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2013: A Year in Cblogs. End-of-year Recaps - Spectacularly Late Edition! - Destructoid

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Let it never be said that the Cblog Recappers are made of time. Hard though it may be to believe, behind the avatar there lie seven vastly different worlds of lives and loves and some third thing. Never was this more blatantly apparent than in the last few months. Busy times to be sure. It is also what has caused our annual "End-of-year Recaps" to be more than a little late this year.

But enough excuses, we're doing it now, so what is this?
Well, in this blog the four Recappers who have been reading your Cblogs all throughout the year have compiled the best of the best. The Cblogs that defined Destructoid's 2013, the blogs that gave us the most feels, or simply the blogs that made us laugh the hardest. Below you'll find some of the best work by the best people; if you're featured, be proud! If you're not, don't fret. Our space is limited, as are our memories. Chances are that whether or not you'll find your blogs below, if it was good we'll have read it, as will have many others. So keep on blogging the good blog, and you're sure to get the recognition you deserve!

But first, let's go see what 2013 had in store!  

Tuesday


Wow, is this really my third time writing one of these!? Crazy.

I'm not going to sit here and say 2013 has been a great year in the land of Destructoid and videogames. In a lot of ways, it was pretty rough. We've seen a few hard feelings in the Cblogs, lost some notable faces from the frontpage, and the industry has just been a mess this year. The fiasco of the Xbox One reveal, a slew of games that were basically broken at launch, the Wii U still struggling to define itself, and the dull anti-climatic launch of the next-gen systems. There is plenty of reasons to write 2013 off as dogshit.

But we've also had some great stuff. After months of drought we've seen a surge of activity on the blogs, Chris Carter stepping up to lead review editor is cool no matter how you slice it, and games are on their way. The new consoles may have started rocky, but I've got a lot of faith that they'll become something special. We've got games like Titanfall and Watch Dogs to look forward to, and even Nintendo is starting to find their footing (especially on the 3DS). And hey, even if everything else goes tits up, we've still got the PC bringing us Steam sales and Star Citizen.

Despite all the ups and downs, it's been fantastic to spend another year with this community. While the frontpage may change and the industry can sometimes be a drag, it's the people that make Dtoid special. Whatever else is going on, the heart and soul of this site will always be the passionate and talented community members who speak up and share their thoughts about games, life, art, and everything else.

There are some blogs and bloggers this year that you just shouldn't miss.

Handy killed it again this year. Two of my favourite blogs of 2013 were both his and both of them got promoted, proving that Andy has great taste too. Handy's ode to the Greatest Cocks in gaming is exactly the kind of stupid I live for. His look at the world of knockoff games is a work of art.

I've been loving the recent trend towards more guides in the community and have even written a few myself. So it's not without a bit of jealousy that I have to admit Corduroy Turtle probably did the best job of it this year with his MASSIVE 2-part guide to Spelunky. Everything you need to know to make it to hell and back, and a whole bunch of chuckles to go with it.

The recap team's own bbain stunned me with his recent blog about his top ten ice levels. A great blend of nostalgia and game design critique. It's the kind of blog that puts a smile on my face. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more "my favourite X levels" blogs in the near future, shamelessly ripping off this fantastic concept. By me.

I know I mentioned it last year, but Perfidious Sinn's "I Suck at Fighting Games" series continues to be one of my personal highlights on the blogs. I always get excited whenever he posts one. As a gamer who has always had an interest in FGs, but has never quite had the skill or dedication to really crest into the upper levels of play, I've always appreciated Sinn's more common man approach to the genre (although I get the feeling he's a little better than he claims). His look at Street Fighter X Tekken had to be my favourite of the year, that game was such a mess of failed ideas and under-realized concepts at launch, it was interesting to see his take on it nearly a year, and half a dozen patches, later.

Speaking of series, Taterchimp did a small series of math blogs this year that were just a joy to read. I can't math myself, but I frequently struggle with the same types of questions he does. It's nice to see someone with a brain actually tackle these problems instead of just getting frustrated and dumping coffee on the keyboard like I do.

