Ten years ago this month – on January 17th, to be precise – way back in 2005 I launched this site. Originally a small gaming site started with some friends as a see-if-we-can venture, All Around Gaming Hub is today my day-to-day work and part of a hosts a number of projects. Let’s look back at some of the high and low points in AAGH’s history and be sure to come back all month for more anniversary coverage.
My Top 10 Reviews in 10 Years:
We are a game review site first, and with so many reviews our 10 years, it was hard to single out 10 that stood out. However, these do stand out, and they do so for a wide variety of reasons.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, 2006 – Originally released in three parts over the span of more than a month, it is still our longest review at over 2060 words. It was also one of my favorite to do as it was one of my favorite games ever. I still debate internally between Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, as to which I prefer, but this review is my favorite that I ever wrote.
- NBA Live 08 for PC, 2007 – This was the first game I reviewed that I legitimately hate. Little more than a roster patch with some minor adjustments from NBA Live 07, it was also still a port of the PlayStation 2-era build of the series. NBA Live 08’s poor reception with its ‘fans’ on PC was a large part of EA Sports’ decision to stop supporting the platform. So why is this one of my top reviews? Because it was after this review that I felt less compelled to give all games some benefit of the doubt, and I had never felt freer as a reviewer.
- Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360, 2008 – The first perfect score I ever gave out went to GTA4 on the 360. As any reviewer will tell you, getting that first perfect score out of the way removes the self-imposed burden of find just the right game to bestow the honor upon. Six years later, and I haven’t given out another perfect score since and I firmly believe that this was my most overrated game ever.
- Second Life, 2007 – This MMO world/society simulator was buggy as all get out when I reviewed it way back when. During my time reviewing it, I had a built a shop on a plot of land that I owned, and the days and nights spent there are still good memories, up to and including the people that I met. Also, I love gambling and hit for 12,000 Linden Bucks on a slot machine during the review, so there’s that, too.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007 – I did not review this one, but I was apparently part of it nonetheless. What’s with the jabs at me near the start of the review, anyway? This was one of only two reviews Betasim ever did for AAGH, the other being Guitar Hero World Tour for the Xbox 360.
- Out of the Park Baseball 8 , 2007 – The interesting part of this review was how I came about reviewing it. As one of only a handful of games we have had the privilege of getting review copies for, the irony was that I had already paid full price for a copy before I got word I was getting a review one. No, I didn’t ask for a refund or anything, but that’s alright, because it was really a pretty good game.
- Monaco, 2013 – My favorite part of this review was the story I got to tell in the middle of it about two of my compatriots and I playing the Lebanese Embassy level. It was really funny and yet honestly doesn’t really capture the entertainment and mayhem of playing Monaco with a few loosely coordinated friends.
- Minecraft 1.3.1, 2012 – I wanted to cover the new Minecraft patch (at a time when I was chronicling each major Minecraft snapshot as well) but I didn’t want to a proper review, so instead I made up a story to explain the new features. Not a review, per se, but still an interesting read.
- World of WarCraft, 2008 (article no longer online) – No, you’re not reading the date wrong. I actually reviewed World of WarCraft – the original World of WarCraft – in 2008, four years after it had originally come out. It was part of an ill-fated retro-review series and the culmination of a five-part Investigative Gaming article series from 2007 wherein I attempted to see why people were still playing World of WarCraft all these years later (how little I knew then…) and ultimately got hooked on it myself, to the tune of well over a thousand hours over the next four-plus years. I actually just got back in with the Warlords of Draenar expansion pack, and may have an article coming about that soon.
- Medieval II: Total War, 2006 – A game that I had no intention of playing, let alone reviewing, nearly stole the show from Oblivion in the 2006 Game of the Year awards. I had to play the hell out of this game to get it in on time for the 2006 awards, but it was worth it because it was an amazing title.
Later this week I will unveil my top 10 articles in the last 10 years, so come back for that.