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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week: March 10 - 16: TOMB-OFF!!!

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: March 21, 2013 (01:08 AM)
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Let the Tomb-off commence!

Runner Up Row (in order of post date)

Tomb Raider - PlayStation 3 - zippdementia
I like that you go into how Lara is a much more dynamic protagonist in this game. I think you did a wonderful job describing the narrative in depth--but not too deep--enough to convince readers that this isn't the same Tomb Raider we were playing while wearing flannel and listening to Alice in Chains. One thing that bugged me about the review was your description of the stealth scene towards the beginning that only told me that I would be on the edge of my seat. I feel like a giddy high school girl: "Girlfriend, I want details!" This is also a compliment, because you've interested me enough that I want to know more. I also feel that the review could be tightened a little more, but it still reads fine the way it is. Your ideas flow very well, and that helped keep the review from becoming clunky or awkard. All in all, a strong offering for what sounds like an excellent game!

SimCity - PC - honestgamer
A good review for a game that I have no interest in. Part of that has to do with the DRM, but most of that has to do with the fact that I haven't had any interest in a Sim game since about 1996. Some of this is technical stuff, but you do a great job describing the game's core mechanic and lobby feature. What I think I enjoy most about this review, though, is how conflicted you are. Conflict tends to make for interesting and thoughtful reviews, and I can tell you put a lot of careful thought into writing this one.

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk - PlayStation 3 - Whelk
First off:

"Atelier Ayesha is one of those frustrating games that get the supplemental details right but falter on core gameplay elements. It’s roughly the opposite of the original Super Mario Bros. (which is great fun to pick up and play, but for some reason lacks leaderboards and 720p graphics)."

Haha! Anyway...

You know what's great about this review? It doesn't assume that I know anything about Atelier. I've never played an Atelier game (although I'd love to get into the series), and this describes many of the core mechanics wonderfully. Never mind that I've read a few of Venter's Atelier reviews and should know a thing or two, I have a terrible memory and this review definitely caters to... what was I writing about? Oh yeah... Your review sports a good balance between information and criticism. I was able to form a clear enough vision of the game to not only know how it works, but why it's a bit of disappointment. Some might (and have) question the score, but what I'm more concerned about is the meaty bits formed out of letters rather than numbers at the bottom. In that respect, you've tailored a solid review.

Rocky and Bullwinkle - Xbox 360 - pickhut
From what I remember, you were reluctant to submit this review. I'm not sure why, as it is a very good read. I will start with one tiny complaint, and it's the sentence, that occurs later on, and has a lot of commas, and I kind of got lost reading it, but I also have personal problems focusing, sometimes anyway. It's a small issue, like I said, and nothing that I would strike with a red-penned fury were this turned into me as an English class essay. What I like is that you go for the throat. You're efficient at telling us why this game sucks, and you use the best examples of the worst gameplay. Also, I dig the bit where you give us a tiny bit about yourself. You played to level 99 in My Hero, and you have a penchant for train wreck games. I now know a little more about Pickhut and why he chose this obviously awful title.

Bloody Warriors - NES - overdrive
I love reading about ancient RPGs I've never played. What I don't love about them is that reviews for them can sometimes drag. Thankfully, yours is efficient and insightful. You do a great job of balancing the game's details with your criticisms, and you do so in a very organized matter that's ideal people with moth-like attention spans like myself. I think it also helps that anyone who's in the same boat as you can easily identify with this review. I've often assumed that any RPG that never made it outside of Japan was also awesome, even without playing any of them. Hell, I still have that attitude, and I've played Valkyrie no Bouken. You'd think I'd know better after that experience.

Tomb Raider - PC - holdthephone
I love your description of "hands free immersion." I think your details and how you explained it brought a lot of clarity to that feature of the game. After understanding what that meant, I bumped this game a little higher on the priority list. Like many of your reviews, this one reads very quickly and is very engaging. What I like most about this review, though, is that you talk this game up without sounding unbelievable. Rather than hyperbolic, it sounds passionate. That's how a good 10/10 review should be.

