Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013: The Year In Review

As a year comes to a close, I like to look back over the year and reflect on what happened. In years past, I would have struggled to remember what I was doing in February, but now I can simply bring up my blog archive and see what I was doing then. It makes reflecting easy... or at least easier.


2013 has been an absolutely incredible year for gaming. We've seen the birth of the next console generation with the release of the PS4 and Xbox One, and the spark of a new, fierce console war (before you start with the, "It started last year with the WiiU!", I would like to point out that the WiiU is only as powerful as the Xbox 360 and PS3. Personally, I consider it a "last-gen" console.) I enjoyed every aspect of the press conferences and news releases. From Microsoft's cringe-worthy backpedaling, to the hilarious fun Sony had with it all, to Nintendo's desperate attempts to catch up to the modern day. Although Sony would seem to have a slight advantage with the gaming community, the war is still in its infancy.

2013 has also been an incredible year for me personally. I finally bought a PS3 and got to play Journey, a game that has become one of my all time favorites. I replayed Shadow of the Colossus, this time reliving the wonder in HD. On PC, I've 'learned' to play Dark Souls and have enjoyed it immensely, although I can't beat Lord Gwyn (the final boss) to save my life. I recently played through all the Mass Effect games, and found out what all the 'colored endings' hubbub was about. Steam is as lucrative as ever, taking tons of my money over the course of the year through many of their Steam Sales, including the one that just finished.

Unfortunately, I'm still suffering from the "can't finish what I start" syndrome. I've started Ni No Kuni, Demon Souls, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Chrono Trigger, Dishonored, and .hack//G.U., but haven't finished any of them. They're fantastic games, but I keep getting distracted by other games... which only makes the problem worse. My backlog is ever growing and I still have a Steam library full of unfinished and 'unstarted' games. I've even stopped playing Guild Wars 2 just to free up some time, but there's just not enough hours in a day...

... However, I was able to play a lot of games. Here's my picks for the best of them:


Normally, I have a three month "cool down" period after I play games, wherein I reflect on the game and its merits... and discover its faults. I assume everyone has this problem: When a game is good, you immediately think, "This is the best game ever!" because it's fresh on your mind. This happened to me last year with Halo 4, and again this year with The Last of Us. After reflecting on it a while, I realize that Halo 4 is my least favorite of the series (and ), and that, while The Last of Us is a wonderful game, it's not my favorite game of 2013.

However, I'm breaking that rule for my favorite game OF 2013: Bioshock Infinite.Bioshock Infinite barely beat The Last of Us for this, but I feel (right now, of course) that Infinite was a better match for my personal gaming disposition. The combat built upon and improved on the combat of the previous titles, the story was intriguing and mind blowing, the atmosphere and world were fascinating and promoted exploration, everything about Elizabeth was superbly executed, and it's probably the first Bioshock game that I genuinely feel like playing again even though I just finished it. While it does have its faults, primarily of the story in my opinion, I think it still deserves my "Game of the Year" award.


While Bioshock Infinite was my pick for best game OF 2013, it wasn't my favorite game that I PLAYED in 2013. That falls to the absolutely fantastic game, Journey.

This year, I was finally able to afford a PS3, and was therefore able to play this gem. Of course, I've already written a review of the game, so I won't needlessly lengthen this one with my ramblings. You can read it if you want.

All in all, I'd say that this year was a much better year for video games, and I hope it only gets better in 2014. Since I can't really afford a new console, I figure 2014 will be the year I catch up on all I've missed from the previous generations.


Last year I said that I would stop making videos to free up some time... then I kept making videos. They still didn't get many views, but I did enjoy making them. However, Youtube has made it quite clear that they don't care about the little guy (or many of the big guys for that matter). With the copyright crackdown that occurred a short while ago, the copyright flags on my videos skyrocketed. I removed over half of them in order to keep my Youtube channel operational. In a sense, Youtube has reaffirmed that I need to stop making videos. So there's that...


