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Cblog Recaps End of the Year Recap 2014 Super Ultramax: Tournament Edition

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[Note: I cannot thank the dedicated Dtoiders on the Cblog Recaps team enough for all their hard work. Here's to another fantastic f*cking year! --Mr Andy Dixon]

Welcome to the Cblog Recaps 2014 Yearly Recaps Super Ultramax: Tournament Edition. Where all the recappers look back on the year's cblogs and give the community the ultimate gift: PAGE VIEWS! As with the usual mantra of the recaps team, each individual recapper is a special snowflake with their own opinions as to what their favorite blogs of the year were, or their BOTY. But if there's one thing we agree on, it's that you guys are awesome. But Phil would probably replace "awesome" with "dicks" in his compliment. You have to maintain after all.

Before we start, let's throw out some golden high fives to people who've earned it, whether from impressive engagement of the community or Herculean effort that's been widely recognized. Redheadpeak was mentioned multiple times amongst us and it's not hard to see why. He's both a guy we can have a beer with and talk shitty Steam games, while also being the trusted educator of our children who uses video games as a contextual stepping stone to open the minds of our youth. And that all certainly leads to interesting stories.

Occams Electric Toothbrush's promotion to co-community manager has brought about a night-and-day change to the cblog community. His dedication to reading our rabble rousing with a generous mind to revise and promote is like the Renaissance to 2013's Dark Ages. And a community that's encouraged by seeing their own get recognized is a community that's better at interacting with one another.

Last to mention is OpiumHerz, resident Germanic censorship history buff turned forum admin. What started as a simple series about Germany's draconian censorship was simply a foothold to really clicking into the Dtoid community at large. Now he helps reign in the madness in the basement forums. Kudos Jim!

Hello everyone! 2014 was kind of a weird year full of ups and downs. I thought it was a great year for video game releases, but also kind of a not-so-great year for other aspects of the gaming industry. Destructoid had its ups and downs this year too, with some well-liked staff members leaving or being laid off, while some other awesome staff members were recently hired on or promoted. In my own life, 2014 was rather uneventful, as I took on a job that I'm slowly starting to hate, but I think things may begin to look up for me soon! I have a potential new job on the horizon, and plans to begin streaming on Twitch, which is something I've wanted to try for a while now.

2014 was also the year that I stepped down from my post as the Cblog Recaps team's Friday recapper. It's been a really fun three years providing recaps for the wonderful community here. I really enjoyed my time on the team, making friends with the other recappers and community members. But I thought it was time to give someone else a chance to shine on the Recaps team, so I decided to take a break from recapping and handed the reigns over to TheDustinThomas, your new Friday recapper, who has been doing a terrific job so far!

So what did I think of 2014's community blogs? Sticking to the theme of the year, I do think the blogs had their ups and downs as well, but there are so many terrific writers here in the Destructoid community that there was certainly no shortage of awesome blogs to be found! Thanks to our new community manager, Occams Electric Toothbrush, many more of those awesome blogs are now being promoted to the front page, which makes me very happy to see!

Many other great blogs may not have been promoted, but I think they still deserve some appreciation. So here are some of my favorite blogs from 2014 that never made it to the front page!

Fellow recappers StriderHoang and Wrenchfarm (you may know him now as Nic Rowen!) both wrote blogs this year about their favorite types of characters to pick in fighting games. Strider prefers to roll with the grapplers, those grabby characters with powerful attacks but low mobility. Nic tends to choose low-tier characters, who may not be popular choices in tournaments, but can still be deadly if you master how to use them properly.

El Dango began a new series this year called the Boss Fight Appreciation Zone! There have been four entries so far, full of the most awesome boss fights ever to be found in video games! El Dango took a lot of time to make this a quality blog series, creating animated .gifs, customized headers and images, featuring suggestions from the comments, and topping it all off with his own high-energy, enthusiastic writing style.

UsurpMyProse has seen many blogs promoted to the front page, but even the ones that were never promoted are equally fantastic. One of my favorites was called I'm sick of saving Hyrule. It's a humorous look at the commonly used tropes of the Zelda series, where UsurpMyProse takes a moment to point out all of the terrible ideas that the people of Hyrule keep coming up with which always land them in trouble.

