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Forums > Contributor Zone > OD RotWs the week of May 16-22, 2010

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: May 26, 2010 (01:19 PM)
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Things are different now, what with staff reviews being cool and the gang. That's good for this week, as it adds competition (only three user reviews submitted). Hopefully, I've included all of them, as Zig's Cotton was the last one on the little bar on the right of the screen as of today. If not, my apologies and you can all throw stones at Jason for not coding in a function to automatically make everything I need appear in front of my eyes. Zig's was from May 16 and since it was for the contest, I'd guess that it was submitted right around the early minutes of that day, so we're just going to say he had the first. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

Now, we only have ONE RULE!!! With that being that only one review from any person may count. YAY FOR SIMPLICITY!!!

FUN FACT: Due to reading two of these reviews for a contest, that saves me work, as I know how I feel about them! YAY FOR LAZINESS!!!




THIRD PLACE: Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (XBox 360) by EmP

EmP earns another place in this thing! You're right, one of the weakest aspects about the game is the length of its title. Not fun to type. I liked the organization of this review, as you open with a couple of paragraphs describing what seems to be an awesome scene and then let the reader know that Kong is only a small part of the game and that, while the rest has some cool aspects to it, there also is a lot of generic action staples that muddle the whole thing. The high level of competition this week is the primary reason this is only a third-place review, as I really enjoyed this one.

SECOND PLACE: Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City (PS3) by asherdeus

You did a great job of handling the sort of review that I personally find tricky: compilation-type games. I thought the main strength here was that you did a good job of accentuating the differences between the two expansions, while tying them in to GTA4, so it felt like a cohesive review instead of a "here's what you do in this game...and now here's what you do in that one" sort of thing. Of course, there is some of that mixed into the review, but, there's never really that feeling that you're reviewing two separate entities because things flow together so well.

OVERDRIVE PLACE: Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) by honestgamer

You probably won over the rest of the crowd for doing great with the "successfully pulling off a higher degree of difficulty move" writing technique. Early in this review, you mention how this game can be frustrating, with the in-depth work you need to put into hunting monsters and how much you have to study your prey and all that. To the point where you admitted that you questioned whether you were suited to this game. But by the end, you made it all seem worth your while (and by extension, worth the time of other players). You make a huge single-player campaign seem appealing because of great visuals, how monsters act/react and the way this game seems to make success actually feel like SUCCESS instead of a foregone conclusion. Which all makes your "minor irritant" paragraph work even better, as it's obvious why you'd at times feel frustrated with this game after reading that paragraph, as all of those things definitely could work to turn a tough game into a frustrating one...especially not being able to pause. A very good review that makes its points well and just, in a word, works.




All right! Now it's time to work on my next review! And then figure out what I'll be reviewing next!


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 26, 2010 (02:37 PM)
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Thanks for the topic, as always, and thanks for the win. It has literally been years since I won a RotW or even a RotD topic, what with my ineligibility, so it felt good to scrape out a win with a review that gave me a lot of trouble as I wrote it. I must have written ten versions of the introduction before scrapping them all, and I pretty much always review in a linear fashion so that means that what you're seeing is essentially my tenth effort at the review. It helped that I spent so much time with it and that I knew what was important to the game. I'm pleased with the review, pleased with the victory and excited to have won during a week with such solid competition from other great writers. It's nice to know that I've still got it!


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: May 26, 2010 (03:24 PM)
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EmP was right... this is better now that there are more reviews to choose from.

Jason's review totally deserves the win this week. I haven't been excited for a Wii game in ages and his review is to blame for breaking that personal streak.


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: May 27, 2010 (10:44 AM)
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EmP is always right. I thought this was fact by now.

Thanks for the mention and congrats to Jason on some props. Even if, in my ego-driven mindset, I thought the entire introduction was a indisguised jab at me.

Admit that it was like a man!


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: pickhut
Posted: May 27, 2010 (10:54 AM)
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Congratulations, Jason! I didn't read your review yet.

