Branching Path: Scott White's 2024 Gaming Resolutions
While some of the other staff here at RPG Site have compiled lists of their favorite games of 2023 (be sure to check out Josh’s and James’; they’re great), I’ve opted to go a different route and instead look ahead and set some goals for the year ahead. Like any good New Year's resolution, the likelihood of following through with them all isn’t the greatest, BUT I feel extra motivated this year. So, as you think about your 2024 gaming and nerdy resolutions, check out mine for some extra inspiration.
Get into the SaGa games.
I don’t know what it is exactly, but every time I’ve attempted to get into Square’s long-running SaGa series, I’ve bounced off. Maybe it’s the more obtuse narrative flow or the way skills are randomly acquired, but every time I boot up one of the games, I’ve simply put them down after a bit of time and gone on to play something else - always telling myself “I’ll come back to it later.”
With the announcement of the upcoming SaGa: Emerald Beyond releasing later this year, there is no better time to dive in and make 2024 my line in the sand. No more promises of “later”, I will get through a SaGa game or two this year, come hell or high water. Luckily, there are some massive fans of the games here at RPG Site that I can use as a solid knowledge base when I get stuck. I just hope I don’t annoy them with too many questions.
Get into the Yakuza/Like A Dragon series.
The Yakuza/Like A Dragon is my White Whale video game series - a series I’ve observed from afar for so long. I’ve been told repeatedly by friends of its greatness and splendor, and there’s no doubt that it’s a franchise that elicits such passion in some people I know that it borders on an obsession, where all they want to do is talk about it and get more people to play it.
I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t to the games yet, it isn’t like I don’t have them or anything. In fact it’s the opposite, I own the Yakuza games a couple of times over, having bought them physically and digitally for PlayStation and on Xbox. With the exception of Ishin, the feudal Japan spinoff entry I completed for a job (I enjoyed it), my Yakuza experience extends only to about the fourth chapter of Yakuza Zero. This needs to change. Majima can pop out of a potted plant and strike me down if I don’t beat at least the Zero and Kiwami.
Highlight awesome game mods.
The communities that build up around specific games, particularly retro games, never cease to amaze me - especially when it comes to some of the mods that come out of them. From randomizers like Final Fantasy IV: Free Enterprise to unofficial sequels such as Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes, the lengths that fans can go to reinvent, fix, or improve their favorite games is astounding.
Whichever side of the fence you fall on regarding emulation, I think the individuals who put these mods together should be celebrated. I want to make a special effort in the coming year to showcase the ones I come across that surprise and impress me. The ones that more fans should know about. For example, I discovered an open-world mod for Pokemon Crystal called Crystal Clear that does all sorts of new stuff that fans of Gen 2 should definitely give a Google search.
Do more with streaming and video content.
Fun fact - RPG Site has both a YouTube and Twitch channel! The YouTube channel has almost exclusively been populated by our Tetracast Podcast, and the Twitch account has been gathering dust for the past four years or so. As someone who loves (and misses) streaming and enjoys editing together videos, a goal I have is to try and help grow the video-based content here at RPG Site.
What that content could be is incredibly nebulous, but perhaps some video reviews, streaming new games when they release, or old games on their birthday (or possibly showing off some of those nifty mods I previously mentioned). I’ve been away from streaming for a bit (it turns out having a baby will do that), but I have that creative itch, so why not do it here at RPG Site in 2024?
Actually build some model kits.
This goal may not be game-related, but it’s nerd adjacent so I’m throwing it on here, but I need to work through my closets full of unbuilt model kits. I have close to 30 kits of Gunpla, Zone of the Enders, and Mega Man X that stare at me with their judgey eyes every time I open various closets upstairs in my house. My goal is to build an average of one of those kits a month - so 12 throughout 2024.
With two models currently on their way from China and more preordered, as long as I can try to build more than I buy, it will be a victory. It just is too bad that model kits are getting cooler and cooler, and my self-control with these things isn’t one of my strong points.