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The Reason Why MAG Reviews Are In Short Supply

Usually, you can find a few early reviews for any huge blockbuster title if you're a diligent web surfer.

But many are noticing that not a single solitary review exists of the 256-player online shooter MAG, a PlayStation 3 exclusive that launches today, towing several truckloads of hype behind it. Some are speculating that this lack of analysis is due to Sony's concern that MAG may have early problems, similar to the ill-fated launch of SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals Confrontation. However, Jeff Rubenstein at the PlayStation Blog has responded to this theory and it falls in line with the standard operating procedure for reviews. Said Rubenstein:

"Reviews can’t be written until the game is actually out. I mean, you can’t pass pre-release judgment on a game whose major, industry-leading feature (256 players in a single battle) can’t be tested until release day."

He has a point. Well, actually, several points. Firstly, no critic is supposed to disregard the embargo date and for Sony's stuff, that date is usually the date of release. Secondly, everything really needs to get rolling; how can we review the game properly when it's not available to people to purchase? We'd be running around virtually empty battlefields. This may be the reason we - and likely other sources - didn't receive our review copy until today; they don't want critics to make the mistake of playing it early, finding nobody, and passing judgment. Just a guess.

Also, I'd like to bring your attention back to that Confrontation review. We reviewed it a little after the release, primarily because we had heard about the issues plaguing the game and we knew patches and fixes were incoming. Once the major glitches were ironed out, that game went from maybe a 5.5 to a solid 8; it was a gigantic difference. Thing is, it's very difficult to review living, breathing games that continually grow, expand and in general, get better. But we'll do our best with MAG.

Related Game(s): MAG

1/25/2010 10:20:30 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Cavan
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 10:35:57 AM
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and its reasons like this, why this is the best gaming website!, always looking at the bigger picture, not just put anything together so you can have the 1st review.

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Highlander
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 10:36:09 AM
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Ben,

With respect to reviewing this title, could Sony help by arranging to have a suitably large number of players available (from the beta test pool perhaps) to play in a suitably large group on MAG? I mean even if you get 16-32 players how do you evaluate a game that can handle 256 players?

I ask because even though I generally dislike shooters, especially online shooters, this game appears to me to offer something a bit different. To me there appears to be a greater focus on cooperative play with teams working together. That might change the dynamic from the usual death match with annoying Internet urchins hurling obscenities, to a more mature atmosphere with people talking about the objectives, and in game events (as well as the usual personal chit chat). When you're working together as a team, it's hard to run around like a nut-job firing at everything that moves and swearing like a drunken sailor.

It just feels like MAG may bring something very different to the table. I may even play it if it does.

Last edited by Highlander on 1/25/2010 10:40:30 AM

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telly
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 10:59:02 AM

My thoughts exactly Highlander, and why I'm looking forward to reading reviews whenever they surface. I typically play the competitive online component of shooters for about 15 minutes before I lose interest, but this one seems to offer something more. Fingers crossed Sony pulled this one off.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:04:38 AM

MAG IS very different in those ways. There is always an element of cooperation and teamwork that goes into every match; you understand this and feel it even with only 16-32 players. If you play MAG like you play most any other FPS online, you'll die almost instantaneously.

But you're right in that there's a large difference between 32 and 256 players. I just think Sony needs to get as many people online as possible.

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Hawkeye
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:20:48 AM

I'm not sure MAG is different enough (from a gameplay standpoint) from BF1943. BF43 has objectives or control points to capture and hold and you have squads that work together to accomplish these tasks. The only thing MAG has is the number of players.

I played the public beta and it just didn't grip me.

And Highlander, as for your sentence "When you're working together as a team, it's hard to run around like a nut-job firing at everything that moves and swearing like a drunken sailor."

It is tough, but with practice you should be able to do it. :)

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Highlander
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:26:54 AM

@Hawkeye,

Oh, I'm sure that with practice it can be done. Actually I suspect many try to practice only to have their sessions cut short...

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JPBooch
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 10:57:14 AM
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What concerns me are rash reviews that are given before the games initial quirks are worked out and also critics not taking the time to rank up and get into the larger battles. The whole game sounds like it has several layers that build upon each other.

On-line only games are not like regular games, you can't play test for the glitches that a million users will find and then exploit on youtube. Warhawk did a great job, but it took them a solid month to do it. SOCOM took just as long.

