Let's discuss Avengers: Infinity War -- a movie BOUND to make you feel so good!

January 12, 2013

The 1-Year Anniversary Post: Let’s discuss Cross-Up.

Well.  Isn’t this interesting?

One year of blogging, huh?  I’ve gotta say, I didn’t think I’d make it this far.  I’ve made some crazy attempts at projects before -- there was this one time when I tried to make my own toys with Play-Doh, paperclips, and drawn-on sheets of paper.  It didn’t pan out, and it was just another reminder that I’m really, really bad at arts and crafts.  (Though I did make an almost-acceptable dreamcatcher in art class this one time.)

But at the very least, I know where my competency lies.  I’m a writer.  I write stuff.  I like to write.  And as far as I know, people seem to enjoy what I write.  So I figure, “Hey, why not keep writing?”  And “Hey, why not put my stuff out there?”  So here I am, writing.  Hopefully improving my skills, and hopefully reaching out to people.  If nothing else, I’m really friggin’ good at typing now.  So in a nutshell, I’m glad I started this blog, and I hope I can keep it going.  I know I can do better, and I intend to -- because as a writer, it’s my duty to put smiles on people’s faces with the stuff I produce.  It’s the only way I’ll ever become truly worthy of being a writing hero.

And that’s about all there is to it…assuming that you want the short version.  Because now I think it’s time to go all in and do what needs to be done: blow two thousand words nitpicking my own blog!

I Hraet You!
(Or: The Ham-Fisted Quest for Legitimacy)

I think that at one point, I was going to throw up chapters of I Hraet You as filler.  I mean, probably; like I said before, I’ve thrown up story chapters before with every intention of continuing them, but after a while I just go “Naaaaaaaaaaaaah” and start whining about Final Fantasy 13 some more.  Imagine my surprise, then, when IHY not only gets nearly 60 posts to its credit, but has become my favorite part of the blog.

Favorite, but not necessarily successful.  I’ve got every intention of making it noteworthy across the internet -- and justify its title as a “web serial novel” -- but I’m pretty sure that’s still a ways off.  Luckily, people are reading it…but I want MORE people to read it.  Wouldn’t mind people saying “Wow, that Lloyd sure is hrgagrablorrrrrg!” every now and then.  But if nothing else, I can say I’ve got stuff written AND there for people to peruse as soon as they find it.  And in a few months, there’ll be even more content; it’s on hiatus now, but that won’t last forever obviously.  By then, I hope I can have a lot more readers.

Also, I probably need to make some kind of recap page.  And additionally, a character page.  Crap, why does there have to be so much non-writing stuff that has to be done?  It’s times like this when I wish there was some kind of mind-meld machine that takes stuff out of my head and puts it on my blog…

RE: Kingdom Hearts!
(Or: You Kids and Your Roxas…)

And on the other end of the spectrum, we have the unsurprisingly-popular Kingdom Hearts Retrospectives.  For those who don’t know, KH is pretty freakin’ damn popular.  Sometimes it’s for the right reasons.  Sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.  Sometimes the fact that people think Roxas is cool and the fact that people have found this site via mentions of that sawblade-headed milquetoast makes me hate reality itself and --

Nope.  Nope.  Gotta keep my cool.  This is a celebration, not a source of stomach ulcers.  Anyway, if you’ve kept an eye on the tab, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t touched the Retrospective since…uh…I dunno, September?  I haven’t forgotten about it, but the plan was to make a special video to bring the KH2 series to an end.  The problem was that I knew it was going to be a LOT of work, especially in light of the stuff I did for the Majora’s Mask discussion.   So I put it on hold in favor of more hot dogs. 

I haven’t forgotten about the series, of course.  In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll wrap it up soon enough -- because once I do, there’s a post or two I want to make after that.  Special stuff, to be sure.  Important stuff that’ll save the internet.  Maybe.

Movie Magick!

I think I’m starting to realize something about myself: I don’t like watching movies.  Like, at all.

