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

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:11 PM)
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I don't know what to tell you, Raddy. When I read your review, I similarly get a sense of bitterness from it. My own review I know uses some words like "I hate this," but the whole thing has a lighter tone, sort've an exasperated feel to it.

I recall Suskie even saying he was shocked, after my comments on my blog, that I didn't bash it more!

EDIT: Rereading your review, Raddy, I would say it's the sarcasm that drips from your words. Sarcasm is a very bitter technique.


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


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:18 PM)
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There is exactly one sarcastic sentence.


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:27 PM)
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Someone's a little butthurt.


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


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Author: pickhut
Posted: July 06, 2009 (06:36 PM)
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I actually read through the review minutes ago to see what the big deal was all about.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see the hate in the review. He actually goes through the trouble of explaining why he was disappointed in aspects of the game in a very normal manner. The only thing I could see, and I'm stretching here, people seeing "the hate" was the opening paragraphs when he was being jokey, and the closing paragraph.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (07:46 PM)
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Alright, whatever, Radd-man. I personally like your review a lot, but thought it went on for too long. I can't pretend I'm not happy the judges gave me the win, but like I said before, I'm glad to have fought such a well-written piece. Let's do it again next year.


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


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Author: BELISARIOS
Posted: July 06, 2009 (07:56 PM)
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Thank you, my friends, for the unanimous win.


It's like jazz music born from the souls of men!


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:13 PM)
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Well, since radical dreamer said something, I feel maybe I can as well.

This is directed at Lewis as well. Everyone else who edited my review seemed happy with my intro, but you seem to think it's bad. To be honest, I'm a bit confused as to your exact expectations. Can you please tell me what you consider to be a good introduction? I'm not arguing against your decision; I have to admit Espiga put up a hell of a fight and I feel honored to win against someone who seems to have a reputation as one of the site's best reviewers. I just don't understand what you expect from me as a reviewer. Thanks.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:18 PM)
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Perhaps I should have taken this private to prevent a trend from starting.

But that's a pretty dumb comment Will.


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:22 PM)
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The difference is I'm simply asking for clarification so I don't keep making the same mistakes every week.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:33 PM)
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I would also like to voice a complaint with the judging:

fuck BioShock.

in all seriousness, though, I agree with Gary. seeing something like "this review was better, but I've read about the game before" isn't very encouraging. everyone seems scared to use even one or two of their best old reviews, too, for fear of encouraging PC clocking and causing a coma. (though if he means the match I think he means, I absolutely agreed with the verdict. just not certain associated comments.)


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2009 (09:37 PM)
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1)
Randxian, it's not a mistake if you're happy with it and if other people are happy with it. Nothing is going to click with everyone. Some introductions take a few sentences to lead into the review, and other introductions deliver a bullet. Your introduction is the former and it sounds like he has a preference for the latter, which is fair.

I've judged a few contests myself, and that means reading a lot of reviews for games I'm not really interested in. Your intro seemed fine to me, but I grew up wanting to play the Ranma game. But if I was reading a review for Killzone or some other game I don't care about, then I would prefer to see a real gripper of an intro. That wouldn't mean the gripping intro would be better (or even appropriate), that just means as a judge that's what would get my attention and immediately impress me.

If you want advice on gripping intros, then good people to ask are people who don't care about the game you're reviewing. That may sound weird, but that's a great way to learn!

2)
Regarding my review, I'm happy with the comments I received. I posted an explanation because there was a question as to the intended effect of using mark-up in a review, so I just figured I would explain my perspective. I appreciate the comments from all three judges.

3)
I agree with Bluberry re: being docked for game choice isn't encouraging, but I also understand that is how contests have been ever since contests started. Some games really have been beaten to death. For example, no one wants to read another Metal Slug review. At this point, it would actually be insulting to use one in a contest (unless you really think it says something new that hasn't been done before). But I would feel sorry for someone who uses a review and doesn't realize the game has been overcovered.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 06, 2009 (10:37 PM)
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Thanks Zig. I believe that answers my question. You bring up a good point about how everyone may have different tastes. Given how everyone talks about how Espiga is great at bringing energy and emotion to his reviews, it would be absurd to expect a 3-0 sweep. I'm happy to win this match against someone with such a great reputation.

Also bear in mind this TT experience is new to me so I'm still sort of fumbling my way around in the dark. However, all the judges made it clear in week 1 what was fundamentally wrong with my WOT review. I particularly like how Lewis pointed out my sweeping generalizations against FPS games. Now that I've looked over the review again, I have to admit that's a good point. I clearly deserved to lose against schultz for my carelessness there.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 06, 2009 (11:13 PM)
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As long as the judges continue to award me the matches, I'm happy.

