Editorial dreams, they can make you real

I spent yesterday working on GameSpite Quarterly 2, and all but five articles have been edited and placed in the book. After sorting through things (and confirming that the book is only about 75,000 words rather than the 300,000 BBEdit was telling me), it looks like everything will fit into a single volume! It might be slightly over the length of the last book, which means it could end up costing a dollar more, but honestly I’m willing to take that chance. This is the single best collection of game writing I’ve ever read, and I don’t say that out of egoism; I only have a few pieces in this issue. No, the fact is that this issue’s theme brought out the best in everyone — we were all writing about topics we know intimately and have a passion for, and the results are truly exceptional.

It’s a shame it’ll only sell a couple hundred copies (at most), because these essays deserve a wider audience. I guess that’s just the nature of the medicine we’re peddling, and it’s why I’m editing this publication in my spare time rather than under the auspices of a professional publisher. It’s a trade-off of sorts: with great freedom comes great indifference, or some such. Ah well. At the very least, everyone who contributed can tuck one of these into their portfolio and… well, probably not find work with it, as this isn’t the sort of writing that drives traffic. But at least our intentions are good!

In other news, despite having finished up with my Dragon Quest IX blogging for 1UP, I’m still plucking away at the game. This comes as a surprise to me, as I’d intended to set it aside once I’d covered the basics. But I’m kind of addicted, actually. This boils down to three things, I guess.

1. Freedom. I’m at a point where I could go and take care of some matters to advance the plot, but I went off-track a bit and opened up an entirely new continent to explore. And there is really nothing I like better in a game than exploration. DQIX has a pretty big world, too; not as vast as Dragon Quest VIII‘s, but still much more sizable than the worlds of the older games. And thorough exploration constantly yields places to mine alchemy ingredients, which brings us to thing two:

2. Alchemy. The ability to roll my own equipment is pretty compelling. I mean, just look at Shiva, here. She’s got a Slime on her head — well, a slime-shaped helmet, but still. Once I realized I was missing a single ingredient necessary to build this bit of gear, I couldn’t put down my system last night until I had procured that last drop of Slime Jelly. And then: presto! Also, her shield and armor both resemble a turtle’s carapace, so she’s half slime, half ninja turtle. I love this game.

3. The Wi-Fi Shop. Every couple of days, you can log on and download new inventory for the game’s wi-fi shop. So far I’ve seen a lot of things I couldn’t otherwise buy: alchemy ingredients, naturally enough, but also much more precious things like stat-increasing seeds and even a Mini Medal. Also, for some reason, I was able to buy a birthday cake last night; I’m not sure why I’d need it, but hey. I confess: I’ve begun taking the time to grind for gold just so I can buy these limited-time items, despite my general disdain for that sort of obsessive behavior.

I think there’s a story or something to the game, too, but who cares about that? I’ve got a slime armor set to complete.

16 thoughts on “Editorial dreams, they can make you real

  1. Yeah, that’s what I was hinting at with the “general disdain for that sort of obsessive behavior” remark.

  2. I get the feeling more and more that this is the one that’s going to break me and finally get me to buy a game with “Dragon Quest” in the title (aside from Rocket Slime, which is awesome). I probably should’ve tried out the series a decade ago, but hey, better late than never.

  3. I haven’t played a Dragon Quest game since the first one (well, one of the many free copies of Dragon Warrior that Nintendo Power foisted on subscibers way back when) – which DQ game would you recommend someone play to ease them back into the DQ universe before IX hits here in the States sometime next year?

  4. This post not only made me want Dragon Quest IX (because that character looks awesome), but it made me finally break down and spend some damn money on this here Gamespite book operation. Until there’s a decent mag in the U.S. again, this’s the best one can do for game writing in print, which is something I forgot I missed until I didn’t have it anymore.

  5. Mudron: Dragon Quest VIII is the almost newest. It has the best graphics and it’s a great game but it’s long. Loooooooong. Just when you think you’ve reached the end it keeps going. Then you really get to the end and it goes some more. You’re better of starting with the VI or V remakes on the DS they’re breezy and great fun.

  6. Yeah, there’s body armor that matches the helmet and makes you look like a Slime Tower. It will probably be everyone’s favorite gear kit.

  7. Loki: I watched a friend plow through a big chunk of Dragon Quest VIII (she picked it up just for the FFXII demo) but I didn’t pay enough attention to it to really absorb any essential DQ vitamins or minerals (Yangus was pretty great, though.)

    I’ve tinkered a bit with DQ IV, and I keep hearing that the DS port of DQ V is the bee’s knees – if DQ IX is as much of a throwback as Parish is saying, I’d probably appreciate this new game more if I have some experience from an earlier installment already under my belt.

  8. DQIX sounds really awesome, I hope S-E get this localized by Q1 2010. I need it!

  9. I think it’s fair to say this is your biggest undertaking since starring in Time Chasers.

  10. “I think there’s a story or something to the game, too, but who cares about that? I’ve got a slime armor set to complete.” These are the words of a man who has his priorities straight.

  11. You know, last night I ended up with upgrading my mage’s gear… and indecently made her look like a Japanese school girl in gym clothing. I thought that was cool, until I saw this post. Now I will also have to start grinding for more alchemy components…

    Apparently I also need to level up my Japanese reading skills. You know, that skill currently have no ranks in…

    Keep your updates coming Mr. Parish! I love reading about your exploits. Keeps increasing my excitement level :)

  12. I remember seeing the turtle armor and slime helmet in the DW7 manual and thinking that it’d be awesome if you could actually see the armor the characters where wearing. Now we can! Joy!

  13. I’ve been meaning to ask: Is there an option to change your appearance independent of currently equipped armor? Once I get a look I really like for my characters, I’d hate to be forced into changing it every time I equip a new piece of armor.

    Obviously this isn’t make or break; I love my DQ like crazy either way. But something like that would push the game into the stratosphere for me. ^_^

  14. I’ve been really wanting a loot whoring, character building type RPG on DS, and so far nothing I’ve tried yet scratched that itch (Crystal Chronicles almost did, but there’s no character building, plus it has an awful isometric camera view). I’m really looking forward to DQIX now, despite my general disdain for JRPGs.

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