On a similarly humorous note, new recapper Pixielated wrote a very entertaining blog exploring a popular opinion of internet commenters ("Politics and social issues have no place in games") and how really very wrong they are. Her satirical style of writing is always a joy to read!

Lastly, Morty took the time to compile a huge list of all of the awesome "10 Things You Didn't Know About Me" blogs posted by various community members. And while Morty's blog itself may have been promoted, the compilation is filled with tons of wonderfully personal blogs that never made it to the front page, but definitely deserve some attention. Plenty of 2014 blogs are included, and hey, I'm in there somewhere too! Thanks again for putting this together, Morty!

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- bbain

August 23th, 2014 was the day I was officially included into the Recappers, and it has been a pretty cool couple of months since then! Truthfully, it feels a little weird to go from someone who comments every once in a while to someone who is more or less an active member in the span of a year, but I have no regrets getting to know some of you! Many of you guys are great, and it'll be too long a list to name you all... but you know who you are! I wish you some of you guys would do much more blogging though: I understand that time may not be as abundant for you as it could be, but I'd love to see more stuff from you!

While I'm not able to read everyone's blogs, unforunately, reading as many I can has certainly opened my eyes to the community that has spawned! People have different voices to be hear, different stories to tell, different experience to share... and it's been great reading them! Don't get me wrong, being a Recapper doesn't mean I'm reading because I'm forced to... it just feels like a more natural progression of things. I will say this though: GamerGate saw an influx of blogs taking sides and stances on the matter, and those really soured my experience as any posted on Saturday means I couldn't really distance myself from it.

As you know, I take the time to read the blogs, and some of the GamerGate ones actually feel quite informative and quite researched, and I don't want to disrespect the time they took to write it. So, I do my best to appear neutral about it by simply listing their blogs under "Wordtoid" with the same amount of "recap" I'd give to any other.

This is clearly the best GamerGate blog though!

I'll admit: I'm an absolute sucker for gimmick blogs like that. It's my weakness to see people put a live-action spin to their works, and that was seriously funny, even if it's not really a blog and more like an Instagram pic. Whatever, a laugh's a laugh, and boy did I!

That also means that Marche100's blog also deserves mention: it was creative, funny as fuck, obviously had a lot of work put into it, strangely arousing, and was my very first Top Sauce! Hey, it's not too late to promote it!

Speaking of arousing, how could I not mention the "Fetish" blogs to briefly surface? As some of you recall, Gajknight bravely details his top 10 favorite fetishes of all time, leading the charge for the weird wave to come! Some of us like your old pal StriderHoang and Dreamweaver went a little harder than we should've (no pause!), but it was a great time!

I should also mention how much I love It's About to Get Gay in Here's satire pieces: so many articles being pumped out yet still retaining quality is a damn impressive feat! I didn't even link to a particular one: they're all so funny!

Doesn't mean that you guys couldn't be so funny yourselves! Luckrequired had a couple of caption contests where he posts a screenshot for you to come up with something funny to say, and a lot of you were hilarious! He even made a brief but appreciated "choose your own adventure" blog as well!

Speaking of adventures, Fenriff did an amazing Destructoid fanfiction called The Destructoid Saga where he takes beloved members of the community and puts them through one of the weirdest rides of their lives. Part 2 can be found here, and can't wait for the finale!

Anyway, I hope some of you have been inspired to write something yourselves! Whether it's something funny, something meaningful, something heartfelt, or something like fanfiction (coughshamelessplug), I look forward to seeing what comes next!

-Dreamweaver

No offenses to optimists but personally I think 2014 sucked, at least towards the end where our memory is fresh. Not just in video games but in the world in general. Looking back on last year's recaps, it looks like things haven't improved all that much. In fact, 2013 was better than 2014 all things considered. There were dry spells, failed expectations, acts against social rights, unfinished games, and general failure all-around. But as always, nobody wants to end their year dismissive of the future. And I have a lot to be hopeful for in 2015: finishing a second degree, newer prospects for jobs, and a much more realistic picture of moving in with my girlfriend. Oh, and I bought a Wii U in November so I have all of 2015 to not only see Nintendo's anticipated line up but also to visit missed titles from both 2014 (Hyrule Warriors, Pikmin 3) and from the Wii (Okami, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom).

