This is probably going to be the final post of the year, so I feel compelled to do one of those yearly wrap-ups that never say anything about anything. Sorry.
Let’s just clear it out now: here’s how 2009 disappointed me, how it thrilled me, and what I’m looking forward to in 2010.
In 2009 I was disappointed, irritated, or pissed off by…
-Video Game journalism, which hit new depths of unwarranted self-importance, and completely sapped any meaning out of the term “hardcore gamer.”
-3-D movies. 3-D effects still don’t add anything to the experience of watching a movie, and those glasses look incredibly stupid and probably aren’t hygienic. 3-D was once the height of kitsch. Why are we taking it seriously now?
-The cult DVD market implosion. 2009 saw the possibility of bankruptcy for Image Entertainment, Dark Sky films ending their retro film line, and the complete demise of ADV, BCI, and Fusian. It was ugly.
-Bioware. Between their stupid trailer for Dragon Age and “David Gaider -- Novelist,” I’m starting to hate them in spite of their mostly competent game design.
-Real life. It was a terrible year IRL.
But to be fair, in 2009 I was thrilled, delighted and contented by…
-Dungeon crawlers. After playing Etrian Odyssey 2 earlier this year, I went on a bender with the original Etrian Odyssey, The Dark Spire, Deep Labyrinth, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. I expect to grab Class of Heroes for the PSP soon.
-The DS, which is easily the must-own platform for this hardware generation. Aside from playing host to all of the games listed above (besides Class of Heroes), the DS also received 7th Dragon (in Japan, at least), Phantasy Star 0, Nostalgia, and an English release of Retro Game Challenge to go along with its already stellar library of games I actually play.
-Vantage Master! Falcom offers this awesome strategy game on their website, in English, free of charge!
-Mondo Macabro’s releases of The Warrior (Jaka Sembung) and Born of Fire.
-My expanding collection of martial arts movies. Of the thirty-five movies I reviewed this year, twenty-three were kung fu movies and seventeen of those were acquired in 2009, including obscure crap like Child of Peach and War of the Wizards. Go me.
-Ashes of Time Redux didn’t suck. Thanks Wong Kar Wai.
-Snus: Wonderful Swedish tobacco.
Last year, I got very drunk on New Year’s and made out with a strange woman at a party where I didn’t know anybody. As my friend Pilgrim was driving me home, I had one of those awful moments of clarity that one typically drinks to avoid, and expressed some regret that the first day of the New Year would be spent nursing a bitchin’ hangover. “Look at it this way: you have an entire year to make up for it.” That was his almost brain-bendingly optimistic response.
In similar spirit, here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2010:
-Falcom games on the PSP in English -- the PSP already boasts Ys 6 and Gurumin, but a recent announcement shows that Falcom wants to license more games for English language release. Considering Ys 7 just came out this year in Japan (and looks way better than 6) I couldn’t be more stoked. Other possible releases include Zwei! and Brandish: Dark Revenant. 2010 could be a nice year.
-A new Gene Wolfe novel, The Sorcerer’s House, is scheduled for release on March 16.
-Maybe -- possibly -- hopefully -- but doubtfully, Tsui Hark’s upcoming Di Renjie won’t suck.
-Let’s hope Magnolia’s dvd for Red Cliff is more sensible than their condensed theatrical version.
The first full year of actual, consistent blogging has been great fun. Thanks to the three people who actually bothered to consistently read it. See you guys next year.