Oct 11, 2009

Army Break 6: Ahh, yes, the army. And PC Zone.

It occurred to me that, well, I haven't really mentioned anything regarding my time spent in the army, which frankly is kinda weird. I am after all boring everyone to death about the subject. Seems to be the only thing on my mind lately, exactly as people had foretold. Then again this is -supposedly- a gaming blog, and surely you lovable lot wouldn't care for crude jokes that don't make sense outside a military camp, nor would it be normal for you to be interested in my ridiculously long list of petty and not so petty complaints.

So, let me just say that the whole experience has so far been far more tiring than expected, feels outrageously pointless and really isn't that much fun. On the other hand, a rare moment of army induced boredom, coupled with a bit of free time, led me to paying for a ridiculously overpriced issue of PC Zone UK. And then to promptly and quite obviously reading it. PC Zone, you see, had always been my fav PC gaming magazine ever since I laid hands (ages ago) on its jaw-dropping issue 4. And yes, even though I am no longer a regular reader, I was quite aware of the fact that the mag had changed hands and that things aren't up to old times standards.

Still, I was expecting a good, rich and well-written issue. Despite the ridiculously cheap and thin paper the mag was printed on and the impressively uninspired cover. Sadly, I was quite disappointed.

The mag felt painfully small, heavily focused on mainstream gaming and lacked the variety of articles, humorous bits, features, reviews and previews that made it what I used to enjoy. Granted, most parts were actually well written and the humour -where present- was generally good, but I just couldn't help but feel annoyed at some really silly and sub-par reviews that judged games solely on genre. Or the fact that half of the issue covered, in what can only be described as excited fanboy tones, dull FPS offerings. Or that the retro section was incredibly poor. Or that PC Zone completely failed to offer something other than what can readily be accessed in your average gaming site. Or that the DVD was filled with demos. Or that the number of reviews was shockingly low.

Oh well, at least there's still Retro Gamer to provide me with analog reading fun...


  1. Eh, courage gnome, it's like 100 days or so? Remember, people used to do like 24 months of this.

  2. I read a game magazine other than Retro Gamer a year or so ago.

    It was utter, utter toss. The worst thing was that such a childish, sexist mouthpiece for game industry marketing execs seemed to think it had some kind of respectability.

  3. "It was utter, utter toss. The worst thing was that such a childish, sexist mouthpiece for game industry marketing execs seemed to think it had some kind of respectability."

    Don't hold back now Pacian; feel free to tell us what you really think. ;)

  4. I've not read the magazine, but it sounds like they're treating the PC game scene as if it were a console.

    With the Virtual Console and Arcade Live, the consoles have a toe in the retro scene, but PC gaming is pretty extensive so that maybe covering all of it results in an unfocused magazine--indie games, retro games, MMOs, web games, game mods.

    I find discussions of older games so much more interesting than a lot of new game discussions. The latter is typically focused on whether or not the game is good and worth buying. The former takes on many different turns--is the game worth playing (again)? Why is the game great? What value does the game offer, as a game and as a commentary?

    (Brainy Gamer is a good example of the exception to new game discussions.) But I think PC game magazines have lost their way. I've stopped reading them for the most part.

  5. Nothing's as good as it used to be Gnome, including the army, which I understand was utterly fantastic until about a month before you were conscripted. Still, chin up soldier, not long to go now.

    And you might be surprised how keen we all are to hear your perspective on all things military and even to see a pic or two of you in action (I love a man in uniform.)

    Looking forward to your release mate, but not as much as you are! On a more optimistic note, I've gone in and watered the plants over at Gnome's Gaming On The Go and even dropped off a couple of sub-standard articles. Take care mate!

  6. @ Ioannis: Less than 100 kai simera. De se xalase...

    @ Pacian: You know I agree :)

    @ JMcL63: :)

    @ guttertalk: Another wise comment my friend. Cheers!

    @ FK: Hey Father. Nice to see you around again. Hope everything is fine my friend and thanks for keeping our blog alive. I'll talk about the army when the time comes... Oh, and don't expect many piccies. These aren't particularly nice memories...