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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.

Yeah, I can understand where you're coming at with the comparisons angle. It's something that can seriously backfire if done the wrong way and can unintentionally diminish the game's quality to others.

Definitely check out The Old Blood over The New Order if you do play a new Wolfenstein. In the end, it may just be a traditional, guns blazin' FPS, but it does that aspect pretty well, I thought.

Congrats to holdthephone for the mention and PK for the RotW!

As always thanks for reading. I made it a goal not to mention another Souls game because once I start making comparisons things do start becoming unfair. Anyway, definitely in a rut with writing lately. I write poorly about poor experiences, and if I write any kind of praise I start to nauseate myself for some reason. Maybe I'm on my way out with this gaming thing.

Review of the Week is a readerís digest of sorts, featuring all the reviews written in a given week, and then judged by a self-important author with delusions of grandeur. Thatíll be me today. Only the top three reviews shall be mentioned, in order of relevance. No reviews from the judge will be permissible (though, under a snazzy new rule we just invented, will be then eligible for the next week. Take that, tradition!), and in the event that another writer submits more than one review for the week, only the review the judge deems superior will be included.

Quick commiserations to Joe, who tried to sneak his Kraven Manor review in the back door, but itís recorded as the 16th on that weird time zone that HG seems to exist in. What is that, anyway? Itís weird. Next week is Joeís rotation, so that moves onto the week after that. In keeping, I wrote a timely Doom review. That moves on to next week. Simple. Done.

This week was tough. I took reviews in and out of the top three several times and have switched the orders around a lot. A lot. Iíll probably change my mind again in a few minutes, so Iím getting this out while Iím in a rare cloud of certainly. Itíll lift soon.

The following are words placed strategically in a kind of order.


Wolfenstein: The Old Blood [PS4] by pickhut


I kind of get where youíre going when you talk about hanging around in an area you have a clear exit from so you can revel in it a little longer; I think weíve all done that through the years. The immediate flaw it kicked up in my mind was that, though itís commendable that youíre actually enjoying yourself (donít listen to the rest of the media; video games shouldnít be looked down upon for being fun!) it did make me think perhaps the game might be a little easy. The whole escape a level while under fire trope in FPS is supposed to be about running for your life against odds you canít surpass. But you wanted to stay, so you must have flet somewhat safe. I didnít have to query that long, because you talk about getting flanked and blown up.

By design or by luck, you eliminated what I perceived to be your biggest flaw in the first paragraph. So Iíll find something else to moan about. I complain elsewhere today about how not comparing back to an early game might have robbed a review of impact but, here, there seems to be the opposite effect. Thereís a heavy reliance on your previous review if youíve not played that particular game, and while it would be unfair to call it a companion piece, it does lean on it a lot. Thatís actually kind of cool in a Ďbig pictureí kind of way. But reviews that were wrote last (or this, Joe!) week donít exist in this column.

I might break down and play a modern Wolfenstein. This is your fault.


Dark Souls II [PS4] by holdthephone


So, a lot of this is going to sound hypocritical. I think sometimes your sentences are too overloaded and it can make them confusing. There were a few lines I needed to go back and check over again before I fully understood their meaning. A case might also be made that a lot of the praise is offered so strongly that the second half of the review when you try to outweigh it with cons doesnít quite balance it up to a negative experience. I finished the review expecting a middling score; sneaking in below that did surprise me a bit.

But itís a review I like. Iíve not played a lot of Dark Souls, but itís a game that gets a lot of discussion and 2 always bears the brunt of dissatisfaction. I especially liked the discussion about how the guards are a bigger threat than the bosses. That seems to be becoming a thing recently. I find myself a bit torn over whether or not any comparisons to the previous game or the original build seeing as this was a high-end redux being made would have added more context to the negative portion of the review. Though newbs like myself wouldn't have been intimately familiar with them, it would perhaps act as an example for how things could work better and why theyíve fallen a little flat. Or just, you know, confirm that these aspects have always been bad and you hate everything. Man, play and review a game you enjoy -- itís been a while!


Star Fox Zero [WU] by Philip Kendall


Thereís a snide edge of nastiness reverberating around the usual suspects of awful gameís journalism concerning Star Fox Zero. Itís been declared it a broken mess when itís clearly not, so this review is a refreshing change in its even handed approach. Even if the summary of the gameís worth is lukewarm, itís judged on nothing but its own merits. This would normally be so basic and ingrained and outright assumed in writing a videogame review that itís a sad commentary on the state of current affairs that base common sense has become the new brave new direction.

But you're not getting props based on the failings of others. This is a surprisingly relatable review that manages to talk about the Wii Uís gimmick placement without bogging the entire piece down. Iíve played a Wii U exactly never, but still managed to follow along with how the system is supposed to work and how is succeeds and fails. It sounds like a nightmare set up to me, but you manage to give it some worth while still pointing out itís actually not great.