Last year, I felt burnt out from writing. I hadn't finished my book, and I was sick of editing. My book is still unfinished, but I finally realize why I was so burnt out. This is the first book I've ever written, and I didn't really know what I was doing at the beginning. A lot of things I'm struggling with now are things that I should have done early on during the brainstorming stage (which, for this book, was non-existent). I'm still developing my style of writing and learning what I should be focused on. This is why it's taking so long. I've had a friend proofread it for me and am, with his edits and suggestions in mind, hopefully on my last revision. Hopefully I can get it out on the market sometime in 2014.

I posted a brief blurb about why this blog hasn't seen much activity over the last few months, which you can read . I'll expand on this later, but I want everyone to know that the writing flame is still flickering, albeit weakly.

I also didn't do a this year, which had been somewhat of a tradition for the past 4 or 5 years. I just didn't have the time, nor could I figure out a topic. There are so many things swarming around my mind right now that it's impossible to think clearly sometimes...


2013 is the year when Anime took over this blog. We've had so many incredible shows come out this year, including one which has become an all time favorite of mine: Attack on Titan. Of course, I've you read my blog anytime between March and July, you'd probably already .

But Attack on Titan wasn't the only great show out this year. I also enjoyed Silver Spoon and can't wait for the next season, which should be coming Spring 2014. There's also been a few shows this fall that I can't get enough of. Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary) has some of the most incredible animation I've seen in an anime, but that's to be expected from Kyoto Animation. I thought Log Horizon was going to be a Sword Art Online rip-off, but I've been pleasantly surprised to find that it has great depth and explores an aspect that SAO didn't really meddle in: Politics. Then there's Kill la Kill.

Because it's from the same people who did Gurren Lagann, I expected fanservice, but I never expected the sheer amount they've managed to cram into the show. I normally wouldn't watch a show like that, but the action is so intense, the story so crazy, and the animation and design so incredible that I keep coming back every week. I can't conscientiously recommend it, but Kill la Kill is incredible despite the fanservice. It would be the answer to the, "What anime are you ashamed that you liked?" question that seems to pop up every now and then, but I live by the Felicia Day quote, "You should never be ashamed about liking anything."


Life is still chugging along, and still depressing as ever. I've found some good people to hang out with every now and then, but I still don't get to hang out with them as often as I'd like. I'm kind of stuck in the same situation as last year, where most of my friends have gone their separate ways and those who've stuck around aren't into the same things I'm into. Not many people who are close to me take video games and anime as seriously as I do. I feel out of place, like where I am is not the place I'm supposed to be.

Looking back at the resolutions post I did in January, I feel so very disappointed. I was able to accomplish exactly NONE of those things: I didn't read a book or read through Fullmetal Alchemist, I didn't finish my book, I didn't write another 100 posts for the blog, I didn't get to go to Otakon, and I never really found/had a reason to explain my otakuness outside of the internet. Most of these were simple, and yet I couldn't keep them. Makes me wonder why I made them in the first place...

*Le sigh...*

Like last year, I've gone back through the posts I made over the year and picked my favorites, or ones that strike me as profound. In retrospect, I did a lot of informational pieces, PSAs if you will. I enjoy writing those, and hope that they can help educate the ignorant in some small way:I've had to put this blog on the back burner while I deal with the dozens of things that vie for my time. I hate that I don't write here as much, even if no one reads it. It's kind of become a journal of sorts, allowing me to write down my thoughts on current events so that I can look back on them later and see how I've changed. Truthfully, this blog took a turn I didn't really want it to with the focus on anime posts (even though those are the ones that got me views). Someday I'd like to make a schedule for posts, like "Anime Monday, Gaming Wednesday, and Geeky Friday" or something like that. I've got some stuff to finish first, but that's my plan for the future. So forgive me if there's not much to read for the next month or so. Thanks for reading.

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