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Forums > Contributor Zone > In the End, There Will Be Only Darkness: The Results!

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Author: Ben
Posted: November 20, 2010 (11:25 AM)
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Thanks to everyone who submitted something. The results ended up being super-tight, and the quality was of a very high standard.

Also, thanks to True for creating this contest and for letting me judge.

True awarded ten bonus points to anyone who reviewed one of the five listed games he was on the fence about or a game that hadn’t received any content previously on HonestGamers. I gave an extra two points to anyone who covered a game I was interested in learning more about (after no one took up the opportunity to cover any from my list of five).

Here we go. The results!



Suskie reviewed Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Xbox 360)

True: I always wonder how I’m going to feel about judging a review for a game I’ve written on as well. I’m not sure if it’s your writing or the fact that I’ve played it (most likely a mix of both) but I instantly related to your frustration and confusion on how you felt about Enslaved. I wonder about the line “he’s penned movies you like”. I know it’s meant to be funny and the first time I read it, it was, but now I’m thinking “how would he know what I like?”. The paragraph describing the story seemed a tad rushed, but you immediately redeemed yourself in the following segment that explained the structure. The middle read smoothly (you even threw in a couple things I didn’t really think of, like the statement that Monkey won’t even attempt a jump if he can’t make it) and your transition between praise and flaw was sharp, a style that can sometimes confuse a reader. That wasn’t the case here. From beginning to end, I was able to follow where you were going and able to understand all the arguments you made both for the game’s good points and bad.

You were able to describe the game with an unbiased and analytical style…

But I know better, and I missed the emotion you had. Maybe the forums are to blame here but I know how pissed off you could be at Enslaved before I even read this, and after I did I couldn’t find it. It seemed like kind of a let down. You don’t do it often and I know it’s not your style, but when you do get emotional—like you did in your Eternal Darkness review—it makes it so much more enjoyable. It evolves the piece from a brilliant analysis to a personal critique with impact. I can understand even more where you’re coming from. And for a game that even you seem on the fence about, something as little as that can be the deciding factor on whether or not it’s worthy of a purchase.

Score: 90 (No added bonus)

Ben: When I saw the high score and then read early on that the game’s “incredibly unpolished, and the simplistic combat and cumbersome camera frequently drown out Enslaved’s more impressive sequences in recurrent bursts of frustration”, I was extremely sceptical. But somehow, Suskie convinces me that Enslaved is worth playing despite its mighty flaws. Although completely different games, Enslaved reminds me of Alpha Protocol (for which Suskie wrote an excellent review). That had its own massive negatives, but had enough going for it to be an enjoyable and compelling title. I can see Enslaved invoking a similar reaction from me. The narrative sounds really awesome (“We know there will come a point in Enslaved when Trip finally removes Monkey’s headband, and we have a good feeling that this moment will arrive before the game is over. What we don’t know is how Monkey will react when he’s finally released, and that question hangs over the length of the game.”), and I’m also someone who’d play through the terrible (in this case, the combat) to be rewarded, as long as there’s enough good (the escorting).

One doubt I do have is whether Suskie exaggerated how bad the camera is (“a wildly spastic camera system that frequently renders the action nearly incomprehensible”). A camera that more often than not harms the combat--of which I assume there’s plenty of (what’s the split between puzzles and combat?)--sounds incredibly frustrating… perhaps too frustrating.

Verdict: A typically strong review from Suskie. I kind of want to play this game now.

Score: 90 + 2 (interest bonus) = 92

Combined Total: 90 + 92 = 182



Overdrive reviewed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PlayStation 3)

True: I didn’t come right out and say this—at least I don’t think I did, but I’m starting to wonder now—but the reason I’ve debated Uncharted 2 was because I heard it was more movie than game and I hated Metal Gear Solid 4 for that very reason. And though we obviously have different opinions on that, you have described everything I wanted to know about the game and why I should not buy it. Using Avatar as a starting point was something I could immediately relate to, and though you didn’t come right out and say it I was aware that Uncharted 2 is based on flash as opposed to substance.

You know…it’s funny how that ends up. You write a spectacular bash or praise and for some odd reason I end up wanting to do the opposite.

