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Forums > Contributor Zone > TT: WEEK 5 - RESULTS!

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Author: jerec
Posted: July 26, 2009 (05:57 AM)
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Janus at Felix
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Zigfried vs Janus

JEREC: Both these reviews were great, what you'd expect from two excellent writers. Zig has a way of drawing you into these old games you'll likely never ever play, no matter how good they apparently are. But he makes them seem relevant, and worth reading about. I quite liked Zig's story of Mid-Garts, and how it went from a boring two bats to something really imaginative and fun - and hard. Dead Rising is a game I own, but haven't played much of yet, and Janus makes me want to go play it now... though I don't think I will just now. This review is fairly long, though I get the feeling it could have been longer, because this is one of those big games where there's a lot to talk about. The examples of some of the in game situations you'll encounter are well written, though the review did feel a little repetitive by the end. Fairly close one.
WINNER: ZIGFRIED

LEWIS: Zigfriedís outing isnít particularly memorable, though thereís nothing enormously wrong with it. It has a bit of a slow start, with a clumsy opening sentence, and it never really elevates itself into being eminently or enormously interesting. The thing with this competition is that stuff is almost always written to a reasonable standard, and most stuff here could sit nicely on most games sites or in mainstream mags. So I think weíre looking for a bit of oomph, which sadly this doesnít really have.
So I like Janusí review for the introduction alone. Itís something a bit different, something that immediately grabs my attention and compels me to read on. Beyond there, it all flows well, and works hard to remain as interesting as it started out. Generally, a strong effort, one that held my interest throughout. Janus wins.

SPORTSMAN: Zig over Janus. I liked this Janus review a lot. I wouldnít put it up there with his KOTOR and King Kong, though itís one that I would have a hard time criticizing. Aside from being extremely well organized what made this review great is how he really captured the feel of the B-movie atmosphere the game provides. I was convinced that everything works because of this. If I came into the game with this mindset when I tried it a while back maybe I wouldíve lasted more than 20 minutes. It was a little bit on the long side but my mind didnít wander at all.

On the other hand, it isnít a secret around here that this Zig review is one of my favorites by him (he wanted to know how this holds up so this is gonna be a bit long!). Probably also one of my top 10 favorites on the site, maybe even top 5. If this was used when it was first written for the shmups contest (I think) it would probably beat everything used in the tourney thus far, but how does it hold up today? For the most part it held up fantastically, although I wasnít blown away and left with the holy shit impression Iím left with after reading so many of his reviews. Then again I wasnít exactly shocked like this when he first wrote it, either. It doesnít have a neat gimmick and didnít start a wacky new trend (aside from the ďXĒ score at the time, although that mightíve been for the worse), but manages to do just about everything right. Itís superbly written, very detailed yet not long at all, down to earth yet eloquent, and has that typical Zig commentary that goes well beyond the typical ďthis game is good!Ē or ďthis game sucks!Ē that you see in most reviews. Even though Iím not quite sure how much Iíll like this game this review really makes me want to find out. Some Zig reviews, such as Emerald Dragon and GUN blew me away at first, but once I got past that they werenít as rewarding the second time around since I knew what to expect and all. Regardless of how much I read this one this is reviewing at its finest.

Randxian vs bbobb

JEREC: Rand's review is a very smooth, brief rundown of a crappy NES game. I'm enjoying how much Rand's writing has improved over the last few weeks. Improvement is one of the best things these tournaments can motivate people with. Usually I find bad NES games dull to read about, but this was not the case here. Dreamer's review wasn't as good, unfortunately. It's a long review that really started to sag in the second half. It's a very indepth look at why Manhunt's stealth gameplay isn't any good, though it's framed by an argument about gore and social commentary which isn't really touched on at all except in the intro and the conclusion. With no real examples of the gore, other than the premise of the game, the argument rests solely on the bad gameplay.
WINNER: RANDXIAN

LEWIS: Heh. Iím going to point Randaxian at this [http://gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24521] article I wrote for Gamasutra recently. Gameplayís a horrible, imprecise word, one that fairs no better when you un-compound it. Telling me the gameplay stinks tells me literally nothing about the game, so youíve put me off straight away. You spend the whole review saying what you mean, so itís not an enormous problem, but at the same time youíre letting yourself down, as itís obvious you know what youíre talking about Ė so why use a turn of phrase that makes it look otherwise to begin with?
Was Manhunt critically acclaimed, RadicalDreamer? I donít remember it being so. Anyway, this is a strong review that identifies with what the gameís about. Sort of. I think thereís more to Manhunt than just the gore, even if itís a decidedly clumsy game overall. Itís about the twisted atmosphere and the brutality of being controlled in such a vicious manner. But you make your argument well Ė it works nicely and achieves your desired effect. Strong, so RadicalDreamer wins.

