I was kind of lazy…the entire year of 2018. I didn’t afford myself many chances to enjoy things. It has been a tough year personally, and even professionally. I never really allowed time to escape into leisure activities, and instead would sort of…crumple into myself. While I did this, good games came out, there were things to be done, and I let it pass me by. 2019 needs to be better for me, on a few fronts, but honestly enjoying myself is one of the big ones. I need to learn how to relax more, my jaw hurts all the time from stress, I need to learn how to take a break. To that end, I am setting some gaming resolutions that you know…I will hopefully follow. We’ll see. Continue Reading
Proof I have not written anything in a very long time. I am writing in what is apparently the old-school editor, that is about to be replaced by a new one. I guess I shouldn’t get too used to this. I miss the old-old editor…but I am old, and I like the things I am used to I guess. I have no idea why I am writing this specifically; I have just felt the need to write for about a week now, but never indulged the urge. I guess I miss putting my thoughts down on (virtual) paper and just letting whoever have access to a small part of my idiot brain. Once upon a time, when I was much younger I thought I could do this a lot; write, and write, and write some more, get something of an audience, and maybe make a go at writing about games full-time. I’m old now, and I know there is never any way that would happen now, especially in this era of video and personality-driven content. I don’t know how to do video stuff, and I really don’t have much of a personality. Continue Reading
I am actually someone lucky enough to be getting a Nintendo Switch on launch day. I have had my pre-order into Amazon since you were able to do that, and for the first time in a long time, I am excited for a Nintendo platform. I skipped both the Wii and the Wii U, they never felt right to me, but this does. However, the opening month of the console seems really dry, unless you plan on putting crazy Skyrim time into Breath of the Wild. I have a mental wishlist for what I want to see coming around on the system short-term, let’s go over them.
- The Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console (including your past purchases) carries over to the Switch: Nintendo has been less than stellar with their treatment of the Virtual Console, which is odd. If anything, it is their greatest strength, if only they leveraged the properties available to them. People had to deal with a rocky transfer from the Wii to the Wii U, either using the sub-par Wii U emulation of VC games (and paying a small fee to transfer compatible games), or dealing with the Wii U emulating a Wii emulating old games. Completely inelegant in execution, Nintendo has a chance to finally make this right with the unification of their profiles and sign-ins to one account. While I may own no games from those VC’s, I have a ton on the 3DS I would like to play on the new system, and I would gladly take advantage of this library, spending more money on these games than I would on anything new coming out immediately.
- Nintendo realizes no one will pay 50 dollars for 1-2-Switch and makes it free with the system: One of the biggest strengths of both the Wii and the Wii U was the pack-in titles. Despite the fact that pack-ins being standard largely died with the 16-bit generation, Nintendo’s consoles have since been out-of-the-box enough to sort of need something that proves why they’re not just making a powerhouse machine. Wii Sports was probably the main reason for the console succeeding on the level it did. Nintendo Land, while not as insanely popular as Wii Sports was a compelling enough show of the Wii U’s potential. While 1-2-Switch seems even less compelling than Nintendo Land, something is needed to show the broader audience why Nintendo is taking this system and loading it with so many gimmicks. While the thing exists, very few people would be willing to pay 50 dollars for it. The sooner Nintendo realizes this, the better.
- Allow for External hard-drives: While I plan on treating my Switch as primarily a portable system, many people will not. I purchased a 128gb micro-SD card for the system and knowing Nintendo file-sizes, that will be fine. However, for people who want to go nuts, you can get something like an 8tb passport drive for around 200 dollars. With the PS4 finally coming around on the idea of external drives, it seems silly for Nintendo to not have support for them.
- Pokémon: Nintendo should really leverage their largest properties as fast as possible on the system. Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are great starts, but Pokémon probably cuts across the largest segment of people with wallets/people who are in the care of people with wallets. People have wanted a proper Pokémon game on consoles for ages, and the third version of the Sun/Moon combo would be a great place to start.
