I'm working up a centerpiece story about the culture of video games and how rapid the industry has grown. I'm looking for a man in his 30s to 40s who played video games systems like Atari or Super Nintendo when they were first introduced. I came across your Web site: The Video Game Critic
I'd like to speak with you about the history of video game systems and how the face of gamers has changed. Traditionally, video games have appealed primarily to older children and young adults. Now, Nintendo, PC, Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp are gearing new electronic devices to appeal to people of all ages, including older adults. For instance, Nintendo is targeting the DS hand-held video game system to an older customer rather than the pre-teens who are the biggest enthusiast for its Game Boy hand-helds. Sony, too has caught on to this new wave of video gamers. Sony also plans to launch a PSP hand-held system.
Many of these "older gamers" are married, have full-time jobs and families, but they also enjoy spending a few hours playing Xbox, PlayStation and PC games.
Thank you for your time,
VGC's Note: I did a phone interview with this reporter, but I don't know if it ever ran in the paper.
"Nights is certainly an innovative game, but it didn't win over most video game players."
Yours is the only average to below review I've seen for the game, anywhere. It's obvious you only played it for 10 minutes, and Nights is only one of dozens of completely shallow reviews I've seen on your site. Quantity is never superior to quality, I'd suggest digging a bit deeper into the games you review. You do a good job of being unbiased, but not a good job of being informed. Nights is a fairy? Go back to this one for a week or so, I think you missed a lot of it.
Hate to say it, but I think you're right. That review does not do the game justice.
That's one of my older reviews, and it's not very good. Thanks for calling me on it.
I'll go back and play it and hopefully post a new review within the next few weeks.
Sorry if I came across as rude, there, I can get pretty defensive over Nights :-P I'd hate for you to not see all Nights has to offer with extended play. I'm sure you have a lot of games on your plate (how many systems do you own?) but if possible give Nights a week or two of high score busting. It's the kind of game that gets better the more you play it. Also, if you ever want me to teach you the chain system in Radiant Silvergun I'd be happy to, it makes the game about 300% more fun.
I would like to see more of your mailbag, but would much prefer to see your responses to all the feedback!
That's a good idea.
I'll try to remember to save my responses for the next edition!
Greetings, Mr. Critic.
I was reading through your reviews (doing a good job as always) and I though I could clear up a few things:
1) Tecmo Super Bowl III (1995) was called the Final Edition because it was the last 16-bit title in the series. Tecmo originally planned to continue the series on the PlayStation. That was dropped after they released the PSX version of Tecmo Super Bowl, which was a DOG.
2) I think you got your Virtua Racing games backwards. The Genesis version of Virtua Racing came out first, in 1994. The 32X version, Virtua Racing Deluze, followed after in the following year.
The Video Game Critic has to be one of my favorite sites on the Web. When I have a little bit of free time, I love nothing more than to take a trip through memory lane, by reading all your reviews. The site is simple and easy to navigate, and features just an all-around great layout. Keep up the good work.
Love the site. Keep up the good work. I really like your grading system. You actually give low grades. I love the classic reviews (atari 2600, intellivision, coleco, etc) as well as the new system reviews.
Any chance on starting DS or PSP (when it comes out) reviews?
Don't ever sell out and stay objective. This is really great.
Since you give of your time...here's something you might enjoy...a funny top 10 list about what we learned from video games...(not that funny) [link]
Is a review of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories forthcoming any time soon? I liked the game until it got too repetitive, but man is this game complicated! I'm too old school for all these cards and shuffling and whatnot. Who ever heard of fighting with cards????
I love your stuff,
Howdy there. I have been visiting your website for about a year and a half now. I am very glad to have found it. It helped me rebuild my Atari 2600 and Genesis collections. Thanks alot. One thing I noticed in the Gamecube section, It is VERY nice to see somebody give the Mario and Metroid games the credit they deserve. I go to the forums on gamewinners.com all the time and these people aren't just pro-Sony or pro-Microsoft, they seem to hate Nintendo and would give their should to watch them fail. They say Super Mario Sunshine is a piece of trash and no better than Mario 64 and that Metroid is a Halo ripoff - what the %@#$ !?!. I am bewildered by this but nonetheless when I saw you gave both games an A rating it put a smile on my heart. I love Nintendo so much and hope they will always be around. After all, they are the "path to heaven" Thanks for giving credit where credit is deserved.
P.S. Now that the DS is out it would be cool to see what your opinions on some of those games are, if you have the time for ANOTHER platform. Keep up the good work.
I notice from your site that you happen to be a big fan of 2D Side-Scrolling bashers in the Final Fight or Streets of Rage mode. In that vein, I offer the recommendation of the Punisher - by Capcom no less! Great game - at least in the arcade original. But there's an Genesis port, though I can't speak to its quality. Still, as I don't see that you've reviewed it, it might be worth checking out!
The arcade version offers lots of weapons, including shooting!
Hello. I'm not going to leave my name, as I do not want it to spread around... just a safety issue... anyway...
I've been visiting your site since late June, and I must say that it is by far my favorite website for video games. As you can probably tell by my email address, I'm a die-hard segaholic. Classic Sega reviews are so hard to come by these days, but ever since finding your site I'm aware about the games I'm buying. However, through your site, I've become interesting in many other systems, such as the Neo Geo, Lynx, and 3DO. Another thing I respect you for is that you're completely unbiased. You can enjoy EA, Sega, and Sony without feeling the least bit guilty.
Your reviews are perfect... short, informative, and comical... not like the ridiculous 3 page reviews on the so called "hardcore" sites.
Well, I'm out... keep up the good work, Video Game Critic!
Any plans on reviewing Basewars or Knightrider for NES? I spent countless hours playing the former and will never forget the disappointment that came with wasting my money on the latter.
I noticed that you did not have a review of super metroid for the snes, and that you had extremely positive reviews for the recent games. Super Metroid is BY FAR the best metroid game, and in my opinion the best game ever made. It is the very literal definition of perfection. Though, the recent games were indeed very good, they lacked the immense replay value of this game. It is truly open and is made to be broken, without seeming derivative and unnatural as though they were guiding you along as in the sequence breaking in zero mission. The atmoshere and nature of the story are unrivaled and told in a non-obtrusive manner, far superior to any other. It has the best and most memerable music and the best level design. In reality, zero mission is almost a watered down super metroid. I would HIGHLY suggest that you play this game. After playing the zero mission the physics might seem a little odd when you first start, but you will not be dissappointed.
