Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Berserker's 2008 Year in Review

I really should be off doing some more important things at the moment, but I want to take this time to present to you why I am so very satisfied with this year. Usually by the end of the year, I say to myself "Thank God a new year is starting" or "Well, last year could have gone better". For the first time in quite some time, I have to say that this year has been nothing short of fantastic for me. I'm about to get more personal than I usually get, but there's still plenty of gaming related goodness mixed within, for the first few reasons at least.

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Here's my top five list of personal things that have made me happy during 2008:

(5)

I'm still writing for video games! Honestly, I would have thought by now that I would have given up on guide writing and moved on to something else, but no, it simply continues to get stronger. IGN even managed to notice me again, which helped out a lot with motivation. Continuing to write for The Gamers' Temple and Cheat Happens has helped out a bunch as well.

I really look forward to writing next year also. There's a bunch of Capcom titles in the line-up for early next year... so very close in release timing. :o

Also, this is my first full year to dedicate to this site, and I'm still sticking with it!

(4)

I'm normally a complete loner most of the time both in the real world and online but this year I've made several new friends online - both readers and friends from other sites. It's been such a joy to get to know other people with the same interests as me and play a few games with them online.

If you've talked with me over Xbox LIVE, you'll know that I'm a person of few words. Hopefully I didn't annoy any of you with my quiet nature. I have to get to know a friend better before I begin to speak with that person more, regardless of online interaction. I have this same problem with friends/relatives that I haven't seen for a long time until I spend more time with them. It's kind of embarrassing. :\

(3)

Resident Evil 5 got a release date - March 13, 2009, baby, yeah! If you have me on your PSN account then you should know that date all too well each and every time you scroll by my username. Seriously, this partially made my year.

I also got the chance to sneak out of the Japanese marketplace with the region-free demo and play it online with other gamers for a few days. It was enough to hold me back from my highly anticipated Prince of Persia for quite a while. I can't wait to play with some buddies on my friends list early next year once the demo is released outside of Japan! Oh man, that's going to be a blast.

(2)

My weight loss. At the end of last year, I weighed somewhere over 300 pounds and now at the end of this year, I now weigh about 250. It's great, considering I've peaked at 320 before.

All of this weight loss started from an issue I was having with a chest muscle pain (feels like a heart attack at times but it's not [been to the ER about it and everything checked fine]); I had to start exercising more to get rid of the muscle pain. I've been exercising, laying off soft drinks and just generally moving around more and since then the muscle pain has basically ceased for the most part and I've lost a lot of weight in the process - something that was really unintended, but something that I now try to maintain. I feel so much better now than I have in a very long time!

(1)

My grandmother is still doing well. Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer and, by the doctors' words, she is not even supposed to be here with us now. Her cancer has gone into remission and she is now doing great. This Christmas and Thanksgiving, she was just like her old self again compared to last year when she was completely different thanks to the medication that she was on.

My family decided not to tell her of the severity of her condition, which I was kind of against (since we needed her feedback if a decision had to be made based on an unfortunate state), but overall, I think not telling her was the absolute best thing that could have ever happened since that would have only brought her down that much more really. I think even if she knew now, it wouldn't matter as much considering how well she has been doing, but back then, I don't know...

It's hard to sit here and type this part with a straight face out of my happiness dealing with how well this entire situation has gone. This, in and of itself, completely made my year. :)

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Well, there you have it - my own personal reasons for enjoying 2008! There's still one thing that I didn't do in 2008 that I'm most certainly going to do in 2009, but that's sort of personal and I'll mention it later next year once I've finally succeeded in obtaining it.

So, anyone want to chime in and tell me about your experiences for the current year? Or post it up on your own blog, whichever. :p

17 comments:

Brian said...

Happy New Year buddy :) It's good to hear you pulling out a positive year-in-review. We need more of this from everyone, haha. I'm still a little beat from vacationing but here's to a great start to 2009!

Berserker said...

Happy New Year to you as well. Yeah, last year was great for me in many ways even besides the reasons that I mentioned. Hopefully this year will be the same way.

Good to see that you're staying busy. :p

Oh, I've started back on Prince of Persia now. Maybe I can beat it this time! I've got so many Xbox 360 games that I need to get too...

The disc tray in my 360 console now has a slight catch as it ejects from the console. It didn't have this problem when I sent it off to MS, but I don't really want to do without it again because of such a minor issue.

It's the same exact console that I sent in, though I did have to go through the change in license (rights) situation with it, which must mean that it has something different internally. You can do it without a router - just have to plug and unplug a bunch with ethernet cables. The console seems to work fine once again (most likely for another 6 months).

Out of curiosity, have you ever had any problems with your Xbox 360?

Franz said...

Happy new year,

I found your Blog URL in your Devil May Cry 4 Guide. Fantastic guide, it really helped.

Point (3) is a good point, I can't wait for that game too.

As far as your 360 is concerned, I heard that it quite frequently has some issues. The PS3 seems to have less problems, except for its blue ray laser. (That nasty laser already ruined one of my weekends ;-) )

Brian said...

Nope, haven't had any problems with the 360 hardware-related. Most every issue had to do with the game, not the console. I did get mine with the better heatsink, though it still has the faster drive. New 360s are fitted with both, and have fancy new memory too.

On a completely separate note, I finally beat Persona 3! I now remember why I used to like RPGs; I still hope for the day that we get a long action/adventure game with a story that rivals that of an RPG. I think the biggest thing going for the old genre is the fact that because you spend so much time with it, that you become emotionally invested with it. Especially if you can relate on multiple levels, like Persona's high-school system, etc. I'm thinking about writing about it; we'll see if it comes around.

Berserker said...

