General Update 04/13/2020
Those of you invested in the “Wilcox Arcade lore” are likely aware that, every great once in a while, I’ll write up a “General Update”. A General Update is a glimpse at the “human” side of this blog: a briefing on my life as of the past few weeks.
Writing a General Update is a good way to keep in touch with you all, the readers, when I’m either too busy (or fatigued) to write “regular” articles or when there’s not much news to write of at all.
In today’s case—seeing as how the basically the entire arcade industry has been forced to temporarily close or operate with skeleton crews due to COVD-19—it’s more so the latter. News has slowed to a craw, and I certainly don’t want to publish any of my infamous, negative opinion pieces during such a serious time.
With all that out of the way, let’s take a glance at my life up until now.
Before my college switched to online-only classes, while I was living in Murray, I had a solid selection of arcade gaming spots that I could visit regularly, all within a mile’s drive of campus.
As always, I played a lot of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, but one title that really grabbed me before I moved out was Jambo! Safari, so much so that I wrote a glowing review. I’m going to miss playing games at Walmart really, really badly, but I suppose that’s just how things are right now.
Now, of course, I’m not playing any arcade games at all, because every nonessential business in Kentucky has been temporarily shut down, including my own.
I apologize for ending this section on a down note.
Home console gaming
On the brighter side of the spectrum, I’ve been fairly active playing home console games as of late. This has been mostly on my Switch, because I received three new games for my 19th birthday: SNK 40thAnniversary Collection, Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, and Dragon Ball Fighterz.
SNK 40thAnniversary Collection has so far proven surprisingly delightful, as it’s allowed me to dig into a wide array of pre-Neo-Geo SNK titles that I probably would’ve never, ever experienced otherwise. While I still have plenty to explore, my favorite games from the compilation so far include Athena, Munch Mobile, Paddle Mania, P.O.W., Prehistoric Isle, Psycho Soldier, Street Smart, and Time Soldiers.
I haven’t gotten to play Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers a ton, so I can’t provide my in-depth thoughts just yet. That being said, I really enjoy the update graphics and enriched content offerings. Here’s hoping I get back to it soon, kiddos.
Now, Dragon Ball Fighterz, on the other hand—hoo-boy, have I sunk my teeth into that game. I wanted to play it for a long time prior, so now that I have, I realize it’s every bit as amazing as I expected and more. I may review this some time in the future. Or maybe not.
Before I left college, I was watching a lot of TV. My new favorite thing to do for the last week or so was to leave Cartoon Network on all day. Granted, I left it muted most of the time—while simultaneously listening to music and doing homework on my laptop—but it still felt so good to have that constant stream of television in the background.
I fell into a really intense Toonami phase, as well. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to watch Toonami’s “better cartoon block” ever Saturday night, I can’t really exploit my phase for all it’s worth now that I’m home without cable. (That, of course, is not the end of the world—just something I was thinking about.)
As for specific shows, I’ll gladly admit that I am presently obsessed with the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Though I had watched it on the CW4Kids growing up, it had been so long that I wanted to “get back into it,” as they say. So far, I’ve been far from disappointed.
While I have a handful of all-time favorite films, I’m not really a big movie guy. (TV and video games are my forte.) The only thing I can really say in the section is that I recently purchased Family Guy: Blue Harvest on DVD at Goodwill—thank goodness gracious for Goodwill—and rewatched part of Turtles Forever.
I also got really into Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame for a while. Although I generally don’t care for much Disney wise, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is such an exquisite (albeit highly flawed) experience that I couldn’t help myself. That soundtrack, man…well, more on that later.
Maybe there’ll be some other good movies for me to devour once all the theaters reopen.
Music, on the other hand, is something that I’m always obsessed with. Some of my recent fixations include Zebrahead, Toonami Deep Space Bass, and the wide variety of sweaty weeaboo anime and video game nerd stuff that I usually listen to.
My wonderful mistress bought me Zebrahead’s “Broadcast to the World” for my birthday, and it’s so awesome to have it on CD now. (I had been listening to it on YouTube for months.) Funny that I was exposed to such a kick-butt band through Sonic ’06, of all things.
Deep Space Bass is a really neat drum ‘n’ bass album featuring compositions used in bumpers and promos from Toonami’s early years. Much to my dismay, the CD is, like, $87 on eBay, so I won’t be adding this one to my personal collection any time soon.
I was pretty deep into the Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack for a while, mostly “The Bells of Notre Dame”. As with most things I like, I was out of this phase pretty quickly, but I still intend to purchase the soundtrack CD at some point.
All in all, things have been going fairly well for me. Being stuck at home has given me a little more time to write articles, watch TV, and play video games. And really, isn’t that just the bee’s proverbial knees?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss in-person college, though. The university I attend is super cool, and I was really digging it there. But you know, everything’s fine. This little hiccup isn’t the end of the world but rather a hiatus, if you will.
So yeah, if there’s anything you want to discuss from my General Update, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or join my Discord server. I love talking with each and every one of y’all, and goodness knows I’ve got the time to do it.
See ya next time, ya sweaty nerds.