2006: a year so crappy I almost didn’t eulogize it. But no. I come to bury 2006, not to praise it. And then jump up and down on its grave, laughing madly all the while. For a quarter, I’ll even let you micturate on the headstone.
Yeah, yeah, calendars are just arbitrary markings of time that affect nothing important. That doesn’t make the new year any less of a relief. The old one was mostly a blur of work stress funneling downward into the low point that was my grandfather’s death. Certainly the latter put the former into proper perspective — it’s hard to get too flustered about work in the wake of something like that. It also made the frothing Parish-hatred of the hikikomori much easier to ignore than ever before — reeling from a genuine loss, I found the childish threats and whining of emotionally underdeveloped shut-ins because I didn’t like a video game to be far too pathetic to be taken personally, or seriously. I suppose that means that for all that 2006 sucked, it was the year I graduated from the Internet. So that’s good.
The new year has started off well. Among other things, former roommate and current famous Atlus localizer Nich Maragos visited over the weekend to celebrate with us. He even brought along a copy of his latest project, Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. I probably will recuse myself from the 1UP review due to the obvious conflict that stems from having a good friend involved in its development, but I’m certainly not the only “mysterious dungeon” fan on staff, so it should still get fair treatment. I already approve of the localization, if for no other reason than the interrobangs are written as “!?” rather than the ever-annoying “?!”
For those keeping tally, Izuna is right up at the front ranks of low-profile but totally good DS games like Hotel Dusk and Lunar Knights due in the next couple of months. (I think everyone will be surprised by how good Hotel Dusk in particular is.)
Also of note: Talking Time seems to have become a testing ground for people with gaming comics. Good gaming comics, even. I’m pretty sure they’re just doing it because they know I’d like nothing more from life than to become a cartoonist but fall just short of having sufficient talent to make it work out. But at least I can live vicariously through threads like this, wherein Bill Mudron worked out the kinks in his vaguely 1UP-inspired Minus World. (Totally ripping off my idea, I should note.) And then there’s, uh, this. The origin (?) of Nintendo Super Squad. It’s charmingly absurdist. And nerdy.
Anyway. This week’s Retro Roundup is online, and fairly cranky. (Though I was careful to stop short of projecting a whiny sense of entitlement lest my Internet diploma be revoked.) And while there’s no Retronauts podcast this week, there is a blog post. Hotcha.