2022 year in review

Hey this year fucking sucked. General dog shit world events. The All Out press conference, and the literal months of unhinged bull shit that followed. Having to work and travel for offline reasons for most of the year left me unable to do any cool projects I actually wanted to finish. Lots of personal loss. Lost respect for a lot of people I would have considered friends up until now. Lost my cat. Lost the rest of my family that I didn’t have issues with. Lost my best friend. On top of all that, I was literally snowed in today and couldn’t leave the house. Really did not enjoy 2022, which felt more like a continuation of the terrible ways 2021 ended, which was a complete 180 from how 2020 ended.

Let me try and find some good things that happened this year. Well, I finally wrote a short story for the first time in a decade. Not sure if it was a particularly great one, but at least I wrote it and put it out there. Can’t get better at something if you never put the effort in, right? Made a couple new friends, ones that I can play fighting games with, which is always good. Twitter and Kiwi Farms died this year. I guess some cool games came out? That’s fun. Damn, that’s really about it. At least, about as much as I can remember off the top of my head; this year really sucked, folks.

So, what are my plans for 2023? I want things to quiet down. I simply wish to be left to my site, and to my projects. I want to write things that are cool, or write about things that are cool. I’d like to finish developing a game for the first time since the pre-pandemic days. I’d like to improve my skills at fighting games. I would like to be able to communicate with people in a better way than we have for so many years. I want to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and read someone’s blog posts, the way we used to. I would also like to start having my name associated with the things I create, rather than nearly a decade of notoriety that I don’t want, never wanted, and never asked for in the first place.

Please, I ask to nobody in particular, have 2023 be a year free of bull shit. The year where I get that edge back. Kind of over feeling so drained that I pass out in my office chair when I could be doing something creative or fun. I’m getting old, I need everything to slow down a little bit. Leave me alone to be a cantankerous old fucker that wants to analyze retro games and break down what makes them good. Well, leave me alone only if you’re if a dickhead or the bad kind of weirdo, like the “I don’t really know what boundaries are” kind, otherwise feel free to leave comments or messages. Might even bring back the mailbag!

Well, that’s it. My mood has been getting better than it has been over the last couple weeks, so I’ll be getting back into the swing of things. I’ll leave you all with a recent redesign of everyone’s favorite OC, Slimegirl:

(compare this to the original design)

And also a gothic song, so we can really back into the mood.

moi dix moi- shadows temple-x

winter playlist

I’ve decided that I won’t be doing any articles until the start of the new year. Given that it’s the final week of 2022, that’s a pretty easy decision to make. However, it is Christmas Eve, and I thought I would at least leave something here. That something being The Winter Playlist. This is not a series of Christmas related songs. Rather, I picked a bunch of game tracks that evoke that feeling of a real winter; the cold, the darkness. Hope you like it!

12/15/2022

Hello everyone. I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. The reason being is because I got some bad news, which has very quickly led to 2022 being one of the worst years of my life, and left me in a state of mourning for a while. I’ve spent so much time the last week and a half either upset, pissed off, or being completely numb and not realizing that I’ve spent an hour blankly staring off into space. That’s why there wasn’t any post last week, and why I’m not exactly in the mood to do any work this week. I’m making this post because I didn’t want to come across like I was going to abandon this place or shut it all down; I just need a little time, is all.

So, what have I been doing this whole time, aside from grieving? Well, not much. Doing that thing where I fall asleep in my chair while watching videos again. Trying to play some games to pass the time, and not really enjoying them. Like, even Guilty Gear doesn’t feel fun anymore! It’s been an internal battle in my head over whether or not I should be allowed to enjoy things right now; I’ve dealt with a loss on a level that I haven’t dealt with before, I can’t just load up an old Sega game and make the bad feelings go away. On top of that, I’m kinda sorta full of extremely vengeful feelings right now towards the games industry and its horde of neo-nazis and neo-nazis who pretend to be communist for twitter likes. I feel like the only reason I haven’t deleted all of my work and gone to live in a cave is because there has to be at least one person in this country who can analyze and develop games without turning into a murderous right-wing queerphobe or a straight up rapist. Now that I no longer feel the need to force myself to read people’s stupid bull shit that they say for “engagements,” maybe I can merely retreat into a digital cave. A digital cave of retro games, space stuff, pro wrestling, and trans porn. Fuck your discourse and “main characters,” leave me alone to be with my dungeon crawlers and hot chicks with fat hogs (yeah, hate-read that, game journos who like to come here and steal my ideas and analysis and do a bad job of applying your own spin on it).

