How I spent my not-summer non-vacation

You know, considering I run the freaking site, I sure don’t pimp 1UP enough here. Not that anyone reads GameSpite anymore, but I suppose I should cross-pollinate a little more. Send over a couple more readers. Pay a few more cents of my own salary.

There’s actually some pretty good stuff there these days! I know I mentioned this before, but we’ve cut way, way back on volume and are focusing on depth, voice, and quality of content. I realize that latter claim is the subject of no small amount of contention, since a big part of our focus now is not to report but rather to comment… and that means expressing opinions, which the Internet in general finds deeply offensive and is quick to decry. So it goes.

This week’s highlights, in reverse order:

An Asura’s Wrath review that takes the game to task for not really being much of a game. I love that this game exists in all its over-the-top glory, but I can’t imagine spending what they’re asking for something you barely play for four hours. But I’m frugal these days, so what do I know.

Well, kind of frugal; Konami didn’t send us review units of Metal Gear Solid 3D until today, so I had to go out and buy my own copy in order to have a somewhat timely review up. I do not regret spending my own scarce and hard-earned cash on this game; I desperately wish it ran at a more playable resolution, but otherwise it’s really quite a nice improvement on a masterpiece.

Bob wrote about a recent horrifying traffic jam of unsettling sexism in recent games, and Tina Palacios and I wrote a TMZ-style send-up of some of the more egregious character designs we’ve seen in recent years. Together, what we learned is that our audience doesn’t really recognize humor when they see it. Now, it’s one thing for people to read these and say, “Hey, your attempt to be funny? Not funny.” Fair enough. Comedy is hard. It’s something else altogether for people to take these blatantly glib commentaries at face value. Something sadder. Something that makes me concerned for our childrens’ future. Especially if, as Bob speculates, those children will be placed into micro-bikinis at age six.

P.S. do not ever read the comments on the misogyny feature unless you are looking for an excuse to wish for the total annihilation of our species. The article wasn’t intended as a honey pot, but… well, yikes.

Anyway. Months ago, Marty Sliva got a drunken tip from someone supposed in the know that Assassin’s Creed III will take place in revolution-era America. So he finally wrote about it. Then everyone else jumped in and tore down his case. We tear because we care.

I threw together a look at why no one has been able to top Nintendo in the portable market, except maybe Apple. It was meant to be a collection of short little vignettes but ended up being three lengthy pages long. After all this time, I still don’t get this whole “brevity” thing.

Also, on an idle whim, I spent 10 minutes writing a quick piece comparing Tetsuya Nomura’s original Cloud Strife illustration to the mopey sad sack that the character has been in the post-Final Fantasy VII world. Naturally, this has been one of our top-performing pieces of the month. I find that the less time I put into creating something, the better it does. Internet, you are not encouraging me to pour forth my full effort, you know that?

Tomorrow: Disco!

17 thoughts on “How I spent my not-summer non-vacation

  1. A TYPO APPROACHES! Command?
    Clobber this when you’ve fixed it please.

    “The one on the left is the Cloud who actually was the hero of FFVII, barring a brief period where he experienced a severe personality crisis; the one of the LEFT is the Cloud who has appeared everywhere else”

  2. For as classy a site as 1up is I do not understand why it attracts such a intolerant audience. Every article I wrote over there, no matter how magnanimous, had people crying for blood.

  3. All comments everywhere are horrible. This is why I maintain an archaic “Web 1.0” style site where the only way to let me know what you think of something is to send me an e-mail.

  4. In my completely biased opinion, you don’t see “good” comments because those commenters recognize the futility of trying to express something nuanced on a site where the typical reader barely finishes the headline. I’ve been enjoying 1up for several years–but I rarely feel the need to share. (Ergo, all my unwritten comments are great insights! :-)

    So, perhaps this helps: don’t take the quantity/quality of comments as some metric of worthiness. Your and 1up’s content is greatly appreciated. It’s just unfortunate you can’t enumerate us by comment counts and “Likes”.

  5. Oh, and by the way, while I have no idea what TMZ is, the fashion sendup was absolutely hilarious. I hope you can find other ways to apply the same treatment.

  6. I’ve read (and enjoyed) almost every article published on 1UP since the change. I’ve been very impressed.

    And then I go and spoil it all by doing something stupid like ignoring your advice and reading the comments on the sexism article. Ugh.

  7. I laughed at the “slashing AND piercing damage” line in the Fashion Review.

    Also, I like that you’re doing the “tag team” news bits and previews, giving people their own voices. It helps to separate you from a faceless news aggregator site, and reminds me of the 1up Show days. I never really equated people to content at 1up before the video show, aside from the Retronauts crew. Putting voices to names (other than bylines) does help me to be more engaged, and encourages me to come back to the site.

  8. Over on Game Theory, I wrote some idle article about the possibility of a FF VII remake, and it’s far and away our most popular article. Doesn’t matter what’s in the article body, “Final Fantasy VII remake” just whips people into a froth and they drive straight for the comments field without bothering to see what you’re actually *saying,* because it’s far more important to swear at Square-Enix for not giving us the remake. For that reason, my next FF VII remake article is just going to have an open comments field and the body is just going to be the entirety of Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick”

  9. For what it’s worth, one of the big reasons I don’t visit 1UP that much is because it runs like ass on my laptop, no matter what browser I use. I’m not really sure what the problem is, but I think it has too much Flash and/or Javascript (plus ads) going on. I mean, I enjoy the content you guys publish well enough, but it’s seriously not an enjoyable experience visiting the site because of this.

    • 1UP had a ton of Flash… in 2004. These days we have javascript in the header (and not nearly as much as most sites, at that), and if Flash shows up it’s strictly in ads. Not sure what your computer’s problem is.

  10. Yes, there is much adoration for the new 1up style that has come into existence, to be honest I had stop reading until I noticed this happy change.

    pointing out minute things that don’t matter time!

    Some articles still using the heading op-ed. I can’t tell the difference between the op-eds and regular articles. I might be slow.

    • Actually, ALL news articles now are op-eds; we no longer simply report the news. Generally, though, we tag something with the OP-ED label when it’s especially opinionated or editorial in tone.

  11. Sweet Inri Sejenus – there is a blog on 1up feeling everything you just linked is an attack on people who like japanese developed games. He takes umbrage with the fashion article as overly critical with j-gmaes despite it also lambasting western characters.


    • Yeah, the very thought of Parish being anti-Japan made me lol. But as the Internet has kindly pointed out to me over and over, writing anything critical about the Japanese portion of the industry–no matter how much you cherish it, personally–makes you racist, anti-Japan, and you are supposed to go back to worshiping Halo and CoD. 100% accurate diagnosis.

  12. I’m a bit surprised that the sexism article didn’t mention Galgun, as it was probably the most depressing moment in the last five years of the industry to see the single-best Megaman team dealing in panties and tentacles to make ends meet.
    If Capcom’s announced intent to make “more classic games” in the wake of a weak quarter has any weight (to say nothing of MM’s silver anniversary), it’s all I can hope that they’ll commision Inti Creates back to the franchise, and hopefully for ZX3 over MM11.

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