Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my annual End of Year Review where I look back on the year and highlight certain things that were interesting to me. In my eyes, 2019 has been a year that’s been both fun and dull at the same time. There’s been some stuff that’s worth celebrating and some worth forgetting. So as per usual, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. So without further ado let’s begin.
2019 has been a good year for gaming, amidst all the controversy and BS from certain developers and publishers, we’ve had a solid set of games from AAA to indies. And while there haven’t been as many standout games as previous years, it has been more consistent than last year for sure for all console platforms.
Alas, I haven’t played nearly as many new games as I would have liked. Since I had to leave my PS4 with my sister back home I’ve primarily been playing on my Nintendo Switch which has served me well for the most part. But due to timing, lack of funds and no PS4, I missed out on a ton of games this year which makes me sad. So no Resident Evil 2 Remake, no Devil May Cry 5, no Jedi Fallen Order, no Fire Emblem, no Astral Chain, no Super Mario Maker 2 and so on. I briefly got to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when I went home in the summer but not enough to have a proper opinion on it. So I ended up playing some older games like the wonderful Celeste, the fun yet tricky Valkyria Chronicles and of course Smash Ultimate with all those awesome DLC characters which were fun especially with Piranha Plant, Joker and Terry.
So what new games did I purchase this year? Well, I did get to play Blaster Master Zero 2. Now I know the first game was largely ignored during the early days of Switch since everyone was playing Breath of the Wild, but I really enjoyed the original with the additional DLC characters as well. But the sequel just did so much more by refining the controls, giving you new ways to attack enemies, adding more exploration and new planets and the presentation was really good too. I also had a lot of fun with Tetris 99, that game came out of nowhere and became one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while. Sure it’s essentially a battle royale against 98 other players, but man when you’re in the thick of it competing and making crazy comebacks when other players are trying to take you out. There’s no better feeling. There’s a rush, sense of danger and satisfaction that comes from this style of gameplay. And then there’s Untitled Goose Game, the game that blew up 2019. This game is worth playing just for the funny, foolish, bizarre and chaotic things you can unleash on people as a goose. And while the initial charm did wear off for me after the first few hours, it’s still a fun game to mess with just to see what you can get up to. And finally, there’s Dragon Quest Builders 2, while I didn’t play the full game, I played both demos collectively close to 10 hours and man that game is just as addictive as ever and I really need to get the full game to get lost in it. 😀
Top 10 Games
- Blaster Master Zero 2
- Tetris 99
- Untitled Goose Game
When it comes to films I would say that even though there were plenty of solid films, this year felt a little lacking compared to previous years (feel like I’ve been saying that every year since 2010 or 2011 haha). That being said there was plenty to enjoy, but there was also a lot of trash, most of which I avoided haha. I saw as many as I could though it was really tough to get out between October to December.
Top 10 Films of 2019
- Avengers: Endgame
- One Piece Stampede
- Ip Man 4
- How to Train Your Dragon 3
- Ford v Ferrari
- Doctor Sleep
- El Camino
- John Wick Chapter 3
- Knives Out
I’m sure I’m gonna get shit for my list missing a number of the critically acclaimed films of this year but I’ve only gotten to see a certain amount of films in the last couple months, plus films like Joker and The Irishman, I enjoyed for sure, but they didn’t do it for me like ones listed above.
For me, Parasite was just the best and such a lovely surprise. I’d heard rumblings about how good it was through certain areas of the internet and on numerous occasions its over-hyped BS. But Parasite was a unique, hilarious and unexpected film with twists and turns in many forms. Beyond that I just had a blast with Avengers: Endgame, as it was just an event-based film that wrapped up everything pretty well despite some minor, nitpicks here and there. Talking of event-based films, One Piece Stampede was a session and a half featuring some of the best references, character interaction, action, art and animation and humour the series has seen so far.
While I didn’t love Knives Out as much as everyone else did, it was a really well-made film with a terrific cast and a plot full of humour and neat twists and turns. Ford v Ferrari was better than I expected with great performances from the two leads and Doctor Sleep, a film not on my radar ended up being way more captivating than I expected with great performances, a good story and good references to The Shining.