Thank you, and I hope to see a review of Super Metroid soon.
Heya again! I'm the annoying guy who asked you to replay Nights. I just caught your updated review and I'm glad you got more out of it this time. If you can get a copy of Christmas Nights, that's quite enjoyable too. :-P
Thanks again, good luck with your gaming!
Youre bookmarked. Its a nice change from the big review sites. I love love love hte one paragraph to the point reviews. Going through the reviews is kinda like going back in time a little bit. Loved pretty much every part of the stie. Keep up the excellent work.
I just read your new mailbag section. I think it was cool to see some of your feedback, both good and bad. Continue posting different e-mails you get, it is fun reading. Game on!
You have to review this game! It's superb! You'll give it an A for sure!
Could you please help me with some information on becoming a game critic. were can I apply and what condentials do I need
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR GREAT REVIEWS!! WOULD LIKE A SUGGESTION ON A VIDEO THAT WILL HELP MY HAND EYE CORD. AND SPEED IN REAL SHOOTING. THANKS ALOT! SINCERELY,
Howdy there. Thanks for posting that review for Asteroids for the Nintendo 64. I used to have this game for the first Playstation back in the day and absolutely loved it. I don't have the PS anymore but I DO have an N64. I had no idea at all that it was made for Nintendo as well. I bought it the other day and man it is [expletive] sweet! I'm surprised you gave it such a bad rating, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thanks again.
Also, any plans to have reviews for DS games anytime soon?
Finally someone who likes this game as much as me.
It's the best game Midway has ever produced.
Thanks for the great review of it!
By the way, I had to tell you that I also have always especially liked the music of Rygar, but never really said it in public because it isn't exactly what the populace would normally think of as cool sounding music. I think it definitely only tickles a true classic gamers fancy to hear such good music come from a limited source, kindof like hearing somebody really whale on a casio keyboard. I havn't played Mega Man 2 all the way through in years, but I always finds songs from every single level stuck in my head at some point, more often than I care to tell.
Hello, I am currently working with Capcom on Shadow of Rome and would love
to send you a copy for review if you did not have one already. we are very
excited about this new ps2 game and below i have attached some preview prose
and screenshots that would be great if you can post as well. Please let me
know if i can do anything for you or if you would like to run a contest.
Thanks and take care.
When I was a kid (born in 1969)I was never allowed to
have an Atari 2600, Intellivision or any home console
as my father (perhaps rightly so) prefered me to be
playing outside in St. Louis rather than parked in
front of the TV. However, now I am an adult I can do
what I want to. A few years ago my mother-in-law came
across the families old 2600 VCS with 8 games, and
knowing I can fix practically anything, asked me if I
wanted it. I took it home to see how it worked and it
didn't. After $30.00 bucks worth of replacement parts
I found a joy I was missing since childhood. I had
played at friends homes but never got to experience
and improve at the old Atari games on my own system.
Now I'm hooked and own 130 of the best thanks to your
site. (Plus a few dogs for posterity, Space
Jockey...what a joke) Also, my 5 year old boy has
taken to the games and can't do any serious harm to
the old system or the games without really trying. His
favorite is Dig Dug. An old barely used Saturn to be
discarded by a friend has now turned me to another
system to collect for and your site has really helped
me. In addition, I have discovered emulation for NES
and old arcade games.(Scramble was my favorite an ate
hundreds of dollars in allowance.) Great times are
relived for friends who hung out at arcades and had
countless drunken Tecmo Super Bowl tourney's til dawn
in college. VGC has helped steer me towards the best
video gaming has to offer. Thanks to you and your site
for helping me to feel what I missed as a kid.
PS Please withold name if posted. Thank you.
sounds great, the shadow of rome title is on its way. i look forward to
seeing what you think of it, i am loving the hell out of it so far. thanks
Hello fellow gamer. I'm [name], a new fan to your site.
I was browsing around looking for recommendations for the Sega CD, and I happen to come across your site. I love it!
But, what shocked me is how you could not list any of the greatest RPGs to ever embark on the SNES? If you ever get the chance (even if you must use roms, for crying out loud), play the following for the SNES and rate them and post the verdict on your site:
- Chrono Trigger (SquareSoft)
- Final Fantasy III (SquareSoft)
- Secret of Mana (though not as great...) (SquareSoft)
- Mario RPG (I haven't played it myself, but it's worth a shot)
Send a line back - I hope you can enjoy Chrono Trigger as much as I do!
Cool site. Great reviews overall, but just a few comments about 5200 reviews. Space Dungeon is actually a rarely seen Taito arcade game. Also, some of the games where you rightly slammed the joystick/button combined push (e.g., Frogger and Q*Bert) I believe came with keypad overlays so that you could push the directions on the keypad instead of the being forced to use the joysticks. It's been awhile since I've played them so I cannot be 100% sure which games included this option, but check it out because this might increase your enjoyment of them. A few other nitpicks came to mind while I was reading the site, but nothing sticks with me now so they must have been minor. Overall excellent site and reviews.
Dude, you rock! I found your site this morning, while surfing for classic side scroller reviews, and I completely enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to share you opinions.
Love the new movies-based-on-videogames reviews section. Kudos to the scores, which I actually agree with. I would have mentioned Christopher Lambert's name as the guy that plays Raiden in the first "MK" movie. Seldom have I seen an actor have such a ball with a videogame character as this guy was obviously having with the God of Thunder role.
Hello video game critic,
I really like your site, and enjoy reading your reviews of many older game systems, such as Atari 2600, NES, and Super Nintendo. I am writing to let you know that there are a few games that I really enjoy that you haven't written a review on yet. I would be interested to hear your opinions of them and let others who read your site know about them as well. I won't be offended if you don't like them, though but I would be interested in hearing your opinion of them :-)
The games I am thinking of are for the Super Nintendo. I have included a short description of them in case you aren't familiar with them:
Rampart: Very unique puzzle game where you try to build walls to protect your castles and build cannons which you use to destroy your opponents. The single player version is fun, but the two player v.s. version is even better. Each round consists of two phases, on for building up your castle and the other one for shooting ships and other enemies in the one player game and your opponent's castle in the two player version. The game is a good mix of strategy for fixing your own walls as well as shooting your opponent in the right places. There is a NES version of this game as well, but the Super Nintendo version is much better.
