Well hello thar! I’ve been hanging out in the back, from afar, on the porch, rocking my easy chair back and forth, listenin’ in with my listening stick passed down from ma pappy. I’ve been without a computer for most of the year so I spend my time growing a beard and contributing to @shmups when I learn about another Japanese videogame I’m forbidden to purchase. I don’t reckon I have anything in common with all’y’all whippersnappers anymore with the “disc videogames” I rarely purchase and the “television shows” I no longer watch. Either way if you fancy a strange and conflicting viewpoint, here is what I was up to at one time or another.

Scott PilgrimScott Pilgrim

This isn’t at the top of my list because of any superfan complex. Scott Pilgrim is one of the extremely few multi-medium tie-ins that worked out great in terms of quality. Of course that means all of them sold almost fuckall compared to the big players of other licenses on any of those mediums. None of the Scott Pilgrim products were “the greatest things ever made” by a long shot, but all of them to me were better than good, made me happy, and are worth owning. Because of Scott Pilgrim, I also learned there are far less unique Facebook and Twitter users than site stats say.

Nexus One home screenAndroid OS / Federico Carnales

I used to roll one of those Palm PDAs in the early ’00s. They died rather quickly, so I became disorganized. This smart phone shit made pocket organizing a thing I can do again. This changed my life, sorta. It is important to me. The touch-everything hullabaloo instead of using a stylus is also a nifty thing, as is internet radio and on-demand web shows. Federico Carnales is the other reason I haven’t thrown my Droid out the window because he made LauncherPro Plus. There’s a nasty problem with Android 2.2 where after you max your memory, every time I go to the home screen I have to wait 15 seconds. LauncherPro Plus lets me add a bunch of shortcuts to bypass the need to go to the home screen. As long as I can multitask from app to app, I should remain good.

SuperMeatBoy everywhere 03Super Meat Boy

There was a time SMB always meant “Super Mario Brothers”. SMB now stands for “Super Meat Boy” now stands for because it is a better game than Super Mario Brothers. I like the quick-play aspects of the stages, I like that they’re hard, I like that they’re fair, I like they can be made harder, I like the cut-scenes, I like the plentiful thoughtful level designs, and I like the smartass-er-y of the Team Meat developers.  Even the bugs and glitches are in the player’s favor. Everyone should own SMB for no particular reason.

stolen Solid Steel

This is a podcast radio show apparently twenty years old. It is a mix from artists of the Ninja Tune record label like Mr. Scruff, Kentaro, DK, and DJ Food. The music goes in all kinds of directions from techno, grind, house, DnB, dubstep, trance, what-have-you. I can drop this in the car with the young folk and they will say to me “Who! Who is this playing?!” and I will say “Solid Steel, Waaaaaaat!” Then the young people, they will tell me, “I must have this. Get this to me.” To which I reply, “I am kinda tired. Pass me the flask.”

Title meRadio Clash / Mashuptown / KEXP / NPR: All Songs Considered / Last.fm / Shoutcast / Podrunner

Yes, a seven-way tie. Only last year, I had problems with going somewhere to discover music conveniently. After smart-phoning my shit up, I setup shop so all these stations and services could function when I have a spare second. Now I rarely hear my music collection because I always have a steady stream of new music on the queue with no time to capture and search. Radio Clash mixes many oddities and mashups, Mashuptown and KEXP: Song of the Day rapid-fire me single downloadable tracks, KEXP: Music That Matters and NPR: All Songs Considered narrates in-between undiscovered tracks, Podrunner keeps me not dying during a workout, and Last.FM or Shoutcast internet radios are thrown on when my 3G is going to be stable for awhile. I am on headphones 700% more than I ever have before thanks to this combination of sound.

stolen Podcast 198x

This is a strange and wonderful podcast. Sean and Ray talk about games as people who are able to notice and reflect upon details of full experiences well beyond just the art and sales. You will hear about scoring systems, endgame insights, and just how fresh or wonderfully different something can be on hard mode. This isn’t one of my favorite podcasts because I agree with everything they say. I disagree with them often. 198x is a gentleman’s podcast because they bring an intelligent new perspective to the table far different from Giant Bomb, DGR, Fast Karate, or Gamers With Jobs. 198x reminds me there are actually people still enjoying a game to completion in a challenging environment instead of rushing through everything the fastest on Easy Mode with cheat codes. For that, we thank you and please stick around. Oh and it doesn’t hurt their website is fucking rad. www.podcast198x.com/

stolen Blur

This racing game is fucking sick! Mario Kart madness matched with an awesome soundtrack from the Ninja Tune label kept me in the happy place until my home theater had to be disassembled, along with Bizarre Creations itself.

stolen Mommy’s Best Games

Nathan Fouts is a smalltime hero of mine. His two games this year Shoot 1up and Explosionade add innovative flavors to genres I enjoy. He got leaderboards working, he listens to community feedback, and he’s awesome to listen to on interviews. One of the things I respect most is his short style of hype-train promotion. The year(s) of screenshot bullshit reduced to 1-2 weeks is a welcomed method to game promotion from my viewpoint. It probably doesn’t work out for revenue in the end, but I tip the hat nonetheless.

stolen Xona Games

Jason and Matthew Doucette are aligning themselves nicely to becoming the best western shmup developers I know about. With a questionable knack in marketing tactics, backing up the years of hype-train with Decimation X and Score Rush earns this company some legendary respect in the indie scene. Being able to say “I’m big in Japan” is a lifestyle I’d like to live. Decimation X3 was the #1 360 Indie game in Japan after all.  The other reason I love this group is Jason and Matthew compete and scorechase on their own games right along with everybody else while openly discussing how the innards of their titles work.  Best of all, they’re actually more skilled than I at playing videogames.

