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  #1    
Old December 31st, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Squirrel
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GE: 2012 Review Contest!


2012 is ending with a bang as we all join together to celebrate not having died from the end of the world. With the new year approaching and 2012 coming to an end, it's time to look back over the past twelve months and pick out all the highs and lows of the year whilst we all compete for a lovely prize or two by submitting reviews about various elements of common entertainment media to be judged by someone who this time around isn't named Jon! (Catchy, right?) This year has been filled with many interesting and wonderful pieces of media ranging all the way from great films released early in the year such as The Woman In Black and The Hunger Games, right up to more recent sensations such as Psy's infamous "Gangnam Style", so it's a perfect year to look back on with fond memories. That's why we'll be reviewing the best of what this year had to offer!

Your task is to choose one piece of media released in the year 2012 and write a review about it, all the while bearing in mind the theme mentioned below. The form of work that you choose to review is entirely up to you, be it a song or an album, a book or a film, a TV show or documentary, or anything else you can think of, permitting that it was first released in 2012. I suggest choosing what you feel is the 'best' piece of media/your favourite piece of media from the year as the topic to base your review on simply to help celebrate the year and what has come from it, but this choice is entirely up to you. A review will generally analyse a piece of media giving both the positives and negatives of it from an unbiased point of view before summarizing and reaching a conclusion, often accompanied by a rating, so bear this in mind whilst writing your entry.

The Theme


2012 quickly became known as the year in which the world would end, and yet here we are all still standing - if that's not a cause for celebration then you're too grumpy! In light of this, your theme to base the reviews on is celebrations. We're celebrating the end of a year, the start of a new era, and the best of what the world has had to offer recently, so make sure to keep your reviews relating to the topic of celebration in any way that you see fit. You could take this to mean reviewing a piece of media which is to do with a celebration(s), you could focus the review on a piece of media that could be used during celebrations, you could direct the review at why the work should be celebrated (as the best?), or you could include the theme in any other way you can think of as long as it's apparent within the text. Make good use of this theme and you'll be celebrating a victory in no time!

Rules

  • Anyone and everyone can enter; just post your review in this thread before the deadline.
  • All reviews should be written in English with good spelling and grammar.
  • The theme for this contest is Celebrations, so make sure to use this theme to influence your review. As stated above, it is up to you how this theme is inturpreted.
  • If you wish to change your review before the deadline, please edit the original copy rather than posting again.
  • Reviews should be between 500-1500 words; detailed and concise is the way to go!
  • Remember to review rather than recap; a small plot summary is nice and often crucial for bearings on the subject but the bulk of the review should be analytical.
  • Formatting your review well with paragraphs, relevant pictures and extraneous information (a rating, credits, etc.) will help to improve the quality of the review but are by no means necessary; be careful not to over-do formatting!
  • Make sure to proofread your review before submitting the thread.
  • The deadline for submitting reviews is January 31st at 12 noon EST (GMT -5). Reviews will then be judged in the following few days and a winner will be announced.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. :)

Prizes


As with the review contests held in previous months, the member chosen to have written the best review will be awarded with a special emblem and a supporter tier/usergroup. Everyone else that takes part will receive a participant emblem for making the effort to submit a review.

Past Contests

Entries are now closed for judging!

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Last edited by Squirrel; January 31st, 2013 at 01:49 AM.
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  #2    
Old January 12th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Starry Windy
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GANGNAM STYLE – PSY

Usually, when I heard K-Pop music, it is dominated by infamous Korean boy bands and girl groups like Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and Wonder Girls. But when I hear this particular K-Pop song, it’s completely different! Everybody in whole entire world knows this song! The greatest song in 2012, the horse-riding with spinning lasso dance, is none other than the one and only, Gangnam Style! Being developed in 12 years before released on July in YouTube by Psy, this song is full of upbeat, and attracts everyone in the world and making the world celebrating it as one of Psy's greatest works! It even beats Justin Beiber’s “Baby”, and this song is the first online video to record a billion hits in YouTube at December 21st 2012! And this song has earned Guinness World Record for “most viewed YouTube video of all time” and recently have won 2013 Golden Disk Awards (the Korean's Grammy Awards) for “Digital Daesang” (Digital-Released Song of The Year)!!!

The first I want to cover is the music video. I like it because it is filled with scenes in various places of Korea and sometimes I find it funny because it shows some awkward moments like when Psy is saying “Oppan Gangnam Style” in swimming pool and almost sinks, and when explosions occurs before Psy is saying “Oppan Gangnam Style”. And the part where the mobs dancing Gangnam Style in disco-like area made me pumped up!

Next is about the song. “Gangnam Style” tells about a love for girlfriend through Oppa's perspective (older brothers in Korea like to be called Oppa by ladies). Although this song is technically a love song, this song breaks the limit of usual love songs with upbeat melodies, synthesized wave tones and faster tempo than any love song I’ve ever imagined, with addition of 'power down' sound effect before Psy says “Oppan Gangnam Style” to enter the Chorus part of the song! This makes everyone hearing this catchy song feeling energized that even the supermarket at my country plays it over and over again!

Gangnam Style is also known for its signature dance. The horse-riding and throwing lasso dance is so easy to learn, that even a child and gentleman could do it in a breeze, and it is fun to watch! This dance is developed by Psy himself for a month, and this style unexpectedly has become a dance fever that many countries have held Gangnam Style dancing flash mobs to celebrate big events like Holiday seasons and Christmas, and surprisingly become one of the wedding dances!

And the last point to be covered is the variations. One month after Gangnam Style is released, a variation by Psy and Hyuna (one of the woman in Gangnam Style music video) called “Oppa is Just My Style” is launched. This duet of Psy and Hyuna has done a good job, and their way of singing in this song makes this song have a more complete feel than the first Gangnam Style. In near the end of 2012, YouTube combined all concepts of various YouTube videos of 2012 to make a variant of Gangnam Style (with the addition of "Call Me Maybe") called “Rewind YouTube Style 2012”, and I like the twist in this video! And there are other variations which tend to parody this song just for fun.

Overall, this song is great, and is one of the greatest music ever in the world, which is great to be celebrated because Psy's effort of making this song the big hype and big success has been paid off, and it has worth it! Because of this song, Psy enters the fame he never experienced before! I hope Psy will make a revolutionary song like this again!

