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1995-2000
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Pure Crap

Have some balls Frank.  You hated the game, admit it.  Your review goes into painstaking detail of pointing out how incredibly bad the game is.  The graphics suck, the tricks are there but they don't matter to the game.  And all the other elements don't matter because if the tracks suck, and the tricks suck, there is no game.  You say it all perfectly and your opening paragraph about the Pole Position comparison is funny, but then, in the end, you bow down and give the game three out of five stars.  That's a passing grade!  Admit it, it deserves maybe half a star because the tricks are well animated.  The rest of the game blows.  Don't fool your audience.  They don't want to spend $30 on a game that sucks, and you shouldn't lead them to believe that it might be worth their time.  It isn't.  You write well, you just need to stick by your guns and rate a game a low score because it sucks.

Cheers
Kevin J Baird, Editor
Video Game News, Inc.
http://www.VideoGameNews.com

Kevin,
I really appreciated your feedback on the Pure Ride review, and I can honestly say that I sympathize with a lot of your comments.  Admittedly, I was a little soft on the game.  I probably could have given it 2 stars, but a one star game is a game that is so incredibly bad that the controls don't function properly.  I feel that a 3 star review reflects a game that lives up to its promises.  It just didn't promise very much.  Anyone who took the time to look at the screen shots on the review or on the box would get a pretty good idea of what they were getting into if they bought the game.  My review was so negative because I didn't want people to buy the game, but I couldn't honestly say the game was anything less than what the packaging promised.  If Roger Ebert can give Speed 2 a thumbs up and still sleep at night, I don't have any problem with giving Pure Ride for the Game Boy a 3 star rating.  Not that I would tell anyone to go out and buy it.  A 3 star rating is like getting a C on a paper.  Sure, you passed, but you don't want to show the grade to your parents.  I  personally can't think of one 3 star game that I've reviewed that I would actually recommend because there are too many great games out there to bother with the mediocre ones.  

Thanks for your comments.

Jason Frank

Small Town Dreamcast Blues

The problem that i have is that i recently purchased a dreamcast and the local stores have stopped renting the games already.  The city that i live in has a population of 20,000 or so and i found it disheartening to have spent all that money on a system (a few that have not succeded, that were purchased from the manufacturer named sega.)  I was hoping that you kind folks could help a guy out and make some noise (let sega and others know about the situation) also i was woundering if there is any findings in other areas that segas new system was having a tough time competing in the market place with immediate competiters such as sony/or the soon to be released x-box.  Lastly i was woundering if the sega system was as good as the sony or the soon to be released x-box(i have read many articles but would appriciate and trust your personal objective opinion.  Thank you very much for taking the time to hear my concerns have a nice day.

Scot Heroux

Scot,

Thanks a lot for writing. You've got some good questions. We have brought this question to Sega, and while we don't have a comment from them yet, you can bet they're sad to hear about your situation. Also, we sympathize with you quite a bit -- Moscow, Idaho also has a population of about 15,000, so we know what it's like to get shafted by the small-town. There's not much we can do to help out with your rental store; that's just a bummer. But it is indicative of what some retailers have been doing. Sony bowled over many gamers with their PS2 hype, but they were even more successful at hyping their new system to retail stores. Some chains, such as K-Mart (oops, Big K), have stopped carrying Dreamcast altogether, and that's sad. I'm sure
they felt that decision in the pocketbooks this holiday season when they weren't carrying Dreamcast product. Smaller retailers have especially been taken with the PS2. It's understandable -- Sony is currently the dominating force in console gaming, and most retailers just aren't well informed about the products they're selling, not to mention the fact that they don't have unlimited funds to invest in systems they don't think will succeed. I've been in many small gaming shops who belittled the DC to no end until this holiday season. Then, they were shocked that DC games went flying out the door.

Right now is a transitional period, so there is a lot of speculation going on and everybody's making claims about which system is superior. The fact of the matter is, PS2 hardware specs are better than the DC. However, one only has to look at Unreal Tournament (soon to be released for DC) on both systems to get a much clearer picture of how the systems compare. On the PS2, UT has better graphics and enhanced control because of the DualShock controllers. On the DC, the game has more game modes and online multiplayer. Both systems can use mouse-keyboard setup, and both systems restrict you more than the PC version. Still, which is better: slightly nicer graphics, more game modes, online multiplayer, or more convenient controllers? It's a toss up.

