Aware - Yamataro


October 18th, 2015, 12:00 pm



Average Rating: None

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  Yamataro, October 18th, 2015, 2:12 am

LONG REVIEW IS LONG
But I was asked to be thourough, so I did the best I could. Also I had a guest I wasn't expecting. But yeah. You can check out the comic here if you want.

http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=132405

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Reader Comments:

  Ket. No. Ket, stahp.

You are not Deadpool. Don't act like him!!!

posted by witswithme on October 18th, 2015, 7:40 am



 

Thank you so much for this, it's nice to have a scale to look at and say "I should work on this as soon as possible (when I have the chance)". And thank you for including Ket. Life is fun again. -slapped-

posted by Shard on October 18th, 2015, 12:28 pm



 

Was actually wondering what sort of rating this comic got since the last one was nothing but salt.

posted by Snurple-the-Hedgehog on October 18th, 2015, 1:14 pm



 

@Snurple-the-Hedgehog: Out of curiosity, what do you say which defined it as 'salt'? I remember the previous review had it's share of negative points, but many of them were still valid, and it was spoken from the perspective of someone who was literally a fan of the comic prior to making said review. I think defining it as just 'salt' kinda belittles the reviewer a fair bit.

posted by Dregan on October 18th, 2015, 2:18 pm



 

@Dregan : If I recall correctly from her previous review. It was a lot of negatives and due to the fact that they had lost interest in reading it. A review is something you give insight on the negative and positive views on the comic.

The review barely did the positive review, it was nearly overall negative review without a rating. Not to mention that it literally did not tell her how to improve it. Whilst it did have valid points, it still did not tell her how to improve it, and how she can write it any better. IT's all about what she did wrong with it.

At any rate, that is not even a review at all. To me, it just sounded like he focused on the negative aspect of the review. Which led me to say that, 'It was nothing but salt.'

posted by Snurple-the-Hedgehog on October 18th, 2015, 4:24 pm



 

@Snurple-the-Hedgehog: I really do have to disagree with you I'm afraid. Also, the person never stated they'd lost interest in reading it, the issue was that, when re-reading it and putting it under more analytical view, they found that their opinion of the matter worsened. They did note towards the end their drive for the comic had died, yes, but that's upon having re-read it... and I'll be honest, someone can't be blamed for losing interest in what they're reviewing, because that's not the reviewers fault. If something can't hold the reviewers interest, that should not stand on the reviewers shoulders.

There were positive views - a fair amount of time was spent deeming the positives of her presentation and visuals. There are criticisms of the visuals, true, but the section ends overall with the reviewer calling it 'high quality work' that's 'never flashier than it needs to be' and shows Niv's 'years of experience'.
He also compliment some of the use of Ket's fourth-wall abilties. In particular, he states how interesting they were in regards to fight scenes.

In terms of 'advice for improvement', I would disagree that it's even in the requirements for a review to do that technically. You don't read a review for a movie expect it to be filled with precise constructive criticism on how the Director can improve his scenes, or how the Lighting Effects guys should approach their scene lighting. A review is simply a way of weighing up the positives and the negatives to provide an overall view of the piece.
Still, if you did want a breakdown, the reviewer certainly took the time to say WHY the things that don't work don't work. There's no point in the review where he just goes 'this thing is bad because it's bad'. The points are broken down; 'The issues with Awareness in example A is that in the long run it means this that and the other. This is something that needs to be adressed by the author.' However, it shouldn't be the reviewers job to highlight HOW to adress it, it's to highlight what DOES need to be adressed and highlight why that is.
If you are wanting more precise advice though, there are a few bits and pieces sprinkled here and there - for example, basic things like the suggestion to use more contrast with certain shades, or to provide additional contexts for certain worlds. There isn't much direct advise in there, but it's certainly present, as much as you should expect from a review.