Last edited by JPBooch on 1/25/2010 10:57:36 AM

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Darwin1967
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:06:33 AM
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I'll have to search and see if PSXE did any write ups of the BETA. I started during the Qore beta test period and definately formed some opinions of this game. Recently, I re-entered the Beta and not much had changed, it was still a game that has potential, but fell short on many levels. I'll play the final release title when it arrives from Gamefly, no way I will drop 60.00 on this game w/out trying it first.

I'll be interested to see how closely my experience will match PSXE review.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 12:31:33 PM

We didn't, sorry. But we'll make up for it with the review. :)

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Bigtuna1
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:01:44 PM

Hope you guys do a thorough review and not just the first couple levels, which I'm sure you will since I have been following you guys for sometime now and... anyways looking forward to hopefully throwing down with you when you get on. any chance in getting your psn id so we'll know when it's you.

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Streets_74
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 4:00:20 PM

What are you talking about if you were in the Qore beta as I was, you would know there is a huge difference from this last beta. First the game play is noticeably smoother the sound and graphics are better not by much but still sharper, I'm guessing the reason being that everthing is compressed for the beta/demoe. Think about it Zipper made that whole beta fit into a less then 3GB download, and there was alot going on there, destructive enviroments, two hundred plus players(on domination), vehicles, turrets, air support, not to mention the amount of lead being thrown around, at any given moment you had a few dozen people firing a couple hundred rounds, grenades, and missiles. That in my book is just about as epic as a mmofps can get.

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MadKatBebop
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 12:34:32 PM
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I hope this game is fun I currently don't have enough money to buy it but I should in the near future.

BTW: I know this is of topic but I need to tell people who care about the same things I do. I just Platinumed Uncharted 2 yesterday! This is my first Platinum trophy, I'm so happy!

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Highlander
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 1:00:51 PM

Well done. Fun on Crushing mode isn't it?

Try Uncharted Drakes fortune on Crushing (if you haven't already), it's a lot of fun too.

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BeezleDrop
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 12:52:02 PM
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I posted my impressions in the Forums about the MAG Beta, well the 1st one that started. Very nice platinum action Madcat! MAG deserves solid reviews and scores that reflect as such, I don't like to mention the other gaming site but IGN will probably try to rip it to shreds. Which gives me more than enough reasons to keep coming back here, as I do everyday.

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lupus
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 12:52:20 PM
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i had high hopes for mag as i *was* a zipper fan but this game is just crap or the beta was anyway its soo a *B* game, so disapointed with zipper - embarrasing to be a ps3 fan with this title.

Last edited by lupus on 1/25/2010 12:52:45 PM

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maxpontiac
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 1:16:46 PM
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Could be good news or bad news, but regardless, I am buying it.

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leatherface
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 1:40:34 PM

hell yeah MAX, i got mine from amazon. i wanted that M.A.G Home space ha ha ha ha ha. now to fill up that Home space with 256 people. PARTY TIME !!!!

Last edited by leatherface on 1/25/2010 1:42:15 PM

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maxpontiac
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 4:49:12 PM

What is your PSN name? My name is maxpontiac, and I will shoot you a friend request.

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Zorigo
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 1:43:11 PM
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This is why i probably wont take notice of reviews. i'll take notice of people's comments.

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K ASH
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:14:09 PM
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It would be awsome for zipper to add npc's,bots & player ghosts to give the game a massive feeling all the time instead of solely depending on players.

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Kangasfwa
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 9:34:04 PM

I think bot filler would defeat the nature of the game.

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NonProphet
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:19:09 PM
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Its funny to read this article because I've been looking for MAG reviews and haven't seen one. The reasons given here make perfect sense.

Although, I already pre-ordered the game so I don't know why I care about reviews; I doubt they will be incredibly good but I know I'm gonna love the game (having enjoyed the beta) so whats the difference?

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www
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:28:36 PM
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Well am still not really checking for this game.

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thj_1980
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:36:47 PM
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Well, I never really did like the beta that much, maybe because it was the older stages but still It was bad. I think that game play wasn't as good as it can be it felt like a cheap FPS and the graphics weren't so great, I mean I'm sure a Wii can pull that off LOL MAYBE NOT. The game was a horrible mess and joining games was really confusing and the weapon cinimatics were terrible. This is not a review but a general Idea on this game. I am not interested in the game. M.A.G MASSIVE ACTION GAME.

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pilldoor
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 8:10:48 PM

I wonder if you only played the first stage of the beta. In the first stage the graphics were bad and the game was a mess to play. I thought the same thing that I would not play the game until the second stage of beta happened. The graphics became much sharper and it felt more like the FPS I have been used to playing. It is a lot of fun once u learn the maps and the objectives, but there is a large learning curve especially in leadership roles.

