or “Bad” is purely subjective relative to review style (when you’re talking about a good writer,) as witnessed by the split here of those who liked the review and those (like me) who gave up after about 3 pages because the review appeared to be more about Bill than it did the game.

Much of the review is definitely about Bill but it’s not just about what he had for breakfast or something unrelated. He’s relating his personal experience regarding the subject of the game, and that’s something I can’t value highly enough. We’re talking about a wargame here, and quite a few people were affected by this war. I think it we shouldn’t completely forget that.

So the more people affected the better the game? How does that affect the game? The review?


I was raised in the Vietnam era; my father was in Da Nang (Air Force,) I almost went, many friends went, more than one friend died. I worked in Texas with a fellow who lost an arm over there. I watched the first fully televised war, with all its gore, and saw the effect on the US public. I remember Cronkite and all the others reporting on it.

I could give you pages of the effect of that war on my family, myself, and my friends. How growing up and watching the country around me change as a result of Vietnam shaped many of my beliefs. Watching Johnson on TV anounce he would not run. Watching Nixon’s handling of the war.

But I wouldn’t relate all of those personal memories in a review of Battlefield: Vietnam. Perhaps at most a sentence or two referring to how the game doesn’t depict the real experience in any way, shape or form, but probably not even that. The review isn’t about me, it’s about the game. Personal details pertinent to the review, perhaps, such as Denny’s F-15 flight and how that led him to realize that a padlock is NOT a cheat when reviewing a modern flight sim. But not a page on how he threw up and another page on how he had to go through 10 flight suits to find one that fit him and another page on how different the USAF flight manuals are from today’s thin game manuals, etc.

Again, just my opinion - others obviously like reading about how much a technician costs to help solve an installation problem. (and I didn’t mean that as a dig.)