The Richie Report: Et Velum Ultimum
2016′s been a bit of a twat hasn’t it? Prince, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Gene Wilder. Seriously, if Bill Murray, Harry Dean Stanton and Sigourney Weaver get out of this year unscathed, it’ll be a fucking miracle. Betty White is probably next, you twelve-monthed cunt. Oh and you can add GamingLives to that list too.
GamingLives started a while ago. Back then I was running a fabulous gaming website that nobody read because fuck you, we’re too punk. But I believed that other websites were worth supporting too. I’ve been reading about games ever since Your Sinclair and Crash did their thing for the Speccy back in the ’80s, and so more sites meant more content and more content was a good thing.
And fuck IGN and that lot. I don’t need your sponsored opinions. Nah, let’s see what real gamers have got to say. Not some fucking minimum wage ‘pro’ who is under pressure to tell me that some fucking sequel to Driver is good. Go on, tell me that FIFA is “slower and more deliberate” this year. Tell me that Space Cock 5 is “visceral” again you fucking pricks. I will beat you in front of your woman.
I used to tour around the various community websites and chip in, trying to support the forums a bit. I’m not Mother Theresa or anything, but it is nice to help. Also, I don’t know if you’ll remember this, but back in the late ’00s, people actually played games together online. Not like now where the only time you can get more than three people together is for some fucking horrible beta of War Boys: Duty of Honor: Advanced Levels of Shit Day One Edition.
Anyway, I ran into the founders of GamingLives around this time. I was introduced to Lorna by one of my ex-writers; possibly the only nice thing he ever did. We talked about Spectrum games and I thought “this girl needs to write for my site” and I was right. She’d have fitted right in. But she didn’t, because I never asked her directly. Instead, I tormented her lottery-fucking-winning editor at the time with threats that I’d kidnap Lorna and hide her under the bed. Like Shannon Matthews but without the Primark fringe. They weren’t letting her go though, as she was the only good writer there.
After a while I decided it was time to actually ask Lorna directly but it turned out that Lorna and Mark, her confusingly surnamed not-husband, were starting up GamingLives. I didn’t know them very well. We were frequenting the ReadyUp forums, but it was a miserable place that attracted lots of young boys because of their mostly female writing staff. The boys would start topics like asking what was better Call of Duty or Halo. And they all fucking liked dubstep for some reason.
I remember Mark wrote a poem on the forum about the forum that mentioned that I hated everything. I didn’t really, but it might have appeared that way as I generally hated everything when I was there. I vaguely remember that he liked Fallout. Presumably because it simulates life in Glasgow just so perfectly.
So when I realised that Lorna had left ReadyUp to start up GamingLives, I quickly popped over and got in on the forum. In 2010, apparently. I said hello and started posting. Everyone was very accepting, and since then, it’s been one of my very few regular forum haunts.
What impressed me about GamingLives was just how polished it all was. It looked like a ‘real’ site, if you know what I mean. I can’t remember exactly what it looked like back then but it was good. And the writing staff were banging out some seriously good content. I was struck by how much work was going on. When I used to edit a review for my site, I’d find four or five screenshots, crop the watermarks off so that no-one knew where I stole them from and uploaded that shit. GamingLives reviews seemed to have roughly about twenty of the fucking things and I don’t even think they stole them.
I was on the writing staff a month later. I wrote a little something about how characters in some old Spectrum games died. It was called Gaming Deaths because I’m so fucking clever. Okay, in hindsight I’m as dumb any movie starring The Rock, but anyway, I was happy to be involved and have been writing for them ever since.
Along the way we’ve gained writers and lost them. A lot of them managed to use GamingLives as a step into the games industry, or games journalism as an actual job. That doesn’t happen by accident. If you get your words edited by Lorna and then presented by Mark, it’s going to look pretty fucking good. It’s going to make YOU look good.
Now it looks like I’m the longest serving writer outside of Mark and Lorna themselves. I’m still referencing Spectrum games and swearing a lot. I change by not changing at all, right? But as I check out with this final Richie Report, I look around at the community at large and realise that things will never be like they were. When GamingLives finally checks out on Friday, the average quality level of the gaming website community is going to look as healthy as a Mexican Zika burger. No one will take its place because no one will ever work as hard as Mark and Lorna did on making anything this good again.
So say goodbye to GamingLives and hello to fucking ShittyGamer.piss because that’s 2016 for you. Everything is worse now. This hasn’t been a very informative Richie Report has it? Okay, let’s take a look at those gaming charts one last time, kids.
- BioShock: The Collection – how is this number one? BioShock was damp shit. BioShock 2 was so shit that even people that were tricked into like BioShock didn’t like it. I gave up on BioShock Cloudy Version about halfway through as I didn’t fancy slipping into a fucking coma.
- Pro Evo Soccer 2017 – PES is apparently good this year. They’ve been saying that for a couple of years but I imagine its about as different to the 2015 version as Mick Hucknall is to a fucking bag of shit with shit hair that sings in a shit bag that is shit.
- NBA 2K17 – in the UK? Fuck off, charts. You lying cunt. Nobody bought this. Fuck. The next seven games must have sold about three copies between them.
- Destiny: The Collection – shockingly, I actually got into Destiny. Fashionably late, like. So, I can’t really say anything interesting about it.
- Overwatch – hey Rich, this is really good. It’s really fun. It’s just like Team Fortress 2. HANG ON. Aren’t you the same sort of cunt that likes The Inbetweeners? Get the fuck out of here.
- Rocket League – LOL at you if you missed this when it was free. Oddly, despite being an entirely made up sport, this is the most accurately sporty game ever made. It feels so much like real sport that I’m actually just as shit at it as I was at football. I saw a kid watching videos of matches of this on his tablet in a restaurant a few months ago. It took all my strength not to feed him to his fucking parents.
- Fallout 4 – Bethesda’s super-accurate tramp simulator is the best way to scut around in bins looking for forks. My wife plays this a lot on the PC. That’ll be handy when I kick her out of the house.
- Grand Theft Auto V – I liked this on the Xbox 360. Now I think it’s actually more DLC than game but GTAV is remarkable for being the only really good GTA game. I like the way it constantly turns up in PSN sales for twice the price I’m prepared to pay for it.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – yeah, look I’m not into LEGO or Star Wars. I liked the film a bit. It was very amusing. Fuck playing through it with clunky LEGO controls and shitty falling over humour though.
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – I remember watching the footage at E3 of this a few years back. The footage was ten minutes of Nathan thingy walking through the woods. Nothing happened. It was like all of the Tomb Raider games. People cheered. It made no sense. But then I remembered that people really like The Last of Us (officially the most boring game ever made). This world frightens me.
Oh and No Man’s Sky is at number 12 despite having no discernible gameplay. That’s quite an achievement.
See you, poppets. Thanks for reading. And thanks, GamingLives. May the heavens rain down radiant jewels and sweetmeats upon thee.
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