Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 Portfolio

All my written pieces for 2017. See the first post for more details about the Mentonomicon.

The Top Shelf

The Top Shelf is a new feature for 2017 that explores a huge cross-section of the PS2's library, specifically the games I own. I'm essentially trying to determine a list of favorites via a long-form process of elimination. This repository is the "contents page" for this particular feature.

The Top Shelf: Case File Repository

These "first round" blogs consider five (later ten) games at a time:

The Top Shelf: Case Files 001-005: "From Small Beginnings"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 006-010: "Tempus Fugeddaboudit"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 011-015: "It's Oni Fair"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 016-020: "Giant Bombad"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 021-025: "The World Needs Laughter"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 026-030: "Yuri On Crisis"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 031-035: "A Raw Kickflip Off Hara-Kiri Rock"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 036-040: "No Rez for the Wizard"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 041-045: "Jaks, Max and Kodaks"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 046-055: "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 056-065: "Terror from the Deep"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 066-075: "...And My Lombax!"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 076-085: "Vexxed and Confused"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 086-095: "A Lot More Than a Thousand Words"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 096-105: "Ubivember"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 106-115: "One More Dog Rejected"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 116-125: "The Blood of the Covenant"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 126-135: "Bards, Bands, Balls"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 136-145: "And Someday You Feed On Lasagna"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 146-155: "Psycho Killer, Qu'ape Escape?"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 156-165: "Colossalvania: Soulthroney of the Fahrennight"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 166-175: "Penultimate Perambulations"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 176-185: "It's the Great Finale, Charlie Tunoku"

These "second round" blogs, for the games that passed the first round, are more in-depth articles on single items:

The Top Shelf: The Second Round 001: Onimusha Warlords
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 002: Headhunter
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 003: Nightshade
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 004: Oni
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 005: Kuri Kuri Mix
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 006: Onimusha 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 007: Grand Theft Auto III
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 008: Medal of Honor: Frontline
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 009: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 010: Rayman Revolution
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 011: Robotech: Invasion
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 012: X-Treme Express: World Grand Prix
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 013: Time Crisis II
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 014: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 015: 007: Agent Under Fire
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 016: Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 017: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 018: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 019: The Mark of Kri
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 020: Champions of Norrath
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 021: Dropship: United Peace Force
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 022: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 023: Rogue Trooper
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 024: Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 025: Second Sight
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 026: Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 027: Giants: Citizen Kabuto
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 028: Forbidden Siren 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 029: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 030: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 031: God Hand
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 032: The Thing
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 033: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 034: The Suffering
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 035: Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 036: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 037: Makai Kingdom
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 038: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 039: Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 040: Champions: Return to Arms
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 041: Gladius
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 042: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

This third round, dubbed "The Battle Royales", attempts to break down two or more games from the same series (or have a similar deeper connection) to determine the superior entry for the sake of a "one game per series" rule.

The Top Shelf: The Battle Royales 01: Final Fantasy (Final Fantasy X vs. Final Fantasy XII)

These are one-off specials, usually discussing games not in my collection:

The Top Shelf: Special: The Ones That Got Away

Indie Game of the Week

Self-explanatory. An effort to play/review more Indie games, at least one a week.

Indie Game of the Week 01: Flywrench (Messhof Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 02: Refunct (Dominique Grieshofer, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 03: Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 04: Shardlight (Wadjet Eye, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 05: Abzu (Giant Squid Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 06: VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (Sukeban Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 07: Adventures of Pip (Tic Toc Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 08: Oxenfree (Night School Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 09: N++ (Metanet Software, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 10: Pony Island (Daniel Mullins Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 11: Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 12: Valley (Blue Isle Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 13: 2064: Read Only Memories (Midboss, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 14: Doki-Doki Universe (HumaNature Studios, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 15: Tales from the Borderlands (Episodes 1 & 2) (Telltale Studios, 2014-15)
Indie Game of the Week 16: Severed (DrinkBox Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 17: Tales from the Borderlands (Episodes 3 & 4) (Telltale Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 18: Song of the Deep (Insomniac Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 19: Tales from the Borderlands (Episode 5) (Telltale Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 20: Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Double Fine, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 21: Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 22: Owlboy (D-Pad Studio, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 23: Rebel Galaxy (Double Damage Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 24: Ziggurat (Milkstone Studios, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 25: Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 26: Wuppo (Knuist & Perzik, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 27: The Room Two (Fireproof Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 28: Salt and Sanctuary (Ska Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 29: Bound (Plastic, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 30: Yesterday (Pendulo Studios, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 31: Jotun (Thunder Lotus Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 32: Cosmic Star Heroine (Zeboyd Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 33: Trine 2 (Frozenbyte, 2011)
Indie Game of the Week 34: Virginia (Variable State, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 35: SteamWorld Heist (Image & Form, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 36: Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 37: Waking Mars (Tiger Style Games, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 38: Detective Grimoire (SFB Games, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 39: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Yacht Club Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 40: Samorost 3 (Amanita Design, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 41: Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 42: Stories Untold (No Code, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 43: Driftmoon (Instant Kingdom, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 44: Flinthook (Tribute Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 45: Paint It Back! (Casual Labs, 2015)

