Best of 2003

Hey, everyone else seems to be listing their favorite things from 2003. Why not me?
Best Game: The Legend of Zelda – The Wind Waker
Part of me wants to give this to Skies of Arcadia: Legends, which gave me warmer fuzzies. But the craftsmanship of The Wind Waker can’t be ignored. Every thing about the game was elegant and wormed its way into gameplay somewhere along the line. It’s like Nintendo hired that archetypal Indian warrior who told them not only how to use every part of the buffalo so that no part was wasted, but also how to do the same in game design. Every object, movement, and action in the game was cleverly worked into the gameplay experience so that nothing was wasted.
Best Book: All Quiet on the Western Front
I know this book about World War I German infantrymen was published in the 1930s, but I just read it this year. In fact, I talked about All Quiet the other week, so you can scroll down to the story entitled “Wow” to read about it. It made me uncomfortable in more than one spot, but that’s testament to Remarque’s use of language (and that of his translator, I suppose) and skill as a writer. It made quite an impact on me.
Best Day: June 6th, 2003
This day was the best of 2003 for two reasons. First, my final job offer from Sempra Energy came through, granting me exit from the horse latitudes at GameSpy. That made it a pretty good day, even if it was bittersweet. And yet when I got home that night Geralyn trumped my news by announcing that she was pregnant. I even took a picture.
Best Movie: The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
Obsessive nitpicking by armature iconoclasts and Tolkein purists aside, this movie did almost everything right and brought the ridiculously impressive film trilogy to a beautiful close. The battle for Pelenor Field delivered money shot after money shot that left me slack-jawed, but the characterization and storytelling were also top-knotch as well.
Best Accomplishment by Me: NaNoWriMo
I considered giving this one to Ger’s pregnancy, but let’s face it: My role in that was pretty straight-forward and not that hard to pull off. So instead I’ll give it to my participation in National Novel Writing Month. Specifically, writing a 51,152 word novel in 23 days. If all goes as planned I can point to a second draft of this novel as one of my accomplishments in early 2004.
Best TV Show: Invader Zim
Again, I know that this show was put out a while back and even canceled way back on January 17th, but I just started watching it now. As I mentioned the other week, this is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in ages. It’s juvenile, but it’s also delightfully twisted and clever in its parody of the sci-fi and paranormal genres, as well as mocking childhood in general. Zim’s defective robot companion Gir is one of the most maniacally funny characters I’ve ever seen.

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