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Forums > Contributor Zone > TT Week 2: the real results

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:44 PM)
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~~~ Team Battle: Wolfqueen v Leroux ~~~

Fatal Fury 2 announcer-man returns for another round.

Suskie?? versus Leroux??
Suskie: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Leroux: Diddy Kong Racing (N64)


ASchultz:
Both of these were tough reads but not because they weren't good writing. I enjoyed the looks at two different genres--both discussing gravity, physics, etc., without seeming dry, and also describing when even potential unfairness can add the right sort of challenge--and this sort of thing really comes down to technical pluses and minuses. For that part, Leroux could afford to break up a few sentences, with perhaps a little too much description for description's sake and the bit between the first and second paragraphs seems a bit muddled. I'd like to give more advice but I think both contestants did very well here. It's nice to have two reviews that touch off things I sort of want to do. However, I can only pick one, and while Leroux's description is good, Suskie's does better--I really do like when someone lists a conclusion that isn't obvious, and manages to make it flow.

WINNER: SUSKIE

-----

CoarseDragon:
Suskie - Super Mario Galaxy: I can understand a topsy-turvy gravity defying world like Mario Galaxy being quite difficult to put into words there are just so many upside-down puzzles and places to describe. Being able to bring that lack of cohesion into cohesiveness is not a job to envy. While this review tried to bring that world to us in a fun way I found plethora of commas read like the game played. The information given about the game was quite satisfactory but the presentation was befuddling.

Leroux - Diddy Kong Racing: Is this a review of Mario Kart or Diddy Kong? I suppose the comparison needed to be there but if the reader had never played Mario Kart the comparisons would be meaningless. Although there were not that many references to Mario kart I believe they were unnecessary. The review of the game could easily have held its own quite nicely without Mario Kart having ever been brought up. I am not sure the full color of the game came out in the review a bit more could have been said about the colorful graphics. Having never played this game I felt the review gave enough information that I could make an informed decision.

Suskie vs. Leroux: Leroux is the winner

-----

Zigfried:
Suskie, I don't understand the second paragraph. I read it three times and still couldn't make heads or tails of the concept. Things start to make some sense with paragraph four, although the seemingly contradictory statements of "still be standing upright" versus "is frequently upside-down" are still puzzling me. I say seemingly because I suspect there's an explanation that I'm just not grasping. Your review reaches its emotional peak in paragraph six (with an blunter explanation of that peak in par. seven) but I didn't understand the game well enough to appreciate the enormity of that moment. So while I can tell the review is structured effectively towards those who "get" it, I just can't feel it. Sorry.

Leroux's review takes a few paragraphs to get going, but it certainly does get going. The "longevity via challenges" approach was an effective way to distinguish this from Mario Kart 64. I've played neither, but you come off as a credible voice, so I found myself nodding along and thinking "this is the cart racer to remember". If we're aiming for review nirvana, then I would say the next-to-last paragraph feels like a retread over concepts addressed in paragraphs three and four, like you're just trying to squeeze in even more favorite moments... but I can't fault you for that. They sound like moments worth recalling.

My pick: Leroux

Ultimate Victor: Leroux (2-1)

*****************************************

Wolfqueen?? versus Jerec??
Wolfqueen: Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2)
Jerec: The Wind Waker (GCN)


ASchultz:
Crap. For this match I feel like Howard Webb handing out yellow cards, but I have less of a reason to do so than he did.

Wolfqueen's second paragraph took me by surprise. It seems that since completely >> remarkably, we would want to hear about the storytelling. Throwing superlatives around early can get messy. I'm also not crazy about starting "Regarding." It sounds a bit airy. That said, the review works best when you describe the array of stealth options etc...though there's a bit much. It also seems stuff like hiding in lockers is a bit too easy, and maybe there's a downside to staying too long? Suffocation? If it's foolproof, it's maybe not a good part of the game, as stated. And there's a wind-up paragraph "as fun and challenging" which seems to go on a bit long.

I'd maybe liked to have read about the story a bit earlier--even if it is in the opening paragraph. Yet there's good stuff when it doesn't try to do too much: "There’s so much going on here that it’s difficult to keep straight. But through it all, I don’t recall anything that genuinely surprised me." It seems sometimes lines you think are throwaways are, in fact, the most gripping parts: "They even go out of their way to make a plot point about why these similarities exist." That's when the review's at its best.

