(And so I have reached a milestone few on this site can claim to have achieved.) How many of you can claim to have written 300 blogs in your time here? And how many of you can claim to have blogged on this site for four years, seven months, and a day? Not many of you, with such an incredibly specific number. Now, over the years, when I've reached an x00 blog, I've liked to use it as a platform for experimentation, whether it's pseudo game design (now useless in light of the actual AC3) or telling Igor to suck it. In that spirit, I use this blog as a moment of reflection and earning the ire of @PsEG and @Marino I'm gonna start this retrospective with some general trends. First, let's look at how you, my semi-loyal subjects, have commented on my blog over these many years:
Holy shit! That one huge spike at the beginning is making it impossible for me to pick out any trends whatsoever. Hey, you know what would be really helpful? If I completely and utterly ignored its existence altogether. Because that's all I'm going to do.
That's better. Now I can probably spot some actual trends and patterns and whatnot. How can I do that with all those terrible spikes? Either wizard eyes or I leased my soul to @PsEG. Take your pick. Anyway, what are we dealing with? Well, good news first: the average number of comments on my blog is going up over time, even if it is slowly. Right now, I'm sitting pretty at about 23 comments per blog. Now this may look like it's spread over a ton of random spikes, but that's far from what the reality is. (The random part; not the spike part.) Turns out I've found a few annual trends in the Renegade Ego experience:
- Every year starts out slow. I'm guessing you guys are too hung-over from New Year's to bother commenting on my blogs, and then you're too hung-over from Chinese New Year's to bother commenting on later blogs. 2012 is an exception to this, though, mainly because of Katawa Shoujo and Code: Veronica X. (To my memory.)
- I guess to "balance this out", April, as far as I can tell, is just a generally shitty month for my blogs. This year, I've prepared for it, using April as my chance to post a bunch of no-effort throwaway blogs for games nobody gives a shit about, like Nimbus, New Zealand Story, Fushigi no Yume no Alice, Alone in the Dark, Rez, Jet Grind Radio, Psycho.....nauts......A.....Reckless....Dis......I'm so horribly fucked in almost a month.
- Fortunately, things look like they're gonna pick up mid way through the year and, more importantly, stay there until post-GOTY season. What the hell could be the cause of it? I'd like to use summer as an explanation, but I'm fairly certain I have an international audience, so that explanation's out. Maybe you guys just need to build momentum in your comments. I don't know. I'm no mathematician.
- Finally, there's one peculiarity that I want to address: why were you guys turned off my blog in early 2010? The hell was going on there? I was hitting all my bases at the time; I gave you guys a taste of both the big stuff (Assassin's Creed 2, No More Heroes 2, BioShock 2) and the obscure, possibly Japan only stuff (Trip World, Panorama Cotton, Fragile Dreams). Hell, I even reviewed pizza! Is that not enough for you? I mean, yea, there was a delay when my computer crapped out on me, but that's not enough of an explanation.
But what does any of this matter? I seem to have settled into something consistent around August of 2012 In terms of comments, at least. There's still a lot more I have to tackle in this celebration, such as...
Here's something horrifically shocking: I have written 600141 words over the course of this blog. (Not counting this one, of course, because how the fuck would I even do that?) That's more words than Atlas Shrugged, and almost twice as foolish. But really, that only translates to about 358 words per day or 2007 per blog. Wow, that still sounds like a lot. In fact....
Good. No embarrassing spikes like last time. The highest I seem to reach here is that peak in 2011, just past 6000 words. (It was my ninja blog, if you're curious.) Other than that, it's honestly very difficult to spot any trends in this data. I mean, yea, there's the spiky up and down we've come to know and love in the past two graphs, but what fun is that? I'd also like to say that I comfortably stayed in the 1000-2000 word count range, but just look. There's no way you can keep my blog confined to such a tiny range. It's breaking out all the time, and not always just going up. MY EGO IS TRULY A RENEGADE!!! But that doesn't solve the issue of trendless data. Maybe I should pair it up with the comment stuff from before. Maybe you guys like 4000 word diatribes about Panorama Cotton.
