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Forums > Contributor Zone > Alpha Olympics 2012 RESULTS!

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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: April 01, 2012 (09:52 PM)
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Whew. Finally got them all put together. Before I post the results below, I just want to thank everyone who showed up in this. I want to stress that regardless of who won or lost, everyone did an excellent job with their writing. A tournament of this scale isn't always easy to follow through on, so for those of you who did, you should feel proud of yourselves.

And for those first-time participants, many of you did a great job for your first tourney. I'm quite pleased with the way things turned out. If the site can produce such interest and quality as this in the future, we'll have a wonderful journey ahead with many fantastic opportunities to improve ourselves.

And now, the moment of truth!




# is for The 3rd Birthday by holdthephone

Jerec:

I see this game going cheap a lot, but the reviews are never encouraging. Now I feel like I finally know enough not to bother. This was a long review, but I barely even noticed. Excellent use of screenshots and captions that add a real professionalism to the writing. wasn't boring at all, carefully looking at all the elements that make up the game, from the lackluster characters to the camera problems, but praising the action and the tearing jeans mechanic (which, fanservice or not, does sound impressive). I enjoyed your little dig at the PSP since this genre seems to be massively unrepresented if this is one of the best shooters for it.

Score: 93

True:

This review gets right into it. And believe me, that’s not a complaint. The opening sentence is….odd, I suppose is the best way to describe it. It’s more personal than I’m used to but that’s what I like about it. Immediately I was engaged and had that very rare experience where I felt like the reviewer was speaking directly to me. Definitely cool and I’m even more appreciative that same voice remained through the entire review. That being said, I was lost in other aspects. A lot of the points you made were the same complaints I had about the game but I was hoping you would flesh them out a bit more, especially in terms of the watered down characters/story. You have a lot of great info and your description at times is phenomenal, but I think what’s missing here is an overall theme or rather something to link it all together, so that it reads more like an article as opposed to a pro/con checklist. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really good review. I just believe that with a little work to tie everything together it could be great.

Really, though? You like the ending? I abhorred it and thought it was just an attempt to gloss over the fact there was no real story to be had. Kind of like Inception.

Score: 85

Espiga + Neko:

The first thing I've noticed about this review is the seemingly random placement of the screenshots. They're nice, for sure, but they seem more like supplements to the text rather than a visual way to solidify the points you're making in the text. Strangely enough, though, I had just recently played The 3rd Birthday a month or so ago, and though the problems you faced didn't seem to affect me nearly as much as they did to you, I often found myself nodding my head in agreement with each word. Your writing was definitely strong and engaging, despite the fact that the review felt like it was dragging along a little bit toward the end and focused--a little too much, I'd say--on how the characters are nothing to care about. After all, I can't think of a single shooter in which the characters are memorable for their personalities, outside of Duke Nukem, and nobody's going to be giving its writers a Pulitzer anytime soon. It just seems odd that you'd mention how the game has lost nearly all of its RPG aspects, then complain because the characters are crap. Overall though, it was a good review that was fun to read, even if it didn't convince me to change my own, slightly higher opinion of the game.

My Score: 83

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She laid down on my arm and got comfortable, then looked away. She seemed pretty indifferent by it.

Kitty's Score: 6/10 Paws

Final Score: 74

TOTAL SCORE: 252

B is for Braid by JoetheDestroyer

Jerec:

Having played Braid myself, I know for a fact that your descriptions of the puzzle mechanics and the addictiveness are spot on. The story, though... I like how you mention there are two ways to take it - either the gamer will find the ambigious snippets of text to be pretentious, or a powerful metaphor. This game seems to appeal to anyone, and there's a number of ways a person can react to what the game offers. I like that you work this into the review. So while we might disagree about the story side of the game, we can both agree that it was a brilliant puzzle/platformer. There's no mention of the game's artistic visuals (did this review originally have screenshots?) or lovely soundtrack which definitely add to the appeal of the game.

Score: 91

True:

Damn. I made it a long way down the list before encountering a game I’ve played. This one I had the most interest in, simply because I wondered if Joe had the same opinion on it that I had. “What we see on the surface is a lot of creative strangeness attached to an innocent puzzle/platformer, but we know that's not all there is to the story.”

I ultimately could not have put it any better but that’s exactly what I thought when playing the game. And maybe it’s because I played it and knew exactly where you were coming from, but a part of me thinks that your description would have shone through regardless. If I’m being honest, I read through this review faster than any of the others so far just because I was so engaged in what you were saying. You really only focused on two points and split the review to address them, but did such a brilliant job of incorporating all other aspects around each that you actually had a very informative, full review.

I honestly don’t have any complaints on this one, but I am utterly curious what you thought about the end.

So far, this is the best one I’ve read and I don’t see that changing—at least not very easily. I only hope the other two judges and the cat appreciate it as much as I do.

Score: 98

Espiga + Neko:

I'm probably the only one of the judges that's going to say this, but your Braid piece didn't really "click" with me like I was expecting it to. You're a fantastic writer with a strong voice, but ultimately, your review fails to sell me on Braid. You mention subtle metaphors in the plot, but never give any examples of such. What metaphors sold you on the game? How did they make an impact on your gaming experience? These are the sort of things I want to know about: not just that a game impacted you emotionally despite your initial reservations, but how the game managed to do so. Perhaps then, you'll impact me emotionally too, but until then, Braid just sounds to me like another pretentious indie game.

My Score: 70

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She rolled over on her back, demanding I pet her belly. When I did, she grabbed my hand with her front paws and began to lick it. Apparently, she liked your review a lot more than I did!

Kitty's Score: 9/10 Paws

Final Score: 80

TOTAL SCORE: 269

D is for Deadly Premonition by turducken

Jerec:

Okay, here are some reasons why it didn't work for me... I know exactly as much about Deadly Premonition now than I did before I read this. I don't know what sort of game this is, guessing a shooter of some kind. The gimmick is actually a bit annoying to read and it goes on for far too long. All the clues about the game are so vague. It was a risk, so I'll give you a passing score for trying something different, but that is very generous.

Score: 51

True:

I’m not quite sure what to say on this one. I ultimately have to commend you for your courage, attempting something so unique. Something like that either works, or it doesn’t. In a lot of ways it worked for me and you had a good style/unique voice to make comments about the game without ever really making it seem like you were talking about it. I did get several good ideas about what Deadly Premonition was, its layout and its characters. There were, though, a lot of points I wished you could have fleshed out more—like the enemies or even worked out a way to go into the main character a little bit more.

