What a year, huh? 2022 has been arguably GamerBraves busiest year yet, with enough to keep the best of us occupied for many lifetimes. And through it all, we have you, the reader, to thank for sticking by us.
2022’s been absolutely stacked for videogames, even moreso for people breaking out of their shells. We saw games like Elden Ring explode in popularity, making us all do a double-take to find out that for a solid two weeks on Twitter, everyone was talking about a Souls game like it was Pokemon Go.
We saw people consider that Cyberpunk 2077 might be good after all- a side effect of people actually getting to enjoy the setting via the anime Edgerunners, free of frame drops and T-posing. Even on mobile, we all took a break from complaining about Genshin long enough to tastefully watch our favorite Nikkes shoot from behind cover, then complain they weren’t jiggly enough, somehow.
Heck, we here at GamerBraves did it too- I put down my fightstick long enough to give action-platformers a go via the excellent OlliOlli World. Considering how much of mainstream gaming is either knee-high walls or attempts to make the Souls genre legible to humans, it was a completely refreshing experience to play something so wholly new. I hope you, reader, get to have some sort of similar experience. especially with services like PS Plus or PC Game Pass filling your library with more games than you’d know what to do with.
Naturally, life as a games journalist means, on some level, sharing our playtime with you all. Just as last year we’ve maintained our guides for popular titles like Genshin Impact, as well as added new games to the rotation like NIKKE: Goddess of Victory. I’m not going to pretend these aren’t incredibly time-consuming- but contributing to community discussion is its own reward, especially when it helps people make better decisions in the face of terrible gacha rates.
This year saw some of GamerBraves’ biggest interviews yet. I got to interview my own personal heroes- Daisuke Ishiwatari and the rest of the Guilty Gear Strive team at Arc System Works, talking all things Guilty Gear including presenting the idea of “Daisuke’s Vision” to the man himself. We even got to talk to Howard Scott Warshaw, a living legend of the industry whose passion and insight could flood a whole desert landfill. Of course, one of our biggest highlights was our chat with ATLUS’ Kazuhisa Wada– where we showed up at SEGA HQ and chatted all about the Persona series.
It’s one of those moments that makes the job feel truly special- journalism at its very root is the art of telling stories, and being able to go to extraordinary lengths to tell those stories is a privilege we don’t intend to take for granted.
Of course, that also means telling the stories of regular people, too. Sometimes this means exposing things that weren’t public prior- such as our reveal that Rooster Teeth had let go of most of their animation team during the development of the next volume of RWBY. Other times, it can be as simple as asking JoJo fans what’s so hot about a bird coming to All Star Battle R.
2023 is literally days away, sure to bring its own challenges and annoyances. Unfortunately there’s no rest for the wicked or the employed games journalists, so we’ve got some big plans for the next year.
A lot of this comes down to our core values- we believe in upholding the principles of journalism, and that means making the community a better place with what we write. Considering our beat, it makes sense that a big part of this would, in fact, be making sure to cover more games that are coming out next year. From local indie darlings like the upcoming Kabaret to big releases like Armored Core 6, they’re all in our sights to cover next year.
What makes videogames an artform is the fact that there’s more to them than just playing them and moving on to the next game. That’s why we also want to publish more criticism of games- a big teardown of what they are, and how they may make us feel. Not that my own love for Rollerdrome’s bleak ending has any particular significant value, but the idea of more people having these kinds of discussions are good for games as a whole.
It’s also important to make sure these discussions are approachable. Too often, when discussing the happenings of the industry (especially the parts of the industry that live in courtrooms), details will get obfuscated in jargon. Part of the reason so many NFT games have started using made up material names for the Crypto-powered part of their games is that the word NFT is a good way to start drawing criticism. On the other hand, some discussions like the ongoing feud between Microsoft and Sony Interactive Entertainment are so bogged down in terms like Exclusivity Agreements that if you weren’t there from chapter 1 you’d probably be lost.
So that’s where we want to come in. We’ll be your annoying, know-it-all friend, here to make sure that anyone can not only understand the news, but will also have the tools to learn more moving forwards.
We also want to shake up the review process itself. Part of the territory of being one of Malaysia’s leading games media is just a massive glut of game reviews- it’s the sign of a healthy relationship with other industry players. Unfortunately, that also leads many of them to just sounding like book reports. While that’s still up to snuff as a buyer’s guide, our goal moving forward is to make sure you can hear the GamerBraves Voice- that means having reviews that can be entertaining as well as informative. We want reading reviews to be its own type of fun, like talking to your friend about a game you’re about to buy. We’re not gonna bag it in one, and we’ll appreciate the patience as we solidify what that voice is.
On a more personal note, I’d also love to get more involved with the games and communities that matter to me, too. Any reader of my editorials might recognize the approximately 40 million references to the FGC: getting to actually fly halfway across the world just to drown in pools would be absolute bliss, and a neat addition to the other acts of wish fulfilment we’d done this year, like going to Tokyo Games Show.
Happy New Year!
It’s going to be interesting, watching the games industry in 2023. The PS5s are finally starting to be seen in the wild, while game developers are getting comfortable enough with the new generation that we’re seeing some well and truly amazing games making use of the new gen’s power. Meanwhile, games with great accessibility options are starting to get noticed, while beloved IPs from the past are being reintroduced to modern gaming audiences with a fresh coat of paint.
With that, we’re proud to continue being a part of this industry. Is it going to get messy? It usually does. But we’re glad to keep on this journey with all of you.
-Wan Amirul, Editor