Gallery Spotlight – Ai-Kon 2016 and Vancouver Galleries

Some of you know we have galleries here on Shadowedblade for my photography – mostly cosplay, although some from my various trips and vacations. For a long time, our gallery suffered from some coding problems that made some of the icons look a little awkward, and my wife (who is also my web designer and editor) has always wanted to revamp them to make them look and run just a little better.

Well, that day has come and we have some sleek, fancy new galleries for all of our pictures. To accompany the unveiling of the new gallery earlier this year, she also uploaded my Ai-Kon 2016 pictures and did some more of the Vancouver trip pictures. So today I’d like to point out a few of my favourites from among those two galleries and point you in their direction!

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Shadow’s Six – Best Games of 2016

It’s time to close the book on 2016’s gaming history. A big year for game releases is behind us, with several massive franchises popping up throughout the year… and a lot of pleasant little surprises too. We had some games that had been over a decade in waiting, and others that we only found out about weeks before their arrival. Games of all genres graced our consoles and computers, with sequels, expansions, reboots, and brand new titles all coming out this past year.

What amazed me this year was how few games were quite what I was expecting. Several games I expected to love I wasn’t terribly fond of, while others that I was concerned about I ended up being blown away by. Picking the games for this year’s list had a few obvious spots, but there are about 7 games fighting for those last couple slots, none of which are clear picks.

So without any further delay… let’s jump into the Best Games of 2016!

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Blade’s Edge Update – October 2016

August and September were… strange for me. I was dealing with exhaustion, stress, and motivation issues for a long time there. I’m still struggling with some of it a bit, but for the most part it’s all cleared up. I won’t bore you with the details but I am very pleased that a lot of it has been dealt with, and I’m back on track. I even managed to finish my spring reviews and do my winter and spring anime review roundup!

Last month we finally finished my year-long introspective on my life of gaming. For those who haven’t seen it, please check out my Shadow’s Sixty if you’d like to see the best games I’ve ever played. It’s been an amazing journey, and was a lot more difficult than I expected. If you take a look, I’d love to hear about your lists or if there were any big surprises on my list for you. There were also a few game reviews that made their way out, for Abzu, I Am Setsuna, and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.

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The Shadow’s Sixty Countdown – The Top Six

This has been a long time coming. When I started brainstorming for this list at the beginning of the year, I never would’ve imagined how difficult it would’ve been to try to recall and rank every game I’ve ever played. I spent weeks brainstorming the list, and my original first draft had around 110 games overall. I spent an agonizing month gradually narrowing the list down from those 110 to the 60 here – I used every trick I could think of to rule some of them out. Some games I went back and played again, watched footage of them, tried to see how much I could actually remember about them, and if I could write a convincing argument for why they were awesome. Afterall, if I couldn’t convince myself, then maybe they weren’t as good as nostalgia painted them, right?

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These final 6 games were always on the list. While the rest of the Shadow’s Sixty changed dramatically from draft to draft, very little about the Top 6 has changed from the start. These games are the best I’ve ever played, and there was very little question in my mind about which games belonged up top. And that is why I am so pleased to reveal this list to you – the final entries in this, my Shadow’s Sixty. So let’s get to it and unveil gaming’s greatest, as I see it.

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The Shadow’s Sixty Countdown – Rank 12 to 7

The anticipation is building… we’re on the second last entry of the Shadow’s Sixty! This time we’ll cover rank 12 through 7. With this list we are finally entering into the true best games I’ve ever played. What genres will we see here? What games? Will your favourite make the cut for this list? If you’ve been following along, will your guesses match the reality?

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These are all games that have left a lasting impression on me… some new, some not so new. Some of these games shaped my love of gaming, others made me lifetime fans of certain worlds. These games set the bar by which all others are judged, and it is my pleasure to give you your first glimpse into the top 10 today. I know some of you have been (im)patiently waiting for this day, so I won’t make you wait any longer.

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