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Cycle of the Triforce

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There's been some talk of Skyward Sword being migrated to the Wii's successor console (code named 'Project Cafe'). While this rumor has been passively denied, the famliarity of the circumstances echoes the release of Twilight Princess; written for Gamecube, but moved forward to the Wii. This has always been a sore point for purists, who are yet to experience a premier Zelda title coded for the Wii hardware from conception.

This situation could now make two heavily anticipated releases, both thought to revitalize their respective platforms, that have/may be pushed forward to a completely new hardware system. (Whether the Wii would receive a lighter version of Skyward Sword if this were to happen is an issue that I will respectfully ignore).

Animated series

The animated series. Cla55ic design.

The question that I ask myself is "since when did the Zelda releases become so out-of-phase with console life-spans?". Surely, the most popular single-player adventure game deserves a clear, well-timed release bracket that the console owners can buy with confidence. It seems increasingly difficult to rely on this series to provide a consistently clear release schedule; it seems to be especially prone to shifting technologies, distinct control schemes and incompatible demands from the players.

Can anything be learned by examining the console lifetimes in relation to the main series (console) releases? I thought that this approach might reveal something about the future of Zelda. (Console launches are represented by the coloured tiles).

Let's see:

(Click on the image to view it in full resolution)

Zelda releases 1

What can be learnt here?

  1. The first two games are the closest in their releases, while
  2. The N64 releases are a close second
  3. The largest distance between games is approx. 7 years
  4. The games are most densely distributed around the GCN era
  5. Twilight Princess is the only Zelda game available at launch.

Other than those preliminary deductions, it doesn't reveal anything sinister or subversive to my eye. But what if we stripped the data down to strict divisions of 'console launch' and 'Zelda release'?

(Click on the image to view it in full resolution)

Zelda releases 2

What can be learnt here?

  1. You can notice the slight but ever decreasing distance between consoles ('Project Cafe' excluded)
  2. The clumping of titles around the 5th & 6th generations
  3. The possibilty of the second launch title Zelda seems clearer here
  4. The distance between 3D Zeldas is steadily increasing

Tingle

Oh, and will Tingle return?

It seems that as consoles become more sophisticated, and games become more produced, tested and anticipated, the time required for the development increases. This is typical for any on-going project, so that's nothing new.

But another noteworthy observation is that when the series undergoes a dramatic alteration of gameplay (2D - 3D, dual-analog to motion, comical to realism) the game always requires more development. This is hardly news either, but if this trend continues, it goes to show that Skyward Sword really is a significant change in direction. The mix-up of the traditional dungeon/field/dungeon/sidequest must be at least partially true, and the promise of revolutionary sword-play may follow too.

Skyward Sword

A modern, evocative 5tyle. Excellent.

At any rate, Skyward Sword is bound to be unique in at least some sense, but if it is released solely on the Wii, it's going to be doubly special. For on inspection of the release cycle, it can be seen that for all the eccentricity and seemingly illogical milestones of console Zelda releases, you can be sure that there are none launched at the retirement of a console exclusively.

I believe the game will be released on the Wii: the user-base is enormous, and there is a new audience due to Nintendo's (controversial) marketing decisions that may have a new familiarity with Link. This, coupled with Link's traditional audience makes the Wii a suitable economic choice, if not technological.

Whose got some other ideas?

Under Question: The Gamespot Review Process

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While innocently looking for some discussion and info on one of my recent Wii purchases (Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces), I came across a small error published on the site by Gamespot.

To those who haven't played the game, and for those that have but not the particular Mission that the screenshot relates to, there would be nothing out of the ordinary here. But for those who have played the game thoroughly, or those who have payed attention to the game in one of it's more elementary missions, it would be clear that there has been a strange error published by Gamespot.

The image in question is as follows (note the caption copied verbatim from the page):

Varied mission goals include that WWII flight-sim standby: dam busting.


So what am I on about?

Well, the caption is incorrect, and has the indication of being made up after the fact. For starters, there is no dam-busting in Sky Crawlers. None at all.

How could the reviewer of made this mistake? Dam-busting can't even happen as a side effect in the game - no stray bombing will bust any dams, and all scenary in the game is 'indestructible'. Naughty, mischevious players have little to do in this game (contrary to say, GTAIV etc.)

It seems to me that the caption writer is a seperate author to the review writer, and has simply 'guessed' what the screen-shot is about: ("OK, there's a big target, there's a dam, there's a plane... Dam-busting it is!") Even a layman can see that the 'target' is actually a view-finder for a camera, and the box to the side of the screen labelled "Shutter Chance" gives a hint as well. (FYI, the mission is about photographing facilities. No bombing occurs).