Please don’t take that the wrong way (I know you never do, but I had to reiterate it) because I love your work. You are one of the few writers that can take an example of a game and describe it so flawlessly that I actually feel like I’ve experienced it. Your last couple paragraphs that used to give evidence to your check-point frustration and the tank battle was a wonderful example of how little things can ruin the intensity of an otherwise interesting segment, something that I never really considered. But it begs the question: would Landstalker have been ruined with checkpoints?

I would have liked a little more about the multi-player, but that can be forgiven as it’s not entirely necessary and doesn’t seem like that’s Uncharted 2’s main selling point.

Oh, and one more thing: Released after a lot of hype, it was this gorgeous creation that immediately wowed people with its gorgeously-rendered visuals.

No no no no no.

Fix that and it’s awesome read for you.

Score: 93 (On-the-fence add-on bonus +10) = 103

Ben: Overdrive once again delivers a solid, easy-to-read review, this time of Uncharted 2. Comparing the game with the film Avatar works well, and describing its forgiving nature with a little bit of personal commentary was an excellent idea, as it helped me get inside OD’s head and understand why he feels that way (“Maybe this is just the frustration of an old-school gamer”; “That just felt cheap”). I myself probably wouldn’t be that fussed about the overuse of checkpoints, but it’s extremely hard to dispute OD’s point of view. Most of the other stuff is great, too, but I probably would’ve liked a little more on the gameplay itself. Apart from the easy difficulty and a few other things here and there (the puzzles, for instance), the review feels like it could have been written for a movie. Most notably, I don’t really know if the actual shooting’s satisfying--the sort of thing that makes or breaks a third-person shooter from my perspective. I don’t know what that stuff is like. Just more on the gameplay would’ve been nice. On the flipside, this does back the OD’s point that the game does “feel like a movie”, but I’m not sure how intentional this is.

Verdict: A blast to read. Could’ve done with more on what makes the mechanics fun, though.

Score: 80 + 2 (interest bonus) = 82

Combined Total: 103 + 82 = 185



Zipp reviewed Blue Lacuna (Mac)

True: Dear Zipp: You are a DICK!! Sorry. Let me explain. You’re a dick because you attempted and gambled with a style that 99% of the time doesn’t work, but when it does it completely, utterly hooks you on a game and you’re left with no other choice but to buy it. And this “less is more, I’m going to talk about aspects of a game but not really give you any insight, only hint that I’m going to explain myself and that leads you to keep reading for the big payoff but that only happens when you play said game” style…is brilliant, and it pisses me off.

Your review is a stripper. It gives me a little, then it gives me a lot but never all of it, making me want it all the more and I’m never really going to get it unless I pay for it.

This wouldn’t have worked if you weren’t so poetic and eloquent. Lacuna is obviously about style and choices, immersing yourself into a world that you create and by the end of the opening paragraph I was hooked. For most of that it flows, and tells the story of the game—not just describes it.

It breaks only once where you describe the command engine and while it’s not blaringly abrupt it momentarily disrupts the flow and draws me back to reality when I was ultimately happy in my own little world of day-dreaming.

The last paragraph is a bit of a run-on, or at least should be two sentences but certainly not any type of a flaw to one of those rare, stylish and utterly original reviews that I was really hoping for when I started this contest.

Score: 95 (New addition to H.G. bonus +10) = 105

Ben: To Zipp: why do you have to do this to me!? You’re going to make me look like the bad guy!

I always love reading Zipp’s contest reviews. They’re not always perfect, but he doesn’t settle for the same tried methods, which makes reading a breath of fresh air. His Blue Lacuna entry is no different. Unfortunately, while this is one of those reviews that I want to score highly because of effort and freshness, I have too many issues with it.

