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Forums > Contributor Zone > MOTO 2......RESULTS!

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2009 (01:00 PM)
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Before entering THE VERDICT ZONE, a brief word from the judges about OBSCURANCY.

Bloomer: Googling a game offers one way to help assess OBSCURANCY. So in the OBSCURANCY section for each review, I list how many 10-result pages of google came up for that title before google decided results had run out, or were repeating themselves, or I decided the results had started to be significantly about something else. The lower the google number you see with your review, the more it probably helped your cause of OBSCURANCY.

OD: I do things in a much less scientific way than my Australian counterpart. My grade is half based on my personal knowledge of the game and half based on a brief check of a place like Wiki, to see if the game has its own page and how detailed it might be. You know, just to make sure you don't get a great score because you fooled me. Despite what you all have been led to believe, I'm not 100 percent all-knowing......yet.

TEAM WQ'S DREAM HAREM!

(1) WolfQueen: Kouryuu Densetsu Villgust Gaiden: NES (1993)

OVERDRIVE: You gave yourself a bit of a challenge here, as you immediately go through a laundry list of undesirable elements in this game.....and then get to work on redeeming it with an in-depth analysis of the fighting system. You might have been helped a bit because I've played this game a little bit and know what you're saying. It is fun fighting the enemies and that can carry the game and, in fact, has to carry the game. Extra props go to you for highlighting the positives of the equipment shop. One thing I think we've gotten spoiled by is how the games of today give you all the info you might want about a piece of equipment and how it compares to what you're using. Back in the NES days, that was a rarity and the only indication of an item's quality was simply its cost (which wasn't always accurate, as there were many poor weapons that simply had a secondary use, such as casting a weak spell or inflicting status ailments, that were super-expensive). So mentioning a small detail like this was a positive.

I'd say I have two qualms about this review. First, to me, if I have to go to a FAQ to find out little things like where I'm supposed to go because the game does nothing to explain it AND it's nowhere near even remotely logical or obvious.....that's a real problem in either the game's design or the translator's efforts that I think deserves a bit more condemnation than simply a cheerful, "That's what FAQs are for!" Possibly more serious of a concern is the conclusion. First off, a question about the second sentence. Did you mean to say that you basically ONLY are fighting stronger versions of old enemies by about the halfway point? Because I'm cool with that, but as written, it sounds like you're saying that you aren't even getting stronger enemies by this point and basically play through half the game with the exact same foes, which (in my eyes) would make the game really easy down the stretch — which would just add to the list of flaws. Speaking of that list, I don't know that reminding the reader of them down the stretch is such a great idea. You'd done this great job of selling me on the positives of the game, but then came right back and reminded me of its flaws. I can understand the desire to tie everything up, but I think mentioning the plot is "quite unintelligible and nonsensical" is a pretty strong statement that outweighs the more positive concluding sentences and detracts from the overall positive sentiment of the review.

76/100

BLOOMER:This review gets off to a troublingly confusing start. Precarious use of 'its', dangling participles and an ostensibly curious choice of initial direction (though which makes more sense once you continue) make a bumpy story bumpier. I just rolled back and forth over paragraphs one and two until I knew what was happening. For onlookers, it's about a Japanese RPG that was made into an animation which made more sense than the game. We can understand (sorry Sashanan) why when we learn that WQ is playing a fan translation.

Paragraph three covers all of the plot and event action in the game via the humour of bewilderment, like a less extreme version of part of WQ's Mother review. Paragraph 3 was entertaining to the extent I found I missed all this plot talk when the rest of the review was about battle mechanics. However, the rest of the review was also sharp, with good examples, comparisons to other games and... just, it was good.

It's probably churlish to say 'by paragraph 10 I was missing paragraph 3' in a ten paragraph review. You know, I think the human mind can handle this kind of thing. But this is a review comp and I'd still have liked a more interwoven structure. And the start of this review is rocky.

68/100

OBSURANCY:

OVERDRIVE: This is a tough one for me. I reviewed a SNES RPG Villgust (teeth gnashing ever so slightly at remembering that) and have played this game a bit, so it's not obscure to me. However, in the grand scheme of things, it is an action-RPG that never was brought to America and never has gotten the "WHY THE EFF NOT?!?!?" fan outcry that other titles have. So you get +6.

