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Forums > Contributor Zone > Readers' Choice Results Thread

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Author: aschultz
Posted: April 20, 2010 (02:36 PM)
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Hi everyone. Sorry about how late this is, especially with so few reviews. I was really out of it--so out of it that I remained unbiased throughout all the critique threads, because I didn't notice a one of 'em. The reason, as stated before, is silly. Thanks to my fellow judges who got things done quicker than I did. Thanks to Zigfried for a great tourney idea, and for those who wrote the reviews, for their work and patience. I liked them more than my final scores reflect. (ominous drums rumbling)

I hope to follow with my own more detailed critiques when I get the chance. Stuff that didn't fit here. Like minor examples to tweak, or typos. Unfortunately, I was unable to include a feature I had planned for all future judging, tentatively called typo-osity. This would be a number between -10 and 0 describing points taken away for howlers. I have tried several ways to get around a few forgivable errors that can grip me if I'm not careful but haven't found anything fully satisfying.

========Darketernal - Murder at the Abbey (PC)========

BEN:

The best part of Darketernal’s review is the second half of the review, where he gives his own thoughts on the game. The flaws mentioned are clearly explained and understandable, and I’m in no rush to seek out Murder at the Abbey as a result. However, the conclusion confuses me slightly. Darketernal seems to be speaking fondly of the game and even recommends it to adventure fans. Yet, when he gave his in-depth opinions on the game in the body of the review, he was rather critical. The review states that the jokes are hit-or-miss, while the puzzles are unfulfilling. I don’t see many positive comments, and I’d certainly like to know what aspects of the game he enjoyed. Maybe it was the story. Maybe the murder mystery was compelling and delivered a great climax. I’d like to learn more about the reviewer’s thoughts on the case itself, since I imagine that is one of the essential parts of a game like this one.

Another (slight) problem is that the first part of the review read a little disjointed. This is partly due to the short paragraphs – at times, two paragraphs should’ve been merged together as they were discussing the same point, and the pause from the resulting paragraph break felt odd and needless. There were sentences that felt repetitive. For example, Bruno is mentioned as the sidekick in the second sentence, yet later, the review mentions that Bruno follows you around—which is a given. Scattered around the review are too many numerous short comments that make fun of Bruno. The Bruno paragraph (fourth from the end) is actually great; the character is finally focused on and I receive good knowledge about him. There were also a couple of typos that crept in near the end (“the fact that it all of its venues it tries to play it too safe” and “Even when the crap hit’s the fan”). Despite my nitpicks, though, this was a decent review. I just wish that the conclusion matched the rest of the review. 70

WILL:

The tone of this review is fairly mediocre, but so it the subject matter. Murder at the Abbey clearly doesn't do much to separate itself from the crowd, and you convey that well in this piece; it's a smooth and interesting read all the way through, but I feel as though it could use a bit of humor, at least where you talk about the occupational hazards of poor Bruno's job. Anyway, this is a solid, if not overly impressive review.

75/100

ASCHULTZ:

I have to say that a lot of the jokes fell sour with me. The slap at Christian Slater seems extraneous and while there's good narrative here, there's a lot of confusion early on...using investigator twice, etc. Also the LOLCow stuff on Bruno seems interesting--but why is he hated? It just seems mean. I don't know if you've ever read of Nabokov's criticism of Don Quixote as a "funny" novel--and how he thinks it isn't--but I'm missing some jokes here. Then you come around and say the game has run jokes into the ground--after a forced feeling joke about priests not touching young boys.

Most of all though I think there were a lot of missed chances--or contradictions that don't really make you think of bigger stuff. For instance, you mention Murder at the Abbey being a pretty faithful rendition of ItNotR early on, so we can expect the rendition of a classic, and yet you also say it doesn't give a sense of surprise-where-you-could-look-back-and-see-you-missed-hints later on. So this piece feels like going through the motions, but the motions even seem off.

60/100

========EmP - Nostalgia (DS)========

BEN:

I honestly don’t have much to say about this review, which is a good thing. EmP has written another strong piece – it’s pretty short but packs quite a bit of content. The beginning is lengthy but cleverly tells sneaks in a few nuggets of information (for example, the basics of the battle system are covered relatively well). I get the impression throughout that Nostalgia is a throwback to older RPG titles with touches of modernisation. EmP could easily have made the game sound like a boring and pointless excursion to the past, but he puts enough emphasis on what is new and what is different that the product ends up sounding interesting and intriguing. It seems refreshing that Nostalgia is not your typical fantasy-based RPG; that it takes places in a more relatable world for a change gets a thumb up in my books.