I'll give this song 9.5/10
for catchy music and its infamous dance.
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Last edited by Starry Windy; February 2nd, 2013 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Removed the image for a reason, sorry.
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  #3    
Old January 17th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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The Avengers

When The Avengers was first announced, I was very excited to hear that one of my favorite superhero team is finally getting a motion picture for themselves. The numerous years of planning it took for to make Iron Man, Thor and Captain America's back-story has definitely been worthwhile. On the movie's world premiere, they had tons of people waiting in front of El Capitan Theatre and it was sold out before even half of the people waiting could even get in. It has also became the highest grossing superhero movie and third highest grossing film worldwide. Just behind Avatar and Titanic. It has also become the highest grossing film in 2012, highest grossing movie distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and the highest grossing movie based on comic books.


First, the plot. It was pretty neat seeing how Nick Fury gathered all of the member of the avengers and seeing how it wasn't easy for him in gathering some members. Every moment in the movie had it's moments and for the length of the movie, the time seems to pass really fast because you enjoy the movie a lot. The relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow was interesting and it seemed to fit very well into the movie despite being a superhero movie with lots of side stories in it. Like Bruce Banner having to try to help the team without having to rely on The Hulk, Captain America having to settle in the futuristic world he's not used to. Iron Man is having trouble working in teams since he prefer working alone. The actions scenes are really great, they always leave you with your jaw dropping to the ground, making sure every seconds of the movie makes you feel like you're inside the movie.

Now for the characters,
Iron Man: He's is the stubborn one from the group and is the 'leader' of the Avengers. At first he wasn't willing to get into the Avengers, but after some thinking, he finally decided to join. As always he provides comedic relief for the movie and that's one good thing I love about the Iron Man character.

The Hulk:
Bruce Banner is great in this. He really shows that he doesn't like transforming into The Hulk, knowing the destruction it could bring to people and the environment around him. He tries to help out by staying his human self. But when he DOES transform into The Hulk, it really is one of the best parts of the movie. They didn't overuse The Hulk too much so when you do see him, the scenes are amazing.

Black Widow:
She's a highly trained spy for S.H.I.E.L.D who got a relation going with Hawkeye. Along with Hawkeye, she doesn't have any superpowers. Instead she relies on her skills and of martial arts and spy training to help out the team. She's not only an eye candy for the movie, but she's a great addition for the movie.

Captain America: He is the world first supehero who is a WWII veteran. In the movie, he was frozen and Nick Fury decided to wake him up in the modern world. In this, you see Captain America dealing with the time change. He learns to deal the time gap between his time and the modern time, knowing that everyone he knew is either dead or very very old. You get to see how he eventually gets used to the modern time and his rivalry with Iron Man.

Thor: Thor takes the fight with Loki (the main antagonist)quite personal and doesn't want the rest of the Avengers to get mixed up in his personal affairs. But after a few fights and argument, he finally decides to join up in the Avengers and take down his brother.

Hawkeye:
He's the bulls eye of the group. He's probably the deadliest man with a bow and arrow. Along with Black Widow, he doesn't have any superpower and relies on his extreme precision shooting with his bow and his agility. You get to see him turn evil in the movie and have to fight against Black Widow, with whom he shares a love connection with. His arching skill really makes it fun to see take an arrow and just shoot it without even having to look at his target.

Loki: He's the main antagonist of the movie and the brother of Thor. His goal is to rule every human being on Earth and will also make everyone so busy worshipping him, that he thinks it will bring some kind of world peace by following this dictatorship.




Thanks to this movie, Marvel has seen their fandom grow very big and has sparked a huge interest in the series too. This top grossing movie of 2012 has also rebooted The Hulk movie with a sequel thanks to Mark Ruffalo's incredible performance, and in 2015 we're getting the sequel to The Avengers!
Tons of fans have also celebrated this movie as the one that will bring Marvel to fame throughout the globe. Seeing as it's a comic book adaptation to rise to the 3rd most successful movie of all time, we can only imagine what else Marvel has in store for us in the next couple of years.

To make a long story short. Great movie, great action, great character development and a movie definitely worth watching. It's also a movie you would watch over and over without getting bored of it. Hopefully the next Marvel movies will be this amazing and bring in new Marvel fans.

9.5/10
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Last edited by LilJz; January 19th, 2013 at 08:43 AM.
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  #4    
Old January 17th, 2013, 09:35 PM
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Silver Linings Playbook

I am no fan of romantic comedies. Romance itself is a genre that is easy to screw up, though it’s one of my favorites if done well; but comedy? It’s called the lowest form of entertainment for a reason, and it’s got some of the laziest movies out there. Combining the two results in some of the most soul-deprived movies out there – something that, based off of the name of the genre, you think there should be an abundance of. The latest film from David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook, is a romantic comedy that doesn’t hesitate to deviate from the derivative whimsical tropes and atmospheres of other films of its genre. The drama portrayed is handled so well that you’ll sympathize with the characters and their dilemmas while also laughing at the absurdity of their actions and reactions to them, aided in no small part by the strong performances from the cast.

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is a bipolar teacher who returns home from a mental facility after several months due to having an episode upon discovering his wife having an affair. The transition back into society is one that Pat struggles with, as next to no one is quick to give him a second chance, including his father, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro); and his self-control has taken a critical blow. This is without mentioning his attempts to reconcile with his ex-wife, to little avail. When he meets a widow, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who also has problems of her own, the two form a love-hate symbiotic relationship to obtain from the other what they need.

The characters of Playbook are not always likeable people, and that’s because most all of them, to various extents, have flaws that make interaction with each other a struggle in itself, and they all use one another for their own selfish gains. Pat uses Tiffany to get to his ex-wife, his father uses him for football success due to superstitious beliefs, and Tiffany uses Pat (among others) to console her loneliness and to partake in a dance competition. Some of the scenes that show these issues are seriously toned, and perhaps hard to watch, and others are hilarious due to the mere craziness and/or witty repartee.