6/10

Bloomer: (Google: 20)

Or, 'So, you reviewed a game from Japan.' Well the bad news for you re: me is that we Australians, or AustralASIANs, basically live in Japan. But I have nowhere else to go with that.

Fans have translated this game. Fans implies community, community implies anti-obscurity. There's also a cartoon. Due to the difficulty of convincing myself either way here, combined with my minor optimism, I bequeath you the microscopically hopeful score of 3.

3/10

(2) EMP: Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou: Genesis (1988)

Bloomer: Emp has a good way with the funny misdirections and amusing mucking around with English. A review of this very strange platform game turns out to be a good venue for his way.

From paragraph four onward, we enter the 'sightly tour of the game' mode of reviewing. This will supply all of your weird game imagery needs until Christmas, and there's no shortage of playing with language. In serious terms of 'IS THIS REVIEW EDUCATING ME?', its structure actually looks more artful on a re-read, when it becomes apparent that all areas of gameplay are attended to one at a time – first there's a sample of game, then there's what the baddies look like, then there's the mechanics of health and fighting, and then there's the structure of the game's worlds. The reason I didn't notice all this at first was that I think the review drifts a bit into one of the danger zones of the tourism style, which is accumulated repetitiveness. No matter what is being talked about, there's always another vivid aside to 'a chubby, floating Buddha with a love of dripping lightning', etc. The constant list of sights, regardless of context, starts to make all the contexts feel similar.

This is not a huge issue in an entertaining and thorough review with some Emp-flavoured humour.

79/100

OVERDRIVE: You open with a nice whimsical introduction, reminding us that your muscles and bones do seem to be made of paper mache or soggy cardboard and then go into reviewing a nice whimsical game in a nice whimsical fashion. This is one of those games where I was reading your "out there" descriptions of various enemies......and then I'd look at a screenshot and be like, "Welp, he did a pretty good job of describing it.", which is noteworthy because when you mention things like the caveman's tragic fishing accident, it sounds too over-the-top exaggerated to be realistic.....until I see the pic.

I would say, though, that at times I felt too much attention was being given to those eloquent (but factual) descriptions and not enough to your actual purpose in the game. The genre seems to be "adventure" and you walk around fighting weird enemies in what seems to be a non-linear world, but other than that, I must admit a certain amount of cluelessness as to what's going on. Or maybe that's all there is to the game. Or maybe you'd have to be familiar with the manga. I didn't know before reading this review and I don't know afterwards. Which, to me, makes this a very well-written review with vivid descriptions, witty lines (like the aside about drawing a better cast yourself in MS Paint) and engaging personality......that just needs a bit more actual factual stuff about the game, itself.

84/100

OBSCURANCY:

Bloomer: (Google: 13)

The freak show of Osomatsu was a day one launch game for the Japanese Genesis. That's kind of an impressive fact. I am then impressed that in spite of this fact, the world at large doesn't know about the game. Emp has cleverly exploited the vicissitudes of history by choosing a game that appears to be genuinely obscure, yet was a launch title (albeit a really weird one) and became obscure in spite of it. By the rules I get to invent on the fly as I dole out these obscurity points, Emp's choice of game was as crafty as could be, and I must award 10 points to Gryffindor... I mean, Emp.

10/10

OVERDRIVE: I'm really gnashing my teeth right now. I've never heard of this game, nor the anime. When I went to Wiki, typing in "Osomatsu-kun" only directed me to a very brief description of the anime (WHICH IS OLDER THAN ME, YOU BASTARD!!!!) with no mention of the game. If I really wanted to be petty, I could try to detract points because of my uneducated guess that hordes of Japanese children were shown the manga by their parents in the late 80s/early 90s, making this game beloved by an entire generation of gamers who have chosen to keep it their secret. And I really want to. But I can't. Grrrr.....

10/10

TEAM CARDBOARD BOXES
(1) turducken: Sheep: GBA (2002)

BLOOMER: Extremely funny review. In fact it has been a long time since I read any review this consistently funny. And what's best about it is that it doesn't go off on a bunch of extended forced tangents to wallow in the alternate reality view of the game it constructs as it reviews it, it just keeps building it up side-by-side with the real thing, until Jan is a given.

The age old question of how valid is it to beef up reviews of simple or cruddy games (Sheep is the former) with a lot of humour may be relevant here, but if you are as ultimately successful at it as this, that is the best way to deal with such questions.

