How a review gets created: the anatomy of Wizardry -- Part 1
December 01, 2007

I figured I'd do something a bit different from all the posts about the guy who got fired from somewhere because of something and how all our lives have been diminished because of it. So, what we're all going to read now is a look at the creative process that goes behind the writing of an Overdrive Productions Review!

We start at the beginning. Jason tends to like getting a couple of reviews from his staffers per month. Normally, that's an easy feat, but I've been on a long-term RPG kick. I was able to pull out of it and come up with six or so new reviews in a nine-week period during the Team Tournament, but then fell right back into RPGs. And when some of said games are new-gen ones, which take a hell of a lot longer to play (esp. if you're trying to be complete and do optional stuff) than your eight-bit Dragon Warrior-esque ones, it's not always easy to come up with reviews on a regular basis.

So, I looked at the games I'm playing. We have Lufia: Ruins of Lore, but that's my main choice for the ABCs and I'm no where near ready to start writing for that one. I'm closer with Tales of Legendia, as before getting my ABC letter that was the game I'd been playing the most, but would probably need a few days of hardcore playing to finish it, and that would detract from Lufia-time. And because of those two games, there's a number of other ones ranging from Final Fantasy XII to Dragon Quest V to Phantasy Star 2 that are both on hold and not ready for me to start writing.

But I had one option left! Another game I'd been playing sporadically was Wizardry I-II-III, a little-known Super Famicom compilation of the first three Wizardry titles (think like the SNES Super Mario compilation cart, where they take three eight-bit games and re-release them with enhanced graphics and sound). All three had been released on the Famicom, with I and II getting ported to the Nintendo. I was playing I on the SNES remake AND had owned it on the NES. This replaying of it was the perfect jolt to my memory of how the game was when I initially played it, so I had a game!

Now, I had to come up with a lead. Usually the success I have with this dictates how the review will go. I get a good idea in my head and everything flows from there. I struggle with a lead and I struggle with the whole review.

It didn't take long to figure this one out, though. I'd been doing a bit o' research, looking up maps, war doc's killer FAQ of the game and other bits of info --- as well as playing it on my own --- and found out that there is no legit reason to go to half the game's floors. AND, on top of that, the floors you don't need to visit tend to be designed far more sadistically than the floors you have to visit. One thing I read even made note that Wiz II only had six floors, but noted that each of them is important and that you have to explore all of them to get through the game.

So there I was -- with a strong lead that captures a point not too many people talk about. I was ready to rock-n-roll!

Tune in next time as OD discusses problems and pitfalls he encountered in writing this review, as well as giving you a glimpse of the "cutting room" floor. It's CAN'T MISS BLOG-VISION!

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honestgamer honestgamer - December 01, 2007 (01:13 PM)
Fascinating. I hope the sequel can live up to it!

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