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Query (more constructive criticism wanted):

I've got pretty slated for the "Poirot with phattitude" and that's fair enough, your opinion to tell. The title I have to admit is a bit shit, but I really couldn't think of a moniker for a series of investigative pieces. Which might I add aren't ment to be particularly scientific, I honestly don't know what to think. I've had some really positive comments from some areas and really critical comments from some areas (here!).

I am considering re-writing it with a more scientific approach. I am also thinking of changing the style for it. I take criticism to heart, honestly I get hurt and I can't help that. I aim to please when I can and if the majority of people think it aint good enough I'm willing to change. I can write in different styles and I have won awards for doing so. Being absolutley ripped apart isn't the norm for me. I'm willing to change though if it'd help the site which I believe can be a success.

To be honest I didn't like the way it took the piss out of people's appearance, but I thought it was a decent read.

On the site overall I think there's just a sense of people trying a bit too hard, which everyone does when they start writing. You just need to relax and find a voice, which will come. There's some good bits on there, I liked this line: 'Waltzing into town with a level of panache usually reserved for the popular'. But not every sentence has to be a zinger.

It's a cliche for people to be told to do this, but read George Orwell's 'Politics And The English Language'. And in particular follow these rules:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never us a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

And on that slightly patronising note I'm off. Good luck and don't take anything to heart.

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Don't apologise, I wanted opinions. Thanks.

The Neo geo remark was supposed to be a joke, even if it wasn't funny I'm a little perplexed about you reading it seriously.

The "style" of the article of the article is supposed to be written under a snobbish persona. You're supposed to laugh at me as much as laughing with me. Perhaps it's the kind of ironic humour you don't like?

I like ironic humour. It just wasn't done very well at all. I certainly didn't laugh with or at you.

This does it much better, and much more convincingly:

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=98360&hl=

Also, listen to cloutbasher. Politics and the English Language is a must read.

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Would you prefer it with the proposed changes? (to everyone).

You've clearly had a lot of your confidence rattled, but you've got to know what's shit and you've got to know when to stand firm. If you're happy with the article, don't change it, just take everyone's opinion on board, work out what's fair comment and what's not, and write your next piece accordingly. This is a really tough place to get blanket praise from, GamesTM - for example - comes in for an incredibly harsh drubbing on a monthly basis, your simply not going to please all the people all the time, and this place loves putting the boot in at the best of times.

Ultimately everyone's going to have an opinion, but there's no point in listening to people who's knowledge of the craft is inferior to your own.

The point I'm trying to make, is have enough confidence in your own abilities to know when to brush off comments like "it's shite", but also when to know when someone's pointed out a genuine weak spot in your writing. You really can't go into this, willing to bend to please whoever tells you your shit, as their own tastes may massively conflict with your own anyway.

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Yeah, this is one thing we were planning on doing, but never got round to it last week before "launching" the site.

We are unsure what we are going to do with the score system yet, whether to keep it as it is but explain it better (i.e with some sort of images you suggested), go back to a standard out of ten rating, or just get rid of them altogether.

As for the Sam and Snake thing, those were wrote months ago for when PS was still just part of GR, and the guy who wrote them doesn't seem to have anything to do with it all anymore, so they will probably be taken off the new site.

Also, I know it is a bit slanted towards Nintendo at the moment (in particular the DS), but again, this is something else we will be working on now, and hopefully things will be a lot more balanced in the future.

Thanks for all of the feedback, it has actually been very useful, and we are working through resolving some of the issues you lot brought up.  Although the majority of people on here don't seem to like it, I'm still glad we pimped it here, as at least we have had some honest criticism to take on board.

Still, everyone has got to start somewhere, and now you lot have given us some things to improve, it will really help us to get better.

Thanks again.

Moral of the story... turn up late rather than uprepared and wearing your old clothes. Or something.

