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Forums > Contributor Zone > TT: WEEK 2 - RESULTS! Blame Lewis!

Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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Author: jerec
Posted: July 06, 2009 (05:38 AM)
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Sorry we're late. I was on time. Don't worry, Lewis. I don't mind. But watch out for that angry mob over there!

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Boo at Felix
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Zig vs. Boo

JEREC: Zig reviews a hentai game, Boo reviews a game where you shoot stuff. Well, actually, it sounds a lot more interesting than that. Zig reviews a hentai game which actually does seem like a decent experience. He does a good job of explaining why this game actually works. I actually felt sorry for Zig when his X68000 exploded like something out of a Strong Bad cartoon. And his unsuccessful attempts to emulate the game properly. Boo reviews Metroid Fusion, and sums up exactly why I found the game to be not very fun, even though I could never quite figure out the reason. As Boo says, all the elements are there, but just off somehow. And I remembered all the hand holding of the text cutscenes (JUST LET ME PLAY ALREADY!). Both reviews do an excellent job here, both analyse their games well. I still haven't made a decision. The fact is, while both reviews do such an excellent job, the actual writing is so vastly different (Zigfried opts for images and HTML abuse, whereas Boo just writes). And neither is better than the other, really. Boo's review wouldn't be better with an @ marqueeing across the screen, and Zig's review wouldn't be any worse without the various images. Okay, um... Boo wins, but only just. I hope the rest of the matchups prove to be this interesting, where both writers bring some amazing writing for me to read.
WINNER: BOO

LEWIS: Zig and a few others often use a technique I'm unsure about. I refer to excessive formatting. The huge text, the wandering @ sign, a red bit further down... I'm not exactly sure what they're contributing to the review. The review itself is nicely illustrative, often very funny, and probably a bit too full of stuff that could have been chopped. Over to Boo, and there's a weird couple of paragraphs in the middle about aesthetics/graphics that seems to have been written by a far less adept writer. But, fortunately, it's a minor blip. The rest is nice, and retains a strong focus throughout, instead of merely jumping between different aspects of the game. As you said, games are more than the sum of their parts. I also like how transparent you make your stance. You miss the Metroid aesthetic. Some people won't and that's fine, but that's why your mark's low. A tight match, but Boo wins with a last-minute screamer.

SPORTSMAN: Zig over Boo. Brilliant review by Zig. The intro was hilarious and I really liked the approach he took with this one. Hentai reviews are so 2004-2005 but this one managed to seem fresh and break away from the typical H-review mold. This was not like something Iíve read before. Aside from the entertaining topic and hilarity this review also made some great points and made the game sound like more than your average hentai game. Booís review didnít start off that great. It seemed like he didnít quite know what he wanted to talk about. The SAX part was pretty good and the last third or so was brilliant but it seemed like he struggled to figure out what to talk about. Although the individual parts were great it jumped around and didnít have much focus. Strong comeback review here for Zig so he gets the win. p.s. I want to see an x68k explode, something I need to do before I die.

Felix vs. Woodhouse

JEREC: Felix tells the story of a mediocre game which is unremarkable in all aspects, except for the story if it becoming a collector's item and people paying lots of money for it, only for a whole pile of copies to flood the market and make it worth a lot less. This review would have been one hell of a challenge to write, if not for the story Felix tells about the game. I'm not one of those people who will pay a lot for an old game just to have it sit on my shelf. Several years ago, I paid $10 for an Atari 2600 in its original box with all manuals and stuff, with four games in excellent condition. I played it a couple of times. Yeah, I wouldn't even pay a lot of money for a good game, like a SNES copy of Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI. But there's people who do. Woodhouse reviews another one of those mystery solving games on DS that have become so popular. The intro pulls me in and makes me interested, and the analysis of the game is top notch. The criticism of the game's conclusion makes a lot of sense, too. This is another match that's hard to call, because they were both great reads and both were well written... and again, both were very different styles. Felix certainly has the more ambitious piece, and it takes much bigger risks. The only problem was, it read more like a feature article than a review.
WINNER: WOODHOUSE

LEWIS: Lovely lovely lovely lovely. That's what I think of Felix's piece. Oh, parts of it aren't really review, but it still captures the quality of the game and why that's the case, while still managing to tap into the story of the game's existance. A really good retro article, and one he should be proud of. Woodhouse's review is traditional yet totally strong, really nicely written and a great consumer-advice piece. This is a toughie. Felix wins, but only just. Both were top.

SPORTSMAN: Woodhouse over Felix. Woodhouse is one of the smarter reviewers in this tourney in the sense that he knows very well what his strengths are and sticks to them. He is a great storyteller and really knows how to bring the reader into these games through great writing and descriptions. Felixís was also an interesting read, though Iím not sure if it is a review suited well for these types of tournaments. The story about the gameís marketing was pretty interesting and Iím really glad I read this one, but as he said (paraphrasing) this game has barely any charm or redeeming qualities whatsoever so there really wasnít much to say about this one. These completely blah games are very difficult to review and while I applaud Felix for the effort and making this read interesting he really didnít make the game sound interesting. Woodhouse has the more interesting and engaging subject so he wins this round.

