“Get Me Rewrite!” (Again!): Not So Retro Game Reviews To Make A Comeback!

Raze's Hell Cover (Custom)Okay, this one’s a doozy, folks. From early 2004 to around 2007 I was writing for a now defunct gaming site called Bonusstage.com and when the site died its untimely death after a series of DNS attacks and a double server crash or something did it in. At the SAME time, the computer I’d been using to work and game on had its hard drive burn up, putting me out of action for a time until I could get it replaced. As I wasn’t able to salvage the drive and thought foolishly that “What’s on the internet stays there FOREVER!”, I thought that whatever I wrote would be around no matter what happened. Welllll… I was wrong.

Long story short, a huge chunk of work I did wasn’t fully archived when the wheels of fate all locked up at the wrong time, I wasn’t backing up stuff properly at the home office and when you add those together, it’s a big fat mess. Or NON-mess, as there’s nothing to clean up but some crocodile tears…

bannerAnyway, flash forward to about a month or so ago. I’m talking to a friend who’d been poking around on The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine because he was looking up a few reviews I’d written for Psychonauts and a few other games from the mid-2000’s he was . I noted that finding complete versions would be next to impossible thanks to Bonusstage not being properly archived and he sent me a link to (surprise!) a few reviews I did that weren’t cut off or were almost complete save for a final page sum up which could be reconstructed with some additional work.

Of course, finding the TIME to do that reconstructive word salad surgery was and is the big problem for me. That and my tendency to write REALLY lengthy reviews meas I do have my work cut out for me. Hmmmm… (looks over review)… Man, could I ramble on back then! Well, I still DO, but yikes, this is going to be a weird bit of business in terms of finding that older voice and making it work (or work better now)… Ah well, I’m committed to this, it seems. Or SHOULD be committed for doing this… gyaaaah.

Anyway, I think I’ll tackle a few re-reviews using those old posts soon. One at a time, I’ll revisit some aged games I think deserve a second look by me (or first for you reading this who want to know what I liked back then). I was going to re-run Psychonauts first, but I was doing some cleaning yesterday morning and my retail copy of Majesco’s underrated Raze’s Hell fell on my head. That made me laugh because it’s been a while since I played it, I remembered how much fun it was to play and recalled the hilarious writing that had me hanging out in areas just to listen to the dialog.

So, that gem will be first re-review posted, mostly unchanged save for some typo corrections and editing to kill some redundancies. Everything else, lame jokes and references you’ll only get in the context of when the reviews were written will stay the same. Of course, as I just LOVE making more work for myself, I see now that Raze’s Hell is missing the final page of the review, so that needs to be redone. I do recall mentioning on the last page of that review when I initially wrote it in 2005 that I had more fun with the game than I did with Halo 2 (and yes, that still stands), so I’ll have to work that in at some point.

I won’t put a time frame on this side mission, as it all depends on current stuff I need to get done. This is just a fair warning update so when you see old reviews start popping up, you’re not thinking I found a working TARDIS or something. Although, if I did find one of those, I certainly wouldn’t use it to go play as many games as I wanted in the past, write about them and then post the reviews in the present. That would be kind of silly and unrealistic, right? RIGHT? Yeah, I thought so…

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