The characters maintain interest though, again, due to the performances from the leading cast. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both balance humor and complex emotion, adding a level of depth to their characters even when the script fails to do so. Even Chris Tucker maintains some level of subtlety and enjoyment in comparison to his usual self. Miracles like that are achieved only be a touch of good direction.

Ultimately the movie succeeds in the same fashion that most great romantic comedies do – by never shying away from the darker and more intricate sides of romance, and by sparingly dipping into the clichés that plague the genre. The characters and their relationships feel real, and that’s how you make a good screen romance – by touching people’s real emotions through realistic portrayals of such. That is the silver lining.

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  #5    
Old January 18th, 2013, 12:41 AM
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Autumn Reverie
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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


This movie features a Hobbit by the name of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo lives a comfortable life in his home with everything he needs, until the day finally arrives for him to reluctantly leave his comfort zone and embark on a dangerous journey with a group of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield to The Lonely Mountain to claim the dwarves' stolen mountain home back from a dragon. They meet several allies throughout the long journey as well as many enemies that threaten their success.

I felt that this movie was really good. I really liked the the development of the characters such as how Bilbo transformed, albeit unwillingly, from that comfort-loving Hobbit to one of courage and adventure, and also how Thorin, the leader of the dwarves, finally came to see Bilbo not as a weakling and a traitor, but as a hero and a friend. I feel that this is something to be celebrated - a change that brings a difference to our lives. The storyline was immensely good and went along well with equally amazing graphics that both stunned and wowed me. As I watched the movie, I felt like I was being drawn into the travellers' adventures and felt very clearly the emotions they felt and the struggles they faced.

There were a few things that brought the movie down by a few points in my eyes, though. As I normally do not watch these genres of movies that often, I found that I was a bit appalled by the amount of fight scenes there were as well as how long it took for the fights to be resolved. I felt like those scenes were almost taking over the whole movie, leaving little space for the actual journey and meaningful conversation. Ignoring that though, the good points definitely soar above the bad by quite a fair bit.

As you all should know, this movie was initially just a book called 'The Hobbit'. However, this book was first titled 'There and Back Again' before its name was changed to what it is well known as now. In the movie, this phrase is seen as the tagline following the title. This simple phrase thought up by the author of the original book, J.R.R. Tolkien, could actually mean something. It could indicate that Bilbo Baggins would go there, and come back again. The word 'there' could mean his journey and quest to the Lonely Mountain with the dwarves, and I am assuming 'back again' means that Bilbo will eventually return to his comfortable home once again. Will he succeed in his dangerous quest? That, we do not know for now, but we do know that he will still be alive and will not killed by the dragon residing in the mountain home. That's a huge reason for a celebration, isn't it?

Overall, as I have earlier said, I really like this movie and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good movie packed with adventure. The production of this movie should really be celebrated as it holds lots of meaning despite the clearly adventurous theme. There are some lessons to be learnt from this movie: Do not be easily contented with the comforts around you. Move out of your comfort zone and you will learn to celebrate life.

I give this movie a rating of 8.5/10.
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Last edited by Autumn Reverie; January 29th, 2013 at 09:08 PM.
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  #6    
Old January 27th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Guys just a quick reminder, there is a 500-1500 word limit which a couple of you haven't quite reached - make sure to go back through your reviews and check. Points will be deducted for those that don't meet it. The competiton's deadline is in 3 days for any last entries, so now's the time to post if you're planning to! :D
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Old January 28th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Resident Evil 6

When Capcom finally announced the impending release of the next installment in their Resident Evil franchise in early 2012, Resident Evil 6, I was excited. As a Resident Evil fan, and a big one at that, being three years removed from the last game was incredibly painful. Resident Evil 5 had brought the series to a new high, with the introduction of co-op play as well as an incredible canon storyline. How could Capcom top their 2009 masterpiece?

Needless to say, Capcom fired on all cylinders. After numerous cryptic messages, it became known to the general public that there wouldn’t only be two protagonists who’d march side by side into horror. No, rather, we’d have a grand total of seven. That’s seven survivors, grouped into three co-op campaigns and a solo one. What Capcom revealed about the story line was also satisfying. Ironic as it is, the story in Resident Evil 6 builds on the tag line of “No Hope Left”. Or to make things clearer, no celebrations. There would be no happy times, no chance to cheer. There would only be room for grim, painful terror. And when Resident Evil 6 hit stores on October 2nd, that hell was released to the public.
So it’s pretty obvious that a lot of hype went into advertising the release of Resident Evil 6. All the marketing worked, and I went on to buy the game the day it came out and beat it within the week. How did the game do? Well, let’s just say that there was the good and the bad.

The Plot
Storyline wise, the game was impressive. With four different campaigns, Capcom tried to make each one feel as different as possible, for the maximum experience. The general plot is that it’s the year 2013, and a new bioterrorist attack has been unleashed in multiple parts of the world. The pandemic is caused by a new virus, the C-virus, and it turns its hosts into mindless flesh-eaters, better known as zombies. All this is reminiscent of the bioterrorist attack that happened in canon fifteen years prior, the T-virus epidemic in Raccoon City. Unfortunately, the story gets more complicated the more specific you get.

Without going into spoilers, the game suffers from what appears to be confusion on Capcom’s part. To be so ambitious is commendable. But for people who became fans of the original games, pre-Resident Evil 4, it can get quite frustrating. Survival horror was what the games back then thrived on; the lack of ammo, of health, and the surprise factor were key elements to the originals. Resident Evil 6, much like 5 and 4, appear to strive in a more action oriented gameplay, a genre the video game world is saturated with at this time.

A big problem with the game is for those who are new to the franchise. Understanding everything that happened in prior installments of the game is somewhat necessary, but it’s a lot of bulk that a newbie would have difficult understanding. However, for those who do know what’s been going on, and those who can get over the more action heavy plot, the story line is indeed impressive, albeit removed from the series' roots. From an unbiased point of view, I’d give the story a B


The Gameplay
Anyone who has played a previous Resident Evil game will mention the one thing that each of the games have in common: maneuverability. The old games are famous for their tank-like controls, making the game stiff and adding another liability. Some found that charming, adding to the horror factor, while others found it annoying. In Resident Evil 6, the latter group can rejoice as Capcom finally smoothes things out. You can finally move in all directions, and you’re also given the ability to move and shoot, something the past games also lacked.

