The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for trying to get a collection of interesting mainly-games-related reading from across the week posted before you have to run to the cinema, hoping you don’t – in your haste – find yourself including a link to an edited version of a pop song that you’re sad the full-length version isn’t easily available yet.



  1. LukeE says:

    hmm… penguins.

    I’m sure I had an opinion on one of the actual articles in the sunday papers as well. But I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was.

  2. SirKicksalot says:

    Oh man, Derek completely owned Gamespot! That was a fantastic read.

  3. Batolemaeus says:

    This is honestly the first sunday papers in the history of sunday papers where i couldn’t find anything that i was interested in. :(

  4. Lilliput King says:

    “Reviews are written by other mere mortals like me, you and other game developers and gamers. They’re not infallible.”

    Oh, give it up Derek.

  5. Waste_Manager says:

    I find Derek Smart a very unpleasant person on paper. Nothing I have read by him yet hasn’t been outside the scale of arrogant to rude. I got through the first 2 paragraphs of his post, realised it wasn’t going to be any different, stopped reading.

  6. CaseytheBrash says:

    That was a very long attempt to marginalize GameSpot, was it worth it, they do fairly well on their own? Who’s ego demands that? Christ on toast…we need more “Dev Approved Reviewers.” Maybe they can even make a seal for it.

    Hey, on the brighter side of things, he’s learned to name drop. That’s something!

    • Lilliput King says:

      He’s been doing that for a while. He claimed to work with Valve every day a week or so ago.

  7. Kester says:

    Good Lord, that picture of Michael Winner must be against some kind of law, surely?

  8. Sagan says:

    I bet this discussion was on RPS before, but it really is a shame when someone is able to make good games, but is unable to sell them well. I think I would have bought The Spirit Engine 2 by now if it had been put in front of me more often.
    If I remember correctly I really liked the demo when you first linked to it, but I was simply short on time and money, because it was Christmas 2008. Now happens to be a bad time, too, with too many RPGs coming up, but I would have bought the game earlier this year, had I remembered it.

  9. JKjoker says:

    nothing about the batman aa publishers (and some weird forum posters talking about pirates like if they were ex-girlfriends) openly masturbating after they managed to fool pirates for a few hours after the game got leaked two weeks before release ?

    i find it kind of unsettling knowing that devs now include intended bugs into the game, particularly bugs that if they were to happen to a real legal customer (you know, drm malfunction, it has never happened before, hasn’t it ?) he would only get sneered at and given a sarcastic “pirate batman cant jump” response

    and what did they get in return of their investment in drm ? a working copy of the game was only leaked 1.5 weeks before release instead of two, hurray!

    • Ravenger says:

      That’s already happened. There are some postings on the Batman AA forums from apparently legit customers that have had the DRM triggers activate causing the same gameplay problems. And yes, they are getting sneered at and accused of piracy.

      The thing is that this sort of thing isn’t new – Mass Effect had the same type of DRM system which caused the weapons to overheat, and the stellar map to be inaccessible if it thought you had a cracked version. Again there were reported cases of legitimate customers with that problem, and who ironically had to resort to game cracks to get the game working.

      DRM schemes which introduce deliberate bugs have a habit of rebounding on legit customers, and in the end the developer/developer.

    • Ravenger says:

      Of course I meant developer/publisher. Where’s the edit button? :-)

  10. Arathain says:

    I think the whole community feedback in MMO thing is very interesting. What a fascinating line for developers to have to walk. Forums can tell you a great deal, from bugs to solutions to balance problems, and even a sense of what features are most important to be working on. But lord, there’s a lot of noise to sift through.

  11. Paul S. says:

    Derek Smart is always interesting. Ta KG.

  12. yutt says:

    If the reviewer didn’t play more than 2 hours, and clearly had a negative opinion of the game… isn’t that a blaring indication of the value of the game? He’s already admitted his game isn’t mainstream. GameSpot’s market is mainstream and casual gamers. I am not saying the review was fair, but it was an accurate example of exactly what the typical GameSpot reader would have done in the same situation.