Kirby's Dream Course: This is a very unique game, I haven't ever seen anything like it. It is kind of a mix between pool and miniature golf, but with a twist. Kirby acts as the ball in this game, which you can hit on the ground, in the air, and add front, back, and side spins. The goal is to hit "enemies", some of which give Kirby special powers such as rock, tornado, freeze water, spike, and UFO if he hits them. The last "enemy" turns into the cup and Kirby must be hit into it to finish the level. This game has a very fun and challenging single player version and a great two player game which allows you to compete against each other for points.
Earthbound: This is a fun role playing game involving four heros (kids). The game is very creative and fun to play. It is challenging and yet it is easy enough to figure out what to do so it doesn't get frustrating, either.
Well there you have it. Again, I really enjoy your site and hope that you enjoy playing these games if you haven't played them already. I look forward to reading your reviews of them and other games as well.
Add "CAMERA" to the glossary list. A lot of old timers may not know what this is....
I love your site. I collect video games and your reviews have helped me many times making a decision on whether or not to purchase a video game.
If you ever need any help with reviews let me know,
First off, thanks for taking the time to read this email. I would like to say I enjoyed your site very much and it was a lot of fun recapping on some of my child hood favorites in the early part of the 80's. The problem I have and why I am writing this email is that I have a disagreement I would just like to share with you. While every one is has their opinion on fighting games I have mine... I am and will always be a tekken junkie.. I was very pleased to see that you gave tekken trio for the playstation pretty good ratings I think that its unfair to compare it to virtua fighter.. honestly I consider my self to be a pretty avid gamer and I don't think I have ever once in my life met someone that preferred virtua fighter to tekken .. I mean c'mon now its tekken it really was the next stepping stone on fighting games after street fighter. But that's just my opinion. The combos them selves and the innovation with the "chain's" that nina and king can do are insane. The different fighting styles are incredibly accurate.. and foremost this is a skill based game ... my friends and I for hours upon hours played this game perfecting our "tekken skills" ..... thanks for listening to this rant.
Have a good one.
Keep on gaming
PS where are the reviews on the final fantasy series ;)
Thanks for writing in. Your points are well taken.
I was a huge Tekken junkie in the Playstation One days, but Tekken Tag and Tekken 4 just didn't do it for me.
Series like Soul Calibur and Virtua Figher seem to have surpassed it.
However, I heard that Tekken 5 is right around the corner, and I'll be reviewing it as soon as I can.
PS: Sorry, I don't play RPGs very often.
Good to hear back from you.. ya I understand.. Everyone has their thing... I just remember virtua fighter from back in the day being really generic and lame.. And that has always stuck with me.. However I love soul caliber.. I'm a big "combo fighter" and soul caliber was initially very surprising to me... didn't think they had incorporated combos into that game... but as you know they did.... And I can't wait to read your review on tekken 5 .... I am hoping it will be a good game..
Very upsetting to hear you don't play RPG's man...cause they really have a lot to offer... to each his/her own..
Keep on Playin...
Greetings, Mr. VGC
I read your Sega Master System console review. I agree with most everything, especially the part about the game library in the US, and how most of the good games were in Europe.
One thing you forgot to mention is the SMS can play almost ANY game in the world, including titles released in Europe. There's no problem with playing PAL titles on a NTSC television.
Also about the Sega cards, not only did Sega phase out the cards, but many of them were re-released as cartridges.
Just a little FYI for you. Keep up the good work!
Hello, My name is [name]. I rarely take the time to just write a random e-mail to someone I don't know, but I came across your site on a Google Search for a Saturn Game I saw on the shelves today at a store and I must say you have a great collection of mini-reviews there. I like not having to read 5 pages of rants and overview. You get straight to the point and have a selection of all the systems I can even think of.
A couple of years ago I went and bought so many of the older systems on eBay. I had some of them as a kid (I am 25) and others I had wanted, but being 9 or 10, I really didn't have much income to do such things at the time. So finding some reviews for those old systems' games is awesome! By the way, the game I saw today was Street Fighter The Movie for Sega Saturn. I happened to be in another town today for work and came across some obscure little video game store (not a corporate EB or Gamestop). He had all kinds of old stuff, a little high priced for some things, but oh well. But I hadn't heard of the movie version of the fighter.
Like I said, my eBay kick got me some of the older systems you have linked. Right now on my entertainment center I have: NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Sega Master, Genesis, a second Genesis with the Sega CD and 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, Turbo Grafx 16, Panasonic 3DO, Phillips CD-I, Xbox, PS2 and the Jaguar. I was looking to get the Jaguar CD and the Neo Geo systems, but they can be a little pricey, to say the least. I wouldn't mind getting an Atari 2600 again too. That is the first one I remember from my childhood. I also write some reviews myself. I work for a local newspaper as the arts/entertainment editor. We are located in Maryland and are the state's most circulated weekly. The last two weeks I had reviews in for "Tekken 5" and "Street Fighter Anniversary Collection." I have "Star Wars Republic Commando" waiting in the wings too, probably for next week. I've also done some reviews for other popular titles like "Halo 2," "GTA San Andreas," and "Star Wars Battlefronts and Knights of the Old Republic 2." Every now and then I'll throw in some personal "favorites from the past" kind of things. I did my Top 10 NES games a couple of years ago and a piece I did on video game icons, like Mario, Link, Sonic, Pac-Man, etc. Every now and then I also go on a rant on things like how it isn't the games' fault that kids commit crimes. Those usually get some interesting responses.
I know I am jumping around a little here, but there are a few other things I wanted to mention. I was reading your NES section and about Super Mario 2, did you know the reason it is different than the rest of the series is because the original Mario 2 release in Japan (which looked like the first Super Mario) was deemed "too hard" for American gamers? So Nintendo took another game title they had, pulled the characters out of them and inserted the Mario cast and boom... Super Mario 2. I didn't know that until watching G4-TV's icon's show on Mario. All this time I thought they were creative and now I almost feel ripped off. =) I am wondering if Lost Levels was actually Super Mario 2. It has me thinking.