Resident Evil 6 also brings the new dodge mechanism, where with the press of a button, you can dodge enemy attacks. It takes time to get used to, but once mastered, it becomes a requirement for the player. Along with the new evasiveness is the new melee and stamina function. Past games required a melee to have specific in context requirements. Now, you’re able to execute melees with the press of a button, while at the same time managing your stamina gauge which will deplete if melee is spammed.

The only true let down gameplay wise would have to be the terrible cover system. To take cover from enemy fire, one has to go by a wall and simply press the aim button. The protagonist would then snap to the wall. While at first that seems useful, you’ll be surprised how many times you find yourself snapping to a random wall when you intended on taking out an enemy.

The gameplay mechanism is without a doubt an improvement, and deserves a well earned A for being nearly flawless.


The Graphics/Sound
This category was a let down. Resident Evil 5 was a peak in terms of graphical excellence, and many expected the same feature to be utilized in Resident Evil 6. Not to say the graphics were bad, cause they most certainly weren’t, but it appears to be a step down compared to RE5. Texture-wise, the game had a slight comical feel to it. Still, the graphics were above average when looked at objectively. The game sounded amazing, as the music, voice acting, and monster noises all worked together so that it flowed. Many early RE fans can note the subpar voice acting the first few games had (can anyone say Jill Sandwich?). The series has come a long way from the early years, and the voice acting in Resident Evil 6 is at the series’ best. Combined, a score of A- sounds fair


Final Review: Overall, Resident Evil 6 has a lot of potential. However, the game appears to try to hard, and that does cost them, sadly. As a game, it’s good, but as a game of a series, it lacks in terms of continuity. The attempt to focus on zombies again is admirable, but only one campaign of four truly focuses on zombies, and even then, they are not truly the focus. Still, the franchise has come a long way, and rumor has it Resident Evil 7 is already in works. Resident Evil 6 may not be the pinnacle of the series as imagined, but the game signifies the longlivity of a popular name in gaming history. And Capcom deserves to celebrate for that reason in and of its own.

Final Score: B+
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Old January 28th, 2013, 12:53 PM
Cosmotone8
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Night Visions


The first studio album from Imagine Dragons was a huge success


Brief Description


Imagine Dragons, an alternative/indie hailing from Las Vegas, USA, struck gold with their first album, Night Visions. The album was released on September 4th, 2012 and within a week there had been 83,000 copies sold, skyrocketing to number two on the Billboard 200 charts. The album runs around 40 minutes as a whole and features multiple singles, including “Its Time,” and “Hear Me” with “It’s Time,” being nominated for the MTV Music Award’s Best Rock Video.

Song by Song Review


Night Visions consists of eleven tracks, each of which with its own, unique style and flavor. Part of the reason that this album was so successful is due to this diversity. While Night Visions has songs like “Radioactive,” which has recognizable dub step influences, it also consists of other songs such as “Bleeding Out” with softer, more acoustic sounds and “Tiptoe,” with keyboard and guitar tunes, similar to the style of the Killers.
“Radioactive,” is the first song on the Imagine Dragons first album. With heavy bass drums and low synths playing in the background, “Radioactive” sounds surprisingly like a dub step song for an alternative band. Lead singer Dan Reynolds’s voice dominates the song, fitting perfectly in with the other instruments. The song is rather somber, with the lyrics in the song describing, “Welcoming a new age.” It is implied that this age may not be as pleasant as how the world is today, with the lines “Waking up to ash and dust,” and “This is it, the apocalypse.” The rest of the song goes on to tell about starting a revolution, and saving what’s left of the world.
“Tiptoe,” track number two on the album is my personal favorite. The song consists of upbeat tunes from the whole arsenal of instruments. There are various distinct synths and guitars all playing together, forming a perfect harmony. The chorus is quite catchy, illustrating a vision of tiptoeing stealthily to the very summit of it all.
The single, “Its Time,” is Imagine Dragon’s most successful song. The song has an interesting vibe to it, featuring dominating mandolin and clapping parts. As the song progresses, new instruments are introduced constantly until the end of the song. The lyrics detail someone finally moving on and starting something bigger than them.
At the core of the album is the song “Demons.” The song starts out with Reynolds’s voice pretty much by itself until the chorus, when a plethora of instruments come in at once. As the chorus fades away, Reynolds sings by himself again, until the next chorus, when the process repeats. It provides an interesting blend, to say the least, although I wouldn’t exactly call it one the best tracks on the album.
The track “On Top of the World,” is by far the most upbeat song in the album. The beginning starts out with singing, whistling and clapping in a cheerful tune that I couldn’t help but smile at the first time listening. As the song transitions into the chorus, there comes more voices to back up Reynolds, all in unison. It’s such a blissful song, and there’s no other way to describe it. The lyrics are mostly about triumphing everything life can throw at you, until you’re finally on top of the world.
Coming in at track 6 on the album is “Amsterdam.” I find it extremely similar to “Tiptoe,” in sound, featuring great riffs from the guitars and Dan’s voice at the head of it all. Lyrics describe “walls crashing down,” and “not waiting any longer.”
Number 7 on the album is “Hear Me.” As soon as the song starts, it slowly starts to build. Slowly instruments are added until the chorus comes, packing quite a punch with catchy melodies in the vocal parts. The lyrics are all about speaking out and being heard, hence the song’s title.
The next song on Night Visions is “Every Night.” The song starts out with a sort of somber sound, as if the singer has just lost something and is desperately trying to get it back. The song retains its yearning feel throughout, as the singer details his “mind being made up,” and “nothing can change it.” The instruments back up this feeling very well throughout the song.
“Bleeding Out” is a more sad song, even more so than “Every Night.” With every strum of the guitar and note on the keyboard, it builds an intense emotion, perfect to go along with the lyrics, which is also a wonder by itself. A summary of the lyrics can be found in one of the later verses, which says, “When the hour is nigh, and hopelessness is sinking in, and the wolves all cry, to fill the night with hollering. When your eyes are red, and emptiness is all you know, with the darkness fed, I will be your scarecrow.” These lyrics are so incredibly written, with many underlying meanings to uncover, and are the highlight of the song for me.
Similar to a rainbow after a dreary rain, “Underdog,” appears after “Bleeding Out,” at track 10 of 11 on Night Visions. The song is most relatable to “On Top of the World,” but instead the mandolin and whistling are replacing with overpowering synths and a group of voices in unison. The song is very cheery, unlike the final track on the album…
The closer to Imagine Dragons’s Night Visions, “Nothing Left to Say”, is also by far the longest, reaching practically nine minutes after its completion. The song is rather heavy and pretty repetitive, featuring the same loops in the chorus and verses for the first three minutes or so. The loop breaks when the chorus plays a final time, featuring more instruments and more voices, before plunging into a final winding down with nothing but a few voices, low strings and an acoustic guitar all slowly trailing off. Around the 6:30 mark, there is nothing but silence before going into a new song. Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, I thought you said there’s only eleven songs on this album?” Well, yes, there are only eleven listed tracks. However, this does not include the hidden track “Rocks,” which is technically part of “Nothing Left to Say.” “Rocks,” is very upbeat, and at the same time very short. It wraps things up in a good way, and it at least left me satisfied.
While there is also exclusive tracks on the iTunes, Spotify, and Best Buy versions of the album, I will not be reviewing those. You’ll have to take my word for it, that they are amazing songs that are definitely worth a look or a YouTube search at the very least.

