HXR Blog: How Does This Work Again? (Look Back at 2016)

Other than a few tweets and a couple of news posts in recent weeks, the urge to get on the blog and type something up at length has been a tough one. A horrid few weeks (read that as trying to sort Xmas out for two kids on a tight budget, and those same two kids then coming down with a sickness bug on January 1st) has really wiped me out in all honesty, and that fire I had to type seemingly flying off somewhere in the process with it too. I've spent most of the last week power napping after spending my nights tending to the kids taking it in turns to stick their head in the bucket, with my Xbox One being nothing more that a machine that played videos either in film//TV/YouTube form. But today is a new week, a new week where the kids are all better and I once again have a few hours in the day (once adult duties are out the way) to sit down with my laptop and Xbox and hopefully get that urge to talk to anyone who reads these posts of mine. So I thought for the first proper posts of the new year it may as well be me taking stock and looking back at a year that was filled with many ups and downs, both in life and in terms of this hobby I love so much. I can come here and talk to a bunch of strangers, lovely strangers by the way, who are willing to listen to me ramble on in a post where I just speak my mind.

2016 is the year that will be known by many not just myself as a crap year. I could type a bunch of words here what went on between the months of January and March when it comes to websites, but as the year as gone on I've put that bitterness I had for others and their actions to one side and decided to focus more on myself and this path I find myself on now.  It was a tough lesson to learn at the time, with 5 odd years of my life maybe more seemingly wasted or so I thought. Coming through March and deciding what should be next, with the passion I once had for this at an all time low. Then something just clicked, and without a site I began typing up some stuff in MS Word and noticed that my Gmail account also offered a free blog that I could use. A few posts went up just to see if I enjoyed it and I did. The name Toeknee Reviews sucked, and always looking back fondly on the HXR website I thought now was a time for me to bring it back with just me behind it, without the hassle of juggling the happiness of others, which may I add is an impossible job to do when so many like to feel like they are in control. So with April being the month with me getting the proper website URL, it was all down to me to begin the slog of getting my name out there once again. I knew this would take time, but on the flipside of things I was enjoying typing again, something I hadn't done for a long time.

Fast forward to current day and I'm happy in ticking off some big goals that took a few years when starting up previously. Covering games from the likes of Microsoft, Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Warner Bros to name just a few, with the PR side of things turning out way better than expected. Also while not being best of friends working things out with the HGR boys was something that needed to be done too. I saw one of the guys as a good friend, so when things went down as they did, to say it sucked would be a massive understatement. I was hopeful that the boys would carry on with HGR website like was said upon my removal, but sadly with things going on for them in real life, HGR now looks to be anything but active for the most part, with only a tweet or post making this official.I know David though, and I know he would rather let it just drift away into the dark rather than come out and say it's ended. He's a stubborn bugger that guy, but a nice guy none the less.

So 2017 what do I do. Now being honest with home life is really tough at the moment, stuff that really isn't needed to be spoken about on a gaming website. What I will say to you is that this site and Twitter has become a great place for me to cheer myself up on some pretty bleak few months. I'm doing more family time and also spending days with the wife, where as in HGR I was slumped over a laptop almost all day. Take the post count for December on this site just gone which saw only six posts in total, But those six posts saw a 1,100 view count in return for that month, and as long as it isn't one view I'm happy. I thank you guys all the time and I honestly mean that. Be it sharing, tweeting, reading my stuff, anything that sees you spend a few seconds on something I do means a lot. Been great seeing so many come over from the old Twitter to me here, as a massive part of my enjoyment in all of this is the interaction with new people. I've already had numerous people asking for help and things, and seeing them get to review or play things because of it brings a smile to my face. I get taken advantage of sometimes, but you soon learn who are the people to block and avoid and only after free stuff for little or no effort.

So 2017 the goals are these. Keep having fun and try my best to be as active as I can on the blog (although a shutdown of it all every now is a nice thing to do). YouTube has taken a back seat recently sadly, with the chance of sitting down and speaking over gameplay hard to do since the Wife being off ill from work since May last year. I've explained the shyness to you all before right? yeah, well that also includes never doing voiceovers with the Wife or kids in the house. Just not going to happen. I enjoy them though, and it does help a little with this severe shyness I have, so hopefully more of these when I can over the next year. Another goal is to hope people get my sarcasm over Twitter, as I've already been called salty this year by having a joke around with another review site. Avoiding drama is a key goal this year, but the sad fact is Twitter is full of people wanting to start it.

So yeah, hope you enjoyed this waffle as I try to remember how a keyboard works. Will be back soon with a few reviews that got left over the Xmas period, and hopefully many more as the year goes on. Loves you all.