Talk:Elsinore (video game)/GA1

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Reviewer: David Fuchs (talk · contribs) 19:43, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

In progress this week. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:43, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! I was out for a couple of days, but I'm back now-- really appreciate it. Nomader (talk) 16:19, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Appreciate the comments, I'm working on them now. Will add unsigned comments below as I make them and will ping where necessary. Nomader (talk) 22:57, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

Overall, I think the article is in pretty solid shape, comments broken down by type below:

  • Prose:
    • During the four days leading up to the events described at the end of Hamlet, the player is able to move Ophelia throughout Elsinore Castle and have Ophelia talk with its residents in order to try and manipulate the outcome of events. The conversations the player has Ophelia hold with other castle residents often leads to unforeseen outcomes in which tragedy still occurs in other ways— every time Ophelia dies, the time loop begins again, four days before the end of Hamlet.—to me the description of gameplay in this section is a bit wonky and unnecessarily complex; instead of saying "the player is able to move Ophelia", for example, you can just say "the player moves Opheilia" and instead of "have Ophlia talk with its residents" just say "talk with its residents" as you've already explained the player controls Ophelia. The same comments follow for the second paragraph.
      • Edited per these comments.
    • The game hews closely to the plot of Hamlet at its core, but also contains significant changes from both the source material and how it was traditionally performed.—I'm not sure this sentence actually makes sense; I don't think you can hew closely to something's plot while simultaneously having significant changes.
      • Removed the sentence.
    • A brief explanation of the actual plot of Hamlet might be warranted here, instead of assuming knowledge and/or forcing readers to click away and read another article.
      • I went ahead and summarized it as best I could, borrowing liberally from Xover's description of the second piece of Hamlet below. @Xover: if you want to take a look at this and see if I boiled it down well at all here. Also expanded on how the game's plot changes in the plot section as well. Nomader (talk) 17:26, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
        • @Nomader: Well done! I'm not at all certain I could have managed such admirable brevity there. I did a quick copy edit (do feel free to revert if you don't like it), but other than that it's a very good summary. --Xover (talk) 17:11, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
    • Are there citations for the differences between the play and the game? You bring up the fact that for instance Ophelia is a colored person later on in the article, so it might make more sense to elide the differences in the plot and detail them in development where it's more relevant.
      • Added citations to the end of the sentence here.
    • The issues with clunky wording is pretty pervasive throughout, and is the main issue with the prose. I would suggest running through User:Tony1/Redundancy exercises: removing fluff from your writing to streamline the prose a bit.
      • I made some of the edits, but it looks like Xover got to some of them before I did (thank you!)
  • Images:
  • References:
    • It's unclear what cites the latter part of the first paragraph of gameplay.
    • Despite an original targeted release date of 2015, the game was eventually released in 2019 instead.—citation needed.
      • Added citation here.
    • I'm a bit unhappy with the Development section, in that it treats the developer's goals as uncritical gospel. They believed their modifications allowed the writers had more fleshed out and unique storylines, but that's their opinion, so it should be treated as such.
      • I edited the section (I think this was really prevalent in the third paragraph in particular)-- let me know if you still think it could be changed around more here. Nomader (talk) 23:20, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
    • I don't think two reviews can be used to source the game's overall reception and overall positive/negative aspects. It also feels redundant when you're going into more detail right after the sentence.
      • Removed the initial sentence here.
    • Web-based references should be archived to avoid linkrot.
      • Archived all of the web-based references.
    • Spot-checked statements attributed to refs 1, 3, 7, 10, and 15, and didn't spot issues with close paraphrasing or verification issues.
  • Just noting that I've done some minor copy-editing on the article and added a relevant image. Feel free to revert if you do not like the changes, Nomader.
