GameSpite | Issue Nine | Wacky summertime media events caused the painful delay of this highly-anticipated chapter of the ongoing drama that is GameSpite. Thus its release is being compressed. This curiously coincides with the launch of CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which is being kicked off at the same time and will soon compress the Earth itself into a tiny singularity.

Week One | August 11

Nintendo 64: The Wander Years
Technically this Nintendo 64 retrospective doesn't fit the theme, but I'll allow it given that the system had all the stamina of a tiny girl in a boxing match against a heavyweight champ. "Wander Years" is not a typo; it's an acknowledgement that the N64's lifetime was filled not with amazing things (at least not after the first month or so) but with aimless itinerance.

Drill Dozer
I think Drill Dozer might actually win some sort of prize for having the best gameplay relative to the worst character designs. How that freakish little girl Jill came from the people responsible for 490 infinitely adorable Pokémon (and, uh, Mr. Mime) is beyond my ken. However, the action was exceptional, and Kishi duly hagiographizes it. (That is not a real word.)

Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix
Finally, wumpwoast confesses his weird obsession with shouting at tiny girls with rather blue language in this shocking exposé on the Satan-battling wonders of the second Puyo Puyo game. Remember when you could actually keep track of all the versions of Puyo Puyo, except not really because none of them were called Puyo Puyo? Yeah, me neither.

Week Two | August 18

No More Heroes
This is another one of those weeks where I randomly pulled stuff together and the articles selected ended up forming a cohesive theme. This happens much more often than probability says it should. But don't get complacent, assuming this will always be the case -- as chud666's look at No More Heroes explains, life is all about subverted expectations.

I've kind of been pushing the site away from non-game stuff, because, after all, it's not called But I sort of hated FLCL, and I was curious to see if Lumber Baron could work his magic to make me reconsider -- to subvert my criticisms, so to speak. I won't say whether or not he succeeded, but at the very least the result is a fine write-up.

Week Three | August 25

Jak And Daxter?
Today, Merus makes me feel good about skipping Jak. The first time I became aware of the series was during my first trip to Japan, where I was stunned by the generic uniformity of the anime-style games on display. Then I saw a cardboard stand-up of Jak and realized that competent blandness is miles better than utterly hideous character design. Seriously, what were they thinking?

Tales Of Phantasia
Mightyblue fulfills our nerd-rage quotient for the issue with a look at Namco's Tales of Phantasia (except it's not really Namco's, as you'll soon see). Our boy's view of the series is not entirely unlike mine: What a great idea, what a breath of fresh air, what a near-miss with greatness, what a promising brand bludgeoned into worthlessness by abysmal corporate mismanagement.

Week Four | September 7

Ace Attorney Apollo Justice
Kolbe once again rages against the machine in which he is inexorably trapped. As usual, he praises a Capcom game while cursing the company with gritted teeth and muttered imprecations. We are all tiny seeds trapped in a giant wheel designed to grind us into a thin paste from which money may be extracted; prey to corporate predation. Victimhood binds us together, like the Force.

Cave Story
This article has been in the works for much too long. Of course, I've only gotten around to finishing it now that has recently published its own hagiography. I haven't read that one yet, so I have no idea if the two pieces cover much of the same territory. However, I can say with absolute confidence that this one is a damn sight shorter then theirs.