Summary of the Year 2008

Note to reader: I’m writing this in June of 2014, which is why the tone of writing on this page is reflection.

2008 is when this blog started and it was chaos. The primary reason for even starting to write here was to force myself to actually finish games instead of just switching constantly and not really enjoying myself.

The beginnings did not look promising.

The blog started in March and at that time, I was still pirating pretty much all of my games.

I owned a PC as well as a Nintendo DS with a Flash Cart, which is a device on which you are able to put downloaded game files and play them without actually buying the game. Defenders will also tell you that you can use it to run homebrew applications, some of which are decent, or you can use it for pure convenience, so you don’t have to carry around all of your cartridges and this is true.

Piracy was the reason I owned it, however.

The blog started in March of 2008 and it was still on Google’s Blogger back then. I never really considered it as a source of revenue, but these days, AdSense pays for the hosting, so it at least isn’t costing me anything.

My writing style back then was basically here’s what happened to me in the game. In hindsight, it can get difficult to read.

I started the blog with a typical First Post! and I cringe when I read it now.

The first game I reported on was Legacy of Kain: Defiance and it did not go well. I enjoyed it greatly, but I stumbled into a bug that got my character stuck in an area they weren’t supposed to be. Since I saved the game, I was unable to get out of it and the only option was restarted. Even these days, this would cause me to quit and move on to something else, hoping to restart and complete it at a later time, so that’s exactly what happened.

The second game was Nethergate Resurrection, and that one didn’t go much better. You could even say it went worse, since I didn’t have an excuse to give up on it. I got to a point where several quests opened up, found a strange race called the Selkies and then just stopped playing for some reason. I played the game for about a week before giving up.

I actually bought Nethergate Resurrection in 2012, on Steam and promised myself to play it again, but I have yet to even try. I really do want to, though.

The third game was what the blog as about. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates was the first game I’ve completed and reported about. I only wrote a single short article because the game was completed in a little over a single day, but it still counts!

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword was the fourth game I tried and another one that went badly. It was probably a mistake on my part. The saves somehow managed to get deleted from the cart. It happened near the end of the game to. This one, I enjoyed so much I started from the beginning in June of the same year and played through it entirely.

April was the Month of Fallout and Fallout 2. I’ve completed the first one, but I got tired of it by the time I got to the casinos in the sequel, so the game was simply forgotten.

I’ve also played Assassin’s Creed between those two, which I’ve also completed. The young me was excited with the trailers and was able to ignore the game’s and the series’ shortcomings. These days, at the risk of sounding pretentious, I find myself unable to do that. The series is simply too obviously formulaic for me to enjoy.

Through May and June, I’ve nearly abandoned the blog. This will happen several times over the years. I push too hard, write several posts per week, even several per day at times, and burn myself out. Then there are long breaks before I get back and start writing again, promising a change in perspective and style. This time, exams were the excuse. This was also an excuse to abandon a game or two and start new ones.

In May, I started playing Space Rangers 2 and Viva Piñata for a bit, but haven’t completed either. I’m pretty sure I got back to Space Rangers at some point since, but I don’t have any reports on it. It must have been during another break from the blog. I also started and abandoned Wizardry 8. I remembered reading about it in Croatian computer game magazines and was fascinated by it, but the lengthy battles ended up turning me off.

In June, the blog was still on hiatus.  I finished Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and started and finished Summon Night: Twin Age. I also started, but soon gave up on Super Mario 64 DS.

In July, I started pushing too much again. The blog was officially off its first hiatus and on the way to its second one.

I’ve started Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.

I’ve also finished New Super Mario Bros. for the second time, this time with 100% completion. The first time wasn’t reported at all and this one was only briefly mentioned.

I gave Civilization: Revolution for the DS a try, as well as Supreme Commander for the PC, but didn’t play much of either.

I’ve started and completed Elite Beat Agents again for the second time and even moved on to higher difficulties, which is what this game was about.

Mass Effect also entered my life in July and stayed until the end of the franchise. I can’t say I enjoyed the ending, but I did enjoy the process of getting to it, for the most part.

I believe August of 2008 was my record month, with 56 mostly crappy postings.

I’ve completed Mass Effect. Then I started and soon completed Devil May Cry IV. It wasn’t my first Devil May Cry game, but it was the first I enjoyed and the first I completed. Devil May Cry 3 was a crappy PC port in comparison.

I gave Cabal Online a try. These days, I can’t think of a reason why I would waste my time on a game like that.

I gave Supreme Commander another shot (unsuccessfully) and discovered the joys of coop in Samurai Warriors II, as well as the downfalls, when my coop partner got bored.

I also started Final Fantasy IV on the DS, but abandoned it for some reason. I know others praise it, but I found myself enjoying V much more.

August was the month when I’ve completed Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. It’s a lengthy game.

I started and completed a simple game called Tasty Planet. It’s something I’ve played before and in all honesty, I believe I played through it again just to boost my completion score.

I gave Stronghold a try, and actually completed it, now that I look at the postings. I usually give up on games like that, so I’m pleasantly surprised writing this now.