87/100

OVERDRIVE: First, the reference to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" was very witty. As was much of the review, although at times I felt like I was reading the ramblings of a crack addict in desperate need of fix. You kinda toed the line of awesomeness and over-the-top, but only stumbled to over-the-top a handful of times, with my only real complaint as far as that goes being that it took you an eternity to say anything tangible about the game because you're in this stream-of-conscious mode where you're going on and on about whatever you're seeing on the screen. I, not playing the game and just reading your descriptions, was in "nod politely and hope things pick up" mode for a little bit.

Overall, though, I really do have high praise for this review. You took a chance with your reviewing style and, for the most part, it really paid off. After reading this review, I don't think I could stomach reading one for this game with a serious tone to it. The confusion on who "Sheepman" is, the evil that is Jan, the awesome concept of French sheep Legionnaires. I had fun reading this.

88/100

OBSCURANCY:

OVERDRIVE: Another tricky one for me. You got me with this one, but I tend to ignore games of this sort more often than not. It's been released on multiple platforms, though, and Capcom did the GBA version. It seems this is a fairly obscure game connected to a big company, so while you don't get killer points for it, I do deem ye as worthy of a positive score.

2/10

BLOOMER: (Google: 15, surprisingly low for a Capcom game.)

Bloomer's Assessment: 'Sheep.' The title is boring and sheep are common in the world. This game is also the work of Capcom, who are largeish. In its favour, I haven't heard of it, and it pulled less google results than a fan-translated Japanese videogame from 1993. Again, these are some tentative pointers to obscurity, but with a title as bland as 'Sheep', I'm not sure this game can ever be truly obscure.

-4/10

(2) Will Roy: Sword of the Stars Ultimate Collection: PC (2009)

OVERDRIVE: You did something here I really liked — an overview of what exactly these 4X games are. I think I read one of your strategy reviews for some reason or another once and found it a bit inaccessible for me, as I was being overwhelmed by jargon and stuff with no inherent knowledge of what you were talking about. Here, I got a nice tutorial into what this game's about. Think of it as "4X Strategy for Dummies" with me being the dummy in this case. When it's a highly complicated, in-depth sort of game, it's always good to help the reader out, which you did here. And you made this seem like a very rich game, loaded with replay value due to the six races, each with their own style.

It's actually kinda weird reading this right after your teammate's review, as the styles couldn't be more different. While I would have liked for Turducken to cut down on the chatter a few times, I think I would have liked for you to have a bit more chatter just to lighten the feel of the text. I can't speak for other readers (who may be more of a fan of this sort of game than me), but I found myself stopping to re-read a paragraph frequently just to make sure I grasped what you were saying. It was all very good and all.....but maybe not as smoothly-flowing as it could be. To give one example, take your warship-designing paragraph. You spend a lot of it rattling off these fancy names of parts that fit into the various types of ships which made my head spin a bit. It might have worked better to simply allude to how there are many different sorts of ships and then describe a couple of ships that you might be able to create. That would give the reader a bit more of a connection to what you're writing instead of just getting these lists of things that fit under "Command" or "Mission".

81/100

BLOOMER: A good play for nerd/obscurity points is made in the opening paragraph:

'Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection is what MoO3 should have been.'

This is an effortless-seeming review of high quality control in all the areas of structure, grammar and delivery. The intro is great for nerd and noob alike. Game mechanics may seem a little fully described to the casual passer by, but this is the stuff you need to know about to distinguish your strategy games. There's no mess, no fuss and it's all on mission, whether or not it has the fun or spectacle of some other entries in this comp.

89/100

OBSCURANCY:

OVERDRIVE: Let's see. Seems to be a big-time strategy game. Think it was focused on our site for a bit. Huge Wiki page about it. And it's brand spanking new. The reason I LOVED the idea of judging this contest was solely in the hopes that someone would try sneaking in a game I would never consider obscure, so EVIL OD could be unleashed. You get a bit of positive since it is a bit obscure to me because I don't delve into the genre, but the rest is ALL NEGATIVE! BAHAHAHA!!!!!!

-8/10

BLOOMER: (Google: 30)

This is a brand new, well-lit game. MINUS 9!!!