Randxian vs. Espiga

JEREC: Randxian and Espiga both review games that I find completely uninteresting. Rand's review is a huge improvement on his Wheel of Time from last week. The writing is a lot tighter and it's free of reviewing cliches. There's also some cool moments where Ranma 1/2 does actually sound like a fun game, like laughing at the panda guy's fart sounds when he bounces on an opponent. The second half of the review has a fairly negative slant, so I was a little surprised at the 9/10, especially when I saw someone had rated this game a 3 in that user rating box. But I can see how it would be fun. Espiga's review didn't do it for me, though. I never found the game particularly interesting to read about, and Espiga doesn't seem to think so either. There's probably better games to review for a tournament. Espiga is at his best when his love and enthusiasm for a game shines through. The tone seems almost apathetic here, which doesn't make for a great read.
WINNER: RANDXIAN

LEWIS: I'm self-imposing a rule on judging with this stuff. If something doesn't grab me within the opening paragraph, I'm doing some serious point-docking, because ultimately people aren't going to read something that doesn't immediately seem very good, unless they have to like I do. So randaxian's opening paragraph, which tells me next to nothing about the game and just leaves me wondering where on earth everything is going, falls short. The rest of the review is okay, but never really more than that. I'm not sure I like how casual Espiga's effort is this time. It's almost like there's been no time spent on tidying up or maintaining a register. But it remains a stronger offering than the first one, so Espiga wins.

SPORTSMAN: Randxian over Espiga. Fantastic matchup here, guys, probably my favorite of the round. HUGE improvement over last week for Rand. This time he actually made his points seem relevant and lets me know why I would care about this game, which is tough to do considering that I donít like fighting games. Plus his enthusiasm for the game showed and really made me get into it. It was still a little rough around the edges in places but thatís something that youíll get better at in time. Good effort by Espiga as well. Typical review for him, short, to the point and plenty of enthusiasm. It wasnít a big step up or down for him and although I like the brevity I do wish this piece was a little more detailed. The premise sounded pretty interesting for an RPG and I was wanting to know more. This really is a match that can go either way; one review is more detailed and charming and the other is more polished. Iím going with Rand because he really stepped it up for this round and seemed to take the judges advice and go with it. These tourneys are all about trying to improve every round and this is one of the biggest single round improvements Iíve ever seen.

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EmP at Suskie
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Suskie vs EmP

JEREC: As a gamer, I'm much the same as Suskie - I didn't have a SNES as a kid. My first console was a N64, and I'd have friends over for multiplayer gaming like Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye (and many others). And I'm sure there's many of us like that out there, and that may be what made me want to know more about LittleBigPlanet's multiplayer. Suskie offers up a few examples of some fun experiences playing the game. Thankfully it focuses more on the people sitting on the couch playing, rather than the plights of in-game characters, but that never would have worked with this game. It's a shame for me that I have no PS3, and that all my gaming buddies from my youth have all moved on... that final line left me feeling just a little disappointed that I might not be able to experience LittleBigPlanet in that same way. Emp's review immediately assaults my eyes with COLOURED DIALOGUE. I was about to award him the defeat based solely on that, until I kept reading. He still loses, but it was a lot closer in the end. Yeah, the only way a game as cliched as this is any fun is when it doesn't take itself seriously. It was a solid review, but ultimately outclassed in this match.
WINNER: SUSKIE

LEWIS: I think there are a couple of immediate problems with Suskie's review. Admitting you've not played it that much since you don't own or desire the console it's on is a little suspect. And, more generally, it all takes a while to get going, and the big paragraphs are a little heavy on the old impatient eyes. It's nice stuff, but I doubt I'll remember much of it, and I'd doubt a huge amount of people would read the full thing without skimming unless they were interested in the subject matter. I just don't know about EmP's. Are we allowed to say "Gimmick"? That big stretch of pretend-quoting seems forced and unnecessary when you could have concisely described it. It's all a little bit too much, though quite funny in places. Both of these writers can do better, but Suskie just about wins.

SPORTSMAN: Suskie over EmP. Iím glad Suskie focused on the multiplayer aspect because I played the game for a bit mostly by myself and thought it was retarded. This is the second week in a row that he wrote a super convincing, down to earth review filled with great examples. It doesnít have the intensity of Madworld but doesnít exactly need it since he was more than able to convey the gameís nostalgic feeling. EmPís review is equally as effective. The intro was super entertaining and I can relate to the argument since so many games Ė JRPG or not - are like that today. Even though it got a little dull in places later on the lighthearted approach kept this one interesting. Personally I like these type of EmP reviews much more than the flowery, overly verbose type that we saw last week. I prefer Suskieís straightforward approach and his subject matter was more interesting to me so he gets the win but this was a great showing from both reviewers. Ultimately it was the more interesting subject matter that gave him the win because this one couldíve gone either way. With the Rand/Espiga matchup this was one of the better matchups of this round.