I think there was room for EmP to go further and really hit home that Nostalgia is deserving of the ‘8/10’ and is great on its own merits. For example, how fun are the random encounters, and how strong is the battle system itself? The easy difficulty also felt tacked on at the end near the end. (I read that Nostalgia takes place in the 19th century and not the 20th. However, I am too lazy to fact-check, so you get away with it if you’re wrong!) Anyway, this was a nice and enjoyable read overall, and I don’t have many other complaints. The writing is tight and entertaining (“…doesn’t have you sitting through hours of pretentious dribble about how Villain X used to be valiant and brave until Fate stepped in and cock-slapped him” being my favourite line), and the content is convincing enough that I checked on Amazon to see how much the game cost out of curiosity. Turns out, it’s not out in Europe yet! 83

WILL:

Ooooh, faux-retro!

This piece mocks with one hand and praises with the other, and that makes it quirky and interesting to read. It deftly plucks at the strings of my nostalgic heart and leads me to seriously consider stealing borrowing a friend's DS. But I come away from the review feeling like you could have gone into a little more detail. You hit all the right points, but discussion of combat, setting, character building etc all seem rather rushed.

83/100

ASCHULTZ:

This is a more than pleasant enough review that I can overlook the sort of grammar faults that always raise my blood pressure, or stylistic ones like using cliche three times in one paragraph. It seems the reason Nostalgia works is that it doesn't overtly say "this was a cliche" too often, and that's why you like it, but then you violate your own standards. This undoes the good will from the first paragraph. "I like Nostalgia" also jars me right when the review's getting really interesting. Then there's a decent argument that the game seems to hit the right stereotypes that make people happy, and that's good, but I'd be interested in an example of the plot feeling guilty as it strays, and maybe how that interacts with the wide open nonlinearity described above.

Still, I had fun with this, and like retro that didn't know it would be stereotyped one day, it's important to just enjoy some things.

75/100

========Felix Arabia - Star Parodier (Turbo CD)========

BEN:

The opening paragraph really confused me. “Star Soldier”, “Paro Caesar”, “Vic Viper”, and “the bi-pedal PC Engine” left me scratching my head. Then, stuff like “Sapphire”, “Spriggan”, and “Steam Hearts” got mentioned. It was clear that the intended audience was not people like me, and I felt I shouldn’t be reading this review. At this point, I would have stopped reading if I were not a judge for this contest. I didn’t learn much at all from the first few paragraphs, but it started getting readable for me from the fourth paragraph. In fact, I like it in quite a few places. The review utilises with great effect vivid phrases like “volatile missiles emit from the ship’s blasters with unwavering fluidity” and “opulent fantasy realms encased in crystalline spheres”. The “Bomberman’s loins” line is great, and the writing here is exceptionally strong throughout.

One of the highlights of the review is the sixth paragraph, where Felix gets into the settings of the levels. They sound really neat – however, there wasn’t quite enough to convince me that they more than make for the easy challenge. I think more could’ve been done to get me excited over the environments. Also, the number of shoot ‘em ups I’ve extensively played in my lifetime is pretty damn low – I don’t know much about these sort of games, much less about shoot ‘em ups on the Turbografx CD. So, because I had no clue what the references were all about, it wasn’t easy to imagine how Star Parodier played purely from the text. My mind started pondering questions like, ‘Are there other weapons at your disposal other than the standard primary weapon?’ It would also be nice to know if the enemies themselves are varied, not just in the way they look but also the way they move and attack you. I know these aren’t essential questions in Felix’s mind, but I wanted to learn more. If it’s just me shooting at one sort of enemy with my one sort of gun throughout the entire game, it would get old pretty fast. I probably wouldn’t have minded as much if I believed the environments were truly special and not just ‘nice’. 70

WILL:

Quirky and interesting seems to be the dominating theme of this competition so far, and I'd say Star Parodier takes the cake. The review is a bit wordy and ponderous, though, and that makes it more of a bumpy read. Still, it's colourful and informative, and I feel like a cheap-ass for not being able to say much else. It's charming and I like it.