I had never heard of Blue Lacuna before, so first and foremost, I didn’t like how I found out what genre it belonged to and what sort of game it was until stanza 6--halfway through the review. And given that the love vs. art decision is given so much weight (vivid imagery, etc.), I was disappointed that I didn’t understand where the “love” aspect comes into play. Zipp says you have a choice between the two, but I fail to see it. Elsewhere, the relationship between the player and the old man didn’t come across as essential or engrossing to me. The description makes the game sound a little pretentious (either that, or the dialogue is poorly written), particularly “Through this silent observation, you can see an entirely different facet of his personality than you would gain through talking to him”. Add to all of that a few niggling nitpicks, and I find it hard to score this review higher than a 70.

I wish I wasn’t so negative, because I thought the vivid descriptions served two excellent purposes. It showed that Zipp is passionate about Blue Lacuna, and it emphasised the crucial point that being a text-based game, everything plays out in your imagination. That part was absolutely genius, but this is a review contest, and as a review, I was a bit dissatisfied.

Verdict: An admirable risk, but one that doesn’t pay off.

Score: 70

Combined Total: 105 + 70 = 175



Jason reviewed Vanquish (Xbox 360)

True: So, I feel kind of stupid for saying this but I hadn’t heard anything about Vanquish before your review was up, then it seemed to be all the rave so I felt like I had missed something. And when I went into this review that was on my mind. Would it be as good as the hype? It started off somewhat shaky, and that second sentence is slightly long but by the second paragraph I’m thinking “Okay, Venter. Tell me about Vanquish.”

You have a style that sometimes leads me to make a funny, sour face and other times I completely connect with it. It’s personal and often expresses your strange sense of humor and energetic yet not over-the-top excitement for things. I really, really like Vanquish. Most times that would irritate me for repetitious words, but that’s just something I’ve grown accustomed to when I read your work and it demonstrates your personality. Giving me an overview of your schedule while playing Vanquish…it’s just weird, but in a good way. You have the incredible ability to be personal yet descriptive at the same time, and by the end of the review I had a really strong impression of how Vanquish was structured, how it played and how great it looked while doing so, that it wasn’t simply a shoddy, half-hearted clone of Gears but something that may even be on par with it.

Yet by the end, I kind of felt like I didn’t really know the premise of Vanquish. I got a brief overview—that it’s set in a world where two super powers were at war—but you may have been too focused on the mechanics. I didn’t even know the main character’s name until the second to last paragraph. I commend you for trying a new style but I just felt like something was missing.

Oh, and my avatar is hotter than your avatar.

Score: 88 (New Content Bonus +10) = 98

Ben: I have mixed feelings about this review. Jason shows his enthusiasm for Vanquish very well, and I’m convinced that he personally loves the game. I get a fairly good idea of how it plays, helped by a reference to Gears of War and covering a good number of essential points (pace, approach, set pieces, abilities, etc.). The main problem is that, for me, there’s not enough meat to back up some of his points.

For example, Jason claims in the first paragraph that Vanquish is “entirely welcoming”, but I found it to be a fairly vague statement that’s never really touched on again. If anything, it looks like it’s completely the opposite, given the way Jason describes the tutorial as “awful” (though again, this isn’t really supported; in what way is it terrible to let the game walk you through the controls?). In addition, “I hope you'll take my word for it when I say…” comes across as either lazy or un-authoritative. It makes me doubt the truthfulness of the rest if the sentence. The final issue I’ll raise is that Jason is so positive that I was a little surprised he only gave it a 9. I didn’t take any points away for that specifically, but when the review mentions the game has “minor flaws throughout” and doesn’t back this claim up, I was itching to know what these flaws were, since it seems they affected the experience of the game slightly (“Platinum Games hasn’t crafted the perfect game here”). Why isn’t it perfect?

Verdict: A very readable review, but lacks support in several places, resulting in a piece that fails to convince me that this is a must-play.

Score: 75

Combined Total: 98 + 75 = 173



Asherdeus reviewed Blood Stone: 007 (Xbox 360)

True: You know, for this review being relatively average in size it covered a lot, and I walked away with a really good sense of what the game was about. The opening paragraph about the enjoyment shifting depending on how it’s played was a nice twist and set the tone, as we’ve all had games that have a similar style (Dead Rising 2). You used a couple of really good direct examples of the game, like the design of Bangkok. I only wished you had done so with one of the takedowns. I know the new Bond films are stylish and a little gritty and I wondered if that same structure was present in the game.

