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Forums > Submission Feedback > bloomer's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem review

This thread is in response to a review for Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on the GameCube. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 14, 2010 (10:54 AM)
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Really I don't see why everyone loved ED so much. Yes, it took some really huge leaps forward in the genre, but because of its lackaluster story and script, pointless battle system, terrible level design (with the exception of the main house and the church), and a sanity system that was negated by its magic system, those leaps were doomed to obscurity.


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


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Author: Genj
Posted: January 14, 2010 (03:27 PM)
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All this talk about ED is reminding me that it's pretty much the only GameCube game I wanted that I never got to play. The last time I tried to buy it, GameStop had a case out but no game behind the counter. A shame since it was selling for $10.


_


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 14, 2010 (05:00 PM)
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> Really I don't see why everyone loved ED so much. Yes, it took some really huge leaps forward in
> the genre, but because of its lackaluster story and script, pointless battle system, terrible level
> design (with the exception of the main house and the church)

What are these leaps you grant the game? You just placed all of the things people consider to be the leaps - plus every other part of the game - in the rubbish bin.

> those leaps were doomed to obscurity.

Empirically the game has clearly not entered any kind of obscurity at all. It is prolifically reviewed on all sites and also has an active player community.

Your comments seem to be addressed to everyone in the world but me, the guy who wrote the review you're commenting on, who just explained his position at length, and you aren't making sense anyway.


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Author: LowerStreetBlues
Posted: January 16, 2010 (01:21 AM)
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ROAR!

That stands for really outstanding awesome review, by the way. This was terrific.


My message board signature!


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: January 16, 2010 (06:24 AM)
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I give up. The recent spike of convincing ED reviews have made me slope off to EBay to buy a copy and hope my Wii isn't choked full of so much dust it still runs.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 16, 2010 (03:15 PM)
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Bloomer, that's because they pretty much were aimed at everyone else in the world.

I haven't actually gotten around to reading your review yet, but the fact that there was two ED reviews written in such close proximity made me reminisce on the fact that I think it's simultaneously an underplayed and yet overpraised addition to the Survival Horror genre.

I think the level design was terrible and making the player run through the same four areas over and over does little to help. I think the story is a good idea done pretty haphazardly. Some of the scenarios are downright bad while a couple are really compelling. I think the combat system and the sanity system both negate themselves (in the combat, cool things like being able to cut off enemy limbs so they are less effective against you are made pointless by easy headshots; the sanity system is rendered pointless by easy access to sanity increases). I think having to play through the game three times to get the true ending is masochistic with little pay-off.

So, yes, this is more of a commentary on the game and the fact that it's seen so many reviews recently. I will soon read your review and give you detailed feedback on that as well. Don't take offense at this, it really has nothing to do with you except that I was inspired to think in more depth about the opinions surrounding this game.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 16, 2010 (05:33 PM)
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> Bloomer, that's because they pretty much were aimed at everyone else in the world.

That's the problem right there. I believe the onus on the first person to click the feedback button on a review is that they should comment on the review or at least demonstrate they have read it! If they don't, frankly it's kinda insulting and thoughtless. This onus isn't even on the 2nd person so much, because I know that comments often turn into freeranging discussions, but it is on the first person.


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 16, 2010 (05:46 PM)
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Thanks LSB and Emp.


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Author: randxian
Posted: January 17, 2010 (10:50 PM)
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I'm ambivalent about the review. I like the attention to detail and how you delve into the differnece between you as a player and you as the character when revisiting familiar locales. There is certainly some good stuff here.

On the other hand, the review could be a bit tighter. I really don't care for the intro at all, which basically amounts to "blah blah blah hyped game." Nothing in the intro was particularly useful, nor did it give any indication as to how the review would proceed. I almost tuned out during certain junctures.

Again, you take some interesting and unique angles. There is certainly good, workable material here, but my problem is with the overall presentation, which comes off as a bit windy.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 18, 2010 (04:00 AM)
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> On the other hand, the review could be a bit tighter. I really don't care for the intro at all, which basically
> amounts to "blah blah blah hyped game." Nothing in the intro was particularly useful, nor did it give any
> indication as to how the review would proceed. I almost tuned out during certain junctures.

Thanks for reading Rand.

You wouldn't be the first to call me windy.

