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Review discussion
Topic Started: Jul 6 2006, 03:05 AM (4,480 Views)
dagoss
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Smarty Pants
Shiren the Wonderer
 
Preface: I've come to believe that gameplay and visuals are the most important parts of a game and individually, equally important.
I've reasoned that from the phrase "video game", which has two parts (50/50) and nothing else. A video game is what people see (Latin: video) and play (e.g. a game).
In this vein, everything else (presentation and sound) comes second.


I disagree very strongly with this and also with your review. Video games (along with books, movies, operas, and anything else that is even removely creative) cannot be judged numerically. The criteria is completely subjective and rarely useful.

To say that the "video" and "game" aspects are the most important things in a game and "everything else... comes second" is absurd. How then, do you treat a game like Rez, where the experience is one of aural sensations, or Ico, which attempts to touch the player through the emotional bond between two characters, or Planescape: Torment, which relies on mountains of thought provoking and interactive text to let the player experience a story, or Fallout, which is unique for its setting rather than gameplay or visuals.

No game should be judged on its parts, especially with the parts ordered in some sort of tier. It degrades the most unique aspect of video games, its fusion of visual and aural mediums with user interactivity. The parts of a video game are not distinct things: they are unified aspects of a totality of the game and dependent on the other aspects within that game.

For example, how would your review contend with the fact that the music in Ocarina of Time seamlessly fades as enemies draw new? Is that a gameplay feature? Part of the music? Part of the atmosphere? In truth, it's part of all of the above. These are the things that a review should be covering -- not the quality of the graphics or the story, which should be obvious by reading the back of the box.

Please excuse me if I'm coming off as a pompous ass, but I feel very strongly about this. I love video games, and I really hate when they get treated like quantifiable toys.
Edited by dagoss, Nov 5 2008, 06:38 PM.
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Shiren Wonders
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My preface was a generalization to simplify, and I have a need to simplify things. I fulfill this need as often as I can do with logic, without self-deception (e.g. "rationalizations").

Simple, clear logic was my only intention, not to state my review as the absolute truth.
A numerical means of judging is used to keep things simple and relate-able. Since it's so commonplace and you disagree so strongly, I wonder how you can stand for any review (movies: 1-4 stars, ign64.com reviews: 1-10). Just curious. You must be pulling your hair out half the time. I know I would.

I also meant to wade past what I might call b.s..
Gamers have been criticized for being to graphics-focused. Well, it's perfectly logical.
I'd wager, if most people were truly honest, they play a game for its looks or its gameplay, and if one of the two areas is subpar (without sig. respect for other ares), they won't play it.
In other words, these areas are so crucial, once again, I'd wager, few people play a game or don't for its sound (fx or music) or presentation (story, menus, etc.).
That's not to say these areas don't have an impact (e.g. collectively, in my review model, they comprise 1/3 of the review score, which seems very reasonable). I just don't believe it's a make or break thing (vs. grfx and gameplay).
I said, "everything else comes SECOND", not doesn't count for squat or at all.

My numbering is admittedly very (though, I disagree with "completely) subjective.
However, my tier speaks truth, if not absolute, pretty darn accurate.

Bottom line: If a game's sound sucks, you can press mute. If it's the grfx and you turn of the tv, no more game.
That in and of itself proves my point.

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dagoss
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Smarty Pants
Review for new movies and games are different. Those reviews are intended to help you as a consumer (not as a gamer) to determine if a $59.99 game is worth purchasing. Reviews for older games are more like essays that you would write on a Charles Dickens novel for an English class. They are more about reflection, appreciation, and history, than about consumption.

Quote:
 
I'd wager, few people play a game or don't for its sound (fx or music) or presentation (story, menus, etc.).


Well, meet me!

I don't mean to belabour this, but I really do think the attitude you take in this review makes intelligent discussion of games impossible. Again, games are not quantifiable toys, they are works of artistic expression. Sometimes they are fun, sometimes they are exciting, sometimes they provide sexual release, sometimes they move us to tears. They simply can't be broken down like this, and if anything your OoT review shows just how ridiculous any attempt is. For example:

Quote:
 

- Infantile.
+ Mature vocabulary.


This is a contradiction. Also, it is absurd that you try to boil the entire store down to the word "infantile."