I get really, really antsy every time I watch a movie, and I think I know why: it’s because I have to be doing something with my hands at almost all times, or else I’m not satisfied.  So you can just imagine me sitting there whenever there’s a movie, getting fidgety and frustrated and all…and then I zone out because I’m thinking about typing stuff.  And then when I focus on the movie, I just start thinking of ways to nitpick it or just raise hell, and it all turns into a mess.

So you can forgive me, I hope, if Movie Magick gets updated very sporadically.  Still, it is good to be able to put movies under the microscope and see if they really hold up.  Plenty of them do (Django Unchained, Avengers, Looper), while others…ehhhhhhhhh.  Well, whatever; I’d assume that those that read the posts enjoy the informal analyses, so I’ll be sure to keep it up.  If only I could do something about the warding nature of inlaid spoilers…

On a slightly-related note, there’s an unexpected benefit to having a movie-based tab.  As I understand it, the post “How to Make a Good Street Fighter Movie” has been, and shall remain for months to come, THE top-rated post on the site.  And you know what?  I’m glad it’s there.  I had a hell of a lot of fun writing it; the same applies to doing a mock-movie for Dead or Alive.  So maybe you guys will be seeing more of it soon enough; it’d certainly be a way to bridge the gaps Cross-Up leaves.  Not everybody is a hardcore gamer, and not everybody’s played the games I’ve played (meaning they’re lacking in the knowledge sometimes requisite for my posts, I’d assume).  Hypothetical movies could be a way to get people excited and motivated, and do so on a common ground.  The idea is to get people talking, not marveling at my ability to gab on and on and try to prove what a pretty little snowflake I am.

Speaking of which…

Spirit Showdown!
(Or: Should Have Referenced Samurai Shodown…)

This one is…problematic.

I was under the assumption that this feature would be something special -- something that might take the blog to the next level.  What I’ve discovered is that making the posts is much more difficult than I expected, and not always in a good way.  It’s good in the sense that these characters, many of which have been bouncing through my head for a solid decade, have finally started taking form -- and indeed, each post helps me focus on what they’re about, and even makes writing about them for real that much more of a possibility.

Unfortunately, that seems to have been the only good that’s come of it.  It does all right, I suppose, but it’s produced very few of the intended effects.  I remember how naively I once was, thinking that I could make each post the length of an IHY chapter; now I think the shortest post is double that length.  It feels like each post is becoming an impassable wall for newcomers and recurring visitors alike…and each wall gets followed by another wall…with a tank on top of it.  And now there’s a story arc that makes things even more complicated and alienating.

I suspect that there’s someone reading this who’ll say or think that they actually like the Spirit Showdown.  And that’s cool; glad I managed to entertain someone.  But even so, I’m wholly unconvinced that this was a good idea -- at least in its current form.  The real estate is all there; it’s just a matter of finding something useful to do with it.  So much like Street Fighter X Tekken, you can expect some DRASTIC revisions to this feature in the weeks to come.  It’ll be simpler, a lighter load on me, easier to read and digest, invite audience participation, and just generally be much, much cooler.  What’s going to happen?  I won’t say until I’ve got everything nailed.  But let’s just say there’ll be some fireworks.

The Manly Song Repository!
(Or: The Mind Works in Mysterious Ways…)

I can see some serious potential in this one…which makes me wonder why I haven’t updated it in months.  You would think that I would leap at the opportunity to write short, snappy, easily-accessible posts long before I make files so huge they have to be broken into three separate posts.  But that’s just my thing, I’m afraid; writing short stories makes me nervous and fidgety, but when it comes to spending years of my life writing a massive tale -- ninety percent of which takes place over the course of one day -- I don’t even flinch.  It’s just like, “Yeah, gotta write!  All guns blazing!”  I would also like to take a moment to note that “All guns blazing” is the coolest damn thing anyone can say at any time in any place.

