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BCM Review @ PC Zone (UK)

Supreme Cmdr

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Thats a jip, I used to read PC zone I used to use it as my primary source for game information, they made a few mistakes in the past(Starcraft deserved better then they gave credit for).

But I can not believe this 45% for BCM thats way off base, I have not read the review(links not on the reviews page and can't find it on their site) but who or what did they get to review BCM some trained monkey in the back room on a Pentium 166MHZ MMX and Windows 95.

That burns! I will not be renewing my Sub to what I thought was a good impartial mag.

Sorry to rant but I just can't believe that score.

Edit: BTW can anybody suggest a good alternative??

[ 01-08-2002: Message edited by: Emmett.hendrick ]

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Agreed, PCZ used to be a very good, very unbiased magazine, until they sold their soul to Black and White, after which, the rot set in and they started to follow the crowd. That's the problem with abandoning your principles - it's an irreversible step.

Why is it that all of the magazines now insist that the first qualification for a reviewer is that they eat, drink and breathe first-person shooters? Every single game gets marked on whether is has a good graphics engine (ie is it pretty?), and does it have a deathmatch option? (multiplayer won't do - it has to be deathmatch......)

I don't buy PCZone any more, since B&W. I don't think there is a good alternative in the UK. Probably best to stick to fanzine sites. Personally, I think the only decent reviews online nowadays are womengamers and gonegold.

But, if you don't like it, you can always try to do better. Any other UK gamers out there want to make a games review magazine/website?

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Originally posted by SmileyMan:

But, if you don't like it, you can always try to do better. Any other UK gamers out there want to make a games review magazine/website?

Yea I'd be interested in that but I think we're a bit off topic maybe we should start another thread and ask if anyone is interested

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Send your comments to Martin Korda, the reviews editor(his email address is in the mag) and he has asked me to wait until I receive the copy and then to contact him again.

Here is my email to him. There's nothing confidential about any of this.


this is FYI.

As you can see from Richie's emails below, I was NEVER advised nor contacted about ANY problems with the game. The 45% score from PCZ (the lowest ever!!) makes me think that there was some nefarious goings on regarding that whole furor over me giving PCG one month exclusives to the BCM demo's back in mid 2001. An incident that spawned a lot of arguments and dissent between Richie and I. I have all the emails related to that and would forward them to you if you'd like. I would NOT like to think this is what happened;

but I just don't know what to think.

BCM is very system intensive and so far, NONE of the reviews (updated today with two more) have cited the problems that the review states. To the extent that you guys okayed the inclusion of a Microsoft crash screen shot with a caption. An OS

BSOD can originate from ANY driver issue on the machine and not necessarily from the game.

I am currently working on a new soapbox article about this farce and won't publish it until I get the review in my hands; as I want to get the big picture.

To say that I am extremely disappointed, would be an understatement. I feel as if I have been ambushed.

You are the reviews editor and I'm tasking you to find out WHAT the hell happened. I demand that the game be reviewed again; or at the very least an editorial note be made.



From: "Richie"

To: "Derek Smart"

Subject: RE: Battlecruiser Millennium v1.0.01 Final Patch Released

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 14:43:58 -0000

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2911.0)

Importance: Normal

Hello Chap.

We got copies of BCM in last week - cheers for that - and we're making headway into the review. Just a quick question though, which is; will the game be available in the UK? I know it's only through EB in the States, but will those outside be able to get it from one of those ancient shop-type places (EB only), or do they have to order it from your website (US$54, I believe)?


Richie, PCZ


From: "Richie"

To: "Derek Smart"

Subject: RE: Battlecruiser Millennium Review

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 17:37:59 -0000

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2911.0)

Importance: Normal

We seem to be doing fine thanks, after an infuriating start farting about with drivers and such. Getting quite into it now. There's two of us on the case; me overseeing things with my space sim head on and Prezzer, our in-house hardcore flight sim expert, doing all the hard work. I should be able to get a score for you by Xmas and I'll send you a couple of mags in the new year.


- Richie


[ 01-08-2002: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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OMG, I just got my copy of PCZ from the UK. This review is attrocious. In fact, just for laughs, I'm going to scan and upload it later today.

I'm not sure if I should be happy that compared to the other reviews (even the less favorable ones), Paul Presley's (!) reads like an attack job rather than a review. I can't explain it, so, wait until you read it for yourselves later today.

