Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

Astonishia Story (PSP) artwork

Astonishia Story (PSP) review


"I canít help but think of Astonisha Story bravely treading water. It was never in its nature to be spectacular, but it could have settled with quietly competent had Ubisoft thrown it a life preserver rather than hurled rocks from the shore."


I have to be careful here. This line now represents my third attempt at a review draft and, thus far, all Iíve been able to do is list the serious flaws with Astonishia Story, then rant about them openly.


Hereís a poignant one to open up proceedings: Astonishia Story first saw the light of day on Korean PCs back in 1994. Iíve nothing against Korea as a game producing country (they seem to produce a new MMO every three minutes, so they must know their way around C Basic) nor do I turn my nose up at older games -- Iím one of those retro elitist who donít think you shouldn't be allowed to talk about video games until youíve beaten Phantasy Star on the Master System. From the PC, the game was later ported to the GP32, a handheld system youíve never heard of. Eventually, more than a decade later, it made its way to the PSP by way of very little update and a programming code reminiscent of Frankensteinís monster. Just because it can flail its limbs around while you yell ďIt lives!Ē into the flickering lightning doesnít mean youíve recreated life: you just have a shambling corpse and your consumer base is outside your door with flaming torches and pitchforks.


To try and play off the age of the game, Ubisoft have taken Sonnariís buried KJRPG then contributed their efforts away from helping dig themselves out of an age-old hole and instead grabbed shovels and joined in. I suspect that Astonisha isnít really a bad game at heart: itís simplistic and dated, neither especially bad things. The colourful sprites are well detailed and brilliantly animated in everything they do, from performing signature attacks on their turn-based battle grid to trying on new clothes and taking part in a ball. The music is never particularly outstanding, but itís fitting; sombre and fluttering. The dialogue isÖ


The dialogue. Right, rant two:


The dialogue was probably fine until whoever had access to babblefish that day tried to translate it into the amateurish mess thatís meant to guide you. Far too often does the game spit out straight translations of the original Korean text with no transition, leading to randomly-generated lines of grammatically incorrect gibberish sometimes complete with bracketed translation notes they forgot to take out of the finished product. Grumpy dwarven ex-general-turned-merchant, Randalf, gets his way after back-and-forth bickering, then comments smugly how he likes everything to be clear. Itís awkwardly phrased, but the meaning is obvious -- it still obtains a tack-on questioning what it means. Itís like handing over a finalised essay with your research notes still scribbled in the margins.


Itís quite late in the game. Perhaps the play testers had given up by then. Perhaps the translators felt nobody would play that far in. Perhaps itís the tip of the iceberg.


While the adventure moves swiftly from town to dungeon to cave to new town, it does attempt to do so in a light-hearted manner, making fun of itself and giving the fourth wall a light pummelling. Protagonist and honourable knight, Lloyd, will interrupt drawn out discussions of game plot and mechanics to remind the cast that the player does have access to a game manual and to stop wasting everyoneís time. In-game mascots will wage holy war against warez pushers and smack around any member of the cast giving in to temptation and accepting free gifts. Itís all very non-sequitur, and often mercilessly assassinated by awful translations. The jokes rarely manage to surface from beneath the bog of bad editing: you can catch the obligatory ďspy on your love interest in the bathĒ scene that results in the use of the oddest bath toy imaginable and an 18+ warning displayed in the far corner, but only if you manage to decode ďMake sure you donít cross the roadĒ as ďDonít cross the hallĒ when ordered by her grandfather not to bother her right now. Betray his advice (like youíre meant to!) and try to leave the house, assuming that sheís in a different estate nearby, and the scene is lost forever.


Without these endless gaffs, perhaps Ubisoftís attempts to sell Astonisha as a purposefully clean and simple game that would appeal to anyone would have merit. The expected gain levels, equip armour and slay evil foundation is religiously adhered to, and, until end game (which dumps a fantastically challenging final boss fight on your lap just before a mind-numbingly bad ending sequence where everyone shrugs and goes home) everything flows along slightly the wrong side of easy, but free of any real speed bumps. Aside for the inability to connect to any of your cast. Or never really knowing whatís going on until you hit a random bubble of [accidentally?] competently translated plot then fill the gaping holes left in yourself.


In the middle of a quagmire of bad localisation, I canít help but think of Astonisha Story bravely treading water. It was never in its nature to be spectacular, but it could have settled with quietly competent had Ubisoft thrown it a life preserver rather than hurled rocks at it instead from the shore.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (January 01, 2011)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

More Reviews by Gary Hartley [+]
World Series Baseball Starring Deion Sanders (Sega 32X) artwork
Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PC) artwork
Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PC)

Finally, Virtua On and Virtua Fighter on PC. Also included: Yakuza Kiwami 2
Tokyo Xanadu eX+ (PC) artwork

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Astonishia Story review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
honestgamer posted December 31, 1969:

Boo.
board icon
honestgamer posted December 31, 1969:

Again.
board icon
honestgamer posted April 06, 2008:

The standards regarding game listings have changed, but you should still use this form to request any new listings. You can use this thread to request additions to the HonestGamers database. Provide the following info:

- Game Title
- System(s) under which the listing should be added
- Link to listing or coverage of game on another site (for verification)

Don't bother providing any other information. I'll research and add additional information myself, as appropriate. Once a decision and/or listing has been made, I will generally modify your original post so that you know to look for it.

When requesting listings, please keep the following in mind:

* The database already contains thousands upon thousands of game listings. The best way to see if a listing already exists is to start by clicking the system, then browse alphabetically. The search box often works, but games with very short words in their title will in some cases not show.

* Mods and expansion packs will only rarely be added, and only if you will be immediately contributing a high-quality review. Otherwise, you may be better off covering them on your blog. We also don't maintain separate listings for Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online titles, or similar.

* HonestGamers does not cover games released exclusively in regions other than North America, Europe, and Japan.

HonestGamers listings are added routinely, even without requests using this thread, but for the most part I am working on older system libraries first and moving forward toward the present. Thanks for your assistance as I work to ensure that the site includes listings for the games that fall within our intended areas of coverage. We don't have the resources to cover everything, but I hope to be thorough when it comes to those systems that we do cover.
board icon
EmP posted April 06, 2008:

Thanks to some patented "Venter Coding", the entire forums took a nose-dive and everything we've collected on this tourney over the last three months went up in flames.

(And for those looking to beat me this year, good news! So did half a dozen draft reviews I stored on my blogs forum!)

So it's time to start again. The name of this game is Alphabetic Marathon and the aim is to write a review for every letter in the alphabet by the end of the year. Plus that pesky number, which will bite everyone in the arse!

The last topic started to get a little bit cluttered, so at least the death of several years worth of activity might benefit here, so we're going to effectively start from scratch. Those joining or re-joining will keep the following in mind:

  • Keep an up-to-date listing of their progress intact. I will not be rooting through everyone's review listings to do the tally for you.


  • Make a fresh post for each new review you wish to have added to your tally to prompt me into counting it in the main league. This is so I don't need to randomly sweep through the topic counting up your progress when I don't know if any had been made.


  • If you don't list it in this topic, I don't count it.


  • I reserve the right to make up more as I go along.

    Now redraft your lists, and best of luck to all!



    WINNER: EmP - 27 Letters

    Wolfqueen - 22 Letters

    Felix - 21 Letters
    HonestGamer - 21 Letters
    Suskie - 21 Letters

    Overdrive - 17 Letters

    Dagoss - 16 Letters

    DoI - 10 letters
    Zanzard - 10 Letters

    BELISARIOS - 9 Letters

    Ashy - 8 Letters

    Genj - 6 Letters

    Boo - 5 Letters

    PP - 3 Letters

    DE - 1 Letter
    board icon
    board icon
    bluberry posted April 06, 2008:

    B is for BioShock

    C is for cookie and that's good enough for me

    D is for DMC4

    F is for FEAR

    M is for MGS4

    P is for PO'ed

    I'm lazy.
    board icon
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 06, 2008:

    - - -
    board icon
    zanzard posted April 06, 2008:

    (No links. I'm lazy and stupid. Use the site search function.)

    B= Barkley: Shut up and Jam, Gaiden.
    G= Growl.
    I= Icewind Dale.
    M= Miracle Warriors.
    P= Phantasy Star Gaiden.
    S= Star Control 3.
    T= Third World War.
    U= Ultima: Martian Dreams.
    X= X-COM Apocalypse.
    W= Warning Forever.
    board icon
    board icon
    asherdeus posted April 06, 2008:

    D - Democracy (PC), Democracy 2 (PC)
    F - Full Auto 2 (PS3)
    G - Gemsweeper (PC), Grand Theft Auto IV
    H - Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PC)
    L - Lost: Via Domus (PC)
    M - Max Payne (PC), Medal of Honor: Airborne (PC), MLB 2K8
    S - SimCity Societies (PC), Soldier of Fortune: Payback (PC)
    T - TimeShift (PC)
    Z - Zoo Tycoon 2 (DS), Zoo Tycoon 2 (PC)

    I won't link since they're posted on Thunderbolt and I don't want to seem like I'm spamming.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted April 06, 2008:

    Remember that you can find what reviews you've contributed (to this site) by clicking on 'more' under the 'User Reviews' bar from the front page, then selecting your username and the period of time you want to go back. Simply select enough days to go back to January 1st (count on a calendar if you must). The page that displays will show all of your reviews and you can view the source to get any links you need without loading a bunch of individual pages.

    My alphabetic list of games I've reviewed this year is:

    # is for 1943: The Battle of Midway
    A is for Arkanoid DS
    B is for Bully: Scholarship Edition
    C is for The Club
    D is for Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed
    E is for El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera
    F is for Furu Furu Park
    G is for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
    H is for Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
    I is for Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
    K is for Kung Fu Panda
    L is for The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
    M is for MX vs. ATV Untamed
    N is for Ninja Gaiden DS
    O is for Overlord: Raising Hell
    P is for Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection
    R is for R-Type Command
    S is for Super Swing Golf: Season 2
    T is for Toy Shop
    W is for Women's Volleyball Championship
    Z is for Zoo Tycoon 2 DS

    I'm not listing games above that start with letters already covered, since that just needlessly complicates things.

    Current Plans: Cover 'X' and maybe 'Y' next, in no particular order.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted April 08, 2008:

    As we all know, this is the locale where all the cool cat FAQers hang out and post about their current labors of love. The few, the proud, the FAQers!

    Anyway, Lunar 2 Eternal Blue for me...maps n' stuff. /brevity
    board icon
    overdrive posted April 09, 2008:

    It's time for me to run one of these contests, so here I go.

    It's the OVERDRIVE All or Nothing Super-Spectacular Spectacle!!!! The rules are simple.

    EITHER:
    1. Write a review where you give the game a 10.
    OR:
    2. Write a review where you give the game a 1.

    AND:
    Make me feel the emotion (positive or negative). I want to come away from each and every review with the feeling I either need to play this game right away or that this game never should have been even remotely considered for release.

    Deadline (tentative....could change depending on....stuff): Midnight as May 3 turns to May 4 (HG time).

    Judges: Me and up to two other people.

    Contestants: The rest of ya!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 09, 2008:

    I want to judge.
    board icon
    draqq_zyxx posted April 10, 2008:

    Haven't frequented these forums in a while, but I'll be glad to judge this special event.
    board icon
    Genj posted April 10, 2008:

    I shall throw my head into the ring.
    board icon
    overdrive posted April 10, 2008:

    Well, looks like we have our three judges now. So get to writing, folks!
    board icon
    bluberry posted April 10, 2008:

    I'll be pretty PO'ed if this doesn't go well.
    board icon
    Suskie posted April 10, 2008:

    I'm in.
    board icon
    ImmumpJep posted April 12, 2008:

    √ā√Ī√•√¨ √Į√į√®√Ę√•√≤√®√™!
    √Ź√ģ√§√Ī√™√†√¶√®√≤√• √§√•√Ę√≥√ł√™√• √™√†√™ √Ī√§√•√ę√†√≤√ľ √∑√≤√ģ√°√Ľ √® √≥ √¨√•√≠√Ņ √™√†√į√≤√®√≠√™√† √Ī√°√ģ√™√≥!
    √á√†√į√†√≠√•√• √Ī√Į√†√Ī√®√°√ģ√≠√ľ√™√®!
    board icon
    zanzard posted April 12, 2008:

    Hello everyone!

    This contest shows up exactly at a time when I am planning to write a review for a grade 1 game and a grade 10 game.

    Anyway, i just submitted a review for the SMS game 'my hero'. It scored 1 in my analysis.

    Would you accept it as a entry for this contest? I promise you it is better than my last contest entry! :p
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted April 14, 2008:

    My services will enter this competition. I have never given a game below a 4 and I have only ever given 2 games a 10, Half-Life 2 and Tetris. As HL2 is already on this site, I have a Tetris review from eons ago that I think I'll revamp.

    Or should I shun Mario Galaxy to the uber extreme?

    As for you Zanzard, I don't want to sound like a snide critic, but do request some feedback.
    board icon
    board icon
    EmP posted April 18, 2008:

    IN THIS TOPIC: We make fun of ourselves. I have decided to do so via my second most viewed review that is commonly employed as a cure for insomnia and Genj personal favourite.

    <Center>Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.

    The attraction of the Jurassic Park franchise has always lain in the dinosaurs.

    Gee, thanks, EmP. The attraction of a franchise based around giant flesh-eating lizards is said lizards. That needed clarifying

    Let's face it: we all got caught in the hype; the possibility of one of them chewing someone's face off is just to irresistable to pass up. So is the potential to make oodles of cash off it, it seems; Jurassic Park is guilty of squeezing every last possible penny out of its popularity, appearing in literature, the silver screen and, yes, video games.

    This is what we call a ramble intro. If I was trying to make a point, I've lost the hell out of it somewhere. There's also two typos in there that have eluded me all these years. Insolence! I think I'm trying to be funny and suggest that JP is evil for wanting to make money from its popularity. Fight da power! And what the hell is with the last sentence? I sound like I'm smoking a pipe and wearing tweed while typing it. "and, yes, video games, Darcy?" Urgh.

    Upon hearing about this title on its launch date, I got quite excited about the prospect of a Jurassic Park game that might actually not suck - a lofty aspiration indeed, given the series' past.

    So, after just saying that JP is evil for releasing so much, I then go on to say that I wanted them to bring out more stuff before changing my stance before the sentence is even completed.

    Shortly afterwards, I forgot all about my initial excitement until I recently had the chance to stealthily 'borrow' the game from a friend, who is probably cursing my name at this very moment.

    Nothing says creditability more than "I stole this game and therefore played it illegally". For the record, I did eventually return the game.

    Thankfully, forgotten are the earlier attempts which have Jurassic Park as a shoot-the-nasty-dinosaurs snorefest. Instead you're presented with a simulation which gives you the chance to build and run your own park full of dinosaurs. While the game lasts, it's an intriguing and worthwhile task.

    See, this right here should have been the into., No attack-the-popular-franchise rubbish, no tales of my stealth thief skills. Could I be any more dull about it, though?

    The game manages to feel familiar to other park-building sims, yet at the same time is different enough to be a little more engaging. The standard sim fare is present: build your park with adequate paths, eateries, toilets, and attractions to pull in the public. The difference is that your attractions are huge, extinct lizards.

    The answer, then, is yes.

    You start with your island of choice, complete with everything any self-respecting exotic park location would come with: trees, mountain ranges, rivers, and so on.

    If you ever need to start a zoo containing ten-ton monsters that view you as snacked sized, just grab some trees.

    It is your task to turn this rather ordinary-looking slab of land into the most successful theme park in the world. You start with the bare minimum, including basic conveniences such as toilets and food stands, pavement, basic security measures such as dinosaur enclosure fencing, and two dinosaur species ready to produce. All this is well and good, but you need to do three things to ensure the growth of your park: make money, research better accommodations, and produce more dinosaurs to keep the crowds happy. It's not as easy as it sounds, as the crowd consists of a variety of people looking for different things to enjoy at your park, be it excitement or an authentic slice of prehistoric life.

    Like you were there, isn't it?

    Luckily, you are not alone in your duties -- you have the original Jurassic Park cast at your side as staff. You send Dr. Grant away on palaeontology digs to find new strains of dinosaur DNA so you can breed new species. Also returning is Dr. Wu, who oversees all your research needs, such as the extraction of the dino DNA and research into park-beneficial projects, such as stronger dinosaur containment fencing, vaccines for various dinosaur diseases, and attractions for your park (e.g. balloon rides and safari jeep tours). To ensure the list of returning faces is complete, you'll also gain Dr. Sattler for any veterinary needs that may arise and even have Muldon is on hand as head ranger. All the familiar faces are present in game, which is meaningles dribble for those new to Jurassic Park, but a nice little touch for those already familiar with the franchise.

    Luckily, you are not alone -- you have the original Jurassic Park cast at your side. And now, I'll list every single one of them for no reason whatsoever! Then make fun of the people who already know all this despite clearly knowing it all myself! Plus, typo and space error!

    Explore the research and development stages and you'll find you have two different sets of research labs set up, which function independently of each other.

    Why do I sound like a D- grade paper?

    The first allows you to research the various attractions, vaccines, and so on. (You can research a lot of things, actually; it will take you quite a while to exhaust your options on this one.)

    Full stop then bracket. Clever.

    You have to be clever with your choices here, as each project is equally important.

    No they're bloody not! Some things are clearly more important than others. Why do I tell such a dumb lie?

    Vaccines are obviously a priority to prevent your attractions from picking up various illnesses, but you need to make money to fund your park, so the rides are vital for squeezing more money from your visitors. Just as vital is upgrading the strength of your dinosaur-holding fences, bulking up your security, looking into a visitor holding centre for your guests should an emergency break loose, updating your various methods of extracting DNA and hatching your assorted beasts, and so on. Keep in mind that all this still costs money, so ensure that the cash keeps rolling in.

    Why only offer the most relevant examples when the full sodding list is readily available?

    You'll never read this far in the actual review, and nor can I.
    board icon
    zanzard posted April 18, 2008:

    Whilst thou wert writing this parchment and posting in the board...

    ... thy X-COM review surpasseth thy Jurassic Park one in number of views.

    (therefore thou maketh fun of thy THIRD most viewed review)
    board icon
    EmP posted April 19, 2008:

    Stupid X-Com and its awsomeness that makes people want to read about it..

    Felix once deleted my X-Com review. Out of spite.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 19, 2008:

    ^^^

    More like out of quality control.
    board icon
    EmP posted April 19, 2008:

    6424 readers (and rising) beg to differ.

    You're a twisted, bitter man. We only keep you around because you make me look friendly in comparison.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 19, 2008:

    :-'(
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 19, 2008:

    Please add the following for the TurboGrafx-16:

    Valkyrie no Densetsu
    Volfied
    Wai Wai Mahjong
    Wallaby!!
    Winning Shot
    World Jockey
    World Stadium Baseball
    World Stadium Baseball ‚Äė91
    Youkai Douchuuki
    YouYouJinsei
    Xevious: Fardraut Saga
    Zero 4 Champ
    Zipang

    I’ll add cover art and screens. Thanks.
    board icon
    zanzard posted April 20, 2008:

    This topic went kinda dead. Where's everyone? No one else rose to the challenge here?

    I'd like to shamelessly also promote a new review i submitted here. It's for 'Phantasy Star Gaiden' and it gives it 1/10. Since it is in the spirit of the competiton, I might as well use this thread to ask for feedback for it!

    (Although I'm not sending it for the contest, per se. Sending 2 reviews for 1 contest sounds tacky, especially when nobody else seems to have sent theirs. :p )
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted April 20, 2008:

    We're still here . . . =T
    board icon
    Genj posted April 20, 2008:

    I'm in your refrigerator. Drinking your beers.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted April 21, 2008:

    Everyone'll probably do last minute subs... like they always do. Including myself.

    Anyway, here you go, zanzard. It's really, really long... but I hope you read through it all the way. I really wouldn't have wanted to waste two hours of my time only to be ignored.
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted April 21, 2008:

    Gradual Mario Kart Wii updates for now, and some Fire & Ice (Amiga)
    board icon
    EmP posted April 21, 2008:

    I will also enter. Perhaps.
    board icon
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted April 23, 2008:

    I forgot I was in this!
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted April 29, 2008:

    Doing a large amount of reading and research prior to whipping something up for Hoshigami Remix for the Nintendo DS
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 01, 2008:

    Aaaand, work is progressing...
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted May 01, 2008:

    Still doing Lunar 2...disc two.
    board icon
    darketernal posted May 03, 2008:

    One Must Fall

    [EmP with the hyperlink save!]

    There you go.
    board icon
    darketernal posted May 03, 2008:

    O = One must fall 2097
    board icon
    Halon posted May 03, 2008:

    If no one shows up for this OD will cry.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 03, 2008:

    We can count on you not showing up, Sportsman!
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 03, 2008:

    Yes....tears of rage.

    Followed by me taking out that rage on all those who did show up, by starting my scoring at 50 and dropping it quickly for any real and/or imaginary flaws.
    board icon
    bluberry posted May 03, 2008:

    you wouldn't do that to me.

    you don't have the balls.
    board icon
    Suskie posted May 03, 2008:

    Gonna have to back out of this one, I'm afraid. The game I was planning to review for this competition (which I'll tell you right now is Deus Ex) I haven't finished yet, and it seems I won't be able to have a review up by tonight's deadline. With a few more days, maybe, but I think the limits of this competition (so few of the games I play are worthy of either a 1 or a 10) have made it more difficult to participate than I'd have liked.

    Go ahead, Felix. Break out b0r0 again. I'd rather lose to him than be one of those people who chokes up some half-assed last-minute review to prevent the stigma of being a no show.
    board icon
    mardraum posted May 03, 2008:

    that's enough to make a guy PO'ed
    board icon
    Genj posted May 03, 2008:

    Well I better get started.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 03, 2008:

    EmP's in.

    Utawarerumono
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted May 03, 2008:

    Me, too. I've done all the editing I can do for now... Might try poking at it later, I don't know.

    Just Breed
    board icon
    Genj posted May 03, 2008:

    I was going to review Shadow of the Colossus but that would have been lame and I'm lazy. So here's an updated piece of shit I farted out earlier this week:

    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
    board icon
    Halon posted May 03, 2008:

    This tournament needs more 1/10 reviews. What a shame.
    board icon
    Halon posted May 03, 2008:

    I submitted my review about an hour ago and I'm going to bed now so add that to the list when it's up.

    Metriod
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 04, 2008:

    Here are all the review unless I missed one, which I didn't.

    Booberry - PO’ed
    Dark Eternal - One Must Fall
    EmP - Utawarerumono
    Genjuro - Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
    Sports - Metroid
    Wolfqueen001 - Just Breed
    Zanzard - My Hero

    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 04, 2008:

    OD, I just HG mailed you my results.
    board icon
    Genj posted May 04, 2008:

    I just hope draqq doesn't disappear/hasn't forgotten causing us to wait a month before the results are posted much like a certain comic contest.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 04, 2008:

    Yeah, I think that if we don't get any confirmation from Draqq within a week that he's still doing this, we should just post the results assuming OD's done by then. I only say this since Draqq isn't around much and we haven't heard from him since the start of this topic. I would imagine he'll show in a timely manner, though.
    board icon
    Genj posted May 04, 2008:

    That's good to know. I only said it becauseof how annoying it is when there are delays from no shows and draqq's appearance seemed kinda random. So NO OFFENSE DRAQQ.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 05, 2008:

    The comic deal was Lasty

    I'm sure we all remember this, I just like to remind everyone that Lasty is useless.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 05, 2008:

    Poor LH found himself in a situation where he couldn't exactly give out judgments.

    If you want to talk about purely useless judges, one only needs to mention Korubi and Destinati0n. They're bad reviewers, too.
    board icon
    bluberry posted May 05, 2008:

    yeah I was about to say, not to curry favor because I know either way he's going to fucking hate my review but I didn't think it was draqq who no-showed.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 06, 2008:

    Decent chunk of work done. 1/3rd done the walkthrough.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 06, 2008:

    Decent chunk of work done. 1/3rd done the walkthrough.
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 07, 2008:

    Currently muddling through at 5/7 done. Which means my judging will either be done today or tomorrow at the latest! Have to give my brain a bit of a break. Partied a bit too much yesterday and it hurts to think too much today.
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 08, 2008:

    And now, my judging is done! Just waiting for Draqq,now!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 08, 2008:

    Draqq or 3 more days, whichever comes first.

    (Though it's safe to say that Draqq probably forgot since he hasn't given any indication that he was still judging despite four days already passing since the deadline.)
    board icon
    Suskie posted May 08, 2008:

    I should have judged.
    board icon
    draqq_zyxx posted May 09, 2008:

    It's true. I totally forgot. But luck is on my side for bringing me here at midnight.

    So what I'll do is DO IT NOW. **** sleep.

    Edit (4:03 AM): Judgments have gone overdrive.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 09, 2008:

    Awesome, thanks Draqq!
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 09, 2008:

    Booberry:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ¬† When I read the bit about the interstellar chef marooned aboard an alien-infested spaceship, I immediately imagined Steven Segal starring in this game. Good work. Then I thought back to the part where Booberry explains how lying is fun. Hm, I thought to myself. Can I trust him when he tells me that we vicariously exist through an interstellar chef who says, ‚ÄúI‚Äôve got a frying pan to protect me. Look at my souffl√©‚Ķ flattened by a walking butt. I‚Äôm not angry. I‚Äôm PO‚Äôed.‚ÄĚ This immediately made me think of GUTS‚Äô awesome Test of Fire review (it may not be a real game, but it should be, damn it). And then I wasn‚Äôt sure what to think when I did some research and found out that Booberry hadn‚Äôt made up any of these shenanigans. Not only is this game real, but you do play as a sassy saucier. That‚Äôs the dumbest thing I‚Äôve ever heard! With the content given here, this review is hilarious. There were some great lines and some good descriptions and a lot of really great humor. I‚Äôm taking off three points, though, because now I will never get to see that 10/10 PO‚Äôed review that TELLS THE TRUTH. SCORE: 97

    OD ‚ÄĒ¬† You start out by taking a jab at EmP, which is absolute MONEY in my book! Felix took my Steven Seagal comment away from me, which makes me sad. The concept of a chef fighting aliens, as portrayed by you in the early paragraphs, just seems to be one of those hilariously over-the-top "WTF WERE THEY THINKING?!?!?!" game concepts. It took awhile to get into the review (while amusing, the intro parts did go on a bit long ‚ÄĒ I don't know that the "Let's be clear: I wanted to like this game" part was remotely necessary, as it was like four paragraphs into the review and you still haven't gotten to making any real point. However, when you do, this review is pure gold. I mean, this was just one of those surreal reviews that has me laughing and then I stop and think to myself with no small amount of shock, "Holy shit! Someone actually put this thing on the market! Dude....." While it took you longer to get started with the good stuff than I'd like, I have to say that as far as the bash element of this competition goes, a good chunk of your review perfectly meshes with what I had in mind. SCORE: 91

    DRAQQ ‚ÄĒ I think the review would have been better if it didn't state the reasons why the review was written the way it was - that it was written in compliance with the rules of the contest. It makes the "1/10" seem forced, even despite the fact that PO'ed is quite the up-the-disc-hole kind of game. With that in mind, the introduction could have been condensed, though the backstory is light and entertaining. Only a few mechanical issues like a missing quotation mark at the end of the, err..., quotation and the need of a semicolon in "Textures aren't the new black, black is the new textures!" Overall, it's a convincing piece that could have been made convincing if it had been stronger in telling me what genre this game is (the reference to Doom makes it sound like a first-person shooter, but all the jumping makes it seems like a platformer), giving a discrete description on how disappointing the jetpack is (instead of saying the interpretations "differ"), and really honing in on the fact that enemies are freakin' buttmen. But for actually having to sit through PO'ed, I think you deserve more than a penny. SCORE: 81

    Dark Eternal:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ So reviewers once held a meeting in the seventh circle of hell, huh? Was I there? Once we get past that atypical introduction, the review goes into detail on a fighting game. I‚Äôve said it before and I‚Äôll say it again. I‚Äôm not a fighting game fan, nor am I a fan of reading about fighting games. This review goes into risky territory due to its genre and because it dishes out a perfect score. A lot of the description, such as the modes and the combat, didn‚Äôt really appeal to me despite the claims DE made about this being wheat among chaff for PC-exclusive fighters. I can see that he likes the game; his writing just didn‚Äôt convince me that I had to play this or that it deserved the high score it received. Sounds like a decent game and the review does cover all of its bases, but I wasn‚Äôt gripped by what was said. SCORE: 70

    OD ‚ÄĒ The main thing I have to say about this review is that it didn't really convince me of the game's awesomeness in any way, shape or form. Now, sure, it does seem like a cool game and you did it justice in writing about it, especially in mentioning things like the various styles of play and how the various characters have their own strengths and weaknesses (and, sure, those things are part of most quality games in the genre, but the way you wrote about them made them seem a bit more vivid and important to me), but when I was finished with this review, I just had the impression that you wrote an "8" or so review and just tossed a "10" on it. Especially when you come right out and say the reason you gave it a "10" has more to do with how it's a good game on a platform without many good games, as opposed to simply being a great game that's transcendent in its genre. Well-written, but not convincing. SCORE: 73

    DRAQQ ‚ÄĒ First, a misplaced modifier: is it the meeting that is without violent people or is it Hell? Second, please use commas; that second sentence just about crushed my mind with its unbroken totality (and the verb it needs is "would mean" not "meant"). Now that that's out of the way, I must bring attention to the style of the review, which drifts between formal writing and fiction-esque descriptive writing, and as a result, just looks like it's trying too hard. Also, if you're trying to convince us that this is worthy of a 10, focus on the positives and cut out (or hide) the parts of the game that sound boring. Does I really need to know the specifics of how each robot and each pilot differ, or that there is a training mode? Ultimately, I'm not convinced the game deserves a 10, because the writing doesn't make it sound like a 10. Words have expression, and this review needed to express excitement and a sense that if I don't play this game, I should be maimed, skewed, and sent to whatever hell Paris Hilton's dog came from. SCORE: 60

    EmP:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ¬† Initially I was very confused by this review, not because it was hard to follow, but rather because its angle is very story-laden and I felt that a lot of the more mechanical aspects of the game weren‚Äôt being covered. This score hasn‚Äôt changed much from the original, but now I can at least say after a bit of research that this review covers a few aspects in a subtle manner. Nowhere will you see EmP declare that any specific segment presented here is a battle, but he does indeed describe at least some of them. It‚Äôs obvious that Utawarerumono has a very interesting and complex story. Still, if I were the type of reader who came into this review without any previous knowledge on the game (and that description fits me), I would still be confused about the lack of explicit gameplay discussion. After speaking with EmP about this, I now know that it‚Äôs more implicitly described. But as an effective review that should both informative and interesting, I can only say it‚Äôs interesting. EmP does a pretty darn good job making the story sound really cool. He sacrifices description on the other aspects, though, as a result. It‚Äôs still an interesting experiment and I would personally like to see more people try to write dynamic reviews that are both interesting and informative. It‚Äôs a tough thing to pull off, though, as evidenced here. SCORE: 65

    OD ‚ÄĒ¬†This seems to be of the same ilk of a review as Zig's Emerald Dragon, where gameplay elements take a definite back-burner to vivid descriptions of the story. I know I've tried doing this sort of thing before and it's not as easy to pull off as I had thought it would be when I started. This review kind of reiterates that in that I can see what you're saying and can understand why you like the game, but I don't know that came away from this review looking at this game as some amazing turn-based strategy game. I can think of lots of similar games that have strong characters such as conflicted villains and more heroic types with "depth" to their personality. Still, you did a strong job of portraying the characters and plot. But, like Felix mentioned, I'd like a bit more understanding of the gameplay and battle system; with TBS games, that can be the difference between greatness and just being there. And, really, other than mentioning the battles are "frantic and full of meaning" (which is a bit vague to me), I didn't get any real insight on much of anything besides the plot and characters. Good review, but one that left me feeling a bit empty and wanting more knowledge about the game. SCORE: 77

    DRAQQ: This review essentially makes the same mistake I made with my review for Ocarina of Time - it focuses so heavily on the story that it reads solely as fiction. However, I feel that a story-driven review has the potential to be a review (and if one can be pulled off, the game it's for probably deserves the 10), and that this would have been more successful if it was able to describe how the game's battles worked (without, of course, explicitly stating the mechanics of it all). But the main point for this type of review is to showcase the story, which is the main reason for picking this game up - and on that, it largely succeeds. Though it teeters so often on the edge of too much information that a spoiler alert might have been necessary, I'm drawn to the characters and that's hard to achieve. Some better sentence structures, however, would have helped: "man leaves his bed quicker than his injuries should allow" is a tad awkward; knowing that Nuwangi is a "tax collector" earlier in the paragraph and that Mutikapa is the "odd monkey" earlier would have made things clearer in the first pass; and what do you mean by "stop the villagers from righting the wrongs committed"? Still, I'm left with a feeling that I need to know about how the game works, particularly since it's a strategy title that isn't all about the narratology. SCORE: 72

    Genjuro:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ¬† Holy crap, now here‚Äôs a review with a score attached to it that doesn‚Äôt feel like a stretch. Genjuro didn‚Äôt win RotW with this piece for no reason, folks. The game sounds like crap and Genjuro goes beyond just explaining why by injecting some pretty good descriptions and bits of humor all throughout. The paragraph on the levels was my favorite, and I also loved how he poked fun at Sony. This piece made me snicker, the subject matter was interesting and refreshing, the writing was informative, and I never questioned the author‚Äôs honesty. That makes for a pretty solid review in my mind. SCORE: 90

    OD: You know, "handle like a limping sack of decayed flesh" just might have been the single best line of this competition. Definitely the sort of thing I was looking for in a bash review. You don't waste any time ripping into this game and you show no mercy in skewering it. As an amusing sidenote, of the first four reviews I've read for this, both yours and DE's include reference to one of the Circles of Hell. Weird. Probably the thing I liked most about this review was how few words you needed to emphatically denounce this game. In one paragraph (the fourth), you were able to say all that needed to be said about the dull, repetitive gameplay (including a humorous comment on reusing sprites). And the incredible thing was that you mentioned four different levels and how they tie into the dullness and repetitiveness without even coming close to being cumbersome in your writing. That was just a great example of how good, concise writing can enhance the point you're trying to make. Very fun and entertaining review. SCORE: 95

    DRAQQ: Some out-of-the-ordinary mistakes: not "Robert Di Nero", but "Robert De Niro"; not "wolfs", but "wolves". For better or worse, this review takes a very traditional approach in arguing that this game completely sucks. It goes through the motions of why the controls blow, why the stroy is completely baloney, and why the entire experience is as lumbering and laborious as Frankenstein himself. But I know you can take this to the next level, perhaps injecting more hostility and just plain rage at the total bullshit nonsense - I mean, your entire weapons arsenal is a freakin' piece of dead plant cells. Reading the review just makes me feel like, "Oh, okay, it's a crappy game" instead of "Being an electricity-wielding freak of nature from a legendary novel shouldn't suck this much". SCORE: 79

    Sportsman:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ Sportsman proves this fortuneteller wrong by coming out of nowhere and subbing a 1/10 review for Metroid. I could have sworn that he had one posted here already. That makes me wrong on two accounts. This must be a re-written or at least refurbished piece. And judging by the way things are presented here, I‚Äôm guessing that this review contains a good amount of ‚Äėoriginal‚Äô writing because I thought this review‚Äôs message was conveyed unconvincingly in parts. So Metroid‚Äôs a game that tortures the player yet is really addictive to play, hm? There‚Äôs a boss fight that ‚Äėisn‚Äôt as fun as it looks‚Äô yet there isn‚Äôt any real description on what we‚Äôre fighting or who we‚Äôre even fighting as. I didn‚Äôt see the name ‚ÄėSamus‚Äô appear once. Nor did I see anything to indicate that this is a Metroid game besides 1) the title being used and 2) some images on the sidebar. The review, as a result, lacks informational character. I certainly can see that Sportsman has some issues with the game (filling up eight health tanks would piss me off, too), but I don‚Äôt feel that his delivery is very effective. A lot of the descriptions feel too vague, both when he describes ‚Äėlousy mechanics‚Äô and skimps on the meatier aspects of the game. I know Metroid is a very primitive game by today‚Äôs standards, but couldn‚Äôt there have been at least a little bit of imagery to describe portions of the writing that deal in the aforementioned boss battle, the ‚Äėdarker environment‚Äô, and the part where it‚Äôs written that, ‚ÄúThere is still plenty to do and see . . .‚ÄĚ? Unfortunately, reading about navigation through claustrophobic corridors without a map and filling up eight health packs from the start just doesn‚Äôt make for a convincing argument by itself. SCORE: 50

    OD ‚ÄĒ You know, this is one of those critiques where I'm typing although I'm not really sure what I'll wind up saying. As someone who's written a somewhat negative review for this game, I see what you're saying and agree with virtually all of it. This is a game considered a legend. My best friend utterly loves this game and has gone so far as to recently say that if he was stranded on a desert island with any eight games (as well as the necessary systems, a TV and electricity), this would likely be one of them. But I just don't see it. When I first played it, I looked at it as a large game, but also a frustrating one. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't get into it like he did. And when I replayed to review it, my feelings had gotten more negative to where I disliked it, but didn't hate it. You're at that next step ‚ÄĒ where you actively hate the game. And you do a fine job of getting that point through by going off on how you have to slowly build up from 30/100 of one tank to up to eight full tanks when you restart a game and how, since there's no computer map, you have to make maps of a gazillion identical corridors. My main qualm, though, is that the whole section where you're describing a playthrough of the game from one region to the next just seems choppy and was hard to read in comparison to the intro and the concluding paragraphs. It just seemed like you were going from one part of the game to the next as quickly as possible and the result was some very jarring, abrupt transitions that were only connected by variations on "it gets worse". Still, a pretty good bash review that definitely got its point across. SCORE: 73

    DRAQQ ‚ÄĒ¬† Second sentence: "The idea of fighting in an alien world while finding hidden items and secrets is a great one that has influenced countless classics, but Metroid is certainly not one of them." By the way the sentence is constructed, it sounds like Metroid wasn't influenced by the idea, when I think your point is that Metroid was influenced by it, but just completely fails to realize it. Other than that, it's important that you edit: your simple, straightforward, cut-to-the-point style is best when your words choices also cut to the point. Always look for places where you don't need phrases or where you can condense: "with the mechanics", "there were several instances", "in the matter of fact", the entire third paragraph, and the introduction of the first person. About three paragraphs in, the review shifts from a formal style to a first-person narrative style, and continues to shift back and forth between the two (as well as the second-person "you" in the penultimate paragraph) when only one is necessary. Keep the point of reference fluid throughout. Another place to edit comes from being confident that your examples already explains something clearly; your example of fighting lame enemies for a half an hour just for health already makes it sound like the game is unplayable. A glowing nega-review of a classic is (partially) buried somewhere here, waiting to come out. You're almost there. SCORE: 76

    Wolfqueen:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ Wolfqueen continues her whirlwind tour of good NES games with an interesting piece on Just Breed. Considering that genre is usually very technical ‚Äď and it‚Äôs easy to sound boring when describing the intricacies that go into the mechanics ‚Äď I am glad to see that this piece tries its hardest to avoid that. As Jason pointed out in the RotW topic, some of the writing gets a little bogged down. But most of it is more pleasing to read since I could see that this game really had an effect on you. The amount of options presented, and the dynamism behind waging such successful skirmishes, clearly indicates to me that this is a pretty interesting game. I liked her Rainbow Islands piece used in Brevity or Bust III more than this one, but this certainly isn‚Äôt a bad review. It‚Äôs actually rather good. SCORE: 80

    OD ‚ÄĒ I really have to get around to downloading this one and giving it a try. I'd thought about it once, but never got around to it (mainly because my old pre-software-upgrade NES emulator couldn't handle this game for some reason) and this review really makes me think I should rectify that. As a fan of turn-based strategy games, you really made this one seem like a special one. Now, one thing I have to say is that it took you a decent amount of time to get my attention. It seemed like for a good portion of the early stages of the review, you were gushing about standard TBS things (like how in your fifth and sixth paragraphs, you go into detail about strategically fighting enemies and conquering strongholds). But after that, you bring up some really interesting things, like how you can start or come back to levels from different places and the general-only battles. It just seemed like the more I read of this review, the more it picked up speed. Initially, I was somewhat skeptical it'd be anything more than a someone generic strategy game review, but by the end, I was halfway considering aborting my current projects to start this up. Those last few paragraphs just seem perfectly designed to really pump up a fan of this sort of game. SCORE: 86

    DRAQQ ‚ÄĒ¬†The first sentence gets to me: I think you mean that Japan gets the best of everything, not particularly Japanese people in general all over the world. In some places, the review tends to choose sentences that seem to come out of a fact sheet or a back-of-the-box quote: "Stride into battle against hordes of monsters, carefully maneuvering your units to minimize damage and maximize special abilities" and "Further test your mettle with mind-blowing general-only battles." These kind of sentences don't get me excited as much as I feel like I'm being hawked. However, I think this review does a stellar job in showing why you, as a strategy fanatic, love every morsel of this game to death. Winning the ever-challenging battle from such an extraordinary array of possibilities is the hallmark, and the description help in convincing me of that, though many times I felt that they were simply describing what makes strategy games addicting in general, rather than what makes Just Breed the best in its league. Another plus is that, aside from "but every questions has an answer", there were hardly any issues with your mechanics. Still, though I'm convinced about the 10/10, I don't think the review is attuned enough to the general gamer. It doesn't particularly get me excited, but it at least makes me wish I was as happy of a tactician as you are. SCORE: 84

    Zanzard:

    FELIX ‚ÄĒ¬† Zanzard returns with a vengeance and pens a review that is 2x better than that incoherent jumble he used in Brevity or Bust III. First and foremost, this review makes sense. Its message makes sense. The descriptions make sense. I can understand the author‚Äôs frustrations with the game (some of the observations, such as the amount of hits needed to tackle an end-of-stage boss, were interesting), and I didn‚Äôt feel clueless once I got the concluding one-lined paragraph. Some of the writing in this piece read like fluff, though. When saying that, ‚ÄúThese thugs kill you with 1 punch,‚ÄĚ is it then necessary to say, ‚ÄúGETTING TOUCHED ONCE BY ANY RANDOM HOODLUM KILLS YOU.‚ÄĚ? Of course it isn‚Äôt. It‚Äôs redundant because it adds even more short paragraphs to the mix. With that said, this review, like his others, suffers from a lack of proper paragraphs. Short paragraphs that are very important or well-placed can be a marvelous thing for a review‚Äôs flow. Any short paragraphs that do that here lose that effect because the entire review is nothing but a bunch of one-to-three-lined paragraphs. Zanzard, please combine some of these into one paragraph. I am glad that random capitalization didn‚Äôt appear (except for the passage I used as an example here), and I am also glad that this review didn‚Äôt fabricate ‚Äėstatistics‚Äô for the sake of being cute. I do wish for some tighter transitions, and I strongly believe that paragraph development can lead to that. Overall, while this wasn‚Äôt a review to write home about it, it was a huge improvement and I hope Zanzard continues to build on it. SCORE: 40

    OD ‚ÄĒ Well, on the good side, you did a great job of making your point. This looks like one of those crap retro games that get reviewers like me all hard-as-a-rock to write a good scathing review of and you did a good job of that. Dying from frog spit, fighting the same boss after every level and other things you described about this game definitely painted a picture of a horrible game with little value beyond unintentional comedy. However, there were some things I didn't like about this. Your style of using a ton of really short paragraphs just seemed to make this one read really choppily. It was just tough to maintain my focus reading this because it was just this huge collection of three-line paragraphs. And it seemed that there was either a lot of repetition or poor organization for much of this review. When I got to the "Simply put, you'll die in this game. A lot." line, I was thinking that you could have easily condensed everything you'd said into a much smaller span of words. It seemed like you were repeatedly going back to things like the ineffectiveness of various moves and how it's easy to die for various reasons to the point where, if anything, it was detracting from the good parts of the review, as I felt like I was being deluged by the repetition. SCORE: 65

    DRAQQ ‚ÄĒ¬† Where do I start? Unless you're writing for a print newspaper, there is little reason why every paragraph needs to be one or two sentences long. It makes your review look choppy and broken into pieces, as if nothing is connected to anything else. Look again at paragraphs three through five; they all can be combined together and be condensed to about half the size while maintaining the "you press start, you have girl, you lose girl, you beat people to save girl" point that you're trying to make. In fact, before I go any further, you can burn about 80% of the review and still get the same message across. Focus on convincing me that My Hero is an epic failure; any piece of information that doesn't have that purpose should be deleted. Apart from that, I give you a list of things not to do until you can use them in the right way: writing "&" instead of "and", using the phrase "you see" and "you know" and variants thereof, putting low numbers in written form, telling me manual information like "Button 1 does this" and "Button 2 does that", telling me something more than two times (or even just one time, unless the second time is for very well-executed emphasis).??Honestly, you should just stick to this outline if you ever rewrite this: "My Hero sucks. The kidnapped girl story is a cliche that sucks. Punch and high-kick suck because they are useless. The backgrounds are suck-ugly. That the main character has the constitution of powdered sugar sucks. Dying sucks. Dying repeatedly sucks even more. Realizing that you're an idiot for playing this is the suckiest. In conclusion, sucky-suck-suck-sucky-suck." SCORE: 37

    Final Rankings
    01) Booberry ‚Äď 269
    02) Genjuro ‚Äď 264
    03) Wolfqueen ‚Äď 250
    04) EmP ‚Äď 214
    05) Dark Eternal ‚Äď 203
    06) Sportsman ‚Äď 199
    07) Zanzard ‚Äď 142

    Anyone catch math errors, let me know. I can't handle numbers for crap, so that's always a possibility.
    board icon
    bluberry posted May 09, 2008:

    thanks to the judges for doing their thing, and congrats to the winner
    board icon
    EmP posted May 09, 2008:

    I belittle the judge's lack of imagaination and creativity. Especially ODs.

    Thanks for the judges, kudos to Draqq for the last minute all-nighter and congrats to Boo who has now almost aveneged the Op Wolf review.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 09, 2008:

    It’s been a hotly-contested giveaway, as they are wont to be when there are double the usual amount of games up for grabs, I suppose, but the drawings have been made and the winners of both a copy of Fantasy Wars and Speedball 2: Tournemnt can be found below:

    Congratulations to:

    Sashanan
    Turkish12
    TheBadger
    Leigh65
    DarkEternal

    Separate congrats go to Sash and DE for having a winning stake in every EU-based give-away we’ve hosted so far. Further haha’s at Sash, because I’m holding him to my threat of holding his games until he reviews something.

    The lucky winners will need to contact me with their mailing addresses for the games to be shipped out to them. If this is not done within two weeks, then a second drawing will be held for their unclaimed prizes.
    board icon
    draqq_zyxx posted May 09, 2008:

    No prob. I blundered, so the least I could do is get it up as quickly as possible.
    board icon
    Halon posted May 09, 2008:

    That is the third time I rewrote the review (and third score I gave it as well) and it was put together in about 30 minutes or less. I typed it all in one go with little thought put into it. I was afraid no one would show up for this thing and this was actually a great contest idea. Good thing it came out coherent at least.

    Thanks to the judges for their time and congrats to everyone who entered, especially Booberry.
    board icon
    sashanan posted May 09, 2008:

    Does this also mean that unless I submit a review within two weeks, I void my chance at that prize?
    board icon
    Genj posted May 09, 2008:

    I love how I seem to be cursed to always place second at best in these things. Maybe it's because I can't proofreed.

    Generic thank yous and congratses. I'm gonna go listen to some Wolfs in the Throne Room.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted May 09, 2008:

    Finally finished Lunar 2, after about a month and a week. Now onto my main nemesis: Arc the Lad 2.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 09, 2008:

    No. I am not quite that bad. Yet.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted May 09, 2008:

    It looks like a really great FAQ, shotgunnova. I had started one forever ago that was super-detailed and awesome, but I got derailed. Now I don't have to bother. Good job!

    I hope you continue writing FAQs like this for a long time to come. You really do good work.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted May 10, 2008:

    C'mon, man, no formalities! I'm Shotty. :P

    But yeah, took awhile but the game was fun so it wasn't that boring or anything. I'm interested in seeing your take if y'ever finish it, though, since that Gurumin guide was pretty swiz, too.

    Aside: is your avatar Tina Fey?
    board icon
    honestgamer posted May 10, 2008:

    My avatar is Tina Fey, yes. Bluberry and I were chatting once about girls with glasses, and of course he linked a picture of Tina Fey (required for any online discussion of girls with glasses). I thought "Wow, that's the best picture of her that I've ever seen" so I cut out a 100x100 square for my avatar and the rest is history.

    As for Lunar 2, I don't plan to finish the FAQ. It was a huge project and I don't have time for that now. I'd rather write for newer games, on those rare occasions where I FAQ at all. I'm glad you liked the Gurumin one, but I just don't have it in me to keep writing any with that level of depth. It rocks that people like you do, but I'm more of the reviewer sort.

    Doesn't mean I won't write more FAQs, though... I seem to write a few each year.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 10, 2008:

    Of course, the positioning in the snapshot is just wrong.

    In other news, nearing completion. Hopefully I shall get it done by the night of the 14th. I want that bounty, damnit (and before June).
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted May 11, 2008:

    Tina Fey <3

    I plan on getting the PSX Hoshigami one of these days. Heard it was really annoying and difficult. Would've done the DS bounty myself but man, those emulators ain't too useful. The only game I've gotten to run at a semi-reasonable pace is Izuna the Unemployed Ninja. =/
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 11, 2008:

    I have been thinking about picking up a flash card for whenever the bounties turn to some of the rarer/super new DS games, but for now, I am perfectly content to use my own collection/leech off others temporarily.

    As for the DS Hoshigami, it has three difficulty modes, the Hard one being the original PSX's (only) difficulty, so you may still want to get the DS Hoshigami instead (that and you will still be contributing moolah to the guys who produced it if you get a new copy). It is still frustratingly long to FAQ, though; the main walkthrough is not that bad (and since I have beaten it already on Normal, I am going through it on easy), but there are so many side sections that it is taking me forever to get through it.
    board icon
    Suskie posted May 11, 2008:

    This is odd. Those of you familiar with our Review of the Week system know that no matter how many reviews a person subs in a given week, he or she can only earn one mention in that RotW. Well, this past week has presented us with the work of a mere three reviewers for a grand total of four reviews. Which means that all three people must be mentioned, regardless of quality. Had our old friend Wolverinefan been one of those people, he would have scored a spot. And I'd have told him the truth: That he got a mention only out of necessity, and not because he has any discernible talent. Because he doesn't.

    Anyway. I suppose the overall lack of content I have to deal with can be attributed to OD's comp (which featured a whopping seven entries), or we could blame it on the fact that staff reviews are not eligible. Either way, this was a very light week and I hope -- no, demand -- that my next RotW be a little more engrossing.

    SPOILER ALERT: Felix will appear on this list.



    Review of the Week: Grand Theft Auto IV (X360) by Felix_Arabia

    Easily the most complete and relevant of this week's reviews, as you tackle a game that just released and offers a lot to talk about. This review seems to cater specifically to those familiar with the GTA series, as you spend a lot of time explaining the various additions the game makes to its predecessors, such as the cell phone, the internet, dating, etc. Works for me, but I can imagine those who have never played GTA getting a little lost in all this minor details. I'd cut back a bit on such content and elaborate a little more on the specific examples that you simply skim over, such as the warehouse shootout or the hospital mission. Get more into the core of the game, you know? My only other suggestion is to revise your intro paragraph, which came off feeling pretty generic-sounding and didn't quite pull me in. Otherwise, your strong reviewing voice and struggle to nail all the important aspects of GTA IV made this an easy read despite its length, and since I'm playing through the game right now as well, I found myself nodding. Good work.

    First Runner Up: Prism: Light the Way (DS) by darkstarripclaw

    Not much to say about this one. Puzzle games aren't very interesting to read about by default, so it's a good thing you kept this one brief and told us only what we need to know, by explaining how the game works, what's wrong with it, and why it might still be worth your money if you're into stuff like this. My only real complaint is that you might want to incorporate your coverage of the game's flaws more naturally into the structure of your review rather than slapping a generic "but the game has a few flaws" paragraph on at the end. This isn't the most exciting review around but it's solid work nonetheless.

    Second Runner Up: Metal Slug 3 (Arcade) by Credit_Card

    No one could ever make the argument that your reviews lack personality. In fact, I usually think the opposite: That you're trying too hard to come off as energetic and witty, and usually just wind up sounding like a guy who can't be taken seriously. This is most evident in your often juvenile and excessive use of profanity. You would have placed on this list regardless, so at least I'm glad to see that this review is a noticeable improvement over your previous work. Your attitude still kind of bugs me, though. It often felt like you were talking down to me, as if to say I'm an idiot if I don't agree with what you're saying. DE was also right about the review being too long, though I can't say it was ever boring to read. You've definitely got the enthusiasm to sell me on why Metal Slug 3 is so great. Whether or not I want to be taking the advice of the guy writing this is a different story altogether.



    Congrats to the winners. You've earned it... I guess.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 11, 2008:

    New version going up tomorrow. From the time that I had this weekend, I managed to chip away at about a third of the game and add on 90KB.
    board icon
    Genj posted May 11, 2008:

    Congrats to felix on the win. Even if he had to review some lame MAINSTREAM game (yuck!).
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 11, 2008:

    Thanks for the placement (although I guess that was mandatory, given circumstances).

    In regards to the awkward positioning of my critique of its flaws, I must agree. Part of the reason for putting it where it is was something I pointed out in the review - the gameplay itself is not flawed, but the game built around it is lacking. I was trying to combine the two points at the time, had a difficult time, and ended up separating it.

    For shortness and solidness, I take that as a compliment ;). I cannot ever imagine myself as trying to compel emotion out of a review, as it is not really something of my philosophy, so I try to do a damn good job of still getting my reader interested, filling him or her on what the game is about, giving my critical thoughts on the game, and getting out with a conclusion with a resolution before it drags on too long.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 11, 2008:

    Thanks for the win.
    board icon
    Credit_Card posted May 12, 2008:

    I tell it like I see it. That's the way it should be. Thanks for reading.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted May 13, 2008:

    Wow... Sorry guys. I would've had one up last week, but moving out circumstances and all that (read blog) prevented me from doing so. ...plus technically I didn't finish the review until Sunday. >_>

    Congrats to the winners nonetheless. Light as it was. There was still competition for ranking, anyway.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted May 13, 2008:

    Wow. Can't believe I missed this. Hate being 'net deprived for so long...

    Anyway, thanks a lot guys! To Felix, I'll say: I didn't really like the review as much as Rainbow Islands, either, but it works, I guess, as attested to by my placement, so I feel a bit better about it. Thanks to boo and EmP for looking this over, too.

    Congratulations to the other winners and contestants as well.
    board icon
    darketernal posted May 15, 2008:

    Thanks for judging.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted May 15, 2008:

    Damn work that keeps coming up.

    Another two to four hours and I could be done this walkthrough. Grr.
    board icon
    zanzard posted May 16, 2008:

    Thank you all for the feedback!

    Lesson learned: no more small paragraphs!
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted May 17, 2008:

    Finally getting some ATL2 done after being sick for the last four days.
    board icon
    qxz posted May 18, 2008:

    Game: Chameleon
    Platform(s): PSP
    Publisher: UFO Interactive
    Developer: StarFish
    Genre: Puzzle
    Release Date: May 5, 2008


    Game: Austin Powers Pinball
    Platform(s): PlayStation
    Publisher: Take Two Interactive
    Developer: Wildfire Studios
    Genre: Casual (pinball)
    Release Date: October 25, 2002



    One question I'd like to ask: If there's any information that's not present in a game's profile, how would I go about submitting such data?

