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Forums > Submission Feedback > zigfried's Eternal Poison review

This thread is in response to a review for Eternal Poison on the PlayStation 2. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 01, 2009 (01:23 AM)
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Well, the PS2 is going strong, isn't it? Definitely the best system to ever hit the market.

Unfortunately, I can't quite say the same for your review.

Of course, anything by Zig is bound to be a good read, and this is no exception, but this review lacks so much focus that I spent most of my time rereading the same paragraphs, and ultimately I came away with one big "huh?" An interested huh, to be sure, because you are obviously enthusiastic about the game (and push me ever closer to actually picking it up... at least I love the art style).

But you never really tell me why I should buy it. At least not in a clear fashion.

Your thesis is presented at the end of the review: "Closed minds will find Eternal Poison to be a finely-crafted strategy RPG. Open minds will find a lot more, including fresh takes on familar themes: religion, altruisim, selfishness, and the double-edged nature of justice. I spent a week of vacation playing Eternal Poison"

It's a good thesis. But why put it here? Why not put it at the start instead of the obligatory jail bait thing, and then go on to prove it?

You spend most of the review talking about the mechanics and basically saying that they've been done before. You never say if they've been done better here, or even really if they work in the setting. The biggest problem is you never tell me whether the game is fun to play. You mention 30 minutes per battle... it had better be fun with that kind of time investment! At least... I imagine its an investment... you never really say how many battles you fight, either, or how the game progresses.

Overall, I'm left with a hazy image of a strategy RPG that's much like other strategy RPGs except in its art and dark story. Maybe that's what you wanted me to get, but I think the haze could've been cleared up a bit with a little bit better planning.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: February 01, 2009 (02:57 AM)
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I don't think I had a hazy image, but certainly I recognised a Zig characteristic writing approach to seize a particular moment and revolve around it, irrespective of what you might expect that moment's weight to be in the grander scheme. I don't mean that to sound like a walloping criticism, as Zig usually makes very good of whatever moment or thing he seizes ultimately, even if you don't see it coming. That is one of his skills. I'm just not sure he did in this review. You know, a joke about jailbait is the bookend of the review :) It may be a kind of honesty to say 'I was hung up on how young this hot girl was, but actually this turned out to be a really good game.' But I'm not sure that's what was said? Do these things follow each other? I admit to moderate confusion, but it's not about the game, just about this review.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: February 01, 2009 (09:54 AM)
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Thanks for the feedback.

There are plenty of other games that I'd say have better gameplay -- more classes, more units, more variety in attack styles, etc. But most of those games have little annoyances or gameplay exploits. Noticeable flaws (which may or may not affect overall enjoyment).

Eternal Poison is finely-tuned and really convenient to play. I actually consider 30 minutes to be pretty short for a single battle. It's kind of like a master chef who just dials it in -- you're still going to get a quality meal, because they're just that damn good. The difference here is that I didn't realize Flight Plan had reached that level of expertise. It's a game that is virtually devoid of exploits, bugs, etc -- even though something like Final Fantasy Tactics shows way more ambition, this is more finely honed.

But I wouldn't say EP is "better".

In a weird sense, it sounds like both of you kind of got the ideas that I was trying to present. It is like many other strategy RPGs, except for the art and dark story (and being convenient). It feels like a "cookie cutter" strat-RPG, with "cookie cutter" characters intended to prey on gamer fetishes... but it's so damn well built, that I know it's unusual for that alone. And after initially shaking my head at some of the silly details, I was surprised by how interesting the story ended up being.

Sounds like I could focus those points better. I'll revisit the review later on sometime with a clear head, and hopefully... clarify! Hell, I may even end up pasting in parts of this response ;)

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: February 01, 2009 (01:26 PM)
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I made a few updates. I think the end result is quite a bit more focused -- I'm much happier with it now than I was yesterday. Hopefully others agree :)

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: bloomer
Posted: February 01, 2009 (05:42 PM)
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Yeah I detect a few nicer transitions. I also detect the new absence of the word jailbait, which was kinda too flip/distracting a last note for me.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: October 08, 2009 (12:19 AM)
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Hey Zig, I wanted to thank you for recommending this game. Despite the fact I offered critique on the review, you actually convinced me back then to pick the thing up and I did so not a week after reading this.

I just got the first chance to play it a couple weeks ago and I'm having a ball. The game got panned by most gamers, so if it hadn't been for your review I never would've gone for it. Thanks!


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


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