87/100

ASCHULTZ:

A lot of shout outs to other turbo games here. Even I was able to recognize a lot of names or at least look for screenshots.

Unfortunately, some parts wind up pretentious and self-indulgent to me, like the bit about Bomberman's loins, or "Of what, the jury..." Really, what jury? Maybe you could say nobody got around to -what-, because it sadly wasn't popular enough. Then there's mentioning the game is fun two sentences in a row, and I think I get the point that, well, the game being easy helps us see these fun moments more clearly. Also a pretentious grammar error: "The PC Engine, of which I am most biased towards." This made me groan. Sorry. "The greatest allure comes in the form of..."/"Sweet as a lollipop?" Hmph. Playing second fiddle to THREE games? Winston Smith will come to accept that, eventually.

Also, I got mad at how you mentioned people talking about solving the game with a blindfold and then waited a whole paragraph to say that would kill the point. I saw that coming a mile off, and it felt like a surprise that was meant to materialize. "But ask yourself if it would bother you?" This is just stringing the reader along.

I like straightforward games that don't try to be hard, and I like straightforward descriptions. Maybe the second would've been a bit more appropriate to this game. That might shorten the review too much as is, but more fun examples could be added.

64/100

========Genj - Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)========

BEN:

The content in this review is generally pretty good. My favourite part was when Genj produced a convincing example to support his claim that the dialogue in the game was poor. I also really liked the descriptions of how paradigms and roles work, the discussion on why he feels the story is weak, and how he explained that the restrictive level-up system actually benefits the overall game by making the battles the right difficulty. While describing the benefits of the level-up system is great, though, it did make me ponder about his criticism about the game taking too long to open up (the 20-hour mark). This is not something that heavily affects the score of Genj’s review, but it is something that I want to bring up. By doing a lot of the hunting sidequests, your characters become slightly overpowered. While I understand the sentiment that open environments are much more fun to explore, this results in Square no longer having an “approximation of what the party may look like”; some won’t bother with many missions, while others will want to do as many as they can.

Some parts of the review perhaps aren’t explained as clearly as they could have been. How is the battle system “fast-paced” and “so fast” that you have to be paying attention every second? While the stagger system and the roles are explained well, there isn’t much on the actual basics of the battle system (queuing up attacks, the ability to interrupt a queue, etc.) that could have backed up this point. “Timing attacks is important” – that sentence seems out of place, as Genj moves on to talk about using the right moves for the right scenarios before explaining more about it (the Launch move). But aside from a few typos ("advantgeous", "Much of Final Fantasy XIII’s is derived”, “the cutscene are”, and “Crystalum”—should be “Crystarium”) and a few missing commas that would have made reading a little smoother (commas should’ve been added after words like "Additionally", "Fortunately", and "Thankfully"), I didn’t find much else wrong. This is a solid review that for the most part informs readers of what Final Fantasy XIII is about. (Final note: The final three paragraphs start with “Final Fantasy XIII”.) 75

WILL:

I'll leave more detailed thoughts in a feedback thread, but suffice it to say this review has a really bad case of information overload. Paragraph transitions are abrupt and jarring, and are choppy in a few places. But your argument is well-made; FF13's abysmal writing and exceedingly linear plot are overshadowed by fantastic combat, and you've given compelling reasons and examples as to why that is.

72/100

ASCHULTZ:

I don't know if Genj was being sneaky or strategic when he sent this on a judge's RotW. It's more likely he was just oblivious, or maybe he just wanted to put the review out there early to get any feedback at all. I don't think it's unfair strategy for a tournament. It seems like he took a lot of my more technical suggestions to heart and built in some new things too. This is writing and improving at its best, and it deserves credit beyond just getting a score for a game. The review's pretty good, too. "Cosplay fodder" is just plain funny. Also, I think about the right amount of emphasis is put on the combat system, the main part of the game.

Looking through this review, I still had some suggestions, but they were the sort that made me feel pedantic. For one of the two by-far longer reviews in the tourney (Zipp being the other) this really moves, and I want to read what happens next. It never quite drifts into FAQ-land but instead looks at the mechanics of why FFXIII might actually be new or worth spending time on as opposed to the previous. OK--I generally like FAQier stuff than most people. But reading this, I can picture what I might like to see when looking for my own retro games.