The biggest hiccup is that point near the end where you panic about not having mentioned the sound so lob that in there clumsily. Itís a good point to make, and probably deserves better placement than a throwaway couple of lines on your way out. Maybe it would serve better tied into a gameplay example? That might offer a more organic transition.

Assault Android Cactus
PC
Witch Beam
Released 9/23/15
http://store.steampowered.com/app/250110/

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Walking Dead Michonne Episode 3: What We Deserve
Tell Tale Games
Released 4/26/16
https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/addons/the-walking-dead-michonne-ep-3-what-we-deserve/cid=UP2026-NPUB31808_00-TWDM000000000EP3

My review is specific to PS3 version, so I didn't want to lump it in with the PC entry, thank you!

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That 3/5 rating was my M. Night Shyamalan twist ending. I thought it was fitting because, like most of M.'s films, Doom 32X is shit.

Props to Pick and (the other, less goofy) Night - I have to admit, I went straight to the link for Light's game and bookmarked it for possible future vegging. I'm still recovering from Star Ruler 2 addiction, though, so not quite yet. And I've not played an iD game since that awful Doom 3 train-wreck, so it's kind of nice of others to point out they're still not doing that hot.

Props too to ODdy and his impeccable memory. Thank you for the kind words which I return with subtle passive aggressive digs.

Work harder, Jason Venter!

Hey, thanks for the Overdrive Place. Glad my dissatisfaction with the game translated well within the review. I wanted to play the game since 2014, so when I finally got around to it and realized what it was turning into with each passing chapter, I was like, "Oh... Oh, no."

Congrats to Nightfire and Emp, too!

Speaking of Star Control 2/Ur-Quan, my first experience with the game was back in 2010. I was watching a stream of someone playing the just-released Mass Effect 2, and the streamer just kept bringing up how there were certain similarities. He eventually threw out a download link, and I played it for just a little bit. Even with that brief experience, it felt like a very huge adventure. Everyone I spoke to had a shocking amount of dialogue and personality. I should give that game another go some time.

I... erm, thanks, OD!

I totally missed this thread when it appeared.

Thanks for the nomination :)

I should really poke around the forums more...

Thanks for the nomination!

I'm surprised you guys haven't heard of Star Control 2, it's kind of a legendary PC title. Though its release was strictly limited to PC and 3DO, so I guess if you were exclusively a console gamer back in the 90's you probably wouldn't have ever played it.

Anyway, I tried to hold back on spoiling too much of the game's story just in case anybody actually wanted to play it. The process of discovery in that game is part of what makes it great.

Thanks for taking care of this topic! I'm happy that RotW seems to be happening regularly again, but also vaguely displeased because I have yet to even place in the top three since its return. All things considered, though, it's still good news and this topic was fun to read. Congrats to the winners!

A busy week. Not just for reviews to judge, but for me in real life. Therefore, this is late and will also be brief. Rest assured that I probably liked your review and would be all effusive with praise and all, but I'm trying to cram doing all of this into a space of time roughly resembling one hour. While also correcting EmP on the hazards of giving a game the wrong score in his review. He almost had to live in a world where he'd have to live in fear the rest of his days because some psycho was hunting him down because he thought EmP was sort of, kind of giving Sega 32X Doom a lukewarm recommendation.

THIRD PLACE

Nightfire's Ur-Quan Masters HD (PC)

A lot of people reviewed games (or exactly whatever the hell that Miitomo thing is, Venter) that came off as mediocre/average to them, as evidenced by all the 3/5 scores I went through this week. This makes me so damn happy to see a pure, unabashed 5/5 proclaiming a game as awesome! If I were to make any complaints, it's that there isn't so much information as to exactly what you're doing in this game. You explore the galaxy, getting resources and encountering alien species, while trying to figure out what's going on. And fighting. Of course, fighting. But while I might have wanted a bit more detail, what you gave did do its job in attracting my attention. You definitely gave enough detail to discussing those alien species and how they're actually well-written and, well, ALIEN.

In the end, you wrote a very strong praise review that got me interested in this game. Not that I have the time to be interested in the sort of time-dump a game like this promises to be, what with all the massive time-dumps in my backlog, but still. This game sounds really neat and possessing of the sort of good writing that makes a game like this memorable.

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SECOND PLACE

EmP's The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3: What We Deserve (PC)

Look, I have no real interest in Telltale's (or anyone else's adventure games). It's a lame genre* as far as I'm concerned! But I could actually read and pay attention to this review, even if it's for an adventure game that firmly got a mediocre rating. Why is that? Probably because you really did a great job of explaining why this game really doesn't work. The brevity wouldn't have bothered me (after all, lame genre; it better go by quick), but then you mention how so many choices that should be important don't come off that way because you never got the time to learn about or even manufacture emotions about the characters you're making said choices about. With one character being a prominent character in a prominent TV series based on a well-known comic dealie, a lot of choices can fall flat because Michonne is an established character in those forms of media, so said choices may be wildly out of character for her. I understood your frustrations with this game and got into this review. Good job.

