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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 -- Still movin', still groovin'

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2017 (07:11 PM)
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Figured I'd just bang this out quickly, as opposed to certain British RotW people who wait until the week is virtually over before doing their week's worth (and, yes, despite being the most consistently late person with this, I am still issuing taunts like that!). Only four reviews for my week, plus a pair by EmP that were held over from last week. Fortunately, no one will have to worry about me having holdovers, since my review submitted last week is still in the queue, where it may wind up being joined by others later this week. Or at least one more.

First, to not be totally lazy, I will give commentary on Venter's latest Switch review. As a person who gets proofed by you a lot of the time, I noticed a couple things you didn't catch in your own work. In the first paragraph, I think you used an incorrect word with "but I'm prepared they adhere to surfaces…". Later, in the third, you have "I played a lot of the games fairly substantial periods of time". After about five minutes of deliberation, my brain is saying it's more smooth as "the games for fairly substantial".

With the nitpicks out of the way, this was an effective review for a niche game that doesn't seem to have a great deal of appeal in the grand scheme of things, where you went into a good amount of detail. Early on, your first paragraph made it seem that you were essentially forcing yourself to find stuff to say, but you were able to do a solid job of making your points in an engaging way. I'd say the main thing that kept this review a hair behind Mariner's was simply that he had a certain amount of enthusiasm towards the product he was reviewing, while you stuck yourself with a competent and tolerable game that never really pushed any buttons, either for good or for bad.

THIRD PLACE

Mariner's Shantae: Half Genie Hero (Switch)

Much like Venter's Switch Review of the Week, there were moments where this review wasn't perfectly polished (I say after it took me three tries to spell "perfectly" correctly). For example, in the third paragraph, you have "sesponsive" for "responsive". But I liked this review. Shantae is a name I've heard before, but don't know much about and your background paragraph to open helps me understand why. After that, you paint a good picture of a good game that's flawed too much by excessive backtracking to be anything more than "good". I guess I just liked the progression here. You started out by gushing over the game, but that "constant backtracking" raised a warning signal in my brain. But then you mentioned the actual problem wasn't the backtracking, but how the game itself is so short that it makes the backtracking bad, as you only have a few locations to visit. Worked for me! Oh, and welcome back. It's not every week that we get a blast from the past returning to drop a new review on us!

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SECOND PLACE

EmP's Tokyo Tattoo Girls (PC)

I like the angry sarcasm here, putting weak-willed gamers on blast for complaining about hard stuff and wanting games to beat themselves instead so they don't feel all inadequate about their lack of ability. And then showing how that concept doesn't really work when it comes to actual games. As someone with a bit of familiarity with Koei's strategy games from back in the day (mainly Gemfire instead of the ones more based in reality, but whatever), I have to admit being stuck between laughter and disbelief at how you portrayed this game and how little you actually do, while depending on the computer and what seems to be a very drunk and high random number god to carry you through. All leading to a game that looks nice, but I'll never touch because I like to actually play games and challenge myself. I liked this review a lot -- it had a certain spark to it.

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REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Masters' Gunmetal Arcadia (PC)

Of this week's reviews, this one resonated with me the most. While rogue games aren't necessarily my thing (I've played a couple I liked, but get sick of most very quickly), having an action-RPG-adventure game of that style is intriguing, reminding me a bit of the Atari 2600's Adventure and it's randomly generated third mode. But what got me into this review was simply your descriptions of how everything works, which made it seem really neat. How luck plays a role in getting a good early push. How you can make choices that affect how things proceed, including potentially unlocking new bosses. And that last paragraph, about the "platformer life management" was pure gold, doing a great job to summarize just what you found so captivating about this game. A WINNAR IS YOU!

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And that's it for this week. Time to sit back and wait with baited breath as to whether I'll be continuing to do this or if it'll be discontinued due to an overall lack of judging interest. I like a four-person rotation and a three-person rotation has been doable, if not ideal, but shrinking it down further wouldn't work unless I shrunk critiques down to "you got third, you got second and you got first…good job". And that might be more work than I'd actually do.


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

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2017 (10:47 PM)
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Thanks for the comments, Rob, even though I didn't place. I'll have to look into those grammatical issues, which you were right to point to in your critique.

Part of my trouble these days is that I use speech-to-text dictation software (starting about 10 reviews back) to fight issues repetitive strain issues in my arms and hands, and the software sometimes makes blunders I wouldn't if I were actually typing. Blunders it's hard for me to catch, even though I still go back over my stuff to edit. But the software IS helping my issues, so I'll keep right on using it. I'm such a rebel!

The first paragraph was intentionally rough, in a forced sort of way, to highlight the point that game makes it difficult to drum up the sort of enthusiasm my review never quite mustered. I know people can say "I did that on purpose" about bad writing in a lot of cases and be full of crap, but in this case, I really was going for a particular effect. Whether I should have gone for that effect or not is certainly up for debate, but it actually was intentional. I also wanted to avoid just talking briefly about every game in the collection without saying anything insightful about any of them, so I'm mostly happy with how the review turned out even though it's likely not much fun to read if you're not considering purchasing the game. So thanks for your generous comments!

Also: congrats to those who placed in another great week of content, including Masters with another terrific review of the sort I love hosting on the site. And thanks for coming back with another review, Mariner. I hope we continue to see you around here!


"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: Masters (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2017 (11:03 PM)
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Rob: Thanks for the comments, and I'm glad you liked the part which you characterized as 'gold.' I wasn't sure how that bit would resonate, if at all. I found it a difficult thing to communicate my preoccupation with the game in general, so I'm glad someone enjoyed it. EDIT: Was my other review part of this?

Mariner: It's nice to see a familiar 'face.' I noticed that your last review submitted, before this one, is from 2008! Anyway, I liked your review. I wasn't sure if you were being facetious, but in your final paragraph, you mentioned how cool it would be if a new game was created using the same assets, and that actually has happened:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/639310/Shantae_Pirate_Queens_Quest/

Gary: You had the unenviable task of writing about a weird, lame title (Zig likes it, surprise surprise), and you still pulled it off. Kudos.


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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 06, 2017 (11:15 AM)
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I'm just glad to get that one behind me. Though I'm still arguing with myself as to whether it should be "ablest" or "ablist". That's the problem when people just go around making up words. It's a really strange source for a bad game to come from, too -- NIS don't often let you down.

Good job on getting the topic out so timely and for remembering all those carried over reviews. Welcome back Mariner, only a scant decade later and congrats to Marc for his win that I'll certainly be hearing about for the next few weeks.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 06, 2017 (06:38 PM)
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It's neither. The word is spelled "ableist." Someone just added "ist" to "able" and called it a day.


"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: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 07, 2017 (03:31 AM)
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Marc
Yep, I liked it, but obviously not enough for it to top the other one. You did have the same vibe going, though, as you did a great job of describing the cool aspect of Metroidvanias in the next-to-last paragraph.

The reason the "gold" part worked for me probably is just because I also grew up during the era of those Faxanadu-type games. While not everything there perfectly relates to what we were playing then due to the rogue-like parts, it comes so close that it did bring me back to those vibes I had back in the NES days where the general difficulty was at a level where it felt like a gamble to be at 25% life and needing to go further because, unlike most of today's games, losing the rest of that life actually had legit consequences to your goals of making it further that day.


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

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: December 07, 2017 (04:14 AM)
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Ablest: most able.
Ablist: a list of stomach muscles.
Ableist: discrimination towards people based on disabilities or mental health.


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

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