Title: Joining the bandwagon: I think I earned it. I guess
Posted: August 30, 2008 (01:02 AM)
I'm not an egotist like some of you around here, but I strangely feel the need to chronicle my achievements thus far.... like everyone else likes to do. I'm really nothing special, and my hits aren't very impressive, but I feel like sharing anyway. Maybe I'm bored. Maybe I want to fill another blog post. Or maybe I just want everyone to know how I feel about the stuff I turn out. Either way you think of it, here it is.
Xena: Warrior Princess (PS) August 23, 2006
This is the first review I've ever written, and as such, it sucks. Haha. At the prompting of EmP, who coaxed me into writing the thing in the first place, I entered it into the Alphas for that year... where it graced the bottom of the pack just above the no-shows and maybe one or two others. Not my proudest achievement, to say the least, so I'm glad other, far-superior reviews have passed it in the hit counter.
Darkstone (PS) January 04, 2007
Darkstone is a game that's fun for a while but then gets extremely aggravating. Its promises of level variation prove false a few lands in, and a series of other faults make this game a bit disappointing. The review itself is also disappointing, not surprising since it's my second ever. I think it won me second-to-last in EmP's Challange tourney for that year, a place I would occupy for quite a while. That this placed second in RotW (if what EmP had told me in e-mail was true, which I'm sure it was) astounds me greatly. There must've been a considerable lack of entries for that week or something.
Half-LIfe (PC) November 04, 2007
I love it when my dates line up like that. Anyway, Half-Life is one of my favorite games ever, or at least FPS's, so I'm glad I was able to review it. I wish EmP would finish it, too. He really needs to just look at a FAQ or something for that Rail level. Honestly, it's not as long as it seems, and afterward, you never have to deal with a boring sequence like that again.
I entered this for the FPS tourney, a contest I honestly hope gets held again because it was cool. The review disappointed me in the standings, but I still like it. Mostly the remarks against it fell in line with "too fanficky", so it really doesn't bother me (anymore). I liked that review when I wrote it, and still do, and I still don't see the big deal with "fanficky-ness" in reviews is, anyway, though I'll admit that perhaps not everything I used in there was necessary. Either way, I'm not going to change it, except maybe to do a little polishing up... Even six-hour meat grinder edit sessions with EmP can't catch everything. And not all the phrasings in there are that great.
And it apparently placed 3rd in RotW for that week, which I'd forgotten about until I'd looked through my archived blog posts again, so it's not all that bad.
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (PC) December 20, 2007
OK. Maybe this wasn't the best kind of review to enter into a tourney. Fact of the matter is, I didn't want to review the regular game, because all I ever play anymore is the expansion, since it includes the original campaign material, too, and thus I didn't want to confuse newly added stuff with original inclusions. My second-to-last standings remain the same, as 2007's Alpha judges didn't smile to kindly upon this effort. That's OK, though; I know it's not my best, and I think I learned a lot from that experience.
Like RTS's are hard-ass games to review. Haha. Kidding, of course, but I think it really did help me get a better understanding of what to put into a review like that. Hopefully my next one will be better.
Oh, and I like how the review skyrocketed in hits over the past 6 months or so. Kind of crazy. I guess people really like those games or something.
Heroes of Might and Magic V (PC) December 29, 2007
For someone who, up until that point, had only written one review every half year, writing two in a week-and-a-half might perplex some people. At least those who haven't read my blog. This was the culmination of a challenge posed by EmP to have 5 reviews to my name by the end of the year. I did it, two days before deadline, because I love pushing deadlines. This was also the first review where I had no outside help, and was entirely self-edited. It's quality I deem poor, but better than some of my earlier stuff. I guess.
