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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 6th-12th February // (w/ giant dog)

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 13, 2017 (09:43 AM)
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Including a carry over from Rob ďRobĒ Robington, which has become his name as declared last time around, there are eleven reviews this week. One more than last week, which, even then, I deemed too many. As such - and I know Iím repeating myself at this point - reviews that would often find themselves placing with ease in a typical week are going to be omitted. Only, this run of quality has been going on long enough now that I suppose itís the new norm now and Iím going to have to put (urgh) more effort into these things. I guess we all need to up our game if we want our weekly ego boosts.


Looks like Jason finally cleared out the production room, because here there be staff reviews. Thereís some good reviws up there this week, but itís mostly been eclipsed by the fine work of the user base. Worthy of particular note is Jason ďIíll-just-drop-a-food-simile-in-here-and-see-if-I-can-hear-EmPís-teeth-grind-from-overseasĒ Venterís continued and laudable coverage of his God-Emperor Nintendoís foray into mobile gaming. On the user side, Nightfire is especially unlucky with his omit after, rather remarkably, making an ancient digital board game about managing a job sound interesting.

THIRD Steins;Gate 0 [Vita] by Jerec

Jerec still loves anime - donít let him fool you again with his misguiding words. Iíve seen him complaining that Pumpkin Scissors never got a second season and talking about how the Gantz dub is atrocious.

Steins;Gateís is a mass of intertwining threads thatís difficult at the best of times to describe. Steins;Gate 0 has all those issues as well as a massive dollop of reliance upon the gamer to have played the hell out of the original. How do you review that without dropping spoilers from the previous game? Jerecís answer is correct: you donít. No one (sane) is going to play Zero without playing Steins;Gate, so itís silly to pretend otherwise. Still, thereís a subtlety toward how he goes about these spoilers that I can appreciate. Theyíre pretty light going, for one. It canít have been easy.

But, as such, this reviewís main flaw is more or less unavoidable; it relies on an assumption of existing knowledge on behalf of the reader. While thatís a big downpoint for the majority of reviews, it simply has to exist in this very rare case. The underpinning argument that itís not a tale that really needed to be told, but ends up being one worth telling anyway is a good lens to view the game through.

SECOND The Last Guardian [PS4] by Fiddlesticks

Bloody, bloody Fiddlesticks. I was a fan of his on his previous run, and was sorry to see his contributions ebb away. On one hand, Iím glad to see him return and smash through all those AAA releases pretentious indie pricks like myself routinely ignore. On the other, heís making not including him in RotW round ups very, very difficult.

I thought he had offered me an out this week when the opening sections of his Last Guardian review came up a little bit rough. Thereís a fair bit of word repetition in there, specifically, every other sentence seems to contain ĎTricoí. I appreciate that, what with him being a huge chicken-puppy, thereís no other word available to describe him but if this review was a drinking game and that was my trigger word, my kidneys would be tapping out. The review argues with itself a little as well, at one point talking about the figure-it-out via trial and error aspect of the controls in a derogatory manner and then, several paragraphs later, complaining about a myriad of on-screen controller prompts holding the playerís hand too much.

The second half of the review is the real highlight, brilliantly keeping the gameís strength up on a pedestal, but still tearing down the mechanical aspects that donít really work. I think picking at the near invulnerability of the gameís casts was the best bit; it really kneecaps any sense of urgency the game might try to create. In juggling these aspects that work and fail so evenhandedly, giving equal service to both, you increase the credibility of your words.

WIN! Avernum: Escape From the Pit [MAC] Rob

Annoyingly, I was ready to write this one off early after the ĎLetís talk about me!í intro went nowhere and offered nothing. Truth is, if you start reading this review from the second paragraph, then you lose nothing of note. Thereís little irrelevancies scattered throughout like how this game was purchased during a sale that no one cares about, and this made me happy for a while. I thought I could just move on to the other ten reviews on my list and get on with my life. But then, probably out of spite, the rest of the review ended up being especially brilliant.

Mainly when you start letting the game talk for itself and run through the numerous examples. Talking about the list you had to keep reminding you to go back to areas when you were strong enough is a clever way to big up the gameís depth and immersion, so Iíll assume you included it by accident. Dropping little teasers about what you need to do to progress the main questline, how thereís an Elder Scrolls-like amount of distractions most players will be completely unable to resist delving into -- discussions like that are when the review really comes to life.

The conclusion goes full circle to complete the hanging ďme!Ē thread the review opened with, to no great effect, but everything sandwiched in between was incredibly effective writing.

Nightfireís got next week. Letís give him the same huge headache Iíve been given trying to pick through such an embarrassment of riches.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: jerec
Posted: February 13, 2017 (12:27 PM)
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Thanks for the placement, EmP. Definitely wasn't expecting it out of this line up. Thank you mostly for confirming my instincts were correct for how to approach Steins;Gate 0. That was one of the trickiest reviews I've ever written.

Also I still don't like anime and I don't get your references.

I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: Nightfire
Posted: February 13, 2017 (12:42 PM)
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Man. I dunno whose leg I would have to hump to make placement these days, but I'll do my darndest to find out.

Gratz to the winners.

placid like acid

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 13, 2017 (01:37 PM)
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I always remember who didn't place me in their weeks!

I mean... standards be crazy high right now. I thought your review was still very, very solid, and about the best you can do with a review of that particular game. The shot at Jones under the screenshot gave me my only real laugh this week.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: Fiddlesticks
Posted: February 13, 2017 (01:58 PM)
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Thanks for the placement. I'll give the review a look at tonight to see if I can remove some repetitious use of the word Trico.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: February 14, 2017 (08:46 AM)
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Awesome! I've been struggling to get reviews written in a timely manner for a while, but it's good to see I can at least put forth a good showing when I get one done!

I wouldn't say the "on the list" being part of the review was an accident. However, the fact it came off so well was a bit unexpected, especially since it was somewhat taken from a pro wrestler's recent gimmick of placing anyone he didn't like on a list in a sort of hollow, grandstanding threat sort of way.

And with that disclosure, the last of my mystique has faded away...

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

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