Jerec's first paragraph seems like it could be even better. I don't know why. It's the second original yet straightforward opening from him. Maybe it tries too hard to explain things, but it caught me remembering a lot of stuff I'd looked forward to and been disappointed for, for the wrong reasons. I think, though, that there's still more to be made--it's easy to reject charm and I'd be interested to read why you did the first time. I like the contrast of growing up and not feeling you need to reject something like WW to feel grown up, though. Still, I feel this review leaves a lot on the table and buzzes around the points it REALLY wants to make. Observations like the game being written for children yet not talking down--it's like a really good children's book or something. Also, "history will remember The Wind Waker as the better of the two. I know I do" sounds a bit pompous. Yet the review seems to be scattered with clues that maybe you're recalling too much of WW from memory (the dungeons--you say so) & sometimes the mechanics feel a bit jumbled. This is an ambitious review but I don't know if Jerec hit things on the head.

Both reviews manage to be about the game when they get down to business. However, Wolfqueen's plays a trick on me I just don't like. Showing a bit too much disorganized stuff in the game and "See what I mean?" Given what you're trying to prove, there's no right answer to that question.

WINNER: JEREC

-----

CoarseDragon:
Wolfqueen - Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: The basic story of this Metal Gear is that the Sons of Liberty take control of the Big Shell Disposal Facility. Sounds like they would have been better off just leaving the story at that but the way some people complain about the stories in games these days perhaps the developers thought the game was better off with more storyboard. I suppose though an espionage game ought to have a convoluted story. I am not sure it was necessary to give us those "Or maybe" paragraphs in the middle of the review. I think the "Or Maybe" and the seventh paragraph could have been condensed which would have made the entirety of the review a bit easier to read. Explanation of the game play was well written with enough details that I think the reader can judge if they wish to play the game or not.

Jerec -The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: What a very interesting opening and the subsequent
turn-around was a bit of a surprise. At first I expected a bash-a-thon but was pleasantly surprised to find a well thought out introduction which kept my interest. I would liked to have seen a short paragraph on the Rito and Koroks and how they use the wind instead of just a passing sentence but perhaps those races do not play a large role in the game and that was all that was needed. Good information about the game and why the reviewer (finally) liked the game.

Wolfqueen vs. Jerec: Jerec is the winner.

-----

Zigfried:
Wolfqueen seemingly praises the original game in paragraph one, then slags its combat in paragraph two. For several paragraphs, I'm left wondering why this second episode is bad until you tell me that Metal Gear is important for its plot. That statement bothered me for a couple reasons. One is that your ensuing summary makes MGS2's plot sound good. When you say that it's difficult to keep straight, your words ring false because you provided such a clear (too clear?) summary. Emphasizing the importance of plot also bothered me because you never make me understand why that would make the game suffer. Supposing the story really is lame -- so what? Lots of games have lame stories. The missing piece is that the game treats the story as the most important part. A few small tweaks would go a long way towards improving this one.

For Jerec's review, the tech demo was a nice way to start. After some reminiscing and nice descriptions of the new Hyrule, paragraphs 11, 12, and 13 start to feel like a checklist. You pull out of that pattern before it gets too long in the tooth, but it's there. Aside from that, this was a clear, emotional review that left me with no questions as to why you liked it. On a personal note, I think the review reads better with the final sentence omitted. I had already reached that conclusion without you needing to bluntly state it... and the preceding sentence has a natural finality to it.

My pick: Jerec

Ultimate Victor: Jerec (3-0)

*****************************************

Genj?? versus Venter??
Genj: Dead Rising (X360)
Venter: Naughty Bear (something)


ASchultz:
Two reviews with a funny take on killing other--animals like you.

GENJ: Comma issues aside (->, however,) Genj's review gets down to business and is entertaining enough it doesn't feel like business. I see a bit of overkill (what did I say about college ball?) and "They’re absolutely psychotic, but they’re still human." The comedic timing is a minor issue, though. The grammar errors add up a bit, too, but that's fixable. Oh, and I hate the word "aforementioned." But in a review that moves so well, I was disappointed with the ending a bit--"the more you play, the better it gets" at the end seems a bit unjustified. Is perfectionism fun? Can you kill enemies enough different ways that the horrendous mandatory leveling is not so bad? There's some style over substance here but a lot of each.