But anyway, I haven’t forgotten about this feature either.  In fact, I’ve still got songs that need to be analyzed in a Word document somewhere (I know I owe a certain someone Jin’s theme from Marvel vs. Capcom).  So I’ll have to pick that one back up sooner rather than later, if not outright reboot it.  The world needs manly songs, and I’ll gladly provide whatever humble services I can.  Altruism is just one of countless roads toward the pot of gold that is manhood.  Presumably; it’s likely that one would have to fight off a few savage leprechauns along the way…

Let’s discuss!
(Or: Hope you’re Not a Halo Fan)

I’d been doing “Let’s discuss” posts on video games informally long before I gave it a dedicated tab, and you can have a look at the backlog to see for yourself.  Still, having a genuine archive for the stuff (and just plain providing content/analyses) was probably one of the best things I could do for myself, for the blog, and for the readers.  Let’s be real here: sometimes, games lend themselves to being examined, even if they’re in a medium that’s “less than ideal”.  They are -- or at least have the potential to be -- a storytelling device, and because of that they’re worthy of scrutiny.  Especially because there are plenty of gamers who can likely hold up one game case and shout, “THIS!  THIS IS WHAT ART SHOULD BE!”So to some extent, you can think of the feature as a way to celebrate games that do well…and on the flip-side, a way to tear into the game like a runaway train with greased-up wheels and shuttle boosters.

So I’m in a pretty good place with that one…though it’s worth noting that I don’t mind branching out a bit and discussing other things.  If you’ve checked the page, you’ll know that I have plans to discuss that hoary old anime Dragon Ball Z sometime in the future -- and not long after, I hope, Family Guy.  If there’s something I feel like I need to say about a product, I’ll say it.  So in some respects, you can consider me a reviewer -- one that’ll give you the in-depth look you need to help you decide if something’s good or not.  Because there’s no such thing as a perfect story, or game, or TV show, or anything.

Giving Halo 4 a ten out of ten…are you kidding me?  Jeez Louise with mac and cheese…

(Or: Now You’re Just Padding This Post!)

Just a few quick things, I suppose:

--I don’t think I’m going to make an additional tab for my Final Fantasy 13-2 posts; I might just organize them (and other things) under the Let’s discuss tab.  In fact, I don’t see myself adding any more tabs for a while.  I’ve already got stuff I need to write, after all.

--There might be a site redesign sometime soon.  A part of me misses the old look, after all…but the font and font size (unless requested) will stay the same; it screws up the layout stuff for the old posts, and I’d rather not go back and sort through every IHY chapter again to fix it.

--Still got that Facebook fan page up there, if anyone’s looking to give it a like.  Because that’s what being a blogger is all about, right?  Pestering people to click on buttons? 

--Wow, I feel dirty.  Shameless-self promotion does not sit right with me…but I guess it’s a necessary evil for bloggers at times, eh?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that’ll just about do it for now.  I’m happy to have made the progress that I have, and happy that I can keep moving forward.  When I first started this thing, I was worried that the only people who’d read it were a couple of friends who would check out a post or two out of obligation.  I remember how excited I was when (weeks, maybe months later) I got my first comment…and then nothing for weeks afterward.  And I don’t think how happy I get whenever I see a new follower, or a new like, or a new comment.  (Though honestly, sometimes seeing a new comment makes me a little nervous; I’m always worried somebody’ll just leave me a message going “shut the hell up and rot in a Mini Cooper!” or something.  I know it’s just a matter of time…)

In any case, I just want to say this: thank you.  Thanks to all you readers, and followers, and comrades.  I’m out to be a real writing hero someday -- and if I become one, I know it’ll be because of the support you’ve all given me.

So yeah, I guess I’m a blogger -- and I’ll be one for a while yet.

…By the way, the word count has already passed 2400. EXACTLY AS PLANNED.  (Insert Latin chanting here.)


  1. Yay! You made it!

    Now, I desire your artistic ability...

  2. Hey, you've definitely been an inspiration of mine, so keep up the good work man! If this level of output represents your Year One, then I will definitely be around to keep tabs as you develop into the writing hero that Gotham deserves.