Now, I admit, the overall tone of the review was negative, yes. Was it too negative? I think that could be argued either way - simply put, it's easier to write about the things that don't work than the things that do, because it's easier to go in-depth on those negatives. Still, I can understand why some might take the opinion that at points it did focus 'too much' on the negatives.
Still, by sitting back and just going 'Oh, it was just salt' completely disregards it as a view. It's like me looking at this and going 'Oh, it's mostly just good points without saying how to improve things'. It marginalises the review and almost casts it off as irrelevant which is... unfair more than anything else.

posted by Dregan on October 18th, 2015, 4:58 pm



 

This is the main reason I was hesitant to ask for a re-review. I wasn't sure if people would say things like "Oh, she just wanted a more favorable result" or "She's just salty about how the other review talked about her comic". Honestly, I was mostly fine with that. I mean - I do like to think I take critique pretty well and as my comment on the review itself indicated I was essentially fine with how it turned out.

The main thing was that when I read it, I couldn't figure out what the reviewer wanted me to do about the situation. I found it a bit unfair that every other comic that got reviewed was divided into sections that went "This is what I thought about this particular part of the comic" and so on, and then gave it a final rating, whereas my first review... didn't. It just left a sort of bitter feeling in my mouth.

I'm not saying that one method is better than the - actually that's exactly what I'm saying. When I requested a review, I was expecting a clear and concise message of "Here's where your strengths lie, and here's where your weaknesses lie." While the first one had a general idea of that, it just ... seemed to spend a lot of time talking about what the reviewer didn't like. There was no "score" or "rating" or anything like that. While it did give me some idea of what needed to be done to improve - the explicit reason I send things in for reviews - I felt like it wasn't clear enough. Aware is a pretty polarizing concept in and of itself, and I realize that. The main character being able to play with the wall is absurd and can be potentially story-breaking. I know that. But that's literally the concept of the comic. It says it right in the description. I was hoping for a review ... well, more like this one - that addressed the parts of the comic itself and said "OK, you do this well, this could use work, here's an idea of how to fix it." Not one that said "Hey I know this is what the comic is literally about but it's not a good idea." (I might be exaggerating that a bit, but that was the message I got out of it...)

Okay, yeah, maybe I am a bit salty - but it's not because they didn't like the comic. If I got salty every time people didn't like something I made you could sell me as a kitchen essential. The main thing that bothered me was the lack of real clarity. It seemed less like a "review" and more like a "rant" to me - and that wasn't what I came here looking for.

posted by Shard on October 18th, 2015, 5:19 pm



 

I'll be honest, maybe I lean towards the prior review because stylistically I prefer that. Not neccesarily not having sections (as a sidenote, it sort of did, even if they weren't clearly defined - it was visuals and presentations first, then it covered characters, then it covered plot), I do actually prefer sections to be more clearly labelled and split up so they're easier to define. I do agree with that there. However, I disagree that a review needs to have 'scores' and 'ratings', because... well, in a way, I actually feel that oftentimes takes away from a review. It causes people to define what's being said down to a numerical rated value, rather than look at what's actually being said. 'This bit scored high so I don't have to focus it, this bit scored low so it's just plain-out bad without redeeming qualities'. It's a sorta psychological thing, and can wind up causing misrepresentation in people's minds.
Still, I understand people like numbers, people like values. It does make things feel finalised and summarised, so I certainly won't place any blame on wanting to have that as a presence there. Just something I'm not too fond of myself.

I will say though, I definitely didn't get; "Hey I know this is what the comic is literally about but it's not a good idea" out of it. In fact, as I say, for at least some part you were complimented on your application of the Awareness in the arbitarily-assigned 'Presentation' and 'Characters' section. Still, he did have a lot of issues with it - a lot of valid issues. He didn't say that the thing the comic is about is a bad idea, he simply noted how in some ways it was largely misapplied.
And unfortunately, you can't just expect a reviewer to know HOW to fix things, because a lot of the time, they themselves may not know how. It's their job to criticse a work, but they can't always fix it for you. All they can do is point out where the failings are, and put their trust in you as the author to realise WHY those are issues, and leave you to your own devices to think of ways around that.