I know this is going to sound like a cheap cop-out, but I'm not spotting any significant patterns here. Just look at that. Everything's packed into that one little corner. The hell am I supposed to do with it? Yet that doesn't mean I'm completely without observation:
- I write a ton of blogs in the 1000-2000 word range. This is somehow in addition to the fact that I average about 2007 words per blog. Math, you truly are a fickle bitch. Perhaps this is your form of punishment.
- Let's venture up for a bit, though, because it turns out that 2000-4000 is where I hit it big. I knew you guys liked wordy blogs. Hell, there aren't even any duds past about 2200, 2300 words. Why else do you think that I'm making this as inhumanly long as possible? (Running the odds, honestly, if you see all the 2000+ blogs confined to the left.) Hell, even the stragglers at the top are getting a healthy amount of love. You should all be very afraid.
- But what about those points at the bottom? How did they get so many comments? From what I can tell, those were most likely birthday blogs. We'll get to those later. Right now, it's all about...
(....Shit.) I don't have any fancy graphs for this. I have stats, but it's hard to graph out Final Fantasy VI music, which would constitute about half the graph. I kid, of course. The majority of my music, at about 37%, has been removed from YouTube. I can't even tell you what the music was before it was removed, because that information isn't even available (or at least I don't know how to access it).
But let us move to information I can actually access, since that's the only thing that matters. Here, things become more predictable. Final Fantasy just fucking dominates the stats. Was it any surprise? There are a ton of Final Fantasy games with a lot of great music, but for some reason, I focused most of that energy on the sixth, at 32 entries. To put that in perspective: that's three more than the Fire Emblem games I gush about half the time. Oddly enough, Seisen no Keifu only shows up seven times in all this mess, although I suspect that's because 240 of those instances were removed.
That's not the first strange thing in these stats, and it certainly won't be the last. For instance, did you know that I like Mother 3, Mystic Ark, and Romancing SaGa 3 equally? I don't, but apparently, they all had ten songs apiece. These are the type of skewed priorities that pop up when I select music for my blogs. Taboo beats out Gitaroo Man Lives (although I'm certain that I used the same song in Taboo, just multiple times), Devil Survivor is worth twice as much as Panzer Dragoon Saga (probably for the same reasons as the last example), and Terranigma is worth more than Fragile Dreams and Persona 4 combined. And then there were songs that aren't even game-related, like Dethklok (once), this (once (and I actually remember this one)), this (THREE TIMES!?), and....this? What?
And then things got weird. Two songs began showing up a lot as I started this retrospective: Europe and Monkey Love Song. So many blogs began with these two songs (although I don't think I ever found them both at the same time). Unsurprisingly, a lot of these instances were in Season 0. European bestiality sounds like it would fit in with the general quality of that period. Oh, and one of my musical links was apparently to a Gears of War 2 image, because some real crazy shit happened back in Season 0. That reminds me, though: let's break this all down by season, shall we? Yes, I write this blog in seasons. How else do you explain Claude's endorsement of Junes? Anyway, we'll start with the only season not to have a banner, and for very good reason:
(OH DEAR GOD, THIS WAS DREADFUL!) Looking back on all these old blogs of mine, I only now realize how goddamn horrible they all are. Hell, that was the season when I wrote a blog about a Scrabble game I played. That's the level of respect I had for my readers. (Although while I'm on the subject, I recently (several months ago) tried to play a word in Scrabble that wrapped around to the other side of the board. Didn't work; that is all.) I feel the greatest sorry for 2017 King. This bullshit went on for 72 episodes before I decided to put a banner on it, like putting a bowtie on a turd. But we'll get to season 1 later. There's still some close analysis we have to do here.
