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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: Jan. 22-28, 2018 -- Still doing this thing into another year!

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: January 30, 2018 (01:07 PM)
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A new year and my first RotW of said new year. Huzzah for this thing still being alive, even if EmP may not be, going off his whole "I'm deathly ill" deal he had last week.

Looks like we have two reviews by Joe, two by Venter, one by Fiddlesticks and one from EmP (HE IS ALIVE…or at least programmed his computer to send in one final posthumous review…since it's for a game from his beloved 32X, it may be how he wanted to go out. As vikings have their funeral pyre, EmP has his 32X). Oh yeah, there's also one of mine, which moves to Venter's week. Because after waiting patiently most of the month for our illustrious leader to notice I've been regularly sending him work, he finally readies one for release during my week to judge them!!! Sigh…I'm not going to finish too highly in this year's Site King at this rate. Let that be a lesson to you, guys. When you narrowly edge the boss out for fifth place in the standings one year, he WILL crush you the next year. Either that or EmP got in his ear about paying me back for my reluctance to review any more Aliens games after my experience with that crappy GameBoy Color one. Look, I don't know who is at the heart of this BUT IT'S AN ANTI-ROB CONSPIRACY!!! About makes me want to buy a Switch just so I can give EVERYTHING from direct-to-download crap to legitimately revered Mario and Zelda stuff a one-star review.

So, yeah, judging reviews and stuff. Here we are again with 3.4 percent more bitterness. Give me a few minutes to read these things and then I'll get on to deciding who gets complements from me and who gets the full-on brunt of my unholy scorn. Or, more likely, less effusive compliments since people keep telling me that it doesn't foster a healthy community when I'm comparing others' work to the end result of a three-year-old falling on top of a keyboard and twitching around on it convulsively. Hmmm…give me a minute, I need to save that line.

I suppose we'll start out with the I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO WITH THIS ONE Award, which goes to Fiddlesticks for a fairly entertaining fan fiction of Fallout 4 that contains enough game information in places to be something akin to a review. I think? Taking place in diary form, it details the trials and tribulations of a random NPC and his dealings with the game's protagonist. As a read, I found it very entertaining, especially the parts lampshading kleptomaniac heroes, how a guy might have a super-important quest but will put it on hold to farm tons of items and resources and how plot armor NPCs can't be killed. As a review, I don't know if it's as effective. A couple diary entries give a good bit of exposition as to what the game's world is like and there are little bits buried here and there that give info about things that can happen in the game, but as a guy who's played 3 and New Vegas before, but not this one, it seemed I was calling on my personal knowledge as much as relying on what you were saying to figure out what's what with this game (allowing me to enjoy the reference to the Fallout food staple, squirrel on a stick). Hell, for most of it, I was wondering if I've fallen so far out of favor with the site overlords that we had another of those "Promethian review" contests and no one told me because they were worried I'd submit 2500 words on some Kemco RPG. So, in short, it was a fun and enjoyable read that'd be first place simply on the criteria of "I liked reading it!", but on the "I learned about a game, how it works and why the reviewer liked/disliked it" level, it falls outside the top three. Like, to give one example -- you use a couple diary entries to describe the hero taking all sorts of materials to build stuff for the Minutemen and how that affects the live of the diary-writing farmer, but I have no clue how that stuff flows with the game to a player. Is it cool or an annoyance where you have to build stuff or fast travel to old sites to fight invaders when you want to explore new places and advance quests?

THIRD PLACE

Jason's Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch)

Both you and Joe had one review you seemingly had fun writing and one review for a game that you didn't really have much to say about, but were gonna give it a go, regardless! Which made it easy for me to pick which of your reviews was getting a placement, so yay! This review resonated with me probably because I just finished my latest re-watching of Flying Circus (6th time through? 7th?) and this whole very British-seeming game feels like a skit by them come to life with people delivering bizarre word salad insults in a game show sort of way. And I think you did a good job of rolling with that (at least in my very diseased mind) while reviewing it, adding in your own horribly lame and bizarre insults in the tagline and in the review, while explaining how this is a pretty fun party game that doesn't have the same chops as "alone night" entertainment. About my only complaint is that for some reason this review made me feel old, with how you felt the need to explain what tea is. Damnit! My generation knows all about that dadgum tea drink! Made your hot water taste like stuff, it did!!!

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SECOND PLACE

EmP's DarXide (Sega 32X -- Earth's Greatest Achievement)

When I upgraded my Mac's OS a year or so ago, it caused my Sega emulator to stop working. I'd say I was bothered by that, but most of the Genesis games I wanted to play, I own on a 360 compilation and not having that thing around allowed me to gracefully bow out of feeling remotely obligated to help you out with 32X reviews, leaving you to cover games such as this. It really says a lot about a system's viability when it shows off by releasing a tech demo of Asteroids that looks better, but is worse in every other conceivable way. Overall, I liked this review. You found a lot to talk about, considering how simplistic this game is, but it never felt like you were forcing yourself to find something to say. You had some good history concerning what this game was SUPPOSED to be, as well as how it failed as a game, with special kudos for tying in how it betrayed its roots by removing the claustrophobia and chaos that made Asteroids so legendary. All in all, making this an enjoyable read.