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Cheers to whoever pointed out the Nintendogs repetition thing. Believe it or not I do check my pieces through for stuff like that, but obviously not very well on this occasion. Whoops.

No article should ever include the lines 'I hear you cry' or any variation on that theme.

That's in one of mine, and if you don't mind saying, why not? It was an informally written piece, and as far as I can tell it fitted in with the overall style. Obviously I'm not exactly looking in from the outside though.

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I've taken all criticism on board for my piece. I'm not going to rewrite it though. I hope to put some of the advice into effect with my next article instead.

Thanks to everyone who contructively criticised. I don't necessarily agree with your every point but some of the advice has been really handy. Especially the George Orwell advice.

Thanks in particular to Robo 1. I'm not sure from his post whether he liked or disliked my piece but his advice certainly helped in letting me realise that not everybody who criticises has a valid point. It's all down to preference.

I will however be experimenting with advice in my next article.

Cheers to all but Comrade (who really is a bitter cunt).

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A few new pieces uploaded and the pic sizes and text size have been increased.

Another glowing DS review?

Let me get back onto my chair....

Also something I just noticed - there is some pretty fruity language on there (looking at Eighthour's piece in particular). I think using the word 'cunt' on a general video games site (just a couple of clicks away from a Nintendogs review) isn't very well considered.

The word in itself didn't really offend me, but it's out of place casual use did (a little).

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Another glowing DS review?

Let me get back onto my chair....

One of them is, yeah, but we've excised two of the older DS reviews to make way for it, and we've added a multiformat review and a PS2 review.

It's not my fault the DS seems to have a host of cracking games at the moment! :P

Anyway, we're starting to look a little more balanced - expect a couple more Xbox reviews and maybe one or two more PS2-themed pieces over the next couple of days.

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Another glowing DS review?

Let me get back onto my chair....

We have actually taken a few of the older DS reviews down off the site to bring the total down, and to try to help balance things out a bit, and are now working on reviews from other formats, such as the Fahrenheit and Gregory Horror Show pieces. It will just take a bit of time to get it all completely balanced, but we are working on it.

Also something I just noticed - there is some pretty fruity language on there (looking at Eighthour's piece in particular).  I think using the word 'cunt' on a general video games site (just a couple of clicks away from a Nintendogs review) isn't very well considered.

The word in itself didn't really offend me, but it's out of place casual use did (a little).

Yeah, that has actually been brought up and discussed, as a few other people thought the same.

Since the slating the site got on here we have looked at alot of the criticism and worked towards sorting out the gripes. We have now changed the text size up, removed the menu from the top, and increased picture size, quality and frequency in the reviews themselves, to try to make it less "dull".

We have a few more interesting sections coming up soon, which may help to set us apart a bit more, as one of the main criticisms was that we we're just the same as every other site.

But thanks to your feedback, we have made some good improvements and sorted out some of the niggles that you had, so thanks for that.

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That's in one of mine, and if you don't mind saying, why not? It was an informally written piece, and as far as I can tell it fitted in with the overall style. Obviously I'm not exactly looking in from the outside though.

I just think it's a bit of a cliche. It always annoys me when I see it in print, has anyone ever cried something out when reading an article?

Sorry, just a personal dislike really.

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Also something I just noticed - there is some pretty fruity language on there (looking at Eighthour's piece in particular).  I think using the word 'cunt' on a general video games site (just a couple of clicks away from a Nintendogs review) isn't very well considered.

The word in itself didn't really offend me, but it's out of place casual use did (a little).

It's an opinion piece. Rest assured, ordinary reviews, previews and features won't contain such obscenities, and I'm monitoring the feedback on my column closely regarding the language.

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With regards to the scores: wouldn't it be simpler to score every single game 7/10? Not only would it be an incredibly funny joke, but people would have to read the reviews. I don't really have anything else to add, looks nice enough, I'll wait until I see any comments on Farenheit or The Suffering before judging the content.

Well, you've got your Fahrenheit review up there.