Tomb Raider - Xbox 360 - EmP
By a very narrow margin, because everyone this week wrote awesome reviews, you win. Mainly, it's because you capture both the emotional and the frenetic nature of Tomb Raider perfectly. I think it's right of you to make this franchise's older material sound questionable while praising the new stuff. That's something you'll almost never hear from me, and if you tell anyone I said it, I'll hire a very creepy person to break into your house and watch you sleep. The man will also cry and tell you his extremely heartbreaking life story if you ask him to leave, which will make the situation even more awkward. He also gets a very bad runny nose when crying, which he refuses to wipe while talking seriously. Double awkward.

Anyway, it's an awesome review that captures perfectly what's right with the game. It's written very strongly, very passionately, and carries that authoratative voice that I expect from an EmP review. Strangely, it also makes me want to delve into the franchise as a whole (I might as well--I have Tomb Raider '96 sitting on my entertainment center, still untouched). Thanks for that!


That's it, that's all. Time for me to decide whether or not I'm too tired to touch up my BAT review. Chances are I'm going to postpone it for one more day so I can get a good night's rest and have my brain up to par for when I do revamp it.

In other news, I've played through Action 52 again. It's a wonder I didn't start drinking again today after that.

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

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Author: pickhut
Posted: March 21, 2013 (04:00 AM)
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Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the review, and I know what you're talking about with that one sentence xD. As for reluctantly submitting the piece, it was because the original version was a mess, so I had to restructure and shuffle the first three paragraphs. At that point, I was losing interest and didn't want that type of energy affecting the review, so I was inches away from scrapping it.

Congrats to EmP on his RotW, to the rest that participated in this rush to submit Tomb Raider reviews, and the others that pumped out quality reviews, as well. I've never seen so many reviews for the same game submitted in such a tiny time frame. It's been, like, forever since that happened here. Kinda almost makes me want to play the game now. Kinda almost.

I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: March 21, 2013 (06:36 AM)
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Thanks for the placement! With the Tomb-off, I didn't know if there'd be room at the top for my review.

Lol at mentioning Valkyrie no Bouken. I played that atrocity, myself. If I can say one positive thing about that game, it's that it shows the power of the Internet. If you look at my review, you'll notice that I hadn't beaten the game by that point and was completely confused as to what to do.

Some guy on the west coast (military-type, as I recall), was playing the game, too and saw my review. We started on a group effort to give each other information (I'd done some things he hadn't; he'd done some things I hadn' together, we were able to make it to the final continent) and search the web for anything resembling a hint. Finally, he found a Japanese website where we couldn't read anything, but there were enough pics that we were able to figure things out.

It was a glorious tale of victory!

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

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Author: bbbmoney
Posted: March 21, 2013 (07:20 PM)
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Man, thanks for that feedback. It's hard to worship a game without nauseating the reader, so I'm glad you were able to stomach it. Tomb Raider has put me in a very good mood these past couple weeks, and 2nd place is certainly a nice bonus.

Hope to contribute to another site circle jerk sometime soon, haha

Mobius 1, engage...

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: March 22, 2013 (07:09 AM)
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Two things the English do better than everyone else; raid tombs dressed in various items of suggestive clothing, and writing critical essays about how said people manage to do so. Take that, Johnny Foreigner!

Big up to the rest of the Raiders, without whom I'd probably not have bothered writing that review at all. There were other reviews, of course, and I'll suppose I'll admit I read them and they were still fine work, but screw them! In fact, screw OD twice! This was our week -- represent! I might be the winner but, in a small way, didn't all four of us win?

No. I won. I am number one. You are all number two. Or lower.

PS: You should still hire that guy. I've not spoken to Boo in a long time, and it'd be nice to catch up.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: March 22, 2013 (10:13 AM)
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Four Tomb reviews, but only three qualified this week. Chris's review qualifies for wolfqueen's upcoming ROTW, though.

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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: March 22, 2013 (01:46 PM)
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Don't care. We're bound for life through Lara Croft now. Those men are my Tomb brothers.

For us. For them. For you.

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