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Below, you can see the 20 most recent posts in the forums, starting with the most recent post first and working backwards. Signatures, avatars and other related information have been stripped so that the page will load quickly. Each post contains a link to the thread where it was posted so you can click to see it in its original context.

I saw part of Rubber (last 30 minutes, give or take) on some movie channel once while drunk at a friend's house. If I give it credit for anything, it was that I watched that entire approx. 30 minutes just to figure out what the hell was happening. I don't know that I could have watched the whole thing, but that section at least had me intrigued in a "what the hell is this?!?" sort of way.

I liked Mandy, but couldn't stomach Rubber. It felt like it was trying too hard to say, "Hey guys, look how self-aware I am! I am such a self-aware movie and that's cool, right!? Adore me!"

Appreciate the nod -- I really enjoy my impromptu Amiga adventure, even if my hopes for more X-Out were cruelly dashed. Good times had, regardless. Thanks for the kind words.

A friend and I had this running thing for many year where we would meet up once every couple of weeks or so and play bad game tag, where we would essentially force the other to watch bad movies and see who broke first. If you couldn't a film, you lost that round. He beat me with Mandy. I tried watching it several times, but the whole lot of nothing the first half hour or so subjects you to was too much for me. I beat him with Rubber. The film about a mass murdering tyre.

And so the year, this awful, awful year, is done. I am the king of 2020. I do not care for this crown. It sits heavy.

Still, all praise me and my ability to perform basic maths! Once we get a little more into 2021 and, maybe, sort out the RotW judge roster, I'll start the new table so my crown can be contested. Until then, I bring my weary subjects delicious stat tables. Am I not a merciful ruler?

EmP's image

Once again, I have no excuse for this being late. Sure, I can blame the terrific Stories Untold and the decent The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing for chewing up some of my time, but really it just fall down to being late as usual.

Movie ramblings? Yes, I have some:

Deadly Dreams (1988) is a slasher with an actual plot, where a man who witnessed his parents' murders on Christmas Eve is now plagued by dreams and visions of their killer. However, some of these hallucinations seem awfully realistic, and the man wonders if he's going insane or if the man donning a wolf-skin mask is indeed real. While it's a breath of fresh air for this genre, some of its plot points don't quite connect. I'd love to get into the "why" of it, but I won't spoil the movie. Let's just say the big reveal makes the whole ordeal out to be more complicated than it needed to be.

Mandy (2018) stars Nicolas Cage as a man bent on revenge after a hippie cult murders his girlfriend. Some drops of LSD and enough other hard drugs to kill a whale later, he takes out everyone involved in the scheme while hypnotic music blares and Argento-esque color style washes everything. It's a pretty out there, violent movie, and only for those who dig truly batshit filmmaking.

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) picks up where its predecessor left off, and is not a bad little ghost flick. Lin Shaye's eventual appearance is awesome, as the movie treats her like a special attraction by keeping her off the screen for ages, then giving her a climactic appearance.

The Rift (1990), aka Endless Descent, is your standard cheesy monster movie, where a submarine crew investigates the mysterious disappearance of another sub, only to discover a deep see grotto teeming with mutant seaweed monsters. It's a "bad" flick with shoddy acting and cringy dialogue, but certainly not a dull one.

As for the reviews.

EmP covered Z-Out for Review of the Week, but where the hell is Y-Out ? Wait, no... How did we go from [cross]-Out to Z-Out, and not something like Strike-Out? Stop, that sounds like a baseball game. Ugh, can they not just say X-Out II or call Z-Out something else? Oh, it was? Wargate? Well that's a way better name than frickin' Z-Out! Anyway, your vivid descriptions are what I look for in shmup reviews, and you deliver as expected. Word choice and clever/funny material abounds in this one, especially the bits about soggy kittens and caffeine. Those earned some chuckles.

Mariner talked about Marble It Up! for second place Whatever happened to ball-rolling games? Well, there's one that just called The Ball, but that was more of a Portal clone. Plus, there's the horribly tedious Switchball, but I would be surprised if that wasn't delisted from PSN for being about as entertaining as watching snow melt. This is one of the better reviews I've read for a more technical, "arcade-y' game, as those tend to get pretty dry. This one has a lot of passion behind it, and that places it above a lot of others I've encountered (or even written myself).