    Added

    As to your note, we go through the database on occasion to fill in missing back data (of which there is still a lot), so it's probably just best to wait for that to happen over time. Individually going through and adding game details here and there isn't time-effective. We're happy to add games as needed if you plan to review one or contribute a FAQ, or even if you just own the game and want to add it to your collection. Otherwise, we just wait for weekends where I feel especially industrious and add/modify a few hundred games at a time.
    board icon
    dagoss posted May 20, 2008:

    Game: Densetsu no Stafy 2
    Platform(s): GBA
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Developer: TOSE
    Genre: Platformer
    Release Date: 09/05/03 (Japan)

    Game: Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: Atari
    Developer: Obsidian
    Genre: CRPG
    Release Date: 10/09/07 (US)
    board icon
    timrod posted May 20, 2008:

    Game: Dwarf Fortress
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: Bay 12 Software
    Developer: Bay 12 Software
    Genre: RTS/Roguelike
    Release Date: 2007
    board icon
    sashanan posted May 21, 2008:

    Fantasy Wars and Speedball 2 Tournament sitting on a pretty pile next to me now. That leaves only SunAge, right, or did I lose track of everything I'm robbing you of?
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 28, 2008:

    Time for my usual late RotW. My excuse this time: Memorial Day alcohol binge followed by a couple panicky days of getting caught up on the job. Come to think of it, I think all my excuses have the words "alcohol binge" involved somehow. Maybe all those friends, family members and total strangers who say I have a problem are on to something after all. Hmmm......food for thought.....

    Anyway, here are the reviews and placements. As always, staffers/freelancers/people I dislike get no recognition and users can only have one review count. If this RotW leads to the naughty sorts of e-drama that Pup's did, rest assured that I WILL abuse the post edit feature to make all involved look like fools. Well, unless one person gives the other an utterly hilarious, yet devastating, slam. In which case, I'll take their side completely and totally ostracize the other person to the point they may look at suicide as the only way out. You hear me, Tristis Usurper? Mainstream Mike?

    Alright, now that I puffed myself up and feel like a badass, I submit to you THREE REVIEWS I LIKED!




    Review of the Week: Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC) by dagoss

    It wasn't really a matter of having a tough time picking who'd win this week, but which of their two reviews would get the win. In the end, I went with this one, just because there was this certain sort of quirky humor that really won me over. At first, I was like, "WTF are you talking about with this filler opening paragraph?!?!". Then, after reading the second paragraph, I was just amazed. That was a genius way to start this review. Overuse a tactic like this and it'll get tired very quickly. But in the context of this review, it really worked. And it seemed to set the stage for an informative review that, for the most part, hit on all cylinders. The paragraph about the poor dialogue and annoying characters was pure gold -- especially with the surreal mentioning of how, when you're talking to someone about the dangers of lizardmen, you see a group of them going off to burn a barn. And that was just one highlight. About the only qualm I had was that after reading it, I thought a "5" was a bit too generous, as you did have a laundry list of frustrations, but I loved how this review read.

    First Runner Up: Fatal Frame (PS2) by sashanan

    You know, I've heard about the Fatal Frame games for some time and had considered playing them, as I do like a good survival horror game, but something about the way they sounded to me just didn't click with me as something I'd get into. Probably the whole camera concept. Your review here is the sort of thing that could convince me to give this game a try at some point despite those qualms. Just a well-written, detailed, informative review that doesn't mince any words about the game's weak points, but still gives me a strong feeling that this is a fun, challenging game that has the definite capacity to genuinely freak a player out. You did a great job of conveying how the game's gimmick (the camera) adds to that atmosphere and how, to really damage enemies, you have to put yourself in danger of taking a very damaging hit. Games like this thrive due to their atmosphere and you did a good job of bringing that out in this review.

    Second Runner Up: Okami (Wii) by disco

    Another review that's detailed and informative. I'd heard plenty of negative things about the Wii's controller and how it relates to this game, so it's good to see a well-written counterpoint, where you refer to them as being more along the lines of minor inconveniences in an otherwise excellent game. Hard to say much else about this review other than it was a very enjoyable read and that if I wasn't already familiar with this game, I'd have learned all I needed to know about it from your review.




    And there were a lot of other good reviews. We had the Felix/Wolfqueen contest, which produced a couple good reviews that were hurt for me by how they're for a genre which I just can't get into reading about, playing or writing about (explaining why Adventures of Lolo has been on my back burner for a year or two). And yes, I did dodge offering my judgment on your little competition just now. I'll get to it this week, but not right now. As well as solid stuff by other writers that made this a pretty fun week as far as reading goes for me.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 28, 2008:

    OD, let's hold an argument about Neutopia 2.

    Congrats to Dagoss for his win. I haven't read this piece yet, but I liked his Gun Nac review a lot, so I'm glad that he got the victory.

    Congrats to Sashy and Disco-ey for their placings.
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 28, 2008:

    Well, what should we argue about? You said that from what you heard from Ruder that it's a crappy game. From what I've played, it seems to be a......crappy game that strips all of Zelda's soul, leaving a hollow clone that might rival the Playstation's Monkey Hero for the coveted "bottom of the barrel" award.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 28, 2008:

    Hm, in that case . . . let's disagree that we agree that the game sucks.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 28, 2008:

    Monkey Hero was fun.

    You're all fools. Let's fight about it.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 28, 2008:

    Go away, me!
    board icon
    overdrive posted May 28, 2008:

    Oh. Yes. And the most fun part of Monkey Hero, for me, was the time where the game glitched in the first dungeon and a door that was supposed to open when I did something like kill all the enemies in a room didn't trigger and never did no matter what I did and I had to start the whole game over. That was great fun.
    board icon
    EmP posted May 28, 2008:

    Actually, I never beat the game due to a glitch. But I got right near the end and it was quite a lot of fun.

    Its forever been on my list of games I want to go back and beat.

    ALSO: EmP approves of these reviews. Dagoss' is great.
    board icon
    dagoss posted May 28, 2008:

    I never thought "great" and "genius" could be used to describe something written by me. Thank you overdrive, Felix, and EmP!
    board icon
    Suskie posted May 28, 2008:

    You called me mainstream, har har!

    And we can't hold an argument about Neutopia 2, because Felix's opinion is no longer credible and he should stop making ludicrous comments about games he's obviously never played.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 28, 2008:

    Judging by the images I've seen, Neutopia 2 looks like a fun little game. Judging by what I've heard, it isn't. But when you get past all of the hullabaloo and look at it from the grand scheme of things, no one cares about $6 chip that's just a poor man's Zelda.
    board icon
    sashanan posted May 29, 2008:

    especially with the surreal mentioning of how, when you're talking to someone about the dangers of lizardmen, you see a group of them going off to burn a barn.

    Loved that line, I could picture it precisely. It was one of the best in the review, but it was an entertaining read throughout. Good pick.

    Also thanks for the mention, I was happy myself with how that review turned out. Had been dry for like 9 months again.

    Second Runner Up: Okami (Wii) by disco

    Didn't read. Time to rectify that.
    board icon
    Masters posted May 29, 2008:

    Neutopia 2 is a fun game. It's a lot like the first one, which is a lot like Zelda. Probably it's not as charming and quaint as Neutopia 1... it tries to be a bit more badass and that makes it less likable. But it's still worth having for fans of the genre. The problem was, as I saw it, that the game was anything but a $6 Hu-Card; it used to be really expensive. Maybe that's changed now.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 29, 2008:

    I only paid $6, but then I did buy the JP version since I only own a PC Duo. Perhaps the American version is more expensive?
    board icon
    Masters posted May 29, 2008:

    Maybe.

    How come you haven't played it if you own it? Did I miss something?
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted May 29, 2008:

    Part of it is due to my laziness. The other part of it stems from having to play through a plethora of seemingly better titles first. At least you tell me it's a fun little game, though. That makes me feel better about the purchase.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 01, 2008:

    This has been a while in the making. Not for sinister reasons like careful planning and delicate timing but because both our systems decided to blow up one after another. Of course, Boo could have done this while I was on a PC KO, but heís as lazy as he is rotund. He doesnít even know what Operation Wolf is.

    Hereís some backstory.

    Before it became a winner in an OD-run tourney, the seeds where long planted for POíed. It wasnít a long process and what it all boils down to is we saw a game we knew nothing about and pushed each other towards reviewing it. It worked; we found ourselves looking forward to reviewing this game that I had dug out from the dank recesses of my mind and, somewhere along the way, one of us said ďwe should do this for everyone.Ē

    So, now weíre going to. BWHY is a tourney with a twist. Weíll be picking your game for you.

    Weíre not total monsters. Youíll have some say in the platform and, if youíre not willing to drop $10 or so in Ebay costs, weíll work with you in ROMS or abandonware, but be aware that the odds are we will abuse this position and use it to torture you.

    Your game of (our) choice will be worked out with you through HG Mail (or AIM). Weíre not going to burden you all with real rubbish because we have to read all these reviews, after all. Weíll negotiate if need be, but the final say is ours.

    The incentive: Win the thing and level vengeance on both of us.

    Once you get your game, itís completely up to you whether you go public with the information or not. Either way, the real aim of this tourney is to push you into a review you otherwise would have never written. Think outside the box, because youíre going to be airlifted beyond the boundaries.

    We are now open for sign-ups. Don't be a bunch of girly folk, now.

    DEADLINE:
    July 27th

    Judges:

    Emp & Boo

    Entries:

    Felix
    Sash
    MartinG
    Genj
    Belisaros
    DoI
    CJ
    Sporty
    Suskie
    Will
    Vorty
    Dagoss
    WQ
    Jerec
    iamtheprodigy
    OD -- Cyberdreams
    DE
    Drella
    credit_card
    Drella
    Twilightauora
    Crazyreyn
    Darkstarclaw
    Cairo
    Ben
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 01, 2008:

    Touch me.

    Edit: The only console I own is an NES.
    board icon
    sashanan posted June 01, 2008:

    Give me a reasonable time frame to play the game in - time is ever so precious nowadays - and you're on.
    board icon
    MartinG posted June 01, 2008:

    All right, count me in! Where's the fun in reviewing games you've chosen?
    board icon
    Genj posted June 01, 2008:

    I'll go ahead and enter, but I won't be able to start anything until June 20th.
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted June 01, 2008:

    I skipped the last event. But I'll be in for this one. Tell me which game I am to review through the mail system here, please.

    I'd be willing to emulate anything old school or see what PSX/PS2 games there are as long as they aren't more than a few dollars.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted June 01, 2008:

    Sign me up, skipper.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 01, 2008:

    Enlist me sir. But I won't be able to get down to real work until the 17th of June, from good old English A-levels.
    board icon
    Halon posted June 01, 2008:

    Cool idea, I suggested this a while back in a reviewer chat and nobody took me seriously. =(

    I'll try to get on AIM either tonight or tomorrow. I'm sorry if I haven't been around much on AIM lately; I don't have time to use the internet much anymore except for 3 minutes here and there.

    Keep in mind that I only have a PC (with plenty of emulators) and don't want to spend more than $10-20.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 01, 2008:

    Sounds interesting. I'm in.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted June 01, 2008:

    I would like it known for the record that I am signing up for this under duress for super happy times.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted June 01, 2008:

    I'll sign up.
    board icon
    dagoss posted June 01, 2008:

    I want to sign up too!

    I have an NES, N64, PS2, and DS (and thus PSX and GBA). Thanks to emulation, the only systems I could not conceivably review games for are the PS3, 360, Xbox, PSP, Wii, Gamecube, Dreamcast, and Saturn. I can handle most PC games except those released in the last year or two.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 01, 2008:

    Well, this certainly is different. Turns out I was wrong in assuming which contest you were putting together. I had based my assumption on something I saw on sportsman's archive page (he needs to update that, btw), but I couldn't remember which one it was.Until I looked it up just now.

    Anyway, enough rambling. I would totally do this, but I don't have access to e-bay, or any electronic money transferring internet accounts, and even if I could get them, I wouldn't because I don't trust the internet with my money. Also can't download ROMs now because I'm on this useless dial up connection, so I might have to sit this one out. =( It makes me sad.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 01, 2008:

    ROMs for old systems are very, very small. I'm on dialup now, actually, and it hasn't stopped me from nabbing Gradius II just now.

    bite me EmP, at least I'm not so cheap didn't give up on PO'ed after one auction ended at the exorbitantly high price of $2.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 01, 2008:

    also, the other thing is that it would be very helpful if you could get the ball rolling and post what systems you have, what systems you can emulate, whether you have a PC that can play 2000-ish games or recent games, and what if any nominal amount you'd be willing to spend.

    also of note being that I have loads of old, low-value Xbox/N64/whatever games I'd be willing to send out if you just hooked me up with a few bucks for shipping, and I'm sure EmP does too if you live in the UK.
    board icon
    Halon posted June 01, 2008:

    I prefer any PC game that I don't have to spend money on and something that I can ROM for NES/SNES/Genesis/Turbo 16.

    I could also do (but prefer not to) any PC game that is $20 or less or any arcade game (pain in the ass to set up MAME again).

    You could post my game here if you want unless it's supposed to be private. Then HG mail me and I'll inform you either via HG mail or AIM if it's no good.
    board icon
    jerec posted June 02, 2008:

    I wonder if I could actually write a review for a game that someone else tells me to review. It'll be an interesting experiment for me. So, I'll sign up.

    I have a 360, Xbox, PS2, PS1, GameCube, N64, SNES, DS and GBA. I can play old PC games that have low requirements. I could probably play a 2003 PC game without any problem (checked the most recent PC game I have). Anything from the 90's is ideal.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 02, 2008:

    WQ: NES ROMs are still minute-long downloads on dial-up. You're doing this.

    Boo: £2, actually. In dollars, they would have been paying me to take it.

    Jerec: Best of luck, bud! I'll scour for an AU-only title.
    board icon
    iamtheprodigy posted June 02, 2008:

    I could very well regret this but I'll give it a shot.
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 02, 2008:

    I'll be in. Preferably pick something I don't gots to put money into, as I'm P-O-O-R at the current time. You know, like a ROM. I can handle that.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 02, 2008:

    I currently have SNES, Genesis, and Sega CD emulators set up, and I think I might still have an NES emulator swimming around my hard drive somewhere. Realistically, I should be able to emulate just about anything reasonable.

    As for systems I own, I do still have a Nintendo 64 and PSX, though getting games cheap nowadays is pretty tough. I've also got a GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360, DS, and a PC that can run most games as long as they're not too demanding in the system requirements area. Note that some Xbox 360 games are really cheap if they're used, so don't leave that out.
    board icon
    iamtheprodigy posted June 02, 2008:

    I have Genesis, N64, DS, 360, and PS2. I think I'd prefer DS or N64 but I'm willing to try others. Only thing is I don't want to spend too much, I have some cash but there's several things I'm looking at buying so I need to save up.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 02, 2008:

    OK, if we're listing platforms here, guess I'll have to follow suit.

    I currently own a Mega Drive, Master System (via Power Base converter), PSX (modded, so I can burn an ISO if need be), PlayStation 2, Wii, GBA and a PC that should run most PC games up to 2006.

    As for emulation, my PC should be fine for consoles that have fully functional emualtors, that is, up to N64. I do frown on reviewing emulated games, as its not playing on the original platform and consequntly different controls and a differnet style. But if need be, I'll emulate.
    board icon
    Genj posted June 02, 2008:

    Emulate:
    Arcade (MAME)
    NES
    SNES
    Genesis
    Turbo 16 (may be able to download some CD games)
    GBA (and thus GB & GBC)

    Own:
    PS2 & PSX (I have experience with PSX emulation too if someone wants to give me an obscure ISO)
    GameCube
    Xbox
    DS
    N64
    Saturn

    No Dreamcast - hasn't been working well.

    PC: The only game I've played on my Vista machine is Vampire: Bloodlines and it had frame rate issues when there were a lot of enemies. Plus my hard drive is quickly getting filled with music and I don't have an external hard drive yet. Probably not a good option anyway because of Vista.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 02, 2008:

    Ok, EmP. >_> There's still one other problem, though. I'm not playing anything on this computer for two reasons: 1) I (still) don't lke being caught down here by my parents, and 2) the sounds fucked up on this thing.

    I'd have to transfer the ROM by CD to my laptop... but I'm not sure if doing that will corrupt the file or something. If that doesn't cause any problems, then it should be fine. Though I still have a feeling just downloading the thing will take me twenty minutes... might not be a big deal, though.

    E: You know what emulators I have. Or should. NES and Genesis, though I'd prefer NES. If this all works out.
    board icon
    darketernal posted June 02, 2008:

    Sure. Anything but Gamecube, Xbox-Xbox360, PS3 or Wii. I think that takes care of what I do not own.
    board icon
    Synonymous posted June 02, 2008:

    Oh, what the heck; I'm curious about what game I'd get, so I'll try. I'm limited to a DS (& GBA) and a middle-range PC, plus whatever's currently on GameTap.
    board icon
    Credit_Card posted June 02, 2008:

    Someone asked me to do this. I'm not willing to spend cash because that seems ridiculous to me, but I will emulate anything pre-32bit.
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 02, 2008:

    Well, no one would expect a dude named Credit Card to spend cash!

    And there's the OD Horrible Joke of the Day! Feel esteemed that you were the focal point of it!
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 02, 2008:

    we're on Venter's turf, OD. we're immune to bad jokes.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 04, 2008:

    The last time I did one of these, I had an interesting dilemma: Only four reviews by a grand total of three writers that week meant everyone was guaranteed a spot on the list. This is outrageous, of course, and I demanded a longer list of potential RotW winners for the next time I did one. Well, some guy named Whelkman apparently took my words to heart, submitting a grand total of 27 reviews over the last week. Yar. And he covered mind-blowing classics like Minesweeper and Solitaire to boot! You guys really did put me to work this week, though, and the quality was high enough on average that even those regulars who didn't get mentioned (you know who you are) deserve a shout-out.

    Only one review per human is allowed, as always, and staff reviews are ineligible. That guy who goes by Usurper is also ineligible, because Felix submitted a slightly better review, and they're both the same person. With that out of the way, let's do this thing.



    Review of the Week: Yume Penguin Monogatari (NES) by Felix_Arabia

    This is a great example of how the subject of a review (i.e. the game itself) can be a major factor in just how compelling that review is. Yume Penguin Monogatari is a genuinely kooky game, with goofy characters and weird settings and odd gameplay mechanics. This kind of thing by its very nature is interesting to read about, and Felix embraces the opportunity. Had you taken on any other NES game, I'd be annoyed that you spend so much time detailing the story, but it's definitely an important element of this game, and your transition from plot to gameplay (since the two go hand-in-hand) is silky-smooth. I love reading about quirky, obscure games like this, and now, even after hearing your warnings that the game is too short and easy, I still want to check it out, and I share your frustration in Nintendo for not localizing it. As much as I want to give someone else a shot at winning RotW for once, you definitely earned your victory this round. You over-achiever, you.

    First Runner Up: Miracle Girls (SNES) by BELISARIOS

    I was definitely skeptical of this review at first when I saw your "this game is too girly" thesis. Then I kept reading and thought to myself: Yeah, I would definitely have to chop my balls off if I ever played this. What's great, though, is that you aren't judgmental. You don't let the game's appearance and history get to you, and you admit that the game isn't bad, even if it's not particularly good, either. Not being able to destroy enemies (only stun them) sounds aggravating indeed, and the fact that you're throwing CANDY at them sells your point: That this isn't a very enjoyable game anyway, and that its feminine exterior only exacerbates the pain. It would have been too easy to write a straight-up bash, so I'm glad you took the mature route. I have no desire to play this game, but at least I'm not laughing at it.

    Second Runner-Up: The King of Dragons (Arcade) by Synonymous

    Hey guys: Here's another reviewer who has only just recently emerged on the HG scene and is one to look out for. This review's intro paragraph mentions Golden Axe and The King of Dragons, both hack-and-slash arcade games I admittedly have no interest in. The thesis is that The King of Dragons attempts to be much like Golden Axe, and holds a number of similarities, but doesn't quite hold up to the game that inspired it. Fine, that's a start -- but many reviewers would collapse right then and there, leaning on Golden Axe like a crutch, with the remainder of the review reading like a list of comparisons. What's great is that not only does your thesis work, but you still manage to illustrate what goes right and wrong with this game to a guy like me, who has never played Golden Axe and probably never will. I especially liked the "end, damn you" bit near the end; that got a laugh out of me. Good work.



    Now imagine there's some rad concluding paragraph here that totally inspires you to greater heights, especially if you're one of the reviewers (like Disco or Wolfqueen or Pickhut) who didn't quite make it into this week's list of winners. That's it, you're inspired... Now go do great things.
    board icon
    drella posted June 05, 2008:

    At your mercy.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 05, 2008:

    Thanks for the win.

    Congrats to the others mentioned.
    board icon
    Synonymous posted June 05, 2008:

    I'm going to have to resign; looks like moving-related activities are going to interfere. Sorry.

    ETA: Vacillation ahoy: I'm most probably going to be AWOL late June/early July. With this schedule, would I be better sitting out?
    board icon
    Synonymous posted June 05, 2008:

    I submitted this last week? Some memory I have. Thank you very much, and congratulations to the other winners.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 05, 2008:

    I'd actually never heard of Whelkman before, but it was pretty obvious he was importing these reviews from somewhere else -- they were pretty varying in quality. I challenge anyone to write a compelling review for Solitaire, but yeah, I agree that some of his NES reviews were far more interesting to read.
    board icon
    Masters posted June 05, 2008:

    Whelkman used to rock. Glad to see his work here at HG.

    Ha, I like this "in light of our recent scuffle". Baha. I think, really, I just like the word "scuffle".
    board icon
    Masters posted June 05, 2008:

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbadvance/review/R65171.html

    Brilliant.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 05, 2008:

    Oh wow. I read that sentence quickly and thought he said "shuffle." I must agree I like the word scuffle a great deal better.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 05, 2008:

    He jsut imports his reviews? I at least try and rewrite mine, or at least tweak it to current standards, before they see this site. That's why I have almsot 80 on GFAQ's and about 15 here still. It's not that I'm lazy.

    Nonetheless, full credit for his NES contributions.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 05, 2008:

    Welky quit reviewing a long time back. He basically just gave permission for his backlog to be ported here.
    board icon
    Halon posted June 05, 2008:

    Even though his best work was already posted here (Dragon Warrior, Guardian Legend, etc) it's great to see the rest of it here. Not to mention he's probably the greatest poster in the history of all the reviewing forums.

    And we can't forget the choking on an acorn emoticon.
    :-@
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 05, 2008:

    it depends on whether you'd be able to/comfortable with pulling the whole thing off (get game, play game, review game) in the course of a week or two. I haven't worked it out exactly with EmP but the deadline won't be as early as early July for sure, this sort of thing will take some time for obvious reasons.

    edit: I'll run this by EmP later to make sure we're on the same page, but late July (possibly like the 27th) sounds right to me.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 06, 2008:

    We'll pencil that in as the date for now. I can start sorting the TT out in the background of this.

    You should all have HG mails with your chosen game in. If you don't, or you have problems with the game, let me know here or through HGMail.
    board icon
    Synonymous posted June 06, 2008:

    Game: Trilby's Notes
    Platform: PC
    Publisher: AGS
    Developer: Ben Croshaw
    Genre: Adventure
    Release Date: 6/26/06


    Game: 6 Days a Sacrifice
    Platform: PC
    Publisher: AGS
    Developer: Ben Croshaw
    Genre: Adventure
    Release Date: 1/25/07


    Game: Tender Loving Care
    Platform: PC, [interactive] DVD
    Publisher: Aftermath [PC], DVD International [DVD]
    Developer: Aftermath
    Genre: Interactive Movie
    Release Date: 7/31/98 [PC], 4/6/99 [DVD]
    board icon
    Muk1000 posted June 06, 2008:

    Game: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One
    Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux
    Publisher: Hothead Games
    Developer: Hothead Games
    Genre: RPG/Adventure
    Release Date: May 21, 2008
    board icon
    sashanan posted June 07, 2008:

    What an interesting pick. And almost two months to finish it and write for it? You're on.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 07, 2008:

    Anyone else making progress on this? I have a 'K' review coming soon. No one has posted in the topic in a bit. Let's see some progress. :-D
    board icon
    EmP posted June 07, 2008:

    I keep reviewing for the same bloody letters. It's so bloody annoying to see a hige line of A and S games trickling onto the line.

    I do have a D I should have done by Monday. Then it's back to letters I already have some more with T, C and E.

    I do have a V planned now.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 07, 2008:

    The V review is going to be the greatest review HG has ever seen. It will literally change how reviews are written. I'm getting tingly just thinking about it.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 07, 2008:

    Really? Have you seen this review, Felix? Or is it just for a game that's like... really awesome?

    But as to progress, I've been making progress... I did just get five reviews in a month. I should have M done soon... then I'm planning G, P and H.

    Oh, also to Felix, if you haven't done this already, you should count one or more of your Panzer Dragoon reviews for P. I haven't seen taht recently.

    Also, EmP made one of the most epic titles when inputting his Ys review. Haha.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 07, 2008:

    I have not read the review yet because EmP has yet to to write it. But I can GUARANTEE that the game is the most awesome and influential piece of excellence in the history of the university.
    board icon
    twilightaurora posted June 07, 2008:

    All right! T.T I'll give it a shot.
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted June 07, 2008:

    Count me in - I'd like to emulate (Amiga, DS, GameBoy, GameBoy Color, GBA, Master System, Mega Drive, NES and SNES).
    board icon
    EmP posted June 07, 2008:

    Apologies to those of you who have been waiting a while for their games to be input. I would have done them earlier, but I mistakingly assumed that this site had staff members besides me. Clearly, I was mistaken.
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 07, 2008:

    I've put a couple letters up for me in recent times. Well, at least one. But, I'll have two more done next week.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 07, 2008:

    I've written 28 reviews this year and only 17 of them count toward the alphabetic marathon. It's rather unfortunate. I'm like EmP and don't really have much time to review anything but the games we're sent with an obligation to review.

    Still, I'm at the top (for now) and loving it. I could definitely get used to this. Oh, yes. I could indeed!

    On a side note... 28 reviews. 28! My plan at the start of the year was to write maybe that many over the course of the whole year. I guess that idea is out the window...
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 08, 2008:

    I'm filling in this week for pup, who as you might have read has moved on from his staff position here on the site. Until his place in the RotW rotation is filled, you will see guest faces (like mine).

    This week, there were 10 reviews to go through, many of them quite excellent (and none of them poor, certainly). That's a lot of great writing to sort through, but below you'll find my picks for my three favorites, with commentary.

    As usual, staff reviews are excluded from the list of reviews and I'm only commenting on one review from any individual. If you submitted multiple pieces and I referenced one, know that it's the one I liked best. And now, without further ado...

    ---

    Second Runner-Up: Metal Storm (NES) by dagoss

    The battle for the third-place finish this week was brutal, but finally it came down to two possible candidates. I ultimately went with dagoss (sorry, woodhouse) because the review focused slightly more on details not pertaining directly to plot (woodhouse dallied there a bit longer than felt right to me), and because the writing throughout was just so darn cool! The introduction on the one hand feels a little bit bloated, yet I wouldn't recommend cutting any of it because it so perfectly sums up many gamers who consider themself experts of the 8-bit era. This review is a bit of a call to action. "Try this game you thought wasn't worth your time," it seems to say, and then it tells exactly why you'll want to. Moving from that introduction to the reference of standing on the ceiling and firing bullets downward to hit an enemy above was the right move. That just sounds so bizarre and the rest of the review is spent establishing just why it's a breath of fresh air and executed wonderfully. The end result is that I want to play the game more than ever and I want to see more reviews that are similarly insightful from dagoss.

    First Runner-Up: Metroid (NES) by Felix_Arabia

    The introduction to this review worked perfectly and was the start of one of Felix's best reviews to date. My hackles always rise just a little bit when I see someone bashing a game I like--and I do like Metroid--but this review took a balanced and persuasive approach as it told me just why Felix didn't much care for the time he spent in the 8-bit corridors of Brinstar. His introduction set the scene perfectly and then he followed through with excellent descriptions of a game that slowly leeched his enjoyment away. I think what I liked best was how he made the game sound suitably cool in all the right places, then showed why that wound up not particularly mattering in the grand scheme of things. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging what a game you don't like does right, especially if you then demonstrate so effectively why it doesn't save the day. Felix did that very well here. On most other weeks, it would have been enough to get him the win. This time around, though, that instead went to someone else.

    Review of the Week: Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) by drella

    There were a lot of fine reviews this week, but after reading through them all, I could tell that the most they could hope to do is fight it out for second and third place. In my mind, this review for Super Mario Bros. 3 was the undisputed leader. I've read a lot of stuff about various Nintendo-developed titles over the years, but I can't remember the last time a review so perfectly nailed what it's like to play those games, to revel in the feeling of being a Mario fan when his games are at their best. I've already gushed about this review elsewhere so I'll shut up now, but let it be known that this just became (in my opinion) the definitive review of one of my favorite games. Stellar.

    ---

    I'm not sure who is up to bat next week, but I hope that you'll give him as much great material to agonize over as you did this week. Good job, and keep those excellent submissions coming!
    board icon
    drella posted June 08, 2008:

    NES dominated week it looks like.

    Thanks!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 08, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention and congrats to Drella for his fine win. This truly was a magnificent week and I hope that the subsequent weeks are just as good. Though he wasn't mentioned elsewhere in this topic, I want to give props to BigCj34 for writing a really good Sonic review. Great job from everyone all around.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 08, 2008:

    Full credit to everyone, although it would be nice to break onto the podium one day, there's no questioning these winners!
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 08, 2008:

    The best suggestion I can offer for any of you looking to break into the top three is to write and submit something new each week. Not only will you improve with the practice--though some of you are doing quite well already--but you also have that hope that one week not as many people will submit and you'll sneak in that way. ;-)

    I remember back in the old days when RotD was a fierce competition over on GameFAQs, I tried several times for the crown before I finally got it. I was starting to get impatience but it really drove me to produce some of my best work at the time. Regular contests like this do a person good and I hope that all of you looking to improve will take advantage of RotW and the education (and motivation) it can provide!

    Anyway, it's like I said. This was a great week. It truly was. I was startled by the sheer quality of many of the submissions through and through. If we could have more weeks like this one, I would be ecstatic.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted June 08, 2008:

    I'll participate as well; preferably something for DS, and to less degrees, SNES, Wii, or GBA.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted June 09, 2008:

    I will enter so long as you don't make me review anything based on an anime/manga.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 09, 2008:

    Cairo, check your HG mail.
    board icon
    dagoss posted June 09, 2008:

    The NES was the winner this week. She earned it!
    board icon
    Genj posted June 10, 2008:

    I have to reshuffle for another game. I sent EmP an HG mail back explaining how Comcast DSL is a piece of shit.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 10, 2008:

    You should all have reviews now. Anyone without one, let me know
    board icon
    drella posted June 11, 2008:

    Biomechanical Toy

    "Run and Gunner" would be a better fit for the genre.

    It's up.

    Thanks huge amounts.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 11, 2008:

    Dude. You should totally add all those new people to the entries list. Your turn out is huge. It's amazing!

    <_<
    board icon
    EmP posted June 11, 2008:

    You know me: I don't like to brag.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted June 11, 2008:

    I do not have a review yet.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 11, 2008:

    yeah, my bad. I told EmP I'd HG mail you and then I had trouble logging in. all set now, though.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 13, 2008:

    As promised, forum now open for questions and slurs.

    Or just use it to mock Sash. He can't win this one!
    board icon
    georox posted June 13, 2008:

    *Mocks*

    Someone had to.
    board icon
    zombie posted June 13, 2008:

    hey guys, I think it's sexy you have the ZX Spectrum listed, and I'm going to be concentrating on the Spectrum for a short while. But I need this added:

    Game: Adventure A: Planet of Death
    Platform(s): Sinclair ZX Spectrum
    Publisher: Artic Computing Ltd
    Developer: Artic Computing Ltd
    Genre: Text Adventure
    Release Date: 1982

    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0005913

    The only thing I'm not sure on is developer. Many of these games were developed by a single person... if it;s more appropriate to find that name I could see if it;s available.

    Thanks guys. Believe in the true power of friendship and all that.

    Added.
    board icon
    yamishuryou posted June 13, 2008:

    Sashi-wan Kenboi could win a 360 just to spite you.
    board icon
    sashanan posted June 13, 2008:

    Given that owning a 360 is not a listed requirement for participation, I could too win this. It is by choice that I'll pretend there are other participants and sit this one out.
    board icon
    MartinG posted June 14, 2008:

    Well, it may not be listed right there, but if the very organisers of the giveaway explicitly tell you, repeatedly and addressing you specifically, that you're not entering this competition, well, I think they may have some ground here! :/

    Now, if you used an alias and didn't reveal yourself (with appropriate dramatism, and laughter of the "muhuhaha" kind) until you had the game on your hands...
    board icon
    EmP posted June 14, 2008:

    I've hired elite security to screen every last person who enters to keep this Sash-free.

    Tourney runner: just say NO to Sash.

    He'll get the last laugh when the PC give-aways flare back up.
    board icon
    jerec posted June 15, 2008:

    I'm glad for having most of July to do this, mainly because I'm not going to have much time to do anything I want to do until the end of June. Still, I'm already familiar with my game, so it's really just a matter of replaying it and taking notes (and I already made some notes!), then writing the review I could knock out in a single evening. I hope.
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted June 15, 2008:

    I assume we have until the end of July to this then, ja? I'm busy until 2nd July, but really want to take part.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted June 15, 2008:

    This thread can't die -- it's like the Highlander, remember? Anyway, God of War crap to me. I was mapping Pandora's Temple and realized I'd skipped a room, and had to do a 180-degree spin on it. Lame!
    board icon
    EmP posted June 15, 2008:

    Worry not, Shotty: I have abused my powerz to ensure that this thread is immortal.
    board icon
    yamishuryou posted June 15, 2008:

    The last topic was for Forever, and it died too!
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 15, 2008:

    All threads in the database will now purge after a certain period of inactivity. The powers EmP abused delay that miserable end, but it's up to active posters to keep things going. Nothing is archived beyond around 30 days.
    board icon
    drella posted June 16, 2008:

    Growl

    It has been added. At first, I thought the hyper-linked text meant some other staff member had already done the addition, so that kind of threw me for a loop there for a minute or two. All's well that ends well, though!
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 17, 2008:

    Dang it! I wrote a fresh new review tonight for a game of my choosing and it doesn't even go toward scratching another one off this list! What was I thinking?
    board icon
    drella posted June 18, 2008:

    KLOV link - R-Shark

    Could have sworn I put this in months ago. I remember doing it! Here it is anew, anyway

    EDIT: I actually kind of remember seeing it too...
    board icon
    drella posted June 18, 2008:

    Here you go:

    R-Shark

    I hope others made out a little better with their picks.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 18, 2008:

    Sorry, man -- I thought it'd be really good! At least you've saved me fron having to play it. +2 points.

    Yes, Crazyreyn, you'll have most of next month.
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 18, 2008:

    Very strong collection of reviews this time. I actually had to put more than the usual half-assed thought and deliberation into picking which three got my ever-desirable STAMP OF APPROVAL, as all nine (by eight folk) were very good reads. So, if you're not listed, don't be sad and start cutting yourself to cope, as the problem probably wasn't you ó it was just the overall high level of competition.

    After those pleasantries, let's get down to TEH ROOLZ! Only one rule from a user may be eligible. That way, you struggling, starving artists don't have to read that Felix got both his reviews in the top three while you got nothing. Hell, if I feel like it, you won't see ANY of his stuff in the top three. Today or ever again. Even when I'm not doing RotW. Second, staff people aren't eligible. That's too bad, as I'd totally give the win to my MoH: Vanguard review, not read any of yours and just pick two recognizable names and give them inspiring comments like, "I really liked this review. You did a great job with.....words.... Cheerio, old pip!"

    Alrighty, then, now that I've made a complete mockery of this process, it's time to give you the three reviews you can't live without.




    Review of the Week: Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (XBox) by pickhut

    This review just flat-out impressed the hell out me. You took an older game that's been covered to hell and back, but did so in a unique way that made this review a way better read than I was expecting. You only the final two paragraphs actually mentioning the MGS2 game, while focusing on how the "missions" game was this intense arcade-like test of skills that actually can supersede the game. Reading this review made me think about how, with some games, there are optional add-ons that wind up so cool and challenging that they wind up actually being the most enjoyable thing on the disc. Kind of an unorthodox way of looking at this game, but one that I liked, as it was a fresh new take on one of those games a large number of reviewers not named Overdrive already have some sort of opinion on.

    First Runner Up: Biomechanical Toy (Arcade) by drella

    Well, first off, the TMNT you mentioned is Raphael. Rafael makes me think of some crack dealer/pimp. Take that away and this was a very brightly-written review. Your intro discussion how checkpoints can be a cool thing in some games, but how they don't necessarily work so well here was a great way to segue into how this is a fun, quirky little game, but gets broken up unnecessarily by the checkpoints. And the way you described that was great, saying that it's like breaking a favorite movie into five-minute intervals and interspersing lots of rewinding. Very well-written stuff.

    Second Runner Up: Xevious 3D/G (Arcade) by Felix_Arabia

    In the days of eld, I played the old X-to-the-evious on my Atari 7800 (making me one of the 11 people who owned that P.O.S.). Back then, I kinda liked it because I was young, dumb and didn't know better. After growing up a bit and sampling some NES shmups, I went down memory lane and could only take about 15 seconds of X-evil before turning it off....for good. Reading those opening couple paragraphs really gave me a vivid reminder of how I felt trying to replay that game. It was just old and so far outclassed by that point, it lacked any ability to maintain my interest. Then you go into the 3D upgrade and I'm reading (and seeing pics) of what seems to be this really nice upgrade to the old system. Then, you mention, the game goes on rails down tunnels, taking away from the atmosphere from the early parts. Very nice review of a decent game that just doesn't quite live up to its potential that just edges out a couple of others for third place.




    And that's that. Tune in later as I make my shocking entrant into this whole arcade writing challenge thing and wildly speculate as to which game will be my first entrant in that (or just look at recent photo galleries if you want to spoil the surprise).
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 18, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention. I wasn't sure how Xevious 3D/G was going to read for people. Nice to see it was good enough to finish third in a strong week.

    Congrats to the that sexy little bastard pickhut and Leroux.
    board icon
    drella posted June 18, 2008:

    Haha. Loved pickhut's take on MGS 2. Congrats to him and thanks for the kind words (and typo catch) OD.
    board icon
    pickhut posted June 18, 2008:

    Whoa, wasn't expecting at all to get RotW with the competition that week. Thanks for the comments on the review, it was something I wanted to do for some time, but only finally bothered to write it up now.

    Congrats to le.. drella and us... felix on their runner-up placements, and good job to everyone who put up reviews that week.
    board icon
    Muk1000 posted June 19, 2008:

    *cuts self just because you said not to*

    ;_;

    Nah, I'm good. Congratulations to pickhut and the runner-ups this week!

    ...hm. That's a good band name. "Pickhut and the Runner-Ups"
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted June 19, 2008:

    EmP, is there a set date for the deadline?
    board icon
    EmP posted June 19, 2008:

    Yeah, Boo posted it. I'll throw it up on the first post when I dig it out.

    For you, though, it's tomorrow.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted June 19, 2008:

    Ah! oh no! :@
    board icon
    espiga posted June 20, 2008:

    Game: Vantage Master Portable
    Platform(s): PSP
    Publisher: Falcom
    Developer: Falcom
    Genre: Strategy RPG
    Release Date: 2008 (JP)

    Added.

    Thanks. <3
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted June 20, 2008:

    Onto Castlevania III, at least until I finish MOH European Assault or get Saiyuki Journey West in the mail.
    board icon
    drella posted June 22, 2008:

    This one wasn't even on KLOV.

    Game: The Return of Lady Frog
    Platform(s): Arcade
    Manufacturer: Microhard
    Release Date: 1993
    Genre: Bomberman with tiles and tits. Or Action.

    Added.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted June 23, 2008:

    Did a quicky with Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles. Not very much of a game, more of an interactive detective novels (which are short and not so hot at that).

    If I have time, I might be inspired to do something up for Pokemon Mysterious Dungeon; $40 bounty for it on GameFAQs (the guy with a complete up there seems to be from Nauru, which isn't beneficial for claiming bounties) AND a free game from faqs.ign

    Oh well, for now, work is consuming my soul.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 23, 2008:

    Iíve watched now as the other staffers got easy weeks on this before deciding the time was right to drop myself back into the RotW rotation. I saw weeks with only three reviews subbed, weeks with clear and undisputed winners and weeks where the top three where as obvious as ODís wine glass is huge. So, I make my return and faced the hardest week Iíd ever come up against.

    My job wasnít just about picking the top three in some cases but which review a given reviewer should lead with in the first place. It was a tough call in every aspect, and the top three are somewhat interchangeable with numerous other reviews nipping at their heels. Youíll notice that Iíve left feedback for other reviews, and this is mainly because these originally had RotW spots and I swapped them out after thought. It really was very close.

    One review per person, no staff reviews, blah blah blah. Letís do this thing:



    FIRST

    DRELLA - POW

    Drella teaches us a lesson here in justified anger while ripping POW to shreds. Even the scattered cursing used sparing throughout did a great job i highlighting the frustration and overall lack of foresight that the game forced upon him. I especially enjoyed the paragraph about being teased with a helicopter and a tank, thinking that a break from the never-ending flood of goons was incoming only to be presented with even more of the bugger -- that's a killer example right there.

    And with an intro like the one you employed, you had to do a lot to prove that this game was awful. You did this and you did it intelligently; the tone made the review amusing, bit the strength here was the poignant examples you kept pulling out. There's no dead words anywhere, which is hard to do when you fall into a negative rant for a review.

    TYPO WATCH: Last line of paragraph three should end in a question mark.

    SECOND

    WQ: Metal Gear Solid

    I'm not a MGS fan (or, if you ask the right people, a fan of anything at all), but I'm not going to give you the clichťd praise of "your review makes me want to give the game another chance". It doesn't. I gave up at the bit where I had to go around watching guy's butts to make sure they weren't the slinky girl in disguise and I'm not going back for anyone.

    But the review is a very good one for what it is: a fair look in from someone who enjoys looking at guy's pixaly arses the game more than I. And you do a good job in explaining why while still pointing out that it's got its own hosts of flaws to contend with. I liked the point about guards beaming in from nowhere once the alarm goes despite everyone in the area being killed, and kudos for not taking the easy and oft-travelled path of mocking the horny ninja like everyone else has done to death. In fact, you did pretty well in avoiding a lot of the before-mentioned aspects in a game verging on over-covered, which, in itself, is commendable. Good job: you're coming along nicely and I'm going to take full credit for it all.

    THIRD

    FELIX: METAL SLUG 2

    ďOh No!Ē, scream the masses. ďItís Another Slug Review!Ē

    The masses talk in capitals.

    The reason we get a lot of reviews on Metal Slug is probably because itís such an easy game to write about. The entire thing is packed full of examples and here young Felix does a good job pointing out the ones weíve all heard before, but with STYLE! As I mentioned in one of the feedbacks Iíve left somewhere (Iíve left loads, making you all look like the lazy slackers you are, so Iím allowed to forget) Iím not fused about retreading covered ground as long as itís covered well, and Felix does just that. The review feels alive at points as he throws example after example at you. Then he tells you not to play the game, which is odd, but thatís okay; MS1, which he demands you play first is a goodie, too.

    But in this insistence of playing order, the conclusion feels like a let down. I didnít come to this review for advice on my order, I came to see why I should play MS2 at all! This review, though does itís job well, aside from wonky ending -- it makes Slug 2 sound as great as it is plus it adds another arcade review to Lerouxís tally.




    Close calls came in CJís surprisingly good Lemmings review, Dagossí heartfelt ICO review and Discoís solid Space Invaders. Also good was a new entry from Welsh-ton with a good TWEWY review, a long-awaiting Genj piece that seemed lacking in his trademark humour and a strong Espiga return. If Iíve not mentioned you, thereís no need to fret, you got buried in reviews that, in any other week, would have walked away with a top three spot or win.

    Itís like you waited for me to come back then flooded me with work. I hate you all.
    board icon
    drella posted June 23, 2008:

    Awesome. Thanks EmP, and congrats to everyone else, because it was a really quality week for the site as far as submissions.
    board icon
    dagoss posted June 23, 2008:

    I feel honored to not only be mentioned but to have my name completely butchered.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 23, 2008:

    'Grats to my boy Leroux for his quality victory, though I did prefer his Growl review, personally.

    I'm also happy to see WQ do so well (she FINALLY placed higher than me!). Her MGS review came a long way from when she first asked me to look over it a week or so ago. The next review she subs is going to be even better. Yes, I'm putting her on the spot, haha. She'll deliver.

    As for me, well, I think my 'wonky conclusion' just shows that I was getting a little burnt out from my 2-3 reviews a week shenanigans. I probably won't sub anything this week so I can let my brain rest a bit. But the next review I sub should be back on track.

    Edit: RotD?

    Double Edit: Haha, Dragos.
    board icon
    Genj posted June 23, 2008:

    a long-awaiting Genj piece that seemed lacking in his trademark humour

    Don't worry. I just finished The Bouncer.

    Congrats to Drella, wolfqueen, and felix on the mentions.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 23, 2008:

    I'm a busy guy: I have no time for correct spellings.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 23, 2008:

    Thanks, EmP! Though if I had known earlier that you were doing this, I wouldn't've bothered you about it...

    I don't know how you have the time, anyway. o.O

    One thing, though. I gave up at the bit where I had to go around watching guy's butts to make sure they weren't the slinky girl in disguise...

    XD That's the easiest part in the entire game! All you have to do is wait for the male guards to use the bathroom - one's already in there waiting for you - and either cap them with your pistol or choke them to death. Meryl will go to the other bathroom after a while.... to the lady's one. Nevermind any butt watching... XD

    Anyway, thanks again; I really appreciate the comments, and for teaching me how to write these in the first place.

    Congrats to Drella and Felix, too. Yay - I didn't have to wait till a day not ending in "y" to beat you after all.

    Still, I thank your editing for the MGS one; couldn't have done it without you.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 23, 2008:

    Well, my review's done. Just needs to be approved.

    Edit: Thanks.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 23, 2008:

    Thought I was up for this week. I need to get the schedule straight.

    Congrats to the deserving winners :)
    board icon
    timrod posted June 23, 2008:

    Game: S4 League
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: PMang
    Developer: Pentavision Entertainment
    Genre: 3rd-Person Shooter
    Year of Release: 2008

    Crappy generic Korean shootan gaem. I want to give it a bash review.

    Added. Now get on that bash review!
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 23, 2008:

    Just a minor note, if you don't mention anything about the game's region, I'm going to assume it's NA, so be sure to specify if needed.
    board icon
    timrod posted June 23, 2008:

    I'll join. I've got all of the following:

    GoodSNES Romset 2.01 (6766 of 6766)
    GoodNES Romset 2.0 (10783 of 10783)
    GoodN64 Romset 2.02a (2614 of 2614)
    GoodSMS (Master System) 0.999.5 (645 of 645)
    GoodGen/32x/MegaDrive 0.999.8b (4809 of 4809)
    DS Flashcart (Slot 1 only)
    Swap Magic-ready PS2 (only if you find me the ISO first since 99% of the sites with them died)

    I can also get my hands on pretty much any old Gameboy/Gameboy Color game, most of the MAME/CPS1/CPS2/Neo-Geo roms, and most pre-2007 PC games (that means nothing like Crysis) provided they're not huge downloads and provided they're not online-only. PSX games are also a possibility as long as there is an ISO availible.

    board icon
    bluberry posted June 23, 2008:

    posts like that are why I love you, timrod.
    board icon
    Halon posted June 24, 2008:

    My game is still not working on Vista 64-bit. I'm going to keep trying and if it's hopeless I'll try to get my old computer back and then run it.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted June 25, 2008:

    FF Tactics A2 rough draft started. I might as well keep working on FF3 and Suikoden, also.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted June 25, 2008:

    I still suck!
    board icon
    dagoss posted June 25, 2008:

    Game: Wizardry I-II-III: The Story of Llylgamyn
    Platform(s): Super Famicom
    Publisher: Media Factory
    Developer: Sirtech
    Genre: CRPG
    Release Date: 01 June 1999 (Japan only)

    Game: The Ultimate Wizardry Archives
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: Interplay
    Developer: Sirtech
    Genre: CRPG
    Release Date: 30 April 1998

    Game: Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite
    Platform(s): DS
    Publisher: Success
    Developer: Success
    Genre: CRPG
    Release Date: 22 May 08 (Japan only)

    Game: Persona 2: Innocent Sin
    Platform(s): PSX
    Publisher: Atlus
    Developer: Atlus
    Genre: Console RPG
    Release Date: 24 June 1999 (Japan only)

    (Note: This is not the same game as Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, which is already in the database.)

    (Note: ADDED)
    board icon
    honestgamer posted June 26, 2008:

    Since you're all staff, I thought I'd expand upon the mention of 'security issues' I made elsewhere on the forums. The information this post will contain should be considered proprietary and is not to be shared outside this forum. The last thing I want to do is give potential hackers ideas by stating publicly where security holes were/are on the site, but I'd like you all to know.

    Basically, the site's open permission for HTML use can be problematic on a small scale--when users run joke scripts or start music playing in the background without user approval and what have you--but the real problem is that they highlight the potential for a malicious attack that could disable multiple computers and make DNS (denial of service) attacks simple to launch against the site (a common but often successful tactic used by beginning hackers to bring down smaller sites such as HonestGamers). Perhaps they even invite them, since they call attention to the possible security holes.

    Thanks to functions such as s--which zigfried has used in the past by way of non-malicious example--it was possible to load another site's content within a given page on this site. This would allow a user to make each forum page actually load another site (possibly in the background or in some other window users wouldn't even notice). Translation: every page on our forums could load computers with computer-crashing viruses and possibily compromise security and even result in stolen identities.

    I don't think that sort of risk is worth leaving live and the increasing number of casual visitors that might disagree aggressively with our site's editorial content is on the rise. If those people want to mount a successful attack on the site, they're probably going to eventually find a way to do so, but there's no point in making it simple for them. Tonight's changes reduce or remove altogether the chance of such an attack from the most obvious angle, in part because they disable scripts such as Java, Javascript and most HTML (except HTML that I have specifically enabled due to its benign nature and popular use within previous forum posts).

    I view this change as an important one, particularly in the case of forums where someone could make a post and it could stay live and do damage for a significant period of time before it was detected and removed (since we don't filter forum posts before they go live). Tonight I have closed the gate through which we might previously have allowed potential enemies to roll the Trojan horse.

    The site may still be vulnerable in other ways and I will continue to look at ways to reduce that risk to a reasonable level while ensuring that we retain all creative tools that we possibly can. Every time your computer connects to the Internet, you run the risk of downloading something you don't even know about, that a web site's operators don't even know about. I'd like to do my part to ensure that HonestGamers doesn't unknowingly become a hacker's playground and the steps I took tonight were important for that reason.

    If users ask you privately about any security risks on the site, I hope you will assure them (accurately) that we are taking all reasonable steps to address them as we become aware of them and as they become more likely to be abused, and that we also want to balance that security with the independent environment that we have maintained now for years. Please do not go into specifics about any of the above information at this time. Feel free to refer any more detailed questions that you might receive on the matter to myself--since I am the only one with true access to the source code and some answers--and I will address them appropriately. Thanks!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted June 26, 2008:

    Huh... what happened to some of the hyperlinks here...? Especially Felix's. Or is it just my connection?

    Anyway, I have 9 now... and genj has 4. >_>

    Should have ten in about a week.

    Isn't this fun?
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 26, 2008:

    And I just noticed that of all the games my best friend has let me borrow and keeps nagging me on when I'm going to finish them, all but one is for a letter I've already done. Not good.....not good at all for me.....
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted June 26, 2008:

    Take a seat, Castlevania III -- it's Saiyuki time! I'd consider doing MOH European Assault if my idiot comrades didn't lumber in front of a machine-gun nest and die within the first minute; or, disappear from the radar like a bunch of yellow-bellied wussbags.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted June 26, 2008:

    All my reviews suck because I was doing battle with gigantor word limits. Pretty sure I added an extra 700 words for the exorbitant Golden Sun quota at some point. Oh, good times. Humility, nice to know you!
    board icon
    overdrive posted June 26, 2008:

    Yes, Golden Sun. If you compare my review of it here with the near-identical GF one, you'll notice that one has an unnecessary extra paragraph where I just provide a long-winded second example of something I'd made very clear in the previous one.
    board icon
    sashanan posted June 26, 2008:

    Pretty sure I added an extra 700 words for the exorbitant Golden Sun quota at some point.

    I wouldn't fret. That's only a fraction of the unnecessary dialogue Golden Sun itself added to pad out the game.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 26, 2008:

    why I used to suck

    and that's edited, there were whole paragraphs that said like "locking on with R3 works really well!"

    hey look, it's HTML that still works. this'll be broken within a week.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 26, 2008:

    good work, champ.
    board icon
    Suskie posted June 26, 2008:

    This is what happens when Jason puts restrictions on our HTML usage.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 26, 2008:

    Oh no. It's the end of the world.
    board icon
    Genj posted June 26, 2008:

    It's the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).
    board icon
    disco1960 posted June 27, 2008:

    I'm sucking right now! Luckily, no one has to see this yet.
    board icon
    EmP posted June 28, 2008:

    Sorry; Boo thought I was picking for you and I thought he was dealing with the people coming in late.

    In your HG-Mail now.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted June 28, 2008:

    F = Final Fantasy III, Front Mission

    I rox.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 29, 2008:

    haha, one of these days I'll not be too lazy to edit in the (few) reviews I've done.
    board icon
    iamtheprodigy posted June 29, 2008:

    Oh good, I haven't missed this yet. >_>

    I've gotta see if I can find this game now.
    board icon
    Genj posted June 30, 2008:

    I'm dropping out because I really don't want to waste time playing an RPG that I'm not enjoying at all.
    board icon
    dagoss posted June 30, 2008:

    Want to swap games? I'm pretty meh about mine too (though I was still planning to write a half-assed review for it -- like writing a paper on a book I never read).
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 30, 2008:

    Now seriously, it's a bit silly to refuse to play a game because it's rubbish, if this is the purpose of the competition.

    I've just realised how to play this atrocious game I got and I'm going to crack on with it. Think of all the poor journalists who write for mags! This will be only be my second sub-5/10 review the way things are going.
    board icon
    Genj posted June 30, 2008:

    Yeah I know. It's like I want to use my free time to have fun or something! How silly.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted June 30, 2008:

    You're not allowed to have fun, Genjuro. That goes for the rest of yas.
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 30, 2008:

    there are scores below 5, you know.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted June 30, 2008:

    Well bluberry, that's what I was about to discover in the competition. How dare you spoil the surprise!
    board icon
    bluberry posted June 30, 2008:

    @bigcj: you've got balls being snarky to a judge. so I'll take all of genj's points and give them to you, since he won't be needing them anyway.

    @sportsman: sorry to hear that. I'll think something else up for you within a few hours.
    board icon
    Halon posted June 30, 2008:

    Game still isn't working. I still have time!
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted July 02, 2008:

    Tch, I already finished Saiyuki. Apparently if I need a project I can sink my teeth into, it has to be of Unlimited Saga proportions... =/
    board icon
    honestgamer posted July 02, 2008:

    I can't believe how quickly you churn out quality FAQs for interesting and complex games. Unlimited SaGa is an awesome game that almost no one likes and last I knew, there was a bounty for it on GameFAQs. Are you really going to write for it?
    board icon
    disco1960 posted July 02, 2008:

    Okay! Give me something cheap and easily obtainable for Xbox classic.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted July 02, 2008:

    I'd like to write for it, but since it's multi-path and I've only been able to stand about 2 hours of it, probably not in the near future. Wouldn't say the game is as bad as the rep it's gotten, but it's certainly got a weird insular/esoteric feel to it that pushes about 90% of the RPG public away. Might get away with writing a guide on the first playthrough for a simpler RPG, but that one seemed like something that has to be gone through first for a good understanding. Did you play all the way through?
    board icon
    honestgamer posted July 02, 2008:

    Unlimited SaGa is a huge game, yeah. I didn't play all the way through but I sank quite a few hours into it and enjoyed myself a lot. I really look forward to some day playing lots and lots more. I love how dungeons are explored, I enjoyed the plot and art style, the music was fantastic and the battle system worked pretty well for me. It's definitely a unique game and to me that was a huge part of its appeal. I wouldn't want to FAQ it, though. I could imagine that taking forever!
    board icon
    timrod posted July 02, 2008:

    Game: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2
    Platform(s): DS
    Publisher: Square-Enix
    Developer: Square-Enix
    Genre: Turn-based Strategy
    Release Date: 2008

    Already have a bash review set up. You heard how much it sucks from me first.

    Already in the database as Final Fantasy Tactics A2, its actual title. Thanks!
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted July 03, 2008:

    Thanks for the invite, Felix.

    I have a decent Powerbook w/emulation capabilities, so pretty much any NES/SNES/Genesis/GB/GBA game I can do.