I imagine it would be difficult, yeah, but I would have liked to see it from a different perspective. I got a great feel for all other aspects of the game, but not its core meaning. It’s hard to do that with a review of this nature. You sometimes have to sacrifice one for the other. In some ways, your gamble paid off. In other ways, it could have used more.

Score: 80

Espiga + Neko:

Greetings, turducken! Tired of reviews that start with a bunch of rhetorical questions? I know I am, that's why your Deadly Premonition review had me facepalming at the very beginning. I'm all for writing gimmicky reviews, but this one didn't really strike me as a game that deserved this particular gimmick. Perhaps if your gimmick had been something else, it'd have caught my attention better, but the review as it is makes me think it's being read out-loud by the father from the Beverly Hillbillies. I think zipp's comments on it said it best: it's a difficult style to pull off. I'm glad you attempted something like it, but I don't think it worked well in this case.

My Score: 65

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She put her front paws on my shoulder, sniffed my chin, then sat down in my lap and stared at me. She's probably hungry.

Kitty's Score: 7/10 Paws

Final Score: 68

TOTAL SCORE: 199

E is for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Suskie

Jerec:

Having spent a bit over 100 hours invested in the world of Skyrim, I'm just going to say that this review hit all the notes I was hoping it would. Particularly the Falmer revelation, which I found really poignant. Suskie, this is your usual brilliant writing and I can't think of anything else to say. Except that you beat Zipp slightly because you got to write about snowcapped mountains and he had to make do with a fence on a dirt path.

Score: 98

True:

So again I’m going to be honest and say that I played Skyrim for a day. No more than an hour to be exact. I killed my first dragon and was so enthralled, I immediately knew that this was a game I could burn eight or nine hours a day on without even trying only to feel guilty, later, about neglecting everything else around me. I’ve waited on it, mainly until I had more free time and could really get into it. As such, I’ve avoided reviews, videos and anything else related to it for fear it would make me want to play it even more. Although it would be unethical, I almost did that same thing here. Said “It’s Suskie” called it a day and gave you a 95.

But I endured. Go me.

If it were any other game, any other reviewer, I may have issues with three—almost four—paragraphs dedicated to the developer and their lack of fine-tuning a game. Oddly enough, I didn’t. To me that just reiterated what Skyrim is: Brilliant, regardless of its flaws. And that opening just cemented that theory. In any other situation it may not have worked, but it was amazing here.

You lost me a bit on the paragraphs involving the story where I felt you sped through a few things to move on, but you immediately got it back on the following paragraphs. Glad you spent a good portion on the dragons, going so far as to describe both encounters with them, also working in some good information about how the game—while not being linear—has subtle ways of guiding you where it wants you to go. The bit about the Falmer was quite possibly my favorite part, though and again just expressed—without words—how much time and energy Bethesda put into this game and making it a much deeper experience. It is what a lot of people were saying about Skyrim but that just had a much more powerful impact. Like a train. Yeah, it’s a little slow getting started but unstoppable once it gets going.

Score: 95

Espiga + Neko:

This was a phenomenal review that grabbed my attention by the proverbial balls and didn't let go. When it comes to technical matters, you generally have a pretty good idea of what works in a game and what doesn't, and this Skyrim review is no exception. I found myself disagreeing with parts of your review--the civil war part of the storyline is a centerpiece of the game and it goes much deeper than simply "Oh, these rebels are the ones that didn't actually try to kill you"--but your points about the Falmer are spot-on and had me reminiscing about my time in Skyrim.On top of that, everything is solid, well organized, and would have sold me on the game if I wasn't already a big fan of it, bugs and all.

My Score: 90

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She yawned at me, so I instead showed her the cute GIF you posted in the thread earlier. She licked her lips, so I'm not exactly sure how to take that.

Kitty's Score: 7/10 Paws

Final Score: 80

TOTAL SCORE: 273

J is for The Journey Home: Quest for the Throne by overdrive

Jerec:

Yep, it's a bland game. But luckily for you, Overdrive, it is not a bland review. Your very familiar voice and sense of humour makes this a comfortable review to read, and despite the subject matter, it is interesting. Without the personality in the writing, this could have been an incredibly dull review. I could relate to the story about being interested in a game only for it to never come out. I think that's something we've all experienced at some point, but back in those days it was so much harder to find out what happened.

Score: 91

True:

Okay, so being honest here and saying that I scrolled down to see what O.D. gave this one before I read the review and if I had an opinion opposite of that, I withdraw from judging anymore of his reviews. That’s just the way it always goes with his work. If he hates a game like…er...The Ghost Lion I think it was, I for some reason want to play it. I think it’s just that he has such an entertaining and unique way of describing things that—even if it sucks—I am so captivated I have to play it. I am happy to say that the longstanding trend has been broken…I think. Much like Wolfqueen did, O.D. cites the lack of a very unique and endearing quality of a game (in this case Zelda and exploration) and uses its absence as a reference to why this game was so dismal. That stayed with me through the entire review. Even when he was explaining some things that normally would appeal to me, like dragons and giant spiders, all I could imagine was ending one dungeon, eeking through a cut-scene and being magically whisked to another area. And yes, I was brought back to Zelda and the wonderful mazes and unique items required to progress.

That bit about how the spider actually got there was perhaps the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I wonder, if at some point, some fool will take you literally, complain that such a thing is impossible as this game came out long before Skyrim or FF. Don’t worry, it won’t be me. I honestly can’t say there was anything in this review I didn’t like. There were a few repetitious words and kind of an odd phrase but I think that’s just me being overly critical and ultimately doesn’t distract from an incredible read…though I do kind of want to play this one.

Score: 95

Espiga + Neko:

In Rob's review, he challenges us to imagine playing a Zelda game that has no exploration. Don't worry, Overdrive, I already imagined playing Skyward Sword. In the end though, Rob provides a well-written review about a game that's simply not as captivating as some of the other entries in this contest. It's not entirely his fault--Neugier sounds like a pretty mediocre game, and the review does a fine job of informing us as such--but the problem with mediocre games is that it's incredibly difficult to keep the writing as interesting or engaging as you do with a game in which you have an opinion on the extreme end of the spectrum. This leads to the history lesson at the beginning being the most interesting part of the review, and the rest, while written well, isn't nearly as engaging.

My Score: 80

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She curled up in my lap, put her front paws on my computer desk, and looked at my monitor while purring. She must have enjoyed it, but is ready for something new and exciting!

