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Title: I don't need to do a retrospective for the year that was
Posted: January 09, 2011 (11:27 PM)
Final Fantasy XIII was pretty much my only review that year worth talking about. I'm surprised how well that one came together. I guess my anger and disappointment at the game, and the direction the series had been headed for a while, brought out the best in me.
I also reviewed FFXII and Zelda: Wind Waker, which I did by memory since they were both reviews that had been swimming around in my mind for years but it took the pressure of a tournament deadline to finally force me to finish them. They're... okay reviews. Might be better if I'd replayed the games first, but I had no time. Well, the FFXII review went by my original plans, but maybe it didn't work as well as I'd wanted it to.
I'd reviewed Wind Waker when it was new, and gave it 5/10. I'd replayed it after finishing Twilight Princess, and it was like a completely different game, and I just loved it. I think I managed to convey that message in the review, but some of the details on the game were a bit sketchy, since I hadn't played the game in maybe 2 years.
The reviews I didn't write...
Tales of Symphonia - Had the ideas for this in my mind for ages, but I can't be bothered replaying, and it's been too long. The opening of this game is boring, but the momentum keeps building and building. Wanted to talk about how it felt like a pastiche of all the other RPGs at the time, particularly FFIX and FFX. But most of the details of the story are fading from my mind. Still love the elements of the story relating to the heroes of legend turning bad. That whole part of the story really appealed to me for some reason.
Smash Bros. Brawl - tried to review this. Tried to talk about the tournament of it that I competed in (and came 5th out of 128) before I even owned the game. But can't make it work.
Monkey Island 1 and 2 Special Editions - can't find the words. They were very fun to replay again after so many years, and with voice acting. The first one had a few problems, mostly to do with timing. The second one was incredibly polished though.
Title: My one word review of New Super Mario Bros.
Posted: December 18, 2010 (02:51 PM)
Title: Rock Band 3, Fable 3, Fallout: New Vegas
Posted: October 29, 2010 (03:51 PM)
Three games I've been looking forward to, all coming out pretty much at once. I have money. But I haven't bought any of them yet.
Trying to find Rock Band 3 at a decent price. Waiting a month for Fallout to be fully patched. Fable 3 is looking good. Might need to get it soon.
Posted: September 14, 2010 (04:18 AM)
Title: Ten years ago...
Posted: September 09, 2010 (08:56 PM)
Around ten years ago, I wandered into one of those charity op shops, where I found an Atari 2600 in its original box, with all the manuals and even some advertising pamphlets, plus four games also in their boxes. The whole thing cost me $10.
Today, deciding that I'm never going to play this thing again, due to Atari being seriously outdated, and the fact that I can't even hook it up to my new super awesome TV, I decided to take it to Gametraders to see what I'd get for it. They initially said between $30 and $80 depending on the condition, so when I went back to my car to grab it, they looked at it and decided it was worth $100 plus $20 for the games.
I seriously don't know how they're gonna sell it and turn a profit, but damn that's some good money.
Title: And honestgamers.com becomes NSFW
Posted: September 02, 2010 (04:42 AM)
Until I post, of course. Jeez. And clicking around the site, it's the only ad that does appear.
Title: Alan Wake
Posted: August 28, 2010 (08:13 PM)
Alan Wake is a pretty tense game so far. Tense, but not scary. In fact, the only time the game gave me a fright was when I was in an abandoned cabin, watching a TV, and at the very edge of my view I could see out the open window, and some shadow figure walked by it. No attacks, no musical cue... just the fact that I was not alone. It was so subtle, and I could have missed it if my camera were pointing another way.
But Alan Wake is mostly about tension. Walking through the dark forest, full of an unnatural fog, and then the same shadow enemies appear. Fighting off 3 or 4 of them at once can be tough if you've only got a revolver with under a dozen shots left... which is what kept happening to me in Chapter 2. It was tense getting from checkpoint to checkpoint, sometimes legging it when I ran out of ammo. Sometimes I don't make it and the tension becomes frustration. Mostly because I am so limited in ammo, and I'm unlikely to find any if I go back, that it's just a matter of getting lucky with that run/dodge button.
The story is pretty interesting, too, but I'm only two chapters in so I don't know all that much yet. Visually amazing, I'm playing this on my brand new 37" LCD. I bought the game a while ago, but I only got around to starting it now, and I am glad I waited. The atmosphere wouldn't have worked so well on my old crappy TV.