True vs DE

JEREC: What sort of idiot buys an uninspired licenced game before trying it? True, obviously. At least he doesn't delude himself that it was any good. His disappointment is so strong that it makes me care - not about the game, but about True's experience with it. And with a game like this, that's the best you can hope for. True is crazy. But he's a good writer, and he's honest about the game - he could have deluded himself into liking it, and worse, he could have deluded us into thinking he did. Darketernal... yeah, I thought I'd read this review before. Another re-run from last year's Alpha comp. Only, the score seems to have been boosted to 8 from 6 (according to my previous run-down). The story of DE's younger self playing what sounds like one of the most irritating games ever... apart from that game Will reviewed last week. I dunno, I can still identify with that. I played a lot of rubbish at that age and didn't know any better. I honestly found the 6/10 far-fetched last time, based on the text, and now the score is an 8. That seems even crazier. True gets the win for not deluding himself and others about an attatchment to a mediocre game.
WINNER: TRUE

LEWIS: "There is a sadness in me"? Do you mean "I am sad"? I don't know, but that's a pretty weird opening sentence. You convey your disappointment really consistently and effectively throughout, though, so that's nice. And it's really quite thorough, which is also nice. I have absolutely no idea why darketernal chose to write his review as a personal narrative. There's always a fine line of what works in a review and what doesn't. Generally, making the review about the writing, over and above saying anything particularly useful, doesn't. Sorry, chuck - True wins.

SPORTSMAN: DE over True. A bit of a gamble here from DE and Iíd say it paid off. Most times these scenario reviews donít click with me because they donít tell me what I want to know about the game but this one worked. This one managed to convey a clear picture of the game to me and the nostalgic approach worked because I grew up on these games as well and can relate to what heís saying. This really helped make Out of this World sound like something special, despite what Iíve heard other people say about it. DE really knows what makes these adventure games great (or not so great) and what to focus on and what to not focus on. Not a bad effort from True, but his reviewís problems are similar to those that he had with the game. Just how Ghostbusters was a game with loads of potential that fell flat, this review left me with the same feeling. True would describe something that sounds great to me and then mention how it just doesnít live up to its potential and that kind of left me disappointed. Thereís really nothing he couldíve done better here; this is why these middle of the road reviews are so tough to effectively write. I wouldnít have suggested doing it any other way but DEís subject matter was a lot more engaging and easier for me to get into.

Schultz vs DoI

JEREC: I have no idea what Schultz's game is about. God this is confusing. And I've only had two beers. All these random things and game concepts are just thrown at me and I can't make any sense of it. But ohhhhh... this is like a dream. So what's why that odd dream compellingness thing at the start of the review (which seemed odd at the time) is there. Um. I have no idea what's going on here. I'm gonna go look at DoI's review. DoI's game is equally strange, but I had no problem following the review itself. Sometimes these freeware games make for quite unique, fun experiences. This game sounds like one of them. I did like how DoI ended the review with the suggestion that once you run out of things to do, you can then make your own tale. Very interesting.
WINNER: DOI

LEWIS: Aschultz is getting really good at this. Has anyone else noticed that? This is a marvellous, gorgeously written, stylistic, informative, generally excellent review. I wanted to read all of it, man, and I've other things to do! Great work. Dragoon's piece is okay, but rather by-numbers, and not particularly enough to grab me in the same way as Aschultz's review did. An admirable effort, but an overshadowed one: Aschultz wins.

SPORTSMAN: DoI over Schultz. I liked this DoI review a lot more than the one he used last round because he really made the experience sound like something special and unique. Iíve played a ton of mods and user created games and can relate to how you often get an inferior technical experience but superior and more unique gameplay experience. The review was maybe a little too brief and I wish he went into more detail about how interesting some of the gameplay is but despite the brevity I was completely convinced. Not a bad effort by Schultz, but he didnít quite pull me into the game the way DoI did. When reviewing these super old games it is very important to make the concept still sound novel today. To me this just sounded like another 8-bit RPG so I wasnít really interested at all. A good read but forgettable.

