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Xbox Nation Magazine

Sadly, simplistic landscapes, tacky colors, dorky characters, and an utter lack of polish justify the bargain-bin pricing. The poor graphics even leech the thrill of deformable terrain.

Had to quote this again since I didn't pick up on the "tacky colours" comment. God. Tacky colours for fucks sake.

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It's very odd to have your work talked about like this. Reviews are easier to brush off but this is a community I'm part of so I feel some compulsion to respond.

Some of the criticisms - lack of polish etc. are perfectly valid I suppose. The game has been made on a low-budget and mostly without publisher funding. Serious bugs are inexcusable and are certainly not Crave's (or Warthog's) fault.

Stuff like the character design. colours and stuff is totally subjective. The characters look exactly how we wanted them to look. There are no compromises there. The way they are is was how they were designed. Poly counts are lower than we could have got away with main due to MY insistance that that the game runs at a rock-solid (or near as dammit) 60hz. I could have relaxed that and doubled or triple the polycount at the expense of smoothness.

I agree with the comment about the main character coming across as a bit of a wanker. Although I think that's down to the performance of voice actor (and perhaps mine and Biffo's lack of direction at the recording session) rather than the script. If I could I would have re-recorded (and recast) that role as I was never happy with it.

I'm loathe to winge about reviews but on a general level I find it a little depressing when the game is slammed over some of these issues. It seems to me that high-production values are being prized over good gameplay. Or perhaps I'm just kidding myself?

Ultimately, although there are a few things I'd change with hindsight (or a bigger budget) I'm very proud of Pillage. It's very close to the game we set out to make (better in some ways).

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I'm loathe to winge about reviews but on a general level I find it a little depressing when the game is slammed over some of these issues. It seems to me that high-production values are being prized over good gameplay.  Or perhaps I'm just kidding myself?

Well I haven't played the game but I'm having to accept in this day and age that perhaps Crave let you down on the review code support front. It's a tough call though - everyone recoils in horror at the thought of any interference in how they think the review process works, but it's fair to say the big companies manage the magazine staff very effectively. We've all seen big games get more favourable reviews than they ever deserved. Maybe with EA at the reins Pillage would have scored higher and the journalist not felt so compelled to be as honest as they were.

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Reviews SHOULD be honest though shouldn't they?

There's nothing dishonest about leaving out stuff that may not be relevant. Some of what I read in that IGN review is pretty savage - I'm not in a position to know if it's accurate or not, I'm just speculating that perhaps if you were a better known (dare I say American) developer you may have had a better outcome. Why shouldn't you benefit from an uneven playing field?

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Well it definitely pays to go and meet the magazines.  Ste and I were planning to do a press tour if we'd still been around.

I don't think you need to be American or famous - just show your face.  I did a mini-press tour in the US a few years ago for a licenced N64 game and we got a fantastic response to that.

Yup, well your publisher should have made sure that happened. But that's basically my point.

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I don't want to be a bore, but the game gets pretty mediocre reviews even by budget-game standard while everybody here praises it to high heaven. Is that because the developers are appreciated members of this board or are the reviewers totally wrong and is the game underrated? I haven't played the game myself yet, but I find the differences in opinion staggering.

I was being completely honest about how much I liked it. And a quick look on the gamefaqs board shows that while there aren't many comments, those that are there are very positive.

But I woulnd't even have tried it if the ZedTwo people didn't post on here (without very good reviews). I rarely venture outside the games Edge or you lot tell me to buy. If the reviews for FT don't reflect my opinion, then I wonder how many other games I've dismissed out of hand.

I speculate that not being easily pigeon-holed into a genre, having a budget price and cutting down the amount of money spent on cutscenes etc. are maybe all reasons to not be given a fair crack of the whip by net reviewers.

I predict an Edge 8, however.

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Stuff like the character design. colours and stuff is totally subjective. The characters look exactly how we wanted them to look.

They look great. As do the environments. Kind of like a more colourful, solid version of the world of "Herdy Gerdy".

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It seems to me that high-production values are being prized over good gameplay.

That's one of the biggest problems with reviews nowadays, the over-emphasis on production values. I don't care how gorgeous a game is, if the gameplay is terrible, it doesn't mean shit that you can see details a mile away. Good on you for dropping the poly-count in favour of a smoother-running game.