VENTER: I like the attempt at a reversal, but I pinged Jerec and Asher about this last week. "Boredom" in the first line of anything is a big risk. I might even replace boredom with Defluffification and then "But it's not as fun as it sounds." (which can do the work of two sentences later.) The next two paragraphs made me laugh, but the switch to controls is a bit quick. I guess there might be some leeway for teddy bears being difficult to control because they're teddy bears. But still, with sentences like "Consider the disastrous lack of a lock-on function," the bashing feels clumsy--not as clumsy as the controls, but unfortunately more prominent than the bit about the camera bouncing back and forth as a pendulum, or the idea that people just rushed through the product for something more lucrative. And I think phrases like "gameplay variety" will always fall a little short of clever stuff like in the opposing review. I hate saying "obviously more than competent" but then, the TT does bring out high standards of writing and the pieces that find the extra gear tend to pull things out.

WINNER: GENJ

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CoarseDragon:
Genj - Dead Rising: Simple and gruesome fun is exactly what I would expect from a zombie slaying game. Smashing a red hot frying pan into a zombie's face? On goes the colorful prose in this review. And why not, the game is about re-killing the already dead in varied and unique ways. In many games of this genre there is not a way for the protagonist to get better so it was nice to read that the game incorporates a level system with a variety of ways to get points that can be used to add to skills or increase skills.

Venter - Naughty Bear: How could a game with cute teddy bears be boring? A simple read through of this review will fill you in on that question. With nary a picnic basket in sight it seems we must bludgeon our way through. The why and wherefore of this game seem to be an enigma but I believe this review gives a complete a picture as possible without being to terribly harsh.

-- Before we get to a winner I have to say this was a most difficult choice. Both reviews in my opinion were very well done and each gave a good amount of information and reasons for their final score. If I could give each a half win I would but I guess there needs to be a winner. *flips coin* (Really I did not flip a coin.) I give this win to Venter because I felt that review tells us why the game did not measure up a bit better than Genj telling why the game did measure up.

Genj vs. Venter: Venter

-----

Zigfried:
Genj's review has some oddly-flowing sentences, primarily due to occasional wordiness and missing punctuation. (Open space however is often taken up, etc.) Otherwise, it's difficult to point to anything and say "this is wrong" -- but my attention waned. It's not so much that the review is long, as that it's dense. Early into the review, I caught onto the notion that Dead Rising is a simple game, and detailed writing about simple games can become tiresome for readers. You do demonstrate a good eye for choosing in-game examples; this is one case where I would offer the unusual advice of using fewer.

Venter's was a fun review for a game that never seemed the least bit interesting. I usually feel bad that you play so many crappy games -- I still do, actually -- but you've turned your experience into something positive here. The phrase on the visual front grated a bit (especially when used as a paragraph opening) as that's a clear "and now I talk about graphics" trigger. Inverting the sentence would be one way to eliminate that phrase without losing the content. Otherwise, this was ace work.

My pick: Venter

Ultimate Victor: Venter (2-1)

THE FINAL SUMMATION:
Leroux's team wins. ASchultz will be doing the fancy number work.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:45 PM)
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~~~ Team Battle: JANUS vs Overdrive ~~~

Bluberry?? versus Overdrive??
Bluberry: Doom (PSX)
Overdrive: Doom (SNES)


ASchultz:
Well, I was always going to groan at the second review, so I red Blu's first then OD's, then OD's first then Blu's. I debated whether to read OD-then-Blu again, because of diminishing returns and all that, but I was running late. So will Overdrive have reason to file a formal complaint?

Bluberry: if it's missing levels, how can it be robust? Did you need to capitalize FRIVOLITY again? And the splitscreen/multiplayer observation seems out of place. And the upshot at the end doesn't really wrap up what was in the review--ok, so the graphics are especially tricky. But where is this? That said, this is otherwise an efficient, entertaining review. The name-dropping is not obscure enough to throw me off, and it has about the right amount of sarcasm and attitude for a shooting game.

Overdrive: I always seem to be rougher on you than on anyone else for rhetoric but 1) "I was actually a bit surprised...I was thinking I might just be in for a pleasant surprise" hit me right away. Small time paradox. I also think the review might be a bit slow in getting to the point. If you're upset with slowness, then it's probably best not to hit the reader up with long sentences. I get the sense you included a lot of the middle stuff because you felt you had to, and it seems like it can be hacked down. While I found them frustrating, the last two paragraphs are quite good and assume pretty well what the reader can or should know without forcing them to work too hard. Not that the rest of the review is whiny, but I felt like the last two paragraphs stopped complaining. Still I think the strong comeback falls a bit short--Bluberry's ultimately says more in less space.