SPORTSMAN: Bbobb over Rand. Both of these are similar style reviews and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Randís is shorter, but Bbobbís subject matter is more engaging. Bbobbís writing was much smoother but Rand had more personality. Overall Iím going with Bbobb for two reasons. First his review was more organized. It flowed perfectly and I had no idea what Randís game was about until almost halfway through. Itís your best bet to make sure the reader understands the premise early on. Secondly Bbobbís piece came off as much more insightful. He delved much deeper and had the stronger and more centralized argument of the two.

Felix vs Disco1960

JEREC: I don't know how Felix managed to make a SNES action game starring some sports player INTERESTING, but somehow... he did. This seems like one of those games that's usually bashed, but Felix quite convincingly makes it sound fun in its own silly way. Disco's review is shorter, and for a more recent game, so it puts up a good fight. Unfortunately, I can see this was fairly rushed, and it is a bit rough around the edges and a little short on the details.
WINNER: FELIX

LEWIS: I really like Felixís review. Thereís a really strong theme running through it, one thatís portrayed effortlessly by the fabulously transitioning writing. At no point does anything feel forced, unnecessary or misplaced. Itís all contributing to this ďbizarre but endearingĒ vibe youíre going for, which works really well. An engaging read, a thorough review, and generally just very good.
I think Discoís review starts a little abruptly Ė it dives straight in and I wasnít quite prepared for that. Not that thatís intrinsically a bad thing, but it might be something worth considering. I like your touching on how the perspective functions, but I donít think the review identifies with enough aspects of the game, or in sufficient detail, for it to be an entirely successful write-up. As such, and because it was brilliant, Felixís piece wins.

SPORTSMAN: Felix over Disco. For such an odd title, Felix did a great job. He really brought out the gameís wackiness and best of all made it sound like something worth playing today. There are so many wacky games out there from the 16-bit era but Felix managed to make this one like one of the more interesting ones. Someone left a feedback topic saying Discoís review is too brief to be effective and I donít exactly agree with that. It was a brief and solid look at the game and probably something that would do well in a brevity of bust contest. However, the review also doesnít make me want to instantly find out more of Mirrorís Edge. ME is another game with a more interesting concept and this piece, while very competent and better than last weekís, didnít exactly do that.

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EmP at Dagoss
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EmP vs. Dagoss

JEREC: EmP writes a funny bash review. That's all I have to say. I did not like Dag's review at all. The introduction made its point, but it was boring and turned me off the review entirely. It was also very long, took a cheap shot at Oblivion (which I happen to like), and just sort of rambles on and on until it gets to a list. Even at the best of times, my attention span isn't this good.
WINNER: EMP

LEWIS: I'm not really a fan of a few features of EmP's review. The list thing's slightly awkward for me. The big bold capitals. The "look at this image!" stuff. It strikes me as slightly predictable humour. But at the same time, it's something that's unique to internet journalism. Is that a good thing? Should it stop striving to be like print? I'm not too sure. This is a mildly ammusing and somewhat effective review, but I'm still not wholly taken by it.
I see what dagoss is trying to do in his review, with the boring, inconsequential introduction attempting to ape the game's own. But again, I don't know if it's entirely successful. When it takes so long to get into the review proper, you've got to be very careful, even if it does turn into a joke. Again, there's a list -- this time it's a big bulk of the piece, too, which means there's no transitional work to speak of. I'm not at all fond of either of these pieces, but EmP just about wins.

SPORTSMAN: EmP over Dagoss. Easy one to call here. I donít know what Dagoss was thinking using this review. Itís super long and unorganized and takes forever to make a point. Iíll be honest, I didnít make it through this one. Instead of feeling obliged to talk about everything youíre better off focusing the most important aspects and expanding on those. Unless I was super interested in the game myself thereís no way I would want to go through a laundry list of nearly every good and bad moment. EmPís review wasnít one of my favorites of his, either. It came across as a bit cheesy and seemed like he tried too hard to be goofy and entertaining. With that being said it was still a fairly enjoyable read, to the point and well organized so he gets the easy victory here. In the matter of fact EmP probably couldíve penned another Metal Slug review and beat this one.

DarkEternal vs. Wolfqueen001

JEREC: DE used this Loom review in the great TT07 and won a match against someone. It's one of his better Adventure game reviews, because it really delves into what makes LOOM unique and fun. This is a hard genre to review - I should know. I love these games but I always find it hard to review them without spoiling things or not saying enough. Moving onto Wolfqueen's review... The Getaway sounds pretty lame. Timed missions, stealth missions, a story heavy GTA style game? Ugh. I generally enjoyed the review, however the many examples of missions made it a little tedious. But it also made the game sound tedious. Perhaps that was the point? Close one, but DE's was the more captivating read.
WINNER: DARKETERNAL

LEWIS: Again, we've a big introduction that strikes me as clumsy. There are a few reviews this week that lapse into narrative literature mode, which I don't think is the best way to approach game reviews. It means you're taking up loads of space with something that's not really useful for the reader. Then your transition into the review proper is abrupt and awkward. You do identify a component that drives the experience forward, but by this point, you're nearing the end of the review and it's not really paid off.
WQ's review is really good -- smooth, flowing, illustrative and informative. It reads beautifully and tells me everything I need to know about the game, painting a fantastic picture of it. Really, this is professional quality stuff, so for that reason, WQ easily wins.