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That's one of the biggest problems with reviews nowadays, the over-emphasis on production values. I don't care how gorgeous a game is, if the gameplay is terrible, it doesn't mean shit that you can see details a mile away. Good on you for dropping the poly-count in favour of a smoother-running game.

But then some games manage both.

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This game is lovely and refreshing change and fun to play. It might not have slick polish the mass market want. But it is an excellent game for a budget game.

Not everyone have the money or resources to make a EA Blockbuster or Konami's Metal Gear Solid type games.

Be honest I wouldn't buy it, if I didn't know Zedtwo or Jpickford.

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^ He likes it but wouldn't have bought it (known about it) were it not for the forum.

'Wouldn't have known about it' I could understand (although he didn't say that) but if it's 'lovely', 'refreshing' and a budget price why would he not have bought it?

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'Wouldn't have known about it' I could understand (although he didn't say that) but if it's 'lovely', 'refreshing' and a budget price why would he not have bought it?

Because he wouldn't have known it was 'lovely' and 'refreshing' if he hadn't have bought it in the first place?

Do you buy budget games regularly expecting them to be so?

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I personally found the environments to actually be quite pretty, especially from the Valley of Screams onwards (I loved the motorway one).

o/\o

It is a relatively hard game (you have to think !1!!1!) though, especially early on as you get to grips with how the game works and I wonder how far some reviewers got before casting their aspersions on it.

Me I love it, but this sort of strategic-turn based-violence has always been my bag.

Oh and for what it is worth my two vandal heart- ring of red - dynasty tactics loving mates have been very taken with it as well.

Now if only someone would do an update of x-com.

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http://www.gamestyle.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=3014

EGM (US mag) score it:

I don't get it; surely not every major publication is overlooking the 'fun'. Are they?

I'm wondering if it's a US cancer. Does anyone use US reviews as a yardstick? I'm awaiting some solid and unbiased UK reviews.

I've been through the game 3 times now. Maybe I've been there and done it in story mode. Time for some multi play methinks.

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Because he wouldn't have known it was 'lovely' and 'refreshing' if he hadn't have bought it in the first place?

Do you buy budget games regularly expecting them to be so?

Fair enough, it was the bad English. He said 'I wouldn't buy it', and that didn't make sense.

Wish I'd not mentioned it now :D .

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I'd hardly say IGNs comments were a 'slating'

The score and closing comments depict to me a half decent game AND its on budget release.

Were people expecting more than that? Would the game be a budget title if it was something ground breaking or totally awesome?

I really think people's interpretation of scores are way off, when a game gets a 5 out of 10 that doesn't mean its shit, that means its average.

From what I can see this game is getting 5's, 6's, and 7's which means IMO generally considered an above average game. What's wrong with that, bearing in mind its a budget release?

I've played plenty of 'average' games that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

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I'd hardly say IGNs comments were a 'slating'

The score and closing comments depict to me a half decent game AND its on budget release.

Were people expecting more than that? Would the game be a budget title if it was something ground breaking or totally awesome?

I really think people's interpretation of scores are way off, when a game gets a 5 out of 10 that doesn't mean its shit, that means its average.

From what I can see this game is getting 5's, 6's, and 7's which means IMO generally considered an above average game. What's wrong with that, bearing in mind its a budget release?

I've played plenty of 'average' games that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Good summing up of Edge's definition of average. Very few seem to use that definition though.

If it's 'average' then what else is it like.

I'd say, again, it's great fun but not glossy slick. Should we be rewarding gloss or fun?

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That's one of the biggest problems with reviews nowadays, the over-emphasis on production values. I don't care how gorgeous a game is, if the gameplay is terrible, it doesn't mean shit that you can see details a mile away. Good on you for dropping the poly-count in favour of a smoother-running game.

Personally, I thought this of Lord of the Rings: RoTK. Absolutely impecable presentation and production. Absolutely pants game underneath it all.

But hey, one of my favourite games of all time is Moria: http://www-math.bgsu.edu/~grabine/moria.html or what evolved in to Angband: http://www.thangorodrim.net/

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