stolen Cave

The leaders of the 2D shooting game and awkward quasi-perverse suggestive promotional art are expanding their empire beyond Japan. It is confuggling to know more players see Cave as a skilled iPhone developer rather than a leading creator of competitive scorechasing videogames.  2010 saw their first western publisher as Aksys released DeathSmiles NA. Cave’s Guwange became their first XBLA game. MAME finally got to see Ketsui, Espgaluda, and DoDonPachi DOJ. Everybody else with the tech got to see DoDonPachi Resurrection on iOS or J-360.  It is good to know people no longer have to dig very far to grab a taste of the hardest (fairest) videogames known to man.

stolen Radiangames

Luke Schneider gets his green by making a single beautiful glowy engine, then finding as many uses for it as he can for $1 each. JoyJoy, Crossfire 1&2, Fluid, Fireball, and Inferno are available for $6 total. What you will receive are entry level arena STGs, exercises in analog movement, and an original slider shmup series.

stolen Doggcatcher / Revision3

Armed with a proper podcasing app called Doggcatcher, I’ve gone on to turn my phone into an on-demand television.  Most of that television is from a network called Revision3. Web shows like Bytejacker, Ben Heck, Penn Point, Tom’s Top 5, ROFL, Digg Reel, and Destructoid make lunch breaks a magical place.

stolen Inception

BWOOONG!! Besides being the bizarro-vuvuzela and the best notification ringtone ever, Inception proves either smart movies can still make money as long as there are guns, or anything Chris Nolan does will make money. I’m not really sure, but I want to watch this movie four more times.  BWOOOONG!!

Dj Hero Turntable 2DJ Hero 2 OST

I haven’t gotten the game because I haven’t hooked up my home theater. I did get a hold of the soundtrack. It is a solid collection of mashups. DJ Hero 1 was pretty much my game of the year, so I’m pretty comfortable with what’s here.

John WayneTrue Grit (2010)

The Coen Brothers can always put on a show. I didn’t mind The Dude replacing The Duke. The changes and additions were acceptable. Hell I just may see it again ’cause I couldn’t make out what Jeff Bridges was griddy-slurring 80% of the time.

stolen Girl Talk

One of the mashup leaders, our hero boy-king released new album All Day. He’s giving it away at www.illegal-art.net/allday/ The main difference of this new Girl Talk from other new mixes is the samples get some longer time to hang out as opposed to the A.D.D. trip experienced in other mixes.

stolen Yongzh & Ryan Frawley

This tag team is the only reason gaming on an Android phone doesn’t leave me sad and empty inside.  Yongzh creates the best handheld emulators I know about; responsible for Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, and other Game Boy emulators. Ryan Frawley is responsible for the Wii Controller IME which lets me (seamlessly) use a wiimote and classic controller to play said emulated games. These two developers are international heroes and if you have an Android phone, you are immorally responsible for making this combination happen.

IMG_0272 Jackie Chan @ Jaden SmithThe Karate Kid (2010)

Somehow getting away with subbing this as a chick flick, I was unexpectedly very entertained by the fighting and the empowering kids with the seriousness. For a short while, I will respect Jayden Smith until I can’t get away from his next attempt to rap and he becomes a solid thorn in my side for the next 40 years.  I will continue to mourn the absence of an obligatory Joe Esposito cover, but this was a small price to pay for such a pleasant film.

Angry Birds Live - The Movie - The Making OfAngry Birds

PS3’s Pain on a 2D plane with added round cuteness animals. Sadly, this is the best game Android can offer.

making of see-thru laptopsToshiba Laptops

Expensive consumer electronics are a bitch.  One day Forbes says one company is the leader, next week that company switched to cheap parts and won’t answer your tech support calls. Everything can do basic computing needs nowadays. But what is out there that isn’t designed to fall apart in less than two years?  I’ve decided that company is Toshiba. Besides encountering a few laptops that people say they’re gonna upgrade simply because they’re five years old, my mom bought one, dumped a full can of diet soda in the keyboard, closed the laptop thinking that would make it dry better, and turned it upside down so all the pop went behind the screen. Oddly, in a gesture of total witchcraft, leaving the laptop running for a few weeks magically clensed itself of all pop stains. The screen now works perfectly and there are zero sticky keys.  All that bullshit is more than enough for me to recommend Toshiba computer gear no questions asked for a long time.

7 Responses to Ian’s 2010 Stuff of the Year

  1. carrotpanic says:

    The Karate Kid? You’re just going to try and slip that in there? Really?

  2. Hilden says:

    PanicBot 5000 fortune cookie say:

    “Your Gentle Writings Are Best. Do more.”

  3. Ryker XL says:

    BWOOOONGGGGGG!!! (nice effect DJI)

  4. Ian (DJI) says:

    @carrotpanic
    hey. Heeeey. hey!
    To be fair, I changed that from Piranha 3D. I defend because lets face it, nobody is gonna be able to watch Piranha properly for 15 years. New Karate Kid? You can’t knock it until you have the sound on during the ending credits.

  5. Tex says:

    Good call on Toshibas. You got rabbit foot crazy lucky with the soda, but they’re decently well built machines. I’d add Asus to that list as well, especially with their 2 year built-in warranty. Would you believe you were covered under warranty if you killed your laptop with soda in the first year? Accidental damage claim coverage kicks ass!

  6. Capn Chunky says:

    Inspired by the inception talk I stumbled upon this link.

  7. Gruel says:

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Girl Talk mash-ups, I am currently in the midst of the mix and am loving it! I must find the DJ Hero 2 soundtrack now!

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