Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 YEARLY ROUND-UP! PART 2! JULY-DECEMBER!

 DUMBLEDORE SHOT FIRST PRESENTS
THE 2013 YEARLY ROUND-UP!

And now we crash into the second half of the year that saw a series of ups and downs much more challenging than in the first half. I won't pretend that my life is especially difficult, but I am still proud of myself and thankful of the support of my family for doing what I gotta do and having the support to do that stuff.

But, on the other hand, I'm a lot more prepared for 2014 than I was for 2013; I've gained some perspective from my experiences and think I'm ready for anything life can throw at me in my 23rd year.

"In the 22nd regeneration of the implejr, he got a retail job, lost weight, mastered the science/art of beardcrafting, watched every episode of every Star Trek series, become a Bronze I summoner in League of Legends, played/reviewed a lot of board games, drafted plenty of Magic the Gathering, got a Wii-U with his own money, and gained a good bit of perspective. The 23rd regeneration, pictured here, probably needs to start dating again, should finally get his driver's license, will pay taxes this year, might get around to playing all of the games he has backlogged, could and should get in grad school or get my teaching certificate, has to write something and definitely needs a haircut. Hippy."

Part one can be found HERE.

And without further ado:


JULY

One of the funnest magic experience I had in 2013 was not by playing Standard, but by dipping into two unfamiliar territories in one evening: I played my first draft with the best Magic set of 2013, Modern Masters. Modern is a format that involves every set made since they added the black border to cards and the format is popular amongst long time players. For a relative newb like myself, the format would be difficult/expensive to get into because of the prices of the cards. Modern Masters provided a method for these newer players to get staples of the Modern format and, probably more importantly, gave everyone a chance to play in a custom draft format made of amazing cards.

I had a lot of fun, got a ton of great cards, and can't wait to draft more in 2014. Especially if they release another limited set like Modern Masters.


I've had my rig for two years and I can finally call myself a PC gamer after 2013; I've bought a few dozen games this year, spent lots of cash on DLC, use mods, played betas, and just dropped some dough on a new mouse. As the console generation came to a close, I found myself drawn to the attractive game discounts and the ability to play with more of my friends. I think PC gaming would be a far less attractive option if not for Valve's Steam game distribution service and sales that blow every brick and mortar store out of the water with deals that can't be beat.

Heck, if not for Steam, I think PC gaming would be even more niche.


There are pre-releases and there are pre-releases and this one really made me accept that I need to work hard on my drafting/limited skills. It takes a little more than knowledge about cards to build a solid deck; it also takes a good pool of cards, a little luck, and the ability to construct on the fly.


Articles like this really make me think about how I can use my knowledge to create articles with a little extra meat on the bones for those looking to learn/be challenge and a side of french fries for the casual reader.

AUGUST


My biggest Magic the Gathering project of 2013 was breaking down, after collecting cards for over a year, to build my first Commander deck. The deck has a few little problems but, when building a deck on a budget and without a ton of knowledge on how to make such a big theme work, it is a lot of fun when it works. I'm excited to play some more Commander in 2014 now that I've managed to get a hold of all of the Commander 2013 products and combined the best parts of the RGW deck from the set with this build.


The best Pokémon article of the year was about one of my favorite Pokémon and gave my readers/friends/myself a look at how far the Pokémon anime has come in depicting battles, especially with their choreography and epic moments.


The hobby I invested the most time and energy in 2013 had to be League of Legends. I don't think I'll ever be anywhere near Challenger, but I really think that the competitive scene of League of Legends hit the status of being legitimate sport this year. The first esports professional to get an athletic VISA is a League pro, the world championship was a huge hit online, and the game's community is one of the largest video game presences online. The game has a visually interesting style that, when coupled with the strategy/tactics/skill of the players, makes for an entertaining game to play, watch, and talk about with other players and fans.

Simply put, after dethroning Call of Duty, I think League of Legends will remain my new multiplayer fix for years to come.



I'm not gonna be able to talk about all of the good Pokémon articles I wrote, so I'll keep my thoughts short and to the point. Mega Evolutions were a great reveal that attracted a lot of older fans and turned out to be a decent if slightly unbalanced addition to the series. My favorite Mega Evolution wasn't revealed until some time later...



I need to rediscover my creative flame. I occasionally get these little sparks, but I don't have anything for them to ignite...yet.

SEPTEMBER


It's definitely worth mentioning, right off the bat, that, since I wrote this awesome article, I have bought Vi and she is currently my favorite jungle champ. I still main ADC, but lately I've been playing a lot of other roles. As for her partner Caitlyn, despite trying and succeeding with other ADCs, she is still by far my favorite champion in the game thanks to over all aesthetic and gameplay.

