The Sunday Papers

Well, Monday morning, but I’ve been off at the London MCM expo doing my thang (And hello to any readers who said hi). Anyway, even if it’s Monday morning when you read this, it’s still a good time to sit back and take in a carefully prepared list of pieces which caught my eye this week which I tried desperately hard not to include any links to top disco classics.



  1. Mike says:

    I’m looking forward to the FC2 verdict. I feel this game may become another Bioshock.

  2. Dracko says:

    Jog does a write-up on the Prince of Persia graphic novel. I am pleased to see he can produce insights from the source material that is the original game itself too.

  3. unclebulgaria says:

    Should there be a link in paragraph 3?

  4. Pags says:

    I’d have quite liked to have posted something in-depth about how I completely and fundamentally disagree with Paul Boutin’s article on blogging, but was placated by Kyle Orland’s excellent and insightful piece on hype and now I just don’t have the ire necessary to put any effort into ranting. Shame.

  5. Megazver says:

    I have to ask, why the hell isn’t anyone reviewing King’s Bounty? Does it have AIDS or something? It makes me so sad. SO. SAD.

    Hell, even you guys promised one. But there’s still nothing. :(

    This game needs all the love it can get.

  6. Down Rodeo says:

    You call this the Sunday Papers?

    Nah, kidding, I can go to bed now. This means reading material for tomorrow! Yay!

    I couldn’t resist reading one, so I can report that the re-Retro article is rather humorous.

  7. Orange says:

    I want WAR to be successful purely due to Paul. I was a bit fed up with the genre but his enthusiasm sold me on it.

    I’ve not subbed, but I’m going to keep my eye on the patches in case the RvR and later tiers pick up.

  8. James says:

    If there’s any justice in the world, he’ll be sacked for that Far Cry 2 review.

  9. Ben Abraham says:

    *eagerly awaits RPS verdict on Far Cry 2.

  10. x25killa says:


  11. Frank says:

    I second the call for a King’s Bounty review and state my opinion that: if your blog isn’t the best at what it does and you don’t have fun writing it, there’s not much reason to keep it open. A small readership is no reason to shut down an excellent niche blog, though. Boutin seems only to be saying that blog-entrepreneurs are a dying breed. If he’s right, I sure wouldn’t miss them.

  12. shon says:

    Paul Boutin is so fundamentally wrong it’s hard to rant about it. It’s like bashing a Flat Earther.

    The argument that you shouldn’t blog because trolls will say nasty things to you was hilarious. If that is your reason for not blogging, it’s also your reason for not making games, writing books, or doing anything else that the public can consume. Cripes that is weak.

  13. jonfitt says:

    He was trying to say the trolls are the *only* ones who’ll probably ever read what you’ve written.

    I for one would not shed a tear for the passing of the amateur blog. If I’m going to spend time reading a long post I will read one by someone who has some authority in the area.
    You wouldn’t stand around at Speaker’s Corner looking for political advice.

  14. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    The thing isn’t that blogging is outdated, but rather, it finds itself in a position where it’s struggling against similar easy-to-use social networks, such as those Boutin mentions. But I don’t think it is as dismal as he portrays it, as each of these systems has its own pluses and minuses. Comparing them is about as useful as engaging in platform wars: one thing is better at something than the next, but will always have its own advantages.

    Also, that one of them has a wider audience than the other doesn’t really say much about them. Blogging has its hecklers as much as YouTube has its doe eyed, slurring cutegurrrl17s.

    In essence, the ability for less tech savvy people to instantly post text, images, or videos on the internet will always be the backbone of such mediums. It’s how people use them that gives them an edge. Yes, a single blogger can’t really compete against a game portal that churns out dozens of posts per day – but, why would it have to? It’s like saying indie developers should quit it because that’s not where the money is.

  15. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Kieron, put up some DeVotchKa clips next Sunday Papers, yes?

  16. guardian says:

    Article collision: The Gauntlet article has a really funny concept but dilutes it with its length, and the Wired article suggests dumping blogs for twitter because of the brevity.

  17. nabeel says:

    Looking forward to the Far Cry 2 verdict; I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.


  18. Leeks! says:

    I have mixed feelings about the death-of-blog piece, though I’d certainly be interested in reading a longer-form rebuttal, if anyone writes one.

