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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week ~-~ June 19-25 ~-~ A Tournament Week

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Author: jerec
Posted: September 04, 2017 (07:33 AM)
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Reposted for archival purposes

It's always interesting judging RotW around a tournament deadline. Overdrive copped some of it last week. But since today is the deadline for the AlphaOlympics, this past week has seen a whopping 16 new submissions, many of them submitted for the contest. With Overdrive's review last week, that's 17 reviews I need to read and mercilessly eliminate until I have a top 3. Okay, I'll try to comment on more than three reviews this week. When I go through the list, I notice some reviewers have multiple reviews, so I'll be able to knock a few of these out right quick.


For my own sanity, I'm only ranking the top 3. If I mentioned your review outside of the top 3, you ranked between 4th and 13th of the eligible reviews.

Hastypixels wrote four reviews this week. While I would applaud such enthusiam to the craft, this was not the week for it, I think. Anyway, I found the Ninja Gaiden review to be the strongest of this bunch, although all four reviews had similar issues to do with odd word choices or grammatical goofs. Slow down a bit and proof read these reviews before hitting submit (or give them a quick read a couple of days later and make some edits). Maybe this review spends a little too much time on Skylanders of all things (probably about as far from Ninja Gaiden on the spectrum of gaming you're likely to find), but I liked the discussion of different versions of the game being, well, different, and how this was a particularly challenging NES game.

Lewis, damn. I think your Yume-Nikki review is a very thoughtful article and definitely one of the most interesting things I've read on this website. I didn't expect to see anything like this posted as a review, and I guess it sort of isn't, but it sort of is. I thought I was being clever with my meta approach to the AlphaOlympics, but I think you've written something worthwhile (where I was mostly being silly). In a week like this, I can't place it in the top 3 because there's just so much good stuff, but I do feel like this one deserves attention. I know I was groaning a bit at the numbered list, especially the first few points, but then you go into what you were like back when you first reviewed this, and what the game was like, and how your experience with the game has changed because you know a lot more now than you did back then - the isolated youth thing seems to be a huge issue, but I know the western world also has some cases. I think by about point 8 onwards, I was definitely hooked into this article. I'll be interested to see how it fares in the tourney results.

JedwardRandy... I have no idea who you are, but wow, this review of Magician Lord took me back to the good old days of video game reviewing when we'd all sit around in AIM chats and talk shit to each other, and make fun of Venter for not playing certain games, and everyone seemed obsessed the TurboGrafx (and to a lesser extent, the Genesis). The tone and word choice of this review really captured how we all tried so hard to make our reviews so eloquent, yet manly, that I have a hard time taking this review seriously. I probably don't need to. This is certainly a nostalgic homage to what many might think of as the golden age of videogame reviewing, both here and at GameFAQs. I really got a Dark Fact/Nick Evil/Leroux/GUTS type vibe from this.

Overdrive wrote a review for some Etrian Odyssey game this week, but I found it went on a bit too long and I wasn't able to get into it. So the hold-over from last week came out as the stronger of the two, where we get to see yet another Kemco mobile RPG, which, Overdrive, has become your niche. The game sounds pretty bland, but I have to appreciate how you can write reviews for all these games and still have each review feel like it's about something different. You get into the characters and the world, and the whole running in battle idea seemed interesting, but not well executed.

Usagi reviews The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, a game that has sat unplayed in my Steam library for a while now, and after reading this review, will probably stay like that for a lot longer. This is a pretty good review, you obviously have plenty of experience with the genre, so you know what's important to making it a good game (as I also do). But I was really thrown off at the 4 star rating at the end. The whole review seemed to be damning with faint praise, the only really positive thing you had to say was about the visuals.

Jason reviews Titan's Tower, and it's more words than I would've expected for a 99 cent game, but the review is tightly focused, even if the whole Cinderella stuff feels a little clumsy. I think you did a good job of setting up what the game is, and the problems (not saving score seems like laziness in this digital age). You don't need to play every game ever released on a Nintendo system, you know.