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REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Joe's Remaining in a dream (PC)

Sometimes, I wonder why I'm so eagerly clutching to my Kemco niche. Sure I'm reviewing games that have very few reviews on the market, which gives me some very, very, very sad version of brand recognition, but I'm playing a slew of short, simple, generic RPGs where the main saving grace is that they're usually short enough that I've finished each one before feeling the urge to scoop my eyes out with a wooden spoon. But then I look across the site and see Venter trying to cover every 25-minutes-of-kind-of-fun Switch downloadable and you and EmP scouring the Steam Marketplace for such grand titles as this — a game where the only justification of playing it seems to be if your friend designed it and you really want to quash his dreams of designing the next big thing by telling him just how much his work sucks and how he'll never amount to anything. I guess, in this scenario, it probably isn't a good friend…

I think you and EmP both crossed similar grounds here, taking apart a horrible game, but yours edges him by a nose due to some of those intangible factors that it's now my duty to try to put into words. I think with his, it just started out with this "this game is going to be bad, so let's tear into it!" vibe, but your review starts with intrigue. A colorful walking simulator! Wait, you just got a gun, so it's a shooter! And then you have a very non-challenging shooter against toothless foes that get broken up by a pair of horrid gimmick levels. Where any potential difficulty is washed away by the ability to save scum. And how the game isn't even perfectly stable (the "not knowing you had a key because the game never told you" bit made me laugh). With all of this delivered in a sort of deadpan way where you're not truly bashing the game, but sort of going through the emotions you felt as you started it and then progressed through it and got more and more disappointed and annoyed.

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Alright, that was fun and definitely beat working today at work. Now, let us all hope for my sake that we keep this four-person rotation going for a while, since it's kind of nice knowing that I only have to pull one of these out per month (give or take, the maths isn't my strong suit). So stay strong, EmP! I have faith you can overcome the horrific and diabolical malady known to mere mortals as a common cold!!!!


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: January 30, 2018 (01:19 PM)
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I didn't mention it in my review (I had to keep my flow going), but one of the setups in Oh...Sir! is essentially the parrot sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus. Which, by the way, I have started watching after obtaining the whole series on DVD a while back when I found it cheap on eBay. I'm not quite halfway through it yet.


"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: Fiddlesticks
Posted: January 30, 2018 (01:44 PM)
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Congrats to the winners. I thought that Darxide review was pretty good.

Thanks for taking the time to offer some input on my Fallout 4 "review." I definitely agree with your points on it; it's really more a fan-fic than actual critique of the game, and you do need to have first-hand knowledge of it to get the most out of it. I blame it on me feeling inspired to do a write-up for that game in that style while I was recently flying cross-country.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: January 30, 2018 (02:36 PM)
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Jason
I bought it a few years ago (the DVD set) and tear through it all every few months. Has to be a long enough time that I just remember sketches and not the whole avant-garde way they connected everything in whatever nonsensical way they were doing things that week. Keeps it kind of fresh for me, even if I know how, to use your example, the Parrot Sketch goes.


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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 01, 2018 (01:20 AM)
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A cold. Scoff! I bloody wish.

I'm starting to feel less like the shuffling dead, so I'll start reactivating myself more shortly.

Congrats to Joe, I really liked his review, and to Jason for discovering Monty Python several decades later than everyone else. Classic Venter! I also really dug Fiddle's Fallout 4 review; it was an interesting concept and an amusing read.

Every time I review a 32X game, I assume that perhaps the worst is behind me and it's plainer sailing from then onward. Then I discover DarXide, and my faith is shattered against the cruel rocks of reality all over again. Still, it's strangely enjoyable playing Internet historian for these things. I'm not saying I'll miss it when I'm finally done, but I don't mind doing it as much as I thought I would.

Primal Rage next. God help me.

Cheers, Rob.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: February 01, 2018 (05:35 PM)
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I've known about the Monty Python troupe for years, of course. I even watched "A Fish Called Wanda" when I was a kid (and then again very recently, as I now own it on blu-ray), which includes a few of the principle actors. I just never actually watched the "Flying Circus" series that made them famous until quite recently, despite also watching "Holy Grail" more than a decade ago. That one I own on DVD. I have yet to watch "The Meaning of Life" and "Life of Brian" and such.

Anyway, my point is that I'm not completely oblivious when it comes to such things, even in cases where I don't have personal experience with them. But some of the jokes do make more sense when I view them now that I am older and able to get the subtext. The scenes in "A Fish Called Wanda" where Michael Palin's character is trying to snuff the old woman seemed sad and demented to me when I was much younger. I couldn't understand why my uncle--who was my babysitter and had the brainwave to show my sister and I the R-rated film my parents almost certainly wouldn't have let us watch--was laughing so hard. Now I get it. ;-)


"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: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: February 01, 2018 (10:41 PM)
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Haha! Two weeks in a row! Thank you for the victory, and for having this wonderful topic out timely.

I also congratulate Jason and EmP on their placement.


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

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