I used to use a Nyko cooling fan until I heard of the problems associated with it (power and plastic melting). It kept it alive for almost two years (took the fan off off six months after I bought a 360, but I think that little bit helped).

I need to really start buying more PS3 multiplatform games for times when the 360 breaks down. I still haven't tried any of the Persona games at the moment. From what I've seen of the SMT series though, it puts much quality into the usual RPG experience. You going to move onto Persona 4 now. :p

Thanks Franz. Out of every piece of writing that I did last year, I worked the hardest on the DMC4 guide because of my high anticipation for the title. My anticipation for RE5 is... totally blown out of proportion, so we'll have to see how that shows in my writing come March.

On a random note, it seems that Bionic Commando has now been shoved back from its Feb release (6/2 now):

http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=72100

After Rearmed, I can't wait to see what Grin does with this one. :)

Brian said...

Well, hearing that Bionic Commando is pushed back helps out my wallet a lot. After shelling out roughly 300-400$ for SF4 and RE5 I will need time to recover my expenses ^_^;;

I personally think that if you keep your consoles in an open-enough area you'll never have to worry about 'em. Right now my 360 is 3 feet off the ground and has a foot of space behind it, so it has plenty of air and ventilation.

And as for the Persona series or SMT in general, much as I tout it I don't know if either of the games are up your alley. Lots of basic dungeon-crawling for the battle/action, and it's not the most fast-paced RPG series. I don't think there's a series that deals with moral issues more though.

Berserker said...

Yeah, I was actually thrilled that BC was pushed back. I didn't like how Capcom was releasing so many games around February, but now I'm a bit happier. We still have yet to receive a true confirmed date for Dead Rising (Wii) also. On the official Capcom site they have it listed as February 24, but I still don't really trust that date - it's actually in the year '08 in the listing. ^_^

http://tinyurl.com/7ca766

I keep pondering whether or not I should buy both versions of SFIV. The PS3 Collector's Edition looks more appealing to me with its Blu-ray movie and Ryu figure, but I have a better controller for the 360. :( With RE5, I've been considering a JPN import of the PS3 version depending on the price of the e-Capcom version sold at Play-Asia.

As for the 360, I now have it raised up slightly while it sits horizontally with the lower vent holes exposed instead of its usual position - flat down horizontally with lower vents covered. Hopefully this will help out.

I don't really like the idea of constant dungeon crawling. I literally have to make myself push forward in some rpg dungeons. Just the thought of seeing a big area with several twisting paths brings about the feeling of dread inside of me.

Brian said...

Yeah, I know what you mean about the dungeon crawls. It's somehow different if you can interact with it like in PoP, but if you're just running through a dungeon -- multiple times, in fact -- it can get aggravating. That's why I am playing through both Personas on Easy, and I got the strategy guide for most of my RPGs. I have no real desire to wade through a dungeon; I'm playing because the story doesn't get better than an RPG (most of the time, and even then, only for the ones I play).

Berserker said...

Almost done with Prince of Persia now. In an effort to finish it more quickly, I overplayed it yesterday until I formed a headache and had to stop.


Street Fighter IV (Xbox 360, PS3): Feb. 17
Dead Rising: Chop 'til You Drop (Wii): Feb. 24
Flock! (Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network, PC): Spring-ish
Moto Gp (Wii): March-like
Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360, PS3): March 13
Bionic Commando (Xbox 360, PS3, PC): first half of 2009

http://www.capcom-unity.com/kramez/blog/2009/01/06/capcom_text_message_to_2008_we_hv_gmz_kthxbye

Hmm. Seems like Feb 24 is the actual release date for Dead Rising: CTYD. I sure wish that wasn't so close to RE5 since I likely won't enjoy it to its full extent if that is the case. I was planning to fully explore it with a write-up. So much for that thought.

Berserker said...

"It" of course meaning Dead Rising.

I wonder if they are actually reconstructing the entire game? I have heard mention of El Gigante appearing in the Wii version somewhere. :D

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! just read your final fantasy 12 guide. thank you

also it great that your are making such great changes in your life.

Brian said...

:/ Playing to a headache is never good. The funny thing is, that for me, I use video games to get rid of headaches. Go figure :P Especially helpful are handhelds for headaches, for me anyway. Even PoP's not even worth it.

I salivate at the thought of the JP collectors edition for RE5. I probably won't be getting it, but if ever there was a collector's edition just for the fans, that'd be it :)

Berserker said...

Thanks for posting, Anonymous!

I wish I had some sort of price range as to how much the Japanese e-Capcom Collector's Edition will be from Play-asia. :\ Most likely out of my current affording range, but it would still be nice to know. :)

Brian said...

Isn't eCapcom their own store though? I don't know if Play Asia stocks on exclusives and specials like that. Not that I'd want it to be that way; it'd be awesome if PA did stock some more special items from our rather lucky overseas collectors. I mean, just to have a chance at some of the Konamistyle stuff would be killer, let alone the eCapcom offerings.

Berserker said...

-Xbox 360
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-br-77-d-49-en-15-%22Biohazard+5%22-70-3636.html


- PS3
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-bp-77-c-49-en-15-%22Biohazard+5%22-70-3634.html

They have up each of the limited edition versions claiming that they are the e-capcom versions and mentioning preorders for each one. The main thing though, I bet they will sell out a few hours after they are available for preorder.

Brian said...

weeeelll.... I totally forgot they did that. Make sure you pounce on them ASAP! They are pretty good in the notifications of availability, at least.

Berserker said...

Oh, I'll do more than pounce; I'll cannonball on the whole pile. :D

I hope it is around $150 or cheaper. I can't go too much over that and expect to get the NA versions as well.