2071: Mass Vexations Retrospective – Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

Title: Mass Vexations
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect, with a dash of Heavy Rain, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and other assorted properties
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL: Mass Vexations 1, Mass Vexations 2, and Mass Vexations 3. Also, the TVTropes Page.
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello folks, and welcome to the fourth installment of the MV retrospective. Well, I think this is about gonna wrap it up here, and we’re going to go in with miscellaneous criticisms that aren’t super major, and also maybe even get into the rewrites I did throughout the series, and also some things about the series I don’t totally hate.

So yeah, this’ll be a slightly longer installment, but hey, we’re almost there! So let’s get to it!

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2064: Mass Vexations Retrospective – Mass Vexations and the Missing Deconstruction

Title: Mass Vexations
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect, with a dash of Heavy Rain, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and other assorted properties
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL: Mass Vexations 1, Mass Vexations 2, and Mass Vexations 3. Also, the TVTropes Page.
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to this retrospective on Mass Vexations. I’m your host Herr Wozzeck, and we’re getting back into the thick of it.

And this time, we’re going to talk about a particular story element that playes most of the trilogy. And actually, this is something that kind of has a preface in something I brought up in ErtTheKing’s Subject 23 snarking, so it’s not going to be a totally new thing for any of the Librarians to hear about.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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2051: Mass Vexations Retrospective – Gontermanesque: A Tale of Stu Aspects

Title: Mass Vexations
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect, with a dash of Heavy Rain, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and other assorted properties
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL: Mass Vexations 1, Mass Vexations 2, and Mass Vexations 3. Also, the TVTropes Page.
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hey guys, it’s your friendly Neighborhood Herr Wozzeck here, and… well, we’re gonna do something a little bit different with these installments of snark that I’m gonna be writing over the next couple of weeks. Let’s call it a hindsight commentary.

See, y’all probably have seen that it’s Mass Vexations on the snark block today. Issue is, I have no desire to snark the entire thing. And that’s for one very simple reason: word count. The whole trilogy is just too damn long for me to sustain any kind of full-length line-by-line snark, and it would be a fool’s errand to try to do the whole thing.

‘Cause let’s be real: Mass Vexations is wordy. I mean real wordy. And let’s break that down for a second: Mass Vexations, if we look purely at the fanfiction.net word count function (which admittedly includes A/Ns in this, but one set of variables at a time), the word count comes to just under 188K words. The median average of most novels is about half that, at 99K words. That’s bad enough, but it gets worse, because then Mass Vexations 2 and Mass Vexations 3 both boast a word count that totals at about 607K and 603K words, respectively. For reference, that means that both MV2 and MV3 individually are longer than Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that the entire trilogy’s wordcount eclipses the entire Harry Potter series by about 300K words, and Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (which is the current Guinness World Record holder for the longest novel) by about 100K words.

You are crazy if you expect me to sit here snarking that entire mass of words line by line for any amount of time. I do not have that much time in the world to dedicate to such an insane project, and I say this as the guy who wrote the thing on the snarking block. Even a summary snark wouldn’t exactly work here.

But… well, let’s face it. It’s still a fairly problematic series in a lot of ways, and looking back… well, while I wouldn’t totally call it an old shame, there are a lot of things I would change about the series knowing what I’ve written now. So this time, I’m gonna go ahead and take the gloves off.

*takes gloves off*

Oh, it’s not because I’m about to go hard-core on myself: this is admittedly going to be a more serious affair than what you normally see at the Library, mostly because I think I’m going to go in deep with real critical self-analysis here, with more of a critic’s eye than a jokey-joke eye than usual. I’ll crack a joke or two here, but expect this to be more in the style of, say, a Lindsay Ellis video essay.

Also, I’m not really going to plan on tackling this thing in chronological order. I think, for me, discussing this particular previous work of mine is going to involve going at it and talking about the broader issues of narrative. We can nitpick individual typos and silly lines of dialogue all day long (and trust me, that’s in the cards, too), but for me, it makes more sense to talk about this from a standpoint of “here’s an aspect folks criticize/I think was a problem, let’s talk about it more”.

And if you’re wondering why I’m doing this? Eh, I felt it was time. I’ve been thinking a lot about these things for the past few years, across the time I’ve done FBA fiction and also these Library of the Damned snarks, some of which were written in conjunction with the writing of MV3. And… well, in the interest of full disclosure, I also discovered recently that there’s a line-by-line snark of the trilogy elsewhere on the world wide web that got started in September. While those of you who know one of my previous snarks know I normally wouldn’t mind that happening, in this case it’s written by someone who, in Hannity-esque fashion, failed to disclose that not only is he a former “friend” with whom I had a vicious falling-out, but that he made some contributions to the Mass Vexations universe that got excised (more on that later). Also, as best as I can tell given his past behavior regarding Mass Vexations and me as a person, he’s doing it to spite me.

You’re probably going to call this a product of bruised ego, and honestly, I can understand why you might think that given what I just disclosed. But here’s the thing: snarking things out of spite means that you lose a certain objectivity when you critique it, and doubly so when you fail to disclose your previous relationship with the fiction. Thus, I’m hoping that hearing some of these criticisms straight from the horse’s mouth proves to be an exercise in greater objectivity.