    Console wise, DS I have a flash cart for so any game is doable. PS1/PS2 I have mod chips for and plenty of legal/not so legal games.
    board icon
    woodhouse posted July 03, 2008:

    Title: Amorous Professor Cherry
    Genre: Dating Simulation (Hentai)
    Publisher: G-Collections.com
    Developer: ZyX
    Release Date: July 3, 2008
    ESRB: A

    GameFAQs: Other Regional Information

    Added with LOVE.
    board icon
    Suskie posted July 03, 2008:

    I know, I'm late again. I blame my own forgetfulness. And EmP for doing the week I was all set to do. And the already messed up RotW schedule. And my addiction to Team Fortress 2! And my desire to replay Half-Life 2, which I was going to review tonight but didn't because I had more pressing matters to attend to. You see how I sacrifice for the greater good? YOU SEE WHAT I DO FOR YOU?!

    Staff reviews are ineligible, as always, and only one review per person is allowed. So Felix, whatever you think you're achieving but submitting three reviews in one week, stop that! You're making everyone look bad. Now on to business.



    Review of the Week: The Bouncer (PS2) by genj

    It's difficult to be at all insightful about a review that, above all else, succeeds for one simple reason: It's funny. The Bouncer seems like a very easy game to make fun of, and Genj takes all possible opportunities to do so, his delightfully sarcastic tone providing laughs with too many great lines to name individually. What impressed me, though, is that he doesn't go all-out on The Bouncer and admits the game has potential: The battle system shows promise in unique ways, but isn't given enough time to flourish, as it's bogged down with too much story content. And the game is over quickly, anyway. This review started as a stright-up bash and evolved into something far deeper. Way to pull that one off.

    First Runner-Up: Final Fantasy X (PS2) by Felix_Arabia

    It's remarkable that Felix is able to review a game as over-covered as Final Fantasy X (just look at all those reviews!) and still come off sounding fresh and making me want to play the game more than ever. I've played bits and pieces of the game but have never actually owned it, and Felix's emotionally-charged coverage of the plot makes me really feel like I'm missing out. While the review flows beautifully, upon closer inspection I realized that Felix doesn't really talk about the gameplay very much at all, and what's here isn't all that compelling. So you attack enemies? And you gain special abilities? And sometimes it's challenging? It doesn't sound too compelling, and while I'm sure there's a lot more to the game than what you described here, I'd love to see you go into more detail in those areas. Nonetheless, this review makes me want to run out and buy a PS2 with a copy of FFX. In fact, I think I'll go do that. Bye.

    Second Runner-Up: The Return of Lady Frog (Arcade) by drella

    Good lord. The first two lines are utterly hilarious. This review is handicapped by default because it covers a puzzle game, and you can see Drella somewhat struggling to find something to talk about. He succeeds: The in-depth discussion about the game's nude images had me cracking up, mainly because it's funny to see someone analyzing something so crude with such a matter-of-fact tone, and because the game itself is so uninteresting that this is what you have to sink to in order to write an effective review. It works, somehow, and the final paragraph does a nice job of pulling together everything I've read up to that point.



    There were plenty of worthy reads this week that didn't quite make the list: Bluberry's casual and informative SpyHunter would have had a shot at runner-up status if he'd ditched the overused "I was skeptical" device at the beginning, Dagoss took a chance with a letter-styled Etrian Odyssey that oddly worked, and Credit_Card surprised me with a review that opens and closes wonderfully. Everything I read this past week was solid, and it seems that every time I do RotW, the quality maintains a consistent high while the quantity steadily rises. Keep the good work coming, folks! HG's reputation as the number-one place for online user reviews is only growing more firm.
    board icon
    Genj posted July 03, 2008:

    I tried to get a good balance of humor and technical gameplay observation, so I guess I achieved that! Thanks for the win and congrats to drella, felix and everyone else that submitted. There have been a lot of quality user submissions lately.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted July 04, 2008:

    Cool! Thanks for the mention and congrats to Genjuro for the win and Leroux for the other mention.

    Genjuro, I forgot to answer your question in your feedback topic over your review, so I'll answer it here. The Bouncer looks awesome because it's so hokey. And since it's short and cheap, it would make for a fantastic purchase.

    As for the commentary on my review, I could have delved into some of the more technical stuff, but I figured that since my review was already 11KB, and that there are 17 or 18 other FFX reviews, it wasn't necessary for me to explain the finer points of gameplay.
    board icon
    Masters posted July 04, 2008:

    Who is supposed to do this next week?
    board icon
    Suskie posted July 04, 2008:

    I understand what you mean, Felix, but your review is so compelling that it could have gone on a good deal longer and still held my interest. You're already on your way to having the definitive FFX praise review (quite an accomplishment, considering how many there are), so I just wanted to make sure you covered all the bases.

    Masters: You are, but I guess you know that now.
    board icon
    EmP posted July 04, 2008:

    Everyone should have games now. Let me know if you don't or have problems with your pick.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted July 04, 2008:

    I've played US a bit lately to see if I can get through its nigh impenetrable...uh, self. Kinda have a feel for it but there's still a lot of alien aspects to me.
    board icon
    drella posted July 05, 2008:

    Haha. Wasn't expecting that little review to even be mentioned, let alone praised. Thanks!
    board icon
    timrod posted July 05, 2008:

    Title: Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7-tsu no Shima no Daibouken
    Genre: Rythym Game
    Publisher: Namco-Bandai
    Developer: Namco-Bandai
    Release Date: April 24th, 2008
    ESRB: N/A
    CERO: A

    Japan-only release, in case the whole name being in Japanese and it having a CERO rating didn't tip you off.

    I hope this is a DS game.
    board icon
    Suskie posted July 05, 2008:

    I need to do two more H reviews -- for the Half-Life 2 episodes -- and then I swear I'll move on to a different letter.
    board icon
    Halon posted July 07, 2008:

    I need a new game. DOSbox isn't working on Vista 64 and there's no way the game is going to work without it. My old computer running XP isn't available right now and I don't want to install games on my laptop at the moment.

    Since old PC games is a gamble and I don't want to spend any money on something newer anything I could emulate would be great. I have emulators for NES, SNES, Genesis, and Turbo 16 so anything for those should work. Oh, and please no RPGs or fighting games.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted July 08, 2008:

    I couldn't find my game. It looked really cool, though.

    Also, something came up and I won't be able to do this now because I am lame.
    board icon
    dagoss posted July 08, 2008:

    I'm have a few technical issues with my game. Some of them are things that would effect my review (slowdown, sound glitches), and obviously I don't want to blame the game for something that is the fault of emulation.

    It's a 32x game. I'm using the Gens (windows version) 2.1.4.0. I'm not familiar at all with the 32x, but as far as I know there is only one version of the bios. Does anyone have any suggestions, short of ignoring possible technical issues in my review?
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted July 09, 2008:

    I probably won't be able to send anything until the 17th, rather annoyingly. Is there a confirmed deadline?
    board icon
    EmP posted July 09, 2008:

    Disco: You will be forgiven upon receipt of a Sybria review. Forst or second will do.

    Dagoss: I will change your game. Look to your HG mail shortly

    Reyn: Deadline is July 27th.
    board icon
    espiga posted July 09, 2008:

    'Tis a shame I came back late for this one, it's one of the more interesting tourneys you guys have had here. Good luck to those who entered.
    board icon
    Suskie posted July 09, 2008:

    I don't think I'll be able to compete in this one. Finding a working version of my game has proved to be quite difficult (despite my usual ability to get just about any Sega CD game running), and this month will be quite busy for me, including a vacation at the end that I believe I'll be on during the deadline. Sorry guys.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted July 10, 2008:

    I'm going to have to drop out of this one, too.
    board icon
    EmP posted July 10, 2008:

    It's a shame that over two months isn't long enough for some people.
    board icon
    espiga posted July 10, 2008:

    I should join in late, finish my obscure game, and beat all the dropouts!

    What I have:

    Famicom (with an adaptor for US NES releases)
    SNES (modded for JP games)
    N64 (buried somewhere)
    Wii
    GBA SP
    DS

    Genesis
    Sega CD (buried somewhere; probably doesn't work anymore)
    Game Gear (If I can find batteries)
    Saturn (compatible with any region as long as I donakt need a RAM expansion
    Dreamcast (with a freeloader disc)

    PC Engine DUO

    PS2 (JP)
    PS3 (original 60 GB with BC intact)
    PSP

    Xbox
    Xbox 360 (both are US versions, unmodded)

    Basically, through region-free and/or mods and backwards compatibility I can play basically any game for those consoles except Xbox and 360.

    As for genre, I try to keep an open mind for anything except sports games, which are the spawn of satan himself. However, I greatly enjoy rpg, shmups, fighters, and manly brawlers.
    board icon
    EmP posted July 10, 2008:

    Espiga: your game is in your HGMail.
    board icon
    overdrive posted July 10, 2008:

    Well, due to a wee bit o' miscommunication, it wasn't until yesterday that I found out that this was my RotW week. So, to celebrate that knowledge, I got really wasted at a friend's place last night and am kinda fuzzyheaded right now. So if my comments don't make any sense, I hotlinked the wrong reviews or I go against the rules repeatedly, well, those things happen.

    As for the rules, as far as I know, they're the same. No staffers eligible, only one review by any given person can be in the top three, all complaints go to EmP, all compliments go to me.

    So, here we go!




    Review of the Week: Wizardry: Knight of Diamonds (NES) by dagoss

    While all three of your reviews had certain attributes that really impressed me, this one was the best in my eyes. I think the big thing you did here was perfectly sum up the way those of us who played those old-school pre-storylines RPGs feel about them. The way you can get slaughtered by an unexpected "oopsie", but you're still having fun going through the maze and mapping it block by block, leading to that feeling of triumph when you finally figure out how to successfully get somewhere or do something. And I also give you high marks for having the knowledge about the game to be able to talk about how the NES version is improved over the PC version and how you feel this is the best of the three NES Wizardrys. Reading this makes me want to get on my computer tonight and start back up with the SNES Wizardry I-II-III compilation, so I can finish I to get to II (as I do want to see if, with all three on one cart, you can transfer character data from one game to another after beating each one). I won't do that, as I'm too busy with Okami and Dragon Quest V right now.....but you did make me want to!

    First Runner Up: Drakengard (PS2) by Felix_Arabia

    Yet another Drakengard review. It actually surprises me that this is only the seventh one for this game on the site, since I feel like I've read reviews of this game from everyone who's ever submitted here. Still, as you might guess from the high rating of approval you got from me, you did a good job covering subject matter that could be considered "tired" by now. Those opening few paragraphs do a great job of setting the mood of the game and the writing here is top-notch. I'd say that, really, the only complaint I have about this review could be it's biggest strength ó how it seems you assume the reader already is familiar with this game in writing about it. It's cool because it allows the review to focus on the greatness of the atmosphere and allows you to talk about the things you liked in it ó but, on the other hand, for someone who hasn't yet played the game like me, it could be a bit confusing to figure out exactly what you're talking about when you're briefly mentioning certain things under the assumption I know what's what with it and then moving quickly along to something else. Still a very energetic and entertaining review and it's nice to see you do something besides energetic and entertaining reviews of obscure Japanese-only NES games BEFORE I CAN GET TO THEM!!!

    Second Runner Up: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS) by Chacranajxy

    Very nice review about a new game in what seems to be a pretty popular series today. Did a good job of going from the basic plot to a recap of the general Trauma Center gameplay (since I've not touched one of these games, that was a nice addition) to mentioning how the game is fun and appealing despite not breaking any new ground. It's an easy read that is full of information and the sort of review that I'd like a guy like newalone4 to take a look at and learn from. Obviously he loves retro shooters and has a ton of info in some of his reviews, but a couple of them were pure "PC clocking" material due to excessive length. The biggest strength of this review is how tight the writing is. I learned everything I needed to know about this game in six concise, well-written paragraphs.




    And another RotW bites the dust! Now off to find some other form of mischief!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 10, 2008:

    Congrats to the winners! I almost wish I subbed that week, but I feel the competition would've stifled me. <_<

    Is it me or has dagoss been on fire lately? Like within the past month or two? Seems like we're starting to see him around a lot more. Good job, I say.

    Great job to the rest, too. Especially Felix, whose skill always seems to assure him a placement here, even if it's not first. Heck, I don't think I remember a week he entered where he didn't place somewhere. Fantastic. Wish I were that good. Haha.
    board icon
    dagoss posted July 10, 2008:

    I only seem like I'm on fire because I use the feedback reviews sometimes attract to determine my worth as a human being.

    You can import characters between scenarios in The Story of Llygamyn, but they lose all their experience and items. I'm not sure if you can keep those things if you export a character that has completed a scenario though.

    EDIT: "Heart of Diamonds"?
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted July 10, 2008:

    I'm pleased that I managed to take an 'over-covered' game, give it a lengthy write-up, and still place 2nd. I think anytime anyone is interested in a game, they would be wise to read more than one viewpoint (assuming there is more than one). With Drakengard, just as with FFX, there are plenty of other good reviews on this site that cover some of the stuff I may not have gone into great depth, but that's okay. I'm just trying to delve beyond the obvious. I hope it continues to work.

    Congrats to Dagoss on his win and Chacrana on his mention. Dagoss sure has proven that he's a good writer in these past several months!
    board icon
    overdrive posted July 11, 2008:

    Dagoss
    See, I said I was fuzzyheaded yesterday when I did the RotW and I proved that to be true with that "Heart" of Diamonds screw-up! It's corrected, now.
    board icon
    Genj posted July 11, 2008:

    Congrats to the winners. Good RotD.
    board icon
    espiga posted July 11, 2008:

    Congratulations dagoss on a well-deserved win! Your review made me want to go dig out my copy of Wizardry V, but it seemed like too much hassle so I didn't.

    Also congrats to the rest of you turkeys.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 14, 2008:

    I have 11 now. I love how EmP's only (independently?) updating the list for the top four or five placers. <_<
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 14, 2008:

    Haha. I'm trying my hand at self-analyzing myself. <_< It's the same sort of format as EmP's, only I decided not to be merciful and have indeed done he whole thing.

    This is my first review ever and the one with the most hits, ashamed as I am to admit.

    Enjoy! =D
    _______________

    Two travelers hike along a winding road, heading toward some unknown destination when suddenly, the first stops, looks around, and tells her companion to wait. The traveler is Xena, the mighty warrior, destroyer of men, bringer of justice. Her companion is Gabrielle, best friend to the invincible warrior. Yet at this time, something is about to happen that neither expectedÖ something that will turn an innocent hike into one of the largest searches ever conducted by none other than Xena herself, for Gabrielle is missing. And itís up to you to find her.

    Haha. Itís actually not a terrible intro, butÖ seriously. Unnecessary foreshadowing and lack of explanation. Gabrielle is missing? Howíd that happen? She was just standing there a sentence ago! I actually think this fact was pointed out to me in the tournament I entered this inÖ

    Xena the game sets you off near the town of Oebalus where smoke rises from various houses above, and Xena discovers her friend dying near the main gate. This is but the first step on the road to Gabrielle. Yet this simple beginning leads to far more complicated, though somewhat predictable plot twists. And as the plot turns, so too does Xenaís travels, bringing her to areas as far-reaching as an Amazon jungle (literally) to a snowy mountain village to the deepest pits of Hell. The areas, though diverse, are less than expected, and the way the game is set up, it will leave you in one area for at least three different levels.

    This was pointed out, too: discovers her dying friend? Well, thatís going to ruin the rest of the gameÖ Oh, wait, you meant someone else.

    Also, wtf was up with describing the layout of the worlds? Just say theyíre diverse, explain why, and be done with it. No one needs to hear how one area is used three times or whatever. At least make it more interesting if itís that important.


    The levels are set up like this: the plot takes you to an area, from which you face challenges in each of the three corresponding levels. The third of these often is a character boss beatable by simply attacking it. The fourth in the series is strictly a boss level with a complicated means of defeat. After this, Xena is taken to a new area, with three new levels plus the boss, a system which only lets up after fifteen of the twenty-one levels. Afterwards, the levels are in systems of threes, with the same character boss at the end of each third. The only exception to this is the final three levels, which are all boss levels with the final being the evil goddess which got you into this mess in the first place.

    Can I sound any drier? This can be shortened significantly without consequence. And look at the statistics! Numbers numbers numbers. Who cares? Letís try to be a bit more general next time. Variable, many, multiple, several, series Ė all of these can serve the same purpose as ďthree levels inÖ, levels 18-21 are bosses only hahaĒ

    Perhaps the greatest part of the game is the requirements in beating each level. Each level has a different means of beating it, whether itís collecting a key to open the main gate, saving a certain number of hostages, or releasing a switch or lever to open the gate for a certain boss. Almost never will you simply have to just defeat all your enemies and get to the end of the level. The game designers seem to have specifically designed the game to have some sort of requirement, no matter how simple, just to make each level more interesting. Further adding to this are the various power up items and hints distributed throughout each level. Xena can acquire a total of four defense and attack power up items, all of which are hidden in various levels, as well as pick up two hints (in the form of scrolls) per level. Collect all the scrolls and unlock a secret ending! Xena can even go back to previous levels and pick up the power up item again, so if you havenít found one of your power ups, you can go back and repeat a level where you know where it is. However, this is not advised unless you have just beaten that level because once you save, all future levels you have completed will be erased. However, the game will remember that you had picked up the power ups and scrolls in future levels, so youíll not have to worry about picking those up again. Still, this can be quite unfortunate when sayÖ you had almost beaten the game. So, donít let the acceptable plot, semi-decent background graphics, diverse level requirements, and hidden pick-me-ups throw you off. And even a secret ending canít redeem all the gameís worst qualities. This game presents a challenge all its own Ė that of the controls.

    Wall of text. Honestly. Cut off at the power-ups bit. And why do I feel the need to explain every little thing? ďWith various power-ups scattered throughout the game, Xenaís power becomes even greater,Ē or some other such phrasing would work just fine. And really, limit all that crap about the game overwriting all future levels to something less drawn out. Make an example of it, even, instead of this dry, wordy nonsense.

    Yes, the controls. These bothersome character manipulation devices, although not complex in the slightest, (at least in this game) can prove most difficult in traversing dangerous areas. Need to cross a narrow bridge over a large expanse of deep water? You can count on the shaky, super-sensitive controls to get you across safely! ÖOr not. Even when using the analog stick, the slightest touch in the desired direction sends the character bounding forward. So, best you keep your finger off the L1 button, lest Xena accidentally get one foot off the bridgeís narrow planks. Yes, walking seems to be the only safe way to traverse dangerous distances, a fact which can prove devastating when trying to reach or run away from an enemy quickly. Of course, directional control canít be the only problem. No. There are at least two other poor control factors that turn a relatively easy game into a tedious venture of tortured frustration.

    Remove parentheses. Everyone knows Iím talking about this game Ė itís the one Iím reviewing, thanks. And why explain with the actual button names? Thatís just confusing and pointless. And I use traverse or some variation thereof twice in the same paragraph. Go me! Also, can I have a worse transition?.

    The second difficult control feature is jumping. Ah, jumping, probably the most important aspect of gaming save combat. Jumping can get you to secret areas, across gaping gorges, to certain levers, switches items, or other game material otherwise inaccessible by normal means. It is one of the driving forces in game play Ė at least to the games that feature it. But somehow this game manages to ruin it. First of all, the normal, stationary jump acts as a forward jump, not a vertical jump controllable by slight forward movement like in most games. No. This one is a forward jump, but not only that, itís a fixed forward jump, meaning youíd better be several feet away before jumping to that potion perched precariously on a narrow ledge over a cliff just inches past said ledge. But perhaps the fixed jump is a good thing. The running jump Ė the walking jump is the same as a stationary jump Ė is also a fixed jump, so at least you donít have to worry about pressing the forward direction too far or too short of a critical jump. Still, this is not the last of the control grievances.

    ĒAh, jumpingÖĒ lol Thatís all Iím going to say about that.

    And again, I get too wordyÖ Examples would work better rather than trying to explain everything like thisÖ *yawn* Some of this paragraph isnít all that bad, butÖ I seem to be obsessed with detailing every intricate detail. Ugh.


    The third problem may be trivial, and in most cases, not critical to survival, but it is very annoying. This is the simple matter of your Chakram aim. Xenaís trusty throwing weapon often results in instant death to all it touches save zombies and bosses. However, aiming it requires pressing and holding the R1 button Ė something which in normal circumstances would be quite easy, except that the gameís sensitivity makes it difficult. So, if youíre not firmly pressing the button, you will either lose the hard work of aiming the deadly weapon before release or you will lose the flight control of the weapon after release. Both can prove rather frustrating, especially when Xena is returned to the direction and camera angle she originally stood before aiming. Though this too may have fortunate consequences, for it certainly is a good thing to release the aiming feature when you are suddenly attacked by man, beast, or undead. Also, most Chakram use is at a distance, so such occurrences are few and far between. In fact, the only good control seems to come from the three combat buttons, all of which have proven no difficulty whatsoever. Even so, these few redeeming factors cannot redeem the atrocious camera angles.

    I love how I sound all listy with my transitions the last few paragraphs. Yeah, thatís going to grab attention. And again, I talk about the R1 or some other button. No one cares, just explain that itís the aiming button or whatever. Ďk. Also, dear lord. Do I even need this section? If I remember right, this really wasnít a big deal. I mightíve just put it in for the ďI need three things because thatís how I learned to write essays in schoolĒ garbage. The way I explain it, I wouldnít be surprised if nobody understood what the hell Iím talking about. ďRelease, aim, release aimĒ what?

    Wow, did I actually end with a semi-decent transition? Too bad everything before it is so dry and confusing.


    Xena: Warrior Princess has to have some of the worst camera angles in gaming history. Like in most games, the camera is designed to follow your character; however, unlike most games, the camera lags in its efforts to keep you oriented and sometimes it doesnít even function at all. Often times, the camera will not orient you when Xena is running back the way she had come, leaving you to stare at her frontal image while at the same time, waiting for your slow camera to adjust to her new direction and wondering just what youíll run into next.

    Alright. This oneís not too badÖ Some bits sound awkward, and I could probably sound a little more interesting, butÖ this oneís not as bad as the previous paragraphs have been.

    Overall, the game is not the greatest game for the Playstation out there. Its few redeeming factors donít make up for its many control and camera glitches. The game is still easy, albeit frustrating because of the controls, and once you get used to them, you can get through the game quickly enough. But who knows? Maybe all these control misfortunes I had may not have been the game at all, but the mere work of my lack of coordination. Perhaps others whoíve played this game will think differently, and find things Ė good or bad Ė that Iíve missed. But even so, opinion is opinion, and in this review, my opinion is all that matters. The game was probably the most wasted week of my gaming life, but even so, the gameís redeeming features made it worthy of a 5. Or maybe I just donít have the heart to give it a lower rank. Either way, I wouldnít recommend this game unless you were looking for a way to torture yourself for a few days. So, to those of you who love to torture yourselves, buy this game, and best of luck! Youíll need it.

    Oh, boy. Time to lay into myself for real. Worst conclusion ever. It doesnít even sound like part of the review starting outÖ ďMaybe all these control misfortunes I had may not have been the game at all, but the mere work of my lack of coordination.Ē What a fine way to sound credible! Dismiss everything I just bitched about as possible lack of coordination. Way to go! The next two sentences after that are completely unnecessary. Ugh. Theyíre just badÖ I canítÖ I canít even tell you whyÖ except that theyíre completely pointless. Ugh. No need to explain the score I give it, or mention the score at all. God. I think the only ďgoodĒ sentence(s) in this whole paragraph is the last two. I swear, shorten it to just a summary of the bad stuff and end it with something like ďSo for those masochists out there, this game is for you,Ē or something.

    Haha. Even that better ending sounds kind of bad. Better than the whole paragraph put together, though. Man I needed workÖ


    ÖOne of these days Iím going to edit this thing. I think.
    board icon
    dagoss posted July 14, 2008:

    What should we do with our review once it is completed? Should we just submit it as usual? Should we send it to someone?
    board icon
    EmP posted July 15, 2008:

    Just sub as normal and link on from this topic. If you want to keep it a secret for a while, link in nearer the deadline.
    board icon
    dagoss posted July 15, 2008:

    Here it is then. I'm not very happy with it, but there's only so much you can do with yet another shooter.
    board icon
    espiga posted July 16, 2008:

    Title: Zwei II
    Platform: PC
    Save: Hard Drive
    Publisher: Falcom
    Developer: Falcom
    Release date: September 25, 2008 (JP)
    Genre: Action RPG

    Added.

    Title: Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki the 3rd (translated as Legend of Heroes: Miracle of the Sky the 3rd )
    Platform: PSP
    Publisher: Falcom
    Developer: Falcom
    Release Date: July 24, 2008 (JP)
    Genre: Turn-based RPG
    Additional information: Custom Sora no Kiseki the 3rd PSP theme available on Falcom's website

    Added.

    Thanks babycakes. <3
    board icon
    jerec posted July 17, 2008:

    Ugh, I dunno how I ever played Jedi Knight back in the day with the mouse and keyboard set up. It was a different mouse, anyway. I've tweaked the controls as much as I can, but I still can't get it how I like it. The mouse is either too sensitive (i move it slightly and my character spins around), or it does nothing at all. Unplayable, really.

    I tried to get a wired 360 controller, or find that wireless device to use my wireless 360 controller on the PC, but I wasn't able to get one (lack of money etc.), so I'm close to the deadline now and I'm still only a few minutes into the game. It's been years since I've played, so I'm not sure if I could review it by memory alone. But as things go, it is impossible to play properly, so I can't really be honest as to whether the game is still actually fun or not, and without that integrity, I have no chance of reviewing it.

    Blah. I might have a review for JEDI KNIGHT up by the deadline, but then again, I might not.
    board icon
    sashanan posted July 18, 2008:

    but then again, I might not.

    ...

    No. Too easy.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted July 18, 2008:

    Just acquired the game I am playing for my review. I am glad I entered this tournament, I would have never in a billion years have played this one otherwise. Maybe a monthly thing where a person randomly selects a random game for people to review would be a fun and creative idea. No judging or anything.. just a way to get people like me to try new things.
    board icon
    EmP posted July 20, 2008:

    Most of the guys up the top are staff, so can edit the scores as they progress.

    I asked for people to post to say when they had new games up, otherwise it's a huge pain to keep up with the scores!
    board icon
    board icon
    EmP posted July 20, 2008:

    Balls to Venter being all smug about being on time. I live in a different (and, I might add, VASTLY SUPERIOR) time zone and spat out no less than two review today. If I wasnít staff, and they were allowed, they would have come first and second today. Except only one review per person.

    See that? Thatís an original way to reillustrate the rules. Man, Iím so awesome.




    FIRST
    The Getaway (PS2) Wolfqueen

    Hereís an odd phrase: This person also decided itíd be a good idea to totally forego any sort of plot whatsoever, allowing the player a choice on whether he or she followed it or simply rampaged through the city.

    You say thereís no plot, then say that the player has the choice to follow it or not. Iím complaining early because this review really does highlight how far youíve come since you stumbled through Xena way back when. Thereís no real killer lines to point out, no poetic prose; what you do is deliver a solid review that tells me what I need to know about the game and rarely makes any mistakes in doing so. I know the gameís frustrating and I know why. I know what works and what doesnít, and I know why. And you intertwine the plot throughout everything; nothing is overbearing.

    Good job.

    SECOND
    Gleylancer (GEN) Dagoss

    Oh, Iím on to you. Want to sub on my week and get some advanced feedback on how to up your BWHY score? Not on my watch, bucko. You just get the placement and will have to wait on your feedback.

    Thatís how I roll. With valid excuses that let me do less work.

    THIRD
    Lost Winds (WII) Disco

    The review is a little jumpy in a way Iíve never seen before. You tend to say ďThis is good but then hereís a bad thing. This game is bad, but then hereís a good thing.Ē and so on. I like all the stuff in between, and you describe the game well within this odd structure, but it feels like being on a see-saw, Iím constantly bobbing up and down.

    Thatís not to say itís not effective, though. I find myself really liking how the game seems to work, what with drawing in gusts of wind. But you donít let the novelty sell you and point out the negatives convincingly. Itís a very solid review held down only by something Iím probably the only person that it bothers in the first place. Sorry!




    Epsiga threw out a kooky little review that VM is too geeky even to acknowledge despite the dedication and we were treated to another solid review from Zipp, whoís review did run on a little too long at points (and misuses itís instead of its now and then), but was still informative and for the PS3, which, Iím told, is a change! Good week this time around, kids; be sure to give Suskie hell next turn around.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted July 20, 2008:

    Emp, Add the game you asked me to review for the contest to the database so i can submit my review....

    Good RotW
    board icon
    dagoss posted July 21, 2008:

    I didn't know this was your week. Now I just feel unloved that I don't comments.

    Wolfqueen's review totally deserved to win.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted July 21, 2008:

    Good RotW. I like it when these things are on time because it makes the entire event that much better. I'm also glad WQ won. I proofread this review for her, but I only directed her to make minor edits. I think she did a fine job.

    I haven't read the other two reviews that placed, but I will when I can. Congrats to everyone involved.

    I probably won't sub anything for Suskie to read over this week because I'm still returning from my self-imposed reviewing vacation, but we'll see if anything turns up.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 22, 2008:

    Wow. Thanks, guys! I honestly didn't expect to win this round - I thought disco's was better than mine - but then again, I always say this. And then I always get proven wrong.

    Congrats to everyone else, too.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted July 22, 2008:

    Figure I might as well do Legaia 2 stuff while it's fresh in my mind. Puttin' FFT on a shelf again...tch.
    board icon
    iamtheprodigy posted July 23, 2008:

    I didn't get my game, I'm a lazy asshole, everyone forget about me.

    *hides in shame*
    board icon
    espiga posted July 23, 2008:

    Now to announce the top-secret game I've been playing that none of you were curious about in the first place!

    Namco X Capcom

    I'll update it with the link if I'm still online when the review gets accepted.

    In your face, slackers that decided to drop out.
    board icon
    overdrive posted July 23, 2008:

    Mine will be up tomorrow.

    I hope, because I ain't gonna have the time to type things up over the days after that. Or, to be more accurate, I may have the time, but I won't be sober enough during that time to type.

    As a sidenote to Blu, I will get revenge because I know you picked this one for me. Couldn't you have given me Memento Mori or Requiem? As opposed to the Doom World's "Adventures of Lolo on Crack"?
    board icon
    bluberry posted July 23, 2008:

    i'm untouchable
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted July 24, 2008:

    Submitted.
    board icon
    overdrive posted July 24, 2008:

    Cyberdreams

    Hopefully I'll remember to put some cover art up tonight. Which will be a generic image of a Cyberdemon as this was a fan-made megawad and not some stupid official mass market game.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 24, 2008:

    That's the thing, EmP. I did post in here updatting my score once... twice, even, before I nagged you on AIM about it. >_> But at least that answers the "biased updating" question.

    12 for me now, in any case.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted July 24, 2008:

    Square no Tom Sawyer

    Here's my review for the game I said I wouldn't have time to write about.
    board icon
    Halon posted July 24, 2008:

    I should write my review soon.
    board icon
    bigcj34 posted July 27, 2008:

    Game: Guardian of Darkness
    Platform(s): PSX
    Publisher: Cryo?
    Developer: Cryo
    Genre: RPG
    Release Date: 1999

    Added
    board icon
    Halon posted July 27, 2008:

    Here's my review.

    I'm sorry for such poor quality. Right now I really don't have any inspiration to write for a tourney so at least I kept it short.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted July 27, 2008:

    Aw drat, I forgot today was the deadline. I've already played the game, and I could pump out a review in the next four and a half hours, but I'm half-drunk right now, and I'm tripping over my fingers here on my keyboard, so no go for me.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted July 27, 2008:

    Hm... Roughly 24 sign up, only 9 submit so far (on this topic anyway). Hope more fill in. >_> Night's still young, though. <_< Sort of. Haha.
    board icon
    bluberry posted July 27, 2008:

    I personally would be very entertained with a drunk review from darkstar.

    and a fake drunk review from Scott.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted July 27, 2008:

    You know what my submission was.
    board icon
    bodo_parkour posted July 29, 2008:

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbadvance/data/931655.html

    Cabbage Patch Kids: The Patch Puppy Rescue
    Gameboy Advance

    Added.
    board icon
    Genj posted July 29, 2008:

    Please add this fine piece of software:

    Naruto: Ninja Council
    Gameboy Advance
    Publisher: D3
    Developer: Aspect
    Genre: Action Platformer
    Release: 5/01/03 (JP)
    3/07/06 (US)

    ADDED
    board icon
    board icon
    drella posted July 31, 2008:

    For the record, I blame my impending loss on EmP giving me a shooter with nothing to fucking talk about.

    Awesome review, Cairo. You should throw the lengthy plot examination up on your blog.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted August 01, 2008:

    Thanks for the ego boost. The early draft is embarassing in its awfulness, but I will see about posting it.

    EmP, can you change the first post so all the hyperlinks show for those who bothered to submit?
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 01, 2008:

    did you say Nord?

    expect results by Sunday night I imagine, folks, EmP's always on the ball with these things and I'm working on things now that I don't have work and other shit to deal with. thanks to everyone who did show up, too.
    board icon
    timrod posted August 02, 2008:

    Game: Savage 2: A Tortured Soul
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: S2 Games
    Developer: S2 Games
    Genre: FPS/RTS
    Release Date: 2007

    Added.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 02, 2008:

    Funny thing is, I sent him a mail with all the hyperlinks in for him (I missed a few because they weren't subbed yet, though). I would've thought he'd have taken care of it by now. All he has to do is hit the reply button and copy/paste the html there. >_>
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 03, 2008:

    and by Sunday, I of course meant Monday. it's just implied. sorry folks, timing hasn't been kind to either of us for judging this (plus I can't get on HG at work), but it's just about done and just needs to be finished up and posted. I would say by between 8 and 9:00pm EST tomorrow barring anything unusual.

    for what it's worth I was pleasantly surprised by a good number of these reviews.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 04, 2008:

    NOW WITH ACTUALLY TELLING YOU WHO GOT WHAT! Our bad.

    Foreword by EmP:

    I'm a pioneer and Boo's riding my coattails like a tiny goblin-like creature [editor's note: OGC]. Because We Hate You is a twisted concoction of my pure love for our shared craft and his deepest desires to see you all dead. We want you to write, but we want you to suffer. Mainly, we wanted to do something different, and we did. Thanks for playing the games we gave you to those who turned up. To those who no showed, you're rubbish writers anyway, and we're glad we didn't have to read your crap.

    Love and hate. It's a theme!

    But! We're not content to simply throw a new tourney at you. I'm revolutionary, after all! You will get your blasted feedback, but, rather than get two run-downs from individuals, we got together and stopped slagging off Doom 3 just long enough [editor's note: it's dreadful] to work through the review list and discuss each entry in depth, with pure hearts and open minds. We liked how it turned out, and hope you do, too; it gave us both the chance to argue for your case on points we liked, or damn them to Hades for the bits we didn't. It was a huge pain in the arse to arrange thanks to Boo's inferior time zone [editor's note: don't make us liberate you], so your gratitude best be as deep as our displayed love!

    However, for those of you feeling traditional, we're willing to back-track and offer more expected feedback upon request. Just ask, and we'll get right on the case.

    I'm glad we did this tourney, and I appreciate the work of those who entered and seriously grafted. Though we were harsh at points, don't take it to heart: in a lot of cases, we damned you with our choice of game but I think those of you who where challenged the most preformed the best. I want you all to take on board the impact writing outside your comfort zone can have on your works. And next time you turn your nose up at reviewing an unfamiliar genre. even the 'dull' ones like puzzles or sports, I want you to consider the very serious possibility that you're stunting your own growth [editor's note: eventually he'll remember he's just talking about reviewing videogames].

    That's what I wanted to say in this tourney. That and we hate you. Thanks for playing!




    The scores are in boo/EmP order, if you couldn't gather.

    Ben: A Sound of Thunder

    Very good. The ďyou're a statisticĒ line was great. We both really liked it, but to slightly different degrees. I thought it was a bit rote in places, like when you're discussing box pushing puzzles; EmP thought it tried too hard in places, but that this was vastly preferable to not trying hard enough. He liked that the comparisons between the game and the movie were non-invasive, they kept it light and not overbearing. I'd agree with that. He also says it's not very rusty at all, especially considering you've been out of the game for a while. It was a convincing and well written review I thought, I had a few niggles but in general it worked well. 84/84.

    BigCJ: Guardian of Darkness

    To clarify, I was actually being snarky to Genj for quitting over the fact that he didn't like his game haha, not telling you that scores under 5/10 exist. Good last line, haha. Anyway, this was a solid effort. EmP's right when he says bashing suits you, you pick the game apart pretty well. It's a bit formulaic, thoughóboth of us are almost at a loss for things to say since it's just such a solid but unnoteworthy bash review, though if the lack of a substantial critique here bothers you don't hesitate to let us know and we'll try a bit harder to pin it down. Props for getting by with what turned out to be so little, though, and it worked pretty well. I know I said you'd get all Genj's points as a bonus, but I was going to give him a 0 anyway. Sorry. 75/75.

    Cairo: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

    Great tagline. For my money you're probably the best writer on this site, and I'm not just saying that to suck you off since we're buddies. That's what kills me about this reviewóit's still written incredibly well, but as a review, it's an absolute mess. All it did was go "holy shit the Tanker is awesome Tanker Tanker Tanker Tanker, oh but an arm talks 2/10". There's so much more to bash in MGS2 than the superficial ďTalking arm! Rollerskating fatty! Raiden LOL!Ē Like how the gameplay is borderline broken considering that all you ever have to do is headshot the retarded guards with your silenced pistol the moment you walk into a room. I probably would've enjoyed that longer version a lot more even if it was flat. EmP felt the same way despite never playing it. He didn't like how you say the talking arm is only 5% of what is wrong, then ignore the other 95%. He also thought even with the ďoh shit, I forgot to bash the gameĒ ending it still read like an 8/10. The writing is great, it just doesn't even come remotely close to saying what you want it to say. Sorry. 58/48.

    Crazyreyn: Cannon Fodder

    This was probably the surprise of the contest, at least for me. I've never read any of your reviews before and then after reading this I agreed with EmP that you should review more, haha. It made me want to give the game a try, and EmP liked the Sensible Soccer name-drop since apparently that's a rad game too. Neither of us has much to say in particular, it was just a great and enthusiastic review that really made its point well. The Rambo with ants line rocked, and the gravestones thing sounded cool. Possible nitpicks... it could have used an example or two of those puns, and also a final proofread for typos. Still, you took a basic game and ran with it. Great shit. 89/87.

    Credit Card: Appleseed

    This was one of the few we really split on, EmP found it a solid read and though I hate to be the bastard judge for once, it completely rubbed me the wrong way. The lines like calling certain anime fans dolts made it feel more akin to a 4chan troll post in my head, like timrod amplified tenfold, though the analysis itself isn't bad. The ďI'm too lazy to dodge that shitĒ when it came to bullets struck me the wrong way too. EmP, on the other hand, thought it was a good way to show that the game just isn't dangerous enough, that you're simply too lazy to dodge the bullets. He doesn't disagree that the writing is a bit juvenile, but he thought that it worked and that this was an effective enough bash. Maybe I'd agree if only it were toned down a bit, go check out my AWFUL Contra Advance review (if I haven't taken it down, but it's probably up on GameFAQs still) if you want to see where that sort of thing leads you. 59/72.

    Dagoss: Gleylancer

    Didn't know what to expect since I've never read any of your reviews before, but I liked this one a lot, it was a light and entertaining read that made its point really well. Personally your use of strikeouts was awesome and made me chuckle every time, though EmP thought you overdid it. If there's anything I myself would pick it, it's that it feels like it's running out of steam toward the end, and EmP thought the same thing. As if you finished up writing and then went ďoh shit, I forgot to talk about graphics and sound!Ē even though you really don't have to (and those 1337ness/cat lines were clunkers too :P). The information isn't useless or anything, but would be better worked into the bulk of the review than kind of tacked on at the end. EmP also thought it dragged in places, as in you made your point and then instead of moving on, kept running it into the ground. Still, I liked this one a lot and though not as much, EmP enjoyed it too. 83/76.

    One other thought, in chat excerpt form:

    bluberry: "racist" should be xenophonic
    bluberry: *xenophobix
    bluberry: *xenophobic
    bluberry: FUCK THIS KEYBOARD

    Darketernal: Shadowrun

    The third of the three pleasant surprises. This one was a great read, it was funny (who doesn't have a gnome fetish?) and really made me want to give Shadowrun a try. You balance the good with the bad perfectly and I can totally see why it got an 8/10, and considering I didn't mind the grinding in No More Heroes very much, I definitely want to give this game a shot. What kept you from edging out Leroux on my card was occasional bits of awkward writing (that ďAll in allĒ should have been a ďButĒ or something). What kept you from it on EmP's was that he knows more about the game and thought you needed to discuss the fantasy elements a bit more, which I can see, since your review didn't even give me the impression that there were any. Still, I really liked this one. 90/91.

    Espiga: Namco x Capcom

    EmP likes that you tackled a big, complex game in a week where so many whiners couldn't do anything with much simpler fare in two months. Anyway, this was solid, not either of our favorites but a good look at the game that I would've been happy to come across if I was looking to know about the game. We each had issuesóI thought you made the lack of character diversity sound worse than you meant to, EmP wanted to hear more about how the tie-ins actually worked in the storyóbut it told us what it needed to and made parts of it like the way the combat works compared to other SRPGs sound really cool. Like, if they were tied into the plot of if it was more "Look, by the bush -- it's a Chun Li! Throw the pokeball!" The Nippon Ichi comparison was a bit lost on me, but I can't complain since it wouldn't be to anybody in this game's target audience. Hate to skew the critique so negative though, because I really did like this. In a nutshell: good, though could have been fleshed out further. 79/80.

    Leroux: R-Shark

    -5 for EmP bashing. Prototypical Leroux, but prototypical Leroux is some of the best reviewing to be read. You took a very different approach to the ďgeneric shmupĒ aspect of the game than Dagoss and it worked out great, mostly because you're such a good writer. If this review were any better I'd probably have to just shut up praising it and blow you. EmP pointed out that you did a good job explaining the weird bullet problem too, it would have been easy to assume that the reader understands it too soon and leave us confused but you didn't. We both had a few nitpicksóI thought ďutilizeĒ was an incredibly jarring word choice on par with me dropping ďfucking shit cockersĒ in the middle of an otherwise seriously written piece, EmP thought the conclusion could have been strongeróbut by a tiny margin, this was our favorite. Good work. 91/86.

    Overdrive: Cyberdreams

    -100 for admitting to IDDQD abuse. This was still a good review though, I really enjoyed reading it and we both agree you did a lot with what in retrospect might not have been the best of picks for you to write about. The Plutonia comparison was incredibly effective to me who played it, and it worked for EmP too even though he (shamefully) hasn't. He's the Doom equivalent of hipster kids with Chrome bags and fixie bikes who've never even spent a day messing. A few off bits, though, the "run, click, run, click" line stopped working once you started tacking shit onto it like "make a drink, play the next level". Still, while not the best read ever or anything, you did an effective job of explaining how this game worked and why it didn't turn out so great. Plus, props for avoiding the trap with mods where you assume familiarity, I think it's much better than my take on Alien Vendetta for that reason. -14/81.

    Sportsman: STALKER

    EmP is a bastard and thinks that the best thing about this review is that there's a picture of a Cacodemon from Doom in the ďwhile you're hereĒ window. Then you realize how much he loves Cacodemons and realize that saying this doesn't make him a bastard after all. Personally, it was representative of what I've always thought were your best and worst traits when it came to reviewing. You're good at picking apart why a game works, but sometimes have a bit of trouble transcribing it. This was one of those times to me, unfortunately. Bit disorganized, if anything, as it never felt like you had much of a reason for putting the review together the way you didówhich adds up, considering you admitted to not putting much effort in. EmP thought pretty similarly about it, but also found it more formulaic than I did. He also thought that comparing something's depth to Deus Ex is a bit unfair (though I disagree if it's a game like STALKER or BioShock that's trying to be as deep). 74/60

    Timrod: Umihara Kawase

    Not your best, but also not your worst. I know I've said this before but I think you'd be a great reviewer if you started proofreading and also if you stopped letting yourself get carried away, but this review doesn't get carried away very much and so I like it. You're good at picking apart why games don't work, and that shows here, you took what sounded like a cool game (without calling it retarded and dumb, which would have been overdoing it) and just discussed what didn't work about it. EmP agreed, though he's a bit more underwhelmed by the roughness and gave the nod to WQ's more polished piece over this. He thought it was kind of disjointed and occasionally clunky... or, in other words, that you really just needed to proofread it again and maybe reorganize it a bit. Still, good analysis and good read. 78/70.

    Usurper: Square no Tom Sawyer

    I personally liked this review more than EmP did, but it still wasn't your strongest work by any means. We were tossing around words like ďserviceableĒ and ďgenericĒ for the first part, and it was fairly informative, but incredibly dry. EmP pointed out that it felt like you were just running down what he had to run down to get a tourney pick in. I'm more inclined to not mind that sort of thing, but I'd definitely agree; most of the review felt like you were going through the motions, particularly with lines like ďcharacters are large and detailed; settings are luscious and imaginative.Ē I liked the bit at the end myself, but he thought it was superfluous and overdone, and that it got in the way of talking about the game itself. Anyway, while this is one of the few we split on, we'd both certainly agree that you've done and can do better. 68/52.

    Vorty: Zaxxon Motherbase 2000

    Not bad. The jokes on this were good, though you've always had good ones (Viking dating service still cracks me up). Anyway, while I didn't mind it and thought it made its points fairly well, it read incredibly rough to meóI feel bad saying this since I know you've always kind of struggled with it seeming like you don't care even though you do, but to be honest it still just reads like you, you know, don't care. Things like, as EmP pointed out, some word over-use, or that triple question mark. He agreed about the cleverness but was also more bothered by the roughness. Still, as a review it does its job and it's a pretty good read, so it's not like I'm knocking it or anything. Solid effort. 75/73.

    Wolfqueen: Musashi no Bouken

    Good job, buddy. Research impresses EmP, just like Sportsman (Was it? Could've been Vorty.) researching the fact that vikings were also farmers way back. To me, this review was informative but a bit dry; I'm sure I've let on when giving you feedback on a couple of your other reviews that your writing can strike me as a bit too formal at times, or just a bit awkward in places. Still, it did its job of actually telling us about the game better than some other masterfully written pieces have (sorry, Cairo) so I can't be at all harsh on it. EmP agreed almost entirely, though thought you could have played up the wackiness you mention a bit better, and also that you shouldn't have fixed the breast/beast typo. Because he is a pervert. 78/73.




    FINAL TALLY!

    Just kidding, OD and Leroux.

    1.) Leroux (91 + 91 = 182)
    2.) Darketernal (90 + 91 = 181)
    3.) Reyn (89 + 87 = 176)
    4.) Ben (84 + 84 = 168)
    5.) Overdrive (86 + 81 = 167)
    6.) Dagoss/Espiga TIE (83 + 76 = 159)/(79 + 80 = 159)
    8.) Wolfqueen (78 + 73 = 151)
    9.) BigCJ (75 + 75 = 150)
    10.) Timrod/Vorty TIE (78 + 70 = 148)/(75 + 73 = 148)
    12.) Sportsman (74 + 60 = 134)
    13.) Credit Card (59 + 72 = 131)
    14.) Usurper (68 + 52 = 120)
    15.) Cairo (58 + 48 = 106)




    Thanks to everybody who participated, as I alluded to in a couple of the critiques there were some nice surprises here. Particularly, at least to me, Dagoss, Reyn, and Darketernal. Sorry to my pals. Apparently EmP is a better friend if Ben and Darketernal are vying for the lead and the only guy I know to even crack my top five is OD.

    Finally, she may be over 50 but Siouxsie Sioux is a hottie and I would let her do terrible things to me. Just putting that out there.

    -boo
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 04, 2008:

    Thanks judges for the nice critiques and all. Congrats to Leroux on his victory.

    I always sub my worst possible work for contests (except for Gate of Thunder, which is a fantastic review), so I can't say I'm surprised by my placing. I also agree with the verdict entirely. I can do much better when I feel like it. Outside of Gate of Thunder, I never feel like it when I enter a competition. Maybe I should stop entering in these things!
    board icon
    yamishuryou posted August 04, 2008:

    Consider it's boobius I'm 88% sure the typo was deliberate.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 04, 2008:

    :3
    board icon
    yamishuryou posted August 04, 2008:

    My last topic got deleted by Venter's coding. It was supposed to be forever =(

    In any case, I'm working on Top Spin 3 Wii, which is my first project in like, 2 years?
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 04, 2008:

    Congratulations to everyone!

    I'd like to point out that it's a Dagoss/Espiga tie; not Espiga/Dagoss. Just so everyone's clear.
    board icon
    drella posted August 04, 2008:

    I'd like to thank myself, and solely myself, simply because my game was really lame. The -least- the judges could have done was let me win. Seriously, they handicapped me with a Korea only release. KOREA. I hate both these men.

    Perhaps I'd have some nice words for the competition, but there was never a link topic, so I really don't know what the fuck I beat. But good work anyway!
    board icon
    Halon posted August 04, 2008:

    Congrats to Leroux and everyone else in this and thanks to the judges for their hard work. My review definitely was a half-assed effort. I'm not really inspired to write anything thoughtful at the moment and figured that it's better for me to write something mediocre than to be one of many who didn't show up for this thing.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 04, 2008:

    At first I thought "resluts" was a typos until I looked closely, and realized Boo was the one you posted it.

    Congrats to those who scored well, and my apologies once again for dropping out. I'll probably wind up reviewing Fahrenheit anyway just for kicks.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 04, 2008:

    Since it doesn't really jump out at you skimming the topic, I want to reiterate: we're totally cool on giving you a more detailed/lengthy commentary if any of you would like one. These ended up coming out real short when we put our thoughts together and we don't want anyone to feel jipped, next time we'll probably do the same thing but try to work it out better so that we're going more in-depth. Again, don't hesitate to ask here (or on AIM, or over HG Mail, but preferably not by carrier pigeon) if you'd like elaboration.

    Haha, I didn't realize there was no link topic, Leroux. And the contest topic got quite messy with some people not even linking (or even posting). I'll edit in links to the results in a little while to make this easier to follow and to let other people have an idea of what's going on, good point. I hope/think you're just dicking with the first part of that post, almost everybody got shitty games. Because we hate you.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 04, 2008:

    Thanks for the critiques and I'm fairly pleased with getting fifth out of 15, especially since I only spent enough time with this game to get a fair grasp on what it's about (ie: using level skip codes to see most of them and little more outside the first few) and then playing Doom wads I like to wash the taste of that one out of my mouth.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 04, 2008:

    I think that might be why you gave it a 4 and not the 6-ish I would then. I 100% agree with the text of your review and wouldn't change my score if I knew you didn't beat it, but it does have some really clever moments which I tried to hint at in my screens (but it's hard). Like the one with the narrow, winding bridge you can't go too fast on or you'll fall, but you can't slowly cross or else you'll get blown to hell.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted August 04, 2008:

    It kind of feels like half a review doesn't it? Pawning off the project was kind of a dick move but I've gotta admire how you killed like three birds with one stone.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 04, 2008:

    haha, I offered in the HG Mail to keep the "project" idea intact (and this time I actually had time, hooray temporary unemployment) but just assumed you didn't believe me after the last 10+ times I flaked and would just go at it yourself.

    :( sorry. though if you're gunning for a 2/10 I think we would have killed each other over creative differences either way.
    board icon
    jerec posted August 05, 2008:

    Sorry about the no show. I guess it just isn't time for my SUPER AWESOME COMEBACK review. God, I don't know how I used to play Jedi Knight with a freaking mouse and keyboard. It was impossible when I tried to play it a month ago.
    board icon
    Crazyreyn posted August 05, 2008:

    Wow! Didn't expect to do this well. Thank you! Gives me motivation to get on with more reviews (currently on a slight stall). Could you explain 'it could have used an example or two of those puns' by the way? Meaning that the puns should go along with explaining the gameplay a little more?
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 05, 2008:

    That might be true, but I don't know. Like I'd told you before, Cybers are kind of boring for me -- even if you have to find inventive ways to kill them and I think even the most innovatively designed level in that wad would have been horrifically tedious for me after playing any number of other ones. I started skipping through the levels after I'd gotten through the first three, started the fourth (where there's a Cyber on a ledge and you have to run up a few seperated platforms to get to a switch or something) and realized I just couldn't do this game straight-up (or as straight-up as IDDQD permits) anymore.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted August 05, 2008:

    Still doing Legaia 2 stuff at a sluggish pace, and really more interested in Beyond Good & Evil since it seems a good cleanin' got around a nasty glitch. Probably that and Summoner 2 are gonna get done after I'm freed up again.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 05, 2008:

    Reyn: nah man, just when you mentioned that the level names were all puns or something along those lines, it would have worked in your favor to toss in an example or two.

    OD: fair enough, I've certainly said my piece on Cyberdemon abuse before. I think I'm ready to go ahead and call Hell Revealed shit, that "cream of the crap" comment I left with my Alien Vendetta rating is looking more and more true by the pwad.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 05, 2008:

    Well, I'm not going to pretend I'm not disappointed, but that's how things go, I guess.

    I'd actually felt pretty good about this one. Felix said he thought it was one of my best, and so I actually got some cofidence in it.

    Ah, well. This is why I pretend like my stuff sucks. At any rate, I'd appreciate more thorough feedback even if it's not entirely flattering (live and learn, right? >_>). Plus I'm feeling vindictive and want to make you both do extra work. =P

    Anyway, congrats to everyone else who did better than me; you deserve it. I'll have to go through and read all your reviews for that - the ones I haven't. Congrats to those who didn't do so well, too; at least you participated. (I hope that doesn't sound patronizing)
    board icon
    darketernal posted August 06, 2008:

    Thanks to Boo for the ranking and Emp for stabbing me in the back and taking that one, precious point away from me.

    Still, good show.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 07, 2008:

    I could blame myself for the absence of the last two weeks' worth of RotWs, but it's probably no one's fault. Long story short: I went on vacation (or holiday, if you live in a country that lost a war to its colonists) and couldn't do my regularly scheduled week, and so I left a message hoping someone else would take care of it. No one did, so now it's being taken care of by Masters and will presumably be up shortly. And for this RotW's lateness... well, that's just me being me. It's moot now anyway so let's try to put this pressing matter behind us.

    You should know how this works by now, but just to reiterate, only one review per person is accepted, and staff reviews are inelgible. But that last point is irrelevant since I was on vacation last week and didn't post any reviews. Hey now!



    Review of the Week: AeroFighters Assault (N64) by dagoss

    First of all, read over this review and fix those typos, or I'm going to be sorry I picked this. It's an otherwise very absorbing review, beginning right with the excellent opening line. That's the kind of bluntness I try to incorporate into my own reviews, so obviously I'm fond with it. The whole review has a very sarcastic, mocking tone to it, very appropriate for a game so ripe with reasons to mock -- if anything, you never quite justify the 6/10, starting up with a head-on bash and never quite raising the scale to an above-average rating. Still, you've managed to overcome the two biggest problems that kept many of this week's reviews from hitting the top spot: It's not overlong, and you're not simply going through the motions. You've given genuine thought to the wittiness of each paragraph while still making a point and describing the game well, and as a result I found this to be the most accessible and entertaining review of the week. You seem to be enjoying yourself, too, and that's often a sign the reader will as well.

    First Runner-Up: Q*bert by wolfqueen001

    Here on HG, you can tell which writers are really serious about what they do, because they'll review something as simple and unremarkable as Q*bert and still give it their fullest effort. In that sense, I'm surprised to see this review land on the RotW rankings. What impressed me is that you don't waste any time on needless exposition to make the review longer; you jump right into this thing from the get-go. Reviews are obviously supposed to follow the basic introduction-body-conclusion structure, but the good reviews are the ones where you don't even notice such parts because they all blend seamlessly together. On a similar note, this review is very short, as it should have been. Even with your colorful detail (again, more effort than most would show for something as trivial as Q*bert), this review could have dragged had it gone on too long. You made the right decision in keeping it lean and concise.

