Ten years ago today I pulled into San Francisco, my entire life in the trunk and backseat of a tiny compact sedan. Unfortunately, the site I was hired for didn’t survive to this landmark date, but somehow I’ve managed to parlay what I figured would be a fleeting flirtation with the gaming press as a graphic designer into a career of writing about video games. Apparently, some people even like the work I do. And others are salty about things I wrote nearly a decade ago. It all balances out.
For work today, I marked this personal milestone by writing about the game that eased me into both the press and San Francisco: Boktai. Man, I love that game. Pity Lunar Knights scuttled the whole thing by throwing out the series’ most unique feature and then failing to chart anyway. Then again, I’d hate to see what Konami would have done to the series had it survived.
I still can’t believe I’ve lived in San Francisco for so long — this is the second-longest I’ve been in any one city — but I still love it. Life isn’t at all what I would have expected a decade ago, and while it could be better in many ways (though I’ve long since learned not to expose details of my life online; I only write about myself when necessary to give personal grounding to video game analyses, and even then it’s generally only light happy stuff) it’s still pretty rad.
Thanks to those of you who have been reading all this time for sticking around. And thanks to you newcomers for having joined in more recently.
That being said, if I’m still doing this 10 years from now, I will be disappointed in myself.
15 thoughts on “Commemorative”
Lunar Knights may be barely like Boktai, but it’s still one of the best overhead hacky-slashy type games on the DS. Though I guess that really says more about how mediocre most of those types of games were on DS. From the Abyss, Children of Mana, Avalon Code, Echoes of Infurating Isometric Puzzles…How disappointing. =(
Still, the original Boktai is great. The sequel toned down the need for sunlight and added some melee weapons (Spear FTW), but I liked the original much better. The guns were much more fun, and there was more emphasis on stealth.
Congrats on keeping a job in games media for a decade, and bestowing historical context on to the masses. Writing about games for a living seems like an ever-fading type of gig. I feel sorry for all the talented writers out there who can’t even get a sniff of work, but I guess you’ve got to be realistic about these things; adapt or die etc.
From my own perspective, I can’t imagine being involved in video games for so long without eventually wanting to make one. Something you’ve considered?
I’d love to make a video game, but I’m smart enough to realize I could never make a living working on the kind of games I’d want to create.
“I’d love to make a video game, but I’m smart enough to realize I could never make a living working on the kind of games I’d want to create.” – Jeremy Parish
“Further proof that I have no idea what other people enjoy.” – Jeremy Parish
Although I’ve always gotten the impression from the body of work you’ve built over the last decade that you at least kinda like what you’re doing right now.
Personally I’d love to see what you could come up with in your spare time ;)
Seeing as video games are not related in any way to my career, it’s easy for me to just drop in and out of the hobby. I go entire months without touching a controller… and then spend entire months addicted to Etrian Odyssey. (As a side note, I’ve wondered if games journalists ever face this problem, where you just totally lose interest in what’s being released. I suppose the answer to that is: a man’s gotta eat). That said, it’s a testament to your work that I always come back to this site, even when I’m not playing games at all. I did the same for 1UP too, and probably will with USGamer. Part of it is just habit, but mostly it’s because your writing is just so damned enjoyable to read.
Well, I have to ask: what will Parish be doing in 10 years? Game development? A TV show dedicated to Kit-Kat Flavors?!
Professional breakfast cereal mascot creator. Just picture it, displayed prominently in the supermarket cereal isle, commercials for it blaring on Youtube prior to popular children’s programming:
Toastyfrog Crunch! (With marshmallow Roritas!)
I´m one of the newcomers, wish I had discovered your writing 10 years ago! Congratulations man, and selfishly hope to be reading you 10 years from now even if that makes you disappointed of yourself… Though I don´t know why you would feel that way.
About Boktai, even under the scorching sun of summer and risking a sunstroke the sun bar never went above half with consistency, making sealing even the first boss more difficult than it should be. I wonder if it was my cartridge´s sensor that was defective… It wasn´t until I played a hacked rom with manually selectable sun levels in an emulator that I was able to finish that damn game! And a pretty cool game it was, but the sunlight gimmick almost ruined it for me personally.
And a last extra thing because I found the comments on that article already closed, I always thought those green and brown platforms in 1-3 of SMB are in fact the same ones from Donkey Kong Jr. An attempt from the developers to keep all the terrain Mario has treaded (or in DK Jr´s case overseen) in the same universe.
Congratulations, and thanks for the media you’ve created and helped create, that I’ve been able to follow since 2003. As always when you depart from gaming into other media like TV, is really refreshing to read. So if you change pace toward other subjects you a fan that will follow.
I’ve been reading your writing since 1999, maybe earlier.
If you don’t still want to be a games journalist in ten years, what do you imagine might make you happy? If you don’t yet know, are you not too worried you’ll figure it out?
I can’t remember exactly when I started reading this site, but it was pre-1up, so it must have been over 10 years ago, then. Huh.
I think I remember how I found the site, though. I was scouring eBay for a DVD copy of The Black Hole, and you must have been doing a spring cleaning or something. I stumbled over to toastyfrog.com via your profile, probably. Been reading ever since.
Thanks for all of the effort, it’s always an enjoyable read. Love the non-video game detours into prog rock, food, and tv/movies, too. Keep it up!
I had a very interesting experience with Boktai. I struggled really, really bad to play it because I could never, EVER get a good enough sunlight reading on my cart and it made charging a pain in the ass (barely could get 2 bars). After suffering through several days of annoying gameplay and a stiff back from contorting to get a good angle, I opened my balcony door to get some fresh air and wallah, out of nowhere I had full sunlight bars! Turns out my damned doors were UV glass and blocked the sensor. I had no idea until then, but afterwards the game was a blast (and I might add MUCH easier)
I realize that this entry is focused on your professional career (congrats on the decade, by the way), but I’ve been reading this site since probably late 2000 (before telebunny.net, before gamespite, before toastyfrog.com — and just this year I had to sadly dispose of some old toastyfrog zines which had been occupying an attic which needed to be emptied), and for some reason or other I keep coming back. Maybe it’s because you manage to make even the things I have no interest in at least interesting to read about. You might be surprised the company you keep in my bookmarks, given your longevity.
Here’s hoping you’re doing what you’d like to be doing 10 years from now. I’m sure I’ll still be reading then.
If not making video games, what is that you wish to see yourself doing in 10 years? If you’re willing to share, that is.
Why so glum, chum?
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