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Late End of Year Review 2017

02 Jan

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Howdy ladies and gents, so 2017 is over but there’s no way I can go on without doing my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! I didn’t have much time to prepare because of awkward work hours and the small window of time I had to record two episodes for my podcast, so forgive me if there is a lack of polish to my material. 😛 Man 2017 had been a pretty crazy adventure filled with highs and lows and once again it is weird that everything has come and gone so quickly haha. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2017 really was the year I became a gamer again. While in previous years I’ve had my moments here and there, it was mainly thanks to Nintendo and their new games console that I got back into playing games in a big way. As a long-term Nintendo fan, to see the Switch come out and pretty much deliver on its promise of being a portable/home console hybrid was a lot of fun, playing games on there has been addictive as hell and while I miss certain OS features I have on the 3DS and PS4, it is still a good piece of hardware. And the games, bloody hell! At the launch of the Switch we had a handful of games to play, but now we have far too much to play and it is awesome! And just in general, 2017 has been an insane year for gaming just in terms of the releases of quality games and not having the time to play them all. Sure we had some dodgy games here and there and the rise of microtransactions was awful, but overall things worked out for the best in a lot of cases. I wish I had played more PS4 games but what I played on Switch was definitely fun. ARMS was a fun little time, I also got some good nostalgic fun with Ultra Street Fighter 2, that Project Octopath Traveler demo was the best thing ever and I also really liked Blaster Master Zero. But here’s my top 5 games:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Sonic Mania
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Steamworld Dig 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I think it is no surprise to people who know that Zelda came out on top, that game made me fall in love with gaming all over again. The sense of joy, discovery, mystery, surprise, the vastness of the world, fun combat, breaking of the usual formula, boss battles and shrines, music, visuals and atmosphere, it just worked for me. Also Sonic Mania, damn, what a fun session. I haven’t played a platforming game that much for a while, it was everything I wanted and more, and while having more new stages would have been great. Going through the game and discovering each of the nostalgic stages along with the new ones with the incredible music, visuals and references to older games was hella fun despite some of the tricky parts. Mario Odyssey was SO MUCH FUN. Much like Zelda, there was a sense of discovery and fun that changed things up from previous games, finding moons, checking out the varied kingdoms and experiencing the crazy gameplay thanks to the hat capturing mechanic was great. Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up to one of my favourite 3DS games, it built on the original game’s mechanics, has a better soundtrack and more noteworthy story too. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a lot of fun, taking in the wonderful art direction and music, going through the vast world and getting good at combat and levelling up is delightful even if the game can feel a tad overwhelming with some of the game mechanics.

Films

For me 2017 was a good year for films, it was a lot more consistent than last year especially in regards to the summer film season, and while there were certainly some stinkers here and there, I did appreciate how many quality films there were in different genres at different points throughout the year. There were some nice experiences to be found in the cinema, and even some extra films to watch on Netflix, and while I missed a good few films I missed, I tried my best to catch up on a few in December. On top of that, I got around to watching a good few films at home for the first time like Ip Man 2 & 3, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 1-3, Spaceballs, Airplane and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to name a few. Like last year I was strategic in avoiding most bad films, though I did, unfortunately, catch a few dodgy ones here and there. Anyway, I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual, I’m only counting films released in 2017, films originally released in 2016 that got UK release last year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2017:

Top 10 Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Baby Driver
  3. War For the Planet of the Apes
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  7. Logan
  8. The Villainess
  9. Okja
  10. Detroit

Special Mentions

  • Trainspotting 2
  • Split
  • Get Out
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Molly’s Game
  • Gifted
  • Life

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2017

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Alien: Covenant
  3. Power Rangers
  4. Ghost in the Shell
  5. The Dark Tower
  6. The Circle

Television

TV last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve continued to watch a lot of my favourite on-going shows while also discovering new ones along the way. That being said, with the number of films and video games coming out at certain points in the year, it was difficult to keep up with everything. So what I’ll do is briefly mention a few shows here and there that I have enjoyed. Let’s start with those superhero shows. The latter half Agents of SHIELD‘s 4th season with the LMD, virtual world and Ghost Rider storylines came to a close last year in really fun and interesting ways, and by the end of it, I was very curious to see where the show would end. With the 5th season, I’ve only seen the first two episodes but it is certainly an intriguing plot so far. Amazon’s first six episodes of The Tick was surprisingly fun, quirky, weird and awesome and I’m hyped to see more of it next year. With Arrow, it was on an upwards trajectory since season 5 and so far season 6 has been my favourite of the DC CW material because of the references to the past, the higher stakes and an overall sense of drama and un I haven’t felt since season 2. The Flash has been good, not consistently good, but solid during season 4 and the Crisis on Earth-X crossover was the best Arrowverse episode so far. There was also the Netflix side of the Marvel shows where we got one and a half good shows out of three. Iron Fist was one of the most disappointing and boring shows I’ve ever watched, with a story and characters that were annoying and inconsistent. Also, The Defenders had good chemistry between the characters and some cool ideas, but a weak villain and story that got worse after episode 5. But The Punisher, that was my shit. I knew the show would be good, but what we got was something dark, aggressive, super violent and thought-provoking, they did the character justice and I loved the show… Oh and Inhumans, simply put, it was a waste of time, they done messed up with that one.

