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Forums > Contributor Zone > RotW // 5th - 11th APRIL // The "I Wrote This on Monday" Edition

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2021 (11:28 AM)
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ALSORAN: that pretentious EmP has written about a game centered around the death of innocence or some such nonsense. Dunno why he canít just play normal games like normal people. OD can deal with that mess next week on the off chance he doesnít forget it.

This is a weird week. I feel like the three reviews that have been placed have all done completely different things very well that Iím really not sure how to rank them. Oneís a strong traditional review, oneís a museum piece retro review and the other explains an oddity without feeling odd. Honestly, Iím still not sure Iíve ordered these right. Itís no exaggeration to say that all three have sat in first place in my mind at one point or another.

THIRD - Kirbyís Dream Land [GB] Dagoss

Since time began, there argument on retro reviews that will forever rumble on has been thus: games should be reviewed on their own merit or games should be reviewed solely as a product of their generation. For a lot of reasons, Iíve often found myself subscribing to the hidden third option; retro reviews should be a kind of history lesson because thereís some interesting stuff out there if you dig hard enough. Thereís parts of Dagossí review that champion that brilliantly. I also think highlighting how purposefully accessible the game is was a well built thesis. Thereís a few rough lines in there, and the middle-ish section suddenly becomes a bit listy, but youíve done very well to explain the gameís strengths, and then done even better to demonstrate why theyíre the way they are.

You might have still been absent when I declared undying hatred against food analogies. So you wouldnít have known how much this might have hurt you: It sounds like candy apples transformed into music and then topped with cherry beeps and boops.. But it was such an atypical comparison, I couldnít find it in myself to be outraged. Maybe Iím just tired?

SECOND - BioShock Remastered [PS4] Overdrive

So, first things first: BioShock Remastered is just BioShock spruced up to look all pretty on modern televisions with numbers like 1080p attached to them. Yes Robert. Thatís what Remasters are. The first couple of paragraphs are vintage OD rambling, but theyíre inoffensive enough that Iíll only lightly make fun of them. The review starts from paragraph 3, and itís good stuff.

I think maybe -- maybe -- there might be an imbalance between talking about the gameís aesthetics and the gameís mechanics, but that ends up working to your favour when you start dismissing Bioshock as an okay game wrapped up in finery. Likewise, how the creeping survival horror aspect of the game is slowly peeled away as you become less of a man and more of a god. It would be weird to say youíve done well dismantling a classic when you then award it the patented 7/10 score we all reserve for stuff where the score seems to be more of a pain to attribute than usual, but I think itís a fair look at a game that perhaps hasnít aged as well as ost were expecting.

Not me! Never played the game enough to warrant mentioning. Boo used to harp on about this one so bloody often, I felt like Iíd played it vicariously, so never bothered playing more than the first couple of hours.

FIRST - Rip Them Off [XB1] Honestgamer

Jason has a hold over review for Mall Story 2, which suffers the most from being a review for Mall Story 2. Your options are somewhat limited there. Rip Them Off presents a more interesting subject matter and, as is so often the case, produces a more interesting review. Still, it could have gone badly; a tower defense game that forgoes the wholesale slaughter of fantasy tropes and instead has a little dig at consumerism has a number of pitfalls attached, that I think Jason mostly avoids. Thereís no slippery slope political commentary from the author, because heís better than Team Kotaku & Chums, and what could have been a dense and confusing concept is skillfully explained, leaving most questions competently answered. I liked the review; itís usually me that ends up with these high concept oddities, but I feel like Jason got tricked into it by having one dressed up as a tower defense game, and he still comes out the other end effortlessly.

I feel like this should get slightly more props than the others because it takes a difficult subject and explains it very well. I suspect I shall change this opinion - as I have several times in the last few hours -- moments after posting this topic.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: dagoss
Posted: April 15, 2021 (12:52 PM)
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Thanks for the mention. It's great that all the reviews this week were differently awesome.

All of the reviews I've written lately have been for games at least 2 decades old and all of them have taken that third approach you mentioned. There's probably all sorts of interesting stuff about Dreamland buried in Nintendo archives (or went to the grave with Iwata) that we'll never know about.

I stand by my half-baked food analogies though, even if they land like wet noodles all over the floor. Can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs.

Ok, I'm done now.

Done like a cake!

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 15, 2021 (02:22 PM)
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Food analogies are fine. Better than fine, because most people understand them and they make their points beautifully. EmP thinks I save mine for weeks I know he will be judging RotW. I actually tend to use them during most weeks because of their sheer utility. For me, utility will usually win.

Also, I love seeing us continue to cover plenty of retro/older stuff, because that's one thing we've always done fairly well and I hope it's something we'll keep right on doing. Retro and indie are our bread and butter, even if we do occasionally stumble and accidentally review something both new and mainstream.

Thanks for the topic, EmP, and thanks to overdrive and dagoss both for making this a tough week for him to judge. He complains, but I know he secretly loves us for it!

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto on secret doors to another world

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 16, 2021 (08:28 AM)
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Fun Fact: Even if it was well over a decade ago, Boo was the person who put the idea of playing this game into my head. It just took me a while to actually act on it. In chat one night, he was talking about it and I asked what made it so cool for him. So he sent me a link to the whole cutscene where you meet Andrew Ryan and find out exactly what "Would You Kindly" means.

Score-wise, I was at 4/5 for a lot of the game, but had to go a bit lower just because of how anti-climactic those last couple levels were. At times, this was a super-fun game, but down the stretch, it was kind of dull, but with cool presentation. The game wasn't all that or anything, but it was good enough to make me glad that PlayStation Now put the remasters of all three BioShock games up (and, before that, they have all the PS3 originals there, too) and I'll likely get to 2 and Infinite at some point.

Also, for me, I think the intro was just me being kind of bemused by how frequently remasters and such come along. "This game came out on the last generation, so here it is again!" Probably ties in with Jason's postings about Sony execs being set against older games with their "who would want to play this?" attitude towards everything that isn't shiny and new. You'll (or Joe to be precise) will get that with my next review to a degree, too, as it's a PS4 remaster of a PS3-era game...although one that's nowhere near as significant...or even BioShock.

I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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