Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in review - this blog!

I feel it's safe to say that this blog and people who read this blog are uniquely awesome.

Thegamesofchance has come a long way in the past year - more news, more reviews, more features, more editorials, more posts - and the increase in content is largely due to the reasonably capable PC I now write on.

I picked it up at the end of April for a few hundred dollars. It's no gaming rig, but my old PC was so ancient it would cough and sputter if you tried to run a YouTube video though it - this new one had an almost immediate impact on how quickly I could parse information and churn out posts. Just look at the archive for 2010, and you can see exactly when the new PC kicked in. January, February, March, April - all with about half as many posts as what came after.

All hail the new computer! Now then, let's get down to the business of looking back at the blog - and if you want a more exhaustive examination, just check out the Features and Reviews links near the top of the sidebar.

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I try to make this place a resource for Sony-centric gamers like myself, or just folks who are new to the game. With that in mind, this year I put together a few megaposts for folks looking to get the most out of their respective Sony hardware. First up, for people new to the PS3 we've got the feature "I just bought a PS3 - now what?"

The PS2 is still tottering along - on its last legs, sure, but it's still a console you can pick up for $100 in stores, if you'd like - and thanks to its phenomenal back catalog, there is an absolute glut of awesome games to play, if you get down in standard def. To help out folks looking to get the most out of their PS2, here's a post about the best the grand dame of gaming has to offer.

Of course, 90% of the blog's content is about upcoming games, and with an eye to that I began putting together monthly posts that gather up the most notable titles that will be releasing next month. Check it out - here's January's. ...I really should put a separate tag on those posts. "Hype train," or something like that. Certainly, these monthly nuggets are more easily-digestible than the gargantuan six-month posts I seem to like doing.

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In mid-august I reckoned that perhaps the blog is, in general, a bit lopsided. That is to say, I don't often hate on things in this space. Few and far between are the games I'll review and not give at least a tentative endorsement. Now, I still feel the reason I mostly tell you a game is good is because I mostly play good games - I make it my business to be informed on the subject to the point that I rarely make a purchase I later regret - but that doesn't stop things from being a bit too cheery around here. With that in mind, in August I began occasionally putting together posts called The Monthly Hate.

In the most recent I complained about Sony's shitty fall lineup. The first was about motion controls (which suck) - but I feel the best was definitely the one about PSJailbreak.

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Another thing I'm a bit proud of is the coverage of E3 2010. After the Sunday and Monday that kicked off the show, I was wrecked - wake up, get caught up on news, fire off a few posts, go to work, come home, read all the news that happened during the day, try to get to all of it, go straight to bed, wake up and repeat.

I went to my boss at work and explained that I have an external passion, and there's a huge conference going on right now that I want to cover, and can I please cash in some vacation days for the rest of the week?

He said yes, and the week of E3 I managed to put out over eighty posts on news, previews, videos and interviews from the conference. The new computer certainly helped - and June 2010 is still the all-time champion for most posts in a single month, with 149. Damn.

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I also significantly broadened my gaming horizons this year with the Wii, PSP and most recently, the 360. Strangely - and in contrast to general consensus - I'd have to say the most important one to me, of those three, is the PSP. I would not wanna' be without Persona 3 Portable, Valkyria Chronicles II or Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

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I also became a bit more public about my affection for anime, this year. Sure, I talked about Samurai Champloo in 2009, but in 2010 I discovered Paranoia Agent by the late, great Satoshi Kon. I also attempted to direct your gaze towards the Hellsing Ultimate OVAs, and admitted that - yes - I love Azumanga Daioh, and have purchased mangas. Also, if you're not intimate with Ghost in the Shell, you really should be.

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Finally, I reviewed a whole bunch of games. I'm going to count Alan Wake and Limbo here, because I played 'em in 2010 - even if I didn't write the reviews until today and yesterday.

(Deep breath...)

Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Bayonetta, Bionic Commando, BioShock 2, BioShock 2: Minerva's Den DLC, Darksiders, Dead Rising 2, DeathSpank, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Fallout: New Vegas, God of War III (twice), The God of War Collection, Heavy Rain, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Limbo, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Red Dead Redemption, Resonance of Fate, The Saboteur, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game, Shank, Valkyria Chronicles II

That's twenty-seven games. That's... a bunch. Lemmie think... what were the really good reviews...? I'm going to say Bionic Commando is my absolute favorite review of the year. If there is any review I wrote in 2010 that I want people to read, it's that one. Kirby's Epic Yarn's review was pretty good, Darksiders too - and BioShock 2. Ooh! And I really tear the new Prince of Persia a new one - that's unusual, for me.

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And that, in a (gigantic, overlong) nutshell is the year that was, on my humble blog. I'm grateful to everyone who takes the time to look around - and, for the record, it's still a great thrill to receive a comment.

Thanks, all of you. I'll try to do better in 2011!

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