I still intend to write articles on the other roles and my favorite champs in those roles soon.




A big factor behind my move to dedicate time and money into League of Legends was that it allowed my old gaming clan to get back together, stronger than ever, with a new multiplayer game to bring us back together, online, every night. Lately, we've all been a little distracted by the holidays, work, family, etc. but I know we'll soon be laning together for Season 4.

Hell, we're even recruiting more friends into the action so we can have a little more flexibility and hopefully play more games when some of the regulars are busy. I think with teamwork, practice, and a little luck we can get our clan to Gold this year. I look forward to the climb.



I'm still waiting on Naruto to wrap-up so I can finish it and be content. Still, from what I did read and watch, the anime is awesome. On a similar note, the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series rocks and I'd recommend it to fighting game fans and Naruto fans alike.


Even though I got the tar beaten out of me at this pre-release, sharing the experience with my friend Katherine made this a much more enjoyable experience then the M14 event and I can't wait for the Born of the Gods pre-release in February.

OCTOBER


Mega Charizard X made good on all of my expectations when it came to Mega Evolutions.




Pokémon X & Y was and is an experience worth buying the 3DS for and is not only a great installment in a great series, but possibly one of the best sequels of all time.


NOVEMBER


It's seeing the first episodes of shows like this that make me regret that I took the cable box offline in my room in 2013.


Did I mention that I love Commander?


My favorite gift of 2013 was probably the awesome Pokémon badges that my best friend Zach gave me this year. I even find them snazzy enough to wear with my dressier stuff, as seen at the head of the article, but I plan on buying a vest and hat to complete the look.

DECEMBER


It took so long to get another Team Starkid musical, but the wait was definitely worth it! Twisted is one of their best productions, easily challenging my number one spot, Holy Musical B@man!, and being my favorite entertainment while washing the dishes or writing articles since it's release back in November.

I highly recommend it to all fans of Disney films and musicals alike but, be warned, it does contain adult language and humor.


Hoo boy! December has just been a frickin' delightful roller coaster of hard work and hard play; between working my keister off and enjoying my new Wii-U as much as I can...which due to my work schedule and other hobbies has been maybe a few hours a week. Still, with my hours being cut down after the holidays, I look forward to beating my Mario games with my bestest friends and finally tackling Windwaker HD.

On a related note, despite owning Ocarina of Time on 3DS, I still have not beaten it or even got to the first significant dungeon. Am I bad Zelda fan? Or just don't have time for handhelds like I used to?



Some of my new happy thoughts in 2013: Ostrich dances, bear raves, doge memes, a good League of Legends session, Cave Story, getting to Bronze I before Season 3 ended, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Mega Charizard X, punching the pieces out of a new board game set, the possibilities of a new Star Wars film, Mighty No. 9, the fact that Wes Anderson still makes good movies, Tubb Ramkin, more Disney & Marvel movies, "I WILL FIND HIM!", Jontron possessed by demons, ASK APPLEJACK, Chaos Life, Obscurus Lupa's Baywatch and Charmed series, all the new friends I've made, and all of the thousands of moments that contribute to my optimism going into 2014.


I love my dog.


 
Quick confession: the most toxic thing that my friends and I tend to do in League of Legends is, if we want to exit a queue without having to dodge and have to wait five minutes or more to re-queue, pretend we don't speak good English and lock into the same role to force someone else to dodge. Our favorite role to insta-lock this way is "jungle" which we will call with "jingle" and "jangle" and many more ridiculous words.

Everybody trolls a little bit, sometimes.

I always end up doing something creative, whether fruitful or pointless, when I get into a hobby or fandom and my first real fanfiction-like development with League of Legends came at a whim, after working hard to think up an original champion for months, when I realized how awesome a Poro champ could be. I really think it would be a fun addition.

What do you think?


It is appropriate that I wrapped up my year of weirdness with a Filthy Frank article considering how much insanity and entertainment he has brought me this year. There is just so much offensive but unique content on his youtube page that I simply have to appreciate the work that goes into these videos.



What's a better way to end this year in review than ending with a review of my last two reviews of 2013: I should have gotten to these months ago but I just didn't get around to it until right after Christmas because, after playing some of my new games I got, I remembered I still had at least two games that I had planned to review. Board games were a big factor for filling up the gaps in this year's meetings of the Action Society, which has seen more stable periods of play, and I think board games are a fair substitute.

I hope to get more RPG time and Tabletop gameplay in 2014.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

I gotta give last year a TENOUTTATEN!

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