I am definitely of the opinion that this attack job is a direct result of that whole skirmish back in 2001 over my giving PCG a one month exclusive over the BCM demos. That prevented PCZ (who already had the demo) from carrying them until their next issue after PCG. It was a major furor (I still have all the emails) - despite the fact that PCG asked me first.

In fact, I was expecting Richie (EIC) to review the game - since he is my primary contact over there. Then I see that it was assigned to Paul (only his name is on it). That review is in stark contrast to anything out there (even the less than favorable reviews) and has the lowest grade score ever.

[ 01-12-2002: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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A UK player (S. Miller) of BCM, sent me an email advising me of the email he has composed and sent to PCZ. Considering all the other emails I have received, I suspect that the general consensus is the same. Lets see if they actually print them.

Normally I find your reviews extremely fair and informative but on this occasion I feel your reviewer has possibly allowed the problems with BCMÔÇÖs predecessor to colour his judgement. I do not contest all the criticisms but I would like to address those I think are unfair.

First and foremost are the criticisms of stability. The system requirements for BCM are clear. These include fully updated DX 8.1 compliant drivers for your sound and video card, latest Windows Media Player and if using a Via motherboard, latest 4 in 1 drivers. I initially had some of the problems you mention, although not as many as I had taken care to upgrade drivers but any remaining problems were solved by patching to the latest version and following the copious information on the 3000AD web pages. IÔÇÖm not a techie but had no trouble following them and since then BCM has been as solid as a rock. It seems to me the reviewerÔÇÖs machine was not BCM compliant. Unlike other developers Derek Smart is pumping out patches to fix any problems that arise and no matter what you think of the guy you can bank on the fact he is fully committed to his baby. I simply cannot believe any competent technician would take 2 days to get BCM to run. Just as likely something is wrong with the setup.

Second ÔÇô complexity. Yes, it is complex and unashamably so ÔÇô it is billed as a simulation. It is Falcon 4 to any Novalogic flight-sim. The learning curve is steep but for heavens sake ÔÇô no pain, no gain. In fact the interface is a lot less complex than you make out and the web site has a host of tips to help you through it. It has taken me a few hours playing the instant action and training scenarios to get familiar with it and I do not see how the interface could be made any easier without sacrificing game elements. With it I can scan a planet for enemy bases, arm and despatch fighters for a strike mission with the correct ordnance, deploy marines for a ground assault via transporter and shuttle with a range of orders, join in with them from a first-person perspective or bring my ship in the perform strafing runs in support of the attack. It is simply wrong to suggest the interface is an amateurish effort by a programmer who is not as good as he thinks he is. The manual explains everything you need to know ÔÇô you just have to read it carefully.

Third ÔÇô graphics. Okay, they are not complete state of the art but to characterise them as years out of date is wrong. They look pretty damn good to me and they more than do the job of conveying something you fail to give credit for and is unique among space sims and that is that everything is to scale. Space stations dwarf your ship and your ship dwarfs you. Compare this to the puny size of stations compared to ships in XBTF and X-tension, that you rate so highly, as do I. And planets really loom over you when you fly close by. These things add greatly to the immersion factor.

Fourth ÔÇô careers. I cannot comment too much on these because I have only explored the trading and commander ones but it is true there are only military campaigns. But come on - this is primarily a battlecruiser sim and there is the whole free-form roam mode. Your criticisms of the trading career are particularly inappropriate. To begin with you may be unarmed but you have a fighter escort. The gameplay challenge is to survive and thrive in a hostile universe in which you are a very minor player. For me this is a welcome change from the X games where the easy trading and almost non-existent AI of your enemies means a threat free life. You want to be armed ÔÇô choose a military career.

And a final score in the forties? That is simply ridiculous. BCM is a niche game aimed at hard-core simmers and should be scored as such not berated because it isnÔÇÖt as flash as the latest FPS clone. And since when do we start berating developers for patching things? Most games need patching and Mr SmartÔÇÖs commitment to promptly fixing every problem that comes up should be commended.

