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Supreme Cmdr

UC Review - PC Gamer (US)

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For those of you who subscribe to PC Gamer (the #1 PC gaming mag), the UC review is in the April issue which I just received. UC got a 75% in well written review by Andy Mahood.

In fact, if my count is correct, UC has the highest score of every game in that issue. Even Black Hawk Down : Team Sabre, got a 59%. heh. Then again, the entire mag is riddled with rubbish games really.

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Guest Remo Williams

I don't subscribe to PC Gamer so I'm going to have to run out and pick it up some where. I would like to see this one.

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quote:


Originally posted by Extinct_Reptilia:

Is there anyway you can scan the review and upload it?


No I can't, until the next issue of the mag is in circulation.

quote:


Originally posted by Remo Williams:

I don't subscribe to PC Gamer so I'm going to have to run out and pick it up some where. I would like to see this one.


Its written by Andy Mahood, so you should know what to expect. A REAL review that makes you ignore the score in favor of actually making up your mind on your own, if you want the game or not.

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Excellent! So there are still reviewers out there that have been playing games long enough to recognise one with depth and courage when they see it.

I hope all the BC critics choke in their tea while they read it

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Relocated

quote:


Originally posted by Cmdr. WeeGee:

I thought ya'll might be interested in this letter I sent to PC Gamer.

quote:

Dear PC Gamer,

I'd like to begin by sucking up and saying how much I love your magazine. I've been with it since about... ummmmmm, damn, that long; 1997. I've also got something like 5 or 6 years of renewals as well, but that was sort of an accident.

Now to the juice of what my letter is about. I'm sure you've heard lots about the 3000AD vs.Dreamcatcher debates on the pricing of Universal Combat, previously known as Battlecruiser Generations (Personally, I like the original name better.). Now then, don't stop reading yet, I'm not going to yell "Derek Smart is gawd!!" or "Derek Smart is a doofus" or anything like that, this is going to be somewhat intelligent. This is about Indie Game Developers and Big Business Publishers.

In the past few years I've been gaming, I've noticed sort of a bad trend with publishers, something that I feel is contributing to the death of the computer games industry. For starters, many publishers, seem to have a knack for destroying excellent ideas by pushing them out the door early. A good example of this is World War II Online.

Now, in its extremely post-beta stage, WW2OL offers the only true MMO Wargame experience. It offers it well too. The game no longer really requires a "Rambo" class system; my Athlon XP 1700+ with GeForce 4 MX440 (which I am currently in the process of replacing with a better card, so I can play UC when I get it.) works very well. The only major component required now is RAM, and most gamers have the recommended 512 MB you need for WW2OL.

Let me give you a few more examples of games whose quality has been degraded by early releases. The original Battlecruiser (You knew I was gonna bring this up didn't you?) is probably the most notable example. The game was entirely unplayable at that state. Star Wars Galaxies is an example. This game, while Sony will never admit it, had to have been released early. Granted, it was in better condition at start than most early released games, it had its share of serious problems, many of which were in the final beta. These included crashes and a few exploits (at least thats what somebody I know who was in the open beta told me). Not to mention several features that were left out.

Universal Combat also got hit with an early release. Derek Smart, in his contract loving ways, made sure that DC followed the contract and released when he said that it was ok.

Now then, I'm not saying here that I like it when games take as long as say, Duke Nukem Forever has taken, but it does annoy me when I spend money for a game that won't even run properly. Typically, by the time a patch is released, I'm tired of all the crap with the game and don't bother playing it again.

Going back on topic, this trend is disturbing to say the least. Big Publishers are slowly destroying the market with this behavior. Not to mention the price of games.

This is where the latest feud between 3000AD and Dreamcatcher starts to take presence. Publishers have the ability to make a game seem good or not depending on the price. If it wern't for magazines and reviews such as PC Gamer provides the great gaming community with, the good cheap ones and the bad expensive ones would probably never get noticed much. The higher the price, the more it fools the buyer that the game is good, the lower the price the more it fools the buyer that the game is bad. This seems, in my observations of people around me (does this make me one of those freaks who can tell you what your thinking about at the time?) that casual gamers are most affected by this. Hardcore gamers read PC Gamer right? Well, some hardcore gamers I know, including myself, I'm guilty as well, fall for this trap too. I can't name how many times I've

gotten one of the most expensive games on the shelves only to learn that its crap (ST: Armada anyone?). Not to mention that this decreases the shelf life of games as well, the lower the price the less and less copies you see on the shelves, and the less noticed the game is. You could argue that everyone is buying them, but I've noticed that's rarely the case.

There are exceptions to this rule, for games such as Half-Life. But not all good games catch the public's eye like Half-Life does.