Why I Chose This Album


With so many songs about triumph and overcoming challenges, I chose this album to represent celebration. From "On Top of the World," to "Underdog," to "Tiptoe," the whole underlying theme throughout the album is climbing to the top, even if the odds are stacked against you and all hope is lost. Nothing will taste better than the victory at the end of the road, and that is real reason to celebrate.

Final Word


Night Visions is worth the hype it has received. Even today, it can be found toward the top of the iTunes charts, where it has stayed for a pretty long time, for a good reason. All in all, I say the album is definitely worth it and is a good buy for anyone looking for a change in style or a large diversity of songs. However, there are a couple issues with it, although few. The album does not flow as well as many albums I have seen, for one. Some of the later songs also feel very repetitive, as if they are playing on a loop, with only slight modifications to each chorus and verse. Other than that, I can't find anything else drastically wrong with this album. It has definitely left a strong impression on me, and without a doubt I consider it one of the best of 2012, which is a reason to celebrate.
Final Score: 9.5/10
=========================
Well, I'm glad that's out of the way, even though it was a lot of fun. :)
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Old January 28th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Candlemass- Psalms For the Dead

Introduction
Candlemass started out in 1984 in Stolkholm, Sweden, set out for one thing and one thing alone:
To rock the world to its core. Their first album Epicus Doomicus Metalus introduced a layer to the already existant genre of doom metal, with a high level of success. 28 years later and 11 albums, we come to PFTD, their final album. This is literally the end of an era, a time for mourning as metal has truly lost a great contributor to the annals of history it has created. But its also a cause of celebration, as its the best way this band can go out, and possibly their greatest work yet. Let us Begin...
Song Reviews
As this is an album, not much can be said on a whole as much that can be said as each song on an individual level, but as a starter I would like to say the album is solid. Its filling, with no song worth considering filler, all are highlights. The band in general did an excellent job for a final album, and it doesn't feel at all like a band making a final album sounding tired, but an a band giving it their best to say a proper goodbye to their fans, which is exactly why this is the final album Everything in other words that makes this album almost perfect.

Prophet-Great opening song, and completely bombast. Makes you feel very good about what is to come from the album, and the notes it hits are just right. The main riff is catchy, the lyrics are what you expect, and Lowe's vocals are as deep and enchanting as you expect. The main solo grips you, and will make sure you stay to listen to the rest of the album. Not the main song of the album of course, but it does make you wonder as I said what will be. Oh and boy does that question get answered. Boy does it ever.
The Sound of Dying Demons- A fitting title for the song, as of course the song sounds as such. A bit more low key, but not in the least bit unimportant or bad. In fact low key is were Lowe really shines, as his lower pitched growls are were his voice really digs deep into you. As the first song of the album with such, it also gives you on an idea were those less bombast songs will go, and the everlasting notion stays much more. A nostalgic reminder of candlemass this is, and it gives you a better album feel then before, but on an equal level if that makes sense. See of course a band will have newer styles, especially with 28 years of experience, but the older stuff coming up frequently is also a nice reminder to know that they still have it, even if they don't sound like they used to. Anyway, the song has an eerie feel to it, and the middle bit with the sound of nothing but drums is great. Sounds like a song opener, but in the middle its a great break.
Dancing in the Temple(of the mad queen bee)- Story time candlemass, is best candlemass. They get to the point by weaving a story for one song, and one song alone. This story will paint a picture better then anything, and it gives you a higher experience for the song. Quick, and poignant, this song gets you to love it with nothing but style, and by the god's does it work. Style is never something to be used alone, but as I said, this is were they shine. Short Story, Short Song, but oh so excellent. The guitar work is freaking excellent, and as its the song with the most solos, it shines And the hype train keeps going from here!
Waterwitch- There's something about Candlemass and their witches. I dunno if its cause doom flashes images of paganism, or the fact that slow paced doom is the peak, but this song is the album star for me. Its the lowest pitched song, speeding up only the most crucial bits, and Lowe nails the vocals. With nothing but his voice and the faint sound of a guitar in the background to guide you, there is a spell placed on you. The lyrics stick to your mind, and before long you are one with the song. After fast spell breaking solo, the song slows down again to entrance you, and you will never get out of the maze built around you. You are stuck in the device that's built, and you will never get out. Star or not, this song however, is not where the album's deepest, hardest efforts come out. This is in no way the core, but the piece that truly gives you an idea of what is to come. That first bite of glory.
The Lights of Thebes- On continues the path to greatness. Not the true heights of Waterwitch, and in fact is the one song of the album that I truly did not love as much as the others. Not filler, but not exactly a song to love. It might be my dislike for egyptian themed metal songs, the conventional use of a sound that I've heard far too many times does it. Not much to really say about it.
Psalms For the Dead
- The title song. Its excellent. Pretty good beat, and the bass here is simply amazing. Has a proper middle bit that is memorable, and the chorus has a good feel to it. I love how it truly feels like a church psalm in that bit, even if it has an electric guitar in the background. The closing guitar is the true highlight however, right before the closing vocals which pair up nicely. Its actually pretty awesome the way it closes, because it doesn't use the chorus, but the main lyrics instead.
The Killing of the Sun- The storm before the calm. The preparation for liftoff. What follows this is what I was talking about all album, but that is not this. This however is a pretty solid song, with a noteworthy melody,and some pretty awesome lyrics. Short for what its offering, but its enough. The song is at an almost perfect length, perhaps needing a couple seconds for that ending. The main bass is catchy as is most of the bass in the album, and its pretty consistent as a song. Nothing truly noteworthy, perhaps maybe the middle. Its literally a one pony trick song.
Siren Song- Hoo Boy, we made it. Here it is, the song of the album. The meat, the core, the true effort unveiled. Its probably the most progiest thing to have come from Candlemass, and that isn't a bad thing at all. There is a prominent background organ that's on the same key from the opening, and the otherworldly feel it gives to the song is truly perfect. The organ/guitar dual solo is sublime, with it truly opening up your mind, and and permanently settling itself in there. Not even Black As Time,which ends the album on a note as high as the opening song, can compete with what this song offerss. From 4 minutes on its just relentless until it closes, and you will literally be able to hear a continuation of a song that has no more to offer.
Black As Time-Bar the hilariously cheesy narrative, this is a great way to give us a final song, a final goodbye. Album closers are truly something special, and indeed this is no exception. While I do consider this an excellent song, there is a reason why I did not see this as the main song, as is Siren Song. See, its too spaced out, with a pretty long guitar solo coupled with another narrative (albeit small), and that opening does not help. The rest of the song clocks out to about 3 minutes of a 7 minute song, and it shows. Those bits work, but work in their 3 minutes. If the song was longer, I doubt much more could have been done with it, and its sad considering how more needed to be done with it. Again, not terrible, but excellent, for what it offers, but very lacking.
Closing Statement
An end of an era this is. Truly iconic, and stopping were they know they need to stop, Candlemass have done it. They have given us a final album worth loving, not hating, because they knew where to stop. And that much as I said in the beginning, is a cause of celebration. Not because its the best, not because it does something others haven't, but because they truly gave us their all, and we should award this album all the love and respect it deserves, and let the band go out with a bang. Rock on Everyone!
Overall, the album is a solid 9/10

