GameSpite: Issue 1

At long last, I can debut the fruits of my many people’s labor: GameSpite Issue 1. Rather than continuing to post a single article everyday, which more or less transformed the entire site into a link aggregator, I’ve decided to try publishing reader contributions in batches. Issues, I’m calling them, because my mind is still locked in outmoded print-media paradigms. Really, though, lumping several articles together seems to work for HG101, and GameSpite is pretty much nothing if not a shameless ripoff of all of Kurt’s work. So: Welcome to the MIMICRY. I haven’t decided whether these will work best bi-weekly or monthly, but I think you will find things to enjoy regardless.

First, RedHedgehog launches a page dedicated to the MacVenture graphical adventure titles that Kemco-Seika ported to NES back in the day. We’re still missing Uninvited, but everything else is present and accounted for, I think. Begin here for some background, and then move along to the following:

Déjà Vu
This is about as noir as it gets with the NES’s candy-like color palette. The game’s not as art deco-looking as the box, but Déjà’s hardboiled quality mostly comes through in the gameplay and the terse text. Who knew strict 8-bit cartridge space limits could be a good thing?

Shadowgate is the only one of the MacVenture games I ever bothered finishing, which is a shame because according to these articles it was the least interesting (and most clumsily-designed) of the bunch. I guess there’s also something to be said for the pig-headedness of youth.

Next, Mightyblue kicks off a comprehensive look at the Breath of Fire series by alternately praising and damning the first two installments. Which one is praised, and which damned? I do not want to spoil this amazing surprise — much like the Matrix, you must see it for yourself.

Breath of Fire
A lot of people harbor a deep and abiding resentment for the original Breath of Fire because they believe Square localized it in the place of Final Fantasy V. Be that as it may — and indeed, it may be — Square did at least give it a solid localization. Which is more than can be said for….

Breath of Fire II
Supposedly, Breath of Fire II is host to a damn fine RPG storyline. Some people say it’s among the best of the 16-bit generation! I say, “Who can tell?” Regardless of BoFII’s other qualities — and Mightyblue expounds upon those in some detail! — its English translation is among the absolute worst ever inflicted on a game. Quite a legacy!

Rhythm Heaven
I couldn’t shut up about WarioWare’s brilliance back in 2003. And while Nintendo has pretty much squandered the series’ creative capital in a most Katamari-like manner, its inventive freshness lives on in Rhythm Heaven. Which, of course, never came to America. You oughta know by now: who needs a house out in Hackensack Nintendo hates your yankee guts so hard.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Lumber Baron takes another offbeat look at a gaming mainstay — this time Twilight Princess, seen through the lens of the complaints that have been leveled in its direction over the past year.

Marvel Super Heroes
And Kolbe wraps it up for us with a gushing tribute to Marvel Super Heroes, that brief moment when Capcom found itself poised between the depth of DarkStalkers and the hyperactive stupidity of the Vs. games. That brief moment where all was well.

29 thoughts on “GameSpite: Issue 1

  1. Awesome. I love Parish and everyone who gives me stuff to read that’s not the insipid Something Awful self referential comedy (check the forums for 10 bucks, teehee!) or some attempt at selling stuff to me, or some half assed comedy website like which I think tells jokes i-mockery used 5 years ago which aren’t even funny because i-mockery still uses NES Rom hack jokes they stole from Zeroes Unlimited (which IS awesome).

    You guys are awesome.

  2. I keep thinking I should monetize this site, but I can’t think of a way to do it without also hating myself. So, enjoy your free reading.

  3. Very nice. Good to see BoF2 getting the savaging it deserves for once. 16-bit classic indeed.

  4. Yeah, I had the GBA port of II, and after about an hour or two, long enough to get into the real meat of the game I either had a blinding headache, or I was just blinded by rage at the incredibly poor translation, and the fact that it’s not very fun.

  5. “I keep thinking I should monetize this site, but I can’t think of a way to do it without also hating myself. So, enjoy your free reading.”
    Is that all you get for your money?

  6. BoFII really seriously no shit does have an excellent story: it’s occasionally a little too fetch-questy, but it has some truly amazing moments. Yeah, the localization (if you want to call it that) is horrible, but I think it’s a tribute to the story’s fundamental goodness that even that’s not enough to completely destroy it.

    It’s too bad they botched the town-building aspect so badly, though. That could have been very cool.

  7. That’s just it though. BoF II was potentially great. There were elements of it that could have been awesome (and are in later entries), but it’s mostly just a riddled mess of things that kinda work and a lot of things that don’t. No one wants to buy something that could be potentially great, they want something that is great

  8. Well Mr. Parish, you are the one who stopped printing the Toastyfrog Zine, which, I imagine now it’s the GameSpite zine. Also the toastyfrog plushies were an awesome idea (a mascot is nice, I always wanted a Rorita real life sized doll, but, hey, I know you are not into that kind of thing). Anyway, there are awesome and creative ways to make money. Plus, didn’t you once said something about a Toastyfrog “shmup”?

