Nordic Scene Review 06

From C64 Diskmag Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Nordic Scene World Review Again

Nordic Scene World Review Again         
Radiantx wrote a review of issue 5      
over at CSDb, which I think is worth    
some comments.                          
Good issue, though nothing              
breathtaking. Of course, given the      
sparse amount of releases since the     
last issue, there isn't really much to  
be said.                                
One thing I've noticed is that NSR is   
starting to feel a bit "mechanic". I    
get the feeling that everyone involved  
sees this as "just a side project",     
something small to be thrown together   
mainly when one has some spare time to  
kill. This reflects even in the (for    
him) uninspired tune by Zabutom. I know 
this isn't entirely the case, and I'm   
not actually complaining - after all,   
I'd hate to see these people becoming   

less active making quality demos just   
because of having to do this mag. It's  
mainly a reflection upon things.        
He is absolutely right, this is a side  
project, and we spend very little time  
producing each issue.  Additionally,    
crappy productions don't inspire us to  
write great reviews, as they do with    
ALIH.  (No, you're not going to read one
single issue of this mag without some   
praise for the great Game Over(view).)  
And quite frankly, most of the stuff    
that was reviewed in the last issue was 
absolute crap.                          
This isn't meant as an excuse, though.  
In my opinion, this mag shouldn't have  
to be inspired and witty all the time.  
I still think it's a great mag, actually
it's exactly the sort of mag I wished   
that someone else had started a long    
time ago, so that we wouldn't have had  
to do it.                               

Having said that, there's a lot of room 
for improvements.  I've been doing a    
pretty lousy job as an editor, but I'm  
working on the processes to streamline  
the production.  I think most of us     
have a tendency to want to work in a    
very unorganized way with our scene     
productions, because after all it's     
just a hobby, and we don't want it      
to feel like we're at work.  However,   
through the years I've come to realize  
that discipline and professionalism     
doesn't make it more boring - it just   
makes it easier.                        
One of the things I've done a bad job   
with is collecting music for the mag.   
With almost every issue it's been a     
case of scouting on IRC during the last 
couple of days.  After all, there are   
so many musicians around, getting one   
of them to give you a tune shouldn't be 
a problem.  Maybe not, but sometimes it 
means that you have to get poor Zabutom 

to finish a tune in a couple of hours.  
Unfortunately my bad work as an editor  
also resulted in some chaos around      
the release of the last issue, so       
Twoflower's editorial and an intro he   
produced didn't get included.  He was   
late, but in a way it was mostly        
my fault.  I'm the one who does the     
editing, linking and last minute code   
changes.  Therefore I'm responsible     
for setting deadlines and informing my  
co-workers about them.  As I said above,
I'm working on the processes, and we're 
getting there, slowly.  The result will 
be a better mag.                        
Here I am, trying to organize all       
the thoughts echoing in my head. Is     
NSR becoming automated, soulless,       
uninspiring? Are the uninspired demos   
that we are relentlessly trying to      
cover, draining the motivation in our   
hearts, undoing the flame we used       

to feel about this project and the      
provocation we hoped to instill on demo 
makers? These questions were probably   
what my subconscience had been asking to
my perception for sometime. When we were
finally faced with Radiantx's comment, I
could do nothing but pause for a moment.
I still can not say I can see the       
whole picture in my mind, all I         
have is disconnected fragments          
of urges, questions, worries and        
inspirations. Yes, NSR has been well    
received generally by the readers,      
encouraged other diskmags to invest     
in their demo review chapters more      
and therefore achieved one of my        
strongest urges for being involved. We  
are all able to read more demo reviews  
compared to the time when NSR first came
out. Not all reviews are fair (should   
they be?) or factual (they should be)   
or well written (subjective anyway).    
Nevertheless scene thinks (reviews),    
therefore scene is.                     

Is it fun doing this mag. Well it barely
is. "Barely" because the deadlines      
come at the most inconvenient of times  
usually. And we effectively miss lots   
of sleep and rest (or time slots to     
spend on our own demos) in order to     
cover tens of those "oldskool" rasters +
logo + scroll intros that people won't  
give up on releasing. This way we have  
a sense of achievement, an assumption   
of an "identity". We are the relentless 
warriors upholding an ideal of "giving  
feedback" to every effort in the scene, 
small or big.                           
Those who release small products as a   
part of their growing need the feedback,
the recognition, for it hopefully       
will fuel and direct them. Without      
that feedback, that attention, one      
feels lonely and sees one's efforts as  
unjustified. I know I did feel this way 
back in 2004 when mags of the day were  
either not paying attention to demos or 
were on a break. I sincerely believe it 

is different now. Make a demo and you   
will get feedback from many fronts.     
Starting a mag is one thing, continuing 
to write quality text is another thing. 
I feel we are inevitably linked to and  
limited by the quality and the amount   
of releases. As our main inspiration    
ALIH keeps proving this point wrong     
month after month for two years, we     
are still holding our ground by saying  
ALIH is a special case, a demigod       
with special powers of darkness. We     
mortals should not be compared to that  
being about our inability to write      
mind-warpingly funny and intelligent    
text about mind-warpingly non-funny and 
non-intelligent productions.            
Yes, as long as people keep doing       
unoriginal and uninspiring demos,       
we will (and maybe we should) keep      
pointing out that it is unoriginal      
and uninspiring.  Unfortunately there   