The only really obnoxious part I found was talking about how normal people don't level grind. Perhaps someone on the other side thinks that normal people can't coordinate a party entirely efficiently, so they are glad for the safety valve? A bit of a straw man. That's it, though.

85/100

========Overdrive - Project: Snowblind (PS2)========

BEN:

Out of all the entries in this contest, Overdrive’s was the review I had most fun reading. Overdrive doesn’t try too hard – there’s no fancy writing and no gimmicks – he just describes what makes Project Snowblind cool in a matter-of-fact kind of way and lets the game do most of the work for him. It is an approach that works really well, helped by the fact that there appears to be a lot of fun stuff to write about the game. Overdrive doesn’t dwell on each individual point for too long. He makes one brief point after another, and the review’s fast pace and good flow make the game sound even more thrilling. No point overstays its welcome yet I feel I have plenty of information to get excited about. It really does sound like there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do in this game (the super-soldier powers seem particularly awesome to me), and Overdrive makes me wish I played this five years ago when it came out. The penultimate paragraph, which details Project Snowblind’s main flaw, is also great. The lack of replay value and extras certainly sounds like a bummer, and I feel Overdrive’s disappointment.

I’ve read through this review three times, and I have hardly anything meaningfully negative to say. The opening could have been a little gentler, and maybe the level descriptions could have been a little more convincing (a jailbreak sounds pretty cool to me – how was the execution of it dull?). However, I was very nearly just as impressed as I was when I read Overdrive’s Fire Emblem review in the previous contest, leading me to come to the conclusion that I should read more reviews by him in the future. My pick of the contest, and quite comfortably, too. 92

WILL:

I see this game getting compared a lot to Deus Ex by other reviewers. And that's the obvious thing to compare it to, but it's a bit unfair. You wouldn't pit an Osiris against a Madcat, now would you? Of course not, they're in entirely different weight classes. The point is, I find it refreshing that you go this entire review without mentioning Deus Ex, permitting Snowblind a rare chance to stand on its own as an FPS. And stand it does, sort of. I'm not one to be charitable towards play-it-once titles, but you make that first play-through sound spectacular. Maybe it's not such a bad thing.

90/100

ASCHULTZ:

I think I touched on this in the alpha olympics, but the main problem I have with this review is the humor. It's bland, uninspiring, and inappropriate to the piece. "Having that happen to you can really ruin..." My general approach is, if I can see my joke attempt on a bad sitcom, I ditch it. Stuff that works is "machine gun of the gods." More of that, please!

That aside, the review gives a bad first impression claiming Snowblind has variety. It may BRING variety or originality, but then later you mention it has no extra modes, multiplayer, etc. Yes, it has some neat guns, but you mention variety! Variety! Variety! and...well, if it puts whatever variety where it's important, good. You've made a good case for that. Also it's interesting when you start to compare stealth and non-stealth ways through the game. But then you say you haven't played it enough. It seems you're excited about the game, but you had to put it down. The disappointment at the end also seems to loop around a bit before you put it down and end the review.

Too many slow obvious jokes demote the writing from potentially dense and paced to "pleasant enough." For a game with lots of shooting, that doesn't work.

68/100

========Zigfried - Sylphia (Turbo CD)========

BEN:

Besides the odd reference that I didn’t get, this review was a nice read. Zigfried’s and Felix’s reviews had their similarities, but I preferred Zigfried’s because there was more information about the game, and I was more satisfied when I reached the end of the page. The best part was how Zigfried conveyed how satisfying killing these enemies was. I liked the descriptions of the mythological creatures, and I especially liked how he tells how the enemies attack (“crossbow-wielding Spartans”, “a skeleton charioteer…whips at Sylphia from afar”), helping me visualise the levels in my head – this while maintaining the fancy writing style. The only description that I wasn’t fond of was when “Shogun Warrior Gaiking” was referenced, because I didn’t get it.

