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Forums > Contributor Zone > BRACKET ‘08: THE FINAL

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 29, 2008 (01:48 PM)
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Welcome to the final. It’s your atypical three way dance where you, the great voting public, will need to tell us, the, er, rest of the public, the order of your preferred reviews from third to first. So, for example

EmP > Boo > DE

I’ll figure out a winner from this via complex mathematical calculations and then let the winner commence gloating.

Let me you introduce you to our finalists:






Who Is He?: DarkEternal started life in an underground fiction ring that called the dank sewers of Croatia home. From the start, he was marked for success by gang leaders who were impressed by his ability to wordsmith in three different languages, but, with recognition, came danger. Finding himself placed on more perilous raids on bookshops and writing supply stores, he would work tirelessly at various college applications , backing them up with forged credentials until, finally, he smuggled himself into a deal with various members of the Croatian government, allowing them to employ his talents in return for political immunity. Like that guy from Lethal Weapon 2. It’s exactly how he started out.

Missing the electric buzz of Haiku Deathmatches, he covertly slid his way into the seedy underbelly of video games reviewing under the banner of TEmP, where he’s existed as a dark horse ever since.

How He Got Here: DE lost in the first round to Felix and had to rely on being the highest-scoring loser of the group to qualify to the next round. He spent the next two rounds as an overachieving underdog as he beat Espiga (6-2) and then slaughtered bookies favourite, VM (7-0).



Who Is He?: Boo was too successful, too fast. As soon as the youngster burst onto the scene, he was thrown into a head-first battle with highly established writer, Fix, and found himself overcoming the stacked odds time and time again. Everyone loves an underdog and this relative unknown became a household name off the back of his giant slaying. But, with the success came the fame, the big money sponsors and a lifestyle young Boo was not ready for. Swept up in the Hollywood lifestyle, Boo swapped the quill for the cheap women and expensive designer drugs, regularly stepping out with Charlie Sheen and Slash from Guns & Roses. But his alcohol-riddled mind lost the words and, soon, his writing would suffer, leaving him a mid-table finisher or a complete no show. The money stopped rolling in, the hangers-on turned their back and he downgraded high-class hookers for backstreet skanks.

Today, we find a Bluberry getting back on form. Tourney wins have started raising his stock once more and Meg Ryan just left a message on his answering phone. Whether you're sympathetic to Boo’s plight or hate him enough to delete his incoherent blog posts, his inspirational comeback has prompted the recent made-for-TV movie of his life. He is to be played by Fat Albert.

How He Got Here: Boo put Wolfqueen down early with a 10-0 drubbing before going on to knock out high-seeded Cairo next round over. Suspicions rose when it was revealed both his opponents picks were RANPICKS due to neither making the deadline, and tongues were wagging even more so when a clerical error put semi final opponent, Suskie, in the same predicament. In an evenly matched fight, Boo cruised to a memorable 7-0 victory to stake his claim to the final.



Who Is He?: People with long memories will remember the quiet, humble emp that existed silently in the bottom echelons of reviewing four some years ago. How things have changed. Judged as nothing particularly special, emp specifically stayed off the radar until he was ready to storm the reviewing world harder than Germany over Belgium.

Soon after transforming 66% of his screen name into full caps, the now monikered EmP went on the offensive with a bloody rampage the likes of which has never been seen. His ferocity in the 2005 TT saw him brutalise crowd favourite Masters so heavily that he would have to fall into forced retirement for a number of years, and, even now, has to employ a stair lift at his stately Canadian mansion.

Since this violent change of persona, he has chased out numerous contenders to what he sees as his number one spot. Ruder dropped out the picture as soon as the monster many people say he had created started to set its sights on him. Protégé LastHero found himself jailed for crimes against young children he still claims he was framed for, and rumours of Zigfried’s fingers being found strewn across the California beaches remain unconfirmed, but believed by many. Even as soon as last week saw Mike ‘Suskie’ Suskie’s car explode in mysterious circumstances. No one was hurt in the explosion, but suspicions were cast.

EmP has found himself fired from staff and rehired as a necessary evil several times and heads up the sinister Team EmP (Or TEmP). If you can’t see EmP right now, you may be only seconds away from death.

How He Got Here: EmP saw off fellow TEmPer Will in the opening round before dismissing Dagoss, for whom the tourney was constructed, in a heartless second round slaughter. The semis saw the steamrolling of close chum, DoI, for his spot in the finals.









DarkEternal vs. Bluberry vs. EmP



We are go.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: bluberry
Posted: September 29, 2008 (09:32 PM)
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you could have drank like so much more if you hadn't wasted the time making this topic


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: espiga
Posted: September 30, 2008 (12:38 AM)
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I believe there's another clerical error. You actually mean 66.66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666667% of your name.


Your girlfriend's name ends in .jpg


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Author: dagoss
Posted: September 30, 2008 (02:51 AM)
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I’ll figure out a winner from this via complex mathematical calculations...