    Second Runner-Up: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 by darkstarripclaw

    I mentioned in my brief critique for Dagoss's review that too many of this week's entries seemed overlong and not particularly enthusiastic, as if the writers' hearts weren't quite into what they were writing. While Darkstarripclaw's review isn't as entertaining as the above two reviews, it still manages to avoid those complaints. It's detailed but not talky, and written with a clear understanding that game analysis comes first and foremost. Maybe my distaste for the first Trauma Center keeps me from getting too enthused from your review, though for my money you don't spend quite enough time talking about the game's positive points. The 8/10 still seemed to match the review's tone, somehow, so I guess it's not a big issue. Solid stuff overall.



    It was typical solid work this week, and for the BWHY entries that I snubbed, allow me to say that I pretty much agree with what was said in the results topic. Sorry again about the lateness, and I hope you all have a good four to five weeks before I make my epic RotW return.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted August 07, 2008:

    Thank you for the critique and placement (even though my review was technically posted on the 26th!). I will try looking a bit at adding in a bit of the positive stuff for the review.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 07, 2008:

    !?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Damn it. Well, I screwed this one up in more ways than one. Do I have to pick out a new third-place spot, or are we happy enough as is?
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 08, 2008:

    (Tsk, typos!)

    Darkstarripclaw's review must be really good to be included for the wrong week! Wolfqueen's review is excellent (as usual); it hits all the right points without doing anything flashy or needless.

    Three of the four featured reviews currently on the front page are mine. That's -- kind of strange.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 08, 2008:

    Wow. I honestly wrote that fully expecting nothing special for it. Since the game's so simple and there's really not a whole lot I can say about it. I really didn't expect to beat people like vorty and Felix this week. It's kind of odd.

    Congratulations to dagoss, though, who really is on fire now. Well done, and thanks for the compliments.

    Heh. I hope darkstar's review gets that kind of placement for its proper week so that this little bungle won't be that huge a deal. And if not, at least you can be contented with the fact that you beat out a lot of good writers for a week that wasn't even supposed to be yours. Haha.

    This should be an easy enough fix, though (hopefully). I hope no one makes too big a deal about it. It's not like he did it on purpose.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 08, 2008:

    If it were up to me, Suskie(and it kinda is!) I would replace the third place. You wouldn' want Mr. Claw popping up again in the previous RotW when it gets penned.
    board icon
    Masters posted August 08, 2008:

    Here we go. Apparently, staff reviews are excluded and only one review from any one contributor can be selected as one of the winners. On with the picks...



    Second Runner Up
    Namco X Capcom (PS2) [Import] by espiga
    Espiga's work was irreverant and conversational, and the tone did well to draw in the reader rather than alienate. It's a tricky balance, but espiga pulls it off. I was especially pleased at the length -- it's on the short side, but manages to say what it needs to say with style, and then get the hell out.

    First Runner Up
    A Sound of Thunder (GBA) by Ben
    I was pleasantly surprised by this piece; not because Ben doesn't write good stuff -- just that I've never heard of him before. The line about statistics was priceless. This review is a lesson in how to deliver succinctly and with personality.

    REVIEW OF THE WEEK
    Alien Syndrome (WII) by bloomer
    Nice to see Wade still contributing his typically high quality work. What can I say? Reading a bloomer piece always leaves you knowing exactly how it feels to play the game, delivered in a smooth as lube fashion that can only be properly described as polished. My attention never wavered.


    Really, this week was ridiculous. I was impressed with EVERYONE'S work on this day, notably, both efforts from Felix, as well as work by Wolfqueen, Crazyren and Disco.

    EDIT: I am open to do critiques if anyone on the day is interested.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 08, 2008:

    (The consistency of the error perplexes me...)
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 08, 2008:

    Congrats to Bloomer. He's ancient, but excellent.
    board icon
    bloomer posted August 08, 2008:

    Hey thanks Masters. As I contribute more I'm trying to get back into the habit of coming to the forums more, too.
    board icon
    Masters posted August 09, 2008:

    (The consistency of the error perplexes me...)

    The hell?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 09, 2008:

    I think he means that you called it "review of the day" instead of week.

    Congrats to the winners, though, and thanks for at least mentioning me.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 09, 2008:

    The hell?

    I'm just not sure how review of the day can really cover an entire week.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 09, 2008:

    Us oldies have all done that at one time or another. Back in "the day", there was a GameFAQS feature we used to run know as Review of the Day. It was exactly what it sounds it was.
    board icon
    espiga posted August 09, 2008:

    Well now, this was a pleasant surprise to come home to. Thanks for the mention, and congrats to Bloomer and Ben. =D
    board icon
    Masters posted August 09, 2008:

    A simple "I think you mean 'week', not 'day'" would have sufficed, and would surely have been more useful than the smart ass remarks which came instead.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 09, 2008:

    I'm sorry. I thought it was obvious to what I referred. I mean, you called it "day" like five times. For all I could tell, it was some inside joke that I didn't get.
    board icon
    Masters posted August 09, 2008:

    No problem. I dunno if I did RotW here before--I can't remember. But back in ye olde GameFAQs days, there was a time when I did RotD everyday. Damn, I guess it's hard to shake. :T
    board icon
    EmP posted August 11, 2008:

    So, hereís the deal. We have twenty two people in and eleven matches set. The rules are simple: Iíll release the first three, the six people involved will select a review (if not done in 24 hours, then itís a random pick for you) and we, the posters, vote on which we prefer. Feedback is preferred. Then the next two stages will involve eight people and four rounds. I think itís too much top ask you all to read, digest and vote on twebty-two reviews in one big chunk.

    In this round, there will be an extra slot available for the loser with the highest amount of votes.

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN!








    Disco1960 vs. DoI









    Overdrive vs. Beli









    Genj vs. VM
    board icon
    disco1960 posted August 11, 2008:

    3D Pinball: Space Cadet

    I will start with my most awesome.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 11, 2008:

    Today, as I do this RotW, I am sad. Very sad. No one apparently jumped on my Atari 2600 bandwagon and contributed any reviews for that system. And if someone did, I would have AUTOMATICALLY given them the win. Even if it was like 50 words where none of them formed legitimate sentences. "Fun maze time good!!!! GO PAC-MAN GO!!!! Atari 2600 not Pac-Man I like!!!! DIE PAC-MAN DIE!!!! Ghosts eat yellow gobble machine!!!!" And I'd be like, "Damn, that's the most original Pac-Man review ever. You win, dude!"

    Anyhow, usual stuff applies. No staff reviews. Only one from any of you who submitted. On with the show. I got to pick a tourney review for myself and then get back to figuring out what I'm missing in Icarus L8 (Doom megawad).




    Review of the Week: Contra: Shattered Soldier (PS2) by pickhut

    Man, this was one fun roller-coaster of a review to read. You start out indicating you didn't have high expectations for this one due to a crappy PS Contra game. And then you blow that out of the water with some great descriptions of a huge confrontation with a multi-form submarine boss. You do a great job of explaining that while the game's insanely difficult, after you learn how to get through obstacles, they're not so tough anymore. And then, you break the news this game ain't perfect by going into detail with how you have to replay the first four stages any time you die on a later one, making this game potentially tedious as you do the same four stages over and over, only to die on the fifth and have to do it again. You did good with this one. Very good.

    First Runner Up: Worms Armageddon (PC) by wolfqueen001

    One of your biggest strengths, which I alluded to in my really late critique of Fire-n-Ice, is on display here. You have a knack for writing really good personal anecdotes pertaining to your playing of a game. And that eighth paragraph, where you spin a tale about surviving a seemingly lost battle due to a fortunate item acquisition, is a great example of that. Things like that are great for showing your enthusiasm for a game and really add to a review. Only real complaint I had was that your review does seem to assume the reader has a certain amount of familiarity with Worms, which I really don't. Might have been nice to sneak in just a sentence or two giving a bit of detail on if it's turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, strategy with an action-oriented gameplay style or something else.

    Second Runner Up: Star Wars: Shadows of the EmPire (N64) by Felix_Arabia

    Overall, in some ways I might have liked this better than WQ's, but the first two paragraphs just threw me for a loop. You start out blasting the game's control, but then neuter that criticism with the last couple of sentences of the second paragraph to the point where, to me, it essentially read like, "The control in this game sucks and leads to horribly cheap deaths....unless you switch to first-person, in which case it's not that bad." After that bit got out of the way, though, this was a very good review I really enjoyed reading. You did a very nice job of showing both the positives and negative aspects of this one with the usual easy-to-read, entertaining writing I expect when I see your name.




    Enough of this foolish praise of non-Overdrives. It's off to find my glory!
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 11, 2008:

    good luck, your readers have never been able to.

    uh, I mean, congrats to the runners-up! but fuck the winner.
    board icon
    pickhut posted August 11, 2008:

    I look forward to seeing your meaty meat take a dive into my dark pit of doom!

    Um... I mean, thanks for the RotW, OD. For the millionth time, I'll say I'm surprised I got it considering the competition this week. Congrats to wolfqueen and felix for their runner up wins.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 11, 2008:

    Lufia: The Ruins of Lore

    This is my pick unless I change it. Which I might. I'm indecisive, but just wanted something up in case I forget about this tomorrow while I'm totally swamped at work and wind up with EmP "randomly" picking something of mine that sucks, just so he can gloat over my foolishness.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 11, 2008:

    oh yeah, let me know what's up in that map if you beat it. I thought it was real stupid and just skipped it.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 11, 2008:

    Getting ready to get back into it now. You start with the mancubi and then the cacos when you push the switch in the courtyard. Then you go to the yellow key room where you get teleported all over the place. I'm at a dead end, but have a switch that opens a door or operates a lift for five seconds or whatnot. I just have to figure out where what it operates is, as the map isn't helping me.

    The yellow key room is very nicely done. It's in a little box in the middle, but off the ground. You enter the box, you get teleported. Hitting switches opens sides of the box and you get teleported somewhere else depending on what side you enter the box. Now if I can just solve the fucker....
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 11, 2008:

    yeah, I got to the yellow key part (and found a teleporter to some other room with a divider between you and the half with a switch in it) and called it quits about there. generally, complicated Doom puzzles do nothing for me.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 11, 2008:

    I finished that part of the level. To call it complicated would be an understatement. I'd have liked it if not for all the speed-running to get to places quickly before doors close, as playing with a keyboard like I do makes that sort of thing tougher than it needs to be. Have other things to do tonight, so I haven't finished the level, but I hope the rest is less "puzzley".
    board icon
    Genj posted August 11, 2008:

    In case my Internet dies, I will use this as a placeholder, so subject to change:


    PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOU!
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 11, 2008:

    playing Doom with just the keyboard is like playing Guilty Gear with PS2's analog stick. it just ain't the same, man. you'll be a UV/NM pro like me if you make the change, I highly recommend it.
    board icon
    drella posted August 12, 2008:

    I told you to rig this so I knock Overdrive out first round you tool!

    I better be facing you instead.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 12, 2008:

    I am a man of great honour. Everything will be done fairly until it suits my agenda to cheat.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 12, 2008:

    Drella
    I made a deal with EmP that if he allowed me to duck you as long as possible, I'd actually start doing RotWs in a timely manner. I'm still working on another deal that would allow me to create 15-20 alternate accounts to ensure my victory over everyone, but negotiations currently are at an impasse.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted August 12, 2008:

    Within a Deep Forest
    board icon
    viridian_moon posted August 12, 2008:

    NetHack
    board icon
    EmP posted August 12, 2008:

    Beli has an hour extension before the dreaded RANPICK hits. The other two matches are now open for votes.

    EDIT: Beli's time is up. His RANPICK is live.
    board icon
    viridian_moon posted August 12, 2008:

    Voting time:

    DoI: Disco's is good for a pinball review, but...it's a pinball review, and there's almost nothing to it. DoI's review (and game) have a lot more substance, and his enthusiasm is tangible.

    Beli: While OD's review dissects his game's flaws well, Beli's review does that and has a lot of classic lines (poking), and plus it's written with a warm humor that really appealed to me. Both were good reviews, but Beli's is more engaging.

    I will tastefully refrain from voting on my own match.
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted August 12, 2008:

    You actually picked the review I was going to choose! Good going, my friend!
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 12, 2008:

    Disco1960 vs. DoI

    To repeat what VM said, this is a great example of how something as simple as game choice can affect the outcome of a match. Disco1960's Space Cadet is about as well written as a pinball review can be, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a pinball review. Even at such a short length, it barely held my interest. DoI's doesn't read quite as smoothly -- honestly, I've got no idea what's going on with those opening snippets -- but he's taking on a quirky hidden gem that he obviously feels a certain passion for (it's his friggin' avatar), and that passion emanates throughout the review. It's hard to work up passion for a pinball game, which is understandable but doesn't change the fact that DoI's review is far more gripping. Winner: DoI

    OD vs. Beli

    Another instance where I'm basically just reiterating what VM said. Both are bash reviews, and both do a fine job of picking apart exactly what goes wrong with each title. Belisarios gets the edge because his is simply more entertaining. You used to write up quick little three-paragraph bashes for games that deserved even less, and while they were always fun to read, there wasn't much substance to them; I always saw this review as your true breakthrough, and, random or not, it's an excellent pick against a review that's perfectly fine but not nearly as endearing. Winner: Beli

    Genj vs. VM

    I gave Genj's review RotW a while back, so obviously I like it a lot. It's funny, and impresses because it appears at first to be a straight-up bash and evolves into a much deeper dissection of exactly everything that goes wrong in Bouncer. Very well done. VM's is perhaps more elaborately written, with a more colorful vocabulary, but doesn't quite work up the enthusiasm to sell the 10/10. It's a perfectly good review that, like OD's, just isn't as enjoyable as its competition. Winner: Genj
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 12, 2008:

    Disco vs. Dragoon of Infinity
    WINNER: Disco

    Disc's game is a hard sale right from the start, being one of the through-away games that came with Windows. I'm not sure I was really sold on it in the end, and the cheesy space jokes didn't always pan out, but it is still clear and concise. I think your biggest problem was simply the choice of game. Dragoon's review started out well, but didn't flow. I caught a few typos and there were some unintuitive sentence structures that forced me to pause a few times. I also left Dragoon's review with several questions about the game, like the role of traits (were the a bonus feature? Integrated into level design? What?). Overall, it was choppy. To be honest, I didn't like either of these reviews; I've chosen what is a mediocre review for a mediocre game, rather than a mediocre review for a game that didn't have to trap the writer in said mediocrity. Really, it could go either way.

    Overdrive vs Beli
    WINNER: Overdrive

    First off, Overdrive, Atlus only published your game; you should be blaming Taito instead. That's really the only problem I had with OD's review. It was informative yet bitchy; conversational yet skilled. It hit most every point that needed to be made and provided enough information in a way that was enjoyable to read. Beli's review, while good, had too much fluff and not enough review. There's one sudden transition that made me think a paragraph is missing. I got "unfair" and "bad controls" out of this review , but not much else; in fact, I don't even know what type of game it is, which suggests that this review needs a lot more substance.

    Genj vs Viridian Moon
    WINNER: Genj

    Despite the low score, Genj clearly had fun with his/her game (or at least the review part of it). Were this a different game, this mocking style might have come across as superfluous, but you really used the game's negative features to your advantage. Some of the minor tangets were a bit of a miss with me, but they never felt out of place, and it never felt like you were trying too hard to be witty. Viridian's review was also good, but it was on the dry side. It had a very unenthusiastic tone, which isn't a good thing considering the perfect score you gave your game. It felt like you were just going through the motions, so to speak.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 12, 2008:

    Um, Genj is a dude.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 12, 2008:

    Disco vs Doi
    Surprisingly I have familiarity with both of these here games. Space Cadet came packaged with my 90's era Compaq (lol)and one time I saw my roommate play Within a Deep Forest and said to him "What the fuck is this you're playing? Well at least it's not that Maple Story shit." Reviewing a pinball game is a big gamble - it's not immediately an enticing read, but if you can sell it, then you've done an outstanding job. Unfortunately I wasn't really sold on this one. It's good for a pinball review, but not enough to really combat DoI's entry. Within a Deep Forest sounds cool and different, and DoI's review demonstrates this with his love of the game. Winner: DOI

    Overdrive vs Belisarios

    Now I'm a big fan of JRPGs (read: nerd), but I have to say that OD's rather lengthy section of all story for what seemed like the first half of the review had me PC clocking. I think it just went on for too long to have all of it all appear first. When it got to the gameplay, it became clear why this wasn't a very good RPG. Belisarios' review is for a far simpler game and frankly a lot of the anecdotes could probably have been cut out to make the review shorter, but I liked the tone and thought it was funny. This is a close call, but I'm going with Belisarios for the more entertaining, consistent read. Winner: Belisarios

    Genj vs VM

    I didn't read either of these losers' reviews, so I vote for BORO!


    Genj clearly had fun with his/her game

    I have a penis (and was born with it!), though I can see how 'hot yaoi action' could cause confusion.

    board icon
    dagoss posted August 12, 2008:

    I'll leave Genj's options open, just in case.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 12, 2008:

    Disco1960 vs. Dragoon of Infinity
    Winner: Dragoon of Infinity

    I liked both of these reviews, but one of them was more ambitious in subject material. That was obviously DoIís review. As it has been stated already in this topic, pinball isnít as invigorating as this intriguing stuff DoI covered. That doesnít mean, however, that a pinball review couldnít win this match or any other match, for that matter. I think if the pinball game were, for example, Devilís Crush (which Sho reviewed, and deals with Satan) it could have stood up better. But as it stands, one good review is for a meh subject and the other good review is for an intriguing subject.

    BELISARIOS vs. Overdrive
    Winner: BELISARIOS

    OD has written about many classics spanning a ton of consoles, and he has been one of the most consistently excellent reviewers Iíve encountered since I began doing this stuff. However, this Lufia review reads like other good OD material, and the game is bad, but not in a good way. Belisariosí review is for a worse game, but he writes about it in a fun manner, makes his subject sound interesting despite its obvious horridness, and gets out faster than OD does.

    Genjuro Kibagami vs. Viridan Moon
    Winner: Genjuro Kibagami

    VM is a very good reviewer who has a very commanding grasp of the English language and knows how best to utilize it when reviewing quirky PC games that Iíll never play (I own a Mac). Genjuro, specifically in this review, on the other hand, is absolutely goofy. If I werenít familiar with either reviewer or game in question, VM would be the more credible writer for her Nethack review while Genjuroís The Bouncer may not seem like something Iíd be so ready to trust. But unfortunately for VM, I know that Genjuro tells it like it is, and he often does it in a humorous way without sacrificing the validity of his points. Plus, after reading his review, he actually intrigued me into wanting to play a bad game.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted August 13, 2008:

    Odd. Somehow, my foolproof strategy of appealing to the pinball and astronomy lover vote doesn't seem to be working.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 13, 2008:

    DISCO1960 vs. DoI

    I must give props to Disco for pulling out whatís actually a very good review on such a limited game, but itís not enough for him to edge out DoI, who picks a game that none of us have ever heard of and makes me want to play it sometime. Really, the biggest divide here was the choice in material; Disco may do a great job with what he had, but DoI allows him to be more creative, and itís an advantage he uses well.

    WINNER: DoI

    Beli vs. OD

    Poor OD got blindsided by a fateful RANPICK here -- justice for the early promise breaking after subbing a post-2008 review? Maybe, but the oldster still comes out swinging with a solid review. Itís easy to see that Oddyís review shares the most information about the game while Beliís fine effort is the more amusing read. His review makes great use of in-game snapshots to boarder a goofy review that I enjoyed a great deal. OD is more ambitious, but Beliís explains his game just as well with charm to spare.

    WINNER: BELI

    Genj vs. VM.

    Both these reviews make me want to play the games in question, just for other reasons. Genjís laid-back affair does a fantastic job of taking apart a game universally mocked, while Veems take a title made by people nerdier than us. Genjís review is lively, but he attacks an easy target, while VMís actually makes me want to play a game comprised of nothing but ASCII art with some clever examples. I think this is her third or forth rewriting of the review -- leave it alone, already!

    WINNER: VM
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 13, 2008:

    Disco1960 vs. DoI
    I have to give Disco credit here for tackling a pinball game and making it entertaining. Your review consistently maintained the "space" theme and made this a very fun review. But, as others have said, this is just a pinball game and not really what I'd call a good contest entry for that reason. I thought DoI's got off to a slow start, but when he started talking about the game, its ambient mood and whatnot, I was hooked.
    Winner: DoI

    VM vs. Genj
    This was one hell of a tough choice for me. I actually downloaded NetHack once and played it a bit before throwing in the towel due to having a lack of time to really get into all its nuances (and I was even playing the cool version, where stuff looks like stuff, and not keystroke symbols). Her review made me wonder if I should make time to give it another shot. I probably won't in the near future because I'm having too much fun DOOMing, but you never know. On the other hand, we have what I call "good Genj", where he uses good humor to easily skewer a blah game without going over-the-top or appearing to try to hard to bash it. And that's what makes it touch to make a call here. One review is informative and makes me want to try a game again. The other was entertaining as hell. I have to go with VM, though, as maybe my previous short-lived playing of NetHack caused that review to have a bit more meaning to me.
    WINNER: VM

    And, it looks like I REALLY screwed up here. Beli's great at short, energetic reviews for quirky, bad, obscure old games, so I went for something the opposite of that. Bad idea, as his is so good, it seems to just be magnifying the flaws of mine (which placed fifth at the ABCs). Should have used Swordquest: Fireworld or something shorter and more energetic.

    Oh, EmP, funny story. I thought that was a 2008 review. And after you posted your thing, I went back and looked and, you're right....I did it in late Dec. 2007. So, due to that error causing me to break my word, I have to say this review should be considered null and void and I should get to pick a new one so I don't look like HONESTgamers' disHONEST mod. Right? So, who's with me? Anyone? Please? Damn......
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 13, 2008:

    Wow. This took off well after all. Good considering no one votes for anyoone else's ideas. >_>

    Anyway, I'll try to get feedback in sometime within the week... maybe... I've been kind of busy/distracted lately.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 13, 2008:

    Thanks, OD. Honestly, I wasn't really sure how to explain any vagueness away, so I just sort hoped that contextual clues in my writing would be enough. There's really not a whole lot to explain about the game, anyway, at least in that regard, and that's partly what made reviewing it a bit difficult. But I guess you're right in saying I could've spared some time to explain how the turns worked at least, but I think I had difficulty figuring out where to put something like that without interrupting flow. If I remembered to try and put anything like that in it at all. Haha. I think I forgot to enlighten unfamiliars with the game more than I usually do...

    Congrats to the rest, in any case. And wow, I can't believe I beat Felix again.
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted August 13, 2008:

    disco1960 vs. dragoon_of_infinity

    I can empathize with disco1960 since I have written a bunch of short reviews for silly little games. None of them have been for pinball, I don't think, but I can see myself myself writing about it someday. DOI's review is the overall stronger piece of the two, though. DOI wins.

    genj vs. viridian_moon

    I laughed when I read genj's review. I didn't laugh when I read VM's review. However, her review was very good and definitely was the more professional sounding piece. But I can't say that I necessarily prefer that style (look at the way I write, friends!) to humorous or campy writing. It was a close match for me, but I'm going to have to go with genj on this one. Genj wins.

    BELISARIOS vs. overdrive

    I liked both of these reviews, but I forgot how to use the voting machine for this match.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 13, 2008:

    Voting is still open on Stage One, but itís time to start the ball rolling on the second phase. The match-ups are as follows:








    Janus vs. Dagoss









    Ben vs. Suskie









    WQ vs. Boo





    You all have 24 hours to pick your review.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 13, 2008:

    WINNER: DOI
    This was a tough decision. Disco's writing is stronger, and he has the best line (xenomorphs can smell that), but it wasn't a terribly exciting read. DoI, on the other hand, reviewed a more interesting title and did so with obvious enthusiasm. However, his writing was baffling in places: "it's at once calming like the forest you're in, and a reminder of the bomb."???? I'm going to go for DoI, though. Despite the inconsistent writing, his enthusiasm made the review a more interesting read that disco's.

    WINNER: OVERDRIVE
    This was another tough decision! Overdrive wrote the better review, but Beli had him beaten in the entertainment stakes. Bash reviews that are heavy on the sarcasm tend to merge together after you've read enough of them, but I thought belisaroars's succeeded in finding a fresh approach. His review was funny and scathing but without being over-sarcastic. However, I have to give OD the win. His review was more thorough: the bit about Eldin's father was priceless and the observation about not wanting to carry on after losing 70,000 worth of equipment was spot on. These were the sort of insights that made it the stronger review for me.

    WINNER: VIRIDIAN MOON
    The new Batman film is awesome. Viridian Moon's review was my favourite of the whole round. I thought it was really impressive. She has this knack for making a game sound really special without saying "this game is really special". I can't really put my finger on how she does this, but I think it probably has something to do with the flawless writing. She doesn't resort to hyperbole, instead delivering a subtle and endearing account of her love for NetHack that culminates with the last two paragraphs. And this is an ASCII RPG! Genj's effort was very strong too. The jokes in the intro hit the mark but he's good enough to realise that humour can't carry the whole thing. His analysis of the Bouncer is thoughtful and convincing. I would have picked him over any of the other reviews.
    board icon
    espiga posted August 13, 2008:

    Disco vs. DoI

    I remember really liking DOI's review when he used it in last year's TT, and nothing has changed about that feeling since then. I could reiterate what everyone else has said about the subject material of Disco's, but I'm not going to. I found DoI's to be a more solid, more convincing, and more entertaining read.

    DoI > Disco

    OD vs BELISARIOS

    I really liked both of these reviews. Being a huge RPG gamer, it should come as no surprise that I've played through OD's choice and could relate to it better, while BELISARIOS' review, though well-written, seemed to sort of lose me. Despite this, BELISARIOS' review was much more entertaining and made me want to download a ROM of it to try it out just for the lulz.

    BELISARIOS > OD

    Genj vs. VM

    This one was a pretty tough call, being as I'm familiar with both The Bouncer and Nethack. I think I have to give the edge to Genj though, since although both reviews were convincing and entertaining, Genj's also has the laugh-out-loud factor that comes from his excellent humour in his writing style.

    Genj > WM
    board icon
    disco posted August 13, 2008:

    Game: Bangai-O Spirits
    Platform(s): DS
    Publisher: D3
    Developer: Treasure
    Genre: Shooter
    Release Date: 8/12/08

    Added.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 13, 2008:

    better read Janus' review now before he pulls it, people! that really makes me, well,

    PO'ed
    board icon
    disco posted August 13, 2008:

    Game: Windy x Windam
    Platform(s): DS
    Publisher: Success
    Developer: Success
    Genre: 2D Fighting
    Release Date: 7/31/2008 (Japan only)

    Added.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 13, 2008:

    I'm going to be old school and pretend you can't hyperlink.

    [Link deleted because it was fucking up the page.]
    board icon
    espiga posted August 13, 2008:

    Game: Fire Emblem: Shin Ankoku Ryuu to Hikari no Ken (New Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light)
    Platform: DS
    Developer: Intelligent Systems
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Strategy RPG
    Release Date: August 7, 2008 (JP)
    Additional Details: An enhanced remake of the first Fire Emblem game for Famicom, features additional character and chapters, etc.

    Added.
    board icon
    mardraum posted August 13, 2008:

    I find myself agreeing with Janus' assessments almost completely and don't really want to find other ways to word the exact same things, so here you go: DoI, OD, Veems. I may edit in actual text later, but it would be a formality--just read JANUS2's post.
    board icon
    drella posted August 13, 2008:

    Will judge OD/Beli later, but I don't know when this voting closes, so I wanted to get something in.

    DoI d. disco- Generally, half of tournament competition is picking the right material. Windows pack-ins usually don't work too well and neither do pinball games; the fact is there's just not a lot of room expand unless you're a really talented writer. Disco's Space Cadet Pinball isn't bad... it starts with a lot of promise. It -should- be a lot duller than this, but for some reason I felt immediately open to hearing his argument. But by the end it starts to fall into very basic descriptions of the game that do very little, and it becomes fairly dull. And it's easy to fall into that trap when you pick a game like this. DoI countered with a simple game also -- Within a Deep Forest -- but makes it feel beautiful and elegant and worth playing. It doesn't fall into the trap of explaining its simplicity; it's simplicity is understood, and the review goes beyond to show the emotion that simplicity captures. Or something. Overall, there's a lot more substance to DoI's as far as perspective even if the games are almost equally simple. A good match to learn from.

    Mint d Genj - Genj's review is uneven, at least from my point of view, because it represents him at his best, his mediocre and his worst. The beginning wonderfully introduces this goofy game, mockingly describing the main character without immediately condemning the title. The sarcasm here works great. It treads into meh, generic descriptions of the combat; it works, but I think a lot of this has been dully noted before, and similarly to boot. And then it sort of falls apart into a rambling slew of fucks and gay jokes and poorly built comparisons (The Bouncer is compared to MGS, three Final Fantasies, two arcade beat 'em ups, an FMV game and two brawler series... and few of these name drops accomplish much). This kind of stuff probably makes for humorous AIM conversations, but I don't like it's translation into a review. The yaoi tangent is "hip internet culture columnist" shenanigans when the review could be taking the time to better show Final Fight has more substance than The Bouncer, a glancing point that I just didn't buy after reading this. And I love Final Fight. Following in the DoI/disco approach, Mint takes a very simple game and attaches emotion. It's a very convincing argument, grabbing examples as necessary to make its points and ultimately selling an incredibly tough sell, a dungeon crawling MS-DOS relic. The review is trying to do more and does more; it not only has to convince me to play the game, but it has a greater uphill battle to paint a picture of what the game actually is. I think it does that and I would have loved to see this matched up directly against DoI's.
    board icon
    drella posted August 13, 2008:

    Overdrive d. Beliaros - I think I can keep this one short and sweet. Beliaros' review is summarily summed up by one line within it: "The combat consists of ruthless, unfair engagements confounded by stiff play control and crazy amounts of poking." And the rest of review consist of 1) establishing this point (fairly easy to believe) and 2) adding quite a bit of fluff (like the whole first two paragraphs, largely). I like the fluff. It's entertaining, and Beliaros wrote a smoother piece. But there's not a lot of depth to any of this so it doesn't make the ideal competition review. Overdrive has written a lot of better RPG reviews. This was a very average one, taking a very tried and true approach (here is the plot, here is my analysis of it, with neither intertwined). It's just a solid review but a more ambitious effort by a country mile, and no amount of slickness on Beliaros' part can really out-do that.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 13, 2008:

    A competent person would pick a review that won RotW or something.

    Since I'm not competent, here's Etrian Odyssey!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 13, 2008:

    I decided to take the liberty of tallying up all the votes for all the posts above this one. Here are the current standings, according to my counting.

    Disco1960 vs. DOI
    Disco1960: 1
    DOI: 12

    BELISARIOS vs. Overdrive
    BELISARIOS: 6
    OD: 5

    Genjuro vs. VM
    Genjuro: 5
    VM: 6

    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted August 13, 2008:

    Disco vs. DoI

    EmP said that this contest is all about laziness, so I just skipped this match.

    Winner: Lethargy

    Beli vs. OD

    I have to say, at first glance the screenshots in Beli's review turned me off to it quite a bit. It seemed almost too intrusive and overbearing. But the rest of the review is so charming and the last screen shot ties it all together so well that by the time I finished it I didn't mind. Major points for overturning a first impression like that. OD's review is solid, I came out of it convinced that this particular entry in the Lufia series trips over itself in a lot of ways. However, for every well made point that I nodded my head to in OD's review, I grinned in Beli's. That's gotta mean something.

    Winner: Beli

    VM vs. Genj

    I'm trying to figure out how to say this without being too derivative, and failing. Genj's review is more amusing, to be sure. VM's is more 'solid'. Everyone's already said this. Genj's review seems to fall apart near the end. It starts off very well. It maintains its steam through the middle, and then just drops the ball at the end. I wouldn't say it ever got bad, really. But I think that by the time it descends into talk about yaoi, the point was lost. VM's review is much more consistent. It's strong throughout and solidly displays love for a game. Even a strange one. At the end of the day, Genj's review makes me convinced that I was right to not buy a bad game, and it does so in a mostly entertaining fashion. That's wonderful in its own way. VM's review, on the other hand, makes me want to play a game that I've played before, but given up on. Suddenly, falling down a random pit onto a cocatrice corpse sounds almost pleasant, instead of something that makes me want to snap my keyboard over my knee.

    Winner: VM
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 13, 2008:

    Okay, so I'm looking through my backlog and... yeah, I hate all of my reviews. I'm working on one right now that should be done in time and may be good enough to put to use here, but just in case, I'm using Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a placeholder. It's one of the few reviews of mine I'm actually happy with.

    Edit: Ugh. I was at Six Flags all day, and I'm very tired now. I thought I'd be able to work up the energy to finish my Portal review, but it seems I'm burned out. CoD4 it is.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 14, 2008:

    I just revised my review substantially. It probably won't save it though.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 14, 2008:

    QUESTION: I might have missed this, but how long is the voting period for each round/stage/whatnot? Just so I know if I have to get my verdicts up as soon as possible after the reviews are all up or if I can take a day or two if I'm busy, which I will be for the next week or so because of a work project.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 14, 2008:

    It's more or less when I think we're not going to gather more feedback without an abnormal wait. But I'm keen to keep things running smoothly.

    EDIT: Voting is open now on Janus/Dagoss and Suskie/Ben
    board icon
    EmP posted August 14, 2008:

    ROUND CLOSED

    DoI DEFEATS Disco1960 12 votes to 1.
    BELISARIOS INCHES PAST OD 7 votes to 5
    Viridian Moon ROCKS A COMEBACK to pip Genj 7 votes to 5.

    DoI, Beli and VM advance.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 14, 2008:

    JANUS over dagoss:

    My synapses were really firing in this one (yes, that's a nod to Bloomer). Two positive reviews for DS games I want to play. Janus' was packed with exquisite description of the action and enemies as well as intelligent observation on how the stylus is handled by developers. Dagoss makes me want to play Etrian Odyssey, but the silly letter gimmick kinda ruins it for me. I got a good enough explanation of the game, but reading all the "will feature," "we put" and so on was too awkward compared to Janus' smooth descriptions.


    Suskie over Ben

    I'm personally a little glad Suskie didn't finish his Portal review because I'm sick of hearing about Portal. Suskie knows how to make games sound cool or especially sucky. His COD4 is an interesting enough read in why the game deserves its hype, though I'm skeptical that plot twists stay with you for a long time (maybe I'm just a heartless bastard who doesn't care about polygonal men). I judged Ben's review last year. I'm tempted to just copy and paste what I wrote last time but that would be evil. It's an interesting enough review but goes a little too quick after the horror elements are over and done with. I found myself liking suskie's thorough descriptions of war a lot more.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 14, 2008:

    Janus vs. Dagoss
    Winner: Janus

    Fun fact: this is Janusí first new review in nearly 2 years! The guy still has it. Hopefully he wonít delete this one after a week. With that said, Iím not voting for him just because heís finally decided to write something new. In fact, Iím pretty sure Iíve read similar introductions for other DS games comparing the usefulness of the handheldís gimmicky stylus to the easy way out that so many developers seem to take. While that may not be the most original approach in the world, the writing was pretty good, the descriptions were nice, and I got a good understanding that this is a special game on a system I loathe. With Dagoss, weíve seen so much better from him. While his Etrian Odyssey review isnít bad per se, the tone got annoying for me. Iíve seen darkfact write truly amazing dungeon crawler reviews for Dragon Knight II and Madou Monogatari Ė both of them definitely aim to tug at your emotions as they certainly had an effect on his. The writing style doesnít get in the way of actual review in those cases. Here, unfortunately, it does. The love letter gimmick could certainly work, and I think Dagoss has the ability to make it work. It just didnít happen for me.

    Ben vs. Suskie
    Winner: Suskie

    Whoever subbed the cover art for Benís game should be shot. And no, it wasnít me who added it, grumble grumble. Anyway, I never noticed Ben much prior to reading his BWHY review, and I was once again pleasantly surprised with this effort. His Sherlock Holmes review is nicely written. It also gets in and gets out, but it also does a good job at making its points. The game has great ideas but poor execution. I can dig that. I hope he finds more time to write reviews, assuming he enjoys doing it. The kidís got talent that Iíve only recently come to realize. Donít let me down. Suskieís review, on the other hand, is so marvelous that I nearly passed out after reading the political correctness of his opening sentence. I spell it ĎJeddahí. This debacle almost made me want to give the review a 3/100 (even though we arenít giving scores)! Alas, I didnít. I love reading about games where America kills terrorists/Nazis and Suskie describes it exceptionally well. Both reviews were very good, but Iím giving my nod to Suskie because his review was the more ambitious of the two, I felt.

    Wolfqueen vs. Booberry
    Winner:Booberry

    It's unfortunate that WQ wasn't able to choose her own review, and that EmP's ranpicking skils didn't choose her best review in her stead. This LotR piece is fine and all, but it's not her best effort and it's certainly nowhere near as colorful as Booberry's, uh, whatever you want to call it. I remember giving his PO'ed review the top rank in some competition I judged. It's just as hilarious now as it was then. It's nevertheless a very silly effort that admits its own incredulity. A more serious piece should get the nod over that -- after all, WQ put more effort into playing (and perhaps writing) about her game than Boo did. But his review is just so ridiculous and more enjoyable for me to read, I unfortunately have to pick the little fatty for the win.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 14, 2008:

    WQ has been RANPICK'd. All rounds now open for votes.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 14, 2008:

    Didn't Ben used to be Hobunn?

    By the way, Genj, you're right about there being too much talk about Portal. I actually sort of play off the game's overpopularity in my review, but yeah, it's probably not a good idea to cover an over-covered game for a tournament. Luckily, the game I'll hopefully review for the next round (if I make it, that is) doesn't currently have any reviews on HG at the moment.

    Janus vs. Dagoss

    I agree that Janus's intro is very cliched; this kind of thing was used to open DS reviews years ago, we get it by now. Thankfully, he recovers very quickly, as his love for NGDS propels the review to a lightning pace that never wavers, nor suggests a dent in Janus's enthusiasm for the subject. His unique way of describing things hits its peak labels the game as Itagaki's way of boasting. Very effective and convincing -- I'd pick up this game in a second if I hadn't already. As far as gimmicks go, structuring your review like a letter isn't very original and is also quite difficult, as it typically makes the delivery feel more forced. A more experienced writer may have been able to make this work (in fact, I've seen it done), but Dagoss's just felt too awkward. I got all the information I needed, but the same can be said about Janus, who presented his review in a far more straightforward, reader-friendly manner. Winner: Janus

    WolfQueen vs. Boo

    WQ's review is perfectly fine but doesn't flow very smoothly -- you jump into mechanics a little too quickly, I think, and there's little in the way of transitioning from one paragraph to the other -- and isn't particularly polished from a writing standpoint. I feel a massive tone shift, too. This game sounds terrible from the get-go, and then gradually evolves into praise by the end as it gets a 7/10. Sometimes this move from bad to good is intentional, but here, I don't think it is -- it doesn't feel natural. Boo's may not be very ambitious, but that's explained in a surprisingly appropriate anecdote at the beginning. Boo has a talent for making funny things funnier, and his writing voice here seems to imply that he went into this thing with the confidence that he'd treat it like more than just a simple bash. This is why you need to be here to pick your tourney entries, because there's no contest here. Winner: Boo
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted August 14, 2008:

    Finished Gears of War after rewriting the last eighth from memory (stupid laptop!). Probably Legaia stuff again...unless the wind changes, haha.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 15, 2008:

    You're fast becoming my favorite active FAQ writer. Keep up the good work as long as you can, though I don't see how you do it!
    board icon
    drella posted August 15, 2008:

    dagoss d Janus -- It's wonderful to see Janus back and Ninja Gaiden DS is reminiscent of the Janus of old. The focus is on the implementation of the stylus and Janus establishes without a doubt that Dragon Sword is incredible at its innovative combat system. I don't own a DS, but of all it's titles I'd probably be most interested in seeing this one in action, because a classic series like this with this kind of implementation sounds great on paper. Janus convinces it's even better in action. I suppose one of my few complaints is that I read some of this before with Suskie's NG: DS, and his piece stuck in my mind as a great review, and going only from memory I don't think this tops it. I'm pretty sure I would have given dagoss the win anyway simply because he nails his game. It's a beautifully charming breezy read with a creative approach that speaks directly to it's target audience. Moreover, most complaints about this game a person would raise are justified as homages or quirks -- it's target audience would likely see them as such. In a lot of praise reviews they'd go unrecognized, yet here they're convincingly argued to make the game better. And yet this is such an easy going piece no one is arguing at all. Atlus couldn't promote this game better. Even when the review sounds somewhat awkward, it only comes across as more charming. This is the kind of spirited review an author only comes up with once in a while, and dagoss is at the most impressive I've seen him here. Really good match.

    Suskie d. Ben -- This is a Sherlock Holmes game and Ben is complaining that Watson isn't providing helpful advice? Have you read the books? But the review itself is okay -- not a huge fan of tentacle equipped killer vaginas, and the goofiness of stuff like this takes away from the serious, gruesome theme the review otherwise tries to present. Also, it's not as ambitious a title. Suskie's Call of Duty 4 is great, probably one of the best FPS reviews I've read. Starting by describing the opening was somewhat of a tired device but it leads well into the rest of the review, which makes strong points and makes the game seem very appealing for its deviations from standard fair.

    (more here later)
    board icon
    espiga posted August 15, 2008:

    Going to keep this short; I'm hella tired.

    JANUS2 vs.Dagoss

    Dagoss' love letter review felt like some of the gimmicky trite I normally use, with the exception that this review didn't make me feel any real passion toward the game. If you write a love letter you gotta use love, and I just wasn't feelin' it.

    And now I can't decide if my critique makes me sound like an emo or like a hippie.

    Despite the shitty intro, I felt a lot more from Janus' review. You can very clearly tell that this man loved his game and the solid writing only serves his points even stronger. Both of you are talented writers but what should have been this round's hardest bout to pick became one of the easiest.

    Winner: JANUS2

    Ben vs. Soos-kee

    I've admired Suskie as a writer ever since we fought alongside Zig in last year's TT, and this review is a stunning example of why. While Ben's attempts to make humour by calling a demon a big green vagina, Suskie wastes no time whipping out example after example to detail the experience he had. FPS has never been my favourite genre and it's very hard to sell me on one but Suskie manages to. Excellent work, old chap.

    Winner: Soos-kee

    Tired now... Will do queenie vs. Boo later. Night.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 15, 2008:

    JANUS vs. DAGOSS
    Tough one to start out with. For a while, I really liked Dagoss' unique reviewing style here, as the love letter concept was a neat way to emphasize how first-person dungeon crawlers are a RPG sub-genre that's only for the hardcore RPGer (hell, I'm an RPG junkie and I can only stomach doing one of these every so often!). And you did a great job of effortlessly putting tons of factual info in with the more "cutesy" writing style. But, as the review went on, the appeal seemed to dissapate a bit and some of the "lovey" comments seemed a bit forced and awkward. Janus doesn't have any real weaknesses in his review. I loved how you came right out and mentioned how many developers haven't figured out how to do anything useful with the stylus, but this game is different and then you go on to explain just how you're expected to use it in this game. And you do a very nice job of explaining how the shortness of the game could actually be a positive, instead of a negative. Very good review that gets my vote by a slim margin.
    WINNER: JANUS

    BEN vs. SUSKIE
    Ben's review starts out very strong, with the decapitated body w/ serpents coming out paragraph having me hooked. But after you mentioned that was a highlight of the game and things went downhill from there in the game, they also seemed to go downhill in your review. Maybe it was the adventure game subject matter that didn't interest me or maybe it was just that you didn't have the same enthusiasm for that subject matter when it came time to talk about its failings, but the second half of this one just didn't live up to the first half. And "Mainstream" probably wasn't the opponent to have that problem with because that was one hell of a Call of Duty review. I could probably go on for a while with all sorts of adjectives praising this one. A quick, energetic read that left no doubt in my mind this game kicks all kinds of ass. I really liked how you cleverly dismissed the possible concerns about the game being short (by saying it gave more thrills than most 50 hour games) and linear (by noting it's so intense you don't even think about the barriers preventing you from "exploring" because you have a job to do). Just an excellent review, in my mind.
    WINNER: SUSKIE

    WOLFQUEEN vs. BLU
    The perils of random picks. Sometimes they work out really well for you (YOU ACCURSED SON OF A CAMEL, BELISARIOS!!!!! I WILL GET REVENGE!!!!!) and sometimes they don't. I was actually surprised to see you'd done this review only a couple months ago as it didn't seem to have the same flow that your reviews I've read and liked do. Sportsman once mentioned to me something along the lines that when I'm on, my reviews are as good as anyone's, but I also have a lot where it's obvious that I'm just writing to write something and it shows in the quality. And that's almost the impression I got here. You wanted to write about the game, but nothing really clicked. Like, for example, you mention the stealth segment with Frodo and the Ringwraith's is the toughest part of the game, but are really vague on exactly why that's so hard. Is it a long stealth level? Is it really unforgiving? As for Blu, I critiqued this one for MY COMPETITION, which you won. I gave you a 91. My comments still stand. Funny review for a horrible game.
    WINNER: BLU
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted August 15, 2008:

    Hah, thanks. Idle hands are the FAQer's playthings, as they say.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 15, 2008:

    Thanks! For what it's worth, I liked your review a lot as well which is why I was so careful in choosing my entry.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 15, 2008:

    Ugh. Well, there's that then. I'd've picked a different review, but at least you didn't pick one of my abominatoins. Regardless, I have no hope of winning this at all, which would be fine if I had my own say in it. Curse you and your impatience. And I'd intended on leaving feedback for the last round, too! And damn me for being too busy/distracted to pay that much attention. Though for Christ's sake, I was here two days ago....

    Thanks for the comments, those who voted. It's more than most of me and Felix's thing. So that's something.

    Suffice to say, while I wasn't really fond to this review in the first place, since it was one of the first where I didn't ask for outside help (see where that leads me?), I still didn't think it was as bad as you all say. Though that's not really surprising when the only real comment received on it until now was from EmP saying it was good and that it somehow inspired him to try and finish an LotR review of his own. Still, I'm glad he said that. As long as he meant it.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 15, 2008:

    Yet another letter has been tallied.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 15, 2008:

    WINNER: SUSKIE
    I didn't really care for the intro, and then I was like 6 hours?? I think what this review did really well was to stir my FPS-playing impulse, though. I could really go for some Veteran CoD4 action right now, which is a testament to the energy of Suskie's writing as it describes and praises the game. For me CoD 2 on Vet was pretty much perfect, but Suskie makes 4 sound like a whole different level. Ben's review started better and integrated the screenshot well, but it faded after that. The criticism about having to look for stuff seemed to contradict the whole point of the adventure genre (especially when you then praise the more obscure puzzles).

    I'll do the other one tomorrow.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 15, 2008:

    Dagoss vs. Janus
    Winner: n/a

    Clearly I took a risk using this review. Perhaps I should have played it safer. Or maybe used more sexual inuendo. At least I got feedback for it now.

    Ben vs Suskie
    Winner: Suskie

    Ben's review actually starts out a lot better. Suskie's first paragraph utilizes a tatctic that is really beneath him, and his second paragraph prattles on about the obvious, which happened in a couple other places too. Another problem Suskie's review has is that it almost completely ignores the actual game in favor of talking about the experience and his reaction to it. That said, Suskie's prose is incredibly well put together. When the writing is of this high of a quality, the content is almost a mute point. Ben's review starts out well enough, but it feels like he's getting bored about halfway through. Also, I had to stare at the picture for a moment before I finally saw a vagina.

    Wolfqueen vs Boo
    Winner: Boo

    I really want to give Wolfqueen a pity vote. You have several reviews that could have stood up to Boo, if only you had been able to pick one of them! Boo's review is very funny, which is considerably difficult to pull off given how humour varies from person to person. It informed me, was interesting, and kept me entertained. This was such a landslide victory that I feel obliged to offer condolences rather than justifications. I hope there is a losers bracket so WQ can exact some revenge, because we all know that this is not representative of your work.
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted August 15, 2008:

    Majora's Mask to satisfy a coauthor. Fun stuff. I will have to shut myself up in my room for the next two days to get a large chunk done.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 16, 2008:

    JANUS vs. DAGOSS

    I donít mind Janusí intro as much as everyone else; in fact, I think itís a point that, even now, still needs to be made. A lot of games really do seem to shoehorn in a touch screen gimmick just because, and I want to know when a game does this. It probably tops the list of things I look for in a DS review, and Iím convinced that itís more innovation than gimmick here. If feel this way, because Janus goes to great lengths to sell the entire game to you with solid cut-outs of the game and clever examples. I best not find this deleted in a few days, Janus -- I know where you live, now! I made this tourney for Dagoss, so Iím glad he came out swinging with a heartfelt review. If I had one complaint from my HG chums, itís that no one really tries to write outside the box as much as they used to, so I appreciate it, even when they donít work, when authors try to do something new. Dagossí effort does work. Itís clever, the complaints are mixed in with the strengths, which shows the reviewer understands the flaws, but saw them overwritten in pros and isnít afraid to commit that to paper -- something thatís not easy to do. Just as I start to think the letter might be overbearing, a clever line like the naming of characters or the last line about the potions draw me back in. This is the toughest call Iíve made this tourney, but I feel the need to reward Dagossí irregular efforts. Both of you have made me head right to Ebay to buy two games I have neither the fund to purchase nor the time to play. Bastards,

    WINNER: DAGOSS

    BEN vs. SUSKIE

    Ben knows how much I like his review; I remember helping him with it last yearís TT while I was holidaying in Ibiza. Síright, even when surrounded with intense heat and topless girls, I make time for my buds. Iím pretty sad Ben stopped reviewing for the most part because it was around the time he penned Awakened that he starting writing some frankly fantastic reviews, and this one tops the heap. The intro is great, the discrediting of the title strong and the brevity of the entire piece refreshingly light while still managing to leave no stones unturned. It could probably beat most of the reviews penned this round. Suskieís, on the other hand, starts off clumsy, switching tenses while seemingly wanting to keep things in the harder-to-pull-off past tense. Thereís numerous little quirks that poked out to bother me, like a ĎThere isí where a Ďthereísí would have been a better call. From a technical stand-point, Benís review bulldozes Suskieís. But Iím giving Suskie a very tight win, and hereís why. He spells out that CoD4 doesnít really do a great deal differently from your standard FPS, it just does the same thing much, much better, and then he tells you why. The examples are poignant; the flashback, the difficulty, the locations -- itís all fantastic until a depressingly weak first line in the conclusion comes along and says ďI wasnít really sure how to transition into this great idea I had to close this review, so thisíll do!Ē Iíd say this is one of the best FPS reviews on the site, but I write FPS reviews and I donít like to admit to being upstaged. (needs more Tank Beats Communists)

    WINNER: SUSKIE

    WQ vs. Boo

    Iíll tell you why I like WQís review. She approaches everything like itís a tourney piece and she wants it to be her very best, and I appreciate it. While my RANPICK wasnít as kind to her as it was to Beliís (sorry!), itís still a competent review, and one that really did make me want to re-draft a review that Venterís coding nuked from the face of the earth (coming soon!) This review isnít one of her best, and Iím sure sheíd have picked a different one if she was able, but itís very competent. Thereís parts where it gets a little listy (such as the run-down of the characterís abilities) but you justify your score and you tell us what works and what does not. But, Iíll tell you, too, why I like Boo reviews; because he steals all my lines and passes them off as his own writes the reviews Jason wonít let me. I may not have bought POíed like his intro tells you I was meant to, but I know exactly why I would think it sucks, and heís squeezed all that in between some funny writing that drips with personality. Itís a wonderful review in a tone I demand he uses more often.

    WINNER: BOO
    board icon
    Probester posted August 16, 2008:

    Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
    Playstation Portable
    Publisher: SCEA
    Developer: SCEA
    Genre: Third Person Shooter/Adventure
    Release: 10/02/07 (US), 11/30/07 (EU),12/06/07 (AU)

    ADDED
    board icon
    hmd posted August 16, 2008:

    Siren: Blood Curse
    Playstation 3
    Sony
    Japan Team
    Survival Horror/Stealth (TACTICAL ESPIONAGE ACTION)
    July 24, 2008

    Everyday Shooter
    Playstation 3
    Sony
    Queasy Games
    Arena Shooter
    October 11, 2007

    Pixeljunk Eden
    Playstation 3
    Sony
    Q-Games
    Platformer/Puzzle
    July 31, 2008

    Added all three.
    board icon
    woodhouse posted August 16, 2008:

    PSP games.

    Title: Pump It Up Exceed Portable
    Genre: Music
    Publisher: Andamiro
    Release Date: Nov 30, 2006 (JP)

    Title: Pump It Up Zero Portable
    Genre: Music
    Publisher: Andamiro
    Release Date: Oct 15, 2007 (JP)

    Added both.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 16, 2008:

    Thanks dagoss, but as humiliated as I feel right now, I'd rather not receive pity votes. I appreciate honesty more than sympathy when deciding whose is better.

    Thanks, EmP. Maybe I'll stop sulking now, hut really, when you (meaning me) get hammered twice in a row like this (contest wise, I mean), it really takes a toll on your confidence. I started doubting whether my recent stuff was really all that great after all, despite what RotW and other commentary might say. And despite knowing full well that this piece is old(er) and nothing really special to begin with and that it might not represent me the way I wanted it to. Ugh.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted August 16, 2008:

    If we're talking about humiliation and the stink of failure, I too can understand.

    We should start, like... a club.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 16, 2008:

    Hey, there was only an 8 point difference between you and me in that other tournament. I thought I put a decent effort into that one too.

    You know you're a good reviewer, so don't let it get you down. And if it does get you down, then you should pick a shitty game to review and really go to town on it. (Seriously.)
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 16, 2008:

    JANUS vs. DAGOSS

    Janus has an advantage here in that I hadn't read his review before. I like the review Dagoss wrote a lot and it gets points for originality and readability, but Janus' more conventional approach worked better for me because though he used a standard style, he also made his point in a compelling fashion. The statement at the end praising the game and saying how it is a DS game that was better for having appeared on that hardware is one that most people--including me--wouldn't necessarily accept without proof. There was a lot of proof throughout the review, though, and I give the nod to Janus because he took the more challenging angle of the two reviews and made it work.

    WINNER: Janus

    BEN vs. SUSKIE

    These are both excellent reviews, but I liked Ben's piece more because it was a less overwhelming read. That's kind of hard to explain, so I won't go into further detail except to say that I especially liked how Ben showed the full potential the game had with his awesome first example, then proceeded to dismantle the game experience as a whole and show that even though it had promise, it ultimately didn't deliver the way it should have. That was an effective approach. Suskie's review was typically strong and this was, in my opinion, the closest set out of the match.

    WINNER: Ben

    WQ vs. Boo

    I give the nod here to Boo because WQ's review got off to such a rocky start. With a little bit more work on organization and transitions, WQ could have easily won this one. Boo's review isn't necessarily as solid from the angle of justifying everything, but it's a smoother read and quite lively, taking full advantage of its dreadful source material. That counts for a lot and allows it to edge out its competition.

    WINNER: Boo
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted August 16, 2008:

    How long did it take you for Radiata?
    board icon
    darkstarripclaw posted August 16, 2008:

    I think it took me about a week and a half for the entirety of the walkthrough and most of the appendix.

    That beast of a recruitment section took me at least another week I think.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 16, 2008:

    Bluberry over Wolfqueen

    This isn't one of the stronger reviews from WQ, but I like Boo's review a lot anyway. Everyone else said a lot of the same stuff I would have said and I doubt echoing it would be very helpful.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 16, 2008:

    see how fun it is to give into laziness?

    Dagoss > Janass

    I liked both of these reviews quite a bit, but I had problems with each of them. Dagoss' felt awkward and forced at times, mostly the longer paragraphs that felt like he was writing a normal review and then shoehorning it in. Janus' was very good and held its opinion well, but it just feels... rusty. for good reason, the guy's been away for a while. like, reading a "Picture this" makes me hate my Devil May Cry review even more knowing that I did the same thing. both were convincing, and both had awkward elements; in the end I'm more willing to give the nod to the more unique one. I hope this doesn't make Janus take down his review.

    Ben > Suskie

    Ben's review was an enjoyable read that made me agree that I probably wouldn't want to play his game. Suskie's review was an enjoyable read that made me agree that I should probably play his game. but Suskie's felt more generic in places, and I really disliked the opening paragraph, so I'm going to give the nod to Ben on this one. close, though. I did appreciate Suskie mentioning how you won't notice the barriers though, the worst thing I hate in videogames like Ocarina of Time is how it tries to convince you you're exploring some giant land... some giant land that can be walked across in about ten minutes.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 16, 2008:

    It's my turn this week and there were a lot of reviews to read through, but look how timely my topic is. See how much I love you?