So what does this matter?

Well the some of the implications are as follows:

  • The reviewer is mistaken in the caption, and may have never played the game properly enough to comment accurately
  • The reviewer and caption writer are different people
  • The caption writer is mistaken and probably never played the game
  • The screenshot and caption were lifted from another, poorly informed source

In any event, the review seems somehow invalid no matter which option you select from above. Are there other undetected errors that others have seen like this? Just how does Gamespot author their reviews? I can't think of an answer that explains the erroneous caption (as trivial as it may seem) that doesn't harm the review integrity.

Gaming Concepts and Terms of Yesteryear (Part 2)

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Anyone interested in retro gaming, or anyone who gamed in a retro era may be familiar with some of the concepts below. Modern gaming is busy making it's own history and innovations, but what gaming relics have been left in the dust of the MMOs, DLC, FPSs, ARPGs and other futuristic acronyms that would make your original Missile Command player check into a sanitarium for sensory overload?

Here are some familiar ingredients that games of previous generations built their momentary empires upon. Some are good, some are bad, and some should never, ever come back... But the question is, which is which?


Bonus Stage

Before we were transitioned into the now commonplace 'checkpoints' of modern games, there were (and are still occasionally) discreet 'stages' or 'levels'. These distinct divisions in the game play marked that a player is making real, measurable progress. It also gives the player time to refocus for the next, more challenging chunk of game-play. Here, the idea of the 'bonus stage' was born, slipped in between regular levels like a mini-vacation. There were countless ways this level was handled, some were a pure stress-relief (Galaga for example), and some were even harder than the main game itself (Shinobi). One thing most had in common were that the player was never really penalised - you couldn't die! The chains of oppression were cast off in a brief and satisfying taste of immortality before being cast back into the imperfect, life-or-death realm of the main game...

Sonya
Your post-fight relaxation. Remember to breathe.


Sound Test

What would a gamer from yesteryear make of things now, with options and settings now filling any given game menu with more content than they'd have seen in a lifetime? But for all the settings on our menu, it's now curious to see the absence of one of the most repeated in-game features habitually omitted in the majority of modern games... The 'sound test' was a fixture of many game options screens – usually lurking at the bottom of the list, as if it were only half-convinced of it's entitlement to be there. Running through a game's sound library at your own leisure has a certain appeal, but can any of us admit to spending more than a passing moment scrolling through the list of hits, punches, kicks, screams, item-sounds etc.? Sometimes, the audio content was split between a 'music' and 'effects' test. This was a veritable buffet or audio stimulation, likely to tear your tinny monaural TV speaker out of its wood framing.


Virtua Fighter
Virtua Fighter pushed the boundaries with 3 tests!!!


Auto-fire / Turbo-fire

When games asked players to endure the kind of repetition usually reserved for assembly-line robots, it was only a matter of time before some sort of solution was provided (sometimes by the same company who caused the original offence). Many shoot-em-ups and side-scrolling action games were often only playable with a rapid-fire approach; by filling the screen with dispensed ammo and giving your enemies less screen-time with which to assault you was your best strategy in many of these demanding games. Thus began the auto-fire function. By simulating the hurried and repeated press of a button or trigger on your controller or joystick, the computer would translate this virtual action into a reverse bullet-hell – reigning your foes with brightly coloured fodder of some sort. But be careful, some games gave the player auto-fire, and adding auto-fire to auto-fire is like typing your autobiography with a jack-hammer: counter-productive.


nes advantage
"It's not cheating. It really isn't."


Game Title + 3D

When processors and other hardware were clever enough to render wire-frame objects, coat them with textures, and arrange them in an X/Y/Z axis, we were all going to know about it. Over and over and over. For which developer/publisher could resist jumping onto the 3D bandwagon, where promises of true immersion and virtualily (not a real word) beyond all previous experience were only an installation or disc insertion away? But, it didn't take gamers long and an the industry entirely, to become weary of this overused buzzword. 3D (as in three spacial dimensions, not 3D projection) swiftly became the standard, and adding it to your title was like adding 'video game' in large, red letters to the front of the game box. Only a madman/woman would promote this 'feature' for a modern game, and I suspect for each mention of the words 'virtual' '3D' 'interactive' would halve the sales each if pasted onto the box of any release now...

Terrible game
Well I liked Bubsy in 2D, so I'd have to like this...

