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Forums > Submission Feedback > Alk31997's F.3.A.R. review

This thread is in response to a review for F.3.A.R. on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: May 02, 2012 (07:56 PM)
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Hey, there. I know I haven't commented on any of your reviews yet, but I'm going to now. I truly believe you have some strong potential that could really be refined just with a little mechanical honing. I have read what others have said about your reviews, so I'll keep those in mind as I continue to read this. But before I do anything, I'll want to know if you'll be okay with me heavily proofing your review. If not, I'll just stick to general tips or nothing at all depending on how opposed you are.

You've seemed eager to improve in the past, but I also haven't seen you around in about a week or so. I hope you haven't gotten too terribly discouraged about all the criticism you've received so far. We, as a community, have only been trying to help, and I have seen from feedback on your later reviews that you do seem to be making some progress. If you continue to stick around, I'll try to make more of an effort to help you 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: zippdementia
Posted: May 03, 2012 (01:23 AM)
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What a great offer! I hope Alk is still around to take you up on it.


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


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Author: Alk31997
Posted: May 03, 2012 (03:30 AM)
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Ok. Yeah i would encourage your help. I've not been uploading lately due to my new book, all of my attention has went to that. I will start to upload more.

Thank You..


Life Is A Short Circuit Of Self Realization


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: May 03, 2012 (04:04 PM)
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I'm glad you're interested in the offer. I'm going to try to do for you what others have done for me in the past, which I felt really helped me understand how to write reviews a lot better. I'll start by breaking down each paragraph, then revising it so that the language and sentence structure comes off a lot stronger. However, I'll try to avoid editing the specific text itself, since it is your own creative mind that produced it. After editing each paragraph, I might make a few comments or suggestions on the content itself and explain why some things work well while others don't. Hopefully this will help you understand the finer aspects of reviewing than someone just telling you conceptually what to do. Of course, anything I have to say is my own opinion, which others are welcome to agree or disagree, but I still hope nevertheless that my feedback serves as a guide for future reviews.

If at all I ever sound like I'm patronizing you, please forgive me. I don't know exactly how much experience you have had in this field. If you're working on a book, that's definitely impressive and something to be proud of, and probably shows you know a thing or two about writing. However, I can only judge what I've seen from your reviews, so if I've underestimated you at all, I'm sorry.




When playing fear, you expect to be frightened by its concept and content, but the 3rd experience doesnít contain many scares, which is baffling. I am not saying that the game is mundane and tarnished it has a profound storyline, and blood does spray like a hosepipe. By giving it a chance you are waking up the judgemental orb in your mind, you are the critic.

When playing F.3.A.R., you expect to be frightened by its concept and content, but the third experience doesnít contain many scares. This is baffling. I'm not saying that the game is mundane and tarnished; it has a profound storyline, and blood does spray like a hosepipe. By giving it a chance, you are waking up the judgmental orb in your mind. You are the critic.

What I tried to do here is just break up the flow of your writing a bit. You seem to have a tendency to use a lot of commas and run-on sentences, which can sometimes weaken the force of your argument. By breaking things up a bit, it adds a power to your words that might otherwise be skimmed. I think this has to do with the fact that, generally speaking, the human mind doesn't have much of a capacity to pay attention.

Think of it like when you're telling someone an exciting story. If you're pumped up about it, you'll speak a lot faster than you normally would, and words might become jumbled. Your audience might lose interest or space off because they can't comprehend what you're saying, even though they can tell how excited you are. If you just slowed down a bit, your story would have a lot better impact. Similarly, when you're writing, breaking things up now and then will give your piece an authority that will make people want to keep reading, and also less likely to question what you say, either out of confusion or doubt.

Also, at least in this community, we tend to break the rules of formal research writing where you're not allowed to used contractions like "isn't" and whatnot. This is because using contractions makes your writing a lot more casual-sounding, which, to the average consumer, will be far more enjoyable to read. Having more casual-sounding language also makes your review flow a little bit better.

