January 8, 2020

I'm still working on plowing through Syberia, but here's a teeny-tiny little review anyway. Sadly, it's not a good one, but at least I was right about it being something quick I could snap out while I play through the game.

November 13, 2019

Today's question from the mailbag:

  

"Tell us more: Are you ever going to review books again?"

  

You bet I am!

  

If you just found the Phantom Library recently, or you've been around since the dawn of time but you missed the announcements (which is both possible and reasonable since there was that whole bounce from different platforms in the middle), you might be looking at the site and wondering why there have been only video game reviews since... um... 2015. Which is a long time, so this is a reasonable thing to wonder about.

  

For a long time, I was stalled on reviews. Part of it was that I had to move everything from the old Blogger and PBWorks platforms over here to the new site, as well as adding on the 'zines project and revamping everything. Part of it was that, realizing that it had been a decade (a decade y'all) since I started the original project, some of it was in desperate need of updating and editing. And part of it was personal stuff; I have a severe chr...

November 13, 2019

  

Well, that was quick!

  

After updating several reviews and grades, the combined Hall of Fame & Shame got too unwieldy to update and navigate very quickly! So it's now been split into two: the Hall of Fame gives you quick links to the highest-rated materials that have been reviewed, and the Hall of Shame gives you an easy way to find the reviews where I most needed a drink.

  

That'll teach me to be lazy and think one section will do when it ought to be two.

September 18, 2019

Today's question from the mailbag:

  

"Tell us more: Are you going to review Leroux's book?"

  

I don't know if I actually have a clear answer to that!

  

Way back when I first started what would eventually become the Phantom Library, all the way back in 2007, I did review Leroux's book. It was the first thing I did, so I could make sure I had a recent reading of it under my belt and it would be fresh in my mind as I went on to review things based on it. It was Leonard Wolf's translation, which is no longer considered one of the better ones, but I had a good time with it.

  

But at this point, there have been zillions (or some slightly less extensively exaggerated number) of reviews of Leroux's novel by folks in the community who are better qualified than I am - scholars of period French literature, people who have spent time researching and working with the original text, linguists who speak better French than I do (which isn't hard, considering most of my French is from o...

September 15, 2019

Just a short and sweet review this time for The Phantom of the Opera Pinball from FarSight Studios!  For those of you who have seen the pictures floating around of the vintage Phantom-based pinball game, this is a video game version of it with all the art and gameplay faithfully recreated.  It's a lot of fun, whether you're good at it or just shooting the manager's in the face over and over for fun! It's a new Hall of Famer and worth a try if you're into arcade games at all.

  

Next up is Syberia, a 2002 adventure game that people have been asking me questions about for approximately five million years.  The day has finally come.  Until then!

September 2, 2019

After a few requests, I've got a new section under the Phantom Reviews tab: the Hall of Fame (and Shame), where the best and worst reviewed materials are linked for those looking for a great adaptation or the chance to read about me making agonized noises at the worst ones.

  

The rules are pretty simple for the moment: if I gave a piece of media an A, it made the Hall of Fame, and if I gave it a D or an F, it made the Hall of Shame.  You might notice that the Hall of Shame is a little sparse at the moment; that's because I'm still (!) working on porting over old reviews (mostly novels and short stories) from the old site, so some of the real catastrophes haven't yet made it over to the new one to be linked.  They'll appear there as they get added in.

  

Thank you to everyone who wrote in requesting a simple and easy way to watch me suffer.  <3

August 30, 2019

I'm excited to debut the longest-ever review I have posted for DTP Entertainment's Gray Matter, by celebrated game designer Jane Jensen, because I could not apparently shut up about this game. Please note that it's image-heavy and absolutely spoileriffic.

Next time, I'll be reviewing some Phantom of the Opera Pinball, which I fervently hope will give me flashbacks to early 1990s bowling alleys.

June 16, 2019

After a long delay due to technical difficulties, we have another review: the 1996 adventure game Opera Fatal, an educational entertainment spectacle featuring fabulous music puzzles, an entirely wrecked plot, and the worst UI known to humanity.

  

We're staying in the adventure game genre for the next game - as voted on the poll, I'll be playing Jane Jensen's Gray Matter next, a 2010 adventure game in which I get to play a street magician solving mysteries. I don't know how anyone could not be into that description.

May 11, 2019

Time for another review! This time it's Temple Software's 1982 text adventure The Phantom's Revenge, which is exactly as fiendish as you remember every single text adventure from the 1980s being and also defeated me in embarrassing single combat. It's available free to play online from the Internet Archive, so try it out if you're interested in a slice of game history!

  

We had a three-way tie for the next review on the poll, so I'll be going with them in chronological order, meaning that next up is Ruske & Puhretmeier's 1996 German adventure game Opera Fatal. Join me as my college German and I try to navigate the mid-1990s with less crying than last time.

April 11, 2019

We've got a new review! This game won the Tumblr poll and got to go first, and I'm glad it did, because it was a great ride and a piece of media that was definitely made with love. Check it out here!

  

The next review will be the 1982 text adventure game The Phantom's Revenge, so stay tuned for a much less graphics-heavy review in what will hopefully be the near future.

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