    The usual rules apply: no staff reviews and only one review will be mentioned from any particular author. Here goes!

    ---

    Runner Up Number 2: Castlevania (N64) by dagoss

    What I liked about this review was the way it went right into the main thesis, that the game is cheating the player out of a great experience. There were some compelling arguments, such as the bit about not letting you see the end if you play on 'Easy' mode and the comments about having to play through twice because the experience as each selectable character differs substantially. Comments like that are persuasive on multiple levels, both because they talk to my own interests when I play a game and because they show that the person writing the review 'gets it' and is worth listening to when he makes other points. I liked how this review established other points, too, and the end of the reviw with its throw-away comment on skeletons on motorcycles was also a good way to bring things to a close because it ended with something that sounds so random yet still manages to feel typical of the game that has just been reviewed. I've probably made a mess out of my efforts to explain why I liked this review, but there you have it.

    Runner Up Number 1: PilotWings 64 (N64) by Felix_Arabia

    I've never played PilotWings 64 and I've never read any reviews of it that I recall. With my fresh pair of eyes, I came to this review not particularly expecting much (because, after all, one reason that I never played the game is that it never conjured up any interest from me). By the time I was partway into the review, I felt almost as if I were playing--and loving--the game. The enthusiasm behind many of the descriptions is infectious and I really got a feel for why this game was rated so highly at the end of the text. There were a lot of nice touches throughout that accomplished that--almost like the N64 flag the text referenced--so I won't point to one but instead will say lazily that it was all pretty good stuff.

    Review of the Week: Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (DS) by JANUS2

    I've commented on this review elsewhere, so I'll keep my thoughts here brief. Basically, this review took a potentially difficult point to sell--that the game is better for having appeared on the DS platform--and then proceeded to do so with apparent ease. The descriptions were great and the writing strong, plus the logic made sense and connected things together well. The review was both interesting and informative, too. That never hurts. Good going!

    ---

    Thanks to all who participated this week, and I hope that you'll put forth similar effort next week to keep EmP busy. See you next time!
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted August 16, 2008:

    I pick Dagoss over Janus because I really thought the Etrian Odyssey review was presented in a fresh, if somewhat forced, manner. (I read many reviews in secret, sort of like a literate chameleon blending into its surroundings. This makes me a discreet expert!) The love letter approach could become very interesting and appropriate for games of this nature. I thought the Ninja Gaiden review was good, too, but it didn't contain that same level of novelty. It wasn't risky in style, so I can't reward it as highly. Really, both reviews were close in every other category except novelty.

    Novelty, just like brevity, is important for me in reviews because it makes them fun and quick to read. I don't think Suskie's was novel in approach, and it certainly isnít short. Come to think of it, I just wrote the longest review of my life yesterday. Maybe brevity isnít that important as long as the review is interesting, which makes sense, right? This Call of Duty 4 review was very exciting for me to read, though I do agree with some of the complaints directed toward the opening paragraph. Still, I choose Suskie over Ben because the Call of Duty 4 review was exciting and the Sherlock Holmes one, while nevertheless entertaining and shorter, wasn't as satisfying. Satisfaction is important.

    And boy did I feel satisfied after reading that POíed review. I choose Bluberry over WQ (question: what is a Booberry?) because the review was very funny and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The Lord of the Rings review was very by the book in style and substance. It explains how the game works and what problems are present. It just wasnít very entertaining, which didnít settle well for going against a very entertaining piece.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 16, 2008:



    apparently I'm a strung out ghost who loves cereal--which makes no sense since I'm still alive, prefer pussy drugs like weed and acid to anything else, and wake up too late to eat breakfast.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 17, 2008:

    Just to note, I will be deleting user reviews throughout the week to make my run easier. Thank you for your time.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 17, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention, Jason. You should always expect something when you enter a Felix Arabia review. ;)

    Congrats to Janus and Dagoss. Both reviews were great.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted August 17, 2008:

    Janus vs. Dagoss

    Janus's review accomplished just about everything I could ask for it to. The intro, while maybe not unique, is only not unique because it's still relevant. All his points were enthusiastic and well made, and by the end I felt like I should go give Ninja Gaiden a chance. The only real difference between that and its competition is that Dagoss took a bigger risk. I actually quite enjoyed the love letter approach he used. For the most part it remained entertaining throughout, and never really seemed like it was forced just to maintain the gimmick. I tried something similarly gimmicky once upon a time and failed miserably, maybe that's why I look fondly upon a more successful attempt.

    Winner: Dagoss

    Ben vs. Suskie

    Call of Duty just worked. Every scenario described was a small taste of what it was really like for Suskie as he played it. There was a nearly palpable sense of excitement. The two greatest concerns that one generally would have, length and linearity, are both dispelled so convincingly that they seem like nonissues. It's one of the few 10/10 reviews where by the end I really felt the score was completely justified. Ben's review has a lot of the trappings of greatness, but it lost some steam somewhere in the middle when it stops talking about the fantastic and starts talking about the doldrums. Maybe this isn't his fault. But in the end this was like a sumo westler pushing against a bulldozer. Suskie's review is a machine that won't be stopped.

    Winner: Suskie

    WQ vs. Boo

    Part of me wants to give it to WQ, because as awesome and entertaining as Boo's review is, it reads like a long inside joke written specifically to get a laugh out of a certain few people. And while that's great fot those of us who get it, it seems like a serious review should win over a joke review. Unfortunately, at some point seriousness loses to style, and WQ's piece was just so by the book ho hum that I can't say it was really better. Unfortunately for WQ, the Random number generator wasn't kind to her, and Boo's review was kind to my sense of humor.

    Winner: Boo
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 18, 2008:

    I tallied up the votes thus far:

    Janus - 6
    vs
    Dagoss - 7

    Ben - 2
    vs
    Suskie - 11

    Wolfqueen - 0
    vs
    Bluberry - 10

    EDIT: Now with 100% more Wolfqueen votes.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 18, 2008:

    We need someone wise to vote in the Janus/Dagoss match. It's a real nail biter!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 18, 2008:

    Thanks, guys. I know you're right. Sorry for making you read all that, but I guess I just get a bit flustered sometimes. I'm over it now, in any case. I'll try to get feedback on this round, especially since one of them is tied.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 18, 2008:

    Janus vs. Dagoss

    I like how Janus handles the description of the game, for the most part. I like how he focuses the review around the stylus, since that, ideally, is supposed to be an important DS feature. I also like his examples; they're pretty thorough and informative, and they paint a clear picture of what's going on. However, I didn't like how he seemed to be appealing to fans of the series as is. Even if that was his purpose, as someone who's never played Ninja Gaiden, I was a bit confused in some areas. But these were minor, mostly because the comparisons he did make made sense even to one who hsn't played the game before. I may not know what the various places he was alluding to were, but I could picture them by the way he described them. I was only really confused with that one example describing a sequence in some other game... something about beetles, I think. Another thing I noticed, though, was that the review seemed to be checking things off a list, as they say I guess, towards the end of the review.

    But I think I'm giving this vote to dagoss, and I'll tell you why.

    I like how he tells us how the game works from the get go, and the way he does so is so interesting that it got me laughing pretty much from start to finish.. The humor thrown in there along with the innovative structure (I've never seen a review written like a letter before!), just got me rolling. It's also largely informative, though some things like F.O.E.s and certain skills could've used explaining. And the fact that it was a love letter makes it even more entertaining. Seriously, some lines in there sounded so wrong... like this one: You might not think that grinding so much could be gratifying, but the way we do it to you will really pleasure you. I'm pretty sure "pleasure" was intentional. XP

    In short, while Janus's may have done a better job overall of orienting us with the game, dagoss's was a lot more entertaining.

    Second round opinions to come later.

    EDIT

    Ben vs. Suskie

    Ben does a good job telling us about the game. His intro bit is great, especially that really creepy sounding paragraph talking about the corpse. Unfortunately, his transitions into the next couple of paragraphs are a bit jarrring, and effectively ruin that awesome atmosphere. But, considering that he's explaining that the rest of the game is pretty much dull, this is to be expected. Still, I feel like he could've eased into it a bit better or something. The rest of the review seems well-written, and we get a clear idea of what he's talking about. But I don't think he picks up the same amount of feeling in the later half of the reiew as in the first one. Still, it was an intereting read. And one that can't be ignored when expressions like "killer vagina" are used. Haha. (Did King really describe it thusly? Or is that just you being silly? <_< )

    As for Suskie's I love how he pulled us in with that introductory paragraph. It was atmospheric, beautiful and totally clear. But then he diverges from that, and totally crushes that atmosphere as well. Only this time, he could've easily maintained it. Not that the rest of the review is bad or anything. It's not - it's very informative and descriptive and well written. I just never got any sort of feeling back. I think part of this has to do with talking about the devolopers and how it's their innovations or whatever... Kind of throws me off. In fact, both of you do it, and to me, it kind of feels like it messes up the flow of the writing a bit. I can understand their purpose and functionality, but to me, they just don't serve the purpose I think they're supposed to. I dunno. I'm one of those who likes to be sucked in and stuck there. Neither of your reviews are bad or anything, especially Suskie's since I think his won something. But to me, they just don't have the impact they should. This might change upon a second read through, but I don't have time for that now. But as it stands, I'm giving the vote to Suskie. Sorry, Ben. This was a very difficult choice.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 18, 2008:

    Any word on when stage three starts?
    board icon
    EmP posted August 18, 2008:

    Whenever I feel like it!

    The site slows down on weekends and not as many of the regulars check it. I don;t want to ask people to check for review picks when they very well might not be around, so the serious answer is probably some time tomorrow once I figure out your backwards time zone.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 18, 2008:

    Voting is still open on Stage Two, but itís time to start the ball rolling on the third phase. The match-ups are as follows:








    Felix vs. DE









    Will vs. EmP









    HG vs. Cairo





    I will go over the 24hour rule a little as weekends tend to be deader time on HG for posts, but not by a great deal. Do no test my patience!
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 18, 2008:

    That's interesting, WQ -- the biggest complaint against my review so far has been the opening paragraph, so your critique is a topsy-turvy one, indeed!
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 18, 2008:

    Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 18, 2008:

    My review: The Bourne Conspiracy
    board icon
    EmP posted August 18, 2008:

    CLOSED

    Janus - 6
    vs
    Dagoss - 7

    Ben - 2
    vs
    Suskie - 11

    Wolfqueen - 0
    vs
    Bluberry - 10
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 18, 2008:

    . . .
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 19, 2008:

    hey, thank you!
    board icon
    darketernal posted August 19, 2008:

    I can't hyperlink
    board icon
    EmP posted August 19, 2008:

    The first two matches are open to votes now. The third will be as soon as Cario posts or exceeds his time limit.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 19, 2008:

    WINNER: FELIX
    This wasn't an easy decision, because I had issues with both reviews. felix made some strange word choices throughout his review, with the epochs and promulgates, etc. This was excessive and detracted from the writing. However, his introduction was thought-provoking and provided a neat structure for the review. Although I'm not convinced that Basted is particularly good, his enthusiasm won me over and made this the more entertaining read. For all the hyperbolic writing, he brought a personal touch to the review that was lacking in DE's effort. Dark Eternal's review was also good, but it felt like reviewing-by-numbers. DE seemed to dodge his opportunities to make Indiana Jones sound unique. I would've liked to learn more about the more thought-provoking puzzles and about how your choices affect the adventure. As it is Indiana Jones sounds like your average adventure game, whereas Basted is at least made to sound unique.

    WINNER: EMP
    I feel a bit bad for voting against Will Roy. His review was very good, but I was just baffled at times by the turtling and the farming and all the other RTS terms. I can understand why the Honest Gamer sent you the RTS game. I can't think of a reviewer who could deliver a more thorough or knowledgeable review of a RTS expansion pack. The writing is excellent too. The tone is authoritative and informative, without becoming too dry or monotonous. My one complaint is that it finishes very abruptly. The reason I've picked Emp is that I found his review easier to read. Straight away I'm more familiar with the subject matter and so, unlike with Will's review, there were no moments of confusion. The crocodiles twist was funny and justified the extended gothic build-up because it gave us the game at its best and worst. It was a succinct and descriptive (if a little overwhelming) effort that did what it set out to do: make Origin sound like a compelling adventure let down by moments of madness.

    WINNER: CAIRO
    I liked the way Jason's review dealt with the issue of longevity. Too many people are happy to dismiss a 6 hour adventure as too short, but here the brevity of the game is shown to be a good thing. Venter explains and justifies the adrenaline-pumped gameplay very well and comes to the convincing conclusion that The Bourne Conspiracy is a short action-packed thriller. However, I think one thing the writing fails to do is engage the reader. For example, the 'parking garage' description explained how missions are brief but filled with action, yet it wasn't particularly exciting. For a 9/10 game, I was never really given the impression that The Bourne Conspiracy is all that special and it does feel at times as if Jason is going through the motions. Cairo's bash review, on the other hand, is extremely engaging. Assassin's Creed is dissected in a very effective and witty manner. It helps that I agree with every point, but even if I didn't then it would be hard to fault Cairo's argument as he exposes the tedium of the missions and the ridiculous plot. I was wondering if he would praise the free-running (as it's actually quite fun), and he did without undermining his criticism of the game.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 19, 2008:

    Felix vs. DE

    "D W," eh? Anyway. These are both good reviews from a couple of writers whose work I've consistently enjoyed in the short time I've been here. Felix finds the right thesis and gets off to a smooth start, but I think it's interesting that his main selling point for the game is its wealth of gorgeous cinematics, yet I know virtually nothing about the story now that I've read the review. That's why I'm giving the very slight edge to DE on this one. His Indy review manages to appeal to someone who isn't even interested in this type of game (i.e. me), and the whole thing reads a little more smoothly and makes all of the necessary points without dragging on for too long. An ever-so-slightly more accessible read. Winner: DE

    Will vs. EmP

    This is a tough one because, honestly, I wasn't a fan of either of these reviews. Will makes me nervous early on with a wholly unnecessary opening paragraph telling us how much of an RTS expert he is and how excited he was to get Jason's copy of Supreme Commander. Then he follows it up with the biggest cringe-inducer of the tourney so far: "Onto the review." Argh! That's one of the worst amateur GameFAQs cliches I can think of. From there, I found the extensive SupCom vocabulary (too many proper nouns!) a bit overwhelming, though I admit you certainly do seem to know what you're talking about, and how to relay that information onto the reader for their benefit. (Like mentioning how SupCom is the alleged successor to Total Annihilation. THAT got my attention.) On the other hand, I felt EmP's review was completely overblown. He's usually a fantastic writer, but this felt like someone imitating EmP, with pretentious lines like this: "Bloody shrines run red with fresh liquid while a swirling vortex of water takes centre stage." Ugh. It felt like you were more focused on enticing us with your writing abilty than informing us about Dracula: Origin, and even that didn't work, since the language is often so thick and muddled that there were a few paragraphs I had to read two or three times. I'm giving the very slight edge to Will on this one, if only because I actually got something from his. Winner: Will
    board icon
    EmP posted August 19, 2008:

    I should point out, as it's been bought to my attention that people have overlooked it, that my pick was auto fed into the first post via hyperlink rather tha selected in a standalone post. It seemed silly to tell myself I had choosen.

    Click on the EmP!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 19, 2008:

    willthegreat vs. EmPleh
    Winner: EmP

    I couldnít get into Willís review. Besides containing portions that were off-limits to a guy like me who isnít too knowledgeable with RTS games (combonerf? turtling? Aeon Illuminate?), the review used the taboo phrase ďOn with the review.Ē This isnít a pay-per-view wrestling match. While someone interested in Star Commander: Forged Alliance may find this review useful (seeing as how they would be interested in the expansion, and therefore be familiar to the discussion), a review like this doesnít work in a competition because itís not interesting if you donít have a clue as to whatís going on, and the material isnít that informative since itís jumbled and a little vague. EmPís review, on the other hand, was pretty good and I remember telling him this back when he first wrote it. Iím also glad he changed his concluding line, because there are indeed crocodiles in Egypt. Anyway, looking at these two reviews, I see one written buy a guy who enjoys his hobby at writing while the other appears to be written by someone whoís just doing it for the sake of getting a free game that was up for ďgrabskis.Ē This match wasnít close at all.

    Venter vs. Cairo
    Winner: Cairo

    This was such a difficult match. Venter provides a strong-if-standard review for The Bourne Conspiracy. Cairo destroys one of my more favorite 360 games. Let me first discuss Venter's. The guy is consistent, but at times, and this is one of those times, I feel that he's just writing the review because he has to. I didn't feel the charge that I usually can sense when I read one of his works. I can't say I'm disappointed or surprised, though, seeing as how the guy writes a lot of stuff. I write a bunch of reviews and get tired, too. And while this Bourne review may be nice, it's a little too by-the-book for my taste. Cairo's review is very well written, and even though I agree with it, I still like it a ton more than he does. Also, modern-day Syria and Israel (where the game takes place) isn't Mesopotamia, which is Iraq. It's a small error, but one I nevertheless noticed. That region of the Middle East is usually called the Levant. Anyway, I'm giving my vote to Cairo because his review felt more alive than Jason's did despite the over-use of the word "douche" and the 3/10 score.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 19, 2008:

    I was getting to your match!
    board icon
    EmP posted August 19, 2008:

    Blame DE! He was asking why I'd not picked yet.

    Crazy foreigner.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted August 19, 2008:

    Didn't realize voting started so early.

    My pick
    board icon
    Genj posted August 19, 2008:

    Felix over DE

    Ugh, bad match to be brutally honest. I too had issues with both reviews. The message to Felix's intro was interesting, but it was too long. You basically spent 3 paragraphs just to say the game had a lot of cutscenes. Felix's writing is tight and his apparently enthusiasm is infectious, but when you sit back and think about it, the game doesn't sound too appealing. So basically there's very little combat and mostly a lot of story that I won't be able to understand. Ok. DE, didn't you have anything newer to choose? We got a 2005er here - one I'm sure I had to judge last TT even. It feels like a rough, by-the-book effort too. I'll give the nod to the fresher, more enthusiastic Basted review.


    Will over EmP

    Hi, my name is Mike. I'm 6'2" 140lbs, starting my Masters this fall and I like long walks on the beach while listening to Japanese harsh noise music. Will, your intro stinks like my ass after I eat a whole pepperoni pizza. From there it was a very technical piece detailing the game it's an expansion to. All the RTS stuff was pretty over my head for JRPG nerd like me, though it's a workable review giving a lot of good information. EmP's review sometimes reads like fan fiction. It felt overblown and overwritten spending most of the time describing game environments and a crocodile. Puzzles then get pigeonholed into a brief paragraph at the end making it feel more like an afterthought.

    Venter vs Cairo will come later. Both reviews were fantastic enough that I need to mull things over.

    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted August 19, 2008:

    Felix vs. DE

    Both reviews had gauzy, nostalgic intros that bandy about the term Golden Age; DE's appraisal of Last Crusade as "remarkable" trumps Mr. Arabia's clumsy reminiscing opening paragraph.

    Felix may have damned himself by reviewing a story-intensive import with no translation to speak of. His enthusiastic descriptions don't hide the fact that the gameplay sounds pretty routine and boring. The mention of Final Fantasy in the intro did pay off abstractly, since it sounds like Basted may have pioneered the whole "cinema sequences interrupted by bits of hack & slash and item collecting" genre that passes for most modern RPGs. "Old school" is a phrase that annoys me to no end.

    DE's review, although a bit old and creaky, did bring back memories of playing IJatFoA on my old VGA Pentium I machine. There is much praise heaped on the puzzles yet no examples are given. "You actually control Indy's punches" during fights? Elaborate, please. Still, it made me think about the sad state of the adventure genre, and the sadder state of LucasArts and George Lucas' sheer insanity in general. Then I thought about Ziro the Hutt and cracked up laughing.

    A WINNER IS D.E.

    Will vs. EmP

    Again there were commonalities in angle. Both require some degree of familiarity with source material and genre. The intros make it clear enough: EmP thrusts you into Stoker's universe of gothic horror and establishes how the game distorts that vision; Will leaps atop his soap box and proclaims "HAY GUYS I'M THE RTS GUY" before laying down a barrage of dry technical information.

    EmP doesn't bash you over the head with info, and describes gameplay in an organic fashion (I really dig the "with a triumphant click" sentence) without becoming self-aware or even referring to D:O as a "game" more than a few times. Will goes into digressions and uses the hated phrase "on with the review" at one point. Plus it's almost impossible to understand what all the verbage is about without prior familiarity with Supreme Commander. At the very least, there could have been epic battle descriptions instead of saying "here's a new unit and here's what they do" over and over again.

    EmP's piece was more compact and felt like a lot more was conveyed in about 2/3 the time. Proving once and for all the old adage "It's not the size, it's what you do with it."

    A WINNER IS EmP
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 20, 2008:

    Felix vs Darketernal
    Winner: Felix
    Felix wins because, to be perfectly honest, I thought Darketernal's was poorly written. There were several setences with a structure that forced me to stop and reread. In general, this review read awkwardly up until the very last sentence. I mean, "blushes?" Who uses that the describe marks from a whip? It was moments like this that really hurt this review. He or she (I hate gender pronouns!!) also claims that the way puzzles are executed are "timeless and [have] managed to age well," but considering that this is a genre notorious for aging poorly, you're going to need to be a lot more convincing.

    I don't know if Felix can read Japanese, but the impression this review gave me was that he cannot. If that is the case, claims like "if there is one thing that Basted excels in, that would be its storytelling" are rather suspicious. I think if the reviewer has such a handicap, it is his or her duty to explicitly make that clear rather than leaving it ambiguious. I also had a problem wih the way he frames the review. You seem to be saying "Basted is part of those lost golden days," "games today have too much 'gliz!'" and "Basted is interesting because it has glitz," and some of those are not compatible. I think the sweeping generalizations at the beginning were overlong without contributing enough, though I can understand why you felt they were necessary. Your prose is still imecible nonetheless, and you seemed genuinely interested in your game, which is enough for me.

    Will vs EmP
    Winner: EmP

    Will's opening paragraph reads like the type of thing one would find in a GameFAQs review. So did the brief rant in the 3rd paragraph. Once he actually gets "on with the review," I had a lot of trouble understanding what the heck he was talking about. That's probably because I never played Supreme Commander and know very little about RTS games, and I suppose this review is for people that are really into RTS titles, but that doesn't change the fact that I kept drifting off. Anway, "to wrap up," this review was too casual in tone and too esoteric in the details.

    I don't really like reviews that begin with the whole present tense, right-in-the-action narrative thing, but that is usually because it is tacked on as the first paragraph before the tone awkwardly shifts to be more review-like. EmP should really be commended for staying consistent with the present tense throughout. I'm not sure I got as much as I could have about the way the game plays, but it is well-written and entertaining enough that it doesn't really matter that much.

    I still don't know what the difference is between alligators and crocodiles.

    Venter vs Cairo
    Winner: Cairo

    I think this is the hottest contention this bracket-tournament-thing has managed to create.

    Cairo wins because he made an off-hand reference to Shakespeare this review made me laugh my ass off. The excessive embellishment might not be entirely fair to the game, but it is certainly fair to my sense of humor. Even if it was unrealistically negative at times, it never seemed like it was trying to take itself too seriously, a problem that many reviews suffer from when they give a popular game a low score. While I think it could flow better in some places, for the most part this nailed how one should write a bash review.

    I think the problem with Venter's review is that it actually tries to sell the game too much. Any licensed game for a popular film is going to be greeted with skepticism, and the fact that the only complaint you could seem to muster was its shortness (and even that you tried to spin in the game's favor!) and this made me suspicious. It came off like someone who was trying to oversell a breakfast at Dennie's or something else that really doesn't need lavish praise, even if it is immediately satisfying. I think you did the exact opposite of Cairo in that you embellished to make the game seem more exciting than it probably is.

    The fact that I'm differentiating these reviews on such subjective ground shows just how good they are, and just how close this match is. Maybe if I come back to it in a different mood, I'll be like "Hooray Venter for trying to prove that licensed games don't have to blow; Shame on Cairo for exaggerating negativity for the sake of entertainment!" Right now though, Cairo's cynicism wins the day.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 20, 2008:

    I think the blushes line was part of an extended innuendo about people using whips for sexual purposes. But I might be horribly wrong about that.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 20, 2008:

    I'm glad that the complaints against my Basted review are mostly homogenous. Dagoss, I do not speak Japanese, but I still understood what was going on. Anyway, just for everyone to know, after this round is over, win or lose, I'm going to edit this review to elucidate on the ambiguity that you've all be kind enough to point out!
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 20, 2008:

    I hope you didn't take offense to my comments, Felix. I was reading over my feedback and realized that it was decidedly negative for your review even though I liked it. That's my fault.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 20, 2008:

    I didn't take any offense to your comments. They, along with everyone else's, are very helpful.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 20, 2008:

    This stage is not allowed to end until either tomorrow night or Friday. The Overdrive is swamped with a work project. He will be unable to give verdicts until one of those days. Any attempt to prevent him from doing so will be met with wrath and other stuff. Bad other stuff. Like messing with my stage so that I wind up beating Belisarios because three people that voted for him mysteriously disappear. Yeah....Overdrive will go there.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 20, 2008:

    Genj wants to know what's the deal with referring to yourself in the 3rd person.

    Cairo over Venter

    I loved both of these reviews. Venter gave a good case for Bourne being a great game. One of the things I like about Venter's reviews is it feels like he knows exactly what's important enough to mention and does so as concisely as he can. This one was no exception, and I chuckled at his intro comparing himself to Jason Bourne (though I'm sorry to say this but as much as you wish it were true, you're not as hot as Matt Damon, Venter). Cairo's review was a detailed, humorous and scathing look into Assassin's Creed. I was a bit worried when I saw long, bulky paragraphs, but I pretty much forgot about them once I started reading. Cairo's writing has sort of lively tone that grabs your attention, whereas honestly I found my mind wondering occasionally while reading Venter's review. This is a close match and I would have picked Venter's review over any of the other entries this round.
    board icon
    Masters posted August 21, 2008:

    Emp vs Will

    Will's review was well written, but inaccessible, crowded with tall tales and rammed with jargon.

    Emp's review was overwritten, wrought with overfed clauses, but ultimately, engaging.

    Emp gets the nod from me.

    Incidentally, what the hell is it with the cliche police around here? Everyone uses cliches. We try not to (really we do), but it seems as if some of us are reading reviews as cliche Easter Egg hunts. Finding one doesn't devalue the entire rest of the work.

    If I saw "on with the review" in a shit review, I'd groan. It would be the STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK. But seeing it in Will's review actually elicited no response from me at all. It's about context.

    Cliches are supposed to be indications of a lazy mind and pedestrian writing. And sentence fragments constitute poor English (but they're everywhere, even in the best writing). Same thing with run-on sentences (someone tell Ernest--wait, he's not around).

    Cliches are FROWNED UPON on because they're overly familiar. We've heard them a MILLION TIMES before. Sometimes familiar flows. Sometimes the usual works.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 21, 2008:

    Well, Masters, I'm glad that a little cliche like "on with the review" doesn't detract from an inaccessible review in your opinion.

    A cliche like that does detract from an inaccessible review for me, though.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    Incidentally, what the hell is it with the cliche police around here?

    Because it's been mentioned so many times since the GameFAQs days that it's become a very safe, easy thing to pick on? That's my guess.
    board icon
    Masters posted August 21, 2008:

    Dave, we're all sorted out now, right?
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 21, 2008:

    It's all crystal clear to me now, Marc.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 21, 2008:

    Incidentally, what the hell is it with the cliche police around here? Everyone uses cliches. We try not to (really we do), but it seems as if some of us are reading reviews as cliche Easter Egg hunts. Finding one doesn't devalue the entire rest of the work.

    Thank you, Masters. It's nice to see somebody on HG shares my viewpoint.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 21, 2008:

    And by tonight or tomorrow, I mean my verdicts will be up tomorrow. Not tonight. Too burnt out. Just going to go home in a bit, pour a nice strong drink and level grind in FF XII or something that takes an equally few number of brain cells to do (like.....sleeping).
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 21, 2008:

    The main reason I hate the use of the phrase "onto the review" isn't because it's overused and is most often utilized by GameFAQs amateurs who have a lot of other problems with their reviews, though that's certainly part of it. What I hate about that phrase is what it implies. I thought I was already reading the review? So what have I been reading the last few paragraphs if the review hasn't begun yet? And it applies as such to Will's: His opening paragraph was more of a personal entrance than a legimate introduction. So not only does that phrase make me cringe, but it usually means something is wrong with your review.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 21, 2008:

    While true, that means that one should be criticising the thing that is wrong, rather than the phrase that tends to imply something is amiss. To instead harp on about that string of words is like trying to cure leprosy with stitches.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 21, 2008:

    The phrase "onto the review" wouldn't be there if you actually had been reviewing the game beforehand. Yours in no exception.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    While true, that means that one should be criticising the thing that is wrong, rather than the phrase that tends to imply something is amiss. To instead harp on about that string of words is like trying to cure leprosy with stitches.

    I GUESS THAT'S WHY EVERYONE WROTE A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF IN THEIR CRITIQUES, BOSS. People overreact to them (though really it's best to avoid cliches), but no one is handling them as an instant loss either. I don't see why this warrants so much discussion.

    Onto the critiques.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 21, 2008:

    That's because you're too busy trying to troll. You're terrible at it, by the way, which is odd because I never see you do anything else.

    But no, you're absolutely right. Heaven forbid we discuss anything on a discussion forum. That's lunacy!
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 21, 2008:

    I think you need to calm down, Will. I know your review isn't being received well, but there's no reason to take it out on Genj. He's only trying to justify what many of us have been saying about your review. Don't enter a competition if you can't take criticism.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 21, 2008:

    Criticism, which is what has chiefely populated this thread, is fine. Mockery, i.e. people taking phrases they despise out of my review and throwing them back at me, among other things, I will not tolerate.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    Mockery, i.e. people taking phrases they despise out of my review and throwing them back at me, among other things, I will not tolerate.

    If this is directed to me, then you better re-read my critique, chief!
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 21, 2008:

    It's not directed solely at you, no, but there's a fair bit of mock-esque being thrown in my direction.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    Don't take Internet mockery seriously because you're likely interpreting far more malice than was intended. Sorry, I think it's funny that we're having a discussion on a tiny, minor part of a review that had bigger problems. This isn't really the kind of thing you can argue to people to think your way. It's just opinion. You have to take what you want from critiques because you're likely not going to agree with everything. Drella for example wasn't too keen on my FUCK SHIT SHIT BITCH CUNT sailor talk in my Bouncer review, but some (sick) individuals seem to think this Trademark Humorô is funny. It'd be a little different if for example people were saying your review was otherwise fine but instant crap due to one sentence. That would be stupid.

    I'm sorry I upset you, bro. I'd buy you a beer but I'm a cheap asshole.

    EDIT: VVVVVV this man seems to have more than enough beer for you!
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 21, 2008:

    Okay, I haven't read any of the reviews yet, as I'm not doing my judging until tomorrow, but with the ongoing hostility over things at the time, I have to say a couple things.

    TO WILL: I was in your place last year at the Summer Team Tournament. Pissed at the judges for why I got voted against. In a match I was confident I'd win, I lost 2-1. The reason: I reviewed Hydlide -- a horrible NES game that had been bashed to hell and back before I started reviewing. To me, it was a fun, witty bash review.....to two judges it was a "been there/done that....NEXT!" review. And I didn't exactly handle that reasoning well, either. But that's the thing....we all have our prejudices. I'm not overly fond of puzzle games, so if I'm judging something and you hit up Adventures of Lolo or something.....you're not going to score well with me unless you absolutely kick ass with your review to the degree I forget what your subject matter was.

    TO NON-WILLs: Most of us have been there, where something we wrote we liked got derided by others. Suskie took down a Riddick review (or said he would) because it was judged as "not a review", but just a promo of the intro. I had my STT 2007 incident over Hydlide. Others have had their issues with a score they've received. Probably the reason non-HGers occasionally bring up the "elitist" tag....a lot of us are very demanding when it comes to judging things and minor stuff one person might think is okay or cool will get blasted by others.

    Overall, it's no huge thing, nor should it be. Write how you want. As long as it's quality, it'll be accepted. I have my share of more gimmicky reviews....some I've used in contests; others I haven't....overall, each review you write, whether they get received well or not, is just another brick in the wall.

    Okay, the alcohol is disrupting my coherency as far as making points. I'm ending this now and going to bed....
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    a lot of us are very demanding when it comes to judging things and minor stuff one person might think is okay or cool will get blasted by others.

    A lot of it comes from doing the 1 on 1 match-ups. Normally minor things aren't going to affect your numeric score much, but when you're just trying to choose one review over another, every little point matters (especially when it's a close match like Venter v. Cairo).
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 21, 2008:

    thread summary: WHARRGARBL

    I'm in OD's boat on voting, give me till tomorrow evening. I'd do it at work but I can't.
    board icon
    Genj posted August 21, 2008:

    Good summary.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 21, 2008:

    I'm surprised you remember the details of that Riddick thing, OD. For what it's worth, I did take it down.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted August 22, 2008:

    I think "on with the review" is kind of a lazy segue, but it's not that big a deal.

    It's no "Gameplay is the real meat of the game", anyway.
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted August 22, 2008:

    Felix over darketernal. The Basted review was well written if not entirely convincing, as most everyone else has stated. I thought it was more enjoyable to read than darketernal's, though, because his did feel a little rough in spots and I'm pretty sure I've read it before where as I haven't read Felix's review until now.

    EmP over willthegreat. EmP's review was very thick in the way it was written. Thankfully, I'm a brilliant man, so I could understand what he was saying. Will's review made me feel like a naive fool. I didn't understand a lot of the RTS terms he was using. I don't think I was the intended audience for that review.

    honestgamer over johnny_cairo. I probably would have given Cairo the vote if not for having read Suskie's equally entertaining bash review for Assassin's Creed not too long ago (Developer's Creed, hilarious). I'm not sure whose review came out first. It may have been Cairo's since I'm too lazy to check, but sometimes that's how these things go. It was a close match otherwise. Honestgamer's review was very clean and convincing given its subject matter. I walked away feeling confident in knowing that his review had just taught me something new.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 22, 2008:

    FELIX vs. DE

    I have some problems with both reviews. Felix harps on for a while about how a console I have proven does not exist beats out the 16bit generation, and thatís fine so long as youíre delusional. Also, hereís a typo:

    Itís s simple us against them theme with a silly love story thrown in for good measure. Itís nothing epic, but it sure if heartfelt.

    I donít think that the lack of story is as killer here as people are saying. Seeing as the game can only last a few hours, I wonder what plot analysts you can offer without straying into mid-game spoilers. But it does mean like the review is missing a chunk of information that Iíd expect to see. The intro was overcooked, hazy and needed a stronger focus point.

    DE could and should have picked something more recent. This review is good, but it has all the structure of a DE review before he really hit his stride and the fact that so much of this review is my editing hangs heavy in my mind. I get the blush joke at the end (Janusí assumption is correct) but I also donít know why I didnít push you for more solid examples back in the day. Thereís a lot of tell, but donít show.

    Felix is the more adventurous, DEís is the more solid. But, in the end, DEís review convinced me of more while Felix seems to have made the whole Golden Age intro gave him a lot to build towards and I donít think he effectively hitís the bar he set for himself. You both have better reviews to call on.

    WINNER: DE

    VENTER vs. CARIO

    I had something here, but it looks like I only copy & pasted the above thoughts from my wordpad, and then closed the app and lost all the pretty wrods.

    So you all get a RECAP version. I think Jason's review is great, the guy's been on a run of solid reviews which has helped mask the fact I've been on a review hiatus and this is no different. Cario, though, writes a savage review that may clearly exagerrate flaws to help slide the game into the 3/10 score he' decidedc it deserves. I'll shock Mike and agree with him on something; it was a case of a majestic review beating a brilliant one, forcing me to give the nod to Cario. Venter goes out on a shield.

    WINNER: CARIO
    board icon
    EmP posted August 22, 2008:

    Voting is still open on Stage Three and has been for a while (youĎre all slow), now we have the last stage of the last round. This one has a SUPER-SECRET match!








    Drella vs. PAJ89









    Vorty vs. Espiga





    The usual rules apply. As soon as a round goes live, you are all free to vote.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 22, 2008:

    Dear me. Don't close this yet! I wanted to get feedback for you, but I can't now because I'm too busy with getting ready for school... If you want to hear from me, you'll have to wait till Sunday/Monday or later when I'm settled in again... and have decent time to put proper thought into this.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted August 22, 2008:

    Felix vs. DE

    Both reviews had a similar tone right out of the gate. "Wasn't gaming great back in the day? ~sigh~". It's a bit of a sour note for me, but then I'm one of those crazy folk who honestly think that gaming has gotten better in recent years, on the whole. Felix's review wasn't bad. Mechanically, it flowed pretty well and whatnot, although there was some odd word choice. In the end I just don't feel like it explained its stance well enough. It's a kind-of-but-not-really-RPG with a fun combat system, but almost no combat. Eh. Further, no levels, and no equipment to manage. Meh. I do agree that a good story can make up for those things, and the story is reportedly the strength, but aside from some zany snippets, we know nothing about the story. DE's review was much safer, though it did read like an early attempt at reviewing, partially because it was so safe. It's standard fare from beginning to end. Nothing really stood out as bad, nor as excellent. However by the end I feel like it made its point better, so he gets the nod.

    Winner: DE

    Will vs. EmP

    First of all, I feel like Will's use of "On with the review" worked fairly well in the context that it was used. It was less of the jarring filler transition you see in Gamefaqs reviews and more of a legitimate way to move from discussing system requirements (an important thing to note in a PC review) to discussing the actual game. I felt it worked. A lot of people don't. ~shrug~

    That said, Will's review was almost completely impenetrable. I've played my share of RTS, I enjoy the genre, I know what turtling is. The review is just so laborious in its description of everything that it's hard to take all at once. However! That kind of dry dissection of facts is probably what people who play SupCom want. I could say that this review appeals to a very niche crowd, and it does, but it's a review for an expansion pack, so I imagine only that niche crowd is going to ever read it. I think it's a fine review at what it's for, but it's probably not the strongest tourney piece. It's a very dry read. EmP's review, on the other hand, was half over before it felt like it got out of the introduction. The point was made, however. I understand that the game is almost, but not quite, good at what it does. With random design flops that destroy the mood. It's also a shorter and easier read than Will's behemoth. Not EmP's best work, but it takes the round.

    Winner: EmP

    Venter vs. Cairo

    These reviews were both really good. Even though I quite enjoyed Assassin's Creed, I found myself smiling at many clever observations Cairo made, and even agreeing with many. A bash for the ages, one that I somehow agree with, even if I don't agree with it. Venter's review is a bit more textbook. By no means bad, and it makes its case. Most of his examples are solid, I found myself especially glad of the paragraph on timed action sequences, as those are a major stumbling block nowadays. And it did serve well to illustrate the general polish on everything. This was easily the closest match of the round, but I have to say I enjoyed Cairo's review more. It was longer, and yet it still flew by.

    Winner: Cairo
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 22, 2008:

    FELIX vs. DE
    I have a thought in my head that I might have judged Felix's review for something at some time. Or at least read it critically. I recall liking it a lot, as it was an engaging read of an RPG I'd never heard of. I still like it. But, this time, it did feel like you took a bit too long getting to the point. Three paragraphs building up to how this was one of the earliest cinema-driven RPGs might have been a bit of overkill. Still, overall, it was a good read about interesting subject matter. On the other hand, while I liked reading DE's review, after finishing it, I realized I really didn't know much more about the game than I had when I started it. With point-n-click adventures, the main focus tends to be on puzzles, but you only really gave a vague description of how some (like putting pen on paper) are easy, but others aren't. If puzzles are a focal point of the game, I would have liked a bit more of a description of them, but instead it seemed like you went into more detail about every other aspect of the game.
    WINNER: FELIX

    WILL vs. IMP
    You know, I once played a RTS. It was the original Warcraft. I had a good time until the orcs got more aggressive on about the seventh or eighth level. There I was, methodically trying to build my community and next thing I know catapults and shit are just destroying me. So, I entered the game's god mode and blasted through it, not taking it out of god mode until I was ready to destroy the final building of the final level. Since I did that in regular mode, I considered it an honorable victory. The end. In other words, I'm not an experienced RTS player and, from my experience, I utterly suck at 'em when the computer makes it so I actually have to think fast. While I thought your review was good, it did seem to be a niche review, as it assumed a lot of familiarity with RTS games in general and the initial Supreme Commander. Which would be great if I was reading this as an aid in determining if I wanted to buy this game. Not so great when it's a contest, as a lot of stuff here kinda went over my head. It still wasn't a blowout decision though, as EmP's adventure review reminded me of the one by (maybe) DoI (or someone else) in that it started out very eloquently written, but when the flaws started to be mentioned, tailed off a bit. It was a solid review, just not one of your best. You did give a better puzzle description than DE, so you get credit for that, but I don't know that anything could convince me that a game in which you get "attacked" by a monk that never moves, giving you infinite time to figure out how to kill it by methodically searching a room is actually fun, regardless of how gothic or atmospheric it may be.
    WINNER: IMP

    HG vs. JC
    With a random draw tournament, there is the opportunity for tragedy ó in this case that when this round is over, one of these two excellent reviews will still send its writer on the long, one-way trip to LOSERVILLE: POPULATION YOU.
    My verdict later. I'm tired and need a nap now. Either late tonight or over the weekend. So, yeah, EmP! You can't close this round yet! Maybe not for days! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    board icon
    PAJ89 posted August 22, 2008:

    Before I forget, I'll go with my Sega Superstars Tennis review.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 22, 2008:

    Well, guess since this is closing tonight, I'll just put my votes in without feedback. I'll come back and edit feedback in when I'm settled back in school... Which might take at least a week. I dunno. Hopefully then you'll all know why I voted the way I did. Since it may or may not confuse some people.

    Felix over DE

    EmP over Will

    Jason over Cairo.
    board icon
    espiga posted August 22, 2008:

    Two Worlds =o
    board icon
    espiga posted August 22, 2008:

    Felix vs. DE

    Felix's review was written with a ton of heart and while there may be some technical hiccups here and there that have been beaten into the ground by everyone else at this point, it's a more engaging read than DE's more structured piece. My mind wandered while reading DE's but when reading Felix all eyes were on Basted and its two lovable main characters.

    Felix spanks DE

    Will vs. ShrEmP Burger

    This wasn't even a contest. Will's review starts out with a self-introduction and making the claim that he's the HG RTS guy.

    Uh, ok. So what?

    With even more words like grabskis and then all the LOLINTERNETDRAMA over "on with the review" (Which is a shitty line, by the way.) You're a much better writer than this, Will.

    EmP's review is filled with flowery language and though sometimes it seems like he's trying to connect as many adjectives to nouns as he can get away with, it at least showcases his excellent vocabulary, whereas mine's just filled with words like cockfucking shitstain.

    ShrEmP Burger spanks Will

    Venter vs. Cairo

    Venter wrote an engaging, gushing review about a game that ultimately failed to register a blip on my radar, most likely because:

    A. I barely watch movies because Hollywood has about 2 good ideas a year.
    B. Thus movie-based games are basically a lost cause.

    However, with Venter's consistently strong writing, he manages to sell me on a game that I WOULD buy if I cared enough about the Bourne series to actually be interested in the areas its trying to sell.

    But I don't.

    Cairo's review, on the other hand, is a nice bash of some game that I own but have never placed into my Xbox 360 (fucking backlog...). The review is dripping with witty sarcasm and is a very entertaining read. However, it's also filled with juvenile lines like Douche Desmond. *groan* In the end, I came away liking Venter's just a hair more, despite Cairo's very strong entry. This was the hardest match for me to judge for this entire tournament.

    Venter spanks Cairo
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 22, 2008:

    Eh...

    Sorry for being such a drama llama, guys. I guess I sometimes forget that The Internet Is Serious Business. :)
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 22, 2008:

    Just realized I never voted in the Jason vs. Cairo match. I don't feel like getting into a big explanation here, but I vote for Cairo. It's a case of a great review being beaten by a fantastic one.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted August 22, 2008:

    :@
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 22, 2008:

    Scores tallied from the above posts and Will's score:

    Felix Arabia - 7
    Vs.
    Dark Eternal - 6

    EmP - 11
    Vs.
    Will the Great - 2

    Johnny Cairo - 7
    Vs.
    Jasey Venter - 5

    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted August 22, 2008:

    Almost forgot.

    LAST MINUTE ENTRY

    Felix vs darketernal

    ADVANTAGE: DE

    HG vs Cairo

    ADVANTAGE: HG
    board icon
    EmP posted August 22, 2008:

    OD has until I go to bed or get bored waiting before he loses his chance to vote on the last match.

    Other voters should head over to the forth stage and start there.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted August 22, 2008:

    Felix
    EmP
    Cairo
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 22, 2008:

    since it sounds as if you'll close this soon:

    darketernal, you, and Cairo

    I'll edit in some text later if you've not locked it all up by then.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 22, 2008:

    I'm not going to be back by a computer until 10ish at the earliest (3.5 hours or so), so as to be counted, my last pick is

    CAIRO

    I'll edit in my reasoning then. And it will be epic.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 22, 2008:

    CLOSED. New votes will be nuked.

    I'll leave the topic open for people who want to edit in comments. For now.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 22, 2008:

    OD can still unlock it anyway.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 22, 2008:

    But Boo can't.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 22, 2008:

    I vote Venter over Cairo.
    board icon
    drella posted August 22, 2008:

    Ed Randy

    P.S. I just recently moved and don't consistently have Internet, so my apologies for not keeping up with this too well.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 23, 2008:

    Vorty vs. Espiga
    Winner: Espiga

    No one is better at wang lines than Golden Vortex. From his infamous ďprecious cockĒ line in his extinct X-CHANGE review to the closing line in this excellent Splatterhouse review, this guy knows how to incorporate the phallus into his writing. The introduction was a little standard in that Iíve seen plenty of reviews begin in similar manners. Game X influenced Game Y and Game Z. Itís not earth shattering, but itís an appropriate intro. Espigaís Two Worlds review, on the other hand, doesnít contain any penis lines, but it does start off with him mentioning his friend SPAZ. SPAZ reminds me of Zigís pal Mats, but not as cool. Anyways, once we get to the body of these two reviews, a lot of good information is given and the delivery is admirable. I really liked both reviews quite a bit. Espigaís flowed a little better, but I think Vorty gave better descriptions. I thought this match was incredibly close, probably the closest for me of all the matches so far in this competition. Iím going to give Espiga the slightest of slight edges, though. And the reason why is because in Vortyís review, the first line of the second to last paragraph is missing a word, so the thought is left dangling. Itís a minor thing, but it's enough to make a difference since both of these reviews were really good.

    Drella vs. PAJ
    Winner: Drella

    This match was a lot closer than I thought it would be, though Drella is still the clear winner in my mind. Having not read PAJís Sega Superstar Tennis review before, I initially wasnít too thrilled about having to read about tennis since itís, you know, tennis. Despite those preconceived feelings of dread, this review turned out to be very well written and even interesting! Unfortunately, it loses out to Drellaís excellent Edward Randy review because SST just isnít as exciting of a game, partly because PAJ described it as a hit or miss kind of title. Edward Randy is full of craziness, and those descriptions ring clear in Drellaís extremely descriptive writing. The Jackson Pollack and spilled milk comparisons, while a possible point of contention for some readers, made a lot of sense to me in their outlandishness. I mean, this is an outlandish game, so the metaphors fit.
    board icon
    dagoss posted August 23, 2008:

    Drella vs PAJ89
    Winner: Drella

    I liked Drella's review -- a lot. Right from first paragraph, it does an amazing job of grabing the reader by the genitals squeezing out the good stuff. I've never known quite how to approach "bad ass" games like Contra: Shattered Soldier, but Drella sets up a paradigm here that is both intiutive and functional -- brute force your way through it. The main appeal of this game is clearly its over-the-top action sequences, and Drella does a great job of matching his style to the subject at hand. He even manages to work in the game's faults with such brutual honest that they are rendered mute, which is certainly a difficult feat to achieve. I think this is one of the best reviews that have been posted for this tournament-thing.

    PAJ89's review is a lot more conventional, so perhaps I should have read it before Drella's. It's the type of thing I'd want on the front page of this site as an example of how one should write a solid, traditional review. No outlandish puns, no jokes, no experimentation, no self-reflexivity -- just one person, one game, and some text describing the game for the purpose of consumer information. This is a problem for me because I tend to like reviews that do something radically different (and do it well). I actually read reviews more for my own amusement rather than learning whether or not I should purchase a game, and in this sense Drella's review appealed a lot more to my tastes.




    Goldenvortex vs Espiga
    Winner: Vorty

    This was an easy choice. And by easy I mean not easy at all. Espiga's review is an easy read, well reasoned, not overlong, not underlong, not superfluous, and of overall high quality. Vorty's framing does a good job of putting his subject into context, the tone is consistent throughout, and it doesn't really lose steam anywhere.

    So what thing am I going to nit-pick to differentiate these reviews so I can get out of here and go back to doing whatever it was that I was doing before I got lost wondering the internet? Ordinarily, I'd go after Vorty for a typo at the beginning of the 7th paragraph -- but instead I'm going to go after Espiga, because he uses those one-liner paragraphs that really irrate me. He used four of them, whereas Vorty only made one typo (that I saw). Four is greater than one, thus mathematically I have to pick Vorty.

    I think I already regret my vote. Could one of you please edit your review to make it suck? It would make our lives a lot easier.
    board icon
    bostonfuse51 posted August 23, 2008:

    Working on a FAQ for MLB 08: The Show
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 24, 2008:

    Drella and Espiga. I'll write critiques later, I promise.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 24, 2008:

    Review of the WEEK. Iím on time because Iím better than you. There are rules like no staff and only one review per writer counts. This week has been arse with only five reviews subbed and only two of them really deserving a spot in this. They are as follows




    FIRST PLACE: DMC4 -- Boo

    Of course this was going to win -- I wrote all the best lines for it.

    Youíve already had a ton of feedback from me, so you get an abridged version here. Booís review is probably better than he thinks it is because, while a lot of it is aimed at people who have already played a DMC or three, I still know what heís saying with relative ease. Sure, the specifics are lost on me, but itís well written enough for the context to carry me so Iím not throwing up question marks every third line. Itís a justified score, even if the review is a typical list pros/detract with cons rundown, itís one that works.

    SECOND PLACE: The Incredible Crash Dummies -- WQ

    You spelt humour wrong. Silly yank.

    Dear Wolfy treads dangerous ground with the shattered rose tinted specs intro, but pulls it off well enough to not have the clichť police crash through her bedroom window. What hurts more is a sense of disjointedness when a number of short paragraphs link gracelessly together. Itís not until the latter half of the review when everything seems to work so much better and you come up with some good lines, such as the dummies loosing their heads being a drawback for mobility. This isnít one of your best; it feels forced at points, but I think you do a good job with the limited material you have. Kudos for not taking a cheap shortcut like Felix did with his version.

    THIRD PLACE: X-COM:TftD -- Cornwell

    I hope youíll excuse the rudeness, but this doesnít really belong here. Not only should all (post apoc) X-Com review be 10/10, this is a review that does a good job or skirting the edges, but never really delving in to the heart of the game. It makes a good case for TftD being little more than an add on, but, in using this tactic, assumes that readers are familiar already with Enemy Unknown. People should be, but a lot of them are not. They are fools.

    Well done on not making your review a billion words like my original EU is, but I would have appreciated more time spent on actual discussion of the game.




    RotW over.
    board icon
    bluberry posted August 24, 2008:

    you need to stop claiming you've written half my reviews when you help me transition between paragraphs or something. at least I can spell.

    congrats to the winners!
    board icon
    EmP posted August 24, 2008:

    If you had come to me first, that post would have read so much better.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 24, 2008:

    Eh. I didn't really try really hard with this one, admittedly. Not to mention that it was sort of hard to talk about anyway. Thanks for the comments, anyway, though I know this really probably wouldn't've been here if more people had submitted.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 24, 2008:

    You'll have to give me more time, then. At least a week... I'm very busy this week.

    Also, Felix ad DE are tied now, I think, so... what'll we do with that? Hm...
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 24, 2008:

    We're not tied. EmP just is too lazy to keep current scores since he's a s bloody shrimp. DE has the most votes of the losers, so he advances any way.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted August 25, 2008:

    WINNER: DRELLA
    Drella's review was entertaining, but not his best. The review was at its strongest when it was detailing the kind of wacky scenarios present in Edward Randy. Fortunately, this took up most of the review. These moments are described with wonderfully engaging writing that really sells Edward Randy as a crazy, crazy experience. I didn't even mind the list, because it added to the impression that the game is bursting with ideas. I thought that the introduction set this approach up well -- the Jackson Pollock reference was a clever way to establish the game's imaginative ambition. However, I thought the "if I ended it here" transition was awkward. The last three paragraphs felt tacked on. It's almost as if drella couldn't fit the gameplay information in earlier and so tacks it on at the end. The review therefore feels unbalanced. However, the first two thirds are strong enough to secure the win. PAJ's review is decent. The writing is solid and the game is covered well, but I think the 5/10 score created a tone of indifference. The result is that this review feels a bit dull, whereas drella's is more creative and entertaining.

    WINNER: ESPIGA
    I really liked espiga's review. The introduction was entertaining, and establishes the idea that although Two Worlds is generic, it's not awful. Aside from the bit about the heavily flawed online experience, this is the review's only real argument. But I thought that this was enough. I hate to use the dreaded phrase "this review flowed well", but well, it did. The examples lead on from each other in a structured and amusing way, and even the bit about being good or bad added weight to the review. So yeah, this was a succinct and amusing review, which is an achievement, as 4 or 5/10 RPG reviews usually tend to be as dull as the game. Golden Vortex's review wasn't bad, but I don't buy the "without Splatterhouse there would be no survival horror" routine, and this review didn't sell it particularly well anyway. There are some good lines here, but it felt too brief to really do the game justice. Espiga, on the other hand, probably wrote the same amount, but managed to give a more thorough impression of what it is like to play Two Worlds.
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 26, 2008:

    Yo! How much time are we gonna have for this stage of this round? I'm just finishing up a big work-type project today and likely won't have time to pass judgment until tomorrow. I could make time to do so today if I HAD to, but it'd be a lot easier for me to hold off for one more day.
    board icon
    espiga posted August 26, 2008:

    Leroux vs. PAJ[insert numbers here]
    Winner: Leroux

    This was a pretty easy match to judge. The tennis review is pretty lost on someone that has no interest in sports whatsoever. While it was technically sound and I didn't see any flaws in the writing itself, it was dull compared to Leroux's action packed, energetic writing that got me pumped for the game, despite the fact I'll never play it. But, Leroux made me regret that I won't be playing it, and that says a lot about how good of a review it is.

    Goldenvortex vs. Some douche
    Winner: EmP

    ...Because he talked me into joining this silly thing at the last minute. ='[
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted August 26, 2008:

    Oh. Well, I thought the score you'd posted hadn't included the three or so later votes.

    Most everything (if not all of it) I have to say has been said already. But here's my feedback anyway. If it's not as detailed as I usually make it, I'm sorry. But time still isn't really my friend right now.

    Felix over DE

    Alright. Upon reading Felix's review again, I can see why it got the commentary it did. I understand it's unconvincing nature in that I'd likely not want to play a game whose main focus seems to be cutscenes and has very little in the way of combat. However, this appears to be the point of his review. That the game is one of (if not the) first of its kind to produce cutscenes in any sort of important fashion like that. Also, he clearly pointed out that the combat, while lacking, is unique, something that may actually be worth checking out despite the othewise uappealing nature of the game. He's also colorful enough in his writing to hold my attention, and also somewhat removes the sense of unconvincingness present there.

    On the other hand, while DE's review is more convincing in the end, I had difficulty paying attention. Perhaps it's because this is so old, but this one reads a bit too slowly for me... The writing feels dry and elongated, if that makes sense. So much so that even though it's clear, for the most part, I have to reread sentences several times because I just can't stay focused. It's also plagued with minor errors and sentences that could use shortening or better phrasing. In a sense, it reads like a rookie review - a decent review, but a rookie review nonetheless. It's obvious in lines like the first of his real concluding paragraph. Still, I liked how he described the game. It just could've been done so much more smoothly.