-9/10

TEAM IMPERIAL SCARSCALPS

(1) Sashanan: Hoosier City - Assault of the Orcs: PC (1992)

BLOOMER: The game sounds like silly-ish, amiable fun. Its name is definitely silly. Tonally, the review is a good match for such content, expressing surprise and turning around occasionally to deal with each new bit of frippery the game throws up. The list of the game's weapons and their diminishing returns is pretty funny. Maybe the shareware and series information could be alluded to at the start. It seems it might help explain some of the game's nature.

82/100

OVERDRIVE: Seems like a fun, quirky title, highlighted by (as you phrased it) "the rule of cool". I enjoyed this review a lot, as you made the most of this title's quirkiness. You did a great job of weaving together the game's pros and cons, too....to the point, I had to read the review twice to catch everything — both because I'm notoriously bad at focusing on what I'm reading and because you were very subtle about mentioning some things, such as how the game is very linear.

It's really hard for me to find much to criticize about this review. There's a nice low-key sense of humor about the proceedings with nice little lines like how moving up to the pistol isn't the surprise you make it seem like because the room's called "home of the pistol keeper". Like Wade said, you could have mentioned how the game is shareware earlier on, but I think that would have taken away from how good things worked out. You painted a tale of this quirky, fun-sounding game.....and then mentioned it was shareware as a way to help explain some of the quirky things you mentioned. It was a nice, effective way of essentially keeping the review flowing.

91/100

OBSCURANCY:

BLOOMER: (Google: 5)

Why didn't more people review shareware? I'm giving an 8 for Hoosier City. Even though it appears to be empirically more obscure than Emp's choice, Emp wielded more cunning.

8/10

OVERDRIVE: Fun Fact: If you look up Hoosier City on Wiki, you get a very short article and two of the three sources quoted are Sash's GFAQ review and FAQ of this game. Just part of the advantage of picking a shareware title.

9/10

(2) ASchultz: Super Black Onyx: NES (1988)

BLOOMER: In a bound we go from the dumbest named game in the comp to the coolest sounding. Not that you can gain or lose points for that.

This is a dense review with a complex and ultimately rewarding argument to make about the game's goodness in the context of this kind of RPG. Nobody reading this would doubt the author knows his way through this genre from front to back. If anything, they may stumble a little in all the mechanical details of the first half. Those details don't fail to impress, but I felt I would have liked to have seen some of the positive conclusions of the review drawn back through its length, rather than having a kind of chronological trip through the game as it fell, then the wider ideas all towards the end. You will still come away from this review with more specific knowledge of this game than the vast majority of folk are able to convey in their reviews of Japanese 8-bit RPGs.

85/100

OVERDRIVE: I struggled to get into this review, but it was a pretty rewarding read once I did. I think you mentioned somewhere, perhaps in one of the TT threads, about your tendency to get a bit FAQ-ish in your reviews and that was a bit of an issue here, especially in the early paragraphs. I'd say you might have gone a bit overboard with going into detail on how to obtain gold and improve characters, but after you started talking about the tower itself and its design and monsters, things picked up.

I'd say my main critique would be that when you're writing a review and it's getting longish, to look at what parts may not be so essential to be described in detail. I'd say the first half of this game could easily be trimmed down, which would have made this a bit easier of a read. Still, this sounds like an intriguing game and after you got into more of the actual exploration/gameplay aspects of it, your review really picked up.

72/100

OBSCURANCY:

BLOOMER: (Google: 28) (page 29 is about the SUPER BLACK ONYX Sunbed Cream Tanning Lotion or something)

Bloomer's Assessment: Strong google presence indicates a lot of Japanese support for this game, even if most of us have never heard of it. With not much else to go on, I'm gonna have to slide to the centre of the dial.

0/10

OVERDRIVE: Hmmm....I'm not particularly familiar with it. Wiki has a short article saying that it originated on the NEC PC-8801 and was ported to "several other systems", apparently the Sega SG-1000, MSX, NES and Game Boy Color. I'm of the opinion this game may have had a certain degree of Japanese popularity, but never became known worldwide. So a good choice. Not a great one, but a good one.

4/10

TEAM SPOILER

(1) Zigfried: Dark Spire: DS (2009)

OVERDRIVE: This review is just the sort of thing I'd expect from Zig in a competition — something that has all the bits of fundamental knowledge a reader might expect to read, but in an entertaining, unique way. Zig has a knack for catching onto little things about games that a casual player might not deem as important......and running with them to the point where if you play the game, those things will be at the forefront of your mind. Here, the object is the game's humor. When I think "level grinding, dungeon crawling monolith of a game", I don't think about all the laughs that await me. But by just focusing on a couple of early game examples, you've suddenly added a good deal of appeal to this game — which, considering your high rating for it, I could easily assume was your goal.

