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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: March 16-22, 2020 -- Six people, three spots, one unimaginative thread title

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: March 25, 2020 (12:22 PM)
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Kind of an unusual week with six reviews by six different contestants. Usually, there's at least one or two people with multiples, so this is kind of neat. I guess it's kind of an unusual week for other reasons, as well. Current events and my realization that reMind is a horribly cynical cash grab by Square Enix for their Kingdom Hearts brand and not remotely worth the $29 I spent to download it (or $19…or probably even $9). The bulk of it is essentially you re-doing the final couple hours of the game, but enhanced a bit (some new stuff added in and the ability to control another character for some of the fights) and with its own framing story (Sora using the "power of waking" to save Kairi, something that happens off-screen as part of the main game's ending). In other words, take out the framing story and this is a patch to improve the final couple hours of the game that you have to pay for. The remainder of it is super-tough variations of all the Organization members where you likely have to grind for a few hours to be tough enough to have a realistic chance — something that was provided for free in the HD upgraded version of KH II if you did a tough optional dungeon requiring you to have about every skill mastered. JOY!!! My review of the main game will be 3.5/5. This DLC…not likely to get anything better than 1/5 or so. Maybe 1.5 if I'm feeling generous.

Hopefully for you guys, when giving these critiques, I'm feeling more generous than I expect to feel when reviewing reMind! Which, I guess, will be easy to do because the one and only positive to reMind seems to be that it did get me to keep playing KH III in order to do the post-game Battlegates in order to grind levels quickly. And since one of those gates hosts the base game's tough optional boss, that's something, I guess?

For the three honorable mentions, Pickhut came super-close to placing. Like to the degree that I went back and forth over this more than one might think a person would while typing up these things. I did really like this review. There's something cool about getting to play one of those "never got released" games for a classic system — a big reason why I got so excited way back when I discovered the ROM translation scene. And much like many of my experiences with games there, you wound up being disappointed. And when you have a five-level game where four of those five are little more than the prelims for the fifth state, which actually has some sense of size and diversity, there will be disappointment! You did a good job of illustrating how this game gives the illusion of vastness, while actually being linear and repetitive.

CRB's review had a bit of roughness to it, but I did like how it was more detailed than a lot of yours. Maybe it was just the fact you were playing an action-RPG instead of a pure action game, but you did a quality job of diving into various mechanics of the game and illustrating just how many optional/side things there are to do in this game, as well as discussing its non-linear style and how you can't unlock certain things until you've accomplished other things in other parts of the game's world. The occasional bits of roughness or awkward phrasings may have kept this review from being "the total package", but it was definitely an in-depth and informative read.

Overall, I dug Brian's review. Had a good amount of personality and told me a lot about a game I had no knowledge of in an engaging way. My issues come from (and I'm definitely NOT the one to talk about this; just ask anyone who judges my reviews) how some of your side-discussions to interfere with my reading enjoyment. Mocking Epic Games is one thing, but turning it into a sub-section of the review (complete with Twitter-pic) BEFORE you've even gotten into talking about this game any more than mentioning how it's a good score-attack game felt a bit out-of-place. And that entire "cost vs. contest" conversation just felt convoluted to me. Three paragraphs breaking it down in detail when I have no idea what the issue is or if there is one because I have no clue how much the game costs or if people have complained greatly about this. But when you're talking about the game, what makes it work and what flaws it does have, this is a very engaging read that I found pretty informative.


Flobknocker's A Hat in Time (PC)

Flobknocker had a few problems with line breaks above the first picture break, but still did a good job making a game I had no familiarity of look like it's really good and something I might want to play in the future. I mean, if its PS4 port was included as something free on PS Now, there'd be a bigger chance of that happening, but still, I was impressed by how you made the game sound. Your love of this game really shined here. I mean, from your early paragraphs, I expected it to — one better not be calling a review their "love letter" to the game and then sound all buttoned down and professional — but I did really like how you mixed in those gushing phrases into your discussion of mechanics and environments. Fix those line breaks and this is a really good review without anything really standing out as a negative. Hell, you even get into the stuff you can do with mods, DLCs and extra game modes after beating the game. Not necessary, but when you're talking about a game you love, it is a nice added touch to focus on those "I beat it, but still want to play it and LOOK AT THIS!!!!" things.


