Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | AND | IOS | PC | PS4 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | All

Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week June 24 - 30: Better Late Than Never

Add a new post within this thread...

board icon
Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2019 (04:55 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

So here I am, late as ever again. The very night I decided I was going to tackle this topic, my wife dumped a project on me. Tear the carpet out of the computer room or else... I complied. Meanwhile, I had a review assignment I needed to fulfill, which I have. I also decided to waste a night that I could've used to write this topic, as I played through the asstacular horror game Abasralsa. It's only something like 20 minutes long, but god was it awful...

All the same, I have somethings to say:

Honestgamer - Jake Hunter: long title
I appreciate this review, especially one huge part where you basically say, "If visual novels aren't your thing, then this probably isn't for you." I'll be sure to cross this off my list. It's weird, I know, because I love reading standard and graphic novels, but visual novels typically don't do it for me. Maybe I should try out some scary ones...

This is a great review that gives everyone as much details about the game's flow and concepts without dishing too much of the story. The history lesson at the beginning was terrific, too, because I've never heard of this franchise before, and it's nice to get potential players into the know before they lay down their hard earned dough. I like the bit about the feet, too, because it reminds me of so many games where one tiny thing bothered me in a game (see side note). I try to work those crits into reviews, and they only sometimes make it.

Your further details shoot down any chance that I would play this title. You talk about why these complaints hamper the game properly, with terrific support.

Side note: I have a similar small complaint in my upcoming WWF Wrestlemania Challenge review, where Rick Rude doesn't look like Rick Rude. They made him into a ginger with a crew cut.

CaptainRetroBlue - Street Fighter II': Special Champion's Edition
This is a lean review that more or less accomplishes what it set out to do. It doesn't offer a whole lot of detail, but quickly answers the question regarding whether or not the Genesis version of this title was worthwhile. My only small complaint is spacing issue between the third and fourth paragraph.

Hastypixels - Mario + Rabids Kingdom Battle
One thing about this review: it's long.

Another thing about it: there's such a wealth of information that anyone reading it should know exactly what they're getting into. You cover pretty much every aspect of the game, and leave readers without questions or concerns. Though you present it as a positive review, anyone reading should be able to know absolutely if this is their thing or not.

While this piece shows some quality work, there are a handful of areas that would benefit from trimming.

Brian - Dust: An Elysian Tail
A pretty short, solid review. I don't really have much to say about it, except that you handled the graphical end very well. "Art style > fidelity" is something I've always felt, and I think you got that message out effectively, especially as you noted how the visuals bolster the action.

CaptainRetroBlue - Blaster Master
The first few paragraphs are pretty standard and give readers the proper gist of the game. Your descriptions are good, and they give anyone who hasn't played this game yet (I'm guessing mostly younger folks) a good idea of what to expect. Your best paragraph, though, talks about how voyaging into the unknown can be exhilarating. This is an excellent point to make, because some games hinge on how they handle uncertainty. If a game about exploration presents the unknown as an opportunity or an adventure, then its doing its job properly. Good work!

Overdrive - Trials Rising
The introduction is great because it describes the franchise succinctly. From there, it only gets better, as you let your passion for the brand show. Thing slow down a touch as you reach the "negative" portion of the review, where you discuss some of the downer points of the experience. The support you use is good, but I just wasn't as hooked into this segment as the first half. Not saying it's bad or anything, though. This is still a great review for Trials Rising, and bolsters my interest in the series as a whole.

Honestgamer - Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry
And here I thought they'd spoof the title "What Dreams May Come." That gag was probably already done, though. This review had some good humor and great descriptions of the story without bumping into spoilers. I also liked the warning at the end of the piece, letting people know there might be some disagreeable material (it is Leisure Suit Larry, after all). I liked this review quite a bit. It flowed well and told me to expect what any LSL title might offer, although the item management end of this sounds annoying.

And now, the placers:

THIRD PLACE
Pickhut - Gungrave
I've heard tales of Gungrave's tedium, but nothing in detail. I'm glad you wrote this review, because this game sounds absolutely skippable. You covered everything there is to find in a standard "bad game," and did so naturally, without ticking off a bunch of boxes or presenting a basic list. This story of your experiences and reluctance to play this game told everything we needed to hear (I especially dug the bit about being afraid something might go buggy later in the proceedings, as that would mean having to replay those horrible levels).

