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Scene World #7 Review
by Cactus/Oxyron & Jailbird/Booze Design

In the 4th issue of "Attitude" there was a review of "Scene World #4". As now you're reading the review of "Scene World #7", the very first remark is that the magazine is released quite often. That's really good. Comparing this new issue with the previous ones, we are not impressed, it seems that nothing has changed, except for more articles in this edition. The same as for "Arachnophobia #27", that's a pity we're not able to skip the intro quickly by loading a separate file with a magazine, especially for there are 467 blocks free on the disk. Merman told me that having a separate file for the main mag means an extra load, which would slow things down. That's of course untrue. And I think it's not the explanation that I was the only one to complain...

So what about the intro? Nothing special: full screen picture by JSL, music by Dane and a scroller... I'd really appreciate if next time there will be possibility of skipping it. After pressing the space, we enter the magazine. The logo in the top of the screen looks very strange, it wasn't easy to catch the sight of the "Scene World" logo. The letter "o" was probably supposed to show the world, but it looks different from the world we all know. I'd prefer seeing a nice readable logo instead of some puny picture, but that's a very personal opinion.

When it comes to the music, we can choose from among four tunes composed by Crome, Ganja, Richard and Cadaver. They are well chosen, kept in different styles, so you can choose the most pleasent one.

In the magazine's outfit nothing has really changed since my review in "Attitude #4", so I won't repeat myself and I will go straight to the content. Mag editors consider the change to two-sided issues was a MAJOR change. Please don't feel offended, but I don't believe that such a change needs more than adding a few lines in your source code, so why it should be a MAJOR change? It should be also added that reading articles is quite hard because of the way of scrolling text: the whole page is scrolled, and I think in such situation one line scrolling would fit much better. No proportional text displayer is another big disadvantage for the readers...

In the "Editorial" we can read how extremely proud of re-publishing "Forever Quattro Report" by Wotnau are the editors, although that text was available several weeks before at c64.sk. Much more interesting text about Forever Quattro was written by Drake, which seemed to be edited live at the party place (I can't remember, but I think that Drake was indeed sitting in front of some noter at the party place). Very cool.

It's good to read "Reactions" chapter. We can get to know what other people think about "Scene World", what are their suggestions concerning improving the magazine. Unfortunately all those proposals concern the textual side, no one is talking about the poor outfit. Though I envy those guys receiving so much feedback.

The news are divided into parts, every single month is covered in another article. We are being surprised already in the first line of "February News", where we can read that Almighty God left F4CG in November 2002. Well, this makes a question about dividing the news this way... As the magazine was released in May 2003, all those news could be found on the Internet a few months ago, so they're not interesting at all. I suppose that most of the readers simply skip this chapter and so do I. Although the editor informs us about the current memberstatus of Oxyron, there is no even single information about the release of "Attitude #5"... The rest of "News" section is filled with information about Commodore One, Protovision group, TND newsletter and Press Play On Tape newsletter (all of them look like transfered word for word from PC to "Voodoo Noter").

"Party News" contains results and party announcements. All this can be also found on the Internet, so we might take it as a disk filler (not the first and not the last one in this magazine). What more we can read about delaying a Willow Party, find the invitation to Primary Star Party, a bit outdated report from Out Of Orderia 2002, mentioned before Forever reports and results, and the short description of a new Breakpoint Party. It took me just few minutes to check all these articles through. Except for Drake's chapter, nothing absorbed my attention for long. Mag editors say that these information may not have been known by the snail-mail scene. In this case I can only quote Hollowman's sacred words: "How large is this part of the scene that don't have Internet access and only get their stuff through snailmail? It must be quite huge considering how much consideration is taken to it."

In the "Music Scene" section there are two profiles (Yodelking and Yogibear), "Music Editors" (where Merman is explaining some music editors' attributes, the text is rather for musicians) and "Music Websites" (Merman's opinion on some webpages). Interview with Yogibear was nice, a little bit different from the usual standard questions.

The next section is called "PAL Scene". In the article "Adam Dunkels" we can get to know that we're able to connect our Commodore to the Internet. A very nice text about concept and design in demos was edited by Nightlord. There are also commercial advertisements from Taxim and Stefan Schauf (why are they in the "Scene" section?). "Retro-Mart" is text re-written from the UK magazine, "Pinball Dreams" was taken from CSDb forum... I still cannot understand people filling their magazines with articles that are available from the other sources and which surely have been read before by most of the mag-readers (you're familiar with CSDb, aren't you?).

"NTSC Scene" section contains three articles: "Alwyzstnd" (this time explaining tape cracking, also NTSC fixing, really interesting text), "Spring Expo" (update on Louisville Commodore Expo) and "Classic Gaming Expo" (probably interesting only for Americans).

