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Below, you can see the 20 most recent posts in the forums, starting with the most recent post first and working backwards. Signatures, avatars and other related information have been stripped so that the page will load quickly. Each post contains a link to the thread where it was posted so you can click to see it in its original context.

I wouldn't go that far. I'd say I just made a suggestion that someone may want to think about things, while also stating the concept of EmP having to judge 20 reviews, 14 by one person, would also be really funny. Not as funny as it'd be if we did Review of the Month instead of RotW and he had to do ALL of OctJOEber, but still really funny.

So I guess that instead of volunteering someone, I made a suggestion and then kind of talked myself out of it because keeping to the norm would be more amusing for me, but figured I'd leave it up in case anyone else had input/ideas.

Did you just volunteer me for, like... work? Under the pretense of 'helping Joe' or 'helping Emp'?

I was wondering, in the event this wasn't already decided, if things were going to go as normal for Joe's week or if there was going to be a guest judge. Because:

a. This is Joe's heaviest month for submissions, where he has a review up roughly every day. So it's kind of like that week where Marc took Venter's week because he had 3 or so reviews up for it and him being in the mix ensured we'd have at least 3 contestants and no hold-overs.

b. While I'd find this hilarious, it does mean that if Joe does this week like normal, EmP would have his 6-7 reviews for next week, as well as his 6-7 reviews for this week. And that'd be some weird judging where you're going through 14ish reviews for one guy to determine which is the best AND THEN comparing it to 2-5 other reviews to see what stacks up where.

But on the other hand, making EmP judge 19 reviews, 14 by one person, in a week is kind of funny, so maybe we wanna keep things like normal!

Croixleur Sigma
Vita
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/croixleur-sigma-ps4/

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Title: One Piece: Grand Cruise
Platform: PS4
Genre: ... Action??
Developer: Bandai Namco (in-game it's Spike Chunsoft... but other sites are citing BN, so I'll just go with that, I guess...)
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release date: (05/22/18 - US/EU/AU) (05/24/18 - JP)

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Thanks.

Resident Evil Triple Pack
Switch
https://www.amazon.com/Resident-Evil-Triple-Pack-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B07VHKWQ26

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Damascus Gear Operation Tokyo
Vita
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/damascus-gear-operation-tokyo-psvita/

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Damascus Gear Operation Osaka
Vita
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0036-PCSE01180_00-DGEAR20000000000

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I appreciate the victory and the critiques! Thank you very much, and congrats to AbsoluteDeicide and EmP as well.

Anyone who's ever read your posts should know you're not exactly loaded.

Thanks for the heads up.

Longtime members of this community may recall that on May 31, 2018, someone appears to have gained access to the site database and may have saved a copy of any records found in order to use the information at a later date or sell it to unscrupulous denizens of the worldwide web. At the time, I posted here advising everyone to change their password at HonestGamers, and at any other sites that shared it. I hope you all followed that advice.

The reason I am posting about that prior intrusion tonight is that I have just received an email from an anonymous individual claiming to have hacked the site database, and expressing an interest in having me contact them through an obvious junk account on Discord to "reason." The implication is clear: someone wants money from me or else they may do something undesirable with that access or with any information gained.

I am not certain whether someone did indeed crack and access the site's database. Given that many sites with security specialists on their payroll are routinely hacked, such a feat is within the realm of possibility. However, it strikes me as more likely that someone merely purchased records from someone else and is contacting webmasters on a list, making such claims in an attempt to extort money. Either way, mischief is on the menu. As a nifty bonus: I don't even have any finances to extort. They could hardly have picked a less fruitful target.

I am posting this message here now to notify you so you can take whatever action you deem necessary, and so you will be aware of the heightened possibility of scams hitting your inbox. This is true especially if you still use your old 2018 email account.

If someone gained access to the site database recently, they potentially will have been able to view:

* Your HG username
* Your HG password (which is encrypted and thus should be in a useless format)
* Your first name
* Your last name
* Your HG contact email

Anyone trying to scam you will have to perpetrate a scam that relies on some or all of those details. As you are aware, no financial information is requested or stored on this site, nor are phone numbers or other pertinent information. I don't ask for information the site doesn't need, and I don't sell or share any information that is provided. I try to ensure any information on file is as useless as possible beyond the application for which it is intended, to limit the likelihood someone will target the site. But of course, people who hack (or claim to hack) have no idea what is stored in a database ahead of time, so anything is possible no matter how unlikely.

As I've noted, I consider the risk in this situation minimal, but I wanted to let you all know about the possible intrusion as soon as possible because after all, a person can hardly be too cautious when it comes to web security. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here in this thread.

Not counting my own review, which is not in the running until next week, there were eight reviews from five unique contributors this week. Not bad! And "not bad" would be underselling the content we saw. There were a lot of reviews for horror games (particularly from Joe, of course), but the wide variety of approaches prevented that from ever getting dull. And there were some contributions from people we haven't seen a lot of--or anything from, until now--on the site. So it was a pretty exciting week, all things considered.