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Janus at Will
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Will vs Disco

JEREC: Will's review is full of personality, as well as a few shooting noises that seemed a but juvenile but I'll overlook this time. This is quite an intriguing game, and though it seems like a hard one to approach in a review, Will manages it very well. There's just the right amount of explanation of the game, keeping the review nice and brief, which is how I like it. Disco, unfortunately, submits an older review which is full of grammatical errors that were more and more jarring. See if you can spot what's wrong with this sentence, "And in this game lies an abundance of snowy scenes in the game which one canít help but find kinda pretty.)" I unfortunately couldn't get into the review itself, though I am familiar with the game, having read reviews of it before. The review is a couple of years old, so I wasn't expecting these mistakes. To all of you out there submitting older stuff, at least give it one last proof read before the round starts.
WINNER: WILL

LEWIS: I remember Will writing this, and my suggestion that he dropped the score. A ten for Multiwinia? Really? Anyway, he did. I think it turned out he wasn't familiar with Darwinia or something, and that shows through the slightly careless and ridiculous "I gather it's an expansion for Darwinia, but I don't care." Just devalues your work, y'know? Makes you sound proud of a lack of effort. Disco: "Even though the title of the piece may conjure images having to do with the sleep cycle" -- Oh, man! Seriously, the title makes you want to fall asleep. Better yet, the title's boring. It conjures images having to do with the sleep cycle? Really? "Dreamfall is often slow in its pace"? As opposed to slow how exactly? This is often pretentious and clumsy, and Will's occasionally awkward review will always win over that.

SPORTSMAN: Disco over Will. Yay for me, finally a matchup of two games that Iíve played before (and I would probably give both of these games two points below Will and Discoís scores if I ever got around to reviewing them)! Both reviews also had a similar style, which is a short, light-hearted and to the point which I like a lot. Will had a strong argument about Multiwiniaís simplicity and did a good job at conveying how a strategy game doesnít need to be super complex in order to be worth a look. It wasnít as engaging as Space Quest was last week but did the job. I liked Discoís review better, mainly because he had a more interesting subject matter with a newish adventure rather than an archaic platformer that he used last week. It dragged a bit more than Willís since it was longer but overall convinced me (if I hadnít already played the game) that despite some rough spots Dreamfall ultimately succeeds in the end. Pretty good matchup here that could go either way but Iím going with Disco because although the review wasnít as fast-paced and smooth as Willís was it ultimately had the more convincing argument. Will made Multiwinia sound like a neat, simple game but failed to make it sound like something great. The gameís simple, check, thereís some strategy involved, check but Iím left feeling he couldíve done more to make the game sound like something special that could compete with the big name RTS games.

Zipp vs Dreamer

JEREC: Zipp's intro made me laugh. This is a fairly cleverly written review. It reads like a bash, but there's no insulting going on. Just pointing out everything that went wrong with this game. PC ports on DS are really painful, I've noticed. I tried Theme Park DS a while back, and it had none of the charm of the original PC game, and it was annoying to control. But it was passable. Syberia seems to have copped much worse. Stick it to those developers who think they can just do half-assed, unplayable ports! Dreamer also reviews a crappy game, which starts out pretty cool and fun to read, but I got about half way before I thought to myself "how long is this going to go?" and quickly scrolled to the bottom. The game already sounded like crap, and so there didn't seem to be much point reading more about lame enemies and all that. There wasn't enough interest to keep me reading through another eight or nine paragraphs of this.
WINNER: ZIPP

LEWIS: The song bit at the start is one of the most thoroughly pointless things he's ever written. Once we're into the review proper, it's actually very good. Organised nicely, amusing, honest and interesting, it's one of the stronger pieces he wrote until we edged towards the Summer months. Nice one. In radicaldreamer's review, I don't have any idea what's going on for two paragraphs. After that, it just sounds hate-filled. Maybe the game made you feel that way, but Zipp's review shows how you can convey that eloquently and not potentially irritatingly. Zipp wins.

SPORTSMAN: Radical Dreamer over Zipp. Another great review from Bbobb (ok, Iíll stop calling you that). Since I read the scores after I read the reviews I really appreciated this one and how I was sort of taken on a journey of the gameís mechanics. First it started pretty bland, then it entered bad territory, then it got worse, then there was some hope and it ended on a bad note. I never knew how the game was going to turn out next and this one kept me in constant excitement and Iíve played so many games with mechanics like this so I could relate to what he was saying. Zippís review of Syberia is a solid effort and although Iím probably in the minority here I found the approach somewhat entertaining. The problem is I think he had it too easy to the point where the game practically reviews itself. I mean this is almost like reviewing Big Riggs; the game is so broken that I can be convinced not to play it in a paragraph. Itís mainly the topic that gives Dreamer the win. His piece had plenty of insightful analysis but Zippís didnít delve nearly as deep.