are not too many different ways of      
doing this and certain patterns of text 
begin to be easily recognizable. Thus   
comes the claim for becoming automated, 
and soulless.                           
So, in an attempt to be a fair          
mirror for demo makers we end up being  
predictable and repetitive. If we become
predictable and repetitive, we will lose
our position as a provocative power. For
me this mag is about inspiring or       
provoking people to express and unleash 
their creativity. The hope and ability  
to ignite an action in others is the    
heart that pumps the blood in the veins 
of this mag. Thus we can not allow it   
to stop.                                
This is a dilemma, a paradox that we    
will have to take care of in the coming 
issues. This is the next challenge we   
will need to overcome, as we will also  

be continuously trying to convince      
ourselves, that all this effort is      
really paying off and is worth pixeling 
one less graphic, coding one less demo  
part or composing one less tune.        
In the end it's all about what you      
want a mag to be; that you have a       
clear intent and clear goals to aim     
towards. In our case (and GO(V)'s,      
a mag we blatantly keep copying) the    
intent and goals are pretty clear. We   
want to release a magazine spreading    
our views on the latest releases on     
the C-64 demoscene. We focus on the     
releases themselves, and I believe      
that we can make people check out the   
overlooked ones and possibly ignore     
the overrated. Perhaps we sometimes     
succeed in making people pissed enough  
to improve themselves?  Perhaps we      
can encourage people to make more, and  
suprise us a second time?  Perhaps we   
just make people depressed? Whatever    

the outcome is, our intent and goals    
are clear to us - and that's more       
than you can say about most other C-64  
publications. Yes, perhaps because we   
have chosen an easy niche, but still.   
As Puterman mentioned above; as editors 
we have to make choices, concient       
choices to make the production of our   
magazine as smooth as possible. This    
can't include an easy "let-go"-attitude 
which includes waiting for years for    
reviews to come, but rather to actually 
try to set a deadline and keep it. The  
scene benefits more from having a       
regularly released magazine than        
one badly updated magazine covering     
three disksides, and I can't for the    
world understand how magazine editors   
possibly can see it in any other way. If
a magazine lacks a chapter or two -     
or as in our case my last editorial,    
reviews, intro plus the chance for      
the dutch sceners to correct the texts  
they contributed - then so what? The    

scene needs activity. The scene needs   
continuity. The scene needs magazines   
with clear intentions and goals. I      
hope we can keep our intentions and     
goals clear, I hope we can bring you    
irritation, enjoyment and sometimes     
now and then an unreadable font - and   
finally I hope we can keep up bringing  
you an inspired NSR.                    
The intro (originally meant for the last
issue, #5) is a tribute to the now dead 
(?) magazine Scene World. That magazine 
kept beeing a clear beacon of warning   
throughout its too long lifespan. As    
a magazine editor, you don't always     
know how to do things, but on the other 
hand - you could always take a look at  
Scene World, just to find out what you  
shouldn't do.                           
The nice logo in the middle of the      
intro was ripped from JSL, and the nice 
tune was made by Yogibear. None with    
the intention of beeing presented in    

this intro.                             
So what's up with the stupid choice of  
releasing this mag the same weekend     
that Breakpoint takes place, so that    
you have to wait two months to read the 
reviews of the demos released there?    
Well, we have a release schedule, and   
we try to stick with it.  If we start   
getting soft and not release the mag    
until it's "complete", we'd turn into   
one of those 3 diskside mags and PEOPLE 
Now let's never talk about this again.  
Text by Twoflower, Nightlord and        
Music by Linus                          


Shudder 2 by Singular                   
One of the few demoreleases from Forever
7 was "Shudder 2" from Singular, and it 
was about what you could expect. Small  
demo, kind of standard effects on black 
background, complete with a cryptical   
theme which I don't know if I shall     
connect to Alice in Wonderland or       
to Jefferson Airplane? Hmm, perhaps     
both? The texts in the demo are         
mainly used to promote Arok Party,      
Singular at Breakpoint and to claim     
that Jailbird sucks at boozing;         
in other words, texts promoting         
quite noble causes. Furthermore,        
the demo contains an original picture   
by Leon featuring two watercreatures    
with too short arms. I like the fact    
that he dares to take a stand for the   
neurosedyn-disabled. The stretching of  

Jennifer Aniston did also contain some  
nice, hidden symbolism.  The nicest     
part of the demo was probably Scorpy's  
hiresblobs with vertical lines. They    
would probably have looked nicer if they
have been done slightly different, but  
they are quite nice as they are right   
now. To sum it up: if some standard     
stuff with a white rabbit does it for   
you, this is what you are looking for.  
My thumbs always point towards the      
sky when I'm watching this kind of      
late nineties trackmos.  This one has   
most of the components we were spoiled  
with back then, although not as nicely  
implemented as in the really good demos.
The picture, the logo, the effects, the 
music, everything is pretty mediocre,   
but who cares, this demo isn't about    
making history.                         
Some demos definitely grow on you when  

you watch them a couple of times. When  
I first watched this I was completely   
unimpressed by everything in the demo   
except for the plasma. After transfering
and watching a couple of times on the   
correct platform I am more entertained  
by the demo. I find the picture by      
Leon to be his worst among all the      
ones I have seen from him. I am not     
a graphician and it probably is not     
my place to comment on this but oh      
my god the form of those creatures      
and the overall emptiness of the        
composition... About the soundtrack I   
must add that I especially enjoyed the  
end tune. Very classical type of SID    
but nice I think.                       
Spirits and Vamosabailar by Jumalauta   
Jumalauta keep on bugging the scene     
with their releases. Two, this time.    