* Don't fret, adventure game fans, my comments probably should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, I'm the dude who's been spending more time with Kemco's cheap mobile RPGs than I have with legit console/PC titles that have received massive amounts of praise from most everyone. My taste may be a bitÖquestionable?

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REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Pickhut's Wolfenstein: The New Order (PlayStation 4)

Another really good review of a blah game that does a great job of explaining why a potentially good game didn't quite reach that level. To be brief, as it's getting close to 5 p.m. and I have places to be, I really liked how you took an intriguing premise and beginning to this game and then gradually chipped and chipped away at things until you let the reader know that for all that intriguing stuff, we're all left with just another random FPS that contains all the usual weapons and adversaries that a person is used to with this sort of title. The entire time I was reading this review, I could really tell you wanted to really dig this game, but every time you were led to believe it was going to do something special, it pulled back and you were left with something generic, with that super-cool stuff just being in the background, never to actually appear in its glory.

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FINISHED!!!! Just about in time to drink this week away because next week will be more fun. Mainly because of the three-day concert-dealie where I'll be having a grand old time. Just have to survive the days leading up to that...

Pengo
Arcade
http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8989

Added.

Summon Night 5
PSP
http://www.ign.com/games/summon-night-5/psp-138046

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I somehow missed this topic for a whole day...

Weird thing was, I kinda sat on the review a little bit prior to submitting it, because I was concerned I wasn't getting my points across clearly for a 1 star review. So it's good to hear that you and EmP enjoyed reading it.

Congrats to both Roto and EmP!

Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide

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planetarian ~ the reverie of a little planet

Added.

Thank you.

You should give Otem a go. It's going to end up being one of those under-appreciated gems.

Thanks for the top spot, and congrats to the others. I really liked Pick's review (mainly because I too find hard to resist the siren's call of an awful game) so some good stuff out there this week.

I had a hell of a time deciding who to nominate for the winners this week (that and I was stuck either writing reviews of my own or falling asleep as soon as I got home from work, as I did last night). All of the reviews were informative, but only three took the top spots. They are:


THIRD PLACE

Roto13's Severed (Vita)

You presented a properly trimmed review for an RPG, and that's an impressive feat. It's as informative as it should be and doesn't skimp on the necessary details, but covers its goods in a timely manner. The fact that you mentioned that it's a fusion of horror and fantasy (a hybrid genre which has a very boring name......get ready for this.....dark fantasy......yeah, they strained themselves on that one. Supposedly, Charles L. Grant coined that term.) has also piqued my interest, because that genre has been slowly coming into its own as a bona fide category.

My only parting critique is that the review lacks the fire that one might expect from a 5/5 rating. This is not to say that it isn't a convincing 5/5 or a great review, just that it doesn't exude the excitement I would have expected.


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SECOND PLACE

Pickhut's LocoCycle (Xbox 360)

Call me unoriginal for digging a good bash, but this review is very well paced and doesn't come off as overly dry or list-like. It flows naturally and reads like a good take down ought to. I like that you mentioned some aspects that would have interested me, like the presence of James Gunn and Tom Savini, but then said, "No! Don't be fooled! This game is crap!" Also, thank you for saying that pop culture references are not inherently funny. Geez, it's like ever since Family Guy came into prominence, everyone thinks dishing out references to various works of entertainment and celebrity news is automatically funny.

I also liked that you took the time to explain that the game isn't simply "too easy" or "boring because of lack of challenge." It sounds insultingly easy, as if it's simple because its developers didn't properly plan out upgrades or consider how to effectively implement enemies.

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REVIEW OF THE WEEK

EmP's Otem's Defiance (PC)

It's a good sign when 1) a review causes me to put a game on my wishlist, and 2) I click the "like" button at the bottom of the article.

At times, this review seemed hard to follow, but I eventually realized you were trying to capture how frantic this game is. And boy, doesn't it sound nuts! You did an excellent job conveying your frustration while making the game sound legitimately entertaining rather than shoddy. Your vocabulary keeps the review from going dry, and the piece doesn't linger overmuch on a single concept. It has that "almost reads like a blog entry" quality to it, but definitely qualifies as a sound critique of a fun, challenging and infuriating game. I couldn't help thinking about Devil Daggers the whole time, too.

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That's it. The only thing I'm going to mention is that I've picked up Dark Souls III, so expect to read some progress blogs on that.

Knock Knock
PC - Steam

Added

- Title: Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle
- Platform(s): PC, Steam
- Verification: http://study-japanese.net/

or

http://store.steampowered.com/app/438270/

Added.

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