Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 YEARLY ROUND-UP! PART 1! JANURY-JUNE!

 DUMBLEDORE SHOT FIRST PRESENTS
THE 2013 YEARLY ROUND-UP!

2013 is coming to a close and it was another transformative year for Dumbeldore Shot First; this was a whole year without school but, rather than seeing the blog become bloated with articles, I found that less is more. After consistently writing about a dozen articles a week for two years straight, save a few weeks here and there, I've come to the conclusion that half that many is more than enough. Quality over quantity has become my mantra. And yet, I still had a numbers problem when deciding what to write for my final article of the year.

At first, I thought "Top Ten" sounds good...until I realize that I wrote and published 448 articles over the course of the last 52 weeks. Then I thought it would be fun to trim it down to about 24 articles as a nod to my 24th birthday (Dec. 31st, today), but that was still not enough. I probably had about 60 articles but, after trimming away a lot of Pokémon articles, the total remaining on my list came out the convenient double of 24... 48.

So, you were getting the Top 48 articles, in chronological order, of 2013 but instead are getting something pretty damn close; a year I couldn't have survived without my friends, family, and the subjects found within these articles that cover every from Call of Cthulu to MtG Commander and videogamedunkey to a variety of board games. This was a year dominated by Pokémon X & Y and filled with hundreds of hours of League of Legends.

All in all, I think you'll be excited to take a look back with me and forgive me for not being able to chip away more articles from these lists. Part two can be found HERE.

JANUARY


We started the year off strong by tying up the Don Cheadle's Captain Planet Saga, a saga that got better and better with each installment, and things were looking pretty much par for the course as far the blog's content was concerned.


One of the new weekly article archetypes I tried over the course of the year was the Pokémon of the Week, an excellent addition to the format that ultimately met its demise at the hands of time constraints, and the first article set the tone for my short little editorials. I found revisiting Pokémon and examining their strengths/weaknesses helped me appreciate Pokémon more individually and as a franchise.

And the franchise keeps getting bigger...

NERD CULTURE SMACKDOWN: NEW POKEMON X & Y VERSIONS ANNOUNCED ON THE 3DS!

I must've written dozens of articles on X & Y, my portable games of the year, and I gotta say that the hype was warranted. The sixth generation of the Pokémon handheld RPG got us all on the bandwagon at the start of the year and kept us guess, talking, and following the story as it developed until, by the game's release, many game journalists were Pokéjournalists.

It was kind of funny how it all began with a simple little promo showing off the starters and legendaries, but it doesn't take geniuses to sell Pokémon. It apparently takes geniuses to sell Wii-Us or just get across the idea that it's a new console. It's funny how there could be such a gap in quality advertising between a single franchise and their new platform. Then again, Pokémon has definitely proven that is here to stay.



It has been a little under a year since my last Mixed Bag podcast and, I hate to say, I'm pretty bummed that I haven't done any. My co-host has been busy and out of touch, but I think we could still make it work again.

Perhaps I could start a new podcast or find one two guest on. If anyone is interested, send me a message, please.

FEBRUARY


D-d-d-d-do you have it? D-d-d-d-do you have it? GUTS! This is a great example of the pop culture nostalgia that I bring to the table, in my own special way, by bringing back things that truly are almost forgotten and lost in the sands of time.


I made one youtube video this year that wasn't a podcast. It is a summation of all of my love of things Egoraptor. It is funny, weird, and fwurdy.


My first board game review took place a couple of months after last Christmas with my review of the Conan version of Munchkin, but it was Small World that had a more lasting effect on my gaming and critiques to come. The game was a real inspiring product that I would enjoy time and time again with my friends. I even got a different version with different races that I plan to review this year.


I was pretty hyped about the next generation of consoles when we discovered that we would be hearing news about them earlier this year. Then I saw the PS4 announcement and was disappointed. Then I saw the Xbox One conference and was even more disappointed. Since then...

I'm still disappointed by the PS4. I'm also disappointed by the Xbox One. On the other hand, I bought a Wii-U and I'm glad that I've always had a Nintendo brand loyalty. Sure, I've criticized Nintendo and had all sorts of issues with the Wii, but I have and shall continue to buy their products because neither competitor, with all their hardware advantages, can manage to produce the sort of magic that Nintendo can with inferior specs.

Until the other guys get some exclusives that make me want to jump on board, I'm sticking with Nintendo. They Ninten-do, what their competitors Ninten-don't.



In the same way that Cabin in the Woods killed the horror genre for many Whedon fanatics, this series may have helped temper the way I look at MLP. I like MLP and would admit to being a Brony as long as that definition describes someone who likes MLP:FiM. On the other hand, if that describes many of the people in the fandom that proselytize the show and, at best, are tolerated by other fandoms and, at worst, are less respected than fans of Twilight, I am merely a casual viewer of the show.

I'd still recommend the show to anyone curious.


Few people realize that the Harlem Shake meme started on the humble channel of a youtuber that most people would find demonstrable. Filthy Frank's videos are, in my opinion, an opportunity to ingest the internet all at once as if it was all grabbed, shoved in a blender, and fed into your veins intravenously. His channel lies at the final frontiers of the internet, at the gaping mouth of a cave that guards the vortex that keeps it all churning, and Franku-san is the guardian of that vortex and, perhaps, his videos are a result of the radiation it gives off.

"Ore wa chin chin ga daisuki." ~ Chin chin

MARCH


Although I've heard plenty of responses to Anita Sarkeesian's controversial video that poke holes in her thesis and her general strategy, I still commend her for trying to engage gamers in a discussion about the role of female characters and recommend the series to anyone interested in the subject.

