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Forums > Submission Feedback > whelkman's Zanac review

This thread is in response to a review for Zanac on the NES. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: dagoss
Posted: May 26, 2008 (07:57 PM)
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You posted reviews for two shmups and Radia Senki on the same day! I love you!

I saw a few problems though:

You spend like 4 paragraphs talking about Zanac's story -- why? While I agree that there is something (a little) interesting in the the enemy being a machine not unlike the player's actual NES, the story is still incoherent at best and non-existent in the game itself. You then write a paragraph that discusses power-ups, followed by another paragraph that returns to the story.

There are also a few wording problems, such as, "The game becomes much less forgiving after losing a life as the game goes on, toning down its challenge less and less." That whole paragraph actually reads a little odd. Another example would be, "accidentally picking up wanted special weapons by accident is annoying," which made me giggle a bit.

I think the review would benefit by talking more about Zanac's unique enemy generation system. Shmups are usually pretty "samey" and people generally approach them with expectations of "sameiness," so I think it's important to make clear what really sets the game apart from others. If someone booted up Zanac and only played for a few minutes, they might not even notice that the game changes based on their performance and current weapon.

I still like the review though. Any review about a shmup is automatically a success. I'm glad you enjoyed Recca too. Have you tried Recca Pure? It has an extra mode called "Zanki Attack" in which enemies explode into bullets when you destroy them!!


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: May 26, 2008 (08:40 PM)
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I'm obviously not Whelkman . . . .

But I'm glad you like the review. I'm sure he's glad, too.

For those of you who don't know, Whelkman just yesterday gave HG permission to let us host his old reviews. EmP, Jason, and I worked on getting them posted this morning. Whelkman actually had nothing to do with the process outside of agreeing to let us host them. As a result, they were added without any edits. If they have any kinks, that's because they've had them for years.

So while the feedback certainly is good, you may not receive a response from the author himself. But hey, maybe he'll see this eventually. That would be cool.

In other news, thanks to you Dagoss, I plan to review Recca and Gun Nac in the not too distant future. They're easily the two best NES shmups I've played ever. And I didn't even really know about them until you reviewed them. So thank you!

As for Zanac, well, thanks to Whelkman's review, perhaps I should give it a second chance.


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


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Author: dagoss
Posted: May 26, 2008 (08:51 PM)
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I just noticed that there are like a billion Whelkman reviews posted.

It makes me so happy that I was responsible for introducing you to two games you actually liked. I try hard to review games that are presently overlooked in a feeble attempt to make them feel loved. I can't believe I'm sort of succeeding in doing that!

EDIT: Also, I saw that you had posted scores for both games. I'm going to post scores too once everything is running smoothly again (I think I read that we shouldn't upload images for the next day or two).


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Author: sashanan
Posted: May 27, 2008 (01:20 AM)
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No review site is complete without Whelkman's work. NOW we're in business.


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


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Author: psychopenguin
Posted: May 27, 2008 (08:39 AM)
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HG is now legit!


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


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Author: whelkman
Posted: June 22, 2008 (06:28 PM)
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Chance would have it that I would come across this posting.

I wrote Zanac early in my career, so I hadn't yet found a style and flow that worked. This may be my first review without categories, but, as you'll see, it's basically a category review without the headers. As typical with category reviews, all the canned sections are represented, in the same order, regardless of their relevance. Luckily, I got out of the habit quickly.

Hard to believe I have the only Radia Senki review. I actually thought it would eventually become better known due to its high quality.

Virtually all my reviews contain at least one typo or oddly phrased passage, despite my attempts to curb such distractions. I rarely fixed them.

I would recommend Recca first to anyone on the fence between that and Zanac. Even if you ended up liking Zanac more, Recca is far shorter and more quickly represents itself. I never "got" Gun Nac. It was okay.



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Author: dagoss
Posted: June 23, 2008 (08:41 AM)
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I have been intended to write a Radia Senki review. When yours was posted, I sort of lost the motivation though. However, I think it might have been overlooked by users in that sea of your reviews that was posted a few weeks ago.

By the way, didn't you used to post all the time on the GameFAQs Radia Senki board a few years ago?


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 23, 2008 (01:37 PM)
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I believe he did. That was actually the spot on GFs that I first latched onto when I first joined that site. Good times, there!

Uhh....I also must do a Radia Senki review at some time. Been so long since I've played the game (wasn't reviewing when I first played it) that I'll have to go through it again, but that'll be cool -- give me an excuse to pick it up again.


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


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Author: whelkman
Posted: June 23, 2008 (02:30 PM)
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For a time I was a frequent poster on the Radia Senki board. My claim to fame is figuring out what "Strella" did. I was lured by "Casey" from the then quality FF2j board, replete with regular appearances from ROM hacker Alex W Jackson who explained/verified game mechanics that were never scribed to any guide.

I think Radia Senki was actually the #1 NES board for a week or two at its peak, beating Super Mario Bros. 3, but that attracted moderators who essentially dismantled the thing and it was never the same after that.

dagoss, based on your Recca review I believe you can do this game justice. I was never satisfied with my review despite being my only rewrite and always hoped someone would release something superior. dagoss, you have the power to resolve six years of disappointment!



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Author: DrCasey
Posted: June 23, 2008 (09:10 PM)
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For a website I never knew existed before today, I feel strangely at home here. :)

No review site is complete without Whelkman's work. NOW we're in business.