This year certainly wasn't easy on the community side of things either. Like the year before, staff jumped around, members dropped off, and tons of crappy posts. I mean, terribad. Like, this post only deserves a reaction gif bad. But this year there was a lot to celebrate for the community too. Wrench McFarmins "Nic" Rowens became an official contributor and lots of newer members embedded themselves further into the community like Opium "Jim" Herz and Dream "Fetishes" Weaver. OpiumHerz started with his censorship series and went further with things like big, dumb game giveaways and joining forces with the likes of UsedTabe on the forums. Dreamweaver on the other hand fervently advocated a fetish blog meme that spread like wildfire but hey, it's not out of character for Dtoid at least. Luna "Elesa" Sy brought the Dtoid Community Trading Card game back from the obscure depths thanks to one mention from Oldtoid. She also invested herself in scouring the web for dumb plagiarism with her Google Playgairism posts.

Speaking of new members making the impression in 2014, Benny Disco has been around longer than you might expect but this year, he was exceptionally active with his crazy stuff. However, he can prove that he's still the Benny Disco we know and love even when he's a little more serious, like defending our love of outrage. I can even remember the times when I first recapped the relatively new RedHeadPeak but he quickly found a unique niche: someone who doesn't just play games but isn't afraid to use his identity as a gamer to jazz up his position as an educator. Everyone starts someplace but over time, he's been FPed steadily. Even Brittnay Vincent, who's apart of Dtoid staffroll, is new to both staff and community. And boy, is she active in the community and really knows how the community is. She's even played shitty boyfriend finding games and reported the results with extreme prejudice. Being open minded an welcoming even pays off on reading insightful articles, like the UI design process for a cool game like Toto Temple Deluxe.

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention some feel good material from older members, like one of Wrench's last community member posts about reading novels about his greatest weakness and poison, MechWarrior #cantquitmechwarrior #neverforget. DustinThomas has also graced my Wednesdays with his weekly top 5 series, proving that the best contributors are the consistent and timely ones. I mean, go ahead and click on that and you'll find his latest one. The guy has been good for months. And one last special mention to Everyday Legend, who doesn't cblog often but simply had to after learning that The Last Guardian was still all quiet on the western front.

The bevy of new members is extremely assuring. Here's to hoping that this year's newbies are next year's oldbies and next year's newbies are even half as good as this year's.

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- Strider

2014 has come and gone, and it feels like this year has flown by faster than any other. Unfortunately, 2014 wasn’t exactly the year for gamers (or humanity, really) to show the best side of themselves. It feels like people were at each other’s throats for most of the year, and more often than not forgot to just have fun with some video games. And now that the Game of the Year awards are hitting their stride, a lot of people have been complaining about how few great games came out this year.

Well, not so for me. And hopefully not so for the Destructoid community either. Having fun with video games has been vitally important for me this year, and I’ll go on record saying that anyone who thinks 2014 was a bad year for gaming seriously needs to go out and buy a Wii U because you clearly don’t own one. For me, 2014 was incredibly special. It was the year in which I left homely Europe behind for 5 months in favor of Washington DC on the East Coast of ‘the greatest country in the world’. It has been an amazing experience all the way through. But going new places can be difficult too, so you always need some sort of anchor. You need something familiar to do, friends to talk to, or anything to not just be alone in a strange land for 5 months straight. For me, my anchor was video games and Destructoid.

This year Destructoid was quite literally my home away from home. You guys continued to write great blogs, be super supportive of one another, crack jokes about dicks, and do all of the things that makes Destructoid what it is. So even while almost my entire life changed for a while, Destructoid stayed its awesome self. That’s very reassuring somehow. It’s like staring at the moon to remind yourself that you’re still on earth, only with more cocks. Doing the Recaps has been a joy from both sides of the Atlantic, and I’m very honored to be able to make that statement.