Quote:
 
- Childishly simple ocarina melodies that all sound alike.
+ The non-ocarina-based music. Sound effects are realistic and atmospheric.


The ocarina melodies are parts of fuller songs in the game; they are built upon and reused to highlight the pivotal role the ocarina and playing the ocarina has in the game. How can all of these melodies sound a like but the other music be worthwhile when they are extensions of of ocarina songs? These statements miss the entire point of having a musical instrument as the most important item in the game -- it's not called Ocarina of Time for the hell of it.

Quote:
 
Controls
- A bit clumsy. No jump button.
+ Fairly tight, especially with z-targeting.


How can the controls be "clumsy" and "tight" at the same time? While were on words that describe nothing, "atmospheric" and "cinematic" are not helpful, since they merely tell the reader that the game as atmosphere and cinematography respectively.

Overall, I think you treat Ocarina of Time as a child's plaything that has no value beyond its immediate entertainment. You miss anything beautiful, interesting, or innovative about the game -- i.e. you miss all the reasons that it has been such an enduring classic. And even if you were attempting to state "clear logic" and "keep things simple," your criteria is so subjective and hazy that it often isn't clear what you mean, which is the exact opposite of what you were trying to do.
Edited by dagoss, Nov 6 2008, 09:30 AM.
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Shiren Wonders
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"Reviews for new movies and games are different. Those reviews are intended to help you as a consumer (not as a gamer)"
I don't see the sense in making a distinction. Reviews of older creative works shouldn't be allowed "reflection, appreciation, and history" to interfere with the more essential point: to practically assess if a game's worth a person's time and energy (not just money).
And I don't care how many different ways someone calls something "classic". Like "Tale of Two Cities". Verbose (like me), long-winded but mildy interesting and entertaining (average). It's like if the first X-Men movie was 3 hrs long.

"I really do think the attitude you take in this review makes intelligent discussion of games impossible."
This comment is offensive; you're practically saying I've made a dumb review, which in and of itself, "criticizes my intelligence.

"Games are not quantifiable toys, they are works of artistic expression."
This point is debatable. Games have been mostly entertainment (not without artistic merit though), but whether they are artistic works is a subjective determination.

"if anything your OoT review shows just how ridiculous any attempt is"
This too is offensive. You're practically saying that I was ridiculous, which is degrading.

I should have been clearer about the following (my bad), so here it goes:
1. I declare that my tier system (gfx & sound above everything else) is very logical and partially subjective (I didn't just decide on my own that video comes from the Latin word "video" (I see) or that many gamers share my mindset).
2. Yet I admit my proportioning of the review categories e.g. gfx = 1/3)of final score) is partially arbitrary and very subjective. I also admit that the individual scores are entirely subjective (there's no right/wrong or truth/untruth to it).

3. When taken out of context (your fault) or not fully explained (my fault),
"- Infanitle...- Mature vocabulary" is a contradiction.
I should have been clearer and more accurate. I feel the story (little Peter Pan boy against ugly non-menacing douchebag) (and characters are infantile...their behavior and demeanor). It's like a "Tiny Toons"/"Muppet Babies" version of Link to the Past to me. I'm not the only one who feels this way, either.
However, dichotomously, the actual dialog or diction (word choice) is at least that of an adolescent (mature).

"How can all of these melodies sound a like but the other music be worthwhile when they are extensions of of ocarina songs?"
The non-ocarina centered music (the Gerudo valley theme, most temples, etc.) aren't based on the ocarina repertoire. In fact, most of them are ambient, not melodic.
I think the ocarina or any whistle-like instrument sounds cheesy and childish. It's no coincidence that grade school children learn the recorder (it's the easiest instrument to learn/play). The other music, while not really rich or memorable, is passable to me.
"the entire point of having a musical instrument as the most important item in the game -- it's not called Ocarina of Time for the hell of it."
Yeah, well God Bless to Koji Kondo (?) and Miyamoto. But at least Kondo could've varied the melodies. They only use like 5 notes?!!!!!

Controls
- A bit clumsy. No jump button.
+ Fairly tight, especially with z-targeting.
Something can be pretty much 1 thing and a little bit of the opposite thing (e.g. sweet and sour chicken).
By clumsy, I think I mean a little unresponsive. And tight, well, overall, I think it is.
The concept that I stress is dichotomy.

