Summary of the Year 2012

Note to reader: This summary was written in late June of 2014, so the tone of the page is based on what I was all about at the time. Maintaining the blog for all these years has shown me that what I’m about at any given time always changes.

Though the year 2012 started in March and the blog was pretty much dead before that, it was the biggest year based on pure amount of postings. Judging by quality, however, everything is up in the air.

March

I started March by promising a change in posting style. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Soon after, I mentioned I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim, Sonic Generations and Final Fantasy VII. I kept playing Sonic for a while and even wrote a more personal article about my history with the series.

April

April was the month I played Legend of Grimrock. I was still lazy at writing, so I just posted a short review of it. I should get back to that game. It was excellent.

May

There was no activity during May. The blog was basically dead again. I know I said 2012 was a big year and it doesn’t seem that way here, but a glance at the archive should tell the reader everything they need to know.

June

In June, I started catching up.

I got back to Diablo 3, which was a game I got in December of 2011, but never wrote about. I also played a lot of DOTA 2. I like that game, but I suck at it. It eventually got degraded to something I was just watching replays of and then something I completely stopped following.

Back then, I was telling myself Diablo 3 is great. Now, I think it’s just OK. It certainly isn’t bad, but it isn’t an amazing experience either. Maybe I just outgrew the gameplay.

Wrath of the Lamb was released, so I also started playing Binding of Isaac again.

I also played a session or two of Civilization V, and tried out Towns. I had high hopes for that game, but it ended up being a dud.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit was released. This game was a total surprise for me. I had no idea it was even being developed. Basically, it’s a remake of Avernum I, which was a remake of Exile I. It used the Avadon: The Black Fortress engine, so the upgrade was great, but it was also simpler and more streamlined compared to Avernum and especially compared to Exile. I liked it well enough.

Finally, I started my first official gaming challenge – to play through the Legend of Zelda series. I started it off by playing through the first Legend of Zelda.

July

The posting frequency went up in July, but it was nothing compared to what was coming.

I kept playing Avernum: Escape from the Pit and soon completed it. I even managed to create a sort of guide, which involved a map with marked treasure locations for a special achievement in the game called Shovel Master.

I played a lot of Saint’s Row: The Third, but I wrote very little about the game. It was fun, but there really isn’t much to write about. You go around and destroy stuff in outrageous ways.

Ys: Origin was not my first game in the Ys series, but it was the first I played on the PC. There are actually three intertwined stories there, one for each of the three characters. I’ve played through the game with two of them, but I’m still missing the third playthrough.

While playing Ys, I decided to also get all the achievements in The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim. I almost succeeded, except an expansion was released on the day I got the last achievement. Talk about first world problems.

August

August started with me continuing with the The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim achievement hunt and beating Ys: Origin with Hugo Fact.

I also gave Diablo 3 one of many chances the game got from me and discovered the joys of court politics in Crusader Kings II. This is one of those games where you’ll probably suck at it, but you won’t mind that fact at all. At least, that’s what the game is for me.

I went through another nuzlocke challenge, this time with Pokemon Emerald. It was a failure, so it certainly was more of a challenge than the last one.

I tried out a few minor indie games to.

The first was Titan Attacks and it took far too much of my time than I’d find comfortable. It’s basically a Space Invaders clone with an upgrade system, but it’s very difficult so I have yet to actually beat it.

Another game was Toki Tori. It certainly a charming game and I have beaten it, but looking back, I’m not sure if I actually enjoyed it as much as I was saying I was. At that time, I got it to my head I’d eventually clear my Steam backlog, so I was playing through games just for the sake of filling out a check mark.

Binding of Isaac was a constant follower during this time.

September

From September onward, I was posting more than once a day. I’m still surprised I didn’t burn myself out completely doing this.

I continued to play Toki ToriTitan Attacks and Saint’s Row: The Third.

The first new game I beat was Anomaly: Warzone Earth. This is one of those indie games that I still like looking back, unlike most I gave praise to.

I gave Osmos a minor try but quickly got annoyed with this game. I also gave Rock of Ages a slightly bigger try, but that one was soon abandoned as well.

I played through Bastion again and this time got all of the Steam achievements, which was rare for me. I still sometimes get an itch to play it, though, and the game’s soundtrack stays on my smart phone at all times.

By this time, I completely abandoned World of Warcraft. During 2011 and 2010, the game basically took over my life, so I’m glad it’s gone, as much as I loved the setting. In September, I got 7 days of free play, so I gave it a try, just to see if I can get hooked again. I didn’t. The illusion was gone.

I also had a brief return to Minecraft, after discovering Tekkit and introducing it to a friend of mine.

The second new game I played through and completed in September (or the third in total) was Eufloria. This was something I tried a few years earlier, but now actually owned and decided to enjoy no matter what. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but it certainly provided a few nice screenshots.

The third new game was A.R.E.S: Extinction Agenda postings. This was basically as much Megaman as possible without breaking copyright laws. It was a fun experience.

