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Forums > Submission Feedback > threetimes's Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible II (Import) review

This thread is in response to a review for Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible II on the Game Boy Color. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 22, 2009 (05:07 PM)
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This review, in a word, is long. If I were to add another word to that, it would be "too" long. It took me several attempts to actually make my way through this, and that doesn't do you any favours.

However, you have some good things going on here. Your voice is pleasant and easy to follow and you've choosen a nicely obscure and interesting title to review. You just need to get some focus here. For instance, your opening paragraphs about a fan translation could be cut down a lot, while you should keep pretty much everything you say about the battles and the conversations.


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


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Author: threetimes
Posted: July 23, 2009 (05:42 AM)
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Yeah, I agree. It is too long. I had a shorter version and then kept thinking of more things I wanted to say, and well...said it! Thanks for reading it anyway.


Don't panic!


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Author: psychopenguin
Posted: July 27, 2009 (12:14 AM)
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No I would not say it's 'too long'. It's an old obscure RPG with limited information. The more, the merrier.


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 27, 2009 (12:39 AM)
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If we can remove length and keep the information the same, that's a good thing. In fact, the reader may be more willing to digest the information he gets. Sentences like the following can be pared down:

There was one town where I suddenly ran into some very powerful foes, that would not respond to my charming chat, and they punished me for even attempting to talk by pummeling my team with spells of confusion, so everyone started hitting themselves or each other, and their super powerful attacks quickly wiped us out.

It's fun to read on its own, but too many of it can bog down an otherwise informative review. Brevity without loss of information is tough to achieve, but I think it's doable here. It's hard not to add a little more, then a little more, with a game you really like. But unless you really have it together, the review can sag a bit. This review does, but it still has a lot going for 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: psychopenguin
Posted: July 27, 2009 (12:50 AM)
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Maybe so, but in the case of an old obscure RPG, I could see the benefit of a longer review. It's always easier to narrow down as opposed to adding on.


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 27, 2009 (01:55 AM)
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And in this case, I thought it could've used more narrowing down.

Wow, you really like following me around as a no-man these days. Don't expect a big paycheck.


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


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Author: psychopenguin
Posted: July 27, 2009 (06:36 AM)
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Are you clueless or just a joke account?


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: threetimes
Posted: July 27, 2009 (06:55 AM)
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Er, what? :O

Thanks for the feedback guys. aschulz: I've cut out a couple of paragraphs, and the second one felt pretty redundant anyway. And yes, Psycho_Penguin: I thought that a more detailed account of the game was in order, since it's not something anyone is going to be familiar with. However I think that's right about the dangers of the review sagging and the reader losing interest if it's too lengthy. And given that the concept of demon recruiting and fusing is familiar to anyone who has played an SMT game, I could have taken that into account.


Don't panic!


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: July 27, 2009 (09:22 AM)
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Psycho Penguin was talking to Zipp.

Anyway, I spotted a typo:
"It doesn't punish you for mistakes, although some battles cane be very tough if you don't have the right balance of allies."

I didn't read the first version of this review. The edited version is still long, but I actually didn't realise quite how long (it weighs in at a whopping 10KB!). The reason this didn't bother me too much is that it's a lively, enjoyable review to read. It also has a clear focus despite the mass of information being relayed. I think your enthusiasm for the game probably helped. I know I've found that if I'm only half-interested in a game or don't know exactly what to say then my writing can drift and get caught up in tangents.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 27, 2009 (10:05 AM)
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Threetimes--first things first, I like the improvements. I have a general rule I've established for myself recently: If I write a review of 10K or more, I look to cut it by 15%. It feels good to write, and it should, if you know the game.

I think PP's comment about RPGs allowing the longest writing is generally right. However, I think the more worthwhile ideas you have, the harder it gets to cut down. It's tough to look for overlap or how to combine them into new ideas--but then again, in a review where you discuss a game that allows hybridization/synergy of two monsters into one, it makes sense for art to mimic gaming (two demons/sentences can merge to one more powerful one.) If it's not emotionally easy, it's a sign you're taking 2 good ideas against each other, or trying to merge them.

The only problem with fixing one thing in a review, though, is that smaller things pop up. On rereading, I'd be more interested in reading in the introductory paragraph why Last Bible II is not like the Bible, and what it does so well. Your statement about it starting slowly gets in the way of the general enthusiasm of the review. I'd also put the "under the radar" statement near the end, mentioning that at the end, saying, "I'm glad this got a translation, because it shouldn't be so far under the radar." Then the first sentence should be a more specific introduction to the game.

Also, there's still stuff like "The background to the story introduces the game" and that's the sort of thing to hunt down to get that 15% cut that doesn't remove information.

Hope you don't mind the additional criticism, but I think this review is really worth it. It makes me interested in a game I had no clue about.


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: JANUS2
Posted: July 27, 2009 (10:22 AM)
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Actually, I thought the introduction was quite good. I liked the contrast between the idea of it being unknown and fairly ordinary in a superficial sense but actually being a rewarding experience for those who delve deeper. Thinking about it, this angle is what interested me in the review. If it had opened with a tangent about the bible I would have probably stopped reading.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 27, 2009 (10:51 AM)
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Hmm...I can see what you mean. I'm not advocating a tangent as in the 2nd paragraph, but my immediate reaction is, "okay, this game has the word 'Bible' in the name so what's up with that?"

I don't necessarily think it's a tangent to say "It establishes its own alternate-Biblical mythology and beast alchemy that helps it depart from the usual..." or something like that. The reference feels dropped in there, and the observation about twelves is a good one, but it just doesn't add to the flow. It may be tricky not to go off on a tangent there, but I think with what threetimes knows about the game, something more relevant and specific can be there, that would really grab me. I have to admit I only read this review in-depth because its critique topic popped up, and after the first couple paragraphs went slowly, it picked up.

I can see what you mean, though. It's tough to judge what people will find interesting all around, and at the same time, the writer wants to establish his own voice. You have to take your chances. I'd be interested what other people would think about mentioning Bible stuff in the first paragraph, and if it might be a bit over general.

That I'm having to describe something tricky to improve the review is an oblique compliment, though.


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: threetimes
Posted: July 27, 2009 (11:31 AM)
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I cut the second paragraph out after the comments about length and that explained a little of the series and that it's a Megami Tensei gaiden game. The start of what is now the second paragraph does sound awkward, though I like the introduction the way it is. Thanks for the heads up on that typo, I'll deal with that and the other thing when I've finished arguing about that Mana Khemia review. ;)

I appreciate the feedback, especially as this is the first review of the game in English and I'd like to think it will encourage some new players!


Don't panic!


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: July 27, 2009 (11:49 AM)
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Another thing you need to do is change your forum avatar to ANYTHING that isn't the default picture.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 27, 2009 (12:33 PM)
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Yeah the default picture is one of the most hideous things I've seen in my life.


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 27, 2009 (02:05 PM)
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I'd say you can maybe take part of a screenshot from this game, then post it to the avatar list(click on the avatar) and then change to that.

You may need to ask for permission to post avatars, but that shouldn't be a problem.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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