Ah, 2015. What a year you were. There were so many good things about you, and some not so good things. But we are not here to dwell on the bad. As 2015 draws to a close and we welcome 2016 with open arms, I’m going to look back on what I thought were the best parts of the year. This isn’t exactly going to be conventional, partially because everyone does their own “Best of” blogs for all kinds of media. Since this blog covers all sorts of entertainment and subjects, I figured the end of year post would do the same thing.
Best Film That I Saw – Room
I was very fortunate to see some incredible films this year. Whether it was at premieres at film festivals or during general release, I could say that 2015 was once the best years in cinema in a long time. In fact, there are so many movies that I had a hard time picking what I could safely say was the best film that I saw this year. There are several movies that I won’t get to see before this year’s ends that I’m sure would have made the decision even harder, so I guess there’s a silver lining in that.
But when it comes down to it, Room’s powerful performances and incredible story are what reinforce its position in my mind of what I consider to be the best film I saw this year. As I summed up at the end of my review of Room: “Emotional, intense, and moving beyond words, Room is a film that everyone needs to see.”
Honourable Mention – The Lady in the Van
Best Game That Rhymes With “Small Grout Pour” – Fallout 4
Ok, so this might feel like a little bit of a cop-out, especially when you look at the next “category”. However despite any problems I might have with Fallout 4, this game was probably one of the best gaming experiences I played this year. I love the Fallout universe and any chance I get to explore its intricacies again win me over every time. I’ll be starting my second play through once I finish catching up on the backlog of games I need to play. Can’t wait.
Best Game That Wasn’t Fallout 4 – Undertale
Let’s get serious for a second. 2015 was a pretty amazing year for gaming. In addition to playing a ton of games I’ve missed paying over the years, 2015 saw the release of some incredible titles. In fact, while it’s easy to say that Fallout 4 was the best game I played this year, it kind of feel like I’m cheating. Like the movies I saw this year, I had a real hard time picking one. That is until I started playing Undertale last week.
I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sold on Undertale’s mechanics. I thought that the idea of trying to be a total pacifist was cute but nothing mind blowing. However what ultimately sold me on Undertale was the writing and the humour. I always love a game that plays on tropes and expectations that the player has to the genre he’s playing. But it’s not all jokes, there’s a game with depth here, and I’m happy to say that it was the best game (that wasn’t Fallout 4) I played this year.
Honourable Mention = Metal Gear Solid V
Best Album – Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens
As I said in my post about music you probably didn’t listen to this year, Sufjan Stevens’ latest album Carrie & Lowell is an amazing compilation of some of the finest folk music I’ve heard in awhile. While a lot of the music I listen to is fast paced and energetic (and heavy on the bass), there’s nothing like a soothing folk melody with a lot of heart. Even the lyrics are moving and resonate with you as you close your eyes and just listen. Even if you’re not a fan of folk, I recommend it.
Honorable Mention – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence + The Machine
Best Press Conference – Sony E3 2015
E3 2015 was a fantastic experience if you weren’t there. It stands out for me for two reasons. One, it was around the time when I’d just started this blog, and I was using the hype and excitement to fuel my desire to write about what was happening. Two, it had some great press conferences. Bethesda started the show strong, but it was Sony that stood out.
I can’t recall a press conference in the last few years that had the internet explode with excitement. Hell, I cite the Game Trailers reaction video every single time just to help capture a taste of what we as fans were experiencing. Yes, it’s silly and unprofessional. But for that one moment, you could relive that child-like awe and excitement that got us into gaming in the first place. Thank you Sony for letting us have that.
Honourable Mention – Bethesda E3 2015
While there are other categories I could cover, Best Game Developer, Best Console (PC), Best use of cats in a youtube video, I think I’ve covered what I wanted to say.
But the best part of 2015 has been being able to write down my thoughts, whether they’re profound or not, on this blog. I’ve experienced some amazing things, traveled to new places, went to my first convention, made some amazing new friends, and been able to share that with you all. If you’ve been reading since the beginning or are just reading this now. I wanted to say thank you.
Here’s to 2015 and an even better 2016!
Happy New Year.