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Forums > Contributor Zone > Alpha Olympics 2009-10 RESULTS

Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: January 11, 2010 (07:59 PM)
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Yami: The whole "freaking" thing deals with my surprise at how much I liked your review. Sad truth: I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Partially that's because I can't recall you writing a review in a long time. You have truly left me agog. Cherish "freaking" as if it were your middle name. You are truly beautiful.

CD: Right on!


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


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: January 11, 2010 (11:46 PM)
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Does that make sense? I don't want to be a dick, because I appreciate judging these things is really difficult, and I know how I almost exploded in a fit of rage when one person HG-mailed me twice to complain about my comments on his review in the Team Tournament. So I do apologise for having this mini-rant. I just thought I'd... y'know, do it anyway.

You know, it actually is surprisingly easy to move on past old passions and even forget about them when more pressing situations demand immediate attention. However, bringing them up randomly and indiscreetly can evoke bitter memories and is potentially a recipe for disaster. I'm certainly not proud of how I conducted myself in my own emotional outpouring, but I still think you fucked up. I know judging is difficult because I have done it before and at times very badly in my own opinion. I guess now you understand a little more in the sense of finding something objectionable, though you obviously have a more tempered way of going about it.

To move on to more relevant subject matter, I would like to thank the judges for the time they put in and the feedback they provided. The best criticism always aims to provide positive and negative feedback, even if one or the other can be difficult to find.

In regards to Felix's comments, I think the different elements I covered required different styles of writing, and I wasn't really sure how to integrate them cohesively, especially in the timeframe I left myself. Before I stopped writing reviews, my problem was always starting from nothing, and consequently not having enough information. These days I take notes as I play and jot down ideas when they come to me (usually in the shower), so that I end up having so much and not knowing what to cut (and as it is I still cut about 300 words from Baten Kaitos).

ASchultz will force me to revisit this review because he said he knows I'll find time to make it better, and I don't want to turn him into a liar. I thought the comment about that statement being a weak generalization was very astute. For the voice acting bit, I want to cut down on verbiage without actually removing points, since I feel they're all important to that idea of "layered badness" - that all those related issues compound on and multiply one another to make something that's really bad.

Rand, I certainly wasn't intentionally trying to point out that the game rips off FF7; that's probably just a side effect of pointing out that a game is loaded with JRPG cliches. I think there are other games it probably has more in common with. 7/10 is probably the most difficult score to write a review for since it probably requires the most delicate balance of positive and negative. I'm not sure how well I have truly achieved that balance, but as much as I bash the game, there is definitely still some very positive praise in there, and I wouldn't exactly say it's hidden. I also picked a game that was difficult to have a unified opinion on because it embodied such extremes instead of being a "uniform" 7/10.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Yami Shoryou. Whenever there's a contest, even if I'm not the one judging, I read all reviews and try to gauge how they will place. When I read yours I knew it was one of the best in the contest and it was no surprise to me when the actual judges agreed, so nicely done.


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Author: yamishuryou
Posted: January 12, 2010 (12:43 AM)
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Aw shucks thanks. The only caveat I ask is that you spell my name right :O


At 9:55:00 PM MST on April 5th, 2005, Venter finally defeated Phantom!


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 12, 2010 (01:15 AM)
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Is it just me, or is this entire thread in boldface?


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Author: jerec
Posted: January 12, 2010 (01:58 AM)
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The judges gave out some really awesome comments. Makes me feel sad and ashamed for not getting my entry done.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: January 12, 2010 (02:13 AM)
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It's not just you bloomer. I thought it was something I accidentally did with my computer. It's probably something Jason accidentally did the last time he worked on site coding.


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Author: yamishuryou
Posted: January 12, 2010 (04:21 AM)
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Instinctually blaming Venter for everything that goes wrong is a good habit to develop.

(I kid, I kid...or do I?!)


At 9:55:00 PM MST on April 5th, 2005, Venter finally defeated Phantom!


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Author: randxian
Posted: January 12, 2010 (04:28 AM)
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Rand, I certainly wasn't intentionally trying to point out that the game rips off FF7; that's probably just a side effect of pointing out that a game is loaded with JRPG cliches.