Resident Evil 4 (PS2) February 29, 2008
Sweet, got it on a leap year! Lucky day for me... right? I honestly don't know if there's anything lucky about a leap year, but I sure felt like it when the results for EmP's Challange came in (finally). This review broke my long-standing dismal placing by an outsanding margin, and though I didn't really sound it at the time (me being the humble being I am), I was on Cloud 9 for like a week. While no one was kind enough to term it so, I think this piece was my breakthrough review, despite the vast amount of help I had with it and the fact that some later efforts may undermine this achievement. Whether it is or not, it at least gave me the confidence that maybe I am actually worth something after all here, something I don't always show, but it was enough to keep me sticking around for a while. That it placed third in that week's RotW only helped matters, especially considering that like 30 reviews were subbed that week.
Rainbow Islands (NES) March 25, 2008
Man, just four more days and I could've had a three-submission 29th-day-of-the-month streak going. That's OK, though; I hate the number 9. Haha.
This game (and subsequently, the review) surprised me. It's quirky and cute at the same time, and so oddly addictive you'll not want to stop playing until your eyes fall out of your sockets. Felix had recommended it for his Brevity Comp, but I can't really remember the story behind this one... I either spent a few hours/days working on the game, or only half an hour, but either way, I remember taking a nap because I was tired, then suddenly struck by a wave of inspiration, I plugged this thing out in half-an-hour. I felt strangely confident in it, an unusual phenomenon in me to be sure. And after a bit of editing, thanks to EmP who can somehow find the tiniest thing wrong with even the smallest scrap of literature given him (=P), I subbed it. I was rewarded with a remarkable fifth placement and my first ever RotW, entirely new territory for me, and I would keep climbing, for a little while at least.
Ai Sensei no Oshiete - Watashi no Hoshi (NES) April 04, 2008
This was a fifteen-minute throw-together, literally. I only really did this because I felt kind of bad about the conversation that got me this game in the first place. Plus it was quick and easy, and I was bored. The game itself is... pretty much nothing, so there's really nothing to say about it. The review isn't really a review (I mostly just bitch about not being able to understand it), but there's really nothing you can do with a game like this, anyway. More importantly, this launched a campaign between Felix and I in which we subbed reviews for the same game at the same time. He claims my review inspired him, a fact that made me happy, despite knowing that this review isn't... well, a review. Haha. It's probably for this reason that he beat me in this bout of our little contest.
Animorphs (GBC) April 18, 2008
I wrote this review spur-of-the-moment one Friday evening after being strangely inspired, similarly to my Rainbow Islands one. I had drafted a review for this earlier, over Spring Break a few weeks previously, but that copy kind of (no, really) sucked. Felix had looked it over, and I thank him graciously for it, since I really wasn't sure of that draft in the first place. I considered his advice, which mostly consisted of telling me to vary my style a bit, and I'm glad I did. This version looks nothing like the old one, thanks to him as well as the odd spark (spark? No - lightning bolt!) that started the rewrite in the first place. After completing this draft, he looked it over again. Actually, we worked on it together, since there were some things I really needed help with (like writing that personal example). I'm still debating whether I should put the old one up somewhere just so everyone can see the difference. Trust me, it's huge.
EmP also took it upon himself to further edit it for me, and I didn't even have to ask him that time. I'm grateful for it, though - it only made the thing better. And when it won RotW - the second time in a month - I was extremely happy. And shocked.
Just Breed (NES) April 30, 2008
Just Breed, quite simply, is amazing. For a NES strat, I didn't quite expect this. The battles are challenging and lengthy - sometimes lasting over an hour, which might not appeal to some people, but to me it does, especially since it requires a vast amount of thinking. I have no idea what orifice EmP pulled this game out of, but it's a keeper. It really is.
I entered this game in OD's All or Nothing comp, despite the strong feeling that this really felt more like a 9 than 10. I'm thinking of downgrading it, but don't know if I should, since it's a tourney entry and all.