Kitty's Score: 7/10 Paws

Final Score: 75

TOTAL SCORE: 261

L is for Lode Runner by Aschultz

Jerec:

I've never played a Lode Runner game, but now I have a good idea of how they work. I've never been into a game so much that I search out different ports of it to see what the differences are, so I admire your dedication to the franchise. What this review does well is have you and your audience on the same level - we don't know if this WS port is any good, but the review follows an interesting progression as you see the different elements of the game and comment on them to us, as if we were sitting next to you, looking over your shoulder as you play. Yeah, the review takes us on an interesting journey. I'll be the first to admit I don't always find your reviews accessible, but you got it right with this one. Hopefully you submit this as a proper review soon. I know the staff here have been a little slack about adding new games to the database.

Score: 90

True:

You had a very strong voice in this one. Weird typo at the beginning “but it that couldn't disguise the exact same levels made” that stumbled me a bit but it picked up after that. You’re far more intelligent than I and at times that comes through in your reviews, making them a bit too technical and I get lost. This one was direct and simple. I’ll be the first to admit it, I had no idea what LR was when reading this, but your straightforward description of what it was and how it played gave me a better understanding. There were a couple places I felt lost—like when you were making a comparison to Sokoban—but those were few and far between.

You did start to lose a little focus at the end and it seemed like a few sentences weren’t exactly necessary but inserted because they were aspects of the game you wanted to talk about but didn’t have anywhere to put. When I looked over it again I felt like most (like the scuba suit one and the bubbles) could have been stated earlier on.

And one more suggestion, but this didn’t count towards your score because I know it was in a blog: Screenshots. Even a couple I think would add to the overall structure, especially when you were talking about the board. Just think it could help a lot of readers get an idea of size.

Score: 83

Espiga + Neko

Aschultz reviews come across as "different" compared to the vast majority of the ones I see on HonestGamers. While many reviews overflow with personality, Aschultz's read more like a technical manual, and I mean that in a more complimentary way than it sounds. I've spent my own fair share of time playing around with programming a few (mostly shitty) games, and so your reviews are a lot more refreshing than they really have any right to be. I've never actually played any of the varioous forms of Lode Runner, though it's clear to see you have an unbridled passion for it that seems to rival my own passion for Ys. It's that personality that shines through the most. In a review that seems specifically written to not have as much, it's some sort of poetic irony that this review is packed with personal touches and flourishes that let us not only learn about the Wonderswan port of Lode Runner, but also about Aschultz... And for that, I'm glad.

(By the way, you have a typo, "It'sabout," near the end of your review.)

My Score: 91

I asked my cat her opinion and she said She began licking my finger. Therefore, I proclaim the review to be finger-lickin' good.

Kitty's Score: 9/10 Paws

Final Score: 91

TOTAL SCORE: 264

P is for Pokemon Stadium by Nickyv917

Jerec:

No one could fault you for not knowing your stuff about this game, but I felt that a fair bit of the info provided could be trimmed off. I say could, because I'm not sure if there's anyone out there who is going to be playing Pokemon Stadium who hasn't already, so perhaps this review can work as a more detailed explanation for the people who aren't going to play it, just so they know about it. Still, it felt a little long. You've got a good analytical sense for the game, and your attempts at humour were endearing if not actually that funny. You've got potential, but I did find this review a little too dense to really get into.

Score: 67

True:

There was a wealth of good information to be found in this review and though I imagine Stadium is a huge game, you did an excellent job of covering a large portion. Your use of specific examples (like the Lickitung mini-game) added to the light-hearted feel that was present throughout most of the review. I did also like that you expanded beyond just the game and informed me of both ways (with and without the red/blue/yellow cartridge) and showed the pitfalls of not having them.

That did, however, lead to some issues. I felt there were a few things that could have been trimmed or even cut out of the review. While an interesting tidbit, the section on how to trade Pokemon seemed more fitting for a F.A.Q. as well as some of the ending sentences on how to win. The paragraph about the music I think would have worked better if it were worked into another section entirely.

The end paragraph was a good way to sum everything up without reiterating everything you had already said and by the time I got to the end I understood why you gave it the score you did. Ultimately it’s a good review that at times went off on tangents, but I think if you were to trim it down and focus on key points it could make for a very interesting read.

Score: 80

Espiga + Neko:

This review made me a little bit nostalgic to go back and play through some Pokey Mans, despite how flawed the piece was. What you have is good, but I think the piece could use some tightening up by cutting out some of the overly-technical discussion that you break out in it. Does it add anything to the review by explaining each of the four available cups in the tournament, instead of just saying "oh, there's 4 cups"? No, it doesn't. There's a few other parts that I'd cut out, but other than a little bit of "trimming the fat," so to speak, I'd say this is a pretty good review for your first contest entry. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how you grow (evolve?) as a writer.

My Score: 75

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She leaned forward and sniffed my computer screen, then meowed at me.

Kitty's Score: 7/10 Paws

Final Score: 73

TOTAL SCORE: 220

R is for Rez HD by Janus

Jerec:

Great then and now comparison. It's true what a difference a HD TV will make to a game. I played the XBLA demo for this before I had a HD TV and I was not impressed, but this review makes me want to revisit it to see if my opinions have changed. I'm also glad this wasn't about video games being art, but more a confirmation that it is escapism (which really should be the primary goal of video games). Well written as always, I expect no less from you. The review felt like a personal revelation of your experiences with Rez, back in the old days and now, so it was great to read.

Score: 93

True:

It’s always difficult to review a re-release, reboot or HD upgrade. I hate doing them, mainly for the reason that I never know how much I should say in regards to the old game. That and I typically run out of things to talk about—especially when the only real change is graphical. Janus seems to have a healthy balance of that and appears to have picked a very visual game where something as simple as HD could ultimately change the entire value of the game. He does a good job of representing that and explaining his distaste the first time around, only to change his mind, using some very good descriptions to demonstrate just how vibrant the game is, and how integral visual clarity is in a game like this. I did find myself wishing for a screenshot here or there, and think it would have really driven the point home. And while I do appreciate the balance you had between the history of the game, even using quotes from the designer to explain his position, and the actual mechanics there were a couple spots where I hoped you would go deeper into the game play and you reverted back to explaining Mizuguchi’s standpoint. Most of the time it fit, a couple times though it was slightly jarring.

Oh, and one typo that I caught: Not that I'm suggest anything miraculous has happened.