"The Charts" in "Scene World" seem to be different from other disk magazines. "Different" - I've probably used this word too many times in this review, apologies for that, but you must agree that this magazine is a bit different from the others... :( So what about the charts? In the "Best Demo" chart I've noticed some strange titles like "E!ger", "Dream Inje", "La Cinea" or "Project Pier". ;) When I first saw demo named "H2K" on the 3rd spot, next to it on the 5th place demo "Y2K", it seemed very comic to me. Later they explained me that these are in fact two different demos, one from Plush and one from No Name. Well, that's the reason I always insist on publishing group names together with demo names in the charts chapter, what would exclude such mistakes. The bigger absurd was to find the following "guys" in the "Best All Time Composer" chart: Wocek, Wacek and Lacek. I don't know if it was a BIG joke from the editors or their incompetency. If it was that second reason, I would give you advise to remove "The Charts" from your magazine until you realize who in fact is Wocek, Wacek and Lacek... And please NO! Don't say that mistakes were due to the problems of reading poor handwriting!

The last section is called "Addresses". Not much to be commented here, only the fact that those addresses are not verifyied at all. Why do I think so? Well, my address is still there, even though I haven't written it on a votesheet for a long time... I was told that if I wanted to be removed, I would need to tell them. It's clear, but I'm pretty sure that all sceners, who decided to stop their snailmail activities for a long time ago, don't care much about that (removing their address), because anyone expects that his address will be published again. It still seems ridiculous to me that there are addies of inactive sceners only because they haven't sent a request to be removed. I think it's a job for editors to verify addresses they publish. So that's all about the text content of "Scene World #7".

The same as for "Arachnophobia", "Scene World" is lacking in reviews of scene productions (I missed the magazine reviews by Merman, especially because I could read his reviews in previous issues), however the textual side of "Scene World" seems to be stronger. They have more editors, there are more articles, but of course both magazine have good perspectives of development.

Rating: 5/10.

CACTUS/OXYRON

The same as for "Arachnophobia" we would like to give you another point of view on this release, so please go on with it...

The intro is absolutely great, more or less that's how I imagine an introduction to a magazine: entertaining and fun to watch - not just a scroll and a logo - at least a tiny bit more than that. After pressing space and seeing the credits for the intro on the depacking screen, there we go to the magazine's editorial at once.

Trying to mime a hatred PC operation system on the C64 was never a too successful idea, especially when one tries to adopt it for a magazine's outfit. A positive side of it is certainly the mouse-support, which suits me well when I read SW under CCS and turn on mouse-emulation. Then again, even Windows has smarter and "easier-to-use" navigation and keyboard-shortcuts, this kind is definitely not the simplest way to read a magazine and to find what you're looking for (fast & easy usage, that's what I would expect from a scene-mag). I don't get the joystick's control via the keyboard, as if someone doesn't uses a joystick, would prefer a default and easy keyboard-control at least. Consequently, cursor keys would go fine for scrolling the article up and down, rather than controlling the pointer. And same goes for the article-menu. Whilst, positive points to the music-menu which is easy to reach and the option of printing an article (as previously seen and gladly accepted in Vandalism News).

The missing IRQ loader sucks majorly, that's a huge minus (not just) in my eyes, especially that it interrupts the music and the commie goes mute for a while. Makes me wonder, have we all passed to the 21-century or some of the sceners still stucked in the years of Madonna's disposable virginity and the golden era of Sammy-Fox-strip-poker?

Design wise the magazine doesn't bring out the most from the C64, but it's decent, and since it's based on a GUI of a well-known OS, something like this is expected. Personally, I'd do that interface more elegantly, but IMHO only an HCL-like coder would be able to solve such ideas, so I'll just put here the "I'm satisfied" line and move to judge the articles.

As first, what I don't like. I don't like the articles ripped (or borrowed) from various websites. I don't like the charts (which I anyway loaded just because of this review), where some people and groups listed are not active since ages, nevertheless you can find magazines that don't exist any more. I don't like that there is an "All time composer" category and there's no "all time coder or graphician", since when are composers superior to others?

The ripped text is obviously for entertaining the so-huge "mail-scene", especially those who live in Central-Africa or the deserts of Mongolia, and never heard about the internet (which is of course a cheap excuse, as even I, who shake a c64/P1 equipment in the darn poor twilight zones of Serbia with a $100 +/- $50 monthly income, can connect to the internet at least once daily for approval. 15 minutes - that would be about $0.25/day, woo!).

The charts should be either left out from the magazine or improved heavily - this way, it's useless and, just sucks...

And what I like, are some interesting articles. I really enjoyed Night lord's essay about "concept and design in demos". "Profiles", as an alternative to interviews, or various party-reports, also gave some minutes of pleasureful reading. But actually, that's most of the exclusive content, other articles were already published somewhere on the net - thus not interesting to me at all.

The English is decent, easy to understand, and what's even more important, the quality of the textual side is constantly improving in this magazine (as an example, they seem to listen critics, and banned non-c64 related articles, which is a move to greet).

JAILBIRD/BOOZE DESIGN

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