In summary BCM is not the half baked amateur effort you portray. It is an ambitious and detailed simulation of a large universe driven by an AI far in excess of anything seen before in a space sim. It might not be leading edge in the FPS section but there is nothing else that even attempts to provide gameplay from commanding a carrier to taking part in a FPS ground assault. In fact there just isnÔÇÖt another true space sim. It is a sim in which you can immerse yourself, discovering new things all the time and one that puts you in unexpected and challenging situations that demand creative thought. Getting back to safety in a half destroyed ship with half your crew dead, intruders aboard can be an enjoyable challenge. The BCM universe is a great sandbox in which to play if you like detailed sims and have the imagination to roleplay your careers.

As an addendum I have to say that I found the whole tone of the review needlessly hostile and generally makes me think either the reviewer or the magazine is holding a personal grudge.

[ 01-12-2002: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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You think 45% is bad?

I was leafing through a German-language magazine, Gamestar, the other day. It gave BCM a score of............


I think I gave the review about as much attention as the reviewer obviously gave the game. They also listed it amongst their turkeys of the year.

Couldn't believe it and will certainly not buy that mag ever again. Unfortunately (or fortunately maybe?) there isn't an online review. If you really want me too, I'll get it and try a translation, but I'm really not that keen on forking out a few Francs for a shitty one-page review from someone who obviously isn't worth the trouble.

for what it's worth, here's the link to the mag site:


Edit: oh yeah, a couple of times in the rag, it was referred to as 'Battlecruiser 3000', They can't even get the name write. Just trying to remember some of his points, couple which struck me were about patches breaking more than they fixed and an unreadable manual. Methinks someone didn't visit these boards or look at the online documentation AT ALL.

[ 01-14-2002: Message edited by: Paddy Gregory ]

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The PCZ review is really absurd... Millennium unstable? bad implemented features?

It's absurd also the comment on Derek Smart...

Having a publisher let you understand the flaws?!?!? well... i know many publishers and i've reviewed many games... never never and never happened that a publisher would help a developer to improve a game... but the opposite.

The developer always tries to develop the game he has in mind and usually he need time to, while the publisher just want the game to be finished as soon as possible, without many desires of real game qualities... the publishers just want to sell, they don't want to produce quality products...

Damn... it's difficult to explain in english what i think in italian i hope i've been able to explain my thoughts...

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I can't be bothered with those folks any more. We've had a lot of emails going back and forth. Here are the latest

From/To Martin (reviews editor)

>Hi Derek,


>I've just got back from a bout of Influenza, so aplogies for the delayed

>reply to your emails.

Sorry to hear that

>To be honest, I'm quite shocked at your reaction to

>the review, stating that you've been ambushed and that the review was not

>a review but an attack. Sure, I understand that you're annoyed at the

>score. BCM is your baby and obviously it's never nice to hear criticism of

>something you've invested so much time into. However, as reviews editor I

>decided that the best person to give the game to was Paul Presley, a

>fourteen year veteran of PC games journalism - one of the most respected

>games journos in the UK (and not a "git" as you call him in your email),

>and one of the most dedicated gamers I have ever met in my life. Paul

>invested a hell of a lot of time in the game, so that he could be sure of

>getting his review right. Both he and I knew that a game with such a huge

>scope for gameplay deserved a huge amount of attention and time. It

>received both. Paul ran the game on six different Hi-spec machines in the

>office, experiencing varying degrees of problems and bugs on each. We

>reviewed from the boxed copy of course, and the fact that the game would

>hardly run until we patched it several times with the multitude of patches

>which came out after its release should surely speak for itself. I'm glad

>that your game is selling well, and I've taken on board all of your

>comments. It's just a shame you couldn't do so graciously with ours.

Well, thanks for even responding. While I believe what you're telling me,

I, like so many others (even most of the industry reviewers who have

reviewed the game) are just puzzled by the sentiments in the review and

indeed the message therein. The score is not really that important because

everyone knows that it is mostly difficult to score games - especially the

BC games.

Frankly, while YOU may have a plausible and reasonable explanation, I'm NOT

for one minute, buying any it. To wit:

"If you can get past the bugs you soon seen that while the potential for a

mammoth game is there, the actual implementation - not to put too fine a

point on it - sucks."

Then, he posts a Windows BSOD with a caption. How come you guys don't do

the same for other games? Case in point, I was playing RTCW this weekend

and had the SAME problem (as do MANY others). This can happen for a variety

of reasons - and not just in BCM. To make things worse, he says

"This is how 90 per cent of your Battlecruiser sessions will end. Guaranteed.

