Year in review: 2012

Frankly I don’t remember much about this year. When I’m in the moment, minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days and so forth, but at the end of the day, I look back and realize that time flies faster than light. I haven’t blogged in a while, so I’m feeling kinda rusty right now. I thought a lot about writing art- and video game-related posts but somehow they don’t seem to fit here and I’m saving it to write a book about learning art when I get better. Also, I recently started writing for a video game website and I’m more than just a little proud of it because I hope that it’ll grow into something bigger, just that all the co-writers need to cooperate and make time to write more.

I’m going to start with what I feel is most important which is art. This year, I was officially acknowledged as an ‘artist’ because my mom and sister bought me a sketchpad (yay!) AND my brother asked me for my opinion on his art (I’m grinning so widely now). I’m taking art much more seriously than I did last year. Of course there are the bad days when I think that I’ve got no potential to draw, but on the good days, I’m flying as high as the sky. Whenever I fall, I get back on my feet and keep trying. I understand that the beginning is an endless struggle. It’s a test because you can either choose to stop learning all at once or keep going despite your mistakes. I believe my determination and effort will pay off in the future.

The beautiful thing about art is it makes me easily inspired by everything around me, or maybe it’s just me. I also want to prove myself worthy of owning a graphics tablet (unlike what happened between me, guitar lessons and a Takamine). It’s going to take years but, anyway, art is a never-ending experience since we will never fully learn it. Right now I’m working on a portrait of Kristen Bell. I actually LOVE drawing faces (something I’ve been avoiding for years). So excited to get better! I hope to inspire many others whether they want to take up art or looking for novel-writing material and here’s an inspirational quote I saw on DeviantART to go with what I just said: “If you can write, you can draw.”

I found the picture above on Tumblr recently and I experienced some indescribable feeling the moment I set my eyes on it, so here it is. I don't know who the artist is, sadly. I would've posted one of my own pieces but I don't take many pictures of my art.

I found the picture above on Tumblr recently and I experienced some indescribable feeling the moment I set my eyes on it, so here it is. I don’t know who the artist is, sadly. I would’ve posted one of my own pieces but I don’t take many pictures of my art.

Moving on to the counterpart of my passion for art – video games! Why is it called the counterpart? Because both are responsible for shaping my once negative personality into everlasting positivity. No kidding, despite what everyone is reading on the world news. And this year was the first year I followed live E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) coverage. It was pretty exciting, watching those trailers and Tweeting ‘Happy E3 Week’. 🙂 On a side note, two games I didn’t complete were Alan Wake and I Am Alive. Both storylines caught my eye and actually inspired me greatly but the gameplay was disappointing.

I played Crysis 2 earlier this year. The beginning was kinda dull and confusing because I had no idea how to get past the first few maps. Fighting aliens and ‘Pingers’ was what made me sit up and go, hey, I’m not sleepy, playing this game anymore. As the story progressed, I became more interested. I wanted to talk about this game because I felt that Alcatraz’s (in the picture above (he’s a human in a robot suit, BTW)) ending was mind-boggling and unfair. I won’t explain because it’ll be too long, so… But I’ll definitely be getting the sequel next year. Been keeping up with The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3 video series and it looks promising.

OHEMGEE, I’ve been waiting for this part. I played both Portal games somewhere in the middle of the year. All I can say is, this brainteaser game is freakin’ amazing. I love how the storyline is so simple yet incredibly effective and how likeable all the characters are. Everything about Portal screams triple A title, especially the humor. This game made me more than just a little smarter and I’m not even trying to be a salesman here! The best part is that anyone can play it and I mean anyone. Thanks to my brother who is an equally big fan of the game, I own a stuffed Weighted Companion Cube toy. Whee! That’s GLaDOS in the image above (right), by the way (to my sister and mom who are wondering who my brother and I frequently mention in conversations). One of the best games in the video game world, ask anyone!

Screenshot from my AC3 gameplay

Screenshot from my AC3 gameplay

Another screenshot from my AC3 gameplay

Another screenshot from my AC3 gameplay

Of course, I played Assassin’s Creed 3. That’s not even a valid question anymore. I avoided spoilers for weeks after the PS3 and 360 release. Unfortunately, it wasn’t worth it. A new hero called Connor was introduced. He had pretty big shoes to fill in, which is why his character probably fell flat. Ezio, the main character of the Renaissance trilogy, had so much personality. Introducing a new main protagonist is difficult. Wordy details aside since I might end up writing a full-blown review, this sequel left me disappointed in many ways, but I did gain more knowledge about the American Revolution. I still have faith in the next game next year though!

Last month, I was introduced to Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I haven’t stopped playing since and I don’t think I will any time soon. My eyesight is going, Oh dear. I can’t believe I’m addicted to the video game everyone used to talk about… Oh, I also played Battlefield 3. I’m late, I know, because my PC crashed repeatedly during the incredibly exciting right-out-of-an-action-movie prologue so I gave up for months. It’s a decent game, though I prefer the Bad Company series.

2012 in video games was boring compared to last year. That’s about to change when the clock strikes midnight. In 2013, my highlights include the Tomb Raider reboot (stoked because we need more action-adventure video games for PC), Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light (big fan of post-apocalyptic games, especially this one), Battlefield 4 (probably because the next year will most likely be BFBC3 year), unannounced Call of Duty game, Assassin’s Creed 4 (hopefully a new setting?) and Watch Dogs (sounds like an interesting game concept).

A big accomplishment this year was writing a book with T. Nope, not the NaNoWriMo. Just me, T and a random date. Inspired by our sudden unhealthy obsession for Robert Crais and Barry Eisler books (also crime/fiction and thrillers), we decided one day that we would write a book together in hopes that we will inspire others the same way these two authors inspired us. So we did. We got to work and it worked out at the first try. We wrote a complete story. This was also my first time showing T a story written by me. It really put my confidence to a test. I got cold feet and I couldn’t stop talking when she read it because she, being the pro and all. We hope to publish it soon once we’re fully sure that it’s ready to be sent out to the world. 🙂

Honorable mention, since T already covered the TV show part: Person of Interest. I think we like it because John Reese and Harold Finch are respectable (and total dreamboats; this is for my mom) and because the female characters (protagonists and femme fatales) are all strong. And I’d like to mention The Big Bang Theory since my mind has been singing, The whole universe was in a hot, dense state all day long. Everyone is so cool, especially Sheldon Cooper!

Okay, I’m stuck because I have no idea how to end this. Should it be with wise words of advice? Or what my New Year’s resolutions are? You know what? Neither. Or maybe just a little advice: Hold your head up high in 2013 and don’t let society knock you down just because you don’t succumb to mainstream BS (sorry, this word just feels right).

Happy New Year’s Eve and Happy New Year! Don’t drink and drive!

(Pictures from Google Images)

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