I'd like to make this clear: 2014 SUCKED. Sure, things have improved in the past week or two, but that doesn't alleviate anything. How so? Allow me to explain...
1) My personal life became somewhat turbulent in that year, and my mind turned into complete utter chaos. While I can't deny that 2014 saw a new great friendship blossom, it was quickly overshadowed by turmoil amongst my group of friends. But the worst of it all was my inner voice, which was on an outright attack on my hopes and aspirations. While it wasn't entirely successful, it did cause a severe blow to me: it successfully shattered my trust in others, which made me subsequently retreat from people I used to call friends. To add to the chaos, I've seen myself jump from extremes in all sorts of ways: happiness to depression, wanting love to being absolutely disgusted by the idea of relationships, productivity to procrastination...
2) "Productivity? Fuck that and fuck you." was the overarching message I get from life when I look back on the past year. After a wonderful year of updates, Wanderers found itself in its worst update drought in the 4 years it's been up and about. Not helping its case was the rise of Budkin's Leaf Green Nuzlocke as the gallery's most popular series. Speaking of which, that one wasn't particularly safe from delays either. Sure, it had a few pages released when Wanderers didn't get any, but it also had rather long delays (mainly between Page 6 and 7, and the current one between Page 8 and 9). Not only that, but school got increasingly tougher for me, and in spite of efforts, projects began to be handed in late, especially in the semester that I just ended. After how horrible the Spring semester had gone, I thought I could've done something to make things better, but all my plans to help productivity failed. I was constantly plagued by the fear of failing my classes. In the end, I passed, but with many grades below average.
So yeah, when it comes to my life, this year sucked... but let's focus on something more positive... some favourites of this year!
Best Game of 2014!
And the award goes to...
DROD 5 - The Second Sky!
DROD, also known as Deadly Rooms of Death, is a turn based puzzler series I've been a fan of for about 10 years now. So it's not much surprise that its newest installment would end up being my favourite game of the year. For those not in the know, the premise is simple: you're a guy with a Really Big Sword (tm), and your goal is to clear each room of the monsters. Sounds simple, right? WRONG. You'll need all your wits about you, since sometimes you'll need to make complex maneuvers and solve tricky puzzles to get to them all. This is not a game for the weak of mind, I must warn you. But if you crave tough puzzles, you will love this series. The latest installment, The Second Sky (or the 5.0 engine, as some refer to it), offers a brand new selection of enemies, like the Chain Chomp lookalikes named Gentryii, who cannot be destroyed at all and have a chain that can block your path; Constructs, who reanimate from the dead every multiple of 30 turns; and a wide array of new weapons which interact with monsters differently. The Second Sky also comes with the biggest official campaign of its series: over 500 puzzle rooms are contained within this epic conclusion of Beethro's journey, and they are the toughest of the entire series. This is a hold aimed at veterans of the series, not so much at newcomers, so you should not play the TSS campaign as the first hold.
Another upside to TSS, and the biggest reason it has been a timesink for me, is the level editor, which returns for the fifth game in a row since 2003's DROD: Architect's Edition. I spent almost a whole month in it simply reworking a previous project into its final version! The game's community is rather active, and has produced several HUNDREDS of custom level sets to play. All of them are playable in the demo version of The Second Sky.
Runner ups:-Five Nights at Freddy's
, for bringing me the most nerve-wracking game I've ever dared to play, and I haven't even gotten any jumpscares yet. I only played the first two nights yet, and I'm afraid to go any further. Scott, you did a good job with this game.-Super Smash Bros. 4 Wii U
This game is pretty great. Sadly, I only played it for a few game sessions so far, and I got it on Christmas...
And that's it... I didn't play many new games this year. Sadly...
Favourite Songs I Listened To In 2014!
Here, I'll list four songs that I feel have marked 2014 for me. They might not be the most listened to, but they were the most memorable in the end. Here we go!
