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Forums > Submission Feedback > Lewis's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion review

This thread is in response to a review for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 20, 2008 (08:00 PM)
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Ha ha, great ending, Lewis. Nice tie-in to the Morrowind review.

I also think this review hits the mark in terms of what really is the problem with Oblivion. You obviously wanted to like this game a lot, and thus were able to pin point exactly what took you out of the experience. Good writing, good arguments... bravo.

My one complaint is that the review is VERY long. Even for a game of this size. It's not so much WHAT you say, but how long you dwell on each point. The providing of the examples is nice, but it definitely adds length... sometimes unnecesarily. The first example with the knight drives home one of your main points: that the NPCs take you out of the experience. After this, though, the review sort've gets muddy... not touching on any points as strongly as that first one. You mention the quests, but you basically say you like some and not others, which is a "here-nor-there" point. While not badly argued, it could be taken out, ultimately, and the review wouldn't suffer.

I think your best point (and the focus of the review, really) is that Oblivion is an immersive experience that suffers because of the lackaluster in the details, especially the NPCs. That in itself, especially how you wrote those points, makes for a great concise review.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: December 21, 2008 (03:45 AM)
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Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment.

There seems to be a slight tendency towards shorter, snappier reviews at HG. This would roughly be five or six pages in a magazine - standard fair for a big new release. I never intended to go on for so long with this one (my Pathologic review would be another example), but - contrary to your suggestion - none of it seemed extraneous. If I'd chop anything, it'd be the short paragraph about the mini games.

With regards to the stuff about the quests... I'm surprised you picked that out as something to be chopped, since the quality of the side-quests was one of the things that edged Oblivion towards true greatness for me. Replace them with standard fantasy RPG nonsense and I'd have enjoyed the game far, far less.

Oblivion alternates between superb immersion and moments of complete idiocy that snap you right out of it. That'd be my one-liner review if I did one. It's funny - I never felt ambivalent towards Oblivion; I just swayed between absolutely loving it, and falling about in hysterics at how bad some of it is. Very weird.

"I also think this review hits the mark in terms of what really is the problem with Oblivion. You obviously wanted to like this game a lot, and thus were able to pin point exactly what took you out of the experience."

This is what I struggled with, so I decided to make it the focus of the introduction. Its good bits (ie. the majority, to be honest) are so effortlessly enjoyable that it's difficult to acknowledge exactly why you're having such a good time - and it's probably just down to how much there is to do and how easy it is to get lost in all of it. Its bad bits destroy this so heavily that I found myself formulating a huge list of ridiculous problems, and then maybe felt the need to go into too much detail about the negatives. For a 7/10 review (which is a very harsh score, I must say. If we were doing percentages, it'd be a 79, but one that doesn't quite warrant being rounded up to an 8), I spent an inordinate amount of time discussing its downfalls. I guess I've just never lapped up all the Oblivion bumming.

If it did anything at all, it drove home how much better Fallout 3 is.


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