Well, immediately, I'm already spotting a trend that's gonna run through these comments: they bounce up and down rapidly. The average was around 17 comments, but I doubt there's a single blog that reflects that well. Sometimes, you guys like to discuss some obscure shit I'm talking about, while others times, you guys ignore Halo: Reach like the plague. But ignoring that, it looks like I was getting more comments leading up to that spike, and they suddenly decided to taper off a little bit after that. What was that huge spike? My birthday, of course! Amazing to think that you guys allocated all your comments to the day of my birth! You really do care about me! I have so much to say, I...I just....
At first, this looks pretty similar to the earlier comment graph. Things are bouncing up and down, but on the whole stay pretty consistent (with an average of 1772 words, somehow). Hell, you even have a similar spike from before. Except that's in reverse. The spike is my Phantasy Star Collection blog, and the dip is my birthday blog at just 63 words. Given how much I've written already, that can't bode well for how many of you actually bother to read this schlock.
I don't know. That Final Fantasy Tactics blog? I mean, it was where I got the name for this and everything.
Least favorite episode
We shan't e'er speak of such things.
(And this is where things became...slightly better.) That doesn't mean things still had the suck of season 0, but it also doesn't mean that all the blogs are going to be as awesome as, say, this. If anything, it was all OK. Good, but not great. But important, for this was the season of milestones. I opened the season with a banner. I middled it with my 100th blog (an experimental one, as has already been established). I beat my 1000th video game and closed things out. Some middle stuff also happened, like finding out that Earthbound is a good game and....oh no....NONONONONONONONONO!!!!! WHY HAST THOU RETURNED, FOUL BEAST!? WHAT BUSINESS HAST THEE WITH MORTAL MEN!?
I'm gonna have to wrap this up soon and take care of him in the space of the graph. 90 episodes this season.
This is weird. I bounced around a lot like last time, but look at the data. It's all stretched out. I imagine it has a lot to do with the timeframe (season 1 took place over at least a year), but I'd like to think it's because I evened out. Still, it looks like I was getting more spikes this season, so that's always a plus. Granted, the averages don't bare out (about 21 for this season), but that damn spike in season 0 is probably fucking with my averages big time. Suffice it to say that I'm calling this an improvement. The only anomaly seems to be that plateau at mid-to-late May. Yes, those blogs both got the same number of comments. Seems you guys love emo pussies as much as you love...well, emo pussies. But do you love long-winded diatribes? Of course you do, if you're reading this, but what I meant of that was:
Well, that's certainly a contrast to the previous season. A helluva lot less consistent (that (and my shitty old laptop crapping out on me) explains the gap in late April) and a helluva lot less words. Or at least it looks that way. Yea, it doesn't reach quite the peak that the previous season obtained, but that's because I don't remember extensively blogging about five games at once in season 1. Besides, the average word count for this season was 1994. If things weren't getting better (they were), they were at least getting wordier, and that's always a plus. Literally. That's always going to be a plus.
Gotta go with good ol' Captain Novolin. All around a funny blog, and it still has my favorite joke so far:
Frankly, I find that to be bullshit; there is no such thing as diabetes camp, but there are such things as failed fat camps. I suspect that it's easier to relabel it a diabetes camp than it is to say, "Look, we know how much we suck at this and that we're horrible people, but hey, at least they lost weight."
Honorable mention goes to my Persona blog, which was the only time I could fit both a Tim & Eric and an Ed Edd 'n Eddy reference in and make them relevant. Plus there's a reference to my Final Fantasy Tactics blog in there. Always a plus!
Least favorite episode
I'm honestly having trouble remembering any particularly bad blogs from this season, although that really has nothing to do with the overall quality of season 1. How about that Buck Bumble blog? Sure was a piece of shit, I guess, right? South Korean pizza dances? What the hell was I thinking? Clearly, you, as an audience, are far more interested in Japanese McDonald's nightmares.