Like usual, your grammar was tight, your structure spot-on and your transitions smooth. There were a couple times where I felt you could have taken a risk, added maybe a witty line or memorable phrase but in the end it wasn’t really missing.

By the time I reached the end, everything you said was validated in your summary and I had a complete understanding of why the game got the score it did. It was a well-written, focused review that really didn’t have any blaring flaws. I would like to see even more of your personality or even see you try something that you haven’t in the past, but that’s more a suggestion for the next time as opposed to a criticism for this.

Score: 85 (New Content Bonus +10) = 95

Ben: It’s sad to see the future of Bizarre Creations in doubt, because I absolutely adore the Geometry Wars series. Anyway, I don’t really have much to say about this review, which is a good thing. I do have a few issues--maybe Ash could’ve expanded and told me more about how Bond isn’t given enough personality (I’m just taking your word for it as it stands)--but all in all, this is a really solid piece that’s technically really tight. One part is slightly deceptive: Ash says “there’s very little to do in the game besides kill, kill and kill”, but this is proved false when he later mentions foot and car chases. But yeah, it’s a fairly short review (the perfect length, actually; I read it from beginning to end with ease) that nails almost everything I want to know about it. My favourite part is when Ash acknowledges Bizarre Creations’ expertise in driving games, and how that translated really well with the car chases--one of the few positive points about Blood Stone.

It’s not flashy, but I don’t need flash. Points aren’t dwelled on for too long (also suitable given that this is a Bond game), paragraphs are kept short and very readable, and I came away enough information about the game to decide if I want to seek out the game or not. This is one of the better entries in the contest.

Verdict: Ash produces a solid and convincing review--one of the best that I’ve read from him.

Score: 85

Combined Total: 95 + 85 = 180



EmP reviewed Mafia II (Xbox 360)

True: I have officially counted four Gears Of War references and if I see another one, I’m starting to dock points.

This pretty much says it all: Vito’s life comprises of “drive here, do this, try not to get shot”, glammed up by the ability to steal issues of playboy and stare at the tits of women who’ll be well in their eighties by now. Initial missions are more like Christopher Lloyd in Taxi rather than Al Pachino in Scarface as you ferry between waypoints, avoid incompetent police officers and say “fuck” seven times every sentence. I guess that makes it gritty, because the small pile of bodies you (eventually) leave oozing all over your virtual world just doesn’t say gangster enough.

This review is hilarious, and a perfect example of your style, wit and weird U.K. humor—and I love it. Even your score description had me laughing.

I hated the game right along with you. Though I wonder about the staple gun reference, it works here and that opening completely set the tone on what was to follow. You cited specific examples of how promising this game could be—introducing two characters that seemed critical to your rise in the crime syndicate—but how it’s ruined by completely dismissing them until the end of the game. Or how defunct and one-sided his honor system can be. I think the score may have even been a little too generous but could see some positives about the game, so it’s not completely off.

This is one of your better reviews, and considering your body of work that’s impressive.

Score: 98 (New Content Bonus +10. Not shipping my book over seas because it’s too expensive deduction –50) = 58.

Sorry, Emp.

Ben: Out of all the reviews in this contest, this one of Mafia II was the most persuasive. By the end of it, I had no intention of seeking the game out (what’s the point in a sandbox game if there’s nothing to do?), and as a bonus, it was written in a fluent, naturally-flowing manner that’s easy to admire and love. There are some superb colourful phrases that--while not important in the grand scheme of things--add plenty of personality into the review, like “and say ‘fuck’ seven times every sentence” and best of all, “consists of mainly driving around while your passenger screams at you to slow down”. The latter reminds me of my (and almost everyone else’s, I’m sure) desire to never obey speed limits in sandbox games.

