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Forums > Submission Feedback > sashanan's Moraff's Dungeons of the Unforgiven review

This thread is in response to a review for Moraff's Dungeons of the Unforgiven on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: aschultz
Posted: June 22, 2009 (03:02 PM)
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Sashanan--I enjoyed these 3 reviews, but in #3 I think you got caught up in something I've fallen prey to, mainly that the further I went in reviewing some games in the series, the more I felt obliged to say, because the game -should- be more complex, and the review needs to stand up to that, right? So I think if you get the rewriting bug, that'd be the best one to fix.

You link the game up well with other games in the series, but there's lots of potential to cut stuff down, and I can see a lot of phrases that get reused between the reviews. This is very hard to weed out, because some are at the heart of what the series is about. They have to stay. I'm having a similar problem with the Magic Candle series.

Dunno if I should've emailed this to you, but I'm also curious how other people go approaching reviews of games in a series, what problems they've had, etc. Is it beneficial/detrimental to do things at once? Or even best to enforce a break of a few months?

I'd also be curious if the maps were randomly generated like Moria or not. Maybe each review could compare Moraff to a different series? Many deep dungeon games do generate randomly. Anyway--suggestions below.

Original:

It is obvious after playing Dungeons of the Unforgiven for a while that the main point the game was hoping to address was the lack of challenge in Moraff's World. World was a fine game but for the most part, rather easy to complete. It was occasionally tough to get a new character started, but once you got through the first few levels, you quickly outgrew your enemies, learned some pretty powerful spells and could then zoom through enemies of much higher levels than you, gaining experience at a frightful pace. I frequently would take a lvl 20 character as deep into the dungeon as my Descend magic would let me go, slay a few monsters with direct damage spells, and bug out with Ascend magic when my spell point supply ran low - only to instantly become lvl 40 or 50 after a night at the inn. This was World's only real problem, and Dungeons of the Unforgiven takes several steps to try and address this.

New:

something like

DotU is, like its name, unforgiving. This is probably an overreaction to Moraff's World which is, after some initial troubles, far too generous with levels. As level 20, my character went several levels deeper in the dungeon than last time, used up his kill spells, cast an Ascend spell, and jumped to level 40. In DotU, [next paragraph, cut a bit maybe]

Also, you mention the switch to the first-person view and have a few sentences, but then you say it's only a minor irritation. Your points are convincing, and they flow well, but they dedicate a bit too much time to this minor irritation!


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: sashanan
Posted: June 22, 2009 (11:40 PM)
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I'd have to look up the dates on GameFAQs to make sure, but I think I wrote the Moraff's Revenge review last (despite it being the first game in the series). It probably is also the review that worked out best of the three.

DotU's review leans heavily on the World one, a mistake I've made on other reviews as well. Compare my Phoenix Wright: Justice for All review, which was initially part of a post in a mini-review topic that leaned on reading the one for Ace Attorney first. I added some text to make it stand on its own but as a result it doesn't flow too well now and still feels like it's not quite informative enough.

In both cases it was hard to avoid due to the great similarity between both titles. DotU, especially, feels like a mod of World rather than a new game, whereas Revenge is obviously a different beast.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 27, 2009 (10:55 AM)
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This is a good line:

I frequently would take a lvl 20 character as deep into the dungeon as my Descend magic would let me go, slay a few monsters with direct damage spells, and bug out with Ascend magic when my spell point supply ran low - only to instantly become lvl 40 or 50 after a night at the inn.

It paints a story, and that's what I want. I want to know what kind of stories a game is going to spin for me.

With this review, you really needed to put aside the technicalities and jump right in. Something quick and dirty like

"After having written two of these Moraff Dungeon reviews, games that are so similar in gameplay and presentation that some call them the Mary Kate and Ashley of gaming, you'd expect there'd be nothing more to say. But the latest Moraff game was determined not to be left out, so they messed up a bunch of things."

Obviously not a perfect sentence, but the energy is there. By now we know what Morraf's dungeon is. If you feel the need to reiterate the gameplay, you could even include a transition like

"If you've already read one of my Morraff reviews, skip this next paragraph."

Ultimately, this review says nothing you didn't say in your last review, and that's fine... except that you say it in the same way. It would be better to cut this review down to three or so paragraphs. Start out saying nothing's changed, except for the worse, than go on to bitch about the colour scheme, the gold requirements, and the documentation.

Not only would this make for a more interesting review, it would also encourage readers to check out your other Moraff reviews.


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


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: June 27, 2009 (11:52 AM)
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In reference to the above advice... Referring people to other reviews for essential background information (as opposed to tangential tidbits) is generally considered poor reviewing form; the thought is that a review should stand on its own and provide everything someone needs to know about the game. References to other reviews should be for extra/fun/un-needed information.

I'm not sure that I 100% buy into that school of thought, but in general it makes sense to me.

The trick is to describe similar gameplay in different ways across different reviews, and it's quite a difficult trick, which is why it's tough for one person to review several games in the same series. Heck, even in the same genre.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 27, 2009 (12:10 PM)
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I'm almost always with you on that, Zig. But in this case, where it's a series of reviews on games that are very similar, and in fact the POINT of this review is to say that they haven't changed enough (or changed in the wrong areas) I think it would be very effective.


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 28, 2009 (10:38 AM)
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Bear in mind that we're looking at crossposts from GameFAQs here. Honestgamers tends to allow more leeway in experiments like that - and I do think it would have benefited both these reviews and those for Phoenix Wright - but GameFAQs would likely reject a review that requires the reading of another, even in a scenario where it makes sense to do so (and isn't a lot to ask because the reviews are consequently shorter).

Nonetheless I do appreciate all the feedback I've gotten on the trio of Moraff's reviews. Food for thought if nothing else.


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


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