Now, there's an argument to be made about balancing the concepts of "flow" and "breaking up your sentences". There's a chance that, if you break things up too much, your writing will become choppy and thus break the flow. So finding the balance between how much to break stuff up and where to leave things run is a tricky thing to master, but I'm sure you'll get it eventually.

F.E.A.R 3 takes us under the wings of protagonist and supersoldier Point Man, the main character of the first game. He is a genetically modified killer, with hardened features, he wishes he had a heart like a gun, but he makes do with what he has. He is a intriguing character, a very enigmatic main man, as the player, you feel that there is a colossal amount of demons patrolling his mind. His eyes seem to be full of hurt and dishonour; he is a broken man with a machine gun as his calling card.

F.E.A.R 3 takes us under the wing of protagonist and super soldier Point Man, the main character of the first game. He's a genetically modified killer, with hardened features. He wishes he had a heart like a gun, but he makes do with what he has. He is an intriguing character, a very enigmatic man. As the player, you feel that there's a colossal amount of demons patrolling his mind. His eyes seem to be full of hurt and dishonour; he is a broken man with a machine gun as his calling card.

I italicized "He wishes he had a heart like a gun" because I don't really understand what the metaphor means. Someone else reading the review may get it, but not everybody will. Generally speaking, you should avoid metaphors unless your point is crystal clear. Where this is right now, we don't know enough about this character or the game for such a metaphor to be effective. If your meaning behind the phrase was something like "He wishes he were incapable of mercy," or some such, then you need to make that just a little bit clearer. Also, if this was the intent of your meaning, what you say later in the paragraph is a little contradictory in that if he really didn't want to be a nice guy (though I never got this impression outside of the metaphor), then why does it sound like he's so damaged, broken and ruthless? (See the "machine gun as a calling card" line). Also, where you say "he makes due with what he has," I feel like here you have a great opportunity to elaborate on what he actually does have. I feel that this is what you try to do later in the paragraph, but instead it comes off as more the player's impression of him rather than what he's actually like. I think a little bit more description here will go a long way to painting a vividly fascinating character.

I italicized the word "patrolling" here because I don't think it's quite the right word you're looking for. "Tormenting" or something similar might work better.

The backlash of F.E.A.R 2 has caused a major defect in the city of Fairpoint; a paranormal catastrophe has swiped through the city, Point Man wants to head there to help sort out the mess. Point Man doesnít travel alone he has his dead brother to give him company. Point Man embedded a bullet into his Brother Paxton Fettel, but that hasnít kept him at bay, so Point Man lets him travel deeply into his cognition. The Brothers form a jagged edged alliance; there is tension between them. It is intriguing to see the Brothers together. There is a desire in the gamersí heart to witness the Brothers dark past being unscrewed.

The backlash of F.E.A.R 2 has caused a major defect in the city of Fairpoint; a paranormal catastrophe has swept through the city. Point Man wants to head there to help sort out the mess. Point Man [Try using an epithet here rather than repeating his name all the time. Something like "The determined soldier" or whatever suitably describes him] doesnít travel alone; he has his dead brother to give him company. He embedded a bullet into his Brother Paxton Fettel, but that hasnít kept him at bay, so Point Man lets him travel deeply into his cognition. The Brothers form a jagged edged alliance; there's tension between them [I feel like you need more here... Since they're in an alliance. "There's tension between them, but... and then say something about how they have to work together, or how it has to be overlooked for the greater good or some such]. It's intriguing to see the Brothers together; gamers actually want to see the Brothers dark past unravel before their eyes.

I am somewhat confused by this sentence here. "he has his dead brother to give him company. He embedded a bullet into his Brother Paxton Fettel, but that hasnít kept him at bay, so Point Man lets him travel deeply into his cognition." I suppose I find it a little jarring. I think you need to go into a little more detail here, too. I assume this isn't a spoiler, since it sounds like the two are together from the beginning, so hopefully that's not an issue. But right now, I'm wondering things like "Why did he kill his brother?" and "Why is this important?". In the latter case, I'm sure you have every intention of wanting us to feel something there; you just have to reach out and make it come alive.