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FullmetalX10
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 2:54:05 PM
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I thought the beta was quite alright, though I'm not a frequent fps player, so my opinion may not count here, and seeing as I'm not that into fps I won't be getting the game, it does have an awesome idea though, all those people shootin' each other n such on a massive schale, it's like the real war, but then not real...

On a sidenote, Gratz to MadKatBebop for tha Uncharted 2 Platinum. And I just Platinum'd inFamous today, yeah, dam blast shards n stuntlist, took me forever(not forever, cuz then I wouldn't have finished it, but you get my drift, I hope).

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Oxvial
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 3:24:01 PM
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Played the demo/beta...I predict this game going to get a 8.0 on psxtreme.

Last edited by Oxvial on 1/25/2010 3:24:14 PM

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Streets_74
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 4:09:53 PM

Thats what I would give it, well actually it depends on the map layouts, and gun options I'm hoping the guns were being limited for the beta. So I might score it between eight and eight and a half, hell if the sound is better than what has been heard I might go as high as an eight point eight. In fact I'll be on tonight for couple hours if any one wants to join me, you can add me my psn is streets_74 especially if any of you guys are joining the Ravens.

Last edited by Streets_74 on 1/25/2010 4:14:34 PM

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tlpn99
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 5:53:26 PM
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None of my friends are now going to buy this. Regardless if it gets an 8 as the overall simple basic gameplay was enough to put them off. Can't say I blame them either. I wont be getting this now either.

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Deleted User
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 5:58:47 PM
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Mag needed alot of press it didnt get from Sony. It needed to be hyped up!

This is how I get my group excited to play just before we fight in MW2. I give them a little pep talk.

"Be seated. Now I want you guys to remember ... no noob ever won a MW war by dieing for his Clan. You win it buy making the other poor dumb noob die for THIER CLAN. Men. All this stuff you heard of american gamers wanting to play rpgs to kill fairies and overrated adventure games is a load a crap! Real american gamers traditionally LOVE A FPS like MW2. They LOVE the sting of battle!

When you were kids you loved to see a noob step into a grenade, loved to see Chuck Norris smack someone, and loved an autobot and decepticon destroying stuff in a fight. Americans LOVE a winner and WILL NOT TOLERATE AN EMO WUSSIE STORY DRIVEN LOSER! American gamers play to win all the time. I wouldnt give a hoot-n-hell for a man who got knifed and laughed. That is why our clan has NEVER lost a fight and NEVER WILL lose a MW war! Why?
Because the thought of losing is hateful to american gamers of fps multiplayer games.

Now our clan is a team. We eat, sleep, and fight as a team. This individuality playing is a bunch of crap. Those wussie gaming journalists and reviewers who write about individual gaming in FPS'ers dont know any more about REAL BATTLE than they do about REAL WOMEN!

Now we have the best system with the ps3, the best TV's,the best connections, the best spirit, and the best FPS'ers in the world. You know what? I feel sorry for these poor dumb noobs getting ready to fight us. By god I do!

We are not just going to kill the noobs. We are going to destroy them and tell them in chat how bad they suck! Were are going to WTF PWN THEM BY THE BUSHEL!

Now some of you boys are wondering if you will chicken out during the match. Dont worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty.

The NOOBS are the enemy. Take away THIER POINTS! Make THEM want to quit. Make THEM want to smash thier systems in and cry to mommy!

When you listen to a noob who just killed your clan member talk pure crap ....... you'll know what to do.

One more thing. I dont ever want to hear that we dont like to camp the noobs at spawn points. If they suck so bad that we can camp and kill them the whole match then SO BE IT! We are going to grab them by the nose and kick them in the ass until they cry and accuse us of cheating!

Now. There is one thing that you men will be able to say when you cut the PS3 off and you can thank God for it. 30 years from now when your grand kids ask you, "PAPPY! What did YOU do during the Great MODERN WAREFARE 2 WAR?!?!" you wont have to say ..... "Well, I played Final Fantasy 10 Part 2 and dressed girls up in different clothes for power ups and girlie chat".

Now you sons of bytches know how I feel. I am proud to lead this clan into battle, anytime, especially around 5 pm est until around 8 becuase I like to watch House.

End of Line.

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wiiplay
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:15:20 PM
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"PlayStation 3 exclusive that launches today"
It launches today?
I cannot find it in stores, and it says it releases on the 26th, and today is the 25th.
I'm in Canada, does the USA have it already?

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Dridion
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:21:06 PM

Nah it's the 26. You're fine. At least I'm 90% sure unless stores are doing midnight releases/breaking street dates.

