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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week, Feb 13-19 - Grumpy Dragon Edition

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Author: Nightfire
Posted: February 23, 2017 (08:01 PM)
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So here we are for another ROTW. Highlights of my week include digging myself out of a snowstorm, contracting a nasty throat infection, injuring myself while building some furniture, and meticulously reinstalling my operating system after Windows 10 spontaneously committed suicide. Life sure has been grand north of the 49th parallel.

Now I get the distinct pleasure of judging fourteen lengthy reviews. On the one hand, that's great - I shouldn't complain, as the site has been bumpin' and there are plenty of quality reads to be had. On the other hand, I will admit that I feel a certain amount of relief that Jerec is on the rotation now and I will get a three-week reprieve before I am called upon to deal with the next deluge.

Honourable mentions include Jerec himself, whose StreetPass Mii Plaza review gave us a thorough rundown of what that thing is all about, and EmP, who narrowly missed placement with his Nefarious review by the cilia of his gelatinous chinny-chin-chin. Lady Zana's Grim Dawn review was also a competent submission, as was Mr. Robington's Mass Effect review. It was another tough week. I sympathize with you all.

Anyway, here are the rankings:

Third place: Jason's Alwa's Awakening review (PC)

Jason penned a great article about an 8-bit homage title this week. It was a very easy read, and gave us a clear picture of what to expect from it without spoiling anything important. He also didn't get bogged down in too many details this time around, which I definitely appreciated. The beautiful set of screenshots helped illustrate this game's excellent visual style.

My criticisms here are few. I did find a couple of places where punctuation/sentence structure could have been tighter. I also felt that the second paragraph was awkwardly placed. Getting into details about the game's soundtrack right right away seemed a bit strange, and I felt that this could have been moved to the end of the article just as easily. There was also that long paragraph that described a complex series of maneuvers the player must perform to complete a tricky sequence, which made my eyes cross a little bit. However, I think that was the point of that paragraph, so that's somewhat forgivable.

There were no food analogies, at least! So that's good. All in all, a great submission. It made me want to check out this title, despite the fair warnings.

Second place: Joe's Metagal review (PC)

I have fond memories of playing Megaman as a child. I didn't own a console myself, but I do remember one day when me and my friend rented Megaman 2 for the NES, and with strategy guide in hand, we tried to beat it in a single day. It was morning when we started, and it was dark by the time we managed to get to the end boss. We enjoyed every minute of it. Your adept descriptions of Metagal brought back some of those fond memories.

While this game is obviously a clone and makes no effort to hide that, Mr. Destroyer expertly explains to us that it actually holds up pretty well to its inspirational material. He also leaves room for fair criticism about the few things that do not hold up so well, such as the annoying dash function.

While most of the article focused on descriptions of gameplay mechanics, I found this to be okay. There didn't seem to be much of a story or anything else to talk about anyway. Reviews like this can sometimes get on my nerves or outstay their welcome, but this one just never did. Joe's just a talented writer, I guess. The screenshots were also helpful in bringing the descriptions to life.

This review was also near-flawless from a technical perspective. There was only one instance of clumsy punctuation/grammar that I caught, and in all honesty, that is one of the only reasons this review took second place instead of first. Sorry, Joe. I had to split hairs pretty finely this week. That seems to be the new norm around here.

First place: Rhody's The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 1: Ties The Bind Part 1 review (Xbox One)

I have heard good things about this series, but I'm one of those people who have never watched the show nor read the comics. I'm just not that into zombies, I guess, which is probably the same reason I was never interested in the Resident Evil series either. However, despite the fact that this review is about a genre I dislike and a franchise I am mostly unfamiliar with, I found myself quite enjoying reading about it.

I will admit that Rhody's rapid-fire name-dropping of characters made my head spin a little, but I was still able to follow along and understand what he was talking about most of the time. I even learned a bit about these characters, and they genuinely sound interesting to me. I imagine that those who are familiar with the series will better served by reading this piece than I was, and they are obviously the intended audience anyway.

It doesn't hurt that this review is basically flawless from a technical perspective. Mr. Tobin could have added some screenshots to round it out, but aside from that, I have very little to criticize here. Well done, sir.

I have noticed that more goodies have shown up on the prize list. Go treat yourself.

And... That's it for me. I don't have the energy for a witty conclusion this week, so all I'll say is that I hope ya'll continue to enjoy the stream of quality content that has been flooding the site as of late. To those of you who regularly submit reviews, please keep up the good work.

While I will get back into the fray eventually, I'm gonna go curl up in my cave for now and sleep for an indeterminate number of hours. This dragon is pooped.

Nightfire's image

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Author: jerec
Posted: February 23, 2017 (09:32 PM)
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Jeez, this competition is fierce. I remember when we'd be lucky to get 14 new reviews in an entire month.

I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: February 23, 2017 (10:31 PM)
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Thanks for taking care of things this week, Nightfire. As you noted, it was a tough week, and I'm glad to have placed. The purpose of my review wasn't to scare anyone away from the game, but to dissect its flaws in a way that lets interested parties know whether or not they might want to give the game a shot in spite of what I see as its issues. I'm glad to hear that it seems to be working as intended.

"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 on secret doors to another world

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2017 (12:50 PM)
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14? Dang, that's even more than I had to judge during my last go at this. We're definitely getting a lot of good content right now.

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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2017 (02:21 PM)
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So much for it all calming down a little. Long might it continue (though if you all want to take a week off, and can let you know which one is mine in advance).

Congrats to all mentioned; good work grinding this one out, Nightfire.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2017 (03:57 PM)
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Curses! Undone by punctuation! Congrats to Rhody, though, and also to Venter for placing. Thank you, Nightfire, for getting through this brutal week and having the topic out in a timely manner.

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

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