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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 2019 -- And OctJOEber has begun.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 09, 2019 (01:19 PM)
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Welcome to the 2019 version of OctJOEber where I have five reviews by Joe, as well as one each by three other writers to go through. Three writers who are glad to know about that rule saying that only one review per person can be eligible for the Top Three because, who knows, Joe might get all three places if that wasn't the case. Or he'd get NONE -- depending on my mood and/or if his check's cleared yet because Site King = Serious Business.

So, eight reviews to read and five that didn't place. Let's look at those first and see if I have anything to say about any of them or just half-assedly grunt out "Yeah, good job and all…but" and trail off awkwardly.

To start with Joe's four non-placing reviews: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon did a good job of reminding me of when I played and reviewed this game, although I liked your review more than mine, as you were able to show a bit more enthusiasm for its better parts and I think you were a bit more concise in writing it than I was with mine. I also really dug Euclidean. You took a somewhat original game and did a great job of painting it as Lovecraftian in a way that anyone remotely familiar with his works could easily understand. Your other two non-placers were good reads, but just not at the level of those two and your placer. The Lost Souls was the sort of review of a really bad prequel to another really bad game that basically says "Gotta get 31 of these things out this month!" as all you have to do is point-by-point describe how lousy every single aspect of the game is. You Children of Morta review is well-written, but the sort of thing I could kind of predict how it was going to go because I think most of us have done at least one of those "this game starts out really hard, but is really rewarding if you persevere" reviews where we go into great detail talking about that progression through things. And, well, in comparison to your very clever placement review, something I can predict isn't going to win that battle!

Also in the honorable mention category is zork86's review of Diablo. There's a good review here, but it's a bit hidden behind a need to give it a good proofing, as I found the number of awkward sentences and phrasings to be distracting. To give a couple examples of the sort of thing I'm talking about, just look at the first paragraph's second sentence. For "Those being…" to be the appropriate way to start it, you'd have to mention both Warcraft games in the sentence. Instead, you mention the first one and then don't mention the second until the next sentence. So, it'd be better to have it as, "First came Warcraft: Orcs and Humans in 1994, which helped to…". Or in the game's difficulty paragraph, this sentence: "This game can be pretty damn hard sometimes…other times like in the first four or five levels of the Cathedral it’s pretty easy but as you go lower and lower things get harder and harder…which is the way it should be." comes off as a bit unwieldy and redundant to me. Clear up all the stuff like that and this one would read a lot better.


Brian's Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)

First things first: if you're going to open a review by specifically mentioning that person should be using a particular unofficial patch to truly enjoy this game, you probably should explain the reasoning behind that in a bit more detail because I was already confused just a few sentences into this one. However, when you get down to the actual sort of role-playing, this one gets pretty good. Explaining all the different things that can happen from your interaction with one essentially disposable NPC is a good tactic to illustrate how even minor decisions have a lot of potential results. You also did a good job of mentioning the variety in quests, as well as the wild fluctuations between seriousness and light-heartedness while being vague enough to not spoil anything. Overall, a good review -- even if I have no idea why this patch is such an essential thing.


Pickhut's Rolling Bird (PC)

This is a really nice review where I surprised at the end by you stating this game is free because I think most, if not all, of us have spent a few dollars on games like this that are more or less indie re-doings of notable retro titles. You did a good job of explaining this game, how it works, how it's tough and how you have a time limit that prevents you from taking a slow, methodical pace to subvert its intensity. And you do a really good job of explaining how all of this works to make a fun game, as opposed to being a "terrible mess of a product". All in all, a strong review that says what it needs to say about a game that likely hasn't gotten a great deal of coverage due to being a free PC download.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Joe's Alone? (PC)

Damn, Joe's been doing OctJOEber for long enough now that he feels the need to just flat-out show off from time to time. And this was some good showing off. So, our resident (evil) reviewer of all things horror has so much knowledge about these games and how they work that he pens a review where he describes what you're going to see from the typical haunted house game and describes how this game fits that blueprint. On pure writing, I could probably finger Euclidean as your best review of the week, but as far as the combination of creativity and being able to harness that creativity go, this one wasn't going to be beat. I loved the premise of this review and how you tied in all of your points to something going on in this game. This was my favorite of your deluge for this week and my favorite overall of the week.

And now I'm back to my main plans of killing everything in Witcher 3 and killing everything in Dark Souls II. My gaming goals might be the same all the time, but at least I do it in multiple games at once!

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: October 09, 2019 (10:25 PM)
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Thanks for a timely topic, overdrive, and for some good commentary on the reviews! Congrats to all who placed, and thanks to all who participated.

"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: pickhut
Posted: October 10, 2019 (12:40 PM)
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Thanks for the placement, OD! I think the hardest part about writing the review was figuring out where to mention that the game is free to play. I thought about mentioning it in passing at the start, but I was concerned that might muddy the impression that, free or not, the game is still fun to play. Glad you enjoyed the review. The dev, Hijong Park, also have several other retro-inspired, free-to-play titles on Steam as well. Judging by footage, they look just as fast and intense as Rolling Bird.

Congrats on getting RotW, Joe. Wouldn't be surprised if you nab several more considering the output this month.

I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: October 11, 2019 (12:53 AM)
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I humbly accept my OctMEber victory. Hopefully, there will be more to come! Congrats to Pickhut and Brian, too.

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

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