E = mP≤
October 16, 2009
The second annual Because We Hate You is to be the last. We gave it a go to see if it sticks and the interest clearly isnít there, so congrats to the eventual winner; youíll never be dethroned.
I did plan to include a paragraph about why each person received the game they did, but it seems more important to get the results out. Iíll perhaps add them in later.
Zipp: War hawk (PSX)
A very good, though prototypical, bash review. I think the big difference here is that while you are going on about how the game sucks, it doesn't read like you didn't give it a chance, or like you just wanted an excuse to make fun of a game for laughs. That lends credibility, and so it doesn't feel like you're exaggerating when you go on at lengths about Warhawk is apparently just fucking dumb.
Outside of that, not much else to say. Now I know why Warhawk is, apparently, just fucking dumb. It was, however, kind of lame in parts. Bake for 30 minutes? Really? Groan. But still, nice work. 89/100
Zippís decided to start playing with screenshots here, and he does a pretty good job of shoehorning them in, even if the second looks an odd size. [Note to me: remember to put the shots on the site server and change link.] Now Iím going to nitpick.
The controls paragraph initially strike me as a little odd; flight games are supposed to demand you graft on an extra thumb, but you go from there to make a solid argument for why Warhawkís is especially counterproductive. Thatís probably this reviewís biggest strength, you take the time to ensure that every point you make is backed up, always explaining why you hold your opinion and making a convincing point as to why. Thereís stuff I raise an eyebrow at, though: the comparison to Silent Hill feels like an odd game to gage Warhawk against (Warhawk was, more or less, a PSX launch title, after all) and thereís the groan worthy cooking metaphor that has to BY LAW show up in at least one review by tourney. At least itís out of the way early this time.
But I like. Itís a low scoring review, but itís still respectful and doesnít revel in cheap hits. In spite of this, it was entertaining and natural to read. One of Zippís best to date. 92/100
Lewis Ė Minerva: Metastasis
Excellent analysis. I actually tried to review this during the TT and came up with something similar, but just not nearly as naturally written. How do you really talk about a game where the main attraction is how perfectly competent it is? Uh, like Lewis did, apparently.
This review touched on pretty much everything that makes the game tick, such as how compact it is. Having these interlocking, small maps that don't force the game to load was the sort of brilliant touch that most people wouldn't even consciously notice. HL2's engine was always pretty miserable for the expansive, linear sort of game it is, and the work this guy did in this mod gets around that very neatly. Glad to see I'm not the only idiot who got lost once or twice, too. 92/100
Boo wanted you to do this game. I think in his newest attempt to make me play something to do with Half Life again.
For me, the most striking aspect of this review is that, when you were given it, you groaned and admitted you didnít think much of it on your previous attempt to play it, yet came away singing high praise. But you made no mention of that, so it doesnít effect your points. Ha.
Lewisí poise is characteristically strong, his strongest moment being the description of the gameís namesake and her interaction with your nameless avatar. This paragraph does the best job of establishing the gameís apparent underlying cleverness as both a well made and well written game. However, the entire thing feels much like a quick skim at times, never really delving into some subjects as much as Iíd like. Sometimes, the review suggestions the game is separate from the Half Life world but, sometimes, it seems safe to assume itís set within. I donít know what youíre fighting and, while I appreciate that spending too much time on this subject is to be avoided, Iím not even sure what Iím fighting aside from a brief mention of a military base with (presumably) solider in late on.
But it does seem unfair to complain. The writing is often great, sometimes staggeringly so, and the mysteriousness of the title sold. I assume itís meant to be a mysterious title, anyway. Iím still not quite lest with enough information to fully decide that. As such, Booís 164th attempt to get me to play Half Life fails, but you still get a solid score. 85/100
Overdrive Ė Final Doom
This reminded me a lot of your Icarus review. It's a breezy little discussion of a Doom add-on, only this time an official one in two parts. You nailed TNT man, that game is just full of fucking long corridors and it comes off as incredibly lazy sometimes. That after you said you couldn't really figure out what made it feel so lazy. Self-esteem, man!
Unfortunately, I feel like the review could have been more in-depth. We've bullshitted so much about these games on AIM that I was kind of surprised, really. Things like TNT's awkward attempts to make realistic levels; or any discussion on Plutonia beyond the fact that it's tough and that Hunted is the best map ever. Not that calling Plutonia kind of lame isn't a fair opinion, that's how I felt until I recently replayed it, but the difference between this and your Icarus review is that that review felt more well justified. This is still an entertaining, fairly convincing effort, but it could be stronger. 79/100
Iím a little disappointed with just who much ODís Doom review feels a lot like his last few Doom reviews. My confession is that I never played much of Final Doom (Pause for shocked gasps) and as Boo slates in in between our regular bouts of slagging off Doom 3 (still rubbish) I remain glad not to. You certainly reinforce this view point with more basis and a lot less cursing, but I canít get past the feeling that you kind of phoned this one in and went to a comfortable template you were practised in. Maybe itís just that Iím into the Doom scene a little more than most, but I expected more from someone who feels likewise. Thatís unfair if so, and Iíd apologise, but weíre competing to see who can be the arsehole judge this year and I want to win.
