I updated the original article to finish the awards. Read it and be amazed at those things called… opinions!
Also, 2013 is going to be a great year, and you should be happy about it. Happy New Year, everyone.
I updated the original article to finish the awards. Read it and be amazed at those things called… opinions!
Also, 2013 is going to be a great year, and you should be happy about it. Happy New Year, everyone.
2012 sure looks like it was a really great year for a lot of stuff! What did I think was the best of the best? Well, let’s see!
I did not actually play very many games in 2012. And I didn’t play any bad ones, so this list is far from complete. However, I am confident this does encompass some of the best games of the year regardless.
Game of the Year:
Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS)
As you may have read in my absolutely glowing review of this game, I find it hard to believe anybody could think that this isn’t one of the best games of this year. I find it to be the best; I even still play it today, playing my favorite chapters, grinding away to finally get the perfect weapon, and then battling out in multiplayer.
Mass Effect 3 (Wii U, PC, PS3, 360)
Despite my negative opinion of the ending (that was migitated by the Extended Cut, but my main complaint was far from erased), this game was an absolute masterpiece, and one of the greatest experiences of my life for 90% of it. Playing three games in a row where your choices matter and everything you do carries over is brilliant; I encourage all story-based games to do this, as it really makes the series experience that much more worthwhile!
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
This game, even though it’s on the Wii, is gorgeous, has great voice acting, an even better story, and an almost-addicting battle system. Everything I hate about JRPGs is addressed here, and I love it to death.
Spelunky (360), Fez (360), Nintendoland (Wii U), Pikmin 2 (Wii re-release) (yes I’m counting this, it deserves it)
This category is a bit bigger than the others, due to the fact I’ve seen a ton of movies this year in theaters; 18 in total (okay that doesn’t sound like much but it’s 15 more than I usually see). So There are a couple awards I will give here.
I don’t feel like I need to say anything, really. Avengers was one of the most perfect films I have ever seen, and I’ve never met a person who says much differently.
The Dark Knight Rises
It was everything I had hoped for and more; the most satisfying ending to any trilogy, really. I actually thought it was better than The Dark Knight, which is a very unpopular opinion, but it is mine. Bane didn’t top Joker as a villain, but the overall plot was fantastic, and the ending was so brilliant that I almost stood up and clapped after it was all over.
While the time travel mechanics were frustrating at times, they worked well, and they told a beautiful story of a man, his future self, and the fate of the planet. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis both did standout jobs here.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
While I simultaneously think it was one of the biggest pieces of trash this millennium so far, Ghost Rider 2 was absurdly entertaining in all the best ways. Even if it isn’t categorized as one, it was by far the best comedy I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Having not read the original material or seen the musical, I had no idea what to expect in this film, and wow, I was impressed. It was much closer to an opera than a musical, but that’s not a bad thing. Everyone in the film gave their best performances, especially Jean Valjean himself Hugh Jackman, and Russel Crowe was totally a good singer. I don’t care what anyone says.
Prometheus: Grand in scope, and the best kind of scary.
Dredd: It’s like a generic cop movie… but with great gritty comic book-vibes. My favorite action movie in a while.
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The much more light-hearted feel than Lord of The Rings makes everything much more fun to watch, with much less drama. It certainly isn’t better than Lord of the Rings, but it’s still a great film, and I expect the next two to be even better.
Skyfall: The best James Bond movie in years! And I never expected them to actually delve into the origins of the character. Woah.
Man With the Iron Fists: It was cheesy, it was violent, and it was a damn fun movie to watch. RZA’s Director/Actor/Writer/Soundtrack debut was great, and I hope he makes many more movies.
Other awesome movies: Men in Black 3, Amazing Spider-Man, Resident Evil Retribution
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Looper – A fantastic performance in a fantastic film.
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Michael Fassbender – Prometheus
Tom Hiddleston – Avengers
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Dark Knight Rises (Yes, again)
Nic Cage – Ghost Rider 2
Best Visual Effects
Avengers: It was easy to forget that in most of the scenes of the movie, two of the main characters Iron Man and Hulk were just CGI creations.
Hobbit and Dredd are the runners-up. Both were certifiably amazing, as well.
The Hobbit wins this, which is easy to say considering it’s a Lord of the Rings movie. Man with the Iron Fist had a very unique and well-crafted soundtrack as well, and Avengers was top-notch.
