It’s been a bit since my last sort of general update for site stuff: and with me doing a few creative decisions of late and working on slimming that Review Queue, I figured it would be a good idea to let it be known where my thoughts stand and how progress is on certain things: reviews, potential articles, Tomie stuff, and more! So, let’s just ramble on a bit…
Recently I say my job at handling the queue has been… Mixed. I’ve done decentish on going back to more games from the dreaded 2019 period of my life, but I’ve also gone back to do stuff from 2018 lately, with a few of the 2017 stuff lingering behind me to knock out. I’ve said many times, I don’t really have much of any excuses for shit taking so long: Generally I feel the delays amount to me getting cold feet when playing a game, not wanting to just quit a game super early (like, first hour early) and make a snap judgment review unless absolutely necessary: but as I learned when spending a couple of hours on stuff like Anodyne, if something ain’t clicking with me, it ain’t likely to click after some hours, and I just need to get on and be honest.
The urge to be super in-depth with reviews and detail things maybe more than people would typically like is a bit tricky, to say the least. I never exactly get comments on my reviews outside of from social media and developers, and thus despite worrying “oh, you didn’t detail X enough” nobody tells me one way or the other, so it’s just a habit on my end I need to kick. For a lot of the Switch stuff, this should mean I’ll knock them down over spring/summer, but there’s still the bigger behemoths on the PS4 to tackle, with one (Cold Steel IV) no doubt being a mountain, especially since i’m covering that one out of order. (basically beating III, and just jumping into IV when I’m ready, with only the prior CS games to go on. Still, Trails fans on Switch only had III and IV for a while, so if they can enjoy it, I think I’ll be fine…)
But yeah, 5 years on some reviews… Unacceptable, fully. I still keep my word on not bugging those devs for more games until their stuff in queue is done though, and I will try to give ETAs per request. Thus, as noted before, you probably have seen most of the newer releases I cover are retro-adjacent, shorter or retro reissues of sort, as I feel those are the perfect newer things to tackle as I go onto focusing on the bigger, older anchors from the past. Hopefully even when say, Shenmue I/II gets reviewed 5 years later, my take on it will be intriguing enough that it’ll be worth a read. I still cannot stress enough how much 2019/2020 taught me in terms of knowing to take as much as I can actually handle, and having to balance mental health with all this too.
As for the smaller queues like Xbox/Steam? Well, those are much closer to being finalized thankfully! Xbox doesn’t have much outside of games from 2021, and those were mainly difficult to write due to some of them conflicting with other games, and thus that’s why you’ve noticed I barely reviewed for that platform in a while. Steam Deck has helped a bunch of my queue on that end and I’ve taken smaller, newer games now and then to knock out as I alternate: my next Steam review is Senran Kagura Reburst, my next Switch review is LUNARK, and my next XSX review is Eagle Island Twist. I was also happy to knock out the 3DS/Wii U review queues before the stores shutdown, with me purchasing the two games on other platforms to try and make it up to those devs who waited so long. I expect Xbox to pretty much stay empty once cleared, and steam stuff to be the aforementioned smaller titles I’m aiming for.
Article Woes & Q/A kinda sorta
Well, in terms of non review articles… I think I really enjoyed how the Tomie article did! 5K+ and counting, with boosts coming whenever PMD related stuff gets in the news. If Exploration Team DX is a real product this year, I can see that taking off even more. Unfortunately, my tomie documentary video didn’t do well and as anyone can see on social, I’ve aggressively pushed that, and will keep doing so. More on vid stuff later though.
In terms of other interviews though? I don’t have much else planned: I flip-flop between trying to interview Noisycroak people to ask about their compositions for the 3DS PMD games, and waiting to see if I can reach Mr. Yamamoto, but on the other hand, I get cold feet, and worry me using the tomie interview as some sort of resume may be in poor taste… I’d of course love to ask tomie more questions if I could, but I rather not bug the man too much. I sometimes debate trying to start an art college project to send over to him, but alas, I get cold feet as well. Lemme know if you guys want me to try and do some sort of #ArtForTomie project, though!
I will say one interview I tried to do that failed: Arata Iiyoshi. I did get in touch with him years ago when he first appeared on socials, and thanked him for his music helping my life, and he acknowledged that, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to reach him even with the tomie interview completed. He comes and goes on socials, so I just chalk this up to him being super busy as a freelancer. If he ever becomes open for an interview though, I’d love to chat music with him!
