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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.

Breach 2 (PC, abandonware)


Curses! Undone by punctuation! Congrats to Rhody, though, and also to Venter for placing. Thank you, Nightfire, for getting through this brutal week and having the topic out in a timely manner.

So much for it all calming down a little. Long might it continue (though if you all want to take a week off, and can let you know which one is mine in advance).

Congrats to all mentioned; good work grinding this one out, Nightfire.

14? Dang, that's even more than I had to judge during my last go at this. We're definitely getting a lot of good content right now.

Thanks for taking care of things this week, Nightfire. As you noted, it was a tough week, and I'm glad to have placed. The purpose of my review wasn't to scare anyone away from the game, but to dissect its flaws in a way that lets interested parties know whether or not they might want to give the game a shot in spite of what I see as its issues. I'm glad to hear that it seems to be working as intended.

Jeez, this competition is fierce. I remember when we'd be lucky to get 14 new reviews in an entire month.

So here we are for another ROTW. Highlights of my week include digging myself out of a snowstorm, contracting a nasty throat infection, injuring myself while building some furniture, and meticulously reinstalling my operating system after Windows 10 spontaneously committed suicide. Life sure has been grand north of the 49th parallel.

Now I get the distinct pleasure of judging fourteen lengthy reviews. On the one hand, that's great - I shouldn't complain, as the site has been bumpin' and there are plenty of quality reads to be had. On the other hand, I will admit that I feel a certain amount of relief that Jerec is on the rotation now and I will get a three-week reprieve before I am called upon to deal with the next deluge.

Honourable mentions include Jerec himself, whose StreetPass Mii Plaza review gave us a thorough rundown of what that thing is all about, and EmP, who narrowly missed placement with his Nefarious review by the cilia of his gelatinous chinny-chin-chin. Lady Zana's Grim Dawn review was also a competent submission, as was Mr. Robington's Mass Effect review. It was another tough week. I sympathize with you all.

Anyway, here are the rankings:

Third place: Jason's Alwa's Awakening review (PC)

Jason penned a great article about an 8-bit homage title this week. It was a very easy read, and gave us a clear picture of what to expect from it without spoiling anything important. He also didn't get bogged down in too many details this time around, which I definitely appreciated. The beautiful set of screenshots helped illustrate this game's excellent visual style.

My criticisms here are few. I did find a couple of places where punctuation/sentence structure could have been tighter. I also felt that the second paragraph was awkwardly placed. Getting into details about the game's soundtrack right right away seemed a bit strange, and I felt that this could have been moved to the end of the article just as easily. There was also that long paragraph that described a complex series of maneuvers the player must perform to complete a tricky sequence, which made my eyes cross a little bit. However, I think that was the point of that paragraph, so that's somewhat forgivable.

There were no food analogies, at least! So that's good. All in all, a great submission. It made me want to check out this title, despite the fair warnings.

Second place: Joe's Metagal review (PC)

I have fond memories of playing Megaman as a child. I didn't own a console myself, but I do remember one day when me and my friend rented Megaman 2 for the NES, and with strategy guide in hand, we tried to beat it in a single day. It was morning when we started, and it was dark by the time we managed to get to the end boss. We enjoyed every minute of it. Your adept descriptions of Metagal brought back some of those fond memories.

While this game is obviously a clone and makes no effort to hide that, Mr. Destroyer expertly explains to us that it actually holds up pretty well to its inspirational material. He also leaves room for fair criticism about the few things that do not hold up so well, such as the annoying dash function.

While most of the article focused on descriptions of gameplay mechanics, I found this to be okay. There didn't seem to be much of a story or anything else to talk about anyway. Reviews like this can sometimes get on my nerves or outstay their welcome, but this one just never did. Joe's just a talented writer, I guess. The screenshots were also helpful in bringing the descriptions to life.

This review was also near-flawless from a technical perspective. There was only one instance of clumsy punctuation/grammar that I caught, and in all honesty, that is one of the only reasons this review took second place instead of first. Sorry, Joe. I had to split hairs pretty finely this week. That seems to be the new norm around here.

First place: Rhody's The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 1: Ties The Bind Part 1 review (Xbox One)

I have heard good things about this series, but I'm one of those people who have never watched the show nor read the comics. I'm just not that into zombies, I guess, which is probably the same reason I was never interested in the Resident Evil series either. However, despite the fact that this review is about a genre I dislike and a franchise I am mostly unfamiliar with, I found myself quite enjoying reading about it.

