Another year has come to a close for you, me, and my blog. Four years feels both like a long time and no time at all. I try not to conflate Max Frequency’s age with Go Left Gaming, despite all[^1] my work being published and integrated on this very site, but I did celebrate quite a few [[Celebrating 15 Years of Creating|anniversaries]] [[Celebrating 10 Years of Writing|this]] [[Celebrating 15 Years of Podcasting|year]]. Year Four of Max Frequency was its best yet, but it felt like a creative struggle for me. I feel like there was a lack of writing on my part, which is not something I want. Between the move, the kid, and losing my job, I felt scattered and thrown to the wind. My time management feels broken. Some days I lack the motivation required. Despite all this, I hit all my major publication and podcasting goals for the year. Finishing [[S6 - Pokémon|Chapter Select Season 6 – Pokémon]] has felt great; from both a creative and liberating perspective. I’ve taken the last week to finally play *The Last of Us Part I* and fully plan to dive right into *Part II Remastered* in a couple weeks. This week in particular has been good for me due to the fact I have had the rare opportunity to play games every night after Eloise goes to bed, which is not something I’ve been able to do since she was born. I’m kicking off 2024 feeling a gaming and creative rejuvenation. I owe that feeling to Abby for recognizing my drain and need to recharge. I am (once again) thankful to my wife. Thank you for indulging some of the sap up front this year. Without further adieu, let’s sink of teeth into the site’s performance throughout 2023. As a quick refresher, [[Max Frequency 2022 In Review (Year Three)|2022]]‘s total view count was 5,996 views with 3,729 visitors. You can see [[Max Frequency 2021 In Review (Year Two)|2021]] and [[Max Frequency 2020 In Review (Year One)|2020]], if you like. - Total Site Views = 6,856 - Total Site Visitors = 5,003 Most viewed articles/pages: - [[How to Set Up Analogue Pocket openFPGA]] with 1,857 views - [[Home|The Home Page]] with 882 views - [[Analogue DAC Thoughts and Impressions]] with 287 views - [[Chapter Select]] with 211 views - [[MFP20 - “A Gift to the Zelda Community” with Javed Sterritt|“A Gift to the Zelda Community” with Javed Sterritt]] with 211 views - [[MFP26 - “Mind-Boggling Effects” with Chris Johnston|“Mind-Boggling Effects” with Chris Johnston]] with 178 views Top countries: - United States of America with 4,001 views - United Kingdom with 422 views - Canada with 325 views Total articles published in 2023 – 183 Total articles published – 1,003 --- I was able to bump up the site views by nearly one thousand, but I am more proud of the growth in the visitor count. It’s neat to see the spread grow closer to a 1:1 type deal with individuals finding my work. The openFPGA guide growth is no surprise. Analogue delivered more and more Pockets this year, which means more and more people are looking up how to set up the primo capabilities of the device. While it’s no YouTube video guide with hundreds of thousands of views, I like to think written guides still hold importance and have a place. Ironically, I sold my Pocket just a couple months ago. Throughout playing all these Pokémon games, I’ve just realized I am not a handheld gamer anymore. I have plenty of other means to play my Game Boy library on real and FPGA hardware, so I sent the Pocket out to pasture to upgrade my setup. I’m most proud seeing more of my podcasting creep into the top six.[^2] In fact, there is a lot in the podcasting space of Max Frequency to be proud of this year. - [[Chapter Select]] all time downloads = 58,517 (unique) / 11,381 (IAB) with 27 episodes published - 39,188 / 6,140 with 20 episodes published in 2022 - Gain of 19,329 / 5,241 | 49% / 85% - [[The Max Frequency Podcast]] all time downloads = 87,714 (unique) / 10,023 (IAB) with 15 episodes published - 39,462 / 4,064 with 6 episode published in 2022 - Gain of 48,252 / 5,959 | 122% / 147% The podcasts this year crushed it. Logan and I pulled off two 10+ episode seasons of *Chapter Select*, with no outright delays.