Week two of our new feature, and time for us to celebrate one of the best fully independent site out there: TheSixthAxis.
The site concentrates on PS3 (hence the name), but also extensively covers 360 news, rumours and reviews.
And it does it bloody well - and honestly. Its reviews policy is to give a game what it truly deserves and not get stuck in the traditional '7 to 10' scale it feels less critically fair sites fall to.
We caught up with TheSixthAxis editor Pete Chapman, who gave us some insight into the site's ethos:
'TheSixthAxis is certainly bigger and a bit more sophisticated than most blogs but we still see ourselves very much as part of the blogging community.
I think what sets us apart is our sense of humour and our community focus. Every one of our sizeable writing team regularly engages with our readers via the comments system or the forums as well as via Twitter and through our own system of organising online multiplayer meet-ups - TSA Meets.
We're always listening to what the community wants from us and we try really hard to tailor the site as much as possible to our readers. We also try, as much as possible, to inject a bit of our own personalities into the news stories and features that we write. I think a lot of the blogging community has become entangled in a race to be first with the news. Don't get me wrong, we like getting that scoop just as much as the next blogger but we'd rather be a few hours late with an interesting and funny article than rush to publish and perhaps lose a bit of the quality.
'We specialise in original, engaging, interesting and (hopefully) amusing features. We have a daily feature which runs at midday called Lunchtime Discussions where we set up a debate and in then discuss it with the community via the comments.
We also run weekly polls and regular opinion pieces which engage the community and spark discussion. On top of that we have a few regular comedy pieces which usually go out on a Friday. My poorly-concealed aim is to run TheSixthAxis kind of like a weekly magazine with news, previews and reviews front and central but plenty of opinion and interest pieces to give it a bit of weight. On the whole I think we strike a good balance and our ever-growing readership would certainly seem to endorse that view.
'As for ambitions, I think they are different for every member of our staff. I don't actually own the site so my ambition is simply to make it as strong as possible in the hope that one day I can find a way into doing what I do at TheSixthAxis professionally.
'I know a few of our staff write for us for the experience they hope will stand them in good stead after university and in future career moves. Some of us just write because we love gaming and like being involved with a great site and a great community. At the moment we're entirely voluntary, nobody gets paid from the site but we are always looking at ways to change that, as long as that doesn't impact on our readers too much.
'I would love to get TheSixthAxis to a point one day when we could afford to pay our excellent staff the salaries they deserve but for the meantime it's just about doing something we enjoy as well as we can do it and hoping that people continue to take notice. We have a lovely community and some exceptionally talented staff members so I think I'm just lucky to be where I am now, the future can wait!'