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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, 2018 -- I'm not doing that shuffle play thing like EmP did!

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 04, 2018 (01:42 PM)
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Okay, we have a bit of a confusing time with RotW, it seems. Two weeks ago, it was Joe's turn, but because he had real-life stuff to deal with, EmP moved up a week to help out. Last week, it was EmP's natural turn, but no one seems to have covered that. This week is my turn and I'm doing that. So we seem to have a hole for one week (Nov. 19-25). This is Nov. 26 to Dec. 2. Not that one. If someone wants to grab it so we can be all complete and stuff, that'd be awesome, especially since it seems to be a busy week with a lot of writers contributing.

It won't be me though! I have two reviews I'd like to get done sooner, rather than later, since I'm finally able to spend a bit of time writing due to a really busy month or so at work being over with and me having time to get review-writing done. And I'd rather be taking advantage of that instead of writing about reviews and then realizing I'm swamped again and have multiple things I'm scrambling to find time to write about.

So, looks like I have six reviews to judge between as this week was lighter than the previous one. There'd be seven, but one of them is mine and so it gets pushed to next week. So I mention everyone, CaptRetroBlue gives us three more reviews of retro games. They're short and easy to get through (other than the occasional awkward phrasing) and contain some interesting tidbits (I've played NES Karnov a gazillion times and never knew they changed him from "greedy guy" to "heroic guy" for the NES adaptation). But all of them kind of left me wanting a bit more detail, in particular with mechanics. For example, with Phantasy Star II, you accurately mention how the game is really hard, but don't really go into the reasons why (such as small gains when leveling up, tough enemies that can tear you up with spells, how some characters go from good to worthless and back again depending on what kind of monster you're fighting, etc.).


THIRD PLACE

Follow Freeman's Half-Life 2 (PC

An interesting, well-written review that possibly could have used a bit of fleshing out of your basic premise: That this game is super-great even if, in some ways, it isn't. It seems with everything you wrote here about the actual playing of the game, you ranged from dismissive to damning with faint praise. It's slower and dumber; you get whatever you need at any time from supply boxes; enemies attack mindlessly quite often, characters and events aren't original or dynamic, etc. But it gets 5/5 and that is because of how wonderfully the execution of the world-building is. I can understand that viewpoint and have gotten behind it before. I can think of a few games that had flaws and I recognize and admit those flaws, but they're great damn works in my mind and their positives are so great in my eyes that I don't care about those flaws. But here, to me, it kind of seems like you needed to accentuate those positives a bit more. The review was well-written and I liked it a lot, but it didn't hit me with "this game is great; I should be playing it" thoughts. More of a "hey, it's a dumbed-down-for-console-players game…but they really put work into making its world cool!" thought where I wouldn't be surprised if I loved it, but don't really feel any excitement about trying it.

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SECOND PLACE

sam1193's Tetris Effect (PlayStation 4)

It's the year 2018 and I'm still reading reviews of Tetris games?!?!? I will say this one, which seems to be for a new Tetris game (thereby excusing it!), did fascinate me on a few levels. Coming off as a stream-of-consciousness discussion on things, with the game taking front and center as the cornerstone of that discussion, it kept my attention far better than I expected when I saw the subject matter. The part about Tetris being a good mental health aid was pretty neat. The music and how it was utilized was a nice touch. And so on. I played Tetris a lot in college, but barely ever after then, so I don't have a huge deal to say about this review, but it did exceed my expectations coming into it and had a lot of neat information. It's the sort of review that, on one hand, I'm thinking whether a Tetris game review needs to be that long or if the stuff on the actual gameplay function (zone mechanic) shouldn't be discussed earlier and given more focus than all the talk about Tetris' "vibe" …but when I'm reading it, it seems every paragraph has some sort of neat information that adds to the final product.