The main difference between our opinions is my belief that most of these tropes are relatively harmless and the biggest problem is that they are lazy as opposed to her thesis that these tropes have a negative impact on real people besides being offensive/irritating.


This was the article that set the standards and formula that I would use when writing the Pokémon of the Week articles throughout the rest of the year. It also made me reconsider some of my issues with the 3rd Generation of Pokémon that, in retrospect, I rather enjoyed.

On a small side note, my dog is actually named after Pokémon Ruby. It's a "secret".


There were a lot of anime moments, memes, and megahits in 2013, but one of the biggest surprises were how a little swimming anime promo that could became the abs and a filled anime for all of the anime community to enjoy. It was a fun flip on the popular trope of overuse of fan service in popular anime and it all began with a small viral video.

If we learned anything this year, it's that popular support can help almost any project get off the ground thanks to the internet and its netizens.


Cave Story was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had playing a video game in 2013 thanks to its perfectly balanced controls, a delightful world to explore filled with characters to meet, mysteries to solve, and monster to slay, and a soundtrack that hypnotically engaging. The craziest part of the whole story is that the game was the result of an independent effort of one brilliant game designer.

Seriously, download this game today.


On the flipside, there is the patently imperfect but playable platformer I can remember renting in my childhood, Magical Quest. Despite its flaws in difficulty this Mega Man-esque platformer is a great example of the Golden Age of Capcom-Disney games that received a slight nod this year with several HD remakes being released or previewed in 2013.


Bioshock Infinite was, probably, my favorite console game that I played in 2013. It has its flaws but I would argue that, in its own way, it is still on par with its classic predecessor, Bioshock released closer to the start of the last generation of gaming. I can't think of a better way to conclude the generation than with another adventure taking place in a twisted reflection of reality beautifully rendered on my Xbox 360. Perhaps the most memorable part of the game, besides the twists and turns of the plot, is your companion Elizabeth. Moments like running into her dancing on the beach like some sort of Americana Disney Princess will always live on in my gaming memory.

APRIL

I got to unleash my inner possum on the internet with this extremely well-written article that I commissioned from the o-possum that lives in the hole in the tree behind my family's trip trailer.


This game was a really big part of my year; after beating Naruto Ultimate Shippuden, I wanted to play something similar and this seemed to be the best bet for its price. I picked it up and I played through the storyline several times this years with different groups of friends and alone. Every experience was different and worthwhile. If that's not the definition of a game worth picking up, tell me.

It's not the best game I've played, but it was definitely unique.

MAY

WTF WED! JAPAN #5 SWIMMING ANIME CONFIRMED, MANNEQUINS & ANGLER FISH! (+lil witches)

While everyone was and is obsessed with fantastic/fascinating animes like Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill that I can't wait to sink my teeth into when I get a little time in 2012, I was cherrypicking whatever caught my interest online.

I never watched a full episode of Free!, the anime based on the swimming anime promo,but I'm happy it got made. On the other hand, I loved the anime ova, Little Witch Academia and I'm trembling with anticipation on checking out more of Studio Trigger's work.


Return to Ravnica was a pre-release I entered at the height of my passion for MtG and I spent a lot of money trying to make a competitive deck. But, due to a number of reasons, I feel my love of MtG has diminished or, at the very least, changed with other aspects of my day to day life.

I've played less MtG in 2013 than 2012, but I still plan to play it in the future. I still want to attend pre-releases and drafts. I'll go into more depth on the subject in the rest of the MtG articles that follow...


By the end of Spring, one video game turned me from a very occasional PC gamer to a hardcore PC gamer who spends hours playing my favorite MOBA, League of Legends, and downloading mods for my favorite Steam games. Hell, as I sit here, I'm waiting on my new League of Legends branded Razer mouse to come in the mail as a birthday gift from my loving parents.

As for League, I'm still a dedicated player, I'm so dedicated that I've been playing the game in between spurts of writing this article. Is that dedicated or an addiction? I'll talk more about the specifics of why I love the game in the later articles I wrote on the topic.

JUNE

My biggest regret of 2013 is that I didn't write anything besides my blog.


STEEL SAMURAI MECHAGODZILLA THAT WOUND UP WITH A SUPER TOUGH MEGA EVOLUTION! YUS PLZ!


Oh boy... I will not be able to put this heartbreak behind me until I know whether or not Jon Tron left on good terms and whether he will ever work with Egoraptor again. I like the Game Grumps sans Jon and I like Steam Train, but they are inferior to classic Game Grumps. Not only is Game Grumps missing Jon Tron, as well as his chemistry with Ego, but it is missing the reason why the show worked in the first place. Conflict.

I like Dan. In fact, I liked Dan before he was a member of the Grumps team. But he is not really a good substitute for Jon or even a good partner for Ego because, while I love Egoraptor, he needs to be called out on his opinions by a friend from time to time. Ross and, to much greater extent, Dan never seem to provide much opposition to Ego's opinions or arguments even when they're biased, unpopular, or just completely wrong.

Jon > Dan because Jon's opinions on games are something he takes very seriously. He would listen to Ego's argument and then would either add to the discussion constructively by agreeing or arguing with Ego's accurate or bullcrap opinion. With Dan, that almost never happens. He doesn't seem to care as much. He just sort of shrugs and nods and says "cool, whatever man, cool". That would be fine if it wasn't the fact the most golden moments of Game Grumps came from strife and conflict and pain. They didn't come from a static commentator. They came from a dynamic duo.

And that's my two cents.

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