Somehow I can't help feeling that stuff 
like Jumalauta's is needed to set some  
kind of lower standard of the somewhat  
serious scene. Falcon Soft and JML are  
top notch in setting such standards,    
pushing out totally pointless releases  
which you really know aren't worth      
checking. They're taking nothing and    
adding nothing. But their brand is still
a nice one. And now I mean the logo,    
not the group.                          
I do not know how much Jumalauta serves 
as a low standard. I doubt if anyone    
looks at their productions and say "hmm 
we need to be better than this". It     
seems there is no boundary in lowness   
these guys can reach, so if we were to  
name them the low standard then that    
would mean our low standards would      
continually move down. I have to admit  
that even the thought scares me.        
Mortalis Arisen by 64Ever               

The biggest release featured in this    
issue is no doubt the doublesided demo  
from 64Ever, "Mortalis Arisen". As      
you might have guessed, this demo is    
pretty connected to Ravens "Insomnia",  
released a couple of years ago.  Kind of
wicked to see the same kind of strange  
narration again, especially considering 
that the narrative was the really weak  
part of "Insomnia".  But if "Insomnia"  
was strange in its somewhat coherent    
story, "Mortalis Arisen" is downright   
confusing. Cybernator has tried hard,   
and he isn't that far out in certain    
areas. Mostly the demo has a nice flow  
without too much black screens and      
waiting, the effects are kind of nice   
looking and the music really fits this  
kind of demo like a glove. But then     
suddenly things just get too much. I    
get AEG vibes. It might be the crude    
graphics, it might be the threats of a  
sequel, I don't know. Perhaps I just get
overloaded by too much black background 

or some kind of twisted, abstract story 
hidden within the demoplot? I have a    
hard time reading this demo. And the    
scenepoetry doesn't really help it out. 
What I really liked in this demo is     
the beautiful shaded vectorpart they    
call 9-11 in the note. Eventhough it's  
possibly an animation, i'm fond of the  
aesthethics. I really think this part   
should have been a demo on its own, with
a nice presentation. Somehow I end up   
thinking about the amigademo "Mobile:   
Destination Unknown". To sum the bad    
parts up, there are two things I really 
like to stress: 1) The demo contains    
a horrible misuse of several different  
fonts. 2) From now on blueshaded bumpmap
screens and 4x4 resolution Commodore    
logos are added to the list of things   
which will get an automatic thumb down. 
Now, this demo is a good attempt, and I 
respect that, but it isn't a really good
demo. Things are just too confused and  
incoherent in style, I can't really give

you a clearer explanation, and neither  
can the demo.                           
I think it's easier to just treat this  
demo as a collection of effects, because
that's what it is.  The "story" is so   
superficial that's it's better to just  
ignore it (and the story is just one of 
the many things in this demo that makes 
me think of AEG).  As a collection of   
effects, it's pretty disappointing, not 
because the parts are bad, but because I
seriously believed that when Cybernator 
finally delivered something else than   
forum postings, it would be good.       
At least technically.  I had expected   
to see a collection of unoriginal but   
well-implemented effects, and what we   
got was a collection of unoriginal and  
not too well-implemented effects.       
But to be fair, some coders can only    
dream of making effects as good as      

these, and some of them are actually    
pretty good.  That fact makes me        
wonder why some of the crappier ones    
were included at all.  I would have     
preferred one diskside with the best    
parts, because the others just look     
out of place.  Still, it's nice with an 
ambitious demo by a new competent coder,
and I'm sure Cybernator's next demo will
be better.                              
Since you guys mostly covered what I    
have to say about the demo in general,  
maybe I can elaborete a bit more on     
the effects. First of all I have to     
start by saying I am completely OK      
with a coder trying his hands on some   
unoriginal effects. Whether it is for   
self assurance or learning, it does have
a use to redo some of these effects. I  
personally think, there needs to be an  
urge to add at least a tiny personal    
touch to the effect (that is if you are 
not breaking a record or beating all the

previous implementations in any way). I 
have to say that I missed this urge in  
most effects in Mortalis Arisen.        
My favorite parts are the Booze style   
x-y stretch, x-ray, sand watch and      
the end part. I think the fire and      
landscape parts are really slow. I have 
to disagree with Twoflower about 9-11. I
personally do not get the point of this 
kind of vector animation parts, unless  
they involve some kind of an original   
coding idea (such as the 'streaming'    
concept in Sphaeristerium). I especially
dislike the odd-even lines updating     
trick in animations like these.         
About the concept thing, I can not      
take it as lightly as Puterman for      
this demo. I think there clearly is     
an attempt for conceptual coherency     
in here.  Thus when they fail to achieve
that I accept it as something negative. 
I really enjoyed the soundtrack by the  