Even with the patches."

Not only is that pure and utter bollocks, I'm quite shocked that YOU of all people,

would let that in the magazine - legal implications notwithstanding.

Paul goes and spends an ENTIRE paragraph on my design decisions. Fourteen year

vet or not, isn't the NORMAL reviewing process supposed to be about what the

game IS and not what the reviewer wants it TO BE?

Some examples:

There are 25+ castes and 13 alien nations in the game. The primary role in the

game - and *all* BC games - has been as a Terran Military Commander (GALCOM). In BCM, a

campaign for the main GALCOM opposition (The Insurgents) was also included. It

says that right there on p8 paragraph 4 of the manual. The design never called

for a campaign for ALL the race+caste combinations (e.g. how do you create a

campaign for a Trader caste?). While in ROAM (non-campaign) you can use any

of the race/caste combos. The history of the game world (in the appendix) is clear and

those familiar with it (or have read it), know what to do. Trading is very lucrative.

And ALL these have been around since the BC idea was conceived back in the early

nineties. As such, they are part of my world - AS ORIGINALLY CREATED. In multiplayer,

there are significant benefits to being a trader and not part of a conflict. How?

Because you can get into areas where other castes can't and e.g. be able to

sell arms to both sides of a particular conflict.

And as for being a defenseless trader. Thats just more rubbish. You can choose

armed or unarmed transports. PLUS, you get an escort when you launch from a

station. PLUS, traders are NOT attacked or engaged as often as, say, military

castes. Why? because they are flagged as harmless. Traders, Scientists etc only

have to avoid raiders in the space ways.

If you read the game manual + appendix data and use the tactics provided, you will

NEVER be boarded. And even if you DO get boarded, you are more than equipped to deal

with it and also prevent stealing of your crafts. And the reason you CANNOT board

other ships or stations, is because I was NEVER designed to do that. That feature

has NEVER been in ANY BC game. Period. In fact, it is such a complex venture (if

you think my AI is just about rolling of a dice, then neither one of you knows

*anything* about my games) that its not as simple as beaming troops to a ship.

You HAVE to handle it accordingly - then you have to figure out HOW to know

what the hell is going on at the target - a way to extract your team - what

to do once they've beamed over etc. This feature has been requested since the first

BC title, but I never once considered doing it (perhaps in XP1 addon) because it

is quite complex.

The fps mode was designed specifically for enemy base incursion. Why is that

wasted? And yes, you CAN order your marines as a team IF you know how to do it.

(I didn't know that there was anything confusing about point-and-click). And they

will stand around (or take cover) if they do not detect enemy, are out of ammo or

do not have the proper weapon to engage. Thats why you use Tactical/Crew and

ensure that whoever you are beaming down to a hostile base, is equiped to do so.

In fact, there are several posts about tactics used by gamers to do JUST THAT.

I could go on and on and on and pick apart EVERY aspect of that attack piece (no,

its not a review in the very least) with plausible AND factual data, but I'm not

going to waste my time because this is all after-the-fact now. I am only responding

because you were kind enough to take time out to reply to my original post.

I mean, here is another example of what I'm talking about....

"Hence Battlecruiser comes off looking ill-thought-through, amateurishly coded and

riddled with holes."

Ill-thought-through?!? Amateurishly coded (!)?!? Isn't that libelous? ESPECIALLY

for a magazine of PCZ's calibre?

C'mon Martin, was Paul playing a DIFFERENT game from the rest of the world - and

indeed industry veterans (Andy Mahood (PCG), Denny Atkin (CGM), Jeff Lackey* (CGW)

et al)? WHY was I not contacted** if Paul was having config problems (which is

EXACTLY what it sounds like)? WHY was this NOT mentioned in Richie's emails (which

I sent to you) to me? In fact, it wasn't even mentioned. Period.

Several other reviews have popped up since the PC Zone one and neither of them even

remotely echo ANYTHING in that review.

Martin, as I mentioned before, I am more shocked than pissed at the review. Even

X:BTF was and IS riddled with bugs. And even IWar2 had bugs at release. I just went

back and read BOTH of those reviews in PCX back issues. NONE of them even talk about

those and the general prose of those reviews is a lot more positive than the BCM one.

