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Classic Review Edition
// article by Jeff

I've had this website for quite some time, slowly building it up with reviews and other articles related to video games, music, movies, and various other bits of personal bric-a-brac. Prior to random.access, however, I ran a site dedicated solely to video games. It was called "GamerBase". In retrospect, it was not the most attractive name, but it managed to stick with me from its entry into the World Wide Web in 1998 until I decided to shut it down in 2002 and move on to new projects. The site was quite ambitious, perhaps even more so than my current site, but when you're only 13, the world is open to endless possibilities. I had planned on creating a site that went into great detail about every game for every console out there, including enemy descriptions, boss strategies, codes, storylines, item information, and more. Aside from that, there were many separate sections on the site, dedicated to related things such as fictional biographies of popular video game characters and game reviews. Of course, that could not be done by one introverted teenager alone, such as myself back then, but I swear that I tried. Many sunny afternoons and dark nights were spent toiling at it, creating new pages, preparing graphics, and just writing. I eventually had a few other people help me out whenever they could, but ultimately I felt as though it was my creation and my brainchild.

Unfortunately, I eventually discovered that such a lofty goal was downright insane. Besides, there were other websites on the rise that did a much better job than I could have ever done, such as those of GameFAQs and MobyGames. Plus, they had, like, 800000000% more visitors than I ever did. In the end, I found myself defeated and low on interest for the project, eventually walking away in April 2002. I tried out a couple more websites, including something similar (called VGEncyclopedia, which buckled within a few months) and a website for my temporary passion, playing Day of Defeat online as part of a gaming clan (which I haven't played since 2005). I believe that I have finally found something that works -- a controllable and viable project -- in the form of random.access, which I technically opened in 2003 in a much more raw form and with content so horrible I regret having ever posted it, but retooled in 2005 in its current status. I think that things are going well here and that this is my most successful website endeavour yet. However, I shall not forget all the effort and all the fun times that I had working on GamerBase.

So I present here a look back at the website that taught me everything I know about website maintenance to this day. I hope that I can deliver a thorough retrospective here to inform you of what came before random.access, plus it serves as a lovely bit of nostalgia for me. The only big problem that arose from compiling this article was an unfortunate lack of resources. Much of the earlier forms of my website have been lost over time, so I can only provide what I have left over. Furthermore, I came to discover, upon browsing the most recent version of the site, that there were quite a few articles, reviews, etc. NOT written by me. Because I can no longer contact those persons for permission to re-use their work, I can only show you what I wrote back in the day. However, I hope that you enjoy what I can provide here for you.

* * * * *

As frequent visitors of random.access should realize by now, the focus of this site is clearly the reviews sections. It is what I seem to enjoy working on the most, plus they are easier and faster to crank out than any other types of articles on the site. This is not a new trend; I have always enjoyed writing reviews ever since my days as a webmaster for GamerBase. But they were not of the same caliber as they are today. My reviews were much shorter than they would be today; in fact, I would consider the length of those reviews unacceptable by my current personal standards. Yet they are still my creations, and I must honour my youthful creativity back then. After delving into the depths of my old website, I was able to snag all 26 of my old reviews, which I present here, along with some 2008 commentary. Interestingly enough, some of the games reviewed back then have actually also been re-reviewed here, and their scores often greatly differ.

Reviews: Page 1
Reviews: Page 2
Reviews: Page 3
Reviews: Page 4
Reviews: Page 5
Reviews: Page 6
Reviews: Page 7


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