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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW - January 24th to 30th

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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: February 02, 2010 (07:13 AM)
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Hello ladies and gents. I'm going to do this Review of the Week a bit differently than normal: instead of presenting my comments on each piece in order of placement, I'll present them in the friggin order they were written, then announce placement. Feel free to crucify me if you don't like this style.

There were only four reviews subbed for this week, and they were all really close, so I thought I'd comment on them all. The only thing I'd like to say beforehand is, if it seems my comments are exceedingly negative, that's because these are all really good reviews. Assume stuff I don't talk about is good by virtue of omission or something, or whatever, we're all mature enough not to need ego-petting.
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Pickhut - Bayonetta (Xbox 360)

I'm one of those people who's on the fence regarding personal anecdotes as opening paragraphs, despite my own flirtations with them. I've seen good examples, but this is not one of them. It's a bit rambley, especially the Contra tangent, and as someone who'd never even touched a Contra title I was more than a little off-put, not to mention my lack of reference frame left me without the faintest idea of what you were saying. The review really begins with Paragraph the Second, right around where you start talking about difficulty and wacky humor. That's a good opening line, and the rest of that paragraph follows suit. That says to me the whole first paragraph is, well, junk.

The rest of the review is fairly smooth sailing, save the couple of run-on death-by-comma sentences that are akin to hitting the curb on a bicycle. There's a lot of qualifiers strewn about(However, But, For Me At Least) that weaken your narrative voice and leave me with an underwhelmed impression. Which is fine, but doesn't mesh with the 8/10 score you've given it. An 8/10 says to me "This is a good game", whereas the tone of this review is closer to "This is an acceptable game". It just doesn't feel energetic enough, especially for an over-the-top balls-to-the-wall game like Bayonetta.
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Randxian - NCAA Football 09 All-Play (Wii)

This review surprised me. I've never really been interested in sports, and even less interested in sports games. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to enjoy this review. I grinned, chuckled, and on one occasion giggled, all of which indicate to me that I need to read more of your stuff. Anyway, this piece is clear and concise, and wraps itself up into a neat little package when it's all done.
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Felix_Arabia - Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)

This has the whole strong narrative voice thing goin' on, which makes the review easy to read and take something away from. Despite that, it feels a bit...well, sterile, in the same way that Pickhut's review was. It tells, rather than shows the game's vibrant energy and atmosphere, and that's an unfortunate thing to have to take at your word because Firenze, Venezia, Toscana are all so fantastically and meticulously detailed. You say it, I'm just not feeling it.

I thought I'd be biased in favor of this piece, having played AssCreed2 myself, but I'm wondering if my own experience with the game is bias against. You've done an adequate job of reviewing this game, but I don't think you've quite done it justice.
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Aschultz - Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (NES)

"Wordy" comes to mind here; first time reading through this piece I had to stop and go back over sentences a few times. Then once I'd finished, I had to read over it again before I really understood you. I think this review suffers from information overload; there's a lot of info crammed in here in what I can't help but classify a haphazard manner, more akin to rattling off details about a game than describing what it's like. Of course, once I got my head around the way it's organized and started to make sense of it, I came away with a pretty clear picture of what this game's all about.
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The Results

Third Place: Aschultz
Second Place: Felix_Arabia
First Place: Randxian

Honorable Mention: Pickhut


"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: aschultz
Posted: February 02, 2010 (12:31 PM)
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Thanks Will, for stepping in so quickly and for the recognition. I'll look into that review again, as I had a lot of fun writing it and cut it down several times.

Congrats to randxian. It took you fewer tries than I did for your first RotW!


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: February 02, 2010 (01:13 PM)
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Randxian, congratulations! I knew it was only a matter of time before you made the ROTW!

Will, thanks so much for taking this on short notice. OD owes you a beer.


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


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Author: randxian
Posted: February 02, 2010 (08:38 PM)
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Actually, this is my second. My Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology review, which was also used for Brevity or Bust, also won.

I need to extend a big thanks to Woodhouse, who made suggestions in my blog after I posted my rough draft. It looks like running with his advice paid dividends. My initial draft was almost a completely different review.

Edit: I just realized Will's first ROTW attempt is eerily similar to my first ROTW attempt. That is, there were only a few reviews, but they were all of exceptional quality. I gave the win to Schultz, but one could easily have made a case for Suskie's and LowerStreetBlues' pieces as well.

Same thing here. I agree all four reviews here are pretty darn good and any could have won the top spot.

You would think fewer reviews would mean an easier job for the ROTW judge. Unfortunately, it seems to be the opposite. How peculiar... O_O


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: February 02, 2010 (11:43 PM)
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Clearly we're all just too damn good at what we do.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: February 03, 2010 (08:33 AM)
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The return of the Felix.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: February 03, 2010 (12:45 PM)
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Great job, Will! That allowed me to spend last night playing the first SNES Fire Emblem with a clear conscience. Which inevitably turned into blinding rage as that game might be the most brutally harsh turn-based strategy game I've ever played, where one minor tactical mistake WILL lead to someone dying and me restarting the level (or from my last freeze state, as I like to give myself 2-3 "in-level saves" to keep my blood pressure down a bit).


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


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: February 03, 2010 (12:52 PM)
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Err...glad I could...help?


"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: randxian
Posted: February 03, 2010 (07:18 PM)
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That allowed me to spend last night playing the first SNES Fire Emblem with a clear conscience. Which inevitably turned into blinding rage as that game might be the most brutally harsh turn-based strategy game I've ever played, where one minor tactical mistake WILL lead to someone dying and me restarting the level (or from my last freeze state, as I like to give myself 2-3 "in-level saves" to keep my blood pressure down a bit).

Yep, one mistake and someone bites the dust for good. Isn't Fire Emblem great? :D


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: February 03, 2010 (07:42 PM)
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Good job on the win, Rand. Thanks for doing this quickly, Will.


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


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