The point? These games are all different and are geared toward different gamers, but this

review is borderline attrocious. And as I've mentioned before, seems to be nothing

more than an attack piece - a sort of payback for that whole PCGPCZ skirmish

over the BCM demo exclusives back in 2001. That sort of accusation means that somebody

at the top (Richie?) had to be involved.For one thing, Richie clearly told me that there

were TWO of them working on the review. In the end Paul's name was tagged to the review.

This leads me to believe that if there was anything nefarious going on, that would be the

reason for Richie to excuse himself from it - seeing that it was him and I going through that

whole demo skirmish and him doing a ludicrous review such as this, would just stick out

like a sore thumb.

And is it by pure coincidence that PCZ gave the game the most scathing review and lowest

score to date? Think about that for a minute.

Lets put it this way. I have a LOT of friends and contacts in the industry and media (you

probably already know this) and a lot of people are talking about this PCZ farce. This is

a VERY small industry and one in which alliances shift all the time, people move around etc.

Whatever went on here, will come out. And as such, I'll be the first to know about it. Guaranteed.

It is all just a matter of time. And if its one thing I have, it is both time and patience

(tenacity doesn't even factor in here, because with me, it is a given).

I won't soon forget.

Anyway, I asked you to look into this, knowing that there wasn't much that you could do

about it anyway. Nevertheless, thanks for taking the time to respond; and I hope you feel





Well, Battlecruiser Millennium has been out for a while now, and my friend at EB says it's selling

pretty well at his store.

So what's the score, reviewers? All those years drooling at the prospect of this latest Derek Smart

venture to pick apart, but I haven't seen a word. Has anyone here played it?


I just turned in a review for CGW. Forgetting Derek Smart and all of the history, I thought BCM was an

interesting game. Definitely not for everyone. What it offers is a very high learning curve, an

enormous number of options, and at heart a huge universe in which to role play.

There's no "story", and not much interaction in terms of news from around the universe, etc. I.e.,

there's no game driven story at all. However, if you're the kind who can role play in your mind,

creating a story as you wander the universe in a completely free-form mode, doing everything from

fighting to trading to smuggling, etc. you might really like it. I didn't see any of the instability

issues I've seen some people complain about (ran it on three very different machines) and while the

learning curve is steep, if you study the manual and the online appendix, pretty much everything

you need is there.

Frankly, I think the graphics do the job just fine. If you're looking for a flashy game with lots of

fancy graphics, this probably isn't the game for you anyway.

And there is a lot of stuff going on. I just ran into a huge battle going on around an orbiting station,

with space marines zapping each other, fighters going after each other, a couple of battlecruisers

throwing missiles left and right, etc. And on the periphery are mercenary traders, sitting and watching

and waiting, and then running in and grabbing cargo pods (the space debris, basically) from destroyed

ships, and then ducking back out to the periphery. I jumped in with my carrier and launched a couple

of fighters to help protect the station, they got a couple of kills, and now I've got intruders that

have invaded my ship. I forgot to shut down the power to my launch control (doh!) and at least one of

them has escaped and stolen one of my shuttles. Arghh!

After the battle was over, there was a disabled cruiser - I'm going to try to have one of my marines get

into a shuttle and tow it to a station for some extra cash, and the added prestige. Then I need to go

back to another star system and recover a mining drone that I left on a moon to see if it loaded up

with any rare minerals.

That's the typical type of action in the game. Again, there is no game generated story - no radio broadcast

from a commanding officer saying "Lackey! Quick! Head to system so and so, we've got a major insurgent

uprising, and you need to put it down!" (at least not in the free-form roam mode, which is the core of

the program.) There's no story in which two of your fighter pilots are having an affair, or one of your

engineers is jealous of your job, etc. There's no news reports that something odd is going on in a certain

system. Etc. But - there is a very large universe with a lot of "stuff" going on, and if you are the type

who is willing to create the role playing in your mind, the game can be a lot of fun.

I'm still playing it after turning in the review. I was very surprised, frankly - I expected a much poorer game.




I've known Derek Smart for the last three years now, and while he might be one of the most outspoken characters in the gaming industry today, he does something that not many developers are willing to do these days, and that's to listen to their fans.

Like Someguy said, Derek tighyly controls the 3000AD messageboards because a.) they are there only for owners of the game, (you need to send in your CD Key and then wait for the mods or Derek himself to approve your account), that seek technical support or to be part of the BC community and b.) it is his stomping grounds.

