It’s fun to read angry reviews of rubbish things. But enthusiasm reads great, too. ‘Valve just hit the high note no other developer could reach,’ from Edge’s Half-Life 2 review has stuck with me since I first read it (thank you nameless Edge contributor!).
It’s why all those annual Best-Ofs or All-Time Top Tens are so satisfying. Yes, it’s often the usual suspects of Halos and Dark Souls, the sequence lightly tossed. But it’s a thrill to see someone take things so brilliant and familiar, and coil them into two or three sentences that spring on reading. Here’s another from Edge (thanks again anonymous wordsmith!), from their Metroid Prime entry in their 2003 round-up: ‘Even if you gouged the game out of the middle, the game would still recommend itself. The gorgeous mapping system, the glory of the visors, the convincing decay of a civilisation.’
Which I suppose is a bit like my love for video game magazines in general. Because even if you gouge the video and the game out of video games, reading about them is still a pleasure. Not just a proxy fun of games relayed and recounted, but games refracted – through an old-school static of fixed words and printed pictures – into something different and awesome and new.
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