    Although I doubt they would make it 2 hours in to a game they didn’t immediately like. Isn’t what happened in the process of the review in-and-of itself a statement on the accessibility of the game?

    Granted I agree with Smart’s earlier assessment that integrity and trust in reviewers is essential. Which is why I read RPS and not GameSpot. But that’s my point, those who do read GameSpot are the sort of people who probably would give him game a similar review or lower.

    To seal how correct I am, with 136 user reviews, the average score is 1.8. Are they stupid people? Is this an unfair and inaccurate treatment of a hidden gem? Probably, maybe. Go cry to Edgar Allen Poe about that. Stop making inaccessible games the general market doesn’t want and then acting offended and shocked when your game is panned by mainstream critics.

    Also; Derek Smart bemoaning about America losing it’s manners is rich. For someone so opinionated and often borderline hostile, he is remarkably thin-skinned.

  13. Quinns says:

    I think I need to start wearing exclusively tight clothing.

  14. Blackberries says:

    Re: Dave Taurus’ exit letter… Thank you for existing, RPS.

  15. Archonsod says:

    Derek has a valid point. There are certain reviewers who regularly write for Gamespot (and a couple of other sites) that, if you turn off the picture loading in the browser, you can’t even tell what genre the game is in after reading the review.
    He’s preaching to the choir though; I doubt anyone interested enough in his games to read his blog would be likely to read Gamespot reviews in the first place.

  16. Kester says:

    As regards Derren Brown, I understand John’s frustrations. I’d always suspected that maybe he was more interested in science and scepticism as patter than as anything else, but was willing to give him the beneift of the doubt. This new show is selling mindbogglingly stupid pseudoscientific ideas that there are every chance people will believe. Unless it’s all leading up to a finale where he chastises everyone for being gullible morons, I’ve lost all respect for the guy.

  17. Vandelay says:

    First off, I’ll just say I’m a massive fan of Derren Brown and have watched all his shows and seen him live a couple of times, but I found John’s rant about him to be as miserable as all the other ones I had read. Of course it was a trick, and of course he wasn’t going to come on last Friday and say it was a split screen. Anyone who beliefs what he said about the Wisdom of Crowds is clearly fooling themselves and also has no experience with Derren’s previous work.

    Having said that, I did find previous Friday’s lottery show to be perhaps the most mundane stunt he has done. The explanation was so implausible that it wasn’t even worth considering for a second. The alternative machine rigging explanation he gave was much more fun, but again not going to convince anyone. But what was really needed was the extra footage that was supposedly shown to the audience he was with – link to (if you don’t want to trust The Sun, I’ve seen it mentioned in other places to.) This would have added that much needed mystery that would have added that seed of doubt that is always great in Derren’s work (although, judging by John’s rant about The System, I assume that would have angered him even more.)

    The show that was on this Friday was much better. The premise was certainly more interesting than the rather ordinary lottery prediction trick and the build up to it also had better tricks. He wasn’t able to glue me to my seat, but I would be lying if I said that the show had no effect on me. An important part of the trick was obviously wanting it to happen, so any Brown hater won’t be turned around by it, but it was still a good fun show that makes me look forward to the rest of the series.

    • Funky Badger says:

      I suspect/hope Brown’s set up a massive reveal for the end of the series.

  18. TCM says:

    Derek has a valid point, but it’s a shame that he has about as much credibility to me as Gamespot does.

  19. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Interestingly enough, I found that the meatier portion of Derek Smart (Derek Smart! Derek Smart!!) was toward the beginning, where he enshrines the goodly works of Messrs. Gillen, Rossignol, and Stone, and decries the erosion of The Review into something most people don’t pay attention to. At the risk of sounding lame, the RPS crew is my “source” for finding out more about a game before buying.

