Title: Not a bad idea to bring some old work over from GameFAQs...
Posted: June 29, 2009 (01:07 AM)
Got some useful feedback on reviews that never really got any back on GF. There seems to be a largely general line through the three Moraffware reviews - not surprising as they're similar and two of them were written closely together. Some of it is "the usual" of being too technical which is no news to me and an everpresent caution light in my brain, but I was struck especially by a comment on Moraff's World where my writeup suggests a poorer game than I myself rate it in the end.
This is interesting because it even gave myself pause when I reread it. Why did I give it an 8? Because I love the game. Why do I love the game when, upon reviewing it, I mostly throw out what's wrong with it? Now there's a question worth pondering on further. Two possible answers seem to pop up: either I have focused more on the negative and less on the positive in my review than I do in my mind, or I didn't closely inspect my own final opinion on the game prior to writing the review.
Oddly - maybe hilariously - I now find myself wondering, based on my own review, if I actually like this game as much as I thought I do. Is this that famous reviewer cynicism that sets in when you've stuck with one form of media for too long? At any rate, in writing terms it's a back to basics thing. The review is a writeup of my opinion on the game. It may be worth it to doublecheck what said opinion IS, and why, prior to trying to write it down.
Fact is that over the past few years I've played a lot of games that honestly weren't all that good. There's no shame in enjoying them nonetheless, in fact that can only be a useful thing, but it raises interesting questions as to what, exactly, I look for in a game.
Posted: June 29, 2009 (01:49 AM)
Well...I get some of the reviews you do. I think we both consciously make sure our reviews are, well, in shape. And we remember important points. But I know I may be asking myself the wrong questions at times. It's important to have a unique voice, but is one detail a stretch? Is this passage in because I guess it has to be? Have I written it before and figured I really couldn't do any better?
I think to a certain extent it's important to push the basic formula for creating a review, and to be able to say in a first draft "I know this is wrong but I have confidence I can fix it."
There's a lot of other stuff I've changed up. I think I asked some good questions about your review in MoTo that I never thought to ask about mine, maybe because I thought I couldn't come up with an objective answer. But I could have come up with a start. I was able to do so after the judging, which was slightly frustrating!
I'd rather wait til after the team tourney to give the full rundown of small stuff I've done, but I'm able to make a lot of changes based on repeated criticism and maybe even catching myself saying "I can't write like X" when really I just want to borrow a common trick he took from general common knowledge for a sentence or two.
I also think we both are better as "defending teams" than "attacking teams." We cut down obvious mistakes first, and we place strong values on sensibleness. Perhaps we settle for it too quickly. It's led to frustration when I read someone else's review about a game I'd reviewed, where I threw away a similar sentence/observation to what they took. Which is a good segue to my final thought: proofreading shouldn't just about cutting down but about possibilities, about seeing if the idea that can't fit can be linked in now that we've trimmed the fat elsewhere. If we cut down something redundant, it opens the possibility to focus the reader's interest elsewhere. Of course, we have to make it count.
Posted: June 29, 2009 (10:00 AM)
I'll keep saying it until you do it -- Shining in the Darkness. Now!
Posted: June 29, 2009 (12:26 PM)
I do hope that's not your approach with women as well.
Posted: June 29, 2009 (12:37 PM)
All I do with woman is look scarred and beat up and let their insatiable need to mother me take over. Then I invest in earplugs.
I try not to talk. I tend to ruin anything of notice when I talk.
But this isn't getting Shining in the Darkness rewritten!
Posted: June 29, 2009 (12:40 PM)
If you're that anxious to see SITD re-reviewed, what's keeping me from playing you at your own game and wondering if I might see some overdue games arrive at Sash HQ, first?
Posted: June 29, 2009 (01:25 PM)
Sash, I had the same trouble with my RE5 review, and it makes me wary of putting it in the TT. Here's a game I give an 8, a very high score, but basically bitch about for the entire review. In my mind, I was basically thinking, "well, it's RE4 redone... how bad can that be?" but I kind've forgot to express anything other than loathing in my review.
A line at the start somewhat like "this isn't a bad game, but..." would've been really good.
Posted: June 30, 2009 (03:44 AM)
Unfair though it is, readers tend to automatically look at numbers whenever they can, even when those numbers aren't explicitly provided. So if I spend three short paragraphs picking on minor issues in a game, that's a red flag for some consumers. Nevermind the medium-sized paragraph I spent talking about how the game will rock their socks off. That's 1 versus 3, so obviously the game must be bad if I gave it three paragraphs of bashing! Some readers will of course read the whole review and consider how significant each point is. They're the dream reader that we all hope will come upon our work and get something useful out of it. Unfortunately, the reader who is skimming and counting positive and negative paragraphs is far more common and we really don't have much choice but to cater to his tastes.
Posted: June 30, 2009 (07:20 AM)
Most of the stuff you won never arrived, Sash, and the people who arranged it all have vanished like a fine mist. It's the biggest reason that giveaways are on a long break right now. But I'll make it up to you by buying you shinies. OR! By nagging you into reviewing my favourite game, not decided which.
Posted: June 30, 2009 (10:57 AM)
Alright, no worries. It wasn't exactly Braid-quality stuff I signed up for, and of the games that I did receive from you, most are still sealed.
Posted: July 02, 2009 (04:51 PM)
Nice review - I personally loved this game.