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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW -- 5-11th Oct.

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 14, 2008 (02:36 PM)
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I have written a RotW. I would have written it sooner, but I was too busy writing three reviews in three days. Go and ask OD when the last time he wrote three reviews in a month is. Go on -- he won't be able to remember.

Here are some rules. Staff reviews do not count. If you write two reviews in the week -- which none of you did, because you are not me -- only one would count. My word is law.

Here come the line breaks.



Third -- Woodhouse: Time Hollow

Woodhouse often turns up with reviews of note, and this one is no different. Do I have complaints? Of course I do -- itís all I can be relied on for! The review somehow feels like itís a couple of paragraphs shy of completion, like there are some missing elements. Personally, I would have liked to have seen an in-depth example rather than a vague one-line description like the note in the locker or the bike. I appreciate the game is short and that giving away much in a short game often results in giving away a sizeable chunk of the game, but I come away not fully convinced of your full argument.

Itís done more than enough to dampen my interest here, though. I had thought it looked like an interesting concept -- and you make it clear it is. Just one pulled off poorly and with unwelcome limits and artificial padding.


Second -- WolfQueen: Kingdom Hearts

WQ claims her spot here this week because she employs one thing better than probably any review this week: she plugs examples. But she plugs the right examples.

A good example, kids, is something that explains several aspects of the game all at once without having to write it in crayon for your readers. This review has a lot of them, and itís to her credit. It does suffer from the typical ďList everything good then throw the worst bits in at the end to simmer praiseĒ that all our reviews suffer from (some more obvious that most) but itís a good effort.


First -- Bloomer: Resident Evil Outbreak #2

Admit it: you thought Masters was going to be judging this week. I'm on to you.

Iíve always been curious about the Outbreak games but never bothered picking them up. Iíll pause while you ask why out loud.

Iíll tell you why.

Servers never went live in PAL, so the main draw of playing the game -- the online co-op -- was never present. So there was no point. I thought Outbreak would be crippled with this flaw and you do a great job confirming this doubt.

The review is long, but never feels long. Thereís nothing in the review that I read where I thought ďI donít really need to be reading thisĒ making the entire thing relevant. The writing itself is strong, which it needs to be to keep interest once you stray over that 800-or-so word mark and I find myself fascinated by the thought of a zombie elephant. Very strong, straight-forward review.

This is a topic end. Now, we give thanks. To me.

Bow your heads.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 14, 2008 (03:52 PM)
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September was the last month I wrote three reviews. Pretty easy for me to remember just the last month.....well, actually, I had to go to my blog because I couldn't remember....so you were right on that....

And by either tomorrow or the next day, I'll have my third for this month completed! En guarde!


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


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Author: psychopenguin
Posted: October 14, 2008 (04:09 PM)
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I guess my review sucked. Oh well


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 14, 2008 (04:10 PM)
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It didn't suck, I just thought there was better this week. I'll make you a feedback topic on it later. OD can comment in it too. He has nothing but free time.

Days that strech on, forever and ever and ever....


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: psychopenguin
Posted: October 14, 2008 (04:14 PM)
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Thanks. It's my first review in ages so I'm a bit rusty.


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 14, 2008 (06:20 PM)
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Hey, EmP; I don't think it matters, but I think your week was supposed to go 6-12. Granted, no one subbed on the 5 and the only 12 entry was another woodhouse review that I personally don't think is as good as his Time Hollow one.

Anyway, thanks for the spot. I honestly didn't think I was going to place at all here, with how thrown together my review was.

Congrats to bloomer. Typically I don't like his kind of style, but I see why this won. It's very detailed and thought out and leaves no confusion in the readers mind. It does a fantastic job of making it's argument. It's also more entertaining than the straight-up analytical review I was expecting when I tried reading it a few days ago.

Good job to woodhouse, too. I liked his review a lot.

EDIT: wait. I think your dates are fine. Masters' should've been from 9/28-10/4, but like I said, it doesn't really matter in this case. Though if done this way, woodhouse's newest review counts for next week.


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: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 14, 2008 (06:51 PM)
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I'm curious: what is Bloomer's kind of style?


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 14, 2008 (07:23 PM)
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Just that his reviews seem to be more analytical than most. Like the really descriptive sort that aren't necessarily always entertaining, but that doesn't really matter because the argument they present is so strong. I dunno; it's kind of hard to describe. That's how I see it, anyway.

I mean no offense by any of this, either. I'm just tryiing to explain how I read these things. None of it is bad, but I, like anyone else, have preferences, too. And this review really was good, anyway.


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: psychopenguin
Posted: October 15, 2008 (05:32 AM)
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Bloomer's reviews tend to kick ass but I am not sure if that is a "style" ;)


http://backloggery.com/main.php?user=psycho_penguin


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (07:27 AM)
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I wasn't trying to start an argument, btw, wolfqueen -- I was genuinely curious.

I hold Bloomer's reviews up as pretty much a blueprint for how to write a review: what is a review if not analytical? He doesn't crack a lot of jokes, but he organizes his thoughts so well, and his prose is effortless, so that you don't feel as if you're reading an 'essay.'