Hiya, sashanan. Good to see you around. Now go play Radia Senki if you haven't.

I have been intended to write a Radia Senki review. When yours was posted, I sort of lost the motivation though.

I'd like to see your updated thoughts on the game, Dawhat - it's been seven years almost to the day since you posted your original review. It's pretty cool that you posted that review just several hours after mine. I really wish I hadn't deleted that thing... I erased it because I found it stupid and embarassing a couple of years down the road, but what did I care? I was 13 at the time, I was just a kid. That's like being self-conscious about crying when you were a baby.

I believe he did. That was actually the spot on GFs that I first latched onto when I first joined that site. Good times, there!

Hey there, overdrive. :) Whoa, you're a mod here? I'd have never expected that I was in the presence of royalty whenever you posted at GameFAQs.

Uhh....I also must do a Radia Senki review at some time.

I look forward to it very much. Do your best, good sir.

Been so long since I've played the game (wasn't reviewing when I first played it) that I'll have to go through it again, but that'll be cool -- give me an excuse to pick it up again.

It's been a hell of a long time since I've played through Radia Senki, too. I'd say that it was somewhere towards the end of 8th grade, early 2002.

My claim to fame is figuring out what "Strella" did.

I forget, what does Strella do? That name reminds me more of Senel's love interest (Tales of Legendia) than Radia War.

I was lured by "Casey" from the then quality FF2j board, replete with regular appearances from ROM hacker Alex W Jackson who explained/verified game mechanics that were never scribed to any guide.

Casey? What the hell, Whelk. You can't even remember my real name. :( But indeed, that was a fateful day at the Final Fantasy 2 board. I've always thought that Final Fantasy 2 was a worthless game, but I guess that if it brought you to the Radia Senki lands it was good for something after all.

I think Radia Senki was actually the #1 NES board for a week or two at its peak, beating Super Mario Bros. 3

I don't believe the game ever reached the top spot because Final Fantasy had a higher number of regulars (The top 10 list being based just as much on number of posters as number of posts), but in terms of post count we were indeed number one. I think we reached around ~1200 posts at our peak, beating Final Fantasy by a fair margin.

but that attracted moderators who essentially dismantled the thing and it was never the same after that.

Hmm. I don't remember any moderator attacks, but that might have been while my computer was crashed (August 22nd, 2001 - September 27th, 2001). I just remember coming back one day and being shocked to find Radia Senki reduced to 442 posts. A dagger through the heart, it was.


And maybe I'll jump on the bandwagon and post a Radia Senki review of my own, too. I think I'm a much better write than whenever I last tried my hand at a review (Ninja Gaiden III, November 2003), probably because I'm in the middle of writing a series which currently sits at 776 pages in Wordpad, size 10 Verdana.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 23, 2008 (09:34 PM)
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It's nice to see you here, DrCasey. I hope that you continue to find the site welcoming, and that overdrive writes that review, and that whelkman suddenly finds himself inspired and writes more stuff and that you do the same. I hope a lot of things, don't I?


"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: whelkman
Posted: June 23, 2008 (10:03 PM)
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Sorry, Mr. Casey, but FF2j was a great game. Strella heals status effects on all allies, I think. I recall the board's "social" threads being attacked, though I think that (legit) original thread which lasted for years suffered a deletion, too. It's been five or six years or something, so I don't know.

Venter, why is that picture so familiar? And what's with the oversaturated cheetos?



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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 23, 2008 (10:51 PM)
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HELL YEAH!!!!! Dr. Casey is here in a blast from the past moment!

1. Believe me, back in the GF Radia Senki board days, I wasn't close to being a mod on any site. That was my first "home" on a video game site.

2. I don't remember it being first on GFs NES board list, but it was definitely in the Top 10. Our board had a fun rivalry with Heroes of the Lance in pure bullshitting boards that were mainly off-topic. Although, we never could contend with the utter insanity entailing the discussions on the power of Sturm's moustaches. Which is why our board got purged by mods more often than their's did, in my humble opinion.

3. Holy SHIT!!!! Dagoss is Dawhat??? Damn....it truly is a small world after all....a true Radia Senki AND Pool of Radiance master! With Nash's Turbo board on his own site now, we might have to create a new Radia Senki social board here and inform the other dudes who posted there (assuming they can be found).

4. Oh, and nice ToL reference. One of those love/hate relationships with games I've had during my reviewing days. Loved the characters and story, hated the gameplay (after it got old about 5-6 hours into things).


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: June 24, 2008 (12:09 AM)
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Turbo Board will always be cooler.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: sashanan
Posted: June 24, 2008 (05:15 AM)
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Hiya, sashanan. Good to see you around. Now go play Radia Senki if you haven't.

Hello and welcome to HG. Radia Senki, huh? Hadn't heard of it before today, I'll add it to the long, long list of things that need checking out.


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


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Author: dagoss
Posted: June 24, 2008 (08:40 AM)
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The Internet is apparently very small. We should hold a Radia Senki review competition or something, and then have everyone post their review on the same day. It'd be like a hostile take over, except full of win.

(I just looked at the Radia and Pool of Radiance reviews I posted on GameFAQs -- they're terrible!)


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 24, 2008 (11:00 AM)
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Haha, what's your FAQs handle, Dagoss?

If you guys want to a hold a Radia Senki review competition, I will judge.


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


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