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End of Year Review 2012

02 Jan

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Hi hi ladies and gentlemen! So yeah technically 2012 is over and I was meant to have this online but December 31st but I still feel the need to reflect on the year that was 2012. A lot had happened in the world last year and while I won’t be able to cover it all in this blog post, I will try to cover everything that I saw and did throughout the year. So prepare yourselves for an epic blog post just like 2011!

Video Games

To be honest I haven’t been following video games as much as I have in recent years purely because I’ve become much more of a film kind of guy. But I still played games and gained knowledge so I’m gonna try to summarize what I recalled in 2012.

When it comes to Nintendo they’ve had a rocky year, while there have been plenty of moments of success and new gaming experiences this company has also fallen on hard times and are clearly not as powerful as they used to be. So let’s talk about the Wii, honestly I thought the console was dead, especially with Skyward Sword being the last great game on the system last year. But of course there were still a few games to be released like The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and several of the horrible third-party games. It was only after the release of the Wii U that the Wii finally got put to rest, although there’s still that Wii Mini coming out in Canada… Why?

Anyways let’s talk about the Wii U; man was there a lot of hype for this console before it came out. Every gaming publication wanted to know the specs of the console and know what games were gonna come out and so on, eventually in November the questions were answered and to be honest the Wii U’s reception to the public has been pretty mixed. Some think it’s innovate and awesome, others think it’s an alright console and some say that it won’t stand the test of time after Sony and Microsoft release their next big consoles. In any case the Wii U has had mild success with Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Zombie U, Scribblenauts Unlimited and several of its ported HD games from the PS3 and Xbox 360. Most critics say it’s hard to rate the console until we see how far it can go so hopefully 2013 will be year when Nintendo sort out their new console. Then there’s the 3DS that faired a lot better than its home console counterpart. While it still sells ridiculously well in Japan over on Western shores it’s still not shifting nearly as many units and even after the 3DS XL was released with its higher battery life and bigger screens it hasn’t been big major thing Nintendo thought it was gonna be. But anyway let’s talk games, the 3DS had a lot going on this year with Kid Icarus: Uprising, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario: Sticker Star and while not a 3DS game Pokémon Black and White 2 received a lot of praise and sold pretty well too.

I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the movements of Microsoft or Sony (even though I have a PS3 now), I guess it’s because I have never really been attached to them unlike Nintendo who I have been following for a long time now. So now I’m just going to talk about some of the biggest games of the year and how they fared in the public eye.

Here’s a list  of some of the big games of 2012: Dishonoured, Dragon’s Dogma, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Street Fighter X Tekken and Borderlands 2 are some of the biggest games that dropped in 2012 to high praise from fans and critics. Oh and then there’s Guild Wars 2, damn. I lost so many of my friends to that game in 2012, that MMORPG captivated the hearts of all who played it and I swear at one point everyone was on the hype. And then of course there was the highly-anticipated Halo 4 which literally exploded once it was released, it basically took the original formula from the former games and made it better. And of course there was the beastly Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, one of the biggest games of the year that was highly praised by fans and critics and sold ridiculously well. It’s a CoD game so it was to be expected, but this game really did try to change the formula a bit and it succeeded.

Then of course there were some big games that didn’t quite meet expectations. And of course Assassin’s Creed 3 was one of the biggest and most anticipated games of the year, and while it definitely built upon the mechanics of the previous games, there were a number of elements taken out that fans didn’t appreciate, along with glitches and an ending that split fan opinions, AC3 was a great game, but just didn’t live up to the hype for some. Mass Effect 3 was one of the most talked about games this year due to its disappointing ending and the outcry from the fan base to change what they got. Final Fantasy XIII-2, while notably better than the FFXIII still didn’t quite give certain fans what they were looking for which made some fans drift even further from Square Enix. Sonic 4: Episode 2 was also in the disappointing department, while Sega corrected several of the issues in the previous game, there were a number which weren’t sorted or were new to this game. And there’s Resident Evil 6 which tried to cover different play styles while also trying to re-insert that horror element into the game, while noted as being a better games than RE5 most fans wanted more for RE6 and didn’t get it.

As for my personal experience with 2012 games I didn’t play too many because I couldn’t really afford them haha. But I did get the chance to play some games this year. Kid Icarus: Uprising, Sonic 4: Episode 2 and Sonic Adventure 2 HD were the only games from this year I got around to playing and owning.

Films

2012 has been a pretty beastly year for films and there had been a fair share of good and bad films. So when it comes to the good films in the year there are plenty to talk about including Chronicle, Marley, The Cabin In The Woods, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Looper, Skyfall, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Frankenweenie, Rise of the Guardians, Life of Pi and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to name a few.

There have also been a number of just decent or disappointing films including Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, Snow White and the Huntsman, Brave, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, The Expendables 2, Dredd, Ruby Sparks, The Cold Light of Day and Hotel Transylvania. And then there were the films that were just downright awful including Wrath of the Titans, John Carter, Battleship, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Rock of Ages and Total Recall.

Top 10 Films of 2012

  1. The Avengers
  2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower
  3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  4. The Dark Knight Rises
  5. Skyfall
  6. Looper
  7. Silver Linings Playbook
  8. Rise of the Guardians
  9. Marley
  10. Chronicle

Annoyingly there were many films in 2012 that I didn’t get to see because of horrible UK release dates, so films like Wreck-It Ralph, The Impossible, Django Unchained, Flight and Lincoln I won’t see until this year which is really annoying, but hey what can you do? But other than waiting for 2012 films, 2013 has got so much to look forward to including The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Oblivion, After Earth, Sin City: A Dame to a Kill, Evil Dead, Kick-Ass 2, Pacific Rim and Despicable Me 2 just to name a few.