I will admit that Rhody's rapid-fire name-dropping of characters made my head spin a little, but I was still able to follow along and understand what he was talking about most of the time. I even learned a bit about these characters, and they genuinely sound interesting to me. I imagine that those who are familiar with the series will better served by reading this piece than I was, and they are obviously the intended audience anyway.

It doesn't hurt that this review is basically flawless from a technical perspective. Mr. Tobin could have added some screenshots to round it out, but aside from that, I have very little to criticize here. Well done, sir.

I have noticed that more goodies have shown up on the prize list. Go treat yourself.

And... That's it for me. I don't have the energy for a witty conclusion this week, so all I'll say is that I hope ya'll continue to enjoy the stream of quality content that has been flooding the site as of late. To those of you who regularly submit reviews, please keep up the good work.

While I will get back into the fray eventually, I'm gonna go curl up in my cave for now and sleep for an indeterminate number of hours. This dragon is pooped.

Nightfire's image

Awesome! I've been struggling to get reviews written in a timely manner for a while, but it's good to see I can at least put forth a good showing when I get one done!

I wouldn't say the "on the list" being part of the review was an accident. However, the fact it came off so well was a bit unexpected, especially since it was somewhat taken from a pro wrestler's recent gimmick of placing anyone he didn't like on a list in a sort of hollow, grandstanding threat sort of way.

And with that disclosure, the last of my mystique has faded away...

For reason no one fully understands, Jerec has kindly agreed to step up and be the RotW's fourth judge. To commemorate this, I have added a rota chain to the topic which I will update each week, bolding the judge whose turn is up next. Overdrive will still forget. I will still have to prod him.

Thanks, Jerec. Hang in there, buddy.

Thanks for the placement. I'll give the review a look at tonight to see if I can remove some repetitious use of the word Trico.

I always remember who didn't place me in their weeks!

I mean... standards be crazy high right now. I thought your review was still very, very solid, and about the best you can do with a review of that particular game. The shot at Jones under the screenshot gave me my only real laugh this week.

Man. I dunno whose leg I would have to hump to make placement these days, but I'll do my darndest to find out.

Gratz to the winners.

Thanks for the placement, EmP. Definitely wasn't expecting it out of this line up. Thank you mostly for confirming my instincts were correct for how to approach Steins;Gate 0. That was one of the trickiest reviews I've ever written.

Also I still don't like anime and I don't get your references.

Including a carry over from Rob ďRobĒ Robington, which has become his name as declared last time around, there are eleven reviews this week. One more than last week, which, even then, I deemed too many. As such - and I know Iím repeating myself at this point - reviews that would often find themselves placing with ease in a typical week are going to be omitted. Only, this run of quality has been going on long enough now that I suppose itís the new norm now and Iím going to have to put (urgh) more effort into these things. I guess we all need to up our game if we want our weekly ego boosts.


Looks like Jason finally cleared out the production room, because here there be staff reviews. Thereís some good reviws up there this week, but itís mostly been eclipsed by the fine work of the user base. Worthy of particular note is Jason ďIíll-just-drop-a-food-simile-in-here-and-see-if-I-can-hear-EmPís-teeth-grind-from-overseasĒ Venterís continued and laudable coverage of his God-Emperor Nintendoís foray into mobile gaming. On the user side, Nightfire is especially unlucky with his omit after, rather remarkably, making an ancient digital board game about managing a job sound interesting.

THIRD Steins;Gate 0 [Vita] by Jerec

Jerec still loves anime - donít let him fool you again with his misguiding words. Iíve seen him complaining that Pumpkin Scissors never got a second season and talking about how the Gantz dub is atrocious.

Steins;Gateís is a mass of intertwining threads thatís difficult at the best of times to describe. Steins;Gate 0 has all those issues as well as a massive dollop of reliance upon the gamer to have played the hell out of the original. How do you review that without dropping spoilers from the previous game? Jerecís answer is correct: you donít. No one (sane) is going to play Zero without playing Steins;Gate, so itís silly to pretend otherwise. Still, thereís a subtlety toward how he goes about these spoilers that I can appreciate. Theyíre pretty light going, for one. It canít have been easy.

But, as such, this reviewís main flaw is more or less unavoidable; it relies on an assumption of existing knowledge on behalf of the reader. While thatís a big downpoint for the majority of reviews, it simply has to exist in this very rare case. The underpinning argument that itís not a tale that really needed to be told, but ends up being one worth telling anyway is a good lens to view the game through.

