Subspace Birthday

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Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. Today, I am celebrating one full year of Subspace Briefcase. Can you think of a better way to commemorate the occasion than a completely self-indulgent walk down memory lane? I hope not, because that’s exactly what you’re getting.

A little over a year ago, when the gaming universe was just settling into the throes of what we would all come to know and love as “Gamergate,” I started getting the itch to write about video games again[1]. This was not because I had anything particularly insightful to contribute to the global conversation about sexism, journalistic ethics, online harassment, or whatever had crawled up the Internet’s butt at the time, but because the whole sordid affair flat out SADDENED me. Video games are supposed to be fun, and the discussion surrounding them had turned decidedly sour. I longed for simpler days, when the online conversation about games was more cheerful, enthusiastic, and devoid of Baldwins and Breitbarts. Simply put, I wanted to make a gaming site focused on nothing but fun; a throwback to the fansites of the late ’90s and the early aughts.

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Not pictured: Hundreds of other games.

Plus, I had a depressingly large collection of games which was rapidly approaching the 1,000 title mark, and I needed to justify its continued existence somehow.

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A year later, I’d like to think that I’ve achieved a modicum of success in that regard. Hopefully, my modest readership has been entertained. If nothing else, from my drab first post on Dragon Force, to my recent two-parter on Code Name: Viper, I’m confident that I’ve been consistently informative.

But enough of this prattle – let’s talk about some of the highlights.

MOST POPULAR POSTS

Without a doubt, the most popular piece of content I have produced is this video of Far Cry 4‘s AI going completely wonky:

Coincidentally, this also took the least amount of effort on my part to produce. The real money is in cheap laughs, kids. Take note.

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A close second, however, is my interview with Kurt Kalata, the founder of the Castlevania Dungeon, which was the very site I had in the back of my mind when I started Subspace Briefcase. I’ll always be grateful to Kurt for taking the time to talk to me. I strongly recommend you check out his work over at Hardcore Gaming 101.

PRO WRESTLING

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If you’ve been reading consistently, you’ve no doubt noticed that I am a lifelong fan of the great sport of professional wrestling. As I own no less than 20 pro wrestling video games, I figured combining my mutual love of gaming and fake fighting would be a great way to experiment with serialized content.

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This originally took the form of RISE: DOLPHIN, a series of posts where I ushered a retired Canadian baseball player through the career mode of All Japan Pro Wrestling Featuring Virtua. Unfortunately, my reach exceeded my grasp with this one, as I found myself unable to capture and summarize game footage in any consistently entertaining fashion. I cut the project short after I reached a logical stopping point – but hey, at least I had some fun producing this sweet montage (featuring the music of Lazerhawk):

I was a little annoyed with myself for letting Dolphin’s story die on the vine, so I took a second crack at serialized wrestling posts. On January 18, 2015, I recorded a three-hour CPU controlled tournament in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns for the PS2. This, of course, became The Briefcase Cup, a 30-post monstrosity that ultimately wound up being more about pro wrestling than video games.

Nevertheless, it was an absolute joy to write, and I got to introduce a whole new audience to Mango Fukuda, in what may be the craziest thing I’ve ever committed to print.

LEAST APPRECIATED POST

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Just about nobody read my post on the Sega CD version of Time Gal, which made me sad, because I think it’s one of the most under-appreciated ports of all time. I even went as far as to record the ENTIRE GAME and post it on Youtube:

I chalk it up to the fact that anybody who cares about Time Gal has probably learned everything that they ever wished to know about it by now. Oh well. You live, you learn.

STRANGEST POST

While covering Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance, I produced an eight-minute montage of game footage set to the sounds of Canadian music legends, Loverboy:

I think it’s safe to say that nobody found this as funny as I did, but hey, it still picks up a view or two every now and then. Maybe it has legs.

GREATEST GAMEPLAY MOMENT CAPTURED

It’s a tie between my epic lunar dodge ball battle in the PC Engine version of Super Dodge Ball

… and my legendary battle with Sevens in World Court Tennis.

The PC Engine/Turbo Grafx-16. Home of the hottest sports games on the planet.

IN CONCLUSION…

I’d like to thank everybody who has read my work over the last year. While I’m far from setting the web on fire, I’ve gotten more eyes on Subspace Briefcase than I ever imagined I could. I’ve got no plans to stop any time soon, and I thank you for your continued support!

In particular, I’d like to thank…

  • My wife, Jenn Voss, for being a consistent source of love and support. She’s listened to every crazy idea I’ve had for this site, and only laughed in my face a select few times.
  • My brothers, Dave White and Chris White, who have apparently taken the time to read, repost, and share just about everything I’ve written. Additionally, Dave designed the Subspace Briefcase logo, for which I am eternally in his debt.
  • And last, but certainly not least, Doug Bodden, who provided me with more feedback on my World Court Tennis series than I ever cared to receive. He’s the closest thing to a superfan I’ll ever have.

Thanks again, folks! I hope you stay tuned in the months to come!


 

[1] I say “again” because I used to be a reviewer for a rinky-dink little site called PS2Insider, but that’s a whole ‘nother post in and of itself.

 

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