After waiting for AGES Master of None season 2 came out and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it offered more exciting, insightful and emotional stories with Dev and his adventures in Italy and America. Game of Thrones came back with the first of its last two seasons and season 7 for me was a hell of a lot of fun, it was swift in pace, had a lot of great moments from glorious action sequences to nice reunions to cool reveals and character exchanges. Lucifer for a little while became my favourite show because of humorous and intriguing plots, great character development and chemistry between the cast, and the ongoing fantastical storylines both in seasons 2 & 3. I also binged season 1 & 2 of Into the Badlands and it was really fun seeing how the show’s come with the world, plot, locations and the delicious/well-choreographed action scenes. Samurai Jack season 5 was dark and unsettling, yet fun and full of nostalgia, and to that show return, last year after so many years meant so much to me.  I also enjoyed Big Mouth, the first season of Lost and having fun watching Star Wars Rebels, Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball Super. And finally Bojack Horseman, a show I dismissed for ages because of the weird art and hype, I gave it a watch it changed my world. That show has so many layers and themes that only got darker, more engaging and uncomfortable as I watched each season, and by the end of season 4, I was an emotional mess.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Bojack Horseman (season 4)
  2. Punisher (season 1)
  3. Samurai Jack (season 5)
  4. Master of None (season 2)
  5. Game of Thrones (season 7)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 2)
  7. Lucifer (season 2/3)
  8. Arrow (season 6)
  9. The Tick (season 1)
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)

Music

Music last year has been a little better than 2016. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have heard some absolutely crap stuff via the radio at work or when I went on nights out with my mates. But there has been a surprising amount of catchy music that’s caught my ears. I did get the return of three of my favourite artists; Jamiroquai, AFI and more recently N*E*R*D*, each of them brought a yet familiar sound with their new albums. My favourite had to be Jamiroquai, that Automaton album had my heart and soul for ages, while AFI’s In the Blood album felt like a continuation of Burials, but with echoes of their sound from the mid-2000’s and N*E*R*D*s’ NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES was interesting as it felt like something new, familiar and very Pharrell (in terms of his recent music), I liked it. The other major surprise was Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, an album that was different yet felt very much like Harris, I liked the funky and varied jams his crafted with a collection of people he worked with on the album, the best stuff he’s done for years. And finally, somehow Zedd and Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with “Stay” one of the most played songs I heard on the radio last year and eventually became one of my unexpected favourite new songs of last year. So bloody catchy! 😛

Favourite Songs

  1. Jamiroquai – Automaton
  2. Calvin Harris – Feels
  3. Zedd, Alessia Cara – Stay

My Experience

2017 was pretty decent overall and while there was certainly hardships to overcome, I also feel like it was one of my better years. I don’t if that’s just due to me adjusting to the crapper aspects of my life or if I’ve made some changes in life that have made the experience easier. Whatever the case is I feel at ease. And I have a lot to look back on and smile, whether it was my volunteering at the Children’s Media Conference for the fourth year in a row, or hooking up with old friends and discussing potential animation projects or returning to both the London Film & Comic-Con and London MCM Expo for some cool convention shenanigans, or the fact that I got to attend the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and check several great musicians including my all-time favourites Jamiroquai! But one of the key things that went down that raised last year to another level was going back to Vancouver, Canada with my sister and cousin for 2 weeks. As someone who has been trying to get back there since 2007, I thought it would be a lot longer before I went back, but luckily I went back and got to catch up with some old faces and meeting some new people, refamiliarising myself with Vancouver’s sights and sounds, eating so much food and trying out all that alcohol haha. It was a wonderful adventure that was over far too soon. Other than that I’ve just been at work, facing the highs and lows of that stuff, enjoying the hang time with my workmates on nights out especially that all-day session in Camden, I had a nice 10 year reunion session with my best friends from college and I also doubled down on my commitment to my podcast, illustration work and ideas behind certain animations I want to make. I’ve also made a number of mistakes, some more painful than others, but I think last year is the first time I’m really looking at my issues and trying to rectify them.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world in regards to the news and media, from royal wedding plans to dangerous hurricanes to sexual harassment cases all over Hollywood and so much more. Talking about any of these things or more would take too long, but what I did want to mention was the loss of certain celebrities last year that affected me personally. Right near the start of the year wast he passing of Bill Paxton, that took a while to settle in. He was one of my favourite actors from childhood, from Twister to Aliens to more recent appearances in End of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the guy was everywhere. So funny and charismatic and the fact that I met him at a convention a few years ago really hit home. also, Bruce Forsyth, he’s one of those guys you thought would live forever considering how long he’s been on TV and the number of shows he’s hosted, and yet when I heard of his passing it saddened me. Charlie Murphy’s death got me good, I had only really started to get into his work in recent years after watching Chappell Show and Black Jesus, The passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, two actors great associated with massive franchises James Bond and Batman, was again really sad and was just a shock. But the most painful for me was the passing of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Cornell I’ve loved since I found Audioslave in 2008 and his music has been part of me for years, the same can be said for Chester’s incredible work with Linkin Park, without his passionate vocals, my music world wouldn’t be same. Their contributions to music and my life are hard to put into words and even thinking about it now, it hurts. So let’s just show some love for those we lost in 2017.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2017 was a good year, not perfect, but still a solid experience. I learned a lot, gained some new connections, had some fun experiences that may make for good stories in the future, and I feel like a lot of my experiences this year have prepared me for whatever happens next year. So goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2017? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again 2018. Laters! 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Late End of Year Review 2017

  1. Drew

    January 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Sounds like you had an eventful 2017, Curt! Happy New Year and may your 2018 be just as exciting. Cheers! 😀

     
    • Hypersonic55

      January 4, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks man, happy belated new year to you too, hope you had a good transition into 2018! 🙂 Last year was a good session and I hope your adventures in 2017 were good as well.

       

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