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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 9th March – 15th March // Quick and Clean

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: March 17, 2020 (07:54 AM)
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Happy Tuesday, all. Join me as a rank game reviews in the apocalypse.

Only three reviews this week, in actuality, but five are eligible for this week's judging, because Emp had two holdovers that I've managed to remember to include. Either I remembered, or Emp wouldn't stop pestering me to include them. One or the other.

And so, we've got another one of those situations where only one contributor is left off the podium, so my apologies in advance to that person -- especially in this case, where I really had a tie for bronze, but ties are presumably not allowed (why not!). Anyway.

Rob's Dark Seven

In response to Rob's profound tagline, I would say this: we're only on this planet for a finite amount of time, and I spent some of that time doing this RotW. I think I have you beat... Was the Kemco Khallenge really started a few years ago? Time does fly. Your actual intro paragraph is excellent here. But... then there are a further four paragraphs of introduction which veer into self-indulgent/blog material to be sure. You poke fun of it yourself; we know you're aware of it, but that doesn't change the fact that we don't touch on Dark Seven until, as you say, paragraph five. The flow of the review and quality of writing is top notch; everything you do to close the review out (analysis of the game's numerous failings and highlighting of its two plusses) is done well, it's just that it takes so long to get to.

Joe's Wild Arms 2

Here's another J-RPG review with a great intro, and Joe gets to the nitty gritty of the story pretty quickly. Although, is "raggest" a word? I think something is missing in this line as well: "However, thanks to his super powers, the massive explosion that engulfs him and the subsequent plummet to the ground..." The writing here is as masterful as always but in an attempt to showcase the madness of the game's story, the writing itself comes off a bit listy and manic. So many characters and other games are name dropped, it's difficult to keep track. It's always an uphill battle to reveal how all over the place a game is without... being all over the place. Joe's writing here is typically good, but it'd guess it's purposely kitchen-sink, and as such for me it's atypically difficult to digest.

mariner's Sparklite

Mariner comes through with a very good review which opens with his ambivalence towards rogue-like adventures, before taking to task a promising Zelda-rogue-like by examining pros and cons of the approach and wondering aloud why more wasn't done to exploit those pros. The fifth paragraph which goes into detail about the failings of the rogue-like system as it is applied in Sparklite loses quite a bit of the good head of steam the review had built up to that point; it's a bit unwieldy and not the easiest analysis to digest. But mariner brings it back around with a nice final paragraph and specifically, final few sentences.

Gary's corner

Gary has two holdover reviews, as I've mentioned. One is for Devil's Kiss, a visual novel that sounds awfully lame. High points for using the word "antediluvian," but far fewer points for using it in a phrase that's not quite a sentence. The two sentences to follow are confusing because we don't know which 'he' you're referring to. That aside, everything is vintage Emp: ten dollar words in weighty clauses, irreverence and snideness abound. Then he checks to see if you're paying attention by concluding with really the ultimate in-joke. It's a fantastic ending which comes out of nowhere, both because the review feels surprisingly short at that point, and because of the 'oh no he didn't moment' -- if you haven't checked out the review by now, you should.

Gary's other review is for another game in the same series: Lair of the Clockwork God. Thankfully, it's an amazingly well written short review -- easily the best of the week -- because if it weren't, I would have had to award Gary's other review the win, and who wants to reward gimmicks? Not me! This Lair review then, is so smooth, from word choice to transitions, to how easily and casually it covers different game functions in other game function paragraphs so as to be the farthest thing from a 'sectioned piece' and yet cover everything we need covered with style and thoughtfulness and levity--truly excellent. There are so many good passages: about what genre it fits in, about the fourth wall, about the writer's need to write less. Go read it.


And so, the REVIEW OF THE WEEK is Gary's Lair of the Clockwork God.

The runner up goes to mariner's Sparklite.

And the bronze medal as it were, goes to Rob's Dark Seven.

That's it for this week. Stay safe and virus-free.


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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: March 17, 2020 (10:07 AM)
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Appreciate the nod. I wasn't sure that Devil's Kiss joke would translate, so I'm glad it landed. Clockwork Lair's a really clever game, so doing it some justice is an added bonus.

Thanks for reading, and for the quick topic turnaround.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: March 17, 2020 (01:08 PM)
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Yep, Sept. 2015 is when I reviewed Alphadia, which was the first legit Kemco Khallenge review! There was Grinsia a while before that, but that was a random 3DS Shop game I picked up, never knowing it was one piece of a giant monster of blah gaming.

Thanks for the comments and placement. And, yeah, the extremely long-winded intro was by design. Gary's always ragging on me for my rambling ways and I figured that since I was reviewing a particularly bland Kemco game, it'd be really funny to really over-exaggerate that element of my writing. I guess it might have been better if it was for one of his weeks to do RotW, but I didn't exactly plan things out and by the time I got time to write the review, I'd have had to wait a couple weeks to post it.


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

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