Personally, I like the fact that he keeps a tight control on the forums. After all, I'm sure most of you don't like to read through constant flames about Derek or the BC games. There are plenty of boards out there already that specialize in just that. If you want to try, post something about Derek on the Voodoo Extreme forums and you'll see what I mean... : )

When I go to the 3000AD forums, I just want to interact with other gamers and share battle stories and experiences. What's so wrong in showing respect towards other people? The 3000AD crew won't allow any flames towards other members or the 3000AD team. And again, what's so wrong with that? Even if Derek is outspoken, he is one of the most professional and respectful persons out there, when the person deserves to be treated respectfully.

As for the BC franchise, no one is arguing the fact that the first game was released prematurely. This topic has already had enough coverage to last a lifetime. But the truth of the matter is that BC3K v 2.09 and BCM do deliver the goods. Both games give players a totally free-form universe where they can do whatever they want to do, something that hasn't really been delivered on the PC since Elite. Freelancer promised a similar universe, but Digital Anvil is mum on the subject, so is Microsoft.

The game does contain detailed stories for all the races on the game, as well as a nice conflict between GALCOM and the Gammulans, which is most apparent when people play through the Advanced Campaign Module. Still, even in Roam mode, players can follow this storyline depending on the race and caste chosen. Yes, it does ask of gamers to roleplay in their minds, like some posters have stated here, but with so many possibilities already offered by the free-form universe, this is quite easy to get into.

The 3000AD team has stated on coutless occasions that the BC games are niche titles...not everyone will be able to get into the game. And personally, that's fine with me. After waiting so long for other companies to deliver similar experiences, (who can forget X: Beyond The Frontier, Freelancer, etc), the BC series does deliver the goods.

I won't kid anyone though, you will need to dedicate at least two to three days in order to learn the control system and nuances of controlling your ship, personnel, fleet, etc. But the truth is that the manual and the online docs cover everything you need. Considering some complex sims are shipping with only electronic docs, (like MS Flight Simulator 2002), and the complexity of the game itself, this was a wise decision.

I guess my point is that most people have read the extensive coverage given to the release of the first game that they won't give BCM the shot it deserves. The truth of the matter is that 3000AD always stood by their product; they fixed it, released it for free, re-released as a bargain product with Interplay, all of which lead to the release of BCM. And just like they did with BC3K, 3000AD has already provided excellent support for the game. (Most people tend to think Derek does all the work at 3000AD, but the truth is that he has an international team of programmers that also deserve a large part of the credit).

My point is that people should give the game a chance. The experience is amazing, and with the support shown to this day and in the past, it should only get better from this point on. If you didn't like it in the past, you should try it again now. Even if you don't like Derek, the fact remains that BCM is an excellent simulation.


From Dave (editor)

I know that you're in correspondance with Martin, my reviews editor, over

this, but there are certain points in your e-mail which I must respond to.

"And as I've mentioned before, seems to be nothing more than an attack

piece - a sort of payback for that whole PCGPCZ skirmish over the BCM

demo exclusives back in 2001."

PC Zone has never and will never compromise our integrity over an exclusive

demo or review going elsewhere. And to be honest the BCM demo was never a

high priority for us - in terms of the demo it was unlikely to add much to

our sales figures.

"And is it by pure coincidence that PCZ gave the game the most scathing

review and lowest score to date? Think about that for a minute."

I refer you back to the statement above. We are a professional magazine and

never have a hidden agenda. Remarks like this prove are highly inflammatory

and unprofessional, especially given your earlier remarks about libel.

"Lets put it this way. I have a LOT of friends and contacts in the industry

and media (you probably already know this) and a lot of people are talking

about this PCZ farce. This is a VERY small industry and one in which

alliances shift all the time, people move around etc. Whatever went on here,

will come out. And as such, I'll be the first to know about it. Guaranteed.

It is all just a matter of time. And if its one thing I have, it is both

time and patience (tenacity doesn't even factor in here, because with me, it

is a given)."

You don't need patience. The truth is already out - we reviewed the game as

it arrived out of the box. If we're given early code then we go back to

developers with issue. If we review a box copy then we expect it to work out

of the box, especially on six different machines in the office. We have

never had a problem with any other game like this.

