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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week - December 25-31 - Goodbye 2017!

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Author: jerec
Posted: December 31, 2017 (08:33 PM)
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This is my stop. It looks like RotW will continue on without me. I hope to get back into writing reviews, as I feel like I've learned a few things, reading so many reviews this year and sharing my opinions on them. Even after all these years, it still seems funny how much time we spend reviewing the reviews.

The final week of 2017 saw 9 reviews posted. 3 by EmP, 2 by Follow Freeman. Jason, Joe, OD, and Pickhut all bring one review to the table. It's a pretty strong line up - Follow Freeman has done well since his recent debut, and the other five writers have been consistently making the top 3 all year.

Guys, couldn't some of these have been posted last week? Overdrive only had to read and rank 3 reviews!




Honourable mentions! Follow Freeman has two reviews, both quite different. The ESA review is long and detailed, with plenty of comparions to Super Metroid, and a convincing argument for why this game gets the genre right and provides a good atmosphere. It got a bit weird towards the end where you are about to spoil the endgame and advise the reader to jump ahead. I think you need to decide what this article is - a review should try to avoid spoilers, maybe something from the early portions of the game to entice the player. A retrospective article gives you a bit more leeway, but I'd suggest taking out any end-game discussions and posting it as a separate blog (you could even link to it from your review). The Snatcher review was shorter and quite good, your knowledge of the game's creator, the sci-fi movies that influenced it, and the game's place in history, make it an interesting read.

EmP hit me with three reviews this week, because he hates me so much. The Qix reviews didn't really click with me, although it seemed like the games didn't offer much to talk about. The rant about PlayStation RPGs not making it to Europe resonated with me, but I felt that argument didn't really belong here. The strongest of the three reviews was SeaBed, which gave me some ideas of how to effectively review a visual novel (a genre I'm finding more and more enticing when gaming fatigue sets in). It doesn't make the top 3 this week, but that's more down to the strengths of the top three placing writers than any particular faults with this.

Similarly, Pickhut also misses the top 3 this week, mostly due to the game not offering much to really talk about, which seemed to be the main criticism of the game itself - it runs out of ideas pretty quickly. While more could be done with this game mechanic, I think the review was just the right length.



THIRD PLACE
Eve of the Genesis by Overdrive

A more cynical person might say this is the point where your reviews of Android Kemco RPGs break down into self-parody, but I think it's a great way to talk about how generic and forgettable these games are, but how comfortable they can be. I liked that you needed to look up the game's mechanics and characters even though you'd just finished it. I loved the line where you say it's hard to keep all these flat, one-dimensional, genric do-gooders straight. These games sound really dull and generic, but as someone who had avoided mobile games for a long time and has recently succumbed to them because they "pass the time" (I'm glad Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp doesn't track how many hours I've spent on it, because I'm hooked, but I also stand by my 3/5 star review). I'm not sure what this review spells out for any future Kemco RPGs you'll play and review - what more can you possibly say about these?



SECOND PLACE
Hazen: The Dark Whispers by Joe

Your introduction describes an experience we've probably all had with Steam when looking for a game to play. There is so much junk on the platform now, you've got to be really careful what you buy. The question that these games are difficult to muck up, followed by "Right?" was a good enough hook. You pick apart the game from its combat mechanics and difficulty, to the awful dialogue (I think it would've been hilarious if you'd captured one in a screenshot). The crashing would've prompted me to get a refund, though.



FIRST PLACE
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 by Jason Venter

You've had a busy year, trying to keep up with the Switch's library and reviewing all the important releases (and quite a few of the less important releases). As a Nintendo fan, it must be gratifying to know you can't keep up with it, especially when games this big come along. I've been playing this game myself, as it's one of the reasons I ended up buying a Switch a few months back (there was a deal for the red Mario Odyssey edition that was too good to pass up). This is a game where I imagine it would be quite easy to deliver a 3000 word behemoth on, and I appreciate that you hold back and just stick with the story, the world and how good it looks, and the battle system, while hinting at just how much there is to discover in this game. You do it with a familiarity that you really only get after spending a ridiculous amount of time on the game, and I feel like I have a lot to look forward to as I progress. The thought that the game is still going to throw new battle mechanics at me one hundred hours in does give me some trepidation. You're right that the game throws a lot at you, and expects you to keep up. This is the sort of game that Overdrive avoiding. Anyway, this was a great review to cap off your catalogue of Switch reviews for 2017.