SPORTSMAN: DE over Wolfqueen. Another not so impressive matchup here. DE knows Iím a fan of his LOOM review but enough is enough! I judged this one in a contest, he used it when he was on my team and I believe used it again last year. Iíve read this review a number of times and it just isnít as effective as it was back when he wrote it in 2006 or 2007 or whenever. I remember WQ saying sheís going to play it safe this week and unfortunately she mightíve played it a bit too safely. Compared to her brief, high energy piece last week this one was much slower and took a while to get going. It was fairly by the books and not very enthusiastic which meant I PC clocked quite a bit. All the info is there and itís well organized but a bit generic and WQ really didnít seem to into it. Itís better than a gamespot review but not something memorable, either. While neither review interested me, DEís was shorter and didnít have me PC clocking so Iíll go with him, though Iím not sure how many more times I can support this review.

Dragoon of Infinity vs. Golden Vortex

JEREC: DoI captures the charm of Bubble Bobble. Lines like "obnoxiously adorable" really stood out, and I really enjoyed reading about this game. I'm not that familiar with it, but now it's been described perfectly, I want to give it a go. Vorty's review is old, never really gets interesting, and is long. Sometimes a Vorty review is a mere 400 words, other times it's a lengthy essay. But I found it quite tiring to read, unfortunately.
WINNER: DRAGOON OF INFINITY

LEWIS: DoI's is a strong effort. While I'm not too keen on the intro, it quickly moves into a pacey, well-directed analysis of the game, with informative and unpretentious writing flowing neatly between sections. It's also brilliantly enthusiastic, conveying your feelings about the game effectively.
Vorty's review is a little clumsily worded and structued at times, and the transitions are often quite weak. This could do with some trimming, editing back and rearranging in order to turn it into something good. For now, it's just about okay, but against the opposition's effort it's not quite there. DoI wins.

SPORTSMAN: DoI over Vorty. The random pick for Vorty definitely isnít his best work. The writing makes it tough to be taken seriously and a lot of it doesnít seem very necessary. Some bits were pretty good (especially in the middle) though overall it needs a lot of work. Not a surprise considering that itís more than five years old. Solid read from DoI. He comes in, gets out and leaves me with no questions. Iím not quite convinced that BB is as epic as he claims it is and the subject matter isnít too interesting but aside from that thereís really not anything else for me to complain about. So I wonít.

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Will at Boo
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Will vs. Bluberry

JEREC: Reviewing expansion packs is good and noble and very useful to fans wanting to know if it was worth it. Does Will's review succeed in this? Absolutely. Is it a good review to use for this tourney? No. It talks about new units and a few other things, which have no relevance at all because I haven't even heard of the original game. I remember reading Blu's review before, probably in a similar tournament two years ago. I remember liking it. I still like it. It's a solid review, and there's not much more that needs to be said that I didn't probably already say last time.
WINNER: BLUBERRY

LEWIS: I don't know if Will's introduction really needs to be that long. And it isn't long, really, but merging the first two paras and chopping them back would have been more effective in my eyes. Still, the review is informative and ultimately useful, if mainly unremarkable. Again, we've a case of a game being referred to as competent in a review that's essentially best described the same.
Bluberry's review is really good. It flows so sweetly and is fabulously yet subtly signposted throughout. I love the build from hard to difficult to brilliant. It's a really clever approach to take, and while you can feel it coming, that only adds to the effect. An excellent effort, and a comfortable win for Bluberry.

SPORTSMAN: Boo over Will. Great review here by Boo, even though I know this game sucks because it wonít let me uninvert the thumbstick he really made it sound like a rewarding experience. Itís really tough to convince people that playing a game with such a steep learning curve is worth it and Boo nailed it. Great writing, great examples, great organization, great review. Havenít read this one since it was written but it has always been one of my favorites from Boo. Unfortunately the random pick wasnít too kind for Will. Itís a solid look at an expansion pack that would definitely be beneficial to people interested in the game but obviously not designed for a competition. Itís about on par with something you would find on a professional site, which is quite forgettable matched up with some of the other entries in this tourney.

