I forgot that the anniversary of my first post happened this early into the year, and forgetfulness left me with only two-ish weeks to find a way to celebrate the occasion. I couldn’t allow that to pass, largely because I’m surprised that I’d make it a single year without huge gaps between posts. That’s what happened when I tried the blogging thing before, and this blog stood a good chance of suffering a similar fate.
I’m only an insignificant speck in the larger blogging community, but keeping a schedule was, and is, still important to me. Need to keep that momentum going. And I have attracted views, if only a handful at a time. I went months without more than two views, so I’d say progress is made. (That said, I’m not entirely convinced that a sizable portion of those views aren’t from AI programs or something else not human.)
If you’re human and reading this, or any of my posts, know that I am grateful. If you’re a random internet bot, please don’t say anything. My fragile ego cannot withstand having my delusions shattered. So here’s to a good second year, hopefully better than the first.
*Technically, the actual anniversary happens two days after I posted this.
My 10 Favorite Posts
My first post was planned as the introduction to a larger series of articles focusing around the history of each individual Fire Emblem title, but that never materialized. Regardless, I’m happy that I began this blog by writing about one of my favorite developers, especially because I had no clue about Ikegami Tsushinki, Iwasaki Electronics, and their connection to Nintendo. It’s always more entertaining to learn something, as opposed to digging for decent sources to info that’s already known. And I can link back to this article if/when I take a hard look at every Fire Emblem game.
I’m half-convinced that the major reason why this post continues to gain views (it’s currently my most popular article) is because people believe that it’s a weird crossover between Fire Emblem and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Truthfully, I struggle to re-read it myself. The writing isn’t great, being arguably the worst written post being highlighted here. I struggle to remember if I wrote a second draft or barely managed to finish such a sizable article within my self-imposed 7-day deadline. It’s actually somewhat of a missed opportunity too, considering that it could’ve easily been split into two posts. But it brings in the views . . . for some reasons.
Considering my inexperience writing an article on a weekly basis, maybe ranking 13 studio albums, six solo albums, four compilations, and a 4-CD box set was too ambitious a project. I mean, I barely finished the previous Brian Fallon album overview, and that was a considerably smaller endeavor. No matter, as I completed the article within time, presumably with moments to spare. It’s done well, being my second most popular article. Could use for a rewrite, however. I noticed a few too many spelling errors during my re-read.
For the curious, I’d probably slot the newest album This House Is Not for Sale somewhere between Burning Bridges (#09) and the box set’s fourth disk (#07). Middle of the pack is still an improvement over the album What About Now (#15).
I realized while writing about Fire Emblem that not everyone is familiar with the franchise, so dropping subtitles (many for games never released outside Japan) was likely confusing. What’s the difference between Mystery of the Emblem and New Mystery of the Emblem? And what’s a Thracia? Jumping onto Wikipedia or the handful of Fire Emblem websites/wikis is possible, but I saw an opportunity for another article. Opportunistic, but the idea came during the earlier days when I was eager for any and all things to write about.
Although proud of the result, I still saw improvement. I decided to rewrite the article following the recent Fire Emblem Direct, updating images and including non-FE games like Super Smash Bros. and Monster Hunter.
The first study of a game that I wrote is about one of my favorite games in the last ten years. Well, it’s barely a game, but the story of two specialized doctors rooting around an elderly, dying man’s memories made a hell of an impact. I never wept, but To the Moon is one of the handful of games to push me close to that point, partially because, as I describe in the article, the story is ultimately a tragedy for practically every major character. I cannot say anything else without spoiling the story (and the article includes obvious warnings for when I dive into that territory).
To the Moon is only $10, so I cannot recommend it enough. Or better, grab the $13 bundle that includes the beautiful soundtrack. Then return for my article, and ready yourself for the upcoming sequel, Finding Paradise.
My impetus to create this article started with Brandon Plays Pokémon, a 10-part YouTube series on the Easy Allies channel, but the realization that newer Pokémon games cannot contain that same sense of mystery as the original Red and Blue floated around my brain before this. As I write in the article, it’s a partially self-inflicted condition, but even refusing to see anything about the sequels won’t revive that unknown that I have such fond memories of. Maybe getting older is about realizing that such moments are gradually more uncommon. Or maybe I’m pulling that out of my ass.
Headlander was a welcome surprise because it betrayed my expectations of what a “Metroidvania” should be, and was anything but an off-brand Super Metroid/Symphony of the Night. The point isn’t about finding upgrades carefully hidden in the world, but using temporary bodies that gradually become more of a hindrance as the game progresses. That’s the point I attempted to communicate, if a bit clumsily. Fortunately, it made a surprising number of Game of the Year lists (mine included) considering I don’t recall a ton of people talking about the game during release.
Also, my favorite title of a post? Absolutely.
I’m unsure if I feel okay about my predictions. I wrote this article shortly after the initial Nintendo Switch reveal, commenting on the vast amount of information that Nintendo waited until January 12 to share. My prediction about third-party games on the new hardware is unfortunately accurate, while my hopes of seeing a flood of first-party games was unfortunately inaccurate. (Hopefully that comes at E3.) Regardless, a considerable amount of this blog is devoted towards looking back at things, so it’s refreshing to instead predict the future. And I’m happy with how the article turned out.
A strange article where I gushed over how Stardew Valley used character stereotypes — namely those of the two “goth” characters, Abigail and Sebastian — to surprise me with little details that betrayed my expectations. Re-reading it now, something about it feels incomplete. It ends somewhat abruptly, and I somewhat wish that I included a third character to contrast with Abigail/Sebastian. Still, it’s a reminder of how much fun I had with Stardew Valley (the Switch version cannot come soon enough), and that’s why it makes this list. Probably.
Okay, so maybe I created a list of my favorite films of 2016 because I wanted to rave about The Boy and the Beast, but it also allowed me to talk about films. That won’t sound special, but it’s uncommon that I watch anywhere close to 14 movies from a single year, so I happily jumped at the opportunity. Looking at it now, it’s obvious that I missed quite a few titles. La La Land and Arrival are huge gaps, and I only saw Rogue One in January. (It was alright, but nothing special.)
Hopefully this returns in December, although I can’t as of yet.
September 3, 2017: Are =/= aren’t. I’m an idiot.