This is the first one I wrote on Uncy, like 6 months ago. I reread it today and lolled, and I remember it was totally trashed on VFH. I tweaked it a bit. I'd basically like to know what put readers off! There are some lists, but I think they're funny. Anyway, go ahead and DO IT! Mattsnow 14:24, December 9, 2011 (UTC)
I'LL DO IT! I think the sense of power I get from doing these has gone to my head. I should see a doctor. I have some time tonight so expect this one soon. --Writey 18:02, December 15, 2011 (UTC)
Hi Matt, been a long time since we last spoke. Slightly disconcerting our last conversation was about how sexy Canadian girls are and now I'm reviewing an article about how to be an assassin. I sure wouldn't like to reject you (not that I ever would!). Anyway, down to business. This is most certainly a decent article , the humour is fine but lists don't make me laugh out loud. They make me smile. I don't think the quotes at the top really work with the rest of the article either. It would be nice to just combine those lists into paragraphs. Your first three lines is an example of the hyperbolic humour that I, personally, really like. If you could do the same for the lists it would make a bit improvement in my mind. For example, you could elaborate on the pros and cons of choosing a weapon. "Whilst a hammer may be a convenient method of killing your mark, the thought of revisiting Gap to purchase new clothes is a daunting prospect that must be considered before selecting any close range weapon" or something like that. That's just a suggestion, I'll let you decide but personally I think a sentence has a lot more to it than just a listed point. Hokay dokie,a nd now the second issue I have with the humour; it's a tad risqué at best and just downright rude at times. I know that when you wrote this you couldn't have known, but I don't think the sentence "Grenade: Weapon of choice in crowded areas" is at all appropriate in light of the recent attacks in Liege where 125 people were wounded. When reading "Plausible scenarios" I felt like I was reading a watered down version of American Psycho as well. The whole "Choosing a target" paragraph is just... meh. It's borderline too far but if you were to make it into a proper paragraph and keep it in there I'd have no objection, it has potential.
This is the area that lets you down most, It's a good concept, it has a lot of scope for humour, but I don't think that scope is used particularly well. It's fairly short and there isn't much substance to it. However, I think your biggest problem is that despite called a "how to" article there really isn't that much how to about it. If I suddenly wanted to go out and murder someone I'm sure that there would be more I needed to do than just choose a weapon and a target. All the paragraphs below "choosing a target" aren't really "how to" at all, they are much more likely to be from an article about assassins. The title is "HowTo:Become an Assassin" and really you have only 2 (3 including the introduction) sections covering this.
Prose and formatting:
It's decent, no glaring spelling mistakes or broken links, but it is very listy. Just on a personal level, a pet hate of mine is when someone (you in this case) link something like "person on the receiving end". I'm thinking, oohh what's this link going to be? Something funny? Something satirical? What's cheeky lil' Mattsnow linked this otherwise fairly mundane sentence to? Oh, it's just linked to "victim". Yea, kinda annoys me, maybe I'm just the only one though, if I am... then still fix it because I'm doing the review! Nah, it's just a little pet peeve of mine that I felt like sharing.
Decent images. I don't think the top one "murder for dummies" is such a great one to start the article though. The next two are great and I just feel the first one simply isn't as good. I don't like that HowTo template being there either, its just an unnecessary element cluttering it up. The image placement is generally fine, but I didn't see the Charlie Sheen image at the bottom until my 3rd read through. What does Charlie Sheen have to do with how to be an assassins anyway? Is he a total frickin' assassin from Mars as well as a rock star? Might want to reconsider that one. But generally they are good, I genuinely lol'd at the 3rd one and the 2nd one made me chuckle as well.
Good try, above average, but below great. A phrase I heard every night from my ex.
Overall a pretty nice article, just needs a bit of polishing off (see what I did there) and some more thought put making your lists into jokes which relate back to the "how to" genre of the article. If you want to ask me any questions about the review or if you just want to chat feel free to message me at my talky page.