View Full Version : PC ZONE UK Review (91%!!)

04-08-2002, 09:23 AM
Just thought I'd give you the heads up on this one. They are the only magazine I trust when it comes to reviews, and they picked up on everything I thought they would, leaving the game with a healthy 91%, which under their scoring system counts as a Classic, and is very hard to acheive. To put things in perspective, they gave MOHAA 94%, so we did very well! Here's an exerpt:-

"Far more so than its predecessor, the sequel manages to capture the essence of what makes Star Wars such an exciting and mindless matinee adventure. Not only has Raven done the original game justice, they have by some unseen force bettered it. It is simply a fantastic game that is great entertainment."

Looks like JK2 is going down very well with the gaming press :)

04-08-2002, 10:25 AM
I'm sorry, but PC Zone has gone down the tubes since issue 50.

A 'new design', Mr Cursor leaving :( , and the lawsuit against Charlie Brooker. ( oh hoho, Cruelty Zoo was fantastic, even if the Home Office got involved, and the magazine ban that followed).

Since then the comedy value has diminished, and they are scared now to say nasty things about anyone. Oh well, I still have my Issue's 1 to 50, which I still read as some of the articles are hilarious.

PC Gamer on the other hand only got good when Zone went down the tubes but thats another story........

04-08-2002, 10:35 AM
I really have to agree.

PC Zone has gone to the dogs in recent issues. I used to get it all the time but I started reading PC Gamer and using their forums where you can actually talk to the writers and it's by far a superior magazine. They gave JK2 93%.

Pity. It was a great magazine. I started with it back before Force Commander was out...

I picked up PCG around the time Counterstrike, Q3 and UT were making a splash and I don't see myself switching.

04-08-2002, 10:41 AM
PC ZONE is the definitive mag when it comes to reviews - the new look is swankier - 'a la EGDE' as it where with its swankiness
the zone has gone slightly downhill but its no GAMER.
i buy the gamer - my bro subscribes to ZONE and i have worked out that the GAMER is WAAAAAAAAAAAY better for getting demos when they come out (whereas it takes the ZONE lot longer for demos)
but HANDS DOWN - the ZONE has the better writers and is the olny games mag i trust when it comes to reviews.
i have to agree with The_One here

04-08-2002, 10:49 AM
You obviously never experienced the issues before No 50. They were works of beauty and genius.

I still buy PC Zone, but I think its gone downhill from it's commanding position these days. I quite like Gamer, and I usually get that as well, purely because the writing tends to be better as a whole. As for the 'Edge comment', how ironic. You never heard Charlie Brooker (A writer for Zone) call the Edge Editor and rip him to pieces (And then wahck it on the Coverdisk). Ah..... glory days!

Does anyone remember Mr Cursor? He was on the back page for 50 issues.

And Culky! That video (Done by a bunch of pissed Zone staff with a camcorder, featuring a VW Beetle with firework firing drainpipes on the top).... 'Blokebird', gave me nightmares for years. I still can't get the bloody song out of my head.

04-08-2002, 11:26 AM
PC Zone is a great mag and there review are always more reliable than PC Gamers. But yes the mag did to be a lot more fun back in the old day when Mr Cursor had great plans to sail England down to the med all we need to do was cut off scotland and Wales and we were on a role to warm weather that was a very funny one.

04-08-2002, 11:49 AM
YEah, it's definately gone downhill. Having said that, it is still far superior to Gamer. I always read Gamer and have a strange feeling it's trying to become Console Gamer

04-08-2002, 12:19 PM
Personally, I usually perfer PC ZONE over GAMER, but in the case of JK2 I'd have to say the PC GAMER review was far more professional. While GAMER only reviewed a BETA version, the managed to pack loads of information about the game into the review without actually giving away too much. There was hardly any info in the ZONE review as half of it was taken up by appaling SW puns. The other half seemed to concentrate on what the reviewer disliked about the game, so much so that I was actually surprised the rewiewer rated it so highly given all his gripes with the game.

