Title: Year in Review - because I can
Posted: January 03, 2009 (07:09 PM)
Well, here it is - a fairly substantial list considering how uninvolved I was previously. Got quite a few feedback topics, too - more than I expected - though none of them were from EmP despite his "promise" to make a topic for every review I wrote after RE4. S'alright, though; I still love you. He did comment on a few onsite, and the rest over AIM even if I did have to ask him most of the time, so it's alright. (=P)
My hits skyrocketed since the last time I did this...
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 win, 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
Feedback: Nuked during the time when feedback topics weren't preserved
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, the game itself is actually quite enjoyable, if perhaps your typical action-RPG NES fanfare.
Digimon World (PS) May 16, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 1233
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. Though I remain confused as to why people read my silly Ai Sensei review more than this one.
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
Feedback topic Hits: 316
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
Feedback topic Hits: 208
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 was 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. Finally got Boo's critique some time ago. Helped me understand quite a bit, I think).
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 think it's my favorite despite all my recent work. 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've liked feedback on, it'd be 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, RotWs and nagging, 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 was advised to try something radically different, but I just don't know what to do. This is unfortunate because I had surprises planned for the next week or two...
Earthworm Jim (GEN) September 08, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 182
This was the surprise I had referenced earlier. I wrote it for EmP's birthday because I thought he'd like it. I really wanted to make this awesome, and so had help from Will and Boo. Despite their help, I still didn't think it was as awesome as I wanted it - perhaps I was still feeling that everything was "samey" - but I still felt pretty good about it. When EmP commented on it, however, that affirmed its quality. I think he gave it the highest praise of any review I'd written to that point, and that made me very happy. It still makes me happy. I think I even saved that praise somewhere because I'm weird like that.
It placed second in that week's RotW despite only three contenders (including myself), but that's alright because it was close and drella had already determined it worthy of the Genesis focus window, which I think is still there but I'm not sure because I haven't checked in a while.
Bad Dudes (NES) September 27, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 406
EmP thought to drag me last minute into the Beat 'Em Up 2 contest despite my uncertainty whether I'd be able to make it or not due to school. I'm glad he did, really. Not only did the review (written "on the fly" in less than a day) dispel that "sameyness" I'd been feeling, but it also won RotW and received fantastic praise aside. In fact, I think this review received the most praise from EmP, surpassing even EWJ, which again made me feel terrifically happy and loved.
Ironically, it didn't do so well in the contest (average, I suppose), but drella (and maybe Masters) were about the only ones who didn't seem to like it, so that's fine. To each his/her own. But that doesn't mean I'm going to disregard the criticism - I think it could (and maybe has) prove(n) useful in the future.
Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 9: Kage Maru (SAT) October 03, 2008
Silly throw together review I did for the hell of it and to cover V in the alpha marathon. I'm not going to do this again; this was just something I felt like doing randomly. Like Ai Sensei, it's not really a review, but then again, the game's not much to look at either. It's not even really a game in the technical sense of the word.
Kingdom Hearts (PS2) October 11, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 256
Kingdom Hearts is a game I'd wanted to review for a while, I suppose. I'll admit I wasn't as charmed with the game as I had been the first time I played it, mostly due to the fact that the control scheme is one giant CF. But otherwise, it's a very good game with a meaningful plot.
Anyway, I'd wanted to make the review better... but, it came out the way it did, I guess. It's still good considering, I suppose, but it feels a lot like my earlier efforts. It placed second in RotW, and everything EmP said there is true, especially the listiness.
Jim Power: The Arcade Game (GEN) November 02, 2008
Stupid game. Almost unplayable, really. Found myself agreeing with genj emphatically. I liked how the review turned out, though. I had tried something a hit different (or at least it felt so to me), and for the most part, it worked. The alpha results were satisfactory, and it placed second in the week's RotW, which is always nice.
The 3D Battles of World Runner (NES) November 22, 2008
I think we actually have a physical copy of this on our old Nintendo... which I had forgotten about until after I wrote the review. Heck, I don't think we even played it on the old Nintendo, really, since it was sort of hidden under a mound of other NES games. Can't really blame it, though - the game's not that great.. Good for passing an hour or so, but, well, it gets repetitive after a while.
The review's just kind of a put-together... Did it for # in the Alpha Marathon, though I balk to think what I'll do this year. It's functional for what it is, I suppose, but it's not really an easy game to write about, either.
Ys (NES) December 09, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 193
This is a good game. I think it surprised me quite a bit, though I say that a lot about a lot of things. Not as good as its port (so I've heard and researched), but still good for what it is.
I like the review quite a bit. I think it turned out well, and maybe that contributed to my wanting to release it before Christmas (it was intended for Felix), though this was one of the games we planned to review at the same time anyway, but still. It placed second in RotW (much to my chagrin), edged out by a very good pickhut review. If you had seen my conversation with EmP about this review and possible RotW turn-out, you'd understand my frustration. To summarize, it basically had me feeling overly confident about the review then remarking about how irony likes to strike me in the strangest, worst, most ironic ways. And it sure did! I think I'll refrain from expressing any confidence from now on - or at least sound modest... Though it's rare when I'm confident about anything. (Note: This conversation occurred before pickhut subbed his review; once he did, my confidence evaporated)
Anyway, I used this instead of one of my next two reviews in Janus' tourney, and I'm glad I did. The overall placement I got (6th) isn't great, but the score (88) wasn't bad, so I can't really complain
Twinle Tale (GEN) December 24, 2008
Feedback Topic Hits: 88
I liked this game a lot. It's a cute yet brilliant shooter that really should've been released here. ...Everywhere. I wrote the review for Zig since it was his Xmas request, though still remain unsatisfied with how the review turned out despite his praise and the RotW win. I think this feeling is largely due to writing while uninspired and not really wanting to write, so it just feels stiff and forced to me. But I'm glad it worked for him, and drella who judged the week's RotW.
Shining in the Darkness (GEN) December 24, 2008
Feedback topic Hits: 77
If someone told me I'd write 2½ reviews in one day, I'd laugh at them, but that's exactly what I did. I felt considerably better about how this one turned out, hoping that I'd shaken the odd feeling I had about writing after finishing Zig's. Well, I thought I had, but zipp's feedback wasn't too flattering. That doesn't matter, though; I wrote it for EmP, for Christmas, and he seemed to like it well enough, though perhaps not as much as I would have liked, but I'm happy enough anyway, I suppose. I just really wanted to make this one good for him. Zig's, too, but EmP's more (sorry).
Well, I feel kind of bad ending the year in such an uninspired state of mind as I was, but I dunno. Lately I haven't felt like writing anything, and since I'm on break, I can feel this way as long as I want (until I go back to school). Ideally I'd like to write something while still here, though, but... who knows. This ill feeling will probably pass, though, I hope.
Posted: January 04, 2009 (02:53 AM)
I wouldn't worry too much about placing six. All the reviews were great so the score is probably a better indication of how well you did.
Posted: January 05, 2009 (09:41 AM)
This year in review doesn't mention me enough!
Good job this year, Wolfie; you've come on leaps and bounds.
Posted: January 07, 2009 (10:56 AM)
XD I mention you in almost every review I talk about! Hahaha.
Thanks, though. <3