Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thoughts - A More Specific Focus

As much as I've enjoyed talking about the most random of random things on here - from my retro gaming favorites to how awesome Iron Maiden is - I think the scope of my blog posts and my reviews are a bit too wide. So, unless I start to see that it's a bad idea, this blog is going to focus only on XBox Live Indie titles and news. And, since I feel the need to justify everything I do, here's a list of reasons why (we all like lists, don't deny it).

1. Passion. I'm an old-school competitive gamer at heart. This is beyond evident in what I play, from games with a retro feel to titles with large amounts of replay value and/or score attacking. In addition, I've run tourneys for lots of different games (Tekken to Mario Kart to Dr. Mario to WarioWare) and attended my fair share over the years. Even my non-video gaming is very competitive, with years upon years of Magic: The Gathering and other CCG competitive play under my belt and a love for strategic yet fast-paced board and card games. Many of the well-made XBLIG titles fit that theme. They're simple yet incredibly deep and skill-based, such as radiangames' Crossfire or Mommy's Best Games' Shoot 1UP, or do things that you won't see on a disc or even XBLA/WiiWare/PSN, such as with MagicalTimeBean's tower defense/dungeon crawler mashup Soulcaster or FourKidsGames tactical board game Ancient Trader. These things ignite that fiery passion that once-a-week XBLA releases, lackluster WiiWare titles, and horribly infrequent Virtual Console support does not.

2. Time. I just don't have as much of it as I wish. With most XBLIG titles taking an hour or less to completely explore, with a few exceptions like Zeboyd's RPGs, I can complete and review a game in a very small amount of time. In comparison, I'll be putting in five to ten hours on nearly any XBLA or WiiWare title I pick up with some going longer or requiring extensive multiplayer time that just can't happen with the small community it reaches. Add in a lengthy review and that could be a good fifteen hours for one game. I just don't have that much extra time or...

3. Money. This is a non-paying hobby, not a job. Being able to put an hour or two in every couple days with an investment of eight to twenty dollars for a month's worth of games. Even less if developers are nice and give me a review copy, which has happened, uh, twice now. Or I could review one XBox Live Arcade game for that price, maybe two.

4. Attachment. It hit me last week while playing the Scott Pilgrim game that I have no attachment to AAA titles anymore. Even a game that was relevant to every single one of my interests (I heart Scott Pilgrim and River City Ransom) couldn't make me feel like I invested any part of myself in it like, say, Kaleidoscope. Or Gerbil Physics. Or Urban Space Squirrels. Or even Along Came A Spider, a story-less platformer that became one of my favorite I've played in the last year. Some XBLA titles still pull this off, but not surprisingly they're the ones that you'll see wearing its heart on its sleeve. Like Braid or 'Splosion Man. I think one of the reasons is that the developers seem a lot more likely to talk to you like you're both normal people rather than like they own your house. Most developers will also only pimp their own games, while most XBLIG devs on Twitter are spending lots of time mentioning other developers or even reviewers and willingly giving out review copies of their games.

5. Variety. This seems incredibly odd, but having such a wide variety of things to write about actually makes me want to write less. If I don't like or have something one week, such as not having time to find and play something on the PC or getting in touch with a developer, I tend to get hung up on that and feel defeated enough not to write for the rest of the week. With such a large XBLIG library, if nothing comes out in a week that I want to write about I can easily go back and find something released previously I haven't touched on yet.

So, with all that said, I'll probably be updating two to four times a week. Every Friday for sure, as I love writing about inexpensive entertainment, and then a couple other reviews or other blog posts as my schedule sees fit.

See you later this week!


  1. Hey Shin,

    I look forward to more frequent updates and musings from you. And rest assured, your reveiw copy of my new game will be yours once i finish it :)

    On a slightly agreeing note, i also find the AAA titles to be such a bind, and if you bought one that does not hold your interest it is very tough. Because you need to finish it to get your moneys worth. Not so for the dollar or so games. Oh it cost a dollar and i only spent 20 minutes on it? Cool less that renting a movie. Sweet.

    Da Voodoochief

  2. Best of luck with this and I would like to say that your list is pretty much the exact same reason I began reviewing xb360 indie games.
    time: as both a part to full time worker and student, I don't have much of it. so being able to get the entirity of most games in a breif amount of time means I can put out more than one review a week (31 reviews in may, but thats not the point).
    Money: my job isn't so great, and since I invested $350 in a camera to start doing video projects, I need subject matter that I was going to buy anyway, or extremely cheap. since I can get trials of every game for free, and trials usually cover most aspects of the game, this means I can continue doing reviews for quite awhile (well, at least untill my hard drive space runs out :( ).
    attchment: yeah, I've gotten to the point where I can have just as much fun playin through 5-6indie games and enjoying the sheer varity of the games, as playing "generic shooter 2010 extreme edition". which also brings me to...
    variety: yup, too many things to review and yet it makes you not want to do any of it. that was the same problem I had when I first started, the goal was to review : Anime, videogames, comics, various products and just about anything else! need less to say at about the third week I couldn't figure out what to review. DLC Dude actually started from a complete lark, and turns out to be the most popular thing (overall, 60 game reviews in 60 seconds has the most individual video views) that I've produced.

    well goodluck with this and remember that just because you have a dedicated topic doen't mean you can't review other things once in a while.