Score: 85

Espiga + Neko:

As the first review I've read for this competition, Janus' tale of Rez HD and his comparisons to his previous experience with the Dreamcast version sets the bar incredibly high. I was one of those majority gamers that adored Rez back in the Dreamcast era, and seeing not only your dissenting opinion of that version, but coupling it with your new, revised thoughts now that you're playing in HD on something other than a 20-inch Mitsubishi TV (I didn't even know they made TVs) was an absolute blast to read that kept me enthralled from the first to the last words. If there's any complaints I'd have to make about it, it's that you use words like "wire-frame," (I'm pretty sure it's just wireframe), but your brilliant breakdown of the "synethesia" phenomenon that accompanied Rez more than outweighed a couple excess hyphens.

My Score: 95

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She looked at me, then smashed her head into my face, rubbing her head up against my cheek. I think that means she likes it.

Kitty's Score: 8/10 Paws

Final Score: 88

TOTAL SCORE: 266

S is for Syndicate (2012) by DarkEternal

Jerec:

I think you've been writing long enough to know the difference between then and than. I remember going really hard on some reviewer a while back about this, and I have a feeling it was you. I went through all my judging files but I wasn't able to find it. Still, I know you've been doing this for a while, and it's not like you only did it once in this review. There were quite a lot of other grammatical problems in the review, which held it back from being a strong competition entry. The writing itself, what you're trying to say, is good stuff. Your opening (the fellow dinosaurs line) made for an inviting introduction, your descriptions of the game, what it does right and what it does wrong, all good. The character stuff, too. And the legacy of this series that Starbreeze have tried to update in the most mundane way possible. Do a thorough edit and you've got an excellent review.

Score: 78

True:

I was glad this one made it on the list, as I almost rented a few times but wasn’t quite sure about it and ultimately…wait, did you just say you were a dinosaur?

That was actually quite funny—despite being utterly strange—and it locked me into the review and kept me in the flow for most of the read. You have a good pace, excellent structure and the points you make are tied in well with the others. The only thing that really drew me out was a few grammar mistakes—Its for it’s and then/than transposed—and a sentence or two with an obscure structure. “rather of a single man whose only connection to the silent killers from the previous installments is the taste in same clothing” and “Miles is a an experimental agent, thanks largely in due to the above mentioned chip that makes him”. Basically just an extra word or two but the rest of the review read so well and it just hit the brakes when I had to go back and read that twice or three times for it to make sense. Thankfully you really only had that issue in the first half and the second was much better. Even when you mentioned what Strabreeze had said, it wasn’t jarring, mostly due to the prior prompt. A strong finish to a slightly rocky start.

Score: 85

Espiga + Neko:

I was a little bit worried when I saw you describe Syndicate as "very average," due to reasons I've stated in my assessment of other reviews here today, but thankfully, you've managed to write an engaging piece while still remaining convincing... And it's about a game that's decidedly average! I like how you decribed the various abilities that the main character has at his disposal, as it seems like one of the very few innovations that Syndicate has to offer. Afterwards, you do a fantastic job at breaking down the reasons why the game almost works, but falls far short of its lofty goals that its predecessor seemed to reach with ease. Overall, I don't really have a whole lot that I can say about this review. It was engaging and well-written, and some of the parts were particularly humorous, such as the (figures) after mentioning that the asshole agent that's from New Jersey. Well done!

My Score: 90

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She was asleep through this review, but I shook her and she looked at me with half-asleep, half-grumpy eyes, then licked my hand.

Kitty's Score: 8/10 Paws

Final Score: 85

TOTAL SCORE: 248

U is for Urban Chaos: Riot Response by Pickhut

Jerec:

For a short first person shooter, it makes sense to make the bulk of the review about the premise and some descriptions of a couple of missions in the game. It's a short review which is enjoyable to read, but I don't really feel like I know enough about it to make an informed decision. No idea what it looks or sounds like, nothing much about controls. I know that the game is free of bugs and is an appropirate length but I'm guessing the 7/10 comes from the game not really standing out in any way? Yeah, as good a read as this was, I came away from it with too many questions.

Score: 70

True:

This one was over right when it was starting to get good. It set the scene really well and a lot of your specific examples I could actually picture. Then... finished. I would say that I wish you had added more, especially in terms of game structure but some part of me thinks that was the point. A quick, intense review for a game of the same nature. That didn’t really click with me until that last paragraph and line.

That being said though, I was a tad confused about the score you gave it. I really didn’t register any complaints, minus the fact that it was short but even that didn’t seem like too big a deal to you so I was left a tad curious on why it didn’t rank higher for you.

I get your point, ultimately, but don’t think a bit more detail would have hurt the overall theme you were going for.

Score: 85

Espiga + Neko:

An amazing, fast-paced read from start to finish, this review takes a game I've never heard of, then makes it sound like one of the greatest, intense action games available on the ol' black box. And then it ends with a 7.

Wait, what?

The premise sounded so cool... And everything you're talking about sounds so cool... And then you end with a 7? Just a little above average? I know the score doesn't really mean anything, but after making the game sound like something I'd really enjoy, the score itself being just a hair above mediocre confused the crap out of me. If this is only a "fairly good" game, then what's an amazing game to you? I'm not sure I want to know, or we'll be talking about a fast-paced resurrection of games like Unreal Tournament with HD graphics and a kickass Ys soundtrack playing with a feature that automatically filters out shit-talking 9-year olds.

My Score: 85

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: I had just taken a little break to eat some Cheetos (tm) (official snack food of Honestgamers, hence the default avatar), and my cat decided to lick the remaining orange stuff off my fingers. I'm guessing she liked it, because the official food of Honestgamers has a great taste and is much better than competing brands, so buy Cheetos (tm).

Kitty's Score: 10/10 Paws (the Cheetos mascot is also a cat.)

Final Score: 93

TOTAL SCORE: 248

V is for Vampires Until Dawn by zippdementia

Jerec:

I knew I was in for something good when you said there's some bad games that are funny, some that are painful, and then there's Vampires Until Dawn. Then I saw it was an iPhone game and tried very earnestly to be surprised as I read the rest of the review. It sounds absolutely ridiculous. I laughed out loud at the screenshot of your thumbs blocking about a quarter of the screen. You say Vampires Until Dawn is completely soulless. So, much like a vampire. And the game sucks? Ho ho ho. Also loved the description of the game's soundtrack. Hilarious stuff!

Score: 95

True:

I was with you all the way on this one. Loving the description of the opening scene, and I totally felt the gothic ambience and haunting music. Then I read Mr. Garlik and imagine I had the same sense of dread about what would follow that you did. I admit that I don’t expect much from phone games, but this one seemed worse than most. A point driven home by the middle section, and your exquisite description of the dual stick method Vampires incorporates. I could not even fathom trying to use that on a touch screen. To be honest, the whole game sounds like it was just a lazy attempt to capitalize on a popular trend and I imagine (or at least hope) that was the subtle hint you were trying to get across.