I donít know what else to really add. The review itself is good, the structure feels a little lose, more like a blog post than a review at points, but itís informative and submits the message you want to put across. Itís an OD review, so thereís some killer lines and it has personality, but Iím going to bet you struggled with this one a little more than you expected to. 72/100
DE Ė Fading Shadows
As far as puzzle game reviews go, this is quite good. I appreciate the fact that you're admitting that it doesn't suck, just that it's not very good either. There's too much black-and-white shit in reviewing, and I'm often guilty of it myself (see: 3/10 Killer7 review), so it's refreshing to see a measured approach from somebody else besides Jason.
That said, my one nit pick is that you could have done more to reinforce the fact that the game isn't particularly exciting. I've played enough puzzle games to intuitively know what you mean when you say that it's just not particularly engaging, and your target audience certainly has too, but a more thorough take on why the game can be so lifeless would've served you better than getting started with the story. 85/100
I bet youíre sorry you passed up on the first game pick now, huh?
Puzzle games are bastards to write for, and you did an especially good job here by clinging to what makes this one a unique puzzle game and then being reasonable and fair about it. Iím sure you didnít get this habit from me, so you must be getting better. I liked a lot of it; I liked how you made fun of things without making them look fantastically moronic and how you sell the game as something that can work for you and be fun, but is far from the next Tetris.
Thereís some errors in there like the dreaded it/itís hiccup and the odd formatting problem that Iím sure youíll make me fix later but, for now, theyíre just going to cost you points! But good job flying solo -- youíve justified your stance on a very hard to cover game in an entertaining fashion. 85/100
Pickhut Ė Space Channel 5: Special Edition
Part of me wants to say you missed the point entirely for not spending more time talking about how WILD and CRAZY the games are, and how Michael Jackson is in them, but then the sane part of me realizes that your whole point is how none of that matters if they're fundamentally broken. Definitely a nice touch hitting on how it's not just the Dreamcast's shitty d-pad that ruined these games, but rather just poor programming. Of course, still the same proofreading errors as ever; quite entertaining to watch than to play?
A nice, succinct review that maaaybe still could have mentioned a bit more about how weird these games really were, but turns that into a fairly moot point just the same. 86/100.
This review needed a second read from my good self before I realised how good it really was. This is a tale of squandered potential and a thoughtful piece that puts the spotlight on exactly why, all while not burying the title. This does wonders for the reviewís creditability in what I have to assume was a fortunate mistake (still gunning for arsehole judge). Thereís a smattering of typos included within, and the entire though could have perhaps benefited from more explanation on why the games were considered so kooky but a tidy, thought-provoking short review. One day, Iíll make you write a 2,000 worder -- thatíll show you! 84/100
Wolfqueen - Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel
This is even worse than lilica's rant about sexism in Final Fight! Just kidding, the intro took a clean approach to the fact that a game like this is retarded T&A for 14 year old shut-ins and then got on with talking about how it actually plays. A backhanded compliment: if I wanted to know about this game, this review would be fantastic, because I'd learn everything I could want to know about it. It's thorough and informative and not at all a bad read.
The problem: nobody gives a shit about this game. It's just much too long for what it is, and by the time you get into spending a paragraph each on pinning opponents or knocking them out of the ring, it drags a bit. I think I'd dig your writing even more if you were more willing to leave parts of your reviews on the cutting room floor. Everything that's here is good, but there's just so much information even though some of it doesn't add to your argument that beyond the tits it's just a mediocre wrestling game. 78/100.
Not a fan of the girl-power intro. It seems silly considering itís a wrestling game -- a genre that usually displays oiled up men wearing tiny posing pouches, especially one exclusive to Japan where they take their pro wrestling very seriously indeed. Though itís nice to hear someone stick it the The Man again after Lilicaís unfortunate dropping off the face of the Earth.
I was a bastard with this pick because I put you in a kind of no win situation. Can you write great reviews about wrestling games? Sure. Is it an easy task? No. The review itself is a bit like the intro in that it gives you a lot of words but then doesnít leave you with as much useful information as you might expect. In the huge info dump, you do two thing that weaken your effort. ONE! You pretty much disprove your theory on the game being 16-bit masturbation bait for pre-teens. TWO! You often end up making the game sound more fun than you obviously mean to. The highly negative ending kind of came out of nowhere for me it was like ďThis bitís good, and this bit is also good but THE GAME IS BAD, NOW ZIP UP YOUR JEANS OR YOUíLL BE GOING TO HELL!Ē
Good writing that could have done with a good editing before it corroded the points yould worked hard to make. 72/100
Jerec Ė Metal Slug 3
First of all, props for actually entering when our pick was basically us jamming our dicks down your throat. In a way, this is a valuable opinion to have on the site; an RPG geek may not like these games because they're still run-n-guns, in the end, and they're still kind of tough and it's often just not fun to play a game that's kicking your ass from moment one. They won't even have to scream PLEASE NO when they see this review, and cost a team a win in the TT by flipping a coin.