That's said I agreed with the ZONE reiewer's criticisms for the most part, such as tricky level design making it easy to get stuck, and the fact that once the lightsaber is available almost all other new weapons become obsolete. However, some of his criticisms were complete rubbish and made it obvious that he doesn't know his SW and hadn't played through the game fully. Here's a few choice snippets:

"The way stealth has been handled is rather underwhelming. not that it is impossible to play the game in such a way, just that it never becomes necessary to do so."

Erm, what about that level on the Doomgiver where you have to sneak around for almost the whole level as otherwise you get captured? Or did I just imagine that?

"... I made a point of not using any of the other weapons at all, mainly because apart from the trusty bryar blaster pistol, the Wookie bowcaster and the stormtrooper rifle, all the other weapons you later pick up - from the Repeater Rifle to the ridiclous blunderbuss-like EMP gun - all seem to dispel the illusion that you are playing a SW game."

OK, this may be true for some of the weapons, but the repeater and the rocket launcher (which he later mentions) have already appeared in some shape or form in the previous Dark Forces games. As for the DEMP II gun, he is obviously completely unaware that the gun is derived from the Jawa weapon in Episode IV. I know this is a relatively minor point, but as he chose to fill the review with crappy puns to show off his 'immense' SW knowledge, he should have known about the Jawa gun too.

The reviewer also complains about a lack of interactivity with the surroundings in the game, and backs this up with an example of not being able to use the Force to throw bottles etc around when you can pull around huge crates etc. Talk about a stupid complaint - if he wants interactivity he should play Deus Ex, not an action FPS. He also failed to mention the fact that you can interact with a certain vehicle on the second level of your return to Yavin at the end of the game ;).

Apart from this, besides gross generalisations about how the game feels great to play and is very rewarding, very little positive about the game was mentioned. For me, JK 2 was a series of brilliant gaming moments linked together and set in the SW universe, and I'm surprised the reviewer failed to metion any of these despite the specificness of his complaints about the game. For example, how about that first fight with a reborn on Cloud City? Or that bit with the driveable vehicle?

In the end I'd have to agree with the review score, as the game does have some minor problems. For example, I thought the end battle wth Dessan was far too easy - I did it on my first attempt, almost without losing any health (on Jedi difficulty). I just felt that the review itself left too many good points uncovered and went into too much detail on some of the minor (and in some cases completely unjust) criticisms.

EDIT: Oh yeah, while I agree with the 91% score, it's worth noting that they gave AvP 2 93% and placed it above Half-Life in their top 10 FPS chart. AvP 2 is OK, but it is definatley not better than Half-Life, and JK2 is a far, far superior game.

04-08-2002, 12:57 PM
PC ZONE is a very good mag, superior to Gamer I would say. Yes, it has gone down the hill somewhat but Gamer still doesn't come close to it. Gamer seems to be packed full of crap when you read through it. I always read Zone cover to cover the minute it comes through my door, even the articles that don't interest me, purely because of the way they are written. It makes for great reading. You can't have everything you want, and if you're after comedy then go watch Monty Python or whatever. Sure, comedy is good to keep the reader interested, but I feel they have just the right balance in the mag at the moment. When you look at the alternatives, Zone is by far the best mag available out here in the UK.

I didn't think the review went into quite as much detail as I would have liked, but I agree with the score most definately.

Sure, you can nit pick any review, magazine, website or whatever to death for there will always be flaws. But at the end of the day, you can never have a "perfect" mag, as perfect is only as good as your own opinion.

04-08-2002, 03:39 PM
I'm not saying that PC Zone is a bad mag, but its simply not as good as it used to be. As for comedy, yes its a plus, but once its been delivered for a while you get used to it. Besides, it made the reviewers more personal in that respect. You would hope that your favourite reviewer would be reviewing a certain game, and be pleased with the results. These days they all seem pretty faceless. Thats probably got something to do with the amount of staff that pass through the offices these days, mostly freelancers.

And Tarquin..... thanks you renewed my faith in humanity when you said that you remembered Mr Cursor. Do you remember Culky? If so that Blokebird epsiode its probably etched in your brain as well.......AND I CAN'T GET IT OUT!!!