Dagoss reviewed Wizardry Empire for third place. You know, I've always been interested in this franchise, but I just haven't gotten into it. Strange, really. You'd think I'd be all over this one. Anyway, there's a wealth of information in this review, and it's interesting to read about the series, especially since I haven't really partaken of it. There are a few rough spots here and there, like unnecessary apostrophes, but the details presented support your opinion, plus serve as a good rundown of the series for the uninitiated (i.e. me).

CptRetroBlue took on The Revenge of Shinobi. I don't have much to add on this review. It's one of your most polished offerings, and its point is well supported by the game's not-so-great play control.

And again, thank you for this topic and the placement!

Thank you very much! I will admit to feeling bad for whoever handles ROTW in October.

Thank you for the topic, and the placement!

I obviously didn't see this before now. Thanks for offering to help, Jerec. I finally got to work and churned out all three topics in basically one day.

Still working on Dec 28 - Jan 3. Hope to have it up soonish.

I was talking to Marc about shooters not long ago, and we commented then that we still tend to review shooters in a very different way than any other type of game. We blamed 2004. I'm okay standing by this. It did knock off X, which is a bastard of a letter now I've run out of X-Com games to write about.

It was a long as hell review, so good job getting through it! Props to Jason for his impromptu Meat Boy review, and Hut for breaking my heart because, against all evidence and reality, I genuinely hoped the Panzer remake would be a worldbeater and would trigger the rest of the series getting redone. Alas.

Thanks for the RotW!

I also had a review mark I was attempting to reach, though mine was at 20, and I barely made it with my last review in December. I don't think I'll set a mark for 2021; I'll just go with the flow this time. Had a couple of games I really wanted to review before year's end, and only had time for the one, so I made it be for a remake of a game I had experience with, Panzer Dragoon. Glad you liked the review and understood how it played. Hilariously, the one thing that still bugs me about the review is the Ice Cube gag at the start, because I have this lingering feeling I used it before. But oh well...

Thanks also to Venter and EmP for helping to close out one of the last RotWs with solid reviews!

Heh heh. I wouldn't say I'm "getting into" the super tough platformer genre. It's not something I generally enjoy, but I was in the mood to finally try Meat Boy and it wound up getting its hooks in me enough that I persevered. With Phantom (you do remember correctly), every attempt to fight and win against him was a long way from a checkpoint, so it was just a lot of backtracking for each ill-fated attempt and I had better things to do with my time. I did finally beat him, to end the constant ribbing, and made it a few stages deeper into the game before it lost my interest again. Back then--and now too--I didn't (and don't) see the point in grinding too much with a game beyond the point where I realize I'm no longer having fun. Anyway, thanks for the comments and I'm glad my review could take you down memory lane. It's a great place to visit sometimes!

Got through the holiday season pretty okay-like, so it's time to do my last RotW of 2020. In 2021!

First, my thanks for the placements I received from Marc and Joe, as they got caught up with the remaining ones. Even got one more win, which is great since I've turned into the guy who gets 2nd or 3rd nearly every time, but can't break through to being tops.

As for reviewing, this was a more productive year than any I've had for some time. My only regret was that I missed the 30-review mark by one. Because I couldn't get Bloodborne finished in time because I just had no focus to take the time for writing anything beyond what I had to do for work. But you know, new year, new me…or whatever. At least I'm getting this done!

Three reviews, everyone places, I was saved from having to remember an EmP holdover by one day; read on to find out who gets what!


