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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW -- 15th-21st of Feburay

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 23, 2009 (06:11 PM)
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Iím ill. Iím coughing up a yummy mix of phlegm and blood and it feels like my head is stuffed with wool and razors. Iím ill, yet I do this topic for you, the ungrateful masses. Itís 1am, Iím ill and Iím going to bitch about it.

Thereís a RotW in here somewhere.

One review per person -- just as well as this was a busy arse week -- and staff donít get to play. Even the ill ones. Which consists of me. And OD if senility counts.

Gamestart




WINNER: Red Faction LEWIS

Lewisí review is not one I could probably read in a second review. Itís special because itís a unique effort, but I think the sentiment would flounder if used again.

We know what youíve done; your focus is not so much on the game but, instead, on the experience itself. And it could have been a complete disaster. Though Iím tempted to try and make out it was, Iím felling uncharacteristically kind-hearted towards the person who dumped Last Remnant on me.

I hate you I will is say that itís time you stopped linking to that article, even if I do suspect youíre getting a plug commission, but the review flows along, assimilating points and arguments smoothly, telling the gamer just enough to get a good idea of the game itself and of how itís not actually that great before then prompting a more artistic discussion on how all the disappointment fades away in one potent moment. I should still dock you a place for crying, you big girl.

Dragon Blaze Janus

Janus is still a review-deleting shit. There, I said it.

In fact, he only placed this week so I could say so. I have no feedback to offer on this review as it will be deleted before you see it.

Fine, Iíll point out one typo. ONE!

Ö.Technical Bonus awarded if you manage survive the daunting patternsÖ

Missing word.

The reviewís well put together and your early admittance that youíre far from the genreís best player, while usually a creditability vacuum, works wonders in selling the gameís accessibility. Itís not your most passionate review and Iím not overly sure that the 10/10 is as justified as well as it could be, but itís still a very clever piece of writing; you decided with aspect of the game you wanted to promote and focused on it brilliantly.


Third place was bloody hard. It fell between three reviews:

I started Suskieís Deus Ex: Invisable War review and thought itíd be battling for the top spot, but the review really started to unravel into rambling as it progressed, losing that tight and analysing tone the first half boasted and lapsing into unfortunate irrelevancies. (While Suskieís second best of the week, Rocket, was solid, but felt very formulaic and offered up some transitions that were, frankly, beneath him (So thatís great and everything, but how is the physics engine used in-game? Really? Venter would cringe at that!))

Pickhut produced a typically funny and to-the-point review on killing zombies with slutwear equipped, but I never felt I was learning much more than the very basics of the game. Sure, I assume that itís a very bare-bones game, but the review seems to want to say more but never gets there because you get distracted by another easy tit gag.

Woodhouse takes a hard title to make interesting then does just that with his review for EA Playground and is only hampered really by the awkward subject material. The review is interesting despite being yet another bloody Wii minigame collection, and the analysis dished out evenly, not just a simple list of ďThis is good, this is badĒ

After more deliberation that my ill, ill state really allows, Iím going to go with Woodhouse for third. His review was just as good as the other two but it was that little bit more impressive for being so on a harder subject matter.

Third: EA Playground Woodhouse


Other good reviews included a lengthy return from our second review-deleting shit, Spaceworlder who had an awesome premises for a review, but sadly didnít flesh much out once heíd voiced it. Some other staff guy is up next week, someone healthy and well. Iíd check, but Iím ill, you know.

/gameover


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: pickhut
Posted: February 23, 2009 (06:24 PM)
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In imagination land, I would like to thank EmP for giving me the RotW, and good job on the runner-ups, Janus and Woodhouse.

As for the review, it's as bare bones as it sounds. But I did neglect to mention the environments in the game: all seven of them. There's 20 stages. Seven areas. Uh-huh. Though, I decided to leave that mention out, since it wasn't as bad as the other problems I mentioned.