All-New Saturday Summaries

A truncated form of 2016's Sunday Summaries feature, aggregating a week's worth of writing accompanied with some musings about the past week and a supplemental piece on what I've been playing.

All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-07 (Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-14 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-21 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-28 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-04 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-11 (Nintendo's Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker [2014])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-18 (Amusement Vision's Yakuza 4 [2011])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-25 (Amusement Vision's Yakuza 4 [2011])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-04 (Avalanche's Just Cause 3 [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-11 (Avalanche's Just Cause 3 [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-18 (Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-25 (Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-01 (Drakar Studios's Ginger: Beyond the Crystal [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-08 (Hello Games's No Man's Sky [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-15 (Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee [2017])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-22 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-29 (Arkane's Dishonored 2 [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-06 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-13 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-20 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-27 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-03 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-10 (ChunSoft's Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc [2010])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-17 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-24 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-01 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-08 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-15 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-22 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-29 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-05 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-12 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-19 (An assortment of games)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-26 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-02 (Chunsoft's Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair [2014])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-09: Gateway Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-16 (Atlus's Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity [2004])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-23: Switch Selections Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-30: Q4 Report Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-07: Game of the Generation Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-14: Star Runner Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-21: Lootbox Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-28: Scary Games Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-11-04: Force Min-Maxing Edition

May Maturity

This new iteration of the recurring May blogging series focused on 1990s games I'd been meaning to catch up on.

Welcome to May Maturity 2017!
May Maturity 01: Toonstruck (Intro) (Burst Studio, 1996)
May Maturity 01: Toonstruck (Outro)
May Maturity 02: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (Intro) (Blue Sky/Origin, 1992)
May Maturity 02: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (Outro)
May Maturity 03: The Legend of Kyrandia (Intro) (Westwood Studios, 1992)
May Maturity 03: The Legend of Kyrandia (Outro)
May Maturity 04: Jagged Alliance 2 (Intro) (Sir-Tech Software, 1999)
May Maturity 04: Jagged Alliance 2 (Outro)
May Maturity 05: The Dig (Intro) (LucasArts, 1995)
May Maturity 05: The Dig (Outro)
May Maturity 06: Menzoberranzan (Intro) (DreamForge Intertainment, 1994)
May Maturity 06: Menzoberranzan (Outro)
May Maturity 07: The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (Intro) (Westwood Studios, 1994)
May Maturity 07: The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (Outro)

A Marvelous Alternative to E3

This year's "Alternative to E3" looked at the 1996 Super Famicom game Marvelous: Mouhitotsu no Takarajima, the first game directed by Zelda bigwig Eiji Aonuma.

A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part One
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Two
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Three
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Four
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Five
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Six

Miscellaneous

Awesome Games Wiki'd Quick 2017 - A "Wiki Project" style rundown of a few curious games run during AGDQ 2017.
Wiki Project: Super '96 - A "Wiki Project" rundown of the 1996 releases for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom.
Wiki Project: Super Finale - A "Wiki Project" rundown of the 1997-2000 releases for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom. This completes the SNES library for the Giant Bomb Wiki.

Lists

List: "List of Games Beaten in 2017" - Usual yearly list of completed games, with mini-reviews.
List: "GOTY 2014 (Adjusted)" - Another living "adjusted" GOTY list, which continues to re-rank the year's best games as I eventually get around to playing more of them after the fact.
List: "GOTY 2013 (Adjusted)" - Similar to above and the other "adjusted" GOTY lists.
List: "Princess Personality" - A Legend of Zelda series-wide look at the evolution of its eponymous Princess as a character. 
List: "The Top Shelf: The Reserves List" - An accompaniment to The Top Shelf, sorting the surviving games in order of preference.
List: "Trailer Blazer: E3 2017" - A recurring list feature, wherein I review every E3 trailer uploaded to Giant Bomb.
List: "Iglored" - A list that looks at games that create dense amounts of world-building reading material in an optional capacity, leading to many players ignoring it completely. 

Reviews

Review: Torment: Tides of Numenera (InXile Entertainment, 2017)

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