The approach that Zigfried took complemented Sylphia well and brought out the epic nature of the game. From the large chunks that evoked vivid imagery to the ‘heart vs. mind’ matter, the review read almost like a grand story. The anecdote about selling the game for a hundred bucks and then buying it again for far more surprisingly fitted well, and helped me understand how much Zigfried’s heart adores Sylphia. But, though he convinces me that the game’s greatest strength lies in its setting and atmosphere, I wouldn’t have minded further details on how it plays. What is the Giga Fairy Beam, and why is it overpowered? What other weapons are at the protagonist’s disposal, and why is it easy to gain so many extra lives? Another thing I’m not entirely sure about is whether Sylphia is worth coming back to after a playthrough or two. There’s no hint of any sort of replay value, especially given that the game is remarkably easy, and I’d imagine the setting would eventually lose its charm after a while. A great review otherwise. 80

WILL:

Brilliant start, brilliant finish. In between I was initially unsure about. There's lots of anecdotes and descriptions and cunningly-aligned images, but little about what the game is like. But, as was pointed out in the feedback topic, it's a friggin' shooter. You shoot things. That's not the point. The point, at least in Sylphia's case, is the atmosphere and the imagery and all that stuff. And I came away from this piece with a very good sense of what that is.

94/100

ASCHULTZ:

The start is a good, solid gambit. It may feel slightly sugary, or maybe I just have a revulsion for the word "Homeland," as it still brings up an image of Tom Ridge with that color coded terror table. I'd dump the comment about if Compile even created the game until the end--seems to tie in perfectly with maybe being a game it's tough to admit you REALLY LIKE vs a company finding it tough to admit they wrote the game. Plus I think this would work better with the "magnificent 8" observation at the end. But why "My caveat has been...?" Pretentious. I read a few other airy sentences--"as one might smite a bird, etc."

The next paragraph feels a bit like a laundry list, as the one two ahead works much better for description. The bit about the tiny man in the colossus is good stuff, if driven home a bit too obviously--an average of the two. I then found it amusing we had 2 Gate of Thunder references in one review tourney. The end should work but it doesn't. I mean, the game does live up to the heightened expectations, or you wouldn't have paid for it. Or it does in a way. It seems a bit slick and I don't know a way around it. Perhaps you can't ever play it through without being aware of its shortcomings, but that never lasts? And then you don't mind gearing up again?

Throughout this piece I worried I was overreacting to expectations for one of your reviews. But I think some of the phrases and gambits don't resonate with me, and they miss the mark as to what makes a game fun if not technically advanced.

73/100
========Zippdementia - Parasite Eve 2 (PSX)========

BEN:

I have only two pieces of criticism about Zipp’s review. The first is, I didn’t particularly like the introduction. It tells me that Parasite Eve 2 shouldn’t be taken seriously, but there’s quite a large disconnect between that and the rest of the review, because after the intro, it never refers back to the initial point. I thought the intro was a little confusing, too – I had no idea what ‘Mitochondria’ is, which I guess was the reason why the quote didn’t come across as ridiculous to me. (I actually think the review would work better if it got straight to the point and started with the “Place yourself in the role…” paragraph.) The second flaw is that the review leaves a few details too late for my liking. For example, it was more than halfway before I learnt that Parasite Eve 2 was a survival horror. (I think it’s a third-person shooter?) And Mitochondrion powers aren’t elaborated until a fair way in, too. It’s mentioned a few times, but I would’ve preferred it explained earlier. It also would’ve been nice to learn more of the powers other than Necrosis – I’m kind of wondering how varied these powers are.

But, these are the only complaints I have. The rest is extremely well-written. By the end of it, I was confident I could tell someone why I personally wouldn’t want to play this game. The several faults are explained convincingly, and I agreed with each point, thinking “yeah, that does sound lame”. At the same time, I also understand the aspects that make Parasite Eve 2 potentially compelling – I really liked how Zipp talked about the variety of approaches you can take during the combat. Making me place myself in the protagonist’s shoes was an effective way of listing the many alternatives that I could take, while keeping me intrigued. There are more things Zipp does right. Apart from the lack of Mitochondrion powers information I mentioned earlier, Zipp gave me plenty of details to leave me knowledgeable without droning on for too long. I appreciated the fair amount of detail of why the shotgun sucks and the exact reasoning why the multiple endings are horribly executed. It is written in a way that an outsider like me can understand, and it added a lot of weight to Zipp’s strong opinion that you need an FAQ to get the most out of this game. 85

WILL:

You put "decimated" in there just to annoy me didn't you?

This time, the Zipp Comedy Gold line comes at the very end. But that doesn't stop this review from being fun, because it's always entertaining to poke fun at a game with poor design choices. If anything, I think you're a bit too generous with them, but the review fits its 6/10 score nicely.

