Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. Some of you might like to know a little more about the creator of this site and the author of its content (i.e.me.) I am a fairly private person by nature, but I am happy to share relevant info. Some of it will be slightly vague for privacy and security reasons - hence the ‘ish’.
I am British, middle-aged and the father of three children, both girls and boys aged 10(ish) to 19(ish). If you have read this article you will already know that we all have a range of health problems. You will also know that our experiences have been a motivator in bringing Nomad’s Reviews out of ‘soft hibernation’ and for changing the site’s focus.
20ish years ago I graduated from the University of Wales with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. Although this was an interesting study, it hasn’t proved useful career-wise. (Which is why my career history has little to do with it.)
Whilst at University I trained for a year part-time with the University Officer Training Corps. I was seriously considering a military career until the aforementioned health problems flared up and ruled it out.
After graduating I became a qualified fitness instructor and worked as a trainer until the worsening health problems ruled that out too.
From then until about 2014 I worked in both the private and public sectors including the NHS and various Local Authorities. This work took me across much of the country. A friend jokingly called me a ‘nomad’ due to this, and the nickname stuck. It then became my Gamertag, on-line persona and eventually the name of this site (since I couldn’t think of anything better at the time.)
Lockdown put a stop to that, so now I work from home, which is why I have jokingly renamed my nickname to Sessile_Nomad. My career aspirations now include growing Nomad’s Reviews and writing for the ‘big name’ video game sites. Wish me luck, I think I am going to need it.
My Gaming History
I have had many interests come and go over the years, but video games have remained a constant. Even after three and a half decades my interest in and enthusiasm for gaming has not diminished, quite the opposite. This may stem from being a member of the ‘Xennial’ or ‘Oregon Trail’ generation, which means gaming evolved and grew at the same rate that I did.
The systems I have owned - in chronological order - are the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum +3, Amiga A500+, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Amiga 1200, PS1, Non-Gaming PC*, Xbox, PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, WiiU and Gaming PC.
*i.e. A standard office desktop PC press-ganged into service as a low-end gaming PC.
I have used - either indirectly via emulation or by having played on friend’s and relative’s devices - the following:
Commodore VIC 20, Amstrad CPC 464, Nintendo NES, Sega Master System, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, SNES, Neo Geo, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo N64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Switch.
I have also played many of the coin-op arcade games from the early 1980s to the present.
I tend to lean towards fairly serious, lore heavy, adult-orientated games. My all-time favourite games/franchises include: S.T.A.L.K.E.R., FreeSpace, Homeworld, Half-Life, Deus Ex, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, System Shock 2, Subnautica and Unreal Tournament GOTY 1999 (Bot matches.)
I also have a fondness for some of the 16-bit era 2D games, such as Streets of Rage, Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, Turrican etc.
I am also a very big fan of mods, be they those that make alterations to the base game or those that create something new. Most of my favourite games are in fact mods, fan remakes and Mega Mixes.
Due to most of my favourite games and franchises being PC exclusives, combined with my fondness of mods and emulation, and my need for customizability of controls I am now almost exclusively a PC gamer.
This is why you didn’t see Xbox One or PS4 in the list of owned systems. I am unlikely to invest in a PS5 or Xbox Series X either. Xbox Game Pass brings most Xbox games to the PC anyway and most PlayStation games are of little interest. Lastly, I cannot justify the expense at present - consoles are expensive after all.
Games and Franchises I Dislike
(That Everyone Else Seems to Love)
I guess it was inevitable that if I enjoyed many unpopular or little-known games that I would end up disliking many of the popular and well-known ones.
Note that these are purely my subjective views based entirely on my subjective tastes. I am not insinuating that the following are objectively bad, nor is this intended as any form of slight or attack on the people who made these games or the people who like playing them. These games simply do not ‘do it’ for me. I have attempted to explain why where possible.
"Third-Person Action Adventures with Stealth Elements”. (As one of my former Exclusively Games stablemates would say) i.e. Assassins Creed, The Last of Us, Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, Metal Gear etc.
(Another reason why I didn’t invest in a PS4 - most of its big-name titles simply didn’t appeal.)
Looter-Shooters: Perhaps its because I have never caught the ‘collecting things bug’ (even as a kid) but looter-shooters don’t hold my interest.
Third-Person Hack n’ Slash games; i.e. Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, God of War etc. I prefer my button mashing to be done in old school 2D Brawlers.
3D Platform games; i.e. Super Mario 64 / Sunshine / Galaxy / Odyssey, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia etc. I prefer my platforming in 2D.
Call of Duty: I intensely dislike its infinitely respawning enemies mechanic and the ‘always pushing forward’ momentum this generates. I prefer to remain in control and move at my own pace.
JRPGs: Final Fantasy VII was the first JRPG I had played and it was fun back in the day, but I suspect this was mostly for novelty value. Attempts to ‘get into’ FFX and FFX2 didn’t work and I have had zero urge to play any other JRPG since. I should point out I don’t particularly enjoy turn-based games in general and I am not overly interested in anime / Manga either.
Pokémon; For much the same reasons as above.
Sports games; I’m not a real-world sports fan so games based on sports do nothing for me. The only exception was Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe by the Bitmap Brothers. In this, you could knock out the opposing team by literally knocking out its members.
Racing games; Perhaps it is due to not being able to drive in real life (see health problems) but driving games don’t interest me - unless deliberately crashing into opponents is permitted ‘a la Burnout. Mario Kart is also fun to play with the family.