    Also looking forward to FC2 thoughts from the hivemind. When I play the game, I feel it tapping that MMO/OCD part of my brain, and I can’t decide whether that’s a strength or not.

  19. sinister agent says:

    I’m with Shon on that blogging article. I suppose I should have known the rest of it would be wrongheaded dross the minute he used the word “blogosphere” without irony.

    The idea that facebook and twitter are a threat to blogs for producing written material is just ridiculous. I’m pretty sure decent blogs aren’t comprised entirely of lists of people who have no interest in talking to each other joining banal fad groups and uploading yet another picture of their cleavage.

  20. qrter says:

    That Far Cry 2 review seems kind of hysterical.

  21. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Lame. Why don’t you just suck a wiimote?

  22. Tuor says:

    Ha! A review of Gauntlet? I think not. Everyone knows that in Gauntlet, there was only one character of each class that could be played. There was no Red Elf, nor Yellow Elf, nor even a Green Elf. There was Elf, and he was alone.

    No, it was not until Gauntlet II that each of the four places at the game were color coded, and where you could play whichever class you desired. You could have four Elves, or none.

    It saddens me to my very soul that anyone who called himself an old school gamer could conflate the original Gauntlet with its later version! For shame!

    Contemplate this upon the Tree of Woe.

  23. Tuor says:

    I’ll leave my FC2 comments until RPS gives their review of it, but I agree with qrter that the cited Far Cry 2 review made me feel a bit disgusted by its over-saccharinated tone.

  24. Jochen Scheisse says:

    As people nowadays expect a review a few days after release, there is no middle ground to retreat to – especially high production value games just leave you visually stunned to a degree where it leaves you unable to see through the presentation.
    I remember watching the third Star Wars movie, or the newest Batman movie, coming out of the theatre and not being able to really say how I liked it, because these films were expertly produced to a degree where my brain had been kept from working out the content. Only after repeated viewing I could say that I did not love the third Star Wars movie (of course it still is a well-produced movie) and that while I really liked the Batman movie, it was just a really good action movie and the story was nothing special.
    I don’t expect much objectivity from a game review. Of course there’s the general game mechanics, there’s the graphics and the sound, and the system requirements and coding, which can all be categorized easily. But the question whether a game really grips you is somewhat hard to objectify, especially some week after you started it. I’m not surprised that reviews mostly border on the extreme, that’s the normal reaction after a week.

    That’s why I like the general timing of the verdicts, they could even come later. Although RPS is sometimes up to speed, I read this blog because it regularly digs deep and produces interesting perspectives. Ok, there are also the trailer threads, but they are spam threads, really.

  25. Meat Circus says:

    Why would RPS spend its valuable time doing a verdict on something as forgettable as Far Cry 2, whilst ignoring gorgeous PC curios like Kings Bounty and Hinterland?

  26. spirit7 says:

    The above poster is absolutely right about FC2 tapping into the MMO/massively addictive sector of your brain. For me, despite its flaws, that is it’s strength: giving you this sandbox playground to explore and unlock things in. It’s just a REAL pity that it’s only a ”good” game when it had the potential to be game of the year.

  27. Jim Rossignol says:

    I don’t think you could say that we’ve ignored Kings Bounty, with multiple posts on it. Hinterland coverage is on its way when I have time – we’re not exactly idle at the moment, and Hinterland is something I’ve had to put aside to review RA3, GTA4, Dead Space, and make time to play Far Cry 2, and Fallout when it turns up. The same is true for the rest of the team.

    We’re doing a verdict on FC2 because we all have something to say about it: which is the point of the site. Obvs.

  28. Dinger says:

    Boutin’s right for his point. Blogging is considerably more mature now than it was. The idea of “starting a blog and achieving fame and fortune” is a lot harder today than five years ago, and, to be honest, to get the “mindshare” he’s talking about, you really needed to start your blogging sometime around when Lum the Mad started his (Lud the Mad? Is that some sort of MMO-playing technology hater?), and that was a long time ago.

    Today, if you want a Blog to reach a wide audience, you need to find and exploit a niche, and to do that, there are a lot of pros out there.
    But the same problem exists with Twitter, Flickr or whatever. Once a social system gets established, it becomes a lot harder to work up the hierarchy. So most people end up on the lower tiers, the fringes of the little internet society, along with the deadbeats and outcasts (aka trolls).

