Friday, February 22, 2013

Kicking Off 2013!!


Surprised to see me? Forgotten this even exists? Given the span of time since the last post and the countless stream of broken promises, I don't blame you. Let's sit down for a bit and discuss the status Leave Luck to Heaven; more to the point, why its content was so barren last year.

I'd decided long ago that 2012 was supposed to be an important year for me. It's as if this was something I'd declared outright; it was just a decision I gleefully entertained in my mind. Upon its arrival, ten whole years would've passed since 2002, the year I instantly point to as being representative of my crazy little childhood. Why? For insignificant reasons. Reasons probably irrelevant to most, yet were responsible for indulging a sweet, yet mature sense of nostalgia and naivete on a young mind. It framed my future lifestyle, opened the realm of my imagination to wistful reveries, and is home to many cherished memories (read: play a bunch of video games, observing the 'wisdom" of stupid online message boards, and my friends and I making our toys engage in violent, lewd acts).

I figured that since, hey, the tenth anniversary of that whole shebang was around the corner, why not use its timing to give a kickstart to the blog? The "Ten Years Reflection" model I introduced in the Gamecube editorial was key here, as many pivotal elements of my gaming career fit the mold perfectly (in particular, huge posts based on Earthbound, Kirby Super Star, and Animal Crossing were in the works). What better way to celebrate the year by writing about all this? Reviews were in the pipeline, including my intense dislike of Zelda: Skyward Sword and the wonderful Kid Icarus: Uprising. Kirby's 20th Anniversary was also coming up, and I'd had something special planned for that as well. Leave Luck to Heaven was set for a bright future.

To make a very, very long story short, I didn't get to do all that. Unforeseen circumstances, namely the year-long gradual crumbling of a special friendship and the dust contamination of much of my old games, left my attention focused on salvaging any chance of repairing the above and other miscellaneous situations. As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. I have an infamous rocky relationship with snowballing situations, leading to an overbearing negative mood that, in turn, produced insecurities of (gasp!) my writing skills. With writer's block and procrastination popping up, any rare chance I had of sitting down and writing often led to incomplete works.

Yeeeeeeah. Not a good year.

Not surprisingly, Leave Luck to Heaven was left gathering dust in the midst of all this. By the time summer rolled around, I wasn't quite sure where the blog's direction was going to head. I kept pushing it aside for other, more important factors and left many posts unfinished. I mentally juggled the choices of leaving it on indefinite hiatus or abandoning the thing entirely. Before I knew it, it was well into fall and I knew I had to come to a choice.

With much of the drama out of the way, I can finally focus on revitalizing Leave Luck to Heaven. While much of the planned stuff from last year may have missed its timely mark, I've found more creative ways to render them more relevant. Let's start off the list of what's no doubt the biggest plan in store:

A Year-Long Retrospective of Kirby

Readers may recall that I decided to retire the system I had for evaluating games, in which I penned roughly 7-10 entries on a single game. The reasons for this were numerous and well-founded: They were too cumbersome and time-consuming, I felt they came off more as pointless visual walkthroughs rather than actual reflections, and, worst of all, they'd often delay reviews and impressions of new games. It was an innocent enough model I felt worked for Super Mario Bros. (and, to an extent, Mario Kart DS), but the flaws became readily apparent when I was working on Kirby's Adventure and it became apparent I had to put it down.

Through much brainstorming, however, I've found there's still potential to be found with it. Okay, so maybe I don't need to write eight posts discussing how amazing Pikmin is, but what about something that eats up more time to the point where you're playing the game throughout the year? For example, gradually building a team in Pokemon or the never-ending cycle of seasons in Animal Crossing provide a mammoth-sized amount of content I'd still want to discuss well after I publish a review. Take another example I've entertained lately: Suppose I wanted to elaborate on a whole series rather than focusing on a single title?

This instantly recalls the memory of Kirby's 20th Anniversary, which was celebrated last year in Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition for the Wii. It was a glorious package for Kirby fans, presented with dreamy music, a host of his most beloved retro titles, a booklet showing off concept art, and even a built-in museum of his history. While I was unable to cough up a review in time, I'd decided to make up for it by striving to do something even better.

