[The original version of this blog is on my new site here. I do not believe in only posting links to promote my personal site, so you can go ahead and read the full thing right below!]

Once again, it has been too long since I wrote. But that's changing, as is my life. I very recently completed a college art course (one of my drawings is pictured above), my first college class since Winter 2014. I was unsure if I had the skill for such a course. It was true that I hadn't drawn much of anything at all in several years. However, I surprised myself. A combination of effort and enjoyment produced drawings I am genuinely proud of. I finished the semester with not only an A in my class, but possibly my greatest enjoyment of and appreciation for life so far in my adulthood. I'm proud to say that this small accomplishment is only my first step toward a greater life.

Now that my summer break is in full swing, I'm determined to keep myself busy and productive. To that end, I created my own Summer Checklist. It includes registering for Fall semester college courses, decorating my room with drawings, practicing my photography, going to the gym, streaming on Twitch every week, and most relevantly, writing this blog. I'm absolutely certain I will complete the list. Only a year ago, I wouldn't have thought myself capable of anything like it. It goes to show how even small accomplishments can go a long way toward improving one's motivation and self-image.

As such, it wouldn't be far from the truth to claim that the catalyst for change in my life traces back to my drawing 101 course and Arin Hanson of Game Grumps. Why Arin Hanson? Because he's the man who, through Game Grumps' Breath of the Wild playthrough, convinced me to take up the habit of cold showers. I'm the kind of guy who was too lazy growing up to appreciate the importance of showers. They were simply a bothersome responsibility that also happened to be the closest thing to a hot tub at home. Hot showers may have felt great, but usually ended with a hollow feeling of regret about time wasted. That waste of time only grew as I became more responsible and took showers regularly. Cold showers changed all that. Now my showers are more than twice as fast, I feel refreshed, and can be proud that I had the mental will to push through the cold. The small sense of accomplishment I enjoy each time I take a shower now is huge for me.

This fresh sense of direction for my life has, among other things, led me to my new blog. I plan to write here no less than twice a month. It may not sound like much, but I feel it's important to set realistic goal I can achieve without overwhelming myself. For those familiar with my work posting to Game Informer's community blog section, I plan to write basically the same way I always have. For anyone new, simply expect opinions, thoughts, and experiences on the games I play, with some personal pieces such as this thrown in. I'll probably post some stuff about my experiences with Twitch as well. I look forward to it.

So, let's finally get down to business. The business of blogging and gaming whatnot. And by that I mean I want to write a little round-up of all my old-school Game Informer blog posts and reviews so that new readers have the chance to discover some of my favorite works.

Gameinformer

The Raw Emotional Power of Minecraft

The title and subject matter of this piece speak to me greatly even to this day. However, the execution could use some work. I cringe at my use of 2nd person language. Plus that old screenshot is laughably lame. Nonetheless, this post will always hold a special place in my heart, similarly to Minecraft itself.

Features I Hope to See in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS

I'm still proud of this one. It's also interesting to look back on it in the context of the release of both versions of the game and all the DLC. The new Omega Stages feature is almost exactly what I wanted when I wished for a no-hazard mode for stages. And some of my favorite old-school stages indeed were revived as DLC. I still wish there could have been unlockable costumes for fighters, but I'm happy that there are much more than simple color-swaps this time around. Wire frame Little Mac is a great example.

Pikmin 2's Caves Need to be Revived as Pikmin 3 DLC

Pikmin 3

TL;DR: I liked Pikmin 2 more than 3 and wanted some of its greatness back. Obviously I never got my wish. I think I managed to offer up some good ideas on how the caves could fit into Pikmin 3's established structure, though. Don't ask me how it got over 2k views.

5 Reasons Wind Waker HD is Worth It

Toot toot! All aboard the WWHD hype train! I'm fine with pre-release hype if it's largely justified, but I feel like I was reaching just a little here. I am proud of the writing though, and completely behind everything I said about Wind Waker's Ganondorf. That guy is awesome.

Why Can't We Love Nature as Well as Video Games?

Straight from the heart. This is my favorite piece I've ever written. I wouldn't be offended much at all by that truck commercial if it aired today. It's still something to think about, though.

Wind Waker HD Review: Nintendo Solidifies the Importance of Remakes

A hyperbolic tagline in hindsight doesn't change my feelings on this game or review in the slightest. WWHD is how a remake should be done.

FEZ Review: Think Outside the 2D Box

FEZ

One of my favorite indie games, FEZ, receives a somewhat short review courtesy of 2013 me. And like the game, the review doesn't feel dated. I'm as proud of it as ever.

Opinion: Reveals are Better in Small Portions

A brief piece summarizing my thoughts on the state of marketing for games, movies, television, etc. It's still completely relevant today, and I am in total agreement with my past self. Resident Evil 7 played the marketing game perfectly, in my opinion. Most of the game was kept under wraps until release, and as a result it was a pleasant surprise.

My 2013 Games of the Year

Man, this feels like ancient history. If I experienced 2013 as the man I am today, maybe this list would look different. I've changed, and I have no idea if A Link Between Worlds is a game worthy of so much praise anymore. That said, I'm proud of what I wrote here. It's also interesting to read my thoughts on Dead Space 3, as they're much closer to my current opinion than I expected.

What Skyrim Taught Me About Moral Subjectivity

SkyrimHorror

Easily my second favorite post I ever wrote. My best friend says it's the best thing I ever wrote ever, and I can see why. I managed to achieve both thoughtfulness and levity here, all with interesting subject matter.

Where My Life is Going and Trying to Write Again

Another heartfelt and personal piece. I'm very proud of this one. Although, if you harbor no interest for my personal issues and what got me to where I am today, don't bother with it. I'm totally cool with the fact that some people don't care to read that kind of stuff.

6 Exciting Things About Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is great. Most of my hopes for it turned out fairly well, too. Unfortunately, that last hope about the timeline and lore didn't come to fruition.

No Man's Sky: My Thoughts and Treating it as a Photography Game

NMS

Uh-oh. No Man's Sky. Regardless of how it turned out, I feel like I should return to this game if only for more game photography someday. Now that there really is a dedicated photo mode, I bet I could make some cool stuff.

Why I Hated to Love Metal Hear Solid V

A somewhat unusual piece for me, as it deals with leaving an incredible game behind on account of frustration. Strangely, much of it reads like a review for MGSV.

Final Fantasy XV's Post-Game is a Mistake

What an experience FFXV was... A surprisingly fun game that came very close to defeating Dark Souls 3 as my game of the year for 2016. The weight of its flaws proved too great to bear, however, and this piece focuses on one of them.

So I Wrote Something About Dead Space Real Quick

IsaacClarke

The title says it all. This experimental piece went much better than anticipated, proving I could write at a quality up to my standard more quickly than I thought possible. It makes me hopeful for my future in writing.

If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking around. I promise I'll write here again soon, and it won't be another recap. To anybody who has read my work throughout the years, you are greatly appreciated. Without the kind words I've heard from my few readers, I don't know if I could have made it this far.

See ya soon!