Will any of these things happen? Probably the last one, if any. In any case, I am finally giving money to Nintendo for a console, and I hope to holy hell they do not disappoint me.
The year 2014 is dead. Or it will be soon. But from the dead husk that finally breathes its last on New Years Eve 2014, 2015 will rise, like a calendar-based phoenix, ready to take on the world with a fresh start, a new start. It’s really not a totally fresh start. It’s not like our old issues and problems magically float away when that ball drops. However, the ticking off of 2014 into 2015 is a nice place to try and get one’s life in a better order, a better situation. Millions upon millions of people do this every year by making resolutions. I usually avoided making any such promises because I would tell myself they are stupid, that I would often just abandon them anyway.
I know myself. I know that for a long time now, I have reveled in personal sloth. Oftentimes, when I am not at work, and have downtime, I regretfully find myself doing nothing for a lot of time, simply because I cannot decide what to do. I always want to do something, but the indecision I feel makes me look at all my choices, and in the end, become paralyzed and do nothing. So my first gaming resolution for 2015 is really a general resolution for 2015. I need to shuck off the sloth. Sitting around doing nothing is something I always regret as soon as I start doing something. It’s not even like I am ever really relaxing when doing this. Sure I am sitting there, but I am usually a ball of anxiety because I know I am not getting anything done, but I can’t get up and do something out of the choices I have. If this sounds insane to you, I don’t blame you. It sounds pretty nuts to me, and I am the one going through it.
I am going to change this. From now on, I refuse to let myself sit there fretting over not doing something. I need to just choose something and go do it, the other stuff can be done after. It doesn’t even need to be in a set order, but things on my mental checklist need to start being ticked off. I am not nearly as efficient as I could be, or should be. I want to increase my personal output, for both this blog I do and just in general. I need to keep myself focused and goal oriented. Trying simply cannot be enough anymore. Not only do I have to put in effort, I have to do the best I can. Granted, I will not succeed in everything I do, but it is time I start to succeed at some stuff. But to succeed I need to do it. So in 2015 this changes, I change.
My second gaming resolution for 2015 comes to gaming purchases. There are two things I feel I need to tie into my first resolution of doing more. I plan on purchasing a Wii U and some sort of (probably Elgato) capture card for non-sharing enabled consoles. The Wii U really came into its own in 2014, with some great games that are really worth playing. I am just now getting into streaming things on Twitch and am trying to do it more, and get better at it. A capture card will go a long way with helping that, allowing me to stream PS3 and Wii U stuff on top of the PS4 and PC.
While I do plan on doing more streaming, I also want to do archived video content as well. While these things will probably start being posted to Youtube, and embedded to my site, I would love to get comfortable enough with all of this to eventually break away from that space and put up my own video player. However that would be a work in progress while I get everything else rolling.
A third, smaller gaming resolution for 2015 now. I plan on writing a list of all the games I play for any length of time in 2015. If I try something for 15 minutes and forgets it exists, it probably wouldn’t write it down, but I know in the space of a whole year, I definitely played a lot more than I remember. I am getting older, my memory isn’t what it used to be. So I need to learn some proper organization. 2015 will hopefully bring that to my life.
My next gaming resolution for 2015 is something of an odd one, as I am not so sure it directly has to do with gaming. I really want to learn how to code. I have started this a bunch of times, but never remotely followed through with it. However if I want to be competitive in the internet space, and even give myself the ability to do this newer, crucial skill, I need to sit down and start going through all the courses I have, the books I have purchased, and use my friends who already know this stuff. While there are sites out there like WordPress and Square Space that make this easy and user-friendly, it would behoove me to learn about what is under the hood myself. Relying on templates can come back to bite me eventually. I need to learn how to do all of this myself so I can make the type of site and content I want. I shouldn’t have to choose from a list, and I want to make it where I don’t have to.
