Hello! We've been so busy with all sorts of special and exciting projects here - notably the last Eurogamer Expo - that we accidentally forgot to run a reader review competition last month (and we're a bit late this month). Sorry. It's because we care too much.
So we've rolled the very best reader reviews from August and September into one special, hard-fought epic of the critical art.
Your gladiators in the dusty, sun-baked arena of playing a video game and writing about it are: agparrot and his review of Renegade Ops and Bobfoc, offering his take on Telltale's Back to the Future series.
But the victorious combatant is:
orpheus on Silent Hunter 5
Here's an excerpt from the review, but be sure to check out the full banana."Terrible framerates, lost legacy features and some mind-bogglingly glaring oversights sunk Silent Hunter 5 without a trace, with the final depth charge dealt by the much-hated 'Permanent Internet Connection Required'. More so than with any other game in the series, it was up to the modders to fix it. Enter the heroically dedicated Captains at subsim.com and other modding communities. In the year or so since release, they have been hard at work, picking apart the game and turning it into something quite different from the mangled mess it began as."
Speaking from his balcony of judgment, Emperor (alright, reviews editor) Oli Welshimus gave the suitably-named oprheus the thumbs up and declared:
"An important part of the critic's art is in making good connections, and I loved agparrot's very apt comparison of Renegade Ops with the old Desert Strike games. Meanwhile, Bobfoc was as entertaining as ever on the ramshackle charms of Telltale games.
"I've given oprheus our reader review award before for a similar piece on IL-2 Sturmovik, so I hesitated before repeating myself. But aside from the same great descriptive writing and attention to detail, he's done something quite unique here.
"opheus has essentially reviewed the community's efforts to save Silent Hunter 5 through mods, and in so doing made his own contribution to save a sim that was promising, but broken, at launch. It's a great idea for an article, particularly because I don't know anywhere else where I can read it and get the same information written with the same expertise. That's not just good reviewing - it's good journalism."
Well done orpheus! Get in touch and we'll sort you out with a little something.
And the rest of you, please keep those reviews coming. Good luck!