I'm perfectly fine if you want to classify with what I wrote as something less than a full blown review. I'm not bothered by the semantics in the least. I would have replied sooner to the complaints but this was the first opportunity I have had to do so.
As I admitted in the write-up, I did NOT have as much time to play the game as I wanted NOR did I get as far as I wanted. Unfortunately, my copy of the game arrived later that I had expected and I was already committed to house hunting trip starting on the 15th. That meant dropping the cats off at the vets that afternoon, packing, having the mail held, etc, then leaving the morning of the 16th and then returning on the 21st.
Since waiting until the 21st would have rendered any review uselss as the game would have already been released, I opted to go with something less than I would have liked simply because I felt I owed the folks at Obsidian and Atari a review, and attempted to do the best job I could in the limited time I had available. Unfortunately, that left me barely a full 24 hours to play the game.
Should I have opted to write nothing? In all honesty, I thought the answer to that was unmistakably NO. So I opted to write up my notes on that basis and stated that clearly in the write up.
I simply couldn't answer some of the questions people had, such as: does the ending satisfy? do the characters interactions improve? do choices matter? I did run into several instances where some interesting choices were presented, but as to what the long term impact of those choices were is simply something I wasn't able to comment on.
The one point I probably failed to make as fully as I should have is that the plot, as might be expected, does unfold more slowly than it does in MotB or the OC or even MoW. In those three titles it's clear from the beginning what your purpose is and what you need to do. In SoZ, things are different; you're in a strange new world and part of the fun of the open ended exploration that comes with the game means that for people who like to explore that things will see that plot evolve more slowly. There's also a certain fog that envelops what's going on in Samarach and it takes some time to discover exactly what is happening.
I'm sorry if any of the furor over the "review" has distracted people from what I think is quite simply an exceptionally fun game to play (and is beautifully crafted to boot). My apologies to Tony Evans, Anthony Davis and the rest of the Soz team for not being able to do a more in depth review.
PS: Anthony, I actually did get to the point (and considerably) beyond where I could have initiated the trade system, but with a single skin avaiable for trade, I didn't feel like that was worth testing at that point.