GameSpite | Issue Ten | The Spite Issue: You know, there's a common misperception about our little site here among certain corners of the Internet -- namely, the sort of slow-witted corner that doesn't have much going on in the way of reading comprehension. That gross misinterpretation of the site shakes its fist at the way the writing here is so hateful toward games, because look! It's called "game spite"! It must be full of contempt by people who don't even like the medium, right?
Well, no. Actually, the majority of the articles published here are full of effusive love for the medium and the specific titles called out. But hey, those portions of the Internet aren't known for getting facts straight or welcoming corrections, so I figure why fight it? Thus Issue 10 is official The Spite Issue, full of venom and criticism for games.
Week One | September 22
Mega Man 9
Of course, into every life a little exception must fall, and we begin this issue of vituperation with a tiny parcel of love for Capcom's freshly-released return to Mega Man's roots. My advice would be to come back to this article once you start feeling heartburn from the acidity of the rest.
The spite begins in earnest, though, with Bob Mackey's calling out of the emperor's lack of clothing. Nippon Ichi's games are darlings among a certain set of gamers, but the fact is that the company has been riding the good grace's of Atlus' fortuitous work with Disgaea for years now. And that just ain't right.
Then Kirin continues his journey through the Suikoden series by looking at the worst game ever to bear the name. I suppose it's possible that the card game or Suikogaiden graphical adventures were worse, but those had the decency not to pass themselves off as full chapters of the series. Not Suikoden IV, though!
Week Two | September 29
The Difficulty of Difficulty
Making hard games is easy. Making good hard games...well, that's something else entirely. And clearly a bit too demanding for many people! This article looks at why it's so dang difficult to find difficult games that manage to be fun as well, mainly by calling out all the cheats and cheaps and shortcuts that developers usually fall back on. (For shame.)
For instance, Gradius III -- at least in the arcade -- was a game that rather infamously failed to be both difficult and enjoyable, because its challenge mainly stemmed from level designers who utterly hated their customers. But hey, sand dragons, or something.
Star Ocean Till the End of Time
And joining Devil May Cry 3 and Gradius III as a third chapter that almost completely destroyed its respective franchises is Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Me, I'm bugged by the use of till rather than 'til as an abbreviation of until. Technically correct, sure, but it gives me visions of space farmers breaking up soil. Which admittedly would probably be more satisfying than what Tri-Ace did create.
Week Three | October 5
Dragon Warrior VII
M. Nicolai comes to pretty much the same conclusion here that I've held for a while: Dragon Warrior VII -- or Dragon Quest, as they'd be calling it nowadays -- was underwhelming on PlayStation. And overwhelming, in terms of raw man-hours to completion. I know lots of people who have logged 100+ hours into the game without finishing it! But as a DS remake, it would probably be pretty boss.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Calorie Mate, Talking Time's second-biggest Metal Gear fanboy (the first being Tomm "Kojima is My Dad" Guycot), speaks out on the series' conclusion and is...not particularly fanboyish. In fact, this is pretty much the article I was going to write, if all the shenanigans around reviewing is hadn't made me want to avoid the series for a few years. Good on yer, 'Mate.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
And, finally, the Metroid Prime 3 article I started last August after finishing the game. I gave Corruption a solid score in EGM but had a lot of complaints on a "personal satisfaction" level that didn't really belong in the review. In fact, I've held off on publishing this in case my irritation subsided, but it turns out my misgivings have proven to be symptomatic of a larger ailment, so. Here we are.