God I love glitches. JoyfulSanity's blog about breaking apart some of his favourite games in unique and entertaining ways was a thrill to read in and of itself. Then the comments went off the chain, swapping stories about our favourite bugs and linking to all kinds of great glitch videos. I adore blogs like this – nerdy gamer shit that is beloved by our people and probably unknown outside of it.

I swear Sephzilla must have a system rigged up to notify him any time someone mentions DmC so he can swing by and shit on it. His strange obsession aside, Seph consistently writes some of the best content on the Cblogs. His Gaming Story reminded me how much I love Mega Man X and his guide to Snapping the Streak did the unthinkable and actually made me give a shit about wrestling for a few seconds, an accomplishment in itself.

And of course you should already know to read pretty much anything written by Elsa, or Occams, but there are a few more names you should probably add to the list. Last Scion of the Blue Lions is a dude who likes to blog about Dark Souls a lot, that alone makes him my spirit bro. The fact that he is a damn fine writer on top of that is just gravy. GlowBear has been kicking out the jams all year with a mix of written blogs, videos, and podcasts. Pixielated is another one to watch, and if you're not following Nihil now that he's writing blogs on the regular again, you're making a mistake.

2013 might have been bumpy, but you all still managed to be some of the coolest people on the internet. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings.

-Wrenchfarm

Wednesday




2013 was a tumultuous year to say the least. All the talk of deep issues like gender, race, free speech, and inclusion came to a head and blew out from the gooey, pus filled sore that is video game enthusiast press. Destructoid sort of fell and sort of rose in and out of grace with its staff jumbles, rule changes, and the Huge thing. Oldbies left feeling embittered with the direction they felt Destructoid was taking for the worse. Others were simply embittered but secluded themselves in the deepest portions of Dtoid like funky old grandpas who survived plenty of wars and equal rights parades. But plenty more were newcomers who stumbled onto Dtoid and weeks later found themselves embedded into Destructoid's community.

There were plenty of good blogs as well annoying ones. Members often times will cite terrible, shit blogs getting more attention than ones that members have slaved over for hours but there's still no replacement for good old fashion effort and formatting.

First on my chopping block worth noting is a little cheat from 2012. Last year's best of 2012 lists were where a lot of great blogs came in. Corduroy Turtle's entry to top 10 games of 2012 was late, so here's the only list from 2012 on 2013. But a list is also a good example of how the people of Dtoid can have unique perspectives that feed into entertainment. I've always loved Renegade Panda's voice and his review of a super weird Japanese game is a really good example of why you should follow him. He hasn't done anything recently but this is a great example of the kind of zany people Dtoid can attract and why Dtoid is a great place to be apart of. Dtoid is also a great melting pot to show the people great diversity within game's many cliques and scenes. Sinn has always been a lively voice of the fighting game community and his piece on EVO and why he cares about the FGC is a great window. Dustin wrote a break up letter to Resident Evil. A lot of people may simply write a complaining rant on RE but Dustin went the extra mile to write something on his mind with a unique slant.

A great trend that punctuates a quality blog is the personal touch. Whether it's Chillybilly having a lot of video game shit or how Zodiac Eclipse is a walking example to long distance, gaming relationships working out, the personal touch is a great way to work through the time and commitment needed by simply shooting from the hip with your own experiences. There are even unique experiences to share like gaming in Pakistan. Even Everyday Legend had a story to tell when it came to one of the biggest games of the year. Legend almost couldn't believe he was reliving a transformative moment of his childhood in Bioshock Infinite.



This year was also a year of beginnings despite a lot of endings for the more cynical members. Many people discovered their potential to create truly original pieces that became regular series that the community would refer back to. Opiumherz has come a long way since his censorship series and this was the blog that start it all. Nowadays he helps run the Cblog Interviews series with Everyday Legend. There's also the YoungScot, someone I never would've thought would nail it big time but now he's a video contributer to Dtoid's video channels. Every video provider has a start and this is where Challenge Scott started!. Then again, maybe it's not his first per se but the first that I actually liked but hey, it only got better with each iteration. And I can't nail down Benny Disco's first blog ever but we should of course mention him. I had to pick one Benny Disco blog to highlight so I chose his PS4 review.