Well, I don't want to take too much more of your time here. But I wanted to leave you with two possible questions. I might be doing a piece on game sites and I sure love yours. Would you mind me mentioning it in an article? And second, what are your thoughts on possibly giving me permission to print some of your retro reviews here and there. I would give you credit with your name in the byline and would even provide a link to your site. I am not in the position to offer you money for the reviews, hell, it's a weekly, I hardly get paid. But it might send some traffic to your site. You can let me know. I'll send you some copies of the paper if you want to see our product. Plus, if you allow me to post some reviews, anything printed of yours I would be more than happy to send out to you so you can have them. It's just an idea.
Thanks for all your time,
In subsequent emails I started an informal arrangement with this guy.
Periodically he publishes my reviews in a local free paper, under my real name.
He sends me copies so I can see my stuff in print - very nice.
I haven't written in quite a while but something I ran across the other day on your site inspired me, your review of the excellent Jumpman Jr. on Colecovision. I too am an old hand at that game, and remember whiling away many hours on my Commodore 64 playing it. The coleco version I think is spot-on. EpyX was one of my favorite publishers with their summer/winter games series. Before I prattle on much longer i'll get to the point, I've started playing ol' Jumpman again in earnest, and i've become somewhat adept at it again. Last night my nostalgia trip ended when I entered "unknown" territory, much to my delight.
Nothing to it, clear
Fire , Fire , no problem
Hellstones: mastered (hint: only four stones can be on screen at once, use this to exploit maximum advantage)
Figurit's Revenge: took me awhile to remember a wise order in which to earn the stones
Walls: a cool board but easy
Zig Zag: a bitch
...next , there's "mystery word" or something like that where you have to spell a mystery word with stones acquired in a specific order. It was late and i had too much beer to really concentrate adequately, but solved it then there's "in the dark" where the board is in total darkness and revealed to you only inches at a time, drawn while your man explores the void. VERY cool, but i couldn't go any further. After all this i had about 17,000 points or so and was feeling quite pleased, I am pretty sure i broke new ground on the game; after "zig zag" the other stages didn't elicit that deja' vu feel at all, so i assume i never saw them before.
My question is, how far have you taken this beast? What comes next?
fellow videogame enthusiast,
I disagree with your Metal Gear 1 review; I think it's the best adventure game on the NES. It was developed concurrently with Zelda, pioneering the mixture of action and RPG. (similar to how Newton and Leibnitz both developed integral calculus at the same time) It really showed that you can do more with the genre than just "elves and wizards", and that "guns and bombs" are compatible with thinking and exploration.
I think you ought to sit down and play it through, even with a walkthrough (which is necessary). I did this a year and a half ago over the over the course of 12 hours (my friend and I had a race to finish Metal Gear 1 vs. MGS2), and it was quite a rush. Later in the game there are some elements found in MGS, such as blowing up a fusebox with guided missles.
I might add that Metal Gear: Snake's Revenge is quite excellent as well, but very, very difficult.
BTW, I'm now utterly addicted to your site.
Hi. I'm a huge fan of your site, and an aspiring pseudo-journalist whose in high-school. I wrote a review for one of the best games I've ever played, and want to share my opinion of it with the world. (ever get that awesome feeling?) Anyway, I'm a pseudo-journalist still in high-school and would greatly appreciate it if you could possibly post me as a guest reviewer. My name is Frank Blazejewski.
The sprawling sequel to Segas beloved Jet Grind Radio, Jet Set Radio Future expands on the series every asset. From the increased vastness and mindboggling draw distances of it's multi-tierred, encompassingly huge stages, to the new inclusion of pedantic graphic details and interactive obstacles , to the amped up roster of quirky characters, Jet Set Radio Future is a bigger, deeper, prettier, and denser game than the original.
The choppy frame-rate of JGR has, with the help of the Xbox's technical girth, evolved into a lusciously smooth, shockingly consistent (no drops even in multiplayer!) 60 fps. While thorough light and shadowing effects caress the bustling, enormous, uber-stylized cities you sprint through, which make the originals already impressive cel-shaded landscapes seem desolate by comparison.
Control has evolved as well. While JGR featured a lethargic and somewhat unintuitive control scheme, JSRF's condenses the originals cumbersome interface while still retaining an elegant and accessible way to manuever your character.
But what impresses me the most is JSRF's astonishing marriage of stylish, quirky artistry, eclectic high-caliber licensed music, and sci-fi neo-hop aesthetic that makes an ambiance so well established and unique, that it feel like an erra in fashion that we haven't experienced yet.
In every respect, an awesome game.
I forgot to mention that this is somewhat of a rough-draft, and it may have some spelling errors. Also, if your site isn't a site that usually accepts freelanced reviews, than, well, I must look rather foolish right now. Please excuse me if this is so, I'm young and naive.
Well i enjoyed your site alot.....your reviews are short and to the point. Great job........I send a picture of my ninja turtles custom dreamcast for no apparent reason. Thought it might tickle your fancy. Each turtle has its own controller...looks better in person...well anyway have a good one. thanks
I dont know what i would do without your kick ass site. I dont always agree with you but i think about 99 percent of the time your right on the money. All i can say is never stop doing what you love and i will buy your book when ever it comes out.
Have you played Action 52 for the NES? It's hands-down the worst game(s) I've ever played. No joke. It was made by Active Enterprises, who also made Cheetahmen 2. (Which is every bit as bad, but without the variety.)
These games have gotten their own cult following lately, simply because they are so horrible.. there are entire websites set up to mock Active Enterprises. In fact, I saw at least two sites that review *all 52* games in Action 52.
I was too young to remember the name of the game I played on my fathers computer. It must have been around 1978. It was a Artillery game where you would calulate and enter the math to adjuct the angle of your cannon that would blow up the cannon or house on the other side of the mountain. I am a little fuzzy about the details of the game play. I remember loving the game but hating to do the math to play as a kid. I would love to find this game as it is a memory I had with my father who is no longer with us. it would mean a lot to me If i could just figure out the name of the game. It was a computer game and very much like the Atari 2600 game - Artillery Duel (Xonox 1983)but on a computer and with math figures having to be entered in to play.
Thank you for any help you could give,
Dear Video Game Critic,
I am a big KISS fan and I was reading your review for KISS Pinball for the Sony Playstation. The game DOES have it's bad points in terms of following the ball and the graphics...and I believe only one of the tables is really entertaining (the one that you're supposed to get to the KISS concert.) However, the voice samples are nice (sounds like Paul and Gene had SOME input) plus if you look at the instructions it DOES say you can take out the game disc (like Ridge Racer) and put in your own music CD (KISS or otherwise) and the shoulder buttons control switching tracks. I don't think it deserves a GREATLY improved score but at least maybe a D? Just my input. Love the site. (It's what helps me make my game buying decisions!)