The section following was a nice change of style and a welcome distraction from the norm and helped me picture the blaring cheesiness of the game but something seems a little off about it. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but think it may have been better stylized. Maybe with italics or obnoxious exclamation points. Just a random thought.

I normally give reviewers a hard time for not finishing a game but in this case I don’t blame you one bit. At least you did your research and it doesn’t seem like it got any better and because of your review I completely understood why you quit. You honestly lasted longer than I would have.

One typo though: If I were to generous enough to assign this game a genre

Score: 87

Espiga + Neko:

This review was great in a lot of ways, while being pretty boring in some others. Part of it is my own fault--Reading about an iPhone game is mind-numbing to me. Your opening got me hooked, but the review definitely felt like it was dragging along by the end. In the comments that Jason oh-so-helpfully added to the bottom of each review page, I noticed that you posted that you put in a paragraph that you had initially cut. Upon reading it, I don't really think it adds that much to the review outside of the commentary on your massive thumbs. However, your segue about the glitchiness of it and the awful music being pinpointed by different types of enemies encountered in the first level was fun to read. In all, reading this review felt like a roller coaster. It was exciting in some parts, pretty slow in other, but despite the high ups and the low downs, I felt satisfied in the end.

My Score: 80

I asked my cat her opinion and she said She rested with her haunches on my lap and her front paws on my desk, stared at the computer screen for a moment, glanced back at me, then looked back at the computer screen. She is intrigued, and wishes to know more.

Kitty's Score: 7/10 Paws

Final Score: 75

TOTAL SCORE: 257

W is for Wario Land: Shake It! by honestgamer

Jerec:

There isn't much to say about this other than it's another professional-quality Venter review that has been the backbone of the site for many years. Can't fault it on writing. It flows well from one aspect of the game to the next, highlighting the game's good and bad points, most notably the odd game design concepts that are in play, and how they make the game frustrating. Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds shaking the Wii-mote tiring in a game like this. I know kids can handle this sort of thing a lot better because they are full of energy. Venter, you're sounding old at the end when you say there's no incentive to rescue the princess. Wario has been a bad influence, indeed.

Score: 87

True:

This and Joe’s Braid review were the ones I was looking forward to the most—for entirely different reasons. For his, it was an interest in the game. This one an interest in the reviewer. I either love your work or I end up not getting it. This one I got from start to finish. You’re one of the few writers that can follow a particular formula and still make it entertaining. You had the perfect balance of story discussion and mechanics. The first part was so vivid I was actually kind of interested in playing it—mysterious gifts, princesses, continents overflowing with treasure. Then I got into the latter part of your review and it just sounds like it requires way too much grinding and replay to actually be enjoyable. I really liked the section where you discussed how a bad run could force you to miss out on some rewards, requiring yet another play through. Most gamers absolutely must find everything, so I think that was a crucial bit of information.

Do watch your word usage in some places though. The one that really stood out: “access to especially challenging bonus stages (you’ll only find them if you’re especially thorough and stomp around a lot as you clear each level)”.

I would have liked to hear more about this boss battles/stages even if it was a brief overview in terms of their variety. Aside from that though, I have to say this is one of the best reviews I’ve read from you in a long time.

Your last line though: “I simply wasn’t up to the task of braving more mediocre stages to rescue a princess in peril because there wasn’t any real incentive.” Immediately I thought: Well, okay so she’s not hot then.

I have problems…

Score: 95

Espiga + Neko:

One of my favorite things about your reviews for Nintendo games new and old is how you like to take the reader wistfully back to the past, making them relive your childhood memories as if they're right there beside you. Seeing that missing in this Wario Land review was particularly disheartening, despite the fact that this review is mechanically and verbally sound. It hits every note that it needs to hit as a review, and perhaps that's part of the problem I have with it. It's a completely competent review, but it feels somewhat phoned-in as well. Where's the charm that contests like these like to pull from its readers? When it comes to Nintendo games, making a charming review is one of your greatest strengths, but with this piece, it feels like any other review. When you're against the sort of competition you're facing with this year's excellent showing, that's just not good enough.

My Score: 70

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She looked at me and purred, her eyes closed so that she looked like one of those "happy cats" commonly seen in pictures all over the internet. She must have liked it more than me!

Kitty's Score: 8/10 Paws

Final Score: 75

TOTAL SCORE: 257

X is for Xardion by threetimes

Jerec:

I really get that you're out of your element in playing and reviewing this game. The descriptions of the gameplay are fine, but the intro does your reviews absolutely no favours - mentioning that you don't usually play these sorts of games, and how you're only doing it for the contest (honestly, anyone else who happens upon this review down the track isn't going to make any sense of this). But the majority of the review works well. You seemed to have a good grasp on the game you probably had to download a rom for. I'd suggest centering the screenshots as they're small and look a bit weird left-aligned. See Holdthephone's 3rd Birthday review for a great use of screenshots to enhance the text of the review. Not a bad effort, and I do appreciate how difficult it can be to review a game you otherwise would not have played. X is a difficult letter, so I'm glad you're one of the ones who actually submitted something.

Score: 83

True:

Oh boy. X. I already have respect for the new guy that took this on. And, damn. Another reference to a game I loved when I was growing up, and how this one could be similar but in the end is nothing like it. Did you guys conspire or something?

I’ve never been much into platformers, and normally reading reviews for them leaves my quite bored. This one didn’t, mainly because you left out a lot of the common jargon associated with them. Instead opting to discuss the core mechanics and how they help (or hinder) the game. I liked the bit about Triton being able to shoot up, even through solid objects and how on occasion you would need to chase down an enemy since he couldn’t jump and shoot.

There were a couple sentences that were overly long and this phrase “Boss battles are very varied in difficulty” just seems weird to me, even after reading it a few times. The biggest complaint I have, though, is along the same lines as what I told HoldThePhone. You make a lot of good points but they would have an even greater impact with a smoother flow. What would really help is—again—centering them around one core idea or even working on your lead-ins/transitions. If you got that down, I think you stand to be a very good reviewer—here or otherwise.