But one of the most impressive things about this review is that while you might use the bulk of its length for a discussion of its humor and other little observations and humorous comments (alas, poor RUDER....), when it comes time to get into the nuts-and-bolts, you do so with amazing efficiency. In college, I took a course on feature writing where one of the key things the professor talked about was "tightening" — essentially the practice of trimming all unnecessary words to make your points without any fluff. Your next-to-the-last paragraph where you discuss the dungeon and what you do inside of it: a perfect example of a tight paragraph that gives a ton of fundamental knowledge without bloating the review with long-winded descriptions. Earlier paragraphs where you talk about the early stages of dungeon exploration and unlocking class seamlessly weaved knowledge about the gameplay with a conversational style.

About the only thing I could find any fault with was that your paragraph about how the game's also creepy seemed a bit abrupt.....like you wanted to make a point, but weren't sure how to tie it back into the review, so you ended it with a hammer-smashing line and then jumped to your description of the Spire. But I don't know if that's a real problem or just me being desperate to find something to criticize. Sterling effort here.

96/100

BLOOMER: I had read this review prior to the competition, and was surprised that the trick turnabout after the poker-faced opening tricked me a second time. I understand that potentially makes me a fool, what with the whole review being predicated on a liking of this kind of game. Anyway... This is fine reviewery. It has a little schtick and a humourous story to draw you in. It reviews two versions of this game for the price of one and compares their effect. It drops examples from all areas of the game throughout the writing, which is free to follow chronology, mechanics or ideas as it sees fit. It is a pleasure to read and makes me want to buy a DS to play the game, even though that will certainly not happen. And for superb writing housekeeping (EG bulletproof sense, grammar, punctuation et al) there are only a few competitors.

93/100

OBSCURANCY:

OVERDRIVE: But things kinda go wrong for you here. Maybe in 10-15 years, we'll all look at this game as "obscure", but The Dark Spire is a 2009 American release (2008 Japanese) for the DS. I'd guess it's obscure as far as current American releases go, but any media coverage it will get, it's been getting in recent times, which doesn't currently make it obscure in my book. If it'd been a couple years older (like say, the GBA's Mazes of Fate), I'd be a bit more lenient.....it's just hard to call a game obscure before it's gotten proper time to fall into obscurity.

-5/10

BLOOMER: (Google: 64)

Anecdotally I would say this is less populist than a Sword of the Stars, but it's both new (you didn't fool me with that 'Way back in April 2009, when the world was young' business) and sports stronger google presence than any other game chosen for this competition. MINUS 8!!!

-8/10

(2) Janus A Fading Melody: Xbox 360 (2009)

BLOOMER: I didn't realise Janus went in for these psychological shenanigans. Anyway, the sophistication of Janus' writing is definitely up to the task with this game, going to great lengths to make sure its thematic/action relations are clearly described. This is always a difficult area in reviewing. It's easy to fail to get this kind of message across, but in the striving for it, it's also easy to just go too hard and ossify your point so that the people who can follow it end up getting sick of it before you're done. This review is done before the second thing happens, and gets to feel denser and longer than it really is for its pains.

Btw, what's wrong with beholders being in girls' dreams? They're like 100 eyes and phallic symbols combined.

88/100

OVERDRIVE: Pretty stylish review here that really intrigued me, especially since I've never really paid attention to the whole "community games" part of XBox Live. This was an interesting review for me to read and a tricky one to critique just because of what sort of game it is — a traditional platformer with a sort of avant-garde artistic side to it and that delves into psychology; not necessarily the sort of thing I necessarily expect to read and comment on. Fortunately for me, you did everything you could to make the critiquing part easy.

I really liked the way you weaved the ingredients of this game together, making a smooth-flowing review that covered all the bases with a sort of simple eloquence that makes this game sound very artistic and intriguing. I don't know that there's any one part of it that sticks out in my mind as particularly witty, but the review as a whole just worked. Kind of a "the whole was greater than the sum of its parts" sort of thing.

