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Forums > Submission Feedback > aschultz's Order of the Griffon review

This thread is in response to a review for Dungeons & Dragons: Order of the Griffon on the TurboGrafx-16. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: August 01, 2009 (12:39 PM)
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Okay, my main word for this one is focus.

There's also a lot of confusion as to whether you actually like this game or not, which is created by the fact that you spend a really long time complaining about the combat and then a very short time saying that the game is playable. It's a little off putting. I know that's the danger of reviews that fall in the 4-7 category, but I'm gonna use as an unhumble example my own Mirror's Edge review (Resolution Version). If you look at that, you'll see I start off with some pretty strong praise, but end with a lot of harshness. This ultimately leaves you with the impression that the game is poor, but my praise at the start makes it clear why I haven't dropped it to a 1 or 0.

In your review of Griffon, you insert some praise at the end, but we've just spent five or six paragraphs reading about terrible combat. It doesn't leave us with a fresher taste in our mouth. My advice would be to start with praise and then explain where it all goes wrong.

You also need to re-read this and watch your grammar. I'll use one paragraph as the sacrificial lamb here:

Thankfully the mapping and combat are a little more sophisticated. Radlebb Keep, where you start, has the usual collection of fellows who assign you your quests, traitors behind locked doors, and citizens held hostage by orcs. Once you've cleared that, Listen carefully to the Order of the Griffon, or you'll wind up at the wrong dungeon where something invisible blocks your path. Be careful: there's Koriszegy Crypt, Keep and Cellars. The cellars are the hole in the ground next to the Keep, and while they're not too far away, that leaves the south half the world as unpopulated woodland.

First of all, this is a strangely placed paragraph that highlights the confusion I was talking about. You just got done saying that dungeons never let you out and the game is unforgiving. Now you start this one by saying the mapping (which means level design to me) and combat (which you'll go on to bash later) are strong. Very strange.

Your next sentence seems unconnected to the first, unless you meant mapping to be scripting, because now you're talking about characters and events, and that has nothing to do with level design (or combat, in this case). Whatever you lead in with a paragraph has to be what the paragraph is about. Think of them as mini reviews. Paragraphs need intros, middles, and outros just like a full essay, only they also need transitions and continued themes.

This next bit I've bolded the error:

Once you've cleared that, Listen carefully to the Order of the Griffon, or you'll wind up at the wrong dungeon where something invisible blocks your path.

Couple other things here. First off, once we've cleared what? You seemed to be talking about dungeons in general in your last sentence, now you've gotten more specific without letting us know what it is you're trying to be specific about.

Also, what's the Order of the Griffon? So far all I know it's a game, but here you seem to be giving it a persona. Is it some kind of in-game mechanic as well? It's not clear. And then there's invisible things blocking my path... what path? What things? I'm totally confused at this point.

Your last line doesn't help the confusion. You start talking geography but I have no frame of reference to understand what exactly these places are or why your description of them leads to a conclusion that the south part of the world is uninhabited. What world?

In any case, I think you should pull each paragraph apart like this and see what makes them tick and what's making them not tick.

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

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Author: aschultz
Posted: August 01, 2009 (03:49 PM)
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Thanks again. I think I see how to link up a few paragraphs...the thing is, review writing does have a certain checklist, but adhering too carefully to it gets into trouble and doesn't let you express what's different about the game. You've given me a lot of good rewriting ideas and now I just need to execute.

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

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