Ooof. OOOF. It's like I'm reading the Edge review again. "a revolutionary progression" how? Surely a revolution should lead to a fundamental change- in what way do you expect fahrenheit to do this? And "The Shenmue influence is clear, but Fahrenheit has refined the system, making many of these sections inspired, particularly when the movements most accurately mirror the actions on screen" Is just plain wrong. Shenmue mirrored the on screen actions PERFECTLY. So how can Fahrenheit be a refined system if it just does what shenmue did, but not as good? It reads like recieved opinion- objective facts with no reasoning. Surely a rule of reviews, columns or anything would be 'received opinion is wrong', start with a blank slate, if you're going to say 'the control system is more refined' think why it's more refined, and don't contradict yourself in the following sentence.

Still, at least you took my advice on the hilarious marking evereything 7/10. Nice one.

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Surely a rule of reviews, columns or anything would be 'received opinion is wrong', start with a blank slate

You've contradicted yourself there. Surely, "there is no received opinion" is more your mantra for a review, which I would agree with up to a point. I think there are occasions, though, when referencing "mass" opinion on something can be a branching off point for a good, opinionated review.

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Well, you've got your Fahrenheit review up there.

Ooof. OOOF. It's like I'm reading the Edge review again. "a revolutionary progression" how? Surely a revolution should lead to a fundamental change- in what way do you expect fahrenheit to do this? And "The Shenmue influence is clear, but Fahrenheit has refined the system, making many of these sections inspired, particularly when the movements most accurately mirror the actions on screen" Is just plain wrong. Shenmue mirrored the on screen actions PERFECTLY. So how can Fahrenheit be a refined system if it just does what shenmue did, but not as good? It reads like recieved opinion- objective facts with no reasoning. Surely a rule of reviews, columns or anything would be 'received opinion is wrong', start with a blank slate, if you're going to say 'the control system is more refined' think why it's more refined, and don't contradict yourself in the following sentence.

Still, at least you took my advice on the hilarious marking evereything 7/10. Nice one.

I've played both Shenmue 2 and Fahrenheit, and I prefer the QTE's in the latter. There's the odd occasion where the movements don't match the directions, but on the whole I think Fahrenheit presents them in a more cinematic manner, and certainly at times the physical exertion required brings an effective sense of empathy with the onscreen action - a particularly good example being the exhausting furniture-dodging marathon halfway through, where Lucas's apartment starts falling to bits. And I'm saying it's the controls in these sections which have been refined. The general movement during the adventuring sections is extremely clunky at times, and I've covered that in the review.

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You've contradicted yourself there. Surely, "there is no received opinion" is more your mantra for a review, which I would agree with up to a point. I think there are occasions, though, when referencing "mass" opinion on something can be a branching off point for a good, opinionated review.

Yeah probably, either way, saying something is revolutionary without backing that statement up seems to be because the developers said they were making a revolutionary game, other reviews have said it's revolutionary, and so it becomes general 'mass'/'received' opinion. Raising the point and questioning it would be good.

I know people hate things that are controversial for the sake of it, but something needs to go against the grain, question everything, play devil's advocate- the mags can't do it, but when they do people remember and are often right. What score did mario kart double dash get?

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I know people hate things that are controversial for the sake of it, but something needs to go against the grain, question everything, play devil's advocate- the mags can't do it, but when they do people remember and are often right. What score did mario kart double dash get?

I don't think questioning everything is a particularly good idea if you just end up trying to shock for the sake of it. For every Double Dash 5, there's a Boiling Point 9 staring at you!! And I'm not for a minute saying that the BP review was an intentional "shock", as it's been made clear by the Games TM team that this was a freelancer's big mistake, but I'm pointing out the ridicule that really out of step opinions can subject you to!

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Yeah probably, either way, saying something is revolutionary without backing that statement up seems to be because the developers said they were making a revolutionary game, other reviews have said it's revolutionary, and so it becomes general 'mass'/'received' opinion. Raising the point and questioning it would be good.