Sash vs Janus

JEREC: Sashanan reviews an RPG. I was initially skeptical. RPGs aren't always interesting games to read about, even though they are my favourite genre. Sashanan's game didn't really interest me at first, but the features of the game did start to sound intriguing. The item creation system sounds a bit like Star Ocean 4, and I've had enough of item creation, thanks! But Sashanan's writing is easy to read, and it flows quite well, and I still found some things about the game quite interesting (like the change in music as the story gets darker). Apart from a few clunky sentences here and there (one in the intro, and that character rundown towards the end), it's a very solid piece of writing that is hard to fault. I've read Janus' Braid review before. It was quite a relevant argument against other reviewers gushing praise at the game, though he does admit it is still a fun platformer with time travel elements. I have to agree that the story is disjointed and largely unnecessary. While this piece is well written, it's gonna lose its relevancy more and more as time goes on, and even six months on, I haven't heard anyone overhyping Braid anymore. All the opinions on it seem pretty level-headed. There's a great review of Brad in there, but the references to professional reviews doesn't work as well as it used to. It's a damn close match, as both reviews really are great. Six months ago, I probably would have given the win to Janus. Not today, though.
WINNER: SASHANAN

LEWIS: Sashanan, this is just a bit dull and unambitious. You go through the most traditional, standard format ever. History of genre/franchise; story; gameplay; characters; aesthetics; "All considered"... it just lacks any spark or individuality, and that's a real shame. Janus... oh, God, it's this one. I've already listed all the things I don't like about this review. Concisely: don't slag off your peers, and don't assume you know best. You're probably right about the most interesting thing about Braid being the game rather than the story, though. I really don't like either of these reviews, but for having some balls, Janus wins.

SPORTSMAN: Janus over Sash. Was this the throwaway match for Team Will? Anyways I remember a big argument about this review a while back regarding some inaccuracies or something but I donít know anything about Eurogamer or anything so if they are true they just slipped past me. Another great review by Janus, I really liked the opening and how he decided not to focus on the plot or artistic aspects because this game is really just a simple platformer with the ability to manipulate time. I disagree with Janusí opinion and personally thought the game was super dull minus the end sequence but this is a really convincing piece that for a second made me rethink my own stance on the game. Great organization, strong argument, cool examples, strong review. Sashís review is solid but didnít catch my interest as much as Janusí review did. It began to drag a lot and the subject matter wasnít nearly as engaging. Overall a decent look at the game but the review didnít do much to differentiate itself from most other RPG reviews. More personality next time, please!

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Dagoss at Overdrive
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Overdrive vs Dagoss

JEREC: A repeat from Overdrive. Ultima: Quest of the Avatar still sounds as unique and cool as it did during the last Alpha comp, and I would still like to play it if I could actually bring myself to play NES games anymore. There's not a lot to say that I didn't already say last time - still a great review. Dagoss tries something new with his review, set out like a letter from the developers to the gamer (you). I think it reads quite well, even if the "because we love you" stuff is overdone to the extreme. It did give the review that personal edge, and it was quite a gripping read. The only problem I can see is due to the limitation of this particular gimmick, and there isn't much opinion or analysis of the game. I'm told about the game in plenty of detail, but without that score, there's not much to go on in deciding whether this game is good or not. You know, I've noticed this round that a lot of people are choosing reviews of games fairly similar to their competitors, and that they have very similar things to say, but they approach it completely differently. I enjoyed the uniqueness of Dagoss' style, and it was quite a good attempt. Overdrive made his game sound like a lot of fun with a very normal review, which in the end works better. I've got nothing against gimmicks, and Dagoss makes it work quite well except for the lack of any critial thought (apart from admitting that the game is not for everyone).
WINNER: OVERDRIVE

LEWIS: Overdrive's is a solid, expansive and generally good review. It's also one I'm having to flick back to, having read it two minutes ago, to remember what I thought of it. Again, it's a bit by-numbers, and though that's not always a bad thing, it's important to inject a bit of early life into an article to ensure people stick with it, and remember it's by you. Dagoss' does just that, and is really interesting. I'm left unsure as to exactly why you wrote it this way (it would lend itself, for example, far better to a game you hated, in my eyes), but it's eloquent and interesting. For that, Dagoss, you win.

SPORTSMAN: Dagoss over OD. After reading the first line of Dagossí piece I cringed, thinking it was going to be a disaster bit it actually really worked. I liked how the review felt like it was written for me and the comparisons for the genre in general helped make everything seem relevant. Most RPG reviews tend to go through the motions with the intro, story, characters, battle system, dungeons, length, conclusion bit. This one was no different and all of those topics were mentioned but for once all of the ďso whatĒ questions were answered. ODís review didnít spark my interest as much because it was more of a by the books RPG review. Not a bad piece by any means but not an attention grabber, either, and OD has written better RPG reviews in the past. It reads like a typical RPG piece that you would find and Dagossí felt far more personal so he gets the nod for mixing things up.