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Deleted User
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:19:10 PM
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I noticed that Jeremy Dunham, formerly of IGN, is doing the talking for Zipper Interactive. I doubt IGN's Jeff Haynes, the no-talent who reviews these kinds of games for that worthless site, will cut him any slack.

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Dridion
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:19:48 PM
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Has anyone seen the fixes that the devs making MAG implemented? They're gold IMHO and are actually making me think about picking it up tomorrow. Here's hoping for the best.

Also here's a link to their blog detailing the updates/fixes.

http://blog.mag.com/blog/2010/01/mag-beta-vs-final-game/

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Deleted User
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:35:44 PM
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All joking a side, Mag is a good game. It is just that it depends on having TONS OF PEEPS PLAYING all the time and games like that can get boring if alot of people are NOT on.

I mean think about the late night players who wont be able to fight with 250 peeps. You NEVER see 250 peeps at one time. They are divided into Battalions in other parts of the map. Not to mention that IM SUPPOSE TO PAY 65 BUCKS FOR A ONLINE ONLY FPS WITHOUT A SINGLE PLAYER MODE TO ADD ON IT?

I dont think it will sell well at all. I mean for people who BYTCHED ABOUT MODERN WARFARE 2's SINGLE STORY MODE BEING TOO SHORT what will they do with MAG with NO SINGLE STORY MODE?

On top of all this it comes between MW2 and BF BC 2. All the odds are stacked against it. They need to drop the price to 19.99 THEN it will sell.

End of Line.

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Kangasfwa
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 9:43:34 PM

Do you live in a van down by the river?

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Hitch
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:18:34 PM
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I feel sorry for the fact that this is a very ambitious title that won't do well because of the fact of bad timing and plenty of disinterest. Its also releasing on the same day as Mass Effect 2 which I'm sure is gonna be the first choice among multi-console owners like myself.

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SaintX
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:53:33 PM
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I will be camping this game the moment I get it!
Raven for the win! Feel free to add me and fight for Raven.

psn id: SaintX6

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Hitch
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 12:05:26 AM

Thats why the premise wont work

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SaintX
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 3:42:31 AM

What I meant by camping is not literally camping in the game. Thats just not my style. What I meant camping was playing the game non-stop. You have clearly mistaken

Last edited by SaintX on 1/26/2010 3:44:49 AM

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Hitch
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 3:30:15 PM

Oh sorry

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dante_zero
Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 11:54:08 PM
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@MadKat congrats.

MAG's gonna take a few weeks before it really takes off. personally i cant wait. i've been involved alot in the beta and i accept the fact the beta is only a partial representation. Thing is alot of people are forgeting that the game has imense potential and in my book thats a win. if you apply some of the logic that alot of people apply no one would ever buy games they would only rent them because they cant see the potential of a trailer. at least with games, unlike movies you get a chance to see the potential before paying the price of admission.

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Robochic
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 12:31:01 AM
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I played the BETA, it wasn't bad. I just at this time do not have enough funds (christmas broke me) but my birthday is the last day of Feb so we'll see all I asked for was GCARDS to Gamestop or Futureshop.

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___________
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 2:12:51 AM
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hmmmmmmm that was quite obvious was it not?
its going to be hard for reviewers to do a review of a MMO with 40+ people.
i mean MAG was made to be a MMO meaning massively multiplayer online.
i dont know about you but i dont consider 40+ players massive.
with other games like say resistance 2 its easy because that only supports 60.
its very easy to get 60 game journos onto a server to review the game.
256 im not so sure.
if you ask me no reviews should be posted till theres a decent amount of people online, at least 1 month.
day one theres just going to be too few people.
its pointless reviewing it now.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 10:26:50 AM
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The best game releasing this week is No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Too bad I had to sell my Wii to my brother due to a lack of funds, who then gave it to my other brother and his family as a Christmas gift. I'd rather buy another Wii to NMH2 that to either buy a new PC or 360 for Mass Effect 2 or to buy MAG for my PS3.

Last edited by n/a on 1/26/2010 10:28:50 AM

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FM23
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 @ 7:23:58 PM
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I am pretty certain MAG didn't need to be made on the PS3, it seems like more of an XBOX idea. I understand Sony wants to break into that market as well, but this is not the best way, Killzone 2 was good enough, this is just overkill. MW2 just came out and people are still playing it, thats for certain, so why would you stop playing that for MAG. Personally, I hated MW2, but I would rather buy that than MAG because MAG is just multiplayer...big turn off.

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