It takes the brain of an absolute madman to work on a project that has them release one video game review a day for an entire year.
But what does it say about a person who does it a second time?
365//365 was a project I completed during 2010, where I had one video game review a day for the entire year. At that time, and even looking back now, I don’t think any one person had attempted such a feat on the internet. Fast forward to 2021 and I’m sure there have been multiple writers who had enough screws loose to rattle their brain on such a task. Unfortunately due to a previous hard drive failure and the original site that this project was hosted on closing down before I could get proper backups, 365//365 only exists in the hollowed halls of archive.org now, though a majority of the work is still intact. Nonetheless, it was a project with a scope that supersedes anything else that I have ever attempted.
Ever since I completed this the first time around, I’ve had this reoccurring urge to hunker down and work on a “sequel” of sorts. Timing is everything though; it took a lot to have my life reach a point where I could be able to attempt to do the impossible once more. It wasn’t until PSX and Dreamcast Mania began that the desire returned more profound than ever. At its heart, 365//365 was mostly short to medium length reviews, just like the Mania reviews were, though there was more effort put into screenshots and such, as well as being a bit heavier on creative word usage and such.
2020 marked the 10th anniversary of this epic project, and it would have been fitting to once again take on this behemoth of a venture, but again, the planets had not aligned just yet (actually, this planet started going to hell in a handbasket in 2020). After not being able to stream much due to the oppressive heat in here, I really started to take a closer look at what I have been doing with Galarian Gaming, what has made me happy, what has been frustrating, and what I could do better. As briefly mentioned earlier, there have been a number of frustrations with streaming and the direction that was going. I enjoy doing it, however it’s been difficult for me to get past certain things, not to mention that my strongest suit is one worn with a pen and paper in hand, not so much with a microphone and voice. I feel more confident and at home sharing my views in this manner than any other way.
With the planets and stars finally aligned, and the fact that I am going to be starting this 3+ months earlier than when I started 365//365, I would love to formally introduce 365-2: Judgment Year!
(actually it’s just 365-2, although 365-2: Electric Boogaloo could work better)
I will be putting up an official FAQ to have on the top header soon after this is completed (with mostly the same information down below), but let’s take some time to get to know what 365-2 really is:
What is 365-2?
365-2 (also referred to as 365-II) will be a project that spans the entire year of 2022, which involves having one written video game review (maybe some video near the end?) posted each day. The consoles featured run the gamut of what I currently physically own, as well as a mix of some emulation (mostly to stream certain games I’d like to play for/with others, like Nintendo DS titles and other handheld games). I was able to order a Retrotink 5X-Pro, and plan on picking up a couple more quality of life upgrades for a couple older consoles, so we’ll see more real hardware being used on streams.
Where did this idea originally come from?
The concept for 365//365 was a mixture of things. The biggest factor was timing; I was laid off in December 2008 and the job market was abysmal for years, so I started thinking about something to keep me going. I wanted to do something outside the box, that would keep me busy and be extremely gratifying to work on and complete. I started thinking about what would happen if I tried to have a review a day done for an entire year. I thought if anyone could pull this herculean task off, it would be me, so I went to work, busted my ass and produced a review a day for the entire year of 2010.
How does this process work exactly?
For one thing, when I first attempted this project, I didn’t write a review every single day. Logistically that’s asking for too much. What if I had an accident and had a hospital visit that spanned more than a day? Real life priorities can sometimes be unpredictable as well.
365-2 will work nearly exactly like 365//365 worked – the months before the new year, I’ll be working on making an elongated queue of reviews. These range from 100% completed pieces, to mostly finished work. Having the long queue helps so that you have more time during the upcoming year to work on some more reviews, especially for games that released in said year. With a healthy queue of reviews “done”, it gives me a cushion to work with in how to approach the completion of the other batch throughout the next year. Then each day we have a review that’s scheduled ahead of time to auto post, and viola!
Last time I had started work roughly around late October/early November. In that two month time frame I was able to get about four months worth of reviews done and queued up. During the first project, I reviewed a ton of old school games, and those lend themselves to a quick turnaround. Certain games that I knew well I would just play a bit of a refresher so that I could be accurate with my thoughts, without having to do a full playthrough.
This time around, although I’ll have a plethora of retro games, I’ve decided to throw in more “recent” games into the mix, when compared to the first run. I tentatively have games like Cyberpunk 2077, Grand Theft Auto V, Hades, Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales, and so on. Nothing is guaranteed though, as usually I shuffle games in and out during this process. As of 7/26/21 I have about 110 games listed. Half the fun is picking and choosing what to do! Once I have at least 200 games picked, maybe 225, I’ll hit the ground running and start to get things done.
