Reflections on 2020 and Goals for 2021

Greetings and Happy New Year! It’s been 2021 for just over a week, but I still wanted to take a few minutes to look back on 2020. It would still be a bit of an understatement saying this past year was stressful, in what seemed like a never-ending barrage of calamity and catastrophe. For many, video games went from enjoyable hobby to coping mechanism in seeking a form of escapism from the realities of current events or simply as a means to pass the time while under lockdown in the earlier months of the year(and some facing this again in the final months).

Despite the overwhelming amount of negative things throughout 2020, there was quite a few things I was able to accomplish or keep working towards. I know I could write an even longer post if I were to discuss the constant events of last year, but I wanted to just take a moment from my usual, pessimistic self and focus on some of the positive things from 2020.

I consider myself fortunate through this past year, as my workplace had already transitioned from an office to work-from-home status in the beginning of 2019, so I had already adapted to a much shorter morning commute. There were times throughout the year when I was a little reluctant to continue posting the usual “Video games 24/7” type of things; being fully aware of far more serious issues taking place than what I thought about the new Final Fantasy game or PlayStation 5 reveal as it could come off as a little privileged, as if I had little else to worry about.


2020 was only my second year of blogging and….I’d like to think there was some progress made. While I still don’t feel overly confident in pure writing ability – something I’ve felt since high school, I do feel some improvements have been made. I also know the first, and most commonly provided tip to “get good” at writing is simply to keep doing so. I’ve made it a point to try and be as consistent as possible in putting down my thoughts and ideas in a notepad I keep nearby as I’m working during the day, whether or not it ends up being used in a blog post. I was able to get something written down and posted on a pretty consistent, weekly basis throughout the year, though I also stayed mindful about not just forcing myself to “come up with something” for the sake of maintaining a steady rhythm. I don’t see treating the process of writing a blog post as some sort of detention where I’m unable to leave my pc until I have something to show for it.

In addition to this very broad, basic goal, I have spent a fair amount of thought and energy in blogging as frequently as I feel able, as to gain a bit more confidence, which will in turn, have an effect on my writing. Something as simple(in concept, at least) as getting more comfortable and confident may not prevent typographical and grammatical errors completely, but my hope is to at least be happy with what I was able to contribute and not be quite as self-critical at every opportunity.

Another area in which I gave a more deliberated effort this past year was to participate in more collaborations and community events whether on WordPress or via social media, such as Discord or Twitter. When I started up this blog, my main goal was simply to have an outlet to talk about whatever gaming-related topic I wanted and at whatever length I wished. Since the beginning of my time on WordPress, I’ve been fortunate enough to interact and discuss all kinds of video games(or whatever else) with a number of people. It’s been a lot of fun, as well as fulfilling to contribute a few paragraphs or an entire post as part of a collabortive effort with others or in a few rare moments, coming up with something of my own to invite others to join in.


At the beginning of last year I’d mentioned I wanted to try live streaming or recording gameplay here and there. I created a Twitch account at the very end of 2019 with the intent of streaming a bit from my PlayStation 4. I did managed to stream a couple different times directly from my PS4, with one of those attempts thinking I had managed to combat my nervousness enough to actually talk into the headset mic…only to discover afterwards it had been muted the entire time. It was a few more months before I found the bravery to try it again after I built my PC in late May. It seemed to go ever so slightly better as I kept at it; typically it was just some late night Overwatch after I finished work for the day. It wasn’t until July or so that I began to devote a few days a week to streaming and I’d say it was late August or so that I can say that I was finally starting to feel more comfortable with hitting the Start Streaming button. I didn’t really have many expectations in regards to streaming, but in another 2020 twist, it’s turned into one of the highlights of my week and I’ve made a lot of fun memories while hanging out with others from around the WordPress/Twitch community. Over the holidays, I was even compelled to throw together something of a highlight reel containing some of my favorite clips from 6 months of streaming as a way to look back on a few of the laughs in a year that seemed overwhelmingly negative.


As I did last year, I’ve included a list of all the games I played at least an hour or two for the first time in 2020. I ended up playing 64 different games for the first time and completed only 21 of them, leaving me with a roughly 33% completion percentage, or one out of every three games I started. This is just the games I played for the first time throughout the year, I’m not entirely sure what those numbers would be if I included the games I had played before – a majority of games played on stream this year were ones I was already familiar with. I received an Xbox One X last February, which granted me access to all the titles available on Game Pass. A few of my favorite games I played in 2020 were ones I was able to play Day 1 on Game Pass – Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Streets of Rage 4. In addition to a pretty decent library of Xbox games on Game Pass, I was finally able to build my own PC – something I’d been interested to do for a few years but was a little apprehensive about until I had both the knowledge and funds to do so. I’d spent just about the last decade using a Mac, so being able to take better advantage of Steam sales resulted in quite a few pickups throughout the year.

I’d like to have finished more games than I did, but being able to say I’d actually finished a couple JRPGs like Final Fantasy 7 or Chrono Trigger, or a game like Bloodborne was pretty cool. Here are the games…

(* = completed)


There’s a few things that happened throughout the past year that I’m genuinely happy with and wanted to make note of…

  • Another year of blogging
  • Building a PC(first time experience)
  • Another month of spooky Blogtober posts(and streaming) this past October
  • Completed a few of my backlog goals – Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, Bloodborne
  • Creating a Twitch channel and routinely streaming over the summer
  • Collabs and blogging community events – Great Blog Crawl, Trophy Hunters, Pokémon(upcoming)
  • Received offers from a few publishers to review upcoming indie games
  • Managed to make friends through WordPress, Twitch and other social media – Discord, Twitter


For my goals in 2021…I haven’t come up with TOO many. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s how quickly our plans can be tossed aside by circumstances we can’t control. I was able to write down a few things that I’d like to accomplish/keep working on as I make my way through the year…

  • Keep at it – blogging & streaming
  • Work on improving blog site and Twitch channel(something neglected too often)
  • Try not to be as self-critical about every little thing
  • Keep working on backlog – Persona 5: Royal, Yakuza(any), Final Fantasy III(VI), Zelda games

That’s all for now. I also wanted to say a sincere thank you to everyone who has read, commented, watched, or shown any sort of interest in my continued nonsense here on WordPress and more recently, on Twitch. This has been a highlight of the previous year(s) and I’m looking forward to making more progress in 2021…

Thanks for reading!

