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The Video Games Guide Paperback – Illustrated, 20 Oct 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree (20 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752226258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752226255
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 3.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'brilliant - really good book' -- BBC Radio 1

About the Author

Matt Fox lives in Canterbury. A passionate gamer for the last twenty years, he runs his own business, 'Spacefund', providing specialist science education for primary school children across the UK.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. P. Evans on 14 Sept. 2009
Like another of my fellow reviewers, although there's a lot of info in the book, it IS a little too selective, dwells only on the first of a series in many case, and there were several notable omissions from my favourites list, none of which I consider niche or obscure...

I found myself nodding in agreement with some of the author's opinions, but, and this is a BIG one... found myself disagreeing FAR more. As the other reviewer earlier put it, it IS essentially only an A-Z in terms of what the author *himself* feels about the titles listed, and worse, it is coloured by his impressions on loading them up NOW, as opposed to when he may have played them initially (and in many cases, the present is the first time he has even set eyes on them).

Consequently, a lot of the CLASSIC retro games get short thrift, even though those who played them initially (rightly) consider them classics - This has the effect of working against some of the older, classic titles, given that the graphics may be worse, the game may be harder (especially after coming back to it years later, in an age of games that hold your hand all of the way through, let you save EVERY time there's ANY danger you'll lose a life, etc), thus lessening the chance that other (possibly more hardened) retro enthusiasts will hunt them out and experience them for what they are, when in reality titles such as Uridium, Paradroid, Wizball, etc STILL play superbly today, and were absolutely groundbreaking.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Green on 23 Oct. 2006
For many years its felt like video games have been classed as disposable entertainment. Not any more - at last it seems that the industry is starting to preserve its rich heritage. Thanks to a whole wave of retro compilations, Xbox Live Arcade, and now The Video Games Guide I feel the tipping point has been reached.

The Video Games Guide is actually not a product of the industry it comes from a gamer, Matt Fox, who has dedicated himself to reviewing and rating pretty much every game ever released. Every review also lists the year of release and the publisher, and at the back of the book are a number of detailed appendices. One of the appendices lists all the famous games designers and what games they worked on and you may find it fascinating to see the career paths of these often-unsung men and women. All the games that get the maximum five star rating have a screenshot in the centre of the book and this is also interesting as you get to follow how graphics have improved from the earliest game in 1962 to the latest hits of 2006.

I think video-gaming has been waiting for a definitive book like this and as Tim and Chris Stamper, the founders of Rare software house say in the introduction `not before time'.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul Johns on 30 Oct. 2006
Does what it says on the tin ! A brilliant guide to some of the best games from the last 40 years, from Pong to the PSX3.

Has a lot of Speccy/C64 reviews so you'll recognise a lot of the games if you are a UK based retro gamer.

Has a lot of colour pictures in the middle, pity there isnt a screenshot next to each game but that doesnt ruin the book. Excellent read and one of the best retro books i've bought the last year.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Simon E. Rushworth on 6 May 2009
was bought this for a birthday present and i found it to be a pretty throw away affair, the biggest problem is its basically just a series of opinions on games Matt fox has played most games get a couple of paragraphs then its on to the next one, its a very dull read.

It's completely black and white bar a few mislabeled screen shots in the center. Some imagery to go with his opinions might of made this book slightly more interesting but overall its a pretty shabby affair, really cant understand the 5 star reviews this book is awful.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Yuki on 13 April 2008
I purchased this book as I am writing a series are articles on Computer Games, and was impressed by all the 5 Star reviews this book had. Also, it was published in 2006, and has references to the newest consoles, such as the Wii and PS3, which made it a must buy.

But I am returning this book. In my ten years as an Amazon customer I have never returned an item before. Why do I dislike this book?

It is essentially a collection of short reviews, there is no detailed analysis of the computer games. I was surprised to see the large 12pt font and single spaced text that ate up the book space (You know how Halliwell's film guides have smaller fonts but are packed with information? This is the opposite). When dealing with a game, the book seems to reference the first title in the series and glosses over the others; for example the Silent Hill Entry - each S.H. game has different storylines and themes but the book refers to the first game and only mentions by title the other three. Could we not have had a entry for the other games too, since they also stand alone in their own right?

The section at the back with the Games Chronology, the list of Games programmers is interesting, but not indepth and is information easily retrievable from the internet.

The style of the writing, I guess, is supposed to be casual and personable, but I personally found it lacking sharpness, and the author is extremely personal with his views on these games. That is ok to an extent, but if this is supposed to be a 'guide', then surely there should be more fact and information than whether the writer enjoyed the game or not; liking a game is after all such a personal thing.

Also the is no index.
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