A few things that annoy me about some game systems:
1. The GBA SP doesn't have a headphone jack. You can't hear the music without bothering other people.
2. All next-gen systems should have a hard drive of some sort. I'd rather be able to save games without paying 30$ extra, and I don't care much for taking memory cards to other systems(not like I have friends, anyway). And Sony seems to be pretty arrogant about system prices, since the PS2 sells for as much as the X-Box and more than the GC, but doesn't have a hard drive or modem, or even 4 controller ports, and it's the least powerful system. It has the best game library, though.
VGC NOTE: I suspect this is with regard to my "Video Game Rants" article.
I have been a relatively long reader of your site and have always found the writing and your opinions merely OK to good. I mostly stuck around for the sites sheer eclecticism, and the endearing fact that you don't ignore the interesting obscure systems in favor of reviewing the bare essentials usually covered in "defunct system" gaming e-zines. But after reading your hideous review of the widely acclaimed Otogi games, I had to draw the line. I mean, what the heck?? Did you become addicted to crack or some kind of tripped out mind/taste altering drug? Otogi was praised incessantly by nearly every gaming source. EGM gave it a silver award, as did XBN. On metacritic (an "accumulation of all editorial reviews" site) it received a solid 80 out of one hundred. And before you start blathering over how corrupt and corporate these magazines are, I'de like to inform you that all of my hardcore game nerd friends and I utterly adore it. From it's lush artistry and elaborate physics engine, to it's haunting soundtrack, to it's enigmatic story, to....... jeez!!! It's a near-classic! And the "bizzare" controls you mentioned??? These controls and physics were meant to give you the sensation of being a spirit, so understandably, they're a bit "floaty". And the story isn't cliche'd, it's meant to emulate actual Japanese mythology down to the nitty grit, from the levels to the bosses to everything! Otogi is a good game, and I think you should reconsider your review. I mean, besides this, I have little against your site. It really is informative and interesting in general, but this is just an inexcusable blemish on the face of a fairly good gaming source.
Although admittedly Otogi's gameplay isn't as strategic as the likes of say Soul Calibur, or heck, even Devil May Cry, it has a fair share of substance. The combos you've mentioned aren't nearly as repetetive and monochromatic as they seem, as the "hard" attack is slower in execution than "light". Magic also plays a role. And you also failed to mention the awesome physics engine. Completely inimitable.......
You mentioned in your review of Donkey Kong for the 7800 that you believe there wasn't a fourth level in any 8-bit version. Well, I'm just writing to let you know that that Atari 8-bit computer version has all four levels. Donkey Kong Junior does too! Love your site & take care!
Hi, I'm interested in creating a middle school lesson plan that revolves around game reviews and rating systems. I looked at Nintendo 64 games and saw ratings of A to F but am unable to determine how these scores were given.
Do you use a rubric or scoring matrix that can be used to discuss games in the way critics review books--elements of literary or artistic criticism that provide reviewers and readers access to common terms and serve as frames of reference for reviews.
I'm thinking of a rubric similar to that used by Entertainment Software Rating Board and Advertising Review Council. I looked at a magazine this morning with my students and noticed game reviews with four categories: Graphics, Sound, Control, and Fun Factor. Do you employ review criteria in a similar fashion?
At the top of each of my review pages is this note:
NOTE: These games are rated in comparison to other Atari 2600 games. The main criteria is based on how fun the game is to play, although control, graphics, and sound also play a role.
So yes, I use the same type of criteria as most game magazines. I don't really have a rigid system - it's very subjective. I do grade on a curve however, so in theory the average grades for a particular system should be approximately a C.
As an avid Atari 2600 player, I've enjoyed your reviews for a long time now and have found myself in almost complete agreement with all of them. You've inspired me to buy a number of games and I really appreciate all the work you've put into helping me to have more stupid fun.
Tonight, for the first time, I checked out your Gameboy reviews and felt compelled to comment on your Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon review -- a game that you gave an "F" rating. I know this game has been universally panned, but I have to say that I hope you give it another chance. After owning a GBA SP since it came out, besides Tetris and the '80s games anthologies, this is the only "new" game I play -- and I play it more than any other.
Coming from an Atari 2600 mindset, I just want to get immediately into shooting things and having fun. I don't care about story/dialogue. I want an '80s arcade-style experience, FPS-preferred, and I think SW: FOF really fits the bill. The major complaint about this game has been that the second level in the first game (game IV -- the Landspeeder level) is it's too difficult, but I assure you that if you spend any time with this game this level only provides enough challenge to warrant second-level status.
I think this game really captures and builds upon the feel of the early Star Wars games, is a super fun shooter that you can immediately launch into (by bypassing the info/text screens), and really satisfies the need to shoot stuff and "be" in the Star Wars world.
Just my 2 cents. Again, thanks for the massive amount of work you must do!
I LOVE reading all of your reviews, especially the older stuff from "my generation" -- Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision, etc.
Perhaps you could review Colecovision Dukes of Hazzard some time? It was a game I always wanted as a kid but never ended up getting....
Anyhow, keep the reviews coming!
Who are these homos? At first I thought this
came from the mighty Video Game Critic (TM) but
then realized it was just from some fraud!
I see a death match in the future...
I love your site and check in about 4-5x a week for new content. It's extremely entertaining and informative. I especially love the reviews of the "classic" games on The Atari 2600 and the Atari XEGS.
In my 33 year old life I've owned (in order): Pong, Bally Astrocade, Atari 2600, Atari 800XL SNES, Genesis, Playstation and now PS2. Have you ever considered running a console review on the ill-fated Bally Astrocade? The controller had the most unique (and most fragile) design in videogame history and the games were memorable.
I can't ask you to improve on a near perfect website but would appreciate more Atari XEGS reviews (i did love the April editions to the XEGS reviews). I think you'd really enjoy games like M.U.L.E., Seven Cities of Gold, Ali Baba and Ultima II Revenge of the Enchantress. I wanted to purchase Ultima II on ebay and was astonished to see it went for $237.50 (my max bid was $50).