EmP's X-Out (Amiga)

For only having three reviews, this turned out to be a tough week because all three of them were really good, making me have to read them more than once to even hope to put them in any sort of order. Overall, this is a very good review. You point out the influence R-Type had on the genre and then go into a detailed description of this game, showing how it took its inspiration and then took it in new ways to create a title that wears its influence proudly, but isn't happy to merely be derivative. If I were to give a reasoning why this review fell a bit below the other two, I'd say it was because it was so detailed that, if you haven't played the game, there's no need to, as you've described every stage and the majority of the bosses. In a way, this worked, as it gave you examples for how those changes from the R-Type formula were implemented and how they worked to keep your interest. In another way, I have to admit I did have a bit of "reading fatigue" as I progressed through a couple large paragraphs and found I was only getting to stages five and six. Wait…after all the Rambling Rob comments about my reviews, you decided to give me a piece of my own medicine, didn't you?!?? Clever, just like your review. But this week is one of those all-star weeks where I gotta grasp for flaws to find a way to justify my ordering.


Jason's Super Meat Boy (Xbox 360)

Look at you! In the older days of this site, there was this running joke about your struggles with an early-game Devil May Cry boss (Phantom, if memory serves) and now you're here getting into the "super-tough-platformer" sub-genre. I'll have to check what my ranking is after a year or three of not playing it and compare with you, if I can remember. I'd gotten pretty good, but could have done better if not for my "going gets tough, I say 'tough' and remember that I'm trying to get through my backlog and not let it collect dust" mentality. Anyway…I liked your anecdote intro to the review and then you did a really good job of describing the game. Believe me, I got the "shoot yourself with a BB gun" comparison. Even if it was my right thumb that felt like it'd be shot. Overall, I liked your descriptions, where you mentioned the saws (and other obstacles), I could relate to your 50+ tries for one boss (world 3 from the description…it's amazing how much more difficult a tough sprint can get if you're running along with a differently-colored variation of your character) and got a nice "down memory lane" nostalgia time from reading this.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

Pickhut's Panzer Dragoon: Remake (PlayStation 4)

Like I said, it was super-tough to pick places this week. You came out on top because you really nailed the whole "voice of authority" thing. It was really obvious that you have a lot of knowledge of the Panzer Dragoon series, which probably isn't super-common since it derived from one of Sega's overall less-purchased systems. And you did a great job of comparing the remake to the original to point out improvements and additions. While also tackling things like its brevity and overall lack of difficulty to create what feels like a truly definitive review for this game. It talks about new and old and puts them together really nicely so that a guy like me, who has spent zero minutes with this series, feels like he knows a lot about at least this game right now.

And, yes, you waited nearly a month for this. Hopefully my next week, which is probably this one for all I know, won't be as late. NO PROMISES!!!!

I used some images in this review per the instructions on the screenshot page. They appeared just fine in the preview before I submitted it, but now they images are 404'ing on the live review. Looking at the html that gets generated, it generates different url's for the image and link.

Here's the markup from the review. Am I using this correctly?


Edit: Well, now the images suddenly show up just fine. I guess the intertubes were clogged up this morning.

Title: Stretch Arcade
Platform: PS4
Developer: Top Rated
Publisher: Top Rated
Release date: (11/22/19 - US)(12/03/19 - EU)



Thank you for the win! And thank you for getting around to judging. :)

I've mentioned in a few places already but, sadly, the team behind Alpha Polaris folded and rather than pull the game, it's now free on Steam. People should at least pick it up. It's worth the price.

Thanks for the kind words on my stuff, but thanks more for ploughing through a tough week eventually. Joe routinely smashes October and I always look forward to AbsoluteDeicide's annual review (check out his Agony review if you find the time). I was aware what I was doing for Sunless, but I did the same thing for the previous game and regret nothing. If I wanted to stick to the same formula forever, I'd just keep writing shooter reviews!

Great work, all.

One of the worst games I've ever played, that Quiet Man. I'm just glad I never have to think about it ever again.

You've put a hell of a shift in there, Marc. Thanks for getting through the backlog - 2020 is finally clear for you. Really strong week, so props to Rob on rehashing the Mafia II review I wrote years ago making a strong case on a game that should have been better. I know giving it the win will sting for Marc, because he loves that game.

Thanks Masters! Glad to know my approach is working. I remember seeing the other reviews posted that week, and I knew I wasn't making the top 3. Not that I'm writing these for recognition or prestige or anything. Usually just to get my thoughts out.

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