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Forums > Contributor Zone > ZIpp's ROTW: Jan 31st to Feb 6th

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 07, 2010 (06:09 PM)
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I'm gonna get right on top of it this week, no fooling around. There wasn't any review this week which I felt stood head and shoulders above the rest. In fact, as I type this, I'm still not sure which review I'm going to give the win to. But part of the decision to leap right in this week involves me figuring that out as we go.

Ready?




Bionic Commando by Suskie

It took me a couple reads to figure out what was bugging me about this review, because it's well written and comes off at first glance as very polished. Finally I realized that it doesn't actually say much about the game, at least nothing that I don't already know from the title "Bionic Commando." There's a line near the end where Suskie writes that he's barely scratched the surface of what the game can offer and I agree. If I were debating whether or not to pick up Bionic Commando, this review wouldn't give me anything concrete to work with. Even that wouldn't bother me if that seemed to be the point of the review. But instead the review claims that there's something here I shouldn't be missing... what is that, exactly? It wasn't clear to me from the reading.

I feel like Suskie's at his best when he uses his analytical mind to really tackle details in a game and form a case for his arguments. It seems like there was the beginnings of that here (questionable psychics engine, free-roam lite, a combat system that allows for some creative improvisation) but they never develop.




Sonic Unleashed by Fedule

Quick question Fendule: did you watch Yahtzee's Sonic Unleashed review, like, immediately before writing this? I only ask because there are parts in here that are nearly word-for-word what he says in his review (especially the bit about the were-man-hog thing).

Anyway, if Suskie's review understated itself than Fedule's review overstates the point. What I like about this review is its vehemence. You can tell this was written by a Sonic fan for Sonic fans and by the end of it I almost felt obliged to become a Sonic fan just to see what all this Sonic fuss is about. I also understood, quite clearly, that this was not the game to become a Sonic fan for. But I understood this halfway through and then the review went on for many many many more paragraphs. And really, they all just kind've said the same thing. Some of them didn't say much at all, actually. The Eggmanland paragraph was probably the best (worst?) example of this, with Fendule telling us that it hates the player and then just kind've leaving it at that. I'm not sure why that paragraph is in here.

The emotion is great, though, and had the review gone on to criticize other aspects of the game (and not the same aspect over and over) I would've been happy to keep reading for as long as you wanted me to.




WINNER OF THE WEEK: No More Heroes by jiggs

Okay. I figured it out. I told you I would.

Jiggs' review was a nice blend of the polish of Suskie's review mixed with the emotion of Fendule and went more in-depth with its title than either of them. I enjoyed the approach of taking the reader through the story of the game while stopping briefly to describe gameplay elements. By the end, I felt like I'd played a demo for No More Heroes. I've read a lot of reviews for the game and none, except Jiggs, has left me feeling that way, so congratulations on that.

It does get a little dull at times. I appreciate the use of pictures (we have the online medium to play with so why not use it?) but I think because you know they are going to be there, you skimped a little bit on your descriptive prose. I can tell from the pics that this is a colourful game, but if you take them out of your review, this entire aspect of the game would be missing. A big part of No More Heroes is its vividness and I would expect more of that vividness to shine through in your writing.

But still a solid review and an interesting approach make me feel completely comfortable awarding you the win this week.




Thanks to everyone who wrote reviews this week. I'll be dropping by shortly on the feed-threads for those who didn't make the cut this week and let them know why I didn't choose those reviews. I'm not entirely sure who is up next week. Janus used to follow me, but he has departed for lands unknown and I'm too lazy (or busy, if you prefer) to check the boards to see who's next.

So, let's say it's a mystery writer.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 07, 2010 (06:40 PM)
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(holy shit, that was fast. I go in to edit some of the commentary and BAM jiggs review is already featured)


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 07, 2010 (06:45 PM)
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Why did you keep spelling Fedule's name with an "n" in the commentary? :P

Anyway, congrats to the winners!


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 07, 2010 (06:49 PM)
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I don't know, Wolfqueen. Especially since I spelled it right the first time. I'm gonna leave that one be and maybe it will mean something in the grand scheme of things.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 07, 2010 (06:50 PM)
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Hmm... interesting (and intriguing) comments. Do you have any suggestions on how I could better develop my argument? I was almost certain I tackled everything I wanted to mention, so I'm not sure how to put your criticisms to use.

Cognrats to the other mentions, and especially Jiggs, by the way :)


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 07, 2010 (07:06 PM)
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What're you talking about, Zipp? haha.

Quick question Fendule: did you watch Yahtzee's Sonic Unleashed review

There are other places like that, too.

