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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW: May 11-17 -- Should the site be Joegamers or Honestjoes?

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: May 20, 2020 (01:25 PM)
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Four people, six reviews because Joe apparently has this deal going on where the more he has going on with additional family members and everything else, the more reviews he churns out. It's actually kind of awe-inspiring. There he was early in the year saying stuff like, "Might need to step back a bit because a new one is on the way!" and now he's busting out three reviews a week while my "nothing goin' on" ass is really proud if I can get three out in a month. There has to be some sort of secret and I bet it involves cloning.

For a minute, I was a bit disappointed because Mariner's review of Trials of Mana isn't set for my week. Until I looked at the review and saw that the key word was "Mana" and not "Trials". For a minute, I was thinking that I'd missed out on another Trials game and got excited to read about it and then hunt it down, but since it's just a Mana game, no biggie!

Here's some critiques or random stream-of-consciousness thoughts that may or may not have to do with what you guys wrote about! With honorable mention type talk going first, as usual.

Since Joe had three reviews, here's some stuff on two of them. The Pokemon review was a solid look at an upgraded remake of an old game in this never-ending series. Had one part where I was confused. Eevee is your main…uh, whatever the hell it is in this game and you said in the fighting paragraph (directly under the water pic with the character riding a sea monster) the game does throw out the occasional monster it can't handle. And your solution is to make a party including ones that "can wreck Eevee's weaknesses". Is that supposed to be something else, because I'm confused as to why you'd want to wreck your own character's weaknesses? Other than that, a strong review that does a good job of giving an in-depth look at things, including how the Switch's motion control stuff isn't exactly helpful at times.

With Long Reach, you also had a solid review. I mean, with your constantly churning out of reviews, it'd be nice if one really stunk so I wouldn't feel so bad about my comparative lack of production, but no, you brought out three placement-worthy reviews in one week. Just another week in the life, eh? Anyway, this was another enjoyable read that did a great job of showing how a cool premise was ruined by poor attempts of humor that feel misplaced, as well as a character who's impossible to really care about because he had no personality other than "make poorly timed sarcastic/dickish comments". With how many horror games you've covered, it's impossible to not look at you as a voice of authority on what works and what doesn't in these games and you definitely have a properly confident voice when discussing things, which makes this a very enjoyable and informative review to read.

Brian's review of Earthlock is respectable, but seems to suffer from the issue of assuming the reader is familiar with the base game while he's reviewing the enhanced edition. There are paragraphs explaining how something was implemented in a superior fashion in this version and a decent description of the combat system, but there's what I'd consider to be the "glue" that's missing. Mainly that I have virtually no idea about what this game is about, other than your descriptions of the gameplay. Since JRPGs have taken a big turn towards story-telling over the years, this is kind of a big omission; at least for someone like me, who has played a ton of these games to the degree that I'm burnt out to the degree that I won't consider touching one unless there's something really intriguing about its story or presentation. Here, I know one character who is pretty cool (if not overly important) is a hogbunny and that a number of other characters are trope-y in their personality. But overall, this review just kind of left me with a weird feeling, where I felt I knew a good bit about the game's fundamentals, but finished reading it with absolutely no opinion regarding whether I'd want to play it, I wouldn't want to play it or I'd want to have played it if it was available 15 years ago but wouldn't at this time. Even a vague synopsis like "This is a typical medieval 'war between countries' story that either plays everything straight or has a few unexpected twists" kind of thing would be welcome, as opposed to just mentioning that the characters tend to come off as one-dimensional.

THIRD PLACE

CRB's Strider (NES)

Other than a couple bits of awkwardness and grammar stuff, the only complaint I have about this review is how it just sort of ends abruptly. Less a concluding paragraph than you mentioning that you only have one life and would need to use a password or start over after dying and then ending it. With a better conclusion, I'd definitely class this at or near the top of your reviews, at least the ones I've read. It was smart to open with how this is not the same as the arcade/Genesis Striders and go into that a bit. And the part where you talked about jump control -- man, I felt that! A couple years ago, I wanted to go back down memory lane, as I'd borrowed this from a friend in high school and beat it, but hadn't played it since; so I went the emulation route. And found out that since replica controllers aren't as great as authentic NES controllers, those damn triangular jumps were basically impossible for me to pull off. Overall, a good review that could do with an improved conclusion.

SECOND PLACE

EmP's Null & Peta - Invasion of the Queen Bug - (PC)

I had fun reading this review. From your snarky intro with its grips about text box implementation to your underwhelming "change of opinion" after it was revamped with extra content, this one got off to a fun start. I really dug the "plat all the forms" line -- always great to find new ways to describe basic gaming concepts! From there, you did a good job of explaining how this game works, mainly in the time and effort made to give this game a true anime feel, and how it gets partly undone by how the combat is pretty simple and dull. The end result is a pretty energetic read of a weird little game that tries to be a lot of things, but doesn't quite succeed at many of them.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Joe's 7 Pillars (PC)

Me: Man, I spent a good chunk of a couple years reviewing a bunch of generic Kemco RPGs where my main enjoyment was trying to find new ways to explain how they screwed up yet again.

Joe: Hold my beer.

Congrats on playing a little, indie RPG that makes Kemco look like solid professionals in the genre! Hell, from the pics (particularly the top one), I thought this must be a new Kemco game until you mentioned the name of the developer near the end. Man, I found myself grimacing in pain for you at some of the stuff you had to endure. That bit about the relic you had to find on a random part of the world map brought me back to those NES days of horrid"better have Nintendo Power or you ain't going any farther!" brick walls regularly thrown into games. The level of "incomplete" was pretty notable, too, with towns being dead zones with even weapon shops and inns being closed off. And, of course, every enemy (of which there seems to be very few, if there is only one per area) has to be a damage sponge. I don't know if I'll ever be able to complain about a RPG again after seeing the levels you descended to. Man, now I'm gonna have to find a Minelvation Saga horrible one to play now to 1-up this review!

And I'll be back doing this in June for whatever week I'll have in that month, I guess.


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 (02:14 PM)
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I'll have to fix that faulty line in Eevee when I get a chance (probably later tonight). But more importantly, thank you for the placement! It's funny, because I kept thinking of you and the Kemco Khallenge every time I played that 7 Pillars game. I'm just glad I got through it.


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

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