2020 has been the slowest year of gaming for me yet. You’d think with COVID going on gaming would be a way of life, but it’s been slow even on what I’ve bought. If you read my blog you may notice I haven’t even posted an 8-bit Friday article, or much of anything else on my blog over the past year. Part of this is because my job has killed a lot of my free time in 2020, the other part is that when I have been gaming I’ve also been playing a lot of newer games. 

Happy New Year text in style of old 8-bit video games. Vibrant colorful 3D Pixel Letters. Creative poster, flyer template for celebration. Holiday vector. Retro arcade, computer program screen

Just as 2020 has been a trainwreck in a lot of other areas, it has been a train wreck in gaming as well. First of all, Midwest Gaming Classics was cancelled due to COVID, this killed me as I was looking forward to it as an outlet to blow off a lot of stress from work, and the news it was cancelled came in as I was having a bad week. Video Game Summit, the July gaming convention was also cancelled. As it stands now MGC is set to take place oddly in November of 2021, and VGS is set for July 2021 at this point. 

But, some interesting gaming news did arrive in late 2020 as the new XBox Series X, and PS5 were released. The Series X looks to be the promising of the two systems, especially for retro gamers, as the system can play all games dating back to the original XBox on their actual physical medium (i.e. an original Xbox disc will play on a Series X). On top of that Arcade1Up is now starting to release small replica pinball machines, which are near $600, and could put a pinball machine in most rec rooms. 

To a gamer and collector though, New Years is as much a new beginning, as it is in other areas of life. So the hopes are that 2021 will perhaps be a more cheerful and eventful year for the hobby. With that said though I’d like to do my annual review of last year’s resolutions and how they stacked up, and develop some new ones for 2021.  

 Past Resolutions for 2020

Just as with my personal life I’m always uncertain as to whether or not you should recycle unfulfilled resolutions from a previous year or years. In one sense it’s a sign of perseverance to do so since it shows your willing to chase down a goal even if you don’t succeed right away, and in another way it’s like the unfulfilled goal just gets pushed aside and not taken seriously, that or they weigh you down like the Albatross from Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. If you look online at this time of year, or even in the magazine rack at your local grocery store I’m sure you will see many opinions on how to achieve resolutions. With all that said here was my stab at my 2020 gaming resolutions, and a description of my actual 2020 outcome

Backlogging and 8-Bit Fridays – The backlog has grown a little bigger, and as mentioned above 8-bit Fridays just haven’t happened. 

Finish and Fix – The X-Arcades Raspberry Pi, and Retron 5 both sit only a few inches from my work desk, yet outside of moving them for dusting and cleaning, I haven’t had a chance to work on either. 

Midwest Gaming Classics (again, again) – Thank you COVID for cancelling this, not really.

Basement Time – The basement has only become more cluttered but I’m working on plans to get my attic fixed up for storing much of what’s in the basement now and opening up space for working on the basement.

SNES at 100 – I haven’t added one single SNES game this year. 

Another Pinball or Arcade Machine? – No since MGC was cancelled, but one of the Arcade1Up pinball machines may be an add (in 2021). I did, however, buy one of  the limited edition Arcade1Up Star Wars machines though, but I’ve yet to put it together since buying it over the summer. 

2021 Gaming in the Year Ahead – Here’s a look at 2021’s goals.

Backlogging, 8-Bit Fridays, and Noisefromthebasement.comI’m not giving up, I have a lot of games to get through, and I will get through them, hopefully this means with 8-bit Friday articles. As for Noisefromthebasement.com I hope to finally have some time to work on the site. I might have to go and get some help and spend a little money to do so, by getting some help.  

Finish and Fix – Something else I’m not giving up on either, there was a point a few months back when it looked like I’d have some free time, and free space open up on the weekends to get the Raspberry Pi out, and get RetroPie fixed on it, but those few weekends ended up with me doing other things. On the Retron I’m kind of missing my old retro game store, TNT games who you may remember I did a bit of a eulogy to them a few years back, as they would have been able to get the Retron’s software issues worked out.  

Midwest Gaming Classics and VGS – First fingers crossed at both actually happening this year. With MGC though I’m hoping they go back to April in 2022, since hitting a convention so close to the holidays may not work out well for me. To be honest after the hum-drum boredom of winter the April dates on MGC where always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if 2018 and 2019 did hit us with late season snow storms over those weekends. 

Basement Time – Not giving up on this either, but unlike the other projects some of the materials are in place, plus I can hire out someone to do the aforementioned attic project that will help with the basement project. I have some help available to work on the basement as well, or at least parts of it.  

The SNES at 100 – Yes I know this ones been on the resolution list for years now, but all I can do is keep trying. 

List of Gaming Achievements and Shame: 

To be honest, being a bit removed as I have been this year I need to realign myself on my list of shame

As far as achievements, though I did finish the main game of Ace Combat 7, which was no small feat. The only thing left are the add on missions from the season pass. 

A Happy New Year to you All!!!

I know this year’s end piece isn’t much, but to be honest I’m lucky to even have had time to write this with how busy I’ve been at times. Considering COVID put a lot of people out of work, and stuck at home you’d think work for others would slow down, but my own job has become insanely busy instead. 

For a lot of us gaming, and other hobbies have become one of the few outlets we have in the home, that offer us any escape from the home. That’s how it’s been for me at least. Earlier in the year as COVID began to take over, closing down the world, I was using GTA5 as a major stress reliever in dealing with everything, and it helped. Of course GTA5 can get a little samey after a while, and that’s when Ace Combat 7 helped make life a little more interesting. Again I could have been digging through my backlog and playing retro games, but sometimes the sheer entertainment value of a modern game on a modern system is just what you need. 

I’m not sure how many of you feel the same way. I think video games did make life a little better for a lot of people this year though. Those quarantined and patiently waiting to get back to real life, those actually down with the CoronaVirus looking to pass time and distract themselves from being sick, and everyone else escaping stress and emotional pain brought on by this whole scenario.   

With that said, I want to be a little more positive here. First of all I want to wish everyone a Very Happy, and a Very Good New Year. I hope 2021 finishes looking more like 2019 than 2020, with people returning to normal life with school, work and social lives. 

Thank you all for reading, God Bless, and Have a Happy New Year