Hey Garod! I'm the Senior Editor of Middle of Nowhere Gaming (MONG) and just wanted to point out that our reviewer absolutely LOVED the game -- we tend to use all points of the review scale [unlike the IGN's which will give a game a 7 just for merely working].
This is what an 8.1 would mean on our site, according to our review scale: "A great game is exactly what it sounds like: great. The game has its (sometimes obvious) flaws, but the vast majority of the game is expertly executed. The flaws may be that it has underwhelming value, that the audience is too niche, or that the story is bland. A great game would be one you would recommend to a lot of people while you may not recommend it to an everyday Joe (or possibly someone who doesn稚 enjoy the genre), you think it exemplifies what makes a great game. While it is not the best game in your collection, it is a worthy selection that is well worth the time and money."
I believe the only reason it was given under a 9 was some technical issues [which will undoubtedly be patched soon!] and how it is naturally difficult for beginners to get a hang of things -- it is a great game in the genre, but not something we could actively recommend to people who may not be fans of the genre. The story was, for the most part, left out of the decision.
If you have any further questions, let me know! I'll forward them to the reviewing staff member!
Thanks again for taking the time to read the review, we always appreciate it!