There were an incomparable amount of amazing albums this year; I can barely pick my favorites outside of the top two or three. Hopefully I don’t forget any!
Album of the Year
Preschtale – C-Jeff
This musical odyssey was the most pure fusion of Prog Rock and Chiptunes, and some of the most fun stuff you’ll ever hear. It came out on January 1st, 2012, and it has been the by-far winner of this award for me ever since. Only one album reached its status, and got this award as well in an awesome tie:
One Year Older – Jit
All Homestuck albums are great (you’ll see more later, I promise), but this one…. (pff)… takes the cake. The closest any music has ever made me to crying. The Scratch and Skaian Shrapnel are the best of the album.
Induction – Svix: Wow. This thing is awesome, and is a great use of musical motifs. I usually am not a fan of autotuned/robot singing and all that, but Induction is completely different.
Comfortable Bugs – Bowman: Barely released a couple weeks ago,
Ithaca – Bowman: Bowman’s debut solo album didn’t make as much of an impact as Mobius Trip & Hardon Kaleido, but it was sure as hell great.
The Earthen Scar – Eidolon Orpheus: How Eidolon Orpheus could make an album out of a few original songs and some songs from a scrapped album is beyond me, but he pulled it off, and this fantasy journey is totally rad.
Blueshift – Protodome: Another late release, but this third entry in Protodome’s series of chiptune jazz albums is the most polished one yet, and even has vocal songs this time!
Fez – Disasterpiece: Atomspheric, ambient, and very peaceful. I love it.
We Are All Sattelites – Clark Powell: Plazmataz sure has a way of making music amazing, and this album is no exception.
Honorable mentions (No particular Order):
I Miss You: Earthbound 2012 – Ubikitune
Do Without – Screamcatcher
Homestuck Volume 9 – Homestuck
Omegalodon – RJ Lake
Genesis Frog – Albatross Soup
Nightlife Nightlight – hrmnzr
ColoUrs and Mayhem A– Homestuck
Stray Cat ~Walkabout~ – Cat Boss
ColoUrs and Mayhem B – Homestuck
Starhaven – Block Monster
Spelunky OST – Erik Suhrke
Chiptune Inferno – SuperVolcano
Spiritwake – Solatrus
Jazz and Masks – Cat Boss
And a super-special shout out to Chiptunes = Win and its first three albums this year. I am looking forward to seeing the group expand this coming year!
2012 was a huge year for the comic industry, with the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises all coming out this summer, and in the comics themselves, DC’s New 52 relaunch completed its first full year, and Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men shocked the world. What were my favorites?
Comic of the Year
Yeah yeah, I had no indication that I was counting webcomics, but I am. Homestuck has only gotten better in its third year, as the end of the comic draws nearer and nearer, With its insane fanbase, monumental Kickstarter, and more storytelling scope than anything I’ve ever seen, Homestuck is the winner of this award for good reason.
Gunnerkrig Court: It’s slowly building itself up towards a gigantic climax, and though it isn’t quite at Homestuck level, it’s getting there. Tom Siddell’s writing is top-notch, and his art is beautiful.
Dinosaur Comics: Still the funniest comic ever, even with its gimmick being almost a decade old.
Avengers vs. X-Men
Best Events of 2012
Not really in any particular order, nor are they actually the best things that happened this year.
Act 6 Intermission 3 (Homestuck)
Three nearly hour-long (each) flash games, along with one ten-minute ending movie, all released this fall in Homestuck, expanding the lore of the comic tenfold, introducing twelve new characters, and giving tons of character development to some of the major characters. I wouldn’t be surprised if these games alone convinced tens of thousands of people to start reading Homestuck, after seeing so much about it on tumblr and other places.
Humble Indie Bundle V
Yes, there had been many Humble Bundles before it, but this one was the one that catapulted the service into gigantic popularity. Four of the best games of this generation (Limbo, Bastion, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Swords & Sorcery) and one of the best games of last generation (Psychonauts) were on the table to start with, and it later expanded to include Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Lone Survivor. All for around 8 bucks, and it included their complete soundtracks and everything. I don’t think this bundle will ever be topped for several years, if ever.
The World Didn’t End!
Of course, this is the greatest thing to happen to us! The Mayans spared us…. Now, what other doomsday prophecy is about to pass that will definitely never come true?
This is… all of the awards I have. Thanks for reading, and have a happy 2013!!!!
