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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week [July 1- July 7]

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: July 08, 2012 (12:55 PM)
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Here we are again for another exciting episode of ROTW!

Seven reviews this week, four of which are eligible. Three of those are mine, and I'm too lazy to link directly to them. I know, it's not a terrible amount of work, and I'm probably working about as hard to yammer like I am right now, but... yeah!

How was everyone's week in gaming? I finished Valkyria Chronicles yesterday, and can finally move on to the other projects I was working on. Other than that, I've been brushing up on Dr. Chaos so I can review it again, and playing through Little Ninja Brothers for the first time. About a third of the way through the former and making some headway on the latter.

Anyway, our three champions this week are:


THIRD PLACE
dagoss's Wizardy II: Legacy of Llylgamyn review

This review has gotten me interested in the Wizardy games. I've been avoiding them because I didn't want to start at the beginning and then hunt the other games down, as I am wont to do with franchises. There are a couple rough parts, but it's an otherwise solid review for a Japan only release. It's nice to see non-US and Europe releases get some coverage now and then. Anyway, my favorite part is your explanation about essentially creating two different parties. That sounds like something pretty ahead of its time for an NES RPG.


SECOND PLACE
disco's Pokemon Conquest review

This review has caught some flak on the forums. I can't judge this review on accuracy, as I haven't played this one (or any Pokemon game since Red and Blue versions). Very informative review! There's a lot of content, but none of it is padding. I think it's fitting that you compared this to its two parent franchises, especially how the best parts from them are MIA.


REVIEW OF THE WEEK
honestgamer's Theatrhythm Final Fantasy review

I was on the fence about this game. I'm pretty much over Square, and especially over Final Fantasy, but this game actually sounds like it might be worth a check (maybe not worth a $40 purchase, though). I enjoyed this review for its very smooth flow. It's informative and impressively efficient. The part where you described the core mechanics especially impressed me. I could actually imagine the game as you were describing it.

There you have it, another ROTW down. Congrats, Jason, on your win!


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 08, 2012 (02:52 PM)
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So speedy, Joe! Thanks for that.

Congrats to the others who placed, and thanks for the win! This review actually started with around 200 or 300 extra words at the start, but I realized they weren't directly relevant. I had fun writing them, but they were a bit too much for casual readers, I think, and the review was longer than it liked. I think cutting them and reworking things a bit was the right decision, as it helped with flow and pacing and also helped earn me my first RotW win in a long while. Woo hoo!


"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: zippdementia
Posted: July 08, 2012 (03:29 PM)
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Were those words concerning the FF franchise or the dancing genre, Jason?


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 08, 2012 (03:38 PM)
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The FF franchise, Zipp. They went into more detail about why I would buy such a game when music isn't a major interest for me like it is for some people, but it felt like I was wasting too many words on a tangent that was unnecessary when explaining how the actual game being reviewed functioned. Word count and pacing are definitely something I keep in mind for all of my reviews and (at least so far) anyone who bothered to read the results has appreciated that. Most people don't really want to read more than 1200 words in a review unless you have something amazing to say, so it's always worth considering the utility of any words that cross that mark (and for some games, the number of words readers care to read is even lower).


"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: holdthephone
Posted: July 08, 2012 (04:44 PM)
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Smart way to go about it. Primary reason I stay away from Final Fantasy articles is because writers often want to fill me in on the franchise's history and their personal take on it. In fact, you can almost guarantee the first two paragraphs won't even mention the game in question.

I have that habit as well, but from the little I've written I think I'm getting better at cutting out blog fluff.

Theatrythm sounds like a great buy, too bad I have no desire for a 3DS yet.


Mobius 1, engage...


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 08, 2012 (05:50 PM)
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Blog fluff is fine, I think, as long as it's not really fluff. People sometimes like it when you write from a more intimate perspective, so that you come across as less of a machine, but such an approach isn't an excuse to stray from important things. Whatever you're talking about should be interesting, whether you present it intimately or not, and there's little value now in sharing a detailed perspective on the Final Fantasy series at the start of each review for a game within that series unless you genuinely have something new to say about it (unlikely). So yeah, I caught myself falling into that convenient, easy trap and I stepped around it. That's what revision is for, of course.

When I write a review now (versus when I used to review prolifically in 2002 or so), I probably spend about 2/3 of my time revising, first during the process as I go, then I'll make 3 or 4 more passes over to smooth out transitions and sometimes even chop out paragraphs where I repeated myself. Coincidentally, I now spend about 3 times as long writing reviews as I used to, and I wouldn't even say the results are dramatically improved... but I'm happier and more confident in what I write. That's what counts.


"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: zippdementia
Posted: July 08, 2012 (06:38 PM)
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Speaking of blog fluff, if you were to still have those 200 words, Jason, and posted them on your blog, I'd be interested in reading them. As a fellow long time FF player I've always enjoyed your opinion on the series.


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


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 08, 2012 (06:54 PM)
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No, they're gone forever, and it's probably just as well.


"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: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: July 08, 2012 (08:58 PM)
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I'm kind of going through that with my current review for Monster Party. It's coming out way longer than a review for a basic platformer should. Can't help it, but I love to chatter about the game. It's not at all good, but certain aspects of it are very WTFish.


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


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 08, 2012 (10:28 PM)
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It's an interesting thing to bring up! I agree with Jason's method. I end up cutting all of my reviews by about half. Usually I don't write everything I cut, but I usually have a much larger outline of things I want to discuss and then trim that way back after I've written a good chunk of the review and realize how long I'm going on. When I start to get tired of writing a review, I know the readers are also going to be getting tired.


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


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