Anyway, after having read jigg's review, I have to say... That review is a tremendous improvement over the Demon's Souls review I read all that time ago. Indeed, if I were to complain about it at all, I'd say it actually went too long in places, like you were trying to describe every little detail about the game. But even so, I felt your descriptions were adequate (in a good way), telling me everything I need to know without getting excessive. I've got to say, jiggs, I'm quite impressed. All that work editing it paid off. If you subbed something like this in a contest, you'd do pretty good, I think.

EDIT: Seems like No More Heroes is your fifth ever review. I think it's better than my fifth ever review. Though whether that's really saying anything much... My fifth review kind of sucks. haha


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 07, 2010 (08:49 PM)
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Oh no, I wasn't arguing with you, Queeny! I was noticing how it's odd that I spelled his name right in the title of his review, but nowhere else!

Suskie, I came away from the review feeling that I knew the following about Bionic Commando:

- you have a grapple arm
- using the grapple arm is fun
- there are some attempts made at free roaming
- you can use the grapple arm in combat and it's cool

Not a bad overview of the game, but it lacked that critical analysis that I've come to respect your reviews for. I think the combat section is the biggest enemy here. That section in particular called for fleshing out, especially after you end it by saying it's really versatile and there's a lot you can do. I didn't get a good sense of whether or not combat was smooth or easy to use or whether that versatility comes into play often in the game.

Similarly, on the environment section, you don't really talk about what kinds of environments there are. Is it just one big destroyed city or are there factories and nazi airships, etc?

Hopefully that helps you understand where I was coming from.


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: February 07, 2010 (09:03 PM)
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haha. Oh. Sorry. Your last statement in that had confused me for some reason, so I misunderstood it.

I think all this depressing reading I'm doing about the Rwandan genocide is making me subconsciously aggressive or something.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 07, 2010 (09:13 PM)
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That's a good point, actually, Zipp. The combat was probably the best thing about Bionic Commando and I kinda just squeezed all of it into that one paragraph near the end. Zig's review did a much better job of portraying the variety and intensity the game presents at its height.

Anyway, thanks for the mention.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 07, 2010 (09:23 PM)
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Well, you know... it's a suskie review. Almost all of them deserve mention.

Wolfqueen, I think I confused myself with that poorly written response. I know what I was TRYING to say, but I think your confusion has only a little bit to do with Genocide.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: February 07, 2010 (09:27 PM)
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WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALMOST???!!!?!???!!


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


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Author: randxian
Posted: February 07, 2010 (09:54 PM)
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I'm not entirely sure who is up next week. Janus used to follow me, but he has departed for lands unknown and I'm too lazy (or busy, if you prefer) to check the boards to see who's next.

Actually, it's my turn next week. By the way, I do accept bribes. Errr, I didn't really say that.

Anywho, congrats to those who placed. Keep up the good work yall.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: jiggs
Posted: February 07, 2010 (11:46 PM)
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thank you everybody for the comments and Zipp for the award. there weren't many reviews last week, but all of them were pretty damn good. suskie as always keeps cranking out great stuff.. i was almost sure another suskie domination was in order. i also enjoyed fleinn's MAG review. Espiga had a good phantasy star review. i didn't think i was going to win...i don't know what else to say...No More Heroes is by far the most interesting game i've played on current generation systems so i definintely wanted to try putting out a great review for my favorite game. thanks again. applauses for everybody involved!


!


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Author: Fedule
Posted: February 08, 2010 (03:55 AM)
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Heh.

I do watch Zero Punctuation religiously, but I rarely rewatch 'em unless I'm showing one to somebody else. So, no, I didn't watch his Sonic Unleashed one immediately before writing mine. I actually think he underrated its better parts (and I think he played the Wii/PS2 version, too, which is a whole lot worse than the 360/PS3 version). Also, I went off on that particular tangent just as a "isn't it depressing how this happened" kinda way. I have no objection to videogame characters simply having stupid names.

So, yeah, I will readily admit that lengthiness is my problem and that when people tell me they get bored halfway through, I consider it a challenge to try and hold their interest for that long. Then again, there was this one time I took the longest review I had on this website, straight up removed several paragraphs, and won ROTW with the result (and wonder of wonders, that was for Sonic '06. It's a conspiracy!). Happy days. I might do that for this anyway just because, even if it's too late now.

Since this review (unleashed) has a feedback thread of its own, I'mm'a go get mah scissors and post the results there so as not to distract from the issues here, which is, of course, "good job everyone".


•You cannot grasp the true form of Fedule's signature!


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