Zippdementia vs. Woodhouse

JEREC: Zipp's review is LOOOOOOONG. But I had no problem with it. I was getting a little sleepy, but that had nothing to do with the writing. It made for a pretty compelling read. There's been a lot of negative reviews this round. Nearly everyone has something to complain about. Zipp's game sounds really bad - the bit that really got me was the camera. It sounds like the one in that awful PS2 RPG Summoner. You could never see far ahead, and it pretty much killed the game for me. I laughed at the idea of taking the horse into peoples homes, too. Woodhouse offers up another repeat - I remember this review, and as far as Woodhouse reviews go, that says something. It is yet another quirky DS game, but it seems interesting enough. I enjoyed re-reading this, but ultimately it felt like a very safe pick (as have all of his so far), and I found myself getting into Zipp's review more. He took a risk of using a long review, but it paid off that it was actually a fascinating read.
WINNER: ZIPP

LEWIS: Zipp's review is solid, thorough and often amusing. It successfully conveys the mediocrity and clumsiness of the game without falling into any journalistic, stylistic cliche traps. It's all just very good, and tells me everything I need to know about the game without being too obvious about anything. Arguably Zipp's best effort of the contest so far.
Woodhouse's piece is good too, again with little to fault. It flows equally well and is equally thorough. So this is a difficult one -- best match-up of the round so far. Zipp wins, but only just -- both were of an extremely high standard.

SPORTSMAN: Zipp over Woodhouse. Not my favorite reviews from either author. Unfortunately for Woodhouse Iíve never even heard of Elite Beat Agents and this review seemed to be geared towards those whoíve played it. It took me a while to figure out how the game actually works, and although I think I understand it after reading this piece there wasnít much here that made it sound interesting. If I had played EBA this probably wouldíve made a lot more sense. Zipp made some great points in his review and some parts were very good but it was way too long. The problem with these first person reviews is they can become very tangential and just go on forever and leave me with the ďshut up and end it already!Ē mentality, which is a big problem in this competition. Luckily this review never quite got to that level. In the matter of fact almost read like a non-flowery Lasthero review. On the plus side I came away with great knowledge about the game and Zippís argument was crystal clear so he gets the win.

Sashanan vs. Espiga

JEREC: This is one of my favourite Sashanan reviews. It's funny, full of energy, and the writing is clever. It's a bad puzzle game that will steal your soul, if this review is to be believed. Sash's obsession with the game carries across amazingly, as does his heartfelt, yet hypocritical, advice to never play the game. The writing conveys that feeling of hopeless obsession. I also like how every paragraph ends with "Mighty Beanz." Espiga's review is quite good, demonstrating how broken the game actually is. I liked how he plays good characters normally, but went on to kill everyone in the game because its mediocrity pushed him over the edge. It's something we can all relate to. Both reviews are strong, though Sash's review felt like the better written of the two - Espiga's review jumped around the different aspects of the game quite a bit and the order didn't feel all that logical (i.e. starting it with discussing the magic system).
WINNER: SASHANAN

LEWIS: Sash's is an exceptionally clever review that made me think the game was going to come away with a higher mark. I think there's a lot of room for this sort of analysis of a game -- acknowledging why some are addictive despite some really gaping flaws. Good Things About Bad Games. It's a technique that really works, because it conveys the experience of actually playing the thing better than a traditional breakdown ever could.
Espiga's is less successful. It's an okay review, but doesn't really get doing until right at the end. The quote at the beginning doesn't work at all, for some reason I can't put my finger on. It's also a little confused -- your conclusion is really overwhelmingly negative, but earlier on you'd said it's not a bad game. Which is it? Furthermore -- yeah, the Goat's Cave was hard to find, wasn't it? Certainly a failing of the game. But be careful admitting you never found it, when doing so is the first mission. While it's an open world game, admitting you never got further than the first thread of the story could rub people up the wrong way. Sashanan wins.

SPORTSMAN: Espiga over Sashanan. Pretty close match here and a good effort from both reviewers. Sashanan, while not the flashiest reviewer in the tourney, managed to write a very solid review that ranks among his best ones thus far He had a very strong argument and I came away believing it since there are so many games out there that suck but you canít put down just like Mighty Beanz. Espiga also writes for a mediocre game. Itís longer than what heís been using thus far in this tourney but everything that needs to be covered is covered and Iím not left with any questions. Iím going to go with Espiga on this one because his is quirkier, gave more examples, and manages to get his point across as well as Sashanan did though this was a good showing from both.

