Monday, January 1, 2018

2017: The Year in Review

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Vault 1541! Looking back I'd say the blog posts went well but the YouTube videos had ups and downs as I struggled with audio. I didn't miss a single ads posts as there was one every Saturday morning as promised. However, a few times I didn't realize the images on Flickr were set to private so I did mess that up just a bit. For YouTube I've had a hard time making them interesting enough to gain much traction. Most are likely too long as well, though two videos have found some success: the very first one I made which is about Starting Lineup Talking Baseball and the unboxing of Sonic Mania. I'd guess someone probably linked to the baseball video recently as that took off a few months ago.

Starting Lineup Talking Baseball

My biggest disappointment is that so many of my old electronics are breaking or already broken after having been boxed for many, many years. The Sega CD won't power on, the Sega Game Gear has no sound, Omega Supreme won't walk, a number of Star Wars vehicles won't make sounds, the Jawa Sandcrawler remote doesn't do anything, Coleco's Electronic Learning Machine doesn't work, and yesterday my Commodore 64 broke, perhaps the worse thing that could have broken. I was still able to complete the "Let's Play" video I was making as it cut out near the end but that made me feel so down and still does. I've struggled in my attempts to fix anything and I'll likely have to find an expert to do repairs. There were a few C64 game videos planned to tie into events, such as the Winter Olympics, over the next month or so but those are now in jeopardy.

With the amount of time I spent on the blog last year I had far less time for video games and thus only completed 18 games which is a small number for myself. A few of the games were not released in 2017 either so I really didn't play enough games to say what was the best of the year but I can list my favorites:

  1. Yakuza 0
  2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
  3. Assassin's Creed Origins
  4. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  5. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  6. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  7. Sniper Elite 4
  8. Star Wars: Battlefront II

Eight is the best I can do and some of those aren't even that well made. Star Wars is only here because I wanted to play anything Star Wars; I didn't touch multiplayer and although the single-player's story needs more work, at least I got to play Star Wars. I keep hearing 2017 was a great year for games and that it will be hard to top in 2018 -- I cannot say I agree with that statement. Perhaps I played the wrong games as Nier: Automata is among everyone's favorites but after an hour I had to turn it off. It must get a lot better, it has to if so many people love it. However, that first hour is simply awful: gameplay is boring and repetitive, dialog is laughable and terribly acted, and it's not pleasant to look at either. I really don't like to be negative and do try to find the positive in games, and like I said, I only played a hour. That being said, I think it's safe to say the worst game of the year is Road Rage which has no business being at retail ($29.99) -- it's a $10 digital game at best but it's really bad, avoid it. Nintendo's Zelda and Mario titles are the other two big games of the year for many. If you've followed the blog you'll know I grew up on Sega and never got into Nintendo games, and I've yet to try a Switch so I cannot comment on those games. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn screenshot.

Since most of the games on my list are rated "M" by the ESRB and I like to keep the blog family focused my top recommendation is Horizon: Zero Dawn (rated "T"). It's an open world game set in a future after humanity screwed up and nearly wiped themselves out. Animal-like robots roam the world as pockets of human civilizations, most resembling Native American settlements, struggle to survive and learn about the technology that surrounds them. The game has a likable protagonist (voiced by Ashly Burch), is well written, perfectly acted, and is set in an interesting world, even if it doesn't have a lot of variety. It also has Fringe's Broyles (Lance Reddick) in it! I loved Fringe, it is a great sci-fi TV show; by the way, in 2016 Reddick starred in another game, Quantum Break. A complete edition of Horizon was released at retail last month that includes an expansion and I highly recommend it (MSRP is $49.99).

Horizon: Zero Dawn has a photo mode! This was taken in The
Frozen Wilds expansion that is in the complete edition.

Looking ahead I'll continue doing the same things and try to improve at YouTube videos. I'd certainly like to gain some more followers and I still believe that the old magazine reviews and articles would appeal to many, I just need to find a better way to get the word out there. I was hopeful old commercials would get people's attention at YouTube which has not yet happened though it is still early. I'm not sure how many commercials I'll find as these have come from a few VHS tapes I was able to get my parents to bring to me when they visited a couple months ago. They've got a lot tapes I believe, I just live far away and haven't had a chance to get there to go through them. I did get a few more toy commercials ready yesterday so why not start off the new year by enjoying a commercial for a failed G.I. Joe toyline -- Sgt. Savage and His Screaming Eagles... Happy New Year!

-Jonathan 

1 comment:

  1. I realized I completely forgot about Everybody's Golf! That game is fun but I didn't get to play as much as I would have liked.

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