    And I think the somewhat unnecessary sexual references actuallyhelped in this case since they added a bit of humor... or... something... >_>

    EmP over Will

    I don't know what everyone's so uptight about "ooh, it's too fanficky". Ok, sure, maybe that's what fanfics are for, but still, I like reading that sort of thing in a review. As long as it's appropriate. And it definitely is here with EmP's review. I honestly can't see any better way of him describing those various scenes. Considering it's a puzzle game, which are really hard to review in the first place, this only adds to the imagery of the game. It paints a clear (and gross, with all the gore, apparently) picture of the world which may not be presented as easily with other writing styles. It grabs your attention, pulls you in and leaves you there. And when he does transition into talking about puzzles themselves, it's hardly noticeable. Really, the only jarring thing in this whole review is when he's describing that opening sequence or whatever in third person than abruptly switches to narrative in the following paragraph. But then the atmosphere is restored soon enough anyway. It's a good read. To those who complain of lack of puzzle explanation (which I thought was enough anyway), I'd counter that that wasn't so much the point as was the atmosphere and setting. Since this story is completely different from the book, apparently.

    P.S.

    I found typos in your review... eihter I missed them the first time I read through or you didn't fix them when I sent them to you. (I did send you edits for this one, right? >_>)

    Either way, you can thank me later. Haha.

    Will's review, on the other hand, while very informative - really - is way too technical. I mean, I know RTS's pretty well, I think, but he really uses way too much in-game jargon without enough (or in some cases too much) explanation to keep me oriented properly. It's also kind of like DE's in the sense that it's a bit longwinded in places, and is diffiult to pay attention to after a while. Don't get me wrong - I definitely agee that this would be a great review for someone already familiar with the game, and, it being an expansion, maybe that was your point. But I wouldn't have subbed it for this contest either. Sorry, man. =(

    Jason over Cairo

    These were both great reviews. But to keep it simple, I liked Jason's more because it seemed to get to the point a lot sooner. I mean, the examples were right there, fast, explosive and powerful, and kept me attentative throughout.

    Cairo's is great, too, with it's witty sarcastic approach to a game much smiled upon around here (I think). His examples are clear and poignant (oops, stole EmP's word), and generally kept me amused throughout. However, I would complain that some of the analogies or jokes made might be a little high-brow for me. Where I'm not familiar with what he's comparing it to. Still, fun read, and typical Cairo in bashing well-popularized games. A very interesting approach. Honestly, the choice was tough, but I'm ultimately leaning towards Jason.

    Edit: Oh. I guess the feedback wasn't that bad after all. Except for maybe Jason's and Cairo's. I hope that's OK. But it's really getting late now... >_>
    board icon
    overdrive posted August 27, 2008:

    DRELLA vs. PAJ89
    Some may call this blasphemy (possibly including myself), but I think Edward Randy would kick the shit out of Earnest Evans. And this review did a good job of making me come to that crazy idea. I mean, this game sounds completely insane and over-the-top with a ton of obscenely goofy ideas that somehow work to create a pretty exhilarating game. Sweet review for a game I'd never heard of, man. You did a good job in describing some of the more memorable scenes from the game and I really liked the tone of this review. While PAJ89's review was very sound and a good read, it just couldn't compare to Drella's. I can't really point out anything negative about your review, but while Drella's inspired my imagination, this review for a tennis game couldn't accomplish that. Like I said, this is a very good review -- you were just stuck against an imaginative and entertaining review from one of the RC's more acclaimed writers.
    WINNER: DRELLA

    VORTY vs. ESPIGA
    This was one of the better reviews I've ever read by Vorty. And that it sticks out in my mind as so is noteworthy, as over the years, a few really good writers have tackled Splatterhouse. The imagery here is good, doing the subject matter justice. And the occasional touch of humor (like the Spinal Tap bit) fit in well. But, Espiga made this a very tricky decision with a well-written review for a blah RPG. A lot of times when a person writes about a blah game, they write a blah review, but this one had a good deal of personality. I liked the lines about how all the wolves look the same, but they're different because the game says so and how you can't even kill everything because the game brings townspeople back to life. By a narrow margin, I have to give this one to Vorty, though. For some reason, the online part of the review didn't click...possibly because I've never online RPGed and the concept's never interested me or, more likely, because overall, I kinda felt this was two mini-reviews as opposed to one game review.
    WINNER: VORTY

    Oh, and for my HG-JC critiques, jus' so you two don't feel sad, forlorn and left out. As you may recall, I picked Cairo as the winner.

    I really liked both of these reviews. Jason Venter gave me a huge belly-laugh by comparing himself to Jason Bourne, but that wasn't the main strength of this review. One thing I love is when a writer can tackle a real or perceived flaw of a game and legit make me think it's not a flaw. Jason does this well when he tackles things like the short length of the game, by saying it has tons of replay value and six hours or not, he wound up spending more time with it than games with a much longer duration. That's a great point right there and the highlight of a very good review for me. Unfortunately, if there's one kind of review I really like above all others, it's a great bash review especially when the writer can just decimate a hyped game. This is a long review, but consistently entertaining. Nothing like reading about a stealth game that seems a lot more fun, hectic and easy when you forego stealth and just slaughter anyone who gets in your way. You put out a laundry list of questionable and laughable aspects of this game and let your writing speak for itself here. This was just one fun review, which is why I picked it.
    board icon
    AssibExcisp posted August 29, 2008:

    I'm totally unfamiliar with forums and am very impressed by all that people helping others on forums.
    Why do they do so?
    board icon
    honestgamer posted August 29, 2008:

    They do it in hopes that those people will then stick around and become part of the experience and that things will grow so that the site can be a really cool place to kill time. At least, that's how I see things. It's not like we're a bunch of philanthropists at heart or anything. ;-)
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted August 30, 2008:

    Whew, almost done with Legaia stuff. Kinda want to start Summoner 2 afterwards but I've got a weird hankering to do something for Survival Kids (GBC), the awesome deserted island exploration game.
    board icon
    EmP posted August 31, 2008:

    DRELLA vs. PAJ89

    Thereís not a lot I can really say thatís not already been said. Thereís nothing wrong with PAJís review, and itís almost refreshing to read something that focuses purely on the game, and why you might and might not like it. Drella, however, opens up with probably his strongest effort since heís produced since he returned with a repackaged persona. Itís funny, well-written and still manages to inform you on his choice of game just as well as PAJ does. Good showing from both guys.

    WINNER: DRELLA

    VORTY vs. ESPIGA

    I remember judging this Splatterhouse review for something or other that I probably nagged Vorty into in the first pace, and I recall saying then that I didnít buy into the whole ďSplatterhouse birthed horror titlesĒ vibes, and the review didnít even try to convince me otherwise. On the other hand, all I knew about Two Worlds was that it sucked arse, and Espiga didmanage to sway my view on this, I enjoyed botn reviews greatly, but this is the one aspect I feel sets them apart.

    WINNER: ESPIGA
    board icon
    EmP posted August 31, 2008:

    RESULTS:

    Espiga: 4 vs Vorty: 3
    Drella: 7 vs PAJ89: 1

    CLOSED
    board icon
    EmP posted August 31, 2008:

    The first round is over. The second round has just begun.

    And now, to change the rules -- completly!

    I have already made the draws for who faces who next, but the whole 24 hours to pick left a bad taste in my mouth. I wasn;t ocerly happy to have to throw out ranpicks now and then, and I dislike the whole throwing down a placehoilder ploy and the sitting around waiting to see what the other guy picks before you pick yours. So, now you submit them differently.

    I want the people in the following list to HG mail me their pick. Once I have paired reviews from each match-up, I'll post the topic and you can all vote. We're now down to the following twelve:

    DoI
    Beli
    VM
    Dagoss
    Suskie
    Boo
    Espiga
    Drella
    Felix
    DE
    EmP
    Cairo

    I picked my review before I knew who I was up against in the interest of fairness. If I go through again and/or I continue the next round in that fashion, I shall do so from here on.

    There IS going to be a time limit for getting your reviews in so this doesn't lose even more pace than it has already. I'm thinking 3 days, but we'll see how things go. For now, I need an HG mail from tnhose above with the reviews they want to use.

    Go.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted August 31, 2008:

    I'll HG mail my pick as soon as I'm done looking at it with with a fine toothed comb -- sometime in the next few hours.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 31, 2008:

    A four-way tie! See now, this is exciting.
    board icon
    Suskie posted August 31, 2008:

    Not much this week. Not counting staff reviews (which are, as always, excluded), only three people submitted their work this week, with only five reviews between them. Wait? Three people? That must mean they'll all place on this week's RotW, then, right? Since only one review per person is accepted? That is correct. Thankfully, all three presented work worthy of a mention, so I don't have to say "begrudgingly" or any other needlessly long words. Let us begin.



    Review of the Week: Yggdra Union (GBA) by woodhouse

    Hey, so check this out. First line and Woodhouse already has my attention. A strategy game made for masochists? I like the sound of this. It could be that I'm awarding Woodhouse the top spot based on his game choice alone, but I can't help but be eager to play Yggdra Union having read this review... more than his 7/10 score implies I should, though I don't think that's his fault. I loved how this review answered every single question one could possibly have about the game without ever topic-hopping or feeling like it's trying to hit all the bases. And how no time is wasted; every sentence is relevant. Excellent conclusion, too, especially this line: That's a lesson this game teaches. The currency of war is blood, and the balance is paid by anyone pulled into the conflict. Great work from a reviewer who's not preoccupied with implementing his ego into his reviews.

    First Runner-Up: Castlevania (NES) by Felix_Arabia

    I like your introduction a lot because I think you summarize the feelings of many of your fellow reviewers when they decide to tackle an old game and are worried about whether they'll like it, or whether they're supposed to like it. Whereas I felt your other review struggled too much for a hook (the "lost in translation" bit just felt like an attempt to make Kawa no Nushi Tsuri sound better than it really was), this one just flows and hit the age-old question of how good a "classic" game used to be versus how much it holds up today. I have a lot of Castlevania games to catch up on and the NES original has never been high on my list, but who knows -- I might just give it a try now.

    Second Runner-Up: Galaga Legions (XLA) (Xbox 360) by pickhut

    "In and out" is a strategy that works well for XBLA games that wouldn't really inspire much in-depth conversation, and while I didn't think it would be easy to write a compelling Galaga review, Pickhut sells it rather well by taking us through a typical round and making it sound very intense... more intense than a game as old as Galaga should. I'm guessing that was Pickhut's intention: To take our expectations about this game and turn them upside down. There were a few typos here and there (this seems to be the most common problem with your reviews), so sort them out and this'll be a surprising winner of a review.



    And I was on time this week, despite the hassle of moving to school this past weekend. See how committed I am? Let's see how well I do next time, in about a month or so. Until then...
    board icon
    pickhut posted August 31, 2008:

    Congrats to woodhouse on his rotw, and felix on his runner-up win. I read his Castlevania review, and it was pretty good. Didn't read woodhouse's yet, though. I should try to read it now.

    Thanks for the comments, suskie. It was pretty hard to describe the action in the game without sounding repetitive with the use of the word "formation". I should have at least tried different words...
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted September 01, 2008:

    Kawa no Nushi Tsuri wasn't submitted this week, so I hope that whoever does this week's RotW gives it a fair shot, and I think you missed the point of the review. I'm not trying to hook someone like a fish into reading it. I'm simply telling the truth about a simple game with incredible, implicit depth. I think you should read it again. ;-)

    Anyways, thanks for liking Castlevania. I'm glad you liked it, too Pick. Congrats to everyone involved.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 01, 2008:

    August 30th, my friend. I think you should read that date again :)
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted September 01, 2008:

    Well, it was listed under the 31st after I posted it and then went to see under which week it fell. You should still read it again, though.
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 02, 2008:

    Can I please, please have until Thursday? I just finished moving; my Internet access at home isn't up yet and I'm still unpacking, in addition to the semester restarting. I want to use either a new review that is currently half-finished or revise another review. This is the first time I'm seeing this topic (and the first time I've actually visited this site in like a week). If need be, I can produce more excuses. You must show me mercy.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 02, 2008:

    I'll talk to the person you are up against and square it with them. If they're okay with it, then, fine. Though it does put a large spanner in the works, and I would prefer it sooner.
    board icon
    zombie posted September 02, 2008:

    Aiyyo folks. I have a guide underway for this particular game, and a partial ready to go...

    Game: Densetsu no Stafy: Taiketsu! Dire Kaizokudan
    Platform(s): Nintendo DS
    Publisher: Nintnedo
    Developer: TOSE
    Genre: Platformer
    Release Date: 07/10/08

    :)

    Added, though I'm pretty sure it's spelled "Starfy." Let me know if my correction is, uh, wrong.

    WRONG!

    Hmm. Then GameFAQs is wrong.

    Zombie Edit:
    Call him whatever you like for your site my friend. There's much contention as to what to call Stafy. There's at least four variations in the common vernacular. Don't sweat the technique on it, he'll be Stafy in my guide but that's because the community has resigned to calling him that. Phew :).
    board icon
    EmP posted September 02, 2008:

    Round Two starts now! Below youíll find the first two of six matches. The voting will remain open until further notice.








    Drella vs. Suskie









    DE vs. Espiga





    The usual rules apply. Four walk in: two leave.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 02, 2008:

    Drella vs. Suskie

    It was nice knowing all of you. Winner: Sandvich

    DE vs. Espiga

    DE's King Kong review is a little more detailed, and I think the one noteworthy problem with Espiga's is that it's not quite long enough. This may be due to the fact that you didn't have experience with the multiplayer mode, but isn't that the draw of the FFCC series? Well, needless to say, both reviewers give their games a 6/10, but Espiga somehow still does a better job justifying his score. His review is more personable, contains fewer typos (I didn't catch any at all), and flows better, whereas DE's felt a little awkward at first. Both are fine, but chalk it up to Espiga's charisma that he came out on top here. Winner: Espiga
    board icon
    espiga posted September 02, 2008:

    Leroux v. Suskie

    I had a much harder time judging this match than I thought I was going to have, probably because neither review really clicked with me. On Leroux's side, he has an Altered Beast review that tries to convince me that it's trying to be an imitation of a cheesy 1950's sci-fi/pseudohorror flick. On Suskie's side there was a review that started out sounding like a bash review and then ended up giving an 8/10. What? However, over the course of the two reviews Suskie's does a better job of convincing me that his game is 8/10 material than Leroux's does... Even if I don't like most FPS and wouldn't enjoy FarCry nearly as much, it's also not trying to force-feed some overblown drivel about how a cheesy arcade game from the Genesis' early years is some sort of campy take on the nature of video games. I've had enough of that in Lewis' blog, thank you. It was what finalized my decision so, I've gotta give the win to Suskie.

    DE vs. Dumbass

    One of these reviews is a winner.
    board icon
    Daisuke02 posted September 02, 2008:

    This is somewhat pointless and irrelevant (two things I excel at writing), but I'm finishing up the freelance review for Bazooka Cafe, and I noticed that HG has it listed as Pururun (or some spelling like that) Cafe. Perhaps we could switch that to Bazooka Cafe so people know what's going on?

    Fixed.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 03, 2008:

    SUSKIE vs. DRELLA

    Mikeís review is a good one. I know, me praising the guy comes from left field, but the guy knows how to write. He gets off to a great start by telling the reader that heís up against unusually stacked odds without breaking out the crayons and spelling it out. We walks you through it, shows you that itís hard going and lets you come to the realisation yourself. I like the little details he drops in like being able to listen in to chatting guards. But as the review goes on, it feels like itís retreating old ground at times, and itís guilty of an ďOh shits -- I forgot to mention the flaws!Ē paragraph at the end. This paragraph is simpleminded into well, but itís then nothing more then a dressed up checklist. We hate monkeys. Thereís obligatory indoor levels that stifle me. I would have perhaps liked to have seen the indoors compliant used earlier, put side-by-side with the praise for the wide-open jungle to accent the agoraphobia. The end would have worked much better if the big negative were these monkeys which do sound like arse.

    Drella tries to be more ambitious in his review, and, in my eyes, succeeds. Look at the fifth paragraph where he melds in the negatives with his praise, more effectively showing the reader that, while flaws exist, theyíre eclipsed by the cons. This is what I would have liked to have seen with Suskieís indoors example. Drella doesnít even try to review this as a video-game at points, but instead as an experience. Itís easy to say that something deserved better treatment and present a strong opinion that the media has won out over its numerous critics, but this is what happens here. It reminds me a bit of his earlier Pong review, which, if youíve not read yet, you should go do so right now.

    Suskieís review could have beaten some of the reviews in Drellaís backlog, but it canít beat this one. Thanks though, Mike; you made me feel a lot better about plucking FarCry of Ebay recently.

    WINNER: DRELLA

    ESPIGA vs. DarkEternal.

    These reviews make for a good contrast. Espigaís is light, playful, easy to read but the focus is on the writing other than the game. This isnít a bad thing -- I probably do this more often then not. DEís effort is more clunky. The sentences are big and blocky and the information plopped out on your page in digestible chunks. Itís still an entertaining read, but the conclusion especially seemed rushed into.

    Both reviews offer the same score, but only DEís convinces me of the gameís flaws. Espiga convinces me (further) that I was right to chose X-Com over girls. X-Com never made me go shoe shopping.

    WINNER: DE
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 03, 2008:

    I'm bumping this GameFAQs-style so it can be seen on the main page. We need more responses!
    board icon
    drella posted September 04, 2008:

    You'd think a match between the two biggest, baddest writers in this tournament would garner some interest wouldn't you?

    Plus Suskie and I are the undercard! We try really hard. Vote people!
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 04, 2008:

    Drella vs Suskie.

    I honestly liked both of these reviews. The Altered Beast one because it made me wear my fancy nostalgia googles once again, and Farcry because I hear that Uwe boll is on that one next to ruin for all eternity and that amuses me for some odd reason. However, I will give the nod to Drella's review because it captured the campy feeling quite good, something that the game was famous for. On the other hand I don't know what I expected out of Suskie's review, but a high mark such as an 8 certainly wasn't it. Awful story, check, game ruined by tossing in unecessary enemies, check. Maybe it was because I played the game and I know that the AI is a piece of crap, and the only thing that really got to me was the graphics, but even from reading your review I didn't get the feeling why exactly this game deserves an 8.

    Winner: Drella
    board icon
    Genj posted September 04, 2008:

    I've been busy starting the semester and I'm going to the wilderness of New Hampshire to wrestle bears today and tomorrow, so leave this open so I can do my civil duty and vote then. Or else!
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 04, 2008:

    DRELLA vs. SUSKIE
    Got a tough one to judge here, as both of these reviews brought the goods. Suskie does a great job emphasizing how Far Cry is non-linear with you getting multiple ways to get through most things. Drella does a really impressive job of providing historical context to add a lot of weight to his positive review of the maligned Altered Beast WHILE doing a great job of describing the over-the-top concepts present in this game. This was a hard-as-hell contest for me to decide as both guys did great with their subject matter, but for me, Drella's vivid descriptions may have won me over just a wee bit more.
    WINNER: DRELLA

    DE vs. ESPIGA
    Espiga's review suffers from one kinda glaring flaw. Everything in the tone of your writing kinda seems contemptful of this game, but you gave it a score that's one touch above average. Your writing was entertaining, but when you're cracking on the voice acting; mentioning that working to combine spells is a waste of time, as fights are easy enough with just Yuri's sword; bringing up that the game has generic characters and plot AND concluding with how you broke up with your "girlfriend" because she convinced you to play this game, I'm thinking 3, not 6. Come to think of it, I felt the same way about DE's review. Controlling Kong is cool. Controlling Jack sucks. The game AI of Jack's buddies sucks. But at least I got a sense that you legitimately got a good deal of enjoyment out of part of the game to at least partially justify giving what seems to be a mediocre title a 6, so you get the nod from me.
    WINNER: DE
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted September 04, 2008:

    DE vs. Espiga
    Winner: Espiga

    DE loves to use reviews that are older than a year. It's a good piece, I've read it before. What can I say? I hadn't read Espiga's until now because I thought it would be silly, taking the subject matter into account. It was a silly review, but because it was the fresher piece, I was able to get more out of it since the entire experience was new.

    Drella vs. Suskie
    Winner: Suskie

    Now that Zig's gone, Drella's my pick for the best writer on this site . . . when he adds to his impressive library. This Altered Beast review was great, but come on. You'd rather watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which is a horrible movie, over Citizen Kane? Even if that's true -- is it? -- it doesn't matter since I get the point that Altered Beast is a fun game for its kitschiness. But SCCtM? That's like saying Altered Beast is incredibly hokey and crappy because that's what SCCtM is. I can tell that Altered Beast has more to it than just silliness. It's also a fundamentally quality game. The movie comparison was weird. I really like Citizen Kane, and I really like Suskie's review. The two are pretty close, and I'm going to give my pick to Suskie for two reasons. 1) Far Cry not containing anything about SCCtM is a good thing and 2) I want to see this match tied up. Like I said, both were great reviews, but that intro for Leroux's review had me scratching my head.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted September 04, 2008:

    Drella vs. Suskie

    Both of these reviews were well written, well thought out, amd pretty convincing, and that makes the match close. Drella took a very non standard route with his. It reads like a sports movie where the underdog altered beast team beats the big corporate media team in the big game at the end. I dunno why, but it clicked with me. It worked. Suskie's review was safer. Nothing wrong with safe, it made its points strongly and I agreed with almost every one. Those damn Tigrens especially. But in the end it was that safe feeling that gave Drella the edge, if only slightly.

    Winner: Drella

    DE vs. Espiga

    Espiga's review is weird. It seems extremely bitter from beginning to end, and then gives the game a passable score, not a great one, but decent. It really read almost like a bash with a couple glimmers of decent design, which had me scratching my head when it came to the scoring. Maybe that's partially because it's so short, but far be it from me to say anything bad about short reviews. It was still a charismatic review with some solid points.

    DE's review is longer and more detailed, and it has a few more grammatical hiccups. I do feel it does a better job of justifying its score, describing some doldrums and some moments of glory overshadowed by more doldrums. I think it makes a stronger case, and that's going to get it the nod.

    Winner: DE
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 04, 2008:

    Suskie vs. Drella

    I already told Suskie what I thought about his review, and that still stands. The description is excellent and engaging - it really draws you in. The humor's well-placed, and works. I don't read the "bashy" kind of humor and sarcasm as necessarily detracting from the review. I read it as something a bit silly and/or annoying, but nothing that makes the game any worse to play. The only thing I really didn't like about the review, as I said before, was that Tigen paragraph. It felt tacked on, and maybe didn't quite flow with the rest of the review as well as the other paragraphs did. Regardless, I felt the score was justified, and he does a well enough job everywhere else to keep me entertained. I should check this game out some time...

    Drella's is also good, though it doesn't quite pull me in like Suskie's. I liked his argument, though, which is odd because normally I probably wouldn't like something like this. And the fact that I sometimes just "not get" Drella's style (either due to inexperience, simple particular favoritism with styles), not enough study, or what have you I'm not entirely sure) further adds perplexity to this. Still, he argued the point that the game is long-lasting because of its goofiness and dysfunctional controls. I especially liked the weird superpowers and strange beast combinations bits, and how critics, for whatever reason, just take them too seriously. These things, and the way he argued them, make it seem like a game I'd very much enjoy.

    I'll admit that I didn't uderstand the Abbot & Camello reference... but commend myself for getting the rest of those. And I also don't thik I missed the point behind it either (dealing with the fact that critics take this game too seriously, as something for its time when really, it's the things they're arguing against that make it durable). It's a good review, and didn't seem to have any structural flaws whatever (unlike Suskie's). This is a tough choice, but I think I'm going with Suskie's. Because even with those flaws, his ultimately grabbed my attention more, made me laugh more, and stuck better with me.

    Winner: Suskie

    I'll get Espiga/DE later...
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted September 05, 2008:

    DE vs ESP

    Much as I love a good bash of a bad JRPG, that's really all Espiga's is. Don't get me wrong, it's a blast to read, but it doesn't tell me much about the game except that it sucks.

    DE's review is also about a game he doesn't like much, but it comes off as more impartial and informative. I'm going to have to give this one to Dark. Tough call, because I like these both.

    ADVANTAGE: DE

    SUSKIE VS DRELL


    As much as I can get behind retrogames, Drella's review seems to argue that the only reason I should get behind Altered Beast is because it's a retrogame. If you've ever tried to explain to someone what a cult hit like Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas is about and why it's so great, you'll be familiar with the reaction you get; a polite nod and half-hearded "Yeah, sounds great." I'm sure Altered Beast is a similarly timeless classic, but it's just one of those things that you can't describe to another.

    I'm leaning towards Suskie here because of that; that Suskie-fu just makes his game sound much more appealing.

    ADVANTAGE: SUSKIE
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 05, 2008:

    You'd think a match between the two biggest, baddest writers in this tournament would garner some interest wouldn't you?

    the last round, in other words?
    board icon
    EmP posted September 05, 2008:

    Round Two, Stage Two. Three will be up shortly, so all three wil be active at once. The match ups are as follows:








    Cario vs. Boo









    DoI vs. Beli
    board icon
    Halon posted September 05, 2008:

    These arenít proofread because I wanted to quickly get them out before itís too late. Iíll do the other topics (hopefully) in the next few days or so.

    DRELLA vs SUSKIE
    Both writers brought their best. Suskieís really nailed Far Cry and made it sound like a tremendous game, and really capitalized on what made it initially great. Iím glad he brought up the Trigens as well since thatís a game-crippling flaw that people tend to ignore. Overall interesting points, great flow, great review. Drella on the other hand doesnít have the interesting subject matter of Suskie but really knows what makes these games great (or not). His approach makes an old game that Iím not interested in sound fresh again and really gives me a vivid description of whatís going on. The Citizen Kane comparison was great as well and not something I spent much time thinking of about games in general. Fantastic matchup, but Iím going to have to give the nod to Leroux, who went over and above with his piece. As good as it was, Suskieís seemed a bit too standard by the end (intro, premise, strengths, weaknesses, conclusion) where Drella surprised me with every turn.

    WINNER: DRELLA

    DARKETERNAL vs ESPIGA
    This was a much easier match to call. Iíve always thought King Kong was one of DEís best (if not his very best). Sure, the writing couldíve been smoother but this piece is well organized and has a strong argument supported by tons of convincing facts. And the review didnít go off on tangents like it so easily couldíve in some places. I didnít care for Espigaís review too much primarily because he didnít have much to work with. He even admitted at the end that itís just another hack n slash. I liked the informal tone but there really isnít a lot of information here. Itís too short and basically just says ďnothing special here, move onĒ. DE gave his game the same score and was able to come up with much more interesting insights which is why Iím giving him the nod here.

    WINNER: DARKETERNAL
    board icon
    drella posted September 06, 2008:

    It appears to be tied 5-5....

    My interest in this is waning, and the likelihood of drawing deeper into my backlog is increasing (which is boring). And while I appreciate the feedback, it hasn't been especially helpful. I could get into some specific points and comments, but I don't really care to bicker. It just wouldn't accomplish much, and AB is a review I wrote to strike a chord with a specific audience, and if you're not a part of that I wanted it to rub you the wrong way (I take absolute delight in espiga calling it overblown drivel - it's the most rewarding comment in the topic to me).

    So I relent! Hand this one to the rising star and not the hardened vet.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 06, 2008:

    Uh, I have no objections to that.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 06, 2008:

    Because you can't spell "overblown drivel" without OVERDRIVE?
    board icon
    Halon posted September 06, 2008:

    If you really want that I can change my vote. The match was already really close so it won't bother me at all.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 07, 2008:

    suck my dick HG
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 07, 2008:

    "Cario" vs. Boo

    Cairo's didn't really strike a chord with me because I walked away with the same impression I got from EmP's Dracula review last round: While the general quality and vocabulary are impressive (pick out any one sentence and you'd conclude the review is a masterpiece), the writing is simultaneously so thick and dense (in an almost literal sense) that I often had trouble making heads or tails of what you were saying and had to read over certain parts again to fully understand. Your Assassin's Creed is a fantastic example of what happens when your obvious talent as a writer is put to good use. Here, it's overdone, as if you were too preoccupied trying to come off as artsy than with actually supplying us with the information we need. Boo's BioShock is just as impressive from a technical standpoint -- the difference is that I don't have to dig too deep to get the info I want. Boo somehow finds a way to make nearly every sentence witty or clever in its own way while at the same time painting a very clear picture of what he likes and doesn't like about the game. Which may be easier for him, since I just finished BioShock about a month or two ago, and since so much discussion on the game has risen on HG recently, but he nonetheless struck me as the clear winner. I thought the psychiatric help line was kinda lame, and the numbered points at the end broke up the flow of your review (you're basically saying, "I don't know where else to mention these, so I'll just dump them here"), but otherwise this is outstanding work. I meant what I said about you being one of my favorite reviewers. Winner: Boo

    DoI vs. Beli

    This match surprised me because both reviews are excellent. DoI's Painkiller is detailed and engrossing, Beli's is funny and shows off his constantly creative approach to reviewing. (Even the opening two lines make it clear that this guy does not just phone it in.) I don't have anything particularly insightful to say about either, unfortunately. I'm voting for DoI's simply because every inch of his review is relevant, whereas I felt Beli took as much time to talk about less. That's difficult to describe, so know that it's not a huge complaint, that I enjoyed both reviews very much, and that this was a tough one to call. Winner: DoI
    board icon
    Masters posted September 08, 2008:

    This was a very light week. Is this a trend? Couldn't tell you -- for me to know, I'd have to have been paying attention.

    Anyway, there were only four submissions, of which two were written by the same dude. What that means is that everyone places. In an obscure tribute to the winner: huzzah!

    Staff submissions don't count, but then, you knew that. Alright then, on to the reviews! Heh.

    Second Runner-up
    N+ by timrod

    This is a pretty straightforward, no-frills review -- and it's short. That being said, the subject material doesn't lend itself to anything much more interesting.

    I found what may be a typo: The one major problem is that a lot of doding the various traps involves a technique called ďgrazingĒ.

    One last thing: I thought the 3/10 was pretty generous given that you describe a thoroughly execrable and broken gaming experience.

    First Runner-up
    Tail of the Sun by pickhut

    Another very brief review of a weak title. This isn't pickhut's best work, but it gets the job done (if the horrific screenshots don't already do that for you).

    My only other comment would be that some mention of the genre of game up front would help.

    REVIEW OF THE WEEK
    Silent Hill 3 by bloomer

    Bloomer has two gems up this week, but of the two, Silent Hill 3 is the more entertaining and 'rich'.

    I already sang the praises of this review in the feedback topic I made for it, but for the sake of completeness, I'll repeat it here.

    Having re-read the review for the purposes of RotW, the below passage still strikes me as utterly comprehensive and dead-on in its summation of the Silent Hill experience:

    My favourite phase in SH3 comes after Heather escapes the horror version of the mall and makes for the subway to catch a train home. The station is deserted. A series of locked gates herd her deeper underground. Dispassionate tracking shots follow her as you guide her down one repeating tiled tunnel after another, the metronomic clatter of her boots taking over the soundtrack. Your sense of passing time begins to dissolve. It's hard to tell if the emptiness is due to it being late at night or if something supernatural is taking place. The artful design of such stretches of SH3 Ė stretches which do not necessarily affect the outcome or involve fighting, but which manipulate your apprehension of a world Ė is what continues to most strongly voice the series' unique identity and attraction in horror gaming.

    There's not much else to say. Wade's review takes notice of everything worth noticing about the game, and communicates the insight in a smooth, effortless fashion.

    Kudos -- you're on your way to winning every RotW I do for the year.

    C'est tout.
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 08, 2008:

    I felt bad, so I actually decided to read the reviews for this round.

    cairo vs. blu

    I think the problem I had with cairo's review is that he took a bit long getting into the game. There are bits and pieces of it in the early paragraphs, but he really doesn't start talking about Max Payne until the 4th paragraph. And at that time, I was starting to lose interest, but I still read on.

    I guess that's why I prefered blu's BioShock review much better, because he gets right into the game, talking about enviroments and describing certain moments, giving you a good idea about Rapture. One problem I can point out is that he never really tells you the genre the game belongs to until the final paragraph, so people who have never played or heard about the game before will probably have disjointed images of the game in their mind as they read the descriptions.

    I pick blu.

    doi vs. beli

    DoI's review was very interesting, and gave some very amusing descriptions about screaming ninjas and severed heads that shoot lasers. The problem I had with it was that his arguments about the game's problems didn't feel strong enough. He mentions the flaws, but it really didn't seem like he found them that annoying.

    Beli's review was very lively and colorful, but I had a hard time figuring out if he hated the game or loved it. It was only until the end that I realized he actually enjoyed the game. That was the main problem I had with his review.

    So, the pick for this is for DoI.
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 08, 2008:

    Yeah, I should have given a better idea about what the game is like. I also was gonna do a mmorpg comparison, too, which I should have done as well.

    Congrats to bloomer on his victoly.
    board icon
    bloomer posted September 09, 2008:

    Thanks Marc.

    I read your Tail o the sun review during the week Pickhut and it's definitely another very funny review to read about a game I definitely don't want to play.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 09, 2008:

    CAIRO vs. BOO.

    Sometimes, I decide to spell Johnnyís name right. For kicks.

    But Iím not going to vote him through this round! I wouldnít change a damn thing about his review, but itís so damn heavy, it makes Boo look wafer thin. This is to fit in with the leaden Noir narration Max Payne drips with and, once the intended audience is hit, itís magic. Thatís not to say itís easy going at times though and sometimes the writing simply gets in the way of the review. Boo gives his game the same score of six, but he earns that rank with more evidence then £the game wanes second halfĒ which, for all his fancy writing, is the only thing Cairo really attacks. Boo takes an adventurous stand; he gets on his pedestal in an internet swarming with love for a game and yells ďYour game bites!Ē then he tells you why. Itís good writing (of which Iíll take my obligatory and undeserved credit for, thankyouverymuch) and a great review. I remember judging it and saying the writing is so good in places that I had to double check it was a Boo review. Yeah, those are now the bits Iíll claim to have written.

    (But Iím lying. For the most part)

    WINNER: BOO

    DoI vs. BELI.

    God bless BELI. He may have written this review too late to squeeze it in to the BWHY tourney it was intended to, but he at least he came through with his review. DoI didnít. Iím pretty sure Iím petty enough for that to matter.

    BELIís review is much improved from the initial effort I remember me and Boo left feedback on as a curious gesture for completing the review (Pre Venter-coding. Iíd link you in, butÖ.) A good job is done in selling what makes Rayman tick; unique colourful locations and lashing of challenge. The biggest problem his review has s it seems to keep going well after the best place for the review to end is. From here out, weíre given recap paragraphs starting with ďAs I already mentionedĒ, shots at game mascots weíre all trying to forget and a lot of text we donít really need. This review would work so much better if it ended at ďitís glorious!Ē DoIís waste no such space and instead shows you the very best the game has to offer right at the start before then slowly striping away at the things that detract from the experience. Itís a well-used tactic, but one pulled off particularly well in this review. Iím left with a clear idea of the games pros and cons at the end of the piece and Iíve enjoyed the writing along the way. Heís lucky, too; Iím still bitter about that no show. Iíd given him Quake. Iím still not convinced that game exists.

    WINNER DoI
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 09, 2008:

    Thanks, you've written a pretty good review, too.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 10, 2008:

    Alrighty, having a flat tire has put me in a bit of a pissed-off mood, so my comments might be more of an abrupt, antagonistic sort of thing, but my intentions are good. So, don't take it personally if I say you suck.

    CAIRO vs. BOO
    Let's see, Cairo's review was a fun, entertaining read, but I felt I had to work to get to the gist of the review -- that this was an okay game that didn't really do anything special. Most of it seemed to be more of a creative writing exercise than anything else. Which is cool when I'm in the mood for it, but if I'm not (like today), it doesn't do much for me. On the other hand, Blu's also was fun and entertaining, but also to the point. He did a good job of praising the premise while damning the execution. The rating of 6 worked for me, as the review's description of the story made me want to play it, even if the rest of the review made me pretty sure I'd be disappointed by that experience.
    WINNER: BOO

    DoI vs. BELISARIOS
    After an opening paragraph where DoI went for an Olympic medal for "MOST TIMES USING HATRED IN ONE PARAGRAPH", this turned into a pretty good review. Maybe not one of the best I've read, but a good, informative piece with a couple parts I really liked. You did a great job of making your point about Belial overusing a limited number of taunts and I have to say, your description of the tasks to get tarot cards gave me a "fun" flashback to the requirements to get certain non-important medals in Dark Cloud 2. You'd have a bunch of enemies you NEEDED to use your one character's robot to beat (or risk getting butchered), but you'd have to use a melee attack, so you'd be getting pounded while barely damaging them. Putting things in that make me think, "Yeah, it really does SUCK when you have to do that!" always is good. While Beli's was a fun read that deserves credit from having the perfect whimsical tone for what sounds like a whimsical platformer (makes me want to play the GBA Rayman game on my computer), Problem is it's got more style than substance. Kinda reads like "This game's cool and I like it so you should too!" with little more to convince me. To me, the game sounds like a standard platformer (collect 100 of something for a 1-UP!) with really cool artwork. DoI had more substance to his, so he gets the win. And that's the only reason. Being the SON OF A CAMEL that beat me the last round didn't enter into my decision at all. Nope. Not at all.
    WINNER: DoI (the guy who DIDN'T eliminate me). Like I said.....not at all!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 10, 2008:

    I'll try to vote in this later tonight... if I have time.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Cairo vs Boo

    Wow, Cairo's is thick. And heavy. And long.

    People complain about EmP's Dracula review being thick in the writing, but I didn't really have a problem with his. I knew what he was trying to say, and for the most part, it had a point. Cairo's, however, just seems to go on a tangent a lot of the time... I can't make much sense of what he's talking about because the text is so heavy. Perhaps he had a point to this - maybe he tried to emulate the game's narrative style or whatever that I heard talk about - but it really doesn't work for me. And lines like this only add to the confusion:

    George Will writing in stream-of-consciousness while on a heroin bender...

    This'll only make sense to people who know who George Will is. In fact, Cairo has a habit of putting obscure (or at least to me) things in his reviews, and he does so several times throughout this one. It just confuses me, really.

    Boo's, however, reads much more smoothly. For the most part, I know what he's talking about despite never playing the game, and I can read it and be quite entertained. I'm not wondering when the thing'll be over every second paragraph with this review. The examples are relevant - I really liked the bees thing, that was amusing - and the criticisms believable. It is a lot more convincing.

    Boo also uses Cairo's method of inserting "obscure" references in his pieces... but these are fewer, and most of them I feel like I should know. (Ayn Rand, for example).

    Overall, it's pretty good. I dunno why I didn't read it earlier.

    Winner: Boo
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    The last time we had a beat 'em up contest, The Punisher stole the show while bluberry put himself on the map as Final Fight topped Ninja Baseball Bat Man from beat 'em up master dogma. But that was four long years ago. Times have changed. And I'm apparently the only one entertained by shirtless mayors fighting criminal syndicates with their bare fists anymore. That has to change.

    So time for something bluberry is all too familiar with: a second fisting.

    The rules are simple: review a beat 'em up between now and Saturday, September 27th 2008 (yes, that soon, suck it up). Multiple entries are allowed per user, so review more than one! Simply put, I think a short contest is in order to keep the pulse of this place going as EmP's summer bracket winds down and more and more guys are eliminated and left on the sidelines.

    Judges include myself and any other hearty, brawling types that would like to volunteer.

    Participants include YOU. By virtue of having read this far, you're obviously keen on the notion. Write something. These are short, entertaining, often hilarious titles.

    If you need a ruling on whether something is beat 'em up enough, just ask. As a guideline, Final Fight is the ideal. Viewtiful Joe is really, really pushing the boundaries, but was allowed last time.


    PARTICIPANTS:
    Dug
    Bred
    Jake
    Andore
    EmP
    Wrench T.
    Abobo
    espiga
    Wolfqueen
    Mess O.
    Bonebreaker
    Sportsman
    Bayou Billy
    bluberry
    Overdrive
    ...and that's not even counting palette swaps!

    WEARS GIRLS PANTIES:
    Mandy
    Jerec
    Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
    Suskie

    REVIEWS TO READ OR YOU WILL BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE BY THE MAYOR:
    Burning Fight by darketernal
    Battle Circuit by pickhut
    Toxic Crusaders by Overdrive
    Nightmare Circus by EmP
    Double Dragon II by Overdrive
    Mutation Nation by Janus
    Robo Army by pickhut
    BAD DUDES by wolfqueen
    Final Fight by bluberry
    Crystal Crashers by espiga
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted September 12, 2008:

    Boo vs. Cairo

    Winner: Boo

    That other match

    Winner: Whatever

    Justification to come.
    board icon
    espiga posted September 12, 2008:

    Castle Crashers. Can I has it?
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    Passable.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Neat. I'll probably do this. So long as there are ones for NES or Genesis, and I'm sure there are.

    As a side note, I... don't know any of those people besides EmP... Or do I?
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    EmP actually doesn't know he volunteered for this yet.

    The rest are my only friends.
    board icon
    Halon posted September 12, 2008:

    If I enter I will score higher than Abobo.

    That is, I can find a game that I want to play and review by the deadline.

    EDIT: also this avatar needs to go
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    You'll be lucky to top Bayou Billy if you enter.
    board icon
    Halon posted September 12, 2008:

    Well even Mess O can't do that.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Hm... So just as a general idea, anything classified under the Fighting Action (Brawler) category will work? There's a few there I'm seeing that I might check out. Might even download a MAME emulator for some of these...
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    Yeah, most of those will work. HG's listings are a bit incomplete but a good starting point.

    Just don't review Buffy. Or Charlie's Angels. Or whatever the fuck "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy" is. Someone is playing a cruel joke on me listing those as beat 'em ups.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Haha. No worries there. I've no particular interest in Buffy, Charlie or silly kids cartoons. Not in a videogame anyway.
    board icon
    drella posted September 12, 2008:

    If you did want to review a girly franchise, Pretty Solider Sailor Moon for the arcade is actually a good beat 'em up. Just overly long. I swear this is true.

    We don't have a listing for it yet though. I'll do that now.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 12, 2008:

    XXXX YOU

    I assume this means 2D brawler, in which case I might do Streets of Rage 3 but probably won't enter due to not playing 2D brawlers much any more.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Haha. Thanks, but I'm about as furtherest from girly as any girl you can probably imagine (except maybe lesbians >_>). But maybe I'll check that out sometime, anyway, if you say it's actually good.

    But it'll probably have to wait. I'd rather do shorter stints right now, with school and evrything.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 12, 2008:

    Great gadzooks!!!!! It's been an eternity since I strapped on the gloves of Aeternal Pain and Suffering for a beat 'em up game!!!!

    An eternity too long!

    It's pain time, kids!!!!
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 12, 2008:

    (accept maybe lesbians >_>). But maybe I'll check that out sometime, anyway, if you say it's actually good.

    Minus the misspelling of "except", this segment of your post totally rules in my perverted mind!

    OVERDRIVE BEAT 'EM UP VICTIM #1
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 12, 2008:

    Error? I don't see any error. >_> <_<
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 12, 2008:

    :X
    board icon
    disco1960 posted September 12, 2008:

    I like the Buffy game. :P
    board icon
    EmP posted September 13, 2008:

    In typical EmP fashion, I got into the TV series some four years after it had finished.

    One way or another, I pledge to take part in this tourney. This statement would have more impact had this call already been made for me.

    If I was a random brawler goon, I'd be one of the cheap ones that pelt players from outsde the screen with uzi fire.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 13, 2008:

    DRELLA 5 - 5 SUSKIE

    SUSKIE progresses.

    DarkEternal 6 - 2 Espiga

    DarkEternal progresses.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 13, 2008:

    Cairo 0 - 7 Boo

    Boo wins

    DoI 5 - 0 Beli

    DoI wins
    board icon
    honestgamer posted September 13, 2008:

    If I was a random brawler goon, I'd be one of the cheap ones that pelt players from outsde the screen with uzi fire.

    Also known as 'the smart one.'
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted September 13, 2008:

    What does it say about me that the first game I thought of when I read this contest was the Sailor Moon arcade game? It's already been mentioned, so it can't be THAT bad, right? Right?
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted September 13, 2008:

    Finally finished Half-Life 2 after a week of crappy stumbling blocks. Guess it's onto Summoner 2 or something.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 13, 2008:

    Game: Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen
    Genre: Fighting Action
    Developer: Treasure
    Release Date: 09/30/1994 (JP)
    Platform: Genesis

    Couldn't find the publisher.

    Added
    board icon
    drella posted September 13, 2008:

    Other people who should sign up before I volunteer them:

    Suskie
    pickhut
    DAMND
    Janus

    You've been warned.
    board icon
    drella posted September 13, 2008:

    When I do review of the week, there are no rules, though please don't be surprised if I adhere to past regulations out of a combination of classical conditioning and fear of change. Thanks to all those that contributed this week, but I can only highlight three reviews, because those are the rules.

    Winner:
    Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance by mariner
    Long-time contributor Mariner comes back from the dead, having not submitted since January, and in true veteran form shows little rust in tackling Path of Radiance. The review, though clear that a lack of strategy is a fault of the title, still convinces that FE is worth playing for its team management aspects, in particular, the life-and-death situations of its characters after the player grows an attachment. The use of rhetorical questions works well to establish this point, though a few character name drops come out of nowhere. Building a deeper backstory before questioning whether your party could (or should) do without them might have captured the reader more (the first paragraph describing the cliched story works against this), but this is still an effective approach and a terrific piece. Great job covering a game with these kind of complexities.

    Runner-Up:
    Earthworm Jim by wolfqueen
    A heated competition for the top spot, wolfqueen's Earthworm Jim was just barely edged out this week, so you better check this one out too. Worth reading for the hilarity of the subject matter alone, WQ is spot-on in what makes the Earthworm Jim franchise so goofy and endearing, describing everything from how Jim bides his time to avoiding lawyers in the depths of Hell. This is quality retro reviewing, only topped this week by a powerful review with more ambitious subject matter.

    Third Place:
    Sonic 3D Blast by pickhut
    This is another quality Genesis review only knocked down the charts because of a tad of carelessness ("The isometric viewpoint gets a little getting used to, but you'll get the hang of it" being a particularly redundant line). Pickhut establishes a well-backed and believable case that Sonic 3D Blast --admittedly, a game I never played -- showed promise but could have easily turned out a lot better. While currently replaying Donkey Kong 64, I can relate to some of these complaints about objectives being too far spread out. And I love the sarcasm at the end -- patented pickhut, and he had readers that know him well waiting all review for it. Quality work.

    Taking the RotW reigns next week is.... Overdrive? Really? We let him do this? Anyway, best of luck to all and keep the contributions coming.
    board icon
    jerec posted September 13, 2008:

    I was going to review The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy but now I can't so I'm out.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 14, 2008:

    Me? I don't play beat 'em ups. Or at least I don't think I do. Name something I might have played.
    board icon
    drella posted September 14, 2008:

    You look like a STREETS OF RAGE wimp if I ever saw one. I don't believe you never played it. And if not, you'd probably like it.

    Or BAD DUDES. BAD DUDES counts five times over. Most people know of BAD DUDES.

    There's also a slew of Ninja Turtles games, most of which I never played (besides the only non-beat 'em up one, their first release on the NES). Even non-beat 'em up fans rave over those.

    There's the archaic VIGILANTE and KUNG FU. And DOUBLE DRAGON. And RIVER CITY RANSOM.

    There's also probably some free PC ones you could be ambitious and teach me about. Half the ones here don't sound like beat 'em ups, but BROKEN KNUCKLES 1.01 and STREETKICKER sound damn promising. I'd check them out myself if I used Windows.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 14, 2008:

    Thanks, drella. I won't say I wasn't expecting to win this week (WHOMG, ego from me, really?! =O), so second was kind of disappointing. Still, I realize it's still good, and the things you said made it sound really close, so that's good enough to me. Especially coming from someone as renowned and revered as you are. I'm glad you considered it as good as you did.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted September 14, 2008:

    Congratulations to the winners, and kudos to drella for stepping immediately into the RotW rotation and posting a topic like this one with such fine analysis for those who placed. Can Overdrive do as well next week?!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 14, 2008:

    Hm... Will Thnder Fox work? I've got the GEN one, but there's no game info on that one here. It's arcade version is classified as action, though. But I've played a few minutes of it, and it feels like the definition of a brawler (walking in a single straight direction while random enemies attack you from all sides).
    board icon
    drella posted September 14, 2008:

    In one of the arcade screenshots pickhut submitted, a shirtless man is punching a tank. So while Thunder Fox is not -quite- a beat 'em up through and through, I'll allow it on that basis alone.

    board icon
    Suskie posted September 14, 2008:

    I think the closest I've ever come to playing a beat 'em up is Viewtiful Joe and Battletoads, neither of which I'd review for this comp because I'd feel like a cheating ass.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 14, 2008:

    Mmm... Well, I just talked to Felix about that game, and he said it's actually more like Contra... and that he's actually knifing the tank in that screenshot. So I think I'll just do something else... even if you already approved it. It kind of wouldn't feel fair to review something like that. Even if oddities like Viewtiful Joe got in last time.
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 15, 2008:

    Congrats to mariner for the top spot, and congrats to wolfqueen for getting pretty close. And thanks for the comments on the review, I do have a habit of making those types of mistakes. It sounded normal when I typed it up, and even when I was proofreading the review, but when you grab a sentence out like that, yeah.
    board icon
    jerec posted September 15, 2008:

    "Can Overdrive do as well next week?!"

    So... we check back in a month or so?
    board icon
    Masters posted September 15, 2008:

    Thunder Fox is nothing like Contra. What it's got in common with Contra is that it rocks.

    It's not a shooter like Contra, but it's barely a Final Fight-like beat-em-up either. You just walk to the right (usually) and jumpkick, stab or gun-swing your enemies, who take one shot and come at you in waves a la Kung Fu. But then again, if Kung Fu counts, why not Thunder Fox? God knows, it's manly.

    And I'm pretty sure we have a game listing for it up -- I have two reviews up for it!
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted September 15, 2008:

    I will enter and review Deus Ex.

    EDIT: I can't find Gekido Advance. Any MAME suggestions? (I like beat-'em ups that are unique, creative, preferably with some sort of grim city setting, maybe even one set in Victorian London - that would be ideal. I also like long walks on the beach but strictly no pets.)
    board icon
    drella posted September 15, 2008:

    Yeah, games like Thunder Fox, Kung Fu, Splatterhouse (but not SH3. No question that one is a beat 'em up), etc. are all borderline cases, and honestly, I wouldn't classify them as true beat 'em ups. But most borderline cases are allowed just to increase participation. I'd prefer if everyone reviewed MUG SMASHERS, but not everyone is a goon like me.

    Suskie - Arcade Battletoads is a beat 'em up through and through and totally bad ass. I think Sho has screens up. Check it out. Someone whose not big on the whole gritty streets and guys named Dug thing should review this.

    Janus - Hmm. Not many fit that bill. There's the over-covered Final Fight, the just covered Undercover Cops, and maybe 64th Street (though that one is not creative at all. It could be confused for London at points though, which is really rare to find). But my absolute professional recommendation for you is MUTATION NATION.
    board icon
    japanaman posted September 16, 2008:

    Game: Midnight Play Pack
    Platform(s): Nintendo DS
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Developer: GameLoft
    Genre: Casino/Casual Sports
    Release Date: June 24, 2008

    Game: NFL Quarterback Club '96
    Platform(s): Sega Genesis
    Publisher: Acclaim
    Developer: ???
    Genre: Sports
    Release Date: 1995

    Game: Atari: 80 Classic Games in One!
    Platform(s): PC
    Publisher: Atari
    Developer: Atari
    Genre: Classic Game Compilation
    Release Date: 2003

    Game: King of Fighters '99
    Platform(s): PS one
    Publisher: Agetec
    Developer: SNK
    Genre: Fighting
    Release Date: 1999

    Game: Xbox Music Mixer
    Platform(s): Xbox
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Developer: Wild Tangent
    Genre: Music
    Release Date: December 1, 2003

    ADDED
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 18, 2008:

    Hey, Jerec, I have a good streak of getting my RotWs done in a timely fashion. A streak of ONE!!!!
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 19, 2008:

    I DLed all the brawler-types listed for the GameBoy on this site. Playing Toxic Crusaders right now. Wouldn't class it as a beat 'em up.....more of a low-rent (very low-rent) side-scrolling action game, but there's so much unintentional hilarity here, I'll be reviewing it anyway, even if not for this particular contest!
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 19, 2008:

    I will enter this with dire reservations about my abilities with this genre, about which I know nothing.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 19, 2008:

    Dagoss, thank you for finally changing that stupid fucking avatar to something cool.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 20, 2008:

    NOTE: It's obvious I'm pushing it as far as interest is going, so the three winner go right into the final. Congrats all six of you: you reached the semis.

    Six matches. Three winners. Students clash with mentors, friends collide in pride-filled bloodbaths and other donít show up and leave themselves at the mercy of a RANPICK. Plus, notice a pleasingly symmetrical view to the last two names in the match ups? Oh, god of fate, how you ply your artistic eye.

    Gentleman and others, cast your votes!








    Suskie vs. Boo






    DE vs. VM






    DoI vs. EmP




    Voting open until I say so. Gogogo.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted September 20, 2008:

    Boo
    DE
    EmP.

    I will have insights later!

    (Maybe.)

    EDIT: Rejudged.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 20, 2008:

    Pardon me, EmP, but that's the wrong review. I said in my HGmail that I wanted to use Trauma Center: Under the Knife. I'd have to be pretty stupid to use that cruddy Tetris DS review in any tourney.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 20, 2008:

    *groan* Uh-oh... Not again...

    *raises e-drama shield* Meep.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 21, 2008:

    everybody vote now before EmP notices.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 21, 2008:

    best Zelda, no IMO implied.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 21, 2008:

    EDIT: Apologies, I'm an idiot.

    Suskie's was the very first pick sent in and I read it, but then lumped him with the rest of the lazy slackers that will turn up last second and thought he'd no-showed. Tetris was a RANPICK, but it has now been changed to the game he picked. Kindly rejudge the round, all one of you.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 21, 2008:

    Thanks. My worries actually weren't centered on the possiblities of losing, but on the knowledge that people would think I'd actualy use that Tetris DS review in a tourney :)
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 21, 2008:

    Suskie vs Boo:

    Ahhh, the good part about giving your own, subjective alas, view on reviews is when you have played both of the said games and understand what the author wanted to say better then if you never even heard of the game. Both of these reviews were pretty good, Boo's Doom review managed to fix on the atmospheric feeling that was the staple in the said game, speaking of twists and turns and the monstrosoties that the crack filled heads of Id software level designers dreamt up, while Suskie spoke of the flaws in a game that tries to be a sim. That's honestly my greatest problem with Suskie's review. He looks inside of the box, dismissing the story part of the game and deeming it unimportant.

    I do not agree with the said asessment, because obviously it is a powerful part of the game and should be added into the actual mark as a factor that could decide whether it is a good game or not. You focused only on the flaws from my experience and not on the pros of the game, citing an unbearable nurse that keeps correcting you or that the game is too simple. It depends on the age demographic that the game was intended for, plus the dialogues within the operation often again contribute to the "trivial, unimportant" story. Well, my rant here is over and the conclusion on your part is that your view on the flaws was excellent, but you didn't, in my opinion focus on finding the good parts of the game. Also, fun fact, all the patients in the game are more or less named after Scrubs characters and their respective actors.

    Winner: Boo.

    DoI vs EmP:

    I honestly want EmP to fail. He's been gaining speed up the reviewer's chart for far too long and it is time for the old to be replaced by the young. I liked DoI's review because it was very sturdy and well written and in more ways then one reminded me of my own style of writing. So, the natural thing would be to stroke my own, already over inflated ego and give the nod to him, because he mentioned everything that needed to be mentioned in an rpg, right? The characters, the story, the system and the addictability or lack of it. It's a really good review. And yet EmP+s review gets the nod for the simple factor that it oozes personality and a personal touch. He still needs to be taught that Final Fantasy tactics is a good game, but that aside, this review spoke of a cheerful, if not simple rpg in those same terms. There are no heavy words in it, no speech if the DS has any problems performing certain actions, if there is any slowdown or if the story speaks of an ancient evil that deals with the destruction of the world. No, in this review EmP is very much a giggly schoolgirl playing with his pigtails in a verbal manner. For any other game, this would not be a compliment, but here it transfers well.

