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Forums > Contributor Zone > Rand's ROTW - Jan 10 - Jan 16

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Author: randxian
Posted: January 17, 2010 (05:22 PM)
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Okay ladies and gentlemen, let's get this ROTW show on the road and grant one lucky reviewer a featured review for the site. Really like the effort I saw this week. Even those who didn't place here did an excellent job by describing the games in question and giving honest assessments. Without further ado, here are the results:

Third Place: Brutal Legend by genj

Woah! Nice intro! I like how you give a taste test of the game play, the weapons, and the music all at once. This review goes from 0-90 in a split second. You certainly didn't fool around and got right to the task at hand.

This reivew is chalk full of vivid descriptions of the game play. I enjoyed reading about battling beasts in KISS make-up and the demonic nuns, not to mention ordering around an army of headbangers. You certainly put some oomph into making this game sound exciting.

One issue I have is in the second to last paragraph, you mention some of the tracks are questionable. Elaborating on why said tracks are questionable would be helpful here. I also don't care for your statement in the conclusion. If you have to freely admit the review is confusing, then you have a problem. Ironically enough, I wasn't confused and felt this does read like a 7/10 review. There are certainly enough positives sprinkled in your negative points to warrant at least some interest from me, especially since you open with a bang.

Really, the writing here is fine for the most part. There is no need to sand bag during the conlusion. Your introduction is spectacular. You manage to provide enough interesting nuggets about this game to make me wish I owned an X-Box 360 so I could at least rent this game. That's quite a feat considering I'm one of those people who just brushed off the X-Box as a system with no games that would interest me. From what I can tell, all your complaints seem valid and you present them as someone just trying to given an honest assessment instead of someone just trashing the game.

Second Place: Brodia Land: Puzzle Quest by aschultz

Once again, this is a well written and informative review. I'm particularly impressed with the pacing. You don't horse around with a long winded intro; instead you roll your sleeves up and get into the nitty gritty of the game. Since some people may be a bit trepidatious concerning puzzle games, it's nice you explain how this one isn't too frustrating and throws in some power ups and mini games to help lighten the mood.

My only problem is with paragraph four. For one thing, I would like to see a few more examples of these power ups you mentioned. Second, I'm a bit confused about the sentence that talks about sacrificing lives, which immediately follows a description of a power up that allows the player to skip levels. So does that mean these power ups mentioned beforehand are so off the beaten path you'll have to sacrifice lives to get them? Or did you mean something else entirely? I'm not entirely sure here.

No big deal. You more than make up for that with the rest of the review, which doles out information at a good pace. Excellent work as usual.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves by Suskie

"Call Uncharted 2: Among Thieves a “cinematic” experience all you want, but that alone never would have sold it to me, because a game needs to function as a game to be worth my time." Wow. I really wanted to stand up and appluad when I read that. Kuudos for referencing other movies and video games that are well known to help illustrate your points instead of making a bunch of esoteric references. I found the Prince of Persia refernce really helpful in the second paragraph.

Nice job handling paragraph five. I appreciate how you whet my appetite without really spoiling anything important. I felt throughout the review you provided sufficient examples without going overboard.

While the review is certainly well written, to some degree you go against your wonderful line by spending the majority of the review gushing over the cinematic aspect. On the other hand, you do cover the game play portion too, so it's not a huge deal. I also like how you speculate on how the game truly holds up minus the cinematic flair. That convinces me you're giving an honest(pun intended) assessment of the game in question.

This is a damn fine review. You do a great job of incorporating fundamental and subtle touches that amount to a fantastic finished product. Most importantly, you made sure this is a review that can be understood by any audience.


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Author: Genj
Posted: January 17, 2010 (06:53 PM)
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I'm probably going to change the conclusion since that's now two people that thought it didn't seem as negative as I thought (I felt like I was writing a 5 or a 6 - frankly I'd have probably shot for a 6 if it weren't for the game's humor). Never occured to me that name dropping Cradle of Filth and Manowar wasn't enough of an explanation. I forgot not everyone knows how notoriously bad those bands are. Thanks for the critique though and congrats to Suskie and ASchultz. Incidentally, the game is on PS3 as well...


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 18, 2010 (05:56 PM)
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Whoa whoa whoa... is that three Suskie wins in a row?

You're not allowed to write a review next week.

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

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Author: Suskie
Posted: January 18, 2010 (09:17 PM)
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Zipp stole my words; I'm one win away from dominating the Featured Reviews box! So thanks for the win and congrats to Schultz and Genj for their mentions as well.

You make a very fair point about the apparent contradictions in my review, Rand, and it's one of the reasons I had trouble writing it. I'm not sold by cinematic appeal alone, which is why I brought up BioShock -- phenomenal production values, but the game itself was average. On the other hand, Uncharted 2 has the basics down pat and uses its production values to elevate the experience to a whole new level. That sort of flair can't make a bad game good, but oddly enough, it can make a good game great.

I request 1000 HG points. Thank you.

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

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Author: woodhouse
Posted: January 19, 2010 (06:04 AM)
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Boom. 1000 points to you.

Buy -> Opium!

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Author: aschultz
Posted: January 19, 2010 (10:29 AM)
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Thanks and congratulations to Suskie and Genj, who definitely had more ambitious reviews than I did & it's good to see Genj back in the swing of things and putting quality into his potential Alpha Olympics run. It was good to see some other good reviews for the week as well.

I agree I have some stuff to clean up there. I tried working at the review and FAQ at once, and that's how stuff can slip through. Would almost certainly not have been enough to get the top spot, but a good reminder to focus or just wait a few days/proofread a bit later.

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

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