Sumo Issue 9

I seem to have a bit more free time available than I'd reckoned on. While I hadintended to be in France for the Tour and working on game projects during August, awork colleague has gone down with Hepatitis A and I've been landed with yet another jobto cover and a week or six to survive before I can get away for a break. Mmmm. So, Ifind myself theoretically contagious but at least able to work on Sumo with the aim ofputting this out as soon as possible, leaving the fourth issue of the year likely (notdefinitely) to appear in the gap between Essen and my Australian trip in November. TheBoss has promised me a mont h off. I'll believe it when the plane door closes behind me.

Because of the lack of time since the last issue, there may be a drop off in lettersand Inside Pitch, which I hope will be made up for by the reviews and articles. Even so, this will be a smaller than usual issue for reasons already described. Time perhapsfor a consolidation statement. Firstly, I don't know what the final impact of lastissue's appeal is yet, but it is going well with over twenty new subbers already. Keep them coming please. Se condly, this issue should see the last of the computer gamingcomments but I'll keep my eye in and I look forward to tips on anything you thinkrevolutionary as opposed to just great. Thirdly, I got a fair bit of stick about mynegative reviews last time, specifically Final Score, so here's my response.

The general problem seems to be that the Final Score review was unfavourable. I agree.All things considered, I thought the game well below Lambourne's usual standard and notworth buying, exactly as with Blackbeard and Campaign Trail. The review was thereforedesigned to warn against purchase, in the same way that numerous reviews in the pasthave recommended purchase of Terry's games. I appreciate perspective is needed here -we are talking about the impact of a Sumo review, not The Sunday Times, but I think theunderlying principle is constant.

To explain my reasoning, I don't subscribe to the theory that if you are going to writeabout a game you should do it favourably to keep the designer happy and to promote sales. If a game is duff, and I don't review it as such out of deference (or whatever),then buyers are going to get miffed. I may be mistaken, but there is little point inwriting reviews if there are no critical ones when appropriate - surely this addsweight to the recommendations? And it is only my view anyway, you are still free tobuy, play and enjoy Final Score or FGA product if you so choose. I don't want to beseen to be over critical, but I will continue to write what I feel, which is nothingmore than a subjective assessment that may have some use to readers. It is not a judgement from on high; you are free to w rite in to offer reasoned disagreement and Iwill stand corrected if I have missed an angle. I have no axe to grind with Lambourne(this should be blindingly obvious) and, chances are, the next game will be back to theusual high standard. Even Greg Louganis can bash his head on the board now and then.

On to the review of Ostindiska Kompaniet.

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