    Aside from that, however, Messr. Smart’s rebuttal of GameSpot seems a little less than worthwhile. He put more effort into parrying a trivial assault from a hack reviewer than said hack reviewer put into his assault. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy All Aspect Warfare when I saw the videos of airplanes duking it out over terrains taken straight from MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, a game I worshiped about 13 years ago–and I didn’t need a review at all for that.

  20. yutt says:

    Why is it everyone who responds to John Walker about the Derren Brown stunt completely misses the point? I shouldn’t even bother attempting to reiterate it here, because John did a half dozen times already in plain and clear English, so apparently you are willfully not understanding.

    There is a difference between a trick that the audience understand is a physically possible deception that only their ignorance prevents them from understanding. That is an entirely different animal than deceiving and conditioning people to believe falsehoods.

    One is misleading someone’s perception of a specific event, your trick. The other is conditioning people to believe false impossible things are possible to do by magic men, shaman, witch doctors and several millennia worth of pseudo-scientific cons we should be long past.

    This isn’t complicated, folks.

  21. yutt says:

    No, maybe “scientists” and “doctors” can’t heal your son’s cancer, but if you give Derren Brown enough money he will pull the cancer from their belly with his bare hands (while unrelated palming chicken guts).

    Do you people not understand how irresponsible and dangerous it is to propagate these ideas? I’d never heard of Derren Brown, but as an American, it terrifies me that you Brits are regressing back toward my country’s level of scientific ignorance and yearning for magical thinking.

    • Waste_Manager says:

      I think you’ve missed the point.

    • Vandelay says:

      You have Derren Brown all wrong (and it is unsurprising that you have never heard of him from your comments.) He will often purposefully set out to perform tricks that mediums, psychics and other “magic men” do on a daily basis to prove that these are con-men. At the start of all of his shows he will state “I use magic, showmanship and misdirection.” He would never claim he has mystical powers except for possibly whilst he is actually performing a trick, to help with the illusion. Even that is rare.

      See his one-off special Messiah for an excellent example of what he is really all about. It is clear that making people challenge their beliefs is what he sets out to do with pretty much all of his work.

    • John Walker says:

      Not for the last two weeks he hasn’t. So as I say, unless this is building up to something, he’s abandoned the thin veneer of what you credit him with entirely. (It’s important not to pretend he has been a pure debunker – he’s sold nonsense about subliminals, hypnosis and what he ludicrously calls “psychology” through his whole career.)

    • Vandelay says:

      Perhaps with the lottery trick he didn’t feel the need to as it is so obvious that no one can predict the lottery, although I’ll accept your point there. With the show just gone, I think he made it fairly clear that he was not using subliminal messages. The point of everything that came before the supposedly all important video of swirling lines, was that the video itself was meaningless (and the image of the tied up man on the chair was not a subliminal message as everyone saw it.)

      Also, I expect there is more to these Events than meet the eye so far. The video I mentioned previously sounds so crucial to the lottery trick that I can’t believe that it will not be shown. I fully expect that those lottery numbers will be appearing again, most likely in the final show about bringing down a casino. If you’ve seen him live before, you would know that he has an amazing way of wrapping everything together and making seamlessly irrelevant things become significant. I expect something like that will happen.

    • Bhazor says:

      I do think John is missing the point.

      Claiming he’s passing himself off as a “neo medium” goes against everything he believes. His book and his extensive interview with Dawkins link to about spiritualism and the dangers of misleading pseudo-science show this the best. Certainly he has passionately opposed any claims of his psychic abilities.

      I dare say he’s cleverer than anyone here (his photographic memory alone must come in handy) so I expect some kind of pay off later.

      The one point I will pick on in your article is the coin toss. That is a pretty simple trick where the guy needed to get HHH whilst Derren needed THH. But this means if it goes THHHH then Derren wins and the guy really needs to get 5 heads in a row to win (a chance of 32 to 1). If you read the score board (can’t find a clip) you’ll see plenty of THHH but of course those first two count towards Derren’s point. Maybe not deep but I could see it taken a couple minutes of a hastily recorded live show to explain.

