GameSpite Issue 12.2: Wherefore Art?

Fun archaic English trivia: did you know that ‘wherefore” means “why,” not “where”? Probably you did, because you read GameSpite and are therefore possessed of a keen and piercing intellect! But please do not walk around saying things like, “Wherefore did I put my car keys?” because that would make you sound like a silly person indeed. Shakespearean-era people would seriously be laughing at you.

Meanwhile, in answer to the question posed by the title of this entry…well, wherefore not?

The conversation surrounding the game Braid has probably garnered more press time and discussion than the game itself. Alas, author legeek has avoided this obvious trap, so you will have to settle for a critique of Braid rather than an another screed on whether or not games can be art (and whether or not the posturing of a game’s creator can undermine the merits of said game).
Mole Mania
You know how I used to do comic-style reviews on occasion? Well, Loki (of Nintendo Super Squad fame) just laughed and said, “Was it comics? I will show you how!” before unleashing a torrent of awesome upon the world. In the process, he also gave a pretty good critique of an obscure Game Boy puzzler. Rad.
Streets of Rage
And finally, at the other extreme of all this artsiness is a simple, straightforward tribute to the game that perfected one of the simplest and most straightforward genres ever: the king of beat-em-ups, Streets of Rage.

21 thoughts on “GameSpite Issue 12.2: Wherefore Art?

  1. I -totally- knew what ‘wherefore’ meant. And any time I say it, in a pseudo-snobby, pseudo-joking away, everyone thinks it means ‘where.’ Kinda surprising, really, that one of Will’s most famous quotes, from one of his most famous plays, isn’t really understood by most people.

    Do people expect Romeo to answer “I’m right here, Jules?”

  2. Actually, I changed my mind; Guardian Heroes is the best. I can’t believe I forgot about that one. Streets of Rage 1 and 2 will always have their place though.

  3. Guardian Heroes is indeed awesome, until you reach the later stages where the enemies have an ridiculous number of hit points and it takes forever to beat them up, even using your most powerful attacks. A slightly more balanced Guardian Heroes HD Remix for PSN and XBoxLive Arcade with online and offline 2-4 player co-op and 6 player battle mode would be the most epic brawler ever!

  4. Eh, you people and your beat-em-ups. I need a hook to play through that mindless punching – like say, a comic book tie-in. X-men Arcade ftw!

  5. I’m always baffled when people exalt the Streets of Rage games as genre high-water marks. They’re decent Final Fight copies, but that’s it. I love Yuzo Koshiro’s soundtracks, of course, and was irritated at the shoddy SNES version of Final Fight, but I don’t think any of the SOR games holds up as well as its FF-series equivalent.

    I also think Return of Double Dragon is really underrated, though, so what do I know?

  6. ITT: Too much bitching about Streets of Rage, not enough praise for an awesome comic-style review.

  7. Could Loki be the Larry Gonick of video games?

    L—- -O-I-K

    Signs point to YES.

  8. The Mole Mania comic makes me yearn for a Chew Man Fu comic review. Just because they’re so similar. Which would actually make that kind of a bad idea.

  9. The Mole Mania piece is fantastic — the rare comic with a format I can sink my teeth into. I’ve mentioned to folks how I just have trouble with the storytelling style in most comics, but I enjoy the artwork. Using the graphic medium for a format I do enjoy just hits it out of the park. Worthy of many links…

  10. I was never able to figure out how to get that bad ending in Streets of Rage. I discovered it completely by accident, and (as a kid) always wondered how the hell I did it. Now, a million years later, I will look it up on Gamefaqs and finally end the mystery!

  11. I get the impression that some people–probably mostly people in ninth grade trying to blow through the play as fast as possible–imagine Juliet scanning the horizon with a pair of binoculars, but within the context of the speech that would obviously be nonsensical.

  12. That porn bot saying “I’m sorry” all the time is pretty creepy.

    I haven’t played Braid yet because I don’t have an Xbox360 anymore, but reading about it has made me very frustrated with game’s journalism. This seems like one of the few games ripe for actual critical analysis, but I’ve yet to see anyone really tackle it in that regard. I don’t want to be overly critical of the piece here, I liked it, but months after the release of Braid I’d have hoped for something meatier, and not just another review. That Braid is a “post-modern deconstruction of Super Mario Bros.” doesn’t seem like a statement that can be tossed out there without explanation, I would have loved to read the case for this, rather than just being assured that the statement is true.

    This is far from the most egregious example of this sort of writing, Shawn Elliott pointed out that IGN said MGS4 “recast[s] the entire series as nothing less than a re-telling of the Messiah story” without substantiating their claim, so don’t take my complaint too seriously. It’s a general frustration with game writing and nothing personal.

  13. Seriously, what is with all the porn spam lately? The bots are hitting the site within hours of the posts going live.

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