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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 2017 -- Where a lot of stuff was written

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 05, 2017 (01:21 PM)
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Well, since I'm finished with Bravely Default and never will play it again, I'm in a better mood this week, as I haven't been exposed to Tiz and his "whiny nice guy" persona for a good number of days. Well, "better mood" might be relatively speaking, as you fine folks have forced me to read 14 reviews (13 this week, plus a holdover by Joe). Apparently, now that summer is coming to a close, people are writing like crazy. And that doesn't even count my review, which wouldn't count anyway, since apparently 7 p.m. or so on Sunday is counted as Monday according to our site clock. I mean, it'd be going to the next person regardless, but come on! The only time that is official time is the time going on wherever I currently am at. All your other times are !@#$! hoaxes that don't count!

So anyway, with so many reviews, there were a lot of good ones and only three places to honor, so I'll be like a benevolent god and toss out a few alms or whatever. So, in no particular order:

Rhody's Dangaronpa started off really excellently, doing a good job of providing comparison points for those of us who have no idea what this series is about. I don't know if it was trying to not say too much about plot or whatnot, though, but descriptions got kind of sparse later on (with the "the story is good early and late, but drags in the middle" paragraph a key example. Not sure if there's an easy fix for that, as my problem is usually the opposite, where I wind up saying too much about the plot. At times, it almost felt you were rushing through bullet point descriptions of things with paragraph about character, then art style, then localization, switching from one to the next abruptly. Nothing that ruined the review or anything -- it just meant I didn't enjoy the second half or so of the review as much as I did the first half.

Master's Super Hydorah was about as close to placing as you can get and I don't know if there's a concrete answer I can give for why it didn't other than the generic "I guess others just resonated a bit more with me"…or the simple fact you tried to say something halfway complementary about the blandness known as Darius Twin. Anyway, I dug this review a lot. You did a good job illustrating how old-school-themed shooters still have some new tricks to show. And reminded me it's been a little while since I've played a shooter --- except for the shooter stages in the Return to Origins part of Rayman Legends, so I'll need to do that after a bit.

Zydrate's Divinity: Original Sin 2 also came super close. At least I have a concrete reason here! On one hand, you gave a great accounting of this game's expansiveness and the amount of freedom you have in choice-making and combat, while also reminding me that I have the first Original Sin on my computer and should play it some day. On the other, there's that little bit where you confess to not even being done with the first act of the game. Now don't get me wrong, I haven't completely finished every game I've reviewed and I don't know what percentage of the game is contained in the first act. It's just when I read that, I'm thinking: "So, has this person played half the game? 25%? Less?" And then I think of games that I've played that were great for a long time, but then the programmers apparently had deadline issues and the final stretch was half-assed and anticlimactic and left a bad taste in my mouth. Which leaves me thinking that you have a great framework for a review that I think you should revisit when you're done with this game to say whether your final feelings about it are the same as they were when you wrote this.

Hastypixel's Virginia was one of the best I've seen you write. From my perspective, a lot of times, your reviews have almost a stream of consciousness where you'll kind of bounce all over the place and I find myself finishing a paragraph and then having to re-read it to try to "catch up" to where you're going. This one seemed really focused, though, and proved to be a fun one for me to read. I mean, you'll have one hell of a tough job in front of you if you're trying to convince me that a walking simulator where choices are made for you by the computer is remotely fun (especially when you kind of negate your 4-star rating by saying you weren't satisfied with the experience), but you did a good job of illustrating what you liked about it with nice touches such as how they nailed the "grass from the inside of a moving car" effect.

And now for the best of the best of the best of whatever!