What isn't a toss up is the fact that the DC has many more games that are worth playing. Right now there is no system with as many really fun and innovative titles released on it. And DC titles are fairly low priced, too. That's what's really keeping Sega in the market, and I believe that the quality of DC titles will keep Sega in the market for another few years. There are so many cool games coming out for the system, it's just unbelievable. The Xbox will be better than the Sega as far as hardware goes, and it has a much more impressive launch lineup so far than the PS2. But it's impossible to say exactly what will shake down as all the big companies vie for their piece of the pie. And it's bad form to second guess yourself -- enjoy your Dreamcast. It is a phenomenal piece of gaming gear. It's my fave system right now.

To help alleviate the DC rental blues, you might have to take a more proactive stance on getting games. First, you might check out your local used game shop; trading and buying used games is definitely the way to go if you want to find titles you'll like. Second, read reviews -- find a site like ours, or a few other sites, that write reviews you can use. Note that you don't have to _agree_ with the review all the time, but at least be able to get information about what kind of game it is and maybe get to know the writers so you can judge how closely your opinion might be to theirs. Third, check out online sites like www.switchouse.com where you can trade games and gear or just buy used games really cheap. Fourth, keep an eye on Sega.com for amazing deals. Over the holiday season their different packages were amazing and really amazing games could be had, brand new, for $10 or so.

Shawn

 

PS2 Rumors

Hey I live in the suburbs of Chicago and I'm gonna probably get PS2 when I can. However, I've heard a rumor that they aren't going to make any more PS2 games by the summer of 2001. The reason I'vve heard for this is that it is costing the makers of the games too much money and therefore they're
losing money. I was wondering if you can clear this u for me and let me know if you know anything about this. Please e-mail me back w/ the info. as soon as you can.

Ralph Uter

Ralph,

I do believe you've been misled. There are quite a few new PS2 titles coming out this spring, beginning mostly at the end of January. Oni is due, as well as Silpheed, RC Revenge Pro, NBA Live 2001, Driving Emotion Type-s, ESPN NBA Tonight, ESPN NFL Prime Time, Rayman 2 Revolution, Army Men Air Attack 2, Warriors of Might and Magic, Ephemeral Fantasia, Seven Blades, Zone of the Enders, and a whole lot more. While some of these titles (which only cover releases scheduled through the first week of February) are bound to be postponed, I'm sure most of them will come out on time. The game industry
has its dips and rises; the post-Christmas slump is what we're in right now. There have been very few releases since the week before Christmas, and it's only at the end of this week, and really the end of next week, that we'll see releases start to pick up again. By the middle of March (Spring Break for you students out there) things will be in full swing, and they will dip
again through May as companies prepare for their June releases, the major release time for Summer gaming. And then we'll sit through another slump until August or so, when companies begin gearing up for Christmas once again.

Having said that, you're partially right about PS2 game sales and development. Although developers will continue making quite good games for the PS2, the difficulty of programming for it makes it likely that we'll only see "sure-fire hits" on the PS2. Some people downplay this prediction, claiming that as developers get used to the PS2 it will cut development costs, but others expect the PS2 game lineup to dwindle similarly to the N64 lineup. Sales of PS2 games have been good, but have not been the golden cow that Sony wanted. Dreamcast titles outsold PS2 titles by far this holiday season. Of course, this is partially contributed to because of the stumbling blocks Sony ran into with hardware distribution and the much greater number
of Dreamcast titles released.

It's hard to say what the PS2 lineup will look like after this year, but I bet it's pretty safe to expect most all of the games you've heard about to come out on time. Perhaps with the added competition of Xbox and Gamecube the PS2 will lose some of its lineup, but I strongly doubt that releases for PS2 will dwindle anywhere near what N64 releases have been. And Sony has undoubtedly ruffled some feathers with their policies for the PS2. Oddworld Inhabitants is a great example of the worst case scenerio for Sony regarding developers just plain quitting the system. With Sony's restrictive policies about how many games publishers must send to retail outlets and their lack of hardware-based programming routines, who knows what the future will look like? But I still stand by my prediction that those who buy the PS2 will always have new games to play, and most of them will love it.

Shawn

Letters Archive

December 18, 2000
November 22, 2000
October 8, 2000
August 27, 2000
July 23, 2000

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