Title: 2009 (new) Reviews in Review. TLDR n stuff.
Posted: February 03, 2010 (12:08 AM)
I'm happy with how I kept the word count down on my reviews this year. I set goals for them and hit them, for the most part. I got progressively happier with my proofreading both before RotW/judge evaluations and after. I got used to determining what screenshots worked best, and that helped more than I expected. However, I still see problems when I proofread/add 1 last detail/forget to proofread. Connectivity can go poof.
Pre-6/1 games are HGwars fodder, largely.
4/3 Miner: My first exclusive HG review. It was rather short and I was half worried I was scamming HG points for such a small review. I shortly dropped the guilt once I needed to buy that next piece of land.
4/3 Secret of the Silver Blades: captured my frustration with AD&D games nicely but I really have good memories of what this game tries to do
4/7: Champions of Krynn: Overdrive caught me out on this. I thought I'd review something after 1990 but I didn't remember it as well as I thought I did. I read a lot from the FAQ. I don't really want to play it again. I don't even want to revisit editing the review.
4/17: Gegege no Kitaro: This review spins me around a bit now but I'm glad I wrote it. It's a fun fan-translated game.
4/24: Secret Scout: for the NES completion project. The review feels vanilla but I claim, self-righteously, that it does a good job of why the game sucks even when you know what to do, which is not really THAT hard.
4/26: Bard's Tale 2 NES: I think I was too excited about getting through the game and didn't settle my writing down enough for a proofread to smooth it out properly. I'm more pleased with my FAQ than my review. I had fun collaborating with odino about translations.
5/15 Defenders of the Dynatron City: I fell back on a starred list for this one, and other parts are wobbly--but I think I string together observations well. Still, I feel like I moved on from this, not least because the game kind of sucked. But Radium Dog biting Dr Mayhem's ankles at game's end is too funny.
6/12: Super Black Onyx: I wrote this review with energy and proofread it that way too, but if I'd stepped back and calmed down I could've weeded out the FAQ-y bits. I think this review, and my revision a week later, was pivotal in pegging what was an important detail and what was too narrow.
6/19: Usurper Mines of Qyntarr: I giggled my way through this bash of a rotten, rotten text adventure. Yet--it did bring back memories of how bad my program was.
6/22: Airball: Very very happy with this. Suskie's proofreading helped. I'd hoped to start strong in the team tourney and I did.
6/29: Hoosier City Return to Oil City: I should have waited longer after solving the game to write this bash. I think we've all been upset that a series doesn't continue its gentle humor but--it's understandable a developer feels pinned down by it. Oh, I am proud of the first sentence.
7/1 Esper Dream: a game I felt I must talk about, but I felt I didn't describe as much as I could--if there's one game here I'd say JUST PLAY IT, it's this--or Super Black Onyx. Or Airball.
7/1 Lutter: I'm satisfied with this review, but I don't like it as much as Esper Dream, which had more to work with. Lutter is workmanlike. They were two of my first FDS game reviews for the site.
7/3 Power Sokoban: This was an emergency backup, in my book, for the team tourney. Randxian correctly pointed out I should figure what red powerups did, and I'm glad I did. I'm pleased with this review as I think sokoban needs some action and the game almost works, yet I feel I missed some complaints. I don't want to replay the game to nail them down though.
7/6: Number Munchers: I always wondered if this game were any good or if I'd have enjoyed it, or if the cut scenes really were as funny. It, Word Munchers and Fraction Munchers were fun to make screenshots and FAQs. Considering if I should review the other two brought CLEARLY into focus the specter of repeating myself across reviews. I'm pleased I collapsed the other two games into a few sentences. I think it works well in a concluding paragraph.
7/10 Valkyrie no Bouken: overdrive bashed this one already but I decided to see if it was still wretched even if you had a FAQ. It was.
7/12 Knight Lore: another straightforward bash of a simple game. I don't like to pull too many of them, but it keeps me sharp and it was another letter for the Alpha Marathon.
Jawbreaker II: a silly review for the Alpha Marathon. It nicely parallels the game (I hope) in that Chuck Bueche took a break from the real stuff to do something silly.
7/15 Sanrio World Smash Ball: A review I had fun with and though I missed chances at Hello Kitty cuteness, my second foray into SNES reviewing was satisfying.
7/17 Munchman: a keep-warm review for the team tourney. I played this too much at a friend's house and reminisced by playing it too much during an extended lunch break.
7/23 Order of the Griffon: written to satisfy the "I want a TG16 review" requirement, it was an awful slog and had me worried about the team tourney. I think I did the right thing passing on this for Decathlon.
7/25 Rocky's Boots: kids' game? Heh. Took me a while to solve the upper levels.
7/29 It's Mr Pants: I tried to put a little mustard on this but I still find few ways around describing the mechanics of a puzzle game. It's raucous and fun, though.
12/24 Flappy/Times of Lore: I hustled these out staying late at work after they let us leave at 1 PM. My proofreading angel seemed to have left early too. Jerec pointed out some errors, and I hope they are fixed. I wasn't enthusiastic about either game, but I managed to update the second's FAQ a bit.
12/27 221B Baker Street/Quattro Arcade/Xyphus/Yo Noid: Compilation reviews are hard to make "sing." I'd meant to write Xyphus for a while, and the last was a game I always meant to play. Xyphus is pronounced Zi-foo-is. Well, wikipedia thinks so. It's Greek for sword. Xyphus is my favorite of this last swath of reviews. 221B has a bit too much name dropping.
12/29 Wrath of Denethenor: I finished this a bit earlier but re-proofread after making sure I missed nothing huge on replay. After submitting, I googled the creator's name and found he was 20 when he wrote it. I'd have been a bit more understanding then. I had some prospective changes to the FAQ from replaying but forgot to modify things. Looking back I'm shocked at the time I wasted saying "should I FAQ this game" -- energy that could be later spent on verifying stuff in the FAQ, which needs it.
12/30 Zak McKracken: I didn't find a terribly creative or amusing angle here, but it completed my Alpha Marathon, as I'd hoped.
Rewrite summary soon whether you want to see them or not.
Posted: February 03, 2010 (12:55 PM)
Wow. You wrote - or revised - at least 26 reviews last year. And you completed the Alpha Marathon. That's better than I did in 2008. Even if I had written one more review than you (which might not even be the case as I could've easily miscounted), I never managed to finish the marathon, although I did come pretty damn close at 22.
Posted: February 03, 2010 (01:21 PM)
A mitigating factor is that I play relatively short games, of course. And I had a bunch of games just floating around to poke at.
The rewrites bit is coming up tomorrow.
Title: Wish Granted!
Posted: March 21, 2010 (12:17 AM)
Regarding Super Black Onyx, you said:
"Few games combine complexity and ease of play so effortlessly, and if someone just made another game with the same engine and a different map, I'd gladly pretend it was totally original."
Well, lucky you, BPS did just that a year after they originally released The Black Onyx on the NEC PC-8801 in 1983. The sequel was called The Fire Crystal, and.. well, I haven't played The Black Onyx enough to notice any engine changes.. but the title's different, and I >think< you start in the same town/area. I will throw links at you!
I'm not sure if it was as widely ported as The Black Onyx was [I know a fan-translation of the Sega SG-1000 version of The Black Onyx was recently released.] But there you are.