WINNER: BLUBERRY

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CoarseDragon:
Bluberry- Doom: At first I was not sure where this review was headed. Was it good or was it bad? Eventually we learn that this Doom is a completely different Doom from the PC version. I am sorry to say this review gave me a rather fuzzy picture the game and I was left wondering why it got a 7 when the review was leading me to believe it would be a lower score.

Overdrive - Doom: Reading the review makes me wonder if there was a QA department. This review gives a very good picture of where the game went horribly wrong in its implementation. The review is well written except maybe for "thing's". I did my best to see if that was a valid contraction and since I found nothing to the contrary I guess it is but it does not roll off the tongue very easily.

Overdrive vs. Bluberry: Overdrive is the winner

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Zigfried:
Bluberry: Nice description of the emotional impact of crying infants.

Overdrive: This game sure sounds bad.

I dreaded reading these reviews, but don't mistake my curtness for insolence. Both reviews effectively made their points and neither one was painful. But one was clearly more ambitious -- some may even say it was "future-proofed".

My pick: Bluberry

Ultimate Victor: Bluberry (2-1)

*****************************************

Janus?? versus Zippdementia??
Janus: Aladdin (Genesis)
Zippdementia: Deus Ex the Conspiracy (PS2)


ASchultz:
A very good matchup here. I really enjoyed Janus's review and can't think of much to say about it other than I wouldn't use exclamation points or mention exploding skeletons twice. It doesn't take any risks, but it doesn't have to, and it does a good job of discussing simplicity and faithfulness to the original product without slavish adherence.

Zipp's opening certainly kicks butt, but then I reread the review and wondered what it was for. His work does wind up discussing Deus Ex and bringing up some interesting points, but unfortunately they're at the expense of DE:C where it's mentioned "they're missing here." I'm also confused by this" That the book was placed alongside non-fictional entries, such as The Man Who Was Thursday kept them thinking “this could be happening in my world.” TMWWT is fiction by GK Chesterton. Is it nonfiction in the Deus Ex world? That is worth knowing.

There aren't a lot of cracks here and it's a good essay about how a software company got it right, albeit accidentally, and seemed to deserve to, but Janus's focuses more on the current game and still provides a link with other works (eg Aladdin the movie) and that is enough for me.

WINNER: JANUS

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CoarseDragon:
Janus - Aladdin: We all know that Disney makes good movies but not too many people know they can make a really good game. Most of the time games based on movies turn out to be flops. We learn in this review that that is not the case. Not so surprising when you think about the creativity that comes from Disney. This review tried to capture the wonder of the game and did so quite nicely.

Zippdementia - The Conspiracy: It is often very difficult for a developer to do justice to what could be considered a great game with a follow up of the game on a different platform. We get a sense of that in this review but there must have been at least some highlights in the game. That is where I felt this review missed the mark. We are told how different it is from the original Deus Ex but I was not told what might make the game worth playing despite the fact it was touted as an inferior game.

Janus vs. Zippdementia: Janus is the winner

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Zigfried:
Janus's review is an often-lively walk through a seemingly-inspired adventure. Paragraph five's first sentence (Aladdin is definitely not a case of style over substance) comes across as stilted, since you pretty much proved that point in the preceding paragraph. The text that follows is anything but stilted, as it clearly demonstrates the style of free-wheeling adventure that seems so natural for for the subject matter. Really, this is an excellent review.

Zippdementia reviewed what seems to be a poor port of an internet darling. Some would say that the concept of choice itself is an illusion. To speak of "choice" implies control over the destination, but it's the path that truly separates one man's life from another. So if a game lets me complete objectives however I see fit, I think that's pretty damn cool. The removal of limb loss? Not so cool. The deciding factor in this match was that Janus's review followed a clear path from introduction to conclusion, whereas Zippdementia's review felt somewhat disjointed, as though it were wavering between discussion on Deus Ex's legacy (for right or wrong) versus describing the port.

My pick: Janus

Ultimate Victor: Janus (3-0)

*****************************************

Asherdeus?? versus True??
Asherdeus: Wheelman (PC)
True: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)


ASchultz:
Asher's review is straightforward and good and the bashing is not too heavy handed. I still see some problems from last week--synonyms of boring still pile up the bore-o-meter ("tedious and time-wasting") but the big ones appear to be gone. I'm also curious if maybe you just didn't recognize the Barcelona landmarks or if things were just too unimpressive to look up. The narration is good and straightforward from there, with a small blip about air-jacking--left hanging a bit WHAT it is. Some times the tone feels lackadaisical, too--the 2nd last graphics paragraph gets the job done but little more--but the review's tied up well comparing Wheelman to Midway.

