GameSpite Journal Issue 9
Fall 2011: Games, Mortality, and Other Musings
Now available in print through Blurb.com. Choose from a somewhat reasonably priced paperback edition or a bank-breaking hardback edition that justifies its expense by pulling double-duty as a blunt weapon capable of stunning or maiming a man.
As an experiment, these books are also available in Blurb's brand new color format. This book was laid out with color images but isn't optimized for a full-color format, and its length means these color editions are incredibly expensive. I don't recommend buying the color versions! But they're here if you want them, both the painfully pricey paperback and the heart-stoppingly high-cost hardback. Seriously, though -- caveat emptor.
As with all issues of GameSpite Quarterly, this book is published on demand and will never go out of print. You can purchase this and all other GameSpite volumes at Blurb's GameSpite store. Enjoy!
"I grow old, I grow old...."
Like the eponymous lector of T.S. Eliott's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," I grow old. I was never much for beach walks with my pantlegs rolled up, though, and peaches rank among my least favorite fruit. That wraps up the existential dilemmas, anyway. Even so, I've found myself thinking about my inevitable aging of late. My face is lined, I often wear ties, people don't card me when I buy wine; it's all really quite tragic.
And since I work with video games day in and day out, these grim musings sometimes overlap with thoughts on games and game design, which is what led to the opening volley of articles in this latest edition of GameSpite Journal; the question of where games overlap with mortality formed an unintended but unquestionable pattern in my writing. I'm not the only one, though, which makes for a somewhat bleak lead-in this time around.
Don't worry, though -- death is but the beginning of GSJ9, and things grow rapidly more cheerful from there. If I could apply that power to life, I'd either be rich, or Mork from Ork.
July 18, 2011
In This Issue
- Conquering Death by Jeremy Parish
- A Lonelier Silent Hill by Jeremy Signor
- Big Daddy Dearest | BioShock 2: Raising Eleanor Lamb by Justin Hoeger
- Perfection Through Death | Demon's Souls by Matt Williams
- "I Feel... Young" | What Games Can Learn from Star Trek II by Jeremy Parish
- Lighthearted Darkness | Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha Vs. King Abaddon by Jeremy Signor
- Murder, Mystery and History on the Orient Express | The Last Express by Wesley Fenlon
- Ultimate Perspective | The Lesson of Ultimate Ghosts 'N Goblins - or - Respect Amidst Hatred by Jeremy Parish
- Let the Giants Rest Their Shoulders by Jake Alley
- Time to Hunt | Alien Vs. Predator and the Soul of the Beat 'em Up Genre by Mike Zeller
- Tales of Legendia by Andrew Bentley
- Valkyria Chronicles | Taking the Middle Ground by Ben Elgin
- Coffee Break | EarthBound Saga's Jeff Benson by Brad Allison
- Welcome to the World | Phantasy Star Online by Matt Williams
- Arctic MUD | The Life and Death of the Group Dynamic by Jeremy Signor
- The Dark Designs of Digital Distribution by Jake Alley
- alti 'tude | Air Zonk by Mike Zeller
- "Nobody has ever cleared this stage" | The Story of Strider by Jeremy Parish
- The Failure of Sakura Wars in the West by Thomas Nickel
- The Proto-Shooters of Steve Cartwright by Ben Langberg
- Crisis Core and the Redemption of Final Fantasy VII by Jeremy Parish
- "Yo PlayStation, I'm real happy for you and I'mma let you finish, but the Nintendo 64 was the best console of all time... of all time!" by Alex Reo
- 'Nobi Nobi Boy | Shinobi by Marc Host
- Chaos Vs. Constraint by Jake Alley
- Video & Arcade Top 10 | Where Canadians Played Games and Televised Their Shame by Nadia Oxford
- Super Effective | Why Mass Effect is Better Than Mass Effect 2 by Mike Zeller
- Paz Tecum | How Metal Gear Made Peace with Portables by Jeremy Parish
- Stressing Out the O.C.D. Kids by Jake Alley and Philip Armstrong
- How I Fell in and out of Love with Rock Band by Alex Reo
- Stacked in Your Favor | Mac Gaming with HyperCard by Ben Elgin
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII by Aaron Littleton
- Foresight Forgotten | The Defanging of Video Games by Jake Alley
- The Loudest Unsung Hero | Sound Design in Games by Jeremy Signor
- Lessons in Level Design by Justin Fairchild
- Unimpeachable | What Makes Super Princess Peach a Better Mario Game Than New Super Mario Bros.? by Jeremy Parish
Please note that all content is identical in both paperback and hardcover editions.
Nadia Oxford (Video & Arcade Top 10) is excited for Letter Time.
Justin Hoeger (Big Daddy Dearest) wants to take the ears off, but he can't.
Marc Host's ('Nobi Nobi Boy) sequel was so forgettable that it doesn't even warrant a mention.
Jake Alley (Stressing Out the O.C.D. Kids, etc.) drops an item you need to unlock the best ending if defeated within 20 turns, but only 2% of the time.
put Ben Elgin (Stacked in Your Favor) into line 12 of Bylines. put Bylines into field MainText of card (number of cards) - 1.