As you well know, Dreamcatcher dropped Universal Combat's price down to 20 dollars american. This in turn resulted in a court dispute between 3000AD and Dreamcatcher. The Judge did not grant an injunction, because the price can be tested on the market. If Universal Combat's sales don't perform as well as they say, 3000AD will have every

right to sue for damages. As far as I know, there is still a possibility that we may see Universal Combat become unsupported by 3000AD. Already people who have purchased the game are putting posts up on the 3000AD forums saying about how good the game is, and how the 20 dollar pricetag is too low for the worth of this game. Unfortunately, there will always be people smashing 3000ADs games, because there seems to be about half of the world population who hates Derek Smart for some reason or another. Suprisingly though, not a single flame war has erupted on the 3000AD forums since UCs release. That's sort of a record concerning the past history of Battlecruiser game releases.

Many of us on the 3000AD forums are saying we won't buy Universal Combat until either the price goes up or its final that its staying at $20. Some of us won't buy it at all if the price doesn't go up. We simply don't want to see such a great game become unsupported.

It seems that the biggest reason for Dreamcatcher to do this is revenge on an indie developer who is true in what they say. It was Dreamcatcher's own fault for replicating the beta CDs; therefore thats why they had to pay for the destruction of them. Personally, I think this is about as agressive as any Microsoft tactic.

Dreamcatcher had no right to lower the price that was agreed on Universal Combat.

The reason I've written you about this, is I'm curious on what your feeling about Big Game Publishers taking advantage of their Developers, whether they're Indie or not Indie. I'm also curious about your feelings of this current feud between 3000AD and Dreamcatcher.

Also, and this is a bit off the topic, what does Vederman prefer for rotary tools when modding (If he mods at all?).

Thanks,

Adam "Cmdr. Weegee" Morris

P.S. Feel free to visit us at the 3000AD forums at any time!
http://www.3000ad.com/


Enjoy, I hope it caught all of our feelings of this matter well.


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I thought in the past that PC Gamer had a strict policy of reviewing games "as is" out of the retail box. I was just curious since I have not seen the review whether or not they mention if they applied any of the patches that came out so soon after they had their copy?

Because if that remaining 25% is missing for issues related to things which were rectified so quickly, that tells us something about what their score could have been.

I have seen them re-review games later in the "extended play" section if a patch comes out that make substantial changes...and i think they did this with BCM.

Anyway just curious.

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They review games out of the box. So yes, Andy's version is probably the retail 1.00.01, with no patches applied.

If a review applies patches, they usually indicate this in statements like ..with the recent patch...

Just imagine what would have happened if I had allowed DC to release the game back in November '03

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Take a careful look at the newsticker column, it sez SC is refusing to support UC, which is of course garbage..

Pg 34 "....Meanwhile, Smart refuses to provide technical support to customers who paid only $20. Stay Tuned"

WTF? Then again this mag prolly went to press shortly after the game was released

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At least Andy Mahood really know how to review the "simulation games"...not those "reviewers" who thought UC is an "action games"....

Way to go PC Gamer!

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I have been a long time subscriber to PCGamer and am actually glad they review the "rubish" games, especially since some big titles coming out turned out to be, well, rubish that you would pay the big $50 for.

I've been kind of out of touch recently and am glad to hear the "no support" thing has gone away, and I'd like to see how the legal aspects turn out.

Bankruptcy to jerk publishers I say.

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Thanks for putting my letter in this thread SC.

I really liked the review; Mahood is a tough reviewer too. I think its awesome that UC got a 75%, some games he reviews can really get cut down to the core.

PC Gamer still is the best gaming mag out there, and the whole rubbish game stuff is there cause they review whatever gets sent to them (to my knowledge).

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You know what one of the problem of the average gamer nowadays is?

Many games are no-brainers, just press the jump, run and fire button as long as the "You've won!" (or lost) message shows up. Or just rush to build the fastest, hugest, toughest army, unit or whatever and annihilate the enemy.

If I look at my nephews they too seem to find games "Way cool!" when there's nothing intelligent involved. They are 16 and 13 and not in the "first PC game generation" anymore. They are raised with these no-brainer games, so maybe we can't even blame them...

Games like UC tend to be regarded as slow paced, boring or what not, but those people never bother to look at the true internals of a game and don't see what extreme (re-)playability these games offer.

I am also getting sick of people turning a game down by only looking at the graphics; if a game isn't pretty then it sucks. Nonsense as far as I am concerned (Look at Wizardry 8 if you like RPG's, if you know what I mean).

Anyway it's good to see that there really are reviewers who look further.

BTW Have you noticed that the negative reviews about UC tend to come with the exact same reasons as if they have just copied their reviews...?

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Oh smack ... look what I just done gone and ran into ...

What'd I been missing here?

Oh yeah, and who do I gotta go and relentlessly flame for this one?

Lord Above Almighty, I thought Take (a) Deuce [Take 2 for all you up-and-coming newcomers, in case you weren't aware] was bad enough.

Bring on Google. Ten bucks says another 16 year old kid with an 8 year old maturity is ready to rock... too bad I'm ready to roll.

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