Behind The Music: review commentary

So one of the reasons why I was so quiet last week was because I was working on a review of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the New York Videogame Critics Circle, which can be found here.

This was my first experience writing a review the way the professionals do it:  with a free download code given out a week before the game’s release.   So not only was I flying somewhat blind (in terms of not knowing how the other gaming outlets were going to score it), but I was also flying without a walkthrough.   This turned out to be not that big a deal, because the places where I was getting stuck were less about not knowing how to solve a puzzle and more about not being able to adjust to the rather sudden difficulty spike in the later levels.   That being said, I would’ve hated to have not been able to finish the game because I couldn’t figure out what to do next!

Still, though, I wrote the review (and the epilogue) without having finished the game.   Still haven’t finished the game.  Haven’t even thought about the game since I turned in the epilogue on Thursday.  Don’t want to think about the game.  I’m so close to the end, but there’s no way that the actual end will be worth all the bullshit it takes to get there.  If I am going to think about the game, I’d rather remember the parts that I liked.  I still may go back and try to find all the stuff I didn’t find in the earlier levels, although I’m still pretty obsessed with Etrian Odyssey IV, and also my copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening just arrived, and that seems pretty awesome, too.

This was also the first time that I’ve written something that ultimately got looked over and edited by a much better writer than myself – and very much for the better, I might add, even if we had to cut out the footnotes.  In any event, I did get to use (and keep) the phrase “core gameplay loop”, which is one of my favorite bits of industry jargon.

It was a pretty neat experience, all things considered.  I hope I get to do it again.

____________________________

As for the rest of the weekend, I didn’t really get to play all that much.  I ended up spraining my ankle on Saturday (as part of a story that I’ll feel better telling in a few weeks), and so I was mostly just laid up.  As mentioned above, I’m still pushing along in EO4, and I played the first few levels of Fire Emblem.  Fire Emblem seems pretty great, although I was terrible at the previous game on the DS, and I’m not necessarily all that into turn-based tactical RPGs.  It’s a nice companion to EO4, though; when I get tired of one, the other seems to fill the void quite nicely.

Also, my rental copy of MLB 13: The Show arrived, and I started a Road To The Show career – my pitcher, Jervo McNervo, is 2-1 on the SF Giants Double A team, with 2 complete game shutouts and 34 Ks.  As much as I respect this game franchise – it’s clearly the best in the business – I’ve always been terrible at the hitting part of the game, so being a pitcher makes sense – especially since I’m pretty good at the pitching part.  Normally I tend to rage quit when I do terribly in sports games – if I’m not pitching perfect games and going 6-for-6 with 4 grand slams, then I start over – but I’m trying to keep myself honest this time around.  So, yeah – my first two outings were complete game shutouts, but in my third outing I don’t think I made it out of the fifth inning.  Sometimes your pitches don’t go where you want them to go; such is life.  That being said, the fielding controls for the pitcher are backwards – I fielded a few infield choppers and inadvertently threw to third base each time, not realizing that the pitcher’s controls are inverted.  (That would’ve been nice to tell me, Sony.)

In any event, this will all be moot soon enough; Bioshock Infinite is already preloaded on my PC, and as soon as it goes live, that’s where I’ll be for the rest of the week… unless the baby arrives, of course.

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