True's review starts with "I'll be honest" (grr) and then goes on with a story of playing Mario at Wal-Mart on a day like any other day, or is it the middle of the night? These devices have been done before and if they're done wrong, they clank. "I wasted not a second thought?" Hmph. This is all a bit much to set up the interesting observation that may not playing ENOUGH Mario to keep it fresh. However, it seems to trip itself up by seeming a bit more familiar with the environment/plot than it seemed at the outset. It seems like you avoided the game at all cost. The Mario/Yoshi interactions seem interesting but sometimes it feels like writing for the sake of writing. Which is good. But I'd rather read more about the upgrades, etc., and maybe even what you thought was cheesy that made you avoid Mario that was fixed now. A bit too much padding for me. It's an unusual departure for you, True, as you're not given to sentiment, and it was worth a try but it didn't work out.

Winner: ASHER

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CoarseDragon:
Asherdeus - The Wheelman: It is a shame that an open world is so constricted by the choices the developers choose to make for the player. The problem with that, as pointed out in this review, is that the player thinks they can have fun but in reality they are feed through a funnel that detracts from what could have been a very fun game. In this review we are given all the information needed by comparison to better games, without going overboard, on why this game hit bottom.

True - Super Mario Galaxy 2: I felt this review, while good, did not clearly give us a good picture of Super Mario Galaxy 2. I did not get a sense of the size of the game or of the colorful levels that are what makes the game good. I felt that more description of the game was needed and at least a mention of the hint system would have been really good as it would have relieved some of the less adept players’ anxieties about the difficulty of the game itself.

Asherdeus vs. True: Asherdeus is the winner

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Zigfried:
I like that Asherdeus included little details like being able to skip the drive up to destinations. Between this and your Dante's Inferno, you have a good sense for the little details that are important to people reading the review (presumably because those things were important to you, but kudos either way). Paragraph six really hammered the annoyance of this game, which is a pity, because I was kind of interested in it. I like Vin Diesel. The introduction and conclusion were fitting, believable, and helped make this feel like a coherent piece.

True's piece wasn't a bad review by any means, but you made me read through a story about how you bought the game. I won't say people should never include such tales, but if the game was bought at Wal-Mart, then chances are it's not interesting. Compared to a review that just gets in and goes to its business, you're already operating at a handicap. My main issue is that I never really got a feel for why this Mario game is so different -- which is important because you made it clear early on that you don't care for Mario. Even though I couldn't grasp Suskie's review, one thing he taught me very clearly was that Super Mario Galaxy is unlike anything else. I didn't feel the magic here. I think it would help if you picked and elaborated on a few examples (so that their impact could sink in), instead of fitting so many different memories into consecutive sentences.

My pick: Asherdeus

Ultimate Victor: Asherdeus (3-0)

THE FINAL SUMMATION:
Janus's team wins. ASchultz will be doing the fancy number work.


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:47 PM)
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Wow. We got our asses kicked.

You know, between my growing lack of confidence in my teammates (no offense to either of them, as they've been working hard and in my mind turned out some excellent stuff) and the fact that I spent several days and a lot of energy making that SMG review as vivid as I felt it could be only to be told it's incomprehensible, I'm starting to think it'll be significantly less painless to just lay back and throw in backlog picks for the remainder of the tournament.

Now, before I put a damper on this whole thing, allow me to thank the judges for their efforts and congratulate our opponents for their victory. We'll see where the coming weeks take us.

Edit: in b4 Zipp says "OMG SUSKIE LOST!!!!! HOW DID THIS HAPEN???"


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


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:54 PM)
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congrats again to the winners!


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: True
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:57 PM)
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Ouch. Us too. Thanks for judging guys, and well deserved victory Ash. I'll come back with something better next week.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: Genj
Posted: July 12, 2010 (10:50 PM)
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One prediction off from that beer.