Keep up the great work and inspiring me to dig my Atari 800xl out of storage to play Blue Max (the best video game ever invented).
I just want to compliment you on your extensive reviews of these games and consoles. Why do I love the Atari 2600 so much when I have a Playstation 2????
all the way from Holland: great review site! i have been a great sega-fan since i was a kid (master system/genesis/32X/saturn), and you're usually right in your reviews (though sometimes i disagree. e.a. i found saturns 'last bronx' one of the the least original uninspiring fighting games ever. but that's just my opinion... i also hate tomb raider :). well, do you know the 'sega genesis' didn't have that name in Europe? Here it was called the 'Sega MegaDrive'. It don't know the hell why.
And another thing, what do you know about the combination Sega Genesis/MegaDrive I + 32X? I have some problems with it. Some genesisgames crash halfway (aladdin, micro machines 2) and 32X virtua racing won't even load half the time, and if it does it usually crashs halfway. (so my conclusion: the 32X is even crappier than crap on a MegaDrive 1).
My opinion is your reviews on these two games are a little harsh. Commando Raid gets points from me for being essentially a port of a game called Sabotage I loved as a kid on the Apple IIe computer. Not just "mindless shooting," there's some strategy involved; how far the paratroopers get along on destroying the buildings and burrowing under your gun is directly a result of how many of them you allow to land. So your main object is pick them off on the way down in order to hold off destruction as long as you can, and getting a helicopter once in a while is sort of a bonus. If the paratroopers have gotten considerably farther along on one side, you can concentrate more on that side. Furthermore, your bullets are steerable. In the Apple II version there would occasionally be a bomber plane that flew by and tried to drop a bomb on you; you could shoot the bomb before it hit you, or the plane or both. While Commando Raid doesn't quite measure up to Sabotage, my opinion is it isn't bad.
Cosmic Ark, in my opinion, is far from impossible even on expert level. Not five minutes ago I played a game of it on expert level and managed a score around 6,700. It is kind of silly how the asteroids slow down as they approach, and that particular screen sould have worked better if the main ship were smaller, but I have a pretty good time with this one.
great sight love it! but I think you should put a few more sections to your sight some of the modern systems eg'PSP DS NGAGE and WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PC REVIEWS! You've gone 6 years without putting in the consol thats been here almost since pong but still it must be hard at the top SIGH...
Today I came across your reviews through the Atari Age web-site.
Your sarcasm, frustration, disappointment, bitterness and outright contempt for some of the 2600 games had me dying of laughter.
I must confess that I have a bit of a crush on you now.
Your reviews of Homerun, Amidar and Street Racer actually caused me to fall out of my chair laughing.
[name] Fun fact: When something is extremely funny to me I drop like a sack of potatoes. It doesn't matter when or where. On any surface. Be it concrete or sticky movie theater floors it doesn't matter. If it tickles me I just drop.
Obviously you have a great sense of humor , so perhaps you'll enjoy this story..
During my junior year in college ,for a mother's day present I purchased an extra ticket to Phantom of the Opera. This trip was coordinated by the college for theater majors. A few hours before the show we were sight seeing in downtown San Francisco and we decided to stop in KFC. My mom was staring at a necklace on this short haired girl. The necklace was composed of five rings representing the colors in the standard rainbow. My mom says to her," Oh are you an Olympian." I start to laugh and I said," No mom that necklace symbolizes gay pride." My mom was so embarrassed and uncomfortable that she blurted out," Well I don't' know about these things!" That was it for me. I lost it! I fell down to the ground in the KFC laughing. My mother began to shout at me to 'get up off of that nasty floor!' Which of course just made me laugh harder. I just love that she said Olympian. Who uses the term Olympian?
I've got to get back to taking pics so I can post two more heavy sixers on Ebay.
Have a great day and keep up the excellent work!
Loved the Star Wars extravaganza, thanks for dedicating so much time to your site, it is one of my favorite sites on the web, and I find myself going back to it again and again. Agreed with all of the reviews, save for the Game Boy Advance one, I probably would have given it a C+. Not a great game, its simple action kept me pretty addicted to it until I played through the whole game. Certainly not as good as the SNES games, though, and that's probably why it isn't well regarded. I use the Game Boy Advance Player attachment on my Gamecube to play those games on my television and with a Gamecube controller, so I wonder if that affected my enjoyment of the game at all?
I remember reading that you have someone doing some RPGs for you, if that is still the case you might want them to review the Knights of the Old Republic games for the XBox, those are absolutely incredible games; I'd go as far as to say that they would be the best modern titles I've played in the last several years, along with Halo 2, Super Smash Brothers Melee and Rebel Strike. Oh, and about Rebel Strike, if you ever find occasion to do a Star Wars thing again (perhaps for the DVD release of this one?) you might mention that Rebel Strike's co-op option is amazing, and greatly enhances the replay value and fun of the game, if you are the sort that's into playing co-op games.
That said, I LOVED reading all the Star Wars reviews, just like I love reading the rest of your site. Thanks for creating such fun web content.
Not to be a nuisance, but I have spotted a mistake in your review and partially in your understanding of the game "Shenmue" for Dreamcast. In the review, it states that you are only able to save in your bedroom. However, there is an in-game save option. During gameplay, hit the Y button to bring up the inventory. Note the VMU icon in the lower left hand corner of this menu. When highlighted, it says "Resume". Hit A when highlighted. It gives you the option to save your current status in the game and pick up from where you are using the "Continue" option in the main menu. This alone is a very impacting factor throughout the game, as you said, and can affect the feel and flow of it.
Just wanted to say tanks for the reviews on the web.
As an old gamer trying desperately to find a decent game in the cavalcade of
crap out there, your site was a refreshing change & I trust your judgment.
I've been a frequent visitor to your site for quite some time (at least since it was thevideogamecritic.com) and though I disagree with quite a few of your reviews I must say I enjoy your site because a) the reviews are generally short, b) you keep the site updated regularly, and c) you started reviewing portable games(!).
While I cannot change your mind about some games you reviewed, I would like to offer up some recommendations for your site otherwise. First and foremost: would it at all be possible to lose that hideous, text-sucking, eye-killing black background? I'm asking nicely for the sake of my and thousands of others who cast their eyeballs upon your domain.
Second, well, I snipped my other recommendations because all I really care about is that background. Truly, it detracts from an otherwise nicely organized site.
