2015, it sure was a shame to see you go. You gave us some fantastic movies, great games and some alright music. You were also the year Reuben and I created this mess of a blog, so for that I am sort of-iiiisshhhhhh grateful.
Now to you, the person hunched over their laptop wondering why you are here instead of IGN. It is time to share with you my favourite things this year had to offer me. As you could probably guess from my massive name at the top of this paragraph, this is not just my article. Hopefully, Reuben will chip in a bit o’ the knowledge as well, making this more of a super-long super article. I, personally, am splitting my section into categories; Best New Game, Best Game I Missed The First Time, Best New Movie, Best Movie I Missed The First Time, Best New Album and Best Album I Missed The First Time. However, Reuben may have himselves some new fangled way of sorting their bits out, I dunno.
Best New Movie
Mad Max: Fury Road
This film be mental. Visually, Fury Road is one the most colourful films I have ever seen, having probably my favourite style of any movie. Not just that, the action is awesome, the explosions are beautiful, the sets are detailed and imaginative, the cars are insane and the characters look like the demented figments of a sentient, killer Rainbow Drop.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Big Hero 6
Best Film I Missed The First Time
Planet Terror (2007)
Like Mad Max, Planet Terror has a unique visual style, a 70s Grindhouse movie. This is undoubtedly what director Robert Rodriguez was going for. Overshadowed due to it’s double feature release with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, this was an almost perfect film, filled with gore, bad acting and a go-go dancer with a machine gun for a leg, as if you’d think I’d miss that out.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Cheap Thrills (2013)
Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat (2014)
Best New Game
Just Cause 3 (Xbox One)
Though I have only been playing this game for around a week, it is already better than other worthy competitors. Sadly, this game won’t be winning any other Game of the Year awards due to another certain game that was also amazing. Though, admittedly, there are some frame rate issues and long loading times, the developer has been working on patches. When these patches have been finished, Just Cause 3 will be an unstoppable destroying machine.
Batman: Arkham Knight (Xbox One)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
Dying Light (Xbox One)
Best Game I Missed The First Time
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Xbox One, 2014)
I don’t mind Assassin’s Creed, I don’t mind Lord of the Rings. So how the helllllll was this game so gosh darn good? I’ll tell you, it cut out the bad things about Assassin’s Creed (history bits) and the bad things about Lord of the Rings (hobbits) and left us with pure, refined Assassin of the Rings. On top of that, it adapts the Batman: Arkham game’s FreeFlow combat that is a lot of fun and has the Orc Ranking System, letting create proper rivals that no-one else has and giving you a different gameplay experience every time.
Sleeping Dogs (Xbox 360, 2012)
Infamous: Second Son (PS4, 2014)
Best New Album
Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
Yes, yes, I am aware that this is only an E.P. However, it was a really good E.P. 4 out of 5 of the songs were instant classics, on par with some of the songs off of 2014’s Sonic Highways. The Neverending Sigh, Savior Breath, Sean and the title track are all really good, only Iron Rooster being sub-par. And yes, I am aware of my lack of skill when writing about music.
Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down
Muse – Drones
Best Album I Missed The First Time
Rage Against The Machine (Eponymous, 1992)
This does not just represent this particular album, but the band as a whole. I only got into RATM at the start of the year, yet I loved them so much so that they are now my 3rd favourite band that do music. This, however, is definitely my favourite album of theirs, closely followed by Evil Empire and The Battle of Los Angeles. I adore the rapped lyrics and harsh, funky guitar. I wonder how I didn’t get into these sooner.
Muse – Origin of Symmetry (2001)
The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth (2006)
Eagles of Death Metal – Death By Sexy (2006)
Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies To Paralyze (2005)
That’s me done for the year.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations
2015 sure was a good year. Haven’t seen as much films as I have in previous years, but It was when I really got into music, and found a lot of my own bands, instead of only listening to stuff my dad/siblings were into before me. I also played some pretty damn good games, and read a few pretty damn good graphic novels which I didn’t bother to review. I don’t know, maybe 2016 will be the year I start reviewing them, but then again probably not. Other than all that stuff, the year was good in general, and it was indeed when me and ol’
Uncle Milo made this here site, which has kept me busy – in a good way. I’d like to think that if everyone else got bored of this thing, then I would be the only one left writing for it; but I don’t think that’ll happen, so don’t get your knickers in a twist. This intro was probably a bit too long. Oh well.
