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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 25 May – 31 May // So late, you completely forgot about it

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2020 (08:45 AM)
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There's a long, sordid history of this topic that I could share, but I won't.

Alright, since you asked, I will. At first, I thought there were just three reviews on my plate. I rejoiced. Limited reading to do, and everyone gets a prize. What's not to like? (Unless you're Jason and want to see more activity.) Then that idiot Gary decided to drop an 11th hour review. Fantastic. Now someone would be left off the podium and I would have to consider my picks that much more carefully.

It was then that I realized that Joe had roughly 3,000 reviews as 'holdovers' that I would have to cover in my RotW. That the number was 7 and not actually 3,000 did not help matters. I was incensed. I actually had my blurbs drawn up for the original three writers on the first Sunday. That's right. I was ready on the review due date. Then everything went downhill and I decided to see if I could be completely lapped thrice before producing the thread.

Even at this, I failed.

Anyway, here's the bloody topic.

EMP'S ETHER VAPOR REMASTER

Unsurprisingly, Gary gives us the best tagline of the week. It's kind of his thing at this point. Gary's review presents with the level-by-level, scene-by-scene breakdown we haven't seen a whole lot of in recent years, but which used to be in vogue with the cool kids (naturally, I did a lot of them like this). It was usually used to rundown a killer app, but Gary uses it a bit differently, to showcase how the game starts kind of hohum and evolves into an asskicking gauntlet before your very eyes. He's done a very good job of this, though the last paragraph seems to come too abruptly.


FLOBKNOCKER'S MAX PAYNE

I thought this review would be tough to read, with its length and its large paragraphs, and then before I knew it, it was over, and I had enjoyed it very much. It read like a well written, pretty smoothly transitioning rundown of an old game that doesn't stand up now. The game is broken and required community IT help to get running, and it has shitty damage issues and crap dream sequences and a few other damning negatives. And so scoring it a 2 was in line with what you'd written to that point, but the love at the conclusion... wasn't. I get how we sometimes love old classics despite... everything. But that's somehow got to be conveyed and I don't think it quite was here.


OVERDRIVE'S IMAGE FIGHT

Rob wrote a good review about a very meh port of a slightly less meh shooter. I've played the Turbo version, and I can confirm that it's far better than the phoned in port you tasked yourself with reviewing. But it's also much harder -- I remember it being frustrating, even. Or maybe that was Image Fight 2? Anyway, this review is in and out -- it gets the job done efficiently and from the perspective of a shooter aficionado who's seen it all and is genuinely confounded by this game's lack of anything that might stand out.


MARINER'S SUPER MONKEY BALL: BANANA BLITZ HD

This is a great and reluctant bash review. Mariner contrasts the greatness of Gamecube's SMB and how he loved that game and knew it inside and out, with this bland, devoid-of-challenge sequel that doubles down on the original's terrible camera by adding an impossible to track jump function. The review is short, sweet and does everything it should with a certain ease. Nicely done.


AND THEN THERE WAS JOE:

QORA

This is a nice review about a game that inspired wonder with its sights and sounds, but elicited sheer boredom by the way it plays. The review runs with this simple analysis and nails it in just the right amount of words. But in a 'contest' about special reviews, it was always going to be hard to make a special review of an un-special game. (In fact, Joe is up against that challenge with a lot of his ho-hum game choices this week.)


THE UNHOLY SOCIETY

An early typo: “The moment we meet he dude…” Then “the dude” shows up in the next sentence. This paragraph is a bit hard to follow as a result. To be frank, I found the entire review a bit hard to follow, and I think it falls under the category of an odd duck game with lots of weird and scattershot elements thrown in that the writer has the unenviable task of trying to explain in a way that does not clog his passages with weird and scattershot exposition. I think the ending brings it around and feels focused, but the first half of the review is somewhat difficult to parse.


ZOBOOMAFOO: PLAYTIME IN ZOBOOLAND

There’s not much that you could have done with this. You identify early on that there’s pretty much no audience for the game at all, but then you go on to doing your usual pretty much faultless rundown, but the words run out of steam early on given the lack of enthusiasm in the product. It’s tough when you’ve pointed out that almost no one will care to hear about the game, including the writer. You do a pretty admirable job, but the apathy is difficult to hide.


JUDAS

Here is a solid review for a barebones horror title which isn't as bad as the worst Steam has to offer, but it isn't great or original either. The review gets the point across succinctly enough, but of all of Joe's reviews this week, it may be the most lacking in panache. By Joe's high standards, simply serviceable.