    • Sum0 says:

      Derren Brown is very much an atheist, rationalist, and skeptic – indeed, in his book Trick of the Mind he happily debunks hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming.
      But I have to admit being a little thrown off by this latest series. Now I’m hoping it will all turn out to be an elaborate meta-trick in the end, because I hope he wouldn’t consider seriously duping anyone with this stuff.

  22. lumpi says:

    That novel-length Derek Smart bit was interesting. There are fewer and fewer game reviews I can bare to read, and one of the things I’m most grave about is not cutting indie games, that take a creative risk, the slack they deserve to survive against shiny, well-marketed mega productions.

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      This ^^

      I think Derek Smart is a bit like a nice juciy steak served up on an unwashed dustbin lid; the food is tasty but the presentation is awful. It also doesn’t help that people start swearing and frothing at the mouth the minute his name is mentioned. I’m not defending him (I’m sure he’ll be along in a while to defend himself), just saying that maybe we could try concentrating more on the game (of which I quite like the idea, not played it myself but the concept is intriguing) and less on some things he may or may not have said a few years ago.

    • lumpi says:

      I might just add that I neither heard of Derek Smart before (I might have but do not remember), nor did I ever play any of his games. I’m just agreeing with his complaint of the Gamespot piece being horrendously disrespectful towards complexity in gameplay. He also made a good case for the reviewer never having played the game beyond a 2 hour run-through and subsequent rage-quit.

      It’s a sign for the sorry state game journalism is in. The mere fact that a game can exist outside the purpose as a tool to combat boredom seems to be more and more ignored. The depth of some deep strategy games can come from the joy of mastering a particularly difficult section after hours of tedious fiddling. This seems to be forbidden in modern gamedesign. Both by reviewers and publishers. Gamers who actually enjoy that kind of gameplay are left in the cold. Since I have little hope for publishers to do anything to counter this trend, I’m giving game journalists the responsibility here. Gamers will always eat up what they are fed, as long as the packaging is shiny. Why not feed them some openness towards more difficult (both thematically and gameplay-wise) games? Whatever happened to “RTFM”?

    • Persus-9 says:

      I completely disagree with this sentiment: –

      I’m most grave about is not cutting indie games, that take a creative risk, the slack they deserve to survive against shiny, well-marketed mega productions.

      I’m all for the underdog but I don’t believe indie games should ever be given an easier ride in a review simply because they’re indie. The glorious thing about the current indie revolution is that the good indie games are every bit as good as the “mega-productions”. It’s deeply insulting to the good indie developers to suggest that they need to be cut any slack.

      The fact is that indie developers are exploiting their strengths and producing games as good as or better than those developers in the pocket of big name publishers. Aaa(snip! -Ed) deserves praise not because Dejobaan are cute indie devs but because it’s damn good fun and, at the price point Dejobaan have chosen for it, it can go toe to toe with the very best games the big publishers have to ofter and stomp all over most of them.

      On the other hand indie games that fail in any way to compete with the mega-productions are also failing to compete with the good indie games and so anyone attempting to give good consumer advice should slate them for their failings in the same way as a disappointing mainstream title otherwise they’re telling people to buy crap just because it’s indie and that hurts the indie scene far more than any questionable disadvantage in production costs because anyone who buys that game as their first taste of indie games may well conclude that indie games aren’t for them and go back to the mainstream.

    • radomaj says:

      If one can’t read or understand what Perseus-9 said, here’s a YouTube video about that same subject (by Anthony Burch) link to

  23. Ted says:

    Derek Smart pleading for civility in between incoherent flame wars, that’s rich.

  24. Lewis says:

    So. The Derek Smart thing, then.