SECOND The Last Guardian [PS4] by Fiddlesticks

Bloody, bloody Fiddlesticks. I was a fan of his on his previous run, and was sorry to see his contributions ebb away. On one hand, Iím glad to see him return and smash through all those AAA releases pretentious indie pricks like myself routinely ignore. On the other, heís making not including him in RotW round ups very, very difficult.

I thought he had offered me an out this week when the opening sections of his Last Guardian review came up a little bit rough. Thereís a fair bit of word repetition in there, specifically, every other sentence seems to contain ĎTricoí. I appreciate that, what with him being a huge chicken-puppy, thereís no other word available to describe him but if this review was a drinking game and that was my trigger word, my kidneys would be tapping out. The review argues with itself a little as well, at one point talking about the figure-it-out via trial and error aspect of the controls in a derogatory manner and then, several paragraphs later, complaining about a myriad of on-screen controller prompts holding the playerís hand too much.

The second half of the review is the real highlight, brilliantly keeping the gameís strength up on a pedestal, but still tearing down the mechanical aspects that donít really work. I think picking at the near invulnerability of the gameís casts was the best bit; it really kneecaps any sense of urgency the game might try to create. In juggling these aspects that work and fail so evenhandedly, giving equal service to both, you increase the credibility of your words.

WIN! Avernum: Escape From the Pit [MAC] Rob

Annoyingly, I was ready to write this one off early after the ĎLetís talk about me!í intro went nowhere and offered nothing. Truth is, if you start reading this review from the second paragraph, then you lose nothing of note. Thereís little irrelevancies scattered throughout like how this game was purchased during a sale that no one cares about, and this made me happy for a while. I thought I could just move on to the other ten reviews on my list and get on with my life. But then, probably out of spite, the rest of the review ended up being especially brilliant.

Mainly when you start letting the game talk for itself and run through the numerous examples. Talking about the list you had to keep reminding you to go back to areas when you were strong enough is a clever way to big up the gameís depth and immersion, so Iíll assume you included it by accident. Dropping little teasers about what you need to do to progress the main questline, how thereís an Elder Scrolls-like amount of distractions most players will be completely unable to resist delving into -- discussions like that are when the review really comes to life.

The conclusion goes full circle to complete the hanging ďme!Ē thread the review opened with, to no great effect, but everything sandwiched in between was incredibly effective writing.

Nightfireís got next week. Letís give him the same huge headache Iíve been given trying to pick through such an embarrassment of riches.

Wouldst thou kindly add but a single title? I shall utter its name thus:

Final Fantasy IX
Steam (Windows)

I would have the gratitude of the ancients, whereby.

Verily, thank you.


Thanks for the placement and nice work to EmP and pickhut. I appreciate the efforts given in the positive feedback I have received for this review here as well as from Nightfire and hastypixels elsewhere. My apologies for not commenting earlier in those topics. I don't want to appear to be rude!

I don't even remember how many of those I won. Two? Three? Remember that year we got equal points and I beat you in a tie break? Good times.

We're getting to the point where it's completely possible we could pull something like that off again with a bit of canvasing. If we can keep this momentum up, we'll see what we can perhaps put together after winter.

I know, things have been getting to the point where my mentality when I have a review in one of these has gone from "I'll be annoyed if I don't win." to "Man, I MIGHT place this time..." where, if I win, I'm pretty damn happy.

Having this sort of review numbers per week is a bit disconcerting when it's your turn to judge them, but it makes the actual competition awesome. The more reviews and the higher overall quality makes winning one of these things feel like a legit accomplishment. Now, if we can get a ton of people writing, pull off the ABC tournament again AND I FINALLY win one of those things, I'll be able to die a happy man!

Thanks for the placement. The start of this year has been a RotW minefield -- it was barely a month ago that you only had to judge two for a week, and now the site's kicking out work at a rate of knots. It's pretty great. Until it gets to my week to do this, which is already stacked. I half expect a Zig or a Masters to crawl out of the woodwork out of pure spite; already, a returning Jerec and Fiddlesticks on smoking form have really shaken things up.

So props to 'sticks and a little moreso to Pick, who's stayed consistently solid throughout. Let's see how long this lasts.

Yikes, thanks for the RotW! Glad you liked reading it and the way it flowed. Thanks for also enjoying the DDIV review; that jump kick-thingy is ridiculous. Congrats to EmP and Fiddlesticks, and everyone else that contributed, too!

Was a very competitive, full week, and it looks like the following RotW is shaping up to be one, as well.

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