Zach Walton's Blue Reflection (PS4)

Hey, you were third the last time I did one of these! You know, I played a translated version of a Sailor Moon game on the SNES for a while a number of years ago. It was reasonably fun, but struggled to maintain my attention because I have no idea what the hell is going on in that world. I just sort of went from one short chapter to the next, fighting stuff until I lost interest. Might try it again some year, might not. Not knowing the subject matter does make a difference when playing games with dialogue and stuff. This game, though, seems to be an original creation and, from the screenshots, looks really good. And you made it sound really interesting. I tend to cringe whenever I see someone describe a game as potentially being "one of the most important", but the rest of the review worked well for me. Describing it as an adventure game with combat included is a good way to tell readers what they're getting into and talking about how the bulk of the game revolves around interacting with and helping other people to the degree that's how you get experience does a good job of playing up the adventure game part. It was a close race between this and the four honorable mention reviews, but I just found myself being a bit more interested in this game from your description.



EmP's X-Morph: Defense (PC)

And…wait a minute! You were second during my last time doing this. I'm in a Groundhog Day loop! Noooooooo….

Anyway, this was a really neat review because you had me thinking you were reviewing a shooter, but then brought up the tower defense aspects and then did a great job of explaining how the two genres mesh to create a really tense-sounding game. It was one of those reviews that got better the more you got into explaining how intricate things were. A couple paragraphs in and I was pretty sure you'd be outside the top 3, but by the time I got to the end, it turned into a close race for first place between you and Joe. I just liked how things escalate in your review, like it sounds like they do in the game. You do a good job of just putting that sense of urgency in your writing to the degree that where I was reading about the boss fights, I legitimately thought, "Damn, how do you get out of that situation with that thing!"


REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Joe's Alone in the Dark (PC)

Streak broken, as we go from Nightfire to Joe in the first place during my week category! This is a really good nostalgia review, as you do a good job of both explaining how influential this game is on an entire genre of games, while also admitting that it hasn't aged well (and, yes, looking at the pics really shows that off -- the character artwork is pretty funny). You even are able to justify the old-school survival horror tank controls and awkward camera angles by citing how they originated here and due to this game, became common-place. Really, for a review that isn't particularly long, you cram in a lot of information -- both about this game in action and about it in history. Good way to kick off your month of horror reviews!

Whew! That took a little while to complete. Hopefully next week is just as hellish for its judge as this was for me!

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

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Author: Zydrate
Posted: October 05, 2017 (01:28 PM)
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In my defense, a first or second playthrough in Act 1 could be anywhere between 3 to 10 hours of gameplay depending on how bottom-line, story-driven the player is. I talked to a lot of people, stole a lot of shit, and it was PLENTY of time for me to know the core mechanics of the game and there was plenty to say.

50 hours in, I've yet to get past act 2 because of all the minmaxing builds, rerolling, and modding I've done. (Workshop mods don't play nice with existing saves so I'm often forced to reroll a character if I want to experience some of them).

My Tumblr (Don't worry, I just talk about games)
My Steam Profile

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Author: hastypixels
Posted: October 05, 2017 (09:19 PM)
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Thanks for the compliment and mention. Again, I was torn about what I did like about it, and what irritated me. The quality of Virginia's atmosphere was top notch, but it just didn't activate the gamer in me. There are people who will enjoy it, if they know what to expect. It was too good to be rated any lower than a 4, really. It didn't quite reach its goal because it didn't want to and didn't know how without breaking the cinematic experience.

That is the problem, isn't it?

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

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: October 06, 2017 (01:43 AM)
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Thank you for the victory, and congrats to the placers!

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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: October 07, 2017 (11:53 AM)
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Well done for getting on this, completely unprompted, no less.

Gone above and beyond with the feedback, so kudos for that. Thanks for the placement - it was kind of my goal to bring the tower defense aspect on the sly, so I'm glad that worked. The original draft had about a million words complaining about how games used to be simple and now everything's a hybrid, but it was a lot of words that said nothing, so I ruthlessly deleted the hell out of it. Glad it worked!

Congrats to Joe. Stop being such a girl and play more Illumination. It will amuse me.

For us. For them. For you.

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