On a lesser note, "cognition" is a little too technical for this case. "mind" works a lot better.

In addition to the in-line comments I made about the jagged alliance, I think you can do well here to explain how this plays out. Like, how does your brother affect the actual game play? Can he be used to scout ahead for enemies, pass through walls to unlock doors?

I rewrote your last sentence in that paragraph entirely in order to give you an idea of how much better some variation in your structure and words can sound.

Ironically, you had the opposite problem in this paragraph as you did your first; you seemed to break things up a little too much. But that's okay. As I said, finding the balance is very tricky.

F.E.A.R 3ís graphics donít live up to the next gen commitments, they are pasty and withdrawn like an old face, and they are uninspiring and very dated. When traveling through the environments the graphics seem stilted and jaded, they arenít convincing or scary, and the game just plays like a shooter, than a horror. The sound in F.E.A.R 3 can be unnerving though, this does add a little snippet of fright to the equation, when shooting your gun, it can be heavy on the heart and mind, it can startle you.

F.E.A.R 3ís graphics donít live up to the next gen commitments. They're pasty and withdrawn like an old face, and they're uninspiring and very dated. When traveling through the environments, the graphics seem stilted and jaded: they arenít convincing or scary, and the game just plays more like a shooter than a horror title. The sound in F.E.A.R 3 can be unnerving though. This does add a little snippet of fright to the mix. When shooting your gun, it can be heavy on the heart and mind; it can startle you.

Here you can benefit a lot from adding examples. Like the old adage "show, don't tell", it works a lot better if you show us (through examples) what you're trying to say rather than just telling us that it's the ay it is. For example, with this sentence: "This does add a little snippet of fright to the equation." This can really be omitted in the review without much consequence because your following sentence sort of gives us an example of what you mean. However, I think the point would be made a lot more stronger if you described an actual event that frightened you somewhat. Like... "Just imagine creeping through an empty corridor. No enemies in sight, but the expectation's still there. Suddenly, my finger slipped and discharged two quick rounds from my pistol. I jumped, looking around frantically for the source of the noise, hoping desperately no monsters heard my mistake." Obviously I don't expect that particular example to be an accurate depiction of the game, and it might be a little long for your purposes here anyway, but I just want to give you an idea for how to throw in visual examples that can really make a review come to life and still make a point at the same time.

You can also play, as Paxton Fettel, but you have to unlock him as a playable character first, meaning you have to go through the whole campaign as Point Man. This doesnít worsen the game, because there is vast assortment of guns to be had. Like shotguns, assault riffles etc. Point Man also uses melee attacks like sliding kick; these components all help the player succeed in the game. You also spend your time killing soldiers of the Armacham enterprise; you jump into chaotic shootouts, which is great. The shootouts can last forever, this doesnít bore, and isnít that repetitive, its rather brilliant and exhilarating. Also Point Man has wonderful reflexes, which can be a crucial in battle.

You can also play as Paxton Fettel, but you have to unlock him as a playable character first, meaning you have to go through the whole campaign as Point Man. This doesnít worsen the game; in fact, there's a vast assortment of guns to collect. Shotguns, assault riffles etc. [In an effort to break stuff up, I broke your sentence up here. Unfortunately, this left the examples of weapon types out on its own. What you should do here is add a few more types of guns and then conclude the sentence with something like "...can be found throughout the game's many chapters, either in the open or in secret areas," assuming this is true.] Point Man also uses melee attacks like his sliding kick. These components all help the player succeed in the game. You also spend your time killing soldiers of the Armacham enterprise; you jump into chaotic shootouts, which is great. The shootouts can last forever, and never grow boring or repetitive. it's rather brilliant and exhilarating. [I'm pointing this out here because this is an example of a part of a sentence that doesn't need to be there at all, really. By telling us the game doesn't grow boring or repetitive, you more or less admit to its brilliance. Phrases like this can be repetitive and bog the review down. If you want to hammer the point home, try throwing in some in-game examples, as discussed in the previous paragraph.] Also Point Man has wonderful reflexes, which can be crucial in battle. [How are his reflexes crucial? Was there a time they saved you from serious injury or death?]