So there you have it. Strider's picks for the year. The Recaps team has shuffled around quite a bit for a year and we've gone through a monthly round up series and started a podcast. We've gone through controversies, bond shattering arguments, shifts in staff and monetary support plus a console generational shift but Dtoid is still around and kicking despite what bygone members may say. But I wouldn't have it any other way because I can say this has been my best year yet on Dtoid.


~StriderHoang

Thursday


Well, here we are again. Last year, I wrote this blog as a brand new Recapper, training wheels still firmly in place and smelling decidedly of new car. Now I feel like a full-fledged member of the team, and it has truly been an honor doing this for a full year. I love it, from the topsauce all the way down to the fail, and if I have my way I’ll keep doing it in 2014 with a smile on my face.

2013 was a hectic year for Destructoid. Things changed and people left. It certainly wasn’t all good, and I myself have not been around as much as I would’ve liked. But that’s alright, because in the end the community pulled through and is still pulling through. It is in this context that Char Aznable deserves recognition. He saw Dtoid going the wrong direction and wrote a blog that ended up bringing a lot of us together, including staff. Similarly, a few months ago Pixielated reminded us of the true meaning of our greatest of slogans; STFUAJPG! You guys and gals have shown that no matter what happens,  Destructoid can keep being awesome, and it’s through all of us. And that for all the great people who leave, there are equally great people who join up. Just wait and see how many new bloggers I’ve got lined up for you below!  

And our community truly has it all. Don’t believe me? Watch!

We have experts on any game or series you can care to name.
PhilKenSebben knows his way around Don’t Starve and told us all the way back in January how to…not starve. Corduroy Turtle’s our resident Spelunky expert, and JoyfulSanity can tell you exactly where (and why) you should start playing Ys. Finally, Collateral E has a multi-part guide on everything you need to know about Monster Hunter 3.

We have people who can put a smile on anyone’s face.
One of my favorite Destructoid mini-trends is calling dibs on upcoming video game characters. The staff started it with Borderlands 2, but this year burningsoup announced that he had dibs on Froakie, and Pixielated wasted not a second doing the same for Chespin. I’d love to see more of these kinds of blogs! Meanwhile, Benny Disco has observed that while Nintendo may not be winning any console wars, it sure as hell is winning the kawaii war, and JoyfulSanity (the man’s pretty much my little buddy by now) lists the sexiest Dtoiders. Chances are you won!



We have insightful writers able to show you the bigger picture of a game or the industry.
NickCull, for example, explains how game design philosophies differ between so-called “AAA” devs and the indies. BulletMagnet provides a sneak peek into the “won’t somebody think of the children?!” debate from behind his GameStop counter. We can always count on Elsa to enlighten us with every single blog she writes. And Jinx 01? He told us all about video game storytelling, taking Bioshock Infinite as a particular example.

We have people baring their souls, giving advice or looking for (and finding) moral support.
GlowBear b(e)ared her soul about her depression and how even video games and Destructoid have helped her to cope with it. TheDustinThomas remembers his friend through Mortal Kombat. Finally, crackedbat fights that most difficult boss of all: his weight.

And we have a whole lot more! Why don’t you go see for yourself? After all, the blogs are only a click away. Don’t be shy.



Before we round this off, there are a couple of people in particular I want to highlight for showing our community some much-deserved love. First up, there are OpiumHerz and EverydayLegend who did a great job this year reviving the Community Interviews series, getting you the scoop on all the juicy details you never wanted to know about your favorite Dtoiders. Equal recognition must go to The Last Scion of the House of Blue Lions. Earlier this year he undertook a venture almost as massive as his username by writing a brilliant parody of the Divine Comedy featuring loads and loads of community members. Give it a read and see how many cameos you can spot! Finally, we must not forget to honor the man who makes it all possible, the man whose pink bathrobe must secretly be a cape because otherwise I’d have no idea how he can be so super, Andy Dixon himself. May a thousand boners be upon you.