Weekend Gaming Review – August 2020

Greetings! It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote up a recap of what I’ve been up to the past month. My time has been divided between work and a lot of video game-related things; either writing a few random posts here and there or more recently, I’ve been streaming some of my old favorites as well as brand new games on Twitch.

We’re also nearing the end of summer, which means the autumn season and Halloween are just around the corner. Last year, I made up a list of games that fit(somewhat, at least) the Halloween season and wrote up two posts a week throughout the month. For this upcoming Blogtober, I’ve been working on a list of games I think would either be fun to play through again or ones I haven’t played yet, old or new. I’ve begun preparing a little further in advance than last year so I can hopefully have a few posts ready to go once we begin October and not having to sit down and write up everything immediately after playing and posting within the same day. The ability to stream some of the games this time around is an interesting addition to the project.



One of my resolutions I mentioned back in January was that I’d wanted to try out streaming or even just recording gameplay stuff. I’ve been streaming random games on Twitch every so often since around February, but since June I’ve been attempting to stream a few times a week. It’s been a really interesting learning process from set up to getting comfortable and building up confidence while playing games. This has been made far easier by our corner of the WordPress community, many of whom stream themselves and have been great in providing any kind of assistance with stream-related questions or just being there to hang out in chat. I’d like to extend a big “Thank you!” to everyone who has stopped by to chat or just hang out as I meander my way through the learning stage of the process.

I guess this is where I’m supposed to plug my Twitch channel? It’s for those curious as to what I’m rambling about…

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

It’s been a few weeks since I started my trophy-hunting quest in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. I had the idea a while back in the Later Levels Discord server to see if anyone else would be interested in picking a particular game and setting out to get the platinum trophy or all achievements and also writing up a post, or series of posts about their progress through the game. Solarayo from Ace Asunder was one of the willing participants in the challenge/experiment and has since written a number of updates about their playthrough of AC: Syndicate. A congratulations is also in order, as Solarayo has already completed both the game and acquired the platinum trophy! I recommend you check out their AC Syndicate posts as well as lots of other great stuff on their site.


My most recently-completed game would be the newest Battletoads game that was released on Aug. 18. I streamed my playthrough of the game on Twitch and managed to throw together a few paragraphs describing(or attempting to, most likely) my thoughts on the game. In short, I enjoyed the game and would put it somewhere in the “good, but short of great” category as I felt it abandoned what it did best(beat ’em up segments) in favor of an enormous shotgun-blast of random gameplay elements. For anyone curious to read my own shotgun-blast of random thoughts on Battletoads

Games I’m working on this week

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Control
  • Spiritfarer

I’ll still be spending a large portion of my time playing Syndicate as I’m 2/3 of the way through the main story sequences and have gathered most of the collectibles, with only a few of the royal correspondence letters and secrets of London left. As I make my way through the main story, I’ve been trying to stay mindful of things like hijacking the police carriages and destroying 5000 objects as I travel the streets of Victorian London. This will make for slightly less(?) grinding out trophies after I finish up the main storyline. I’ve had a lot of fun playing through Syndicate and feel it’s definitely one of the more underrated Assassin’s Creed games, though much of this is likely due to some stagnation and player burnout by this point in the series. It was after Syndicate that Ubisoft decided to take a year off and not release another until AC: Origins in 2017.

I finally purchased and began playing through Uncharted: The Lost Legacy a couple weeks ago. I’ll go ahead and admit that I was a little skeptical about the thought of an Uncharted “side-game” without Nathan Drake, but I will gladly state those worries were unfounded as I’ve come to really appreciate Chloe and Nadine’s camaraderie throughout the game; I’d even go as far as saying I haven’t missed Drake and Sully while playing. Lost Legacy also has given every opportunity to show it’s definitely the smoothest, best-playing game in the Uncharted series. I’m rather embarrassed I hadn’t played this sooner…

An unforeseen development this past week was jumping back into another playthrough of Control. I purchased the Steam version of Control Ultimate Edition via Green Man Gaming for $27.19 only two dollars more than the season pass alone on the Playstation store. The game was one of my favorites of 2019, but I’ve come to appreciate the game more every time I play it. Making my way through the Ashtray Maze would also be one of my gaming highlights of this past year and I’m looking forward to seeing how the newest DLC ties into Alan Wake.

Another game I want to devote a little more time to in the upcoming weeks is Spiritfarer. The game was released on all platforms about two weeks ago, after Nintendo’s latest Nindies Showcase and has an interesting premise that I felt compelled to check out. The Steam description for the game states…

Spiritfarer® is a cozy management game about dying. As ferrymaster to the deceased, build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends, and guide them across mystical seas to finally release them into the afterlife. What will you leave behind?

There’s a bit of exploration and resource management involved in the game as you usher your friends spirits to their final resting place. I don’t typically play a ton of games with resouce management elements like Stardew Valley or similar, but there’s such an interestingly cute, yet morbid charm to the game. Being immediately available on Game Pass Ultimate makes the decision to give it a playthrough even easier.

That’s all for now! What games have you been playing lately? Do you have any games that you plan to play as we change seasons into autumn? Let me know. Thanks for reading!