Murray Gold - The Long Song
I first watched through all the episodes of the new Doctor Who series earlier this year, and I loved practically every minute of it. From the very first Eccleston episode to the last Smith episode, I loved it all. Murray Gold's soundtracks definitely help to sell the product in my opinion, and The Long Song was definitely the most memorable out of the whole bunch. It is featured on "Rings of Akhaten", a divisive episode from the rather divisive Season 7 episode. I personally like the episode a whole lot, and the segment where this song is featured showcases one of Matt Smith's greatest moments as the Eleventh Doctor. So what's this song like? It's a sweeping epic tune that sounds somewhat similar to a Christian chant, but I find it unbelievably epic and uplifting. The lyrics are pretty minimal in this song, but I like them a lot. The chorus (Wake up, wake up, and let the cloak, of life, cling to your bones, to your bones) is repeated in a choir chant over a delicious orchestral track, and it never fails to help me get back on my feet. Kudos, Murray.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong - F.U.
No, it doesn't mean what you think it does. The F.U. is part of FUNKY, and that's what this song is. From the guitar licks to the saxophone (or is a trumpet?), and the guitar solo at the end of the second chorus, the instrumentation shines as one of the most memorable of this year. The singer's voice is also pretty funky as well. The lyrics speak of a girl who's heckling someone, and the guy simply tells her to back off since he just wants to funk. The only downside is that the chorus is a bit disappointing. He's just spelling out the letters in "funky"... well, that does little to ruin my enjoyment of this song. In summary, this song is very F.U.N.K.Y!
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
I heard my friends talking about this song one day. I checked it out, and before I knew it, I was hooked. This song ended up defining the March-April period of this year for me, which was one of my lower points. It accompanied me through the days I felt somewhat depressed. The lyrics talk of feeling empty and unaccomplished, of seeing the past fall apart to the harsh winds of time, and after the second chorus the singer beckons to this person he knew to run off to a place only they know. To escape the harshness of life just for a brief moment of happiness. Somewhere Only We Know
's meaningful lyrics and lead singer Tom Chaplin's emotive singing voice really sold this one to me, and allowed Keane to become one of my favourite bands of the year.
Kodaline - High Hopes
Along with Keane, Kodaline has become one of the stand-out acts of this year. The song that I ended up listening to the most from them was High Hopes, a low-key inspirational ballad. The song starts off quiet, and grows gradually louder as it goes on, which really fits the song. The lyrics talk of moving on, to have a positive outlook on life. The instrumentation don't really feel all that happy to me, but I personally like it. It creates a clash between optimism and depression, and as the song grows louder and more upbeat, it becomes clear that in the end optimism wins out over sadness. It's a good message I feel, even if I might probably have pulled it out of my own arse.
Favourite Show I First Watched This Year!
Here, I outline which TV show I first listened to this year ended up being my favourite. I think you'll know which one I picked as my favourite... It's...
Yes, the TV show about some alien in a blue police box ended up winning out! As a sci-fi lover, this was an obvious choice for the top spot for me. I loved basically every moment of this show that I watched. Sure, it's not the best-written science-fiction out there. Yes, sometimes plot points can be pulled right out of the blue. But for me it's a shining of example of a show I can enjoy by simply going along with it and enjoying the ride. Every single Doctor I've had the chance to watch was great in their own way. I liked Eccleston's more sarcastic approach to the character, I loved both Tennant's serious and funny sides, I really dug Smith's quirky nature, and I enjoy Capaldi's more distant character. The companions, while not as memorable as the Doctors themselves, were definitely enjoyable. Even the ones I liked slightly less didn't take away from my enjoyment of the show. Every actor I've seen on the show did a good job as far as I'm concerned. Then again, I'm easy to please I guess.
And yes, I do plan on watching the old series at some point. I make a habit of watching in order where possible though, so I won't be getting to Tom Baker for a long while.
which managed to usurp previous comedy favourite "How I Met Your Mother" as my favourite comedy show of modern times. I liked all of the main characters, and enjoyed pretty much every episode I watched. Even those from the infamously "bad" Season 4. However, I'm a bit sad that a fair few of the main characters are no longer around. On the plus side, we're getting a 6th season sometime next year, so that's awesome! "6 Seasons And A Movie!"
, a show that I wish I had watched as a child. While it's a rather distant third from Community and Doctor Who, the few episodes I did get a chance to watch were pretty fun and amusing.
Okay, enough award stuff. Time to wrap this super long journal up!
So yeah, 2014 personally wasn't great at all, but there were positives. For example, my gallery became much more popular as my Nuzlocke began to grow in popularity, which is great!
Here's to 2015, the year that barring any catastrophes will be much better than 2014! May my comics prosper further in this next year! And may all you wonderful people have a great year as well.