91/100

OBSCURANCY:

BLOOMER: (Google: 20)

As noted with Emp's review, strong weirdness in a game within a reasonably popular context can help create a trendy feel of OBSCURANCY. Still, I am suspicious of the obscurity of anything with an XBOX logo attached.

Look at this way – without thinking, what's more obscure, 'A Fading Memory' or 'Super Black Onyx?' The answer is: 'Duh! Super Black Onyx', so you can't score above an already cruelly delivered zero, and did in fact score:

-2/10

OVERDRIVE: I am totally hating you right now. I fashion a way to determine obscurity that I'm cool with (regardless of how anyone else feels) and you find a loophole that means I'll find myself going against it. No Wiki page for this game. I've never heard of it. BUT, it's new and according to my comments to Will and Zig, it's hard to credit a game as obscure when it hasn't had time to fall into obscurity. Hell, a few months from now, this game might win some huge "indy designing" award that sets up the designer for fame and fortune and leaves this title recognized as a cult classic. But also, like Sash, you were wise to essentially review a shareware title, which tend to be very obscure simply because, well, they're shareware. Many conflicting messages......the voices won't stop....

3/10

SPECIAL NOTE BY OVERDRIVE:
Felix requested that his team not be included. That is being respected.......except that I'm docking his partner 15.4 BILLION points of OBSCURANCY for picking Super Mario Kart 64. That is all.

TEAM MAKESHIFT

(1) Suskie: Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat: PC (2007)

OVERDRIVE: Interesting little review. At first, I wasn't particularly enamored by how you started a short review about one game by spending a paragraph talking about another.....but you quelled my reservations by instantly tying things together by illustrating how being proficient at a standard FPS sort of game makes it hard to adjust to one striving for total realism.

I think what I liked most about it was the aura of knowing what you're talking about when it comes to this sort of game, which is most highlighted by describing the "sniper crowd" of the online shooter players and how this game is essentially designed for them. Since I've not gotten into playing these games online, that provided some good information to me into a certain type of player in them, leading me to more easily grasp the points you were making.

If there was one thing I can safely say I didn't like, it would probably be the conclusion, which felt a bit indecisive to me. I can understand wanting the reader to form their own opinion on the game, but with a review being an opinion piece, I'd want to read more about your opinion of the game. I know from this review that you suck at the game, I know the nuts and bolts of how it compares to other online FPS games and I know you gave it a 7, so you personally must have some enjoyment of it. But with a conclusion that simply states you give a cautioned recommendation and urge me to reach my own conclusion about the game — to me, that's kind of a letdown. A good review, but one where I'd have preferred a stronger ending.

85/100

BLOOMER: A gripping review for anyone. If you don't know what it's about, that's okay, as Suskie takes the guiding role of the guy who isn't very good at this game in spite of knowing everything about the world it's a part of.

86/100

OBSCURANCY:

OVERDRIVE: A Half-Life 2 source port online shooter that, according to Wiki, received two "Mod of Year" awards in 2007. When OD thinks in third-person about obscure games, OD doesn't think about this.

-8/10

BLOOMER: (Google: 47)

It's hard to be a very obscure game when servers all over the place are hosting online games of you. This is ironic considering this game is mostly about trying to be inconspicuous.

-6/10

(2) darketernal Dreamweb: PC (1994)

BLOOMER: Excellent and involving review that also makes me curious to try this game. The intro grants a bit of a voice of authority (not a schizophrenic voice telling you to kill) and the rest follows the fascinating ideas of the game to conclusion. With good subject matter like this, the main thing you want to do is successfully get it across, and that's what this review does. There are a few little typos/glitches, but nothing huge.

86/100

OVERDRIVE: Writing-wise, this is a very good review. As a pure review, it's kind of lacking, though. I know about Ryan and his mental state and his quest, which may just be insane delusions. I don't know little things like how gameplay is done (do you control Ryan with action-packed shootouts, or is this more of a cerebral thing where by making the right choices, everything just sort of falls into place).

Maybe this is a game where the focus is on the storyline and Ryan's journey to kill the "evils", but it'd have been real nice to have more insight on the game itself, instead of just the plot. In the end, that makes me intrigued by this game, but intrigued in the "want to read more to fill in the blanks" way than intrigued in the "I gotta play this!" way.