way. Especially in the end part. The    
graphics on the other hand, I could not 
make up my mind. There is certainly     
something fresh here, and kudos for     
that. However the color schemes of some 
of the screens were a bit disturbing    
to me. My favorite graphics components  
are the sand watch and the three color  
booze stretch gfx.                      
After all it is not everyday we         
get double sided demos. And I always    
respect the ability to pull off such big
projects. Thus greetings to the team.   
What impressed me more than the demo    
itself is the reactions it got from some
of the big coders. It seems a good way  
of doing public relations, is indeed    
asking people for help on effects. I    
am not saying 64ever did not deserve    
good reactions and yes there is nothing 
wrong with having good public relations,
and it inevitably effects the reactions 
you get. I am only surprised by the     

supportive big brother attitude some big
coders have towards Cybernator. And yes 
I do expect some possible flaming after 
this paragraph.                         
Exit by Defiers                         
"Wow, a new demo by Mahoney", I thought 
and envisioned something as great as his
last production, the Back in Time Live  
demo that was released a few years ago. 
Unfortunately this one is nowhere near  
that one.  I guess I was expecting      

too much.   The actual effects are      
still fresh, although familiar, but the 
roadsign story kind of makes me want to 
kill myself.                            
I actually found it fresh at the first  
minute or so. Later it became really    
dull. Unnecessarily long I guess...     

More demos

More demos                              
Psyche by Panda Design                  
Radiantx keeps releasing stuff at a     
pace that makes me think of myself      
when I was young and handsome a couple  
of years ago.  It's really cool that    
someone actually can be bothered to     
throw out some releases, instead of just
hanging around on IRC like everybody    
else.  There's a lot I like about this  
production, which I consider to be      
another step in the right direction.    
Some of the graphics are looking        
pretty good, and it's obvious that he's 
adding new coding abilities to his bag  
of tricks.  But what I like most about  
it is still the potential.  With some   
more experience and coding skills,      
this guy could produce excellent demos. 

I, too, see similarities between        
Radiantx's work and your early          
products. Not only in frequency but also
in style and text. Anyway, it really    
is fun seeing him active like this, but 
this demo somehow did not entertain me  
much. The first screen with the eye and 
the Panda logo are the nicest points for
me. The unlimited bobs part suffers from
the stuck-in-the-first-256-coordinates  
problem that Radiantx's seems to        
be having trouble letting go. But       
having taken on a project with bigger   
linking problems, I assume he must have 
learned a lot and must be feeling more  
confident. I share your (and I guess    
everybody else's) enthusiasm about      
future Panda productions.               
7D6 Invitro                             
While an invitation to a party in       
Turkey isn't very interesting to me,    

it's nice to see that Skate is busy     
coding.  The one part in this small     
production reminds me of something that 
I've neglected to mention in reviews    
of earlier productions that he's been   
involved in: that he's obviously doing  
some creative thinking.  This guy       
doesn't just copy other people's        
effects, he uses the components to make 
things that look new.  That's the kind  
of stuff I like, so thumbs up to Skate, 
and I hope he'll remain active.         
I think it is a shame that not many     
people noticed or reacted to this       
Breakpoint 2006 Invitation by Metalvotze
This is pretty ambitious for a          
Metalvotze production.                  

Independent God by Civitas              
If all you do is move 5 sprites over    
the screen, you should be able to fix   
the bugs.                               
Ruling in 2006 by Crypt                 
This one refuses to start on my 128D,   
which is pretty rare for a onefiler.    
I don't have much else to say about it. 
Kitgum by The Dreams                    
You never know what to expect from The  
Dreams.  This one might not be one of   
their more memorable releases, but at   
least it's a little bit heart-warming.  
I have to add that I especially liked   

the Crayon-like style in the picture    
where the school girl is holding out a  
flower to marching soldiers.            
Find the Lamer by [random fake group]   
I should be happy about this, because I 
like hate demos, but the whole Wanderer 
vs. Slarti and Stash thing is starting  
to feel really old.  And who cares about
who uploads the most stuff to CSDb?     
I sure don't.                           
Introfx by Nofx                         
Another small production.  Thumbs up    
for choosing a nice (and overused) tune.

I Code with my Sunglasses at Night      
by Speedfisters                         
So how did Speedfisters get the idea to 
release a demo at a small Swedish party?
I have no idea, but I suppose Data-Pata 
was involved in some way.               
May I add I kind of liked this one for  
what it is. It is small, complete and   
neat. The text is funny, the music is   
nice. I do not know how else to explain.
Gunnar sa det var ok! By Swappaz with   
Stillout by Triad                       
The stuff that Omar-S does might seem   