That being said, I have been picking up Game Boy development again, as I’ve run into some serious bugs and issues with the game I wanted to release for PC and Switch (right, I don’t think I mentioned that I became a licensed Nintendo Switch developer earlier this year (not nearly as impressive as it sounds)). Some of you may remember that I have already released one GB game already, but that was merely a graphically face-lifted version of the stuff I had been doing in Bitsy. This time, I’m making a game with mechanics and fun factor and all of that. It feels a lot more rewarding putting together a functional platformer here on Game Boy than in the engine I had been using previously. So far, at least. The game is basic stuff right now, but it should be pretty fun when I get around to finishing it when the fuck ever.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’d like to really come back and do fun stuff like talk about games; despite how much I hate the industry, I absolutely love games. I think they’re great! They are a medium that cannot be replicated in any other medium aside from itself. Talking about good games is fun, and I love doing it. Maybe I can try writing other stuff again, like a second short story or something. But right now? I’m just not feeling it. Need to finish processing this loss of someone I cared about. Not that it’s something you can ever truly get over, but accept to a point that I can do stuff again and not be sad in the middle of doing it.

bit generations: orbital

Thanks to Astro Boy, I have sort of fallen down this nostalgic rabbit hole of old GBA games I was obsessed with a decade ago. Shockingly, Nintendo had a great handheld where a good chunk of its best games were buried underneath a mountain of licensed dogshit based off of a cartoon that was already memory holed months before the game left the planning stages, or were left in Japan entirely. The latter is what happened to the bit Generations series. A series of simple yet aesthetically pleasing games that ranged from “eh, not that great” to “put this on your list of must-play GBA games” in terms of quality. Orbital is, not surprisingly, one of those games.

Orbital is a game where you are a tiny white star that’s trying to become a planet. You do this by absorbing other stars of an equivalent size until you become big enough to move on to the next stage. You can only move by using your planet’s own force of gravity to attract itself to or repel itself from another celestial body, all while trying not to collide with another planet or asteroid. You do this for 30 levels, then two additional sets of stages, assuming you unlock them. It’s a pretty simple concept, but a compelling enough one.

You may find yourself wondering if Orbital counts as this chill game. Is this the kind of thing you want to play in order to relax?

NO

Orbital is a pretty hard game! The weird movement and relying on gravity can be pretty tough in later stages full of asteroid belts, or when you have to maneuver between multiple large planets orbiting one another, where your gravity gets really weird and you don’t know where you’re pulling yourself to. You can go from clearing one stage in moments, to crashing into seemingly everything and getting a game over in the next stage. Orbital can be obtuse, it can be frustrating, it can be weird in an uncomfortable way. All that being said, Orbital is still a tremendous amount of fun that still looks great. I consider this my favorite in the bit Generations series. Yes, Dotstream is extremely colorful and visually pleasing to me, and Coloris has a Cornelius music video included with it, but I still prefer Orbital. Also, it probably doesn’t hurt that it’s a game about space, and space is one of my many gimmicks.

Orbital also got a sequel (remake?) on the Nintendo Wii where it was called Art Style: Orbient. This was also a pretty fun one, and it at least was given an international release. I know this because I bought it day one on the Wii Shop and enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s a bit easier to get into than the GBA game, but not an easier game to finish. Still rules. Play it in Dolphin.

It’s always fun to load up the emulator (mGBA seems to be the go-to these days) at night and play this game about literally finding your place in the universe. I did it all those years ago, huddled up and freezing to the bone in my shitty apartment where the heat doesn’t work, listening to shoegaze and moody ambient music. I’m doing it again now, still freezing, still listening to great music, still enjoying the sight of the stars.