73/100

OBSCURANCY:

BLOOMER: (Google: 15ish...)

darketernal had the chutzpah to tell me early in his/her review that it was for a game I'd never heard of, and that I was poorer for my lack of acquaintance with it. I admired darketernal's moxy and responded slavishly.

6/10

OVERDRIVE: While there is a decently detailed Wiki page on this game, the lack of any sources attributed makes me think an isolated fan of the game decided to type up a summary of the plot as well as an overview of the game. I also have never heard of this title, meaning you were correct in your assumption in the review.

5/10

TEAM RESULTS
Zig-n-Janus: 356
Sash-n-Schultz: 351
WQ-n-EmP: 336
Suskie-n-DE: 327
Turducken-n-Will: 326

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (base review +/- OBSCURANCY = final score)
Sashanan: 173 + 17 = 190
EmP: 163 + 20 = 183
Janus: 179 + 1 = 180
Zigfried: 189 - 13 = 176
Turducken: 175 - 2 = 173
Dark Eternal: 159 + 11 = 170
ASchultz: 157 + 4 = 161
Suskie: 171 - 14 = 157
WolfQueen: 144 + 9 = 153
WilltheGreat 170 - 17 = 153

Any math errors should be reported to me. I'm really dumb with numbers, so that's not beyond the realm of comprehension.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: aschultz
Posted: June 18, 2009 (01:26 PM)
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Congratulations to the winners! Congratulations to my teammate, too, for topping the list and for getting me to play Hoosier City and putting out a great review despite time constraints. And to the judges, for expediently making insightful insights to every review contributed. And to everyone else, including EmP for thinking this up.

What's frustrating is, I deliberately looked for what was FAQ-ish, and I -missed- it, or all the details I saw seemed very important to me. I suppose I there's still some work for me to figure how to render unto the FAQ gods that which is FAQ-ish, and render unto the review gods that which is review-ish. The team tourney will provide me with a few more chances to separate these things.

And as much as I try to make the review about the game, and what to know about it, I'm conscious that it bends back around to The Reviewer's Knowledge and away from What Was Just Fun.

Anyway, six...more...points. Perhaps I should have gone in for Airball, an NES proto...regrets...etc.

But not really. This was a lot of fun. I'm already thinking of a MOTO3 title.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: June 18, 2009 (02:19 PM)
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Bloomer, I'm going to have to call shenanigans on your Obscur-O-Meter rating for Sheep. You seem to be giving it a negative rating for two reasons: one, it's a Capcom game, and two the title is boring.

To the first, even big fish like Capcom have games that are obscure, as should be apparent by the fifteen Google results you pulled. The second flags my own Non-Sequit-O-Meter. If the aim of this competition were to pick games with interesting titles such a criticism might be accurate.

Of course, this may just be a misunderstanding on my part, in which case I hope I don't come off sounding like a nickpicker.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or you're masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: darketernal
Posted: June 18, 2009 (02:33 PM)
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Thanks for the fairly quick judging of this competition. All people that are judges in these contests could learn from this.

Also, the only reason the team I was on didn't win is the reason of guilt that can be properly placed on everyone that is not me.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: June 18, 2009 (02:49 PM)
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Willthegreat, I played Sheep for the PSX, and it seems to be the same game, roughly. That doesn't change the review's entertainment value, of course. Just that I think bloomer's assessment was [edit: reasonably--randomness and subjectivity and all] accurate/justifiable.

Edit: I also remember this game too much because KingBroccoli and falsehead both wrote entertaining reviews for it. It's actually the only game I'd played of all the ones in the tourney. Besides mine.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: June 18, 2009 (02:52 PM)
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Ah, well yes, the fact that it's a port/remake would clear that up quite nicely.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or you're masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 18, 2009 (03:01 PM)
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I have to agree with Will on this one. I enjoyed (immensely enjoyed, in fact) the comments from the judges, and everything seemed spot on and good... until I came to the obscurity scoring for Sheep. I can attest that this is an extremely obscure title. I actually recently was at an online convention with several Capcom officials (for Devil's Lair stuff) and asked about this game on a whim, remembering this review... they didn't have any idea what I was talking about.

And lowering it's obscure score because it's about sheep? That'd be like lowering Dark Spire's score because it's about a dungeon crawl.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2009 (04:13 PM)
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Thanks bestowed upon the judges for timely critiques and admitence of my tactical brilliance. Congrats to several of the people who took part and vile threats to others -- the trick is, I'm not revealing who gained what!


