My name's Rob. I'm insane, but not in a criminal way. At least, not yet. Take the character of Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, make him older and chubbier...and you pretty much know all you need to know about me.
I may be apologizing to the judges in advance, as it seems unclear as to if I'll have a new review up this week, or I'll be tossing them an old one (if I do, though, at least it will be one that you three haven't judged).
Main reason for that is that for the last couple of days, my sole gameplaying has been me getting back to my replay of Dragon Quest VIII. One of the sole downsides to getting the occasional free copy of a game is that I'm expected to get through the game and fire off a review as quickly as possible, meaning I don't really get to savor the good games (or, in most cases, even finish any of them, as my memory cards are loaded with near-finishes of about every freebie I've gotten).
One of those funny things I've learned throughout my time reviewing is that when you get to this marathon known as the Summer Team Tournament, there are various lessons that never should be forgotten.
Some of them are pretty obvious, although I have screwed up and forgotten them from time to time (like in my two losses last year). First, we had me reviewing Castlevania 3. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, except that those old-school 2-D Castlevania's have been done so many times and are so well-known to the judges that it's extraordinarily difficult to present them in an original way.
You know, I'm nearing 200 reviews on this site. And when you add my shitty early ones that are only on GFs, I've written well over 200.
When you get to that mark of prolificness, your worst enemy is stagnation, as you've written so much stuff that after awhile you fall into a formula.
I feel I've done that in a big way with about everything I've written this year. I'm not just talking about my "old reviews vs. new reviews in the TT" bitching I've been doing, but my work in general. I've been re-reading a lot of my stuff and I've noticed a certain spark of personality in even certain less-recognized older reviews that just seems lacking in my newer ones.
Take a listen.
At the newspaper I work at, we have a very annoying advertising rep. She was on vacation last week. I was happy. She's back this week....and keeps talking....and talking....and talking. Not really to me, but just to anyone in general. Obviously, since this is a newspaper, people are going to communicate, but she never seems to shut up. She asks questions about things anyone with a bit of intelligence could figure out on their own with a few seconds of deliberation.....blabbers about meaningless things....and just generally wastes enough oxygen in any given day to make Mars a habitable planet.
I remember a ways back (like a couple years) when the community was still at GFaqs, someone was talking about Chrono Trigger and mentioned that game's main flaw was its lack of difficulty — something I'd kind of agree with. I was killed a few times by Giga Gaia (due to being underleveled), had a few problems with Son of Sun (until figuring out that he couldn't touch me with fire-absorbing armor on) and struggled a bit with the end-game Lavos bosses (big robotic thing inside and the alien w/pods) and a couple other optional bosses like Mother Brain. Still, I cruised through much of the game and after replaying it with a bit more level-building, most of those tough battles became far easier.
So, during the summer, it looks like I'll be on a pure PS2 RPG binge (note to self: go through computer's ROM folders to find shooters and quickee action games in order to be a somewhat consistent contributer review-wise). On the docket are:
1. Tales of Legendia (currently in Chapter Four).
2. Star Ocean: TtEoT (currently at the Sphere Corp. building...just whomped Azazel or whatever the smarmy douche's name is).
3. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (currently getting ready to do the one sewer level with the four Oni bosses).
4. Atelier Isis 3 or whatever its name actually is....that new one (getting as a freebie....to soon be my one and only top project).
5. Final Fantasy XII (borrowing from my best friend, likely tomorrow).