7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Hit And Miss,
This review is from: Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984: A Complete Reference Guide (Hardcover)
I would like to say, before I get into the review, that I thoroughly enjoy books like this, and have enjoyed flipping through this one. With it's flaws it's still an enjoyable book, and if you'd like to relive some of the early days of gaming, you can much worse than picking this one up.
That said, what I feel brings this book down so much is that it's very much biased in the descriptions of the games. It is an impressive undertaking to describe every game that was available for platforms between 1972 and 1984, and the descriptions of them is nice and appreciated. But with the book looking very much like a textbook and having the phrase "A Complete Reference Guide" written on the front, the last thing I want in the descriptions (remember that I'm talking about the descriptions of the games specifically) is the bias of "this game is mundane" or "this is one of the best." If they had been broken up into core data on the game and an editorial, somewhat akin to the Digital Press Guide, it would have been more worth reading. Be sure to take all of the writing with a grain of salt.
It's the bulk of the content that keeps the score as high as I've given it, and the presentation is very beautifully done. Having met and spoken to Brett Weiss I know the publisher is one that also put out text books for schools, and that explains the clean presentation, along with the clean black-and-white pictures strewn throughout the chapters being placed perfectly among the outlines for each game. Honestly though, I would have liked more description of the games other than just the content; it seems almost rushed in the way the publisher/developer-type info is pasted at the top of each blurb.
It's a decent product, an interesting read, and a beautiful-looking book... I just wish the content was a bit less biased and cut to the core of what each game was about, maybe more background info... but I can dream, and if he decides to work on a more up-to-date game-describing collection he'll take criticism to heart, making his project even better.