    This is something I’d really like to speak with him about, so will probably fire off an email tomorrow morning. I think he makes a number of extremely valid points, but the overall impression I come away with is the same as with most of these review-backlash things. There’s talk of all this corruption going on, but no evidence to support it. There’s criticism of nitpicking, when much of the article is nitpicking itself. Actually, that bit about the bugs really irked me. If I were reviewing a game and noticed that corpses were sometimes standing upright, I would mention it. It would tarnish my experience. It is not “inconsequential” because it’s something that would totally destroy the atmosphere. Nitpicking? Far from it – sounds more like an indication of the game’s quality, to me, though I haven’t played it.

    Gamespot’s history with his games seems fair. From what I could see, this is the lowest mark that’s been awarded to one of his games over there. The highest is 6, with an average that seems to land around the 4-5 mark. Having read a few of the reviews – again, having not played the games – they all seem fairly measured. He does not in any way seem to be a punching bag.

    But I think that whilever there’s this unpleasentness between press and developers, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, because ultimately we all have the same goal: to get good games into the hands of players.

  25. Spoon says:

    Damnit, the article on Demon’s Souls has pushed me one step closer to buying a PS3. It seems like someone finally made a current gen, AAA roguelike, with all the bells and whistles. My wallet curses you, RPS and From Software, but I still love you.

    • Bhazor says:

      I’m a big fan of From Software (Otogi 2 is in my top 5 Xbox games) but I’m not sure they have the chops for depth. Smashing a dozen demons through a whole line of house in one kick, yes. Depth? Hmm.

      But then again if I’m able to kick a dozen demons through a whole line of houses who wants depth.

    • Dominic White says:

      That’s an odd statement. Ever play Chrome Hounds of the Armored Core series? Mech labs there that make anything on the PC look like a simplified kids game. They do complex games just as well as they do fast and arcadey ones.

      And let’s not forget the King’s Field series, of which Demon’s Souls is a kinda semi-sequel/reboot to. They’re among the most hardcore dungeon crawlers ever.

  26. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma – does this sort of thing actually attract anyone who isn’t 12 or Japanese?

    • Dominic White says:

      Pretty much anyone who likes arcade-style brawlers. Which is a lot of people. It’s not a genre for grumpy, grey old men, I’m afraid.

    • Vinraith says:

      Sad, isn’t it? As if gaming needs to arm its opponents with yet further evidence of it’s “ridiculous immaturity.”

      Any proper fan of arcade style brawlers ought to be mortified that this juvenile crap is deemed necessary to selling the game.

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      I’m commenting on the advert full of tittays (which you obviously didn’t watch, Pendulum Boy :) ).

      As for old, grey and grumpy? I’m definitely grumpy. And I love arcade style fighters; I bought an X Box purely for playing Tekken 6 next month (was gonna go PS3, but I already have a Blu Ray player).

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Was it just me who thought the ad was sexist towards men, portraying them as brainless drooling idiots when faced with magically moving boobies? The feature itself’s the other way around, of course…

  27. Kadayi says:

    So should we start up an RPS lottery prediction syndicate then ;)

  28. John Walker says:

    yutt – based on all the feedback I’ve had from that post, and this week’s, I think the reaction is not based on whether someone enjoys Derren Brown’s tricks (as I’ve said every time, I enjoy them very much – that this is ignored by many emphasises my point) but whether they care about unscientific thinking. If this isn’t important to someone (either because they don’t think it matters, don’t know why I think it matters, or of course because they believe in the flim-flam), then my pieces look like insane rants about a guy doing some magic tricks. (There is a smaller subset made up of those who have appointed themselves as acolytes of Brown, and thus questioning him is forbidden – that he has such a following underlines my main contention so firmly the pencil snaps.)