(Votes_for Boo + Votes_for_DE) - Votes_for_EmP = Total_votes_for_EmP

Where Votes_for_EmP is a number equal to or less than 0, and Votes_dagoss_should_have_gotten is a constant equal to 3x EmP_total_votes_from_the_entire_contest.


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Author: darketernal
Posted: October 01, 2008 (05:06 PM)
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My pick is made.


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 01, 2008 (06:18 PM)
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We are go, people.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: dagoss
Posted: October 02, 2008 (08:07 AM)
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It must be my imagination, but it seems like there's been a Doom review in every round. Come on people! Put your phalli away and review Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure or The Little Mermaid or something!

Third Place: EmP
As I mentioned in the feedback topic for this review, I think this review is openly unfair. It comes across as a knee-jerk reaction from an angry fan of Doom 2, which in my opinion lacks credibility. You didn't like all the darkness; you didn't think it was scary; you didn't like the enemies -- that's fine (and I actually agree with you that this is was not a good direction for the series), but a 2/10 is pretty hard to swallow for a game that has sold fairly well and been received a somewhat positive reception. I hated Doom 3 and still couldn't swallow it. The burden is on the reviewer to justify such disgust and I'm not finding that justification here.

Second Place: DarkEternal
Arcanum definitely isn't a typical RPG, and it is wonderful to not only see you making that perfectly clear from the outset but altering your approach to accommodate it. You avoid many of the staple topics of RPGs (like combat), but the way you focused on the setting and such really made issues like graphics and the Charles Manson-like battles feel beside the point. I think you really succeed in defamiliarizing the genre in the tone you take. The grips I have are mostly stylistic -- for example, I did not like the first paragraph at all -- but there aren't many rough transitions or awkward structures, so the point is probably mute.

WINNER: Bluberry
I think this is the perfect example of how an older and extremely influential game needs to be reviewed. You manage to strike a perfect balance between highlighting it's significance, how it came to be so significant, and how the ravages of time have effected it. I got the sense that you not only knew your game, you really knew it. This is the type of review I would keep in the back of my mind and try to emulate if I was ever reviewing Pool of Radiance, Mario Kart (SNES), or one of the many highly popular and influential games that have aged poorly. I did find an error though:

...nobody is dumb enough to stand near a wall if their enemy's got a rocket launcher.

Look, maybe if I stand really flat against the wall, the enemy won't see me. Did you ever think of that!?


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 04, 2008 (08:13 AM)
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Wow. This is a really, really tough call. All three of these reviews are fantastic. I think I actually hate having to decide which ones are better.

Third Place: Boo

This was a tough choice... I was strongly debating between you and DE. I like your review, and I agree with dagoss that this is a great example of how older games should be reviewed, especially those who may have lost their appeal. I honestly can't give a sound reason for placing you here - that's how close it is. But I think part of it had to do with how you concluded it, though. Introducing the Ultamate Doom stuff sort of felt tacked on, even though the point you make with it is perfectly valid. It also sort of felt like it came out of nowhere. But really, this is a great review all around, and you argue your points very well. This was just a really tough call. I hope you don't take it personally. >.>

Second Place: DE

Man... This was even harder than the last one, I think. This is a really strong review from you, probably the best I've seen from you. You make the game sound totally awesome, with all the varied choices and consequences and everything. You take a different approach than the typical RPG review, like dagoss said. You make the game sound very much like Morrowind, even, at least in its capacity for free choice and exploration. The two minor details you brought up, mainly the graphics... hell, I think that was the only one, obviously didn't really affect your opinion of the game. In fact, it almost felt tacked on with how you were praising the game and everything, but it is good to know how unrewarding casting high-level magic feels, for example. I'm glad it didn't affect your experience that much, though.

I think the reason why it's here and not in first is because of stylistic reasons. My problem wasn't with the intro - I quite enjoyed the reiew for the large part - but towards the end. It's not that your argument weakens, necessarily, because in the last few paragraphs (except hte very last conclusion), it's very strong. It's just that up until the very end, there, your writing had been very strong; I noticed it got a bit carried away in places towards the end where it could've been easily abridged. I also think you need to find a better way to give examples than by just saying "For instance/example" all the time. This works fine once or twice in a review, but after like 5 of them, it just reads oddly.

I also didn't like that conclusion, either. Felt kind of just thrown together, but that's unavoidable sometimes.

Anyway, I really liked this review. Like I said, I think it's your best one yet. Your argument is very convincing, and it definitely sounds like a game that might appeal to me. I think I'd made up my mind about wanting to play it only about 4 paragraphs in.

Winner: EmP

If I could give DE the top spot, I would, but at least in my mind, EmP's review is the strongest of the three. His review, for the most part, reads uniquely. It's apparent that he tried to write Doom 3 from a different angle, and for the most part, he did. The only parts where I felt like I was reading the same review occurred mostly with the "BOO!" line. Even if he cites the same examples as other people who've reviewed this game, he uses them for another reason aside from just the typical scare tactics.

