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Forums > Contributor Zone > EmP's Wacky Genre Tournament Results! (The Horror Chapter)

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: May 22, 2010 (09:14 AM)
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I was just going to thank the judges (thanks, judges!) but my review has somehow become A Big Deal! So I should comment on that, especially since the topic of future genre contests has come up.

Basically, I don't see the problem with choosing Cotton for this contest. It's not like I reviewed Dynasty Warriors or Tekken or something -- I reviewed a game that pokes fun at things that are supposed to be scary. If this was a survival horror contest, then I apologize for misunderstanding, but I took it to mean "horror-based games". Cotton is totally a horror-based game. It makes fun of horror by having despicable demons get annihilated by a cute child witch who just wants to eat lots of candy. Remove the horror elements and you've removed the game's personality (and there's not much to Cotton beyond its personality.)

The judges looked at this game and said "there's no way in hell this could actually scare anyone" and docked it points, which is totally fine. If anyone had reviewed Resident Evil 5 (aka Super Gun Action RE), I would expect it to be docked points too. But RE5 is still a horror-based game even though it's not scary.

So I guess I'm saying that if this were a traditional contest, I would have still considered this a valid entry. I don't see how it wouldn't be, unless we invoke a "no parody / no genre subversion" rule.

Genj:
Interesting comments... I'm not sure how I would have reviewed this outside of the contest. It would have probably had a different introduction, but I could never think of a good one before (which is why I never reviewed it). I would have still presented the game as a spoof of scary things, because at heart that's what Cotton is, but I would have probably done so more overtly and spent extra time focusing on cute demons. Honestly, I think the approach I took was fine... the "forced" feeling is probably more from lack of writing/edit time (as Bloomer said, it was a last-minute entry).

Zipp:
I thought the giant plant man looked awesome! I'm picturing two guys sitting in front of a TV:

Guy One: "HOLY SHIT, there's a massive plant dude swiping at me with thorny arms! And those thorns are red, I bet he's been impaling everyone who comes here! This is, like, the king of all plant men! Do you see how chubby that guy's cheeks are? I bet he's been eating lots of children."

Guy Two: "It's a big green face."

I'm fine with you thinking I overstylized the game and rating my review accordingly; that's pretty normal when two people disagree on the inherent coolness behind something. I figure most people will see the picture first so that they already know what he looks like when reading. Obviously, the effect I was hoping for was "yeah, this so totally looks like a vicious killer giant plant man -- 16-bit shooters always were the greatest." But if someone says "Zigfried is so full of it" that's fine, too, because at least it's an informed opinion!

Overdrive:
I am perfectly normal. I would say more, but I must go draw some Cotton hentai.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: bloomer
Posted: May 22, 2010 (10:09 PM)
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I should say I was more bemused than angry about Zigfried's review, if it sounded angry.

When you (judges) talk about this scoring system that was behind the scenes, I had no idea it was as worked-out as that. I can't really comment on it, only that using systems in general can make it hard to fit things in boxes with other things if they aren't an easy shape. Like Genj was saying, he followed the rules he was given.

Re: 'horror', it is the same lack of definition of the term in general as per the obscure tourney which causes everyone to interpret it differently. Genj was saying here 'obscurity' is less subjective, but I don't know, as a judge on that tourney once. frankly I didn't have much answer to people who complained. Their complaints were as valid as my subjective assessments, though I saw the assessment as kind of silly to begin with and tried to give it a light touch.


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Author: bloomer
Posted: May 22, 2010 (10:25 PM)
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To Zig:

>So I guess I'm saying that if this were a traditional contest,
> I would have still considered this a valid entry. I don't see how it wouldn't be,
> unless we invoke a "no parody / no genre subversion" rule.

Well, neither would I. I mean if this were a enter-whatever-you-want contest, I wouldn't have blinked. Because it was horror, and you constantly told us in the review how the game was to do with horror, that signalled to me that if you hadn't done that, you'd be struggling to have the game perceived as horror. There's no such tension with anything else entered in the comp, and I think maybe WQ was the only other person whose review perhaps conspicuously spoke to the entry requirements (almost talking to the judges saying 'this is horror'). I just reviewed Bloodrayne as I would have reviewed it any other time. Are you saying you would have written the same review of Cotton if it wasn't for this competition? It would be surprised if you say yes, from the way it reads. That's not illegal obviously, but it feels cute if the purpose is to just emphasise a maybe-tenuous ability to qualify in the first place.

In the end, I think you're right actually. If Twilight is horror in common parlance (and it is, and it will appear in horror encyclopedias), then maybe Cotton is.... Maybe! Would it ever appear in an index or encyclopedia of horror games? That's one measure I would apply.


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Author: bloomer
Posted: May 22, 2010 (10:27 PM)
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To Zipp:

Don't worry, there's no need for ongoing argument. It's just my usual behaviour that if I get a verdict and advice to make the review different in a topic, if I disagree, I always say how. Then there's verdictor's statement and verdictees both there to be read. It doesn't have to go any further unless people think I'm really off my trolley in what I said, or I think they're off their trolley. I don't think either of us are off trolley today!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: May 22, 2010 (11:54 PM)
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Are you saying you would have written the same review of Cotton if it wasn't for this competition? It would be surprised if you say yes, from the way it reads

The difference between this and later Cotton games is that personality is the only think that makes it stand out. I would have absolutely written a review with the same underlying theme ("this game is notable because it fills a cute game with normally spooky things" -- because that is why it's notable) but the delivery of that message would have likely been different. How much, who knows?

But I can also say that if I had reviewed Silent Hill for this contest, the review would have been different from if I were to review Silent Hill just for the heck of it. Whenever possible, I like to let the circumstances of the moment influence my writing. It makes for cooler memories.

//Zig


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: May 23, 2010 (12:07 AM)
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Aw, Zig! Don't think that I didn't think your description of the plant man was cool! That was just the problem! Your description was SOOO crazy cool and full of youthful spryness (and yes, damn sexy, too!) that it just couldn't live up to the actual image.

I guess the simplest way of saying it was the Cotton review was a little over the top when placed alongside the other entries. On it's own, it's a brilliantly hilarious and exuberant review.

It's sort've like if Yahtzee ever turned in a review for competition here. I would praise it for being hilarious and then dock it massive points for letting the style take away from the actual "review" quality of it.

I rarely, if ever, base actual game purchases off of a Yahtzee review.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: May 23, 2010 (09:39 PM)
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Well then. I can always be counted on to finish second in these things, can't I? I'm not complaining at all -- I'm just weirdly consistent.

Thanks to the judges for their comments, and congrats to EmP for winning. I greatly enjoyed his review and I'm not surprised to see that it won.


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


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Author: Duo
Posted: June 05, 2010 (05:00 AM)
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I did not spot this for some reason. Many thanks for doing this and for the insight on my review. I agree with a lot of what the judges have to say and, thanks to a brillaint edit feature I discovered scant hours before this event's deadline, I plan to make good use of your help.

Well done to the winner. I actually enjoyed Silent Hill Homecoming (not half as much as the originals, though) but I can certainly see why so many others will not.


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