simple.  All you have to do is to run a 
straight beat with a dirty kickdrum and 
loop a sample for ten minutes.  But for 
some reason it works, the grooves make  
you move.  There's something he does    
right.  If some detail was different,   
it could just as well have been crap.   
That's if you're in the right mood.     
You might listen to the same tune the   
next day and it doesn't move you at all.
After all, it's just a simple beat and a
looping sample.  All the magic is gone, 
because you've had a bad day.           
Iopop seems to continue his search      
for original effects in the realm of    
visual perception. Stillout seems to be 
a rather quick job to me. As if it was  
implemented in one weekend per part. I  
am guessing Triad pulled back their     
forces for preparations until bigger    
battles at BFP and X. My favorite parts 
are the first and last parts, while I   
would have enjoyed a longer scroll text 

in the first part.                      
Technology by Digital Dreams            
I don't know what's wrong with me, but  
I actually like this one.  The picture  
looks absolutely amazing, the music is  
okay and well...  It just works.        
Axel also managed to release another    
demo just before we finished up this    
issue, called Samurai.  Again it's a    
small and simple demo, very much in the 
same style as the first one, and again I
can't help liking it.  This guy really  
shows some spirit in his productions,   
but I have a feeling that I'm not going 
to be as easily impressed by future     
productions.  And some people actually  

like long scroll texts...               
Axis Of Evil by Fairlight               
It is always nice to see Hollowman      
flexing his coding muscles as he chooses
not to do it as often as he could. This 
collection of effects is a bit ruined   
for me by the same old loader screen    
and the samples that my new sid can not 
make audible. But the 3D metaballs is a 
first I think (correct me if I am wrong)
and the squares part is an intelligent  
idea. Actually as I said before, I do   
not like the update half (or third or   
quarter) of the screen lines each frame 
tricks. But somehow it looks nice with  
the metaballs. Camera moves in the city 
part is also something that I really    
appreciated. Also the odd-even lines    
trick is applied here in an intelligent 
way that does not show the annoying     
artifacts at the vertical edges of the  

buildings. Probably the only part that  
falls behind the rest is the last part  
with the faces. I actually liked the    
color scheme there. But somehow the     
blocky head vector at the bottom does   
not seem to fit there in my eyes. Or    
maybe I would have prefered a little    
bit movement of the entire head, not    
just the chin.                          
The music is nice and fitting except    
for the samples I think. There probably 
is a joke there again that I miss       
(a Swede thing). But anyway the three   
effects there are enough for me to like 
this work.                              


Catollica by Samar Productions          
I didn't really know what to expect     
when I was about to open the new        
musiccollection from Nata. The name is  
somewhat cryptic and might be connected 
to the polish scene-tradition of        
having an aggressive stance towards     
the religios authorities, but never     
the less, the collection is a quite     
nice one.  In his own compositions,     
Nata is quite connected to the          
Hungarian musicians from ADSR, and      
you can hear clear echoes of both       
ADSR and Natural Beat in tunes like     
"Turbo" and "Red Eyes". Unfortunatly,   
the collection isn't solely about his   
own music. It's flooded with classic    
TV-game covers, like f.ex a remix       
on the Super Mario Bros calypso and     
tunes from Final Fantasy and Zelda. It  

might sound strange to you, but when    
I want to hear classic TV-game music,   
I prefer the real thing. I simply fail  
to grasp why people keep doing this? To 
learn the structures, perhaps? One      
classic videogametune, ok, but five or  
more? Graphically, the collection is    
more than competent with its converted  
hires graphics and a kind of layered    
touch to the outfit. I also like the    
vibe of the interface; that the music   
keeps rolling, the counter and the      
touch of the details. Definitly worth   
Flashback by JSL, Tropyx                
As an answer to our prayers in the last 
issue, JSL and Tropyx deliver. After    
"6:th", we now get "Flashback",         
the third picture collection from       
JSL. Just as with his logos, the images 
themselves contain a rather naivistic   

language, an easy approach, few (if any)
attempts towards realism and a minimum  
of antialiasing. If you compare his     
graphics to mine, he is really having   
sort of an opposite approach. Where I   
tend to focus on the composition and the
colors and ignore the background, JSL   
really spends some time on the entire   
image and doesn't mind too much about   
the pixel perfect aesthethics that we   
have grown used to in this scene. That's
good. More and more graphicians are     
heading in that direction, and I really 
feel that this might be good. It's about
time we focused less on the craft and   
more on what we want with our images.   
Talking about images, this collection   
really contains a lot of them, complete 
with a rather halfwit menu and a lodaing
screen. Visually, this collection       
contains 4 or 5 really horrible Boris   
style conversions, loads of images made 
for games and magazines, aswell as      
some really original and nice stuff,    

like f.ex. his Wolves composition. I    
really like the stuff where he just made
a picture, without any intentions of    
it being a part of a game or in front   
of a magazine. I like this collection   
for JSL showing his own style, not for  
slick graphics or a good presentation,  
for this collection has neither. There  
are a lot of technicalities to complain 
about; the loader, the packing of the   
images, the outfit. But somehow it feels
secondary to complain about such things,
but please keep it in mind 'till next   
time. The will to improve is the key    
to success.                             
I felt like I had to add something about
the music here, but I don't know what to
say about it.  It's totally hysterical. 