3D Games of note:

Worms 3D

3D Tetris

3D Driver

3D Pitfall

Picross 3D (Recent!)

Out Run 3D

Lemmings 3D

Bubsy 3D (Notorious)

Army Men 3D

Duke Nukem 3D (Forgiveable?)

Earthworm Jim 3D

Gex 3D

@mr3bdulla says:

Wolfenstein 3D (The launcher was wolf3d.exe from memory)

@master_zidane says:

Sonic 3D

Prince of Persia 3D (aka Prince of Persia 3)

@Darth-Sifh says:

3D Dot Game Heroes

@Gelugon_baat says:

Lode Runner 3-D

~~~

3D Games of note (new generation):

@OverlordEX says:

Star Fox 64 3D

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

DJ Hero 3D

Kingdom Hearts 3D

~~~

I'll update this list with any significant others you can think of...

Gaming Concepts and Terms of Yesteryear (Part 1)

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Moon Patrol mass effect 2

Anyone interested in retro gaming, or anyone who gamed in a retro era may be familiar with some of the concepts below. Modern gaming is busy making it's own history and innovations, but what gaming relics have been left in the dust of the MMOs, DLC, FPSs, ARPGs and other futuristic acronyms that would make your original Moon Patrol player check into an asylum for sensory overload?

Here are some familiar ingredients that games of previous generations built their momentary empires upon. Some are good, some are bad, and some should never, ever come back... But the question is, which is which?


Credits

This is now a term delegated to the noisy, gaming arenas known as 'arcades'. There was a time though, where credits were a part of most games printed onto cartridges and disks alike. Like some Faustian bargain, losing your last life was not always the end of your existence – the key to your resurrection lie in the possession of an extra credit. This set of new lives comes at it's own cost though, for it is customary to lose your accumulated score, and start afresh from the ghastly, ominous figure of 0. A deal with the devil always has it's price...

coin slot

The gateway to immortality.


High Scores

Originally the only achievement available to players, the score figure was the only evidence available to prove your accomplishments. Typically indicated as a row of leading digits tucked away in a corner of the screen, the score has since gone the way of the floppy disk, the cartridge and text adventures. Sure, some games record endless player statistics and achievements, but the notion of a single, unquestionable score as a player's badge of honour is now archaic. It has also become a symbol of gaming in it's infancy, (but newsreaders and journalists are yet to catch up to the fact that you don't earn 'points' for shooting citizens in Grand Theft Auto!).

high score

It's all there in black and white.


Hall of Fame

If only digitised gaming experiences existed outside of their local storage device, for at some point most gamers would be immortalised in the most revered and respected fashion possible: in a three-character name. Your local town square would feature a tall, wide and bronze-plated pillar, and chiselled for all time would be the three-characters of your choice – a representation of your personal greatness and community service. Alas, games these days may feature leader boards, but the transient and arbitrary nature of these boards lacks the real impact of the local arcade machine hall of fame – forever at the mercy of the power-outlet behind it.

Hall of Fame

TIM is 7 times better than SEP.


Extra Life

Though the idea of having a set number of lives does still live on in modern gaming, the ruthless rationing originally employed by game designers of old has never been more out of fashion. It used to be an institution of video-gaming that your experience and progression in the game be heavily limited by the amount of lives you have left, and that progress could only be made by either mastering the obstacles mounted before you, or by collecting 1ups or lives inside the game play itself through score or other magical means. 1ups take many forms, but the most popular seems to be that of a miniture of the game character itself...

bonus lives

In games, gambling gives life.


Go to Part 2 here...

My 'Diamond is Flawed!

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Whilst innocently playing the Pokemon Diamond DS game, the software had a sudden and fatal embolism. This spasmodic episode froze the game, glitched the graphical output, and stuttered the sound (that damn repetitive 'battle music').


Behold:

[video=d30yn2T85bMMuDHf]

In this case, I think DS stands for Digital Senility.

A Layman Analysis of the 'Star Fox' Series

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Where is Star Fox Wii?

It seems that not a week goes by that someone, somewhere asks this question on one of the countless threads dedicated to Wii and it's software. Although this question seems to lose impact everytime it is asked, it still is (for a while longer at least) a valid question - however repetitive. After all, each system since the Super NES has had an entry into the series. The Gamecube even had two! There are now many Wii owners whose enthusiasm and anticipation for the series seems to be matched only by Nintendos silence on the topic. As far as I'm aware, there has been no meaningful announcement one way or the other as to whether this series has been 'put out to stud', as it were.

