2021 was a productive year for me in many ways, but blogging sure wasn’t one of them! I’ve felt bad about neglecting my website (outside of keeping the gallery updated), and although I’ve never really believed in new year’s resolutions, I do feel compelled to plant some kind of figurative flag in the ground and commit to resume blogging in the new year.
We’ll be kicking things off soon with the traditional look back at a bunch of cool old games I played for the first time in the past year, but after that I hope to be putting up new articles with some degree of regularity again. I’ll try to at least reach a point where a majority of posts aren’t just me going “hey I have a blog I should write for some time, don’t I?” 😩
In the meantime, here’s a little summary of the artwork I’ve created in the past year in case you haven’t been keeping up. Of course, you can see the full versions and more artwork in the Gallery.
Happy new year everybody, and see y’all in 2022! ✌
Last year, I chronicled the sprawling and convoluted history of DOUBLE DRAGON games – this summer I decided to follow up that undertaking by giving the same treatment to another beat ’em up series that arose in the wake of DD’s success – FINAL FIGHT!
While the FINAL FIGHT series features significantly fewer games, not to mention fewer bizarre spinoffs and alternate interpretations of the source material, it was nevertheless a highly interesting and entertaining endeavour! I got to experience several ports of the original game I’d never seen before, and finally had the chance to try out the black sheep of the series, FINAL FIGHT REVENGE (spoiler alert: turns out I hadn’t really missed much).
In any case, the recorded stream archives of this entire project are now available on YouTube for easy viewing! If you’re interested in a deeper look at some of the darker, deeper corners of the FINAL FIGHT series’ history – check it out!
How about this, a rare non-stream related artwork! Cammy is one of my favourite characters, but I hadn’t drawn her in a long time. January 6 is Cammy’s birthday, and I had a little time to spare, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to finally draw her again!
Click through beyond the break for some bonus alternate versions! 👇
Just like last year (and I guess, every year?), I have not felt particularly compelled to put together any kind of “Game of the Year” article – partially because it’d have to be a woefully incomplete list given how many contemporary games I didn’t bother playing yet, but more so because I’m far more interested in championing the games that managed to make an impression on me without leaning on the novelty of being brand new. I play a lot of old games, and I go out of my way to procure games I’ve never played before (and in many cases, barely know anything about) – and although I’ve got my fair share of stinkers in my collection, whenever I get a batch of old games from Japan, more often than not at least one of them seems to really stick with me.
So here’s a look back at some of those games! Presenting, in rough chronological order – Ten old games I really enjoyed playing for the first time in 2020:
In what started as an arbitrary choice to dig up some Halloween-seasonally appropriate games from my back log – and what quickly turned into a series mini-marathon – I’ve been playing through the three CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOWS games. I had never thought or expected much of the games, not having much trust in reboots of Japanese game series outsourced to western developers in general, and perhaps even less trust in Konami’s late-era output in particular.
The original LORDS OF SHADOW ended up… well, if not impressing me, at least exceeding my (admittedly low) expectations in some ways, while in other ways being even more mediocre than I would’ve thought. Still, at the end of the day I definitely came away from it more positive than I went in.
The same, however, can not be said for the 2D spin-off game CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW: MIRROR OF FATE.
Due to public demand, I have opened an official merch store! Now you too can be the proud owner of various t-shirts, coffee mugs and other items featuring artwork from the Jiggeh.com gallery. Just click the link in the top menu (or just RIGHT HERE) and check out the items for sale! More items featuring more of my art will be made available in the future.
Any purchases made through my merch store will send a few dollars my way, and help support my streaming, game collecting, website and art – so in addition to nifty stuff, you’ll also get my eternal gratitude! You can’t really beat that deal.
After a little bit of fiddling, the GALLERY section of Jiggeh.com is finally online! The permanent link is up there in the header.
This gallery is a repository for all the artwork I create for the “Draw this game” Kahn Coin reward on my Twitch channel – where viewers can request artwork of the games I play on stream. The gallery will be continuously updated as I create new artwork – more is already on the way!
So, as part of DC’s “FanDome” online event this past weekend, we finally got our first look at what Warner Bros Games Montreal and Rocksteady have been working on for the past several years, something I’d been looking forward to for a long time. I feel like I’d expected to see Rocksteady’s game for a couple of E3’s at this point, and with WBGM quite conspicuously teasing their game just before E3 2019, by this point its unveiling had started to feel overdue. With the cat(s) finally out of the bag, I sure have some thoughts.
WB Montreal’s game was something I’d been very anxious to see since it was first teased over a year ago. With their previous game BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS being my all-time favourite Bat-game, and with five years passed since the kind of underwhelming ARKHAM KNIGHT, I was really excited about another WB Montreal-helmed ARKHAM style adventure. The teasers all seemed to point towards the “Court of Owls” storyline – which I know nothing about, but is apparently very well regarded, so sure, cool.
However, what we’re getting seems to be, uh… not that.
My major project for this past summer was something I’d been planning for and building up to for quite a while – a deep-dive into the seminal DOUBLE DRAGON series. I’ve written about the series and my adoration for it in the past, but reflecting on how many games, ports and other incarnations I really didn’t know very well, I decided I wanted to change that.
Five-six weeks and a couple of dozens of hours streamed later, here we are! The full series of approximately 50 Double Dragon games played, inspected and analysed is now available for easy viewing on YouTube. Check out the playlist here!
I will likely return with more thoughts on these games and this project in written form in the not-too-distant future, but right now I’m a little bit Double Dragon’d out – so for the time being you’ll have to make do with the usual analysis in video form. ✌
It’s not a secret that I was looking forward to STREETS OF RAGE 4 with some trepidation after its announcement in 2018. As a huge fan of the series since the first game, having dreamt up my own fantasy sequel(s) for the better part of the last 25 years, the announcement was of course a happy surprise. But on the flipside, between questionable artistic choices and my general lack of faith in reboots of old games, I felt there was a significant risk they’d screw things up.
After trying out a demo build at EGX 2019 I became significantly more optimistic. I did – and still do – have some misgivings about the artistic direction, but going hands-on with the game convinced me that the developers had the right idea where it truly matters: game mechanics, pacing, enemy design – ie “gameplay”.
Now, having had a few months to think about and digest the final game, let me give you my full Thoughts On STREETS OF RAGE 4.