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Suskie at Overdrive
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Beli vs. Suskie

JEREC: Beli's casual style works well for these sorts of games, 5/10 16 bit era games which would be absolutely dull to read about otherwise. Sometimes I get the feeling he's trying a little too hard to be funny, and sometimes the review is repetitive, but it does a great job of telling me why I'd hate this game. Not that that is much of a challenge. Suskie's Homeworld review makes review writing look effortless. Each paragraph just flows into the next, and I get a very clear picture of the game in my mind - why it's fun. While Eternal Darkness last week made me want to go play it, I don't really feel the desire to play Homeworld right now... but I do want to go write some reviews. Suskie makes it look easy, when I know writing this well usually isn't. Actually, I do sorta want to play Homeworld. I might someday.
WINNER: SUSKIE

LEWIS: I'm kind of bouncing back and forwards over Beli's stuff now. Beli -- do you have a blog? I think you should start a blog. You've such a distinctive style and I think that if you worked on it a bit more you might end up doing quite well for yourself in this writing about games game. In terms of being on a review site, I'd still like you to shake things up a bit more. But even though you commit a lot of the same crimes that I'm picking apart others for doing, somehow for you it works.
You're up against Suskie, which is a tricky one. Suskie is *serious*. He's also very, very good at picking apart at what makes a game tick, as evidenced in this review. It's really, overwhelmingly thorough, but without ever feeling over-the-top. It's also gloriously written, meaning that while I really like Beli's work, that it's dropping into predictability means it doesn't win, when Suskie's writing as brilliantly as this.

SPORTSMAN: Suskie over Beli. Iím not sure if I like this review as much as some of the past ones heís used in this tourney but it is as solid as ever. It took a while to get going though once it did it was fantastic. He managed to make Homeworld (one of my favorite games) sound super relevant today and the analysis was spot on. Too bad most games since then Ė including Homeworld 2 Ė couldnít follow its lead. A good effort from Beli as well and I can tell a lot of work went into it. Some parts were brilliant though overall it didnít have the level of polish and consistency that Suskieís did. This is similar to Bluberryís effort in week 2; some clumsy transitions and odd sections mixed in with otherwise brilliant analysis. So Iím going against Beli this round but in week 2 I went against Boo again and he managed a win so anything could happen here!

OD vs. True

JEREC: Overdrive's review is quick and effective. And it seems very credible. This guy knows his stuff about old crappy games. It was a very easy read, and quite enjoyable. In fact, it only stumbled at one sentence I had a hard time understanding, "The advantages they had immediately turned this game into the experiment in sadism one expects from Color Dreams." Wut? True's review... I was not so keen on. It seemed to go on forever, and at times I got the feeling True was hating the game for not being what he wanted it to be, though the game was actually rubbish. The 1/10 surprised me for a game True actually managed to complete. The descriptions were great, but unfortunately next to Overdrive's sharp, concise effort, this one was just a bit too much for me.
WINNER: OVERDRIVE

LEWIS: OD's is one of those reviews that flows with the timeline of the game itself. We see quite a few of these around here, and it's difficult to make them entirely work, because you're usually having to drop writing in themes in favour of writing with whatever the game does. And if that doesn't flow well, neither will your review. This is an admirable go at quashing those problems, but they're still ultimately intrinsically linked with the style, so I'm still not too sure.
I'm also not sure about True's review. There's nothing terribly awful about it; it just doesn't really stand out. I do like how you're looking at what a viking game should be in your eyes, and how transparent you are about that. Still, the 1/10 came as a surprise. It sounds like a bland and clumsy game, sure, but you conclude that it's hideously awful. Not entirely successful. Hmm. OD wins, just about.

SPORTSMAN: True over OD. Two very good bash reviews. ODís is your typical OD bash review. Heís written better but managed to come up with a very organized and convincing argument. The difficulty factor really did make the game sound unplayable and although he really only argued one point it never felt like heís repeating himself and Iím convinced. True, on the other hand, took a similar approach and expanded it. He also has a very organized and convincing piece. Iím also impressed at how he spent a good deal of time with the game and actually tried different tactics because that makes the argument more convincing and really makes me feel for the pain he went through. Itís longish but I enjoyed all of it. Iím going with True because the extra detail (compared to OD) actually worked in his favor and he made more interesting points in his piece. Of course I liked ODís review a lot, but I liked Trueís better!

Venter vs. Schultz

JEREC: I actually read Venter's review when it was posted, because I wanted to know about Overlord 2, and I was quite surprised that it wasn't any good. I still haven't got around to buying the first one, though... and it's dirt cheap. Venter's review is an easy read which effectively sums up why this game isn't good. For a prospective buyer, this is the sort of review I'd want to read. Schultz manages to keep it brief this time, making for a much easier read. And I enjoyed the fact that this is a game he has quite a history with - his interest helps make me interested. Some lines were a bit clunky, but overall I enjoyed this more than previous Schultz reviews. Unfortunately for him, I happened to like Venter's review more.
WINNER: VENTER

LEWIS: Venter's is another that lapses into literary mode. I think it really is important to remember what you're writing here. I mean, god knows I've done stupid pretentious stuff in reviews that far outweighs this, but I'm a judge now, so I'll conveniently disregard that. I dunno. It means you're wasting words on your own writing style, rather than conveying a judgement efficiently. It's also probably a lot less interesting to read for its target audience. Careful with it.
Aschultz's is okay. A couple of awkward transitions here and there, but it makes the time-based transitional stuff work adequately. There's probably not a lot more to say, but it's solid, and sometimes that's all that's required. As such, Aschultz wins.

