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Forums > Submission Feedback > PAJ89's Puzzle Quest 2 (XLA) review

This thread is in response to a review for Puzzle Quest 2 on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 27, 2010 (11:50 PM)
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Hope this critique is not too editorial.

This is a good review--though there are a few things I'd figure could be patched up, if you want. Maybe parentheses are used a bit much, and sentences like "The premise is exactly the same as before with a different story: pick a class, and get questing." just don't say much. I'd be curious to see what sort of matching--in a row? Clumps? Diagonal? What works best?

adopt a strategy -> adapt

"from the get-go" should get going. Maybe "The world map of discrete locations is replaced with a first-person view of..."

"It has all the same positives and problems that it used to" has sort of already been said, e.g. that the presentation is the only real upgrade.

Maybe too many parentheses, too. In my own writing I often find they're put there as idea placeholders. For instance, the new look creating problems with the game feeling less as it should is a great observation. It might be better to say at the start. "PQ2's main difference is it looks better. But it may play worse."

"It sounds like I’m nit-picking because these are all small issues, but they all add up and take away the sharp pace that the original Puzzle Quest had." I think you don't have enough confidence in this observation. It's a good one. I also think the paragraph about minigames may be better stated as something like "Unfortunately, mini-games make looting a treasure chest, bashing a door, or searching for a hidden object all feel the same. These mini-games occur more than in the original PQ and just aren't as fun, and they belie the new graphic variety." Sometimes we dwell on stuff because we guess we need to and I think that happens a bit.

I also really like your conclusion except for "returning to my original point." You've established that PQ2 tweaks the formula the wrong way and your final sentence feels a bit forced. Your point was already made. I guess we've all oversold our points of view before, though.

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: -
Posted: July 28, 2010 (01:26 AM)
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I believe I already said that I really liked this review. It told me everything that I needed to know, kept my interest, and rarely dallied on a point. That's pretty much what I look for if I wanted to read a review on a game I'm not sure about. I found it particularly fascinating how improving the presentation actually made the game slightly worse. You explained that really well and in a convincing manner when it could've been tough to get your point across. There were a couple of small things I didn't quite get, but I think that's more down to my lack of experience with the first Puzzle Quest than anything else.

I'm just going to bring up two nitpicks (both of which have already been brought up by Aschultz):

It sounds like I’m nit-picking because these are all small issues, but...: I sort of see what Aschultz is saying. I think he wants you to be more authoritative and try something like "These may be small issues, but..." It also shortens the sentence by quite a few words, which is an added bonus.

Returning to my original point: yes...: I'm generally not a fan of phrases that encourage you to scroll back up. I don't think there's much difference if you got rid of that and just started the last sentence with "The Puzzle Quest formula..."

But like I said, nice review!


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Author: PAJ89
Posted: July 28, 2010 (05:16 PM)
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Cheers for the critiques guys.

aschultz: regarding the "premise is the same" sentence, it's something I try to keep purposely brief as I've gotten over technical in the past. I can see where you're coming from in that it might be a little vague, but my reasoning (and perhaps its lazy, not sure :P) is info/video/images on games is easily available. I can't assume everyone reads/looks up on a game they're going to get, but if the reader has seen an image/video, they'll know what kind of a match game this is (or they can quickly find out). Maybe it's a trade-off, but I'm wary of over-complicating things when it comes to explaining mechanics. And I completely agree that the time consumption nit-pick was lacking a bit of conviction: I know it bothered me and probably has soured the experience for others too, but on this occassion I didn't feel I could word it well.

Ben: As I said above, totally agree on the time consumption issue. If I was explaining that to someone in person, it'd be something I'd have difficulty with too as I couldn't find the words, would have to say "here, play it for an hour" to get my point across.

There's a lot of little things that could be better, I put that down to lack of practise and sharpness. There's a glut of XBLA games I'm interested in that have just/on-the-way out, and hopefully some bigger releases at the end of the year, so maybe opportunities to get some more out later.

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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 30, 2010 (12:47 AM)
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Hi PAJ89--thanks for considering my critique--I know how a lot of that can be subjective, and perhaps I'd give a different one a second time around.

It's tough to know what you should take for granted that people know and what you shouldn't. I agree that there's a good chunk you should. And you need to trust your own intuition on that--combined with the feedback you get. Hopefully finding a happy medium of stating enough to make the overall point and not leaving too much out there or saying more than we need to know. This is where just one critiquer's opinion has to fall short--you can't get a general view from the audience you hope to reach.

This brings up a few side points that maybe it might be useful for a person to make a blog post saying "did I do too much/little of x/y in my review, or did I get it right?" That might help people give immediate feedback without the need to feel like heavy duty critiquers.

My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips

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