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Old January 28th, 2013, 05:15 PM
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For the uninitiated, the Eurovision Song Contest is for the most part exactly what it says on the tin. It is a yearly contest of song that involves the vast majority of European countries and a few random western Asian countries. Essentially, each participating country sends one song and then they all fight to the death for the win in an epic continent-wide battle of the titans. If that description is somehow not enough to entice you, then you must read further on! And if you already know what it is / are a fan then you should probably read on anyway because who doesn't love re-living this celebration of all things camp?

I suppose a good way to tackle any Eurovision year is to look at the three main categories of song: the good, the bad, and the humorously bad. 2012 had what was a pretty spectacular amount of good, and I reckon it will go down as one of the best Eurovisions of the 21st century so far. It also had an above average amount of hilariously awful songs and a surprisingly small share of pure awful ones. So, let’s start with the highlights.

As with most Eurovisions, my highlights were divided between numerous power ballads, generic fem-pop and the occasional (relatively) classy uptempo. Eurovision has always been a lover of super camp power ballads with power vocalists and key changes. Essentially, they throw everything including the kitchen sink into it when they do their ballads. My three favourites of the year had all the hallmarks of Eurovision ballads. First up was Azeri entrant Sabina Babayeva (also known as the Patron Saint of Plastic Surgery). Her entry 'When The Music Dies' was a rather fabulous ballad that started slow and built into a stunning climax. While I do believe the woman was drunk while performing in the final, she still delivered a fantastic vocal (despite a sketchy start) and was hugely helped by her amazing chameleon dress! It was without doubt the outfit of the year and helped her hugely in my affections. There was one more classic ballad in the form of Pastora Soler's 'Quédate Conmigo', but by far the most interesting ballad of the night came from Albanian entrant Rona Nishliu's 'Suus'. Featuring a chorus that consists entirely of her shouting what appears to be "SHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" and camp-yet-depressed acting, it was something of a showstopper and one of the most interesting Eurovision entries in years. It came home in a well-deserved but shockingly good 5th, in a result that will hopefully encourage more risks in the future. But onto the generic pop numbers. My personal favourite was something that virtually nobody else liked – 'Aphrodisiac' by Eleftheria Eleftheriou. As a Greek entrant, she had a strong tradition to uphold – they’ve been top 10 staples for the best part of a decade. However, she came home in a disappointing 17th and her whole country turned against her. The song was honestly a tad basic, but I loved it. Probably of more interest to PC readers was the participation of "The Italian Amy Winehouse", Nina Zilli. Her song 'L'amore è femmina' was to my ears better than anything Amy recorded. It’s a fabulous retro kiss off anthem with an absolute stormer of a final chorus. The final performance was unfortunately not quite as majestic as the studio version but it did the job (and came home in 10th!).

Of course, the winner probably needs her own section. The winner of Eurovision 2012 was of course Loreen with her song 'Euphoria'. Now this is first and foremost a dance song and it’s not entirely unlike something you'd hear on the radio by David Guetta. It is, however, better than anything you’ll hear by David Guetta (give or take 'Titanium'!). The amount of emotion packed into that chorus is just unreal and the performance was beautiful. As a winner it’s fantastic for the competition, proving that not everything that wins Eurovision is something the general public will hate (it was a huge European hit) and that not everything has to be camped up to the max either. Loreen went on to deliver an incredible album but that is a discussion for another day.

Onto the bad, which should be a far shorter part of this review (if only because I tend to forget the bad that isn’t funny). The first that comes to mind is Britain’s entry, which was an old man clearly on the verge of dying (much like the country in Eurovision – nice metaphor, guys). His song 'Love Will Set You Free' was the musical equivalent of sleeping pills, and deservedly came 2nd last. British media went on to rant about how racist Europe is. But we’re not racist, we’re just not deaf. Other lowlights came from Donny Montell, who performed a camp disco love song called 'Love Is Blind' while wearing a blindfold (clever!) and, well, the exact type of song you expect to come from a band named Track****taz.