My last gaming resolution is perhaps the most important one. 2014 was a negative one in the gaming space, not just from the one thing most people would think about either. Just in general 2014 was a negative time where I found myself reading the cesspool of Twitter too often. In 2015 I want the space around me to be a lot more positive, and I refuse to let myself get bogged down by that social media nonsense. Social media is a tool, and I will still use it, but I won’t be looking at it the way I did this past year. Snarky, asshole people yelling into the void does nothing for me any more and I really don’t want to see it. It is a cliche, but I want to be the positive person I want to see around the internet. Things really don’t need to be so bad, we simply make it that way by not seeing we’re all the same. Doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, black, white, green or whatever. Stop judging people and think on how you can improve yourself.
Good luck next year,
Geoff Keighley got to do something closer to the awards show I imagine he always wanted to do. Rather than giving us another product placement-fueled silly, faux-video game celebration version of Hell, we got something that was online only, and hence did not have to bow to gross product pressure. Starting with the legendary Koji Kondo playing the piano, and wrapping up with him again, playing with the impressive Imagine Dragons, this even felt like a genuine awards show celebrating the medium of video games. A lot of people felt the same way. Almost two million people tuned in to see the show, according to a report by Polygon. The report also breaks down a lot more ways it was found to be favorable by viewers, and has some words from the organizer Geoff Keighley.
I for one found the show on the whole to be a big step up from the frankly upsetting VGA’s, hosted by Spike TV. Looking more like a brothel where video games, and the love thereof, was pimped out to whatever god-awful brightly colored product backdrop forked over money, it was good that Spike decided not to go on with the travesty. It seems like moving away from the old way of being on TV forced Keighley to think creatively and his product was all the better for it. Instead, he did a classier, tighter show, that was still overly long, and had some out of place spots, and too many trailers. But besides that there really wasn’t much to complain about. He took the calculated risk that the key audience, gamers would be willing to watch on TV, and it paid off for him. Also probably getting away from Spike and the images of shows past helped. Spike can go on airing reruns of Bar Rescue until it’s blue in the face. I would rather they never try to have an awards show again, as they clearly see them as nothing but ad-potential.
My advice for next year (because there should definitely be one next year): more awards on stage, cut the time of the event down by at least thirty minutes, and stick with that award design. It was seriously classy. Good job Keighley, you’re no longer the Dorito Pope. You’re the guy who put together an award show gamers from all walks can be proud of.
One of the greatest games ever made has finally made its way to the Playstation Network. Suikoden II, made by Konami, and release in North America in 1999 for the PS1, took just about every aspect of the very good, but not stellar Suikoden and improved on it. A long tale, sprawling across about 60-80 hours of gameplay, and using a cast of 108 characters, Suikoden II is probably the best counter-example to what RPG’s could be in the face of Final Fantasy VII‘s ascendance. Where FF7 went for long and detailed cut-scenes and overly elaborate, often confusing stories, Suikoden provided simple, 2D sprites that still look beautiful. Suikoden II, like the other games in the series provide a storyline that is intricate, but not too much so. Painting the sides of war as not good vs evil, but two shades of gray fighting over different viewpoints, Suikoden is easily followed by anyone who has even a basic grasp of the Game of Thrones story.
This series was long my favorite of all time, topping even Final Fantasy in terms of overall quality, with the second game, finally coming to PSN being long-held as my favorite game of all time. That throne would only be taken by another somewhat recently, when I got a PS Vita, and played through Persona 4 Golden. But from 1999-2012, Suikoden II held that lofty place in my esteem, and I honestly didn’t think it would be beaten. I still have my PS1 disc for the game, which until Suikoden II came out on PSN, I am sure I could have sold for at least 100 dollars. However, I know I will never sell that disc, as that disc makes up so much of what I hold dear in video games. But now I don’t ever have to think about selling it to let someone experience the pure joy I felt, and still feel at seeing that game. Now all one has to do is shell out $9.99 for the game, and they can see what one of the most underrated games of all time is, and why it is so great. If you’re a fan of RPG’s, or just a fan of games, please pick this game up. Konami needs to see that they have games besides Symphony of the Night and MGS that are special to people, and that even though the series was largely forgotten by them, it was clearly not to so many of their fans.