Venter vs WQ

JEREC: Two reviews for 4/10 games. Venter's analysis of a good game idea executed poorly is quite a good read. I could see how a game like this could have been fun if the problems were dealt with. I quite enjoy the odd racing game, and the idea of going off road did sound appealing to me. Venter's arguments are logical and sound, and it's difficult to fault the review. There's no attempts of fancy wordplay or style here, it's just a review, and that's fine. Wolfqueen's review also looks at a bad game, but this is a game I expected to be awful as soon as I saw the title and platform. A licenced GBC game is bad? Shocking! It sounds like a painfully frustrating experience, especially the example of the seagull killing the lion, and the invalid passwords (what's the point of them if they don't save?) Both reviews are fairly evenly matched here, though Venter's is the better written and more interesting of the two.
WINNER: VENTER

LEWIS: "Fuel clearly was designed to melt your face." You basically would win for that alone. So it's lucky the rest of this review is really, really strong. Thorough as they get, analytical as required, it's a great piece that tells me everything I need to know about the game, and entertainingly. WolfQueen's review is actually really good too - it's effortlessly one of hers, y'know? That real, unforced style she has. But weighed up, Venter's is probably just about better, so he wins.

SPORTSMAN: Venter over Wolfqueen. Unimpressive match here. After last weekís gamble WQ decides to play it safe, but unfortunately played it a little too safe. Itís a mediocre review for an old Gameboy Color game. A lot of times these games can make interesting and hilarious bashes but this one didnít say much other than a bunch of reasons why the game is too tough. Fair points, but nothing to make me exciting about such a crappy title. On the other hand there are two types of Venter reviews: the ones he puts his heart into and actually tries on and those he pumps out to meet a deadline to get his site hits. While not horrible by any means this one is unfortunately closer to the latter group. He makes his points and has some valid arguments, but other than that it comes across as a dullish review for a dull game that he probably wrote in thirty minutes. I really wish I didnít have to award a winner like Jerec did a few years back but I donít want to risk screwing up the results and will go with Venter because reading a review for a below average PS3 game is almost always more interesting than reading something for a below average Game Boy color game. I hope both authors begin to take more chances and try harder in future rounds because theyíre both capable of much better than this.

BELISARIOS vs Vortex

JEREC: Rayman is hard. Like Beli, I have played the first Rayman game. It kicked my ass so bad I never did go back to it. I really did enjoy Rayman 2, though. That game was hard, but I beat it! Not as hard as the first, though. Beli's strong WRITER VOICE is what makes these sorts of reviews effective. Not many writers could pull off this rambling, almost stream of consciousness overview of the game that manages to cover everything effectively and convincingly. Vortex's review isn't bad, but it is long. I remember when it was the thing all the reviewers were doing - creating flowery, narrative style reviews for PS2 action games. It's kind of difficult to take it seriously, now, which is a shame. The review takes way too long to get to any sort of analysis - too much time is spent turning the opening cutscene into prose. I know Vorty didn't pick this one, though.
WINNER: BELISARIOS

LEWIS: I think BELISARIOS is sometimes a little all over the place, but that kinda brings across the personality of these pieces. B's reviews often come across as stream-of-consciousness blog posts, but I think there's a lot of room for that. I like this, even though it's a bit mad in places. Vortex's just takes so long to get going, and doesn't really tell me a right lot once it does. I'm certain this could be trimmed to half the length. It's stylistic, but not necessarily, for me. BELISARIOS wins.

SPORTSMAN: Bel over Vorty. Another good review from Bel; great organization, good humor and not too long. Actually I wish he went into more detail about some of the cool stuff in the game but overall Iím convinced, even though Iíve played it and found it to be inferior to Rayman 2. Fortunately Vortyís random review choice is a great one, but unfortunately it is for Drakengard, a game that Iím sick of hearing about. Iíve heard everything about this game and this review didnít say anything new that I havenít heard multiple times in the past. If this was for a less covered game this wouldíve been a super close matchup that might actually go in the other direction but as it is Bel gets the nod for his topic alone.

RESULTS

---------------------------------

Team Felix vs. Team Boo 1-2

Zig vs Boo 1-2
Felix vs Woodhouse 1-2
Randxian vs Espiga 2-1

---------------------------------

Team Suskie vs Team EmP 2-1

Suskie vs EmP 3-0
True vs DE 2-1
Schultz vs DoI 1-2

---------------------------------

Team Will vs Team Janus 2-1

Will vs Disco 2-1
Zipp vs Dreamer 2-1
Sash vs Janus 1-2

---------------------------------

Team Overdrive vs Team Dagoss 2-1

Overdrive vs Dagoss 1-2
Venter vs WQ 3-0
BELISARIOS vs Vortex 3-0

---------------------------------

LEADERBOARDS

Team Suskie and Bluberry's Team sit at the top of the ladder. Those on the lower half should not lose heart, we are only 2 weeks into this. There is plenty of time to turn it around and win this thing!

Belisarios and Suskie are currently ruling the individual leaderboards with no votes against them. Can they keep up the impressive record?

Team Leaderboard

Individual Leaderboard


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: July 06, 2009 (05:57 AM)
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Was this the throwaway match for Team Will?

Sort of, sort of not. Facing the review I did, it was pretty obvious I wasn't going to win regardless of what I threw out, so I kept the big guns in the shed. No false modesty intended or required - that Braid review is just damn good.