Score: 80

Espiga + Neko:

I've never really liked when a review begins with things like "Oh, I'm writing this for a contest, tee-hee!" If some random guy on the internet stumbles upon your Xardion review two or three years down the line, he's going to have no idea what contest you're even talking about...And knowing Venter's coding, the forums will probably have been nuked at least once since then. That being said, this was a decent review that talks about some game that I've never heard of. There's not many typos that I can see, but I did notice some missing punctuation in the fourth paragraph (".. . . the source of the invaders' power . . ." is how it should read) and the phrase "relatively simplicity" near the end. Other than that, the biggest problem comes down to game selection. In a contest with such astounding writers, game selection is king. You really don't want your game choice to be mediocre, because it's much more difficult to write about a game that you don't have an extreme opinion of. Of course, X isn't exactly an easy letter to write for, However, you deserve mad props for coming through with X while some other unscrupulous sods got easy letters and didn't show up.

My Score: 75

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She looked up at me and yawned. When her mouth was closed, her tongue was sticking out a little bit. It made me giggle.

Kitty's Score: 6/10 Paws

Final Score: 68

TOTAL SCORE: 231

Y is for Ys II by wolfqueen

Jerec:

Ys I&II for Turbo CD is one of those untouchable games that people have been praising since video game reviewing began, and I should know - I've read more than I care to remember. So this is a surprise, a review of one of the lesser versions of Ys II, and I have to say, the review was honest and convincing and it made me care what you had to say about it, which is an achievement because I am not easily impressed (don't let the overall high scores in this tournament fool you into thinking otherwise!). All the complaints felt very valid, the speed of the character movement, the easiness, being able to leave a boss room...

Score: 96

True:

It may be my long-standing adoration for the Ys series that’s making me say this, but I loved this one. It didn’t really start until the sixth paragraph or so, but when you started talking about why you (and a lot of others) enjoyed Ys it clicked. The boss fights were incredible for me, sort of like an RPG Mega Man where you had to learn the patterns of each one, discover their weakness and actually invest your time. Loved the grape/elephant analogy and the fact you put in screenshots when you were describing being able to leave the room and find a statue to heal up. Honestly, no real complaints I can think of. The only thing is a minor suggestion, just based on preference. You have one paragraph where you talk about the sound and beautiful backdrops. I think that would have been better integrated into the paragraph below it. “Ys II has outstanding sound, good environments but what truly redeemed the game’s value was…” Just makes for a nicer transition, but I could be crazy. Aside from that though, well done. If the rest of the entries are as spot on as this one this is going to be one hell of a tournament.

Score: 95

Espiga + Neko:

Your opening got me hooked pretty quickly, but I can't say that I care too much for your one-word paragraph right afterwards. If you coming away disappointed was really needless to say, then why should anyone read your review of it? Luckily, the rest of the review of this ill-fated version of Ys II is both written well and particularly engaging. Despite the fact that I absolutely adore Ys II, you write a convincing piece that makes me determined not to ever touch this version of it, and coming from a diehard Ys fanboy like myself, that's saying quite a lot. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of this particular review though, is that you've seemed to open up much more than ever before. In your previous reviews, you've often sounded more like a strategy guide or an instruction manual, talking about the various technical aspects of the game, but never really letting us meet the person behind the keyboard. In your Ys II, we've come closer than ever before to learning not only about what you think of the game, but also about your feelings and tastes in general as a gamer. It shows that you've grown as a writer, and for that, I'm pretty damn impressed.

My Score: 92

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She sniffed my nose, then licked it. She must have liked it a lot, too!

Kitty's Score: 9/10 Paws

Final Score: 91

TOTAL SCORE: 282

Z is for Zero Wing by EmP

Jerec:

I'm glad you addressed the translation thing at the start and didn't make the entire review about that. I haven't actually heard anyone quote it in a long, long time though. Has that meme gone away or am I just hanging with more sophisticated online crowds? Probably not, because now everything's "trollface" or "forever alone". Great review, and I loved the "problem/screenshot/homing missile" formula which made the game seem poorly designed. And your review of the Scary Neon Plasma Zombie Whale almost made me forget how lame the rest of the game sounded.

Score: 88

True: Poor, poor Emp. Stuck with Z. He even voices his distaste in the first sentence and while this may sound somewhat sadistic…I couldn’t stop laughing. By far the best opener ever. Sorry. The GIF screenshot spouting that utterly horrendous dialogue. Brilliant. The rest of the review is the same. Ingenious use of screenshots and captions to make your point, traditional Emp humor, the prototypical chaos orgy. Talking about a mediocre game is difficult but you do well—better than most would actually. You make great comparisons to R-Type and where Zero Wing fails to live up to the standard. Even for someone who adamantly avoids shooters, it was easy to understand where you were coming from. It’s simple and straight-forward yet the humor and addition of screenshots made it unique and fresh, despite a thousand reviews for as many shooters on the web.

Like many in this contest, I really don’t have too much in terms of complaints—nothing beyond minor nitpicks. A couple of long-winded sentences and I’m still not sure about the ending line but that’s just personal preference.

Score: 95

Espiga + Neko:

This introduction is hilarious. I, too, am one of the few that actually played Zero Wing to completion on the Genesis, and as such, I found myself both nodding along and laughing along with nearly every word. Though I'm a little disappointed you didn't mention the dancing eggplant-things in the ending, this still struck me as a strong review written by somebody that consistently writes strong reviews. I like the use of screenshots to hammer home your game-breaking use of the homing missiles, while I'm also thankful that you didn't go overboard with your imagery. Overall, a very strong review, as expected from the likes of you.

My Score: 95

I asked my cat her opinion and she said: She just kinda stared at me for a minute or so, so instead, I showed her the picture you posted of the cat in the microwave. To which she licked her lips. Apparently my cat is a cannibal, and now I'm scared.

Kitty's Score: 8/10 Paws

Final Score: 88

TOTAL SCORE: 271




THE FINAL VERDICT:

1. wolfqueen: 96 + 95 + 91 = 282
2. Suskie = 98 + 95 + 80 = 273
3. EmP: 88 + 95 + 88 = 271
4. JoetheDestroyer: 91 + 98 + 80 = 269
5. Janus: 93 + 85 + 88 = 266
6. Aschultz: 90 + 83 + 91 = 264
7. overdrive: 91 + 95 + 75 = 261
8. zippdementia: 95 + 87 + 75 = 257
8. honestgamer: 87 + 95 + 75 = 257
10. holdthephone: 93 + 85 + 74 = 252
11. DarkEternal: 78 + 85 + 85 = 248
11. pickhut: 70 + 85 + 93 = 248
13. threetimes: 83 + 80 + 68 = 231
14. nickyv917: 67 + 80 + 73 – 3 = 217
15. turducken: 51 + 80 + 68 = 199




And for kicks, I'll present to you the final score without Espiga's kitty adjustment (using his base score).