Another surprise for current (2014) me was that I started and completed Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.

River King: Mystic Valley was a game on the DS I enjoyed at first, but it became a bit too grindy eventually, so I gave up. At least, this is my memory. It might be I just got distracted.

I gave Tropico a try and didn’t get past the description in the first posting.

I started and completed Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, which is one of the best Diablo clones I’ve ever played and the closest anyone has ever gotten to the real deal in my book. After finishing, I restarted in coop with a friend and we got pretty far, possibly even completed it. I can’t remember and it isn’t clear from the postings.

By the end of August, I really started pushing hard and managed to squeeze in the completion N+ and Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land on the DS. I also started playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, after hearing all the good stuff about it online.

In September, I continued with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and completed it within the first few days. I enjoyed it to a degree, but it’s wasn’t and still isn’t my type of game. I get the appeal, though. I also started and completed From the Abyss. Writing this, I had to Google the game and I’m still not sure if I remember it. Back then, it seems to have been fun enough.

I started playing Spore Creatures on the DS. I’ve completed it a week later, which led me to start playing the original Spore game again. I ended up abandoning it. Both are simply shallow games and I only completed Spore Creatures because I had a bit of an obsessive personality at the time and it seems like an easy completion point for the end of the year recap.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike was yet another game I gave a try due to online praise, but ended up not liking and abandoning.

I started playing Baldur’s Gate II, with the expansion, Throne of Ball. At this point (2014), I have yet to complete this game fully, even though it’s one of my favorite games ever.

My first opinionated article was written this month. Looking back, I’d say a few things differently, but I still hold a lot of these views in some way, even though I opted out of pirating games.

For a brief period, I gave Tetris DS, Worms Open Warfare 2 and Kirby Super Star Ultra a try, but none of them stuck with me. By this point, postings were a sentence or two long, so I really have no idea why I was writing them.

Finally, I started playing Disgaea DS. This is a great series that I haven’t given enough attention. I’ve completed it in the months later, but only the main story and none of the extra modes.

In October, I wrote a single article about Disgaea and that’s it. The blog was on a hiatus again.

In November, things started getting back to life. I mentioned completing Disgaea and Gears of War, but didn’t report on it properly. I also gave Far Cry 2 a try, but soon ended up strongly disliking it. All I remember is that it was an impressive looking game in the early parts, which quickly became tedious, repetitive and boring.

The friend I used to play Samurai Warriors 2 got the itch again. Since I was a filthy pirate, I got the newer Dynasty Warriors 6 and we played that for a while, but soon abandoned it.

I discovered King’s Bounty: The Legend and thought it was great, but quickly list interest. It would be years later that I would complete any game in this franchise.

World of Goo was a game I wasn’t reporting on, but have been playing for a while. In November, I pushed for a bit and managed to clear all the levels. The game had great atmosphere and fun puzzles. There was a matter of perfecting each level that remained, but I never got around to do that, though I did give it a try and planned on doing it.

I give Bionic Commando: Rearmed a shot a few months earlier, but it was in November when I actually started playing it and managed to complete it. This was the time when retro-styled games and remakes were becoming the new hip thing and this one was very fun.

This was also the month when I gave The Witcher and Final Fantasy XII my first shot. I also abandoned both for the first time (possibly the second time with The Witcher). The good news was that PlayStation 2 emulation was becoming good enough to actually play games through, even on the laptop I had at the time.

In December, I was certain I’d play through Fallout 3, but it never went past a couple of postings.

This month was also the beginning of my long-term relationship with World of Warcraft. I started by treating myself with the vanilla game and the Burning Crusade expansion for my birthday (6th of December). I claimed I’d play this with several characters before getting Wrath of the Lich King, but I succumbed to its calls as soon as I got to level 70 with Larthas, my Paladin. I’d end up devoting probably over a year (actual time, no breaks in between) of my life to this game. This relationship actually grew into its own blog, which is now dead.

I remember loving Prince of Persia, even though everyone else hated it because it changed too much compared to the previous trilogy. There’s only two postings, but I completed this game and had a lot of fun doing it.

Some games, I play without the intention of completing, and I keep getting back to them. In 2008, these games were Civilization IV in March and November, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction through July and August, Galactic Civilization II: Dread Lords (and almost immediately Twilight of the Arnor) in September.

And that was the year 2008. Back then, I was doing yearly recap posts, so I actually have a condensed list of games I’ve completed:

PC

Nintendo DS

As far as first years of something go, 2008 was a good one. Now that I’m going through it, though, it’s obvious that even back then, I was sort of missing the point. I was pushing to complete some games I really didn’t enjoy because I wanted to increase some sort of imaginary score at the end of the year. Spore Creatures and Tasty Planet were two of the games I’ve completed for this reason.

I also missed another point and in August and a few other months probably spent more time writing than playing the games I wrote about.

Now, I still spend a lot of time writing a single post, but I make sure it at least tries to be meaningful. Back then, a lot of the postings were just meaningless.

In any case, it’s off to year 2009.

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