As is typical with many of my reviews, I had help from both Boo and EmP on this one. The result was third place in the comp, something that shocked me considerably, since I'd thought EmP's review far superior to my own. But everyone's opinions are different, I guess. It also placed third in RotW, also a bit surprising. It really was a hard game to write about, or at least make sound like a ten - which I don't think I did - and so I really didn't expect much with it.
This game's also the culmination of another challenge, this time posed by Felix, who suggested I have ten reviews to my name by May. I did it, last minute.
Crystalis (NES) May 13, 2008
Hi, ho summer. Blech. I really didn't want to start the summer with a review like this. I think this is one of my worst efforts since spitting out RE4. I didn't get any feedback on this one, and part of me is glad for that. I really don't think it's that great a review, at all. I had drafted this over Spring Break, but... I just couldn't produce the same kind of effect like I did with Animorphs. That I had little inspiration writing this one didn't help at all, either.
Even so, despite how I feel about the review, teh game itself is actually quite enjoyable, if perhaps your typical action-RPG NES fanfare.
Digimon World (PS) May 16, 2008
I have no idea where that number came from. I swear to you, only about two-three months ago, this had about 120 hits. It just kind of... flew. Surprised me considerably.
Anyway, I doubt Digimon would appeal to a lot of people... It requires a lot of patience, but figuring out all the different combinations and exploring the fairly sizeable land make it fun. Though it can get tedious after a while.
This is the last of three reviews I had drafted over Spring Break, and this one probably had the worst of those three drafts. I was able to ammend it to satisfactory levels, though I never quite got that inspiration again like I did with Animorphs. After subbing it, Felix was nice enough to give me advice, and told me to add a section about combat. I'm glad I did - I think that section's the reason it placed second in that week's RotW.
Fire 'N Ice (NES) May 19, 2008
Fire 'N Ice is a neat little puzzle game. It's different than a lot of puzzle games I've played, which makes it fun. Those who like a unique challenge should try it sometime. You might like it.
Nothing really special about the review, except that it's the second in my "duel" with Felix. It was kind of hard to put together, and reading through it again, I've come to the conclusion that it's extremely cheesy - at least the first few paragraphs are. Still, it beat Felix's own review of the same game by a considerable margin (though only like 3 people voted anyway).
Sam & Max Episode 4 - Abe Lincoln Must Die (PC) May 28, 2008
Back in like November, EmP showed me the link where this game was available for free. I had expressed interest in the games before, I think, and so this gesture was very kind of him. Unfortunately, I hadn't really time to review it, though I think I beat it around December. It wasn't until May, where I had all the free time in the world, that I could actually try reviewing the game again. Of course, I had to beat the game again because I had forgotten much of the satire and other jokes within. Not a problem for me, since playing again I discovered amusing bits I'd missed before.
It was a hard game to write about - probably one of the hardest yet - a fact that may have contributed to me not getting it done sooner. Suffice to say, I completely sympathize with EmP on how tough it is to write these. And I've only written one - he's written 12. As a result, I don't think the review's that great, and I don't think I included any of the humor I had originally intended for it (curse me for not taking notes!), but EmP said it was good, and really, I'd wrote it for him more than anything else, so I'm happy.
I'm also glad I broke his monopoly on it. Seriously - it's gotten out of hand.
People should really play these games. I don't know why they're not more popular than they are. They really should be. They're hilarious, witty, and full of satire and humor that targets everyday life. This one in particular makes fun of American politics. It's great.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (PS2) May 31, 2008
Like two others before it, this is the culmination of a challenge, a challenge like none I've ever faced before. Felix said "Write five reviews in a month", and so I did... on the last day before the deadline. Again.
I honestly thought this review was decent. Not great, but good enough, I guess. Then again, I was quite ambivalent on it in the first place. Oh, well, with the Bracket thing, I know how to feel about it now. Haha. But since this was one where I really didn't get any help, I really shouldn't be that surprised. Really, all I care about now is that it actually inspired EmP to finish his LotR: Third Age review, which I had been looking forward to since I saw it drafted in his blog before the Extinction. That made me feel considerably better about it, despite the thrashing it took in the tourney thing.