For me, Destructoid in the Year of our Lord Luigi 2013 was defined more than ever by its people. The old and the new, the big and the small, the Sony crowd, the Microsoft bros and the Nintendrones. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. But I do know one thing: this place wouldn’t be the same without all of you. So give yourself a high five, a pat on the back, or just rub your nether regions a little bit.

Because you deserve it.

And because VIDEOGAMES.



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

Friday


Happy holidays, everyone! 2013 has been an interesting year for video games, hasn't it? We've seen lots of excellent games, some huge industry fuck-ups, many hotly debated topics, plenty of boobs, and the release of two next-gen consoles! Exciting stuff! For me, though, 2013 has been a rather uneventful year. I missed out on PAX this year due to a lack of money, and my attempts to find a new job all ended up falling through. Luckily, I had video games, the Destructoid community, and my amazing boyfriend to keep me going this year.

This has been my second full year on the Cblog Recaps team, and as always, the Dtoid community never ceases to amaze me with its incredible blogs! We saw a ton of new faces this year with their own stories to tell, along with the regular members who continued to pump out quality content. Here are a few of my personal favorites from the community in 2013:

Right at the start of the year, we were introduced to a wonderful new addition to the community, Pixielated, who shared her story of how video games helped her cope with being transgender. We also saw the appearance of Benny Disco in the community blogs, who seems to be filling the void left by Jim Sterling with bizarre unboxing videos and posts about how game controllers are literally breakfast foods, but his best blog of the year was a look into the tropes surrounding fat male characters in video games.

One thing the community blogs are (or used to be) famous for are the monthly musing topics (aka Bloggers/Artists Wanted). Unfortunately, they seem to be on a decline as of late, but there were still some excellent musing posts this year nonetheless! The Horror Stories topic elicited a fantastic, overlooked blog by yourbelovedpariah about a terrifying level from the original Tomb Raider, which happens to be one of my favorite levels ever! On the artsy side of things, the Winter topic caused Roberto Plankton to reminisce about murdering pirate-chickens in cold blood in Kickle Cubicle, resulting in a wonderful Bob Ross-inspired piece.



The community also showcased a bit of their dedication (and possibly addiction?) to video games by creating comprehensive guides for their favorite games. I always respect these blogs, because they clearly take a lot of work and patience to create. This year, we saw a survival guide for Rogue Legacy by Wrenchfarm and a massive two-part guide for Spelunky by Corduroy Turtle. Impressive stuff, guys!

My favorite series of the last generation, Demon's and Dark Souls, generated a ton of fantastic blogs from the community this year. Last Scion of the House of Blue Lions took a look back at all of the bosses in Demon's Souls in this epic blog filled with poetry and memories, while UsurpMyProse used comedy and raw emotion to his benefit in this countdown of Dark Souls bosses that made him want to punch a baby! But my absolute favorite Souls-themed blog, hands down, would have to be Wrenchfarm's blog about how the characters in Dark Souls got him thinking about his own grandmother and her struggle with Alzheimer's. It was an extremely emotional and powerful read, and easily one of the best blogs I've ever read.



I look forward to another year of incredible blogs in 2014, so keep up the great work everyone! It's all thanks to this wonderful community for making Destructoid the best video game site ever! Oh, and before I forget...

Also, cocks. (Thanks, Handy).



- bbain

Closing off
And there we have it, some of the greatest Cblogs ever to come out of our lovely little site, at least in 2013. Still, Destructoid could always use more of them, and us Recappers are dying to see what kind of great writings you've got in store for us. So get off your lazy butt and start blogging! Got something silly to share? Do it! Got some original new insights into the gaming industry? Post it! Got some hardship coming your way and in need of moral support? Being there for one another is what this community is all about! In sort, if there's anything you feel like you could write a good blog about, something that would be worth reading, then by all means find your way to the "Post New Blog" button and toss your thoughts in with the rest of us!
We'll be here reading them, and capping them for the viewing pleasure of all.

A spectacularly belated "Happy 2014" to everyone, and happy blogging in the new(ish) year!
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