Los Magazinos

Los Magazinos                           
Game Over(view)                         
So here I am, sitting in front of       
the computer after a day's hard work,   
feeling bored, when all of a sudden     
another issue of Game Over(view)        
enlightens my sorry existence.  There's 
nothing that can get me into the right  
data spirit like a good diskmag, and    
this one's almost always good.          
I think ALIH has misinterpreted our     
appreciation for his mag.  There are    
plenty of sources for profanities       
these days (I have a 10mbit connection  
to the Internet), so there's obviosly   
something more to Game Over(view) than  
random websites.                        
[Nightlord & Twoflower]                 
We don't think ALIH meant us.           

(Any you guys are obviously wrong,      
as I'm always right.) Funnily enough,   
the editorial in this 27th issue (oh    
my fucking god, can you believe that,   
27 fucking issues?) manages to describe 
pretty much why I enjoy this mag so     
much.  No, I'm not really interested    
in games, although the reviews in Game  
Over(view) sometimes make me download   
a game and play it for 10 minutes.      
But there's something about C-64        
diskmags that make my heart vibrate     
with metallic love.  The reason for my  
reading and enjoying almost each issue  
of this mag isn't that I'm into games   
or get a kick out of seeing the word    
"fuck" used twice (or indeed 19 times)  
in a single sentence.  It's that it's   
a good diskmag, and a good diskmag      
is always a good diskmag, just like a   
good demo is always a good demo (until  
you've watched it too many times and    
grown bored with it).                   

I've suspected for a long time that     
everyone who posts on the Lemon forums  
(including me) are braindead, uncool    
carbon-based robots (as opposed to      
real, cool robots, who are mechanical   
warriors of steel).  Well, the extended 
quote from Monk proved that at least    
some of them have some real metallic    
robot spirit.  If I was into C-64 stuff 
because of nostalgia, I'd be playing    
Commando and posting my highscores at   
Lemon, not reading Game Over(view).     
It's all about spirit and soulful data  
magic, and Game Over(view) has plenty   
of it.                                  
Really the text by Monk was well        
thought, well worded and gracefully     
Super mega bonus thumbs up for giving   
our favorite billionaire Karl Hornell's 
game such a nice review too.  The world 
is a wonderful place, where green       

mushrooms fill my view and speak to me  
in silent, slightly erotic whispers.    
I think I'll give in to them now.       
Issue 28 was just out by the way. I do  
not have much original things to say    
on it other than it continues to be     
the best read around. However there is  
something that ALIH said on CSDB that I 
wanted to comment on. He suggests that  
the regularity of the release period of 
Game Over(view) might be shaving the    
surprise / treat factor of it off. I    
can only elaborate on my personal       
feelings. At the beginning of each      
month an expectation starts building    
up in me. For about 9-10 months now I   
have been checking any new games when   
they come out, just to have more fun    
when I read about them next month. What 
will ALIH write about this one? So the  
beginning of the month wait is slightly 
harder now and makes the treat factor   
stronger when the new issue is finally  

out. The disappointment of loosing the  
only fully reliably periodic mag there  
is, would be a far greater prize to pay 
in return of slightly more surprising   
release dates. It would not be worth    
it. So damn it ALIH! Don't scare us like
that again!... We want GO(v) every month
(twice a month would be even better)    
Yes, I actually believe that ALIH have  
succeeded in putting back the focus on  
the worthless games released on this    
machine. I have become more keen on     
checking new titles out. I do adore     
the fact that he spends enough time on  
them to gain some insight in how the    
different titles actually work. The     
review of "Weird World II" in #28       
was really hilarious. Releasing that    
magazine twice a month would be a little
far-fetched in my humble opinion.       

Recollection #1                         
Now this is something that I            
personally have been needing for        
a long time.  Getting acquainted        
with the scene as late as in 94 and     
being quite isolated during those       
years until 2003, I perfectly fit the   
definition of a "newbie" in the sense   
that the Recollection authors keep      
mentioning. Beginning with the scene    
town article, reading through certain   
lines like "...then I created the first 
mag on a disk", Recollection provided   
many answers to the loose ends of my    
scene history knowledge. Sincerely      
thanking Jazzcat and everyone else      
involved is the least I can do.         
If you are not completely off the       
scene, you should have read this by     
now, without us encouraging you to do   
so. I think this really is something    

very different than a diskmag. This     
is an anthology, an e-book if you       
will, serving entirely different        
purposes. This is reference material to 
a person like me.  Well I am sure most  
European and American sceners would     
already know about the majority of the  
content here, but there is seriously    
lots and lots of material that I learned
from Recollection for the first time.   
My favorite articles are Scene Town,    
Differentiate or Die, Importing Scene   
and History of G*P. Especially Scene    
Town paints such a clear picture in     
multiple levels, something which        
I always appreciate in text that        
covers large scale material. I think    
that article forms a very important     
example to everyone wishing to write for
diskmags. Also one thing I enjoyed very 
much was that the mag contained articles
from both sides of the Atlantic. The    
complementing angles of those articles  
paint a more complete picture no doubt. 