    • lumpi says:

      The difference between Uri Geller and Derren Brown is that Brown gives interviews like this:

      link to

      I think the way I feel about him since his recent, rather lame shows is more disappointment than anger. I know people who misguide and use the faith of the gullible will always exist. But he seemed to me like a guy who renounces this sort of blatant “psychic” BS. Like us scientific-thinking folk lost a fellow campaigner to the “dark side”, with this kind of drivel in mainstream entertainment encouraging more and more “psychics” to spread their anti-science.

    • Magnus says:

      Put me also in the “disappointed” camp, I’ve really enjoyed several of Derren Brown’s shows, but the last two were quite poor by comparison.

      I was hoping for something as good as the russian roulette one.

      I’ve been following them with the guardian’s liveblog, which is often more entertaining, as it often just comprises of several people (myself included) bitching about the tricks…

    • Kadayi says:

      Derren Brown has never called himself a Magician (nor is he regarded as such by Magicians). Talking about him like he performs ‘magic’ tricks or is a latter day Paul Daniels obscures the issue. The guy is a Mentalist, he’s never claimed that anything he does is magic. It’s all down to persuasion and the ability to read people through observation.

    • John Walker says:

      Kadayi, sorry, but that’s not true. He’s doing regular magic tricks with a new patter. Rewatch some of his tricks with cards more closely, and you’ll start to spot it.

  29. Dominic White says:

    While I agree that some of the mainstream review sites are just plain retarded at times (I’ve seen arcade ports marked down by IGN for being too arcadey and not having enough plot), we really don’t need Derek Smart using this as an excuse for people panning his games, because they really are horribly messy, and painfully inaccessible even to people who WANT to get into them.

    It’s very possible for a game to be deep and complex without being obtuse, clunky, bug-ridden or worse.

  30. Dominic White says:

    Also, Demon’s Souls is fantastic and everyone should play it. It’s hard, but it’s hard in a ‘You died because you did something obviously stupid’ way. If an enemy looks weak and scrawny, you can probably handle it easy. If you find yourself looking across a long, empty bridge and see a single guy in black plate armor with glowing red eyes, you KNOW he’s going to be a complete badass. If you then run straight at him without a battle plan, you WILL be flattened, because that was dumb and you deserved that death.

    It’s a very logical, coherent game, where you don’t need reams of stats to explain stuff to you. Almost any encounter can be sized up just by having a look and a quick think, and the cause of 90% of your horrible, violent deaths will be overconfidence. Just cos you won one fight doesn’t mean that you won’t slip up and get a spear between your shoulder-blades in the next one.

  31. Bhazor says:

    With the Derek Smart article I managed to get as far as
    “…if it has anything to do with game development, I can probably do it or have done it. If I was working for any mainstream studio or publisher, I’d be the guy everyone comes to for pretty much everything. The last guy to leave the building. The last guy to get a Pink slip. And quite possibly the most expensive guy on the payroll. I earn my keep.”
    before I gave up feeling sorry for him having a few dodgy reviews. Though I admit to admiring his determination and sheer bloodymindedness of remaining indie at least.

    Oh God Hand you were too beautiful for this world… christ I miss Clover Studios.

    • Dominic White says:

      Almost all of the Clover team immediately reformed into Platinum games after they were shut down, and Bayonetta looks to be just as silly as God Hand. One thing I find hilarious is the complaints about pandering and sexism in Bayonetta, when in theire previous game, you could literally bend naughty demon-ladies over your knee and spank them into submission.

      And it was hilarious/awesome.

  32. dsmart says:

    @ l1ddl3monkey says

    I think Derek Smart is a bit like a nice juciy steak served up on an unwashed dustbin lid; the food is tasty but the presentation is awful.


  33. Coded One says:

    So, a completely off-topic and random question: Why do the Sunday Papers always end in “Failed.”?

    On-topic, I’ll have to check out The Spirit Engine, and the article about tutorials was pretty good.

    • monkehhh says:

      1. Mention kind of song you shouldn’t link to in the intro to the Sunday Papers.
      2. Link to song in last link of the Sunday Papers.
      3. “Failed.”
      4. Profit?