I know people hate things that are controversial for the sake of it, but something needs to go against the grain, question everything, play devil's advocate- the mags can't do it, but when they do people remember and are often right. What score did mario kart double dash get?

To be honest, I perhaps didn't go enough into why it was revolutionary in some ways and a step back in others (well I covered the latter at least, but that's by the by) - I felt that the presentation of the whole thing, the idea of cause and effect, and the nature of the slight detours the game allows you to take to affect the plot were all part of what made it revolutionary. It's a small revolution but a revolution nonetheless - the more mundane scenes before the plot goes completely pear-shaped were brilliantly handled, and a real difference from a hell of a lot of games out there. There's a real physicality (that word again) in some of the actions - pushing the analogue stick pushing a door open for example, and that's the sort of thing that I personally think the Revolution could add to games. Maybe I didn't explain my thinking clearly enough, but if you look hard enough the reasoning behind my review (and the associated score) is in there.

I also gave it a lower mark than most have - it's been getting 8's and 9's pretty much across the board. I know one mark might not make that much difference, but it's significant enough for some people.

Comments duly noted, anyway. Nice to have some more feedback.

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I'd be keen to find out too, as it's certainly a bit different from yer average review. What do people think?

Hmm, that whole review read like the author wanted each sentence to be a soundbite. And I found the fact that he called it a marmite game - and gave it a 7 - funny.

And reading the text on that background makes my eyes hurt, although that could be because I'm blind.

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Hmm, that whole review read like the author wanted each sentence to be a soundbite. And I found the fact that he called it a marmite game - and gave it a 7 - funny.

And reading the text on that background makes my eyes hurt, although that could be because I'm blind.

To be honest, the score doesn't really fit the review - you're right. Would it help if we made the text a little darker? Is the font okay?

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To be honest, the score doesn't really fit the review - you're right. Would it help if we made the text a little darker? Is the font okay?

It would benefit from either a more agreeable background colour, or (as it is easier) darker text. The font is fine.

I'd agree with the review not being an average review, though, but for the wrong reasons. Most reviews will either give me an idea of what you do in a game, or what a review thought of it. As I say, that review seems more like an attempt to get a quote on the back of the box. And some of it just doesn't make sense, falling into the trap of trying to sound smart for the sake of it. For example:

It all depends on the eyes you look through, though undeniably dark, it is a game that has two shades of shadow.

What?

If I were to be ultra-critical, the impression I get (from that singel piece, natch) is that the writer loves reading his own work.

And you really should have the screenshots in at least 640 x 480 - use IrfanView to upscale them if necessar - I can't make out anything in those pics.

And what is that P Harrison letter about? Is it supposed to be funny?

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Probably been mentioned, but all the text is justified right in Opera for some reason.

That GHS review was worse than most of the rest of your content I've seen, which I actually quite like. I agree fully with Gabe's points and that line he quoted is dreadful, I don't want someone trying to be clever or funny when I read a review, I just want facts and opinions.

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It would benefit from either a more agreeable background colour, or (as it is easier) darker text. The font is fine.

I'd agree with the review not being an average review, though, but for the wrong reasons. Most reviews will either give me an idea of what you do in a game, or what a review thought of it. As I say, that review seems more like an attempt to get a quote on the back of the box. And some of it just doesn't make sense, falling into the trap of trying to sound smart for the sake of it. For example:

It all depends on the eyes you look through, though undeniably dark, it is a game that has two shades of shadow.

What?

It's confusingly put across, yeah. But there is a point in there (somewhere...). The game has a black humour to it. It looks quite cute and innocent at first but there's a twisted side to the game. The game is not as innocent as it looks basically, which you may already know and just wanted to point out that the sentence isn't very clear.

Deathofcows isn't a member here, is he? It'd be nice to hear his thoughts....

To hear the sentence explained....

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