It’s not just that. I’m completely jealous of EmP’s ability to make the mundane and essential points fun to read (examples: “the illusion of freedom usually offered by those pesky sandbox games is assassinated via a Tommy gun to the face right from the start”; “After the tutorial gives you a taste of combat (and the game’s only practical use of a hand grenade in a pre-scripted event)”; “while they wade into waves of munitions like the immortal bullet-bait they are”). A normal guy like myself would be describing what the game’s like in a relatively drab manner, but not EmP. Also, either someone proofread your review behind the scenes, or you took extra care to do it yourself (for once!), because I can only point out that “playboy” should be capitalised. If WQ did proofread and she loses by less than five points, she only has herself to blame!

Verdict: The final paragraph is a little too self-indulgent for my liking, but otherwise a truly exceptional review. No other complaints.

Score: 95 + 2 (interest bonus) = 97

Combined Total: 58 + 97 = 155



Jim reviewed Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)

True: Before I get into this review I just want to point out that this review is for Halo: Combat Evolved and it says so in the path, but the link reads as http://www.honestgamers.com/reviews/9150/Pokemon-Red.html.

It’s weird to me. Fix it.

Sorry. On to the review. For a guy I’ve never really heard of, I was actually incredibly impressed with the review. You have nice transitions, a really good vocabulary and you brought a fresh and interesting perspective to a game that’s been written about almost as much as Metal Slug.

It introduced us to Master Chief, the one-man army clad in guacamole-colored army capable of taking on entire fleets of aliens almost single-handed This was an excellent and entertaining line, you just need to change the second army to armor.

Also, I recommend italicizing or bolding the title of the game, as opposed to putting them in quotes. It looks better.

I know it’s been written on several times, but I would have liked to see you delve into the multi-player mode a bit further and ease back on the references made to how powerful the other sequels were.

Though only slightly, because the review is actually a good mix of why the original Halo was a great game and how the series evolved from there.

Score: 85

Ben: Hey Jim. I don’t think I’ve seen you around before. It’s always good to see a new face around here, and I hope you find my critique (and True’s) useful. And I hope you intended to submit this review of Halo for this contest, because the link implies Pokemon Red.

Anyway: I’ve never played the original Halo except for an hour at a mate’s house a long time ago. This puts me at a huge disadvantage when reading this review, because it seems to be more of a retrospective look aimed at those who’ve played the game. It assumes prior knowledge of Halo and the series as a whole (Halo 3 is the only Halo game I’ve played to completion), particularly Halo Reach (“Conquerers of Halo Reach will understand… but playing the naive card, we’ll simply go on to say…”), and it ends up not really informing someone who’s never played the first Halo the reasons why it’s worth playing. In what way did Halo “redefine” FPSs? I liked some of the vivid descriptions (“among towering ruins, within sprawling catacombs, and within icy canyons”), but what specifically made the first five levels so inspired and memorable? A specific example of an especially awesome and memorable moment would have helped the review’s cause. Likewise, with the multiplayer maps, there’s not enough information for me. Map names mean nothing to me. What are “Blood Gulch” and “Sidewinder” like, and why are they so fun to play?

The review shows a tremendous amount of promise, though. It’s extremely well-written, and Jim comes across as an intelligent reviewer who knows his Halo stuff. If some of the points had been expanded on and written with non-Halo fans in mind, this review could have been excellent and competing at the very top in this contest.

Verdict: There’s only one main problem with the review, but it’s a big one: it’s inaccessible to a non-Halo fan like me.

Score: 70

Combined Total: 85 + 70 = 155



Aschultz reviewed Ultima IV (Apple II)

True: I loved the introduction to the game and your overview of the system and how your career is chosen as opposed to the prototypical system often used by RPGs of this nature.

I followed the review, and though U4’s system sounds complicated, you made it accessible. All until you reached the point where you started describing them and how to raise them. I followed you to that point but you made a sudden jump to talking about Lord British.

You brought me back with your spell description, but then I kind of got lost again in the following paragraph. I had to read You'll need these spells U4's the web of dungeons several times, and even now I’m having a hard time with it.

And I don’t mean to sound like I’m dissecting your review paragraph by paragraph but the next one and that to follow was outstanding, and you brought personality and even screamed a quote from the game—which is rare for you.

I liked the review and I know it’s part of your personality to explain things, so I didn’t frown too much on it. It may have been a tad too long, but U4 sounds like a massive and complex game and I can understand why you imagined it was needed.