The controversial roto-zoomer in        
the intro does not look good to         
me. I think it is not fair to call      
it "flickering". It is a legitimate     
shrinker but 8x8 is bound to look bad   
no matter how precise it is. I do       
not agree that the Arabian version      
looks better. Yes color frequency       
wise it has advantages, but I simply    
think the overall Roman scheme looks    
better. Partly because the Roman texture
tiles better I think. And the music in  
the Roman version is also better.       
The menu graphic on the other hand, is a
beauty to look at. It is so beautiful   
that I sometimes have a hard time       
pressing return to enter a chapter. I   
can not let go of that view. There is   
some incredible pixel work on the head  
of the statue, and beautiful coloring   
on the shadows. Kudos to Hein.          
Also the mag has a really nice          

soundtrack. One great piece after       
another. I was really touched by Ocean  
Reloaded, In Spite Of and Echoes of     
Storm. I usually do not even comment    
on mag musics. But these ones are of a  
really epic scale. I am looking forward 
to the next issue.                      
People today seem to settle for         
mediocrity. For democoders, graphicians 
and even for writers, mediocre results  
is enough to release something. Instead 
of polishing and doing your best,       
let's just push something out and       
gain some quick credits and perhaps a   
thread at CSDb - just take a look at the
releases reviewed in this issue. This   
attitude has stuck to almost everything,
save for the Jazzcat universe. David    
might be a hell of an irritating        
bloke at times, especially when it      
comes to firstreleases of games and     

when he's bugging you for an article    
(which you don't really feel like       
finishing off) for half a year, but     
he sure makes things move. This can     
sometimes lead to really odd results,   
like a magazine beeing the nicest demo  
released in three months. I mean, with  
that kind of graphics and soundtracks   
like Ocean Reloaded, what can possibly  
go wrong? Visually and sonically, this  
beats everything I have seen and heard  
since the last issue. I do adore that   
kind of work, but I can't possibly      
appreciate it. I can't help seeing      
that some of this great energy spent    
on graphics, intro and music should     
have been put to use elsewhere. Why?    
Because a magazine should focus on the  
texts, and texts of this calibre could  
(and should!) stand alone, without the  
eyecandy. When it comes to criticism,   
the only thing I would like to mention  
is that the texts in these arcticles    
shouldn't be taken as historical facts, 
but more as historical anecdotes.       

Memories do easily fail, and especially 
after 15 years of absence from the      

Further magazinations

Further magazinations                   
Vandalism News #46                      
VN makes its way into our breadboxes    
once again. A bit of a delay, promise   
of Wanderer related text and the disk   
change request in the 3rd chapter makes 
me a bit uncomfortable.                 
The Wanderer stuff was the #1 lowdown   
subject in this mag. I had vain hopes   
that this crap would have drifted down  
to the bottom of the scene-lake by      
now, but obviously I was mistaken. My   
opinion is that as an editor, you       
have a responsibility to filter. Let    
me present a suggestion? Why not read   
the submitted article and answer these  
three questions - 1) Are there actually 

sceners which only reads VN and don't   
follow CSDb in one way or another? 2)   
Do this chapter contain information of  
any weight whatsoever? Will people enjoy
reading about this (once again)?        
First of all the lack of intro does not 
hit me as hard as other people. I really
do not care much about the intro of a   
mag. VN will be a well expected mag for 
me and I won't need an intro to get me  
into VN-reading mood.                   
I don't miss the intro either. And I    
must say that I really like the logo    
this time. Just don't ask my opinion    
about the news-chapter...               
The mag starts off well with a nice     
editorial, but unfortunately does       
not perform too well with the news      
chapters. There are some inaccuracies   

and missing information. I must say     
I am a bit disappointed about seeing    
news about Super CPU coding compo,      
but not seeing anything on Glance being 
founded. As if ambitious new demo groups
are being founded everyday. Also the    
last several pages are spent on party   
results, which I think could be found   
anywhere and does not carry much news   
value. Well at least VN has not dropped 
doing the news chapter. So despite my   
criticism on the content of the chapter,
I still value and cheer for the effort  
to have a news chapter.                 
I seriously hope that VN returns to     
having charts again. One thing critical 
about the votesheets is the irregularity
of release schedule. I would like to    
suggest setting a deadline for votesheet
collection for each issue so that all   
of us know until when we need to fill   
that online votesheet. This goes for    
Attitude and hopefully VN someday soon. 

NTSC news provide uninteresting data    
in an interesting way. Thumbs up to     
Derision for the style. I also enjoy    
the coverage in the market chapter.     
A disappointing experience comes        
in the demo reviews though. Firstly     
Ed provides well written text which     
unfortunately slided far too much away  
from what I expect as demo reviews. It  
has become more of an opinions article  
about today's scene and his personal    
Sunday afternoon experience mentioning  
a few demo names here and there and not 
really reviewing them at all. It could  
have been a nice article if it was not  
disguised as a demo review chapter.     
I just found Ed's reviews uninspired.   
All I'm reading in these reviews is     
"I don't want to write reviews right    
now, please sweet lord Jesus Josephson, 
release me from this horrible pain by   
turning me into a kangaroo or some other