- Destructoid here, Destructoid there, Destructoid everywhere

So, what blogs did I enjoy from home and several thousand miles away from home? Well a lot of them, obviously. But here is just a quick sample of the things you all did.
RedHeadPeak has been killing it all throughout 2014. As a gamer-teacher, he showed us how he turns video game music into a useful teaching tool. And then later this year, he thought us something too: gunblades were a real thing once.

Voltech is also consistently one of the best bloggers we have. This year he asked the all important question: What are video games for? Many things, it turns out!

Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon takes the time to thank all of his Pokémon friends who made the victory over the Champion possible.

JoyfulSanity took one of this year’s Bloggers Wanted topics and ran with it. When asked what game he loves that everybody else hates, he answered: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest. And then the room just went silent.

bbain left the Recaps team earlier this year. But that didn’t stop him from giving us some great blogs! Setting up a temporary jukebox in the Cblogs was a great idea that I very much wish to steal.

Elsa has always been one of the community mainstays. She had some goings-on in her life this year that prevented her from blogging as much as we would all like her too. Yet she still managed to find the time to impart some important knowledge: If you want to be her friend, hold off on the lesbian porn for a while.

The Scholarly Gamer was a new face this year, but he has integrated in the community like the best of them. For Canadian thanksgiving, he wrote all about the site and the games that he had grown to love over the course of 2014. He had to take a work-related Dtoid break shortly after, but he quickly came back after realizing how little Occam’s the outside world has to offer.

Handy gave us the best E3 predictions of the year…and then asked his infallible fortunetelling devices whether they would come true or not.

Finally, taterchimp shows that it doesn’t always have to be just video games at Destructoid. If you wanna tag your blog ‘NVGR’ and talk about some great drinks worth drinking, that’s fine too!

And that’s it for my picks of 2014! A final shout-out goes to the Dtoid staff who have offered us our little place on the Internet. And an extra special one to our Community Managers Andy Dixon and Occam’s, who continue to keep up with all of our shit in order to promote the cream of the crop to the front page.

You ragtag bunch of dicks are awesome all over the world. Happy 2015 everybody!

PS: Speaking of dicks, PhilKenSebben loves his. That is literally all I need to say about that blog.

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- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

2014 was a very up-and-down kind of year for me personally. On the upside, my wife and I upgraded from an apartment to our first house. That was quite a feeling, as I had never seen myself as someone who would one day have his own home. I started a new job working for my church, which is the first time I've ever had a job that I didn't hate in some form or fashion. I took a couple mission trips to Jamaica, which was an awesome time. I started a podcast with a couple friends of mine, which is something that we had talked about doing for quite some time. And I took over the reigns of the Friday Cblog recap job from mainstay bbain when he decided to relinquish the title to a young upstart. I really enjoy being a part of the recap team, I finally feel like I'm doing something here at Destructoid other than just posting a blog every now and then.

Unfortunately, you have to have a few rainy days to enjoy the nice ones. Luckily though, I had more good days than bad. I lost my long time best friend, my dog, Muldoon. It was a rough time for me, but I take solace in knowing I'll see him again one day.

On the gaming front, it was mostly good, although it wasn't without its disappointments. It seemed like most of the games that were really hyped turned out to be lackluster, or at the very least, didn't live up to the hype surrounding it, which is the biggest problem with hype to begin with. I picked up a PS4 this year, which is exciting. It's probably the earliest I've ever become an adopter of a new console. Looking back, I probably could have waited, as I still find myself with long periods where I'm not using the thing, but when I do, it's some of the most fun I've had this year. My biggest problem is that when I play games, I want to play the best version (well, the best console version, at least), and with games like Far Cry 4 and Alien: Isolation, I would have felt gypped if I played them on the last-gen consoles, regardless of if they're still good or not.

I also got kind of productive this year but sitting down and finally knocking off some of the games on my backlog that had been nagging me for years now. Games like Super Metroid, Link to the Past, Castlevania IV, etc. I still have a huge backlog of NES and SNES games to tackle, but I'm up for the challenge. Overall, though, I probably spent more time playing my 3DS than I did anything else. As someone who travels quite a bit, it was nice having lengthy adventures like Professor Layton v Phoenix Wright and great time-wasters like Mario Golf: World Tour to keep me company during those long nights on the road.