I’ll be doing a top two for each of best new releases and best new to me within each category; CD’s, films and games. I’ll also do a few honourable mentions for each, in descending order (vaguely).
Best new releases:
1. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic
As I said in my review, listening to this album truly is a majestic ride. Filled with ridiculously catchy choruses, fantastic guitar work, Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s best performed vocals to date and an abundance of incredible songs (Whirl of Pain is one of my favourite songs ever), this isn’t just my favourite album of this year, but also my favourite metal album to date. And that’s impressive. If you don’t listen to Soilwork, I strongly recommend you start to with this.
2. Sylosis – Dormant Heart
Sylosis were a new band for me in the latter half of 2015, and swiftly made their way into my top ten bands – officially. Although I was massively impressed by Monolith of 2012, I loved this album more. It’s got an immense sound, with improved musicality from Monolith and yet more improved vocals. Leech is the best song Sylosis have ever done, and Mercy is also fantastic. If you’re into metal, you’ve got to listen to this album or at least those two songs.
Clutch – Psychic Warfare
August Burns Red – Found in Far Away Places
Lamb of God – VII: Sturm und Drang
Best new to me:
1. Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire (1996)
I only started properly listening to Rage Against the Machine really in 2015, and after listening to the first album more than I ever previously did, I decided to go out and buy this feast of an album. From the very first note to the last, it’s a masterpiece in whatever the hell it’s in. Rap? Metal? Rock? All there. I first listened to the album on the CD using one of those classic portable CD players, during a car journey. I listened to it three times. Since, I’ve loved it just as much, and, though there’s a lot of stiff competition, it’s the best album new to me in 2015.
(See my review)
2. Mastodon – Crack the Skye (2009)
This album is Mastodon’s masterpiece. It’s not only their’s, but also a masterpiece in prog in general, with fantastic metal and musicality demonstrated. The Czar is my favourite Mastodon song and an incredible prog track, The Last Baron is just as amazing, and other songs such as Oblivion and Quintessence are also very, very good. Even though Troy Sanders and the bunch did such a good job with this one, it’s not quite the best new to me last year, because it didn’t quite have the same effect on me that Evil Empire did.
(See my review)
Lamb of God – Resolution (2012)
Audioslave (Eponymous, 2002)
Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014)
Primus – Frizzle Fry (1990)
Sylosis – Monolith (2012)
Priestess – Hello Master (2005)
Lamb of God – Wrath (2009)
Every Time I Die – The Big Dirty (2007)
Mastodon – The Hunter (2011)
Primus – Pork Soda (1993)
Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)
Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013)
Audioslave – Revelations (2006)
Clutch – Earth Rocker (2013)
Best new releases:
1. Rocket League (PS4)
This must be the only time anyone has picked their game of the year as one they don’t even own. Even so, I’ve played it on my brother’s PS4 countless times, and was almost a Veteran until he formatted the console to make more space. It’s ridiculously fun, innovative and unique. The complexity of the mechanics is shocking, and the amount of awesome things you can do with the ball is even more so. Each game is as exciting as the game before it, with scores ranging from close 2-1’s to goal fests ending with mental scores like 8-5. To make the experience more pleasant on the eye, the game looks refreshingly colourful, with particularly nice visuals. Along with this, varied customization is available; so you can make you car look as cool as you’d imagined before playing the game. And one final point, though the online works perfectly (with cross-platform!), it’s great that you are also offered with the offline leagues mode, which I spent a lot of time on honing my skills before braving the online world.
If you haven’t got this game, get it now.
(See my second ever article for the website, which was about this, be wary though, nowadays I’d say it deserves a fair bit more than 85/100.)