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First up, here's a look at the reviews that didn't place in the top three, whether because a single author can only rank that high once (in Joe's case) or because competition was pretty furious this week.

Cold Fear (Xbox) by JoeTheDestroyer

Your second sentence has some issues: "Instead of cracking open some cold brews and making bad jokes at this home in [insert quiet suburban town where Tom likely grew up], he has to fly to a whaling ship and respond to dire situation." That should be "at his home" and "respond to a dire situation." The first sentence in paragraph three would be more impactful if you lost "also" or "either" and went with just one or the other. But otherwise, this was a strong review on the sentence-by-sentence level and an interesting, convincing dress down of a game destined to be forgotten. It does seem to be addressed toward other horror veterans, since genre newcomers probably won't share your familiarity with points from which enemies will emerge (when I play a horror game, I'm basically just suspicious of everything and also busy wishing I were playing something else). But that's okay, too. For its audience, I think think this is likely to be a very useful review indeed.

Ghosts 'N Goblins (NES) by JoeTheDestroyer

Your introduction here was clever, but I think it went on a bit longer than was warranted to make the point that the game hates you. Trim a little bit and combine those first two paragraphs and I feel it would work more effectively. The first sentence of your sixth paragraph also says "an way out," which I suspect resulted from some last-minute revision. In the second-to-last paragraph, you say "halls a few time, and..." when you need an 's' on "times." By the way, what spinoff trilogy are you referencing at the end? I know there were two Maximo games, not three, so is there something else I'm for-- oh, you mean the Gargoyle's/Demon's Quest games. But anyway, I'm surprised you hadn't gotten around to covering this one during a previous year of horror-themed game reviews. You've made up for that now, with another great review of an old friend. Er... enemy.

The Darkness (PlayStation 3) by JoeTheDestroyer

"However, irritating as this misstep sounds, it's the last of the game's woes..." I think you mean "least" of the game's woes, or there wouldn't be much of a review to follow. And in fact, from there you go into some great discussion of the overpowered hero and the inept AI, so my suspicions were confirmed. I liked how you acknowledged and effectively dismissed the idea of just relying on more conventional shooting, since the game also messes up that mechanic. Your conclusion ties nicely into your introduction, and works well because you covered each point in detail along the way. In the end, I'm left with a bit of sadness because The Darkness sounds like it was almost great. Didn't they make a sequel? I seem to recall there being a sequel.

Penumbra: Black Plague (PC) by zork86

I like your sentence describing the improved enemies in this game, versus the first game. The examples you provide and the conclusions you draw make it clear you have something specific to say about this game, rather than some of the general talk about sequels that served as your opener. The main thing working against this review getting better placement was the rather slow pacing. You tended to take longer than felt necessary to make some of the less interesting points, and sometimes you would repeat your points a bit without adding any new information, so that there wasn't a good sense of momentum. Consider this sentence: "In some ways, these guys are more intelligent than the enemies in Amnesia, I’m sure that’s by design and on purpose though." It follows the paragraph where you already established that enemies are more intelligent in this game, so it feels unnecessary. Also, you describe the change as "by design and on purpose," when simply saying it was one or the other would make the same point. I think a little more time in revision would have caught stuff like that and led to a stronger review overall, but it's not weak as-is and you definitely made your points. Good work!

NamCollection (PlayStation 2) by namcokid47

Welcome to the site! It's always good to see fresh faces, and your debut review was quite good. The biggest mark against it was some rough writing here and there, including this portion of the first sentence in your second paragraph: "Unlike the majority of Namco's classic game collections, NamCollection does focus on the usual 80's arcade game flair". I believe you meant to say it DOESN'T focus, and also I suspect "flair" was meant to be "filler," but maybe I'm wrong on that second point. Occasional rough writing aside, though, this was a review with good structure and some nice, insightful analysis of an import compilation not many will have experienced. You did well to cover finer details, like the reworked compositions of Shinji Hosoe and the support for the NeGcon controller. I don't know how long you've been reviewing games before posting this review here, but the good quality suggests you've been at it for some time. I hope you'll stick around and keep at it.

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And here are my comments on the three reviews I liked most this week...

Third Place: Gears 5 (Xbox One) by EmP

Your thesis is pretty clear: Gears 5 half-heartedly attempts to jump on the open world bandwagon and loses too much of what once made the franchise special. Touch up a few rough sentences and there's not much to complain about there, but the curse of a mediocre game is that it too easily results in a bored writer without much to say beyond cursory criticism. That's what holds your review back from higher placement. It's a solid review, just not up to your usual level.

Runner Up: The Sinking City (PC) by AbsoluteDeicide

This was an enjoyable review for a game I was curious about, and I'm glad you saw fit to share it. I liked your third paragraph in particular, which expertly cut to the heart of the game's issue: rough edges and limited unique content. But you did a good job of making it sound interesting in spite of those flaws. There were a few rough sentences throughout, where you said "it's" when you didn't need the apostrophe, or where you said "fiskmongers" when you meant "fishmongers," or similar. But like the game itself, a few warts didn't really get in the way of a solid end result. I hope another year won't pass before we see another review from you, when this is the sort of writing you're capable of producing!

