Reviews For May/June

I did a number of reviews for PopMatters in the months of May and June. There are a few more waiting in the wings to be published. In published chronological order:

The Showdown Effect

I really like this review. I didn’t think much of The Showdown Effect, but I didn’t dislike it either. It is a textbook example of a middle of the road game. It does what it sets out to do, but isn’t really the spectacular. What really hit the right tone was starting off the review the way I did. The opening paragraph just set the rest of the review up. Plus I like the idea of the game as some universe ruled by TV Tropes and these are the avatars formed from the essence.

Thomas Was Alone

My Thomas Was Alone review went through more drafts and revisions than any I’ve written to date. Reviews are as much about framing the game correctly that describing the value of its content. I had a lot of trouble framing my thoughts on Thomas Was Alone, despite liking it so much. At one point I wanted to write the whole thing in the voice of the narrator of the game. The remnants of that can be seen in the opening paragraphs. IT turned into such an exhausting ordeal that I gave up on it very quickly, but the opening dose get out of the way the idea that it is a puzzle platformer and clue the reader in to the style the game is going for. It reads better than I remember.

This review was courtesy of it coming out on Playstation Vita in May, though I essentially reviewed the PC version. It is the same game and I’m glad it got attention this time around.

The Room

I’m cringing a little at my The Room review. It really shows that we – read I – don’t know how to talk about mobile games properly. I did all I could to avoid regressing back into a pure mechanical graphics/gameplay/fun factor style review. I did mange to reflect my own experience playing it into my admiration for the game’s quality. There’s also a major error in one sentence that I’m cringing at now. And just checked the submitted draft, yeah it was worded completely differently.

The Room was another game courtesy of a re-release on another platform. This time Android.

Cognition episode 3

I’ve been reviewing the Cognition episodes as each one has come out. The real story of the game is how Phoenix Studios has improved so much with each installment. A lot of the technical problems that plagued the first episode are now gone. Plus each episode gets better in its storytelling. Though from looking around at the general community I may be more inclined towards adventure games than most. The simple fact of the matter is, the most brilliant things Cognition does are small little touches in using the interactive nature to present information or develop character. I believe Cognition came out in the wrong decade. Right now it’s just an above average indie title with a minute amount of notoriety. Had it come out in the 90s it would be an all-time classic influencing games to this day. Such is the way of things.

Steve Jackson's Sorcery episode 1

I hate my Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! episode 1 review. I can’t stand it. It irritates me to no end, because it isn’t the one I wanted published. Everyone always has doubts about their work meant for public consumption. Mine were kind of bigger than usual with this and then after a few hours the light bulb in my head turned on on how to fix it. I rewrote it and submitted the new draft. It wasn’t noticed in time.

The changes were a completely new 2nd paragraph that changed how I framed the game completely as well as edits throughout to reflect this new position. Seriously, read that 2nd paragraph in the published review and tell me what the hell I was trying to express.

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