"It's often been said that the videogames industry is a callous mire of faceless corporate greed," begins one of our candidates for January's Reader Review of the Month, and that's a coincidence, because Tom Bramwell has also often been called a callous mire of faceless corporate greed. Eurogamer's editor is too busy smoking money and being carried around on a litter by trained lemurs to bestow his blessing on his humble readers this month, so the honour falls to reviews editor Oli Welsh, which is fair enough because it is his job and everything.
Wholesome yet peculiar community manager Tom Champion selected our shortlist of three, as is the custom: Bobfoc rocks Brutal Legend (quoted above), Sealofmadness psychoanalyses The Sims 3 and Dudefella screams through Dead Space.
And January's victor is...
Sealofmadness' review of The Sims 3!
Here's the splendid introduction to the full review:
"Ned Kelly is a star, a sporting hero. He has made it to the top of his field, a modern day Hercules of fitness and power. Thing is, all is not well for Ned; he's still living with his sister Jean in a run-down house; supporting the wannabe rock star with his vast income - he earns, she spends. And Ned, despite having a fantastically toned physique, cannot get a girlfriend because he just doesn't have a pretty face or a flirty demeanour. Getting towards the end of his career, will Ned ever find love?"
Said Oli of his pick, as if he didn't write this whole thing: "I admired Bobfoc's willingness to cast a truly critical eye on the work of his professed hero Tim Schafer. And I was impressed by Dudefella's writing style, which is as taut, precise and well-engineered as the game he writes about. (Great grammar, Dudefella; one day you'll make a nice editor very happy.)
"But Sealofmadness' Sims review just has so much going on. He's picked an interesting, different and difficult subject and written about it with knowledge and passion, balancing both personal and critical perspectives on it, which isn't easy. Also, in that intro and in a few other places, he gets to the heart of what the game is about – and that is the most important job of any critic."
Nice job, Sealofmadness. We'll sort you out with a prize. The rest of you, get writing, submit your reviews and we'll see you next month. More words! Feed us more!