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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 29th July – 4th August // I’ll never understand why Darius is rated.

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: August 06, 2019 (10:15 AM)
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Joe has a holdover, which means no podium place for Vacant today. That rambunctious little scamp...

THIRD Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) Mariner

This is an awful introduction paragraph. For one, the idea that there’s been less than five notable 3D platformers in the last few years is kind of ludicrous, specifically given how vague ‘notable’ is as a definition. You can satisfy that hallmark with just Mario games alone. You then go on to describe the review as ‘pointless’. It’s not a solid start.

That’s probably the review’s low point, and there’s some very good writing in here. I really liked the ‘and’ paragraph, for example. Really, the review’s biggest pitfall has become surprisingly common (triggered previously by Jason “Nintendo is love; Nintendo is life” Venter himself, no less) in that you say that the game is certainly above average, but most of your review focuses on the negative. I think the review is written predictably well, but the message is kind of jumbled.

SECOND Wells [PC] Joe

That’s a clumsy intro. Lots of back-to-back choppy sentences. Feels like a placeholder you threw in with the intent to come back and fix later and then didn’t. I say this as someone who does this all the time.

That said, I absolutely get it when it comes to games so middle of the road that you’re not really given anything to talk about. There’s things that work okay, and there’s things that kinda suck, but nothing to build up or tear down. Urgh, these games are the worst to write about! I think you’re fair in how you talk about the game, praising controls, which is often ignored, and rightfully bashing the idea that a run and gun game should be slowed down. It’s a really dumb take and an inteligent place to focus your bemusement upon. Ultimately, the review comes across as going through the motions and, while Joe’s more than good enough at this nerdy thing we do to still translate that into a very good review, the source material actively works against him here.


Just to get it out of the way early:

MASTERS: Is Rob suggesting that Super Nova was hard? Scoff!
MASTERS: We used to joke about how easy it was to one credit that joke.
MASTERS: Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have hours of talking about how many reviews I’m going to submit ahead of me, only to do absolutely nothing for the 200th day running.

I like your tagline. I mean, it’s not as good as my taglines, but it’s still pretty good. The intro’s pretty rocky, though. There’s that noteworthy thing again; I never realised how bland that description was without context until today. But I guess it does its job, and sets you up for talking about the non-linear path progression of the series with their branching level selects. That Lovecraftian refrence was dumb. Strange place to try and be poetic.

This is a Rob review, so it tends to be a bot longhandy and rambley at points. I don’t think the review really hits its stride until it gets to the level paragraph, and, from there, Rob’s experience with the genre starts to take centre stage. It suffers from some of the pitfalls Joe has to suffer, with a middle of the road game, but Rob’s apparent enthusiasm for the genre carries through the rough patches. And then, he talks about Dark Souls. Because you just can’t stop Rob.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: August 06, 2019 (10:31 AM)
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1. Ah, that wacky Marc (or wacky Gary pretending to be wacky Marc). When I posted my review, I saw his staff review (which is why mine is user) and he mentioned the difficulty, too.

2. There never is a wrong time for me to be out-of-the-blue poetic! Or to bring up Dark Souls!

3. Thanks for the win and words. At the least, I had more fun writing this one than I had in a while. That's one thing about the difference between games of eras. I'd been doing a lot more of games from recent times where I got bogged down in all the stuff I wanted to say or thought was noteworthy that I'd get lost in my thoughts and things would get a bit jumbled. So it was nice to do something for a short and to-the-point game where I was able to get in and get out more easily and be able to focus a bit more on the actual writing than on trying to cram in as much stuff as possible while trying (and often failing) to keep it under novella length.

4. Kudos to Joe (especially for having a holdover -- I thought this'd be a two-man competition) and Mariner for their stuff. I liked Joe's review a good bit and appreciated Mariner's, as it is the kind of stuff we can do here that you don't necessarily get other places -- where a person does something that isn't necessarily a "review" review, but it is a chance to talk in-depth about one or more aspects of a game. And as someone who has played a few of the more recent (ie: past 10-15 years) Mario games, I definitely did understand what he was saying about how some challenges get repetitive after doing them a few times. Kind of the trap programmers fall into with the pressures to give players a certain amount of content, which results in having to collect so many of something, with the actual number of concepts behind that collecting not quite matching the number of things to collect.

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: August 06, 2019 (11:00 AM)
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I struggled with that damn intro, too. But thank you for the critique and the placement! I mainly wrote this review because I had nothing else to write, and that was the last game I finished (I initially gave up trying to write about it because it's so bland, but convinced myself to do so in the end).

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

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Author: mariner
Posted: August 08, 2019 (04:26 AM)
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Heh, I knew my review wasn't for everyone. I just had absolutely no desire to go through all the great stuff in the game because there are hundreds and hundreds of those reviews out there and they all say that stuff. What good would the 201st review saying that do?

I am confused by the first part of what you wrote; the last 3D Mario before Odyssey released in 2013, right? My list of notable 3D platformers of the last 5 years (new, not counting remakes like the Crash or Spyro trilogies) was Mario Odyssey, A Hat in Time, Yooka Laylee, Astrobot, and Super Lucky's Tale. I think when you're getting down to Super Lucky's Tale, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for "notable"...

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: August 08, 2019 (06:38 PM)
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More than pretty much any genre that comes to mind, the 3D platformer is all but dead. The 2D platformer, meanwhile, is alive and well. I just added this week's 32 or so new Switch releases to the database, and 5 or 6 of those were 2D platformers...

"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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