Thankfully, not all the bad entries were just plain bad! There were three amusingly bad entries this year, which came in the form of a middle-aged woman singing about Facebook (the studio version is actually worse!), a middle-aged and decidedly drunk-looking man shouting about European politics (choice quote: "EURO NEURO MONETARY BREAK DANCE") and a bunch of adorable Russian grannies singing about partying (bless them – they came second!).

So basically, Eurovision 2012 was (like most years) all over the place in the absolute best way possible. I don’t think I could possibly have enjoyed it more, and thus it gets 10/10!

Last edited by François; January 29th, 2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Kamen Rider Fourze
or, "I'm Gonna Befriend the Hell out of You"

With its first episode airing in September of 2011 and its finale in August of 2012, Kamen Rider Fourze was the 22nd installment in the long-running Kamen Rider franchise. It aired weekly as one half of an hour-long programming block called Super Hero Time on the Japanese television network TV Asahi. The franchise itself has attracted a worldwide audience thanks to its generally solid writing and exceptional contributions to the collections of toy connoisseurs. Although it hasn't left a strong mark in Western culture like its spiritual brother, Super Sentai, managed to do with its adaptation to Power Rangers, Kamen Rider is thriving as an international success.

As both the 22nd series and 40-year celebration of the birth of Kamen Rider, many good things were expected from Fourze. The details that were released prior to the show's airing painted what many fans considered a mixed bag. The overall theme of the series would be space, the setting would be a high school, and the plot dealt with Kamen Rider Fourze using the mysterious powers of the 40 Astro Switches to lay the smack down on zodiac-themed monsters known as Zodiarts (Note: "Zodiarts" is both plural and singular, like "sheep") and their own Switches that had been given to them by a mysterious evil group. While people looked forward to the plot, many were on the fence about the setting and theme. Space seemed a bit bland and a high school setting felt as generic as possible, so how could Fourze possibly make these interesting?

The pilot episode does a great job of giving the viewer a more established look at the core of the show. Right off the bat we are introduced to an ill, no-nonsense boy named Kengo Utahoshi, a girl named Yuki Jojima who is obsessed with space, and an eccentric transfer student named Gentaro Kisaragi whose sole goal is to befriend as many people as he possibly can. After fishing a love letter out of the water after Kengo threw it away and reconnecting with Yuki, who turns out to be his childhood friend, Gentaro learns that Kengo was given the tools necessary to defeat the Zodiarts. However, Kengo lacks the stamina to both become Fourze and operate the PowerDizer mech, so Gentaro takes the former upon himself and leaves it to the much more knowledgeable Kengo to strategize.

The main cast of Fourze is very diverse in that it pulls a member from every clique of the school and gives them personalities that both reflect the stereotype they represent and establish them as unique individuals. The down side is, of course, individual character development becomes a bit difficult with a cast of eight people and no room for filler episodes. While the development of a few flourished, a couple of others remained at the same points throughout the series. The list of main antagonists was even larger with one for each horoscope, so the first 30 or so episodes felt like the show was weeding out the weakest. A few, such as the Taurus Zodiarts, played such a small role overall that it was a bit disappointing to even consider them as main antagonists.

Pacing played an important part in Fourze's run, as it does in any show with as many (48) or more episodes. While it may seem like there is plenty of room to goof off in such a long run, it's quite often the exact opposite with Kamen Rider and Super Sentai alike. From start to finish, Fourze fed viewers plot nonstop. Whether it involved introducing a new villain, showing off a new power, or strengthening the bonds within the cast, each episode efficiently served its purpose. Later episodes rewarded the audience with an exciting set of twists and shocks leading right up to the end, which did a good job of wrapping the series up.

Overall, Kamen Rider Fourze was certainly much better than it was anticipated to be. It had the feel of a fun high school comedy, but sprinkled with darker scenes that viewers who were older than the target demographic would appreciate. I, personally, would rank Fourze among the top Kamen Rider series of all time due to how fun it is. Fourze was a celebration of both its franchise and what it means to be a friend, and it served its purpose with a light-hearted attitude that impacted me directly. The character of Gentaro Kisaragi both inspired me to be more outgoing and style my hair into a pompadour in the privacy of my own bathroom. I bestow upon this show a rating of 9.5/10, and I implore you to watch it if you find yourself with some free time.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 04:15 AM
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Gangnam Style by Psy

Everybody knows this song right? Some find it catchy, others find it annoying, some others just find it plain hilarious. Korean Pop has always been publicized by popular boy and girl bands such as Super Junior, Big Bang, Girls Generation and 2NE1. Which always include handsome men and hot chicks dancing some cool moves to a pop music. However, this man, Park Jae-sang, also know as PSY by his stage name, has really redefined the Korean Pop industry and has really made his song, Gangnam Style, internationally known for its the catchy lyrics like “OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE” and “HEYYYYYYY SEXYYY LADY” with the former being always read by many as “OPEN CONDOM STYLE”. It has been noted by many that this song made PSY from a little known star, to a global international star. And he even said in a interview that he has done the same kind of song and dance for 12 years, but nobody notices him, until the release of Gangnam Style of course. To think that he wasn’t well known outside Asia, it really makes you think back that how could such a hilarious guy be so not-famous.

This song has also lots of parodies made by many people around the globe, it’s like every language/country has its own version of Gangnam Style. Even the British Army has also done a parody of it.

This song also includes some really funny dance moves like the horseback dance, the cowboy dance and of course, the infamous and my favourite elevator scene which features the “pelvis dance” also know as an “air hump”.

The music video on Youtube has also reached over a billion views as of time of post. It is already a Youtube record. The music video has also already surpassed the 813 million views Justin Bieber's "Baby" has accumulated. With a reported rate of $2 per 1,000 views on YouTube, "Gangnam Style" has generated $2,000,000 from the site alone. Psy has also pulled in nearly $4 million in digital downloads, with more than 3 million singles sold for $1.29 a pop, and $50,000 from streaming services.