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Also a possible reference to Excel Saga? Today’s experiment…. failed.

  34. Chris says:

    Surf Solar is indeed an awesome track. I’m currently playing Canabalt to it; don’t ask my why, it just seems to work.

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    Spoon: Me too actually.

    Chris: Yeah, I can see that working brilliantly. It’s the propulsion cyclical nature of it, I guess.


  36. Sarlix says:

    Lol @ Christ on toast…. this is now my new saying….Oh bollox I just dropped the toast. “did it land Christ side down?”….Ahem..

  37. lePooch says:

    Please, no more Derek Smart on Sundays. Was this a slow news week? He’s long winded and over analytical in his criticism of that reviewer, and he depresses me. Actually, I do read his bog once in a rare while. He projects this sense of barely controlled “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH” that I rather enjoy observing.

    Thank god for Adam Atomic and Superhero Bingo for balancing it out. Bonus: You can also play superhero Bingo at your local comic convention. Or in a pinch, at your local community college on cosplay day.

    fake edit: I noticed i spelled it “bog”. Gah. Samethingnomatter

    • TCM says:

      So, in the end, Derek Smart is an Ork?

      If he was a Mekboy, that would actually make a whole lot of sense.

  38. Sagan says:

    That editor article makes me want to pay more attention to which books I read. Currently I almost exclusively read books that friends or family recommend to me. Some of it is good, some of it isn’t. But I want to read more of the books he talks about when he says It’s not as if the millions of readers being prayed for are necessarily looking for challenging and truly enlightening reading experiences. I wish they were and hope they someday will be.

    Can anyone recommend something like RPS but for books for me? A website that talks about books that I could add to my RSS feeds. Something that praises good stuff ranging from artsy to mainstream.

    Oh and an aside: Can we get a preview function for comments? Because this is the first time I’m using the <q> tag, and I’m not sure what it will look like.

  39. clive dunn says:

    I want a Derek Smart T-shirt!

  40. Meat Circus says:


    When will you be fixing the horrifically over-wide front page of doom?

    • Muzman says:

      Funny thing about that; it’s clearly a widescreen advert, but myself at my old work and nearly all people I’ve known using widescreen monitors still only surfed with the browser at about half-screen/A4 size. So designing an ad for full wide-screen seems like it wouldn’t work no matter what monitor you use, to me. (but it’s not like I know every widescreen user.)

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I’m more annoyed by the comments pages showing up in reverse order by default.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      And people replying to something but not using the reply button.
      And the lack of an edit button.

  41. Gutter says:

    Wait, aren’t we supposed to hate Derek Smart? Or have I read video game sites for too long?

    I remember when Derek Smart was the Tim Langdell of game sites, apparently this changed? I can’t wait see Langdell featured on RPS when the web hit 10.0!

  42. TeeJay says:

    It’s a shame that seven and a half minutes have been shaved off from the original version of ‘Surf Solar’ because it is magnificent for at least nine – possibly nine and a half – of its original ten and a half minutes.

    note: link to

  43. bananaphone says:

    Bloody hell, it’s a miracle Derek Smart hasn’t become the first person to actually disappear up his own backside. He starts off by telling us all what a fantastic games-making genius he is (despite the fact that he’s never been able to produce a game that could be considered good on any scale) and then goes into a massive rant about how Gamespot are corrupt and evil and generally incompetent because they said – rightfully – that his game was rubbish.

    I’m not defending Gamespot. It’s mostly a piss-poor site with unbearably boring writing that reads like it’s generated by some manner of game reviewing robot, but it’s laughable that he’s attempting to make everyone think that AAA isn’t a steaming pile of crap by slagging them off.