"And even if you were attempting to state "clear logic" and "keep things simple," your criteria is so subjective and hazy that it often isn't clear what you mean, which is the exact opposite of what you were trying to do."

My criteria, which I assume you mean the categories and their components is EXTREMELY clear and logical, anally retentively at. My individual comments about each, particularly "Critic's Voice" (which is intended for the reviewer's "slant" or bias) is to a fault short and fuzzy and definitely subjective....Thus it's MY review.


And clearly by using words like "moving, cinematic, etc." I have some artistic appreciation of the game. It's not missed by me. I just want to filter (as much as I can) flowery language or romanticism/nostalgia.




Edited by Shiren Wonders, Nov 6 2008, 01:14 PM.
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StYoung
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Elite
Can someone unclose my reviews so I can edit them?

Theres messed up italics, I'm not sure if its always been like that or if they got messed up in the transition to zetaboards...
dagoss,Nov 17 2007
05:13 PM
OMG, this is the best topic ever made.  I nominate Steve for God!
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dataDyne
Forum Dinosaur!
StYoung
Dec 6 2008, 11:03 AM
Can someone unclose my reviews so I can edit them?

Theres messed up italics, I'm not sure if its always been like that or if they got messed up in the transition to zetaboards...
I just opened them back up.
Give this man a fish, and he can throw it up eleven times
-alxbly
PSN: LifeIsPreachy
Mario Kart Wii: 0088 - 2869 - 9843
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Nonoke
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Illuminous's review of DKC2 is kinda vague, as it doesn't actually tell you much about what he thinks of the game.
Because I don't think "Wow" and "Good" are enough.
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alxbly
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Ancient
Thanks for the Rock Band 2 review, Spikie. :)
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Matt
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Kick, Punch, It's all in the mind
think it came out ok? its my first time ever reviewing something so i thought id do something i know well
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alxbly
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spikie
Apr 8 2009, 08:39 AM
think it came out ok? its my first time ever reviewing something so i thought id do something i know well
Yeah man, it's good. I liked it. :)
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Mop it up
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Forum Urban Legend
New reviews were posted? I should really check sections like this more often...
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alxbly
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Mop_it_up
Apr 12 2009, 12:11 PM
New reviews were posted? I should really check sections like this more often...
Yeah man, there's been a few recently. :)
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Irene(Hydronix)
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Level 30 Necromancer/Master of Quest 64
Damion_Michaels, your review on Quest 64 was excellent. I also found it funny that we had the same overall score. It's nice to see that you went into more detail of what I mentioned, making both reviews worth reading, right in a row. I probably could've worded mine a little better(and maybe some grammatical errors here and there), but I digress.

I really oughta make one for Sonic Battle now...I guess I'm just not a large paragraphical reviewer.
Even bastards need to let off some steam.

And apparently have more egos than Waffles.
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RememberBodyHarvest?
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*CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*
ZAP

The threads not coming back!
COME ON

*ZAP*
YES I HAVE REVIVED THIS BOARD
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alxbly
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RememberBodyHarvest?
Aug 5 2010, 06:41 PM
*CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*
ZAP

The threads not coming back!
COME ON

*ZAP*
YES I HAVE REVIVED THIS BOARD

If you're keen to revive this thread then perhaps post a review or tell us what reviews you plan on writing? It may be tempting to bump old topics when the board is quiet but if you wish to do so please include something that's relevant to the topic.

Rapueda
Aug 11 2006, 10:55 AM
Forum Rules

5. Spamming and posting just to increase your post count - Please include some meaningful content in all of your posts as posts that add little or nothing to the discussion will be considered spam.

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7049100/1/
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RememberBodyHarvest?
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Sorry :P yes I'm planning on doing an Elder Scrolls review and halo wars review.
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Franklint
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*emerges from the mist*

Greetings, all. While I found Raqueda's Jet Force Gemini review very pleasing, I'd like to get some more opinions on the game. Raq's review is similar to the way I would write a Super Mario 64 review, except everything would be 10/10.

There is an excellent condition, complete copy of this game available for AUD$14 shipped to my house. What's the consensus? Worth having?