1. wolfqueen: 96 + 95 + 92 = 283
1. Suskie: 98 + 95 + 90 = 283
3. EmP: 88 + 95 + 95 = 278
4. Janus: 93 + 85 + 95 = 273
5. overdrive: 91 + 95 + 70 = 266
6. Aschultz: 90 + 83 + 91 = 264
7. zippdementia: 95 + 87 + 80 = 262
8. holdthephone: 93 + 85 + 83 = 261
9. JoetheDestroyer: 91 + 98 + 70 = 259
10. DarkEternal: 78 + 85 + 90 = 253
11. honestgamer: 87 + 95 + 70 = 252
12. Pickhut: 70 + 85 + 85 = 240
13. threetimes: 83 + 80 + 75 = 238
14. nickyv917: 67 + 80 + 75 – 3 = 219
15. turducken: 51 + 80 + 65 = 196




I shall conclude this tournament with a final word from True: On a side not, you guys did an awesome job. Each and every one of you. I’m normally very generous with my scores and praise but this time, even if I was a cynical asshole it would have been the same. It was a true honor to judge this one and you all should be very proud of yourselves. I mean that.

Thank you everyone for making this one of the most dynamic tournaments we've had in a very, very long while.

On a final note, I'm not sure if Sportsman/Halon is still archiving these or not. If he is, I'd appreciate him handling this one as well. I don't know if a verdict was ever made on taking that over, but I hope something can be sorted out.


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: pickhut
Posted: April 01, 2012 (10:07 PM)
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Wow, didn't think the 7/10 rating would cause such a reaction and confusion. Honestly, I think a 7/10 is a very solid score for a good game, especially for such a basic action title. 8/10 gets abused too much, in my opinion. And as for the question of what really blows me away? It's rare that a game gives me a nerdgasm, which is why the reviews of games I give 10/10s to are very, very, very low. Out of the 244 reviews I've written for the site over the span of 8 years, I've only given out 6 10/10 ratings: Contra Hard Corps, Sonic & Knuckles, God Hand, OutRun2, Earth Defense Force 2017, and Hitman Blood Money.

Anyway, I did appreciate the comments on the review. It's always interesting to read different viewpoints of what's noticed and what's not there. And congratulations to wolfqueen, and to everyone else that pumped out quality reviews for the contest!


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: holdthephone
Posted: April 01, 2012 (10:21 PM)
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Gah! A bit on the low end, but extremely pleased with getting quality feedback from the site's best, especially against unanimously great entries. Honestly this whole contest has been a very encouraging and valuable learning experience. I'm still fairly new here and I'm super impressed by the community's ability to pull something like this off.

Let's just say I'll be sticking around ^_^

EDIT: And don't mind me if I use this to brag a bit on facebook!


Mobius 1, engage...


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Author: aschultz
Posted: April 01, 2012 (10:27 PM)
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Wow! Thanks, judges, for judging, thanks to the organizer for organizing (and for poking me to submit my review as a REVIEW) and for quite frankly a better than expected result in a strong field.

First, Espiga--thanks for pointing things out and still having nice things to say. I saw a couple other things I would've fixed, but I didn't know if it was fair to the other competitors. The game's been added to the database, and I feel good about making my touch-ups now.

I recognize my technical side as a HUGE potential weakness--I would like to have more personality in my reviews a lot of time. But on the other hand, I don't want to fake it. And I have to admit I'm more interested in the technical aspects of games. I think that can provide a different view, but it can also bore the heck out of people quickly if I am not careful. I have to admit in real life I'm suspicious of "personality" (usually someone trying to sell me something) but with game reviews, well, people SHOULD be excited about the games they play. Otherwise, why bother?

But on the other hand, I don't need/want excitement in my games themselves. I love sleeping on a game and realizing oh, THAT'S why they did it that way!

I also wanted to avoid a detailed description of the puzzles because that would turn people off.

Anyway, thank you for your opinions and time, and maybe I can read the reviews above--and some below me--to try and change things up to add more of this personality thing. There's a lot to learn, and one upside of not having a competition for longer than we'd hoped is that people had ideas they were saving up for a while to bundle together.

Let's just not test this hypothesis with whenever the next tourney is, eh?

PS Holdthephone, please do stick around!


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: True
Posted: April 01, 2012 (10:42 PM)
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Well done, Furry Face. And to all of you. I call next contest.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: April 01, 2012 (11:39 PM)
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It actually really means a lot to me that all three judges mentioned my point about the Falmer. That was the strongest single example I could think of for illustrating just how consuming Skyrim's world is, and I'm happy to see that the judges were just as struck by it as I was.

I want to echo what a terrific contest this wound up being. Big thanks to everyone who made it happen -- to WQ for getting the ball rolling, to the judges for their feedback, and especially to the participants for turning out such great work. It was a pleasure to compete alongside you gentlemen (and at least one lady). And congrats to WQ for winning!


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 01, 2012 (11:42 PM)
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Thanks for the comments, people! I had a lot on my plate, and still do, so I was happy just to be able to turn anything in at all (especially considering that I got the dreaded 'W' again, one of the worst letters a person can draw and a perpetual curse of mine). I'm pleased that overall I did better this year than I did the last time I got a 'W.' Thanks for your insights, judges, and for taking the time to read through so many reviews. Congratulations to the winners!


"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: jerec
Posted: April 02, 2012 (01:02 AM)
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I've done a lot of judging, but I can't think of any other time in this site's history that I've rated so many reviews so highly. Congrats to Wolfqueen for the victory, it was well-deserved and an amazing achievement in such a fiercely competitive contest.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: darketernal
Posted: April 02, 2012 (03:37 AM)
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Thanks for the comment, and congrats to WQ. I swear, that and than will be the end of me and I'll never get it right. Comes with english being a second language I guess, but that one was always an achilles heel.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 02, 2012 (09:28 AM)
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A lot of good reviews. To score as well as I did and finish seventh says a lot about the competition. Or fifth, if you take out Espiga's cat. Which I am due to feeling like it was prejudiced against me because it could sense competition from my cats in my review. And because his cat's the difference between seventh and fifth for me and fifth sounds better!

Closest I've come to being broken by a letter. If I hadn't reviewed THE GAME THAT NEVER WAS RELEASED UNDER THE TITLE IT IS LISTED AS, I'd have been stuck with either piggybacking off Master's review of Jackie Chan Kung-Fu Whatever or going down memory lane with any of a number of Atari 2600 titles (Jr. Pac-Man, Joust, Jungle Hunt). And I didn't have any faith in turning any of those into a good contest review. So, I'm happy with what I did with what I had, making me (in reality), the greatest of champions!