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


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:32 AM)
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I just want to clarify something about my response to the Braid review, by the way. It has a pop at Eurogamer's review, so I worry some may assume it's a conflict of interest thing that's led me to dislike the review. It's not - my original comments about the Braid piece were ones I made a while before I started writing for Eurogamer, and my opinions haven't changed as a result of any of their paychecks or anything.


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Author: disco1960
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:37 AM)
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oy, i'm getting creamed... no more old stuff starting from now, i think.


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:37 AM)
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You write for Eurogamer? Is that why you've stopped submitting reviews here?


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:54 AM)
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Thanks judges. Glad to see taking everyone's advice paid dividends.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: darketernal
Posted: July 06, 2009 (07:09 AM)
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I am pretty sure that I gave Out of this world an 8. Don't know in which tournament I used it before though. Couldn't have been too far back in the past since it was written at the end of 2008.

Whatever, thanks for judging.


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


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 06, 2009 (08:31 AM)
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Janus: Been doing some writing for Eurogamer and Gamasutra, yeah. I'm still doing stuff over here, though (one review should be up tomorrow).


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Author: Halon
Posted: July 06, 2009 (08:51 AM)
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Sash: I wasn't trying to say that you intentionally threw the match away but that your team intentionally mismatched you so they could have an advantage elsewhere.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:08 AM)
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Ah...I don't know, actually. This matchup was made without consulting me.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 06, 2009 (10:25 AM)
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Thanks again to the judges. I think both of my teammates can clarify that I had a bit of writer's block when it came to this review and was unsure of how well it turned out, so I'm glad it did me some good. Although I want to point out to Lewis that I never said I hadn't played much of the game, just that I'd been doing it on a friend's console. I will have you know that I have been playing LBP feverishly over the past month, and have beaten all of the game's campaign levels several times over by now!

Also, Sportsman, I'd recommend you withhold judgment on LBP until you play a level called Collector's Lair. Literally one of the coolest things I've ever experienced in any game.


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


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 06, 2009 (10:39 AM)
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sorry zigfriend.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:33 AM)
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Hooray for teammates! I remember reading my opponent's review and saying, "Oh rats, I'm enjoying this one." So I guess I can go back and just generally enjoy it now.

Thanks to the judges for the feedback on this review. I'm not sure if I brought out why I feel this game deserved more than obscurity and so I'll want to look at that. While I have definite ideas of what I want to do for myself, it's valuable to read what worked and what didn't, as I find I can often keep with what works, only it doesn't really work. And this tourney is, or should be, about trying new stuff.


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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2009 (11:13 AM)
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I'm disapointed that some of these judging results continue to have nothing to do with the review submitted and are instead centred around the game being reviewed instead of the peice itself. This isn't what judging should centre around.

This isn't the case in my match up, I hasten to add. In that case, you're all just plain wrong. Congrats to Suskie on his unjust victory!


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (01:30 PM)
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WHOOOOOHOOOOOOO! And.... WAAAAAAHEEEEEEEY!

Honestly, I was very unsure about how this match would play out. I really like my Syberia piece, but I thought it might've come off as too casual when pitted against Raddish's latest effort, which does a very good job of picking apart his game. If there was one thing I knew was off about Raddish's review, it was the length, so I was banking on that and it looked like it paid off.

Honestly, I didn't think I'd win this round, so thank you very much to the judges! It seems my little song isn't very popular, so that's probably the last time you'll ever see something THAT inane.

Also a huge thank you to Raddish (and Lewis, by proxy) for making me sweat bullets all week while I became more and more sure that I'd lose the match up! That makes this victory all the sweeter!

And congrats to our team for pulling ahead of team Janus for a win this week! Let's keep up the pace!


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: July 06, 2009 (01:38 PM)
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I'm with EmP on this one. I thought judging was supposed to be determined by the reviews themselves not "I've read about this game too much" or some similar thing; that's really not a fair way to play it.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Starting to doubt myself, but I've still got 3 that I at least know are good... not just I think they are like the last two weeks have been... and provided I don't write something else (that's actually worth naything, that is), these'll be shown in consecutive order.

Congrats to dagoss (again) for winning his match. Along with everyone else.

Haha. Lewis, I find it amusing that for taking as long as you do, you sure leave quite the little feedback. ;-P


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: Halon
Posted: July 06, 2009 (02:11 PM)
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I'm with EmP on this one. I thought judging was supposed to be determined by the reviews themselves not "I've read about this game too much" or some similar thing; that's really not a fair way to play it.

It is about the reviews, but it's tough for me to get excited about a longish piece on a game that I've read so much about on this site that says exactly nothing new that I haven't read before. If you have something new to say about an overcovered game that's fine but when you're basically regurgitating what I've heard several times in the past it isn't easy for me to get into.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (03:14 PM)
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Well, it's too bad Team FRZ froze for this match, but at least Randxian got a win, which he deserved. I'm also glad that Zig and I at least got a vote a piece. We're getting somewhere! Thanks for commentary, judges, and for the multiple use of lovely in my feedback, Lewis. Good match, Woodhouse.