I was actually amused by how subtle that seemed to have been accomplished; I certainly wasn't counting that against you. It's even funnier now that you mention you didn't intend that at all.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 12, 2010 (05:20 AM)
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Between the reviews and the commentary, this topic has massive content. I've not read near all of it, but what I have read so far certainly makes me appreciate the efforts of all involved, especially the judges.

Re: 2) Stop dissing your writing all the time. Who are you, Vegita from GameFAQs?

I know it's snickerpussish to snicker at old in-jokes, but this did make me snicker.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: January 12, 2010 (09:45 AM)
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First, a big "wow" to all the comments here. It's great to read people's takes on this. Sometimes it feels tricky critiquing a review that's better than I've written recently.

Zigfried--One of my red flags is "for the children" in political rhetoric so when I read that, I cringed. It doesn't happen often with your stuff. There's enough good emotion in there.

Ben--This approach might be too audacious, but emphasizing "first impressions are important" and say if the game dragged you in enough to wish you had more time, or discussed if you wished you'd put it off. Motivational/assertiveness books I've read give several angles for stuff like not having all the skills suggested for a job and how to work around that without BSing. I'd be interested in your full work and hope to see it linked to on the front page one day.

HG--yours was one of the toughest scores to judge, because I had to make a decision one way or the other. Looks like I guessed wrong. So I'm glad Randxian's score compensated for me a bit. This may bring up other issues with the game, like--is unlocking everything too easy?

Suskie--standard deviations took 5 seconds in my spreadsheet program, so why not?

True--you read between the lines! I've gotten bogged down in my own little work so I haven't gotten as far in yours as you like. Let me know if I forget to follow up. I'd like to participate in any tourney if I have a good enough review. Some, I just write to get stuff off my chest.

Pickhut--hope you have time for the full review. It's an interesting idea.

Lewis--don't blame you for trying crazy stuff (sometimes a plain-vanilla review is all the change of pace I can find from my own work assignments.) Your sort of review most frequently makes me say 1) He did it wrong! I'd do it like THIS, and with THIS review! or 2) He did it right, so maybe I can copy what he did/adapt it to my own style. In general with risky writing I try and picture what more it has going for it besides "you have to admit it's different." Over the years I've built up a library of stuff that seems different and original but isn't. Some of your ideas avoided this and tipped off some Big Ideas to tackle in unrelated genres, and I appreciate that. I keep forgetting to read your "regular" stuff and I need to fix this.

Overdrive/genj--not much to say here but hope to see you both get back to writing about games you want to, if you have the desire/time. Good reviews for coming in cold off the bench and having letter restrictions.

Wolfqueen--good idea switching from academic essay. I don't think that you should use college STYLE. I don't blame you for finding a place like here to get away from that. Just maybe use some of the methods to organize information, etc., or avoid errors of cohesion. I'm surprised how much writing a computer script has helped me organize larger writing works. Imagination and organization can coexist and even add to each other, even if it needs to be forced at first. That can be hidden later. And yes, keeping your class and review writing separate is a chore, but one I think will pay off. The best advice I can give is to put a ?! after a sentence that seems too technical in your reviews, then deal with it a day later.

Darketernal--ouch! "Save often" should be guidelines, not requirements.

Zippdementia--thanks for the comments even if maybe these weren't the scores you hoped. I think we all agree that tourneys are about more than getting points and when I go into one I look to gain one pivot to work on for later--whether it is what the judges said directly or something they tipped off.

CoarseDragon--Thanks for being a very good sport about my comments. Factual errors do take a bit from a review, especially a retro one where we are closer to the only source. As for sounding too nostalgic etc.: the best advice I can give is, make your own mistakes! You learn from them quicker than others', or the mistakes you suspect society disapproves of less. You should have confidence you can fix them quickly, and you can have faith that people won't grill you here. And if something's really embarrassing, you can always edit it out later. I know it's tough to organize everything to look for in a review, and I noticed you got to the dungeons, but especially when you're starting out it's easy to think you did everything, or some combination, and things slipped through. And it's hard to put aside time to go through a game. I don't know how much you remember of how to get all the runes/stones/special items or finding the shrines, but going through the process was fun for me when I played it in 1999, as freeware, after making it to the Abyss back in '88. I'd be very interested in seeing what you thought of as overly nostalgic--this may take time to fix into something objective and insightful, but it's a great first step. If you're aware of the potential pitfalls, others will be able to help you with the details.