    Winner:EmP
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 21, 2008:

    I don't want to sound like an ass here DE, but it seems to me that your main problem with my review was the fact that you didn't agree with it.
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 21, 2008:

    No problem, I always answer to criticism. No, my problem with it, was that you only named the flaws in the game while completely disregarding anything and everything that is a major part of the game. Like I said, I agreed with all those bad parts, but it seems to me like you didn't even try to find anything good with it. Just to look at the game from every angle. If I were to judge a review by personal bias, then Boo would get a verbal rape attack because Doom II is one of the most over rated games in the history of Fps, that and I was a Duke 3d guy anyway.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 21, 2008:

    Doom II is one of the most over rated games in the history of Fps

    woah, woah, woah

    woah

    hold up there, champ.
    board icon
    mardraum posted September 21, 2008:

    BAN HIS ASS
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 21, 2008:

    What can I say, John Romero is a filthy bitch. I hate her.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 21, 2008:

    Romero on his own brings out games like Daikatana. I find it hard to believe he was anything more than a coffee boy for iD, and nothing will ever change my view.

    NOTHING!
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 21, 2008:

    Levels by Romero:

    Doom/Ultimate Doom

    * E1M1: Hangar
    * E1M2: Nuclear Plant
    * E1M3: Toxin Refinery
    * E1M5: Phobos Lab
    * E1M6: Central Processing
    * E1M7: Computer Station
    * E1M9: Military Base
    * E4M2: Perfect Hatred
    * E4M6: Against Thee Wickedly

    Doom II

    * MAP11: Circle of Death
    * MAP15: Industrial Zone
    * MAP17: Tenements
    * MAP20: Gotcha!
    * MAP26: The Abandoned Mines
    * MAP29: The Living End

    try again. he probably just clicked really well with the dudes at iD and isn't very good on his own, but except for Tenements every one of those maps is a fucking powerhouse. Perfect Hatred and The Living End especially.

    edit: and The Industrial Zone! and Against Thee Wickedly! and The Abandoned Mines! and Circle of Death! and Hangar! fucking Hangar, man! E1M1!
    board icon
    EmP posted September 21, 2008:

    Hence the 'on his own', little buddy.

    Now stop bitching and start putting votes down. Slackers.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 21, 2008:

    "I find it hard to believe he was anything more than a coffee boy for iD"

    was what I was getting at.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 21, 2008:

    DE, if I spend thirty bucks on a game, I'm going to make an honest attempt to get some entertainment out of it. I obviously didn't enjoy the narrative very much if I didn't let it tilt the final score, or my overall opinion on the game. If this were an RPG or something even like Beyond Good & Evil where the story has a clear influence on why I enjoy the game, then it would be more appropriate. But this is a surgery game, so I'd expect the surgery aspect to be excellent while the ER drama is kept to a minimum. That perhaps we're looking for different things in our medical games is fine, but "you didn't mention the good stuff" still seems like a less blatant way of saying you didn't vote for me because you disagree.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 22, 2008:

    Suskie vs. Boo

    Iíve not played Trauma Centre. Suskie pulls it apart quite cleverly with a review that has a much stronger start than finish. The first few paragraphs were clever, but, from there, it feels more like a checklist than some of his stronger works. The BZZZT line was used twice in too close proximity, robbing the last line of the review of the impact it could have had, which is a shame, and, while the writing remains strong throughout, the spark the well thought out intro introduces is lessened. Boo, though, writes probably the cleverest review heíll ever write without me holding his hand (this jab will never get old. If it does, Iíll continue to use it, anyway). I commented back when Suskie threw our CoD4 that it was one of the best FPS reviews on the site. Booís Doom II is, then, the very best. Itís the familiarity he has with Doom that allows him to make insights only the super-nerdy can ever grasp but manages to voice it in such a way that those of us who donít play at least two hours of D2 a day still get it. Mostly, this is achieved through some great examples and delivered in a tone that never takes itself seriously (a lecture would have turned the entire thing into a disaster). You almost lost because you seem to say something nice about Doom 3 at the end, there, but itís the best review you have. Shame youíve not topped it in 3+ years of trying.

    And thereís the backhand.

    WINNER: BOO

    DE vs. VM.

    VM didnít show for this round, and the RANPICK was not kind. Exile was her second review and while itís not bad, itís certainly not as good as DEís. And, frankly, Iím happy to leave it at that. VMís not going to read this and I judged DEís Shadowrun back in BWHY, as well as proofed it for him, so heís had enough feedback. He just gets a win, instead.

    WINNER: DE
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 22, 2008:

    ...I judged DEís Shadowrun back in BWHY, as well as proofed it for him...

    Proofed it after the judging, I hope. You seemed to have qualms about doing that very thing during the Challange last year, so I did it instead, remember? >_>

    I'll get to voting in this if I ever get time again...
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 22, 2008:

    Oh shit, Boo played his Doom II? If I'd noticed I probably wouldn't have bothered to get the correct review posted in the first place.

    DE vs. VM

    It's a good thing I don't disagree with your review, DE, or I might just have voted against you out of spite! If I were to vote against you, it would be because of the hilariously pointless opening sentence (so we're talking about Shadowrun, then? yeah, no shit), the occasional over-wordiness, and the familiar and straightforward structure with the obligatory "but not all is good" paragraph towards the end. It's still a very solid review that kept me engaged from beginning to end, which I can't say about VM's. She starts off rather weak (from my experience, a series history briefing is never a compelling way to begin a review) and rambles on for far too long. I say "ramble" because a truly excellent review could get away with a length like this; it's the matter-of-fact tone that makes it drag, and I feel you dwell on details that could have been cut while the picture would still have been made clear. It's not a bad review by any means, but DE's is far more energetic, and shorter anyway. Winner: DE

    DoI vs. EmP

    I don't feel like elaborating too much because I don't have anything insightful to say. DoI's is good; EmP's is great and scores a laugh (if an easy one) first and foremost. DoI's Brave Story exhibits the kind of quality I've come to expect from the guy, and would have beaten a number of opponents, but to bring down EmP's Luminous Arc simply requires the kind of writing experience few of us have. Winner: EmP
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 22, 2008:

    well shit, if I knew that I would've said Doom II and used N3.

    edit: it would be an empty promise to say I'll add feedback later, but I might. regardless, I vote for EmP and that crazy dick-holder who hates Doom II aka DE
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 22, 2008:

    I think we should just close the voting right now and spare DoI, VM and myself any further rejection.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 22, 2008:

    NO!!!!

    I haven't voted yet. Ergo, this WILL NOT be closed.

    Note: I will vote either tomorrow or Wednesday. Ergo, you three rapscallions have up to two more days of pummeling before I deliver my verdicts, which shall either be the knockout blow or one brief taste of sweet redemption!
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 22, 2008:

    Ergo, you like saying "ergo."
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 22, 2008:

    leggo my ergo
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted September 23, 2008:

    I can take three more days of buldgeoning if my comrades can.

    Also I should probably vote.
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 23, 2008:

    I can take three more days of buldgeoning if my comrades can.

    That's what she said.

    ... sorry.

    Oh yeah, here's like some voting and stuff:

    Suskie vs Boo
    Winner: Booberries 'n Cream

    I think the primary analogy you draw between Trauma Center and Operation is quite unfair -- I mean, that's like trying to draw a comparison between Tetris and Legos, then claiming that Tetris lacked anything new. Also, can't you skip dialogue? I haven't played Under the Knife, but I walked away from this review with the impression that it was unfair. I had some trouble with Boo's review too, mostly because I just don't "get" Doom. He's so overly enthusiastic for pixeled action that all I can really do is say "... I'll take your word for it." His review does have some charm to the way it is written though, and I'd rather pick a review that gives unfair praise rather than one that gives unfair criticism.

    DE vs VM
    Winner: DE

    I want to vote for VM simply because of the "crappy 3D bandwagon" line, but alas I cannot. The review just kept rambling on and on in a tone that was fairly unenergetic. DE's review has more of a bounce to its step.

    DoI vs EmP
    Winner: EmP

    DoI's review could have beaten everyone else in this round EXCEPT EmP, so this is most unfortunate. Both of these games seems to have a fair amount of self-reflexive humour, and it's nice to see both taking that with equal seriousness (i.e. no seriousness). Both reviews actually made me want to play their respective games, so points there too. I guess the deciding factor is the quality of writing, and I felt that EmP's had more wit (the section of quotes made me laugh my ass off -- on the inside, obviously), and an overall coherence and flow that would have been tough to beat.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 23, 2008:

    Dagoss, I think you completely missed the point of that comparison to Operation. If I came off as too harsh, well, that's the point. I'm saying that the game is so simplistic in practice that it's little more than an interactive version of that board game. That's like comparing Tetris to Legos? What the fuck?

    I don't really care that much since I don't have anything in my backlog that could beat Boo's Doom II (certainly not this one), but complaining that my review is unfair, and then backing that up with an unfair criticism of your own, demands a response.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted September 23, 2008:

    Boo vs. Suskie

    Boo's review is enthusiastic. Suskie's doesn't tell about the story, and, darn it, that's important. I had more written here, but my computer blew up. True story.

    Winner: TIE
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 23, 2008:

    See? I get two criticisms I consider unjust, and now everyone thinks I'm frantic over losing. I've accepted my defeat at this point anyway, but feel free to rub it in as much as you want, Felix.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted September 23, 2008:

    There is nothing to rub in.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 23, 2008:

    smb3 seems gay, it's pixellated. I'm just going to have to take everybody's word on it.
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 23, 2008:

    If two people said that your review is a unfair, perhaps your review is unfair. If you don't think that's the case, if you think that I didn't read close enough, etc, that's fine -- but I don't think it is justified for you act like I did something wrong.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 23, 2008:

    I have to say, this was one hella week to be judging as it was really tough to only pick three reviews here, as everyone who submitted kicked a few different kinds of ass. So, you know who you are.....give yourselves a hearty bit of congratulations!

    And now sit through my umpteenth lame attempt to cleverly tell you the rules that likely will include at least one uncreative attempt to mock EmP!

    Only one review per user can make the top three. Since two people had multiple reviews this week, this rule MAY have come into play! If you wrote a staff review (even if you're not pure staff) those reviews are not counted. Jason made that rule to placate EmP, who was getting disgruntled at never getting recognition.....so he told him that staffers were ineligible and now the rest of us suffer to maintain that veil of deception....

    Alright, rules are explained. Uncreative attempt to mock EmP in place (and from re-reading it, I really have to work on new, better material....). Now, it's time for YOU!




    Review of the Week: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2) by dagoss

    If I wanted to be overdramatic, I'd say your review clinched my decision to take a road trip to the nearest gaming store today to buy this game and Rogue Galaxy, but I'd have done that anyway. Still, your review did a great job of reaffirming anything good I'd heard about this game in an engaging manner. One thing I thought was a bit amusing was late in your review when you finally get back to the dungeon a bit (with the "remember the dungeon" line), I had to scroll back through to make sure you hadn't been really talking about it profusely. Your review just flowed that well and did such a good job explaining how the many elements of this melded together so well that the dungeon just seems like another piece of the pie, instead of this huge thing everything else revolves around.

    First Runner Up: Doom 3 (PC) by bloomer

    I think the thing I liked the most about this review was how, as a Doom/Doom 2 fan, this one seems to speak directly to me. You mention these things which I take for granted in those games and many fan-made levels and then cut my feet out from under me by telling me how those elements aren't present or are neutered in Doom 3. Very effective review that reaffirmed my desire to not play this game ever.

    Second Runner Up: Hacker (C64) by sashanan

    It was a WAR for the third spot between this review and blah or blah's very effective review of Spore. In the end, you might have snared the spot by giving me a bit of nostalgia, Sash. Not of this game ó I never played it. But of how important packaging was back in the day. I remember all the goodies packaged with those Infocom games or how Thomas Disch's Amnesia came with a map of Manhatten so you could find your way around those city streets in an attempt to find your identity. And you do a great job of explaining how this game's packaging played into the sense of mystery. You have no idea what's going on right from the beginning and you won't until you've gotten through the game. Utterly brilliant and you do a great job of bringing out that aspect of the game.




    Good week. Now I have games to play and rum to drink. Until the next time, folks!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 23, 2008:

    Excellent. I fully endorse dagoss's victory; truly an amazing review.

    Congratulations to the runner-ups, too. Good week all around.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 23, 2008:

    Could be. It's not that you two didn't like it that bugs me -- EmP voted against me as well an I had no problem with his critique -- but I don't think I've ever so strongly disagreed with the reasons. But I think I've said enough. Sorry if I've given the impresson of lashing out, as that was not my intention.
    board icon
    sashanan posted September 23, 2008:

    Great picks, I enjoyed dagoss' and bloomer's reviews a lot. And thanks for the heads up, of course. Sounds like my review hit precisely the note I had in mind for it, and I once again got away with not mentioning some of the mainstays (graphics, audio) whatsoever.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted September 24, 2008:

    Here's the RotW schedule outlined through the end of May, 2009. If someone drops out of rotation, someone else will hopefully step in and we can simply replace the name and keep the chart.

    09/21/08 - Overdrive
    09/28/08 - Jason

    10/05/08 - EmP
    10/12/08 - Masters
    10/19/08 - Drella
    10/26/08 - Overdrive

    11/02/08 - Jason
    11/09/08 - EmP
    11/16/08 - Masters
    11/23/08 - Drella
    11/30/08 - Overdrive

    12/07/08 - Felix
    12/14/08 - EmP
    12/21/08 - Masters
    12/28/08 - Drella

    01/04/09 - Overdrive
    01/11/09 - Felix
    01/18/09 - EmP
    01/25/09 - Masters

    02/01/09 - Drella
    02/08/09 - Overdrive
    02/15/09 - Felix
    02/22/09 - EmP

    03/01/09 - Masters
    03/08/09 - Drella
    03/15/09 - Overdrive
    03/22/09 - Felix
    03/29/09 - EmP

    04/05/09 - Masters
    04/12/09 - Drella
    04/19/09 - Overdrive
    04/26/09 - Felix

    05/03/09 - EmP
    05/10/09 - Masters
    05/17/09 - Drella
    05/24/09 - Overdrive

    If any swaps are made, please arrange them within this thread so that other staff members know what's happening. Thanks!
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 24, 2008:

    time to get pumped:

    PickHut: if you topple me again, I'll murder you
    PickHut: ah
    PickHut: yes
    PickHut: this will be the highlight of video gaming journalism
    PickHut: NEW AGE OF WRITERS, WATCH OUT
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 24, 2008:

    I hope that I didn't compel you to buy Rogue Galaxy, because if I did, then I owe you an apology.
    board icon
    bloomer posted September 24, 2008:

    Yeah, definitely an excellent review by Dagoss. It's of an RPG strand that's pretty foreign to me, but the review is able to create the context so I can still understand that world, which is no mean feat.

    Re: the old boxes... I do miss them. The main thing was, the box was absolutely all you had to go on to find out about the game. In the early 80s you could read about 3 game reviews once a month in a magazine like Creative Computing. Everything else was down to the box, when you dragged your dad to the shop at birthday time to pick a new game (which was my schtick every birthday). The back of the box was super important. I mean the front grabs your eye, but without screenshots and actually useful information on the back, you potentially didn't trust what was on the floppy inside.

    Now we're just totally saturated in info. We know what game is coming half a year out and have seen and heard an insane amount of stuff about it before we even get near it. And as such the box decoration has become depressingly redundant.
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 24, 2008:

    Alright, here you go.

    Burning Fight

    http://www.honestgamers.com/systems/content.php?review_id=7403&platform=Neo%95Geo&abr=NEO&gametitle=Burning+Fight
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 24, 2008:

    SUSKIE vs. BLU

    I didn't have the problems that others had with Suskie's review. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. Doing RotW, I've noticed that a lot of people have been big into these and the Phoenix Wright games in recent months and have read a ton of reviews of them. At least the the TC games, I'd never seen a negative review until now. And, to me, this was a very convincing one. The concept of operating on "people" in a game is a concept that strikes me as something I'd like to sample on a rainy day. But if I knew I'd be deluged by text, have even simple processes dominated by a chattering nurse AND wind up doing the same sorts of tasks over and over again, I'd be opting out of this experience. You did a good job of showing the dark side of this title and illustrating how annoying parts of it could be.

    Unfortunately, you're not just going against the pinnacle of Blu's reviewing career, but also of his life and the lives of his immediate family members. I remember when I first saw this review. In the team tournament of whatever year this was, interest was barely higher than it was this year. We had six teams (as compared to the usual eight) and only two judges (lots of ties). Well, after not making the playoffs, I volunteered to judge the postseason so we'd have decisive results and Blu responded with this review.....which wound up beating the illustrious Fix. With the amount of time me and Blu have talked shop about Doom games over the years, we know far more about these games than is healthy. Whenever I've read this review, I spend the whole time basically nodding my head at the examples he uses and wanting to add my own (like the simple little area near the beginning of L10 where you have a ton of pitiful regular soldiers that are placed JUST SO in order to make you constantly paranoid that one of them is right behind you OR the godly awesomeness of Downtown's cityscape). Even after a few years, I'd have to say this still is one of my personal favorite reviews on this site for many reasons.

    WINNER: BLU


    DE vs. VM

    It took DE's review a bit o' time to grow on me, but it did its job of making this game seem pretty frickin' interesting. Might have to give it a look assuming I ever dig myself out of the bottomless pit of games yet unplayed or unfinished I'm working on. You made things sound pretty interesting with how every class has its own uses and you have to hire people to do the jobs you personally can't do because of the limitations of your class. On the other hand, I don't know that you needed the paragraph explaining each class, as you could have mentioned that in talking about the need to hire mercenaries. That part just kinda seemed like filler to me.

    However, you do squeak out a win here. It's not that VM's RAN-PICK is a bad one -- in fact, it makes me want to scour the web in search of this game.....but it just goes on and on and on. This review would be potentially great with some condensing (or a decent amount of it), but as it is, I found myself losing interest long before the end.

    WINNER: DE


    DoI vs. EmP

    It's not that DoI's review is a bad one. I know I've read it before and possibly had positive comments for it, but in reading it this time, it just seemed like a "RPG template" review. A little bit about the background, mentioning a particularly personable character, talk about gameplay/battling, mention the game's length while adding there's plenty of extra things to do. I love RPGs, but this review doesn't really say or do anything that would make me want to play this one any more or less than any number of other decent-to-good RPGs out there. It's in the "good review for a good game" category, but isn't really any more than that. Which is perfect for a submission, but not so great for a contest.

    On the other hand, EmP's descriptions of the characters and how his game is happy to keep them right in genre archetypes cracked me up. You have to love the classic evil villain who ALWAYS kills or has killed someone close to a main character and revels in being evil simply for the sake of being evil.....and how characters seem to constantly be surprised or shocked that he is doing evil things. And EmP does a fine over-the-top (well, unless the knight really does brag about kicking puppies.....which would be the greatest moment in SRPG history) portrayal of that to get his review off to a funny, personable start. Which he maintains through the course of the whole thing. Your goal seemed to be to label this as a game content to be generic, but one that has so much fun with it that it's a joy to play. And you succeeded in doing so.

    WINNER: EmP
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 24, 2008:

    This'll be quick because I don't have time.

    Suskie vs. Boo:

    I liked Suskie's review. It was entertaining and informative. It's clear that whatever story element is in that game doesn't matter to him, so I don't see it as an issue needing mentioning. The review was effective; I saw why he hated the game, and I probably won't play it myself now. I was also amused in places, too, which also helps.

    Unfortunately for him, though, Boo's is just amazing. It takes off right from the get-go and throws you straight into the action without letting go. It's a very entertaining read that clearly expresses his love for the game.

    Winner: Boo

    DE vs VM:

    I read VM's over summer. It was good, but not that great. DE's is good, too, but I still have trouble with his style sometimes. Either way, his review's stlil good. It's informative and interesting, and Shadowrun is definitely a game I'd been meaning to check out. Ultimately, though, his was better.

    Winner: DE

    EmP vs. DoI:

    EDIT: All is forgiven

    I read EmP's review when he first wrote it, and absolutely loved it. I think it's one of my favorites of his. It's hilarious (those character quote things still made me laugh my ass off, even though I'd read them before) and witty and well-described. It definitely seems like a game worth cheking out. Great review.

    DoI's review was actually a lot better than I expected (no offense). I'd only read a few of his reviews, and wasn't too impressed with them, but this one was quite entertaining. And there were amusing bits, too, that were quite enjoyable. I do agree that this one could've beaten almost anyone else's review except maybe Suskie's and Boo's, but bad luck got him here, ufortunately.

    Winner: EmP

    Sorry this is still really half-assed guys. But I really am too busy for this....
    board icon
    drella posted September 24, 2008:

    DING DING DING

    Let's fight.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 24, 2008:

    board icon
    pickhut posted September 25, 2008:

    Game: Robo Army
    Platform: Arcade
    Publisher: SNK
    Genre: Fighting Action (Brawler)
    Added

    Thanks.
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 26, 2008:

    Double Dragon II

    No shirtless men punching (or stabbing) tanks here, but you do get to fight a fat guy who runs into you and the world's lamest ninja in this one!
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 26, 2008:

    Abobo IS NOT fat.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 26, 2008:

    Hm.... Just out of curiosity, when you said "finish by September 27th", does that mean we get tomorrow, too? >_>

    There's a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny possibility that I might be able to make this after all... having tomorrow will likely increase that.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 26, 2008:

    EmP sits up 'till 2:30am. He gets extra points for dedication.

    Nightmare Circus
    board icon
    drella posted September 27, 2008:

    You guys can have Saturday. I'm not judging until Sunday.

    Sorry if that was unclear, but isn't it better having your reviews in early for a change!
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted September 27, 2008:

    Much to my own surprise, I have actually written and submitted a review for this.
    board icon
    drella posted September 27, 2008:

    I think I have all submissions listed so far...

    Judging will be conducted Sunday and winners announced Monday morning!
    board icon
    japanaman posted September 27, 2008:

    Game: Counter Force
    Platform(s): Wii
    Publisher: Conspiracy Entertainment
    Developer: Hyper-Devbox Japan
    Genre: Shoot 'Em Up
    Release Date: October 5th, 2007

    Added.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 27, 2008:

    wrote a quickie Final Fight praise, not sure if I want to bother turning it in. I might anyway since I have proven in the past to be a terrible judge of my own writing.

    Final Fight
    board icon
    espiga posted September 27, 2008:

    Just submitted mine. It's still the 27th over there, I think >_>

    Castle Crashers

    I'd link it but I'm on my phone... Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go bandage my fingers after writing that entire review on a tiny keyboard.
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 27, 2008:

    Whoops, almost forgot to post the review I'm gonna use here.

    Battle Circuit
    board icon
    honestgamer posted September 28, 2008:

    This was always going to be a tough week to produce a Review of the Week topic. Even before you all flooded the queues with entries for the current competition, there were some great reviews posted and I was looking forward to having a difficult time choosing the best. Then a bunch more dropped just a few hours ago, and that meant more work still. I'm not complaining, just saying...

    Anyway, I've finally picked my favorite three for the week. As usual, staff and freelance reviews are excluded and I named only one review from any given contributor. Here goes!

    ---

    Runner Up #2: Mount & Blade by magicjuggler

    The only problem I had with this review was the occasional sort of grammatical error that creeps into even the best of reviews. This certainly was a great review, aside from that. I didn't know much about the game going in, but this review really made me think that should change. The combat sounds truly exciting as presented in this text. The open-ended nature of things sounds like it could be great. This was through and through an effective praise review and now I wish that I could play me a little bit of Mount & Blade. Good going!

    Runner Up #1: Mutation Nation by JANUS2

    When janus2 is writing at his best, he can really capture me as a member of his audience. The descriptions of the fighter at the start of this review--though feeling generic--were effective because he followed that up so well with a single-sentence paragraph that said exactly what I was thinking, only in a more clever way. The rest of the review kept that witty flow going, for the most part, and described eloquently a game that sounded quite interesting. The angle that the review ultimately took--sometimes good memories should be left in the past--is hardly a new thing around these parts, but the review wasn't weakened terribly by its ultimate reliance on the old cliche. Additionally, things for the most part seemed to flow effortlessly and some of the sentences were just darn cool. A very good read!


    Review of the Week: Bad Dudes by wolfqueen001

    In some ways, wolfqueen perhaps had an unfair advantage here: she's a she. That normally wouldn't matter when reviewing a game, but she chose to review Bad Dudes and made it matter. The result was a really funny introduction that gets her point across splendidly. Her writing there definitely made me smile, and that lighthearted tone was carried throughout the review. If she'd just had a clever intro and left it at that, it wouldn't have been enough, but this whole review oozed personality while also describing a lot of important gameplay elements. This is her strongest review to date, I felt, and that was good enough to take the top spot on this very competitive week. Score!

    ---

    Thanks go out--as always--to those who pitched in and made this a difficult week. I hope that many of you will show up with reviews next week, when EmP will be posting his topic. Try to make his choices even harder, will you?
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 28, 2008:

    gg wq

    rad bro
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 28, 2008:



    Erm, I mean, congratulations and victoly to the wolfqueen, and the runner-ups, Janus and magicjuggler!
    board icon
    jerec posted September 28, 2008:

    JANUS2??
    board icon
    EmP posted September 28, 2008:

    EmP's note: No reviews after the first three submited to site this week will be hosted. I can and will abuse my possition for ease of life.

    Congrats to the mentioned three for coming up trumps on a very crowded week.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 28, 2008:

    Wow. Thanks, guys! As usual, I'm surprised it did so well, but I'm glad you liked it.

    I'm glad the humor worked. I really wasn't sure whether it would come off funny or cheesy.

    Anyway, congrats to the other winners and participants.

    And LOL EmP had better be joking. >=O Haha.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 28, 2008:

    I need to follow up Pickhut's post and find a picture of GLaDOS's anger module to post here. Nevertheless, congrats to the winners.

    Edit: Got it.



    RRRAARRRRRRRR
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted September 28, 2008:

    JEREC?!
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 28, 2008:

    DAD?
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 28, 2008:



    KHAN!!!
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 29, 2008:

    This one of (if not) the best reviews I've read from WQ, though I was a little confused about the conflation of manliness and pure evil (punching kittens isn't manly! And what kind of man steals from orphans!?). Perhaps this reveals more about WQ than was intended...!
    board icon
    drella posted September 29, 2008:

    POISON!

    Toxic Crusaders by Overdrive

    Think about what you're saying: if in your introduction you say you want to come across as an authority on a game, and three paragraphs later you say you "can't be bothered to remember the characters' names," you come across as a smug asshole reviewer. No lie. And this is ignoring the fact all those paragraphs in between seem largely extemporaneous (especially compared to the size of the rest of the review). Poor start. After that, it's just your surface level impression of the first two levels with a lot of overplayed gimmicks (you'll have the "pleasure" of doing platforming segments). Sorry, but I'm not buying a reviewer mocking the creativity of a game when he uses the word "stuff" to describe things four times. This is not how you want to come across in a review.

    Double Dragon II by Overdrive

    While certainly better than Toxic Crusaders, I can't say I enjoyed this one either. The introduction is meandering thoughts about the NES version which even you admit doesn't carry a great deal of weight (even though you actually say the opposite because of sloppiness). There's horrible progression from there. "First let's look at the plot" is a lead-in you should be above by now. The story sounds ridiculous, but not necessarily a sign of shoddiness, and I think that argument's lacking. Then there's the patented "moves" paragraph where... you're complaining about the tiny handful of moves of a GameBoy beat 'em up. Which still manages to be not so feeble because of the uppercut and knee drop. Though I see how this all gets fairly repetitive, I don't see how you could act surprised or incredulous or even disappointed. "And it's not just the fighting that's repetitive, it's also the graphics." Are you really using these kind of transitions?

    DUG IT!

    Burning Fight by darketernal

    Hohum. This isn't a great review; it too obviously comes across as an assignment and that the writer isn't particularly avid of the genre. Which is fine, I suppose, but you've still got to build a convincing case. Burning Fight is a bad beat 'em up. Even I know this. But I'm not convinced at all because too many of the major complaints here are often true of the best in the genre as well. It's easy to die in Final Fight and Undercover Cops. There are limited moves in Streets of Rage and Cadillacs & Dinosaurs. There's shaky collision detection in Altered Beast. These complaints are simply not enough to deter people that know the genre; you've also got to illustrate why they're worse or intolerable here. Another point: proofread your work. It's than, not then. Don't change tense mid-sentence (Bikers trying while dockworkers will try). Too many sentences get bogged down by extra commas or ideas that feel tacked on at the end of a train of thought. This shoddiness is untypical of your work, so it's really disappointing.

    Battle Circuit by pickhut

    A quick and dirty review of Battle Circuit. The recaps of a lot of the particular scenes could have been a lot more captivating; be descriptive and creative and over-the-top. Plain summaries of crazy happenings don't hit with the same impact as intense summaries of crazy happenings. And try and get some opinion or enthusiasm in there as well; the best parts here are where that starts to creep through. These reviews are also a bit better with some analysis of why this goofy stuff works (Knuckle Bash is crazier than C&D, but no one would put them on the same level). Really poor conclusion at the end. Just laziness there. This has the makings of a good review, but currently reads like a bunch of notes rattled off in a row.

    BAD DUDES by wolfqueen

    This would be a solid review except for the fact Bad Dudes sucks. Kidding aside, I like the descriptions here a lot. They're entertaining and enthusiastic and well-written. But this assortment of random descriptions isn't tied together very well since whatever the point was of a lot of these paragraphs, it goes unsaid. I get what the point is of a lot of them, but I think the review needs to be a little more analytical, which is a strange thing to say about a beat 'em up review but I feel it would stress some of the points (weapons are needed, jumping is tough) better. Also, "impregnating women by looking at them" and "punching kittens" are tired! See EmP writing about tile-grouting man. Creativeness goes a long way. And also, really, Bad Dudes does suck.

    BRED AND BUTTER!

    Robo Army by pickhut

    Maybe I like this review because I already trashed a robot-based brawler and I see eye to eye with you trashing another one, but regardless, I like this review. More than Battle Circuit. It's a bit jumpy in some paragraphs and seems to grab its ideas out of the air; the pink buggy in the first, the "dash back" in the penultimate. Those kind of things give the impression this was written quick and without much care. But still, I think the core points of this review are very believable, and that's the main place I've been finding fault with a lot of reviews thus far. Too generic complaints like a lack of variety or limited moves don't work without specific examples... mentioning the disappointment of not being the pink buggy for longer, or the specific attack soldier are invulnerable too, the limited health meter, the boss rush... these are the convincing details a lot of the other reviews were lacking. All that's missing is a more polished presentation here.

    Crystal Crashers by espiga

    Simple and elegant come to mind. Which should be fitting, because this sounds like a different breed of beat 'em up even though its roots are still firmly in the genre. There's certainly enough covered here to pique my interest in Castle Crashers. Its leveling system sounds like that of The King of Dragons, except not completely superfluous, which would be really cool. But the truth is, I don't think this review covers enough material for me to want to purchase it. Just in general, I'd like to know more about the combat besides the boss battles, and maybe a few more examples of the game's sense of humor... they can't all be that bad. This is a great read, but maybe a little incomplete. But when the best advice is simply "add more" you're certainly on the right track here.

    Mutation Nation by Janus

    Well I'm glad at least the first two levels of my recommendation won you over! This is a quality review that takes a subtle look at the high points and the low points of a beat 'em up, and probably one that covers a major fault of a lot of these games: too many aren't designed with beyond the third level in mind. Still though, I don't think the review illustrates just how tedious this game gets, especially for knocking it down so much after the terrific beginning. I get the feeling you found it pretty bad later on. But I'm not -exactly- sure why besides the fact the enemies don't change a ton (which is a fair point, but keep in mind, even Final Fight blew it's load early). Encountering just a couple new enemies seems like more the norm than the extreme to me. Then again, the intro makes it clear you're a Streets of Rage guy....

    AN ANDORE AND A HALF

    Nightmare Circus by EmP

    Great review. This is what I wanted this competition to be. A short, goofy stupid game. Creative and imaginative descriptions (the sort of guy who takes you upstairs and shows you his bathroom tile... nice). A fun approach. A solid closing summary that ties together why it doesn't work at all. This is how you tackle a beat 'em up. Moreover, the game is called NIGHTMARE CIRCUS. About a guy who goes to beat up CIRCUS ZOMBIES and FLYING BIRTHDAY CAKES. Do your homework people! Awesome game choice.

    TOO DAMND GOOD

    Final Fight by bluberry

    The complete opposite of what I expected from another Final Fight review. It's calm. It's witty. It's self-referencing (smash up your car with pipes... HA!). Yet it comes across with the same hard-hitting attitude that characterizes Final Fight. It shows how strategy makes the game cooler (kicking Rolento out of the sky). And most importantly, I love the general, prevalent theme. This is not repetitive. Shmups have the same enemies over and over. Run and gunners have the same enemies over and over. But beat 'em ups, far too often, taken the brunt of the complaints here when too many others were just as guilty. Somehow, even I never argued that before, and I think it works well here. This review is as bold as Final Fight. It's one of those reviews that you can only write if you've -really- spent too much time with a game. Maybe you didn't think this one was coming together well, but it did.
    board icon
    darketernal posted September 29, 2008:

    Thanks for the comments though I don't agree. I am actually quite a fan of the genre since I played all of those games. You mention said problems crossed all over the various beat'em ups and I agree. The thing is, Burning Fight has all of them packed in the same game.

    As for proofreading, that will go on Emp's head. I need to whip him back into shape.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 29, 2008:

    Hahaha. Nah; this review is not a reflection of my true nature. In fact, I almost considered scrapping it because it didn't really sound like me.

    As for the punching kittens/stealing from orphans thing, I just thought it would be funny. But I suppose you're right; it's not technically "manly", just mean. =P

    Thanks for the kind words, though.

    EDIT: Oh, yeah. The "punching kittens / stealing from orphans" thing is also supposed to represent how bad they are. >_>
    board icon
    overdrive posted September 29, 2008:

    NOTE TO SELF:

    When essentially in a pure RPG frame of mind, churning out two brawler-type reviews in quick succession for a contest almost as an afterthought just to participate in said contest might not have been the best of moves.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted September 29, 2008:

    Huh. I guess for once in his life, EmP was wrong.

    Well, thanks for the comments anyway. I honestly wasn't expecting this to do well. That's why the RotW surprised me so much.

    I kind of get what you're saying with it not flowing together or whatever, and I agree that I would have done better to try and transition the stuff better instead of being all over the place, but I really did write that to be kind of random and silly.

    I also Tried taking EmP's advice to just write as you go with it, which produces pieces like this I guess. Only with me, half of it follows that advice and the other follows my usual style, so that probably didn't help any.

    I guess the review's just one of those things that works for some people but not others. Most (if not all) of the people I talked to seemed to like it, anyway, and Jason liked it enough to award me that victory, so I guess it's worth something.

    I'll be honest, though; I haven't exactly read (or played) that many beat-em-up reviews, so as far as my "lack of creativity" goes, I didn't really realize those things were overused.

    Guess I'll try harder next time.... Or something.

    Thanks again.

    Congrats to EmP and boo for being favorites again. EmP's resally did read better after editing twice (you're welcome), and boo's was pretty much good from the start.
    board icon
    Suskie posted September 29, 2008:

    I think it's safe to assume that DoI, VM and I have lost.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 29, 2008:

    DoI is a very close friend of mine and, therefore, can never be beaten enough when he's against me.

    Worry not: the final is being drafted as we speak.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 29, 2008:

    Welcome to the final. Itís your atypical three way dance where you, the great voting public, will need to tell us, the, er, rest of the public, the order of your preferred reviews from third to first. So, for example

    EmP > Boo > DE

    Iíll figure out a winner from this via complex mathematical calculations and then let the winner commence gloating.

    Let me you introduce you to our finalists:





    Who Is He?: DarkEternal started life in an underground fiction ring that called the dank sewers of Croatia home. From the start, he was marked for success by gang leaders who were impressed by his ability to wordsmith in three different languages, but, with recognition, came danger. Finding himself placed on more perilous raids on bookshops and writing supply stores, he would work tirelessly at various college applications , backing them up with forged credentials until, finally, he smuggled himself into a deal with various members of the Croatian government, allowing them to employ his talents in return for political immunity. Like that guy from Lethal Weapon 2. Itís exactly how he started out.

    Missing the electric buzz of Haiku Deathmatches, he covertly slid his way into the seedy underbelly of video games reviewing under the banner of TEmP, where heís existed as a dark horse ever since.

    How He Got Here: DE lost in the first round to Felix and had to rely on being the highest-scoring loser of the group to qualify to the next round. He spent the next two rounds as an overachieving underdog as he beat Espiga (6-2) and then slaughtered bookies favourite, VM (7-0).



    Who Is He?: Boo was too successful, too fast. As soon as the youngster burst onto the scene, he was thrown into a head-first battle with highly established writer, Fix, and found himself overcoming the stacked odds time and time again. Everyone loves an underdog and this relative unknown became a household name off the back of his giant slaying. But, with the success came the fame, the big money sponsors and a lifestyle young Boo was not ready for. Swept up in the Hollywood lifestyle, Boo swapped the quill for the cheap women and expensive designer drugs, regularly stepping out with Charlie Sheen and Slash from Guns & Roses. But his alcohol-riddled mind lost the words and, soon, his writing would suffer, leaving him a mid-table finisher or a complete no show. The money stopped rolling in, the hangers-on turned their back and he downgraded high-class hookers for backstreet skanks.

    Today, we find a Bluberry getting back on form. Tourney wins have started raising his stock once more and Meg Ryan just left a message on his answering phone. Whether you're sympathetic to Booís plight or hate him enough to delete his incoherent blog posts, his inspirational comeback has prompted the recent made-for-TV movie of his life. He is to be played by Fat Albert.

    How He Got Here: Boo put Wolfqueen down early with a 10-0 drubbing before going on to knock out high-seeded Cairo next round over. Suspicions rose when it was revealed both his opponents picks were RANPICKS due to neither making the deadline, and tongues were wagging even more so when a clerical error put semi final opponent, Suskie, in the same predicament. In an evenly matched fight, Boo cruised to a memorable 7-0 victory to stake his claim to the final.



    Who Is He?: People with long memories will remember the quiet, humble emp that existed silently in the bottom echelons of reviewing four some years ago. How things have changed. Judged as nothing particularly special, emp specifically stayed off the radar until he was ready to storm the reviewing world harder than Germany over Belgium.

    Soon after transforming 66% of his screen name into full caps, the now monikered EmP went on the offensive with a bloody rampage the likes of which has never been seen. His ferocity in the 2005 TT saw him brutalise crowd favourite Masters so heavily that he would have to fall into forced retirement for a number of years, and, even now, has to employ a stair lift at his stately Canadian mansion.

    Since this violent change of persona, he has chased out numerous contenders to what he sees as his number one spot. Ruder dropped out the picture as soon as the monster many people say he had created started to set its sights on him. Protťgť LastHero found himself jailed for crimes against young children he still claims he was framed for, and rumours of Zigfriedís fingers being found strewn across the California beaches remain unconfirmed, but believed by many. Even as soon as last week saw Mike ĎSuskieí Suskieís car explode in mysterious circumstances. No one was hurt in the explosion, but suspicions were cast.

    EmP has found himself fired from staff and rehired as a necessary evil several times and heads up the sinister Team EmP (Or TEmP). If you canít see EmP right now, you may be only seconds away from death.

    How He Got Here: EmP saw off fellow TEmPer Will in the opening round before dismissing Dagoss, for whom the tourney was constructed, in a heartless second round slaughter. The semis saw the steamrolling of close chum, DoI, for his spot in the finals.









    DarkEternal vs. Bluberry vs. EmP



    We are go.
    board icon
    EmP posted September 29, 2008:

    Apologies on my fumbles with DE. I did write three reviews of my own in about 24 hours, so was word-blind by then. That's my excuse and I'm sticking ot it.

    Thanks for the placement and the kind words, I appreciate the time you took to read and comment on the review. Congrats to Boo who was convinced he'd be picking up the wooden spoon here and kudos to everyone who showed.
    board icon
    pickhut posted September 29, 2008:

    Crystal?

    Ha, blu really believed he was gonna place last in this contest. Bet he'll be surprised once he sees this topic.

    Thanks for the comments you provided for both of my reviews. I thought Battle Circuit was the better of the two reviews I wrote, but maybe I should read through both again. Congrats to blu and emp, and good job to the rest for trying their best.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted September 29, 2008:

    well done bluberry.

    thanks for the comments, drella. I think perhaps I didn't do enough to explain why Mutation Nation is repetitive in a bad way (generic character with ordinary attacks, boring stage design, no new ideas after stage 2) as opposed to Final Fight which is repetitive in a good way. Or something. Maybe I'll revise it.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 29, 2008:

    what

    but cool, thanks man. good to hear it went over well. maybe I'll move that over to my (now) main account, but pick's right, I had no confidence in that review.

    good job to everyone else too.

    and thanks for judging/organizing this, too.

    edit: "I still call it great" was probably the most inspired moment in the review even if nobody else will get it.
    board icon
    bluberry posted September 29, 2008:

    you could have drank like so much more if you hadn't wasted the time making this topic
    board icon
    espiga posted September 29, 2008:

    I believe there's another clerical error. You actually mean 66.66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666667% of your name.
    board icon
    dagoss posted September 30, 2008:

    Iíll figure out a winner from this via complex mathematical calculations...

    (Votes_for Boo + Votes_for_DE) - Votes_for_EmP = Total_votes_for_EmP

    Where Votes_for_EmP is a number equal to or less than 0, and Votes_dagoss_should_have_gotten is a constant equal to 3x EmP_total_votes_from_the_entire_contest.
    board icon
    japanaman posted September 30, 2008:

    Game: Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz
    Platform(s): PS2
    Publisher: SCEE
    Developer: Relentless Software
    Genre: Party
    Release Date: March 11th, 2008

    Added.
    board icon
    darketernal posted October 01, 2008:

    My pick is made.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 01, 2008:

    We are go, people.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 01, 2008:

    I added this contest to the archive page. The link to it is in my blog.

    Also congrats to Bluberry and everyone else and thanks to Leroux for judging this. I knew I couldn't write anything decent for River City Ransom or Double Dragon and didn't want to half-ass another contest.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted October 02, 2008:

    Done with Assassin's Crap...err, Creed. Summoner 2 maybe?
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 02, 2008:

    It must be my imagination, but it seems like there's been a Doom review in every round. Come on people! Put your phalli away and review Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure or The Little Mermaid or something!

    Third Place: EmP
    As I mentioned in the feedback topic for this review, I think this review is openly unfair. It comes across as a knee-jerk reaction from an angry fan of Doom 2, which in my opinion lacks credibility. You didn't like all the darkness; you didn't think it was scary; you didn't like the enemies -- that's fine (and I actually agree with you that this is was not a good direction for the series), but a 2/10 is pretty hard to swallow for a game that has sold fairly well and been received a somewhat positive reception. I hated Doom 3 and still couldn't swallow it. The burden is on the reviewer to justify such disgust and I'm not finding that justification here.

    Second Place: DarkEternal
    Arcanum definitely isn't a typical RPG, and it is wonderful to not only see you making that perfectly clear from the outset but altering your approach to accommodate it. You avoid many of the staple topics of RPGs (like combat), but the way you focused on the setting and such really made issues like graphics and the Charles Manson-like battles feel beside the point. I think you really succeed in defamiliarizing the genre in the tone you take. The grips I have are mostly stylistic -- for example, I did not like the first paragraph at all -- but there aren't many rough transitions or awkward structures, so the point is probably mute.

    WINNER: Bluberry
    I think this is the perfect example of how an older and extremely influential game needs to be reviewed. You manage to strike a perfect balance between highlighting it's significance, how it came to be so significant, and how the ravages of time have effected it. I got the sense that you not only knew your game, you really knew it. This is the type of review I would keep in the back of my mind and try to emulate if I was ever reviewing Pool of Radiance, Mario Kart (SNES), or one of the many highly popular and influential games that have aged poorly. I did find an error though:

    ...nobody is dumb enough to stand near a wall if their enemy's got a rocket launcher.

    Look, maybe if I stand really flat against the wall, the enemy won't see me. Did you ever think of that!?
    board icon
    Masters posted October 03, 2008:

    Hey, didn't Blu submit his Final Fight this week??
    board icon
    EmP posted October 03, 2008:

    He did.

    He was beat. By a girl.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 03, 2008:

    girl... debatable.

    it always happens, Venter snubs me and goes "no your MGS4 where you talked about the graphics and then a paragraph about the music and then a bit about the STORY! was better" and then the review goes and wins a contest.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 04, 2008:

    Wow. This is a really, really tough call. All three of these reviews are fantastic. I think I actually hate having to decide which ones are better.

    Third Place: Boo

    This was a tough choice... I was strongly debating between you and DE. I like your review, and I agree with dagoss that this is a great example of how older games should be reviewed, especially those who may have lost their appeal. I honestly can't give a sound reason for placing you here - that's how close it is. But I think part of it had to do with how you concluded it, though. Introducing the Ultamate Doom stuff sort of felt tacked on, even though the point you make with it is perfectly valid. It also sort of felt like it came out of nowhere. But really, this is a great review all around, and you argue your points very well. This was just a really tough call. I hope you don't take it personally. >.>

    Second Place: DE

    Man... This was even harder than the last one, I think. This is a really strong review from you, probably the best I've seen from you. You make the game sound totally awesome, with all the varied choices and consequences and everything. You take a different approach than the typical RPG review, like dagoss said. You make the game sound very much like Morrowind, even, at least in its capacity for free choice and exploration. The two minor details you brought up, mainly the graphics... hell, I think that was the only one, obviously didn't really affect your opinion of the game. In fact, it almost felt tacked on with how you were praising the game and everything, but it is good to know how unrewarding casting high-level magic feels, for example. I'm glad it didn't affect your experience that much, though.

    I think the reason why it's here and not in first is because of stylistic reasons. My problem wasn't with the intro - I quite enjoyed the reiew for the large part - but towards the end. It's not that your argument weakens, necessarily, because in the last few paragraphs (except hte very last conclusion), it's very strong. It's just that up until the very end, there, your writing had been very strong; I noticed it got a bit carried away in places towards the end where it could've been easily abridged. I also think you need to find a better way to give examples than by just saying "For instance/example" all the time. This works fine once or twice in a review, but after like 5 of them, it just reads oddly.

    I also didn't like that conclusion, either. Felt kind of just thrown together, but that's unavoidable sometimes.

    Anyway, I really liked this review. Like I said, I think it's your best one yet. Your argument is very convincing, and it definitely sounds like a game that might appeal to me. I think I'd made up my mind about wanting to play it only about 4 paragraphs in.

    Winner: EmP

    If I could give DE the top spot, I would, but at least in my mind, EmP's review is the strongest of the three. His review, for the most part, reads uniquely. It's apparent that he tried to write Doom 3 from a different angle, and for the most part, he did. The only parts where I felt like I was reading the same review occurred mostly with the "BOO!" line. Even if he cites the same examples as other people who've reviewed this game, he uses them for another reason aside from just the typical scare tactics.

    That reason being the monsters. He focused a lot mmore on how the enemies changed from the menacing hordes of previous Dooms to the wimpy, pathetic incarnations they are now, whose only means of even hurting you occur from the not-so-startling surprise attacks.

    That said, even if more than I mentioned did sound similar to other reviews, he describes it in a different enough way, and for a brief enough time, to bring out that sense of uniqueness.

    I also like that you cropped the conclusion; now I can't complain about that, I guess.

    The argument reads strongly, too. I understand perfectly why you think the way you do, and you justify it well enough so that I'm not unconvinced at the end. The thing just works for me, but I guess everyone has their own opinions about stuff.

    Anyway, like I said, this was really close. To use a boo analogy, it would probably be within .0003434 random numbers of each other for all places. If I could grade them all evenly, I would, but I can't.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 05, 2008:

    Me & Masters have switched for this week. Aparently, there's some pagan Canadian holiday going on next weekend or some such, and he needs the time free to slaughter a goat.
    board icon
    pickhut posted October 06, 2008:

    I GUESS I MUST BREAK THE CHAINS THAT MAKE UP THIS TENSION, RESULTING IN THE EPICNESS THAT IS THis... tiebreak?

    Last: Darketernal's review. It's a nicely written review, and you gave lots of examples of the gameplay. But, I just wasn't convinced it was a great game. Like I said, it's a good review, but for this contest, emp and blu's "negative" reviews were more convincing.

    Second: EmP's review. Maybe it was because two other Doom 3 reviews were put up before this within the past few weeks that affected my judgement here, like how it would be hard to read one Mega Man review after another... or something like that. Despite that, you still manage to keep me reading with your interpetation of Doom 3. Entertaining read.

    First: blu's review. I don't want to type anymore. I just like his the most or something...











    Okay, a little more. I figured since it was a Doom review from blu, I would end up reading paragraphs about how he molested his computer whenever he played the game. But, to my surprise, it was a somewhat negative review about the game, and he makes good points about its aging. Okay, I'm gonna stop for real this time.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 07, 2008:

    F = Final Fantasy III (DS), Front Mission (DS)
    K = Koudelka (PS1)
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 07, 2008:

    Damn I can't believe I missed this, I am about to review some beat em ups.

    PS - Pirates of Dark Water blows.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 07, 2008:

    I shall either have my feedback, results, etc. up today or tomorrow. Wait in eager anticipation!
    board icon
    Masters posted October 07, 2008:

    THIRD:
    darketernal

    SECOND:
    bluberry

    FIRST:
    Emp

    I actually critiqued DE's review a bit in my RotW. I think it's well written, but lacking a bit in showing me why the game -- one which I think to be obscure (this is especially difficult in a contest) -- is so good.

    Blu's review is an amazing short review, replete with hook intro, good lines and intimate knowledge of his subject matter.

    But I give Emp the nod for his slightly longer review, which contains more good lines and a particularly effective summary/conclusion. It's really one of the best wrap ups I've read in a long while. Emp takes it by a very narrow margin.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted October 08, 2008:

    Have some votes!
    Third: DE

    Second: EmP

    First: Boo
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 08, 2008:

    DE:
    Very interesting game you have here and I liked how you delved into little neat things like how you can give your character a diverse background that will give him/her expected and/or unexpected strengths and weaknesses. Don't know that it's a great contest finale review, though, as the main thing I was thinking when I was done reading it was that I wanted more information. Like, what's the point of the game? To just go around and do random stuff to see what happens. Or is there a grand plot tying all this together. You did great at telling me how decision can have consequences in this game (ala the magic vs. technology part), but I'm not sure as to what the point of it all is.

    BLU:
    Following up Doom 2 with Doom, eh, Blu....... While I don't like this one as much as your Doom 2, you do make a very good point as to how this game hasn't necessarily aged so well because of how the enemies are generally non-threatening, making it easy. I can relate to that, as after going through all four Ultimate Doom scenarios, I haven't played it once, even though a few levels did strike me as memorable. That provided a pretty convincing argument and you didn't waste time with unnecessary words. Not as memorable as your Doom 2 review, but a very strong effort anyway.

    EMP:
    And the last review I critique for this contest is the 147th review of a Doom game I've seen in the last few months (including the one I wrote for Cyberdreams). I posted on the message board topic about this review and said this: "I understood the score from the context of the review. There was total contempt at how Doom 3 handled classic monsters and how they went from a shoot-em-tha-fuck-up mindset to a "spooky" dark corridors one. I also understand the score from a personal context in that I'm one of those CLASSIC Doom freaks that could spend hours BSing with people about iD-made and fan-made Doom levels. So, to me, a game with the Doom name that seems to utter bastardize everything that made MY Dooms special deserves a rating in the realm of 2. I'd wager to say that if you never played the classic Dooms or if you did briefly, but looked at them as these archaic things not worth playing, EmP's review wouldn't be for you. But if you're like me, this is a very good review." And that's all I'm going to say. Fortunately for you my mind hasn't changed, so congratulations.

    OVERDRIVE'S VERDICT:
    1. Emp
    2. Blu
    3. DE
    board icon
    Genj posted October 09, 2008:

    No thanks. I have plenty of hair on my ass.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 09, 2008:

    Game: Manhunt
    Platform(s): PC
    Developer: Manhunt
    Genre: Action
    Release Date: 4/20/04 US

    Added.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 09, 2008:

    (Felixís money guessed it)
    Welcome to the seventh annual Alphabetolympics tournament! For those of you who donít know about it this is held every fall and usually is the largest single round tournament on the site, with up to 27 people competing.

    So how do you enter and what is it all about? Well pick a number in this topic from 1-27 and post it in this topic. You can have any number that isnít taken already by someone else. Iíll try to update this list often but unfortunately canít sit in front of my computer all day so donít rely on it. Once every spot is filled (or itís pretty close, weíll see) everyone will be assigned a letter from A-Z or #. Now you must review a game that begins with whatever you get. It could be any game from any genre as long as it begins with that letter. So if your letter is ĎMí you can review Mega Man or Metal Gear Solid and canít review Viewtiful Joe or Deus Ex (hopefully someone gets that reference).

    Finally weíll need three judges for this. Anyone who is interested in that let me know.

    IMPORTANT!!! READ BEFORE ENTERING:
    Please only enter if you are willing to get ANY letter. We donít know what you are going to get. It could be your dream letter or it could be Y or Q or #. Therefore you might need to resort to ROMs. If youíre not willing to download ROMs and donít own at least a game youíre willing to review for every letter itís probably not smart to enter. Obviously some are going to drop out, but we donít want half attendance because everyone with a less than perfect letter quits. So only enter if youíre open to every letter and can make a deadline that will most likely be in the second half of November.

    There will be no trading letters after the deadline. In previous years it got out of hand and kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Iím undecided about allowing people to pick up dropoutís letters but donít count on it.

    Now pick away!
    If there isnít a name next to the spot you can take it by posting what number you want in this topic.

    1. Overdrive (by force)
    2. Iraff
    3. Will
    4. Pickhut
    5. Venter
    6. Genj
    7. Wolfqueen
    8. Timrod
    9. Dagoss
    10. True
    11. BELISARIOS
    12. Lewis
    13. Sportsman
    14. Penguin
    15. Ulv
    16. EmP
    17. drella
    18. Suskie
    19. Bboobb
    20. Blah
    21. Cario
    22. Darketernal
    23. Sho
    24. Zippdementia
    25. Bluberry
    26. Janus
    27. DoI
    board icon
    Halon posted October 09, 2008:

    Also I apologize for the tardiness and making people wait, I had to run out and couldn't make it back in time.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 09, 2008:

    18
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 09, 2008:

    7

    God I hope we get enough people for this. >_>
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 09, 2008:

    I don't know. This one actually requires one to write a new review.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 09, 2008:

    don't worry buddy, I get the reference.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 09, 2008:

    and I pick (3 + 4i)(3 - 4i)

    you better figure it out and put me in real quick so all of the nerds who don't know their complex numbers don't step on my pick.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 09, 2008:

    I would pick 8 and disrupt your plans, but it seems I've already chosen a number.

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...Yes? Did I get it?
    board icon
    Halon posted October 09, 2008:

    I haven't done complex numbers since high school so I'm relying on Maple for this one.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 09, 2008:

    16
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 09, 2008:

    I have humbly entered with much modesty.
    board icon
    Genj posted October 09, 2008:

    6 come on give me my dream letter
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 09, 2008:

    (a + bi)(a - bi) = a^2 + b^2

    geeks, go outside more
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 09, 2008:

    The number I claim is 1 (one). I will continue to claim it until it sticks.
    board icon
    pickhut posted October 09, 2008:

    This is usually the only contest I end up partaking in every year, but since I was forced against my will to write two reviews for the last contest, I was gonna skip this.

    BUT SUDDENLY, I WAS BLACKMAILED. 4.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 09, 2008:

    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 10, 2008:

    As I am unwilling to leave matters of such importance to the Random Number Gods, I shall use a simple mathematic equation to determine my spot.

    We'll start with the number of reviews I've submitted: 13. Then we take the median of hits for each reviews, which happens to be 390, divide that by the number of times our beloved webmaster has messed up the site this month(10), and add it. Now we subtract the number of people who think genj is funny(3) multiply the number of times EmP would normally have to nag me to join(42), and divide by the number of days remaining in lasthero's jail sentence(686).

    That gives us 3. I'll take that one, please.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 10, 2008:

    14
    board icon
    jerec posted October 10, 2008:

    Interesting.
    board icon
    darketernal posted October 10, 2008:

    22
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 10, 2008:

    I'm clearly #9
    board icon
    drella posted October 10, 2008:

    17
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted October 10, 2008:

    27 for me.
    board icon
    Iraff posted October 10, 2008:

    I believe I will rock Numero 2
    board icon
    Halon posted October 10, 2008:

    Jerec you're judging. But you knew that already, right?
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted October 10, 2008:

    21
    board icon
    BLAH_Or_blah posted October 10, 2008:

    Since both my class year (2009) and current squadron (27) are taken, I'll just go ahead and take my freshman squadron.