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 18, 2009 (05:51 PM)
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Perfectly happy with that result considering the review wasn't written for this comp at all and, frankly, was just a way of knocking that pesky "I" out of the way for the Alpha Marathon. So thanks to the judges for putting up with a game that, let's face it, isn't obscure in the slightest.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2009 (05:52 PM)
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Recounting tales of how you gratuitously spread the name of Sheep to anyone and everyone who would listen does not establish obscurity!

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2009 (06:06 PM)
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PS - Thanks for the prompt judging (buy a DS, Bloomer!) and awarding TEAM SPOILER the victory. Janus and I will proceed to use the trophies as moonshine goblets, because that's how we roll.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: bloomer
Posted: June 18, 2009 (08:21 PM)
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The reviews were of a very high standard, so good work everyone.

Will, I actually had a disclaimer in my intro section saying how arbitrary my obscurity scoring was going to be. Overdrive did not paste it->

--------
EDIT: WHOA! This is untrue. I removed it myself before I sent it to him.

I guess I decided that the tone of the obscurancy assessments was consistently fickle, and was the indication :)

------

I view this tourney as a regular tourney with the obscurancy being an extra fun+danger score component which you agree to when you enter. Sheep may be more obscure than I gave it credit for, knowing zilch about it beforehand, but even after that, people could argue about it and never agree really how obscure it is, as this term is so relative. But I am sorry if I offended your ideas about the status of Sheep. Let them live untouched in your mind forever.


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Author: turducken
Posted: June 18, 2009 (08:38 PM)
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As was much of the review, although at times I felt like I was reading the ramblings of a crack addict in desperate need of fix.

...They're onto me!

As far as the obscurity goes, I saw and said 'hey I've never even heard of that one'. Which is about as complex as my decision making gets. Like hell was I gonna play some wacky J-import! And the game Emp provided for me--while appreciated--I just couldn't get into partly because I didn't find it myself, I think.

Anyways, thanks judges for the judgery, thanks for being entertained, and good on ya to those who won and got higher scores and lower scores and so on.


"My father, the Emperor, had many powers of the Dark Side. But without three eyes he could never achieve perfection." - Trioculus


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: June 19, 2009 (12:41 AM)
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Thanks to the judges and to my teammate. Congrats to the others. But sorry for winning an obscurity contest with reviews for games that really aren't that obscure!


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 19, 2009 (12:47 AM)
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I personally consider Aschultz to be my understudy, whether he likes it or not.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: sashanan
Posted: June 19, 2009 (12:55 AM)
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Congratulations everyone! Issues of obscurity aside, we're looking at overall strong reviews here awarded overall good grades. Also cool to see my choice of game - which was a last minute inspiration - carry my piece to the top. All in all I'm pleased with how it turned out, though some credit must go to my teammate and proofreader. For the record, my review made him play through Hoosier City entirely and then dig into its sequels, while I lasted not five minutes in Super Black Onyx because I couldn't figure out how to harm the first enemy I came across.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: aschultz
Posted: June 19, 2009 (09:26 AM)
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You could argue my FAQ didn't explain things clearly enough...while Sashanan's did. But enough of this backslapping, naw-YOU-the-man-dawgging, and reveling in my highest finish ever. We're rivals now in the team tourney, and that's serious business! I see your teammate is already talking a little trash :). You have no clues of the platforms I will unleash on you, I say!


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: June 19, 2009 (01:00 PM)
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Thanks for judging and congrats to the other winners/participants.

I won't pretend that my review was actually worth anything. It was horrifically rushed and written with the final two hours of internet access in Spain before I had to leave. Therefore it got no editing or even any commentary from anyone, not even my teammate (sorry for disappointing you.)

But to overdrive (or was it bloomer?), I'll clarify. By about halfway through the game (probably a little later; I can't remember exactly, though maybe 2/3 through would be more accurate), you stop fighting new monsters all together. The strongest monster you'll see other than something you've fought would be the recurrence of a boss you'd fought at the beginning of the game that appears as a regular monster.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: sashanan
Posted: June 19, 2009 (02:47 PM)
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We're rivals now in the team tourney, and that's serious business! I see your teammate is already talking a little trash :). You have no clues of the platforms I will unleash on you, I say!

You amuse me, herr Schultz. I'll kill you last.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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