SPORTSMAN: Venter over Schultz. Typical Schultz review here; a good look at an otherwise not so interesting title. The nostalgic bits really helped make this one interesting and Iím not sure who couldíve done a better job at reviewing an Apple 2 game. Similarly good review from Venter. I was interested in this game so Iím glad I read it and even happier that Iíll be saving $40. Similar to Schultzís piece this one also has great organization and makes some fantastic, illustrative points that convince me he knows what heís talking about. Two good efforts here but Iím going with Venter because he had the more interesting topic and his great examples came across as more powerful than the nostalgia in Schultzís review.

RESULTS

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Team Felix vs Team Janus 2-1

Zigfried vs Janus 2-1
Randxian vs bbobb 1-2
Felix vs Disco1960 3-0

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Team EmP vs Team Dagoss 3-0

EmP vs. Dagoss 3-0
DarkEternal vs. Wolfqueen001 2-1
Dragoon of Infinity vs. Golden Vortex 3-0

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Team Will vs Team Boo 2-1

Will vs. Bluberry 0-3
Zippdementia vs. Woodhouse 3-0
Sashanan vs. Espiga 2-1

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Team Overdrive vs Team Suskie 2-1

Beli vs. Suskie 0-3
OD vs. True 2-1
Venter vs. Schultz 2-1

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LEADERBOARDS

Team Leaderboard

Individual Leaderboard


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 26, 2009 (07:16 AM)
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@ Lewis:
I sent you an HG mail about your Gamasutra article. My mail's a bit rambling; that happens when I write on the fly.

Also, thanks again for the comments. Sorry this one didn't grip you, but I've got at least a couple more rounds to try and find "the review that Lewis loves" (although that's not my purpose in writing, but still it'd be nice). Speaking of additional rounds, unlike the other judges, you didn't have past experience to know what kind of commitment you were signing up for. Your time is very appreciated.

@ Sportsman:
I appreciate the longer commentary, as well as the examples of reviews that don't hold up as well on repeat reads. It pretty much confirms what I was already thinking when making my pick this week, which is a good sign for me. I don't plan to drag out any more famous old reviews, but that's mainly because Emp and Zipp will be pushovers (oh yeah, that's right, I WENT THERE)

@ Jerec:
Thanks for pushing through and getting this done so quickly even though you've been sick. If you hadn't told us, I don't think anyone would be the wiser.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: Halon
Posted: July 26, 2009 (09:35 AM)
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If you wanna get super technical Team EmP should be in third place since they have the tiebreaker over Team Boo.


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


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 26, 2009 (09:40 AM)
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@ Lewis - If I would have said something like "the game stinks" or "the game mechanics stink" would that have worked? I understand gameplay or game play (however the hell you want to say it) is cliche, so in retrospect I agree pointing that out makes sense. On the other hand, my objective was to state the graphics and music are great; it's the fun factor and controls that are messed up. Maybe I could phrase that all better. Thanks for the input.

@ Sportsman - I thought I had good flow initially, but it does seem bringing up the actual plot when the review is half done seems like a bad idea now. That's something I didn't really consider until you pointed that out. Thanks for the input.

@ Jerec - Thanks for voting for me so this match wasn't a complete disaster. :)

Also, congratulations to Radical Dreamer for writing a great review this week. You may have won this match, but I am still the site's official Pot Stirrer. AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT! :D


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 26, 2009 (09:57 AM)
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"If I would have said something like "the game stinks" or "the game mechanics stink" would that have worked?"

It's impossible to tell out of context. And it's not that what you wrote didn't work -- it's just something to keep in mind. Be specific about what stinks, right from the start. If you find yourself having to explain what you meant by a previous bit, then the previous bit was probably unnecessary.

To quote Neil Kulkarni: "Be like Ed Gein -- cut out the fanny."


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 26, 2009 (10:55 AM)
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Holy shit we won! We won Sashanan! Which means that Will's throwaway review turned into an excellent boon and we still have a shot at finals if we hunker down and turn in absolutely awesome reviews for the next two weeks!

It's too bad I'm working all day, otherwise I'd be celebrating. Sash, that was a hard won victory, I think you deserve a bow AND a tip of the hat from me.


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 26, 2009 (10:35 AM)
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Yes, I played it safe. I'm not wasting a good review on a match we have no chance of winning. I think I only have like one left anyway. Though I bet the laws of irony dictate that something I didn't consider quite as good as the stuff I've been using would go over splendidly. Then I will laugh. Hysterically. Bahaha.