Thanks for the comments on the review, and congrats to Pi... Lewis.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 23, 2009 (06:50 PM)
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Congrats to the winners. Lewis' was awesome. I'll have to read Janus' sometime... meant to do that today but ran out of time (sorry). I like how EmP handled third place; it really did seem like a tough one.

Haha. I also like how his html got wrecked due to typos and otherwise incompabatability, I guess, since font sizes might not work on forums anymore.


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: joseph_valencia
Posted: February 23, 2009 (06:56 PM)
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Thanks for the shout out, EmP. I promise to post twice as many reviews as I deleted!


Spaceworlder was able to build this sig IN A CAVEÖÖ WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 23, 2009 (08:43 PM)
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Hey, who does the ROTWs? Everyone seems to bitch about them, but I wouldn't mind doing one, if someone wants to trade off.


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 23, 2009 (08:57 PM)
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Staff only, I believe. But I dunno. We've never had freelancers do them... I suppose it wouldn't be unreasonable, though. Ask Jason. =/ Though the staff only thing is kind of tradition... Might be kind of weird if freelancers started doing it all of a sudden.


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: Felix_Arabia
Posted: February 23, 2009 (09:09 PM)
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This was a pretty good week. Congrats to Lewis and the others!


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 23, 2009 (09:40 PM)
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Your criticisms seem a little unwarranted, EmP. I was initially happy to receive a mention, but I didn't place on your list, and you have almost nothing but negative things to say about not one but TWO of my reviews, which makes me wonder why you bothered to mention me at all. I don't believe that you're using RotW as an excuse to criticize me, EmP, but going out of your way in a topic that's supposed to celebrate the week's best reviews to point out what two of my reviews did wrong doesn't sit well with me.

I'm fine with constructive criticism, and I would have been grateful if you'd left those comments on the feedback threads (with a little elaboration, of course, since you haven't actually said anything helpful). Here, it seems out of place. Hopefully you can understand where I'm coming from.

Anyway, congrats to the winners.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 23, 2009 (09:48 PM)
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Yeah, I'm not looking to step on anyone's toes. It's just everyone seems to complain about doing them so much, I'd be willing to help out.


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


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: February 24, 2009 (01:30 AM)
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When I read that sentence I though OK I know he hates me, but there's no typo there! I just couldn't see it. Weird. Anyway, thank you for the mention. I won't be deleting that review because I am perfectly happy with my opinion of the game and the way I expressed it!

I'm not sure what I think about Lewis's review. Definitely the most unique entry of the week, but the way he worked in the NGJ link annoyed me. This is a really, really petty issue, but I remember thinking that it felt a bit false. I know that you're well aware of who wrote about travel journalism to imaginary places, so why can't you just say so!??! Sorry, just ignore me.

ROTW for me was spaceworlder, but I can't argue with this topic. It was very honest and thorough.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: Lewis
Posted: February 24, 2009 (03:37 AM)
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Surprised at the win, not surprised at the feedback comments about the piece. Very grateful for both.

NGJ link was almost a sly nod towards Bow Nigger than anything else. As in, well, read that article here. This was a bit of an homage, to say the least. But I appreciate it maybe looks a bit hackneyed and, since it's in the 'User Reviews' section, I can snip it out, so that's grand.

And it's not a review - which is why I'm somewhat surprised to see it even included in, let alone winning, ROTW. It's one of my silly-essays that I didn't have anywhere else to put. It's certainly an argument that would bomb if used again. It's a one-off.

Suskie's IW review would have been my personal choice. Thoroughly enjoyed reading that one, and agree with absolutely everything, even though I'd draw different conclusions.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2009 (04:50 AM)
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I'd accuse this place of being nought but a hive of ingratitude, but, frankly, I'm over the bloody moon that I'm already well over the reply rate of my last RotW topic. That topic got one reply. Even if most of you are calling for my immediate castration, I honestly appreciate the discussion. These things are hard work, so it's always nice to know people are actually reading and reacting.

I'll keep editing this post to get up to speed on the myraid of hate-filled question shot at me.