Before I make my “Best-of 2012” article, I will look ahead, and see the most exciting things that lie wait in the upcoming year!
There are three games I am extremely excited about, and will definitely buy that are coming out this year:
A couple movies that I am most excited for. You can see my full (first-version) list of movies I’m looking forward to in this article.
These comic events have me pretty excited for 2013:
What I’m not excited for is a dumb Ultron massive crossover. I was actually hoping that 2013 would stay Major Event-free this time, Marvel-wise. 2012 only had AvX, which wasn’t actually that huge, but I thought Marvel was getting over its insane addiction to stupid crossovers, albeit very slowly with some relapses (Fear Itself), after Siege.
I’m also looking forward to the conclusion of the 4-year Modern-Day Epic that is Homestuck. Not that I want it to end, per say, but the ending is quickly building itself up to be the most gigantic climax that we’ll ever see in any webcomic (until Gunnerkrig Court gets to its own climax in like 15 years, but that’s different).
Music: I… don’t really know of any future music plans for 2013. I guess, Bowman and Clark Powell’s inevitable next albums, as well as some more stuff by Hrmnzr and Astro Kid. And Homestuck Volume 10, which may or may not be the very last Homestuck album. Oh, and WellManicuredMan is releasing a Homestuck-related EP on January 5th. That will be exciting.
Other: I’m looking forward to going to college, where I’ll have even less time to post meaningful things on this blog, but I will have many more things to be able to post about.
I’m also hyping up what seems to be an Event Horizon in the number of written works by the Metafic gang, consisting of Ktalaki, WhiteKnight, Kwiko, and I, all from the RealityRevolution forums. Seriously awesome stories are starting to emerge, and it is only a matter of time before…. someone gets published…..
Originally written for a Halloween Special; now available in much-improved status here on the Backblog!
Slenderman woke to a start. What a nightmare!
It was a horrible slumber, this past night was. Dreams of dead children, bones scattered across the landscape, and the rotting carcasses on the ground, their faces withered to dust—it all felt so real. Slenderman did kidnap young children at one time, but that was in the past, and he never did anything like what was in his dream!
“Slenda, wake up,” Slenderman nudged his wife, who was still peacefully resting away. Agh, dammit. His head was pulsing violently. It was so hard to focus…
“What is it?” Slenda asked, barely conscious.
“I had the worst dream. It was… horrifying.”
“Well, it is Halloween today. Maybe it’s some sort of psychological thing.”
“Yeah, but Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday! Why would it cause me to dream such unspeakable things?!”
“Honey, you need a cup of coffee. Here, I’ll go get it for you, Slenderman. It’s time for me to get up and get Slendy ready for school anyway.”
“Thanks.” But Slenderman knew the coffee wouldn’t help. This was going to stick with him like a tentacle to a tall guy. It was so gruesome, so despicab-
He figured it out. It was a premonition! Oh no—all that stuff he saw in his dream was… really gonna happen!! His suit already on, Slenderman hopped out of bed and dashed down the stairs with extreme haste.
“Hey!” Slenda shouted as he opened the door. “Didn’t you want some coffee?”
“No time! I have to warn the President!” And with that, Slenderman was gone.
WASHINGTON DC, 10:25 AM
Slenderman ran as fast as he could in the 3 hours since he left his house in Charleston, but he had to parkour over some very heavy traffic on the way, slowing him down quite significantly. But now that he finally reached our nation’s capital, his frenzied sprint had finally caught up with him. He was exhausted. Even with the White House just in front of him, it was too much. His quest…. Was….
Slam! Slenderman passed out on the cold ground of Washington, D.C.
Where am I? Am I… asleep? Oh goodness, I’m asleep! I’m asleep! Not again!
“Do not concern yourself with having another one of those dreams, Slenderman. I will see to it that you never experience one again.”
Who are you? Why can’t I see anything?
“You are in my domain now. I can unleash whatever horrors I wish upon you. But I do not.”
I don’t understand.
“Of course you don’t, my dear Slenderman. You simply cannot fathom the true nature of your own power, much less my own, perhaps due to your… human origins.”
!!! How did you—
“Maybe you ought to see one of my faces. The one that you are able to comprehend without going mad… at least, completely mad.
And then he revealed himself. It was a grotesque and monstrous face, green with tentacles squirming all over from where his mouth should have been. His eyes could pierce souls.
