GameSpite | Issue Thirteen | The Pivotal Moment: One of the guiding principles behind GameSpite's informal approach to criticism has always been the acknowledgement that one's personal relationship with a game can be distinct from whatever the latter's objective worth might be. This issue, we cast our light on games which, good or bad, defined -- or redefined -- our individual perceptions and attitudes toward the medium.

Week One | March 9

The Pivotal Moment
Our next issue should kick off all proper-like next week. As a prelude, we've assembled a sort of preview teaser for the entries to come. I've asked everyone to write a brief reminiscence about the one game that most shaped their outlook and tastes in gaming, and the next four (hopefully) weekly updates will delve into several of these entries in greater detail.

Week Two | March 16

Dragon Warrior
Here's a sight that would warm the heart of Nintendo marketers circa 1989: all their hard work trying to sell American kids on a primitive-looking three-year-old game that attempted to make a PC-based genre palatable on consoles actually paid off. Or at least, it did for author Red Hedgehog, for whom Dragon Warrior was a tiny, menu-driven revelation.

Secret of Mana
Me, on the other hand, I was OK with all those menus and minuscule tiles, but what really grabbed me was a game that managed to combine the substance of something like Dragon Warrior with the visceral immediacy of an action-oriented game like Zelda. Brace yourselves for a New Games Journalism odyssey as I talk about myself...and Secret of Mana, I guess.

Week Three | March 23

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
We continue this issue's theme of exploring personally influential games with not one but two Zelda write-ups. Does this mean we're all a bunch of idiot Nintendo fanboys? Nah, it just means that the Zeldas -- particularly these two -- were pretty much revolutionary masterpieces that defined how games can and should work.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Of course, GameSpite already has an Ocarina of Time retrospective, but the previous entry was a bit more objective, a bit less personal. This is the gonzo version -- except not really, since it wasn't written in the desert under the influence of quaaludes, and any screaming about being attacked by bats isn't hallucinogenic in nature. Bats actually do tend to attack you in Zelda games, you see.

Week Four | March 30

Final Fantasy VII: The Voice of the Planet
Let it never be said that I don't brook dissenting opinions. Today Kishi doesn't just offer a clement analysis of his own personal pivotal game experience, Final Fantasy VII, but he goes so far as to call out my (admittedly overstated for the sake of flamebait) review. But one thing we can both agree on: Sephiroth is a really stupid villain.

Kirby's Adventure
And then we have Loki's look at Kirby's color debut, which (in the tradition of his Mole Mania review) is pure love and happiness distilled into something like a review...but far more wonderful. You will become a better person for having read it.

Week Five | April 13

Proving that you don't have to suffer from verbal diarrhea to be a new gently-used games journalist, reibeatall offers up a concise summary of the single most profound video game moment he's ever experienced. Danger: it involves spoilers.

Deadly Rooms of Death?
Nearly two years in the making, Merus delves deeply into a game that you've probably never heard of (or at the very least, never played) but which had a tremendous impact on his life. Personally, this piece made me feel like an unappreciative jerk for never spending more time with DRoD.

Sword of Vermilion
Finally, Mightyblue looks deep in the soul and wonders, how it is that I could ever have experienced so much affection for an infuriatingly awful video game? The results of his geeky vision quest are splayed across the page for all to experience.