Cream of the Crap: The first reviews I ever wrote…

by Mitchell Dyer

I used to be a terrible writer. As it turns out, everyone starts somewhere, and my launchpad wasn’t a pretty place.  My high school newspaper seemed like as good a place as any to start doing what those cool cats at OPM, EGM and GamePro made a living off of: typin’ words about games. My editor, a classmate named Jolene, loved the idea of an entertainment section. DownWriteFierce editor Derrek Lucas was my wingman.

I wrote game reviews, he laughed at bad movies. It was a good gig and was a lot of fun. In hindsight, though, I wonder what Jolene must have thought of our ramblings. Some of ’em were legitimately funny, but for the most part we were ignorant as to how one actually wrote a critique.

So I ended up with these gems in my high school years. Below you’ll find the cream of the crap copied verbatim from each issue of our lovely paper, errors and all.

October 2004, Junior Journalist

Star Wars Battle Front

I love shooters, and I love Star Wars. Combining them is sheer perfection. You play as a soldier, not a main character from the films, as you fight it out on the battlefield, shooting down your enemym flying battleships and taking over his/her bases. Some surprising characters, bonuses and fun levels make this game re-playable over and over again. Essential for a Star Wars fan, fun for anyone.

Def Jam Fight for New York

What’s more fun than beating the crap out of rappers, with other rappers? Beating them with crowbars, and other weapons. The diverse fighting system in DJ makes it fun for a created character who can merge 3 fighting styles, and really easy to slam someone into a wall. But, with rappers comes profanity, and violence. It has a well-deserved Mature-rating. A must play, for mature gamers

Sly 2 Band of Theives

Sly 2 is a sequel to a similar game where you steal stuff and plan heists…as a raccoon! (Sly Cooper) Only now, in Sly 2 you get to go deeper into the heists as the brainy demolitions expert, Bentley the Turtle, and the muscle, a pink hippo, Murray. The game is actually quite funny, with a pretty good story, and some really cool cartoon-ish graphics.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 is a fast paced, web slinging, thug beating, constuction worker rescuing true Spidey adventure! With really bad fighting. The fighting, although fun, is choppy and broken up, so it feels unrealistic. But the game is worth playing just to swing around Manhattan with your webs, which you get full control of. Nice.

November 2004, Junior Journalist

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (preview)

If you have any interest in the Metal Gear series, you should know by now that The Official US Playstation Magazine has a playable demo of the newest game in the series. First off, when and if you play this demo of the newest game in the series you shouldn’t complain about the faults. The demo is from E3, the game convntion held in May, so remember that the company has made some touch ups. The game itself has a unique premise of survival. Either you eat, or you die. Simple as that. You can use camouflage for your jungle environments, which is useful for sneaking around your enemies. This affects the gameplay greatly, for if you don’t eat, you begin shaking, and if your camo isn’t working well, say, if it’s covered in blood, you’re going to be seen faster. Pick up this demo, because it plays great, and there’s nothing like sneaking up on a terrorist with a hunting-knife.

Need for Speed Underground 2

Another playable demo in the Playstation Magazine that lets you play 15 percent of the final product. This time around you get to roam a city by yourself in your car, which you can once again fully max out in decals, and all sorts of other pimp-ness. You choose when, where, and who you want to race. It’s faster than the first game, and actually has a story, where Brooke Burke helps you out. She’s your good buddy. The city is huge and looks like a dazzling Vegas light inspired town. It’s faster than its predecessor, and there’s a lot of mini-games to enjoy. Definitely worth anticipation.