Seriously, though, I do think the judges deserve a round of applause for all the work they're putting into this. That's a lot of reviews to read each week, and I know I wouldn't appreciate having some lowly reviewer complain about the scoring I'd given. I think game choice is a perfectly legitimate part of the TT, especially when some matches are so tight they come down to "which game was more interesting?"


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


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 07, 2009 (12:51 AM)
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Also when judges say "it was close but" it is not heinously the fault of the person who lost on the relative coin-flip, and it's not the fault of the judges for maybe not having enough to go on. You never know which detail or clanger may stand out or exasperate the judges. EDIT: and when 2 good reviews match up against each other, you take your chances and maybe need a week or month to see the best ways to improve your writing.

I've looked at reviews 3 months after writing them and being satisfied I did my best, and then I immediately said "geez, that's kind of a big error, so why didn't I do this instead." Apply that to the team tourney and there's always something more I could've done to make it stand out, though I didn't see it at the moment. Competition, if organized right, brings out the urgency to fix things a bit more, or maybe even to find one Memorable Thing (Not) to Do per week. I think it's worked well for me so far. That's about all we can ask for, and I think it's more than enough.

(Edited for clarity, I hope)

Because I think those of us in the tourney to improve or experiment (most of us) must, by definition, open up to the possibility that we are doing something wrong that we are not aware of. If we discover a consistent blind spot in our writing and work at eradicating it, that's very valuable indeed. And the bigger the blind spot we discover, the better--well, once we learn to deal with it.


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: jerec
Posted: July 07, 2009 (01:27 AM)
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As far as game choice goes, it doesn't have a huge impact on my judging, but when a match is close, and both reviewers have done similar things, the more interesting of the two reviews is often for the more interesting game. I thought Venter and Wolfqueen were very evenly matched, but I found reading about Fuel a more interesting and relevant read, and that's why he got my vote in the end. In a different tournament where I score reviews out of 100, both reviews would've scored around the 80 mark, and would have been quite close.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 07, 2009 (01:50 AM)
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People who are upset with my decisions: I am absolutely not going to enter into individual discussions every time I don't like a review. I'll try to be more thorough in my explanations next week, however.

For one time only:

Randaxian - by the time you get to the end of your introductory paragraph, I know practically nothing about the game you're reviewing, and loads about how many people tried to rip off Street Fighter 2. There's nothing wrong with using your introduction to set a context, but you have to be careful to stay relevant and not to put people off. It's also just a little uncreative. Try to grab people with your intro, y'know? To me, this just rambles a bit.

For the record, though the other two judges liked your review a little more, neither of them mentions your introduction at all, so don't try that one. I also made it pretty clear that I'm coming down hard on what I find to be sloppy openings. They put people off, y'know? I do the same for actual games, do I don't see why I shouldnt' for reviews as well.

RadicalDreamer - It's almost nothing specific, and that's why it doesn't click with me. Zipp may be more aggressive in his slating, but it's structured and predicts itself. You're gearing yourself up for the next criticism because you know it's going to come, and you know why. With yours, because things are occasionally a little all over the place, it just grates a bit. Things like "to be fair" preceding a positive, too, only serve to suggest you've made your mind up about the game and aren't going to be swayed by anything good that now happens. Like you're just mentioning it 'cause you feel you have to, y'know? "...turned off the fucking Playstation" also seemed totally gratuitous.

Hope that helps, folks. It's the last time I'm getting into this.


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Author: True
Posted: July 07, 2009 (02:40 AM)
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To Captain Dodger: though I suspect I have at least one more loss ahead of me in this tournament....

You can count on that, actually. And it's going to come from me.

To DE: I'm honored, and I honestly thought it was up in the air. I'm pretty sure I scraped by you on that one, but I'll take it none-the-less.

To the judges: Again, thank you. Lewis, I don't mind that you were late, so I'm not part of the angry mob, so long as you keep up the excellent critiques I don't think anyone should chastise you for being on crazy UK time. Sportsman, as well, thank you for judging. Even though you didn't like my review as much, you're still my hero.

And finally, to Jerec: I suppose someone is expecting me to get fired up about you calling me crazy, or a fucking idiot. I'm not, because I know neither of those were serious, and I actually found them amusing. Given your status and talent, you calling me a good writer dwarfs anything negative you could have said. I appreciate it, and the time you're all putting in to make this contest what it is.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: jerec
Posted: July 07, 2009 (04:11 AM)
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Well, they were fairly lighthearted comments. You may be a crazy idiot, but you're an honest, crazy idiot who is a good writer. :P

BTW, tales of my status and talent are greatly exaggerated. You'd very likely beat me if I had to face you in a match up like this.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 07, 2009 (06:45 AM)
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Can I suggest a new rule?