    Gimme 20.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 10, 2008:

    One question. You said I could get my dream letter or I could get "Y" or "Q" or "#". What if one of those three is my dream letter? Just wondering as last night, I had a very vivid dream involving a "#" spinning around and around and around in circles.

    Surprised me, as I don't have the slightest idea what I'd review starting with a number.......but it apparently is my dream letter!
    board icon
    EmP posted October 10, 2008:

    I won it all one year with Y

    One of my favourite reviews I've penned thus far was for Q

    Ruder scored my # entry 96 once.

    I'm just saying.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 10, 2008:

    OD, haven't you (and EmP) already had pretty much every bad letter there is before? Maybe you'll get a good letter just this one time for a change of pace. Then you can go back to getting Y and #.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 10, 2008:

    I had L last year. Two years ago, I tied EmP for first (until he had Blu cast the tie-breaker in his favor) with W. Had J the first year I did this. Had A once.

    Is that all or was there one more year? Can't recall off the top of my head.

    Actraiser 2, Jikkyou Oshiberi Parodius, Lufia: Shitty GBA Version and Wild Arms 3.....seems there was one more, but I might be imagining things.....

    EDIT: After checking the archieves, I found it. Also had Z with Zero Tolerance once.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 10, 2008:

    I'll take 5, I guess.
    board icon
    jerec posted October 10, 2008:

    I'm sure I can find some time to judge this for you. This comp is sort of a tradition for me. I think I've always been involved in it in some form. Mostly as a judge.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 10, 2008:

    I had X once.... that was my first review ever. >_>

    Last year I had A... which might've tehchnically done worse than X did when adding all the points up. I can't remember. XD
    board icon
    timrod posted October 10, 2008:

    I'll take #8.
    board icon
    True posted October 10, 2008:

    Count me in for this.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 10, 2008:

    You should sign for this, too! =D
    board icon
    Lewis posted October 11, 2008:

    Why not?

    Let's hit us for 12.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 11, 2008:

    Jerec since you're judging (or at least for now) can you scramble the letters and HG mail them to me? Since I'm entering it wouldn't make much sense for me to do it. If you don't want to I'll bother EmP or the other judge (or both).
    board icon
    True posted October 11, 2008:

    I lied. Sign me up for this one. #10
    board icon
    Ulv posted October 11, 2008:

    I'll go for 15.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 11, 2008:

    5 more spots!
    board icon
    jerec posted October 11, 2008:

    Yeah, I'll do that for ya.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 11, 2008:

    Who the hell is Ulv?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 11, 2008:

    Friend of mine. Be nice.
    board icon
    BELISARIOS posted October 11, 2008:

    ELEVEN
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted October 12, 2008:

    26
    board icon
    radicaldreamer posted October 12, 2008:

    19
    board icon
    Lewis posted October 12, 2008:

    Only two more slots available!
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 12, 2008:

    ZOMG
    board icon
    zippdementia posted October 12, 2008:

    I'll take "x." Er, that's 24, right?
    board icon
    Halon posted October 12, 2008:

    I should've posted in the topic that each letter doesn't necessarily correspond with the appropriate number. Of course 24 could be X but it has an equal chance of being anything else.

    WHO WILL TAKE THE LAST SPOT?
    board icon
    sho posted October 12, 2008:

    I will take the last spot.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 12, 2008:

    Signups are now closed! Jerec HG mail me the letter assignments whenever you're ready.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted October 12, 2008:

    Darn. I was going to do this, but it seems it's too late! Although I would only be able to do like three possible letters anyway.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 12, 2008:

    Don't give up yet; if people drop out, you might be able to jump in and snag one of their letters. Depends on sportsman, though.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 12, 2008:

    I'm not dropping out. Last year I was robbed of the first-place spot by a man who didn't even sign up for the event! This year shall not see a repeat.
    board icon
    disco1960 posted October 12, 2008:

    Was that me? Did I win last time? I feel like I won last time.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 12, 2008:

    Nobody wins the Alphas.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 13, 2008:

    I have.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 13, 2008:

    No no, you misunderstand: My point was that when the alphas come around, everyone loses.
    board icon
    jerec posted October 13, 2008:

    Pretty sure I already HG mailed them to you.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 13, 2008:

    There are plenty of winners come Alpha time. The biggest of all? Me HG.com.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 13, 2008:

    Didn't get anything yet.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 13, 2008:

    Here are the letter assignments for the Alphabetolympics. They are final and there wonít be any trading. HOWEVER, you can change your letter by acquiring a dropoutís letter. It kinda defeats the purpose of this tournament but is a clever way to beat the system and probably worth considering if you got a crappy letter.

    Also if you must drop out (even though I asked you not to sign up if you canít make the deadline or donít want to deal with a crappy letter) please do it at least two weeks before the deadline. The reason for this is so someone can take your place. There might be other people who want to join this but missed signups, and itís not fair to drop out a few days before the deadline when someone else couldíve taken that spot.

    The deadline will be Friday, November 14th at 11:59PM HG-time. So basically you have all day Friday to finish your review and any review submitted between the moment I created this topic and the deadline can be used. This is exactly a month, and if youíre new to this and want to pace yourself this should give you a week and a half to find a game, two weeks to play it, and a week to write the review. If you have any questions about your game being allowed or not or anything else either post them in this topic or send me a private message. Remember that itís better to be safe than sorry, so even if you have the slightest bit of uncertainty youíre probably better off asking me than risking reviewing an invalid title.

    There are two judges confirmed: Jerec and a mystery judge (for now at least). We still need one more.

    Now on to the letters !

    # - Timrod - 3x3 Eyes
    A - EmP - Alisia Dragoon
    B - Suskie - Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
    C - DoI - XLA) target=new>Castle Crashers
    D - Genj
    E - Sho - Exile
    F - Iraff
    G - Pickhut - Guilty Gear 2
    H - Lewis - Half-Life 2
    I - Bbobb
    J - Wolfqueen - Jim Power: The Arcade Game
    K - Penguin
    L - Sportsman - The Legend of Zelda
    M - Zipp - Mirror's Edge
    N - Blah
    O - Darketernal - Out of this world
    P - BELISARIOS
    Q - Dagoss
    R - True - Resistance 2
    S - Venter - The Sims 2: Apartment Life
    T - Will
    U - Overdrive - Ultima: Quest of the Avatar
    V - Drella - Vigilante
    W - Bluberry - WAD
    X - MYass - X-Kaliber 2097
    Y - Cairo
    Z - Janus
    board icon
    pickhut posted October 13, 2008:

    Wow, I actually have a big choice of titles to review this time around. That's a first.
    board icon
    Ulv posted October 13, 2008:

    Well, isn't luck with me these days?

    *gets to working*
    board icon
    EmP posted October 13, 2008:

    Oh, come on! Have I not written enough A reviews this year?

    I wrote one just bloody yesterday!
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 13, 2008:

    Awesome, I already know what I'll review. This is certainly better than the letter I had last year, though I made that work so this should be no problem.

    Poor Timrod. And Dagoss. And Cairo. Hey, didn't Cairo have Y last year too?
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 13, 2008:

    I already have the perfect game in mind.

    (Tee hee hee!)
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 13, 2008:

    Eh. J... this'll be interesting.

    Haha. Ulv got the same letter as I did on my first Alpha contest.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted October 13, 2008:

    By the time this tourney is over I will have reviewed 25% of all games starting with the letter Y. Fate (or at least Jerec??) doesn't favor me.
    board icon
    Iraff posted October 13, 2008:

    Capital! I have a wide array to choose from. My compliments to the letter F!
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 13, 2008:

    Holy cows, I just reviewed Koudelka like 3 days ago! :(
    board icon
    Genj posted October 13, 2008:

    D LIKE THE GRADES I GET
    board icon
    Halon posted October 13, 2008:

    Dammit why didn't I make the deadline a week later so I can review Left4Dead?

    Oh, well. For being such a common letter 'L' isn't as good as I initially thought it would be but far from the worst. Think I know what game I will review.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 13, 2008:

    I don't think anyone here would complain about an additional week, were you to change the deadline.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 13, 2008:

    Nah, I don't really care that much. If the deadline is pushed back too far people tend to lose interest and forget all about these things.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 13, 2008:

    Actually, I was pushing for my own ulterior motives: An extra week would give me more than three days to play and review my game. Don't worry though, I'll manage.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 13, 2008:

    Wow! U!!! FUCKING THANKS!!!!!

    Do you people think I'm dagoss and simply able to pop out an Ultima review on the drop of a hat?!?!? Which he would do if you asked him, considering he loves RPGs of the AD&D Gold Box and Wizardry clans. Me? No.....hell no.....

    So, I have no option but to deliver punishment with a review of a game deserving of nothing less than my "best". My best praise for a truly iconic game. My best glorifying adjectives. My best eloquence. Prepare to be devoured by my majestic prose and then spit out as you're deemed unworthy of viewing it!
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 13, 2008:

    Ironically, 'S' is generally one of the best letters you can get in a thing like this--and something I would never get--yet I have around 10 games lined up to review in the coming month (games I pretty much have to review, and the sooner the better) with none of them starting with that letter. So even though I should be singing Jerec's praises... I'm not.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 13, 2008:

    Anybody know a good game that starts with K? I already reviewed Kung Fu and Kung Fu Heroes. Maybe Kiwi Kraze. AHA! YES! SUCCESS GET!!
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 13, 2008:

    Kuru Kuru Kururin.
    board icon
    jerec posted October 13, 2008:

    I just used a random string generator, and I didn't even look at who was assigned each letter, only the numbers. Therefore, no bias. Good luck to all!
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted October 14, 2008:

    Can I do Zelda?
    board icon
    True posted October 14, 2008:

    GAH! I was one letter away from my dream choice! I'm still going to do Silent Hill to cast off the rust, but now I must go backwards in the Alphabet. Damn you, Venter. Even though you had nothing to do with this, I blindly blame you and now promise your demise!
    board icon
    Lewis posted October 14, 2008:

    Ace, I reckon I probably got the best letter there. Though I might try not to do the obvious one.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 14, 2008:

    T, hmm?

    Does it count if the game starts with "The"? As in, for example, "The Bard's Tale?"
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted October 14, 2008:

    Oops. I totally missed this.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 14, 2008:

    No, Will; it doesn't.

    Janus, I hink the only Zelda one you can do is Zelda II since all the others technically start with "The Legend of" meaning they're all Ls. It's really up to sportsman, though.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 14, 2008:

    I have written a RotW. I would have written it sooner, but I was too busy writing three reviews in three days. Go and ask OD when the last time he wrote three reviews in a month is. Go on -- he won't be able to remember.

    Here are some rules. Staff reviews do not count. If you write two reviews in the week -- which none of you did, because you are not me -- only one would count. My word is law.

    Here come the line breaks.

    Third -- Woodhouse: Time Hollow

    Woodhouse often turns up with reviews of note, and this one is no different. Do I have complaints? Of course I do -- itís all I can be relied on for! The review somehow feels like itís a couple of paragraphs shy of completion, like there are some missing elements. Personally, I would have liked to have seen an in-depth example rather than a vague one-line description like the note in the locker or the bike. I appreciate the game is short and that giving away much in a short game often results in giving away a sizeable chunk of the game, but I come away not fully convinced of your full argument.

    Itís done more than enough to dampen my interest here, though. I had thought it looked like an interesting concept -- and you make it clear it is. Just one pulled off poorly and with unwelcome limits and artificial padding.


    Second -- WolfQueen: Kingdom Hearts

    WQ claims her spot here this week because she employs one thing better than probably any review this week: she plugs examples. But she plugs the right examples.

    A good example, kids, is something that explains several aspects of the game all at once without having to write it in crayon for your readers. This review has a lot of them, and itís to her credit. It does suffer from the typical ďList everything good then throw the worst bits in at the end to simmer praiseĒ that all our reviews suffer from (some more obvious that most) but itís a good effort.


    First -- Bloomer: Resident Evil Outbreak #2

    Admit it: you thought Masters was going to be judging this week. I'm on to you.

    Iíve always been curious about the Outbreak games but never bothered picking them up. Iíll pause while you ask why out loud.

    Iíll tell you why.

    Servers never went live in PAL, so the main draw of playing the game -- the online co-op -- was never present. So there was no point. I thought Outbreak would be crippled with this flaw and you do a great job confirming this doubt.

    The review is long, but never feels long. Thereís nothing in the review that I read where I thought ďI donít really need to be reading thisĒ making the entire thing relevant. The writing itself is strong, which it needs to be to keep interest once you stray over that 800-or-so word mark and I find myself fascinated by the thought of a zombie elephant. Very strong, straight-forward review.

    This is a topic end. Now, we give thanks. To me.

    Bow your heads.
    board icon
    jerec posted October 14, 2008:

    The rule of thumb in the past has been to use GameFAQs' game listings by alphabet. For example, they don't include the "The" games under T. So you can't.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 14, 2008:

    September was the last month I wrote three reviews. Pretty easy for me to remember just the last month.....well, actually, I had to go to my blog because I couldn't remember....so you were right on that....

    And by either tomorrow or the next day, I'll have my third for this month completed! En guarde!
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 14, 2008:

    I guess my review sucked. Oh well
    board icon
    EmP posted October 14, 2008:

    It didn't suck, I just thought there was better this week. I'll make you a feedback topic on it later. OD can comment in it too. He has nothing but free time.

    Days that strech on, forever and ever and ever....
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 14, 2008:

    Thanks. It's my first review in ages so I'm a bit rusty.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 14, 2008:

    Hey, EmP; I don't think it matters, but I think your week was supposed to go 6-12. Granted, no one subbed on the 5 and the only 12 entry was another woodhouse review that I personally don't think is as good as his Time Hollow one.

    Anyway, thanks for the spot. I honestly didn't think I was going to place at all here, with how thrown together my review was.

    Congrats to bloomer. Typically I don't like his kind of style, but I see why this won. It's very detailed and thought out and leaves no confusion in the readers mind. It does a fantastic job of making it's argument. It's also more entertaining than the straight-up analytical review I was expecting when I tried reading it a few days ago.

    Good job to woodhouse, too. I liked his review a lot.

    EDIT: wait. I think your dates are fine. Masters' should've been from 9/28-10/4, but like I said, it doesn't really matter in this case. Though if done this way, woodhouse's newest review counts for next week.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 14, 2008:

    I'm curious: what is Bloomer's kind of style?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 14, 2008:

    Just that his reviews seem to be more analytical than most. Like the really descriptive sort that aren't necessarily always entertaining, but that doesn't really matter because the argument they present is so strong. I dunno; it's kind of hard to describe. That's how I see it, anyway.

    I mean no offense by any of this, either. I'm just tryiing to explain how I read these things. None of it is bad, but I, like anyone else, have preferences, too. And this review really was good, anyway.
    board icon
    Halon posted October 14, 2008:

    Janus and Will: What Wolfqueen and Jerec said. Your best bet is to refer to GameFAQs.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 14, 2008:

    Or, you know... HonestGamers. We do have a pretty huge database of games (around 34,000), also alphabetically organized. If you're reviewing a console game, we've probably got you covered.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 15, 2008:

    Bloomer's reviews tend to kick ass but I am not sure if that is a "style" ;)
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    I wasn't trying to start an argument, btw, wolfqueen -- I was genuinely curious.

    I hold Bloomer's reviews up as pretty much a blueprint for how to write a review: what is a review if not analytical? He doesn't crack a lot of jokes, but he organizes his thoughts so well, and his prose is effortless, so that you don't feel as if you're reading an 'essay.'

    I think it's the most difficult thing of all to pull off -- anyone can wax poetic, or else get obscene and crazy for laughs, but all that frill can interfere with communicating the most critical thing: is this game good or not?
    board icon
    EmP posted October 15, 2008:

    To back up the above claims, these come fresh from an AIM chat:

    IImastersII: I can barely get through your reviews.
    IImastersII: There's too much fancy dan writing clogging it up -- just tell me about the damn game
    IImastersII: You pretentious limey bastard.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 15, 2008:

    Yeah, you're right there, Masters - analysis is important. A review that only presents an outline isn't going to inform anyone of anything; it has to be detailed in order to present the right picture. Howevever, I think it's how you present that analysis that also matters. If it's stuffy and boring, you're not going to be able to pay attention all the way through and get the important details. But if it's too flowery in an attempt to be entertaining, those details might be clouded. I think a really awesome review is one that can strike a balance between the strictly analytical approach and a more entertaining one. But that's just not something easy to do... at all... (though bloomer's review does a really good job of striking that balance here, I think). Usually I find, with myself or in other people, that we can do one thing or the other in some proportion or another, but not both to equal degrees. And as far as preferences go when reading something that can't strike that balance well enough, or at least to the point where it's noticeably one thing or the other, I tend to prefer the more entertaining ones. Just as long as I still feel satisfied that I know everything I need to know at the end.

    And ow, harsh. I really like EmP's reviews. But I guess it's just what appeals to different people and how people see these different elements in a review.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    Are you calling Bloomer stuffy? :P Kidding.

    And that idiot Emp actually fabricated those "AIM messages" from me. Look around! I'm always singing that fool's praises. He's definitely good for a b-level reviewer.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 15, 2008:

    Using the term "fancy dan writing" = +1
    Calling EmP a "pretentious limey bastard" = + infinity

    Struggling with writers block while doing my FF XII review = pure suckitude
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 15, 2008:

    Hahaha. I should've figured he'd do something like that. That's just like him, lovable oaf. Knew it was a bit too early for him to be on AIM when he posted that.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 15, 2008:

    Using the term "fancy dan writing" = +1
    Calling EmP a "pretentious limey bastard" = + infinity

    Struggling with writers block while doing my FF XII review = pure suckitude


    There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, I play the Masters card.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    That's pretty good, Venter. You ARE a clever one. By the way Venter, the thing you sent me is being held for ransom at some dingy Canadian post office. Bastards.

    Rob: Writers block = laziness.

    I'm just sayin'.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 15, 2008:

    Then I guess I must have overcame my laziness. Or watching youtube vids of my favorite Dragon Quest VIII cutscenes motivated me to write. Which sounds even more geeky now that I've typed it than it felt while I was doing it.....
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    I forgot to point out that this RotW blows chunks. But at least he didn't call it RotD.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 15, 2008:

    Ouch. I love you, too.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 15, 2008:

    This has been the most popular RotW in years. And Bloomer probably hasn't even seen it yet.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    I'm not sure where WQ is directing her lovin'?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 15, 2008:

    That would have been sarcasm, since your statement suggested you liked none of the reviews here (except bloomer's, obviously). >_>

    <_< Unless you were referring to the topic and its contents as a whole...

    >_>

    I'm shutting up now.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 15, 2008:

    Haha, no no, I wasn't commenting on the reviews at all -- just Emp's sucktitude.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted October 16, 2008:

    If anyone drops out, let me know.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 18, 2008:

    Wow. I think even EmP forgot about this.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 18, 2008:

    !
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 18, 2008:

    I win, you suck.
    board icon
    Genj posted October 18, 2008:

    Congrats to the winner.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 18, 2008:

    Somehow I don't feel like this is official, but ok.

    Haha. Boo, you won by one point. Shame no one else voted, really. Would've been interesting.

    Good job, thouogh. If this is made official, this would be the 800000 tourament you won in a row.
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 18, 2008:

    Seven votes? The first few rounds have a bunch more than that! This tournament really lost steam after I was eliminated, for obvious reasons.
    board icon
    bloomer posted October 18, 2008:

    You were right Emp. I've been on holiday on an island off Queensland for a week. Not touching the internet at all during that time really helped my brain deflate.

    Thanks for the win, and for all these comments. It's good to see how your reviews are being read by people you haven't heard from before (pretty much IE Wolfqueen.)

    I'd say when I'm dealing with these survival horror games, that's when I write longest, and there's no consciousness about reaching for length, they just come out that way naturally from my sense about what I want to say. This genre interests me most and occupies most of my time, and the games don't lend themselves to much explicit humour in writing (except when they go bad) that I wouldn't find forced.

    Years back on gamefaqs I wrote a lot of really huge reviews for games that I'd never write about at even half that length now (EG Gungage, many others). I've also written a lot of reviews that went out of their way to be Hilarious, or just generally funny. Actually, the majority of them! But I haven't written much like that lately partly because of what I've been reviewing, and partly 'cos a lot of those old ones I now find too manic or schticky. I mean if you want going all out for funny, kinda overkill, try 'Chaos Break'. 'Canyon Climber' was a review deliberately grabbing schticks from all other reviewers at the time. 'Gekido' might be hella funny but it's also such a ripe and sustained assault it almost makes me avert my eyes now.

    Game badness tends to invite explicit humour, otherwise I like to see it come naturally from the way a person's thoughts move. And that happens all the time in reviews you don't necessarily think of as having the humourous label on them. Like a lot of Jason's, for instance.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 18, 2008:

    I am of the opinion that it lost steam after I was eliminated, actually.
    board icon
    bloomer posted October 18, 2008:

    I see gamefaqs have rejected this review a 2nd time, but I won't budge any more on it. I removed bastard, bitch, and even 'walking pile of pus', but because of 'motor retardation', Sailor Cheesecloth still thumbs downed it. And I ain't changing valid language. That's the kind of really stupid censorship I hate.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 18, 2008:

    Aw, don't feel too bad. Your reviews probably aren't much served on GFs, anyway. I mean, it's Gamefaqs. No offense or anything; I'm just saying GFs doesn't have very high reviewing standards. In other words, you're too good for it.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 18, 2008:

    Go the hell away, spambot. Can't even use the right hyperlinking codes.

    EDIT: Haha. Very clever, mysterious staff member.

    EDIT DOS: Damn straight I'm a very clever and mysterious staff member!
    board icon
    Halon posted October 18, 2008:

    Both are probably fine I said GameFAQs because it's more complete and the search works much better. It's more convenient for me to keep track of one. No offense, Venter.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 18, 2008:

    hilarious avatar jerec, the FMV scenes in that game are abominations.
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 19, 2008:

    actually--

    oh yeah, hahahaha.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 19, 2008:

    I was of the opinion that, seeing as no one could be bothered to vote, I couldn't be bothered to do anything else with it. So this may as well be 'official'.

    Winner: Boo
    Second: EmP
    Third: DE

    Losers: HG's army of slackers.
    board icon
    drella posted October 19, 2008:

    The three winners all have something in common this week: the macabre! This week bare witness to the startling plots of some great (or not so great) modern games: there are serial killers and military sons battling the most gruesome and devastating of society's menaces, from snuff film makers to grizzly alien invaders, some for their brother, some for their country and some merely for survival. Moreover, it's great to see three reviews that appropriately tackle the atmosphere of these games.

    Apologies to Woodhouse and pickhut; I couldn't follow the beat of the former's, whose rhythm review left me a bit lost because of my lack of familiarity with the genre, and the latter showed me plenty of puzzles, but didn't highlight any that seemed to involve an abstract craftiness. Probester's Homecoming review was competent but basic; he'd benefit from checking out the winner this week, I think, to see that players don't just care what they're doing in games, but how games will affect them.

    Let's pretend I rattled off the usual stipulations and away we go:

    Third Place
    Resistance: Fall of Man by mrmiyamoto

    Mrmiyamoto takes a look at Resistance: Fall of Man by doing what any review of the game should; combining both atmosphere ("Crushed and downtrodden buildings provide cover from the onslaught of enemies, but you can't help but feel exposed amidst the sheer devastation.") and technical description of the gunfire bouts. It does so quite well. I think the biggest complaint here is that there is room for more; it could be both slightly more technical about what the battles are like (especially some of the ones where you battle the giant Chimera robots -- those are a big drawing point) and maybe a little more development of the setting. But this is a quality review regardless.

    Second Place
    Manhunt by Suskie

    Suskie takes an in-depth look at Manhunt -- its inspirations, its motives, its ambitions -- which is something that has been done before, but still worth reading another take here. It's a solid recap, if not shedding too much new light on the material. One complaint would be that once it gets to discussion of the actual game, the major complaint (or at least the one that struck me hardest) was the lack of stealth involved in a supposedly stealth game. And if that's your main knock against it, and not the gratuitous violence, maybe it's better to focus more on that for the first several paragraphs besides a general history lesson. But this is still a fairly complete look at the game from start to finish, while appropriately delving into the psyche of the game, and well worth a read.

    Winner
    Silent Hill: Homecoming by True

    Maybe some will find it a bit over the top. Maybe a few incomplete sentences -- which are used primarily for effect -- will annoy some grammarians. But read this review, and you come away with three overwhelming feelings. One is that Homecoming is an incredibly psychological game; it will play on emotions. Two is that the Silent Hill series is back... not that I'm a big enough fan to even know it -was- gone, but even I believe it's back after this. And third, you need to play this game. I'm admittedly a tough sell on almost any modern game, but even -I- want to see this one. It sounds surreal, relentless, and all because of the approach True took. And that's why it's the winner this week.

    Now let's part ways for another month. See you around Turkey Day.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 19, 2008:

    Back in the day, I remember getting a BoFIII review through after calling a couch fire retarded. This surprised me, especial since, a while later, I was refused a review because I called something a usless monkey. It was a racial slur, or some such.

    The thing I labaled as such was a monkey without use. I think I quit uploading my reviews there shortly afterwards.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 19, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention. I was kind of hoping to get feedback on that review but never did, so I'm happy to finally hear the review didn't suck.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 19, 2008:

    Congrats to the winners; this certainly was a good week.

    Sorry Suskie; I meant to talk to you on AIM about your review because I didn't feel like leaving feedback here for some reason. I really liked it, though, and I honestly thought yours was going to win until true subbed his, at which point I thought it would be either of yours.
    board icon
    bloomer posted October 19, 2008:

    Manhunt - really good writing, and argument for the most part, even when I found I didn't agree with most of it, apart from at the broadest level that - Manhunt ultimately isn't all that good, and it's long and samey. I agree with Drella about the opening and maybe the targeting of the violence/stealth stuff.

    Silent Hill - Again what Drella said. Though I don't think Silent Hill was ever in trouble. If anything it's amazing it always stayed pretty good in general, considering how weird it was from the get-go. But that's me.
    board icon
    True posted October 20, 2008:

    Thanks for the honor and the positive feedback Drella. I appreciate it. I'm going to try not to let it go to my head that I beat out awesome reviewers like Suskie and Mrmiyamoto.
    board icon
    pickhut posted October 20, 2008:

    Thanks for the comments on the review. I admit I got lazy with the main example in the review; I didn't want it to drag out for more than one paragraph, so I picked one of the easier stages.
    board icon
    True posted October 20, 2008:

    Hmm. I am thinking of doing Resistance 2, but it doesn't come out until the 4th, and if Gamefly doesn't send it to me that day I'm screwed.

    board icon
    Lewis posted October 20, 2008:

    Is there a deadline yet?
    board icon
    EmP posted October 20, 2008:

    Bolded on the first page, Lew: Friday, November 14th at 11:59PM HG-time
    board icon
    Lewis posted October 20, 2008:

    I have no eyes. A Splicer ripped them out with his hook-hands this morning in Rapture.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 20, 2008:

    What's a Splicer? Where's Rapture?
    board icon
    Lewis posted October 20, 2008:

    Get out. Get out of your website.
    board icon
    Linkamoto posted October 20, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention, and congrats to the other winners. True's review was undoubtedly deserving of first place.
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 21, 2008:

    Game: Quick Yoga Training
    Platform(s): DS
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Developer: Ubisoft
    Genre: Edutainment? Mini-game? Stupid?
    Release Date: 6 Aug 08 (US), 29 Aug 08 (EU), 3 Sept 08 (AU)

    Added
    board icon
    bluberry posted October 21, 2008:

    sticky this shit
    board icon
    Ulv posted October 21, 2008:

    Have to drop out, I'm afraid.
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted October 21, 2008:

    I'll take up your spot then.:P
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted October 23, 2008:

    Damn. I really should've checked my letter first.

    X.....
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 23, 2008:

    X is for...

    X-Com, X-Men, Xenosaga/gears.... Man, X is tough. Haha.
    board icon
    Genj posted October 23, 2008:

    X-Change 2
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 23, 2008:

    After seeing the screens Felix put up for it, I wholeheartedly recommend you doing the Atari 2600 version of Xevious.
    board icon
    Masters posted October 24, 2008:

    Hello. Something Overdrive said the other day struck a chord with me. Unlike me, Overdrive actually reads a ton of reviews on the site, but doesn't bother to comment on them. My issue has always been that I don't actually read enough of them, but when I do, I always try to comment.

    Now, judging from the amount of hits our reviews get, not everyone is as lazy as me when it comes to reading. But apparently a lot of us are like Overdrive when it comes to leaving feedback.

    As reviewers, we all want to feel as if we aren't writing in a vacuum. An ear on the other end compels us to keep speaking. So even if it's just "Nice job." or something equally, seemingly thoughtless, it helps.

    I'm trying to do better these days to read more. And maybe we can all do better to comment more. Collectively stroke each other's bums a bit more.

    On a related note, what I'd personally like to stay away from is the topics that get started that rip the reviewer right off the bat like "Meh, this review is all over the place, what were you thinking" kind of thing.

    Anyway. I'm rambling, but just my two cents.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 24, 2008:

    I try to comment on every review I read. Which is admittedly not as much as I'd like to read, but I feel these reviewers work really hard on the reviews and the least I could do is take 10 seconds of my life to tell them I appreciate it.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 24, 2008:

    I'm doing a Japanese game that starts with K. It was translated to English as "Villgust Gaiden" but that's a fan translation as the game never came out in America officially, and HG lists it under the letter K. Good to go. Now I just need to play it. XD
    board icon
    Masters posted October 24, 2008:

    You are the ideal human being.
    board icon
    Suskie posted October 24, 2008:

    I'm in your position, Masters. I should get into a habit of leaving more feedback, but the problem is that I just don't read very many reviews. This is something I can fix, though.
    board icon
    dagoss posted October 24, 2008:

    I try to comment on one review for every review I post. In an ideal world I would comment on like 3 reviews for every one of mine. Also in an ideal world, someone with a college education wouldn't be working 2 demeaning jobs for meager pay.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 24, 2008:

    I'm kind of in the middle on this thing. I don't really read as many reviews as I should, and of those I do read, I don't always leave feedback, though I'm trying to be better about it. Most of the time the reviews I read are by people I know so I just talk to them on AIM about it. Others I wait for RotW to give feedback; often it's only around then that I read some of the reviews I should have earlier, anyway.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted October 24, 2008:

    Finished Tomb Raider TLR, maybe back to Wild ARMs 3.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 24, 2008:

    I'm trying to get in the habit of leaving more feedback, even if it's just an inane comment that acknowledges I read and did not hate the review.
    board icon
    jerec posted October 24, 2008:

    I don't read many reviews, but when I do, I'll leave comment if someone else has already started a feedback thread for it.
    board icon
    psychopenguin posted October 25, 2008:

    Holy cow dude, good work. I'm almost done Rhapsody (DS).
    board icon
    japanaman posted October 25, 2008:

    Game: Boogie
    Platform(s): Playstation 2
    Publisher: EA
    Developer: EA Montreal
    Genre: Music
    Release Date: November 12, 2007

    Game: Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2
    Platform(s): PSP
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
    Developer: Clap Hanz
    Genre: Sports
    Release Date: June 3, 2008

    Added.
    board icon
    overdrive posted October 26, 2008:

    Here we go with another RotW from your favorite reviewing icon who has covered both Swordquest: Fireworld and Zero Tolerance over the years. Yep, no one else can say that! So, now, let's have a moment of awed silence to honor me.

    .......
    .......
    .......

    Alrighty, now on to you guys. Usual rules apply. Which are BLAHBLAHBLAH this and that and something or other about that one thing. Also, for some good ol' fashioned 80s power metal, listen to Twilight of the Gods by Helloween.




    THIRD PLACE: Video Life (Atari 2600) by Felix_Arabia

    This was a fun, quirky little review. Like with a lot of blah old Atari games, it's more fun and, oftentimes, a better read when one focuses on the utter weirdness that seems to circle around these titles. Which you do here with a sort of whimsical tone that made this an enjoyable review to read. I loved the "Maybe one could be in your possession. Wouldn't that be nice?" line. Sadly one is not in my possession.... And putting a good amount of the focus on its rarity and why it's rare was a nice touch, letting readers know that just because there isn't much to this game doesn't mean it's pure throwaway drek.....but actually a pretty valuable little piece of drek.

    SECOND PLACE: Grand Theft Auto IV (PlayStation 3) by zippdementia

    You put up a ton of reviews this week, most of which I found entertaining. I think I liked this the best because a lot of it mirrors just how I felt about San Andreas. While I gave that game a 10 for various reasons, mainly the vast game world and all the stuff you could do, there were a lot of things I didn't find all that entertaining. Like the arcade games, playing pool, etc. And you mentioned how all those sorts of diversions are in this game, but if you want to do them, you can find far better games featuring them. And on top of that, you did a good job explaining how this game takes things away from the Auto, focusing more on you doing missions with the cars only being used for transport. Very effective review. While I haven't played GTA IV, I still found myself nodding my head in complete understanding of what you were trying to say.

    OVERDRIVE PLACE (aka: the winner): Fable (XBox) by Suskie

    I'd actually complimented this review earlier this week because it did something very good. While it might not have gone into great detail on every aspect of this game, it did give an in-depth shredding of its ballyhooed "good or evil" aspect where your actions would affect how people acted towards you and so forth. Here, you get to find out all this stuff is cosmetic and meaningless.....and screwed up to the degree that simply killing monsters that just attacked you gives you points toward being good.....meaning that to maintain "evil" status, you have to do a lot of time-consuming "busywork" and go out of your way to kill humans and do other evil deeds. I really liked this review because it focused on one very important aspect of the game and completely exposed it as a letdown, making for a very strong effort.




    Farewell for now, my subjects! There's beers to be drank in my immediate future.....or I'll be wicked pissed!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted October 26, 2008:

    Thanks for the mention, Rob. And congrats to Suskie for the win. I haven't read Zipp's GTAIV review, but I really enjoyed his Linger in Shadows one.
    board icon
    pickhut posted October 26, 2008:

    Congrats to the winners! Though, of the three, I only read felix's review so far.
    board icon
    WilltheGreat posted October 28, 2008:

    You have to wonder if random-spam like that actually ever works. I suppose it must, otherwise we wouldn't still be seeing it.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted October 29, 2008:

    It doesn't work on a site like HonestGamers and actually takes more effort than normal, since the forums are proprietary. But whoever decides to do that can't know that... so we'll keep seeing it as our audience continues to grow.
    board icon
    EmP posted October 29, 2008:

    Persistent little buggers.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted October 31, 2008:

    I dug into my old collection and have posted my review. I did M, so I choose "Metal Gear Solid: VR Training." Maybe not the most interesting title, as there really isn't that much meat for a reviewer to chew on, but I was surprised no one had reviewed it yet.

    And the real point of the contest is to fill HG with good reviews, so I felt it was all very much in the correct spirit.

    M is a surprisingly tricky letter to do. There's tons of options, but most of them have been done ten times over. Metroid, Mario, Morrowind... some good cult classics, too. Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Masochistic Young School Girls... lots of good stuff.

    I really wanted to do Morrowind, cause I've got a lot to bitch about with that game, but like I said... it's been done.

    Anyways, I may STILL do a Morrowind review in the future.

    Hey... that was ALMOST a rant, wasn't it?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted October 31, 2008:

    Morrowind's techinically under E for Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, anyway.

    I love Morrowind. I want to write a review of my own some day, and have consistently been beaten to it. By the time I get around to it, it'll truly be over-reviewed.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted October 31, 2008:

    Morrowind for me is a wonderful failure of a game.
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 01, 2008:

    I found Morrowind to be utterly spellbinding despite it's flaws. By comparison, Oblivion felt polished yet bland.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 01, 2008:

    That's a good assesment. I played Morrowind for months, but I only played Oblivion for about an hour.

    Both games lacked focus, though. There were too many random little quests without meaning that bogged me down.
    board icon
    EmP posted November 01, 2008:

    To be fair, the first hour of Oblivion is god awful.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 01, 2008:

    13 days left!
    board icon
    honestgamer posted November 01, 2008:

    I liked the first hour of Oblivion. Certainly, it didn't lack focus. It's the rest of the game after you get out of the tunnels that leaves a person wondering "What now?"
    board icon
    EmP posted November 01, 2008:

    It's the "What now?" feeling that makes the game! The claustrophobic and confined start of the sewers are universally hated!

    I spent far too much time with Oblivion. It's just now hit home just how many words I ploughed into that review. Yikes!
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted November 01, 2008:

    When playing Oblivion for the first time, experiencing the opening sewer segment was kind of enthralling. But experiencing similar segments, be they in sewers, catacombs, or caves, got kind of tiresome because the majority of quests required you to delve into banal underground areas. Traversing the outside world, though, that never got old for me.
    board icon
    johnny_cairo posted November 01, 2008:

    The expansion packs didn't help to break up the monotony of endless dungeon diving, although I must give Shivering Isles credit for trying to be really weird. (It's mostly irritating thanks to the Prince)
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 02, 2008:

    Good point. The underground areas could never be as interesting as the outside.

    But then, I really didn't like any of the Elder Scrolls games.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted November 02, 2008:

    Though it's a very light week, I'd like it if someone else can take on the RotW. Here's the list of eligible reviews:

    Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (PSX) by zippdementia
    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance (NES) by dagoss
    Mother 3 (GBA) by timrod

    Please let me know if someone is willing to step in for me. Thanks!
    board icon
    MASTERSNUMBA1FAN posted November 02, 2008:

    FEEDBACK:

    1) Read Masters catalog of writing
    2) Study it
    3) Get good
    4) ????
    5) Profit.

    WE HERE AT LITTLE RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL LOVE YOU MARC

    THINGS NOT TO DO: READ VENTER'S REVIEWS. WATCHING PAINT DRY IS MORE EXCITING AND FAR MORE EDUCATIONAL.


    MASTERS4EVER
    board icon
    Sclem posted November 02, 2008:

    I'm writing for this and making an appearance writing for a game with an asterisk in it, such as Q*bert.


    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 02, 2008:

    Haha. Go for it. I reviewed Q*bert once.

    And I have become the third person to finish his/her tourney review.

    Jim Power: The Arcade Game

    Hope it's good.
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 02, 2008:

    I'm plodding along with an odd Half-Life 2 piece that isn't quite working yet. Might as well be a little ambitious with my writing for a competition's sake.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 03, 2008:

    It might have been obvious, but I want to say I think this is a great idea for a contest. Great way to get a bunch of writers together, great way to produce more material for the site, great way to compare your work with that of others... excellent.

    Is there a place where the submissions can be listed, so that we know what's been written already, by whom, and where we can read it?
    board icon
    EmP posted November 04, 2008:

    I've no problem swapping weeks, if it helps.
    board icon
    honestgamer posted November 05, 2008:

    Here's a review I just wrote. I might turn in something better before the deadline, but there's a better chance that I won't, so here's the link:

    The Sims 2: Apartment Life

    Enjoy... and pick me the winner!
    board icon
    dagoss posted November 05, 2008:

    Yet another week that I failed the make an impression.

    One of these days I'm going to post a review so impressive and so thought-provoking that it will not only win all three spots on RotW for an entire month, it will causes billions of people to visit this site, burning the HG server to the ground, it will blot out the sun, and it will raise Harry Truman from the grave to yell at everyone in a grandfatherly I-hit-you-because-I-love-you voice.

    Such is the power of my hypothetical review. BEWARE!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 05, 2008:

    Haha. I look forward to it.

    As an aside, I wish these stupid spammers would stop posting in super old topics... especially RotW ones. Makes me keep thinking the several-days late one for last week is up and it's not. Though, there were only 3 reviews that week, and who knows how busy whichever staff's doing it is (I forget who's up).
    board icon
    pickhut posted November 06, 2008:

    Congrats to the two runner-ups and the RotW winner!
    board icon
    pickhut posted November 08, 2008:

    Game: Vigilante 8 Arcade (XLA)
    System: Xbox 360
    Publisher: Activision
    Developer: Isopod Labs
    Genre: Driving Shooter? (there's only one game listed in that category)

    Added.

    Thanks.
    board icon
    zigfried posted November 09, 2008:

    I missed the sign-ups, but I posted a B review in case Suskie doesn't show. Actually, I just posted a B review for the hell of it, and then happened to notice that was Suskie's letter. But still, you know what I mean. Yeah.

    //Zig
    board icon
    Genj posted November 09, 2008:

    Hey men, I still don't have a fuckin' D game. Any suggestions?
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 09, 2008:

    Desert Falcon (Atari 2600 OR 7800).....knowing that the difference between the two is the difference between a 1 and a 3.
    board icon
    True posted November 10, 2008:

    What the hell?! How can this game not be on here already...ooooh, if I ever become staff again.

    Game: Resistance 2
    Platform: Playstation 3
    Publisher: SCEA
    Developer: Insomniac Games
    Genre: FPS
    Release Date: 11/4/08

    Added.
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted November 10, 2008:

    I was this close (-> <-) to getting Rhapsody but it fell through.

    Finished Tomb Raider II and almost conned myself into starting Drakengard...then I did the first chapter and realized how boring most of it is! Ahaha...meh...
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    Dragon Warrior
    board icon
    EmP posted November 10, 2008:

    But... I love Drakengard!
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 10, 2008:

    My review is very slowly coming together...
    board icon
    shotgunnova posted November 10, 2008:

    It's great except for the mind-numbing monotony that permeates every action. ^___^
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 10, 2008:

    Oh, that's right.....I still have to get my game done....

    Oh, that's right.....I still have the letter "U"....
    board icon
    drella posted November 10, 2008:

    Because it's never too soon to break out the holiday music...

    Here's a new idea, and maybe it works, and maybe it doesn't, but let's give it a shot and see what comes of it. So this topic poses a simple question:

    What games do you want reviewed for Christmas?

    We all have favorite games we enjoy (or would enjoy) reading about. There are plenty of great writers around here that can spin a new or interesting take on anything. And you know, this being the season of giving and whatnot, maybe one (or more!) of them answers your call and you've got something to read Christmas morning. Maybe they give you a big lump of coal in your stocking and pan your favorite game. Maybe no one even cares and writes a review. Who knows!

    But you'll never know until you wish for a game to be reviewed!

    So post what games you'd like to see reviewed for Christmas (don't make requests of a particular author). I'll keep a wish list going. Those secret santas (keep it a surprise if you decide to review anything requested!) answering the call are encouraged to wait until the night of December 24th or Christmas Day to post their gifts. Because half the fun of Christmas is anticipation!

    Make as many wishes as you want. Maybe you get what you want. Maybe you don't. But it's a non-competitive and fun contest for everyone, and it has the potential for great writing and surprises. So muster up some fucking holiday spirit and join in.

    CHRISTMAS WISHES

    Dagoss - Baldur's Gate: Throne of Bhaal
    drella - Cadillacs & Dinosaurs
    drella - Kingdom Under Fire
    drella - Good Zelda/Bad Metroid or Good Metroid/Bad Zelda
    emp - Shining in the Darkness
    felix - Lot Lot
    felix - Panzer Dragoon Saga
    felix - Ys
    janus - Braid
    masters - Alone in the Dark 3
    masters - System Shock
    meeptroid - Wario Land 3
    overdrive - Brave Fencer Musashi
    overdrive - Fire Emblem (anything)
    overdrive - Vagrant Story
    venter - Daikatana (GBC)
    wq - Dynowarz
    wq - Golden Axe
    zigfried - Arcana Heart
    zigfried - Twinkle Tale
    zip - Shaiya
    zip - Any old Hugo games
    dogma - Guardians/Denji Makai II
    sho - Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (PC)
    sho - Secret of the Silver Blades (any version)
    sho - Any good review for an Apple II game
    sho - Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)
    sho - Dead of the Brain 1&2 (Turbo CD)
    sho - Dragon Knight & Graffiti (Turbo CD)
    genj - Doki Doki Majo Saiban
    penguin - Luminous Arc (DS)
    penguin - Magical Starsign (DS)
    penguin - Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)
    penguin - Mega Man X Maverick Hunter (PSP)
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 10, 2008:

    Oh come on, you have a vast series of Unreal and Ultima games at your disposal.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    And Urban Dead. You only need to play that for like two weeks to get the gist of it. Though a longer period of play is recommended for thorough enjoyment and understanding of the game.

    And I forgot you only have five days. <_<
    board icon
    zigfried posted November 10, 2008:

    Arcana Heart and Twinkle Tale!

    //Zig
    board icon
    jerec posted November 10, 2008:

    Feel free to step in as the third judge, Zig.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    This seems like a neat idea. I'll try to think of something later.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted November 10, 2008:

    This is a pretty good idea, Drella. Here's what I'd like to see underneath my Christmas tree:

    -Panzer Dragoon Saga (SAT)
    -Ys (NES)
    -Lot Lot (NES)

    I've been pretty good all year. I don't ask for much!

    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted November 10, 2008:

    Thanks for the win.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    Now you're all doing it to torture me.

    Someone lock this topic or something... Seriously... Stupid spammers. Nothing wrong with keeping it around, but there's no longer a need to post in it, I don't think.
    board icon
    Felix_Arabia posted November 10, 2008:

    Thanks for the win.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    XD Oh, fine then.

    I will congratulate the winners for that week, since I somehow discourteously forgot to do so then, anyhow. Though I know I at least told you how I felt about your review.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 10, 2008:

    Ok. Thought of a couple.

    Dynowarz (NES) Pretty sure it there's only one. Might have a longer title.
    Golden Axe (GEN)

    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 10, 2008:

    I'd like to see a review of that new free MMORPG, Shaiya I think it's called.

    I'd also be tickled if someone did reviews of the old Hugo games.
    board icon
    True posted November 11, 2008:

    Here's my entry.

    Resistance 2
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 11, 2008:

    I'm intrigued as to what people mean when they say "you only need to play for two weeks."

    What, two weeks nonstop? How often do you play games a day?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 11, 2008:

    In the case of UD, you can only play for about fifteen minutes a day because of the way the action point system is set up. Makes for great strategy.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 11, 2008:

    THREE DAYS LEFT!!!

    I'll link the reviews before the deadline... assuming someone doesn't beat me to the task. ;)
    board icon
    honestgamer posted November 12, 2008:

    I'll start a list here, sure. I'd like to see people review:

    Daikatana (Game Boy Color)

    I'll add more as I think about them.
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 12, 2008:

    Daikatana! Bless it.
    board icon
    JANUS2 posted November 12, 2008:

    Braid
    board icon
    EmP posted November 12, 2008:

    Shining in the Darkness
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 12, 2008:

    Brave Fencer Musachi
    Vagrant Story
    Anything Fire Emblem

    board icon
    Masters posted November 12, 2008:

    System Shock
    Alone in the Dark 3
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 12, 2008:

    I'm roughly four paragraphs into my review.

    OUTLINE:
    1. Start out mentioning that Undead Line is a Genesis shooter that was also on......other things. Finish paragraph with "and now, on with the review" to get bonus points from the judges.
    2. Start playing Undead Line. Die repeatedly. Get really frustrated. Swear a lot in my review, which is going to be a really experimental live blog of my game experiences.
    3. By the middle of the third paragraph, switch to U.N. Squadron, leaving in all the Undead Line-related material.
    4. Realize that Undead Line sapped my desire to play a shooter after writing a paragraph and a sentence or two, say "enough o' this foolishness, now here's the game I'm really reviewing!"
    5. Figure out which game that will be. Play for about 15-30 minutes, as that's about all the time I'll have for it and tack on a couple of paragraphs about it to what I already have for Undead Line and U.N. Squadron. Maybe I'll just pick a random "U" game no one's covered, and "borrow" a couple paragraphs and screens from Zig's RapeLay review so I get a lot of hits out of this tournament. Yeah.....that sounds good!

    Things are looking pretty good for ol' Overdrive right now!
    board icon
    Suskie posted November 12, 2008:

    I said I was planning to come back to finish this Alphabetolympics business, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. My plan was to buy Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on launch day (which I was going to do anyway) and review it by the deadline, thus offering up a game that was not only quite new, but interesting to talk about as well. Unfortunately, the move to college has left me downgraded to an SDTV, and the game's microscopic text is literally unreadable. On top of that, most of the dialog is timed, and there's no voice acting. Considering that the game is heavy on tutorials, and thus heavy on text, the game is quite literally unplayable at the moment until either I upgrade to an HDTV or Rare finishes the patch they're supposedly working on.

    Either way, I won't be able to review the game before the deadline. I might muster up the strength to review some other game that starts with B (maybe one of the earlier Banjo-Kazooie games), and I also have reviews for Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2 in the works should Pickhut or Iraff not show up (if that's even allowed), but for the time being, consider my participation in this comp suspended.
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 12, 2008:

    Pickhut's already got his, I think. He just... didn't link it in this topic for some reason.
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 12, 2008:

    So many awful deadlines :(
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 12, 2008:

    Ys for NES, too, I think, even if it's already requested. Is that allowed? =/
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 12, 2008:

    I would say if you specify the NES version, yes. Because I'd guess that, as someone who did review the NES version, that anyone asking for a Ys review ISN'T looking for the NES one, necessarily....
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 13, 2008:

    Review submitted.

    I've very intentionally submitted it as a user review instead of a staff one. There are two staff pieces on my game already, and the review itself is... well, you'll see. While I reckon it's a good piece of writing, it's not exactly in keeping with the site's general style.
    board icon
    EmP posted November 13, 2008:

    Mine's on site now, too.
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 13, 2008:

    Here it is!
    board icon
    Halon posted November 13, 2008:

    Ok, just picked out the game I will be reviewing. Thought this would be resolved tonight, who knew that I would be ahead of schedule?
    board icon
    overdrive posted November 13, 2008:

    U = Lick It Up

    And for anyone who thought I was actually unsure of what game I was going to review, let this be a lesson to you: NEVER TRUST OVERDRIVE!
    board icon
    goldenvortex posted November 13, 2008:

    HAVE TO DROP OUT SORRY :@
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 13, 2008:

    Come on people... there's only 8 reviews so far... *hopes for a last day super rush*
    board icon
    Genj posted November 13, 2008:

    Gentleman, I still don't have a game to review. Any suggestions?
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 13, 2008:

    NES

    Dragon Warrior 1-4
    Dig Dug - it should be easy if nothing else
    Donkey Kong
    Don Doko Don
    Double Dragon
    Any Dragon Ball Z game
    Duck Hunt
    Duck Tales

    Genesis

    Dinosaurs for Hire
    Anything with Dragon in it.

    Some of these are for both systems.

    Most of these you can just play for a few hours and get the idea of what they are. Some are RPGs, though, where you'll need more time investment.

    Just pick something. lOL
    board icon
    Halon posted November 13, 2008:

    Day of the Tentacle!

    EDIT: Or you can just make up a game. Didn't GUTS do that a few years back and get second place or something?
    board icon
    Lewis posted November 14, 2008:

    Daikatana would be a funny one to do. You don't even need to play that again, for goodness' sake. Just remember how abominable it was.

    Deus Ex, if you're feeling ambitious.
    board icon
    jerec posted November 14, 2008:

    "Didn't GUTS do that a few years back and get second place or something?"

    Yeah, but weren't the judges people like Ruder and Fix? =T
    board icon
    drella posted November 14, 2008:

    Not sure if anyone caught this in my blog but...

    Vigilante
    board icon
    timrod posted November 14, 2008:

    Submitted mine for 3x3 Eyes: Juuma Houkan (SNES)

    (translator's note: Juuma Houkan means Constipated Japanese Man)
    board icon
    japanaman posted November 14, 2008:

    I don't know how to find info on PSN games, so if you can, please add: Guilty Gear Judgement (PSN), Twisted Metal 2 (PSN), and Wild Arms (PSN) to the PSP section.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 14, 2008:

    Please post the link to your review in this thread when it's done. I can't be bothered to search the site for everyone.

    Also Zig do you want to judge? I'll add your review to the list if Suskie doesn't show up but since there are only two judges you can do that if you want.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 14, 2008:

    Yeah, but weren't the judges people like Ruder and Fix? =T

    And you. =)
    board icon
    jerec posted November 14, 2008:

    >_>
    <_<

    Changing the subject, this post is just to see what time it is in HG land. It's already Saturday morning for me.
    board icon
    Suskie posted November 14, 2008:

    Change of plans: I endured the small text enough to get a monstrous amount of playing time in and have submitted my review. That's my entry.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 14, 2008:

    Metal Gear Linkage:

    http://www.honestgamers.com/systems/content.php?game_id=695&console_id=8&review_id=7508
    board icon
    zigfried posted November 14, 2008:

    Sportsman:

    Thanks for asking about judging -- I discussed this briefly with Emp, too. I don't think that would work out since I don't have internet (I would have to print all the entries, read them at home, then come back to email verdicts)

    Sorry :(

    //Zig
    board icon
    zigfried posted November 14, 2008:

    I see that "X" has become available. If I can pick that letter up, I will post again in about 3 hours to say that my review is underway (which I believe would be 8:00 PM HG time, giving me 4 hours from then to finish).

    I have an idea, but it requires some prep work before I can write the review.

    //Zig
    board icon
    Halon posted November 14, 2008:

    Zig if you can get it done it's yours.

    Time to start my review. What a way to spend Friday night!
    board icon
    wolfqueen001 posted November 14, 2008:

    You guys forgot to link EmP's and pickhut's reviews.
    board icon
    pickhut posted November 14, 2008:

    I was just about to link that, too. But thanks. XD
    board icon
    Halon posted November 14, 2008:

    time check
    board icon
    darketernal posted November 14, 2008:

    I sent mine for Out of this World to Emp to proofread so I can submit it a day ago, so the review is over, just will need said amount of time to get it all polished back to me.
    board icon
    zigfried posted November 14, 2008:

    My three-hour report:

    X isn't happening -- the game I had in mind is a bit longer than expected, and I discovered that my second choice technically starts with Y. So if someone else wants to grab the X spot, please take it.

    //Zig
    board icon
    jerec posted November 14, 2008:

    Jason needs to make a clock on the page which automatically shows us what time it is in HG Land.
    board icon
    bluberry posted November 14, 2008:

    WAD.wad
    board icon
    Suskie posted November 14, 2008:

    Okay, so. Today was one of the most cramped days of my life, as it involved work, two classes, a concert, a car crash, and traveling a span of several hundred miles. I actually had to type up my review on a train, so if it seems a little rushed, I apologize, but I really didn't want to end my experience at HG with a no-show. So I hope you enjoy my last HG review:

    Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

    Edit: I see that it's already been added. Thanks.

    Edit Xtreme: Oh yeah, and I sorted out all of those typos I didn't have time to correct before.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 14, 2008:

    My review is submitted. It's almost 3am here so I'm off to bed. I'll clean up this mess tomorrow.
    board icon
    dragoon_of_infinity posted November 14, 2008:

    Castle Crashers
    board icon
    MYass posted November 15, 2008:

    Once mine is accepted, put it up.
    board icon
    jerec posted November 15, 2008:

    I'll start judging tomorrow morning. Approx. 12 hours from now.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 15, 2008:

    I suppose I could claim my Mirror's Edge review instead of my MGS:VT review... but we'll go ahead and keep it as is.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 15, 2008:

    Can someone double check the topic and make sure I didn't miss anything?
    board icon
    darketernal posted November 15, 2008:

    Submitted my review, courtey of WQ for proofing it since EmP didn't show up in the last few days. When it is accepted it is for this contest.

    Out of this World.
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 15, 2008:

    Well, since it seems submissions are still being accepted, we'll go ahead and switch to Mirror's Edge after all:

    http://www.honestgamers.com/systems/content.php?review_id=7561&platform=PlayStation+3&abr=PS3&gametitle=Mirror%27s+Edge
    board icon
    Genj posted November 15, 2008:

    Hey losers, way not to show up. Pfft.
    board icon
    Halon posted November 15, 2008:

    I changed the review, but if it was already judged it will have to be changed back since it was technically posted after the deadline.

    EDIT: Judges take your time. I'm very busy next week and won't be able to post the results until Thursday night. Also HG mail them to me or send them by email to sportsman30@gmail.com
    board icon
    zippdementia posted November 16, 2008:

    Game: PAIN
    Platform(s): PS3 (PSN)
    Publisher: SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment)
    Developer: Idol Games
    Genre: Action
    Release Date: US Nov 29, 2007 UK March 20, 2008

    Added.