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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week April 30 - May 6

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: May 10, 2018 (09:30 PM)
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I've got no excuse for my lateness. I just got a new computer and decided to devote my time to it instead. I'm currently trying to blast through Ether One, which has been terrific so far.

As for our reviews...

The Talos Principle (PS4) by sam1193
Funny thing: I had no idea this was done by the Serious Sam guys. That tiny bit of info floored me. It's hard to believe Croteam made an artsy puzzler. The dry wit in the first paragraph was a good hook, too, with all the references to headless enemies and such.

Anyway, this is a detailed delve into a game I've been itching to play. You do a good job analyzing its story themes and describing the environment, plus bringing up the concept that the game is a bit tense but not scary. My only complaint is the review could use some tightening, but not extensively so. This is otherwise a very good write up that increases my interest in The Talos Principle.

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii) by Follow_Freeman
You'd think a Sonic runner title would be a no-brainer, but somehow they managed to screw that up as well. This is a good bash review, with plenty of scathing crits (and rightly so). You cover all of the right bases, but I prefer your DoReMi review to this one.

Spyro the Dragon (PS) by overdrive
EmP would have a field day with that intro. "Let's talk about muuuh!" I like it, though, because it informs younger readers of something we fogies remember: gaming magazines that came with demos. I used to freakin' love those, even the ones with shitty demos. It's thanks to those discs that I discovered Incredible Crisis, which I absolutely adore. I also thought it was kind of weird that GameFAQs allowed people to review them. But I digress...

Wait, no, another digression: I had no idea Stuart Copeland was the composer of this game's soundtrack. Cool! Alright, done.

One thing that stands out about this review is that you rightly criticize the parts that didn't age well. Technology has moved on since Spyro, and that means improved camera mechanics and other nuances that you don't see these days. At the same time, you remind us that the first game is a good title because its developers crafted it to accommodate all skill levels. You also do a good job of dissecting the game and showing us what works both within the title itself and within the genre. My only complaint involves a little tightening, but this is an otherwise good piece.

Fatal Twelve (PC) by EmP
A quick review for a visual novel. I have to commend you, because I don't think I can review these pretty much at all. The closest I came was reviewing Light's End so many years ago. This one sounded pretty tough to review, but you kept the piece clear and to the point, so it ran smoothly. You also did a pretty good job of analyzing the plot without giving anything vital away. It's easy to forget to do that sometimes, especially if the game in question tells a good story.

Pong (arcade) by Midcore
Minimalist games are tricky to review. They're typically so technical that it's hard to not deliver a dry piece. This review is somewhat technical, bit undeniably enjoyable. It flows smoothly and gives a detailed enough description of the mechanics that anyone who hasn't played it will feel like they've donated an hour of their time to it.

My favorite feature of this review, though, is the little bit of history at the beginning. It's always nice to get extra background on older titles, especially if there's a story to tell.

DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibouken (SNES) by Follow_Freeman
This was very well done review. I chuckled a bit at some of your commentary, but what I enjoyed the most was that you drew a comparison between the game and its soul-destroyingly bad predecessor without merely falling into the "DoReMi is good because it's not Secret Castle" trap. The comparisons needed to be drawn, because DoReMi plays it relatively safe and succeeds, whereas Secret Castle just wants you to suffer tried to be unique and was awful. I also like that this was a very detailed review, and it described its presentation in a very orderly manner, without doing the whole "by the way, the graphics are good" thing that most of us do now and then.


That's all I got.

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

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Author: Follow_Freeman
Posted: May 11, 2018 (06:30 AM)
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All right! Glad you liked the reviews! I'm trying to reinvent my approach with each review, but I feel that I'm at my best when I have a topic that gives me something to say about the medium as a whole. Those two Milon games made a scenario in which I felt as if I learned an important lesson about games from it, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the matter. I suppose something that differentiates games from other mediums is that "more of the same" flies over much better with games if it's good, but having a relatively fresh presentation doesn't hurt, either.

We had some great ones this week, too. Midcore's are especially interesting to me since they make for great reading while providing information delivered in a professional manner. I'm inspired to try something like that and a visual novel review soon, but right now I need to do a review I promised myself to do when I got my first win of a week...

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: May 11, 2018 (05:33 PM)
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Ether ONE, huh? I TRIED TO WA... no, wait. The opposite. I said very nice things about that one.

Appreciate the mention; I've been quite open in not much enjoying back to back visual novel reviews, but I think Fatal was the better of the two. There were some good reviews out there this week; even the ones that didn't talk about Rob a lot.

Glad to see Midcore and Freeman getting some props. I really dig both their material choices for slightly different reasons, but I'm glad to see the retro flag being flown.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: May 12, 2018 (11:10 AM)
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I haven't read many reviews lately, but congratulations to those who placed, especially Freeman, who I think notches his first win here.

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

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