Most Mario / Nintendo games; Most of these are a little too cutesy and family-friendly for me to want to play them on my own, but they are great for playing with the kids.
My Views about Video Games and the Video Games Industry
I am an advocate for player choice. Anything that allows players to tailor their experience to their liking gets a thumbs up from me. This includes (but is not limited to); Mods, emulation, fan-made mega-mix remakes, save-scumming, using controllers from other systems, cross-platform gaming, etc.
Conversely, anything that arbitrarily restricts a player’s choice gets a thumbs down. This includes (but is not limited to); Platform exclusivity, DRM, mandatory on-line account creation, lack of in-game options, fixed frame-rates and FoVs, etc.
I am also a staunch advocate of pro-customer practices and an ardent critic of anything to the contrary. Such anti-consumer practices include (but are not limited to); Day-one paid DLC, mandatory always-on internet, low quality annualized franchises, shoddy ports and most contemptible of all - the predatory and exploitative monetization practices employed by some parts of the video games industry. I have covered some of these both on Nomad’s Reviews in my work with other sites:
I am particularly critical of these games when gamers - or their loved ones - have parted with their hard-earned cash to buy them. Simply put - they deserve better.
Personal Bias Admission
Although I aim to be as objective as possible, my personal preferences in games, films, media etc. may creep in from time-to-time. Therefore, in the interests of fairness, my preferences are;
· AA and indie games > AAA games.
· Single-player or living room multi-player > online multiplayer.
· Mods > vanilla.
· Upfront lump sum payment > microtransactions, loot boxes, season passes etc.
· Historical accuracy and realism > high fantasy settings.
· PC > other platforms for single-player games due to adaptability, customization, mods etc. Also, most of the cult classics and hidden gems I enjoy happen to be on PC.
· Nintendo > Microsoft and Sony for living room multi-player due to more family-friendly content.
· Indie films > Hollywood blockbusters.
· Hard Sci-Fi films and literature > high fantasy, Anime etc.
· (Most) original movies> (most) reboots.
· Rock, metal, trip-hop, indie and trance > EDM, pop, hip-hop, R&B etc.
NB ‘>’ = Greater than, like better than etc.
Why does it say ‘Allergic to online multiplayer’? at the bottom of your articles?
‘Allergic’ is hyperbole for comic effect, but it does sum up my reaction to online multiplayer gaming. Being the introvert that I am, I rarely, if ever, partake in online multiplayer games. They simply hold no appeal for me, since for me gaming is a respite from having to deal with people and a way to recharge my ‘sociability reserve’ and thus feel refreshed. Playing online would only deplete my reserves still further and leave me feeling even more exhausted.
Couch multiplayer with close friends and family is different of course, as this is both fun and a bonding experience. NB - most of my experience with Nintendo games come from this. Due to my tastes in video games, most Nintendo games do not interest me enough to want to play them on my own.
Why are you so quiet on Social Media?
Firstly, due to privacy concerns and introversion, I find using social media exhausting as it taps into my ‘sociability reserve’.
Secondly, since I was already in my 30s when social media first appeared, I am not a ‘social media native’. To be perfectly frank, I dislike using it. For me it is a means to an end - I use social media to let people know when new articles are ready or for sending out polls. I will try to ‘up my game’ in this regard, but realistically this is unlikely to change greatly unless I get enough supporters via Patreon, PayPal or SubscribeStar to hire a social media manager.
All inbound communication is welcome of course, and I will endeavour to reply to all messages I receive. If I forget, feel free to nudge me.
Do you make any money from Nomad’s Reviews?
No, quite the opposite in fact. Due to purchasing domains and web hosting fees, it costs me to run it. The expense isn’t much - about £12 per month - and it is a cost I am willing to bear for as long as necessary.
You may have noticed the lack of adverts on the site. This is deliberate. I have worked at sites that litter their content with ads. One had ten adverts breaking up the body text of a single 1000-word article. It looked terrible, unprofessional and made it very hard to follow the article since it became so fragmentary. I vowed there and then that Nomad’s Reviews will not go down that path.
Sponsored content is a possibility, but only if I genuinely think the product is something I would actually use. In these instances, I will highlight anything that includes sponsored content to ensure complete transparency.
(NB – there is no sponsored content on Nomad’s Reviews at the time of writing.)
Do you get sent free games and gadgets to review?
This may happen from time to time as this is common industry practice - the games are called ‘review copies’. I will, of course, highlight any reviews that result from such review copies to ensure complete transparency, and the review will remain thoroughly impartial and objective. The same goes for any tech, software etc. that I am sent.
I hope this has satisfied your curiosity. If not, feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have.
Iain is a 40+ author and gamer from England, who started his gaming journey on the Atari 2600 36 years ago. His specialities include obscure cult classics, retro games, mods and fan remakes. He hates all sports games and is allergic to on-line multi-player. Since he is British, his body is about 60% tea. He can be reached via Twitter at https://twitter.com/IainBaker17, and contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The site is not funded via ads; therefore it is reliant on community funding to keep running. Therefore, if you like what you see, please consider supporting my work via Patreon, PayPal or SubscribeStar. This would help to support the site’s ongoing work to preserve video game history, promote excellence in video game design, and champion accessibility features so that games can be enjoyed by all. Many thanks in advance.
Need Work Done?
I am available for hire! If you like what you see on this website and would like content created for your own, or if you have content you need to be proofed and edited, please get in touch via my business website https://iainbakerfreelance.co.uk/ or e-mail me at email@example.com. You can view my LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iain-baker/