  9. “I keep thinking I should monetize this site, but I can’t think of a way to do it without also hating myself. So, enjoy your free reading.” Thanks! Also – don’t you pay for this site out of your own pocket? Are you opposed to dusty (bigmog)’s idea of linking each game/video/anime release to its corresponding Amazon page? I mean these are probably things that the readers will buy anyway so why don’t you give them the option of giving a little bit of that money to you? That is as long as the readers don’t have a problem with going to Amazon (as opposed to trying to link to 50 different websites or whatnot). Just curious – do any fellow readers have a problem with buying things from Amazon?

    Regarding Breath of Fire:
    “The fishing portions of Breath of Fire set the stage for what would prove to be some of the most in-depth and developed mini-games ever to grace an RPG in later installments.”
    “Breath of Fire makes a strong argument for simplicity in game design. Its aim isn’t to throw a bunch [of] mini-games, sidequests and other assorted gameplay devices in your path to distract you with busywork for forty hours or more.”

    I agree but I feel (like Mightyblue does) that Capcom forgot this when it came to every sequel (except for Quarter which I never played). To me the fishing games in the sequels just became more and more of a pain in my ass and a obstacle. Among many other pains and obstacles the sequels put in my way.

    “we have yet another example of refined game design over overdesigned bloat. Too bad the rest of the series forgot to follow this example, adding complexity but not necessarily substance and endlessly reprising the core plot device of a fire-breathing dragon versus angry supreme beings.” And adding more strange anthropomorphic creatures with each installment.

  10. “Is that all you get for your money?”
    Yes, and it seems such a waste of time if that’s what it’s all about.

  11. That’s it EXACTLY. BoF2 is like a posterboy for “excellent ideas, poor execution”.

    It tries to tell a serious story about religious corruption and noble sacrifice but can’t make it work with such bright designs and wacky characters, let alone the poor translation. The same translation that gave us such insightful character names as Bow the bow user and Katt the catgirl.

    The town building was unique in concept, but as it is you don’t know what people will do until you recruit them, and you can’t kick them out once you do, and there’s only like five people in the whole game who give you something truly useful.

    The shaman fusions were the best executed idea in the game, but even that was spoiled because you don’t get half of them until virtually the end of the game and there’s nothing to use them on except the final dungeon. Also, anyone who claims to have found the Earth shaman without an FAQ is a liar.

  12. -QPCES

    As far as the fishing goes, I find simulated fishing more entertaining than doing it in RL, which isn’t saying a whole lot since I hate fishing. The Japanese have an obsession with fishing, so they’ve at least got fishing mini and full games down pat by now, which makes it tolerable if nothing else. Anything is better than I’s fishing system was though.

  13. Well, there are other ways to make money. Take Kuma games for example:

    The concept of free games paid by advertizing is awesome. What I’m saying is, the idea of putting links to Amazon for the featured movies, anime, etc. doesn’t sound so evil.

  14. If you can’t monetize the site, then maybe you could weaponize it. Then use it to rob a bank! Or, increasingly, to Rabobank.

  15. Parish your blog is frankly awesome. I have some friends that have direct connection with game advertising. Email me if you want more info. I can really help you out here, so please make sure to email me. The last thing i want is another awesome site to die.

  16. I see… can you tell me this? How many page views do you get a day / a month? This way i can I can think of how to raise some money for you.

  17. Does Square still have some sort of distribution rights to Breath of Fire 1 that makes it not on VC? Although I guess that wouldn’t explain its Japanese absence. Ah well, I suppose it will come some day?

  18. Breath of Fire sounds like a game about a wino who likes to talk to people right on their faces.

  19. If I had the time and interest, I would write a lengthy “why I love BOF2” thing, but I guess I’m just not all that passionate about the topic. I do like BOF2, though. Where the original is aggressive in its average-ness, the sequel has ambition and a just (barely) high enough success rate in implementing it to make it the subject of many fuzzy, if undeniably flawed, memories. Other memories: the third game in the series is the first RPG I owned that I ever gave up on, and Dragon Quarter was a great game but not the best thing to try to play by squeezing in half an hour a week during med school.

  20. Nope. Breath of Fire was pretty boring even back then… but even so the article is quite positive about it. Sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder and your panties in a twist. And poor taste in games, too.

  21. Oh, wait, are you that whiner who’s always sulking over at Kurt’s forums about bloo bloo Parish let someone post an article I don’t agree with and he is a retard for allowing someone to express an opinion contrary to mine?

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