A lot of reviews were put up last week that I only had time to pick a select few, like EmP's King Kong and the IR2 reviews.

But I'll probably read these sometime today.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: asherdeus
Posted: May 27, 2010 (11:47 AM)
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Nice to see you're still kicking, OD.

Jason's review is one of two that I've read in recent weeks for Wii games that have suddenly made me really want the system (the other was for Super Mario Galaxy II on my site). He did a really great job with the review and had me hooked from the first sentence to the last. But where he succeeded best was in identifying and explaining how AND why Tri's less enjoyable parts don't hold back the package. Most of the reviews I've read have either skirted over the bad parts or focused entirely too much on them, leaving me feeling like they didn't give it a fair waggle. Jason did both and the review is really strong because of that.

As for my review, I'm happy that it came out clear. It was only the third review that I've written this year and it was difficult to tackle. I actually didn't really enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I thought the introduction was a lot stronger than the conclusion and felt like toward the end I was just throwing an endless list of game features at the player without expanding on them well enough. But, from the feedback I've gotten here, it seems like everything was balanced well enough. Thanks for the feedback again!

And as for Emp ... I'm glad you got caught up enough to find enjoyment with the game, but I have to tell you friend, King Kong is ass, dude. The game is much worse than you painted it. Your review is really convincing, of course, but I couldn't help but remember my time with it and I just felt tired. Tired of killing the same shitty enemies, tired of feeling trapped in tiny environments as Kong, tired of the repetition. I really loved your introduction, but after that, my own thoughts took over and I couldn't help but spend the rest of it arguing with you in my head. Just a couple of things I noticed when reading:

"Showing a subtle levels of intelligence" - should be "level" or drop the "a"

"Jack’s options are forever limited; he can never fully rely on the rationed firearms dropped from the sky in aid packages to get him out of every jam, catches of steel spears" - unless it's a European thing, I think you mean '"caches" of steel spears' here.

Thanks again, OD, for the comments.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 27, 2010 (01:25 PM)
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Thanks for the mention and congrats to Jason on some props. Even if, in my ego-driven mindset, I thought the entire introduction was a indisguised jab at me.

Honestly, EmP, there are times when you come to mind as I'm writing a review and I have to decide whether or not I want to allude to you, but this really wasn't one of those times. You're hardly alone in thinking that Wii doesn't have hardcore games worth trying. I'd say most gamers feel that way. And the comments weren't intended as a snipe, either, at anyone. I've played a lot of Wii games, so it's natural that I would know about some of the hardcore ones, but most people who dismiss the system have not played a lot of games for it (let alone hardcore ones) and the games that they have played give them no reason to launch an investigation into what they're missing. I felt that Monster Hunter Tri deserved props because it's hardcore and because it's extremely effective in spite of the issues referenced within the review.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: May 28, 2010 (12:08 AM)
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Jason: As I said (in some fashion) before (and has been verified by at least Ashy), the greatest strength of that review is how you wasted no time in telling us how the game is frustrating and tedious...but do a great job of erasing that negativity by convincingly selling the positives to a degree that your statement about how the game's hardcore truly legit.

Ashy: Good to see you're still breathing, too. I was wondering if you were yet another of the dudes who were around when I was starting who got tired of it all. I can see what you're saying about your review and how you thought it petered out at the end with you talking about things briefly, but not explaining them, but I didn't see that as a problem because...

1. I'm very familiar with San Andreas and passingly familiar with IV. The functions you felt like you were brushing over to just mention them were things I knew about.

2. The GTA series is a very popular one. I'm guessing that a large number of readers will know what you're talking about...

3. ...especially because this is an individually-sold collection of GTA 4 add-on material. I would think that nearly ANYONE buying this already has GTA experience and that a very tiny percentage of purchasers are counting this as their first GTA experience. This game might be the perfect storm for a situation where it's totally legit to merely mention many gameplay ingredients in passing.


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


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