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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week April 2 - 8: Late and Rewired Edition

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2018 (02:57 AM)
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Late. This topic is late, and I apologize. I had a fun week.

You see, I had to hire an electrician to check this house out. It's needed work for a while, but I never realized the full scope of how bad my electrical situation was here. Granted, the inspector informed me of a few woes upon buying the place. However, I never realized that the people before me wired random outlets and a room in the basement using a secondary circuit, then decided to bury the source so no one could find it. I also had no idea that they used speaker wire to connect the outlet in the bathroom to the aforementioned circuit. Thankfully, my family didn't burn alive in this house.

After it was all said and done, the charges run me over $10,000, which I am paying off via financing. I know people said I should shop around a bit more, but 1) I was living in a situation in which an electrical fire was imminent, and 2) I wanted the highest rated electricians in the city to handle the job. No cheese work, like the people who came before me. I want to be safe, and I want anyone who lives here after us to be safe, too.

But enough about me.


Maboroshi tackled Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams on Xbox. Although there are mechanical and punctuation errors throughout the review, it's an informative piece, especially for someone like me who always wondered if I had missed out on the Xbox version. This review especially goes into depth regarding visual and audio qualities, which suffered in the transfer from PS2 to Xbox.

Hastypixels weighed in on the Switch version of Stardew Valley. As with Maboroshi's review, this one mainly lets us know what's different about the Switch edition of the hit farming simulator. Although this review dishes some fine details and good segments (I liked the part about the rabbit's feet), it's a bit digressive at times. It otherwise gets the job done and assures you that the Switch version is still worth getting, and any flaws it contains are inconsequential.

SNES's Skyblazer got the Freeman treatment. This is an efficiently written review with some good chuckles spread throughout it. It flows wonderfully and naturally, and makes for a great, quick read. It didn't place this week, though, but not because of any flaws. As this is a tough week with some banging pieces offered, some of the good ones just got edged out of the top three.

There was a holdover review from last week, and that's our editor-in-chief's Scribblenauts Showdown. As with Freeman's review, this one was great, but ended up edged out. The review describes the game well enough to feel like you've just rented it, but doesn't spoil all of the good stuff. It leaves enough for you to discover on your own, should you play the game. I also appreciated the anecdote written early in the review, because we don't see enough of people writing about their personal experiences with games these days.

And while we're on the subject of great reviews that got edged out, Pickhut praised Witch & Hero III. This one starts off sounding like it's going to accuse the game of retreading the same woes that made its predecessors less than appealing. However, the review reverses its stance partway in, when the game introduces a new mechanic that actually makes it the best of the trilogy. From there, Pickhut goes into why this feature improved the game so. The review's organization is excellent, as it moves from the previous discuss points deftly.


The placers, however, are:

That dastardly EmP took THIRD PLACE with a criticism of the new adventure game Distortions. You know, this game looks so unique and wondrous that I wanted it to be good. Unfortunately, EmP tells us that while the game offers some premium content, it also irks its players with horrible bugs. At first, I thought this review wasn't dishing enough info, because it seemed to take a while to get to the criticism. It's a 2/5 rating after all, and all that I've read so far as been glowingly positive. But then EmP reminds us that all it takes to kill a beautiful thing is a paragraph's worth of drawbacks, like a needle popping a balloon.

Taking the SECOND PLACE is Masters and his review of Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. Masters has a distinctly wonderful way of writing. His reviews always flow naturally, and his word choice always on point. He doesn't pull his punches, and nails any negatives as harshly as he should. Also, he piles on the praise when necessary, and doesn't lean overmuch on hyperbole to sell his enthusiasm. This Momodora review is written in the same manner, with great details offered as to why this is a quality metroidvania title. I also felt that your support was insightful, that games like this become easy because why shouldn't they? Why else would a game like this ask you to explore if it's not going to reward you with goods that simplify your journey?

The REVIEW OF THE WEEK winner, though, is WilltheGreat and his thoughts on the ancient MSDOS platformer Jetpack. It's been ages since I've seen a review like this one; where italics narratein-game experiences in a story-like manner. I used to write a lot of reviews like that myself when I arrived here at HG. Will uses these moments not only to talk about his experiences, but also to help describe the game and put its features into context. This could have easily been a cut and dry piece about nabbing items and avoiding perils, but instead it's an entertaining and often comical take on a game almost forgotten.

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I hope to spend it playing The Punisher on PS2 and Castle in the Darkness, since it's pretty much the only game that doesn't tax my computer enough to crash it.


