Seafoam Gaming 2022 in Review: (Part 1)- Reflections

Another end of year, another roundup. This time, we have a bonus part for a total of four this year, the bonus one focusing on an aspect of my writing this year and why I cut back on it (and will continue to do so) while also focusing on the sheer insanity that was the response to those certain articles.

And of course, we end the final two days of the year on the worst and best games of 2022, a very tough task, since there was a lot more disappointments than gems for me this year. But also, this was one of the biggest, most exciting years of my entire writing career, with several events feeling like a grand culmination over the past decade+ of being an Internet writer. So, let’s do our usual reflections, on the site itself, my life, and my youtube work!


Catastrophic Crash

This was stressed a lot earlier this year, but yes, in February I had a hard drive crash on my Macbook of 6 years. More specifically, I had a full blown data loss that led to the entire laptop being inoperable, and no way to access the data on it. Sudden death, just like that. Several reviews in progress were completely lost and have to be rewritten, and a lot of video work was lost too. Needless to say, this derailed the first half of 2022 and hurt my mood immensely, and if it wasn’t for infrequent backups to a hard drive I did, I’d lost absolutely everything.

Nevertheless, I bought a new Macbook and a new PC and have been back at it, albeit slowly. This was in the midst of a huge project which led to it being slowed a bit, but I wouldn’t let the fate of the world slow my determination down one bit, and we got it done! Speaking of said big project, well…


The Tomie Miracle

The biggest project of the year, ended up being the finale to nine years of off and on inquiries into my attempts to reach a man who changed my life and meant the world to me: Shinichiro Tomie, the scenario writer to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Series! Earlier this year, doing one of many of my Twitter searches on a whim led to another man who interviewed the legendary writer, and well, the rest is history! I mentioned my intention to interview this man in passing on prior site updates, and I’m super happy to have been able to get this going in 2022.

But ooooooh boy, what a journey. All the prep for the interview, translation, working to launch it, all was very anxiety inducing, especially since my prior interviews on SFG have just done OK, but this? I was beyond overjoyed at the reception: tons of PMD fans praising it, learning about the wonderful man who wrote the stories they built a community around and cherish, and overall helping to just lead to people from all walks of the PMD community learning more about their favorite series. More importantly, I got to thank the man who wrote the game that pulled me through a rough time (Red Rescue Team) and let him know of the western fanbase and their general reception to his works.

Afterward? Well, I went to work on a video covering the journey that led up to that article, and it just released a month ago. You can see the recent site announcement post for the Tomie documentary here. Unfortunately, unlike the article, which did outstandingly well and got wide traction, the video version hasn’t been getting much, if any traction whatsoever. It’s incredibly disappointing to see, especially after several unboxings I barely promoted ended up getting more views at a faster pace, but even with the low view count, the reception to this big video project was overwhelmingly positive, which makes me relieved and feeling confident that when Tomie and PMD fans see it, they too will enjoy this long dive into Chunsoft and Telenet history!

Still, I will say that I don’t see myself making a video of this length or effort ever again, at least not with my current full time job/review queue setup. This took a huge chunk of time in 2022 and almost certainly sealed it so I wouldn’t possibly be able to get a standard Eternal Memories episode out this year, and it did also take time away from said review queue, too. I didn’t go into 2022 planning to accomplish a big dream of mine like this, but boy, am I glad I was able to, and I’m so excited to see what could possibly come next: perhaps I’ll stumble upon other developers in need of more appreciation in the west? I definitely would like a full length interview with Masayasu Yamamoto…


Youtube Content Updates

Here we go again. Most of the YT related stuff was taken up by the Tomie video I mentioned, along with continued unboxings of game collecting stuff. But as I’ve cut back hugely on that and will continue to do so, I’ll likely focus 2023 on more Eternal/Unscripted Memories content, more shorter form stuff using the experience I gained in video editing from the big Tomie project. A lot of stuff was in the works pre-Tomie, so I should have a few small retrospective vids next year, at least four or so I’m thinking. Otherwise, I’ll likely put a backseat to this as I focus more on this website, which means…


Review Updates

No excuses and no cutting corners. I didn’t do so hot at meeting my own ETAs for reviews and laughably, all the examples I gave last year for reviews I aim to finish this year, didn’t get done! Some were being worked on, but a lot just flat out were put on the backburner due to the swamp of work on the Tomie stuff, combined with my IRL job. Thus, you’ll probably notice a lot of reviews this year leaned more toward the indie/retro side of things, and I think that’s likely to be my strong focus after I finish the queue. I’ll cover the intriguing RPG now and then, but only when I have an actual mindset and determination to go through with finishing or near finishing one: Cold Steel IV is a behemoth as is and I’m nearing the end of CSIII still, so definitely don’t expect any games of that nature next year, save for possibly an import review of Ys X depending on how the switch version pans out.

Unfortunately this too means several reviews passed the dreaded five year mark, meaning Danganronpa V3 and Stick it to the Man. The former did get some recent wind in the form of an Xbox Game Pass port, which gives me some leeway in a review finding an audience all these years later, and the latter is made by a great team I’m sure will appreciate me getting around to it, but yeah, as a new year embarks, so too does the risk of more 5 year games… And I’m gonna try my damnest to get them done before that’s an issue. Again, I’m stupidly stubborn about wanting to overly detail parts of my reviews when I finally get down to them, so that’s pretty much the big reason I hesitate, next to self-doubt obviously.

On the bright side, my plan to seldom ask for review codes unless it was something I was able to do in a semi-timely manner has gone well, and I’ll still aim to focus on newer games in 2023 of the retro and indie type, so there’ll be some cool compilations and retro-inspired titles that’ll be covered next year, including the huge Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection! I also may review the Evercade collections to fill time between my normal reviews, since those are all compilations in a sense, and would give the site something to have inbetween my gaps caused by a working life. (Yet again, I apologize for the lack of updates, this month especially! Midwest Furfest and prepping this four part series was a huge timesink)

As always, if you’re a developer/publisher waiting for a game on the review queue do not hesitate to email/comment to me and ask about it. I’m always willing to work something out to make up for the delay, whether that be doing an interview about another title you may have on offer, or just flat out knowing what you’re up to next so I can personally purchase it myself: thankfully with the Steam Deck, buying indie titles is easier than ever, and in fact, you’ll see my 2022 lists were made possible thanks to a lot of interesting obscurities I discovered on my own…


Conclusion

Overall, 2022 was a rocky road. The first three months were pure nightmare hell thanks to a data loss, but I rebounded, got the interview of my dreams accomplished and a huge video project done to support it, along with SFG having some of the best stats since the WordPress launch in 2016: Reviews are doing better than ever and the Tomie Interview brought a lot of eyes to this site, which just leads me to be determined to try and better myself in the new year!

Even if I may be focusing on older, overdue reviews for most of 2023… Who knows what surprises the year will bring? I definitely have some others in mind I’d like to interview related to certain series/IPs I love, and if I could get any one of them to the table, well, maybe I’ll end up with an intriguing shift in direction for Seafoam Gaming once the queue is over and done with…

However, before we rush into the worst and best of 2022 lists, we still have a new part of the roundup to get to, a followup to an article I did earlier this year that’ll also serve as a finale related to a subset of articles I did more than I was hoping to this year. It’s more of another reflection piece, but should entertain or inform people who love to collect games. Until tomorrow, take care and be safe!

Thoughts on the Review?

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