starlac is me, Carl Padgham, an animation and videogame fan from the UK, who also likes the occasional live-action film and bit of TV.
A short while back, I became the amateur editor and game critic for gamingtilldisconnected.com for three fun packed, if sometimes downhearted and frustrating years. Why did this happen, because the owner of the site was sent a review copy of Nier on PS3, and I was the only one he knew who both a) had the console, and b) could also write.
Getting free games straight from the publishers – sometimes weeks early – sounds like a great gig, right? Well, in many ways, it was. However, like all things in life, nothing free is entirely free of some sort of price. For one, review code kind of took over mine and the rest of the staff’s lives, leaving us with little time for titles we wanted to play. Deadlines and publishers loomed and sometimes you’d rather do anything than play another minute of even a great game, let alone a bad one.
Me and the owner of the site decided that we where both suffering from burnout juggling our real lives with that of the site’s needs and sold it to its current owners, who promptly removed everything posted before 2013 (I assume to start afresh, but it does leave me slightly bitter that all our hard work was undone). We also wanted to go back to playing games that we choose to play, rather than what game companies sent us and enjoy gaming for its own sake once again (and yes I know that I’m complaining about free games). Maybe, one day we’ll start again and rebuild a gaming site from the ground up, but it’ll be on terms which allow it to be our source of income, rather than an exhausting hobby.
As for future reviews, I’m going to be focusing on the most salient aspect of gaming that I enjoy, single player, because I’m something of a lone wolf, who’s misanthropic tendencies makes me almost anathema to the whole idea of playing with others in any way outside of locally. That online is something of a crapshoot anyhow, doesn’t help any in that regard. Once in a blue moon a game may come out that has a multiplayer mode that I care about in some way, fighting games can about do it, sometimes. Just don’t expect it often.
As I never had any legal obligations to keep my reviews on just the one site, I’ve decided to upload them here on this blog, along with future reviews. I will make a note of those written for gamingtilldisconnect in the footnotes and will mention when a review copy of a game was supplied by a company.
Game Scoring Policy – For information about the meaning of score numbers for games.
I am also a long-running – seven years – editor of keyframe: The Animation Resource, a Canadian-based animation archive site that been on the web since 1999, I have also written over two hundred reviews and have the lowest star rating average on the site last time I checked (yeah, I’m a bit stingy with my scores, what can ya do?). I obtained an University diploma in animation, doing not history of, although I have fairly extensive – your mileage may vary – knowledge of western animation history.
From Disney, DreamWorks, Studio Ghilbli, and the like, whose collective films have run the range from amazing to bloody awful. To the absolute depths of terror like the two animated Titantic movies from Italy and the commercials in disguise of the Eighties. I’ve subjected myself to it all and probably will suffer through more in the future. Why? Evidently I’m ever so slightly mad. Or at least slightly touched in the head. Though my Asperger’s Syndrome is probably nothing to fear.
I would still say that I prefer traditional, hand-drawn animation if given the choice (although said choice is few and far between these days). Then again, sometimes I go and watch just about anything, including a live-action movie if need be.
Film Scoring Policy – For information about the meaning of score numbers for films.
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