[^3] I won’t lie; I was very nervous that we wouldn’t finish *Pokémon* in time. Even with 15~ months in advance, it still came down to the wire. More on that in the upcoming seasonal behind-the-scenes post. This down to the wire crunch is a thing of the past though since, [[Changing Things Up for Chapter Select|now]], seasons will only release when they are recorded, edited, and in the books. *The Max Frequency Podcast* has had a stellar year. I was able to more than double the episode count of 2022, getting back on track there. And guess what? The performance more than doubled along with it! Funny. Way more importantly, I had wonderful, insightful, dream guests this year. If the list wouldn’t be too long, I’d add each one to the list of work I’m most proud of this year. I have admired so many of my guests and their work for years. I was able to dig deep into their work, like relistening to all of *[A Life Well Wasted](* or read old EGM issues. That immersion into the research made my heart sing and, I think, made killer episodes. I am so proud of 2023’s slate of episodes. Thank you to all my guests and listeners this year. *MFP* also made the jump to YouTube this year, just for parity with Chapter Select and more discoverability. The YouTube channel had a very good (and silly) year. - 122,258 total views - 655 live stream views - 2.1K watch time hours - 51 live stream hours - 517 likes - 296 new subscribers The top three viewed videos of 2023 were: - [Furious 7 – Season 4, Episode 7 | Chapter Select]( with 37,989 views - [2 Fast 2 Furious – Season 4, Episode 2 | Chapter Select]( with 23,093 views - [Fast & Furious 6 – Season 4, Episode 5 | Chapter Select]( with 19,287 views The top three not *The Fast and the Furious*-related videos - [Game Room and Studio Tour – 2023]( with 5,688 views - [GCHD MK-II GameCube Comparison Footage]( with 2,333 views in 2023 (21,114 total views) - [Kaitlyn Dever Audition for The Last Of Us Season 2 – Screen test with Joel]( with 1,070 views The big news is that there are tons of people trying to watch illegal uploads of *Fast & Furious* movies on YouTube, and the all mighty algorithm loves to recommend my podcast to them. Looking at [[FF7-Video-Recommendations-Data.png|the list]] of what videos drive traffic to those podcast episodes is hilarious. Outside of being folded into the sketchy upload Hollywood scene, the other videos did better than I expected. Folks love their game room/studio/office tours. I know I do. The GCHD video is still climbing along. Actually, I just bought a Carby to prep my GameCube for the RetroTINK-4K, since the Carby has the more recent version of GCVideo. I also love that my Kaitlyn Dever video had a tiny pop. When I saw that clip from *Last Man Standing*, I knew I needed to make that joke. Tallying the year’s views up across all these metrics, nearly 200,000 people[^4] interacted with Max Frequency and myself throughout 2023. Last year, I hoped for 100K. If you take out the wacky YouTube numbers, I didn’t quite break that goal, with 74,437 views. I doubt I’ll be swept into another goofy foreign illegal film circuit in 2024, so we’ll see if I can break 100K on my own merit. Since I don’t know where else to put this tidbit, I do want to announce that I’m done posting and promoting on Twitter. This post will actually be the final one I share on those sites. I did well [[Bye Bye Birdie – Leaving Twitter|quitting]] the site in 2023. It was a struggle at first, but Twitter made it easy with all their decisions. If you want to see what I’m making, you are already in the right spot. If you want to talk, reach out to my email address max(at) While I’m not quite done with this post yet, I do want to thank you again for reading, listening, or watching me during the year. I continue to need this place more and more in my life. A place to call my own and create. I may not have the chutzpah (or time) to do everything I want, but I find comfort in knowing that I am the captain of my own ship, the master of my own domain. Here’s to 2024! --- Once again, I am inspired by Coury and Try over at My Life in Gaming. For year’s I have kept track of what I played, beat, and platinumed. I used to tweet out that list, but now let’s just share it here with some limited thoughts and impressions on some of the games. - [[S5E4 - Resident Evil 2|Resident Evil 2]] (PS5, 1/1/23, Claire 1/12/23, Leon) - [[S6E5 - Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire|Pokémon Alpha Sapphire]] (3DS, 2/25/23) - [[S5E6 - Resident Evil 3|Resident Evil 3]] (PS5, 2/3/23, Plat) - Inside (PS4 via PS5, 2/7/23, 100%) - [[Death’s Door Thoughts and Impressions|Death’s Door]] (PS5, 2/13/23, Plat) - Gran Turismo 7 (PS5 and PS VR2) - [[S5E7 - Resident Evil - Code Veronica X|Resident Evil – Code: Veronica X]] (PS2 via PS5, 3/8/23) - Horizon: Call of the Mountain (PS VR2, ) - [[S5E8 - Resident Evil Village|Resident Evil Village]] (PS5, 3/18/23) - Shadows of Rose DLC (3/22/23) - [[S5E11 - Resident Evil 4 Remake|Resident Evil 4 Remake]] (PS5, 4/28/23) - [[S5E9 - Resident Evil 5|Resident Evil 5]] (PS4 via PS5, 4/13/23) - [[S5E10 - Resident Evil 6|Resident Evil 6]] (PS4 via PS5, 5/9/23) - [[S6E6 - Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon|Pokémon Ultra Sun]] (3DS, 7/1/23) - [[I Helped Make Humanity|Humanity]] (PS5, 5/16/23, Plat) - [[S6E7 - Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl|Pokémon Brilliant Diamond]] (Switch, 8/18/23) - Splinter Cell (Xbox, 7/28/23) - Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Xbox, 8/13/23) - [[S6E8 - Pokémon X and Y|Pokémon X]] (3DS, 921/23) - [[Streaming Paper Mario - The Thousand-Year Door – Hero Mode|Paper Mario: TTYD Hero Mode]] (GameCube, - Super Mario Kart (SNES via MiSTer, 9/7/23) - Mario Kart 64 (N64, 9/7/23) - Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA via MiSTer, 9/7/23) - Sea of Stars Demo (Switch, 9/9/23) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Mario Kart Double Dash!! and DS for St. Jude|Mario Kart 64: Amped Up!]] (N64 via Wii, 9/14/23) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Mario Kart Double Dash!! and DS for St. Jude|Mario Kart: Double Dash!!]] (GC, 9/14/23) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Mario Kart Double Dash!! and DS for St. Jude|Mario Kart DS]] (DS via Wii U, 9/21/23) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 for St. Jude|Mario Kart Wii]] (Wii, 9/21/23) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 for St. Jude|Mario Kart 7]] (3DS, 9/21/23) - Metroid Prime Remastered (Switch, 10/13/23) - [[Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Stream Special Guest!|Mario Kart 8 Deluxe]] (Switch, 9/28/23) - [[S6E9 - Pokémon Black and White|Pokémon Black]] (DS, 11/18/23) - [[Friday Night Stream – The Order - 1886|The Order: 1886]] (PS4 via PS5, ) - [[Thursday Night Stream – Dead Space|Dead Space]] (PS5, ) - Spider-Man 2 (PS5, 11/8/23) - [[S6E10 - Pokémon Black 2 and White 2|Pokémon Black 2]] (DS, 12/23/23) - [[All I Wanted for Christmas were some V-Bucks|Fortnite]] (PS5) - The Last of Us Part I (PS5, )[^5] Thanks to Chapter Select, I think I have one of my highest completion percentages in years. I knocked out 31[^6] of 37 and plat’d four games.[^7] The incomplete games stem from spooky October streams and early dabbling with VR in our apartment. This is satisfying to see. If I had to pick a favorite that I played in 2023 though, it’d probably be *Inside* or *Death’s Door*. I have played both before—both on Xbox actually, now that I think about it—but this year I played my physical copies on PlayStation. And yes, I paid more to get [the copy]( of just *Inside* instead of the double pack with *Limbo* because I like the box art better.[^8] *Inside* is immaculate. In my little notes I wrote about replaying it for the first time since launch, I described the game as thick with atmosphere, creepiness, and sorrow. The level of attention in the animation is divine. And the sound design is another level: one might say that [it gets inside your head]( As for *Death’s Door*? You don’t have to go far to [[Death’s Door Thoughts and Impressions|read my thoughts]] on that game. Those early *Splinter Cell* games were comfort food. I’d like to continue my quest through the rest soonish. But good gracious, the Xbox Series X has major issues with resolution and booting up if you play these games. I can’t even begin to count how many times my XSX booted into 480p on the main menu. Get it together Xbox. *Marvel’s Spider-Man 2* was fun in its gameplay, but I think Insomniac dropped the ball with the story. Turns out, two Spider-Men are not greater together. Kraven felt like filler in a game that should have been all about Venom. I walked away very disappointed with the plot. Continuing that trend of MLiG inspiration, here are six games I would like to try out or revisit and beat in 2024. My Switch needs some love in 2024. - *The Last of Us Part II Remastered*[^9] - *Splatoon 3* - *Tunic* - *Mirror’s Edge* - *The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve* - *The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom* --- Here’s a list of the posts, shows, and projects I am most proud of from 2023. # Anniversary Year of Sorts - [[Celebrating 15 Years of Creating]] - [[Celebrating 10 Years of Writing]] - [[Celebrating 15 Years of Podcasting]] 2023 timed out to be stacked with some neat milestones. For over half my life now I have been podcasting and creating things online. I think that’s a wonderful thing to