It’s the first day of 2018. This is the time every year that is traditionally set aside for reflection on the previous 365 (or 366) days. There are countdowns, marathons, and years in review. This article falls into the last category. While it has been difficult to maintain a consistent video or podcast schedule, I’ve done okay at updating the web page with at least one article a month. I’ve also kept busy with plenty of other geeky fun. Let’s reminisce on the best, the worst, and the ugliest.
APBA Baseball: I only recently rediscovered this game in one of my closets and I’m going to write an article this week about the couple of games I played last week. I know that others might prefer Strat-O-Matic or another simulator, but this is the only one I’ve played and it does what I want it to do. Overall, this has been a great addition to my gaming life again and I can’t wait to dive deeper into the baseball simulation greatness.
Mobile Gaming: Old school favorites like Candy Crush and Angry Birds. New favorites like Sim City Build It, Fallout Shelter, Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest, and Pokemon Go. All of these games have been played with great regularity over the past year on my phone. In fact, most of my video game time has been spent on my phone. That’s saying something for a person who used to denigrate all mobile games as shovelware.
Eternal/Hearthstone: Yes, these are both games that could have technically been included in the mobile section. However, they’ve had more impact on me than the other games included in that list. I started playing Eternal during one of my rage quits from Hearthstone earlier in the year. I had seen Brian Kibler playing the game on stream and figured I’d give it a chance. I’m glad that I did. While I don’t play it as much as when I first started, it still has a place in my weekly rotation. I have had an up and down relationship with Hearthstone. However, as I said to Chris a couple of days ago, I seem to have found my comfort zone in the game. I have little to no interest in competitive play of any sort. I generally just log in every couple of days to do quests, earn gold, and every now and then win a pack that I won’t open.
Comics: 2017 was the year that saw me get back into comics. Marvel’s Secret Empire event led to a discovery of the well executed DC Rebirth titles. Following them for a few months led right into Metal and sticking with Secret Empire to the end let me experience the start of Legacy. Almost all of these events were well executed, but it wasn’t all good for comics this year. More on that later.
Magic the Gathering: You wouldn’t think that I’d rank this so highly in the good category. Given that Chris and I discussed a few times how little we had played the game this year. I wasn’t even watching streams. It just looked like the game had run its course for us. Then, a couple of things happened. Well, on my end, one major thing happened. During one of our summer trips, I played Magic with all three boys. First, we played a couple of two headed giant games with decks that I had built over the years. Then, I picked up the Nicol Bolas box set and finally the Explorers of Ixalan. We haven’t played the Explorers yet, but there is time. Any game that gets me closer to my kids is a great game.
The Best: I know that it came late in the year, but any time a Star Wars movie is released and it is half decent, that will be the best thing about my year. When it is one of the best of the franchise, it will be the best thing of the decade. When I get to experience it with my kids and father in law, it just might be one of the highlights of my life. I won’t say much more because I have an article planned to go into more detail, but I absolutely loved this movie and it was a perfect way to start my holiday break.
No New Console: This is the first year in a few that we haven’t gotten a new console. I was going back and forth for a few weeks on whether or not to buy an XBox One Minecraft edition. I’ve had my eye on it for a while. Then, there seems to have been a mix up with my last December check and unless I sub in January, I won’t get paid at all, so economics won out. Liam did buy himself a Gamecube and we found the Dreamcast (but it needs to be repaired), so there are some “new” games being played right now, but no new hardware makes me feel a bit sad. We won’t be down for long, though. We are looking at a Switch and I’m almost positive that I’ll get an XBox in February.
The Worst: Only two for this one? Yep, and only two for the next one, too. By now, you should know my very positive outlook on things and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Also, the fact that I just talked so much about how comics were a good thing this year might also make this choice for “the worst” seem weird at best and probably perplexing. But, I have a valid explanation. I loved the stories and art of the comics, but hated the cover prices. I was spending far too much money on them and I couldn’t justify doing so anymore. At least with games, I get massive replay value from them and they allow me to spend more time with my kids. Comics did neither of those. It was 3-7 dollars spent on 10-15 minutes of enjoyment. That’s just awful.
Our Podcast Lineup: I was just talking to a friend (and one of the first fans of the page) about the 2 Guys Gaming podcast. He said something about how he thought it was damn good and that it could have been something. Not one to take compliments very gracefully, I changed the subject quickly. However, the podcasts are fun for me to do and I really want to get back to doing them. There have been a few that I listen to that have taken long breaks and come back stronger. One, in particular, stopped and started a few times, but it is again one of my favorites. So, our planning is ugly, but hopefully by this time next year, it will be good.
Nerd on Nerd Violence: This is something that I’ve often spoken against. However, as nerd culture has become popular culture, the nerd on nerd violence has increased to an unacceptable level. It used to be that when you were picked on by somebody, you always had your nerd buddies to get your back. If there was an actual fight, you’d all get your butts kicked, but they were there to take your mind off of being the brunt of some sort of physical or psychological abuse. Now, some of the worst abuse of nerds is coming from other nerds. It isn’t just good-natured joke fights about whether Star Trek or Star Wars is better. It’s full on attacks of each other and the things we hold dear. I’m going to talk about this more in my Star Wars article and it might just be that all violence is increasing, but this makes me incredibly sad.
2017 wasn’t all fun and games. It wasn’t all poorly executed puns, either. It was a good bordering on great year that gives us an excellent foundation to make 2018 even better. Happy New Year, All! Make it the best one ever!