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REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Joe's Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Damn, Joe! This is a pretty sweet review. This is one of those games in my backlog. I made the mistake of starting it up right after finishing Fallout 3 and I just wasn't ready for another Fallout at that time. I made it to New Vegas and talked to House for the first time and just ran out of steam around then. Some year, I'll get back to it, I think. But from my experiences with the game, you really nailed what makes it fun and, to me, far superior that Fallout 3. The factions and missions such as your late-review talk of the weapon store owner and a potential sidekick basically make it so virtually everything you do in this game is along the lines of the "detonate the bomb in the town OR kill Mr. Burke" and the "kill the ghouls for Tenpenny Tower OR let them in to kill the residents of the tower" quests in 3 as far as having the potential to change the world on some scale. You did a good job of bringing that out, as well as how it's super-hard to get happy endings for people at times. I really dug this review and would have even without my familiarity with this game.
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Hey! This one wasn't near the amount of work that both of mine taking place at least partly in October were! YAY for an easy day!


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: December 04, 2018 (02:03 PM)
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Haha, you lapped Marc.

Greatest RotW ever.

(Congrats to the winners)


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 04, 2018 (03:04 PM)
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So last week's was divvied up and I still got mine up first? First time I've ever lapped someone. You are right: GREATEST ROTW EVER!!!


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

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: December 04, 2018 (04:26 PM)
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It's actually the WORST RotW ever, because my held over review was not taken into account. I'll just take an automatic win for Week 53, shall we say?


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

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Author: Follow_Freeman
Posted: December 04, 2018 (09:28 PM)
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Glad you liked my review, especially considering it's for a game that's been spoken of countless times. Still, my review speaks for itself in that the other aspects of the game enhance the dry gameplay; it's important to know how to "read" a game -- and a review, for that matter -- when it comes to pacing and audio-visual design, as well. I spent only one paragraph on what you make out to be the majority of my review (the gameplay missteps); it is an important paragraph, but it's evident that the rest of the review speaks for itself. We all know games are "more than just graphics," but we should also be aware that games are more than gameplay and story.

And don't worry, Marc; you're doing us a kindness by stepping up to the plate in the first place, so feel no chagrin if you have to take your time.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 04, 2018 (10:52 PM)
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Marc, no one told me to look for your review. I AM BLAMELESS!!!


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

This message was deleted at the request of Zydrate, the person who originally posted it.

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Author: Zydrate
Posted: December 05, 2018 (04:40 AM)
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Oof. I was watching for the last week rotation to see if I made the cut.
Guess I'll have to wait another week :O
Grats, folks.


My Tumblr (Don't worry, I just talk about games)
My Steam Profile

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2018 (07:32 AM)
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Rob: In all seriousness, good job on making me look even worse than I originally thought possible.

Joe: Congrats on the 'return.'

Freeman: Thanks for the support.

Zydrate: Apologies, but it won't be another full week -- I'm going to try to have the topic up tonight.


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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2018 (09:31 AM)
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I kid, and I've been needling Marc constantly over on Steam, but this whole writing about other people writing about video games deal is a volunteer gig. It's a lot of work (though, clearly, I work the hardest) so stepping up is always appreciated.


Though, on that note, I didn't feel I had to nudge anyone to remember Marc's float over because every day for the past week he's said "yeah, sure, the topic will be up tonight, you insufferable Limey git". And I believed him. Because I am a very trusting gentleman.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 05, 2018 (11:48 AM)
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Lol, Marc, no need to feel bad. I legit had no idea that you were doing Emp's week after he did Joe's. Hell, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to follow Emp and do the previous week instead of the one I did, but since no one asked/told me to, I just did things the regular way and never looked to see who all submitted reviews during that week, other than seeing there were a decent amount of them. Which probably should come back to me to some degree for just doing "business as usual" and not bothering to check to see what was going on with that week.

FF, I guess to me, those negatives were strewn through more than the one paragraph. The "simplified for console" bit was in the next one (primarily as a bridge from the previous paragraph) and the part about events and characters not being dynamic were later on. I saw that as repeated references to those flaws where it felt like you'd be complementing aspects of the game and then saying something to remind me of those flaws. Part of it, though, might have to do with my general lack of familiarity with Half-Life games, where I've not played any of them and really haven't read a huge amount about them other than what other people here have said. So a big part of it might have been rooted in me having no clue who Dr. Breen is or what that Citadel is, where I'm reading your words but not feeling them because I have no personal basis to draw upon and be like, "Yeah! That was awesome how that area alternated between quiet and loud parts to great effect!"


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

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: December 07, 2018 (09:16 AM)
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Bwahahahahaha! I heartily accept victory. Thank you! Also, good job to Sam and Freeman for placing.


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

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