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 02, 2012 (10:34 AM)
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Gah! A typo in my review?! Considering how many times I redrafted that review before posting (and once after) I don't know how that slipped in there.

Great tournament, all around! I'm really glad WQ won. I think of all of us, she deserved it the most, for not only putting forth a great review but coming a long ways forward in her writing since the last tournament. Seeing her catch the win feels like an appropriate recognition of that.

On a personal note, I'm really glad the humour worked in my review. I wasn't really expecting to nab the win with an iphone review but I did want it to be funny. I'm rarely sure when writing humour if the jokes are going to fall flat or come off as forced. Glad to hear that they worked across the board, that really made my day! Even the cat enjoyed them.

Thanks for taking the time out of your lives to give us all feedback, guys. Tournaments, and the high level of feedback associated with them, are one of the things I look forward to here.


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


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Author: threetimes
Posted: April 02, 2012 (02:20 PM)
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Thanks for comments. And I see the point about changing the intro. I assumed I needed to explain why on earth I'd write a review for a genre I don't play or have any experience of, but I'll bear that in mind if I ever enter a contest again.

So game choice is a factor too? Again, I had the wrong end of the stick as I thought the more obscure the better. (Real reason for picking Xardion is that I was too lazy to replay Xenogears.)


Don't panic!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 02, 2012 (02:32 PM)
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Threetimes, game choice is an interesting aspect of a review. Finding a game that either you are interested in or others are interested in is the commonly good idea, but it gets skewed in tournaments because some letters are just stinking tough. X is always a really tough letter. I always struggled to make it work in alphabet marathons.

On X I almost always try to go for short reviews and a little blast of whatever passes in my mind for humour, usually because I'm not all that interested in the game. My Xargon review is a perfect example of this.

I actually liked your Xardion review, though I agree with most of the judging panel's comments.


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


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Author: turducken
Posted: April 02, 2012 (08:08 PM)
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Christ, last place? By a pretty fair margin, too. That's awesome. I guess if Emp manages to nag me into doing another one of these it better be a by-numbers review. Don't really enjoy writing those lately, though.


"My father, the Emperor, had many powers of the Dark Side. But without three eyes he could never achieve perfection." - Trioculus


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 02, 2012 (10:10 PM)
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I hope you don't honestly feel bad about your position, Turducken. First of all, you got a score that is as high as some of the winners of some tournaments got. You got last place in one of the site's best tournaments, it still looks favorably on you. And also, I always figured you as having the mindset that the point of trying new things was to try new things: not necessarily to win. Also, if you do try new things, you have to do them multiple times before you have the new style down. This was the first review I've ever read of yours that did this... give yourself time to work with the new style.


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


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: April 03, 2012 (10:47 AM)
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Congrats to Leslie for the victory! Thank you, judges, for your feedback.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 03, 2012 (03:47 PM)
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Well played to WQ and Suskie. Lesser congrats to everyone else. Haha to OD.

I've sat and read every one of these reviews (again, in most cases) just before I typed out this responce, and there's not been one that hasn't been killer in one way or another. On that note, good work to the judge team for a lot of tough calls.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: turducken
Posted: April 03, 2012 (03:55 PM)
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You're right that I don't care much about winning, Zipp. I guess I just cared about...not coming in last. Which I didn't even care about until it happened. But that's life. Thanks for the kind words, but given how poorly that style of review was received it's still probably in my best interest to not use it again. While I don't care about winning, I do like people to enjoy reading my stuff (and enjoy writing it). While I could get there in time, I don't really write reviews often enough to refine it anytime soon.


"My father, the Emperor, had many powers of the Dark Side. But without three eyes he could never achieve perfection." - Trioculus


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Author: jerec
Posted: April 03, 2012 (03:59 PM)
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There's been a lot of different styles used in reviews before. Sometimes they work for me, sometimes they don't. But when writing something like that you need to remember the purpose of a review - giving us enough information and opinion on a game to help us decide whether we want to play it or not. Your review basically described characters and setting and everything else seemed left behind. So that particular style didn't work for me as a review, but you shouldn't be discouraged about trying. You did get points for trying to do something really different.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: turducken
Posted: April 03, 2012 (06:21 PM)
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That stuff is in the review. How the combat system makes fighting easy, minigames you can do, the graphics and sound, etc. As far as I know, I hit all the usual bases; you just have to read between the lines a little to see 'em.


"My father, the Emperor, had many powers of the Dark Side. But without three eyes he could never achieve perfection." - Trioculus


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 04, 2012 (12:18 AM)
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For what it's worth, I wouldn't give up on the style so quickly. I did enjoy the review. I just think the style needs tightening. For instance, I think the review is a little too long for this style. It outlasts its gimmick, which I read as a homeboy's blurb on his town. I also agree with Jerec that the direction the prose was trying to lead me in wasn't always clear. Like your opening is fun and I'm ready to explore the town along with this rustic character you've created. Then the next paragraph he starts talking about how it doesn't really look like a town and I lose the thread. Like, are you trying to say that the game's design needed work? That's what I thought, but I couldn't be sure.

It's a new style. If you decide you don't enjoy writing it, then that's fair. If that's not the case, then I'd advise you not to just drop it because your first stab at it got last place in the tournament. Aschultz is another writer here with a pretty unique style. It took him a lot of reviews (and a few lost tournaments) before he started working that style into something that was consistently good. He didn't lose his style, but he did tighten it and make it a better vehicle for his points.


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


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: April 05, 2012 (04:09 AM)
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I would like to thank all the judges, with the exception of Espiga's cat.

Well done Wolfqueen, nice review.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: turducken
Posted: April 05, 2012 (02:39 PM)
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I appreciate the kind words, Zipp, and I'll take it into consideration. I suppose it really depends on the next game I review. If that style works for the next game, I might use it. But if I don't, doesn't mean I won't ever come back to it. Anyways, I kinda feel like I've derailed this topic, so I apologize for that.


"My father, the Emperor, had many powers of the Dark Side. But without three eyes he could never achieve perfection." - Trioculus


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 06, 2012 (10:14 AM)
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But Espiga's cat loved your review, Janus! Though, yeah, I guess she dropped your score, somehow.


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


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Author: Halon
Posted: April 07, 2012 (08:08 PM)
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Congrats to WQ and thanks to the judges and everyone else for a good show. I can't believe this event is still going its tenth time around.

I archived the results so that's taken care of. I didn't upload it to my site since I plan on (hopefully) redoing it sometime in the near future. Maybe I'll upload it regardless, since "near future" might not be so near after all haha.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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