That being said, I was going to ramble a lot here but decided not to because it's largely just unnecessary venting that we really don't need and I don't want to be that person. Just typing it out made me feel better, anyway. Though I will say that, only the opinions of three people or no, this thing has really done a number on my self-esteem. But, well, maybe the sense of mediocrity I'm feeling about myself isn't really justified since a lot of what I've been using is old anyway. Granted, I don't feel that a lot of what I've written recently is any better. Some of it's probably even worse, but I'm not going to think about that, either. Besides, the people I want to like my stuff the most usually do, so that's all that really matters (thanks Lewis).

Congrats to DE - and the rest of his team - anyway. He should be happy now. I expect him to do a lot better than me, anyway, in the next few weeks.


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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: July 26, 2009 (11:38 AM)
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I'm glad to see DE finally break the most undeserved losing streak ever recorded anywhere ever, though it's a shame it was against someone else I've been rooting hard for. Chin up, Wolfie -- they're all just threatened by your insane trvia knowhow about N*SYNC.

Kudos to DoI for continuing to silently own the third tier without anyone noticing for the third year running. Ta much to the judges and further hoorahs to me. Me! ME!

Now then; to Zig or not to Zig? I shall base this choice on the flip of a simple coin.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 26, 2009 (11:45 AM)
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I think I heard a violin playing.

Dammit, WQ, you're not allowed to be like this! You're the one who beat me, and I refuse to lose to someone with no confidence! The review you used against me was absolutely brilliant. Take another look at it, see what works, and then try writing some new stuff with the knowledge you've learned!


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


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Author: True
Posted: July 26, 2009 (11:53 AM)
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Well, it happens... again. So close though, and against OD, again I can't be upset losing to such an accomplished reviewer.

Thank you, as always, to the judges--especially this week, getting it done so quickly but giving great comments like you usually do. You guys kick ass.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 26, 2009 (01:16 PM)
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Win by the 2-1 4-5, lose by the 2-1 4-5...well, I knew I was taking a risk with the Decathlon review, and I'm glad you all saw some good parts I was trying for. Now to try and patch up your other suggestions.

Sportsman, I disagree on the "otherwise not so interesting" so I probably could have stated that more clearly. Decathlon simply takes the basics of controls and makes the game much more fun than a lot of shooters with more sophisticated plots, etc. At the same time, it lets you improve gradually after a few initial moments of figuring how to clear the pole vault, etc. But of course "controls" is a hot-button word like "gameplay."

Hm, maybe should have said that in the review. Maybe I can patch it up.


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: Halon
Posted: July 26, 2009 (01:45 PM)
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Hereís a very rough look at whatís happening so far. Itís too early to determine playoffs and so many scenarios so Iíll just nail the big ones.

Even though they lost Team Suskie has pretty much clinched playoff birth. I say pretty much because their might be a freak way they can miss but with the amount of points they have they seem pretty safe, even at 4-3. One more individual matchup win should officially clinch it for them. The only way Team OD can miss is if they lose their next two matches, Team Will wins their next two (one again OD), and Emp and Boo win at least one of two and wind up with more points (or with both matches regardless of points). Team Felix accumulating more points than OD should knock them out as well. The scenarios for the next four teams are too complicated at this point.

Surprisingly there might be a way where Team Janus can still make it, primarily because they have a lot of points for a 1-4 team and that could be their miracle. I'm not sure if Dagoss is completely eliminated but without the extra points Janus has it seems to be nearly impossible.


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


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 26, 2009 (01:49 PM)
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Yes, I played it safe. I'm not wasting a good review on a match we have no chance of winning.

I disagree with that philosophy. Yes, ultimately this is a team thing, but we are keeping track of individual stats as well. If you are just slopping up reviews that don't display your talent as a writer, then you are just cheating yourself.

And you beat Zipp, possibly one of the best writers here. That alone counts for something.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: Halon
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:07 PM)
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WQ: First of all I should mention that I judge this differently than I judge a normal contest. I usually skim a review once, then read it very thoroughly, then finally write comments while reading it again. If I did that I would probably be burned out after week 3. Now I give each review a quick read (ďquickĒ meaning my average reading pace which isnít that fast) and pick which one I like better. Iím not examining every part of the review and trying to find what every piece does correctly and incorrectly. I read the reviews, and the one that is initially the better read is the one that Iím going with. So far youíve admitted that three of the reviews youíve used arenít your best work and one was the experimental piece so it beats me why youíre upset that it didnít win against someone who used one of his best reviews.

Also something else to keep in mind is that the way this is set up is different than a regular tourney. Instead of being matched up with everyone and placed somewhere youíre matched up with one particular person. Losing doesnít mean you necessarily suck, but the other review was better. If that one person finishes ahead of you in a contest you wouldnít make a big deal out of it because you would likely finish ahead of others. You donít perceive that as a loss as you do here, though in reality there isnít much of a difference. For instance, Iíve enjoyed reading Overdriveís reviews and believe he put out plenty of quality work in this tourney. Yet Iíve only voted for him once. Not because heís been writing crap or anything, Iíve just been enjoying the reviews heís up against more. In a tourney of such high quality work itís difficult to come out on top every week.