You can see that this review has a historical perspective. The intro's purpose is to give full context for the arrival of the game in 2002. I try to impart what was around, how gamecubers felt about horror games, which were new to them at the time, and how everyone was quaking about this game. This was one of the most hyped games ever when even 8 years ago, games weren't hyped quite as much as they are even now. People were shaking in their boots about this game - check the gamefaqs taglines and see how many of them are based wholly on the idea 'Can it live up to the hype?' or 'reason to buy a gamecube.'

So the goal of my intro is to try and stick you in my and other people's shoes in 2002 just before we got this game. And I will not let you know how I feel about the game until you've been in my pre-encountering-Eternal-Darkness shoes, otherwise it would undermine the point of this whole writing device.

To me, the next bit where I summarise my overall reaction is still intro, though it's no longer the first paragraph. I think the intro's over when I start talking about the plot of the game.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: January 18, 2010 (04:22 AM)
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You'll want to check your spelling on Cthulhu's name in second paragraph. He really hates it when people miss an h. Otherwise I got little to comment on, the review pretty much clicks with my own experiences.

The thing about combat pointlessness never really struck me, since I mostly relied on sword work and thus did a lot of chopping off limbs and heads for - in WoW terms - crowd control before getting to the DPS. I tend to be so careful with my limited ammo in games like these that I end up not using my firearms at all. Sanity, I agree is a little too easy to combat with magic, which is why for my next playthrough (got two to go after all!) I'll ban the use of that spell.

My main gripe with the game is the one that annoys me in far too many console games - long unskippable scenes right before difficult boss battles. I blame Final Fantasy. They may not have invented it but are they ever the big time offender. ED does it too for its final battle, which took me five tries and a lot of watching the same climax unfold again and again.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 18, 2010 (04:27 AM)
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I too loathe unskippable cutscenes before boss fights, but I'm guessing (been awhile since I fought the bosses in ED) I didn't have enough trouble with them to notice.

A game I never even finished is The Scorpion King, cos of a 2 minute cutscene you couldn't skip before an impossible final fight. Wasn't worth the blood pressure or time.

I'm also huge on the decaps in ED :)

Also thanks for the spelling fix.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 20, 2010 (04:58 PM)
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I disagree with your opinion about "first person to post requirements." Your review brought up feelings in me that had to do with the game, not your writing. I don't think I should have to wait for someone else to post before I share those feelings.

Similarly, I didn't really agree with your review, but I promised you I would read it in full and respond. I have nothing against your writing style, it reads well without hiccups or poor transitions or anything like that. You've got your style down and it's a decent style, so good on you for that.

I do think you get a little over-zealous in your claims (ED is Gone with the Wind... the story is the most breathtaking I've ever encountered... etc. etc.). What I learned after writing my FF7 review was that people are turned off by these grand claims. Much better is to just give specific examples from the game and let them speak for themselves.

You do this, too, which reads much better than your huge claims. It also leads me to wonder why you didn't cut your review in half. You have a tendency in this review to say a lot of the same things twice (especially about the story and characters) which led me to have trouble finishing the review because it felt, later on, that I wasn't seeing anything new.

I'm not going to go into what I disagreed with about the review, as that's not really the point. What I said in the last two paragraphs are the things that I think could use improvement in your writing. Otherwise, you've given us a nice addition to the army of ED reviews that marched onto this site over the last year.


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


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: January 20, 2010 (05:22 PM)
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Leaving feedback for reviews you haven't read isn't a crime, but it's definitely kind of weird. When you want to post thoughts about a particular game, that's a good time to create a topic on the oft-neglected System-Specific boards. That way, writers aren't left scratching their heads while unsuccessfully trying to match comments to their review.

I haven't played ED, so I have nothing else to say at this juncture.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 20, 2010 (06:10 PM)
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C'mon, I've seen tons of instances on this site where people respond to people's reviews with commentary on the game rather than the review. Why did this particular instance cause consternation?


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 20, 2010 (11:03 PM)
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> C'mon, I've seen tons of instances on this site where people respond to people's reviews with
>commentary on the game rather than the review.

I don't think I have.

At times, comments on a game will coincide with comments made in the review, which seems to indicate the person read the review and is saying 'Yeah, I agree with a,b,c'. In such cases, a specific comment may looked indistinguishable to you from a general comment, but will not look indistinguishable to anyone who has read the review, or its author.