    @David Fuchs: Feel free to ping me if there is need of a "Shakespearean" eye here (or elsewhere). I work mostly on that topic and have good access to both online and some relevant offline sources, and am happy to help where I can. --Xover (talk) 11:15, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Xover: Thanks so much for the copy edit! If you'd be willing, I think it would be incredibly helpful if you could help me address this comment from David above: "A brief explanation of the actual plot of Hamlet might be warranted here." I'm perfectly satisfactory at writing articles on video games, and I love Shakespeare, but I'm likely not up to the task of summarizing Hamlet briefly. If you do nothing with Ophelia and just sit around, the events of Hamlet basically unfold unfettered with minor alterations (Ophelia is assassinated and doesn't kill herself)-- so the plot of Hamlet is highly relevant here. Nomader (talk) 18:33, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Nomader: Last time I tried to summarise the plot we ended up with this, so I think we'd better settle for the bits after the start of the game. It's not available in the normal App Store (and I'm not installing Steam for this); what's the precise point in the play that the game begins? Polonius is still alive, so it must be at some point before Act 3, Scene 4. Which, incidentally, is far more than 4 days before the end of the play: Prince Hamlet still needs time to travel by ship to England—meeting Fortinbras' army heading for Poland on the way—escaping back to Denmark, witness Ophelia's funeral (in the Gravedigger Scene), duel Laertes, and die, naming Fortinbras his heir, just before the Norwegian army returns from Poland. Call it a couple of weeks at best. Four days would be some time after Act 4, Scene 6; and since Ophelia dies at the end of Act 4, Scene 7 it must be before that.
    The bare-bones summary of Act 4, Scene 7 through Act 5, Scene 2 is something like: King Claudius learns that an attempt to kill Prince Hamlet while travelling has failed, and instead plots with Laertes to murder him in a duel by using a poisoned sword and poison in the prince's drink; Ophelia (drowns/is assassinated); Prince Hamlet returns in time for Ophelia's funeral and gets himself into a fight with Laertes; Hamlet and Laertes duel, and through various means both of them die along with Claudius and Queen Gertrude; Fortinbras arrives as Hamlet's heir and takes the crown of Denmark.. Shakespearean scholars are tearing their hair out over all I've left out there (see "Hoist with his own petard" for just one aspect that's missing, and on which scholars have expended thousands of words). --Xover (talk) 11:25, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Xover: Hmm, the developers definitely created an artificial day and night cycle for the game so "four days" is correct for Elsinore, but not for Hamlet. It definitely starts with Act 1-- you can actually see the conversation Polonius has with Gertrude and Claudius (and can interject into it), and one of the major ways you can change the time loop in early playthroughs is to stop Laertes from leaving to France at the beginning of the game (by telling him that you're convinced that someone is trying to kill you after you've been assassinated for the first time). If you follow Hamlet around the entire time, you can see him talking with the ghost of his father and a gender-swapped Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. After Hamlet talks to Peter Quince (who takes over the role of the actors and who acts the play out in a one-person show) and requests the The Murder of Gonzago to be performed, you can (after the first time loop where you see the play) request Peter to perform different things instead (e.g. you can ask that it be about a wife's unfaithfulness to her husband, and watch Queen Gertrude's reaction instead while Hamlet sputters confusedly about how this isn't what he requested). Polonius gets murdered (if you do nothing to stop it), and, if you do nothing, the end of Hamlet basically happens as it does in the play, with Fortinbras successfully invading at the end.
  • I think the main point of the game is it's basically a "What if?" simulator for Hamlet. You can convince Laertes to stay in Elsinore Castle, find who's trying to assassinate Ophelia, manipulate events so Polonius overhears the King and Queen making fun of him, and then get Ophelia and her family to escape Elsinore Castle "two days" before the end of Hamlet. You can approach King Claudius and basically say, "Listen, I know you killed your brother to take the crown"-- he goes, "Great, you're definitely wrong, can we talk in private?" where he then murders you in his room. But the game starts with the default as "Hamlet the play will happen the way it happens if you do nothing". Nomader (talk) 13:30, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
    Also, I think that if you're really determined to buy a Mac version of it, you can actually buy it here ([1]) and just download it directly to your computer, but I think that you definitely don't need to have it to be able to write about it for the plot section here. Nomader (talk) 13:56, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
    The plot summary for Hamlet was good—too good, given how long it was compared to the rest of the content. I tried to trim it down to the bare essentials, explaining the plot in a paragraph, giving the main characters who are referenced as different races following or else in the bits directly pertaining to the game. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 16:37, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
    Ha, it's a tragedy that we had to summarize it so much. Get it? A tragedy. Anyways, thanks to both you and Xover for your help here-- I think all of your original review points have now been addressed. Let me know if there's anything else you need before passing (you actually reviewed my first GAN way back in 2008, so it's fun to have come full circle twelve years later). Nomader (talk) 21:07, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
    Oh god, we're so old. I'll take another look today and follow up tomorrow if there are any remaining issues, if not I'll pass. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:28, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
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