Keep on reviewing! (More Lynx! :-)
I just checked out the forum and wow, a couple of those guys really took it personally. I feel like I should hide out in the tower until their torches burn out and they get tired of holding onto their pitchforks. Sheesh people, it was just an opinion. Unbunch those panties and get over yourselves.
Maybe I should've elaborated on my complaint: most of the sites I visit contain dark text on lightly colored backgrounds. When I visit your site and become engrossed in a couple reviews (letting my eyes get used to the light text on a dark background) then switch back to one of the other sites I visit (dark on light) it's like being in a completely dark room and having someone flip on the lights with no warning. *That's* what kills my eyes.
Keep the black if it'll prevent a riot. Though making the font a little thicker like one person suggested would help, I think.
Hi! I love your reviews, they're basically my eBay companion for Atari 2600 stuff.
I know it's not new, but I just played it for the first time today, having gotten my second Stelladaptor from AtariAge: Asteroids DC is the driving controller hack Thomas Jentzsch did; it has the vector outlines, like the vector hack, but with the driving controller the game is so arcade-like it's amazing. Even if you don't post a review, I recommend you try it for the fun of it. =)
(They used to make a cartridge version, but alas, I didn't buy it before Atari sent their infamous cease-and-desist letter...hence the requirement to get the two Stelladaptors)
I have REALY been enjoying your site and have spent a lot of time reading your reviews. I was just wondering why there seem to no RPG titles covered on your site. Are you just not a fan of the genre?. This may be forward, but I am a big fan of these kinds of games and have quite a bit of writing experiance, I was head reviewer at classic-horror.com for a time. I would love to contribute a few (or several) reviews for you, if you'd like.
Thanks for a great site either way and have a great day,
just ran into your site looking for tg-16 reviews, wanted to say i'm impressed. keep up the good, concise reviews!
also, if you ever get a chance, pick up target earth for the genesis. one of my all time favs.
I've been keeping up with your site for years, and I've got to tell you that it just keeps getting better. I've been around video games since the Atari days and know one thing for sure -- collecting for classic consoles is a lot of fun, but an overwhelming percentage of the games out there are trash and it's hard at times to select the good and leave the bad on the shelf. Your site is an excellent resource for researching games and pointing the happy reader toward the good stuff.
Thanks for starting this site in the first place, and thanks again for updating it with an almost-frightening passion over the years. I refer people to this site all the time. "Nope. Haven't heard of 'Super Duper Nappy Head' for the Atari 2600. See what The Critic has to say about it..."
If you're looking for a new system to add, try the Bally Professional Arcade, also known as the Bally Astrocade (there were a few name changes during the console's life). The best way I can think to describe the system is as a cross between an Atari 2600 and an Intellivision (Better graphics like an Intellivision, but smoother gameplay like an Atari). It's a pretty good system, and there isn't a huge, huge library full of rare games, so you should be able to pick up a good chunk of the games pretty cheaply. There's even built-in games. It's not as good as a 2600, library-wise, but still a pretty worthwhile console, and it has a great adaptation of Wizard of Wor (called "The Incredible Wizard"). Anyway, just thought you might like to check it out.
I don't normally send emails of this nature, but I had to take a moment to commend you on, quite possibly, the most thoroughly enjoyable video game related site I have ever visited. It's not just the shear scope and range of the games covered, but also the engaging synopses that keep me reading and reading and reading ...
If you have a moment, I'd be curious to hear your top ten list (if it is possible to compile one), and which system you deem, in turns of fun factor, the most satisfying.
Also, I'm curious as to why the Final Fantasy titles were not included in your reviews, that's not to say, that you didn't cover just about everything else! (I think that you should give FFIII (SNES) and FFVII (PlayStation) a play, that is, if you can spare the one draw-back: countless hours of arbitrary fighting sequences.)
Anyway, again, WOW, what a great site.
I love your website videogamecritic.net. I have read many of the reviews. But there one thing missing on your site. The mustard(But I may be wrong. I am a guy who loves moose nuggets). Other then that your website is great.
And I got a question. What is the VGM Tournament and how do join the VGM6 Tournament if I'm able to?
I am happy about the review on Realsports Baseball for the 5200 Atari system.
After I read the review on the Realsports Baseball game for the 2600 and then its Super Baseball successor, I summed up that if you commented that "...if this was Atari's attempt to fix up Realsports Baseball then they shouldn't have bothered," I'd like to say that they definitely didn't quit! It looks like the programmers and graphics designers at Atari learned their lesson with maximum effort when they rewrote Realsports Baseball for the 5200! They really got their acts together, big time!
Despite your commentation in your review on Swordquest Earthworld that Airworld wasn't even made, Atari did actually finish Airworld and ported it to the Atari 5200 system. A team of retro game programmers are working to finish the 2600 version that never was completed.
I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I love your website. I was a hardcore gamer for much of my life, but seemed to drift away in my early thirties. I just picked up one of my all time favorite systems on Ebay (Sega Genesis) and am enjoying a lot of the games I grew up with. (Well, I was pretty grown when the Genesis came out). Anyway, I found your site and have been reading just about every review for every system. It's nice to read something from someone who not only knows their stuff, but can appreciate an Atari 2600 game as well as the latest X-Box offering.
Keep up the great work and I'll be stopping by to see the updates.
P.S. I especially like the console reviews and would love to read your opinions about the Neo Geo and the Saturn (and all of the other consoles that have yet to be reviewed).
Thanks for writing back to me. I should let you know that I work as a journalist for a newspaper and do quite a bit of freelance writing. I don't know what I could offer you, but if there's any ideas for articles or reviews or anything else I could contribute, please let me know. I'd love to help in any way I could. I've wanted to write about the war between the Genesis and the SNES for awhile now so if you need any material (free of charge by the way) keep me in mind.
Keep it up. You've got a very professional site.
Just wondering how you can claim to not be familiar with the cartoon this was based on. For someone so knowledgible on one facet of the 80s how can you know nothing of another important one in GI JOE? Are you British?
I discovered your internet site by doing a simple search on Google. And I must say it's great to see reviews on every type of console and games, (some of which I never heard of) other then reading reviews on Xbox, Gamecube and PS2 games, which most internet sites do. The real reason I'm sending you this e-mail was to tell you about 2 SNES games that you can review.