As far as Destructoid goes, I'm looking forward to becoming more prominent on the site, however that looks. We have a sweet thing going on here, and I feel like I'm getting a good feel for the writing styles I see from those who post blogs more frequently. If anything, I feel like I need to comment more, because I read almost every blog that's posted, and there's a lot of very intriguing stuff, even if I don't always agree.

Anyway, here's to 2015 being the best year for the Destructoid community yet.

My Life as a Catholic Gamer by Carlton McHard
In addition to being a great blog, I was happy to see how respectful the Dtoid community was with the subject matter and all of the different beliefs therein.

The Worst Thing About Censorship is...-31- Resident Evil by OpiumHerz
I'm a fan of OpiumHerz's censorship series in general, but I chose the Resident Evil blog in particular due to my personal affinity for the series.

I love Pre-Ordering Games by The Scholarly Gamer
The scholarly one is one of my favorite bloggers here on Dtoid, and it's nice to see someone who is so positive about something that most people are so down on.

How Historically Accurate is Skyrim? by RedHeadPeak
If you're a history buff like me, then this blog and its follow-up is something you'll find fascinating.

Our Halloween Costumes 2008 - 2014: A Destructoid Tribute by Craineum
When my wife and I finally decide to have children, I hope I can make Halloween costumes half as good as these.

How Shadow of Mordor Let Me Make My Own Story by Genki-JAM
Shadow of Mordor is one of my favorite games of the year for all of these reasons and more. If you needed a reason to pick it up, look no further.

Getting a Gaming Tattoo? Here are Four Things to Keep in Mind by Chris Gray
As someone who got his first tattoo this year, I can vouch for these.

- TheDustinThomas

This last year my blogs took a turn for the weird and goofy. In a lot of ways, it was a return to form since I wrote really weird stuff back in high school and college. Some of that old stuff is still in some broken corner of the internet in a database so outdated its a headache to dig up. The paper it got printed on is likely all recycled by now.

The serious or personal stuff can get hard to write at times. I'll draft and draft a blog and then this part of me goes "Screw this, I'm going to make it weird instead." That is where posts like "Operation Corgi Jelly Doughnut" really come from or maybe Commander Shepard gets an email from Solid Snake saying she can't have politics in her games anymore. Everything just becomes a bizarre satire, but I have more fun writing that than trying to be serious or controversial.

Or I'll post the weird dreams about Bill Cosby, Michelle Obama, Mario and Luigi touring MGS2's Big Shell after my friends from Gamestop threw a party for Bill. Or that time Giganta and I went to a U2 concert and where the Pope David Cage turned up. Or when I made out with my android girlfriend in an orc temple and we found a porno that brought peace to Azeroth.

It's possible that this is the result of over thirty years of gaming and pop culture consumption, lethal exposure to podcasts with Jim Sterling in them or all that root beer and ginger ale I drink. Maybe I just get too much fresh air with all that walking I do.

Now I bring this silliness to your recaps every week and while its kind of left me wondering what to do with my personal blog, I'm happy to do it. I've come to enjoy going over each week of wonderfully weird, heartfelt or passionate posts about games, their stories, experiences and mechanics.

And so I've looked through the roughly 3,500 blog entries from 2014. It took several hours to page through all that and I did some of it over overpriced hot chocolate at McDonald's. You guys owe me $3.50. I accept payment in pizza, too.

Anyway, enjoy this trip down memory lane, days of futures past and some more recent offerings.

I'm not alone in writing bizarre fanfiction, Fenriff also participates in this rare cblog pastime.

It's About To Get Gay In Here has a real knack for writing gaming satire in an Onion-like direction.

GlowBear gave us many lists of sexy things this year. Here she focuses on gaming's sexiest chins!

Marche100 shares how Castle of Illusion gave him a connection to a family member he never knew.

TouchOfKiel unearths the ancient horror known as the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES game. Never forget.

Dreamweaver shows his appreciation for Persona 3.

Strider talks about his favorite grapplers.

SeymourDuncsn sees 2014 as the year he stopped worrying about staying current with games. Its a good feeling.

Are you sick of saving Hyrule? You're not alone. UsurpMyProse is, too.

Elsa explains how to be her friend.

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-Pixielated

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