PREDICTION: TEAM FRZ WILL GO UNDEFEATED FROM HERE ON OUT. WE MAY NOT WIN EVERY INDIVIDUAL MATCH, BUT WE WILL GO UNDEFEATED FOR THE REST OF THE REGULAR SEASON. I CURSE YOU ALL.


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2009 (03:27 PM)
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Thanks for the commentary judges, as always. I'm pleased that I won this week. Losses are hard to take, though I suspect I have at least one more loss ahead of me in this tournament... Still, my team is going to win overall so I have to take such things in stride.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 06, 2009 (03:17 PM)
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I really do my best to refrain from questioning the judging because I think we go into the TT, and all review competitions, with the implicit acknowledgment that judging isn't immune to human subjectivity. That's basically the reason we have three judges.

That said, my complaint now has less to do with the general trends other people have noticed and instead a personal verdict. The comment that my review was "hate-filled" struck me as rather strange, especially in comparison to the review I was up against, so much that I reread both my and Zipp's reviews just to make sure. However, this only confirmed my initial thought, that being that I do not possibly understand how anyone could have seen my review as the less reserved bash. Not to discount Zipp's writing, but reading the content of that verdict practically made me wonder if our names were accidentally switched. If not, well, human subjectivity; maybe I'm just sour.


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This message was deleted at the request of zigfried, the person who originally posted it.

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2009 (04:33 PM)
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GRARRRR! I SO MAD I WANT TO... TO... TO...

...well damn, I forgot what I wanted to do. It's hard to be upset when everyone says nice things about my review!

@ Lewis:
Every single weird thing I do (whether the @, the red text, etc) has a two or three paragraph explanation behind it. I put as much thought into mark-up as I do with word choice. To keep it simple and general: although many rail against the "old" style of adolescent game journalism, I'm a fan of the exuberance. I enjoy critical analysis, but I also enjoy people writing about their brains turning into mush. I like to see passion and excitement... but at the same time I value accuracy above unsubstantiated hyperbole. Mark-up, images, and occasional tangents are one way of delivering that crazy over-the-top energy without sacrificing the integrity of the text. I also do it because, when used effectively, I enjoy reading/seeing that sort of stuff in other peoples' reviews. There are other reasons, individually tailored to each type of mark-up, but that's the general rationale.

Anyway, I realize it's not a style that will appeal to everyone. If any particular mark-up ever draws your ire, please comment on it, just as you'd comment on an ill-phrased sentence. That's the only way I can ever get a feel for what specific things people do and don't like!

Now I'm looking forward to round three.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (04:58 PM)
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I totally understood that comment, Raddish, and not just cause I was on the soft end of it.
What the judge was saying was that there were moments in your review where it feels like you just hate the game for being the game that it is, or you'll go off on how much the game sucks when you've already said that. My hatred was always specifically directed at a particular aspect of the gameplay which I took care to explain in detail so as to back up my hatred.

That was very intentional on my part. To be honest, I was afraid, with such a big name like Syberia, that I was off my rocker, so I took a lot of time to make sure that any time I said I hated something I was DEAD SURE that it deserved to be hated.


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


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 06, 2009 (05:01 PM)
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@Zig - Probably personal preference, then. But I'll try to be more specific in the future with mark-up stuff.

@Radicaldreamer - I'll have another read in the morning and double-check I wasn't way off. It was more an instinctive response than anything I considered carefully, I think, but I will double-check.

@WQ - I've been moving house this week, as well as writing for Eurogamer and Gamasutra like there's no tomorrow. Will try to be a bit more thorough and timely next time round.


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 06, 2009 (05:25 PM)
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I'm not asking for a rejudge or even trying to claim that my review cannot be construed as hateful. I just think it's a little absurd to fault it for that when it's being a compared to another review that, from back to front, uses much more hateful language and ideas, and on the whole has a much more hateful tone. Every such expression you could find in my review has a much more hateful analogue in Zipp's. The only real exception is the fact that I used an expletive, but I never even thought of the review itself as hateful until Lewis said so.

The idea that my "hate" is any less directed isn't true either. If anything, I provide too much detail and/or too many examples, from gameplay and other elements, to substantiate my opinion while not providing enough of the actual opinion. The enormous bulk of the review is demonstration and description, which is why it is more reserved, and I also take fewer opportunities to outright make fun of the game. I didn't really have to because I could often describe things very factually and the game would practically make fun of itself.

I could see how my review overstays its welcome because I used my experiences of playing and exploring the game beyond simply beating it once to provide even more examples for why I didn't like it, and how that could be annoying -- but that wasn't the criticism being leveled.


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