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS)
Where has Zelda been all my life? The first Zelda game I’ve ever owned, Tri Force Heroes contains fantastic style, with impressive visuals; but, most of all, brilliant gameplay. With a mixture of well-coordinated action and difficult puzzles throughout each and every stage, with every one being as good or better than the one before it — with an abundance of unique and very well crafted stages. I got it for Christmas and didn’t get round to playing it until the 8th of January, but ever since I’ve really got into it — because it’s so great! Even though multi-player is the way to go with this game, it’s also great single player; so that’s a relief.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. (3DS)
Gunman Clive 2 (3DS)
Chibi-Robo! Zip-Lash (3DS)
Best new to me:
1. Nintendo Pocket Football Club (3DS, 2014)
Nintendo Pocket Football Club is the best thing that’s happened to me in a while. I noticed my brothers were playing it a lot (and it looked good), so I thought I’d give it a go; so I bought it last January. It was the best purchase I’d ever made, and I don’t know if I’ll ever purchase a game better. On and off the pitch, this game is fantastic. It’s colourful, brilliantly stylized and fun; the perfect football management simulator — Nintendo style. Every game is as good as the one before it, and though it’s simple, it definitely isn’t too simple, as changes to your starting XI, tactics, stats and whether you’re at home or away all come into it, as winning is difficult against many teams — though as you develop your team it becomes easier to beat many teams, but that’s realistic with football in general. I don’t think many people will have heard of this game, but if you haven’t got it already, and you like football even a little bit, get this game now.
(See my review)
2. Prince of Persia (PS3, 2008)
The first I played of Prince of Persia was The Forgotten Sands, and that was pretty good. However, this is much better. Coming two years before, this game erupts with fantastic visuals, with a very nice looking cel shaded approach. Nonetheless, that probably isn’t the best the game has to offer, as, along with a good story, good soundtrack and great design, this game’s got fantastic gameplay. Although the parkour might not be quite as good as in The Forgotten Sands, the combat is infinitely better. In fact, the combat in both games can’t even be compared. It’s what puts it way above The Forgotten Sands — with the story, soundtrack, character and fantastic design helping a lot, don’t forget.
Fantasy Life (3DS, 2014)
Burnout Paradise (PS3, 2007)
Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS, 2014)
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS, 2014)
Best new releases:
1. Star Wars: the Force Awakens
As you may know, assuming you’ve read my review – which was much better than Milo’s, by the way – I loved this film. But what I didn’t say in it was that The Force Awakens is most definitely the best film of 2015. What else can be? Seriously, it’s Star Wars. And not rubbishy prequel Star Wars! No, this is the start of something incomparable to that piece of crap, this is the sequel trilogy, something I was dreaming of for a long time; and they’re doing a very, very good job on it so far. J.J Abrams did a fantastic job with this thrilling film, which has a good blend of more violent, darker themes and a more light-hearted approach; with brilliant action, a crazy plot, and an abundance of great performances — surely the perfect blockbuster, and surely it can be talked of in the same light as A New Hope. Also, Kylo Ren is good. I don’t care what you say.
2. The Good Dinosaur
This is when you remember who’s writing this is a 14-year-old. But this 14-year-old, mind you, knows a good film when he sees one — sort of, to his relatively untrained eye. The Good Dinosaur is a masterpiece in visuals, with the most impressive, detailed animation I’ve ever seen; showing off a fantastic world with a beautiful landscape. However, visuals aren’t everything. Thankfully, it’s not only the visuals that are done right with this film, as it has a great story and brilliant characters, with dramatic and emotional sequences throughout to keep things interesting.
(See my review)
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Best new to me:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy certainly isn’t a film I thought I was going to like, let alone put it as the best film new to me in 2015 and give it 93/100. The trailers and everything didn’t make it look amazing, just a bit annoying, really. Nonetheless, watching the film itself was glorious, as it’s mad, action-packed, fantastically designed and costumed, with a good plot and a brilliant throw back to the 80’s with it’s soundtrack and perfect use of practical effects – along with impressive CGI. It also gets comedy right, as a lot of the 70’s/80’s classic films such as Back to the Future achieved emphatically – along with hugely entertaining action in a crazy plot. This is a genius film, and by far and away the best Marvel film. Other than Spider-Man 2, that isn’t far off this one. You get the message.
(See my review)
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978)
I always wanted to watch Close Encounters, but somehow never got round to it until last year – September or something. Sitting down to watch it with a huge Chinese takeaway was a dream come true (weird dream, I know). Despite it’s ridiculous product placement, it’s a fantastic film. It follows the journey of Roy Neary, a slightly erratic, slightly odd, but perfect protagonist as he is a vehicle for the intriguing story and the film’s great character – with comedic under-tones. It’s one of the great sci-fi movies, and definitely should be seen by anyone looking for a good watch.
Wayne’s World (1992)
I wrote more than Milo, so maybe I’m better than him. Actually, Milo might kill me for saying that, so don’t worry. Anywho, I think that’ll be the end of this ol’ article. Thanks for reading, or just scrolling. Hopefully this won’t be a one off, but who knows.