REALLY LONG Year in Review 2008 and the beginning to Year in Present 2009
January 07, 2009

If nothing else, I like to be derivative of others, so let me now commence with my own YEAR IN REVIEW with overly verbose commentary.

Flying Hero: Bugyuro no Daibouken (SNES) --- January 23: I'd been wanting to play this amusing little shooter for some time.....and so I did. I spent most of the first half or so of the year in this mode where all I felt like playing were RPGs and I'd gone nearly a whole month without writing anything, so I took an evening or two to play through this game, so I could put out a review.

Tales of Legendia (PS2) --- January 31: And this was the RPG I spent much of January muddling through. My best friend and I do this weird thing for whenever we hang around for a day or so every month or two. Instead of playing some easily-accessible game that can be beaten in one or two all-day sessions, we tend to start up some mammoth endeavor more often than not (Fallout 3 is our current game, to prove my point). Since this has action fighting in it, I thought it'd be a good idea, so I bought it. We played it for one day and decided to move on to something else. Since I owned it and enjoyed that first session, I started playing it.....but eventually got bored and my 4-5 hour days turned into maybe an hour or two a week. But as I neared the end, I started putting a lot of time into it just to finish it off.

Kirby's Dream Land (GB) --- February 21: During slow days at work, I sometimes play a GB or GBC game. I decided to do this one just because of how much I like the NES Kirby (possibly to be reviewed this year). This game didn't have anywhere near the same effect on me. Just a blah platformer where Kirby's inhaling ability didn't have any of its charm, due to him not being able to steal monster abilities.

Burai Fighter (NES) --- February 22: Around that same time, I played this game. I remember thinking it looked fun and interesting from way back when it got a handful of pages in Nintendo Power (even though that magazine went out of its way to try to make EVERY game look fun and interesting). It was.....for the most part. Those overhead stages just sucked, though.

Tag Team Wrestling (NES) --- April 4: Quick review I wrote for a contest. Possibly "Brevity or Bust", although I can't remember off the top of my head. While underwhelming for my first review in over a month, it was a fun one to write, with little anecdotes about Strong Bad from HomeStar Runner and a pro wrestling jobber/mid-card team that reminded me of this game's Ricky Warriors.

Obscure: The Aftermath (PS2) --- April 22: Due to the combination of not having a next-gen system until December of '08 and having my Excite email account go haywire thanks to those bastards "upgrading" their system, this was the most recent site assignment review until the next couple of days. One of those "little company that almost could" games. Solid old-school survival horror game (you know, awkward camera angles and slow-paced action) with good atmosphere, but sorry cinematic sequences. And it was short. Damn short.

Stinger (NES) --- April 25: When I was younger, I really liked this game and played it a lot. I decided to take a stroll down memory lane to see if those feelings remained. Sadly, they didn't and I found that one of yesteryear's fond memories was really a fairly mediocre shooter. Cue the sad violin music.

Resident Evil 4 (PS2) --- May 29: This was initially the game that replaced Tales of Legendia as what my friend and I were playing when we hung out. That didn't last long, as after about one session with it, I broke down, went to a game store and bought it, burst through it and reviewed it.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) --- June 9: This was initially going to be the first of a trilogy of Game Boy Zelda reviews I was going to do. Uh....yeah.....I'm still around the fourth dungeon or so of Ages and the third dungeon or so of Link's Awakening. Haven't played either in some time, as my A.D.D. (or at least I use that as a convenient excuse) kicked in and I moved on to other things.

Medal of Honor: Vanguard (PS2) --- June 11: After Resident Evil 4, this was the next game my friend and I picked up. We nearly beat the whole thing in one sitting, but got stalled in the final level. I planned to finish it off completely, but a minor glitch caused a checkpoint save to not register and I had no desire to go through this pretty tough little stretch to get back to the sniper den where I'd died. Not a horrible game, but not as good as the other Medal of Honor games I've played.

Strike Gunner: S.T.G. (SNES) --- June 26: Bland SNES shooter with few moments I still remember. But I do feel a deep-rooted need to write a handful of shmup reviews per year, as that's the genre I wrote about primarily when I started reviewing.

Cyberdreams (PC) --- July 24 --- EmP and Blu had a contest where they pick what we all reviewed. They picked this Doom WAD for me. I didn't like it. It did get me to waste a bunch of time playing a lot of Icarus and TnT Evilution while telling Blu it'd be a great idea to get review up for the most notable Doom WADs. Then, about halfway through Icarus and Evilution, I lost interest in the whole thing. You know.....the A.D.D. thing again....

Keystone Kapers (Atari 2600) --- July 31: Here's a bit of advice for when you feel you're in a rut as far as writing goes: do something easy and have fun with it. This is the first of five 2600 reviews I did in a 10-day period. The games are simple, so it's very easy to be creative in talking about them. For most of the first half of the year, I was reviewing very sporadically, going over a month between reviews at times and was on pace for a 22-review year halfway through it. These reviews kinda rejuvenated me and I had 22 written just over the final six months.

Journey Escape (Atari 2600) --- July 31: No matter how bad this game really is, I just couldn't give it a horrible score. I just had too much dumb fun with it.

Chase the Chuckwagon (Atari 2600) --- August 6: This game was a different story, though. The history behind it is far more interesting than anything pertaining to the game, so that's what I focused on.

