USGamer/Jeremy Parish: “Breaking With the Consensus (and Being OK With That)”

“Anyway, this has hardly been the first time I’ve ever found myself surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed a game that conventional gamer wisdom tells me I should hate,” Jeremy Parish recently wrote on USGamer.

A few paragraphs later: “Rather than taking the time to educate myself and have another go, though, I gave up. Because, after all, every review I read of SaGa Frontier said it was terrible, a disgrace to Square’s name, a confusing and nonsensical and ugly game absent anything resembling ‘fun.’ So clearly the problem was that the game wasn’t good, not that I simply needed to learn its inner workings.”

It’s a good article about diverging gaming tastes, something that I can appreciate. You can check out the article here.

I recall a similar frustration after E3 2016. Where most people came away happy with what Sony showed at their presentation, I had a rather muted impression: “I must be getting cynical since I wasn’t blown away by what I saw.” I wrote in The Big E3 Presentation Review Thing. “Was it the best presentation? Yeah. Did we see a bunch of cool games? Of course. Did I come away with any strong feelings towards any of those games shown? Nope.”

I spent the week trying to explain my lack of excitement, eventually realizing that my gaming tastes (similar to my musical tastes) are moving away from the mainstream. (And I spent a few more weeks figuring out how to write about this without coming off as whiny or pretentious. I didn’t succeed.)

I eventually made peace with the idea that I have my own gaming tastes that aren’t going to align with the industry, at least right now, and it’s probably a good thing that there’s people who’re still excited with the likes of, for instance, Rock Band. That’s why I like Jeremy Parish, because this less mainstream gaming tastes lead to articles about games not covered by, oh, Giant Bomb.

As I previously wrote in last April’s What’cha Been Playin’, it was Parish writing about 3DS game The Legend of Legacy that convinced me to give the demo a second try. Armed with a stronger grasp on what to expect from the mechanics, I enjoyed the game more more, buying the full game shortly after. Almost nobody talked about The Legend of Legacy, and even less spoke as positively as Parish. If his gaming tastes differed, there’s a good chance I’d never give that game another chance.

Jeremy Parish: “By day, I work at, writing about the current video games industry; by night, I moonlight [at YouTube], diving far too deeply into the particulars of history and design for long-forgotten games.” Parish is also found @ Twitter, and his voice is heard weekly on the retro gaming podcast Retronauts.

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