Aaron Littleton (Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII) keeps himself going by imagining a juicy plum.
Andrew Bentley (Tales of Legendia) is the King of Textbox Mountain.
Matt Williams (Demon's Souls, etc.) has invaded your game!
Ben Langberg (The Proto-Shooters of Steve Cartwright)is the token Atari kid.
Jeremy Signor (Shattered Expectations, etc.) needs to fill his waterskin so he won't die of thirst.
Jeremy Parish (Ultimate Perspective, etc.) looked into the death star. Then he died.
Justin Fairchild (Lessons in Level Design) was born that way.
Alex Reo (How I Fell In and Out of Love with Rock Band, etc.) can make the jump on Koopa Troopa Beach without using a mushroom.
Layouts, edits, cover and photography by Jeremy Parish.
Copy edits: Alex Decherd
All issue text available for free (eventually) at www.gamespite.net. Come talk about video games, personal issues, and grotesque fan art at GameSpite's forum, Talking Time.
All magazine text is © its respective author.
GameSpite Journal 9 Copyright Indicia: The images reproduced in this volume are printed under the banner of fair use as supplemental visuals to support critical writing. Our words belong to us, but we make no claim to the works and images in question. They belong to.....
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater �2004 Kojima Productions/Konami | BioShock �2007 Irrational/2K Games | Dragon Quest IV �1990 Enix | Final Fantasy VI �1994 Square | Torneko�s Big Adventure �1993 Enix | Shiren the Wanderer �1995 Enix | Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter �2003 Capcom | Demon�s Souls �2009 From/Sony/Atlus | Herc�s Adventures �1997 LucasArts | Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time �2003 Ubisoft | Silent Hill: Shattered Memories �2009 Konami | BioShock 2 �2010 2K Marin/2K Games | Star Trek II �1982 Paramount Pictures | Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare �2007 Infinity Ward/Activision | Uncharted: Drake�s Fortune �2006 Naughty Dog/Sony | Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots �2008 Kojima Productions/Konami | Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Kuzunoha Raidou and the Soulless Army �2010 Atlus | The Last Express �1996 Smoking Car/Br�derbund | Ultimate Ghosts �N Goblins �2006 Capcom | Bayonetta �2010 Sega | Br�tal Legend �2009 Double Fine/Activision | L.A. Noire �2011 Team Bondi/Rockstar/Take2 | Wii Sports �2006 Nintendo | Aliens Vs. Predator �1996 Capcom | Tales of Legendia �2006 Namco | Valkyria Chronicles �2007 Overworks/Sega | EarthBound �1995 Ape/HAL/Nintendo | Phantasy Star Online �2000 Team Sonic/Sega | DragonLance �1984 TSR, Inc. | LittleBigPlanet �2008 Media Molecule/Sony | Street Fighter II �1991 Capcom | Mega Man 10 �2010 Capcom | Mass Effect 2 �2010 BioWare/EA | Dragon Age Origins �2010 BioWare/EA | Air Zonk �1992 Red/Hudson | Strider �1987 Capcom | Sakura Wars series �1995-2010 Red/Sega/NIS | Mega Mania �1982 Activision | Seaquest �1983 Activision | Plaque Attack �1982 Activision | Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII �2008 Square Enix | Nintendo 64 �1996 Nintendo | Super Smash Bros. �1999 HAL/Nintendo | The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time �1998 Nintendo | Ogre Battle 64 �2000 Quest/Enix | Star Fox 64 �1997 Nintendo | GoldenEye 007 �1997 EON Productions/Rare/Nintendo | Mario Kart 64 �1997 Nintendo | Super Mario 64 �1996 Nintendo | Shinobi �2003 Sega | Grand Theft Auto III �2001 DMA/Rockstar/Take2 | King of Fighters �1998 SNK | Cortex Command �2010 Data Realms | Video & Arcade Top 10 �1991 YTV | Mass Effect �2007 BioWare/Microsoft | Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker �2010 Kojima Productions/Konami | Guitar Hero II �2006 Harmonix/Activision | Rock Band series �2007-2011 Harmonix/MTV Games/EA | The Manhole �1993 Cyan Worlds/Br�derbund | Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII �2003 Koei | Dragon Warrior �1989 Enix/Nintendo | Phantasy Star �1987 Sega | Dragon Warrior VII �2001 Armor Project/Bird Studio/Heartbeat/Enix | Pong �1972 Atari | Otocky �1987 ASCII | Rez �2001 Sega | Parappa the Rapper �1997 Nana-On-Sha/Sony | Enemy Zero �1997 WARP/Sega | Abuse �1996 crackdotcom/Bungie | Super Princess Peach �2006 TOSE/Nintendo
As usual, most images in this volume have been sourced from the following sites, with explicit permission of the site owners and curators: Hardcore Gaming 101 (http://hg101.kontek.net); The Video Game Musuem (http://www.vgmuseum.com); and the Let�s Play Archive (http://www.lparchive.org). Cover image includes photography sourced from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons License (photo by Flickr user mistagregory).