It’s that time of year again: when I recap the entirety of my efforts throughout the year and determine whether or not I felt I did a good job or not, before going for ranking my best and worst games of the year, ending on New Year’s Eve. But for now, let’s just recap all I have done and endured throughout 2021, for better or worse!
Full Time Adventures
I have made it pretty clear on my socials and in my videos, but for the few website-only readers who don’t know, I got a full time job this year. This was after a huge disastrous experience working at a certain tech store part-time, and dealing with my hours going from 25-30 a week to 8 a week, which I later found out was very likely due to my manager finding out I had aspergers and using my phobias/nervousness as an excuse to give me next to no hours. When misbehaving coworkers would get 30 hr weeks without fail, and reporting him to HR did nothing but get me in trouble with him, I realized I needed to get out. Sadly, stubborn family members insisted I be courteous and wait for a backup job before going out of my crap one, and stupid me did just that.
Did you know that when you tell a bad employer you’re going to leave, they’ll suddenly throw 30 hrs on you again to get you to stay? Oh the joys of managers realizing that workers can use their power. Needless to say, if I did that today, I’d have just walked out the door. The great news though, is that the job I had lined up after was a promising full-time job, and it’s everything I could have hoped for. 40 Weeks, excellent pay and benefits, pretty much ideal for my state, no real complaints about it. However, as a result, my SFG time has been cut to being mostly on weekends (my off days) now…
So what does this mean? Trying to catch up on the 2019/2020 games in the queue was much, much tougher. I barely had time to play games, let alone write about them. But I’ve slowly knocked away at it, and this month a bunch of games finally got covered and knocked out. The queue is far from empty, but I’m confident in saying my goal of getting a lot of the backlog done this year was successful, even if it was mostly crammed into this month. More on review updates later… I’m getting used to this new ordinary, but hopefully you can deal with me a bit, and when the queue is all fixed, I should be a lot more relaxed to do my own thing~
Popular Articles, Unfortunate Trend
Unfortunately, it appears my fear of my most popular articles being the ones that get people riled up is still true. This year I made quite a few opinion articles, including one I was very proud on regarding the Virtual Console service. But I had to do updates on Dispatch Games, leading to an explosive investigation that revealed how the CEO sold off his home just to afford funding games that are 2 years overdue. It seems very blatant the company is bleeding money and by next year you won’t likely see any of those fancy CEs out in the wild.
Another company that got a lot of attention, some I didn’t even expect, was Limited Run. Youtube watchers know I supported the crap out of the company and they got me on the limited print trend for five years, and I played so many great games thanks to their releases. So when they handled my favorite franchise of all time, I was thrilled! Unfortunately, it led to a huge disaster, which is what my article goes into. TLDR: their QC is slipping and it impacted my favorite IP with a bait and switch, and with their CEOs namesearching and blocking anyone who brings up their errors now, it seems pretty clear that company has strayed far from their mission (how the fuck do you not inform customers about DOOM DRM, even if you have no control to remove it, a heads up would at least help wonders?).
It seems a lot of people had similar frustrations, since outside of my initial share on Twitter, I didn’t do any promotion of the LRG article at all: several peers and friends did, sharing it across forums and thus leading it to being the most popular article of the entire year. I’m not too happy that my most popular writing is yet again a negative article, but… I guess frustrations are best relieved by reading. Needless to say, I’ve gotten a ton of DMs and messages thanking me for the article, along with some tips that I’m apparently one with a reputation in the Limprint collector community due to me wanting what I paid for, so that’s just fun.
In better news though, reviews are actually doing pretty good: Some get 50-100 views now, usually when a sale, physical, or Opencritic deal kicks off. Smilebasic seems to be my most popular review still, which is pretty lovely. So that gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward!
Youtube Content Updates
Here we go again folks. Youtube Content has been pretty iffy this year, with me slowing down with unboxings this fall after cutting off LRG. I still film LRG unboxings for the stuff that I have pending with them, but I don’t upload any due to me not wanting to support a company that tried to bait and switch me and then cover their asses. I have gotten into shorts for simpler unboxings and goofy skits though, which have done well, but I’m not shifting into those full time, so no worries. Nickit still stinks.
Eternal Memories kicked off season 4 this year, for a grand total of 3 episodes, nearing the completion of a fourth as I type this. I have nearly 7 of the 10 episodes scripted, and the biggest obstacle is of course, the PMD retrospective, having not moved an inch since last year. However, due to me getting into cartridge dumping, I’ve gotten tons of promising ways to share direct footage of my childhood stuff, so the future of the show is very bright! I feel that when PMD III.8 does launch, it’ll lead to a quick release of PMD IV afterward, and a bit longer until IV.5 and the finale. Knowing my luck, Exploration Team DX will be out by this time next year, or PMDVI will be revealed and ruin everything.
Still, new editing, new thumbnail sprites, a new sona, all leading to these being hella fun when I do get the time to work on them. There’s also the fact Unscripted Memories did pretty well this year, with a Little Tail Bronx video getting more views than I realize, which made me overjoyed! Being able to embrace my furry self more lately has helped a lot for my mental health, and I’m gonna keep being more furry as time goes on. In 10 years, I’ll probably even have a full Braixen suit. Just you wait.