I held off on saying this but I was actually extremely dissatisfied with my entry this week. That said I'm surprised that my match wasn't as one sided as I anticipated considering this was the second week the guy drafted 2nd to last was against a 1st round pick. Zig, I actually had similar thoughts when writing the review but decided to just go with what I had. My apologies on the awkwardness - I got pretty burnt out during proofing. Thanks to the judges for their continued hard work. Suskie, you did admirably against Leroux.

edit - between my growing lack of confidence in my teammates

Thanks, bro.


_


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 12, 2010 (11:10 PM)
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Thanks, bro.

Yeah, I was already regretting saying that. As soon as I scanned these reviews my mind was juggling between the sting of losing and the realization that winning wouldn't have done any good, anyway. I'm really not trying to discredit you or WQ, since as I said you two really seem to have put a lot of effort into TT so far this year. I just think I've been spoiled by landing on two winning teams in a row.

I obviously haven't been living up to my end of the bargain, so you two are welcome to lose your confidence in me as well :)


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


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Author: Genj
Posted: July 12, 2010 (11:17 PM)
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It's too late. You're already off the Christmas card list.

Seriously though, don't worry about it. I've mellowed out a lot in the past couple of years so I really couldn't care less. I'm just going to keep focusing on writing a new good review each week regardless of the standings. Wolfqueen may kill you though.


_


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 13, 2010 (12:15 AM)
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Yeah, probably.

After re-reading my SMG several times, I'm genuinely dumbfounded as to how Zig didn't understand the concept of the game after reading my review, considering I mentioned gravitational physics about seventy million times. It's subjective, though, so I guess I shouldn't dwell on it.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 13, 2010 (12:33 AM)
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OMG!?1! SUSKIE... oh wait.

I'm enjoying this year's TT significantly more than last year's. This has nothing to do with my teammates, I should add, who have been wonderful in both years. More it has to do with the fact that I'm not drawing from old material this year but am making everything new and fresh.

Thus, the feedback I'm getting is really relevant and speaks to my current writing style, giving me something concrete to work on. While I may yet dig into a couple of the older reviews if necessary, for now I'm enjoying (for better or worse) writing new material each week.


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


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Author: True
Posted: July 13, 2010 (12:35 AM)
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One prediction off from that beer.

I'll buy you one anyway, Genj. For no other reason than you reviewed the Home Improvement game, and it takes balls to do that.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: jerec
Posted: July 13, 2010 (01:52 AM)
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You're absolutely right, Schultz. >_>

I haven't played the game in at least a year, and I was going pretty much by memory - and a half written review and a collection of dot points which I expanded upon (this also addresses Zig's comment on the checklist). I was in a mad rush on the day of the deadline to get something new submitted, and I was working that day so I didn't even have time to play the game quickly. But I didn't have time to play anything, really. I simply had to pick one of my unfinished reviews, go with the game I could remember the most vividly... and went with it.

That last sentence, Zig, was an afterthought. Might need to remove that. I'll be saving all the judges comments, and I'll look at tidying this one up a bit when the competition is over. For now, I need to work on my next review.

Cheers!

And Wolfqueen, I was half expecting you to throw Legend of Dragoon at me. I'm not sure I could have beaten that one on short notice. I almost laughed when you didn't. :P


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Leroux
Posted: July 13, 2010 (05:13 AM)
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Judges, thanks for all your hard work yet again.

Jerec and Venter, excellent job this week. This is a big win before three straight weeks of being on the road and at the mercy of other captains. There's going to be some tough matches ahead but the benefit of a veteran club is you guys look poised to handle it.

Excellent turnout from Team Wolfqueen. You've got to admire a squad where all three members go down swinging (and barely missed at that). Two straight weeks of new content from Wolfqueen and Genj should only give more confidence, not less.


When the hammer falls...


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: July 13, 2010 (11:23 AM)
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Thanks for the encouragement, Leroux. I really appreciate it, and it means a lot coming from you. But even so, I (almost) always tend to feel discouraged when the stuff I write just gets blown in my face in tournaments like these. Though, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this point because 90% of my tournament entries end up doing poorly (or at least averagely), even if everyone else who said anything about them actuallj liked them. For that reason, I don't blame Suskie for feeling the way he does, though I really have to emphasize that such things probably can't be helped. After all, it's the judges' opinion that determines whether a review is "good", so even if we like it and everyone else likes it, it doesn't matter if they don't like it. But even so, I can't help but feel like I'm letting everyone down, too, and that's where a large part of the discouragement comes in.

