Work is its own reward

Well, work is its own reward for today, anyway. After weathering the tiring hell of E3, I’m making up for the show’s stresses by spending the next week or two immersing myself in the oh-so-toilsome drudgery of reviewing Dragon Quest IX and Crackdown 2. I’m told the latter game has it all! I can’t confirm that statement, despite supposedly having made it, because our review copies haven’t quite arrived. I suppose I could download the demo that went up today, but honestly I’d rather just wait and play the final product fresh. With friends. Blowin’ things up.

It’s funny, but when people learn what I do for a living, they invariably say, “You play videogames all day? That must be nice.” Which is horribly mistaken. Every once in a while, though, that off-base assumption turns out to be correct. Thank goodness for these rare moments of enjoyment!

My only complaint about Dragon Quest IX is that the online shopping network component — the DQVC, har har — isn’t up and running yet, so I can’t cheese my way through by tricking out my crew with super awesome out-of-depth gear. Alas!

I’ve been impressed by DQIX’s localization so far. It seems to strike a good balance between quirky slang and being comprehensible for people who aren’t steeped in idiomatic British dialects. Which is to say, the accents and dialects are used much more sparingly than in even Dragon Quest V, at least from what I’ve seen.

The game has no shortage of puns, though! Really terrible puns. The kind of cheesy puns that your dad makes. (Yes, your dad. I’ve heard him. They’re awful.) I’ve mentioned before that the Dharma Temple is now Alltrades Abbey, and that the Abbot is named Jack of Alltrades. What I didn’t mention is that the monster in the image above, which is tied in with the Alltrades quest line, is called the Master of Nu’Un. Brilliant. In a corny sort of way.

But then again, today someone at the office commented that a demo video of Ubisoft’s Your Shape looked like “Wii Fit, except French.” To which I responded, “Wouldn’t that be Oui Fit?” So… maybe I’m a poor judge for this sort of thing. Yeah.

Edit: I’ve just accepted a quest to pilfer mummy bandages. The quest’s title? “Wrapper’s Delight.” I stand in awe of the superior corniness of Plus Alpha, or whoever localized this thing.

21 thoughts on “Work is its own reward

  1. I just finished the Crackdown 2 demo and noticed that quote. It didn’t really seem like something you’d said, and was oddly precise in its attribution compared to the other quotes’ generality. I guess giving credit to “1UP” didn’t fill up enough space?

  2. The sarcasm runs so deep that I actually can’t tell whether you’re legitimately bitching about how hard it is to “play games for a living” or not.

    I understand why it’s not always the best fun but are you really trying to argue that working a deep fryer or digging holes for a living is better?

    For most people playing a bad video game for money would be a pleasure.

  3. It’s amusing how often people jump on game reviewers for ever being less than 100% wildly enthusiastic about their job, and automatically deploy the “ARE YOU SERIOUSLY SAYING YOUR JOB IS HARDER THAN *insert job here* JOB?”

    Any job where you have to travel extensively, work nights and weekends and generally keep odd hours *can* and *will regularly kick you in the ass, regardless of what the job itself entails.

  4. Mudron, nobody’s asking Parish to be “wildly enthusiastic” about his job all the time, but it’s ridiculous in the extreme for him to complain about it or to invite sympathy. But he HAS TO, because he is PARISH!!

  5. Guys, it doesn’t matter how enjoyable a pastime sometimes is, if you’re forced to work overtime on bad examples of it, it *will* turn to drudgery, at least from time to time. This is a universal truth that extends far beyond video games. Enough bitching about harmless venting.

  6. What? No sarcasm here. I was talking about what a pleasant week this will be. But I very, VERY rarely have weeks that consist of lounging around with good games. ON the rare occassion I actually play a game for work, it’s usually stressful weekend marathons. Pardon me for not loving the hell out of those. I don’t recall asking for sympathy, though. I was just enjoying the fact that for once my job actually entails what people assume it does.

  7. Oh, the phrase ” oh-so-toilsome drudgery” was ironic. I assumed the italics were an obvious tip-off. I guess nothing is too obvious… for the Internet.

  8. I always wondered about how journalists review games. For some reason I had the impression that you had to play games mostly at home, and that even for review purposes you didn’t really get to play them in the office, what with being busy writing and journalizing and all. Maybe it just depends on the publication/office.

    Anyways, I too finally have some time to relax and play games. unfortunately, I didn’t get my hands on a review copy of DQ9.

    And I don’t understand people who think that your job should be awesome. Maybe it is, but that doesn’t you would always be enthusiastic. It’s still journalism, and if my first year in journalism school (which I transferred out of) was any indication, it can be pretty rough.

    I’m not really jealous that you get “paid to play games,” apparently. No, I think the best part of a job like that would be getting to see/play games before the general public. Especially the top-secret stuff you’re not even allowed to tell us about.

  9. Review methodology varies from person to person. Some people do most of their reviewing at the office. My responsibilities these days are more managerial and don’t really allow that, though. (They also don’t allow me free time in general to do much besides exercise, either, but never mind that…)

  10. oui fit? omg that’s pretty bad. reminds me of 1up’s infancy where if you moused over Parish’s contributing writer thumbnail, the text “you will Parish” would pop up.

  11. It amazes me how worked up people get about this! Jobs are jobs, by and large, and they wouldn’t pay what they do if they were all fun and good times. I have no doubt that video game journalists work just as hard and have just as much occupation-related unpleasantness as (most of) the rest of us. I do think, though, that some people, whether consciously or not, have a bit of a Tom Hanks in “Big” fantasy about the industry (am I dating myself?), and really hate to have it disturbed or challenged. Please note, I don’t mean to single anyone out, as I know nothing of personal motivations. Just something I suspect in the aggregate. Thanks.

  12. Crackdown 2 sets the video game industry back by at least 15 years, with all the blowing up and senseless violence and what have you.

  13. @Refa – man, I was so disappointed that they never gave us a release date. SE’s showing was kinda disappointing in general.

  14. Oh come on, take a joke.

    After FFXIII, I’m hoping Dragon Quest becomes a huge phenomenon over here. At the very least, history tells me that the DQ series will be consistently amazing.

  15. @turkish101 i guess they want people to play IX fall in love with it and then maybe it will boost VI sales, we’ll probly see it by 2011 (VI).

    what they should of said is something about FFv13 man after so many years no 3 blurry screenshots we get of gameplay

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