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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week - August 14 - 20 - Invasion from the Past

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Author: jerec
Posted: August 26, 2017 (04:09 AM)
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Welcome to this error-free Review of the Week. This time, we have two holdover reviews, because our judges seem to like submitting reviews in their own weeks. I'd like to write another review some day, but I'll probably save it for an EmP week. Anyway, 7 reviews this week. 2 Holdovers, and 2 reviews by hastypixels, which leaves 6 reviews for 3 spots on my error-free template. I mean, it isn't that hard to remove the names from last month.

Okay, enough snark. Let's get on with it!

Brian's Rise of the Triad review was a tough read, full of oddly constructed sentences and FPS jargon that I couldn't get much out of it. I'll admit, I'm an outsider to the genre. Of hastypixel's two reviews, the Half Life 2 Lost Coast review was the only one I managed to finish reading, as the other was also too long and difficult to get into. A proof read would definitely do both reviews some good. The HL2 review was short and interesting, and it delved into the elements of the game quite well. Fiddlesticks doesn't quite make into the top 3 with his Dark Souls III review. It was a pretty good review, but it felt out of order - reading about weapons and customisations in the introduction paragraph was a rough starter for me, and then the story/premise comes right up near the end once the mechanics and examples of areas and bosses have already been described. Still, I learned a lot about this game, and it did make me wish I still had the sort of time, patience, and skill to devote to a game like this.

Third Place
Dead by Daylight by pickhut

The short sentences that start this review were overwhelming, and I almost dismissed the review then, but then this is followed up by saying this can seem ridiculously overwhelming, and I was all like

Then I scrolled down and saw pickhut wrote this, so I settled in for the rest of the review, and it was great. I liked how you set up the premise of this game, and how fun it could be, then break it down with the reality that the game is not well balanced. But there was something this review touched on, that seems to be an issue with video games and reviewing them - that they can be changed. The core game can be added to and modified until it isn't the same game you bought. And eventually, it's not the same game you reviewed. I could see this happening with No Man's Sky... a review for it today would be very different to a review when it was first released. Are we eventually going to need to specify which version of a game we've reviewed?

Second Place
Shelterra the Skyworld by Forgetful Rob "Rob" Robington

Each of your Kemco reviews actually feels more distinct than the games you are revewing. A lazier reviewer (like me) would just settle into some sort of formula and pump these reviews out, just changing whatever is needed. I don't know how you keep writing interesting reviews on these games, not that I would ever bother playing them, mind. I do know what you mean about not having the attention span for longer games these days. Most of the RPGs I've played in the last 5 years have been abandoned at various points. Anyway, I found the review quick and informative, and also completely devoid of the cynicism we would come to expect at this point.

Review of the Week
Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries by Nightfire

Technically, this review got a second second place in last week's RotW topic, but EmP declared "no sharesies" and pushed it off to my week. I wasn't expecting to give this review first place. I do think the two strongest reviews I had to read this week weren't actually posted in my week. I liked this, it was short, it went through what the game did well, what it didn't do well, why it didn't do it well, and it makes me wonder how many more indie/kickstarter stories like this are out there. It seems like even if you get funded, it's still a huge risk. This game does look beautiful, though. The ideas behind this seem so fascinating, I just wish there was a better story there.

I think one thing the three winners had in common was something that made me think about the nature of games and gaming today. Kickstarter ventures, quick and disposable mobile games, and updates that change the nature of the game. What I'm saying is, I'm finding the reviews more interesting when they aren't just about the game, but some aspect of videogames or the culture. To be honest, I'm not likely to play any of the games that I read reviews on. I've got too many games in my backlog, so I'm not reading reviews to help me plan what I want to buy next. But I am still interested in games, and the constantly changing state of the industry.

We live in interesting times.

I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: pickhut
Posted: August 26, 2017 (11:27 AM)
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Yeah, the problem with reviewing freshly released or multiplayer titles is the high likelihood that they'll easily change weeks and months from when those reviews go up. I usually add a "This review is based on something-something version" at the end of these kinds of reviews, but I forgot to add it to this one. Glad you liked the review, too.

Congrats to OD on yet another Kemco top-placing review, and Nightfire for taking the RotW spot.

I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: Nightfire
Posted: August 26, 2017 (04:48 PM)
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Thank you very much for the (second) mention and the win. Nice article, too. I also tend to prefer reviews that explore the larger context behind the games, whether that means delving into their production history, inspirations and influences, pedigree, etc. I think it's easy to simply focus on the gameplay to judge whether a game is good or bad, but all of the stuff goes on under the hood and behind the scenes tends to grant us a better idea of why a game turned out the way that it did.

Edit: Speaking of No Man's Sky, I totally get what you're saying. The release version was a barebones mess, and now it's shaping up into something a bit more robust. I played the latest version for a few hours and found that it was still god-awful boring, but so much has been added to it now... Stuff that I didn't even get around to playing with, such as the base-building, land vehicles, etc. It probably would need a second review just to make heads or tails of what it has become.

I don't suppose anyone would volunteer to do that? I was considering writing an update article about it, but working full time means that I can't sacrifice 10+ hours on that game, a game that I still kinda dislike, just to revise the review that I already wrote.

placid like acid

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Author: hastypixels
Posted: August 27, 2017 (08:44 PM)
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I think you're referring to my review of 20XX. ... Yeah, I rewrote the whole thing and posted it... oh, about twenty seconds ago. So... thanks for the feedback. Duly noted and appreciated.

A Sega Ages joke would take me forever to figure out.

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