Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 YEARLY ROUND-UP! PART 1! JAN-JUNE!

 DUMBLEDORE SHOT FIRST PRESENTS
THE 2014 YEARLY ROUND-UP!

2014 is over and, as we go into 2015, I will be taking new opportunities and trying new things to keep this humble blog going into 2016!

This year, a little later than last year, I've decided to share another smattering of articles, my favorite and the best of the best, to represent the year of 2014. Like last year, I've managed to summarize it to less than fifty articles between both halves of the year.

2013 was a very difficult and trying year, for several reasons, as I had just got out of college and was transitioning into adulthood. 2014 is defined by me finding my footing as an adult and finding a proactive routine to build upon. This first of the year was defined by expectations being piqued for the year to come.

This year saw articles on Nintendo and figurine collectibles taking the place of the former dominant position of Pokemon Updates and Magic the Gathering articles. I also experimented with the Let's Play format in the place of podcasts. This made this an interesting year of choices that show, as I go forgward, I plan to continue to evolve as a hobbyist and blogger.

Now, let's turn a nostalgic eye towards 2014.

P.S. You can check out 2013's Round-Up Here.

JANUARY


As I trekked back through 12 months of articles, one of the first article and happy memories that popped up was the hilarious dub of Ghost Stories. I can remember watching it with my friends, replaying the funniest parts, and maybe this where the first desires for me to rekindle the fire that is my inner otaku was stoked. Maybe.


I started 2014 with the same fervor I had for Magic as I had in 2013 but something soured...

Perhaps it was that the flavor of the particular set didn't really capture my interest, as much as Return to Ravnica and Innistrad, or maybe it was that I didn't feel like I had enough money to afford a competitive deck and, with the deck I had, couldn't expect to have much success at weekly magic events, or maybe it was that none of my friends seemed to have an interest anymore either.

Either way, I've taken a year long break from Magic and I'm sure sure when I'll re-initiate my interest in a hobby that I truly loved.

FEBRUARY


Frozen has dominated the last year and, much to my pleasure (at least at first), has gone on to be a worldwide phenomenon that has put Disney (The House of Mouse) back in the lead in the animated Game of Thrones they play against Dreamworks (The House of Shrek) and the other maudlin animation studios with their minions, end party songs, and celebrity voices.

I have to say that, despite many people growing tired of it from the film's overexposure, I can't really hate Frozen for being so popular. To all of those thinking the film is overrated or overexposed or overcommercialized...

LET IT GO!

MARCH


 ... plus Disney hit out of the park with amazing Marvel films this year-- they started out strong with Winter Soldier, which was a bit dumb but an otherwise fun spy action thriller-- and they really set high expectations with the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

The critics and naysayers had been declaring this to be the film that would break Marvel's confidence in the ever-growing market of super hero films. They said it was too obscure, too weird, and too different to succeed. It went on to be the biggest movie of the year, with a best selling soundtrack, and has basically set the bar for super hero movies to come!

Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite super hero movie.



Despite the fact that I didn't just post Pokemon article in ad nauseam, I still had to talk about the biggest news in the series this year and I honestly don't think anything got as much excitement as a social experiment as the bizarre phenomenon of the Twitch Plays.


So much science, so much learning. Such yes.


I played a lot of League of Legends this year, even if most of Nufu has become distracted by Xbox Ones and Destiny and WoW and so many other games this year, and Vel'Koz proved to be a fun and valuable tool in my personal arsenal.  I actually use him a lot in the support role, especially when I'm feeling like having some fun, because of his constant harass, crowd control, and his ult giving him the ability to kill foes who otherwise might escape. I like it!


And, as I play a Nuzlocke of my new copy of Omega Ruby, I am reminded of my amateur but fun speed run of Pokemon Yellow. It is a lot of fun mixing up the challenge of Pokemon and I was surprised to discover that the strategy I wound up using did have some elements of the dominant strategy used in Pokemon Yellow speed runs-- Generation I Nidoking is overpowered and can take on the world!

APRIL


One of the funnest sequels I've ever written is about the one of the lamest sequels to a prequel ever produced...and I'm okay with that. The o-possum character is a ton of fun to write as and his opinions about Star Wars are a great way to satirize the prequel saga. This year, as I took Attack of the Clone in my sights, I took special glee in making fun of Boba Fett fanboyism.



 Goat Simulator was one of the weirdest games I've ever played and I love it. It is basically a skate boarding game where, instead of a skater on a skateboard, you are goat and, instead of focusing on stupid tricks, the game is a free form comedy where you search for weird secrets and make bizarre things happen with the physics engine. I love short and weird games like this and I hope the future is filled with such nonsense. BAA!



I recorded several new Let's Play series this year and I hope to try and do some more this year, when and if I can find the right game and circumstances, because not only were the Let's Plays fun, they were also some of the best content I produced this year. I am pretty dedicated to making this videos, even with my limited software, thanks to my very fancy microphone set-up and audio editing suite, but I just need to find some better editing/recording software and a consistent partner or partners to share in the comedy.

If anyone is interested in giving it a shot with me or doing a podcast this year, just let me know!


Elder Scrolls Online was my first big gaming disappointment of 2014. Luckily, I didn't pay for any of the other big disappointments, save one particular title, and I still enjoyed the time I spent playing with my friends. Then again, I'd enjoy playing anything with my friends!

MAY


Another great champion release of 2014 for Riot was the big and bulky Braum. These articles are actually pretty fun to write out and I feel like I learn a lot about the champs mechanics by doing the research to describe their basic abilities, passive and combos. Maybe in 2015 I can try to mix up the League content a bit more?


The most likely Let's Play series I intended and still intend to continue is my Let's Play of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney with my friend Zach. In fact, we began recorded the second episode but something came up and we never got back to it. Maybe I can get Zach to come around in recording a second case this year?

JUNE


Holy crap! Nintendo completely blew away the competition in 2014 with a ton of great exclusives, the best DLC and accessory support, and not a single big disappointment. They don't release unreleased games, they don't have overpriced DLC or season passes, and they don't insult the intelligence of the gamers. Instead, they deliver on all of the hype!

With the hype surrounding Smash Bros 4 by the end of E3 2014, Nintendo had a lot to deliver on and, in my opinion, they really delivered.


Meanwhile, the other big companies made 2014 a very controversial year amongst gamers by releasing unfinished and overpriced and just terrible games.

I hope 2015 fairs better.

On the plus side, games like Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation show a lot of promise for the next generation of gaming.


Another chapter in my desire to watch more anime in 2014 came in the form of creating my own anime music playlist on youtube. The music really inspires me and puts me in a good, confident, and outgoing mood. And that's how I feel right now.

2014 was shaping up to be pretty special.

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