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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week (April 26 - May 2): Jason gets creative with his topic title

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 04, 2021 (09:43 AM)
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Thanks to a couple of holdover reviews from last week, this topic considers a total of six reviews. But which authors will score a podium finish? Pull up a chair and read on to find out!

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Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES) by JoeTheDestroyer

I always hated Space Mountain and liked to get it out of the way early when I play this one, as you said. I found myself nodding along to most of what you said, actually, though I do enjoy the game a bit more than you did. But just a bit. And we are agreed on which of the various attractions is the best. The haunted house, of course! But beyond that, I don't have much to say. This is a solid review and a good rundown of the game, with the right mix of summary and critique. I had no complaints, really.

Narita Boy (PC) by EmP

This sentence requires some attention: "You’ll find yourself eating more deaths leaning tells from the varied cast of enemy boss fights." That should be "learning." As for the overall review, you got LOTS of good bits in there, but the result--at least to me--felt a bit on the dense side. It was a less effective read than it might have been, I felt, because I almost got numb to the awesomeness you described. You could stand to break things up a bit more frequently to avoid some of the heaviest paragraphs, perhaps, or something similar. What's there is good, but the organization seems to work ever so slightly against it.

Darksiders II (Xbox 360) by overdrive

I felt like the organization here let you down, because it didn't pull me from point to point and build to anything. Usually, you're able to ramble through your series of points and they transition naturally, but here it felt like you circled back to some things (such as your keen interest in dungeons) and just referenced them occasionally, rather than establishing them more strongly and moving onto other points. You also relied fairly heavily on reader familiarity with the first game, especially toward the beginning of your text, which left me at a slight disadvantage as a reader. I do get your general points, and the text provides enough supporting details to make me believe you responded to what the game offered in ways I would likely mimic, but this wasn't what I would consider your strongest work.

Third Place: Insanium (PC) by EmP

Based on your experience with the game this newer release mimics, there's no question you did well to take the general approach you did. However, I do wonder if you didn't linger just a bit too long on Alien, because you were more than a third of the way through--almost halfway through, even--before you described the specifics of Insanium. That's not news to you, and you acknowledge it in your text, but I don't think the acknowledgement entirely erases the issue. You manage to pull it off and put together a good review that gives me an idea how the game might feel to play. So that's a "mission accomplished" in my book, but holds you back from a first-rate finish.

Runner Up: America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking (DS) by dagoss

I always enjoy reading about games that are a bit different from the norm, and my interest was rewarded here with a strong review for a cooking application. I've already left more detailed feedback in my feedback topic, so I won't repeat that here. I'll just say that out of the various reviews I've read this week while assembling this topic, yours was the review that showed the most personality. I come away with a good sense for the sort of experience the software will provide if I ever give it a shot myself (which I yet might). A very strong review!

Review of the Week: Spirit Roots (Switch) by JoeTheDestroyer

Near the end of this review, you make a solid point: that mediocre games don't suddenly improve just because they introduce extreme difficulty. I like how the review started with analysis of the elements that come together to create a mediocre experience, then transitioned into discussion of how one design mistake turned that into what frankly sounds like a nearly unbearable experience. It's a shame, because looking at the screens I can easily see why you would have been tempted to give this one a chance. The visual design looks quite appealing. Great writeup!

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As always, thank you to everyone who participated and ensured I had compelling reviews to read and rank. I never know what to expect when my week rolls around, and I kind of love that. Keep the good stuff coming, and I'll see you next time around!


"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: EmP (Mod)
Posted: May 04, 2021 (01:04 PM)
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Narita Boy wasn't eligible for this week, but I appreciate the extra feedback, which I find an interesting example about how people can digest things completely differently. The week it was eligible for, Joe had it pegged as the winner and had nothing but kind words for. This isn't a sly dig that Jason has it wrong; both takes have merit and neither can be considered wrong. It's just an interesting example that RotWs are just as much a snapshot of the judge as they are the featured writers. What a bizarre tangent to go on. I'll stop now.

Amazingly, this is Joe's first win of the year, I believe, so props to Mr. The Destroyer. I also hope dagoss continues his atypical choices when he can. I know a decent game about an angry space monkey...


For us. For them. For you.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 04, 2021 (01:48 PM)
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It's just an interesting example that RotWs are just as much a snapshot of the judge as they are the featured writers.

Very true!


"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: dagoss
Posted: May 04, 2021 (04:40 PM)
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I know a decent game about an angry space monkey...

Go on. (Unless it's not on DS or GB/GBC/GBA, because that's all I got)

Congratulations to Joe for the win. One day maybe a cooking reference will get RotW, but the world is not yet ready.


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