Sit down in a nice comfy chair and settle in, as this first post will probably big a long one. I figure it's not a bad idea to set down from the start the rules of the blog, and the blog's purpose. I'm leaving these near the top of this entry because I feel they're highly important, so I'll cover them before moving on to other matters.
Rules of the blog:
1. I give myself free reign to criticize games if they fail to deliver in gameplay mechanics, are buggy, unoriginal, or just generally mediocre. The blog will never be used as a platform to take cheap shots at or make criticisms of others (praise, however, may be lavished where it is due). If you're looking for drama of that nature, read someone else's blog.
2. I will not post comments on any review I'm working on before that review has been finished and posted to xbox360achievements.org. The reason for this is that my opinions on a game may change over the course of the game, where a game that seems brilliant in the opening hours could fall to pieces, or visa versa. I take reviewing games very seriously, and want to make sure my opinion is well-formed before I open my mouth, so to speak. Once the review is complete, I'll allow myself some more "off the clock" commentary if appropriate.
3. This blog is not a resume. It is, however, meant to convey who I am as a gamer and a human being, and provide a more personal side that cold-cut resumes can't. Therefore, I shall approach this blog as something I wouldn't mind friends, fans, or professional game writers having a look over. I want to keep this casual and fun. The reviews shall be my professional writing samples.
4. Unless it gets to the point where I'm receiving more comments than I can handle (probably not likely in the near future), I shall try to respond here to any comments readers have.
The Purposes of the Blog:
1. As stated in rule three, this blog is meant to be the casual expression of myself as person and gamer. I would have no objection to any game magazine/website editor reading through it to get a sense of who I am. I want to have a blast with this, and will look to my reviews to represent my formal writing.
2. Write editorials on the gaming industry. From time to time I may be moved to post something more serious here to show I'm paying attention to happenings in the industry beyond what's happening on my xbox.
3. Chronicle my achievement progress and opinions on my games in a more personal fashion than 360voice can. I love that site, but I want to get more in-depth than a mere summary of what I did.
More rules/purposes may be added in the future, but I think that's sufficient for now. I'll do my best to keep this blog updated on a near-daily basis, for my own personal satisfaction, if nothing else. I'll wrap this with a few personal notes, then start in earnest tomorrow.
Next up on the docket for reviewing is Rise of the Argonauts from Codemasters. I shall say no more on that game right now so I don't violate rule #2. It hasn't arrived yet, but hopefully it shall soon so I can get started.
As we near the end of the year, I've made a few gaming-related goals to pursue for 2009. First of all, I want to get my gamerscore about 100k. Considering the number of easy games I have not yet played, and the amount of awesome games coming out, scoring 30k points shouldn't be that hard (thank God for Gamefly and great bargin-bin skills). The other goal is to increase my completion percentage from it's current state of about 57% to the lofty 75%. Money doesn't grow on trees, and I figure it would be a good idea for a while to get more milage out of games I already own and pick up points previously left on the table than constantly buy/rent new games.
Before I quit for the evening, I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me thus far with positive feedback and appreciating for my reviews. The work is a lot more fun when you know what you're writing is being read, and that people find the information useful. Writing the Dead Space review was a stressful experience, as it was my first very high-profile review, but the positive response to seems to have killed worry in me permanently, as I handled Fallout 3 and Gears 2 without any apprehension of hesitation. Confidence is a wonderful thing. Keep reading them, and I pledge to continue striving to make them among the best reviews you'll find anywhere.
That's enough for now. On tap for tomorrow are some (hopefully) interesting thoughts on the blogging world of World of Warcraft, and student-faculty collaborative research. It'll all make sense, trust me.
EDIT: You may find typos and other stupid mistakes in this blog, as I don't edit this to the extent I do formal reviews. I promise to always run a spell check, at least =)