Hello everyone! Long time no see. (ummm cheezy) Statistically speaking there was not even a SINGLE blog post by me on Gamespot in the 2009 and to be exact, the last blog post was way back in December 18th 2008!
I've always been a huge procrastinator, but I guess I reached the ultimate level last year. I did plan to post many times but ended up with none. I would daily check blog updates from fellow GS'ers and comment... but that too stopped last year. The only thing that I kept doing was the first thing I did when I joined GS, post in the forums. I daily check my post history and keep talking to pals from various unions. However, there are two groups of friends at GS, people who you talk with in the forums and others with whom you communicate via blog comments, I've missed you all, my blog friends. Now, its time to change that.
The main point to note now is that, its the END of the FIRST DECADE of the... NEW MILLENNIUM. Being someone who has only lived for two whole decades, this last one sure has been quite a ride. I got my computer in '98, internet connection in '99 and been at Gamespot ever since.
Hundreds of movies were seen, songs were heard, games were played and of course, days were lived. The biggest way how this past decade was different was that I now basically had two lives. One online and the other, offline. I am pretty sure everyone here understands what it exactly means. Once you go online, the uncontrolled flow of information really gets your brain on overdrive.
I've already been writing about all games that I played, from the Atari 2600 till the present. So I wont be going down that road (will definitely finish the series soon!) There are hundreds of games I've played this decade and the same goes for games from this decade (played lot of oldies too :P) Me being the sentimental person I am, find it almost impossible to choose a "Top - whatever" because, every game I played has this strange attachment.
Anyhoo, I had the privilege of being part of the panel that decided the Game of the Decade at bossfight.in. I had a look at my sorted collection, listed out all good games, trimmed down the list to 100 and then added some cIassics which were worth mentioning and then sorted the list according to rankings. Its not something I generally do, but somehow, with a late night high, I was able to do it, the draft that I made is too... not for public eyes :P But do check out the top 50 that is being listed by combining the input from the whole Panel at that website!
Lets recollect 2009!
Two really big things happened to me last year, gaming wise. Indian Gamespot buddies, From IGG Union, who have known each other for more than 4 years on Gamespot, met IRL at the centre of India, Nagpur. We all are from different states, and the host of the 3 day bash, the IGGBASH, was gagan21.
I arrived from Hyderabad, Neeraj from Chennai, Shiben from Bengaluru, Amit from Jabalpur and Gagan's cousin from Delhi, all(but Jabalpur :P) capitals of different states of India and India itself. We gathered at Nagpur, which is the geographical center of India, also, home town of Gagan himself! It was felt like the premise of a really cool movie :P It was three whole days of crazy gaming fun. Everybody brought their controllers with them, Gagan had all the consoles and games anyone could ever ask for.
My stuff that I took to IGGBash
We played games non-stop till early morning, we would just sleep and wakeup and start playing again like crazy people, haha. Gagan surely knows how to throw a party. I don't think the whole experience would have been as awesome as it was if it weren't for him.
We played ODST on Co-op, 8 player all-indian team games on Halo3, Co-Op horde mode on Gears2, 4 Player Splitscreen Motorstorm Pacific Rift, 4P FIFA, 4P LittleBigPlanet, WarioWare Smooth Movies, Mario Kart Wii, ad-hoc Tekken 5 on PSP, co-op Contra 4 on DS. You name it, we played it. We even played Batman AA on Neeraj's Killer laptop. We did side by side comparisons of PS3 and PC versions of B:AA,starting the game at the same time on both, PC Won! haha :P
Check out the whole album to get a feel of the joy. Honestly, this is going to be one of those things that I'm going to tell stories about, to my grandchildren :P There we were, people who grew up playing games all alone and in a place where games were not all that universally acknowledged.. now all in our 20s, enjoying ,playing games together and discussing all this nonsense that anyone from outside would just run away after hearing. Even when we went out to eat we would be talking on various topics, all game related. Its not like clan meeting and discussing strategies, Things about the gaming industry in general and what things are happening in India etc etc. Simply put, it was one of the best experiences ever. Thanks for being there guys!