Yami Shuryou--I know what you mean, or I hope I do. Looking over my old reviews, I say "hey, wait, why didn't I just say THIS" or "this detail is silly" etc and a lot of it was probably just from reading a lot more, or even plowing through my own writing. You might find a lot of concrete corrections to make--whether it's worth it to you is another matter. But over time I know I felt dissatisfied with my reviews and I didn't want to go back to them, and finally I did, first to the minor ones as warm-up and then to the ones most important to me. I'll check out what you recommended.

Radicaldreamer--I was slightly frustrated I didn't have more to add, because I think there's a lot of game specific stuff to be added after you get rid of the stuff that maybe repurposed for another review. Don't feel obliged to rewrite it, or to do so immediately if you go through with it. I think I['m not the only one, though, who would be happy to see a blog entry or critique topic bump once you've had time to sit down and polish things.

Jerec--I'd have liked to see you in the mix too, but you got a tough letter. I know that missing a contest has been the final push to do something I'd wanted to for a while, and there's never a wrong time to do something you may've wanted to do for a while.

Bloomer--gosh thanks.

It's great to have a bunch of people getting together and looking for better ways to write and avoid being a Mutual Admiration Society. Based on this topic's feedback, I admire everybody posting here for that. Wait, what I meant was...


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: zippdementia
Posted: January 12, 2010 (02:31 PM)
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By the way, I think it was actually Sportsman and Lewis who had the honor of being most disagreed upon in terms of scores by judges, not me and Jason.

Me and Jason had a huge deviation between Randxian and the other two judges, but two of our judges agreed pretty much right on about what they thought.

Lewis and Sportsman, on the other hand, have scores all over the board. Sportsman's review is a bit surprising in this regard, since it was a pretty straightforward review. Lewis', on the other hand, doesn't surprise me at all since it's more of an editorial piece and takes some risks with the whole reviewing format.


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


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: January 12, 2010 (02:23 PM)
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ASchultz CoarseDragon--Thanks for being a very good sport about my comments.
What else could I do?!
Seriously though I really enjoy this site and what all you folks are doing for gaming and I just wanted to try to give a little something back. I really am terrible at critiquing my own work so I really do appreciate all the comments.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: January 12, 2010 (03:40 PM)
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Hey ASchultz, I don't really understand what you mean by the following:

I think there's a lot of game specific stuff to be added after you get rid of the stuff that maybe repurposed for another review.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: January 12, 2010 (07:08 PM)
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Hm, I think I mis-remembered your review wrong, and what was in it. I think it may be more accurate to say there are some tough choices of what to cut, and even after cutting the general excess stuff, you may have to get rid of game details you really like. I tried but couldn't make any suggestions about what, so my critique has to end there.

Yet at the same time, I want to read more about the game, from what you have.


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: January 12, 2010 (08:02 PM)
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Congrats to Zig and thanks to the judges for reading through everything.

Schultz is right, it was a last minute effort I wrote in 45 minutes max, no proofreading or anything which explains some awkward wordings. Glad I got my point across at least.

Rand: I don't think a game needs to be difficult or something. I love Half Life 2 and that game was a joke. It's just that New Super Mario Bros was absurdly easy. Almost as if the developers wanted everyone to race to the end. I don't mind a game being on the easy side, but when you're earning 3-5 extra lives per level it is a little absurd.


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


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Author: randxian
Posted: January 12, 2010 (09:17 PM)
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Sports - I love SMB 2 for NES and all the NES Capcom Disney Games. That should tell you a bit about my stance on difficulty settings. I have no qualms with a game being "too easy."

I suppose it can be excessive. It's just that argument didn't click with me since I have no objections to playing games that are easier.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: Halon
Posted: January 12, 2010 (09:34 PM)
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Well let me put it this way: a game better be damn good if it is going to allow me to march right through it how NSMB did. NSMB wasn't a great experience, so the complete lack of anything almost resembling a challenge didn't help its case at all.

Now I'm not challenging your judging, just trying to clear it up. After rereading it agree that I didn't clarify that part as well as I could have. Writing at 2AM the night before it's due usually isn't a good idea. ;)


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


Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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