Score: 85 (New Content Bonus +10) = 95

Ben: The comma should be out of the brackets in “Before Ultima IV (U4,)”. I wouldn’t normally comment on such a trivial thing, but it stood out because I barely got past the third word. Also, the opening paragraph feels disjointed. It Scrap that. I finally get what Aschultz is trying to say now, after a few re-reads. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m slow or if it could’ve been written a little clearer, but I’ll give Ascultz the benefit of the doubt here.

Technically, this review is fine. On a personal level, though, I felt really overwhelmed. There’s a lot to take in with an abundance of technical terms (the third paragraph introduces moongates, stones, shrines, principles, and “measurable virtue”), and it doesn’t help at all that I’m not really into this genre. Maybe it could’ve been condensed a little to make for an easier read--stick to the more important elements. But, I’m speaking as an outsider, not an Ultima fan, so for all I know, all of this information could be compelling to read. Aschultz is at a terrible disadvantage, because I don’t really know anything about Ultima.

I started to get into the review more as I got deeper, even though I had no idea what “reagents” and “ginseng” meant. I actually like the second half much more than the first; there’s way less technical terms thrown about, less definitions, and more on what it’s like to actually play the game. It becomes hugely more accessible, with easy-to-relate and easy-to-follow statements like “Worse, you get the same chest (random amount up to 99 gold) for defeating one easy monster or many tough ones”. If the rest of the review was like that, I’d definitely be awarding it a higher score.

Verdict: The only review in the contest where I had to take a break from reading. The first half suffers from information overload to someone like me. Had I not been judging this, I wouldn’t have made it to the superior second half.

Score: 70

Combined Total: 95 + 70 = 165



Wolfqueen reviewed Eschalon: Book II (PC)

True: When I consider any type of sequel without playing the first, I always wonder if I’m going to be left out of the loop. Though it seems trivial, I’m sure I’m not the only one and I’m glad you addressed that.

And that seemed to be kind of the theme for the review. Sorry, I don’t mean that in a bad way, but you went over some rather medial things like time passing as you walked or weather affecting your torch. Though they’re not crucial in other games, or even an issue, they seem to be here and by implementing that you immediately set Eschalon apart from everything I’ve read for this contest.

A lot of good, personal references that explained the game play and really helped set the tone and made me get a feel for what type of RPG this was without you ever coming right out and saying it. Though this review is on the longer side, I never felt overwhelmed and it didn’t seem to lag.
There were a couple instances where you ran the risk of sounding more like a hint book than a review, but you managed to shift before it got too heavy.

Also, I would like to see you occasionally throw some humor in there. You’re Emp’s protégé. Show it to me…the humor I mean.

Seriously, though. This was a great review and one of the best I’ve read from you so far. You just need to loosen up a little bit and stop being so critical of your work. When I figure out how to do that with my own, I’ll let you know.

Score: 88 (New Content Bonus +10) = 98

Ben: Starting off with a nitpick, the line “Eschalon Book II picks up right where the first left off, explaining enough as you go along” confused me a little. Assuming that the opening paragraph is all Book II and directly follows the end of Book I, it doesn’t seem like they initially fill you in on what happened in the previous game. I mean, how did you end up in the lone cottage? How did I end up with amnesia?

When the review gets going, though, it’s extremely compelling to read. It doesn’t sound like any game that I’ve played before--walking carelessly can end up killing you, weather and the time significantly affects your survival chances, unwisely investing your skill points might ruin your game--and while I can definitively say that I won’t be playing Eschalon: Book II any time soon, I was really fascinated by it and loved learning about the game. Excellent grammar and structure are staples in Wolfqueen's reviews, but this one in particular reminds me of her Plants vs. Zombies. In both reviews, they give hints on the ways the game could be played. One could argue that it comes close to reading like an FAQ, but personally, I think it demonstrates how it plays exceptionally well, even if it reads a tiny bit dryly. This approach wonderfully shows how deep Eschalon: Book II is and why it’s worth investing if you’re into these sorts of games.

Verdict: Wolfqueen could’ve been a little clearer earlier that Eschalon: Book II's an RPG, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this review. It’s also impressively accessible, given the subject matter.

