I wonder where I would be with this hobby had I not decided to write about shmups two years ago... I'd probably be playing them just as much, I just don't think my collection would've grown to the massive amount of games I own today.
If I hadn't started the blog some other things wouldn't be part of my current gaming routine, such as my increased awareness of the genre, the good friends I made along the way or the constant strive to become a better player. It's great when you're able to find such meaningful rewards from a hobby - yes, a hobby - and I am very grateful for all the talks, comments, forum discussions, MSN chat sessions and YouTube responses. I still have a lot to learn and I'm just lucky that there are lots of people out there in the shmup community who're more than keen on helping and sharing information.
In this past year I managed to add two new (old) consoles to my repertoire. The first one was the FM Towns Marty, a relatively obscure platform that holds the distinction of being the first 32-bit console ever released. A few weeks ago I had the honor to beat my first game for it (Rayxanber). The second console has just recently arrived: a Neo Geo AES. My library for it is quite small and should grow in large steps. As we all know, most of the games for it are both expensive and rare. I'm still thinking about which Neo Geo shmup I should try to play first.
In order to celebrate the occasion I filmed a short video to show my collection. It's no game room, you'll see I try to keep it as functional as possible. Posters, memorabilia and a dedicated room might appear in the future, who knows? Here it goes:
Writing this blog has been a real pleasure, regardless of how much awesomeness or suck was involved in each shmup I played. Even though writers tend to write primarily for themselves, the motivation I get from all the support provided by comments and feedback is invaluable.
Thank you guys, here's to another year of pure and passionate shmupping.