That reason being the monsters. He focused a lot mmore on how the enemies changed from the menacing hordes of previous Dooms to the wimpy, pathetic incarnations they are now, whose only means of even hurting you occur from the not-so-startling surprise attacks.

That said, even if more than I mentioned did sound similar to other reviews, he describes it in a different enough way, and for a brief enough time, to bring out that sense of uniqueness.

I also like that you cropped the conclusion; now I can't complain about that, I guess.

The argument reads strongly, too. I understand perfectly why you think the way you do, and you justify it well enough so that I'm not unconvinced at the end. The thing just works for me, but I guess everyone has their own opinions about stuff.

Anyway, like I said, this was really close. To use a boo analogy, it would probably be within .0003434 random numbers of each other for all places. If I could grade them all evenly, I would, but I can't.


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: October 06, 2008 (11:00 PM)
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I GUESS I MUST BREAK THE CHAINS THAT MAKE UP THIS TENSION, RESULTING IN THE EPICNESS THAT IS THis... tiebreak?

Last: Darketernal's review. It's a nicely written review, and you gave lots of examples of the gameplay. But, I just wasn't convinced it was a great game. Like I said, it's a good review, but for this contest, emp and blu's "negative" reviews were more convincing.

Second: EmP's review. Maybe it was because two other Doom 3 reviews were put up before this within the past few weeks that affected my judgement here, like how it would be hard to read one Mega Man review after another... or something like that. Despite that, you still manage to keep me reading with your interpetation of Doom 3. Entertaining read.

First: blu's review. I don't want to type anymore. I just like his the most or something...











Okay, a little more. I figured since it was a Doom review from blu, I would end up reading paragraphs about how he molested his computer whenever he played the game. But, to my surprise, it was a somewhat negative review about the game, and he makes good points about its aging. Okay, I'm gonna stop for real this time.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: Ben
Posted: October 07, 2008 (02:54 AM)
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3rd: DE
2nd: EmP
1st: Boo

I'm too lazy to give proper feedback, but all three reviews were strong and I enjoyed reading all of them.


...


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 07, 2008 (07:16 AM)
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I shall either have my feedback, results, etc. up today or tomorrow. Wait in eager anticipation!


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


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 07, 2008 (12:15 PM)
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THIRD:
darketernal

SECOND:
bluberry

FIRST:
Emp

I actually critiqued DE's review a bit in my RotW. I think it's well written, but lacking a bit in showing me why the game -- one which I think to be obscure (this is especially difficult in a contest) -- is so good.

Blu's review is an amazing short review, replete with hook intro, good lines and intimate knowledge of his subject matter.

But I give Emp the nod for his slightly longer review, which contains more good lines and a particularly effective summary/conclusion. It's really one of the best wrap ups I've read in a long while. Emp takes it by a very narrow margin.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: dragoon_of_infinity
Posted: October 08, 2008 (12:34 PM)
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Have some votes!
Third: DE

Second: EmP

First: Boo


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 08, 2008 (04:08 PM)
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DE:
Very interesting game you have here and I liked how you delved into little neat things like how you can give your character a diverse background that will give him/her expected and/or unexpected strengths and weaknesses. Don't know that it's a great contest finale review, though, as the main thing I was thinking when I was done reading it was that I wanted more information. Like, what's the point of the game? To just go around and do random stuff to see what happens. Or is there a grand plot tying all this together. You did great at telling me how decision can have consequences in this game (ala the magic vs. technology part), but I'm not sure as to what the point of it all is.

BLU:
Following up Doom 2 with Doom, eh, Blu....... While I don't like this one as much as your Doom 2, you do make a very good point as to how this game hasn't necessarily aged so well because of how the enemies are generally non-threatening, making it easy. I can relate to that, as after going through all four Ultimate Doom scenarios, I haven't played it once, even though a few levels did strike me as memorable. That provided a pretty convincing argument and you didn't waste time with unnecessary words. Not as memorable as your Doom 2 review, but a very strong effort anyway.

EMP:
And the last review I critique for this contest is the 147th review of a Doom game I've seen in the last few months (including the one I wrote for Cyberdreams). I posted on the message board topic about this review and said this: "I understood the score from the context of the review. There was total contempt at how Doom 3 handled classic monsters and how they went from a shoot-em-tha-fuck-up mindset to a "spooky" dark corridors one. I also understand the score from a personal context in that I'm one of those CLASSIC Doom freaks that could spend hours BSing with people about iD-made and fan-made Doom levels. So, to me, a game with the Doom name that seems to utter bastardize everything that made MY Dooms special deserves a rating in the realm of 2. I'd wager to say that if you never played the classic Dooms or if you did briefly, but looked at them as these archaic things not worth playing, EmP's review wouldn't be for you. But if you're like me, this is a very good review." And that's all I'm going to say. Fortunately for you my mind hasn't changed, so congratulations.

OVERDRIVE'S VERDICT:
1. Emp
2. Blu
3. DE


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 18, 2008 (04:36 PM)
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Wow. I think even EmP forgot about this.


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: bluberry
Posted: October 18, 2008 (05:03 PM)
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!


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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