1. Street Fighter Alpha 2
2. Saturday Night Slam Masters
There both fighting games and both produced and created by Capcom.
You obviously do not need to review them right away. (Take your time).
If you would like to reach me or want information about these games I would be glad to help out. My e-mail is [address].
Have a nice day.
I was just enjoying reading through some of your sega cd and 3DO reviews and I thought it was about time that I thanked you for the work you do on such a brilliant resource. I've managed to pick up many of the systems that you write reviews for over the past few years and it's terrific to be able to get the low down on whats worth getting (and avoiding) for my new/old systems. It's great to get insight into whether the games have stood the test of time too - something you can't get even if you have access to the magazines of 10-15 years ago. I don't know how you find the time to continually update the site with so many quality reviews but I'm very glad that you do :)
Many thanks for the money you have undoubtedly saved me in helping me avoid naff games,
IN A.D. 200X WAR ON EA WAS BEGINNING. MARIO: WHAT HAPPEN ? KLONA: SOMEBODY SET UP US THE BOMB. BONK: WE GET SIGNAL. MARIO: WHAT ! BONK: MAIN SCREEN TURN ON. MARIO: IT'S YOU !! JOHN MADDEN: HOW ARE YOU GENTLEMEN !! JOHN MADDEN: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO EA. JOHN MADDEN: YOU ARE ON THE WAY TO DESTRUCTION. MARIO: WHAT YOU SAY !! JOHN MADDEN: YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME. JOHN MADDEN: HA HA HA HA .... BONK: MARIO !! MARIO: TAKE OFF EVERY 'TROOPS'!! MARIO: YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DOING. MARIO: MOVE 'TROOPS'. MARIO: FOR GREAT JUSTICE.
I've found your site to be most useful and resourceful for finding games to play. I feel your reviews are top-notch and 90% of the time with similar opinions I have for a given particular title. Your criticisms have the honest players point of view unlike many of the other game websites. Please keep up the fine work.
Have you ever considered adding a search feature that sorts the games by rankings for each system? It would be nice to click a button and have the titles line up from A to F.
Please review the following titles:
Track & Field (2600)
Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix (PSX)
Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny (PSX 2)
There were quite some games that got unrealistic marks but ince I read your wipeout 64 review and I don't believe that you actually played the games. I'm a hardcore wipeout fan and loved 2097 to death and was soooo looking forward to the game, but the things you describe are so untrue, you describe it the way I imagined the game before I played it. And obviously it's not, never seen a wipeoutgame with soo much pop-up and choppyness not to mention the minimum use of the analog controller. Hell I even tried the game lately just to make sure I was not mistakin' , believe me I wasn't, tears of horror apeared in my eye looking at how the whole field build up during racing. Calling the music fantastice with the idea of the cd music on the psx is plain herracy. And yes I tried wipeout on the psx after that. In my 25 year of gaming you must be the second worst reviewer -I've ever seen anbd I hope not to many people take your site to seriously otherwhise many potential retro gamers will leave the scene.
Games you should defenitely look up closer.....
-Mario 64, landmark for all 3d platforms(good)
-zelda Oot, been replaying it thnx to the bonus disc that came with the windwanker and that game atleast has a challenge...(good)
-Windwanker finished with only needing one fairy in the bottle in the whole game.... No challenge at all, beautifull kiddy game.(bad)
-Conkers bad fur day(good)
-Axelay, man I finished that game in one sitting, no challenge= no fun(bad)
-Grandia2, best fighting system for a turnbased rpg ever seen, but at the same time never seen such a dull story and for the rest there is no variaty. Good game perhaps, but an A?
-Spiderman(dc version) a B-? Man that game is plainly the psx version with higher resolution, no extra detail, nothing.
-Episode one racer an A on the n64?
-Streets of rage 2 a lower score then SOR1????
k most titles I can imagine their score and perhaps should be only a bit higher or lower, but I'm talking about the most obvious titles. Some titles are even to personal for my taste to comment on cause I can imagine it does not go for everyboy.
But since I write reviews myself I do understand you musn't just give your personal opinion but also place yourself in the viewers eyes so they know when something might be good but not for them, or you do not like it but understands most people will. Although SF3 thirdstrike is one of my favorite games of all times I will never give it more then a B- since the game is for most people to hard to get and definetely takes a few weeks of one on one training to see the beauty of the complexity of the gameplay asside from that it's graphicly outdated compared to guilty gear serie.
Thanks for writing in.
That's fine if you don't agree with many of my reviews - no two people are the same.
It's always interesting to hear another point of view, and you make some valid points.
What site or publication do you write reviews for?
He was right about the Street of Rage grades - I've fixed that since.
Seen your reply and reading mine back I wasn't quite fair and you are quite the sport how you react.... But I was pretty horrified with such a game getting such high marks while I was totally freaked out by it (I really wanted it that much back then imagine the dissapointment). Also quite some other games felt so incredibly out of order that I couldn't resist replying(I never did so before on a site). I can imagine people having their own taste in things but some things are just to obvious in my opinion. I will never like games like warcraftsince they eat up to much time before you finish one round, but I can see why people like it.
I wrote for retrogames.nl (they're gone now:( ), did my fair share of reviews on www.videogamereview.com and helping a guy who's into retrogaming to with his site and preparing some reviews, it's based on emulation all but I personally have no problem with non commercial games being emulated(but GC,ps2,xbox,ds and psp copied games is totally not done in my view). Since I must have been playing atleast 1200+ games in my time I'm quite demanding when it comes to games and I rarely buy something I'm sorry about later on.
I stumbled upon your site since the current generation of games is lacking the challenge and variety older games had(except for online games) making me flee into arcade and console emulation based mainly on everything that is 5-17 years old with relatively few older then that(galaga, pacman donkey kong you know them). It's allways nice to discover gems you once missed because of language bariers(games that never left japan but are fan/translated, especially rpgs) and seeying many of the games you thought were great were indeed great in the eyes of the many. So sadly I do not discover to many games I did not already know(only child adicted to videogames back then)
But I guess I was pretty harsh but I seriously mean that you should look deeper into those games (especially wipeout, try 2097). PLease also remember what I said you are also writing the reviews to advise people and when you think of it that way you can imagine the majority liking something less or more and atleast include that.
Well, that's it for now. Hope you enjoyed that. If you'd like to appear in the next edition of VGC's mailbag, send feedback.
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