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

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Author: Follow_Freeman
Posted: April 15, 2018 (08:28 AM)
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Great week for reviews! But, man, that whole wiring mess does sound horrid! I extend my condolences and hope you can manage those bills well. Take pride in the fact that those costs were for the safety of yourself and others, not buying a new car or a low-end video card.

Speaking of the video card apocalypse and Joe being short on good games from what I can tell, I should mention that every PC game I've reviewed so far is not graphically intensive at all, so maybe detox with one of those if you get a bad experience. I gather the Punisher game has a bit of a following, though, while I suspect that to be attributed somewhat to the startling torture minigames.

Incidentally, I don't know how the fire thing affects my theory that Joe is an android that I made in his "Android Edition" RotW. My trump card was that he was a Working Joe from Alien: Isolation, but I think they're supposed to fix things like this on their own. They're less well-spoken, too. And are androids flammable? Hmm...

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2018 (11:15 AM)
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Don't stress the lateness; some things are more important than talking about talking about video games. It's a better excuse then Rob normally gives; he just shoots back full caps replies saying "WHO ARE YOU, AND HOW ARE IN INSIDE MY MONITOR?"

Thanks for the comments. I really wanted Distortions to be better than how it was, and I accept that I gave it more praise then condemnation partly because of that. Some of the downpoints I couldn't talk about for spoiler-y reasons, such as just how hugely anticlimatic the endgame is. I even sat back on finishing the review for a while to see if a patch was coming. Crashing at that cave exit took a lot of my drive to plough through away, as well.

Congrats to Marc, and more so to Will, who revived his interest in Jet pack because I found that Jet Pack 2 had been sneakily released last year and told him about it. So, really, this is my fault.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2018 (11:40 AM)
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Shit, Joe, you've had a bad run of luck of late, haven't you? First your health, now your house's health. No more setbacks!

Anyway, thanks for getting the RotW up, and for some of the most glowing praise I've ever received. Had to re-read and consider whether or not you were trolling me (I've been trolled by the best).

Congrats to old timer Will and to Gary for his consistency. Funny you should mention those anecdote heavy reviews -- I used to do those, and was mocked mercilessly for writing them. Well, not really mercilessly.

Anyway, kudos to everyone.


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

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Author: maboroshi
Posted: April 15, 2018 (03:22 PM)
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Ouch, sorry to hear about the electrical troubles.

also, fair enough about the issues. I know I'm not an amazing writer.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2018 (04:16 PM)
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EmP, you have no idea how pissed work got at me that one time I smashed the hell out of an office computer just to get you out of it that one time you gave me hell about forgetting your review. That was a rough couple days with HR...


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: April 15, 2018 (07:20 PM)
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Thanks for the topic, Joe, and I'm sorry to hear about the personal woes with the electric. It sounds to me like you made the right choices, and I hope that doesn't wind up putting you in a tough spot later. Even if it does, it's hard to fault the source of that new, unexpected debt.


"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: hastypixels
Posted: April 16, 2018 (12:22 AM)
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Too bad about the electrical noise, though I'm glad you've got it sorted. I've gotten used to having you around and I'd miss you if you weren't. You know, without digressing too much.

I'll admit it, I digress out of habit, and catching myself doing it would be a thing ... I should start doing. I wasn't sure what I was going to get out of re-reviewing the same game on another platform, but I ended up noticing things that didn't get my attention before. All in all a good result.

Thank you for the feedback. :)


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

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Author: pickhut
Posted: April 16, 2018 (06:55 PM)
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Appreciate the comments on the review, Joe; glad you liked it! I noticed the game was getting a release when I was ready to submit my Dariusburst review, and all I could think at that time was, "Noooo... But I must know." Surprised me in the end. Another quality week, and congrats to Will on the RotW!

Like everyone else has said, sorry to hear about the wiring issues. At the very least, your family is living in a more safer house now.


I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: April 18, 2018 (02:47 AM)
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Freeman:
Thank you.

I think the inventive torture scenes are The Punisher's main selling point. It's just a shame it wasn't a good third-person shooter in addition to showing off its savagery.

As for your theory, maybe I haven't had the electrical program installed.

I mean, not that I'm an android or anything. Hahahahaha. I am human, I like warm skin and eating. Doot doot doot...


Marc:
Bad luck has been my middle name of late. Thankfully, some things are looking up, and having this out of the way is a good thing. It's been a long time coming.

I don't know what the consensus is, but I sometimes like reviews with some anecdotes, personally. It reminds us that there are people writing these things.


Maboroshi:
But you're not a terrible writer, either, and you're good enough that I come away from your reviews knowing whether or not the game in question is for me, and that's important.


Hasty:
You're welcome, and thank you.


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

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