As for the other popular articles I’ve done though, of the limprint variety, I’m still sticking by my stance to not make any more of them. I don’t really need to repeat myself on how much shit I got for the LRG ones in particular, but as much as a lot of people like them, a few detractors really, really don’t, and the last thing I want is an excuse for weird nerds to harass me over stuff that keep gettings views due to SEO. Sorry if my articles on your favorite company keep showing up in google search results due to customers looking up X item’s ETA constantly. I do debate maybe editing the older ones with new info, but I feel the limprint market is drying up for a reason, I made those points well in my articles, and people go back to them for good reason.
My only real addendum to them is that I noticed transphobia was getting rampant regarding LRG firing a transphobe, and thus since I know a lot of new detractors likely would try to use my articles as ammo, I made it firm in edits to them that I do not support that shit and if you think firing a transphobic community manager wasn’t a good idea (though some could beg to wonder if indie devs they were partnering with even knew and maybe it would have unfolded by itself…), you can leave my website. Trans Rights are Human Rights.
As for the Dispatch Games stuff, the other company I focused on, (and honestly, I say I still focused on them the most of any limprints I wrote about, considering how much digging I did for any scrap of info) that also won’t get any new articles, even with the reception to those pieces being way more positive. There’s just no new info, and my latest note in the update on Radirgy being delisted is as much as I know. Brian has never ever replied to any comments me or peers have sent to him, and he never will. If you’re unable to chargeback your money… Assume he ran with it. Sorry.
Really in general, since I get the occasional question or see one on reddit or the like: I’m not gonna make article on X company or X product that didn’t deliver, since my older ones pretty much cover it. And anything else I’m not familiar with or don’t care enough to waste time away from my big review queue to help with. “What about Hatch Tales?!?” well I never backed it and I pretty much made my dunk on that clear with how this mess got made. Other than that, just assume future opinion articles will be like, lists or something, I dunno.
Now back to the subject of Tomie, I made it very very clear that the Tomie docu-style video bombing was immensely upsetting to me. I knew it likely wouldn’t go viral, but I at least hope considering how popular the teaser vid for the article went and how people outright asked me for updates on the video version, seeing those same people ghost me when I return to them with a link to said video is… disappointing. I’ve been spamming it on Twitter, and anyone who has any awareness to PMD I make aware. Every time when people do watch it, they always really enjoy it and I even got a lovely comment lately confirming I did the right thing… So the real issues with the Tomie vid are the following:
1: Possibly the length: Docu/longer videos are popular on youtube, but not so much from people who don’t do them too much. Most of my channel was built off unboxings and gameplay, which isn’t even a focus anymore… But regardless 40 mins is the sweet spot, not double that like the Tomie vid. Still, I couldn’t have told that tale in-depth in that time, so I’m happy with my decision.
2: Suppression. I’ve been told too many things by other content creators and such that YT will just memory hole your video and not even have it show up in search for no reason at all. Sure enough, trying to search incognito doesn’t lead to the tomie video really existing at all unless I get very specific, despite stuffing it with tons of words and tags to help it spread. Some say it’s because it has to break 1K views to go far and wide, some say it’s due to copyright claims, (which the vid DOES have for PSMD footage, but it wouldn’t have even disabled monetization if it was enabled, so I doubt that one…) but ultimately I’m gonna assume it’s the former. Sooooo yeah, if you’ve seen the tomie documentary, share it anywhere you can. Facebook groups, reddits, twitter, discords, i don’t care. Just help the message get out, as I ain’t working on more Eternal Memories until that vid cracks a thousand views and becomes not suppressed anymore. I spent half a year on that video and seeing lower effort stuff crush it in comparison is… really painful, lemme tell you.
Of course another question is: Did Tomie himself watch it? I… I don’t know. I sent it to him and JP PR with a Japanese email earlier this year, and got no reply. It’s all in english so i doubt he’d understand it, but I have a hunch he might know it exists: I did get in touch with a mutual of his, who did peek at the video and found it a very admirable effort, so I’m gonna assume he knows I at least did something to spread his word.
I’ll keep doing my best.
Really, just more of the same old: queue reviews, new reviews, alternating between my full time job to hopefully get this done. I got a health scare earlier this month, but I am all OK now, and will keep on doing my best. I’m also not using Twitter anymore, outside of posting via this site and my Switch, due to obvious reasons. If any game devs/peers need to contact me elsewhere, I gave my discord to those I wanted to reach out to already. Otherwise, just find me on CoHost, or contact me via my youtube’s contact page email. Until next time…