Music

In the area of music this year has been an interesting year for me. In terms of recent music I’ve been trying to avoid it at all turns because in truth I hate the majority of it, everything sounds the same and several bands and music artists are starting to cross genres of music together so then there is no variation whatsoever. I thought 2011 was an endurance test for music but it just got worse this year. Everything was bloody dubstep! And while I don’t mind dubstep from time to time, it was just taken way too far this year. I couldn’t stand the sound of Skrillex this year, especially when the song “Bangarang” in the clubs this year and it also didn’t help that I saw it every second of the day when I saw the trailers for The Watch in the cinema. But anyway little rant over.

As for the new music I did follow we shall start with Chris Brown, he released “Turn Up The Music” I was hyped and while the song was okay, it was the music video that really made me love the song. His follow-up singles were alright for the clubs, but just a little too mainstream for my liking. This was also the year when Jack White released his first solo album, Blunderbuss and I literally fell in love with and played several of the tracks over and over. I was also enjoying the sounds of Calvin Harris is year, while most of his singles were alright for the clubs for me it was all about “We’ll Be Coming Back“, at first I was indifferent to this collaboration between Harris and Example, but then I became addicted and it was my song for the summer! No Doubt finally returned to the world of music with their album Push and Shove. And overall No Doubt definitely returned with a new yet familiar sound with their latest album with “Settle Down” and “Push and Shove” becoming some of my favourite songs in the summer. Then there was the epicness of Jaden Smith with his mixtape The Cool Cafe: Cool Tape Vol. 1 which was totally badass. Jaden has a style of his own that separates him from his father, also reminded me of Lupe Fiasco and was very impressive for a kid his age. And lastly the Red Hot Chili Peppers were making me all crazy when they started releasing the unreleased tracks from their last album with A and B side tracks which were really different but also very awesome.

As for other music that hasn’t necessarily been new there’s been a lot. I’ve become a lot more accustomed to The Maccabees, Soundgarden, The Kooks, David Bowie, The Strokes, Kid Cudi, Radiohead and Deadmau5 to name a few. Some of my friends’ musical tastes were definitely starting to rub off on me as I was listening to a lot my house, dance and rock music. On top of the artists labelled above I became an Arctic Monkeys fan this year as I went through their entire discography and fell in love with their sound especially with their first two albums; why I never became a fan sooner I’ll never know. One of my friends introduced me to the Rx Bandits and their fusion of rock and ska-based music became my obsession since March of this year, their sound is so good! Another obsession was Alexisonfire, while I only started listening to their music at the start of December it has become one of my favourite sounds to listen to and I am so thankful I got to see them live when they came to London, to say that they were amazing doesn’t even begin to describe how good they were! I also decided to revisit my past with Blur and found out that I really loved their sound too and I have definitely become a fan of their material too.

Top 5 Song of 2012

  1. No Doubt – Settle Down
  2. Calvin Harris – We’ll Be Coming Back
  3. Soundgarden – Live To Rise
  4. Jack White – Love Interruption
  5. Jaden Smith – The Coolest

My Experience

2012 for me has just been a mixed bag of good times and bad times and chaos. I swear if there is a god out there then he must have been testing me because I have gone through hell this year. From failing at uni to failing at job interviews, from being completely broke and unable to eat to having the worst of days at work, I have felt the ugly side of life slap me in the face several times to the point where I was ready to cave in and call it a day. But luckily I survived, and lived to fight another day. Last year I did a lot interesting stuff like travelling around Sheffield and getting lost in the process, then I also got to do some networking with some animation companies, I also ended my time in halls and moved into house over the summer and I finally completed one of my long-term goals to get a job too.

But in truth this year has been all about me and my friends of which I have forged many new alliances this year while improving on the old ones too. Those beautiful people who were there for me when I was at my lowest and the people who I shared some unforgettable times with. From having the most epic nights out like my mates’ 20th birthday to my own 22nd birthday flat party to all of those nights at Corp, good gravy this year has all been about going out and partying it up. But besides clubbing it up, I have also spent time just hanging at my friends’ houses or in the pub or going out to lunch or just having coffee, you the simple things. I have enjoyed these small moments of happiness. I’ve also had a lot of support from my family members last year when I really needed them and I appreciate them even more than ever! 2012 was also the first year since 2009 where I had gone to the London MCM London Expo for one day only, but I still had a cracking time with my main man Chris and my other friend Craig.

Also it’s been a lovely year of blogging; I think I’ve finally found my passion for writing again through blogging in addition to my scriptwriting class in uni too. I have found myself on WordPress more times than I care to remember just writing about anything and everything, but I have definitely taken this whole blogging thing a lot more seriously and proper gotten into it when doing my film reviews too. I am just glad I have found a productive thing to do in my spare time and I’m also glad that I have people who enjoy reading what I write about too.

Conclusion

So to summarize 2012 was a mixed bag, there have been many great moments, but I also went through a lot of horrible shit that made a lot of days unbearable. It seems like ever since 2007 or 2008 all of my years since have been a mixed experience with there never being a solid good or bad year, what gives? Oh well, that’s the way life works I guess. Well I’ve got a lot of stuff planned and I’ve got hope for the future so let’s rock it! YEAH BRING ON 2013 YO!

Thanks for reading people, have a happy new year and I hope you’ll join me in 2013. Peace out! 😀

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Video Games

 

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