Ladies and Gentlemen, Merry Days of Anime 2021

This post’s title was, in fact, inspired by the Daniel Craig introducing The Weeknd meme.

When I made up this impromptu block of anime-viewing festivities, I half-wondered if it would end up being a yearly thing. Here we are in year three; I think it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay. Probably helps that I don’t watch much anime nowadays, ensuring that by this point I’m actually willing to indulge for a little while. Join me as I go back to the topic that used to be my blog’s central focus.

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Top 10 Favorite Christmas Songs

What may be contrary to popular belief is that I am not an apathetic curmudgeon when it comes to the holidays. Christmas is my favorite holiday—the cheeriness, the romance, the snow; I’m privy to the “magic” that comes around this time of year. Much of that is owed to the type of music played, which can range from wonderful to “Please, God, make it stop.” In the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to detail my ten favorite Christmas songs ever, because why not?

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Updated Thoughts on Prodigal

I should specify that the “Updated” in the title is due to already having a Prodigal review published on another website. This post will cover all that the linked review did not, which includes content added since the game’s release in late 2020.

Let me also specify that my thoughts / opinions on this title are not influenced by my good standing with the team behind it. My goal is to be as objective as possible, regardless of whether or not I have an NPC modeled after me in-game.

Now, some close to me are already aware that I enjoy Prodigal quite a bit. It was my Game of the Year in 2020 and is currently my fourth-most played game on Steam in terms of total playtime. Discovered by complete chance, the impact it’s had on my life is a rarity that I try not to take for granted. Games that fit your preferences almost effortlessly well do not come along often.

Quite a bit of content has been added since my initial review—which, until this past week, I had never gotten around to playing. Extended story elements, lots of postgame content, and menacingly difficult challenges make up most of what’s now on offer. At this point, Prodigal feels truly complete. Did it carve out a fate worth diving into?

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Thoughts on Last Night in Soho

Hey, hey! My first film post since May! It’s been ever too long.

Last Night in Soho is a film I found out about somewhat recently, intrigued more by the cast and director more than the premise itself. Not to say the premise isn’t interesting, but when you have the likes of Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Matt Smith among the main cast, with Edgar Wright orchestrating the overall, that’s enough starpower to have most at least curious. Though it’s labeled as a horror film, that didn’t deter me from seeing it in theaters fairly quickly.

Like most horror films I’ve seen, however, it ends up being something of an immersive trap.

(Minor story spoilers will be present in this review.)

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Thoughts on Super Metroid

In case it was not apparent enough by the five Metroid-related posts since April and the multiple statements of Metroid being my favorite game franchise ever, Metroid is my favorite game franchise ever. Despite this, there always remained a sort of lingering absurdity with this claim. Prior to the other night, I had never finished what many consider the series’ magnum opus: Super Metroid.

Note the “finished” wording in the prior sentence. Prior to recently, I had actually attempted to play through the game via emulator with an off-brand SNES controller. The controls were floaty and occasionally unresponsive, and I could never get the hang of the game’s expectations. Such events soiled the initial impressions I got from it—not being able to defeat Phantoon didn’t help matters, either.

Hot off the heels of Dread, my desire to play through not just Super, but pretty much every Metroid title ever (including the pinball game; would not recommend) has skyrocketed to levels unlike anything felt in my adult life. Thus, on a whim, I booted up the subject of today’s post on the Switch Online SNES library and just went to work. It was here I learned that my first go at the fan-proclaimed masterpiece detracted me from something appropriately beloved.

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Top 10 Favorite Games After Four Years With KeenGamer

I mentioned last year that my productivity in terms of titles reviewed was fairly low. While I cannot remember the exact number, this past year was pretty low, as well—only twenty games. This would imply that the ten games I cover today will make up a clean half of the games I’ve reviewed between September 30th, 2020 and the same day, 2021. Nevertheless, there’s a solid selection of titles I’ve come across that make up the best games I’ve played in year four of my KeenGamer career.

No personal input from me this time around; life’s been relatively good. Work has been steady and I have no major complaints. If there’s been any reason for the lack of games reviewed, it could just be the increased responsibilities I have now that I work for Keen full-time. That said, I’ve already published a Metroid Dread review since the cutoff and will likely have another review out in the coming days. Off to a good start for next year!

Small and maybe unwarranted note, but I don’t receive review copies for everything I review. Also, since I’ve formally reviewed all games in the following list, I won’t go into substantive detail here.

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The 2nd Best Quarterbacks of Every NFL Franchise (NFC Edition)

Hello again, reader. Are you ready to read another giant-post-in-waiting after my 6,800-word AFC Edition of this post topic? Wonderful. Let’s get to it.

For those new, let me reaffirm my position on this topic by slightly re-wording the first few paragraphs of my last post. Those already familiar can simply skip down to the actual list.

Football is a sport I enjoy quite a bit. I am actually half-watching football while writing the beginning sequence of this post. But if there’s one thing that beats my love of football, it’s the NFL’s love for promoting its biggest stars. Profiteering and all that; it’s pretty disgusting. Anyway, many are accustomed to the best—I simply wish to know more.

This (and the other) post is a document aimed at showcasing those who were good, maybe even great—just not the greatest. A project of historical combing, and assessing those that managed their own stretch of history, which may go overlooked if not detailed. People are likely to know the best. Would they go out of their way to know those further down the line? I would. Join me as we look at the second-best quarterbacks of every NFC-based NFL franchise.

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The 2nd Best Quarterbacks of Every NFL Franchise (AFC Edition)

Here’s a giant-post-in-waiting that I’m sure most of my readers will be thrilled to completely read through.

Football’s a fun sport to watch. It has a long and meticulously chronicled history to look back on, showcasing the greats of the sport and the most spectacular (and bizarre) moments ever concocted in organized team activities. Most are willing to showcase the best of the best; the clear stars that made football entertaining or worth following, like an artist at the height of their power in the prime of their life. I respect that.

Yet I also feel compelled to highlight those just below the stature of cemented greatness. Figures that starred when provided the spotlight, though perhaps muddled in the memories of fans for the sake of not being flawless legends. To clarify, though, some franchises have been afforded plenty of legends, so some historical names will be included regardless. Even so, the purposes of this article is to go and feature those just a step below; the 2nd best quarterbacks from every major NFL franchise.

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Thoughts on AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake (v. 1.5)

This could arguably be an “Updated Thoughts” post, given I looked at AM2R already around the time of its release. Though as a technicality, this is version 1.5; back then was version 1.0. It’s different… technically.

Nevertheless, as a quick catch-up, AM2RAnother Metroid 2 Remake—is a fan-made remake of Nintendo’s Metroid II: Return of Samus. It was in development for a billion years and finally released in 2016, then was given a cease and desist notice by Nintendo shortly afterwards. However, as evidenced by its subreddit, development is steadily continuing. Updates to the current package will feature even more content than before and, apparently, will feature a complete graphical overhaul.

It’s been five years since I played this for the first time, and while my impressions were good, I had some reservations. In time, I would come to prefer Nintendo’s official remake in Metroid: Samus Returns. Now, I’m five years older, five years wiser, and five years removed from a fan game that has apparently received some added polish. My Metroid marathon this year wouldn’t be complete without going back to one of the best Metroid fan games ever produced.

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