Review of the Week: Abasralsa (PC) by JoeTheDestroyer

I love this sentence: "Questionable design like this isn't just a red flag, it's a red national anthem." Actually, your review was full of clever zingers. I liked the bit about the Harlem Globetrotters, as well, and there were others. This game sounds simply wretched, and even though I would never have purchased it in the first place, someone else might have. I hope that hypothetical someone else comes across your review and finds it as useful as I found it enjoyable. Of course it was this week's winner...

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Thank you all for making this another tough week to judge. I can't wait to see what each of you do next!

Gungrave VR
PS4
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/gungrave-vr-ps4/

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Excellent. I didn't even remember there being a preview page at GameFAQs, which suggests it wasn't particularly important to me, but I haven't submitted a review there in... quite some time.

I like the preview page. I always liked it back on GameFAQs.

I'm back again, with the third modification in a 24-hour period, like some productive webmaster guy or something.

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Modification #3

Now when you are submitting a review (or a news article, if you're staff), you will get to preview the submission before you send it off to the queue for approval.

The preview page will show you the review approximately as it will appear on the site, so you can catch issues before they go live. For example, if images are improperly centered or if an HTML tag hasn't been properly closed, that should be easy to see and you can make changes on that page, or click back to the previous page and make additional changes there (recommended if you're doing fancy stuff, so you still have a chance to make additional changes if necessary).

The confirmation page is also handy because it will let you know when you have scheduled a review to go live on the site, if you have opted for a delay. This will make it easier still to avoid breaking embargoes. However, that time is approximate and will change depending on how long you linger on the preview page. After all, the delay you implement is calculated only once you finalize your review submission.

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As with the other modifications, I hope this change proves welcome and useful. I think it might, as I've occasionally received requests for such a feature to be implemented over the years...

This is a (hopefully) quick post to let you know about some modifications I've just finished making on the site, which you may notice and wonder about.

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Modification #1

It is now possible to delay when reviews you submit go live. At the time you submit the review, you can delay its live date by as much as 6 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes. The review will enter the queue as normal, for staff to process it. If the review is approved, it will not go live until the time you have specified and should not be visible anywhere outside of the staff queue. If someone does manage to find the review, its contents (including tagline and rating) should not display.

This change was implemented so that staff can prepare a review to post automatically on their behalf at odd hours of the night/morning, in the event that coverage is prohibited until such a time because of a publisher embargo. In the past, this would sometimes mean we would have a review ready to go, but we had to get some sleep and then we would post the review when we woke up the next day but sometimes that meant our coverage was late to the party.

I have made the functionality available to everyone because I know some people like to get strategic with posting reviews at the last minute for Review of the Week consideration, or they like to post things on a schedule (as with Joe's annual October review fiesta). I don't anticipate that most of us will have any reason to regularly use the feature, but I figure it will be nice to have in place and I have wanted to implement it for some time now. News articles have received the same treatment, in case I want to cover news that is under embargo, though generally in that case I'll just ignore the press release/info altogether.

Modification #2

The front page will now display news articles only when there has been at least one new article submitted within the past 7 days. In that event, it will display the two most recent articles, or more if there has been a string of reviews recently posted (such as during an event like E3 or following a Nintendo Direct).

If there are no sufficiently recent articles, that section of the front page will just go away and instead viewers will see an uninterrupted list of the most recent staff and reader reviews.

I made this change because it seems like I often will go weeks without posting a news article, so it doesn't always make sense to display news prominently. But there also are times when a lot of news happens and I find it interesting or otherwise worth reporting, so I didn't want to just chop the feature. It works very well when needed, after all. This way, I can let you know about cool news and then when that news stops being relevant, it will get out of the way. It's a natural continuation of the change I made a while back, which causes more news and reviews--or less of them--to display depending on the volume of submissions.

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I hope some of you will find these changes useful, and that I have implemented them without producing any errors in the process. I've tested pretty extensively and everything looks to be in order, so now I can go back to working on other stuff around the site. As always, let me know if you have any questions!

I humbly accept my OctMEber victory. Hopefully, there will be more to come! Congrats to Pickhut and Brian, too.

Indivisible
PS4, Xbox One, Switch
https://www.ign.com/games/indivisible

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Thanks for the placement, OD! I think the hardest part about writing the review was figuring out where to mention that the game is free to play. I thought about mentioning it in passing at the start, but I was concerned that might muddy the impression that, free or not, the game is still fun to play. Glad you enjoyed the review. The dev, Hijong Park, also have several other retro-inspired, free-to-play titles on Steam as well. Judging by footage, they look just as fast and intense as Rolling Bird.

Congrats on getting RotW, Joe. Wouldn't be surprised if you nab several more considering the output this month.

Thanks for a timely topic, overdrive, and for some good commentary on the reviews! Congrats to all who placed, and thanks to all who participated.

When posting, please keep the guidelines outlined in the forum help file in mind at all times. Disruptive posts will not be tolerated. Let's all try to have a good time and keep things civil.


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