77/100

(If I were to "decimate" your score, it would instead be 70/100. SEE NOW? NOW DO YOU GET IT? NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?)

ASCHULTZ:

I think I found the humor in your other reviews as flippant before, but this one hits it for me. I like how you establish the middle ground without too much being Mr. Everyday. We've all had our favorite "All your Base" moments, too, but the Mitochondria joke is well set up and well chosen. I remember what it is, but just barely.

I have some complaint with your complaints about the tutorial--you're supposed to make mistakes, and I've had too many too-stupid tutorials that did nothing. You seem to have developed well enough to beat the game, and besides, it's survival horror--an annoying tutor is the least of your worries. In fact, a tutorial that makes you feel dumb and helpless (a bit) may prepare you for the game. However, the complaints about the game's descriptive brevity work better. I think it's valid to expect certain hidden attributes--but there are too many. Perhaps you and I have a fundamental difference in how we approach games. I like ones where you have to figure out a few rules, though they make sense once you do. And I'd argue that items you don't know can add to survival horror's sense of uncertainty and the unknown.

However, missing a third of the game is a bit too much. It's replay value by subtraction and not addition, and you nail that well. I like the conclusion. It seems almost degenerate/trivial, and yet, I think you allow some leeway for people to form their own opinions because the examples flow well and never seem forced.

81/100

Psst..."my poor frail female body." I know what you mean, in context, but...it was the funniest slip in all the reviews.

So, the results...

Ben-Will-ASchultz-total
Overdrive:92+90+68=250
Zigfried:80+94+73=247
Zipp:85+77+81=243
EmP:83+83+75=241
Genj:75+72+85=232
Felix:70+87+64=221
DE:70+75+60=205

Congratulations to Overdrive! And thanks to everyone.

Miscellaneous stats: Ben gave 79.3 on average, Will gave 82.6, and I gave a measly 72.3.
StDev: Ben 8.16, Will 8.22, ASchultz 8.98. In other words, we all scaled our likes/dislikes about the same, so I'm off the hook for such low scores. Just add 10 to mine and 3 to Ben's.


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: April 20, 2010 (03:05 PM)
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I'm rockin' out hard over this feedback! This is great! You guys have really pin-pointed for me some areas that I can improve in future reviews. I also really didn't expect to come close to Zig's review, so that's a nice surprise!

I definitely think OD deserved this one. In a contest that ultimately ended up using a lot of gimmicks (guilty over here) his was a nice simple review that just let the game do the work. I'm pretty sure he didn't plan it that way since his was one of the first released but... well... with OD you never know ^_^

Some issues with your table there, Aschultz. Otherwise, thanks to the judges for all their work and thanks to Zig for this great idea for a contest! I want to do it again!


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


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Author: darketernal
Posted: April 20, 2010 (03:54 PM)
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Thanks for judging.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 20, 2010 (04:18 PM)
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And Will, as I said in my PE2 thread, decimating is perfectly possible on the human body, it just involves precise cutting.


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 20, 2010 (04:59 PM)
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That seems about right.

Ta to the judge team sans Will who I'm sure owes me something that I can't put my finger on. Congrats to Oddy on a long overdue podium finish.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: April 20, 2010 (05:04 PM)
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Congrats to ODelius for not losing and the judge staff for taking the time to do this!


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


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Author: Ben
Posted: April 20, 2010 (04:57 PM)
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It was fun judging this contest. Nice job to my fellow judges. Aschultz, I thought your critiques were great, and you touched on quite a few things that I considered saying before I ended up focusing on other aspects.

After I was the harshest judge last time around with my scores, I actually raised the scores of a few slightly - silly paranoid me. It didn't matter in the end, though. The placements would've still been exactly the same had I kept my original scores (though second place would've been decided by just one point - the drama!). Next time, I think I'll stick with my gut.

Zipp pretty much nailed it on the head on why I liked OD's review the best. Sometimes, it's easier to understand the points the reviewer is trying to make by just keeping things simple.

Anyway, if anyone wants to follow up on anything, I'm right here. Additionally, if anyone thinks there are ways I could improve my general critiquing/judging, I'm also willing to listen.


...