BATTLE CHASERS: NIGHTWAR

"Of course, this wouldn't be a standard roleplaying game without some of nefarious scheme to thwart..." Typo here. This review starts off as extremely readable; it's probably got the best first half of any of Joe's reviews for the week, but ultimately feels like it overstays its welcome just a tad, which is enough for another Joe effort to take a medal this week.


ITTLE DEW

This is the best of the Joe reviews in my mind. Joe compares the indie effort with Zelda, the game it takes obvious inspiration from, and expertly breaks down the strange departures from the formula and succinctly concludes that this is a fun little send up with enough of its own personality, though it could have stood to have toned down the constant puzzles with no pay off, and given us some more variety instead. Nicely done.


TOMATO WAY

Full points for the great pun-based tagline, for starters. You gave Gary a run for his money here. I also like the approach, because of course you're right: how much are good-bad games celebrated? They don't get anywhere near the love bad movies and books get. But then the review takes a turn from its thesis and presents Tomato Way as simply bad, which I didn't see coming. The intro gave me the impression you were calling for further celebrations of ironically bad games, and that this would be one, but then it seems like a somewhat forgotten talking point when you conclude that this game is just shit.


And so, to the podium we go:

THIRD PLACE: MARINER'S SUPER MONKEY BALL: BANANA BLITZ HD


SECOND PLACE: JOE'S ITTLE DEW


REVIEW OF THE WEEK: EMP'S ETHER VAPOR REMASTER


And that's all she wrote. This topic is so late, my next RotW is probably already late.


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

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2020 (11:57 AM)
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Damn, and I was hoping I'd lap you. But I didn't have time to get to this yesterday or the day before and now I'm too late. Welp, there goes my motivation to get my topic done...

Anyway, thanks for the commentary. Not super-shocked I didn't place. Having reviewed the game before, I can definitely attest to it not being the most exciting thing to write about. And when the heart of your review is essentially saying this isn't going to be a reading thrill ride, you probably aren't getting #1!


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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 18, 2020 (01:55 PM)
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Hey, I remember you. Matt Holding, wasn't it?

Appreciate the nod; I know these topics can get on top of us sometime, so well rallied to deny Robert something to actually gloat about for a change. If that review comes to a sudden end, it was because of a/ the mountain of words that I'd been throwing at it and b/ I finished writing at 3am, and had to be in work by seven so figured I should at least make a speculative effort at sleep. Ether's good stuff; give it a go sometimes.

'grats to Joe and Mariner for needling out a place during a tough week.


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: mariner
Posted: June 20, 2020 (06:00 PM)
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Thanks for the kind words. This was the first review in a long time that I wrote all in one setting. Not sure if that helped or hurt it, but it probably helped keep it short... And props to Joe and Emp as well. Ittle Dew was probably my favorite of Joe's reviews as well, but that may just be because it was the game I was most interested in. It made for a good read.


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: July 02, 2020 (12:38 PM)
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Thank you for taking the time to critique everything I submitted. I felt bad dumping that much stuff all at one time, and I'm grateful you went through it.


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

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Author: Flobknocker
Posted: July 03, 2020 (05:50 AM)
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sorry for being so late to the party, but thanks for the kind words, and love to all the folks here. Even though this is weeks old at this point, I get your point about the score for Max Payne and I'd like to clarify my thought process for it. I actually loved most of my time with Max Payne, but I decided that due to the game needing "community IT support" it shouldn't ever get anything over half marks, because that sort of thing is a total deal-breaker for a lot of people. Add to that a few further detractions and it wound up at two stars. Were it not for the heinous technical issues, I'd probably have rated it somewhere around 4 or 3.5.

I really get your point and it seems odd from the outside, but I thought I'd explain my somewhat arbitrary score. Thanks again for taking the time to read my work and provide feedback, it really helps.


Proudly running a space heater disguised as a PC

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: July 04, 2020 (11:02 AM)
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Mariner: yes, writing it at one setting probably helped with flow, and brevity is always best.

Joe: no problem. Although to be honest, I don't think I'll do this kind of thing again, with the critiques for every submission. It's a lot of work, and I don't think people care very much.

Flobknocker: it's nice to see you post. I understand your explanation -- it makes sense. Maybe a line like what you've written here inserted into the review would help? My two cents.


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

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