annoying animal that jumps around and   
makes weird noises until it's shot by   
some Oz redneck and left to die in a    
pile of empty beer bottles".            
Then Almighty God takes a more          
closer approach to my expectations,     
unfortunately he misses to mention      
lots of technical points (technical     
as in coding, pixeling or sound)        
correctly. Unfortunately the sum of     
four demo review chapters add up to a   
low value for me.                       
Duke makes his return after a           
one-issue-break. You might remember     
I made comments about his writing       
style seeming a bit naive and too       
mid-nineties. Well I can say he has     
heard. I sense a very different and     
intelligent style this time aiming a    
more mature set of readers. It makes    
Behind the scenes a more interesting    
chapter as well as making Scene Show    

actually funny this time :).  And hey   
actually it is a great chapter because  
it is dedicated to me. Think what you   
want, OK. Wait a minute this is some    
sort of bribery as well I guess.  :)    
Puterman, I will get you out of jail    
buddy, if we can quickly publish like 5 
more issues before X 2006. Twoflower and
I are blessed not to be in Sweden now.  
Scene In Review is a nice idea,         
especially when implemented for         
products like Star Flake and sceners    
like Drax. That is people that are      
interesting and inspiring, talking      
about how their creative gear worked to 
produce some kick-ass quality work. That
kind of thing definitely motivates me   
and educates me. But not everyone and   
every production belongs to a chapter   
like that. So may I humbly suggest some 
selective filtering on that chapter.    
The Interview with Alien has to be one  
of the most interesting interviews I    

ever read. Congratulations should fly   
to Macx for that. Thanks to that and    
Recollection I learned a lot of scene   
history this month.                     
Meet the press performs a lot better    
in reviewing the mags than the demo     
review counterpart. There are actually  
some detailed reviews, spiced up with   
interviews, which actually works really 
well compared to most separate interview
chapters. I think it put the interview  
into a context.                         
The final two interesting chapters      
I would like to mention are             
Intensity's dream and the X2006         
interviews. Intensity does a good       
job of wording the detached alternate   
reality. And if you have not read the   
X2006 chapter yet you better go to your 
64 right now.                           
I have to agree about Intensity's       
article.  They should turn this into a  

series: "Wet scene dreams".  I'm sure   
Optimus would have a lot to contribute, 
and maybe this could get Ed inspired to 
write something interesting again.      
As for the overall view of this issue,  
I'd say it's okay.  Some of the articles
are worth reading, and some aren't.     
The same criticism that I've regularly  
given Scene World is applicable here:   
bragging about how many blocks of text  
you have in your mag just makes you     
look silly if most of that text isn't   
worth reading.  But sure, it's not like 
every article has to be interesting in  
a mag, so I follow Jazzcat's advice and 
skip a few chapters.                    
My opinion? Well, they have done it     
again. And I don't mean "they've made a 
brilliant VN", but rather made a 3 sided
magazine with 1 diskside of content.    
Some quality text, some more or less    
cut'n paste stuff, and generally a lot  

of fluff. Please present this magazine  
in a one-sided format in the future,    
and please do it a bit faster next      
time. Last issue was presented in       
August 2005. I like this magazine,      
I really do. That's why I care. That's  
why I complain.                         
So overall I think this issue is a      
bit worse than the last mostly due      
to worthless chapters about Wanderer    
and the disappointingly ignored demo    
reviews.  But it is still VN and you    
know you can not miss a VN issue. A     
returning charts chapter, and some more 
attention on the demo reviews is bound  
to make it a great mag again.           
Nordic Scene Review #6                  

Okay, normally you wouldn't review your 
own mag, especially not the current     
issue, which hasn't even been linked    
yet, but I thought I should do it       
anyway, just to prove that boring is    
normal.  Or something.                  
This issue is the first one to feature  
an intro, and a really nice one it is,  
including some ripped graphics and no   
scroller whatsoever. Thumbs up to       
Twoflower for producing that one, it's  
a good trick to make the mag feel new   
and fresh again, although nothing has   
really changed.                         
The editorial is unusually long, and    
the bulk of the text is the editors'    
reactions to the fact that one of the   
comments on the last issue did not      
solely consist of ecstatic praise.      
They go through a wide range of         
defence mechanisms in response to this  

insult: regret, excuses, denied         
excuses and excuses that they'll come   
to regret later.  Oh well, who reads    
editorials anyway?  Isn't this mag      
supposed to contain reviews?  What's    
the editorial doing there in the first  
The other 5 chapters do consist of      
reviews, some very verbose ones on      
other diskmags as well as some less     
verbose ones on demos.  Some of the     
demos get almost no review at all (one  
of the reviews goes like this:          
"Uhm?").  Oh well, I suppose that's     
what you get if you try to review       
everything that's released.  The        
conversational style of some of the     
more ambitious reviews are              
appreciated by some, I'm one of those   
who have liked this style of reviews    
since it was introduced a few years     
ago in Publication (where it was later  
scrapped, as no seemed to be            
interested in keeping it going).        

As usual, this mag only features one    
tune, in this issue it's made by        
Linus of Triad, and it's a pretty       
groovy multispeedy affair. Well worth   
listening to while reading.             
The colour scheme in this issue was     
designed by the graphician and not the  
coder, and hence it doesn't look        
completely fucking stupid.  Actually,   
it's rather nice.                       
All in all it's more of the same old    
Nordic Scene Review that some of us     
love and some...  well, don't love, I   
suppose.  Anyway, it's free, so it's    
probably worth the money.               

Personal tools