“Correct, Slenderman. I am who I am. And who I am is the Lord of All Terror, of which you could not hope to understand.”
Maybe you underestimate how scary I can be.
“No, I don’t. You are certainly creepy at times, I will give you that, but if my night gaze was enough to penetrate your deepest fears, then you are surely not scary. Not even close.
Why not just kill me now, Cthulhu?
“I want to offer you a challenge, to see you suffer more and more before your final demise. If you can defeat me in the next 60 minutes after you awaken, I will leave you and the rest of your kind alone. This is something you cannot refuse, I know this.”
I will definitely not refuse it. You’re on.
“I will enjoy every moment that I can further decimate what little soul you have left, before I finally devour it. This hour shall be my most exciting in millennia.”
Slenderman woke to a start once again, this time for a much different reason. As he sprang up and hopped over the fence towards the White House, he knew that time was of the essence. He couldn’t even stop for security checks, despite the Secret Service’s shooting at him.
“Sorry! There’s no time!” he told them as he sped by. Their shouts were many, and their bullets were even more, but none came even close to hitting Slenderman.
Finally, he entered the oval office, and, panting, turned to warn President Barack Obama (or Mitt Romney, depending on who when you read this and depending on who ends up winning the election).
“President Obama [Romney]!” Slenderman began. “You need to leave, right now! Cthulhu is coming!”
But there was no response. Obama [Romney] simply stared, his eyes widening and hands twitching. When he spoke, all that came out was, “Ugthologleonekthoggguueeeee” and his body began to disentigrate. Piece by piece, the President disappeared, leaving behind only his blood, which flowed plentifully across the carpet. The desk transformed into all the souls that Slenderman had ever haunted, and engulfed the tall man completely.
His tie began to squirm around as it transformed into an infant’s head and roared. It stared straight at you, and its beady eyes reminded you of the first time you saw a dead animal, welcoming you to your new home inside its mind. How are you, by the way?
V┬╡ë/≤╔’▒²W•»•o☼@ΩMx+Θß═╥┘ÿ♀+ê«¡ü:╘Be┤|Ω¡v₧i)┴. ╫H►▀╤♥Q»•☼o. ♦║·ü©%☻§▬↔=N(♥▬Yòå.■↔R┘∟↨A&[X♦▀ε╠◘▬áµ`[ÖÜÜÜ○♣○r└↔○+╤ ü:╘B•o☼@ΩMxe+Θß┤|Ω
A million ar▌ms reached out from t¡he walls of the Oval Ofƒice, grabbing each and every one of his appendages, pulling them as hard as they could in every direction. I☻÷t was more pain than Slen∩derman had fel◙t in a lon◙g long time, √and was stretching him to new levels of height.
Slenderman began to grow
on his neck. Out of the flesh on its head, a nose burst forth,
a dark olive color,
and with a putrid odor.
grew and grew, until it sprouted eyes, and a mouth, and a nose of its own and a tail to match its splendor.
There were no teeth in its mouth; those made a ring around the nose in the shape of a smiley face, winking at Slenderman in
his gross horror.
The nose exploded, sending Slenderman back in time, repeating the moments of the President’s death over and over again for the next eight minutes. Before it could drive him completely insane, our hero whipped his tentacles in a fury and defeated these cursed souls that had been attacking him.
Slenderman was barely able to break free of the cursed swarm, and now he could only watch as the White House rotted before his very visual receptors, where his eyes should have been. Mold sprang up around him almost instantly, and in the sky formed the being known none other than…. Cthulhu.
“I see your sanity is still palatable. And I am famished.”
“You won’t be getting any of this. Not today, not ever.”
Slenderman launched into the sky and swung all of his arms at the beast in rapid succession, each blow pushing the monster further towards the ground. Cthulhu shot back with his own face tentacles, grabbing our hero and bringing him in for the final feast. When all seemed lost, Slenderman executed his secret move: the EMP!
The EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, normally wouldn’t affect non-electric beings, but Cthulhu was a special case, being the Dark Lord of All That is Horrible. Slenderman took advantage of Cthulhu’s peculiar situation and blasted him with anti-electric waves, sending the beast crashing on the ground where the White House used to be.
“Ah, so you think you can stun me with a little static?” Cthulhu seemed undaunted, despite his plummet onto the ground. He stood himself back up, and flexed a hand. Chunks of ground began levitating into the air and spiraling around the dark monster, and then closed around him, creating a gigantic shield of dirt.