Cheers,
Franklint
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macN64
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Franklint
Aug 7 2010, 07:43 AM
*emerges from the mist*

Greetings, all. While I found Raqueda's Jet Force Gemini review very pleasing, I'd like to get some more opinions on the game. Raq's review is similar to the way I would write a Super Mario 64 review, except everything would be 10/10.

There is an excellent condition, complete copy of this game available for AUD$14 shipped to my house. What's the consensus? Worth having?

Cheers,
Franklint
Hello again. :)

The game's defiantly worth having. If nothing else, you'll enjoy the soundtrack. Highest quality music on any cartage console, in my opinion.

As Raqueda said, the controls are the worst aspect of the game by far. I would describe them as "slippery", as though you're on ice all the time (the exact opposite of Body Harvest). A little perseverance and you'll get used to them enough to wander around without any difficulty. However, you often find yourself a sitting duck in fire-fights; shooting "into" the camera, so that you can't see your target and lacking the precision needed to dodge enemy attacks. The default method for changing weapons is also something I find rather clumsy: A to cycle forward through your weapons and B to cycle backwards. You can only see your current weapon, the one in front and the one behind when changing weapons, so you don't know if you'd be quicker pressing A 7 times or B twice. You could always pause the game to change, but the pause "intro" and "outro" are really quite long (at least a second longer than Goldeneye's), making the process of pausing a bit of a chore. The grenades are pretty useless as well.

If you can endure the frequent awkward enemy encounters, there's little else negative to say about it. except perhaps, the Tribals (the Jinjos of the game). Oh, and the difficulty can be pretty relentless at times. It sometimes feels like Rare were being purposely cruel to the player (you'll see what I mean if you get far enough into the game).

I'd say go for it. For a price like that, I don't think you'd regret it. You could always get a lose cartage cheaper, but, if I remember correctly, you're only buying boxed games now.
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Franklint
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Quote:
 
Hello again. :)

Hey man :) .

Quote:
 
As Raqueda said, the controls are the worst aspect of the game by far. I would describe them as "slippery", as though you're on ice all the time (the exact opposite of Body Harvest). A little perseverance and you'll get used to them enough to wander around without any difficulty. However, you often find yourself a sitting duck in fire-fights; shooting "into" the camera, so that you can't see your target and lacking the precision needed to dodge enemy attacks. The default method for changing weapons is also something I find rather clumsy: A to cycle forward through your weapons and B to cycle backwards. You can only see your current weapon, the one in front and the one behind when changing weapons, so you don't know if you'd be quicker pressing A 7 times or B twice. You could always pause the game to change, but the pause "intro" and "outro" are really quite long (at least a second longer than Goldeneye's), making the process of pausing a bit of a chore. The grenades are pretty useless as well.

If you can endure the frequent awkward enemy encounters, there's little else negative to say about it. except perhaps, the Tribals (the Jinjos of the game). Oh, and the difficulty can be pretty relentless at times. It sometimes feels like Rare were being purposely cruel to the player (you'll see what I mean if you get far enough into the game).


Awesome, it's great to get a second opinion on the title. While I'm not a particular fan of shooters and the like, this game sounds like it's pretty solid, and I should have some fun with it, even if it's just another multiplayer game from which to choose when friends come over. I can generally cope well with frustration and tedium in video games (my current ~80% completion of N is a testament to this), so it shouldn't cause me too much grief.

Quote:
 
I'd say go for it. For a price like that, I don't think you'd regret it. You could always get a lose cartage cheaper, but, if I remember correctly, you're only buying boxed games now.

Cool, thanks. Due to your recommendation, I've ordered and paid for it, so it should be on its way now. I'll return and give an opinion after I've played it.

And yes, you're right, I'm only collecting CIB games now. Very good :) .

Cheers,
Franklint
Edited by Franklint, Aug 16 2010, 07:18 PM.
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macN64
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Franklint
 
Awesome, it's great to get a second opinion on the title.
No problem. :)
Franklint
 
Cool, thanks. Due to your recommendation, I've ordered and paid for it, so it should be on its way now. I'll return and give an opinion after I've played it.
I guess I'm in for it now if you hate the game. :rollseyes:
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Franklint
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Quote:
 
I guess I'm in for it now if you hate the game. :rollseyes:

Haha, not at all! It's entirely my decision to purchase it.