So yeah. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

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1296: agig’s Old Shame Sunday – A series of One-Shots, Part One

Title: halo: cross universe
Author: agigabyte
Media: Videogame
Topic: Halo
Genre:  none listed
URL: Not Found Online
Critiqued by agigabyte

Hello, Patrons and Librarians! It’s agig here. As in, the person, not the character. This is why I have my characters refer to me as “author.” Anyway, you may have gathered the purpose of this by the title. Now, the reason for it being called “Old Shame Sunday” is that almost all of my old shames are too short to even be one shots. Yeah. So I’m going to do multiple reviews, in every issue except this one, because most of these are a couple of paragraphs or less in length. This first one is called “halo: cross universe” and is somehow better than around sixty percent of the legitimate stories I’ve seen here. Anyway, there is context for this piece of trash…

When I was nine, the co op program I go to on Tuesdays had a creative writing program. Near the end of the school year, we had to write a short story of a half page. Think of it like NaNoWriMo, but for a week at the start of May. And you only had to write half a page. So really, nothing like NaNoWriMo.

Moving on from this awkward bit, I was inspired to do these when I found a copy of the thing sitting in my room. Sadly, I couldn’t find the digital copy so I’m reconstructing it for you. This fic is called “halo: cross universe.” Now, let’s begin.

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760: The Fallen Lords – Episode Seven

Title: The Fallen Lords
Author: TacoMagic
Media: MUD
Topic:  Medievia
Genre: Not Listed
URL: Not available online
Critiqued by Lyle

Hey everyone!  Welcome back to the Library! This week we’ll be finishing up TacoMoron’s old badfic, The Fallen Lords.  When last we met for this particular fic, Vaseline, Token Female, the Red-Shirt Wonder Twins, and Stus 1 and 2 were chatting with a guy at the entrance to The Mine about how Throat Clearing went missing and no one bothered to go looking for him.  Suddenly, and from behind, Mr. Evil Jawa from The Cleric Complex showed up, stabbed Random Guy, knocked Stu-dar unconscious, and poofed away with Stu-dar without bothering to kill his host of friends, all of whom are going to want to find their buddy and exact revenge on the Evil Jawa Cult.  We end with Stu-gar still unconscious on a table while the head Jawa cackles maniacally.

As far as we know, The Heros don’t actually know where they’ve taken Stu-gar but they’re going to get there somehow anyway.  Let’s find out how.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that this final chapter is only three and a half pages long.  This bodes really well for an epically underwhelming climax and plot resolution.

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746: The Fallen Lords – Episode Six

Title: The Fallen Lords
Author: TacoMagic
Media: MUD
Topic:  Medievia
Genre: Not Listed
URL: Not available online
Critiqued by Lyle

Hello everyone!  Today is another chapter/episode of The Fallen Lords, written by our very own TacoMoron.  Before we begin, let’s go through the obligatory summary so we’re all back on the same page.

Vaseline had an identity crisis where he was under the impression that he was really Hakeem Olajuwon and attempted to jump over a bush.  That landed him in a river and now he’s squelching around with his cronies, who are all getting much too much enjoyment out of his misfortune.  Token Female Character has proven to be about the most competent while nothing of any importance happens with Red Shirt 1 and Red Shirt 2.  Gray-Stu and Stu-gar show up, Token Female challenges their presence, does a lot of sword brandishing, and gets cookies for her fairly logical reasoning.  In the end, Token Female, Vaseline, Red Shirt 1 and Red Shirt 2 take Stu-gar and Gray-stu back to Riverton to see the Board of Heroes so a decision can be made on whether or not to help them take The Complex back from the Evil Jawas.

Meanwhile, the Evil Jawas are trying to figure out what group of 9 to sacrifice send to take care of Team Awesome so that the remaining 3 can split the ill gotten booty from Master Demon, all while cackling maniacally, I’m sure.

That about sums it up.  Let’s see what hijinks our tepid heroes get into today!

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732: The Fallen Lords – Episode Five

Title: The Fallen Lords
Author: TacoMagic
Media: MUD
Topic:  Medievia
Genre: Not Listed
URL: Not available online
Critiqued by Lyle

Ah, I love the smell of badfic in the morning.  At least this week I’m tackling another episode of TacoMoron’s old shame, The Fallen Lords, and not more of My Immortal.  Let’s recap and get to it, shall we?

Last time on The Fallen Lords, we meet Vaseline, Taco’s author insertion who has been causing my hand to hover closely over the Stu Counter.  I’m pretty sure we’ll be smacking it for him very soon.  Vaseline met with his dad in his own house for breakfast and they had a chat about a monster in a dungeon.  Vapo-rub was forbidden from tackling it with his little buddies because this creature will wipe the floor with them.  So instead, Father-Dearest, whose name sounds like a warthog clearing his throat, is going to go check it out while Vasago and his cronies meet up with The Girl Character.

Let’s do it!

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