(And this is where things started getting good.) For one, it was where I got a banner that didn't look entirely like garbage. It's also when I decided to adopt a formal schedule. You see, early on, I'd just write a blog and shove it out into the masses. While this was great for frequency (I think my record was three regular blogs in a single week), it certainly explains that lack of confidence in the quality of the earlier seasons. Eventually, though, The Temple of Elemental Evil forced me into an odd sort of schedule: regular blogs on Thursdays, gaiden blogs on Sunday or Monday or whatever. (I don't have a lot of gaiden blogs.) Two things happened here: first, a gap developed between my writing a blog and my actually posting it. Not even by a few days. In fact, to give you some perspective...what's today? The 28th? Of February? Because I began writing this in on the 7th. Of November. (Last year, obviously. I'm not usually a time wizard.) As for what I'm writing right now, it turns out it's....most likely Bit.Trip RUNNER or Sonic Adventure 2.
Second: my writing seemed to improve. At least it feels like it did. I mean, at least I'm more confident in my writing, and I'll sometimes make a more specific and thought out point than "this is a good game that's challenging and also has variety". (I still do that, but alongside other stuff.) There was also that brief period when I barely touched the Enter key, like I was afraid it would sue me for sexual harassment (see: Radiant Historia, the McDonald's stuff from before), so there's that. Definitely the longest lasting season by far; not counting this blog, it lasted 137 episodes and two years, 27 days. To put that in perspective: that's more episodes than Cartoon Network's longest running series, and it has all lasted longer than Game of Thrones. Anywho...
I know I've said it before, but things seem to stabilize near the end of the graph. Unfortunately, there seems to be a cost I had not been able to notice earlier in the blog: no more glorious spikes. In fact, my last big spike seems to have been midway through 2012, when I terrified all of you with Mary Kate and Ashley. After that, no more huge spikes. Quite a few dips, as is clearly evident, but no huge bumps. *sigh* Perhaps looking at another form of e-peen will boost my spirits.
(This is assuming that I have two penises, and one just won't shut the hell up.) Well, I certainly seem to have started season 2 on a wordy note. Remember that ninja blog I mentioned long ago? Guess what? That was season 2. Although oddly enough, it seems like my word count actually decreased as time went on. I mean, you certainly wouldn't be able to tell by looking, given the Enter rationing going on for a while, but things are definitely settling into a smaller range than before. Hopefully, this blog becomes long enough to upset that trend. In fact, I'll make sure to that later on. But that's later on, obviously, for now, we must deal with my...
I know this is going to sound obvious and borderline obsessive, but I have to go with my Katawa Shoujo blog. It was fun to write, pretty well written, and although @Turambar just tore me the hell apart pretty early, it was ultimately necessary for the sweet comments that ensued. Honorable mentions go to my first criticism of originality, which honestly might have taken the cake if the comments following the brutal deconstruction on the first page were any good, and my Duke Nukem Forever blog, simply because of the beauty behind it being delayed.
Least favorite episode
Oh god, that World of Goo blog I farted out. I clearly had no idea how to handle something with this level of abstraction (not very high, but still), and it shows. Or at least I think it shows. It should be obvious that I don't like looking at my failures.
(Not yet, damn it!) That's not until next week. (Unless you happened to catch my preview of season 3 on the beta site, in which case: stay tuned for this blog, time jumping past person!) But I do have some more planned for this blog, if you're curious. For instance, remember that word count thing from earlier before? Well, that wasn't enough for me, so, through the power of insanity, I compiled every blog I had ever written (because I don't know if there's an RSS feed for this or anything) and jammed it all into a word cloud generator! The results:
This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. With this, I believe I can craft the archetypical Renegade Ego experience:
Game Games: Much Play Synopsis
(Already, this is damn easy.) I will use every word. EVERY WORD! Wait....I should explain. Way long ago, in a better blog, I remember many awesome games. However, I'm sure that one game gets an award above all others. That game is Game Games: Much Play Synopsis, released for the Death System. The weapons. The characters. The enemies. The much. Wait...crap and stuff. Shit. What a good game.