Schultz: This type of game might appeal to you and thatís fine. But these super retro games donít appeal to me at all (I wasnít born until the mid-80ís) and itís important to come up with an approach that makes it sound relevant today because if someone comes up to me on the streets and says ďhey I played this awesome Apple II game you should check it outĒ I wonít be convinced that itís worth playing at all. I see it as why play something like this when I can play something much more advanced today? Itís the reviewís job to convince me why this one holds up so well. However you did a pretty good job at making it sound interesting and I thought the nostalgia approach worked pretty well so Iím not faulting you for that. Itís just that I liked Venterís a little bit more. Was a pretty close match actually.

Actually 90% of games reviewed in this tourney donít really interest me so youíre not at a disadvantage or anything haha.


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


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:11 PM)
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Sportsman--thanks, it was more just amusement on my part about the silly pun--and realizing I hadn't made my point as well as I'd hoped--than an actual question. I understand the risks I took with that sort of review(limited range, not helping anyone concerned with modern games,) especially one from so early in the 80s, and I'm glad the match was close as it was, with my original planned review never really gelling to tournament quality.

Oh, and about playoff possibilities, if I may do some modest blogwhoring, I think I've created scenarios where everyone has something to play for.


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: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:29 PM)
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My review is actually a relic that I used the last time I participated in a TT -- in 2005! Ironically, I remember Jerec having very positive things to say about it back then and giving me the win, unless I'm wrong and it was Denouemont instead.

Oh, and as for Manhunt being critically acclaimed, that is indeed questionable. When I first wrote that review, it read "excessive accolades," which was very wrong. It definitely received some very positive reviews from at least a few major gaming sites, and I think that's what I based that statement on at the time. The review aggregate sites' averages on the game are just slightly above 75%, so it appears the reception was moderately favorable.


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:34 PM)
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Holy crap. Go team!


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


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Author: sashanan
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:38 PM)
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Whew, that so could have gone either way. I trusted my gut on this review though, it's a personal favorite too. Nice 3-0 there, zipp.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: July 26, 2009 (03:44 PM)
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Well, looks like no team is undefeated now! The 'Drive's mastery of running the captain position (note: no one who has ever been on a team I've captained in the past may reply to this statement) is rivaled by none.

Good job, team! As the new breakaway favorites to win it all, we must be aware of the bullseye those other teams are going to try painting on us as they delude themselves that we can be stopped. Next week, we kill Will and the week after, we go Count Chocula on Booberry's ass....medieval style!


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


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 26, 2009 (03:56 PM)
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week 7 will be hell revealed, OD. we'll be holding a requiem when we're through with you--memento mori.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: July 26, 2009 (04:13 PM)
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I'm glad we were able to pull out a win. Good work guys. If only we could have gotten one more vote for you, Rand, for a tantalizing additional individual win. Disco, good match.

Thanks judges for making up for last week's verdict tardiness by having everything posted early. In regards to my review, which you all seemed to like, I'm glad that it was able to pan out because it really was a spur of the moment thing, as Zig can attest. I didn't have a clue/motivation to write something new for this match until near the last moment.


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


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Author: jerec
Posted: July 26, 2009 (05:11 PM)
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Dreamer - I can just about remember reviews I judged in 2007, but 2005 is too far back. I did look through the comments I'd made, and found one that might have been Manhunt, but since I never mentioned the game's title, it's hard to say. Do you remember who you used it against? If you used it against King Broccoli, as I'm thinking, then no, I didn't vote for you, though I thought the review was good.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Halon
Posted: July 26, 2009 (05:15 PM)
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This year OD's team might actually have more wins than all of his past TT teams combined.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 26, 2009 (05:14 PM)
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Thank you Sash and Randxian for your comments on my personal awesomeness. It's not easy being so great.

On a more humble note, I have to say that this site is really what pushes me to perform my best. There are so many fabulous writers here that you can't afford to slack off... or if you do, even your slacking effort has to be awesome.

I can say, with all honesty and a straight face, that I prefer reading the reviews here to ones at EGM, IGN, and all the others. I think Honest Gamers, with so much talent behind it, has a shot to become something really big. I feel part of a team when I write here. I'm glad to have found this community. In the long run, I think we could easily shoot to have a printed magazine, or at least a subscribed site with special features for members.

In the short run? Hold on to your butts, Team Will is not out of the running yet!


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 26, 2009 (07:31 PM)
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The one thing I remember about the verdict is that you said the conclusion was great, with words along the lines of "it slams the game one final time." If I was up against Broc though, I could certainly see how it could be viewed positively but still lose.


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