It's undeniable that the cblogs have brought a wealth of talent and a wealth of stupidity to the Destructoid community. While the stupidity is often acknowledged with hundreds of spam comments, many times the better cblogs go ignored or unnoticed for a long time. In this sporadically updated series (hey, I can only update when someone is consistently good and unnoticed) I will feature these unsung heroes of Destructoid.
The decision to write this first Unsung Heroes was not an easy one. Not because there weren't any deserving community members, but because of the inherent danger of writing about this month's choice: Conrad Zimmerman. You see, Conrad is known to a few of us as "Destructoid Kryptonite." He has gained this title not only because his cblogs fail to garner much attention regardless of how well they are written, but because any cblog written about him typically goes unloved. For instance, when Necros posted a cblog about Conrad's RetRose Contest, it received only two comments until I tricked some IRC guys into commenting that Necros is a racist. As you can see, the popularity-sapping power of Conrad is strong and posting about this man is akin to playing with fire while being strapped into a cock guillotine.
"Well, Panda, what about Conrad makes him worth taking this monumental risk? Why is this Conrad fellow awesome?" you ask. Well, dear reader, that is what the rest of this feature will be about. The most obvious reason that Conrad is one of my favorite cbloggers is that he has two excellent and consistently updated features: RetRose Tinted and On the Table.
RetRose Tinted is a weekly feature (updated on Tuesdays) that looks at games of the past through the eyes of a modern gamer. In Conrad's own words:
"Aside from being an amazingly witty play on words, RetRose Tinted is an attempt to look back upon retro video games without the cloudy haze of nostalgia. Each week, I play a game that I remember enjoying in my youth and see if my memories are justified."
Essentially, RetRose Tinted is similar to Rorschach's wildly popular Why the Hell Should I Play it? series with a few notable differences: (1) RetRose Tinted focuses on games the author has played before, (2) RetRose Tinted has been running as a series for nearly two months, and (3) no one seems to read RetRose Tinted. Games covered in RetRose Tinted range from The Lost Vikings to Rygar to Zombies Ate My Neighbors and all of the stories are written well enough to be interesting even if you've never heard of the game. And, if games you've never heard of get your pants tight, you'll love Conrad's other series of articles: On the Table.
On the Table
On the Table is a weekly feature (typically updated on Saturdays) that discusses those things that people used to play before video games. I believe they were called board games. Again, in Conrad's own words:
"On the Table is a series of board and card game reviews. Each week, I focus on a different piece of analog entertainment with coverage of basic gameplay, a little critique and passing mention of any digital versions I find of it."
"But, Panda, NVGR!!" you cry. Well, buck up and quit your whining. I happen to like both this series and board games and Conrad has provided some perfectly compelling reasons as to why we should care:
"Board games are fun, for starters. And with the popularity of games like Carcassone, Catan and Eye of Judgement, I felt there was an interest in this type of game. And it's my blog, so there."
Not interested in board games? In the words of Thuper Hardcore, "No likey ...? Don't fucking read it." However, by skipping this series you're missing out. Like Conrad's RetRose posts, all of the On the Table series is well written and interesting even if you're unfamiliar with the subject matter. Additionally, many of the games have freely available PC iterations that Conrad discusses in his blog. Hell, it might even do some of you good to have some non-gamer friends over to down some brews and play some board games.
In addition to Conrad's regular series, he randomly posts interesting stories, events, or game reviews. In particular, two of my recent favorites were his recount of seeing The State Reunion and his brief impressions of the Metal Gear Solid cell phone game.
Well, there you have it. A brief glimpse into the world of Conrad Zimmerman. I hope you've enjoyed this first edition of Unsung Heroes and I encourage everyone to leave comments or PM me with suggestions for future cbloggers to feature.