celebrate. And, through the power of streaming, one of my original co-hosts and online friends – Rocky – got in touch with me and shared almost ever single episode of my first podcast *[[But Our Princess is in Another Castle|BOPIIAC]]* with me. Now they are all copied and backed up properly. While I don’t think I’ll be uploading a bunch of 13-year-olds’ hot takes on Nintendo, I am thrilled to have these back. # [[Chasing the Stick – The History of Naughty Dog|Reviewing Every Episode of HBO’s The Last of Us]] I decided to challenge myself to review every episode of a TV show. It’s nice to have my thoughts and gut reactions chronicled. And after playing Part I this past week, I’m reassured in my stance. Maybe I’ll revisit the show before season 2 and see how I feel with more time and space. # [[MFP23 - “A Passion for Smash” – Celebrating 15 Years of Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Peter Spezia|"A Passion for Smash" – Celebrating 15 Years of Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Peter Spezia]] I won’t link to every episode of *MFP*, but this one was special. March 9, 2023 happened to be the 15th anniversary of *Super Smash Bros. Brawl*. That game, alongside the premiere podcast *Show Me Your News!*, is what got me into gaming coverage in the first place. I owe much to *Brawl* and my friend Peter Spezia. It was an absolute honor to dig deep and celebrate. I edited the crap out of this one too. # [[The Max Frequency Podcast|All of MFP]] Okay. I’ll link to every episode of *MFP*. Seriously, thank you to every guest that came on the show. # [[I Helped Make Humanity]] You may have noticed I didn’t comment on *Humanity* in in the games I played section. I was saving it for here. My name is in the credits of a game. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play test *Humanity*. It was an insightful experience behind game development. You better believe I platinumed that one. Now please make a physical edition. 🙏🏻 # [[Building My Dream GameCube]] I turned a dead disc drive into an opportunity to build my dream GameCube console. It was a fun learning experience that required 0 soldering. I’d like to learn how to solder some day, but this was a fun way to steep myself deeper into the modding scene. I’m hopping to tackle a similar project for my PS2 in 2024. # [[Hot, Fresh Homebrewed Consoles]] Speaking of modding, I’ve got some hot, fresh homebrewed consoles for you. Here. Sit down, cozy up, and have a sip. # [[Streaming Every Single Mario Kart for St. Jude and Relay FM]] For the first time, I chipped in to Relay FM’s annual fundraiser for St. Jude. I decided on racing in every single Mario Kart game was a good idea for a fundraiser. It was a blast all through September. I’m proud to have raised $620, which was far more than I expected. You can watch the streams [here]( # [[A New Game Room and Studio Tour – 2023 Edition]] It was my top performing non-FF video this year. Super proud of how it turned out as a nice time capsule of this era of my space. # RetroTINK-4K Coverage The RetroTINK-4K is out and very much real. I am hoping to snag my own during this month’s restock. That didn’t stop me from writing about it a little bit. The first one was a fun post [[How Many HDMI Cables does Try have in his Setup?|tallying up how many HDMI cables Try has]] in his setup from the wonderful MLiG video. Then a more traditional [[The RetroTINK-4K is Almost Here|summary post]] that helps folks learn more about the scaler. --- [^1]: All is a bit of a stretch. Not all my news articles from previous outlets are here. I have manually archived all of them into my Obsidian vault though. All of the sites, except for DualShockers, are defunct now. I’m rather tempted to make my statement fact. [^2]: I have no clue why I chose six instead of five. [^3]: Besides delaying the [[S5E11 - Resident Evil 4 Remake]] by a month because of my move. But nothing was delayed outside of the year! [^4]: 198,695 to be exact. And yes, I used the unique podcast numbers cause it make it go bigger. 📈 [^5]: I just platinumed *Part I* this week, so you’ll see that on next year’s list. [^6]: Yet I am counting *Part I* here in the completion chunk. Number go up! 📈 [^7]: If only *Inside* had a platinum trophy. [^8]: Never forget that iam8bit and Playdead partnered with sexdoll company RealDoll to make the [collector’s edition]( statue. That’s one of the most weird, absurd tidbits that I know of in collector’s editions. [^9]: I had to start the list with a gimme. Why do you think I played *Part I* right now?