The judges spend probably a collective six-to-eight hours a week of their spare time meticulously reading through all these reviews. That's about as much time as I can afford. I do not wish to then have to trawl through forum threads and emails asking me to clarify decisions, complaining about decisions, saying my decisions are wrong, whatever. I'm sure the others would concur.

Our decisions are final, and hopefully fair.

Now: everybody do a smile!


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 07, 2009 (06:52 AM)
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asking me to clarify decisions, complaining about decisions, saying my decisions are wrong, whatever.

Sorry if I came off as one of these complainers, but I my intent here is simply to improve as a reviewer and a TT competitor.

I agree that your decisions are final; Obviously all three of you feel one review is better than the next for whatever reason, so that's just the way it works.

Anyway, I think between you and Zig, I have a better understanding of what is acceptable as a good TT piece.

Thank you both for clarifying matters.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: July 07, 2009 (09:38 AM)
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Lewis (and te rest of the judges), I understand all the work that goes into reading and writing out thoughtful critiques, and it's much appreciated. However, I don't really like the idea of just casting away any following up just because. I understand the time issue, and that's fine, but some people enter this thing to get a better idea of how to improve themselves, myself included. And sometimes, if the critiques aren't specific enough or if someone has a question about them or wants clarification, a follow up is necessary to help contribute to that person's overall improvement.

This is especially true for people like randxian who are relatively new at this style and strive to make it better.

That's just my take on it, anyway. I understand that you're busy, though. I was just giving you shit about being late, haha. =P It's perfectly understandable, but more in-depth critiques are always appreciated, though I know that's probably harder to do, and be fair with, when you need to talk about two reviews at the same time for 15+ matches or whatever the number is.


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: Suskie
Posted: July 07, 2009 (09:44 AM)
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As someone who has personally put judging behind him after too many angry reviewers lashed out at him for these reasons, I'm a little annoyed that so much hostility is being directed at the judges this early in the tournament. People: If the judges are making harsh criticisms, then don't dwell in the past and learn to adapt to their likings. If Sportsman says he's sick of reading about Drakengard, then don't use Drakengard. Or, better yet, take responsibility and make a choice for your teammate rather than letting EmP's random pick turn things around. I can't wait till one of you inevitably tries to use a Chrono Cross review!

Hey judges, thanks a lot for all of the time and effort you guys have been putting into getting these critiques done these past two weeks. I know it's tough.


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: July 07, 2009 (10:12 AM)
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I wasn't the only one, nor even the first, to point that out in the first place, Suskie.

I don't have a problem with harsh criticism. In fact, it's greatly appreciated because it opens the eyes to things that the ego covers up. But if it's going to be delivered, and if I don't fully understand it, I'd appreciate clarification on it so that I can work to improve it in my writing or avoid using a review that uses whatever's being criticized. And I wouldn't call docking a review solely for discussing an "overcovered" game as "harsh", because "harsh" criticisms usually deal with the writing itself and not the game covered. Either way, to the point I stated earlier, sportsman clarified his reasoning for it, and I'm grateful, and I'm not going to complain about it. The only reason I assume it was brought up in the first place was to prevent something like that from being the sole contributor to a victory.

I honestly don't have a problem with it if it's used as a "final decider" if the matches are really close or something. However, I would appreciate that more thought go into analyzing issues with the writing itself than explaining why it's an overcovered game. The way jerec explained his, for example, makes perfect sense.

Anyway, I don't particularly care about this specific case as vorty has been AWOL for some time now, but it's the principle of the thing that I think everyone was getting at.

Anyway, now that it's been discussed, and explanations have been given, I have no desire whatsoever to say anything more on the matter. But I will make one thing clear: I hold no hostility toward any of the judges. I can't express enough how grateful I am for their contributions, especially since it's the hardest and most time-consuming job there is as far as competitions go. If I'm calling someone out, it's merely for an explanation or clarification, and ideally something that will help with improving myself, so it's not a complete waste of time or creates a drama bomb.

So thank you, all three of you.


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: Suskie
Posted: July 07, 2009 (10:53 AM)
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That wasn't directed specifically at you, WQ. I was just using Drakengard as an example.


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


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Author: True
Posted: July 07, 2009 (01:29 PM)
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BTW, tales of my status and talent are greatly exaggerated. You'd very likely beat me if I had to face you in a match up like this.

Very likely is a huge stretch. I'm not the only person here, Jerec, who still considers you to be one of the greatest on this site, and I for one am glad you're a judge this tournament.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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