I got to know that there is thing GDC type thing happening right in my city, and without a second thought, I went and got registered for it. Being a student has its perks, The fee was just Rs.500/- for me, instead of Rs.1500.
It was a two day event, but first day was strictly corporate stuff. I was there for the second day. The opening keynote was given by Ernest Adams. He is... awesome, the presentation he gave, showed all general flaws in game development and how people should think while making games. 20+ years of industry experience is no Joke!
There were many other talks, talks on game music, graphics, MMOs, etc. I attended all I could and of course the most important one of the day was the one on being DIFFERENT by Anand Ramachandran. He is the one who writes for Bossfight.in, but many indians might know him from Son of Bosey, one of India's funniest blogs. You could say... he is like, the Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of India :P The talk was really thought provoking.
After the day's events ended, me, him and two of the organisers from NASSCOM had long discussions, all about video games and other random philosophical stuff, that, much like IGGBASH, never get to discuss IRL. The discussions and everything went on till very late in the night. We all signed off, each gaining a new friend.
Lists and Time wasted so far.
Similar to how everything happened outside, in real life, most of my talks with GS friends happened outside too. I talk to many friends via portals like steam, or facebook or e-mails or even Phone.. its like the relation has gone... TO THE NEXT STEP, haha :P Its nice to see that a friendship that sprouted from GS has translated so well into real life.
I might not have been coming to GS too much, but will never forget what all it has done for me.
Well now... lets get to the Stats and resolutions!
In 2008, I saw about 300+ episodes of anime, and that was really something. I only saw around 20-something movies that year. Quite disappointed by that fact, I made it my "New Years Resolution" last year to see more movies.
So... how did 2009 turn out to be? Well, I was not keeping track of the number until yesterday when I sat and compiled the whole list (which was made easy thanks to twitter). I saw... *drumroll* 73 AKA Seventy Three movies last year! haha. I didn't expect it to be that high :P Whenever I got any free time, I just sat and watched a movie, I have this huge stack of shelved movies. Good thing I did I guess.
But, then came the end of 2009 Games list. EVERYDAY, I sit and read articles upon articles about games, but somehow, whenever its time to play games I felt "The time available is not enough for a game" (i.e. procrastination) I played (through its entirety) only 15 games last year. I did play 20+ hours of many games and didn't complete them, FF XII to name one. This only showed one thing. I'm not spending time with games! I always find myself reading stuff and complaining that I'm not playing anything.
*The New Year's Resolution
So this New Year's resolution is to Play games, especially because this will be my last year in my super happy fun home, and my Home Theatre. If everything goes according to plan, should be leaving for my higher studies in august. So, this is the best time to enjoy games to the fullest. Console games. Coz after that, I guess its just steam and me HP tablet. Bought too many games from Steam deals... they be crazy I tellsya!
Oh yeah, the only animé show I saw last year was GTO, although, its was VERY much worth it. One of the best experiences ever. I got its manga and have to read it sometime. Also, have to watch more animé this year too, I've stalled them at 100 (shows watched). The other thing I did was, read the whole School Rumble manga from start to finish. It was quite an adventure. Then ending... it was... oh well, anyway, its over. All I can say is, the last stretch, I read from 7 PM to 7AM, that's how awesome it was.
Definitely though, when I look back. 2009 has been a year full of unforgettable moments.
Let hope I manage to keep the tempo and start writing stuff and talking to you guys more frequently. The thing is that... real life is no cake walk. I'm in my final year of engineering and time has to be dedicated to it. Cant just expect EVERYTHING to happen as planned. I still have played ONLY TWO games from my year old package smackage blog post!
If anything, I will always be active on twitter because I'm always connected in some way or the other. So keep track that way (at your own risk :P ) if you want to see my gaming and life updates as and when they happen.