Reviewer's Notes: Mirror's Edge
The laptop was acquired for free by the reviewer.
In the interest of greater videogame review transparency, Crispy Gamer has decided to offer more details regarding our review for Mirror's Edge on the Xbox 360 (reviewed 11/13/2009) and the versions of the game created for the PlayStation 3 and PC. Our critic, Gus Mastrapa, felt that the game itself (the way it plays, the story it tells, and the places it takes you) remains largely unchanged across all three platforms. But, in keeping with Crispy Gamer's dedication to offering sound purchasing advice, we're providing all the information required to help you, the reader, decide which version of Mirror's Edge is the right one for you. The following is a list of review notes -- data points, if you will -- that may help you better understand how our videogame critic experienced Mirror's Edge.
- The PC version of Mirror's Edge was reviewed on a Dell XPS M1710 running on an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7600 with 2.00 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX.
- The laptop was acquired for free by the reviewer (not stolen, per se) after leaving a former employer. As such he considers the machine to be fairly "sweet."
- The power cable for the laptop wore out about a year ago and had to be replaced. The replacement, an off-brand purchased from a third party, isn't 100-percent compatible with the laptop, forcing the user to unplug the power supply every time the computer is started. It is possible that some latent annoyance caused by this irksome incompatibility could have bled over into our reviewer's assessment of Mirror's Edge on the PC. For this inadvertent bias Crispy Gamer apologizes.
- That said, the reviewer has customized his PC with three stickers, one a Mishka-brand "Keep Watch" sticker covers the machine's Dell insignia. The two others are a blue banana sticker and an image of the cartoon characters from the Adult Swim television show "Metalocalypse" exclaiming, "I Want a Banana Sticker." None of these stickers were paid for by the reviewer. And all three, including the Mishka sticker (which can't be seen during gameplay), impart a minor sense of well-being in the mind of the reviewer. When considering Crispy Gamer's reviews of Mirror's Edge on the PC, please keep this detail in mind.
- It should be noted that said stickers could create minor performance issues with regard to heat loss, especially the little blue banana sticker, which is situated a centimeter above the system's right speaker port -- a potential outlet for heated air.
- While the Xbox 360 version of Mirror's Edge was played and reviewed in the weeks leading up to Nov. 13, the PC and PlayStation 3 versions of the game were sampled during the weeks prior to Jan. 19. During the month or so between these two sessions, the reviewer's hair grew anywhere from one to three inches. The increased weight of his already long hair caused his locks to hang lower, blocking more of his peripheral version. For these reasons the PlayStation 3 version of Mirror's Edge may have felt slightly more immersive. Such benefits don't apply to gameplay of Mirror's Edge on the PC because the headphones worn by the reviewer (Sennheiser HD 202) act as a headband, pulling the reviewer's hair back and out of the field of vision.
- The reviewer played the Xbox 360 version of Mirror's Edge on a black Xbox 360 Elite provided by Microsoft. The PlayStation 3 version of Mirror's Edge was played on an 80 GB model of the PlayStation 3 purchased by the reviewer. Sony has sent the reviewer plenty of other free stuff and purchased more than a few drinks on the reviewer's behalf. It is Crispy Gamer's belief that there is no discernible inequity in Gus Mastrapa's treatment by either publisher.
- Besides, the PlayStation 3 purchased by Mastrapa makes a plenty nice Blu-ray player. And his wife likes downloading movies over PSN, so he has no complaints.
- Also, not only did Mastrapa's first Xbox 360 suffer from several "red ring" failures, but his current console, ailed early in its life by a DVD drive failure, is now making pitiful scraping and creaking sounds every time it tries to spin a disc up to speed. So it should be noted that Mastrapa's feelings towards both consoles are considerably complicated.
- Please take note that Mastrapa's Xbox 360 Friends List is padded with strangers he met on NeoGAF. For this reason, frequent "Friend Playing" alerts may have significantly reduced the immersive nature of Mirror's Edge on the Xbox 360.
- Such messages on the PlayStation 3 are situated in a different area and are significantly quieter. Besides, Mastrapa hasn't added that many PlayStation 3 friends, because most of his friends don't have the console yet. And he's not even sure how chat would work on that machine. Still, he's got that Bluetooth headset that came with Warhawk dangling from the front of his console just in case somebody wants to help him get those co-op-only items from LittleBigPlanet. It should be noted that Mastrapa's mild dissatisfaction with the PlayStation 3's online gaming when compared to that found on Xbox Live may have affected, in some minor way, his assessment of Mirror's Edge on the PlayStation 3.
- That said, it should be noted that the PlayStation 3's dearth of voice chat, caused in part by Sony's choice to not include a headset bundled with the console, drastically reduces the amount of racist and homophobic trash talk spewed into the critic's ear during online gaming sessions. While such abuses have often filled Gus Mastrapa's ears (frequently accentuated by the requisite Southern accents) while playing Xbox 360 games, these negative experiences are rarely associated with the PlayStation 3. Please take these differences into account when assessing Gus Mastrapa's review of Mirror's Edge for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
- It should be noted that the reviewer hasn't experienced the Home social space since the service launched.
- Additionally, Mirror's Edge was played using the PlayStation 3's original Sixaxis controller. This is because the reviewer didn't feel like dishing out another 50 bucks for a controller with rumble. But he's been thinking about it because he'd like to get his wife to help him with some of the tougher levels of PixelJunk Monsters. Therefore, none of the Mirror's Edge rumble effects were experienced while testing the game on the PlayStation 3. Please take this into account.
- It should be noted that the reviewer of all three versions of Mirror's Edge could give two shits about frame rate, lighting effects, texture pop-in and myriad other technical concerns, so long as they don't interfere with a) enjoyment of the game b) immersion or c) the gamer's ability to make time with hot babes (if you've ever been cock-blocked by really bad collision glitch you'd be with him on this one). Henceforth it should be noted that any technical issues perceived while playing any and all versions of videogames reviewed by Gus Mastrapa, if not noted within his review text, were beneath notice, forgivable considering the fun being gleaned from the game, or straight-up ignored because Mastrapa hates you and wants you to buy a game that will drive you crazy. This last motivation is not shared by Crispy Gamer's editorial staff, management or investors. Though they all wonder what you did to Mastrapa to force the man to execute such a vendetta against you by way of videogame review.
- Finally, it should be noted that most multiplatform games are, for the most part, identical. And when there are issues with regards to shoddy ports, you can count on Crispy Gamer (not to mention thousands of other gaming outlets, blogs and message boards) to point them out. Chances are, Gus Mastrapa won't be doing it. From here on out he's going to stick to reviewing console exclusives to better avoid this kind of discussion.
The reviewer has customized his PC with three stickers.
A potential outlet for heated air.
During the month or so between these two sessions, the reviewer's hair grew anywhere from one to three inches.
Sony has sent the reviewer plenty of other free stuff and purchased more than a few drinks on the reviewer's behalf.
None of these stickers were paid for by the reviewer.
None of the Mirror's Edge rumble effects were experienced while testing the game on the PlayStation 3.
These reviewer's notes were written using Open Office, a free word-processing program provided by Sun Microsystems. It was typed while sitting in a fairly uncomfortable chair purchased at OfficeMax. And don't get Gus Mastrapa started on the HP Pavilion Desktop he uses to work, connect to the Internet, and do his taxes. The thing sounds like a blow dryer because he keeps forgetting to go to OfficeMax to buy compressed air. He paid for that, too.