Unfortunately, I also had quite The Experience with old gameplay videos being yoinked for a mega popular youtube channel without consent, which has led to mixed emotions. I stopped making gameplay vids years ago for many factors: me being outdone by people who download pirated Switch games to get gameplay vids out first, the death of GoNintendo (who promoted my gameplay vids), and not much personal incentive to make gameplay vids. I tried streaming earlier this year, but with Twitch’s abuse problems and Streamlabs revealing themselves to be scum, I decided to refrain from that, too. I’m generally pretty fine with my footage being used for a vid or retrospective (after all, PMD Part 1 uses Ris Grestar’s footage with his consent, and I thank him to this day for helping me get my start), but when you don’t even have the courtesy to ask first, that just feels outright rude: it’s insulting when you see a small channel struggling to get 100 views on a retrospective I made for 6 months, and think it’s OK to yoink some minutes of footage for your trivia vid. I managed to get a card in the video after handling it calmly, but I definitely have my eagle eye out for future incidents, so please, ask before you wanna use my content for something. I’d even be willing to narrate a video about PMD for ya. Would sure help me not feel invisible… Then again, with how said card did nothing to boost my channel growth, maybe I should have gone for the direct approach and stood my ground.
Needless to say, Season 5 is likely to kick off Summer of next year, and I think that one will go longer than the 10 episode norm. I also think my 1K goal will be hit, which means Ancient Happiness Vanished will finally be read and covered in full! …God, Looney Tunes X Ys is still a dumbass crossover I made. Co-author Josiah, if you somehow read this and wanna guest in the episode for our fanfic, hit me up on my email in the SFG Youtube bio.
You know the drill. There’s still some big games I couldn’t quite cover this month due to their size/complexity/struggles, so let’s go over them and an ETA. I did manage to catch up on a lot of the queue this year, but the full time job has made it tough to even do that, so once I finally am fully caught up with the review queue, i’m absolutely gonna cut back on accepting review codes, especially those sent without asking. I have 3K unread emails as of my writing and I’ve seen several of those outright include steam/switch codes, according to their email title, and I’m gonna keep saying no or holding off on redeeming them until I’m caught up, so if you’re a dev trying to email me to cover your game and haven’t heard back, please understand that I’m sticking to what I owe others first.
Trails of Cold Steel IV (PS4)- Er, wow. So yeah, this being so linked to Cold Steel III means I have to beat it before I can remotely understand IV… And the final half of the game being way longer than expected? Yeah, I ain’t getting this done for a while, and will absolutely refrain from doing Reverie or Kuro. I may do the Zero duology, and will definitely review Nayuta, but a game of this magnitude in a convoluted, multi-link series? Definitely one I don’t wanna do in a stacked queue again. I hope my takes will be worth it though when it’s ready.
Danganronpa V3 (PS4)– Jesus christ, it’s been four years. Once again, I need to be up front that I never ever intend for any review to take longer than a year tops, but as noted in prior updates… Yeah, me thinking I needed to watch the anime at all costs before booting this game held me back on playing deeper than the first chapter. Yet, with the Switch port and other recent events kinda showing that even SC doesn’t care if you play this after 2, I figured that I might as well just go for and play it like I would normally. Hoping that before mid 2022, I finally get this justice…
Shenmue I/II (PS4)- Some good news: I actually played Shenmue I more and ditched my OCD with trying to 100% to test out the link transfer thingy! Bad news, I still need more time and this has been shelved despite being a 3 year wait, so I’m hoping to finally get to this. May the lords at Sega Europe have mercy on my soul.
Sakura Wars (PS4)– Uhhhhh, yeah, I don’t have a good excuse for this one, since I caught up on Yakuza Remastered and only have the 5 portion left to review: which should be out in Jan due to me not needing to do much in order to reach the final playable character I need to write up on. This one just hit at a wrong time and was a case where I thought I could effortlessly plow through this, only to get hit by the whole mental demotivation to 2020. Like I promised, I’m gonna make sure to cover this and Yakuza/Shenmue before asking for another Sega review copy. Yet again, I was way off with my estimation last year, so I’m not even going to try and set one for next year, and just will finish it as soon as I’m able.
Deadly Premonition Origins (Switch)- Most of my bigger queued switch games have been caught up on this year, with only a bunch of smaller/med games left, though this is one of the outliers. Now the sequel has been out for a year and I barely spent time with this original game… My older stuff in the queue like Stick it to the Man is higher priority, but this and Ryza are the last “huge” Switch games I need to cover, from the list I have.
Overall in terms of life changes and goals… 2021 was fine, and the full time job helps a ton. My gripe is that it’s also eating away at the stuff I love to do, and with this website being a 100% solo effort (no, that will never change), the lone wolf staff that is me needs to juggle a ton. Do I like that yet again, the most controversial, spicier writings got more views than stuff I backbreak on? No, but at least I have more fun writing these reviews and articles than what I forced myself to suffer with writing before I started my review website in 2014.
Then again, with my full time job basically sucking away my free time, I expect the next year to be equally tough, especially with my dedication to working on my retrospectives: here’s hoping 2022 has me finally pass 1K views on an episode!