Friday, December 30, 2016

Year Round-Up: Version 1.2

I guess we're doing some more self-indulgence, aren't we?
If anything, I only really do these posts to see how I evolve as a writer. Obviously, I'm not top-snuff. I'm barely bottom-snuff. Regardless, though, every article is a fleeting moment in time, and it's nice for me to revisit every time capsule and separate garbage from shiny garbage. Oooooo, pretty.
Here it is.

10. A Thought to Chew: The Galaxy Palette
Date posted: July 12th, 2016
Despite being a boring person, I still like to tell personal anecdotes, and the article where I discussed color theory in the Super Mario Galaxy games was a nice output for that. While I'm not a big fan of the content as a whole ("Oh, look at the colors complementing one another!"), any chance for me to lovingly talk about the games is time well-spent for me at least, and I finally found a way to talk about Slimy Spring Galaxy which, truth be told, was the point of the article in the first place, as I couldn't find a way to write a whole, regular-sized article about a single screen.
9. How to Do an Interview
Date posted: March 20th, 2016
Hey, remember when I used to do interviews?! How great was that?!
I wrote this not as a guide because, clearly, I'm unqualified, so much as a look into my creative process.
There's really not that much to say about it. It takes the form of an instructional guide, which I tried to enliven and would like to think did a decent enough job of not making it painful. Plus, I got to talk about the "could've-beens", something I'm still super sullen about, but at least that's off my chest.
8. A Thought to Chew: Fixed Camera Angles and the Triumph of Pokemon Black/White
Date Posted: June 18th, 2016
This will always have a soft spot in my heart as an article basically admitting how nitpicky and petty I am with what I like about games. For Christ's sake, it's literally about Pokemon BW's incorporation of different camera positions in game. How was I even able to sustain an article about that?
It's conceptually the same as the "Galaxy Palette" article, introducing examples, but I tried to critically examine them and find what I more deeply liked about each aspect. It wasn't just about how pretty and scenic it was- it's about atmosphere.

7. A Thought to Chew: Pokemon Picross and Choosing Poison

Date Posted: October 15th, 2016
After a year with no marked Pokemon content at all, 2016 brought along 8. Oddly enough, 3 of them were all built on mercilessly dismembering everything I hated about certain games, and while I'm much more partial to the article berating Platinum, probably because of how much more my hatred of the game has built up (what can I say, I'm biased about everything), this one on Pokemon Picross is ultimately better. I think it's probably the most successful I've been in articulating everything to help validate my point, thanks to the game's simplicity. That's why so many posts target one specific aspect of a game rather than big-picture and so many fail to go beyond incessant squabbling- there's too much to talk about and not enough care in me to heckle at a game I dislike. Pokemon Picross was simple enough and with enough rough edges for me to stick the landing.
6. A Thought to Chew: Exeggutor Island
Date Posted: December 24th, 2016
Moving right along from angrily yelling about a Pokemon game to praising it is the last true article of the year, a love letter to a greatly underappreciated moment from a great game.
It's not a piece built on humor, which is a bit of an oddity, because I couldn't find a way to balance both a sense of it and a way to capture the essence of the scene. Instead, I sought to be, once again, analytical, and it's probably the best example of the sort of article that I've written. I don't know, I just wanted to give that little portion of the game some due justice in the face of all the other dramatic moments rounding off the game's storyline.
5. Dear Nintendo: Stop Trying to Be 'Hip'
Date Posted: June 11th, 2016
Meanwhile, this article is built on as much jokes as possible. Granted, I'm not all that funny of a person... or talented... or any of that, but I digress.
"Dear Nintendo" is a format I've only pulled out once before, and this is by far the superior article, complaining of Nintendo's policy of relating to the populus through excessive memeage- something which they, by the way, have slowed their roll on (good on 'em), because, quite frankly, Sonic the Hedgehog is something they're not, and they don't need to sink down to that level, regardless of how admittedly amazing it can be.
4. A Thought to Chew: Manufactured Nostalgia
Date Posted: February 21st, 2016
Look, more complaining and unecessary flames in the picture! Noticing  pattern yet?
This article means a lot to me because it tackled something that, to my knowledge, has never been attacked previously. That is to say, I discussed an idea of fake, or "manufactured", nostalgia, something that is killing me slowly with each sight in the Youtube comments taking away hours of my life, I assume. The article is based in complaint, certainly, but it's also an attempt to pinpoint the cause, and while we may never know for sure the solution to this conundrum, at least the stone was turned over.
3. MyNewSoundtrack Interview
Date Posted: May 14th, 2016
Luis Sies was on my interview dream roster (yes, I have one, shut up) for a while, so I was really stoked that he agreed, and even moreso that it came out so well. The best interviews are the ones where the person being talked to seems to genuinely care about the proceedings, and that's definitely the case for this one, where each question was met thoughtfully, and there's nothing more I want from an interview than that.

2. Talking Point: The Sheer 'Ingenuity' of Cross Days
Date Posted: September 10th, 2016
Tackling Japanese games is always something I attempt to be cautious of, but there's really no way to look at the excessively weird without letting yourself shine as an outsider and an a-hole, and while I think I leaned more on the former than the latter, I'm still really happy with how this particular article turned out.
The fact of the matter is that Cross Days really is a fascinating game. Yes, what I wrote is tainted with sarcasm, namely when discussing the dildos and plant erotica, but at the end of the day, what other game has such weird asides? As far as I know, no other game has incorporated such fascinating side-features, so to be able to bring them to light with a healthy dose of humor is the best I could surmise.

1. Final Smash! Interview
Date Posted: May 29th, 2016
Speaking of the dream roster, the fact that I got to interview Nicola, the creator of Final Smash!, is something that I am still thankful for. She was enthusiastic, sure, but above all else, she was a greatly generous person throughout the whole proceedings and clearly imbued each response with care and a healthy dose of humor. It's important that the distinction is made that the interviews I make aren't serious and business-like; they're casual, and for her to be able to understand that really helps elevate the whole thing and give it a nicely conversational air, which hasn't really been accomplished since Chase last year.

See you next year with an interview with Kanekiru!

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