I actually feel that this paragraph could've done a lot better to be more towards the front of the review. Since this is an FPS, most people are going to care more about the actual game-play than the plot or whatever else you talk about before now. That other stuff is interesting, but when it comes to a review, what you really want to do is focus on the most important things, and talk about them first. Then, if you have room or time (or however you measure the length of your reviews), you can talk about the other stuff. You also mention some (what looks like) critical plot points, such as who the enemy force is, that could be a lot more useful at the beginning.

Another thing I'm noticing is that you seem to jump around a lot with your discussion points, even in the same paragraph. To an extent you keep a theme in each one, but at the same time, there's enough difference between them to almost warrant their own paragraphs. Or at least some sort of mixing and matching so that some parts of one paragraph are combined with parts of another that better match. My advice to you would be that when you finish your review, look it over and try to analyze it from the outside. Is what you're saying making sense as you read it? Does each paragraph carry the same topic of discussion, or does it suddenly switch to something different but related, or something unrelated entirely? If the answer to the last question is "yes," then you should consider rearranging your paragraphs around for smoother flow.

F.E.A.R 3 doesnít offer the scares that defined the original game. But it is compelling at points. It plays more like a shooter rather than a horror, but you are pushed in an engaging storyline that make up for these minor defects.

F.E.A.R 3 doesnít offer the scares that defined the original game, but it is compelling at points. It plays more like a shooter rather than a horror, but you are pushed in an engaging storyline that makes up for these minor defects.

Okay. For this last paragraph, since it's your conclusion, I know it often makes sense to just rehash what you've said elsewhere in the review. However, what you really want to do is try to encapsulate everything you've said above into a nice powerful finish. This doesn't mean repeat yourself verbatim. To an extent, you can paraphrase your general points, but at the same time, you want to end it in such a way that makes the rest of the review pointless, so to speak. Granted, I'll be the first to admit that what I'm telling you may not be right in this case. For me, my conclusions are often the weakest part of my reviews, so hopefully someone else can give you better advice than I can here.

Anyway, again, as part of my concluding remarks, I will also stress the importance of examples. Examples can really bring the point you're trying to make home, especially if you use one that's relevant to your discussion. It might help if you do an outline for your reviews, too. I know you like to just write it all out there because you're excited, and you like to have your thoughts flow from your mind in a sort of stream of consciousness. (Or at least, this was the impression I got from your own remarks), but I think what you could really benefit from is a revision process. What you have here seems a lot like a rough draft - the production after a good brainstorming, so to speak. What you should try to do now (or at least in the future), is turn it into something powerful.

A suggested outline could be something like "Intro --> Topic A" where Topic A is broken down into "1. Thesis --> 2. Example --> 3. Conclusion." And so on with other topics you wish to discuss in your reviews.

And as a final note, I'll say that yes, I know this is a lot to absorb, but I hope it ultimately helps you get a better understanding of how to improve yourself. Don't feel discouraged by all the criticism. What you have now is a good foundation that can, with a bit of tweaking and revising, can turn into a great piece of writing. It's going to take time for you to get good at this -- it certainly did me, and pretty much everyone else here, as well -- but with enough patience and persistence, you'll do just fine.

Thank you for being so willing to contribute and improve yourself, and for using this site as your venue to do it. We don't often see newcomers, and it's even rarer we see any as enthusiastic and eager to learn as you are. I hope you stick around, even if you are currently busy with your book. :)


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: Alk31997
Posted: May 04, 2012 (07:04 AM)
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Thank you. I will absorb what you have said. Thanks for your help.


Life Is A Short Circuit Of Self Realization


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