The goal of Bitscreed is to provide as much independent, informed coverage as possible of everything and anything related to gaming. News, articles, observations and occasional reviews, all covered in big dollops of criticism like the aftermath of an explosion at a mayonaisse factory. Opinions expressed on Bitscreed may be brutal, belligerent or mildly offensive but you can rest assured that they’ll also be honest and forthright.
At the moment Bitscreed is barely more than a glorified blog, maintained by one man with far too much time on his hands and an unhealthy fascination with the ins-and-outs of gaming.
About Bitscreed’s score system
Unlike sites that winnow their review scores down to the meanest fraction, bitscreed ranks games on a strict 1-5 star scale similar to movie reviews and the system used by Giant Bomb. Why? It’s simple and elegant. All the .1′s and half-stars in the world don’t mean squat at the end of the day except to fuel pointless, timewasting circle-jerks. In an ideal world people wouldn’t fetishise scores at all, since they’d get what they need from actually reading the text with their eyes and comprehending it with the meat in their skulls. In an ideal world Matt would also live in a palace made of diamonds perched atop a giant everlasting bottle of whiskey distilled by the muses of Greek mythology. Until gamers abandon their dependency on arbitrary numerical indicators of worth, this system will suffice.
Yay! - Recommended with little or no reservations. Nothing in life is perfect, least of all videogames, but a game with this score is as close as you’re going to get. This is no guarantee that you as an individual will love this game as much as I do, but then that’s subjective opinion and personal taste for you.
Yea! - A game with this score doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of what it could be, but is still a worthy investment of time and money. I don’t subscribe to the 7-point scale mentality where 8/10 = hate/10 and anything less is a pile of old shite. If someone gave you a choice between getting this game for free with the purchase of a 5-star one, or £5/$10/165,000 Vietnamese dong off the 5-star game on its own, you’d do well to go for the first option.
Meh! - A real love-it-or-hate-it game. Fans of the genre or subject matter may get a lot of enjoyment out of it. This also covers games that could be been 4 or even 5-stars were it not for things like inscrutable user interfaces and show-stopping bugs, or were half the price.
Nay - A game with more cons than pros. You may get a smidgen of enjoyment from it if you have the patience of a saint and the iron will of Conan of Cimmeria, but for most people this will be a miss. A game with this score might be worth playing if you can get it for free or actually have someone pay you to play it although I wouldn’t bank on that. In short, one to avoid unless you really like stuff like Lawnmower Simulators.
Bleigh! - If games could be indicted for crimes against humanity this one would be in a dock at the Hague quicker than you can say “I was only following orders.” You’d glean more enjoyment quaffing boiling hot piss from a tramp’s hat than playing even a second of this game.
The irresponsible degenerate behind all this.
Matt started playing games when they were sold on cassette tapes at British pharmacies (second shelf down from the Laudanum and cocaine) and took ten minutes to load. When he wasn’t hunched over his ZX Spectrum playing Treasure Island Dizzy or Lords of Midnight at the expense of homework, he could often be found poring over issues of Crash and Your Sinclair. From these humble beginnings Matt progressed via battery-guzzling handhelds and a failed Amstrad gaming system to the stalwart PC, where some of his fondest gaming memories occurred. Along the way he dabbled with the PSX, Gamecube, PS2 and other systems considered “old skool” by children who don’t know any better and have no bloody sense of history.
A passionate believer in gaming as a unique artistic medium like film or literature, Matt favours titles that have deep immersion, strong storytelling, a solid atmosphere or give players significant freedom. This doesn’t stop him enjoying popcorn games full of mindless violence and explosions so long as they’re fun. Some of his favourite titles are the original Deus Ex, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Planescape: Torment, Silent Hill 2 and Portal. He holds a lifelong grudge against Micro Machines on the Sega Megadrive for ruining his chance to appear on UK TV’s “GamesMaster” back in the 1990s.
When he’s not gaming Matt spends his time writing, reading, playing tabletop-RPGs, chain-smoking, being tormented by his pet cat, and diluting the blood levels in his body’s caffeine supply. His pet hates are fanboys of all stripes, modern military FPS’, 3D, self-professed “hardcore” gamers and people who think Halo’s storyline is a literary masterpiece. He once shared an overhead luggage compartment with actress Jessie Wallace on a flight to Los Angeles. His personal heroes include Bill Hicks, Charlie Brooker and Optimus Prime. Matt always feels weird writing about himself in the third person.
Occassionally other people write for Bitscreed on an ad-hoc basis, often when Matt is too drunk to do anything. If you’re interested incontributing to bitscreed.com then click here.