What a long, strange level it has been. Today marks the three year anniversary of an idea spurred out of inspiration and boredom known as Clearance Bin Review. I can’t say that I never expected CBR to last three years, but I can say that I never expected to work with so many talented individuals. From an amazing variety of writers and contributing artist, to developing relationships with countless talented game developers and colleagues; truly the community we have become a part of is the biggest reason to celebrate today.
None of it is possible without a lot of great and of course entertaining writing. I could think of no better way to celebrate the milestone that is our three year anniversary than simply highlighting some of the CBR Staff’s favorite and most popular articles over the last three years.
The list below is far from definitive. With over 1,000 articles published on CBR we are liable to forget a couple (and had to leave a couple off). Nonetheless, we invite you to refresh yourself on some of our favorites and most popular, or if new to CBR check them out for the first time.
In Depth: Death of the Arcade
One of our first really in depth editorials, Death of the Arcade discusses the slow demise of the neighborhood arcade. Framed in the then recent closure of CBR Founder Tristan Rendo’s home town arcade, Gameland, Death of the Arcade attempts to understand why this once thriving business went bust.
Cinematic Soulmates: The Mist and War of the Worlds
Chris Olson discusses films that “go well together” in his reoccurring column Cinematic Soulmates. More than just finding two films that are enjoyable to view back to back, Chris concentrates on themes and methods of storytelling of two films that not only make for a pleasurable double feature, but also improve the viewing of both films. While there were many greats, The Mist and War of the Worlds stands out as one of his best.
Not a single article but rather a collection of them. The challenge? Review a game a day for an entire month in an attempt to make a dent in an out of control backlog. Presented in journal format and written more tongue and cheek than most of CBR’s reviews, Backlog Quest became one of our most popular segments to ever grace the site.
Backlog Quest II: The Backlog Strikes Back
One month wasn’t enough. Backlog Quest returned in a 2nd installment and was bigger than ever; now featuring “Side Quest” from other writers on CBR and spanning even more (and even older) consoles. Another month worth of reviews in the same tongue and cheek style of the first.
Catching Up: Jaws
“No way, you haven’t seen…!” We’ve all heard it before, a friend finds out you haven’t seen some specific movie and everyone freaks out about it. Catching Up by Dan Schindel explores what it is like to finally see the movies that everyone keeps telling you that you have to. Exploring not only the film itself, but the various ways moments from classic films creep into our satire and pop culture that many don’t even realize. Jaws stands out, not only as the first and most popular of the series, but as one of the best examples of a film most of us have seen without ever needing to actually see it.
Indie Games Uprising III Coverage
We’re cheating again here, as this is a collection of articles rather than just one specific. It is with pride and not arrogance that we say that CBR’s coverage of the Indie Games Uprising III was unmatched. Working together, Steve Lesniewski, Briana Lawrence, Josh DeGrasse-Baumann and Tristan Rendo provided reviews and reviews of every game as well as interviews and profiles with every developer and then some. Not only interesting for the specific games involved but a great glimpse into many talented indie game developers and what drives them.
Ms. Silver Screen: Shark Films: The good, the bad, and the ugly
In her typical light hearted and enthusiastic style, Ms. Silver Screen takes on a subject very close to her heart; shark movies. Discussing the best film has to offer, as well as some not so great options as well. If nothing else, enjoy a practical expert in a very specific field (shark movies) talk about what works and doesn’t.
St. Patrick’s Day Special: Top 10 Games To Drink To
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day then discussing the top ten games to play when drunk or turn into a drinking game? Doing it twice! Not only popular, these two articles also featured plenty of useful information; such as how to turn Super Smash Brothers into alcohol poisoning. Make sure to check out both the 2011 edition and the follow up 2012 edition.
Does it Hold Up: The Blair Witch Project
Does it Hold Up is a column that pops up from time to time on CBR and explores weather a hit film still has the ability to entertain years after the hype has worn off and it is culturally relevant. A surprise hit on CBR, CarrieLynn Reinhard’s look at how The Blair Witch Project holds up today works largely because it is hard to think of a single movie more likely to not stand the test of time.
Netflix Top Picks: Everything Marvel Comics Edition
Netflix Top Picks has been one of CBR’s most popular reoccurring articles over the last three years and no other article in the series is nearly as extensive as this one. While not all the content from this post is still on Netflix and some has been added since, it is still worth taking a look at (and make room in your Netflix “list”).
In Depth: The 10 Ways Indie Developers Fail to Market Their Game
Another one of CBR’s most popular articles to date, Tristan Rendo puts his own experience in covering indie games to discuss the many pitfalls game developers turn game marketers find themselves in. Somewhat controversial, and far from universally accepted, it still serves as a tool for new and aspiring game developers and a reminder for those who’veMichael done it all before.
Audio Odyssey: Burn Your Playhouse Down by George Jones
TR Snyder’s Audio Odyssey may have only lasted a short time but his adventure through rebuilding his music library was as entertaining as it was necessary. His discussion of the George Jones album Burn Your Playhouse Down is certainly a fun read, but the reality is we could have put any one of his articles here.
Guest Lectures: The Value of Artistic Integrity: Has XBLIG Been a Failure? By Michael Hicks
Our first guest author, Michael Hicks (developer of the indie games Honor in Vengeance and Sententia as well as co-organizer of the Indie Games Uprising III) takes a look at the experiment that is XBLIG. Success? Failure? Somewhere in-between? Michael discusses the realities of the service in his characteristic upbeat manner.
Dr. Geek: I’m Somepony, Are You?
In her Dr. Geek articles, CarrieLynn Reinhard often focuses on the various ways technology interacts with our daily lives. In this instance, she focuses on how the internet has served to bring together a community of adults who really, really like My Little Pony. More surprising is that this community is thriving. Not only is the article fascinating, it has also been one of the most popular of the Dr. Geek series as well. Either a testament to skilled writing, or that there are really a lot of “Bronies” out there (but probably both).
There you have it, some of our favorites from the last three years. Do you feel we left something off the list? Agree with one of the above? Feel free to let us know in the comments!