First, story. I guess something makes it good. Awesome awards are spread around the game, and I remember much of levels being awesome. Given that he was really fucking shit, I can imagine killing him a bit. However, I know there's a problem with something, and that something is the characters. See, I like them well enough. The problem with the characters in this game is what I thought of them. "Already, I want death", I remember saying too many fucking times in this game. Man, I know people thought the characters were never crap, but that's the problem: they're always crap. Hell, there was that one time where the people were right, and I thought "Sure, this makes sense", but then bosses! I found the pretty systems decent, though.
In fact, let me tell you about the systems in this review. I really like them good. Man, the enemies know exactly what points make the characters crap. I know it looks like crap, but come on: every system ever wants better enemies. But not Game Games; it makes better enemies. I mean, I thought the weapons were too easy, but then I got to the second level. This is where things get good. Assuming, of course, you are playing the right version. Given that this game is actually several games in one, it's easy to get crap instead of everything else. OK, I kinda remember a lot of menus that tell you what to fucking do, but that's the problem: well, there were so many times when things wouldn't work that things actually became shit. Fuck.
But nothing beats another game, and, as I've already thought, that's what Game Games: Much Play Synopsis does best. I tell you what, something just works in Game Games' world. The gameplay? Awesome. The boss (just the one; take it or leave it)? Also awesome, if hard. The entire work? Death and stuff. I know, right? You just kill every place with all your weapons, guy. Sure, at first, it actually sounds stuff, but guess what? Place so many kills so many times in the story, and any reason for fun immediately becomes way too shit. Still, give it a try and stuff. The levels are kinda played, but I still found every other part very fun. Come on. It makes so much sense.
- I just find things too easy.
- Do I need a reason?
Man, things just got pretty much weird.
Blog Weapons Just Need Story
(Bit by bit, this blog takes the least amount of actual thought.) Sure, I know it looks hard, but every word comes easy. Anything else is the territory of Blog Weapons Just Need Story. Remember? Whatever. Make games about story, and it gets this game. That's a fact. But is another type of this thing gonna be a problem? I guess. What the hell?
For example, the blog. It's a video problem. Without a reason to remember people, the levels are kinda nothing. What makes them easy? Nothing. The enemies are exactly mean. The Man is fucking work. The Man should not be fucking work! I know how many times I've said this, but I found everything really long and stuff. Going from place to place, I need new crap again and again. Given that every system is already another version, and since I thought another example was awesome, was the best, The Man was, like, another game. What a bunch of crap. I've already played Game Games: Much Play Synopsis, Blog Weapons Just Need Story, so I don't need a reason to go back to the damn version of Game Games, guy.
Now the story, on the other hand, is probably really OK. Two years ago, something bad actually synopsis. Crap doesn't work, and another level may end. I think. Little by little, they must beat the mind and make one last review. Now look, that part was cool, but my point is that I feel some stuff could be more weird. Never have I seen whatever this is, and that's a problem. The reason is pretty decent, though. You really feel for the characters as they think and do that thing. The enemies, too, were a very mean little making, especially since the boss was just so fucking OK. Well, granted, I may have found him too right, but everything's like that, kinda. Are you really going to remember that after playing through so much death? I say "thought"! "Thought", I say!
Last, the bad. It gets come. Exactly what tells you that's awesome? For one, the video is new in that it can take playing every level to the next level. And that's awesome. Did I hell you that? See, I got pretty much every gameplay element without death ever. Damn, I'm just awesome, and so is this game. The shit world is gonna be a problem, but without it, the place is fucking playing with me, you know? Like crap gets around my Review, and then, well, the gameplay's fun and decent and stuff. I've never given anything a little thought, but....Does any of this even mean anything? Shit. Fuck. Do you mind if I give this game another Award? The last award, I promise. How about.....the Sure, Much Sense Guess Award for Mean Characters and Long Bit Work. Actually....never mind.
- This blog was way too long.
- Damn, making this blog was fucking hard.
- Oh, and that made three.