    I’m a PC gamer through and through and I love complex titles so I tried All Aspect Warfare because the idea sounded interesting, I’m sorry Derek, but as shit as Gamespot is, they are not wrong about the game. It’s just awful. But then I guess I’m just not the ‘target demographic’. Funny how anybody who thinks it’s crap is just the wrong audience. That’s certainly a unique way of dealing with bad reviews.

    Out of interest, who is the target demographic? Is there much of market for people who only like really badly made games?

  44. Pantsman says:

    Following a link in John’s piece on Darren to another of his pieces on the death of the expert, I was confused to see him compare the objective, factual matter of whether a treatment cures an illness to the entirely subjective matter of whether a game is “good” or not. Pray tell, what exactly was meant by a “good” or “bad” video game or composition, as opposed to one which is enjoyed by an individual? Is it just whether it’s enjoyed by an expert? If so, why would anyone other than another expert care at all?

    • John Walker says:

      Ooh, it would be fun to bring that argument up again here. Because yes, without question, games are objectively good or bad. People subjectively enjoy either good or bad games. What a fun comments thread that would be!

  45. JM says:

    Hmm, Derek on pirated games:

    “If you go searching for them, most will either have a trojan or virus payload (at least two of our games has this btw) in the files or you have to click through mountains of advertising (usually p0rn) sites to get to the download.”

    For someone who considers himself to be well-informed, he is scarily ignorant about how people go about pirating games.

    • Spoon says:

      I had the same thoughts when I read that part. It was like he was talking about the pre-bittorrent days.

  46. Nick says:

    Damn, I really want to play Demon Souls too now, it sounds right up my alley. Stupid PS3.

  47. Dominic White says:

    Eurogamer did a review of Demon’s Souls a while back, too:

    link to – Absolutely gushingly positive, as it should be.

    And seriously, the whole thing (Korean and Chinese versions, at least) is in english, despite the official US release still being some way off. The script is solid, and the voicework was outsourced to a UK company, and is also remarkably good. The only thing that hints that it’s an asian version is that some of the item descriptions can be a little vague and engrishy, but nothing that a few seconds of experimentation can’t clear up.

    • Dominic White says:

      Oh, and the PS3 has no region locking, and PAL/NTSC are a forgotten issue because everything is HD now. So it’s very easy to import.

    • Vinraith says:

      No region locking? I didn’t know that, good on Sony. I’d probably have bought a PS3 by now if they hadn’t abandoned backwards compatibility. As it stands I’m not sure when/if I’ll get around to it. The entire current generation of consoles really just hasn’t grabbed me yet.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, of all the non-handheld consoles of this generation, the PS3 is the only one without region coding on games. It’s still there on Blu-ray discs, but the games themselves are regionless.

      The Wii has region locking, but it’s also so hilariously easy to softmod that it may as well not.

      The 360 is ridiculously secure, with it checking and double-checking things every step of the way. Classic Microsoft paranoia in full swing

    • Mo says:

      When the original Xbox was hacked to death with ease, everyone was like “lol M$ cant do security lololol”. When the Xbox 360 came with incredibly robust and non-intrusive protection it’s “paranoia”?

    • Vinraith says:


      Is there any compelling reason that “robust and non-intrusive” anti-piracy protection has to exclude the ability to import games from overseas? You’re trying to associate two completely different complaints, from what I suspect are two completely different groups of people.

  48. soundofsatellites says:

    @kieron: can I offer you a complete version of “space mountain” at least?

    link to

    been listening tarot sport non stop for a couple of days; a must-buy when it’s out!

  49. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:


    Why yes, I did beat the demon on the first try. Wasted my Roulettes out of sheer incompetence and died shortly after, though.

  50. invisiblejesus says:

    So Derek’s blog entry convinced me to download the All Aspect Warfare demo and give it a try. Why not? it’s free. Conversely, Cliffski’s video blog entries convinced me to buy Gratuitous Space Battles despite my dislike of video blogs (I read faster than most people talk in these things) and the fact that I’d previously figured I’d pass on it. Read into that what you will.