EmP's Azur Lane: Crosswave (PC)

Since you've been so kind as to inform me of my recent grammatical blunders, I did catch in your second paragraph "massive cast of girls on offer are packed full countless returns" and there definitely seems to be something missing or poorly phrased there. Seems I caught something else, too, but that was yesterday when I read everything and picked my order of placements and this is today that I'm actually writing my critiques and slightly less than 24 hours is still apparently too long for my brain to remember details. Anyway, to more meaty stuff (and I'm not talking about the figures of the girls in that first pic, honest!), I have to admit that you are really good at finding weird-ass games that apparently are actually a real thing. Man, I had to read a couple sentences multiple times just because the subject matter was wacky enough it took me aback. It's probably a testament to your writing that I liked this review. To me, it looked like you just sort of embraced the insanity and just tossed in casual little reminders of it here and there to remind readers that this isn't just any old game. Like, I loved this sentence: "Here, you’re forced to blow up (or be blown up by) massive destroyers, self-destructing speedboats, dive-bombing aircraft and cat-eared cuties in a weirdly cut kimono that offers up all the side boob you could ever want." Bonus points for that aforementioned pic (situated just below that line) offering proof of said side boob. Really, if I was going to offer any objection to the review, it's that it does come off as pretty positive for a mediocre score, where your main issues revolve around the overabundance of anime tropes, how fights are pretty simplistic and you're not personally familiar with the subject matter…but your overall opinion reads to me like this was a pretty cool experience despite any of that and that it would just be enhanced if you had familiarity with the characters or series as a whole.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Masters' Rage Among the Stars (PC)

There's a great sense of authority in this review's writing. You do a good job in the opening paragraphs to compare this to Super Meat Boy, mentioning that fans of that game likely will be looking for anything that is in that vein. And then do a good job deconstructing this game from being a worthy successor to being a very flawed game that is kind of like it, but doesn't match up to that standard. First, it's the imprecise wall-jumping combined with tons of spikes on said walls. Or that there is nothing to the protagonist other than "guy you control". Or that moving platforms are as bad as the spikes. Or that your main takeaway is that this game is fun at times, but best played on easy, which probably isn't something that one should say about this type of game. I think you did a really good job of emphasizing that you love this sort of game and could find ways to get through really annoying areas, but that this isn't a game for people not fans of the SMB style of play and when you add in the voice of authority factor, that was enough to get this one into first place.

So, there ends another week of RotW; we'll hope to all be alive by the time my next one comes around!

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

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Author: pickhut
Posted: March 25, 2020 (03:35 PM)
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Thanks for the words, OD! Glad you enjoyed reading about Ultracore, especially looking back and thinking that I almost didn't want to review the game at first. But I convinced myself, since it's not everyday that you get to experience a game that was cancelled around 25 years ago. I didn't mention this in the review, but I think I understand why Psygnosis decided to pass on publishing the game at the last moment, especially since everything felt wayyyyyyy too samey. By the time I reached the final stage, I was like, "What? That's it?"

Congrats to Flob and Emp for placing, and Masters for nabbing, yet again, another RotW!

I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: Flobknocker
Posted: March 25, 2020 (03:49 PM)
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Hey, thanks for the feedback, that third feels really good. I'll be sure to get those pesky line breaks under control for the next review I do, and congrats to Masters for the winning entry!

Proudly running a space heater disguised as a PC

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: March 27, 2020 (11:32 AM)
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Thanks for the win, Rob. Sorry I missed the topic for a few days; I thought I had already posted in here. Old age. And drinking. Glad to see new blood on the podium, too.

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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: March 29, 2020 (01:24 PM)
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I'll spot this one late -- appreciate the props and congrats to the fine fellows around me. Appreciate the typo, which is tidied away, and the kind words. Azur was a.. it was a thing that I played, all right. There's no denying that. On to the next oddity!

Thanks for the topic.

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