And that's it on this retrospective, EXCEPT IT ISN'T. Anybody remember the beta? The beta I mentioned so many words ago? Well, during the Era of the Serpent, I decided to create a wiki page unto myself. Much of its content has been devoured by the Great Sea Serpent in its unholy wrath, but I was able to save one morsel from his terror: a review of me, as written by @AndrewB. Here is said review, in almost all its entirety. (I had to sacrifice images unto the Serpent to distract it.)
Video Game King - The official AndrewB Review.
Video Game King is an oddity in this world of franchise and genre-based video games. It defies definition. It's something completely different from any previous releases, and as such, a very difficult game to describe with any sort of context. Suffice it to say that, in my lengthy time with Video Game King, I feel it a justified purchase for literally any type of gamer.
You play the Video Game King, beginning life as a mere resident of the kingdom of Giant Bomb. The early-goings of the game will see you completing such tasks as mass wiki editing, writing half-insane blog posts based on other video games that no one has actually played, and generally replying snarkily (in the most charming manner) to other residents of Giant Bomb. Much of your time will actually be taken up playing other games for review. Many of them are osbcure, many awful, but there are of course some shining rays of light. You'll see much of the Fire Emblem series, being the King's favorite, and such sequences are infinitely enjoyable. Worth the purchase itself. Minigames dot your adventure, consisting mostly of wall-posts and creating elaborate Persona 4 -cross- Katawa Shoujo backgrounds for your profile. Such backgrounds are endearing enough to make the experience worth it, and as such do not detract from the overall gameplay in any way.
You'll recieve upgrades along the way. Links to Youtube being key to your arsenal. It's one of the game's more amusing aspects, and certainly places it on a pedastal far above the rest. You can choose from a near-infinte assortment, although many come from Adventure Time, a Cartoon Network series I personally have yet to watch. As such - and this leads to the downside- unless you're aware of the pop-culture references, many of them may go over your head. The problem is alleviated somewhat by external links on the internet, such as Wikipedia and Urbandictionary, to help you understand them. Doing so, of course, comes at the cost of a good deal of the humor within, so use them with caution.
The graphics consist mostly of expertly-crafted Paint.Net edits. Unfortunately, sometimes the roughness of the limitations in such an image editor shine through. For a game developed by an indie studio on a limted budget, however, it's an understandable dilemma, and in that context the graphics are forgivable and actually quite well put together. Header images are high quality PNG files, while the body consist mostly of HTML formatted text using an internal editor. The aforementioned comical images and video often dot this text in both appropriate and inappropriate places.
Audio is mostly non-existent, although you will come across the occasion expertly-crafted Youtube link to a soundtrack which rounds out the overall experience. Without voice acting of any sort, however, the limited budget really shines through, and while I'm skeptical of the quality of voice acting which could be afforded by such a limited budget, it would certainly be nice for the sometimes lengthy walls of text to be accompanied by voice samples of any sort in an era of other fully-voiced projects.
Multiplayer consists of starting out as a flegdling site user, and it's up to you to decide which path to take. You can reply snarkily to other comments, continue the tired meme of Brad escaping from the Kingdom, or even contribute to the wiki yourself. It's questionable if the goal of exceeding The King's post count is ever actually achievable, although that's something that remains to be seen until such a time that the game is released to the ravenous, general masses. Unfortunately, due to the complete redesign of the site this time around (warning: Kat Smith's glorious cartoon style is rare in this version), it's impossible to obtain achievements, thus doing so would have no other worldly benefit in the first place. Co-op DLC is planned, but as of writing has not been released.
Make no mistake: Video Game King is an expertly-crafted game, despite some of the aforementioned shortcomings. It can last you anywhere from minutes to 100+ years, depending upon your level of commitment. At any price, it's a bargain. As a free-to-play entry without any of the added paid hooks beyond a standard Giant Bomb subscription, however, it's a no-brainer. I've been playing for about 4 years now, and I can honestly say there's no sign of stopping, which is why a recommendation of Video Game King comes so highly.
And finally, I wish to stretch this blog out to infinity with an idle curiosity: how popular is my birthday? Let's just make a graph of all the comme-