Can we learn anything from the previous releases?

As there have been no announcements on the series, I thought it would be neat to look back at the history of the games in order to both take a walk down memory lane, and to also see if there are any patterns or clues as to how Nintendo released these titles. Are any of the results conclusive? I'm not too sure. Am I just flogging a dead horse? Probably. But, at least I got a chance to make up some dorky charts and graphics.

Behold...


Changing with the times...

In my view, if a game series fails to adapt to it's surroundings, it will mostly likely find itself either delayed repeatedly, delayed indefinitely, or cancelled outright. We've all seen titles come and go in all of these categories, but it's uncommon to see Nintendo (a company (too?) conscious of its heritage and legacy) succumb to these industry anomolies.

Is there something innate in the Star Fox series that put a use-by-date on the games? Has the industry and audience changed so much that Fox and co. are now an embarassment, or a laughing stock? To address these burning questions, I thought it might be worthwhile to compare each game's historical place and the features that each offered.


Star Fox

Here we see that the debut title is relatively light on 'features', but anyone who has played this game will tell you it is a fantastic step forward in 3D gaming while still being fun to play.


Star Fox 64

Critics seem to agree that this is where the series peaked. Exceptional control, graphics, level-design and replay value make this title a fan favourite. Notice the huge jump of in-game features - largely due to the increase in the '64s horse-power as compared to the Super Nes.


Star Fox Adventures

A radical depature in the series direction kind of distorts the integrity of my charts, but you can see that this title is the true black sheep in the family. While the series had gained momentum as a hectic 3D space shooter, this was a sort of re-packaging or 're-boot' of the game. I cant quite remember, but it must of been that open-world adventure games were more popular at the time...


Star Fox Assault

The pendulum has swung back a little for 'Assault, we have a mix of both open world adventure and vehicular action. Players seem to agree that the Arwing sections of the game were superior to the on-foot stages - the real downer is that the game was about half/half. Notice the sort of mix of in-game features?


Star Fox Command

I've often thought that hand-held systems are where console games go to die - just as washed up Hollywood stars end up on late night TV. Besides that, this game was simultaneously a depature and a slight return to form. Fox the General commands the arwing squadron via the stylus. Sadly, the levels lacked any real imagination, and went for more realistic landscapes and environments. No moving blocks, asteroid fields, metropolises or giant mechanical bosses. But check out the features that this game has! It is by far the most well-rounded, but is it too little too late?



Conclusion:

  • For a Star Fox game to be great, it doesn't seem to need to be too complicated. The '64 release has no core concept that the original game did not already provide. It was simply a clever extension on a working idea. I see that in the charts above, current technologies do not always improve the series.
  • The lesson learned from 'Assault is that significant Arwing sections are necessary but not sufficient for a successful experience. 'Command is solely Arwing, but the level design is sparse and fairly passive.
  • Furthermore, it can be seen that if there is a new Fox game, it is most probably going to be packed with features (unless of course the genre changes yet again, and we're faced with a Star Fox RTS and puzzle game hybrid)...

The Timeline Nobody Asked For...

Are there any clues in the release dates in the series? Are we even due for a new game, or are we hopelessly, irrecovably overdue?

Chart

The longest distance between two releases was between the '64 and the 'Cube games. A five year span seperated these titles, and an even bigger distance in terms of game content/genre. If we take that as the maximum delay between games, can we then argue that 2011 will see a new release? Or is treating the DS title as true release just hopeless wish-thinking? If that is the case (and please don't laugh!), we are due for a game this year.


The Thin Green Line...

Alright, so do we even want a new Star Fox game? What if we track the critical reception of the releases, is there any indication that the series will return? I can't see that happening myself. Why? Well take a look...

chart 2

The green line tracks the critical reception of each title as noted by GameRankings. As mentioned earlier, the '64 release seems to easily hold the crown as the premier Star Fox experience, and then we see a steady decline right up until the release of 'Command. But, even with all of it's features, legacy and genre mostly to itself, 'Command scored a 75%. To my mind, it seems like a big ask to reverse the trend of that green line in a single release. If you consider that the game has not existed as new content on televisions for half a decade, and the last time it did it under-performed, I don't see a particularly bright future for the series.

But this is one of the things I hope I'm wrong about...