    Ms. Alexander could have said the same thing about political news or sports coverage today. The tension is the same, but, contrary to what EA seems to suggest, both sides play the narrative game. The source wants to present a narrative (‘spin’) and the press wants to find one that sells (‘yellow’).

  29. Meat Circus says:

    I guess what I’m asking, Jim, is since RPS verdicts can be charitably described as ‘sporadic’, what’s the mechanism for choosing what game gets the verdict treatment?

    Far Cry 2 just seems a teensy bit ‘meh’ when held for brutal judgment against what I imagined were the criteria.

  30. Jochen Scheisse says:

    True, I’d like to see something about Hinterland.

  31. Jochen Scheisse says:

    And, (curse the lack of an edit function), while I totally understand you guys have to do all the big names, don’t we already get enough coverage of those? I mean, is there anything left to say about all those games you named, Jim? Or are they for your real job?

  32. Cataclysm says:

    The irony that Paul Boutin posted this rant on a blog.

    And his argument is so flawed it hurts my eyes.

    9/10 for stupidity.

  33. Pod says:

    I was “singing” the synthline to boogie wonderland in the shower this morning. Excellent choice of music. Isn’t verdine white such a cad? He looks like he’s on coke durnig every gig.

  34. drewski says:

    It’s rating 88/100 on Metacritic, making it the highest rating major PC title of the year. I think it’s worthy of discussion.

  35. Confidence Interval says:

    Formal request: More disco links on RPS, please.

  36. Meat Circus says:


    I can go to any lowest common denominator gaming site to read about Far Cry 2, though. There are many major PC titles that have passed by RPS unverdicted too.

  37. Kieron Gillen says:

    Re: Boogie Wonderland. The video came on the wall display in the pub I was in on Saturday night, and we were overcome with the sheer joy of it all to such a degree we were singing and dancing to it at our table all the next day. POP MUSIC.

    (Best of all, I love videos before they invented modern choreography. HUMAN)

    Re: What we cover in verdicts. Things which three of the four of us have played significantly is a normally the main thing that leads to a verdict, assuming it gets past our getting organised thing.

    Cataclysm: To be fair, he posted it on a major international magazine’s blog. Which is kind of his point. And claiming “Blogging is just a tech” as last time a similar discussion came up is the sort of pedantry which deliberately misses the point of what was being discussed. Of course, I still totally disagree with ‘im.


  38. Meat Circus says:

    Ah, so it’s really just blind chance, that enough of you had played it to proffer some kind of opinion on us?

    I SEE.

  39. Acosta says:

    Guys, give RPS crew a break, I don’t think you understand how extremely busy is a videogame journalist at this moment (and I don’t want to imagine the kind of schedule Kieron has being a freelance journalist and having to write a comic on a monthly basis). I´m really surprised you find time to write something at all, it´s great and inspiring seeing such a commitment.

  40. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Don’t forget that they also have to fight crime at night. No wait, I mean alcohol.

  41. MonkeyMonster says:

    All I can say is in the last 5 minutes Kieron went from saying Skaven 221 times to 780…

    Is that a new record and what was the discussion that made it possible? :D

    ps – good work, it really should be called “monday morning reading while ignoring all the so called important things that need to be fxed”

  42. Jim Rossignol says:

    Not really blind chance: we try to get everyone to play particular titles, but it’s not always possible – I didn’t play WAR, for example. We will all have played FC2, and that makes a Verdict worth doing.

  43. phil says:

    Al Ewing writes uncannily like Jonathan Nash, only he has a working, regularly updated website, these two facts combine to make exceptionally good news.

  44. Dolphan says:

    I quite like the idea of an RPS verdict ‘on us’. RPS verdict: RPS commenters.

  45. Meat Circus says:


  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    I quite like the idea of an RPS verdict ‘on us’. RPS verdict: RPS commenters.

    “Pretty, but too much DRM.”

  47. phil says:

    Having now read more of Ewing’s material, it seem’s the Gauntlet retrospective might have been one off, in term of comedy genius stakes :(

  48. Kieron Gillen says:

    Jochen: I never fight Alcohol.


  49. Radiant says:

    Meat Circus you’re being crap again.
    Oh and about Hype: it’s not just low end journalism that does it; the Economist plays the bait and switch with it’s front page lead every issue.