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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW for April 14-20. Just a bit late!

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: May 01, 2013 (11:53 AM)
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Okay. This one might be a bit late. Just a couple hours or something like that (because all time is relative), but I feel compelled to apologize. Swamped at work because we're short-handed and vainly trying to finish off Vay in my free time. And let me tell you, when a game devolves into a complete slog of grinding for levels by its end, like Vay, that is not fun and/or easy to do. Oh well…this is a new month and perhaps my luck shall improve!

Also, there were a whopping 12 reviews up for consideration, which is the sort of thing that has to make Jason happy due to the general "gotta get traffic!" concerns that site owners tend to deal with. That's the most I've had to judge at one sitting in some sort of eternity, so good for all of you for writing a lot. Especially the two newer writers (AlphaNerd and LBD_AlternateSpellingOfNighttrain) and EmP, who penned two reviews in one week.

THIRD PLACE: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (XBox 360) by Suskie

There were a lot of good reviews this month. A hell of a lot, so picking the top three wasn't an easy task. I think the thing that put this review above the pack was, to put it simply, how comprehensive it felt. I understood what you were saying about the game's strong points, as the concept of having to carefully plan routes from one mission to the next, as well as the forced stealth due to low ammo and aggressive zombies upon hearing loud noises seem really intriguing. And I definitely understood your many complaints with the game, focusing on the overall boring and easy nature of the game, as well as how it really doesn't offer anything new for fans of the show, as there's no real additional character development. Seems to be a forgettable game with some good ideas implemented into the overall mess and you did a real good job of portraying that.

SECOND PLACE: Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) by holdthephone

It's a bit rough as far as grammar goes, but I loved this review because it did the surprising thing of making me look at an old favorite in a somewhat new light. When covering a classic game that's been reviewed by everyone under the sun (including a massive rambling mess that I penned a number of years back), you almost have to give people a different slant or there's a good chance they'll tone out and hit "back" on their browser after a couple paragraphs. I know. I've done it. And here, you have this really neat look at this game's bizarre mesh of comedy and seriousness that got my attention and made me think about utterly strange it is to have this really serious overtone to a game featuring a ton of quirky, bizarre characters. I really liked this look at the game.

FIRST PLACE: Aliens: Colonel Marines (PS3) by EmP

Not the first negative review of this one that I've seen, but there's something a bit more convincing about this one. Perhaps it's the self-referential "I'm a big Alien geek" tone that you took, which was implemented successfully enough to give you a tone of authority here. Little touches like, after mentioning the RESURRECTION OF HICKS, you mentioned a certain expectation of seeing Drake and Hudson also brought back to life. Hudson is a guy most people would pick, but Drake is a pure "I know my Aliens stuff" namedrop, considering as a character in the movie, he was at best, marginally more significant than Frost and the other guys who got slaughtered with him during the first engagement. The other thing, which really worked, was how you brought out things like how the game starts out great before almost immediately losing its momentum after that one very nice stage, bringing up the horrid human AI (and the worthlessness of building large parts of the game around human adversaries) and how, with the exception of the first stage, the Aliens themselves are sort of blah — eventually tying it all in with how this was a game that was tossed between developers where no one really got a chance to put their stamp on things. That paragraph was just great, as it completely illustrated why games like this wind up being huge disappointments.

And looks like it'll be back to grinding for me tonight, which means I'll likely spend most of my time playing shooters and brawlers and the like. Because, after so many years, the act of long-term level-grinding just does not excite me. Ain't in high school no more, guys….life's too short to run in circles around towns for multiple hours. I imagine I'll do one run at the Dalek Fortress to collect a bunch of items and then warp out to recover life and magic in town. Perhaps it'll only take two or three days of this to finish the dungeon… Sigh, ugh, blah, guh, meh, and so forth.

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

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Author: Suskie
Posted: May 01, 2013 (01:55 PM)
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Thanks, OD. And yeah, EmP's excellent review definitely deserved the win.

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

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Author: bbbmoney
Posted: May 01, 2013 (06:46 PM)
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Thanks for the generous placement. I'll need to comb through that review a few more times in the near future.

Mobius 1, engage...

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: May 02, 2013 (10:34 AM)
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Ta, old chum. So pleased am I that I'll let your crazy Drake > Frost comment slide. Frost was a killer Aliens quote machine. Drake just had a big gun. And he didn't like the cornbread either.

Grats to Phone, who is quickly becoming a must-read writter, and to Suskie who is kicking huge amounts of reviewing arse this year.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: May 03, 2013 (03:04 AM)
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I didn't place, but hey, thanks for completing this OD!

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

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