As you may or may not know, FFG is now 10 years old. Given that we’ve unexpectedly managed to make it to this fairly significant milestone, it seems only right that we try and mark it in some way.

We’ve got several things planned. Exactly how many of these things will come to fruition depends on the usual time constraints, but one thing that we definitely wanted to do was go back and revisit some of our past reviews (or rather, the actual games that we covered) and facilitate some kind of discussion.

The main influence for this was undoubtedly the old “Supertest” features that used to run in PC Zone magazine, in which a number of their writers would be ordered to play a handful of broadly-similar games and then go down to the pub and discuss their various merits. They were pretty good fun to read, and most of the time they actually added something to the original review of the game – either an alternative opinion, discussion of something funny that they’d all noticed, or just sharing opinion and experiences. Look, it was better than it sounds, okay? We didn’t all have the internet in those days.

Of course, these days you have your technology, and your podcasts and whatnot, but we’ve gone for the old text-based conversation, partly because a) we wouldn’t know how to set up a podcast even if we wanted to; b) we don’t want to; and c) we really, really don’t want our hesitant and awkward voices to be broadcast on the internet – we’ll hide behind the written word, if that’s okay.

Part of the point of having a website like this – or the motivation for setting it up, at least (and Stoo – do correct me if I’m wrong) – is to be able to hark back to shared experiences, to read something and think “Yeah, I remember when that was out…I liked that too”. As we get older, our ability to enjoy and review old games isn’t necessarily impaired (indeed, we do intend to continue with that) but the ones that you really enjoyed at the time are limited to the ones that you actually had time for when they were out. Any memories of committing entire days to these games, or indulging in late-night multiplayer with friends, are just that – memories.

[For more on this kind of thing – here’s a link to Will Porter’s “Gaming Made Me” piece at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.]

Since we started FFG, we’ve both just reviewed whatever game we wanted, in isolation, but we’ve also experienced a few of them together and it’s worth capturing that, I think. Obviously, we’re limited to the games that we’ve both played – and where appropriate, we’ll invite others (for example, our sometime-contributer Jo, weighs in on this first review) to share their memories too.

Aside from all that, discussion reviews can be pretty good, anyway – I know The Good Old Days have started using them, and they’re something I like reading. Hopefully our efforts will be enjoyable also.

Finally, just to show that this isn’t just self-indulgent laziness (ideally, we should write new reviews instead of this kind of retrospective) we’ve added links to extra screenshots and – in the first case – sound files to illustrate our points. Whether we can do this for all the discussions to follow, without introducing spoilers, is open to debate, but I hope you’ll enjoy them this time.