SECOND PLACE
Honestgamer - WorldNeverLand
A wonderfully stacked middling review is tough to come by, and this is one of them. You make this game sounds so tedious, but also kind of intriguing. I really enjoyed the bits about Sarah Stones and Anton. All of that made me forget about the ho-hum stuff you talked about early on: loads of asinine DLC and muddy visuals. Then you talked about the expensive mansion, how you'd have to farm for two in-game years to afford it, and how a year takes something like 10-12 hours. No, I'm not spending 20 frickin' hours grinding for a house. I endured enough of that in Suikoden III, but that was for updated armor instead. Anyway, this was an engaging review that makes me wish this game weren't so tedious. I'd like to play an RPG where you meet random people and pal around with them.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK
EmP - Draugen
Ah, vagueness in adventure games, the bane of my existence... We meet again.

So this company planned to make a horror walking simulator, by the sounds of it ("scary walk" is what I call those), but then got revamped into a pretty much horror-free mystery game. They replaced the scary bits with vagueness, because of course they did. This review builds excellently towards why vagueness in this case hampers the finished product. The game doesn't offer enough to allow you to form your own theories, and (by the sounds of it) leaves you with more questions you can't even puzzle out on your own. Each of your carefully planned out points support this thesis, while also reinforcing the notion that Draugen gets some things right. It's got some punch to it, just not enough.

---

EmP's talk about how the company changed directions away from horror reminds me of a scene from the '80s movie House. William Katt plays a horror novelist who's going through some real shit (divorce, missing child, aunt who raised him "commits suicide," etc.). He does a book signing in one segment and some eager fan asks him what his next book will be about. "Actually, it's about my personal experiences in Vietnam." The look of disappointment at seeing his (likely) favorite horror writer shifting gears and penning a non-horror memoir was absolutely apparent.


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

board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 06, 2019 (03:03 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Thanks for the comments on my reviews, for placing one of them second, and for even getting this topic done. I think it's easy sometimes to forget what a project these topics can be, amid other life things like... tearing out carpet. I hope that went as well as this RotW topic, which I deem a success. Congrats to all who participated. I think it was a pretty dang good week!


"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

board icon
Author: pickhut
Posted: July 06, 2019 (04:35 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I've heard things about Gungrave for years, as well. When I finally decided to play it ("reasons"), I thought that maybe it wouldn't be so bad. It was bad. Glad you got some vital details out of the game from the review, and I'm really happy the game didn't bug out for me after that initial cluster of a first impression.

Thanks for the third placement in a busy week, and congrats to EmP on getting RotW!


I head spaceshit noises.

board icon
Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: July 07, 2019 (12:11 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

If you want to find some good out of Gungrave, watch the anime. It really has no right to be anywhere near as good as it turned out to be.

Thanks for getting the topic out, and I appreciate the nod. Draugen has good pedigree, coming from the minds of the Dreamfall series. But they also made The Park, and it's certainly much more similiar to the latter. Good, solid week, so props to all that wrote.


For us. For them. For you.

board icon
Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: July 07, 2019 (05:53 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Oh, yeah, The Park was bad. I wouldn't be down for more of that.


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

board icon
Author: hastypixels
Posted: July 10, 2019 (10:57 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Congratz to the participants, and once again, thanks for the feedback!

It's entirely possible that I'm just not accustomed to handling large, Tripe A titles like Mario+Rabbids. It's also possible I just rambled because I wanted to get into the mechanics, which were a blast and the highlight of the game. Shrug.

If I had to do anything different, perhaps I might well have shuffled the deep mechanics banter to a blog post, much like I did with the story of Forgotton Anne. Something to consider.


I was always a grizzled old soul.

board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 10, 2019 (11:19 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Even great critics have difficulty diving deep and very often realize they can't afford to, because the writer must always keep in mind the clock watcher. Readers get overwhelmed by reviews that go on for too long, so it is important to employ "tricks" to keep them engaged. Those tricks primarily come down to a healthy respect for proper pacing, which means deciding carefully what is most worth discussing, what needs more detail, and what is unimportant enough that that it can be glossed over or skipped altogether.

If the writer seems to be in no hurry to move from one point to the next, readers subconsciously move on for them and stop reading before they have finished. Most games have enough content to cover that a critic will routinely move from one topic to the next well before exhausting what he or she has to say about the topic in question. It's a constant balancing act, because a point needs to be made efficiently and convincingly, but without sparing a single word to that effort that isn't necessary.

Even so, there are less experienced folks writing about games who scratch their heads and wonder how anyone could possibly find enough to say to require more than 500 words while covering the same games we struggle to sum up in fewer than 1500 words. Comfort with the process requires extensive practice and feedback. It never happens overnight, or over the course of just a few reviews. It also never happens completely. We all have room for improvement.


"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

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2019 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.