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A Shoe-Size Short of its Potential
on 2 November 2010
Those looking for a successor to Edge Magazine's fantastic "100 Best Games to Play Today" from their 200th issue will be sorely disappointed. Whilst you're certainly getting your money's worth with a book so large so as to require two firm hands on it at all times, its quality is all over the place, and many of is inclusions - questionable.
Though many of the game descriptions take up a good half page, the prose of those that I've delved into is a tad wooden and spends far too much time outlining each game's plot and mechanics rather than justifying its inclusion in the book. You're left with an encyclopedia of sorts, one that'll certainly tell you what to expect when you pop Advanced Warfighter into your 360, but one that doesn't spend enough time telling you why you'd want to do it in the first place.
Tony Mott edits a magazine widely regarded to be the best in the business, but the decision to take a wide range of contributors from other magazines leads to varying degrees of quality within the book. The lack of a single voice is harmful in other ways too, with some passages that undermine the inclusion of other games. There's a slight sense here that the editorial team struggled to find 1001 quality inclusions, but then I sincerely doubt I'd be able to do much better.
Anyone looking for an encyclopedia of some of the greatest games ever made could do a lot worse than this book. Having said that, if you can find a back issue of Edge 200, its superior inclusions and more eloquent brevity might be a better place to start.