Not many, but it seems people still come around here from time to time. It’s a little weird actually, because I don’t even actually know why I know that. I haven’t felt any compulsion to write anything lately, but I still look at the viewer stats on here from time to time. I have to imagine that is the small part of me that wants to come back to this with more regularity. The part of me that is actually writing this down now. It’s tough actually because writing in this space doesn’t really feel as fun as it was. But maybe I am just looking at it with some sort of rose-colored glasses. Maybe it was never fun. Maybe I just felt like I had to write my thoughts about video games. That’s a little weird to consider, because I was really never able to pin this whole writing regularly thing down in the first place. But the feeling that I should write something would kind of bubble up in my brain from time to time, and eventually I would be able to pull myself away from whatever it was I was doing and write something passable.
I really have no idea what keeps me coming back here, looking at the stats, wondering what I could and should do in order to make something respectable of this. I know a lot of the things I should be doing. It boils down to a lot more than I ever was, even was I was most prolific with content.
I should have always done more. More writing, do video, audio stuff. Learn how to be better. Don’t take this digital age we’re living in, this amazing age of easy to learn video and streaming, and piss it away on only doing sporadic writing. Writing nothing in comparison actually seems more fair to whatever fledgling audience I had; instead of keeping this non-schedule, and just hoping the people would be there when I decided to come back. That’s not fair to anyone, including myself. If I want to do this, and a definite part of me wants to, I need to go into it wanting to get better, wanting to expand my own breadth of content. That is really the only choice if I want to increase the reach and voice of my content.
For that, I need to make a commitment to myself and this space. I don’t want to say I am super gung-ho about this idea, and then go nuts with new content, and burning out the second it seems too hard. I do want to see if I have it in me though to be better at this. Again, I don’t know what keeps me coming back here, but I find myself wanting to. I miss this, I miss writing, and I feel like I owe it to myself to follow through on what this should be.
To that end, I will be back to writing for this blog, I will ease into it being a regular thing again. Right now my goal is one larger thing a week, and sporadic smaller news topics throughout. Let’s be honest, the more short, popular things I write about, the more people will come to the site. Just writing 2000 words about how I love Crash N’ the Boys Street Challenge probably won’t bring people here. I want them to read that stuff when I put it up, but writing blurbs about Pokemon, and doing lists will get them here in the first place.
Video games may not be the only thing I write about from here on out. I have interests outside of the vidja games, and they may find a place in this blog as well. If nothing else, it will increase the chance content can stay regular, as I play games most days, but not always every day.
Also, video stuff. This is something I need to get to doing. Writing alone is a sucker’s bet in this day, and frankly I have always been interested in things like Twitch. So to that end I plan on doing streams of me playing some dumb-ass stuff. I don’t find myself lately keeping up with all the newest stuff, but I have a huge Steam backlog that is filled with silly shit. Also I want to record some stuff that will be put up on this blog in a more permanent format. Maybe use Youtube for a while, and perhaps get my own video player to avoid the crap that comes with takedowns. I have to work out some sort of timetable for this, figure out when I can stream regularly. This will take a bit longer to get together, because I have no experience with this, but I will try to learn quickly.
If this video stuff comes together quickly, the viewer will probably notice I will be trying to do a wide swath of games, seemingly at random. Giant Bomb’s Encyclopedia Bombastica fascinates me, as both a vehicle to show games that wouldn’t get press elsewhere, as well as develop the streamer as a personality worth watching. I don’t mind admitting that what I am going for will at best be a poor facsimile of that.
While all this happens, I want to try learning more about what lies under the hood of this blog. Some basic coding stuff, as really that can only help. I have books, and free resources out there to do this, it is just a matter of me applying myself.
I have absolutely no idea where it all leads, but to anyone coming along with me, thanks. I will try to make something worth coming to. I want my life to be actually busy, but filled with the things I want to do. Hopefully that desire will bear fruit.