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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 29th January – 04th February // The “I’m Somewhat Ill” Edition.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: February 07, 2018 (05:47 PM)
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As the title of this topic suggests, I am somewhat ill. This does not please me. Last night I had a fever, so I called in sick to work. Today, with a lot of rest, I'm feeling ever so slightly better... but still not great. So you know what that means: it's the perfect time to impart what pearl of wisdoms I can find as I tell you all about the three reviews I most liked from the period of days reflected in this topic's title.

Here in no particular order are my write-ups for the reviews that ultimately didn't make the top three:

A Collection of Bad Moments (PC) by pickhut

This review does a good job by demonstrating the promise of the game with an examination of what sounds like its best stage, then showing how that ambition works against the design in other instances. It wasn't a terribly fascinating review, and there were some rough spots grmatically, but it was still a very effective write-up overall and told me everything I need to know to decide to skip the game.

Hidden Dragon Legend (PC) by EmP

This review included some good lines, with descriptions that made the game sound pretty awesome, but then spent its second half balancing out the early enthusiasm by saying the story isn't all that hot. I had a hard time knowing where the final analysis might land for most of the time I read, because most of the text makes it sound just fine (or complains about plot, which doesn't even seem to mater much), so that prevented it from being as effective for me as I would have liked. But not every review has to be tailored to my tastes, just like not every game does.

Anodyne (PC) by Follow_Freeman

The comparisons to Zelda in your Anodyne review pique my interest, though they seem to refer specifically to a period in that other franchise's history that is now behind it. Have you played A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS? As for your text, it felt like it could have been polished up a bit if you stepped away from it a bit and came back with fresh eyes. Consider this sentence form your opening paragraph: "Anodyne is a game that has earned a place in my heart for being a game that recaptures a sense of childlike awe not in the form of high production values or mere spectacle, but in the colors and sounds of an pixelated world that is sometimes bright and beautiful, sometimes dark and frightening, but always worthy of rememberance." That's a bit much. You can eliminate some of the early repetition by saying "Anodyne, a PC game, has earned a place in my heart by recapturing..." Or similar. Little changes like that throughout can make your writing punchier and keep your readers more engaged so they can more easily enjoy your useful criticism.

Kessen (PS2) by Fiddlesticks

I either managed to avoid reading much of anything about Kessen over the years, or I read it and then forgot it, because I was able to learn a fair bit from your review. You did spend what felt like a lot of time tearing apart visual presentation that I never expected to excel (the PS2 is ancient at this point, and most of its titles looked rather ugly even before publishers stopped releasing games on the hardware), but you helpfully followed that up with analysis of how the other parts the game still could have done well were also poorly executed. So this was a good review overall, helped along by your wry humor. I enjoyed reading it.

Now that you know who didn't place, here are the three reviews I felt were strongest this week:

Third Place: Trackmania Turbo (PS4) by Subversionbyintroversion

Thanks for contributing another great review! I like your engaging writing style, which included some great lines along the way. It made reading a pleasure, but I felt the review stretched on a bit too long for its own good. You described a bunch of tracks in detail over multiple paragraphs, where a single paragraph would likely have done a better point of maintaining the momentum you had going at that point. There were some minor formatting errors, too, like paragraphs that either should have been merged or needed another space between them, but overall this was a great read dedicated to a game I bought because I suspected it would provide an experience almost exactly like the one you say it does. Good job providing a convincing reminder that next I need to find the time to actually play it!

Second Place: Super R-Type (SNES) by overdrive

You have ample experience playing both JRPGs and shooters, but your reviews for shooters almost always impress me with their authority in a way that the JRPG stuff doesn't always manage. That's especially true as you cover Super R-Type, making a clear case for its inferiority compared to other shooters in the series, and even explaining how the game's poor execution might have harmed the perception of the genre on the SNES during those important early days. There are some great descriptions here, so that the reader need not rely on extensive familiarity with the genre. You have convinced me that Super R-Type is not really worth my time.

Review of the Week: 5 Days a Stranger (PC) by darketernal

You really did a great job of making me feel like I should play the game. Your introduction was your weakest material, but important in that it established your pedigree and let readers know they're in good hands. You kept things brief and professional, and the only error that stood out for me was when you wrote "manner" when you actually meant "manor." I wouldn't have minded maybe an example of one of the puzzles or something, but you did well at giving me a feel for the intriguing manner in which the game develops. Good stuff!


"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: February 08, 2018 (06:25 AM)
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Thanks for the commentary and congrats to the winners. I realized I had an avalanche of minor typos littered throughout my review, so I've gone in and adjusted them, hopefully, all out.

I'd like to write a companion piece for Dynasty Warriors 2, another one of the PS2's early releases that is relatively bare bones, but unlike Kessen, a game that I find much more value-added for me in its replayability and enduringness.


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Author: pickhut
Posted: February 08, 2018 (06:35 AM)
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Hey, thanks for the comments, even if brief! Glad you still got enough out of the review despite its problems.

Good job to everyone else putting in effort that week, but especially congrats to Subversionbyintroversion, OD for their placements, and darketernal for getting RotW!


I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: February 08, 2018 (11:29 AM)
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In case it's not clear from my comments, there wasn't a review submitted this week that was bad, or anything close to bad. This community is fortunate enough to receive reviews from a variety of contributors, each of them capable of writing great stuff each time around. Ranking them is usually a tough matter, and a lot of the critiques you see in a RotW topic from me are more an explanation of why a review didn't rank higher than they are a complaint that the review wasn't quality stuff.


"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: February 08, 2018 (01:24 PM)
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Thanks for the complements and placing. I did have fun writing that review. Far more than I did playing the actual game!


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

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Author: Follow_Freeman
Posted: February 08, 2018 (04:52 PM)
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Thank you for the constructive criticism! My apologies if I did indeed get carried away at times; I suppose I have an extremely heightened sense of appreciation for atmosphere and other well-done aspects of games and really want to pitch the fantastic, little-known about games as best as I can. I will attempt to withhold my enthusiasm in the future.

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: February 09, 2018 (05:02 AM)
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I've already masterminded the resurrection of Marc Golding. Is this the starting point of the DE comeback tour? Probably not. But weirder things have happened.

Thanks for getting topic out; working ill is never a lot of fun. I'm more or less over the virus that KOed me over my week, but still struggle to put than a few words together. Perhaps I'll use that as an excuse for not placing.

Good to see Subs make the top three. Just as it is to finally see something positive come out of R-Type II via Rob's placement. DE's smug enough; no kudos for him.


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