Zipp: RotW used to be done by just one person -- honestgamer himself -- but he's since decided that this practise made him too useful and shrugged it off onto the rest of us who provide gruelling free labour. I'll open the discussion here: what are people's thoughts are about allowing willing freelancers, or even people from the userbase to do RotW slots? Frankly, I have no real problem with it -- just because we're on staff doesn't mean we're any better writers and/or critics than the rest of you, but would you feel it lost something if we started letting it fall out of ranks?

As for the complaining, the vast bulk of it is in jest.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 24, 2009 (07:05 AM)
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I don't think it's unreasonable to ask a guy to elaborate when he's offered criticism, but it's your decision. More on topic, I'm kind of neutral about non-staff members doing RotW and will go with what everyone else decides.


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


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: February 24, 2009 (08:14 AM)
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My instinct would be to stick with a rota, but open a topic that lets freelancers or respected users (by that I mean the entire community) volunteer to do a particular week. I get the feeling that staff sometimes see ROTW as an obligation that they don't particularly enjoy or are unable to fulfill until late into the week (for whatever reason). If there was a topic for them to say, I don't fancy doing it this week, any volunteers? then I think it would keep things interesting for both users and staff. In my idealistic imagination, user involvement might break the tendency to see ROTW as almost a routine chore and therefore inspire the sort of discussion/response we're seeing this week on a regular basis.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2009 (08:23 AM)
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Mike: I understand where you're coming from re Emp's comments (ie unsolicited criticism), but I don't quite think he's said "almost nothing" positive. He said the first review looked to be vying for top spot but got bogged down in the second half, and the second review was more consistent but had some abnormally weak transitions. Not as harsh as your response would seem to indicate.

That being said, I've often wondered if are are doing too much critiquing in this topic, which, as you say, was meant to be a celebration of greatness, not a checklist of supposedly required improvements. I found myself doing a bit too much criticizing, thinking that the writers might appreciate a bit more feedback than just "hey great job, YOU WIN, PERFECT!"

But -- and this cleverly ties itself to the topic of whining RotW-staffers -- it occurred to me that writers who are mentioned in RotW really aren't looking for feedback so much as a pat on the back for a job well done. I say this because there is so little discourse occurring in these topics. I imagine the winners checking the topic, sitting back smiling at their placement, and moving on. I rather doubt there is much call for "what SPECIFICALLY do you think I did well there?" or "how do you think I could tighten things up even more?" to be answered.

This is probably one of the reasons for the RotW-ers swallowing so much of what tastes like gall -- we (probably) incorrectly approach these topics as if we're judging a tourney, offering up thought out insight when it's not required, requested or appreciated.

In the old days at GameFAQs, Fact and I would just list winners with little or no commentary added. The response volume was the same as now.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 24, 2009 (08:44 AM)
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I guess that's because RotW is itself an ongoing contest, one in which all users are automatically participants whether they want to be or not. As I said, there are feedback topics, and there's rarely anything that can be said in RotW that wouldn't also belong in one of those. I'd say you've summed up RotW perfectly -- a nice little pat on the back and the chance to have one of your reviews listed as featured.

On that note, I guess my issue with my mention this week was that EmP never specifically mentioned what was good about either of those reviews, while he was happy to specify what wasn't. It was as if he was saying, "Oh, by the way, I was briefly considering giving Suskie a spot here, except not really, because here's what was wrong with his reviews." I don't want EmP to feel obligated to bring me up just because I subbed four reviews in one week. If none of them were good enough to earn a mention, then so be it.

I'm probably making too big a deal out of this, as I usually do. I don't want this to become a big thing so that's the last I'll say about it.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 24, 2009 (08:44 AM)
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Edit: Hooray for double posts.


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 24, 2009 (08:52 AM)
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I actually find Masters' point as kind of depressing. I value the feedback I receive in RotW, especially when no one bothers to make a topic about my review in the first place. And really, feedback in general for reviews is rare, even on the feedback topic (also depressing), so I take any opportunity that grants me feedback gratefully. But I guess that's just me.