Score: 90

Combined Total: 98 + 90 = 188


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Author: Ben
Posted: November 20, 2010 (11:26 AM)
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Final Results

1. Wolfqueen: 98 + 90 = 188
2. Overdrive: 103 + 82 = 185
3. Suskie: 90 + 92 = 182
4. Asherdeus: 95 + 85 = 180
5. Zipp: 105 + 70 = 175
6. Jason: 98 + 75 = 173
7. Aschultz: 95 + 70 = 165
8. Jim: 85 + 70 = 155
9. EmP: 58 + 97 = 155

Wolfqueen wins!



Random Stats

Highest Judge Scores
True (before bonuses): EmP (98)
Ben (before bonuses): EmP (95)
True (after bonuses): Zipp (105)
Ben (after bonuses): EmP (97)
Combined (before bonuses): EmP (193)

Judge Averages
True (before bonuses): 89.7
Ben (before bonuses): 80.6
True (after bonuses): 91.9
Ben (after bonuses): 81.2
Combined (before bonuses): 170.2
Combined (after bonuses): 173.1

Bonus Points Awarded
True: 70 (not including points deduction)
Ben: 6


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Author: Suskie
Posted: November 20, 2010 (11:44 AM)
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Thanks to both of the judges for their very detailed responses. Congrats to WQ and whoever else may have scored higher than me.

Ben: I recommend you check the feedback thread for True's Enslaved review. I was basically playing the game while I was writing that stuff, and as you can see, I was totally flipping a gasket. And you know what? The camera is the key reason for that. Seriously -- it's the worst thing about Enslaved. Like, you'll be fighting a robot, and everything's going fine, and then the camera will decide to do a 180 spin for no reason whatsoever, and suddenly you can't see who you're attacking. It's ridiculous. I'd be able to put up with the combat if it wasn't for the camera, and that's the main reason that area of the game is such a drag.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 20, 2010 (12:14 PM)
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Genius! I really think WQ deserved this. After all, it was her review that ultimately convinced me to spend some money last month when I was literally having trouble affording friggin' apples at the grocery store.

This has been a good contest. The judge's comments told me exactly what I've been wondering about my style for a while now: where does it fit in? I'm beginning to see that I'm most pleased with my writing when it doesn't fit in and while that may not nab me the highest scores or ever win me the team tournament, it does seem that it at least comes across as fresh and interesting. So thanks for that; I'm beginning to reach a place where I'm comfortable with what I write and how I write it and it's mostly due to these numerous contests and the judges who take the time.


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: November 20, 2010 (02:23 PM)
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RAGE!


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 20, 2010 (02:32 PM)
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Hey, True.... good news: Blue Lacuna is free. I would take advantage of that, if I were you!


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 20, 2010 (03:29 PM)
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I uh... Wow. Well, thanks for the 'win' guys. I've never actually won a contest before, so this is a first for me. I guess I technically can't complain about never winning a contest anymore. I mean, I expected to do well here, but not this well. There were some great reviews (and reviewers) that I never expected to beat. So that's cool.

However, I am wondering why you couldn't have just tied EmP and myself with first place, since he technically won. That way True wouldn't have had to spend 8mmillion dollars shipping it to England, so I'd get the book, and we'd both share in the victory (I'm totally fine with ties). But, oh well. It's done now and I'm quite content with it.

Congrats to everyone who participated.


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: zippdementia
Posted: November 20, 2010 (04:26 PM)
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I think EmP is joining the "Zig" ranks, in that he's not allowed to win anymore. When I was doing the ROTW, I had to judge him on a far harsher scale than everyone else, something I've had to do in the past with Suskie, Zigfried, and Sho in various contests.


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


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Author: Ben
Posted: November 20, 2010 (05:45 PM)
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Remember that EmP cheated a win in this year's MOTO just recently. So don't feel bad for him!


...


