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Other Work

While The Land of Obscusion is home to most of my work, I have also done a small portion of work that has appeared on other, actual, websites. I'll compile them here, chronologically, if you're curious to see what else I've produced. I will update this whenever something new appears, but who knows how rare that will happen:


32X: Short Name, Short Life, Big Fun (February 23, 2004)
This is the very first article I ever wrote for any sort of online publication, and it was more or less done on a whim. GameSpotting was, in short, the blog section of GameSpot, where the various editors & managers of the site would talk about various game-related subjects. The cool thing about this feature was that they allowed fans to send in their own pieces, and each new GameSpotting featured one "GuestSpotter" article that was written by a fan. One day I decided to type up a piece about the Sega 32X to send to GameSpot, expecting to not write much of anything, but when all was said & done I had a complete article written! Getting screenshots from online I decided to send my article to GameSpot, figuring that it wouldn't get anywhere... Until I checked my e-mail one day to see a message from Jeff Gertsmann, Senior Editor of GameSpot (& now of Giant Bomb).

Turns out that they found the article good enough to put online, but they couldn't remove the images from my article, requiring Jeff to ask to me to re-send the images on their own. I did just that and, lo & behold, my article was unleashed to the public! As a 17 year old senior in high school, I was in complete shock to see my name listed among the likes of Gertsmann, Greg Kasavin, & Alex Navarro, people who I held in the highest regard when it came to video game journalism at the time (& I still hold them in regard to this day). I even received e-mails from other gaming sites, asking if I wanted to join their staffs; I was too shy & unsure of myself, so I never responded back to any of them. Looking back on it now it's a little embarrassing, to be honest, but from a nostalgic perspective it's still one of my most cherished pieces of work ever.


My Old YouTube Channel (October 12, 2009-January 18, 2011)
Before I started The Land of Obscusion & focused on writing, I tried my hand at doing YouTube videos. I'll admit it right away & say that I'm not exactly proud of my year-ish as a video producer, simply because I didn't do any sort of actual producing. All I did was put a digital camera on a tripod, put it in front of the TV I had at the time, pressed the record button, & simply played the game I was "reviewing" while talking about it at the same time (or "watch" the anime while reviewing). There was no video editing, no audio balancing, & no special effects; this was zero-budget video making at its most basic. After I finished my video, usually utilizing the ~11 minute time restriction YouTube had at the time, I simply moved it from the camera to my computer & uploaded it to YouTube. I was inspired by the likes of the Angry Video Game Nerd, Classic Game Room, MN12BIRD, & the Happy Console Gamer, but didn't want to do any of the hard work that they all put into their videos.

That being said, I'm amazed that these videos came out as well as they did. The video footage looked okay for what was nothing more than filming a television, my voice was recorded surprisingly well for what was just the camera's built-in microphone (I literally sat next to the camera while playing & recording, nothing else), & somehow I received a lot of positive remarks from viewers. I really don't see why, though, because out of all of the videos I produced (or at least whatever still remains after copyright claims removed a bunch of them in the years since), I really only think a small handful are actually any "good". I originally planned on continuing to do videos while also doing the blog, leaving the videos for video games, but after an update in early 2011 I simply stopped because I lost access to the camera I had been using (the one I used for the final video was a horrible replacement). Oddly enough, I still get replies to my videos on occasion & even the rare subscriber (the poor fools), and I've since renamed the channel to reflect the blog, but I only say watch these videos if you want a good laugh at me.


Mystical Fighter (November 18, 2010)
Sega-16 is a website that's all about the Sega Genesis & its history, with one of the biggest appeals being its massive compendium of game reviews, all of which are written either by the site's regular editorial staff or by fans who wish to help out. I've helped out with this massive effort to cover every single Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD, & 32X game, & this was the first review I ever did for the site, appearing less than a month before this blog came into existence.

Known in Japan as Maou Renjishi & developed by KID (Pepsiman, Recca), Mystical Fighter is an early-90s beat-em-up with a heavy Japanese aesthetic that I felt was sadly not as known as it should be. While not one of the all-time Genesis classics, Mystical Fighter still holds up very well & is a lot of fun to play today. Picking up your enemies & either spinning them around to their deaths or jumping up & smashing them into the ground never gets old.


The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO (November 29, 2010)
The second review I did for Sega-16 was more or less a FMV game for the Sega CD that took the 1993 movie Kamen Rider ZO & turned it into a semi-interactive video game. It's overall a very simple game, though it does actually offer some slight replay value, but considering the low bar of quality that most FMV games reached for, Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO isn't too bad, actually. It's also the only legal way to actually see the movie outside of Japan, complete with a super cheesy dub; you just have to play through it to see the entire story.