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: Masters (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2009 (09:24 AM)
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Mike, I'm going to tell you something which may come as a surprise to you. But, I think the reason there wasn't much raving about the positives in your review is because you are already a well respected writer.

As much as it may be a bummer, nobody raves much about stuff a great reviewer is doing well because they always do those things well and the perception is that they already know it.

Sad, I know.

But I think I would have done the same thing in terms of balancing good-to-bad delineation (had I actually read this batch of your work). It sorta goes like this: "Same great stuff we normally expect from Suskie, but ODDLY, some parts weren't as good as normal, SUCH AS BLANK AND BLANK."

So the good stuff is a given. Count yourself (un)lucky when you've reached that level of being taken for granted.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2009 (09:53 AM)
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Suskie: I understand where youíre coming from, especially (despite your disclaimer) as these comments are from me in the first place, so I'll expand. By the time I'd decided on who was going to get the top two places, I was hacking up blood, distracted by the Rapelay user review dramabomb unfolding elsewhere constantly plagued by WQ's never-ending AIMS and it was 1am. Therefore, and as I was commenting on three reviews for a place rather than the usual one, I made things more brief than perhaps I should have done.

Originally, I had started collecting the reviews I needed to read from the reviews link in the sites top-most toolbar. Give it a click, and you'll see that half of the reviews subbed to site do not appear on the list. This caught me unaware and, by the time I had realised this, I'd already starting writing out the critique for Rocket, which I thought was your best of the ones that did turn up there. I threw in the bit I did so as not to waste the time, but the dig was meant more playfully than you've obviously taken it.

As for the Deus review, I thought it started brilliantly, but then degraded as it went on, loosing focus and spilling out into looser observations and an almost-jarring change of tone. I mentioned the review because I really did have a lot of trouble trying to decide which of the three mentioned reviews should get third spot and, because if I was a sloppy sell-out, would have happily thrown it down as a three-way tie. I didn't, because it would have been lame, but I still wanted you and Pick to know how very close it was in my mind.

Still, I'm not in agreement that RotW should be only sunshine and rainbows, and it's not something (on my rounds, at least) that should ever become a pandering arse-pat topic filled with cheesy grins and thumbs up. You're probably right; I should have either said and done more for you, Pick and Woody or not bothered at all, but you're far from the only one I criticised. Lewis won, but I still told him his link was cringeworthy and I was hardly overflowing with glitter-sparkled praise for Janus' effort, either. I'm not out to get you -- any of you -- but I'm not going to ignore flaws just because some people seem to think this topic should only view the prettier side of the coin.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 24, 2009 (10:22 AM)
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Okay, thanks for the clarification, and just to reiterate, I didn't take this as a personal attack or anything -- I would have said something if this topic had been written by someone else. I frankly find criticism a lot more helpful than praise and I'm in no way retaliating for you having issues with those reviews, I just felt the way you phrased it in this topic (added with the fact that I didn't win anyway, thus making my mention altogether kind of pointless) was a bit puzzling.

I don't think RotW topics should ignore the flaws of the winning reviews either, but I also don't think this is the place to bring up the reviews you want to criticize for no particular reason, which is what this felt like until you explained.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 24, 2009 (01:16 PM)
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I'm with WQ on this one. Feedback can be pretty rare in the forums. Sometimes I submit user reviews just so they can be entered into ROTW and then have a better chance at gaining some notice.

EDIT: To go further on this, I would say that once feedback occurs, it comes in droves. But it's hard to start that flow.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: February 25, 2009 (11:06 AM)
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I'd accuse this place of being nought but a hive of ingratitude, but, frankly, I'm over the bloody moon that I'm already well over the reply rate of my last RotW topic. That topic got one reply. Even if most of you are calling for my immediate castration, I honestly appreciate the discussion.

1. I've been calling for your immediate castration for far, far longer than since you did this RotW. We're talking a good few years.

2. My last RotW only got one reply, too. I now see what I must do to get the number of comments I deserve. I'll be going Andrew "Dice" Clay on some poor soul who submits during my next week!


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


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