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 20, 2010 (06:13 PM)
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Haha. That's true. And someone just pointed out to me that one of the rules stipulated that True can award any bonus for whatever reason he chose, so I guess I can't really argue with that. XD


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: True
Posted: November 20, 2010 (06:43 PM)
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Thanks, Ben, again for judging this one and I appreciate everyone who showed up and wrote reviews. You guys did a good job and I'm glad Furry Face finally got what she deserved.

However, I am wondering why you couldn't have just tied EmP and myself with first place, since he technically won.

He did, unfortunately even with a tie I would have been screwed because--and I never stated this--first and second places are getting a copy. So I had to implement something that would put Emp even lower. I feel kind of bad for him ending up at the bottom, though technically he didn't lose. He scored higher than anyone. But due to an unfair deduction by a douche bag judge he lost.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 20, 2010 (07:12 PM)
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Isn't Overdrive overseas, too?


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 20, 2010 (07:20 PM)
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Haha. No. Unless he moved sometime recently, which I doubt. >_>


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: Ben
Posted: November 20, 2010 (07:23 PM)
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Maybe there should've been a rule stating that the two highest placed Americans would win the prize.


...


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 20, 2010 (07:52 PM)
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Heh. Hey, True: Are you on AIM anymore?


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: True
Posted: November 20, 2010 (07:55 PM)
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Maybe there should've been a rule stating that the two highest placed Americans would win the prize.

Hmm...maybe, but I kind of had more fun screwing Emp.

:D


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: November 20, 2010 (09:44 PM)
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If Emp's going to say that he and Zig won MOTO, then I'm more than happy with how I kicked his godforsaken Brit arse around the park in True's tournament. And if I get a free book out of it, more the better for me!!!

Ben: The best way to explain the shooting system is as this: It was a few months ago that I played this game. I didn't initially review it because I felt my thoughts came out too similarly to Zig's in his review. For this contest, I decided to try again. Honestly, I had few actual memories of the shooting system. There wasn't anything bad, but anything exceptional was a byproduct of the movie-style setpieces (for example, the Kathmandu helicopter attack part is f-ing amazing to experience...but the actual action is standard "progress until you find rockets and then rocket it to death" stuff. But it looks and feels so cool that it's easy to forget this is just a "survive until provided with weapon" sort of challenge. For the most part, the regular gun stuff was good, but nothing to go crazy over. Nothing bad about it, but due to the general easiness of the game, it came off as just ways to fill the time between the cinema. This game is the perfect rental, as it's utterly awesome that first time through...but to me, it would lose a lot after you know its tricks and stuff.


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


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Author: True
Posted: November 20, 2010 (10:43 PM)
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Heh. Hey, True: Are you on AIM anymore?

Rarely. I've been so friggin' busy with this calendar I'm hardly even at home.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: True
Posted: November 21, 2010 (03:04 AM)
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I've finished the final edits on it, I'm just waiting for the cover and I will order them. It took them about seven business days.

No rush you two, but if you could at some point HG Mail me your address I will see that you get it soon.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: November 21, 2010 (03:15 AM)
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I was wondering how I managed to fall short of my pattern of always placing second, but if the top two highest scorers win, then third place is actually second! It's all falling into place!


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


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: November 21, 2010 (03:14 PM)
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Hey True, when are you going to send me the copy of your book you promised me 16 months ago?!?!

Congrats to the winners!!


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


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Author: asherdeus
Posted: November 22, 2010 (12:51 AM)
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Really appreciate the comments on this, guys. Great tournament and I'm absolutely impressed with how much feedback you offered everyone. Really glad I participated and Ben, you're absolutely right - I guess there is more to the game than kill, kill, kill! I guess I should clarify that there isn't much more to do during the on-foot segments besides kill, kill, kill. Good luck with the book, True. Make sure to let us know how we can purchase it, I'd like to support you.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: November 22, 2010 (12:29 PM)
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Thanks very much for putting together the tourney and your thoughts. I think you're right, Ben, about a lot of the stuff I can do. I'll look into it. I think this was a really good tournament and I'm glad I was able to contribute to the celebration of True's big accomplishment in some way.

Congratulations to all. Maybe I can complete my book, and if the quality of entries in any corresponding contest for me were anywhere close to this--I'd quite frankly be very flattered.


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


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