Slenderman pulsed and pulsed as hard as he could, but it was no use. The orb surrounding the fiend was too thick for his electric attacks to pierce. And no amount of physical force could destroy the barrier, either. As soon as he could land a strong enough punch to make a sizeable dent, Cthulhu was able to summon the dirt back and reform his sphere of invulnerability. It was useless, as long as he stayed dormant like this.
So instead of attacking, Slenderman waited. And waited. A silence resounded over this battlefield, where the White House once stood in its stately manner. A tumbleweed passed by. This standoff lasted several minutes, before Cthulhu’s shield began to crumble. He was ready to make an attack. But he wasn’t ready enough. Slenderman jumped into the sky and blasted him with an EMP using every single bit of his power. He held nothing back in this final blast, and it knocked Cthulhu completely unconscious.
Slenderman fell as well, but hit the ground running. He uppercutted his fallen foe with grace. Then came a headbutt. Then a high-kick. Then, finally, he finished Cthulhu off with another EMP blast, sending him skyrocketing into space.
It was done.
Back in Charleston, the Slender Family celebrated the victory over Cthulhu with a hearty cake. It had strawberry icing, custard filling, and just a hint of bonemeal flavoring. To top it off, there were some Reese’s peanut butter cup-flavored cupcakes along with it. All of this was served with some good old-fashioned Sweet Tea, just like his mom used to make.
“You were soooooooo cool out there, Dad!” Slendy shouted with admiration. The little kid was so proud, and Slenderman would have given his biggest grin, if it was physically possible for him to do so.
“I was just doing the right thing,” he told his child. “Maybe one day you’ll get to do something just as heroic.”
“Oh yeah, cooooool!” Slendy began jumping around, reenacting the battle at the White House with a rambunctious flair.
“Now now,” Slenda scolded, playfully. “Don’t be giving Slendy all these grandiose ideas. Slendy’s still got to go to school; no real hero would skip school, because learning is knowing, and knowing is 75% of the battle!”
Suddenly, the phone began to blare. “Honey,” Slenda told her husband. “it’s for you.”
He picked up. “Who is this?”
“This is President Biden [Ryan]. Thank you for defeating Cthulhu.”
“You’re welcome. Any time.”
“I would like to inquire you about your services on another task. It would only be for a few days, and the pay is good. You are the first person I have called about this.”
“What is it?”
“We’re not sure yet. But the project is codenamed….. Tumblr.”
I had a long discussion with Ktalaki last night about the Christmas Crossover Adventure. The story is still on, but he would prefer I wait to post it anywhere online until he revises RRUS, one of the main stories that this is framed around. And I myself should probably finish more of the stories that I am crossing over, considering only about half of the characters in the story actually appear on stories in the Backblog. So, even though I have already written much of the Christmas Crossover Adventure already, I have made the decision to hold it off, presumably until next Christmas.
Instead of CCA, I will publish something completely different, though also a Christmas special. Stay tuned.
Ugh. I had planned for so long to release it today, but I have not been able to access Google Drive all day, so I can’t get Chapter 1 to put it on here. This means that tomorrow, I will upload it, no matter even if I have to type it on Word and do it that way instead. But it’s gonna be awesome, don’t worry.
Why not take the day off killing people in video games this Friday out of respect for the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting? It’s not because video games cause people to go crazy and shoot people, no. That’s dumb. It’s just a thing to show respect. I know most people aren’t going to care about this, and keep trying to rack up their killstreaks and whatever, but I know I’ll be participating, though I haven’t played any games with guns in a while already.
After being out for two years in Japan, there is finally a fan translation of the 12th Fire Emblem game, Heroes of Shadow & Light, which was never released in America or Europe. Ironically enough, it was a remake of Fire Emblem 3 for the SNES, which itself was never released outside of Japan, with many new features such as the first-ever custom character creator, and online battling features like in Fire Emblem 11 (which was a remake of the first game that did cross over the Pacific, luckily for us). You won’t be able to legally play the game without learning a new language, no, but this is still amazing; probably the biggest translation patch release since Mother 3 back in 2008!
For Fire Emblem fans, this news is great, as this means a way to stave off Fire Emblem withdrawals for another few months until Fire Emblem: Awakening releases on the 3DS!
That, my friends, is another story for another time, though.