Swordquest: Fireworld (Atari 2600) --- August 7: My biggest regret for last year was in that single-elimination summer tournament that I used a longish RPG review against BELISARIOS instead of this review. This quirky review against his quirky review would have been a fun little match.

Word Zapper (Atari 2600) --- August 9: The end of my brief Atari binge, although I would revisit the system a couple of times before the end of the year. After five straight reviews for that system, it was time to move on.

Okami (PS2) --- August 14: I'd been borrowing a lot of my friend's games, holding them for up to a year or two. He was starting to wonder if I'd ever play them, so this was the first one I beat. We'd been thinking about playing this one together, but changed our minds for one reason or another. While this game isn't perfect, I had a lot of fun playing it. Great presentation makes this a unique game in many ways.

Milon's Secret Castle (NES) --- September 3: Another "blast from the past" review. This was one of my favorites of last year, as I finally took on one of those games that was a thorn in my side for a good length of time.

Toxic Crusaders (GB) --- September 24: Once upon a time, Drella decided to hold a contest commemorating his favorite genre of beat-em-ups. While I wasn't particularly desiring of playing one at the time, I had said I would and I've NEVER backed out of a contest I said I'd enter. Maybe I should have. My two reviews got last place and next to last place. This one was last.

Double Dragon II (GB) --- September 26: And this one was next to last. Now, granted, I felt this one was a far sight better than Toxic Crusaders, but I can see how a judge might be perturbed at how in-depth I went on my displeasure of the very simplistic moveset in a Game Boy fighting game. Two buttons along with the directional pad really can't be expected to give you 500 cool moves..... Stupid me....

Coryoon (TG16) --- October 9: So I licked my wounds and went back to the tried-and-true shmup genre. Earlier in the year, Felix had commanded me to review this game along with two others beginning with the letter "C". I haven't gotten to the other two (damned A.D.D.!), but I will.......someday.......

Dragon Quest V (SNES) --- October 10: I currently have reviews up for 1, 3 and 4 on the NES; 1&2 and 5 on the SNES and 8 on the PS2, putting this up there with Mega Man, Castlevania and Final Fantasy as some of my most covered series. The Dragon Warrior/Quest games have a real simple formula, but I find it quite addicting and love this series.

Final Fantasy XII (PS2) --- October 15: Speaking of Final Fantasy, here's my review for XII. Really liked the game, but got bogged down in it after a while. Never did finish off the top marks, espers, etc. After I beat the final boss, I returned it to my friend (I had kept it for well over a year before beating it).

Airlock (Atari 2600) --- October 21: After finishing two RPGs, I needed something easy to write about and this putrid game fit that bill perfectly. I had some fun with this one.

Xenogears (PSX) --- November 11: Another "blast from the past" review. I do have to give this game credit. It'd been years since I've played it, but I remembered parts of this game so vividly that it was easy to write this review. Recently, I'd tried to do something for Vagrant Story, which I'd played a couple years more recently, but I could barely remember anything besides a few bare essentials about that game.

Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES) --- November 13: I have this yearly tradition where I enter the ABC tournament and always place really high, but never win it. This, my friends, is that review for 2008. One step away from that ultimate trophy once again......

Mouse Trap (Atari 2600) --- November 26: So, after licking my wounds for a couple weeks, I bounced back with another 2600 review. This might have been at the insistence of Felix (with a horrid threat involved) or that might have been Airlock.

NCAA Football 06 (PS2) --- December 1: I play sports games fairly often as a sort of recreation from that high-stress, on-the-go pastime of reviewing. One day, I thought, "Dude, you've played about 7-8 seasons of this game with four different teams! Why the hell haven't you reviewed it?" Then I reviewed it.

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) --- December 4: Another aborted project for my friend and I was Lament of Innocence (which I'll have to snag from him and beat someday just to add to my library of CV reviews). Playing that game for one day made me want to play a "Metroid-vania" game, so this one got the nod.

Castlevania: The Adventure (GB) --- December 11: And then, for some ungodly reason, I decided to play this game. There have been some "misses" in the history of Castlevania and this one ranks amongst the worst of them.

Daikatana (GBC) --- December 24: So, we have this little Christmas gift idea where people request games to be reviewed and others review them for them. Venter picked out this one as a request, it seemed interesting to me, so I reviewed it and had it up for him the day before Christmas. And did I get any thanks from him for being so kind as to review his request? NO! And did any of you review any or my requests? NO AGAIN! The holidays have lost all meaning for me......

Rogue Galaxy (PS2) --- December 30: For Janus' idea of reviewing a game in the genre that best fits you like a glove, this is my RPG pick. Turned out a bit better than I expected, so it was a good way to end the year.


8 reviews: PS2
7 reviews: Atari 2600
5 reviews: NES
4 reviews: GB
3 reviews: SNES
2 reviews: GBC
1 review: GBA, PSX, TG16, PC

Oh, and to start out 2009: F = Final Fight Guy

Felix noted that I never ported over one of my old GameFAQs reviews when I moved from there to here. So, I gave it a good editing, rewriting parts of it and deleting other parts that seemed repetitive and blah. And there you have it my first review of 2009 is a revision of a review that's one week away from being five years old!

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