That being said, I can't advocate writing to the judges' favor, not least because I can't figure out what the hell they want. And even if I could, I can't just conform my style to it because my style is my style and can only be changed by writing how I want. What I can do is at least make sure that everything sounds clean and makes sense, but even that has its issues (which I'll explain later). Just know that I try the best I can with this.

As for my review, I write my reviews to express my opinions on the game in question. I imagine that how effective that is depends on the effectiveness of the writing, so if there's an issue there, then I can't really complain and have only myself to blame. However, ironic as this may sound, I'm probably not the best person to determine whether the writing is effective as is because, after proofing to my satisfaction, I tend to think it sounds perfectly fine. Therefore, I often feel the need to defend my review and that I will do now. I praised (or at least meant to praise) the first MGS for its story, but readily admit it has issues with combat and other issues. In fact, I almost considered linking to my first MGS review in this one so that you all could see what I was talking about if desired, but decided against it since most people (including myself) tend to disapprove of self-advertising like that unless it actually serves a purpose. It would have here, but I can't guarantee that that purpose would have been universally seen by everyone.

Anyway, the point of this review, then, was essentially to take the opposite approach to the first one: that is, praise the combat/stealth while lambasting the story, which I found ridiculous. Because it was the story that caught me in the first game, I considered the second to be a downgrade. As for my approach to describing the story, well... if you all thought it made sense then kudos to you, haha. I honestly tried to write it so it would be as confusing to you as it was to me, which is why I had those "Or maybe" things there in the first place - to show that any one of those things could have been the case. Like it's all some huge convoluted web of... nonsense.

Anyway, there be more, but I really can't think now. Part of me thinks all this rambling is a waste of time anyway, so I'll just leave it at that. And regardless of my dissatisfaction with how things turned out (who wouldn't be if they were in my position, honestly), I still appreciate the feedback and your effort put into it. Judging is rarely ever fun, at least in my experience, but your job is essential and probably the most important in getting events like this off the ground. Really all I'm trying to do with these long ramblings is to try and explain myself, learn where you all stand, and as an effort to try and come to some sort of understanding about everything.

Congrats to the winners. I'm glad Leroux feels the way he does because it's really discouraging to keep losing all the time, especially when you (in this case I) think what you've written is good and will go over well.

But, then again, I have to remind myself that everything about what we do here is subjective and so can't really be helped by my (or anyone else's) efforts alone.

To sum everything up, then, I fully accept what's happened here and will always be more grateful for everyone's efforts than I will be upset about how things turn out. I'll still try to write new stuff for this, though I'll admit now that I can't say whether I'll make this week or not. But I assure you my reasons for this are plenty justified. (I actually got sick a few days ago so I kind of don't feel too good.... yeah....) But then again I'm never sure I'll make it but end up doing so anyway, so we'll see! =D


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: CoarseDragon
Posted: July 13, 2010 (03:00 PM)
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Suskie - Don't feel down. Your review was good. I just think if you had made sentences out of your sentences it your review would have read better/easier.

To quote: "You run off the end of the platform and realize that there is no end, that the miniature planet you’re standing on has its own unique gravity well that pulls Mario to its center at all times, at least until he launches himself to the next in a long succession of independent, celestial bodies."

Better (maybe?): You run off the end of the platform and realize that there is no end. That miniature planet you were just standing on had its own unique gravity well. It will continue trying to pull Mario to the center of the planet until he launches himself to the next independent celestial body.

WQ - Judging is very difficult. We are faced with so much talent it really comes down to a tiny nit-pick. I felt you did a very good job in your review but you lost me in the middle when you tried to tell us about how convoluted the story was. As I mentioned I felt you could have trimmed that section. Had you done so I think that may have put over the top?

If I could tell what I look for when judging I would but that would probably not be a good thing to do. It might get you out of your comfort zone and your writing might fall off because of that. I will say I judge based on how you made me feel about the game and how you felt about the game, and how well you put together all of that into something that everyone could get something out of. I know that is a real tall order but I have seen everyone here do that to some extent.

Congratulations to the winners and a pat on the back to the non-winners for working so hard.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: asherdeus
Posted: July 18, 2010 (09:38 PM)
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Thanks very much for the feedback, judges, and to True as always for being an excellent competitor. I quite liked this review and I'm happy it went over well. This was the second review I wrote after nearly a six month hiatus from producing anything new and was the first I was satisfied with, so getting some feedback from others that it turned out well has boosted my confidence. Thanks again to True, this time for getting me involved. I'm having a great time. Looking forward to week three's results!


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