Metal Gear Solid (PS) June 19. 2008
I like this review, quite a lot. I wasn't sure how well a game that's potentially considered "overcovered" would go over, but this one went well. It placed second in RotW, against some strong competition, and I'm glad for that. I'm also glad Felix helped me with this one, too. He said there were some serious flaws in part of my argument, as well as some phrases that really shouldn't be there. So I fixed them, and he said it's much better for it. I think so, too.
Musashi no Bouken (NES) June 23, 2008
EmP's pick for his BWHY tourney. I liked this tourney. It was a fun idea, and it's sole purpose to try and get you to play something you otherwise wouldn't play. That couldn't be more true with this game here. I doubt I'd've played it short of a recommendation/suggestion, so I'm glad I got it here. Again, I have to wonder if EmP hides a list of obscure games up his anal cavity or something, because seriously, I have no idea where he found it.
It's a great game. It's similar in design to Dragon Warrior, but actually has some historical relevance and plays on Japanese mythology a lot. It's really neat.
This is a review I felt fairly confident in, especially after reassurances from Felix saying it was pretty much fine without editing, and that all it really needed was minor tweaking. I'd done something different with this review, which I hoped would go over well in the tourney. I think it did - the research bit I'm referring to, anyway - but the rest of it... seemed not to. That's fine, though (now that I'm over it, haha). I still like the review (or at least the intro and second half), so that's all that really matters, I guess. (P.S. I'm still waiting for those critiques. =P)
X-Men: Mutant Academy (GBC) July 12, 2008
I hate this game. Stupid fighting-action game without much action. Only limited combos, characters and settings. The game tries to stretch its entertainment value with various modes, as all fighting action games do, but this just doesn't work here.
It's a sort of throw-together review... written without much feeling, except maybe frustration. I'm not sure. It honestly didn't feel that great to me, or heartfelt. So I was surprised to see Jason's recommendation for third place in RotW.
The Getaway (PS2) July 14, 2008
I'd been working on this a while before finally subbing it. Also had help from Felix, who said it needed little in the way of editing except for a few minor tweaks, like my Musashi one. It was also here that, after helping me with at least 7 of my last 15 reviews (rough estimate - I don't feel like counting), that he would stop helping me just to prove his point that I can write just fine without it all the time. This review also broke the long dryspell of failing to win RotW. While many of my reviews placed, none had actually won since Animorphs. It was kind of starting to worry me, that maybe I was losing my stride, and with my performances recently, this sentiment seemed justified. Silly as that sounds.
.hack//G.U. Vol.1 Rebirth (PS2) July 24, 2008
This is a great game for .hack lovers. Hell, even those unfamiliar with the series can get into this one, though there may be a few first series spoilers. None of the games are really related to the anime(s) in anyway, though they do provide explanation for what happens between them... Either way, everyone should watch .hack//Sign and play these games (all seven of them). Especially EmP. Sign's a great anime, and these are great games.
I like this review... a lot. I felt like I actually put my heart and soul into this one, despite not being really inspired or anything. Frankly, I haven't been "OMG WOW" inspired since Animorphs, but I guess those sorts of events are rare... or something. Either way, I like how this one turned out, though if there were any review I'd wanted feedback on, it was this one. Just to see what everyone else thought. I asked EmP on AIM, since that's the only way to get opinions from him short of tourneys and RotWs it seems, and he liked it. But I still wish I'd had more, I guess. That's alright, though, I guess. At least I actually feel confident in this one for once.
Q*bert (NES) August 01, 2008
This is yet another throw-together. I'm starting to think that I should do more of these more often, because they seem to be doing me quite well. I never would've expected a puzzle game to win me second in RotW, especially not one as straightforward and difficult to write about as this one.
