Posted: July 11, 2006 (01:24 PM)
My original plan was to do a review for Space Station Silicon Valley, make everyone think that was my pick for this round, and switch it out with something more viable (either Seperation Anxiety or DMC:SE) at the last moment, but it occured to me that this might be something of an assholish move, and people probably say enough crap behind my back without me giving them fodder.
The SSSV review is already done, and I might release and use it, but it really all depends on how it's recieved. It's sort of a 'crazy review' (it's pretty damn hard to write a review about SSSV in a serious tone), and I'm always wary when I write stuff like that.
I mean, EmP, Zig, Genj...um...probably some other guys who's names I can't think of right now...they can all write these super-entertaining reviews, they can do crazy, insane stuff, they can go off on tangents and whatnot, and they can still make an effective review. They can use scrolling text, huge type and other things I know I would mess up; coming out clean from a shitstorm. Guys like Overdrive, Sportsman, they excel at delivering the facts; hard, quick, effectively. And everybody seems to have this expertise I can't even begin to touch; you know about shooters with names I can't even pronounce, you know about these weird games I've never even heard of, you know about all these technical things like HTML and computer codes and stuff, and, I mean, I really don't know jack about anything.
Except comic books. And that doesn't even come in handy unless I'm reviewing a comic related game, and maybe not even then since the percentage of people who'd actually know what the hell I'm talking about is pretty damn small.
Sometimes I just don't know. I don't think I'm a bad writer, overall, but I definitely think I'm worse now than I was around my peak (RPG Maker 2 times) I don't think I need a break or anything, but I'm missing something. There's something I stopped doing that I need to start doing again, and it bugs the hell out of me because I can't figure it out.
I can admit that I'm not a smart person in any sense of the word. It takes me a while to figure things out, and I've got little knowledge, and the few things in life I do know a bit about (Psychology, for one) never seem to pop into my head when I need them. It's like there's this wall I've got to break down.
Eh. ///_- I'm starting to sound like a Linkin Park album or something; random rambling I'm not in a stupor, it's just this annoying little thought that's been gnawing at my brain.I've been doing this for a year now, so I should be past the 'Little Reviewer Lost' stage and this sort of crap should be past me, but whatever. Glad to get it out.
Edit: This doesn't have anything to do with the above, but Tom Jane's Punisher was a good movie and I don't care what anyone says.
Posted: July 11, 2006 (02:51 PM)
Basically, most of the stuff you just said has applied to me in the past. At least for me, possibly for others, as well, there's a sort of cycle a reviewer tends to enter.
After starting and muddling through a few early attempts, they hit a breakthrough and dramatically improve quickly. Then they stagnate, then have another improvement and so on. Check enough competition scores and you'll for example that in late 04-early 05, I won a competition and was near the top of virtually all I entered. Then over the middle of the year, I hit a slump and was lucky to be in the top half of them until my Zero Tolerance review finished third in Alphabetolympics.
I then had a decent run, but right around the very end of last year and beginning of this one, I had a bad tournament or two and took a month off from writing because I couldn't make anything work. Since then, I think I've been writing, if not better than ever, at least with more diversity than ever.
I've talked with Zig about the subject of writing reviews before and a key is to not let what you're doing feel stale to you — which is sort of a function of KoR, as with all the themes, you have to tackle a variety of writing styles and game genres....some of which you'd never do on your own.
I've been taking that to heart with all my reviews, not just the KoR concept ones and I've been having a lot more fun writing them. They might not go down as my best ones, but I've had a blast writing a short, intense slam review of Task Force Harrier EX, a more imaginative style with Monster Party and implementing other things I don't usually do (like making two lists about things in Totally Rad).
Just have fun and experiment with new writing styles. Some might flop, but others could catapult your writing to a new level. The worst thing you can do is simply do the same thing over and over again. There's a lot of writers out there who I feel have talent, but most of there reviews just feel similar, giving the "read one, read 'em all" stigmata to them.
Posted: July 12, 2006 (07:22 AM)
I've always preferred the direct approach myself, and I guess you're right about me with that.
You want criticism? To be honest sometimes you get a little too much into the storytelling/fiction with your reviews, to the point where you either lose me or I just don't care anymore. I dug your more direct reviews, namely RPG Maker 2 and Separation Anxiety (sp?). I wouldn't change styles, because then it would be unatural, but I would tone down the tangents a bit. Still for the most part I like your reviews.
Posted: July 12, 2006 (08:37 AM)
I'd have to agree with what Sportsman said about storytelling. I specifically remember your Spartan review. The several paragraph long intro about the Spartan was great writing, action packed, yadda yadda yadda, but it wasn't a review. Even if I may throw in ridiculous pop culture references in my writing (christ, a specific episode of Seinfeld is mentioned in my Drakengard review), I still try to write reviews rather than essays or fan fiction on games. However, some people seem to like this (why I'll never understand) as I remember Lilica's Soul Calibur review that mostly talked about the story was well recieved.
Edit - Ukyo/Sho's excellent review for Sexy Droids is a great recent example of fun craziness & real game discussion.
Edit 2 - I can't believe you can write stuff so quickly. I always sit down to write but get distracted by music I'm listening to or I end up opting to do something else.