And that's the way it goes. EmP will probably update the RotW hub soon with the final rankings for Site King, and the new judge roster.


I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: pickhut
Posted: December 31, 2017 (10:03 PM)
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Thanks for taking the time to do all these RotW topics. It's not an easy job having to read through all these reviews, especially on heavy weeks, and then picking the top three spots afterwards. I did appreciate all the feedback, even if it was minor... like this one!

Also, congrats to Venter for nabbing RotW, and for everyone that participated in this loaded, final week of 2017.


I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 31, 2017 (11:49 PM)
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Thanks for the time you spent as a RotW judge in 2017, Jerec, and I also appreciate winning another RotW (and the last one of the year, even) with a review that consumed basically my whole month... because of the time I had to spend with the game. I hope you do find time to--and enjoy--contributing a bunch of reviews in 2018.

Congrats to the others who placed on a competitive week, and to those who received an honorable mention. See you all in the new year, I hope!


"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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: January 01, 2018 (06:36 AM)
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Those Qix reviews were real spur of the moment reviews, all written out old school in the submission box. I didn't think they'd be the greatest thing I'd ever written, but the game doesn't give you a lot to work with. Still, I'm not done with the series. No, not yet....

I don't much enjoy writing VN reviews; the only thing you really have to talk about is the pot, and it's too easy to over indulge in that and provide spoilers, but I think that was the better of the three reviews. I don't think you need many pointers in regards to that style of review; I still remember your Steins;Gate reviews fondly. But I appreciate the comments. I think I only wrote about the port stuff for the first review for want of something interesting to say.

Congrats to Jason for a well deserved win, and well played to Joe and Jason who's placements have been pretty vital in keeping their places in the Site King.

Thanks for hanging in there and keeping RotW alive, Jerec. I appreciate what a grind it can be some weeks but it certainly wouldn't have survived until the end of the year without your help. Here's looking forward to seeing you on the other site of this thing more come next year,


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: January 01, 2018 (10:16 AM)
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Congrats, Venter! You winning the last RotW seems apropos.

And congrats on a good run doing RotW Jerec; with this obligation behind you, maybe you outdo your 13-review-year in 2018.


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

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Author: Follow_Freeman
Posted: January 01, 2018 (11:36 AM)
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All these great contributions made a great way to close out the year! Thank you also for the feedback; I think Iíll avoid talking about postgame content in the future and stick to a focus on the core content. Or at least not bother going in-depth if spoiler territory is a concern, even if itís to warn of lame ending or praise interesting post-game content. The next game I plan to review may prove a good opportunity to try a better approach. Oh, and if anyone trys ESA and likes it, let me know! Itís less than eight bucks full-price.

Again, I learned a lot by reading other reviews and reading feedback about my own. Hereís to 2018 having some learning for us, too!


A song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RqzFkV2K4g
Film reviews: https://letterboxd.com/Follow_Freeman/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVo7uK3vlYw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aToOckImfM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVpJTLpPLD0

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: January 03, 2018 (12:34 PM)
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First, thanks for your year as RotW judge, Jerec.

Second, it was FOUR reviews last week. Emp had a holdover and after that one instance, he NEVER passes up on a chance to make sure I actually remember his holdovers.

Third, man, it is sort of my self-imposed challenge to find different things to say about Kemco games and I still have 30-35 on my tablet, so I hope I can keep going. It can get difficult, though. Like, I'm nearing the end of one of Exe-Create's games and it's hard to think of anything other than how it's a typical Exe-Create game with a couple new additions thrown into their mix. And there are more E-C games than by any of their other companies and even die-hard Kemco fans grumble about how "same-y" they've gotten. But if EmP can handle every single Telltale adventure series, I can keep the Kemco train going.


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

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