Worms Armageddon (PC) August 09, 2008
This is a fun game. It's weird as hell, but fun. Amusing, too.
The review's good, I guess - it placed second in RotW and both EmP and boo liked it - but... this review also marks a period where I really started noticing that I'm feeling like I'm just doing the same thing over and over again. Indeed, this can probably be traced back to MGS, but I only really started noticing here. So that feeling really affects my judgment and confidence in the review. =/
Incredible Crash Test Dummies (NES) August 18, 2008
Used to love this game when I was little. But it sucks now.
Again with the throw-together. But this one's definitely not that great. Whatever EmP said, I feel like it only got second because only like 4 people subbed that week. It doesn't help that it was written under the crushing weight of "sameness" that I'd been feeling with everything else lately. I've been advised to try something radically different, but I just don't know what to do. This is unfortunate because I have surprises planned for the next week or two (those knowledgeable, no revelations, please), and I feel like I may fail there...
Well, that's it, then. Jesus I don't know how the rest of you put these things together - this took four hours... Maybe next time (if there is one), I'll just go in increments so I can just copy/paste the bulk of my stuff. God.
EDIT: Oh, right. Forgot to add. I'm quite proud of the work I've done this year. I mean, in the past two years before this, I'd only written like 5. To increase that more than threefold is good in my book. Still, I wish I'd gotten a bit more done in the summer than I did. Oh, well, though. It's probably a good thing with the rut I feel in now. I hope I can get more done next year.
Posted: August 30, 2008 (01:22 AM)
There are some great reviews in that library of yours. Screw what those hack judges said. That Muashi no Bouken review is fantastic. And I'm still a big fan of Rainbow Islands, Just Breed, and MGS, to name a few. Good stuff all around.
Posted: August 30, 2008 (01:45 AM)
"afterward, you never have to deal with a boring sequence like that again."
Residue Processing would like to talk this over with you.
Posted: August 30, 2008 (01:53 AM)
Thanks, Felix. That means a lot.
That level's almost negligible, boo. Really. >_>
Posted: August 30, 2008 (04:08 AM)
Again, I have to wonder if EmP hides a list of obscure games up his anal cavity or something
He's British. That's probably not the only thing he hides up there!
But yeah, it's great to see how well you've improved as a writer. I remember being wholly unimpressed by your freshman efforts, then I went on hiatus and when I came back you were actually good! You've earned a well-deserved self-pat-on-the-overly-hyphenated-back. Go on, do it!
Posted: August 30, 2008 (10:22 PM)
Haha. Poor guy.
Thanks, though. I don't know when your hiatus was, but I don't think all my freshman stuff sucks (mostly just the stuff from 2007 and earlier). I wrote RE4, Rainbow Islands and Animorphs during my freshman year, too, though, and those did well.
Posted: August 31, 2008 (07:24 PM)
The last review I wrote before real life decided to fuck me less than gently was when I wrote a crappy .hack Episode 3 review in December of '07, and then I was gone until June of this year. So, I missed out on nearly all of your work. =[
Posted: September 01, 2008 (10:05 AM)
The kid's done well, but what do you expect? I turn out champs, not chumps, from camp TEmP.
Once again, we apologise for Lasty. He swore blind he only pretended to be a pixie on the weekends when fighting the customed forces of evil. We didn't know it was a trick to meet preteen children.
Posted: September 01, 2008 (10:24 AM)
espiga: Ah. Right. I forgot about that. Yeah - all my stuff from 2007 and before blows. Haha.
The kid's done well, but what do you expect? I turn out champs, not chumps, from camp TEmP.
Hm.... Lasty's been gone for ages. Is that what he's onto now? >_> I thought he was sucked into the interdimensional time vortex taking him to the comic world of.... Comicon or something... where he'd have to fight his way out to reach our world again. Which would take years.
Posted: September 01, 2008 (12:53 PM)
If he had to fight his way out of Comicon he'd he facing an army of cosplayers.