Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review – A Game of Twits


Chess. Is there a more noble game in existence? And when combined with ponies, well, what's not to like? A Game of Twits, after the break!


(Checkmate.)

(Gotcha!)

(Now back to our regularly scheduled story.)
The Story:
Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy have been playing chess a lot lately, mostly because Twilight had nopony to play with, at a local restaurant when news of a Ponyville chess tournament, starred by none other than The Black Queen (Canterlot Chess champion) brings a thrill to Twilight's heart. She wants to play her best, ensuring Ponyville has future tournaments, and begins to study immediately. Unfortunately, in her haste, she neglects to pay the bill, which was then added to their running tab: 500 bits.
Unable to pay their bill, they decide to do their best in the upcoming chess tournament, as the prize for second + third place is 500 bits, while first would win 1000. After a crazy week of studying chess, Fluttershy has improved immensely, while Twilight has stayed level in her skill, but both enter the tournament ready to do their best.
The results are a spoiler, but there is a moment of possibly the most literal use of deus ex machina since the ancient Greeks at the end that, unfortunately, soured my view of the story.

The Characters:
The only really notable characters in the story are the protagonist mares, Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy, the rest either not given enough focus or time to develop further. Twilight Sparkle is her usual self, though to start she goes crazy quite quickly. She is also book obsessed to a level not exactly unfitting, but with a level of redundancy that would have been silly even by her standards. She is also just ever so slightly defeatist, being rather quick to accept defeat and others being better than her instead of driving to better herself further. Fluttershy is quiet and kind, as she should be, but has a tendency for mental melodramatics that I would normally reserve for Applebloom or Rarity. She also sulks and takes actions a bit too personally for my liking, but is not poorly written or anything like that. In the end, while they had smudges on their sheen, both were written and kept to well enough not to be a fault at all.

Execution:
Personally I felt the pacing went slightly fast throughout, particularly as the chess tournament started and the ending neared, but that's my tastes more than anything. The end also struck at an odd time, and combined with the deus ex mentioned earlier, honestly, felt like a bit of a letdown compared to the rest. Otherwise sets were painted well, characters described as well as they have a tendency to be, and nothing jumped out to me as wrong. A well executed story.

(I'm sorry, I'm going to go into a personal rant here: Maybe I'm the only one who likes to bring in the ponies' colors, races, and cutie marks into descriptions, but I like having the characters fully portrayed. It wasn't a problem for this story, as all of the characters were main ones from the show, but the lack of descriptions is something that always gets on my nerves. While the intended audience is fans, should somebody not familiar with the ponies read the story, their experience would be detracted from for not being able to picture the cast. It's such a small and simple consideration to make, but so often avoided.

Just a pet peeve though. Don't hold it against any story, especially not this one.)

Enjoyable?:
Yes. I'd have probably enjoyed it even more if I hadn't been trying to do multiple things while reading it, or if the chess games had been described in a bit more detail (what can I say? I like the little things) but what it had had no real faults and was quite enjoyable.

In Conclusion:
A cute little story about mares playing chess, not life or genre changing, but definitely worth the read. Give it a look up if you've got some free time!

The Link:

And that is all my friends! Oddly enough, for something titled “A Game of Twits” there was surprisingly little comedy or twitness... Oh well. This is why you don't judge a book by its cover.
That is all for me for now. And, since we have reached 9000 views, I will commit to the promise I was only going to hint at...
In the next few weeks (not promising which one, but there will be a bigger announcement for it) I will review Past Sins, by Pen Stroke. I will also see if I can't get an interview, but one step at a time.
Until then, have a wonderful day everypony!
Your novice writer,
~Medicshy  

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, we needed a good review after the week we just had. There was me, then me again, then Darcy, then Axe, then me two more times, all negative. You seem to be our saving grace here, 'Shy.

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