Nightfire reviews his namesake, which is an amusing enough coincidence. I found it to be a good article on a piece of abandonware, only notable because of its name. I liked the story of this very simple game written by Wally Wasinger, Master of Science. It makes me wonder at how many hundreds of games like this were created as passion or academic projects that have fallen into obscurity, somehow catalogued and preserved by the Internet. How many old games like this are lost to time? Great stuff.

Darketernal returns... and I'm sorry, but the weird way you do „quotations“ was so distracting. I think you delved into the game quite well, I especially liked the descriptions of the game being ugly, with ugly people and ugly locations and everything seeming a bit off. I thought it was a bit unfair taking an indie game to task for the whole "illusion of choice" thing, but I guess maybe the game shouldn't have offered different dialogue choices if the result was going to be the same. Plenty of much bigger titles that do have the resource to script and animate and voice variations to the story often don't, either. I think with indie games, a story like this is probably the vision of one person, and they do want to tell it their way. Still, thoughtful piece that makes me interested in The Cat Lady. I like it when game stories tackle things like depression, but only if they do it well.

Zydrate reviews a roguelike game, a genre I personally find so uninteresting, I had to block it on my Steam discovery queue (because it seemed like every second game it wanted to show me was tagged as roguelike). I can see I would hate this game, and I applaud your honesty for admitting you changed the settings and used mods to make the game easier, I probably would too. This game sounds absolutely frustrating, still you made it sound interesting, particularly when you describe the mechanics of the game (such as the healer becoming paranoid and ignoring your orders), and I did gain an understanding why people would put themselves through experiences like this.

Phazonmasher reviews an obscure SNES title which does sound interesting - playing as a fireman. I have a little trouble buying the Die Hard connection, unless this was something confirmed in the marketing or by the creators. The descriptions of the fire having personality was delightfully enticing, and while I don't think many people are going to hit up eBay to buy a pricy PAL copy of this, it does sound like an interesting diversion that maybe people would check out if Nintendo put it up on the virtual console or something.

Okay, now onto the top 3 on this crazy week.



THIRD PLACE
Bloodborne by Fiddlesticks

I'm not really into these sorts of games, but I found this review to be wonderfully descriptive and energetic. You described your own enjoyment at the game quite well, and it made me kind of wish I had the skill and patience for a game like Bloodborne. You paint a great picture of what the game is like to play, and how unsettling it can be.



SECOND PLACE
404 Sight by pickhut

This free game sounds interesting and tedious at the same time. The game sounds like an interesting diversion for a shortwhile, but ulimately a game that doesn't do much with the mechanics it introduces. I like this review because when reading 17 reviews, this one stood out in my mind when I finally got to the end (and this was one of the first ones I read). It's short and descriptive, and your usual personality shines through. Because of the sheer number of reviews, I had opened all these reviews in new tabs and then saved all bookmarks to a folder, and was opening them all up on the days I had time to read, so I actually didn't know who authored some of these reviews until I got to the end, but I could tell this was a Pickhut review in the intro.



FIRST PLACE
Oxenfree by EmP

I bought the games on my Steam wishlist, and I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more games. My backlog is at a point where I would probably need to play games as a full time career for the rest of my life to get through them all, and that's only counting what I have at the moment. But then you come along and make this game sound so interesting, with all your talk of characters starting out as stereotypes but watching them become full-fleshed individuals when they get character development (as someone who is interested in video game stories, this is basically my fetish). I liked the line that this is more Goosebumps than Silent Hill. That's the sort of line that sells a game. But the final line of this review... this is the sort of thing that makes me go to Steam and check how much this game is. It's only $5 at the moment... I could swing that.

Take your win and get out.

Also f*** you for convincing me to do RotW.




I need to lie down.


I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 05, 2017 (06:11 PM)
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I'll fix your link tags there for you, Perfect Template Jerec.

Thanks for reposting this. I've ensured it's not going away again anytime soon. And, once again, thanks for the win - a lot of the tourney judgments have echoed what you's already said. We'll consider you a trailblazer.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: hastypixels
Posted: September 06, 2017 (03:39 AM)
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So glad this was reposted. I'd not have seen this otherwise. Thanks again, Jerec. :)


The Gravity gun is not a toy, not a toy, no my boy...

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