Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gamespite Quarterly Vol. 2 Now Available

If you're fortuitous enough to check this slightly out-of-the-way blog, chances are you also probably read Gamespite. If not, you probably should, because it intersects with a lot of the interests of HG101. Awhile ago they started compiling some of their artricles in a hardcopy digest format, which began as a reaction to the closing of EGM. Since then, they've been putting out quarterly editions of their new content, themed in some manner. Their most recent book went on sale last weekend and my copy just arrived a few days ago.

It's a Top 40 sorta deal (Top 48 if you buy the pricier hardcover edition), which people tend to get prickly over due to too many terrible "Top ___" by other magazines in any number of fields, but I've always found the concept pretty interesting, as long as the people compiling them know what they're talking about. (The Top 100 Best Games cover story from EGM back in like 2002 or so is still one of my favorite issues.) Of course, the Gamespite folk have quite good taste, and the articles are a more bit more in-depth than the usual "thirty words or less" blurbs you usually see on these kinds of things. (You can find the whole list here.) The only games from my own personal canon that I would've added are Snatcher, King of Fighters XI and Deus Ex, but otherwise it covers some of the best - Final Fantasy Tactics, Star Control II, Metal Gear Solid (1 and 3), Silent Hill 2, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Of course, all of the contents will be posted online eventually, but feeling all of this content together in physical form has a certain profoundness that's usually lost in the Internet Age. (I'm kinda working on doing something similar with HG101, but compiled in a different way, although that's definitely going to be awhile off.) It's reasonably priced at $13, and while it's technically smaller than a magazine, but there's so much more worthwhile content than the average issue of pretty much anything. Unfortunately Blurb insists on shipping Fed Ex, which jacks up the total price to closer to $20, but if you Google "blurb free shipping" you can probably find a coupon code around that.

After receiving this in the mail, coincidentally, there's a thread on Cheapassgamer advertising a deal for US subscribers for the the UK mag games(tm). It's $75 for 13 issues - not bad considering the cover price here is about $10 - which caused a bunch of jackalopes to muck up the thread because CLEARLY paying for content is STUPID when you have Kotaku and Joystiq, and $4-a-year subscriptions to the Official Playstation Magazine. Who would want to read more about video games than just news and screenshots, right? People like this are the reason why the Games sections at your local Barnes and Noble consist of nothing but strategy guides, causing everyone else to think that our whole culture revolves around the best way to beat Kingdom Hearts II.

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