GSJ9: Ultimate perspective

I’ve had a few people ask me how I determine which of my writings I post here and which I post at 1UP, especially now that I’m editor-in-chief over there. The truth is, most of my work gets prioritized over there nowadays, which no doubt has something to do with GameSpite’s rapidly waning traffic. I post my best thoughts there, unless they just wouldn’t belong. There are, after all, some things that unquestionably need to be sequestered away from my day job, and this particular piece is one. It’s entirely too personal a missive to post over there. As it is, I’m sure people will take the opportunity to heap abuse on me for laying this many of my feelings bare in this innocuous corner of the web; I shudder to imagine what I’d have to sit through if this were to go up over there instead. Sometimes you need to pick and choose your audience, you know?

I’ve lived a fortunate life. I’ve always had a strong relationship with my parents, and they in turn have always been close to theirs, which means I grew up knowing my grandparents. My maternal grandparents are still around, which is something most people my age can’t claim, and I hate that I don’t get to see them more often. They’ve all had a huge impact on my life. As a small example, I posted a few days ago about my recent interest in improving my wardrobe, but what I didn’t mention is that perhaps more than anything else the one factor that pushed me to work up the courage to break away from nondescript, socially invisible outfits and adopt nicer clothing — including things like hats — is my association of dressing well with my grandfather. He continued to wear felt hats, French cuffs, and tweed jackets long after they ceased to be fashionable. Even late in life, with no greater ambition than to nap the afternoon away on his favorite recliner, he takes the time to put on a nice shirt and slacks every day. When I wear a brimmed hat and button-down jacket, I see a glimmer of him in my reflection, and it makes me happy, and a little proud. I suppose in the end, I’m secretly a bit sentimental about certain things.

Anyway, this article is kind of about Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins, but mostly it’s about my love for my father’s father. I suppose it’s strange to pay tribute to someone so precious by writing about something that’s mostly brought me misery and abuse, but life is weird sometimes. We don’t choose our mind’s subconscious connections, but we can certainly take hold of them and try to figure out what they’re about.

Don’t worry, though. I’m sure I’ll be back to writing about trite, meaningless things tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “GSJ9: Ultimate perspective

  1. Great article.

    UGnG was pretty awful, though I can’t say I was disappointed by it – the games I’ve enjoyed the most in the series, of all things, were the PS2 Maximo games. Yep.

    But hey, PSP owners got Mega Man Powered Up, which I like to think of as Capcom’s fantastic antidote to UGnG’s poison.

    (Come to think of it, aside from UGnG, Capcom did pretty well by the PSP, with games like MM Powered Up, SFAlpha 3, Darkstalkers, Power Stone Collection, a slew of Monster Hunter titles, and some solid arcade collections. Not bad at all.)

  2. Great piece. It brought back my own memories of my grandfather, who was exactly the same sort of quietly strong gentleman.

    And for the record, I thought it was incredibly stupid when the Internet was out to get you. You’ve always been good about spelling out the logic behind your opinions, which makes it hard to hate them, even when I disagree.

    Keep up the good work! And continue to berate cheap games mercilessly; we need more games that create real challenges (ala Demon’s Souls), not random unfairness.

  3. That was an excellent piece.

    Maybe I was too late to the PSP party, but WHY would people be so upset over that turd of a game?

    • Like I spelled out in the article, people pinned a lot of hopes on that game. Plus, the combination of my negative opinion hitting a saturation threshold plus my ill-considered taunts plus the fact that some people sincerely liked UGnG made it more explosive than it needed to be. The Internet was childish about it, but so was I. We learned, we laughed, we loved.

  4. All my grandparents are still alive, and I don’t have a strong relationship with any of them for various, sticky reasons. I kind of regret it, though it was inevitable for the most part. I’m glad you look to yours for inspiration and strength, ’cause that’s what grandparents are on this earth for.

    (Well, that and illicit cookies)

  5. Anytime words can make me remember old smells and smiles and hours spent with my grandma discussing the history of alcohol or something else on our minds, I can tell they are sincere and powerful.
    That was a beautiful piece of writing Jeremy. I am very glad to have read it.

    And watch it man, hats and food are never trivial.

  6. That was a wonderful article, Mr. Parish.

    Also i totally fought against the internet for you on that one. Also the Final Fantasy VII thing.

  7. This is THE BEST article in the entire GameSpite Quarterly series of books. There’s something pretty powerful about an article that makes the reader laugh and then moments later well up with emotion. This piece brought back lots of memories of my grandfathers.

    I am fortunate to have known my father’s father for 20 years as well and my mother’s step-father for nearly that long (her biological father passed when she was a child).

    My family is blessed that my father’s mother is still alive and healthy and that my children have got to know her well. Like you, I too wish that we got to see her more often.

  8. I really like the idea of a Proustian review – sometimes things are good not because they’re great in themselves, but because they’re evocative. Of course, I guess that can get kind of subjective, but it’s something I’ve been trying myself.

    By the way, keep up the good work with the wardrobe overhaul. And, if you need additional inspiration, check out ‘Dressing The Man’ by Alan Flusser. It’s filled with really great breakdowns of collar shapes, cuffs etc.

  9. Great piece of writing. I’m a massive Gn’G fan, so much so that I could 1 credit Ghouls n’ Ghosts back in the day. I have to say I totally agree with you about UGn’G. Gn’G games are tough but fair but UGn’G wasn’t fair at all and presented you with unwinnable situations if the dice rolled the wrong way and the enemies respawned in bad positions.I hated it as well.

  10. That was really great. Very earnest, which is something I try to remind myself to be more often.

    I teared up a bit, too, which is something I don’t do too often with writing.

  11. This was the first article I read when I got my copy of GSJ9 in the mail. Couldn’t tell you why I decided to read it first.

    Anyway, at the time my grandmother had sent money so that I could pay for what will be my final college course I ever have to take. I had gotten it maybe two or three days ago, but hadn’t called yet to let her know I received it and to thank her again. I’m particularly bad about calling people, never mind being perpetually busy. Almost immediately after finishing this article, I called to thank her.

    So thanks Jeremy, for keeping things in perspective.

  12. Having just lost my grandfather, AND recently being the target of internet assassination threats, I can relate. This is one of my favorite articles, too.

  13. What an interesting article. I’m glad that stylish grandpas never go out of style. Also of note, in our entire association (not unlike that of Sid and Marty Krofft!) I don’t think I’ve ever seen you use four letter words, beyond the occasional hoover, so it must’ve really honked you off, those ghosts and ghouls.

  14. “an enemy can be a teacher”

    Here here. Or is it hear hear? I genuinely don’t know.

  15. I must say, that was one of your finest pieces, Parish.

    And UGnG sucked. And I’m a big fan of the series since the NES era but I couldn’t take myself farther than two levels or so.

  16. I can’t speak for the internet way back when, but I believe common opinion now is that it’s a C grade game at best. It’ll be funny if there ends up being a backlash against the backlash years from now.

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