Game Game Rankings Star Fox 86% Star Fox 64 90% Star Fox Adventures 80% Star Fox: Assault 71% Star Fox Command 75%

Review Writing Phrases That Get My Goat! (Part 3)

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See Part 1 here

See Part 2 here

As a fervent reader (and writer) of video-game reviews, I can't help but see certain patterns emerging in this (admittedly) developing art. Professional journalists are not immune to criticism (as anyone who's ever visited an author's blog might attest), so I've added them into the mix and you'll see that in one case, they are the worst offenders of all!

Sites that do not allow reader review submissions seem incomplete to me, as if they encourage a seperation of opinion between industry and consumer. This is a micro cla$$ system that I feel is bad for all interested in games and game-reporting. I hope to read and write about games decades into the future - even when cybernetic simulants play and opinionate onour behalf.

So, never take these three items as discouragement (I know you've all got thicker skins than that anyhow), but more as a (hopefully) humorous poke at one of my favourite areas in game reporting. Here are three more phrases that cheese me off:


Messaging other players in your review


What does it mean? Using review headings/summaries as a message board

Where do I see it? Using your review as a message system is a peculiar but not uncommon choice among reader reviews. Sure, as listed in my earlier piece, senseless and unfair 0.0 ratings applied to your favourite game is an affront. But to post a review with such terms as "To all those who rated this game low...", or "Don't listen to the haters!", or "You are all a bunch of N00bs" may be tempting, but it surely belongs in another arena. The review article is certainly supposed to be personal, but it's not supposed to be PERSONAL - (if you get my meaning).

(Links to such articles supplied by request!)

Message bottle

Some messages should stay bottled-up.


Undercooked Reviews

What does it mean? A review that is based on an impression or incomplete experience with a game

Where do I see it? The reader reviews that are the most baffling are those based on a mere scrap of time with the game. Of course, these reviewers will never admit it, and I cannot actually prove it, but I think we can all read between the lines of these premature pieces. Games journalists (typically) have the decency to annouce that their time is an impression or hands-on, but to post a review based on 5 minutes of demo-play at "Ye Olde Game Shoppe", or an unforgetable night of play courtesy of Blockbuster is, at best, a disservice to those looking for informed opinion. At worst, these lightweight reviews may cost impressionable readers actual money!

(Links to such articles supplied by request!)

puzzle

"The game felt incomplete, somehow"


"Best Game EVER"


What does it mean? The author has made a enormous claim

Where do I see it? Thankfully, less and less. We all may have some idea of what game deserves this ludicrous title (what, for instance, is the best food in the world?), but to declare this mantle is surely asking for trouble. Carl Sagan said that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"; so to make such a far-out claim about the game is gonna' mean a lot of explaining to your peer-group! I'm sorry, but two more paragraphs of ill-arranged praise won't do. Rather, please present a current report with govermental studies, double-blind testing with control groups, economic reporting and collation, stock market figures with informed extrapolation, and a broad, multi-demographic survey campaign. These are merely the first places you shoud start. I now await this data to be posted by those users making such claims...

(Of course, after you've made those inquiries, you'll be gunning for your PhD, not gunning for your Halo 3 achievement).

shirt

International Law says that in such debates, SHIRT beats NO-SHIRT


Bonus:

Those gripes that I could not expand on could fill another article themselves, but due to my (and Gamespot readers') patience, I chose to list them quickly here:

"Franchise" - I know it's technically correct, but to use this business term when referring to Halo, Mario, or even Hamsterz only conjures thoughts of Burger King, PIZZA HUT and SUBWAY to me. Also, is it really a franchise if there are no franchisees?

"Hype" - Using this term (my article included) only gives this over-used word more credence.

"To summarise..." - This is for those readers (whomever they are) who need clear announcements every step of the review. (See Part 1)

Review Writing Phrases that Get My Goat! (Part 2)

by on

See Part 1 here

As a fervent reader (and writer) of video-game reviews, I can't help but see certain patterns emerging in this (admittedly) developing art. Professional journalists are not immune to criticism (as anyone who's ever visited an author's blog might attest), so I've added them into the mix and you'll see that in one case, they are the worst offenders of all!

Sites that do not allow reader review submissions seem incomplete to me, as if they encourage a seperation of opinion between industry and consumer. This is a micro cla$$ system that I feel is bad for all interested in games and game-reporting. I hope to read and write about games decades into the future - even when cybernetic simulants play and opinionate onour behalf.

So, never take these three items as discouragement (I know you've all got thicker skins than that anyhow), but more as a (hopefully) humorous poke at one of my favourite areas in game reporting. Here are three more phrases that cheese me off:


"And now, on to the review"

What does it mean? That we, the readers, are going to see a review.