Wait, you’re streaming this project as well?
Yes and no. Mostly no. As I work on certain games, I would like to stream my progress and reactions. While doing this during the next several months will leave viewers without seeing the text review until next year, I thought it’d be a fun little element to add to the 365-2 project. Not every single game being reviewed is going to be streamed, and I won’t be streaming as often.
With PSX Mania as we knew it on an indefinite hiatus, it will pop back here and there for the handpicked titles I plan on reviewing. Instead of having text reviews done hours after completing the game, I will only update the Google Doc with quick impressions and the time to complete it, adding in ratings and review links once the applicable review is live. We’ll be doing a similar thing with Dreamcast Mania, although once we’re in 2022, I’ll somehow finagle a way to play through certain games and get the review up soon after.
Certain games I may cease streaming for one reason or another, and just play it offline. I will have a timer for each though, and jot it down on some Google Doc (if it’s PSX or DC, on its own Doc) the time it took to complete and quick thoughts about it. I may rig up some system to have chat pick what I stream next, although again some games I may just finish offstream, so I’m not sure how well that would work out.
If it’s a game that takes time, I may stream it while doing shorter games offline and in-between streams. I know that’s what I’d like to do with at least Cyberpunk 2077. Once that next gen upgrade comes out, we’ll take a deep dive into that madness. Nonetheless, 365-2 will have a stream companion to it, but won’t solely depend on it, and other than PS1 and Dreamcast games, may not always be finished on stream.
Are you bringing back old concepts for 365-2?
Those that have been around for 365//365 know that I would every so often do different types of reviews or “themes”. I’m definitely going to bring some of them back. At this moment, I plan on bringing back the following:
- Quickie (shorter, 3-4 paragraph reviews)
- PP (Power Paragraph – basically reviewing a game in a single paragraph)
- Comparison Series (comparing multiple games/franchises that are similar, ranking them in four categories and declaring a winner on the final review)
- Theme Week (seven straight days of reviews based on a certain theme, such as comic book related games, worst games ever, etc)
What I don’t plan on bringing back:
- Retro Re-Review (basically starts off by me remembering what I thought of a game many years ago and rating it, then replaying it and seeing if the opinions still hold up)
If I think of something unique, I’ll add it in as a surprise at some point during 2022.
Will you take requests to review a game?
When I first did this, I took a couple of requests, but only early on. I’m still thinking about it, and how to go about it. A light bulb just flashed on in my head. Let’s leave this as “TBA” for now. I’m going to try and see if this idea I just got is feasible, which I’m almost certain I can make it work, without it being a heavy burden if multiple requests come.
Are you reviewing games you’ve previously done?
Intentionally and unintentionally yes. I did say that Retro Re-Reviews were not going to be a part of this project, but these won’t be done in that style. There won’t be many that I review again, as it’ll be a select few. Now what did I mean by unintentionally yes? As noted, my hard drive that had al the old work on it broke down, and there are gaps on archive.org that don’t show at least a dozen games that I’ve already reviewed. I may unintentionally be picking games that I might have actually written about before. If it happens it happens. Don’t expect a myriad of re-reviews of famous games I’ve already done (Super Mario Bros. 3, every Mega Man game on its own, etc.) outside one or two very specific choices.
What are you looking to gain from doing this again?
I felt like I captured lightning in a bottle once. Not many people can do that twice, and I know for a fact that I am capable of doing so. 365//365 was an immensely enjoyable and satisfying writing project that pushed me to my limits as a writer, and something that although it didn’t gain massive traction, had a wide audience of readers that came along for the ride. With there being literally tens of thousands of video games out there, the well will never run dry. I could do this for the rest of my life and never run out of content. The original was a passion project, and I see 365-2 being the same, although I want to push the boundaries of what I can do in terms of growth. Not just viewer and outreach growth, but personal growth.
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I love video games. I have a passion for writing about them, positively or negatively, with a critical eye but always fair. My goal in everything I do is to share that passion through the written word, and give folks something to look forward to with each piece I write, and in this case, each day in 2022. 365-2 here on Galarian Gaming is going to give me that platform to share that passion with folks every single day for a year straight.
We’ll likely start seeing some 365-2 streams as early as August, or whenever the weather decides it’s done cooking me. I have one game ready to go to s get that ball rolling, one that I’ve not only beaten multiple times, but had a hand in stress testing before it was released. I already have a themed week set, and it’s something that might have people say “that really exists?!” I have my scenes about set on Streamlabs, and I’ll be ready to go, weather permitting!
I hope you folks come along for this insane ride that I’m about to go on for the second time. Stay tuned to Galarian Gaming, keep an eye on my Twitter, peep out my Twitch, and get ready for the impossible being made possible. Again!