There was a brief experience with Port Royale 2, which was soon abandoned, followed by a memorable time with Faerie Solitaire. In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy this game that much. The reason that it was memorable was because I gave the game a harsh review and got a comment from one of the developers. This to the ground approach made me rethink my stance and realize I was judging the game a bit too harshly. It was obviously well made and polished. It’s just that what the game was about wasn’t what I was about.

I like to tell myself I’ve completed Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and Lume, but those two tech demos (because that’s what they really are) were so short I can’t count them as completed games in good conscience. I’m sorry for trolling you with the two links leading to the same posting.

Following that, there was a lengthy experience with the first Blackwell Trilogy. It’s not a trilogy anymore, but back then, it was. I’ve completed The Blackwell Legacy, The Blackwell Unbound and The Blackwell Convergence one after the other and even managed to get all the achievements almost at the same time. This was immediately followed by my 100% clearing of Gemini Rue by the same developer, or are Wadjet Eye Games the publisher?

I kept going with the completion spree, so I beat And Yet It Moves, Critical Mass, Xotic, and Ben There, Dan That. This endless stream of actually mediocre games was starting to make me reconsider my goal to clear my backlog. Still, I kept going with Rochard and Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and I certainly enjoyed those two more than the previous four.

The Binding of Isaac was still keeping me company, even more so than usual.

October

October started with my first actual real-life job. I told myself I wouldn’t have much time from that point on, but I ended up with 57 postings that month.

I started the month by beating Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and buying Nethergate: Resurrection just for the heck of it.

My goal of clearing the backlog was basically abandoned, or at least modified to where clearing also involves eliminating a game altogether.

I got back to my playthrough of Final Fantasy VII on my PSP from several months earlier. I think this may be the first time I actually continued a game abandoned for so long. Usually I either never go back or start from the beginning.

While that was going on my PSP, I also gave another try to Pokemon: Soul Silver on my DS, but it didn’t last long. This attempt was basically ended with a single posting. Instead, I continued with The Legend of Zelda Challenge on my PC by playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on an emulator.

After I was done with Final Fantasy VII, I simply moved on to Final Fantasy VIII. I actually never beat that game as a kid, so I had to remedy that and I did, about a month later.

October of 2012 was also the month when I got my first smartphone – an HTC HD2. It originally had Windows Mobile 6.5, but I managed to squeeze in Android on it, so I gave a couple of Android games a try. It was nothing serious, though. The phone was too weak for anything serious. The only game of note was Hill Climb Racing.

So how did I get to 57 postings with such a small number of games, relatively speaking? By writing about each and every game I played once a day, as long as I played it that day. It was crazy, and it wasn’t about to end.

November

November continued with me beating The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy VIII, as well as basically beating Hill Climb Racing for all intents and purposes that matter to me.

GOG.com had a sale, so I bought Conquest of the New World on a whim, simply because I remember playing and enjoying the game as a kid. It did not age well, but writing this gives me the urge to try it one more time.

After beating A Link to the Past, I took a break from the challenge and decided to give The Witcher a proper try. This is a game I’ve started and restarted several times over the years, but this was finally the attempt I would follow through, and I did, albeit in early 2013. It’s a lengthy game, after all.

Once I was done with Final Fantasy VIII, I immediately moved on to Final Fantasy IX, my second-favorite of the PlayStation Final Fantasy Games, and the second one I’ve ever beaten.

During November, I also gave RaiderZ a try. It was decent for a Free-To-Play MMORPG, but it wasn’t anything more than decent.

With the Gods & Kings out, I also played through a session of Civilization V.

December

December continued with Final Fantasy IX and The Witcher. I managed to beat the first one, but there wasn’t enough time to also beat The Witcher. I also continued reporting about my play session as Gandhi in Civilization V.

Once I’ve beaten Final Fantasy IX, I started playing Populous 3: The Beginning on the PC in parallel to The Witcher. The reason for it was simple. I didn’t feel like playing another lengthy JRPG on my PSP, so I opted for an older game I could play on my almost-dead laptop back home, during the weekends. During the working week, I had a strong PC at my apartment, but on weekends, I would go home to visit my family, so the only thing I had was the laptop. This was one of those games I enjoyed as a kid, but was never able to beat. This time, it was different, and I’ve beaten it in January of the next year.

I still had to fill the empty spot on my PSP, though, so I opted for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. I played through it entirely and got all of the secret levels and gems. I even wrote a guide about it.

December was also the month when I transferred my blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress installation. It costs me money now, but it isn’t much and it’s worth the improvement in experience I got, and hopefully the readers got to.

I got an itch to play Sid Meier’s Alpha Centaury, so I scratched it.

And that was basically it for the month and for the year.

Conclusion

2012 was a big year for this blog, in more ways than one.

I started posting more frequently and with more structure. In the short run, it hurt the quality of my postings, but in the long run, it put me on the track of making this better for me and possibly even attractive for potential readers. Who knows what might happen with this place in time now.

I also switched to proper hosting, giving me more freedom in how I do things and better tools to do them with.

Overall, it was a great year.

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