If it's of any interest we're starting a new reviews update section in the

magazine, purely to look at buggy products that are considerably improved by

patches. When we're happy that the patch-go-round has finished with BCM we

will take another look and review it as we see fit. This is the same for any


To round off, we're always happy to talk over reviews and explain ourselves.

We're open, as I hope you are, to constructive criticism.

Cheers, Dave Woods

To Dave

Hi Dave,

I think we've all spent enough time on this already and there's nothing

more for me to add. My opinions remain unchanged and I stand by them as

originally written.

I'll take what you said into account and leave it at that. If you guys wish

to revisit the game (e.g. once XP1 is released this Summer), fair enough.

Your call. Quite frankly, at this point, I really don't care what you guys

do or don't do. Its your mag. Its my game. At the end of the day, we all do

whats in the best interests of our respective properties.

As I said before: I won't soon forget. Period.


ps: I have a few PCZ reader letters bound for PCZ which were also sent to me.

You might want to read them.

[ 01-20-2002: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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After I installed the game, the only CTD problem I had was after I destroyed a station with that supply depot=station bug that was around. Other than that, the game didn't crash out of the box, and that reviewer IS attacking the game as opposed to reviewing it. I really don't know how he got it to crash though, he seems too incompetent to be able to get through the shields on a station, let alone destroy it.

Could you sue them for libel? Saying it crashes 90% of the time on top end machines seems a little unlikely...

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Originally posted by Dredd:

Could you sue them for libel? Saying it crashes 90% of the time on top end machines seems a little unlikely...

Uhmmm... i think it is not necessary a war. But that review is really absurd and everyone could understand it easily.

At the end, PC Zone reviewers and editors libeled themselves. They lost many fans in this way and this attack to Derek will hurt their sellings...

I'll not buy anymore PC Zone and i'll ask all my friends and contacts not to buy it anymore. Many will understand my request and will be happy to burn the PC Zone magazines they have at home.

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Personally, I consider reviews of any kind, a total load of hogwash. They are provided for those among us who have neither curiosity or imagination. That's right folks, reviews are written for the braindead.

I am not inclined to allow someone else make judgements for me on any subject, and I'm relatively sure my peers here feel the same.

With that said, I suggest we all send a letter to the editors stating the following..

"You have no dance. Make your slime."

"All your face are belong to pus."

"Take off every Zit. For great Complexion."

[ 01-21-2002: Message edited by: Wolferz ]

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Guest Grayfox


Originally posted by Wolferz:

Personally, I consider reviews of any kind, a total load of hogwash

now now, i read a decent review of BCM from CGCDmag back in the day, and it got me interested in checking out the demo, and the full version of BC3K. although i do admit most of the time the reviews/ reviewers are biased in their opinions, but this one surprisingly wasnt... if i can find the article (i should, i have every CGCD mag from the past 2 years) ill scan the article and perchance sc can post it? or i can email it or what have you. be reminded though that the review was made probably during the beta phase, and the next months magazine demo cd had the first BCM demo on it.

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Reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. And what gamer's should bear in mind, is no different from how you should think when you read a movie review. Basically, reviews are based on the reviewer's opinions. You have to decide whether to take the plunge for yourself. Or not.

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Yep, a lot of good can come from reviews as well. I know I've been pleasantly suprised before trying out a well reviewed game that I may have normally looked over (easy to miss some games nowadays, especially if they're tucked between 9,000 copies of 'Final Fantasy X' and 'The Sims').

Sometimes it's interesting to look at past reviews that were written by the same person to see how your tastes differ (or coincide).

[ 01-21-2002: Message edited by: White Castle ]

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Reviews aren't THAT bad, just this one. Usually if you check a few different sources, and they all agree that a game is good/bad, then it's likely that it is that way. Of course, if your a die hard Star Wars fan, you'll buy Star Wars games that are horrible, no matter what the review. If your going to use reviews, you need to also use common sense.

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Guest Grayfox

found the article i was speaking of. it is from the feb 2001 issue of cgmag. and you can find ithere. actually, its a pic of a missle flying at a space station. just hit the back link to see the whole article

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Originally posted by Grayfox:

found the article i was speaking of. it is from the feb 2001 issue of cgmag. and you can find it
. actually, its a pic of a missle flying at a space station. just hit the back link to see the whole article

That article is Denny Atkin's Beta preview. There is a link to it on this site's reviews page.

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