And in any case, I've given it a go and it's awesome! I haven't played it for long, but I really like the third-person style and the Star Wars-esque characters :).

Good recommendation, thanks!

Cheers,
Franklint
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macN64
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Franklint
 
And in any case, I've given it a go and it's awesome! I haven't played it for long, but I really like the third-person style and the Star Wars-esque characters :).

Good recommendation, thanks!

Late response - That's good to hear. Glad I could help. :)
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Vekoma64
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Hi, I have never written a review before and wondered if I could get some feeback on my SimCity 2000. Good or bad is fine, as I would like to do some other import reviews if this test one turns out ok.
Nintendo gaming since 1989 WiiU NNID- Vekoma64

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HoldStartSelect
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Vekoma64
Mar 29 2012, 07:11 PM
Hi, I have never written a review before and wondered if I could get some feeback on my SimCity 2000. Good or bad is fine, as I would like to do some other import reviews if this test one turns out ok.
Hey! I took a look at the review and it was pretty good. However:

1) Examples: provide detailed examples of what you did and didn't like (and why, obviously)
2) Share a secret nugget of information (see below)

Now matter how great you are at writing, if you can push your reader in an interesting direction, you have done your job.Giving a little "secret nugget" of information (usually something that the average joe wouldn't know), you have set yourself apart.

Anyway, again, good job! Keep 'em coming!
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Vekoma64
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Thanks I will take that onboard, for my next review.
Nintendo gaming since 1989 WiiU NNID- Vekoma64

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action
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folks, from here on i'll be posting reviews of what i consider my top 50 hot list of all time. in this series, i have already done two games: robocop 3 and the terminator, both for snes. 48 games to go. in the future there will (hopefully) feature reviews of the following games:
- castlevania vampire's kiss (snes)
- castlevania lament of innocence (PS2)
- castlevania: legacy of darkness (N64)
- super castlevania IV (snes)
- beyond good & evil (GC)
- super probotector: alien rebels (snes)
- donkey kong (GB)
- donkey kong country (snes)
- donkey kong country 2 (snes)
- donkey kong country 3 (snes)
- duke nukem 64 (N64)
- duke nukem zero hour (N64)
- eternal darkness (GC)
- f zero GX (GC)
- goldeneye 007 (N64)
- gran turismo 5 (PS3)
- indiana jones and the infernal machine (N64)
- jurassic park (GB)
- MGS twin snakes (GC)
- MGS2 sons of liberty (PS2)
- MGS3 snake eater (PS2)
- MGS4 guns of the patroits (PS3)
- MGS5 ground zeroes (PS3)
- mortal kombat II (snes)
- perfect dark (N64)
- resident evil (GC)
- resident evil 2 (N64)
- resident evil 4 (PS2)
- secret of evermore (snes)
- lylat wars (N64)
- rogue squadron II (GC)
- rogue squadron (N64)
- street fighter II turbo (snes)
- super mario 64 (N64)
- super mario all stars (snes)
- super mario kart (snes)
- super mario sunshine (GC)
- super mario world (snes)
- yoshi's island (snes)
- turtles in time (snes)
- zelda ALTTP (snes)
- zelda majora's mask (N64)
- zelda ocarina of time (N64)
- zelda wind waker (GC)
- zelda twilight princess (GC)
- tintin in tibet (snes)
- turok (N64)
- wave race (GC)
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The Red Shadow
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The Seeker
I look forward to reading your reviews as you have listed some that I really enjoy as well.
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action
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The Red Shadow
May 22 2014, 08:33 AM
I look forward to reading your reviews as you have listed some that I really enjoy as well.
i like your review series too, and it inspired me to revisit my own favorites :yeah:
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videogamefiles
Newbie
Currently writing a Super Mario 64 review. I've reviewed the game before (once for a blog I did and once for GameFAQS) but this will be a fresh one. After that will try and work my way through the catalogue in a rough chronological order. So, except Pilotwings 64 and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire too.
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Sgally23
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How is super smash bros?
Zelda is an all time great game
Edited by Sgally23, Aug 22 2016, 07:35 AM.
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