There are also many games and memes about this music video. From where I am from, even the old are learning this song in the community centre. This proves that the impact has already impacted almost everybody on the internet

However, this song can be a little catchy when it’s like the first few times you’re are listening to it, but after awhile, it might be annoying to some and there are already many memes about how people find Gangnam Style annoying already.

In conclusion, I can conclude that this song really changed the stereotyped made by many about K-Pop and has also made this guy, PSY even more famous than many other famous boy bands and girl bands. However, it might get a little annoying after hearing it like a few thousand times already.

So in all,

A 8.5/10 for its initial catchyness, but gets annoying after awhile.

(re did cos someone requested me to switch back accounts)
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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Call me maybe

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, so here's my number, so call me Maybe!" An amazingly catchy song, with relatable lyrics and song which just goes to show, that you can express feelings and emotions in song. Call me maybe was quite a hit in the year of 2012, getting into the number 1 spot in a few countries multiple times and the massive amount of parodies this song has. It was really catchy, and sometimes relatable. It was probably also publicized because of the singer, Cary Rae Jepsen having the same manager as Justin Bieber who himself has the greatest fan-base so far in America.

The verses are quite vague, but in turn, more exciting, It makes you want to know what will be in the chorus. Also, the singer, Carly is 26 not 16 which portrayed in the video. So she is fully aware of how it feels to have your first crush, to be confused and infatuated about it and want to call your crush at any time in your day to keep yourself. The chorus although did sound like it needed a hook every few seconds, but I was fine without the hook. The lyrics are just something you can sing in the shower to, on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

So, the story of the song is basically a girl who just bumps into a boy, who she gives her number to, and basically tells him to call her. She is head over heels for this boy, who she watches mow his lawn then afterwards watches him fix up his car. It's the exactly teenage feeling of love, and how you feel around the guy you have a crush on and just feel giddy about it. It shows us how we were/are as teenagers and how this was something that we all wanted. Just somebody to call us, our crushes. Which is why we also might feel a sense of nostalgia while listening to this song.

It's catchy melody, it went viral getting about 355 million YouTube views. It went so viral, that even gained a massive fanbase instantly. It even reached the cookie monster, which you know is viral if the cookie monster has done it, played at the X Factor, and several celebrities were singing the song and played on the Youtube Rewind 2012, played by most YouTube stars.

So I can honestly say, this was one of the most viral things on the internet and spiraled into the current media. The lyrics and video were top notch and I agree they were meant to get viral. Really good song in my opinion and also just a great thing to see just how the whole internet changes after just one song reaches the title of viral. The internet comes together to show things to one another, and when it catches it's eye of one thing, it will pursue it till they are fed up of it. Which the song did after a few months, but it was great seeing something like a song, can change the face of the internet.

So, I give the song a 9/10.
The lyrics were great and catchy, the video was relatable and amusing, and just a great thing to see. I'm looking forward to what happens in 2013!
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Old January 31st, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Entries are now closed!

Thank you to everyone that entered, we've had a really great turnout this year with some spectacular entries! Reviews will be reviewed over the next few days and results will follow shortly. :)
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:34 AM
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2012 in Review: Winners!


It's been a long month with excitement abound, but now it's time to celebrate as the winner of 2012 in Review is finally announced! There were so many great reviews submitted that it was difficult to choose just one winner and a second judge had to be consulted, so well done to everyone who took part. In second place was François with his spectacular and passionate review of Eurovision 2012, earning himself a shiny new award. However our first place prize goes to Bloodex for his simply excellent review of Resident Evil 6, resulting in the first place prize of an exclusive emblem and a site supportership tier to use how he wishes. (Prizes will be on their way shortly!) There's also a special emblem coming its way for those of you who took the bait! Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who entered. Have a great 2013! c:

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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Nooooooooo. *shakes fist*

(congrats, Bloodex!)
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:20 AM
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No! D:

All those minutes I took for to complete that post :'(

Congratz Bloodex.

Is it only the 1st and 2nd winner to get an emblem or everyone who participated?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilJz1234 View Post
Is it only the 1st and 2nd winner to get an emblem or everyone who participated?
There is an emblem for everyone who participated, yes! Just waiting on the last one to be uploaded before giving them all out :)
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Ah, well. This was a very fun contest and I'm very happy for François and Bloodex.

Spoiler:
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:35 AM
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*gasps* Nuuuuu, and I wanted that supportership so badly too! D: D:

Anyways, congrats Bloodex! You deserved it. Enjoy your winnings~ Also, congrats to everyone else who participated. C:
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 11:25 AM
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D'awww :3 I really didn't think I'd win, everyone else had such amazing entries. Thank you to the judges, and everyone else should feel proud of themselves. I read almost all of them myself, and they were all brilliant. Congratulations to François for coming in second, as well, I particularly liked your review. =D

Yay for emblems!

Thanks again! I think I'll go play some Resident Evil 6 now. :3
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  #22    
Old February 2nd, 2013, 12:15 PM
Evil Stud Muffin's Avatar
Evil Stud Muffin
I like kitties
Community Supporter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Nature: Lax
Congrats man, you really did deserve it. Hope you have fun with your new supporter tier!
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  #23    
Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:50 PM
Seki's Avatar
Seki
You idiot!
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Singapore
Age: 17
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
Congrats to Bloodex and François for being 1st and 2nd respectively!
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VM | PM | MyAnimeList | Theme | Pairs | Previously
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  #24    
Old February 3rd, 2013, 01:26 PM
Cosmotone8
silhouette of the past
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Boston, MA, USA, Earth, Sun Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe
Gender: Male
Nature: Careful
Congrats Bloodex! I've already sent you a couple VMs, but I figured I'd post it here again anyway. Here's a celebratory gif for you.
Spoiler:
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I'm a silhouette, asking every now and then
Is it over yet? Will I ever feel again?
I'm a silhouette, chasing rainbows on my own
But the more I try to move on, the more I feel alone
So I watch the summer stars to lead me home.

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  #25    
Old February 9th, 2013, 11:56 AM
Vital's Avatar
Vital
ignore the whisper
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New York City
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
Send a message via Skype™ to Vital
Okay, I have to post in here again, simple cause that GIF you posted, Weston, is hilariously awesome. Thanks you guys!
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