Beginning late this month, I'll be kicking off A Year-Long Retrospective of Kirby, in which I'll be discussing every single main-line Kirby game. That's right, from the original Kirby's Dream Land on the monochrome Game Boy to 2011's nostalgic Kirby's Return to Dream Land, we'll be heading engaging in long-winded discussions on why these hyperactive video games about a pink puffball melt my heart in a gooey paste of love and adoration. To make things even meatier, Kirby Air Ride and the Kirby of the Stars/Right Back at Ya! anime will also be included. Get your stomachs ready for a 16-course meal!

With the reintroduction of the new posting system, I'll also add that an upcoming Nintendo game will be utilizing it. Which one is it? Well, technically, I've already revealed it!


So, the Wii U came out last November. Like an idiot, I didn't get to share my lovely written thoughts on it, but rest assured in knowing it kicks ass. While I won't review the actual system, I'll soon be providing my readers in reviews of

Nintendo Land! Does this introduction to the Wii U install a respectable niche in Nintendo's pantheon of multiplayer games, or does it flounder like its ill-fated cousin Wii Music? Find out this spring!

New Super Mario Bros. U! Can Mario and pals shake off the cynical stigma of the New Super Mario Bros. series, or do they find themselves in yet another tired adventure? Find out this spring!

Single-Post Retrospectives!

So since I've given up the practice of writing for months on a single game, where else can I go? Simple: Just write one incredibly elaborate post for each! Over the spring, we'll be discussing five titles. 

Super Mario 64! Find out the answer to why--for ten freakin' years!--this is my favorite Super Mario game of all time! Details include tossing hapless baby penguins off levitating mountains, sighing while soaring the skies with the Wing Cap, riding magic carpets, beating the game on a toasty Saturday morning at exactly 10:47 AM, the adventures of a GameFAQs glitch-hunting team, and my own completely irrelevant little spot in Nintendo game history! 

Super Mario Sunshine! The ugly duckling of the three-dimensional Mario games! Join with me as I rediscover the game after nine years of not really playing it that much! Enter the chaos as my mind continually screams "what the FUCK is going on here?" over ten times when I've only just started playing for 30 minutes! Gasp in awe as I found out the game is still pretty damn entertaining! Laugh with me while I watch the NPCs run around in circles for absolutely no reason!

Pokemon Ruby! Find out why I keep repeatedly stating on the blog why this is my favorite Pokemon game! Get acquainted with my ten year old Pokemon, such as FOSHEEZY the Aggron and HORNY the Goldeen! Grab a head-start on the sheer scale of adventure this game provides! 

WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgames! Holy crap, they came out with ANOTHER Nintendo game that matches the spontaneous, haphazard whirlwind of chaos that was my 5th-grade sense of humor?!? Sign me up! Delve deep into the psyche of a young child who once again identifies with a piece of electronic software.

Wait, once again? That's right, it's finally time for...

Earthbound!!! Join the adventures of a boy named Ness, who may very well be me, as he fends off the forces of extraterrestrial threats and New Age Retro Hippies! Embrace the melancholic, wistful air of nostalgia that is your childhood! Poke fun at my attempts to mingle with! Best of all, get weirded out by the abnormal juxtaposition of childhood and adulthood the game provides to me!

Music Wednesday!

When I began the blog, one of my planned features was to constantly review my favorite pieces of video game music. While game music has been implemented into numerous posts, it's almost never been the main focus. To freshen things up, why not fix that?

Starting next Wednesday, I'll be introducing a weekly column known as Music Wednesday! Join me as I analyze a beloved piece of Nintendo game music, complete with embedded Youtube videos and the history behind the songs themselves! Aural joy for everyone!

And finally, coming this summer....

My 25 Favorite Wii Games!

As custom for when a console manufacturer discontinues one system and moves on to the next, it's up to the gaming media, be they websites or magazines, to bid farewell to the past generation by listing their favorite games and moments. While I had been planning the same for the Wii, the various misfortunes prevented it from coming out before the Wii U's release. Thankfully, an odd phenomenon has been apparent in that many websites n' such keep cranking out their lists (I just saw one pop up on GoNintendo the other week!), so I'd like to think I'm not too tardy.

Plus, hey, I don't think no one's gonna notice if some random blog runs a bit late to the party. That said, over the past year I've been replaying many titles of my Wii library to reaffirm their state of quality. I'm not quite finished with this process, so I'll be needing a bit more time to finalize my list. Don't fret, for this means I'll have much more ample time to focus on everything else. As a bonus, I'll even throw in my Top 5 Disappointing Wii Games! Check back late June/early July for this feature!

And that's about it!! See you in a few days!

Man, did that feel GOOD to write!