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Forums > Contributor Zone > ROTW: SEPTEMBER 14-20 -- "My Timely Olive Branch OR A New Challenger Appears"

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: September 23, 2020 (07:57 AM)
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So this one's not late. I'd say it's fairly timely. You might cheekily say, that by my standards, it's three weeks early. We'd both be right.

On to the reviews, then, of which there were quite a few, and not a dud among the bunch:

Hotshot Racing (Switch) by Venter

Nice review that called to mind the legendary Kasket Darkfyre of the quarter in my Master System fame. I didn't quite get this: "To add insult to injury, you might manage to secure enough points for a podium finish, only to find you've been knocked off it by a place or two because (in the likely event of a tie) your performance matters least to the judges." Good take on a game I might have been interested in were it not for the smooth, easy way you've dissuaded me here.

Valentina (Switch) by Venter

This review starts rather drily, but improves as it goes. I rather liked this line, "When you defeat a monster, it often drops loot. Sometimes this is gold coins I've never found a way to spend. Sometimes, you'll pick up more arrows. This is a welcome development, as you're not firing from a bottomless quiver." But I think a word or two is missing here: "That leap might take you to solid ground, or it might send you plummeting to your death in a pool of water or similar." A decent review with good descriptions and wit with some generic transitions and passages sprinkled in. Hotshot Racing was better.

Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity (PlayStation 4) by Rob

Rob's review starts well and reads easy but has some issues. This passage for example, "When it comes to the actual levels you'll be exploring, you'll have this mixed bag that ranges from positives mixed with negatives to stuff that is devoid of positives." This, however, is something I can definitely relate to, and is well stated, "The only thing keeping this game from getting unbearable was that, other than bosses, it was so easy that it was the perfect "turn brain off" thing to do when I didn't feel like playing something that made me use reflexes, think or push myself in any way, shape or form." But the review ends with a bit that I don't get at all, as it seems wholly contradictory: "I went back to defeat the final boss again to get the "true" ending, leading to hilariously anti-climactic battling due to all the additional strength I'd gained. And then, just when things were getting interesting with a foe becoming truly super-powered to give me an epic battle to conclude this game on a high point." Unfortunately, I found the review, like that line to be inconsistent.

Grandia HD Collection (Switch) by Joe

Wherein Joe toys with a sectioned review style, which I think I like. This sentence needs something: "You select actions like "fight," "item" or "magic" when dealing with monsters, but this time you have a choice to two different standard strikes." Also, the chioce to have the 'collection of two' paragraph after a paragraph talking at length about 'the two games' struck me as odd. Typo here: " It's shortcomings arrive in the form of infrequent filler segments, cringe-inducing dialogue and wonky comedic timing." Overall, this is a Joe review, so it's going to be good, but given the sectioned rundown nature, which I agree was a good choice for handling the different types of readers/gamers who might be the review's audience, it's not as fun to read as your other piece.


Grandia II (Dreamcast) by Joe

I have very little to say about this review. It's a very well written and polished review by Joe that does things pretty much ideally in terms of flow, length, examples and transitions. My only gripe was the way the review ended and how the accompanying score didn't seem to quite fit given the hot-and-cold analysis to that point. It's not a huge gripe, as the review was enjoyable to read and I learned from reading it, but the inconsistency for me was sufficiently jarring to bump Mr. Destroyer down a place.


Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (PC) by Emp

I like the gimmmick at the beginning, getting across how the game pays very close homage to the show, but the passage in question is a bit large to pull off without the reader completely ignoring it the second time once they know what's up. Which, I suppose is okay. Typo here: "For the most part, the beetles and friends are cannon fodder, designed to be mowed down with little effort, they’re main threat...". You did an admirable job covering the paywall annoyance and describing the brand of hack-and-slash the game employs as compared to its contemporaries. Great stuff.


Quantum Break (PC) by Flobknocker

But there was no beating this review. I love the talky intro here. Flobknocker continues to have issues with super long paragraphs -- the second could easily be two -- but the writing here is compelling: "Paul has, naturally, created a time machine, and in the grand tradition of all good tragic scientists, has decided that the best way to test it is to go through it himself." Great stuff. This here, is as good an outline of how the game plays as I've seen this week, "When you’re not using perfectly functional weapons and slick time powers to blow away enemies, you’ll be spending your time traversing the environment in a linear fashion, enjoying story bits, picking up lore scattered around, doing some mild problem solving, navigating spectacular setpieces, and even some platforming." Flobknocker even manages to make the third-to-last tech paragraph fun to read. It ends perfectly without overstaying its welcome, to boot. If some earlier stanzas could be cut in two (or even three), the review would be pretty much ideal. Kudos.

Okay, see you in a month's time. May the apocalypse continue to spare you and yours.

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

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: September 23, 2020 (09:34 AM)
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Thanks for the comments on my reviews, and I'm glad you enjoyed them.

The Valentina line you thought might be missing a word or two is actually written as I intended it. My point in the Hotshot Racing review was that the game works against you in the event of a tie. For instance, if the final point tallies are 45, 43, 42, 42, 42 and so forth and you happen to earn 42 points, you will be awarded the fifth-place finish rather than the third-place finish. Every time. Hence the statement that your points matter least. I've played games where your 42 points would mean you placed third.

Thanks again for the topic and comments, and congratulations to all who participated. It was another good week!

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto on secret doors to another world

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 23, 2020 (03:24 PM)
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Props for Flob, who has yet to write a bad Remedy game review and was due a breakout win. But bigger props to Marc for getting this topic our on time. In respect of that, I'll only make fun of your tardiness in the other one.

Both topics were well worth the wait - a lot of thoughtful feedback to chew over, and I appreciate the typo catches which I've tidied away. I guess that's what happens when you spend 50% of your reviewing energy on taglines, but I refuse to stop now!

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: September 29, 2020 (12:07 PM)
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Ah well, they can't all be winners.

I'll have to go back and give it look-over since you said a few parts read weird or contradictory.

As for that part at the end, what I meant to say was:

1. At the end of the main game, you beat back-to-back bosses, with the second being pretty tough.

2. Then you do the post-game dungeon of tedium. 21 floors, 2 bosses (which are both tough). During this time, you get a lot more powerful.

3. After being both post-game dungeon bosses, you're supposed to re-beat the main game final bosses to get the true ending. By this time, with the levels and improved equipment you earned in the post-game, nothing here is remotely a match for you, so re-beating those bosses is basically a breeze.

4. Then you get a new cutscene where the final boss changes form and you're thinking "here is the final challenge and it's gonna be tough!". And then the cutscene just keeps going on and that boss is defeated in it, so your final fights in the game are just you re-beating bosses who no longer are a challenge, making it an anti-climactic end that is a letdown.

So, I'll have to tinker with that to try to make things a bit more clear as to what I'm complaining about.

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

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: September 30, 2020 (07:08 AM)
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Hey Rob, sorry if I was rough in my 'critique.' I appreciate the explanation here, which of course makes perfect sense; however, I definitely didn't get that from what you wrote in the review.

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

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