My "Appearances" on ANNCast (March 3 & November 11, 2011 & October 26, 2012)
Now, to get some immediate clarification out of the way, none of these were as a proper "guest". Instead, all of my "appearances" on ANNCast were via the occasional "Viewers Like You" episode that invited fans of the podcast in advance to talk about subjects of their choice; I volunteered my time for these three episodes. My first time on the show was episode 68, where I talked with hosts Zac Bertschy & Justin Sevakis about license rescues, as that was around the time when they first started becoming more common than they used to be. The second was episode 96, where I talked about some obscure anime (including Zaizen Jotaro, Bartender, & Ring ni Kakero 1), with Zac & Justin adding in their views on them when possible. My third (& final[?]) involvement with ANNCast was episode 136, where I talked with Zac about sports anime & how anime fans react to various shows in the genre based on how realistic or over-the-top they are.

Of these experiences, my favorite is easily my first time on the show, as the discussion felt very natural & all three of us seemed to have a fun time talking about all sorts of old & forgotten anime. My second time on the show is probably my least favorite, as I simply felt uncomfortable talking about series that I wound up feeling Zac & Justin had no desire to really talk about. I'm not blaming them, but rather I blame myself for not doing a better job with my subject & being unable to back up my feelings on the shows I covered when Zac & Justin had their counter-arguments. The third experience was okay, if maybe a little cyclical in the long-run. I have nothing but great respect for Zac & Justin, and I thank them for welcoming me onto the show, but all of these experiences simply showcase that I'm not always a great conversationalist, especially when I can't see the people I'm talking to. While I'm not against appearing on a podcast ever again, I feel that I should only do so when it's something I can really talk about & have a good time doing so; simply talking about something because I can isn't always going to work.


"Manga review: FIST OF THE BLUE SKY volumes 1-4." (September 6, 2012)
While the Blog of the North Star isn't around in the way it used to be, the Internet Wayback Machine makes it possible to still check out this interesting cooperative review I did with Milo Turnbull back in 2012 for the four volumes of Fist of the Blue Sky that Gutsoon released in the early-00s. It was a real experiment of a production, since it was done by Milo & I taking turns talking about these manga volumes & what they were about. Milo would write a couple of paragraphs, leaving off with some sort of line to indicate where to go next, & then I would take a turn, leading into the next subject. I can definitely say that I have never, ever done another piece of writing quite like it, so give it a read if you want to see something different in terms of talking about manga.


2004: Rebellious, Yet RespectfulRespectful, Yet Rebellious (July 16 & 20, 2013)
The year 2013 marked the 50th Anniversary of the debut of Tetsuwan Atomu/Astro Boy on Japanese TV, essentially marking the beginning of TV anime as we now know it; there was TV anime before 1963, but not executed like Atomu. To celebrate this occasion, Geoff Tebbetts (of the now-defunct Animerica magazine) decided to start a blog that would compile fifty essays, one for each year from 1963-2012, creating possibly the most comprehensive history of televised anime ever made in English. The end result would be the Golden Ani-Versary, and to help with such a massive endeavor Geoff asked for anyone & everyone who writes about anime to help out, winding up with ~50 authors to do all of the essays. I was a part of this, & my year of choice was 2004.

If you want to know why I chose 2004, you can read the post I made about it back when my two-part essay went live. For my essay, I wanted to focus on specific titles that dared to be different, yet still followed the traditions that had been established over the 40 years that came before my topical year. In the end I covered the original Pretty Cure, Satoshi Kon's Paranoia Agent, the Yugo the Negotiator anime series, the legendary Monster, the highly underrated Fantastic Children, the visually one-of-a-kind Gankutsuou-The Count of Monte Cristo, personal favorite Ring ni Kakero 1 (the first season), the first Genshiken anime series, & Shinichiro Watanabe's Samurai Champloo, as well as a basic overview of 19 other notable anime that debuted in 2004, not to mention the other 13 titles I snuck in as quick mentions; that's a total of 41(!) different anime I brought up. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite & most cherished works ever when it comes to me writing about anime.


Montezuma's Revenge (May 7, 2015)
This is the third review I have done for Sega-16, and this first is over four years. In 2015, the site decided to expand & start covering games from Sega's 8-bit console, the Mark-III/Master System (& possibly even the SG-1000, as well). While I don't have many games for the console, I did have a copy of Parker Brothers' unlikely port of early-80s platforming classic Montezuma's Revenge, & since it's not an easy to get version I volunteered to review it. It's one of the very few North American-exclusive games for the Master System, but it's still an excellent old-school 2D platformer, even adding in a bit of item management in order to properly advance to the bottom of each pyramid Panama Joe must traverse. If you ever get the opportunity to play this version then definitely do so.


Master of Darkness (October 20, 2015)
This is the fourth review for Sega-16, and the second one about a Master System game. Released in 1992, after the system was abandoned in North America & Japan, this Europe & Brazil-exclusive action platformer (a Game Gear version was released everywhere, including the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console) is completely, blatantly a clone of Konami's old Castlevania games. Luckily, developer SIMS crafted an excellent clone, and in some ways even beat out Konami's games, astonishingly enough. While there was some talk on the Sega-16 forums that I may have rated it too high, with most people feeling that this was a 7 or 8 instead of a 9/10, I stand behind my final rating (which I prefer to not give for my reviews, but the site requires ratings). For anyone who owns a Sega Master System, Master of Darkness is a must-own & if one can find a good deal on it then don't hesitate.

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