However, I can't help but notice an all around negativity wherever I go. I hop on facebook and see a number of melancholy posts. I hop on youtube, and I am greeted by one of my favorite people being quite sad. This past year was rough in many regards and in many degrees. That is the truth of it. Sure the Olympic games were quite impressive, but it's been some time since that happened.
In an effort to brighten the mood for the coming year, I decided to show a few of my favorite things.
1. Another Winter by Anamanaguchi
This song by the chiptune (electronic music manufactured by the sound card of retro game consoles) artist Anamanaguchi premiered in the video game based on the movie and hit graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim vs The World (the movie is excellent too, just nobody saw it). The song sets up a hope for things to come as Scott, the hero, travels across Toronto in the first level with bandmates Stephen Stills and Kim Pine as they fight hipster thugs on their way to a battle of the bands. The concept is so fantastic I can't help but smile. This music captures the mood perfectly.
2. Mega Man X Street Fighter
Capcom was perhaps one of the foremost names in both the home and arcade video game markets during the 80s and early 90s. For the NES there was Mega Man, a jump n' shooting robot who battled against the evil scientist Dr. Wiley. In the arcades there was Street Fighter, a 2d fighting game where Ryu, Chun Li, and a number of other iconic martial artists battled for justice against the terrorist M. Bison and the enigmatic Akuma. This past year was the 25th anniversary of both franchises, but since mainstream markets have changed, Mega Man went without a new game and Street Fighter fell short in the poorly selling Street Fighter X Tekken.
Fans responded with this project and Capcom's blessing.
Simply put, this challenging but addicting game is free to download on the Capcom website.
The Hobbit recently came out in theatres, and I was overall pleased with it. I would read The Hobbit to pass the time for part two, except I already did that some time ago since it's actually shorter than any individual part of the Lord of the Rings. I took to reading Tolkien's posthumous title, The Silmarillion. The word I would describe this is legendary. It is told in a different regard than a hero's quest like The Hobbit and LotR and is told, as I described, as a legend or myth. It covers the creation story of Middle Earth and how everything in the main story fits into the the overall backstory. Now we can finally know who Morgoth is and why he has a Balrog. Get an audiobook, or put it on your ebook thing or actually get paper bound in a cover or something. It's good.
4. Chrono Trigger
I love a tale of timey wimey as much as the next nerd, but there's something special about Chrono Trigger for the SNES that few other time travel stories have. Few other RPGs for that matter. This game, made by Square Enix (the people who keep cranking out the Final Fantasy series like there's no tomorrow) has many qualities unparalleled by any other game. It's a shame they really only made one, but here are some things in this game that make it an excellent experience.
- Medieval people with time machines
- A ginger samurai protagonist (I was sold at this point, and that's only 3 seconds into the game)
- epic gameplay
- a multitude of possible endings
- a frog with a broadsword
5. Sherlock Holmes
I'm a pretty die hard Sherlockian. It's no secret really. However, I am also a fan of pretty much anything to do with Baker Street's famous detective. Whether it's with ol Cumberbumbles, RDJ, classic Rathbone, Doyle's original series and post Reichenbach reboot, or the many other forms of media that bear the name of Sherlock, I can enjoy these stories. Many fans turn there noses up to Sherlock in one form or another while praising a singular form to be canon. I've heard arguments that the BBC series can't be the true Sherlock because Sherlock Holmes was something confined to Victorian England. Others would say the recent movies are a poor representation built upon explosions and cross dressing and no actual detective work. And then others still hold to my belief that most if not all are great.
I've tried to get into a great many detective stories over the years, but though many are good, none quite have the same charm as Sherlock Holmes. Poe had a similar detective, but I always felt cheated at the end of those stories. I believe the term is that the story was railroaded as one would say in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Dame Christie has great mysteries, but her detectives just aren't as impressive as Holmes. So what is it that makes Holmes stand out, and why do I like him in so many radically different interpretations? I suppose it would simply be the inexplicable spirit of the entity. It's like looking into a night sky and admiring certain constellations only to finally lean back and realize all the stars are splendid but that each piece could do the whole lot justice. I guess I say all this to conclude that we all have something remarkable that due to some click of the psyche and what not we can accept that which others may not. If we find that thing, then maybe we can move along with more spring in step knowing that there's something absolutely remarkable that we get, something that makes our outlook unique.
Having finished this list, I have been throwing around ideas for New Year's Resolution. I think I've got something, but there's no need to get ahead of ourselves. It's not the New Year yet, and there's a time better for declaration of such things than the time at hand. Being home with the family to celebrate the New Year is great enough, and I appreciate all of you who read this blog. So as I type with my cat Mittens, my two Jackal statues Ozzie and Rammy, and my bonsai tree named Yoshi, I wish you all an excellent 2013.
Adieu for the night.