What seemed obvious to me from your comment was you hadn't read the review. You clicked the link specifically attached to this review, designated for leaving feedback on the review, and you hadn't even read it, and didn't leave feedback on the review. My response as the writer is to roll my eyes in annoyance. If HG changes the link to say 'leave general comments on this game', it'd be a different ballgame. The link is attached just to this one review for a reason.

> Why did this particular instance cause consternation?

It would annoy me in any instance, but this was the first time anyone ever did it to me, so I can say at least in the sample space of my own reviews and my history of writing on this site, nobody had done it before.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: January 20, 2010 (11:54 PM)
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Hey Zipp. Shadow of the Colossus is a shit game.

There. If you think that was uncalled for, now you know how Bloomer feels.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 21, 2010 (12:45 AM)
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Alright, I was wrong.

But now I've posted a review of this review and I hope those comments are taken to heart and thought about for Bloomer's next review.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 21, 2010 (01:53 AM)
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> But now I've posted a review of this review and I hope those comments are taken to heart and
> thought about for Bloomer's next review.

For sure, and thanks. I can tell you my initial response to some of them here.

> You have a tendency in this review to say a lot of the same things twice (especially
> about the story and characters) which led me to have trouble finishing the review
> because it felt, later on, that I wasn't seeing anything new.

I sometimes wonder about this (having a feel I repeat myself) in long reviews, and try to get it right. That you felt it here shows I should continue to think about it. I tend to use a very traditional 'summarise what you will say, say it, reiterate what you have said' essay structure in my reviews. And sometimes I wonder at the overlap of the parts while I am doing this.

> It also leads me to wonder why you didn't cut your review in half.

Ironically, I did already ;) I started this review in 2004, and the draft material is 20kb long. The review in the end is 10kb, so we can all be thankful for this.

> I do think you get a little over-zealous in your claims (ED is Gone with the Wind...
> the story is the most breathtaking I've ever encountered... etc. etc.).

Careful. I said it was 'something like the Gone With The Wind of survival horror games.' First, the genre smallens things down a lot. And the comparison is to me a bit wacky. But in your tagline, I think you can talk more emphatically, because that isn't the place for qualifications and vacillations.

Gone with the Wind is an old film that is famous for many things, though is not actually that great. Many people remember that the 2nd half is barely worth watching. But what it is is long, has big production values, huge cast of characters, is spectacular, a grand story, has a war in it and covers a lot of time. Now this to me is a good summation of ED's overall sense, so, apart from the fact I'm using as an example a film so old the young people will no longer recognise it, it's the a valid example of my feel about this game.

The genesis of this quote is that one time I watched 'Interview with the Vampire' with my dad, and he said after that although he wasn't mad about it, he conceded it was the 'Gone With The Wind of vampire movies.' And I thought that was funny, and hung onto it, and finally, a decade+ later, found what I thought was a good use for this phrase.

> after writing my FF7 review was that people are turned off by these grand claims.
> Much better is to just give specific examples from the game and let them speak for
> themselves.

I only make them if I believe them, and also believe I can argue them. If you don't do it right, obviously people won't believe you, and some people won't listen to these things at any time depending on their interest in that degree of reportage. If you do it for a game that could patently never stand up to that treatment (MySims Kingdom), you're wasting your time. Horror games are my favourites so I feel confident about talking them up when I feel strongly about them. I may check out your FF7 review, but the problem will be I haven't played it or any other FF's.

I don't think 'Show but don't tell' applies to reviews, which is kinda what you're recommending re:examples. I believe you have to talk about the emotion of the thing, otherwise too many examples of gameplay from different games can be similar to each other. It's not a catalogue, but how I feel about it illustrated by example. You probably won't like the next time I big review another survival horror game either, but on the plus side, I can promise you I will make no grand claims if I review MySims Kingdom, nor did I when I reviewed plain ol MySims.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: January 21, 2010 (06:20 AM)
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> C'mon, I've seen tons of instances on this site where people respond to people's reviews with
>commentary on the game rather than the review.

I don't think I have.


Guilty as charged. If I comment on the review then I've read it in full, but I do sometimes chime in on the game without having read it.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 21, 2010 (10:06 PM)
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> Guilty as charged. If I comment on the review then I've read it in full,
> but I do sometimes chime in on the game without having read it.

If you're commenting on a comment, I'm unconcerned. But if you started the thread, I am shocked and appalled :P


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Author: sashanan
Posted: January 22, 2010 (05:10 AM)
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I know, I know, bad habit. I'll be good this year.


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


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