Inside Pulse 12

A Thumb To The Eye: January Edition Finale

About a year ago, I wrote this column about my gaming related resolutions for the newly dawning year. I had three missions to accomplish in 2009 and I accomplished them, mostly. Kind of. Anyway, this is an attempt, on my part, to sum up how the year went.

Resolution 3: Actually Writing Stuff
Status: Accomplished!

After a few years of relative inactivity, I decided to make 2009 a year dedicated to writing. My goal was twenty-four pieces of writing for the site and I actually wrote more like thirty. Excellent! A significant chunk of those reviews came after my untimely dismissal from my day job, but at least I got something done with all of that extra time on my hand. While I desperately need gainful employment, it was nice to feel like I was actually contributing to the site.

The bad side of this is that a number of those articles were part of the dearly departed Diehard BaseballFAN project. I was gutted by it’s failure, but it taught me an important lesson: write in bite sized pieces. I enjoy writing reviews more than anything else, so I guess I will stick with those.

Resolution 2: I Will Finish A Game
Status: Accomplished!

Not only did I beat Ratchet And Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, which I said would not count towards my total, I actually beat a handful of games in 2009. A flurry of them. Batman: Arkham Asylum: BEATEN! Shatter: BEATEN! Borderlands: BEATEN! I was a virtual buzz-saw, playing games from beginning to end and actually finishing them before putting them on the shelf and moving on. It was a nice change and is something I hope to continue doing. Watch out, Dragon Age: Origins!

Resolution 1: I Will Endeavor To Be A Better Online Gamer
Status: FAILURE!

I sought to be a proficient online killing machine in 2009 and I failed miserably. No matter the game, I am simply incapable of killing anyone in First Person Shooters. My car always spins out in Burnout Paradise. The less said about my time on the Uncharted 2 beta the better. I am now, have always been, and will always be, meat. Beat me, crush me, burn me, shoot me, I am the ultimate victim online and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. At least I can still beat my friends at Tekken 6. Sometimes.

*****Resolutions for 2010*****

With the success I had accomplishing my goals in 2009, I figure a new set of resolutions is as good a way to start the teens out as any. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do, gaming and writing wise, in the year 2010. I will be turning 31 this year and balancing gaming with an adult budget and writing with an adult schedule will be tough, but I intend on giving it a go.

Resolution 3: Write Better

If there is one disappointment I have with all of the writing I did in 2009, it is that I never wrote anything truly transcendent. There are things I am proud of, the King of Fighters XII review springs to mind. Though a solid read, and one of my more in depth reviews, I lost my job halfway through the writing process and it did not get the proper spit and polish it deserved.

What has really inspired me to step up my game in 2010 is my participation in 2009’s National Novel Writing Month. While I did not finish my novel, I have become inspired to become a better writer. Will I be able to improve the quality of my writing while maintaining a two-piece-per-month schedule? Time will tell.

Resolution 2: I Will Trust My Fellow Reviewers

I am a fan of reviews, not just of video games. Book reviews, movie reviews, restaurant reviews, I will read any sort of review or critique. This form of writing has interested me since I was very small. The best reviews are good enough that I need not watch every film reviewed in Shock Cinema or read every comic I read about. The process of reading a review and reconstructing the work being covered in my mind is often more stimulating than the work itself. I have lost count of how many books I have been disappointed in, the novel in my imagination being more stimulating.

Reviews often shape my shopping process. For years, I would defend my purchases of SNES, Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast games with a simple phrase, GameFAN said it was good. I said this so many times that my wife stopped asking me why I picked the titles I did, she just knew. After the original magazine went out of business, it shifted to Lucard said it was good. Even as we worked together for years and our gaming tastes drifted apart, I still catch myself saying that every great once and a while.

As last year passed by, I slowly realized what should have been obvious to me. This site has a damn fine stable of writers. Every time I bought a game for personal use and not to review, I read the review to see what my fellow writer thought of the game. Time and time again I agreed with my esteemed fellows. That is why this year I will endeavor to listen to the rest of this site’s great writers. Even Yeager.

Resolution 1: I Will Keep Video Games In Perspective

In the end, 2009 was a pretty fine year for video games. With my unwanted increase in spare time, I spent more time gaming the last half of 2009 than any other period of my life. It was kind of fun, I do admit, but that time is past. 2010 is going to be different.

I plan on spending this new year doing more real things, more productive things. My guitars are getting more play time already, and should see more. I will paint more and ride my motorcycle more. Heck, I might even squeeze in a few Warhammer sessions this year.

More than anything, though, 2010 is a year in which I must lose some weight. I was already too heavy at 245, but the 10 pounds I put on during my unemployment really are too much. Armed with Diamond Dallas Page’s YRG program, a change in diet, and a desire to trim down, I intend on entering 2011 in much better health.

Will I be able to accomplish any of these, admittedly, more ambitious goals? I sincerely hope so.

Oh, and I take back all of those mean things I said about BioWare. Dragon Age: Origins might be the most fun RPG I have played in years. Who knew?

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