I think it's the most difficult thing of all to pull off -- anyone can wax poetic, or else get obscene and crazy for laughs, but all that frill can interfere with communicating the most critical thing: is this game good or not?


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (09:33 AM)
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To back up the above claims, these come fresh from an AIM chat:

IImastersII: I can barely get through your reviews.
IImastersII: There's too much fancy dan writing clogging it up -- just tell me about the damn game
IImastersII: You pretentious limey bastard.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 15, 2008 (10:55 AM)
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Yeah, you're right there, Masters - analysis is important. A review that only presents an outline isn't going to inform anyone of anything; it has to be detailed in order to present the right picture. Howevever, I think it's how you present that analysis that also matters. If it's stuffy and boring, you're not going to be able to pay attention all the way through and get the important details. But if it's too flowery in an attempt to be entertaining, those details might be clouded. I think a really awesome review is one that can strike a balance between the strictly analytical approach and a more entertaining one. But that's just not something easy to do... at all... (though bloomer's review does a really good job of striking that balance here, I think). Usually I find, with myself or in other people, that we can do one thing or the other in some proportion or another, but not both to equal degrees. And as far as preferences go when reading something that can't strike that balance well enough, or at least to the point where it's noticeably one thing or the other, I tend to prefer the more entertaining ones. Just as long as I still feel satisfied that I know everything I need to know at the end.

And ow, harsh. I really like EmP's reviews. But I guess it's just what appeals to different people and how people see these different elements in a review.


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: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (11:26 AM)
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Are you calling Bloomer stuffy? :P Kidding.

And that idiot Emp actually fabricated those "AIM messages" from me. Look around! I'm always singing that fool's praises. He's definitely good for a b-level reviewer.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (11:28 AM)
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Using the term "fancy dan writing" = +1
Calling EmP a "pretentious limey bastard" = + infinity

Struggling with writers block while doing my FF XII review = pure suckitude


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 15, 2008 (11:35 AM)
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Hahaha. I should've figured he'd do something like that. That's just like him, lovable oaf. Knew it was a bit too early for him to be on AIM when he posted that.


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: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (12:24 PM)
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Using the term "fancy dan writing" = +1
Calling EmP a "pretentious limey bastard" = + infinity

Struggling with writers block while doing my FF XII review = pure suckitude


There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, I play the Masters card.


"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


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (12:32 PM)
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That's pretty good, Venter. You ARE a clever one. By the way Venter, the thing you sent me is being held for ransom at some dingy Canadian post office. Bastards.

Rob: Writers block = laziness.

I'm just sayin'.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (02:33 PM)
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Then I guess I must have overcame my laziness. Or watching youtube vids of my favorite Dragon Quest VIII cutscenes motivated me to write. Which sounds even more geeky now that I've typed it than it felt while I was doing it.....


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 15, 2008 (03:33 PM)
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I forgot to point out that this RotW blows chunks. But at least he didn't call it RotD.


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 15, 2008 (03:34 PM)
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Ouch. I love you, too.


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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (03:47 PM)
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This has been the most popular RotW in years. And Bloomer probably hasn't even seen it yet.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (03:54 PM)
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I'm not sure where WQ is directing her lovin'?


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


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 15, 2008 (03:57 PM)
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That would have been sarcasm, since your statement suggested you liked none of the reviews here (except bloomer's, obviously). >_>

<_< Unless you were referring to the topic and its contents as a whole...

>_>

I'm shutting up now.


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: Masters (Mod)
Posted: October 15, 2008 (04:00 PM)
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Haha, no no, I wasn't commenting on the reviews at all -- just Emp's sucktitude.


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


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Author: bloomer
Posted: October 18, 2008 (07:35 PM)
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You were right Emp. I've been on holiday on an island off Queensland for a week. Not touching the internet at all during that time really helped my brain deflate.

Thanks for the win, and for all these comments. It's good to see how your reviews are being read by people you haven't heard from before (pretty much IE Wolfqueen.)

I'd say when I'm dealing with these survival horror games, that's when I write longest, and there's no consciousness about reaching for length, they just come out that way naturally from my sense about what I want to say. This genre interests me most and occupies most of my time, and the games don't lend themselves to much explicit humour in writing (except when they go bad) that I wouldn't find forced.

Years back on gamefaqs I wrote a lot of really huge reviews for games that I'd never write about at even half that length now (EG Gungage, many others). I've also written a lot of reviews that went out of their way to be Hilarious, or just generally funny. Actually, the majority of them! But I haven't written much like that lately partly because of what I've been reviewing, and partly 'cos a lot of those old ones I now find too manic or schticky. I mean if you want going all out for funny, kinda overkill, try 'Chaos Break'. 'Canyon Climber' was a review deliberately grabbing schticks from all other reviewers at the time. 'Gekido' might be hella funny but it's also such a ripe and sustained assault it almost makes me avert my eyes now.

Game badness tends to invite explicit humour, otherwise I like to see it come naturally from the way a person's thoughts move. And that happens all the time in reviews you don't necessarily think of as having the humourous label on them. Like a lot of Jason's, for instance.


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Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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