I'll be honest with you Niv, I don't think this was you desperately clawing for a 'more positive review' or whatever, in fact, I have no issue with you having an additional review done. I just think the original review DID have merit, and it sorta annoyed me to see it being almost thrown out and disregarded entirely in the comments section; especially with the claim that it was 'just salt', as if it had offered literally not a single shred of positivity, advice, or genuine criticism.

posted by Dregan on October 18th, 2015, 5:36 pm



 

As someone who has been doing comic reviews for almost three years now, here's my two cents on this little debate: I'd say both reviews have their own positives and negatives, but really, because reviews are generally just more-educated and expansive opinions, this is to be expected.

D00D64's review was rather focused on negative elements, yes, but he had some very valid points and a more uncommon perspective. His review didn't have the clearest conclusion, but the meat of the review seems like it provided enough critique on what could be done to fix things, at least until the whole "awareness issues" part is written, which is mostly just inherent faults he found rather than actual things that can be fixed in the current comic.

Meanwhile, Yamataro's review is more segmented, which results in weird areas such as originality that get scores, which I've never understood the necessity of, but that's just me. This review is more understanding of the general predicament of having an awareness-based comic, for sure, and so it provides more detail than D00D64 did on elements such as story. On the other hand, I feel like the addition of Ket here feels unnecessary, and to me it hurts the feeling of this being a legitimate and serious review. Additionally, it could probably be argued that there's a bit of a bias here because Yamataro has worked with Shard in the past according to this review and is, pun-not-intended, more aware of some quirks with Shard's development of Aware than some other people would be, which means D00D64's more outsider viewpoint could (and probably did) provide a more uninfluenced look.

Both reviews make good points, though, and definitely the best way to get a good idea of what needs to be done and improve is to get a variety of different viewpoints, look at what they all say, and then act on the ones you think are the most important critiques. It's perfectly fine to say that this review gave you more useful tips than the earlier one, but that doesn't mean the earlier one should be dismissed as just "salt", too rant-y, and not detailed enough, because that's a bit too dismissive of a perfectly valid perspective that could not possibly hurt in any way to take into account in the future.

posted by Ultizeta on October 18th, 2015, 9:34 pm



 

@ Ultizeta: While I do indeed understand the reasons for alarm, I can assure you the review is unbiased as possible. While I have worked with Shard in the past, I have not truly spoken to her in years. She requested a re-review, with scores, so she can see what areas needed working on. As for the Ket being in the review thing, yes, I did indeed do that, thinking it'd be a fun little thing. But the review was written before adding Ket, she was added as a sort of, hey, this'd be funny to do, let's go for it. But thank you for critiquing my review style. I suppose I should restructure it. It's an old format I used and just stuck with. Perhaps it's time for a new way of working it out

posted by Yamataro on October 19th, 2015, 12:30 am



 

Didn't know you could get multiple reviews on a comic.

posted by Royle McCulloch on November 1st, 2015, 11:58 am



 

If Requested by the Author, a comic can get a rereview. This can be for several reasons, A bad reviewer who's just mean, the comic's been improved upon by last review, the author is unsatisfied with the last review, those and others are grounds for a re review. Usually though, the limit is 2 reviews within a span of time.

posted by Yamataro on November 3rd, 2015, 1:19 pm



 

Oh I see, well I wasn't dissatisfied by my last review but rather was curious what another set of eyes would say.

posted by Royle McCulloch on November 3rd, 2015, 9:59 pm



 

Want me to take a look then?

posted by Yamataro on November 4th, 2015, 10:46 am



 

Yeah that'd be awesome! Not to mention I made some updates since the last review trying to follow some of the tips.

Anyways I think there is one page missing, trying to find it before you read it.

Edit: Okay its fixed, all pages should be there.

posted by Royle McCulloch on November 4th, 2015, 10:57 am



 

Lol what is it with people and salty.

posted by DeathReborn(LOD) on December 26th, 2015, 1:39 pm



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