So 2017 came before I knew it. Crazy. Hard to believe another entire year has passed. It’s been a few months since I’ve done one of these updates, and this seemed like a good time. 2016 was a very busy year, but a good one. So today we’re going to take a quick look back at what 2016 gave us, and a bit of a look forward first at the rest of January and then at the rest of the year.
2016: A Year To the Past
Okay, corny puns aside… I did a lot of retrospective thinking in 2016. I spent most of the year working on a comprehensive list of the best games I’d ever played, across all consoles, all generations, and all genres. After much deliberation, I decided to break the list up and to limit it to games that came out before the end of 2015. I ended up with 10 small lists totaling the 60 best games of all time. Reflecting on this was one of the most interesting articles to write that I’ve ever done. Going back and trying to break through nostalgia to see how well games I remember have stacked up is never easy, but it was a rewarding experience.
Aside from that, 2016 also saw reviews for the two chapters of the game that dethroned Xenogears as the ‘Best JRPG of all time’: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. During the year, we also played new entries in some long-time favourite series like Uncharted and Ratchet & Clank as well as some fascinating pleasant surprises like Unravel, Nights of Azure, and Abzu… and several others. It was a solid year for gaming, and while some titles disappointed, it was definitely a year for the big guys to shine.
The variety of anime I got the pleasure of watching this year was crazy. We had some of the weirdest stuff I’ve ever seen along with some of the most intelligent shows I’ve seen in a long time. This year even taught me that I don’t have to hate sports anime or child characters. So many amazing shows in every season. Most shockingly of all, though, is that I am now a fan of a fake idol group as Love Live Sunshine’s Aquors blew me away. The only sad part is that the autumn season has really been very shallow, with me only being interested in a few shows.
January: Month of the Snow (oh god the snow…)
For anyone out there reading who happens to live in Winterpeg, Manisnowba like I do… my condolences. Hole up and ride out the snow and the cold – it has to end eventually. It always does. But this winter has been brutal, which has led to me spending a lot of my time in various states of exhaustion. It’s a double edged sword… on the one hand, being indoors leaves a lot of time to game, watch, and write… but on the other hand, being exhausted leads to me wanting to just sit mindlessly doing nothing. But welcome to Winterpeg!
More on topic, you may have noticed a few reviews popping out rather quickly. I recently reviewed some of the last of 2016’s big games, including Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian, and I still have one or two left to go. We’ll be getting to those soon. And, of course, once we finish the gaming reviews it’ll be time for my 2016 gaming roundup post. Additionally, we’ll be tackling the few autumn anime reviews I have lined up. Once those are done, we’ll be rounding that up with our best of Summer/Fall 2016 Shadow’s Six post. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to all of that this month.
2017: The Road Goes Ever On and On
Plans? I don’t need no stinkin’ plans. But seriously, I really have none. I’m going to be keeping on the same vein. There are a ton of games that I am really excited for coming out, most notably Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, and Nier Automata. We’ll be playing and reviewing any games that catch my eye. I’ll also be trying to watch at least a few anime per season to review. I’ll be trying to be a bit more moderate in the number I review as trying to do 8-10 anime reviews in a month without sacrificing other content has been stressing me out a bit more than I like, although I may still watch shows without reviewing them so we may see some unreviewed shows pop up in the semi-annual wrapups.
I’m really pleased with the structure of the gaming and anime reviews right now, so I don’t really have any plans to change those. I am going to try to do more Shadow’s Six posts, as those are a lot of fun and I’ve been kind of putting them on the sideline as the other reviews have taken up so much time. Expect more ‘best moments’ lists, as it is a lot of fun for me to really do a deep dive into a show or game in that way and I haven’t done that nearly as often as I’d like. I also want to do more of the other specialty posts, but those are a bit more difficult since it can be hard to find a topic I’m passionate enough about to really go at length or, in some cases, topics that have enough content to really talk about.
Finally, I’ve found myself having more time to read lately, so I would like to add some more fantasy literature content soon. I haven’t really been living up to that end of the ‘read, watched, played’ part of my tagline lately. Those are really the only concrete ideas I have at the moment, although there are a few more conceptual things spinning around that could materialize down the line.
I hope you guys stick with me as this should be another exciting year.