People may wonder why this blog is called what it is. No? Ok, fine. I shall enlighten you all anyway: As readers to the mag may know we have a couple of pages called “Postcards From The Edge”, for which people are invited to email beautiful and interesting EVE screenshots along with a bit of text detailing what’s going on within. Unfortunately, since naming this blog to cleverly reference this wondrous editorial nugget (a feat I congratulated myself for, naturally), I have come to realize that the postings I make are more likely to come from my arse rather than the fringes of anything culturally significant. So, in desperation to work in some “edge” that I can reach for, I have decided to allow myself the luxury of commenting on other games beyond EVE Online (which is also done in E·ON under the guise of “Downtime”, by the way).
This week the game that has caught my attention is Sins of a Solar Empire, the box to which sits right next to me now, taunting me into installing the damn thing. I have actually volunteered to review the game for PCZone magazine (who, incidentally, stole the “Postcards From The Edge” idea, for which they have already been forgiven), and as a consequence, when the game arrived in the mail this morning it came packaged with a “Reviewer’s Guide” – which is not something I’ve not had the pleasure of receiving in all my years as a rent-a-quote.
Those who’ve had the fortune to write a review for a magazine or a prominent gaming site will know that most “reviewable” games come via PR departments in a padded envelope, usually with no documentation and on a silver disc with the words “beta version – do not review unless you are corrupt” scrawled across it (or words less overt but written to cover any publisher throw back). In this case, not only was I sent the Collector’s Edition of the game (whose contents, naturally, would be left wanting were you to compare them to those of a typical mid-1990s Microprose release), but also a full-color, 28-page, idiot’s… I mean, “reviewer’s guide”. It has actually made me feel very special indeed to be able to get a game that the rest of the world can play, with a pre-manual that won’t require me to squint over the dense version that, as a reviewer, I’m obliged to avoid anyway.
An enclosed voucher to blag free pizza would have topped things off rather nicely. Alas, this missed opportunity to secure a top score will mean I’ll have to remain my usual impartial self when, over the coming weekend, I throw myself beyond EVE’s edge and into a new universe.