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Author: Genj
Posted: April 20, 2010 (05:58 PM)
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Thanks for the judges for their judging. I got really lazy when I realized how daunting writing a convincing 9 was for a game with several big flaws like FF13, so that's why you got a review with Final Fantasy XIII at the beginning of the final 3 paragraphs.

Also I have clocked 62 hours into FF13 and I only just now learned it's not Crystalum.


_


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: April 20, 2010 (06:51 PM)
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Thanks to the judges for their time and energy! Much appreciated.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: aschultz
Posted: April 20, 2010 (07:52 PM)
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Zipp, thanks for pointing the HTML out. I thought I tested it, but that's for blog posts, not forum posts.

Ben--amusing you shifted your grades up. I may've thought to shift them down because it might be tough to differentiate among some of the stronger reviewers.

I hope to scatter feedback about as I pin it down. Again, I enjoyed reading these reviews more than I thought I did. For whatever reason, they helped me snap out of whatever rut I was in. They remind me that even with very good writing, there's still a lot of room to ask for a lot more. I think that's the goal of everyone here.


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: True
Posted: April 20, 2010 (08:03 PM)
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I caught that earlier. I was going to make fun of you...

Then I remembered that you: A) Totally came through for me on Darkness and B) You still have it, and could potentially release it to the world with changes that would make me look foolish, like giving three characters the same name, or randomly putting the word "poop" in.

Don't do that.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: April 21, 2010 (09:43 AM)
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Oh, you'd be able to sort out the typos.

I think it'd be subtler to put in a few emoticons, or "then X decided to (I forget, slip this by the editors." Knock off a quotation mark here or there. I haff vays.

Not that I would. OR WOULD I???? *steeples fingers and grins evilly*


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: WilltheGreat
Posted: April 21, 2010 (11:36 AM)
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Apologies for my relatively brief judging comments. Some days I go detail, some days I go for brevity. On the day I wrote those, I was a Concise Writer.

Anyway, thanks to all the entrants, and judges, especially Schultz and his wacky statistics. Apparently I gave the highest average score. I'm not sure what the implications of that are, but I think I can live with it.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 21, 2010 (12:38 PM)
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SWEET!!!!

It has been a hell of a long time since I've won one of this things. Looks like I haven't completely lost my mojo yet! Thanks to the judges and to the cannon fodder...I mean, esteemed opponents for their participation in this tournament. There weren't a LOT of entries, but the reviews were all good.


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


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Author: aschultz
Posted: April 21, 2010 (12:46 PM)
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Overdrive--it was good to see you win. I can truthfully say that though I remember your earlier comments, I didn't load my scores to help...though seriously, I like what the other two reviewers have to say about your review. It made me feel all closed minded.

Will--it's actually just a matter of typing =STDEV(B2:B8) to see things. I'd always been curious if one reviewer could trump the others by varying scores too much, and it's cool to see that we are all on the same page with something that potentially subjective.


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: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 21, 2010 (01:34 PM)
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Schultz: Yeah, but I understand what you're saying in your critique. I tend to throw in random quips, puns and shit into my reviews because they amuse me and a lot of times, I think part of whether my reviews REALLY work for people is if those lines work. Kinda like how "machine gun of the gods" worked for you, but "can really ruin your day" didn't. That's one of those things about my reviews...I tend to toss in things for the hell of it and sometimes they fall flat in some peoples' minds.

Which all reminds me that I really need to do another "Rob's Retro Rampage" or similarly themed over-the-top review of something in the near future. I am playing Star Ocean: Till the End of Time again (currently up to Berial/Belzeber fight) and it is loaded with comedic material galore:

1. Annoying J-RPG stereotypes galore (particularly Peppita, the self-absorbed, precocious young girl archetype).

2. The vast majority of anything particularly challenging in the game coming after you beat the game and unlock the bonus dungeons. To get to many of these challenges, you have to advance through a 100+ floor dungeon with repetitive floor lay-outs (aka: UNNECESSARY BATTLE OF ATTRITION).

3. Oh yeah...this is a futuristic RPG with unlimited potential as far as setting up environments you don't get in the average medieval world swords-n-sorcery RPG. So, you spend most of it in a medieval world fighting soldiers and dragons and shit due to your spaceships always seeming to land/crash on these places.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 21, 2010 (02:30 PM)
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What'd YOU think of my PE2 review, OD? You requested it, after all!

Sadly, my requested review did not get reviewed...


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


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