Unfortunately, as you've already admitted, it feels more like a blog post. Not even in the conversational, OD Doom review way. It just feels... unfinished. The fact that you haven't played the game beyond the trial level is painfully obvious when you're describing the first level and then saying the choices don't really matter, when the game is basically three games in one with all the different ways you can go through it. If you'd played the game and gone ďyeah, but I still don't like it even though this happens in stage 4 and it turns into a shmup for part of stage 5Ē and all that, then I'd feel ok about it. As is, I'm just sitting there thinking about how many games I've played for twenty minutes, not liked, continued playing, and come to love. Not getting past those first two steps is GunValkyrie syndrome, so it's basically your fault Smilebit are out of business.
Also, the whole choice angle was a bit heavy handed. Sorry buddy. 67/100
Man, you made my day coming through with this, even if it was a half-hearted review of a trail version, the fact that you did this earns you major props.
So I feel kind of bad for not liking the review. The biggest problem is that, as you bravely admitted, youíd not played much of the game so were forced to pad the hell out of what you had to try and make the review. Really, the padding takes over what little you do say, and, in the ends, drowns any commentary of worth in talk about choosing the choice to chose over other choices.
As such, though you raised a smile and a feeling of immense gratitude for doing what a lot of the worthless slackers didnít do and show up (and with the meanest game choice of everyone involved) I canít in good faith give you an over inflated score. Even if I secretly really want to. 45/100
Genj Ė Bram Stoker's Dracula
Haha, I miss these short little genj reviews for awful old licensed games and the like. There's no bullshit with a review like this, but it doesn't feel like you're just going ďthis sucksĒ either. I like your approach and I like this review. Doing a long drawn out bash would have been suicide here, and what writing there is is entertaining. Maybe another line about how the subweapons are useless would have been nice, but for how long this review is, it's impressive that it doesn't feel like you're omitting anything else important. 89/100.
The Rapewolf line rocks, but the rest of the review feels rushed and shallow a lot of the times. Even in the little time you spend with the game, thereís still padding to be found in the intro and complete lack of photographic proof of the mentioned nipples. These things hurt.
Thereís a lot of repetitive qualities about the word choices, and the grammar is sometimes off (ŖHypocritical judge comment here), though some of them are golden. Such as rape wolf, which because I though was so good, gets a second mention. As stands, it feels too shallow to really trust in. 70/100
Melaisis Ė General Chaos
This is a solid review, but what's bugging me is that it doesn't have much of a voice of its own. It kind of feels like you're running down an obligatory checklist, especially when you get around to spending a paragraph on how the music is pretty decent but not that noteworthy. I get the impression you're tallying up good and bad things in columns and assigning it a score based on the ratio.
I feel bad for not being able to say much when it's one of the lower scores I've given, but I did like this review for what it is; a detached rundown of the game, something I'd expect to see on a professional site like IGN or something but if IGN were competent. It's just that I feel like I'm reading more about what General Chaos is in a generic way, as opposed to reading about what you yourself think of it. For instance, you talk about how the scoring system is a bit silly. That's important, sure, but how does it fit into your overall take on the game? I'm just not getting that from this, though the piece doesn't drone at all.
If this critique sounds like confusing bullshit, let me know and I'll try to rephrase it. I can empathise, because this dude darkfact gave me the same advice ages back and at the time I thought he had to be tripping balls. This is in no way a bad review; it could just stand to be more your review. 75/100
For ages now, Scottís been my hidden weapon in the world of freelance games journalism, so it was nice to see you get the chance to spread your creative wings. The biggest problem with this review? You didnít. You kind of just played it safe and hoped it would be enough. Sometimes, the review reads like a school assignment with the facts nicely lined up and not a huge amount of personality distilled within. This is a shame considering you were given a game were raggedly-bearded commandos turn foes into crumbling skeletons with laser cannons, or throw bundles of dynamite, then plug their ears and hope for the best.
That may sound harsh, because what the review is is competent, informative and exhaustive in its desire to march the gameís facts right into your brain. Every little fact, such as the quality of the soundtrack comes along, even if this means bumpy transitions from good-to-bad-back to good are a common trail from paragraph to paragraph.
It understandable to play the safe card when you flip out freelance work (even if it still not a guarantee thisíll not have developers yell at you) but Iíd really like to see you use things like this to take a few more risks with your writing. Youíre a strong enough writer -- go nuts now and then! 72/100