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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week, Apr 10-16 - The Little Site Owner That Could

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Author: Nightfire
Posted: April 18, 2017 (09:25 AM)
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It was another tough week to judge, with eight reviews from six authors (not including one of mine). A lot of quality ended up in my lap, and it seems that Jason was really going for it this time with three submissions. Will his efforts pay off? Keep reading to find out!

Third place: Rob's Avadon: The Black Fortress review (Mac)

I do like a narrative, and Mr. Robington certainly provides that here. He makes the world of Avadon sound fascinating, and he managed to successfully engage my interest. However, I do know what a Spiderweb game looks like, and I probably won't end up playing it. Still, I know these games have value and a dedicated audience who appreciates them, and he gives us a good idea of why that is.

It was a lengthy article though, and I felt like it overstayed its welcome a little bit. It was also a bit spoilery. We probably didn't need a point-by-point synopsis of the entire story; cutting out a few paragraphs and leaving a bit more to the imagination would have helped this.

Still, it is a technically solid piece. He gives us a great analysis of why this game works and the few ways in which it doesn't. He is great at exploring games in series, like he has done with his "Kemco Khallenge", and in this case clearly knows his stuff regarding this game, its predecessors, and how it holds up within the chronology.

Second place: EmP's Bullet Soul review (PC)

This review isn't quite as funny or sharp as some of EmP's others, but it nevertheless gets the job done. I now have a solid idea of what this game is about. Any minor spoilers don't really matter here, because Bullet Soul is an action game designed to be played through multiple times anyway. While this review is heavy on descriptions of mechanics, but that's to be expected, as there isn't much else in this game to talk about. Overall, it is an expertly written piece.

I honestly don't have a lot to criticize here. The writing is very tight, aside from that one instance where I was momentarily confused and felt that adding a hyphen might've been useful. There is also the fact that EmP refers to the game as "Bullet Souls" multiple times throughout the article, even though that is clearly not the game's name. Little things. Tiny things. He was very close to being crowned King Slime again this week, but, alas...

First place: Jason's Mr. Shifty review (Switch)

Jason must be enjoying the Switch a lot. He has written six reviews for it in the past month alone, and I'm pretty sure he's the only one who has covered the system so far. It's great that the system is getting the coverage it needs. This week he submitted two Switch reviews and a 3DS review, which is impressive output. Clearly, this man is in the zone.

While I enjoyed his Fifteen review the most this week (due to it being hilarious), I decided to choose his Mr. Shifty review for the win because it is an absolutely air-tight piece. It is descriptive, well-written, well-paced, thorough, and technically flawless. It was also a good length, never outstayed its welcome, and managed to stay interesting throughout, which is sometimes difficult to do in a 3-star review. He just hit all the right marks.

Also, it seemed to me that Jason was fully engaged throughout his playthrough despite the fact that he came out the other end with a neutral impression of it. His descriptions were coloured by his personal experiences and insights, and this made it a very relatable piece. Now we know exactly what to expect if we were to pick up this game.

As a bonus, it wasn't weighed down by anecdotes about sitting in church or the behaviour of Oregon snakes (not that these side plots weren't interesting, but they weren't 100% relevant either).

Looks like he done did it after all. Congratz, Jason! Add another notch to that belt and keep on chuggin' along.

Honourable mentions go out to pickhut, who made a solid effort with his Wonder Boy III review. Newcomers dangerhighdoltage and 3xA_lucky also produced two quality reviews that would have easily made the running in a different week. Welcome to the site, guys!

Tune in next time for more reviews, more criticizing, more haute video game snobbery, and more questionable photoshop skills.

Nightfire's image

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 18, 2017 (11:56 AM)
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Thanks for another timely topic, and congratulations to the winners... a super awesome group that includes myself. And yes, I'm definitely enjoying my Switch, even if the games aren't all fantastic. As long as I have time and the resources, I hope to continue covering the heck out of the system, and hopefully it won't be too long before a few other folks chime in with thoughts of their own.

"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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 18, 2017 (01:30 PM)
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Don't know how I let that Souls error crop up so often. Urgh, good catch.

Thanks for the mention and the prompt topic. Congrats to all, especially Jason. I hope this win will move him away from covering more sliding tile puzzles so I can get right back to pretending they don't exist.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 20, 2017 (12:28 PM)
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Thanks for the placement! Now that we've gotten so many people doing reviews on a regular basis here again, I can't take placing for granted any week, it seems, so seeing my name up there gives me the sort of warm, happy feeling that it usually takes 8 or so beers to obtain.

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

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