Title: Schrödinger's tournament
Posted: August 27, 2010 (02:57 AM)
I don't mind the delay. It means that our team has potentially won, as long as the results are not posted. This is better than definitely losing, although not as good as definitely winning.
But for now, I'm happy not to know.
Title: My review hits are...
Posted: July 27, 2010 (03:12 AM)
...I hate myself now.
Title: These sorts of posts always freak me out and make me a bit uncomfortable.
Posted: July 26, 2010 (04:22 AM)
I'm a bit surprised to find them here.
I wonder if she's real, and not just a cyber form created on the Internet to entice lonely geeks. She's not really that hot, so if she is a creation, it's a subtly clever one.
That should say ads, not posts. Damn it.
Title: Writing reviews is hard.
Posted: July 23, 2010 (06:50 PM)
Writing reviews is hard. Today I've bounced between several unfinished reviews, trying to get into the stride with at least one of them, but I'm getting nowhere. Today alone I've written about Monkey Island 1 and 2's special editions... Star Ocean 4, Twilight Princess, Smash Bros. Brawl, Tales of Symphonia... ugh.
I think I was a 1 trick pony this year. FFXIII was a fluke. Wind Waker was an unfinished review I managed to finish just in time, and last week I dipped into my backlog out of desperation.
Why did I sign up for this? :P
I can't find the words I need. I mean, I have all these ideas about Monkey Island 2... but how to describe it without spoiling it... how do you objectively describe something like humour? Venter, you make it look so easy. You all do. Even I am mystified that I'm somehow second place in this thing, although I suspect Janus will push me further down the rankings this week. That guy is unstoppable.
I need to get into that writing trance, somehow. When my feet seem to sink into the floor and my fingers become one with the keyboard, my mind becomes one with the words on the screen, and it just flows. But I can't get that uninterrupted stream of consciousness going with reviews because I keep worrying about petty little things like a catchy intro and not describing graphics without any context to the rest of the game. Somehow as a community we've decided that we can't review games as individual parts making a whole. Nope.
If we talk about graphics and sound, it needs to fit somewhere else. Don't bother mentioning mundane aspects like control or gameplay. Talk about the experience, but don't sound too "bloggish"...
Sell the dream, take the reader on a journey. Make the process of reading the review more fun than the game itself. Make the review succinct without being too brief, make it detailed without being too long.
Make it flow from one paragraph to the next. Don't overuse words like boring, brilliant, fun, etc. Think of new words to describe old concepts. But don't get too pretentious about it.
Don't spoil the story, but don't not spoil it if it means your review has less impact.
Have we overcomplicated the process a bit? No wonder this is so hard.
Title: Watch out, Janus
Posted: July 20, 2010 (03:05 PM)
I have a plan. Hit me with your best shot.
*signals Venter and Leroux to sneak up behind him and shove him into a well until the match is over*
Yeah, I don't have a plan.
Or maybe that's what I want you to think.
YOU WON'T KNOW!
Posted: July 01, 2010 (05:32 PM)
Done at 1700 words or so. I'll let it sit for a few hours then I'll go back and edit it. I should probably print it so I can annotate it with a red pen or something.
It'll be ready, damn it. I'm in this competition and I am actually writing new stuff! It's like 2002!
Title: Final Fantasy XIII
Posted: June 29, 2010 (04:55 AM)
This game was such a monumental failure that not only did I feel incredibly disappointed with the game, but it also made me hesitant about buying future games in the series. I mean, FFXII was flawed, but it wasn't a terrible game. But this game has knocked one of my favourite franchises off the pedestal.
Perhaps this is a good thing? Maybe I was too much of a fanboy and I just didn't realise it. I wonder if I'd actually enjoy some of the previous games if I gave them another run through? Would Final Fantasy X still be my favourite game?
FFXIII review coming soon. I've written about half of it, so far. Hoping it's ready for Round 1.
Title: Working on a new review
Posted: June 25, 2010 (08:55 PM)
I hope to have it done for week 1, and I might just get there. I'm quite happy with what I've got so far.
But if it's not ready then I'll polish up one of my old ones.
Be afraid Team Janus. Also, no, I'm not reviewing Jedi Knight.