    -Eidolon (fulldamage)

  3. Congrats on a full year. Still a few months to go before I reach my first full year.

  4. Artistic ability? Where?

    Seriously, it's nothing special. Just fire up Microsoft Paint and spend some time (too much time) with it, and you can put out stuff that's just as "good." Though if you want pixel art -- or a less-potent but still-useful alternative to Photoshop -- go search for a free program called GraphicsGale.

    Give it a shot. You might like what comes out.

  5. Pfft, forget Gotham. I'm doing it for America!

    But seriously, thanks. I wouldn't call myself an "inspiration" just yet, but one of these days I'll get there. I still have a lot of proving to do if I want to earn the mantle of "writing hero."

  6. Well, you're certainly making good progress. It's a little early, I know, but let me be the first to congratulate you for (almost) making it to that sacred milestone!

    And may both our blogging adventures lead to prosperity. And followers.

  7. That Random Game BloggerJanuary 12, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Congrats on your first year, I just recently broke 6 months with mine

  8. Cool. Keep at it then, all right? It's good to be able to find a random game review on my dashboard every now and then.

  9. ~Congrats!! ^^ I totally get you `spacing out during movies`! I do it all the time too >_< My mum says its because I spend too much time multitasking to sit down and enjoy a good flim without fidgeting ._.

  10. Happy one year anniversary sir. Keep up the good work!

  11. Congrats, I wish you many more years blogging, it's a fantastic way to meet interesting new people sharing the same interests. You talk with so much ease about how you throw away chapters of your book...wow...you must be writing a LOTTTTTT, I barely scribble 200 words a day and I consider myself satisfied with the result. Regards.

  12. Congrats on year 1! I'm on year 1.5 myself and I can't believe I've made it this far.

    Your blog looks a lot better than mine though... I probably should work on it visually...

  13. I didn't really do that much to make the blog look good (besides the header art, and I put most of it together via PowerPoint); the rest is all thanks to templates and tweaking the colors. Seriously, there's not much to it; just give it a try on your blog sometime if you're not satisfied.

    But whatever the case, good to hear that you're going even further with your own blog. Good luck on your end; no doubt you can make some real magic happen.

  14. "Don't stop writing until the story's done." That's pretty much the rule I've followed since elementary school. Of course, that led to the nasty habit of everything I touch becoming a verifiable tome, but...hey, it's certainly a better curse than the Midas touch, eh? But that aside...

    "...it's a fantastic way to meet interesting new people sharing the same interests."

    I hear that. I mean, I met you, didn't I? I'd call that a win in itself.

  15. Yeah, I plan to. If I don't whine about Final Fantasy 13-2, who will?

  16. I think I'd have a better time of it if I could control the action with a Wiimote or something -- but if that were the case, everyone would break into an impromptu song and dance number straight out of West Side Story.

  17. Matthias PendragonJanuary 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Nice work for keeping it up for a year! Hopefully my brother and I can keep ours going for as long. I love reading your views and dissections of games and can't wait for the next one. Keep up the great work!

  18. Yeah, good luck to you two. And I hope you keep dropping by; I think I need to give DmC: Devil May Cry a close look. It's time to see if it's deserving of its hatred...

  19. Holy shit why do I not check this site more often!? Friggin' semester's barely started and I'm already falling behind!!!

    It's already been a year? Cool. I've really liked your content, particularly your Let's Discuss and Spirit Showdowns. Keep up the good work man.

  20. Don't worry about constantly having to drop by. This blog's not going anywhere -- just come on over when you can, and you'll have a good amount of content to peruse each time you do.

    It's worth noting that if you like my Let's Discuss stuff, you're in for a treat. My plan is to have the finale to the Majora's Mask discussion up sometime next week, and shortly after that comes DmC: Devil May Cry. I've got some things to say about those two games...

  21. Cool, i like your take on Majora's Mask so far and look forward to seeing the completion of it. As for Devil May Cry, I've never played that game, so I'd like to hear what it's like.

  22. Ehhhhhhhhhhhh...well, I haven't played enough DmC to say anything substantial about the gameplay, and I haven't seen every last bit of the story, but...

    Well, let's just say it's "problematic" for now and leave it at that.