The Witcher Editorials

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has whipped up two editorials of sorts looking at CD Projekt's The Witcher. The first is about its "mangled" script.
Someone called Martin Pagan posts on Gamefaqs, explaining that the script for The Witcher was given a decent translation, and then (butchered) to result in the garbled mess that now exists in the game (see the clip above - my favourite moment - and I stress, this is one continuous scene, no editing).

We can't be certain Pagan is for real, but if it's true, it certainly explains some things. Is this Atari trying to cut corners and save money on the voice recording?
The second is a review of sorts, a new idea of basing a review on the first impressions from one hour of play. Sounds like a bad idea to me, but here goes.
The second issue is the writing. Now, it's not bad, bad. It's just sub-average and amateurishly converted. Characters use anachronisms unconvincingly - for example, the Sorceress being referred to as a (Babe) a lot by the boss Witcher . The problem isn't of course him using a diminutive (though there's a particularly funny bit where he tells another Witcher to treat her with a bit more respect, before going back to calling her babe) but. (Babe). Avoiding cod epic fantasy is one thing. This is another.

Of course, that's subjective as most things are about writing. If you want something which is pretty much a rule. well, let's look to exclamation marks. They're dangerous things anyway. Fitzgerald said that exclamation marks are like laughing at your own joke. One of my production editors managed it more pithily by a sign above his desk which read (Exclamation Marks are for wankers!). However, there is literally only one use of multiple exclamation marks. Irony. If you use it, you're using it to mock the idea of using multiple exclamation marks. Kitsch import games get away with them for that reason. The more serious the tone of your game, the more an appearance of a (NO!!!!) will begat a (NO!) from us. At least a couple of times in the first hour, a character Seemed Very Excited!!! which is just plain rubbish and makes you suspect they should have spent the money on the opening cutscene on a proper translator.

(It's made worse by the actual voice-acting not being anywhere near as excited as the !!! may imply. And !!! implies people on MySpace who really like MCR.)