Where do I see it? Again, reader reviews are the main culprit here. In the same category as the "Click to read on…" remarks, this statement is a revelation to those who need to know precisely when the review will start. Here, the authors are doing a thankless and redundant service – introducing the content already requested by the reader, and already clearly categorised and sorted by webmasters.

2+2

And now, on to the next item…



0.0/10.0

What does it mean? A numerical score representing the worth of a game, also 0%, 0/100

Where do I see it? Alarmingly, we apparently flooded with games that have zero artistic-merit. It is hard to imagine any piece of art (or craft as the detractors might say of video games) that does not even have a single, solitary pixel of worthiness. A game that has no score at all is not a game at all: it is akin to a black hole. Placing the disc into your console or PC gives zero pleasure; it is like putting nothing in – a blank DVD holds as much entertainment value. I understand that paying money for a game that is devastatingly disappointing causes anger and frustration, but an exaggeration of any score causes distortion in the games' final standings around the network. Why, even the notorious 'worst game ever created' has a meta-score infinitely higher than 0.

black hole

Your missing game play, replay ability, sound and more importantly time are inside here


"Flaws"

What does it mean? Flaws, fault, defect, failing, blemish, imperfection, shortcoming, deficiency, inadequacy, weakness, limitation…

Where do I see it? Nine-out-of-ten reviews that I read use this term. In its own right, it is a valid word to describe something just shy of perfect (a flawed diamond, for example), but to apply it to gaping shortcomings is like calling the Hindenburgs final approach "tricky".

Another web search including the term "flaws" at the sister-site GameFAQs reveals 6410 results, while searching with the equally valid word "faults" at the same site yields a mere 894 results. This means that the term "flaw" is used 700% more than "faults". Does this term have the making of a buzz word? Just as the (insult?) "Fanboy" has become?

Hindenburg

A flaw in the airship design

See Part 1 here

Review Writing Phrases that Get My Goat! (Part1)

by on

As a fervent reader (and writer) of video-game reviews, I can't help but see certain patterns emerging in this (admittedly) developing art. Professional journalists are not immune to criticism (as anyone who's ever visited an author's blog might attest), so I've added them into the mix and you'll see that in one case, they are the worst offenders of all!

Sites that do not allow reader review submissions seem incomplete to me, as if they encourage a seperation of opinion between industry and consumer. This is a micro class-system that I feel is bad for all interested in games and game-reporting. I hope to read and write about games decades into the future - even when cybernetic simulants play and opinionate onour behalf.

So, never take these three items as discouragement (I know you've all got thicker skins than that anyhow), but more as a (hopefully) humorous poke at one of my favourite areas in game reporting. Here are three phrases that cheese me off:


"Titular"

What does it mean? Supposed, so-called, in name only

What doesn't it mean? Actual, literal. Definitely nothing to do with mammary glands.

Where do I see it? A staggering amount of professional reviews I come across sneak this into the first or second paragraph. Take this for example – a quick, lazy search yields many results at a competitor's entertainment site. I'm all for expanding ones vocabulary, but make sure you keep the expansion going! Besides, the phrase "-of the title" seems less stuffy and equally descriptive to this reader.

Fri 3th.

Friday the 13th is set on the titular Friday.


"IMO" or "IMHO"

What does it mean? Not all that much

Where do I see it? Mainly in reader reviews. This contracted and redundant acronym has snuck into common use across the forums and 'boards everywhere. But, this is where it should stay, for not only is it a tautology but it reeks of laziness and what I suspect to be an expression borne of obligation. When posting a message, dropping IMO in somewhere is a pre-emptory diffusion of potential lash back from fellow users. How many times have you yourself read something akin to: "…But this is your opinion, not FACT". Well of course it is – we're not authoring an encyclopaedia here…

Warning

Warning: Weak opinions for next 5 Miles.


"Click to find out!" | "Keep Reading to See!"

What does it mean? Possible insecurity by the author

Where do I see it? Only in reader reviews. A leading sentence is a great tool for generating interest in the reader. However, these kinds of phrases work better as question, not statements. The problem with "Keep Reading to See!"-statements is that they give no new information, they state the obvious, and they have an quasi advertisement-like subtext to them. Has anyone ever approached a review, wanted to read more of it, and never figured out how to access the rest of the text? If so, they would surely be in the minority, and a small, instructional phrase may be the least of help they need…

Walmart

Read my review and I'll post you one!


Items 4, 5 & 6 to follow soon...

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