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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week: January 4-10, 2009

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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: January 11, 2009 (08:07 AM)
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There were only four new reviews this week, but each was compelling in its own separate way. I would recommend that you read all of them because, if you’re wanting to become better at this hobby, you can see how different writers attempt to describe different types of game qualities in relation to the different inherent issues associated with each title in question. All four reviews are solid, but only three can make this list.

As always, staff reviews are exempt from the running.

2nd Runner Up: Yggdra Union (PSP) by Woodhouse

Woodhouse writes about Yggdra Union, elaborating on how the game demands the player’s patience and determination. It’s very challenging, frustrating, and time-consuming. Each side can only attack once per turn? This doesn’t sound like a game I would enjoy! But that’s beside the point, and Woodhouse does a pretty good job at explaining why people who enjoy tactical RPGs may enjoy playing such a game. He doesn’t really come out and say it, but I think you can tell by reading his descriptions over the various aspects of the game whether or not you’ll find this to be your cup of tea. It’s also nice that he compares this game to its GBA predecessor, which I believe is quite the cult classic, and fans of the original would probably be curious to know how the PSP port fairs in certain areas. People interested in Yggdra Union will get the most out of this review, but those of us who couldn’t care less about its demanding qualities can also gain some knowledge. It is a well-written, informative piece, after all.

1st Runner Up: Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) by Jerec?!

All Jerec had to do was wait an additional two months and eight days, and he could have celebrated the four year anniversary of posting his last review. But he decided to crash that party early by posting a new review, this one being for Animal Crossing: City Folk. If you read his blog, he’ll explain how he’s “old school, baby” and how it was “written directly into the submission box.” You think you’re a tough guy, Jerec? But in all seriousness, it’s nice to see some new material from HG’s most prolific review competition judge. It’s also nice that the review accomplishes the goals Jerec set for it. This piece is replete with comparisons from other renditions of Animal Crossing, and each one is important. By the sound of things, Animal Crossing Wii is a major let down, not just to fans of the series in general, but also to owners of the PAL version, who can’t even transfer their DS character to the Wii. That sucks. And since Jerec does a very convincing job at explaining why the other features in Animal Crossing Wii feel superfluous, it’s easy to understand why he didn’t care for the game at all. Let’s hope that he writes a few more reviews before the year is out.

Review of the Week: Braid (X360) by JANUS2

This is a great review. The writing is fluid, interesting, informative – we can see that Janus is a guy who likes the game he’s writing about for what is, not what pretentious reviewers try to convey it as. Some may dislike his use of quotes from other publications, but I think they only help to solidify his point. The “competition” is trying to make Braid sound like it’s something that it’s not. Even then, Janus’ line stating “I’m turning into a BRAID REVIEWER!” is classic, and it explains how even logical people could get fixated on the game’s whimsy by embellishing it. Despite all the talk in explaining what Braid isn’t, Janus also does a pretty good job at explaining what the game is. It sounds like a very unique platformer with a time gimmick. You have to read his descriptions to fully understand how “platformer with a time gimmick” can be unique, but never once did I feel bored by reading this review. It was incredibly convincing all the way throughout, and now that Jonathan Blow’s name has been replaced with the appropriate source, I don’t think anyone can claim contrary to this review’s citations. I really enjoyed reading this one.

EmP will see you next week!

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Author: JANUS2
Posted: January 11, 2009 (08:50 AM)
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Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

Line of the week: "And there's an Auction house I haven't used, so I'm not sure how pointless it is."

EDIT: before I forget again, thanks for the screenshots, EMP.

"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 11, 2009 (11:20 AM)
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I really miss being a part of the ROTW. There should be a staff ROTW.

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

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: January 11, 2009 (11:27 AM)
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That's the ideal thing about being freelance: not all of your reviews need be staff. You have the best of both worlds.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: jerec
Posted: January 11, 2009 (10:41 PM)
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Thanks for the comments! I knew I wouldn't win this week, because that Braid review was pretty awesome. I've been playing that game a bit lately, and Janus is spot on. But getting second place was a happy surprise for me. Not sure how I'd have faired in a more competitve week, though. I'll have to write some more reviews STRAIGHT INTO THE BOX on some other weeks!

I can avoid death by not having a life.

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: January 12, 2009 (06:06 AM)
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I'm actually really happy staff isn't in the RotW running.

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

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