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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 4th May Ė 10th May // The Vacant Monologues

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: May 11, 2020 (12:32 PM)
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Last week on The Walking Dead

Everyone turned up. Week judge, Masters, much displeased. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.

This week on The Walking Dead

Only two people turned up. Last weekĎs judge, Masters, much displeased. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Who did show up with a vengeance was Joe, who seems to be desperate to make up for any dead time all that ill advised breeding has cost him. Heís decided that nowís the time to start catching up on some of his Alphamarathon letters. I think he was probably winning anyway? But off he goes, anyway.

Y Ė Not content to do Ys like everyone else, Joe picks You Must Build a Boat. Itís a competent review talking about taking a previous gameís foundations and building upon it to become a more complete experience. Thatís not glowing praise, but it does everything a review should do. In comparison with the rest of the Joe pile, his heart doesnít seem to be in it as much, and it does start to feel overlong before you hit the end.

C Ė Chuck Rock. Mediocre mascot platformer in the absolute age of mediocre mascot platformers. Joe skims over what makes a good platformer and the lays out why Chuck Rock ainít it. I think painting the game as a faltering tryhard experience made for a very interesting angle. Pointing out the attempts to make dinosaurs overly whacky was a great example to pull out, for instance. From there, you slowly dial up your complaints until the gameís truly buried. Taking the bad combat mechanics and reliance on unavoidable damage makes for an unbalanced challenge in, turn, an unsatisfying game. This is well explained.

F Ė Fatal Fury got a lot of circulation in young Garyís multiplayer circles back when, but he used the Mega Drive version, which, as it was on the superior console, probably performed better. I have zero evidence to back this up and the lacklustre account you give of the game gives me little drive to return and find any. So, mission successful; itís a controversial viewpoint to some (for reason I assume are dumb), but I consider a good retro review to be relevant to today rather than pretending weíre in some kind of weird time skip that has thrown us back to the early 90ís and mind wiped all knowledge we have on the library of games weíve since played. That said, I especially appreciate going back and talking about how the game is a cosmetic downgrade on even the previous title it vies to improve upon. Savage. Geese Howard deserves better.

H Ė Sometimes, in an attempt to curb my despondent faÁade I work so hard on, I see retro reviews like these, dive into my Rom pile and throw up a few screens, for the betterment of my fellow reviews. Legends say itís the main reason Marc has endured me all these years. The upshot of this is that I have to play enough of the game to get a decent gallery selection and, while I had earmarked this game to do that to, now Iíve read your review, I donít want to. Youíve made it sound awful. Youíve made it sound awful even by second generation movie tie in standards. Thatís a low threshold, but youíve done it anyway.

Still, even with Joeís volume, thereís still only two eligible authors. Which meansÖ

THIRD - Vacant

More Site King points for Vacant. That little scamp is picking up pace.

SECOND > Lagrange Point [NES] Overdrive

Robís review immediately grabs my interest. An obscure, unported JRPG likened to best JRPG series, Phantasy Star? He picks all the right talking points immediately; a more ambitious tale to be told than the era was used to? Unique and varied party mechanics? He highlights choice examples to relay that, like robots being prone to rust and needing different healing items then the fleshy meatbags do. And then, at the end of the second paragraph, he just starts talking about something else. Thatís... a little jarring. But, okay Ė canít contain Rob on a ramble. God knows weíve tried. But itís unfortunate that such a solid open is taken away from while you readjust to the new topic at hand.

Thatís this reviewís big complaint, I fear; it jumps haphazardly from topic to topic sometimes, perhaps in Robís haste to get to a new talking point or perhaps in realisation that heís not talked about X or Y yet. By the time it starts talking about Battery Points, it's right back to being brilliant again; the passage about there being no middle ground between genius and misery is excellent stuff. For all the jabs thrown his way (by the rest of you; certainly not me), Robís a brilliant writer and thereís nothing in this review that isnít on or above the usual lofty bar heís set for himself. Itís an excellent intro and a stupidly strong conclusion arranged around a slightly lumpy middle.

WINNER Home Alone 2: Lost in New York [GB] Joe

This review wins the mini Joe tourney and also the week. Iíve spoken a lot about Robís review and, in the criticism Iím expected to dole out in these topics, the point may have gotten lost somewhere that I think itís brilliant with one unfortunate flaw. Even though Joe had a small army of reviews up today, I read Robís first and kind of expected it to win. Itís really good! I guess I should talk about why this one has won then, at some point.

Itís what Iíve started mentally labelling as a Pickhut bash review, in that itís not there to poke fun or savage and tear apart, itís just there to patiently point out that this is a bad game and then explain why. Though we know the meta reason for reviewing this game is to strike off an H, the review frames it as a title of your youth revisited, which subtly runs throughout the review. A lot of us can now empathise; the game selection of yore wasnít the ridiculous cornucopia it is today, and we all gave at least one awful game weíve invested time through sheer lack of options. That same generation will also be painfully aware of the horrific quality of cash grab tie ins that littered bargain bins everywhere. Both those angles are levered in here. Then you take a stroll through the game, pointing out the most memorable shortcomings youíre forced to endure. Highlights include the semi-hidden slide attack that some enemies ignore, the key found at the bottom of a pit youíd never find except by complete accident and the end-of-game boss you should be hoarding for, despite no previous indication that you should be hoarding.

The broken fingers line is a slight dent in the non-aggressive approach but itís a great review that maybe would mean less to a younger audience. But screw them; theyíre too busy trampling down my lawn (theoretically; the outside world remains empty and void). I genuinely expected to rock up to this Ďeasyí week, point out some spelling mistakes and poke some fun. Instead, I get what I consider two of the best retro reviews this site now hosts.

All this positivity hurts my withered soul. Iím off to find Marc to tell him how much quicker I got my RotW up than he did.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: May 11, 2020 (03:40 PM)
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Thanks for the commentary, EmP. Even if, with "slightly lumpy middle", I'm not quite sure if you mean my review or my physique. But, yeah, I am fond of my stream of conscience commentary. Although, with what you said about jumping around, that does seem to indicate I do need to put a bit more attention into flow -- that used to be my main strength!

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: May 21, 2020 (02:12 PM)
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Thank you greatly for the win! I considered scrapping the "break your fingers" part because it sounded a bit mean-spirited. I try to get away from that in bash reviews, but it's sometimes hard to. Congrats as well to those who placed!

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

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