Also, John Wick 3 was hella fun, just cool hand to hand combat and the expanding nature of that world continues to entertain me. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was a beautiful end to the trilogy, while El Camino was an intense and dramatic continuation for Jesse Pinkman following the events of Breaking Bad and finally Dolemite is My Name was really funny, engaging and it was great to see Eddie Murphy back on top form again.
- Dolemite is My Name
- The Irishman
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
With TV there’s been SO many to keep track of this year that keeping up with them all is impossible. There are many I’ve yet to watch or finish like Watchmen, Jack Ryan, Succession, Good Omens, Bojack Horseman, Swamp Thing, all the CW shows and so on. But luckily I’ve got to see some really fun, familiar, new, exciting and crazy stuff this year that’s kept things interesting. I also want to say thank god for the streaming services, now I know there’s too many of them emerging left, right and center, but I love them because their episode counts are much smaller and easier to manage and/or binge. So I’ve found myself really enjoying the new and returning stuff on Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.
Top 10 TV
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
- The Mandalorian Season 1
- Stranger Things Season 3
- The Boys Season 1
- Love, Death & Robots
- Lucifer Season 4
- The Witcher Season 1
- Umbrella Academy Season 1
- Big Mouth Season 3
- South Park Season 23
I’ve really enjoyed returning TV shows like Lucifer season 4 which was so fun and emotional, the third season of Stranger Things had some really interesting, dark and crazy stuff going down and Big Mouth‘s third season continued to be crude, weird, funny and true to life. And South Park‘s 23rd season was alright, but it certainly had its fun moments. With new TV stuff I had so much fun with Umbrella Academy‘s first season, The Boys on Amazon was one of the craziest rollercoasters I’ve ever been on with so much immoral, dark, hilarious and engaging stuff and Love, Death & Robots was one of the most strange, intriguing, beautiful, violent and visually unique things I’ve ever seen. And even though I’m a couple episodes away from finishing The Witcher, I’ve enjoyed that show ever much for its world, mythology, gritty and dirty look, catchy music and the beautiful Henry Cavill. 😀
And as much as I LOVE The Mandalorian for its story, characters, references and amazing music, The Dark Crystal show was incredible and has to take the top spot. I thought it would be good, but it was far better than I or anyone else could have expected. The way it expanded upon the original film with new characters, mythology and references were very impressive. The presentation was brilliant with awesome practical effects and a wonderful voice cast and I only gush about this show because barely anyone watched it and I want people to check it out damn it!
With music, I have barely listened to any new music from this year. I have mainly been going back in time to check out music in the ’80s or going through the discographies of artists I know or have discovered over the course of the year. That being said there has been some 2019 music I wanted to highlight. Friendly Fires finally came out of hiding and released their new album, Inflorescent and I really liked it, was a very feel-good and dancy kind of sound (which I will review on here at some point). Also, SG Lewis, who is one of my favourite artists of the last 3 years I got to see twice in London and Vancouver and even got to meet him which was the best thing ever! I also got to see Jamiroquai live for the third time and they were amazing and I even made some new mates in the process!
But my favourite music from this year comes from the brilliant Ludwig Göransson, his work on The Mandalorian had been nothing short of amazing. From the first episode, he created new, enchanting, hopeful, dramatic and new sounds for us to experience in the Star Wars universe. And it all starts with that theme song… It’s SO GOOD! For me its the best and most recognisable piece of music that Star Wars has had since the Prequel Trilogy, yeah I said it and I’m not afraid. 😀
- Ludwig Göransson – The Mandalorian
- Coldplay – Orphans
- Friendly Fires – Silhouettes
- SG Lewis – Blue
2019 has been one hell of a ride for me, full of all sorts of adventures, life-changing experiences and lessons. It’s honestly been one of the best years of my life and yet there’s also been a fair bit of struggle. I know I left this blog pretty vacant over the course of this year as I focused on my podcast and went off and tried new things, but hopefully, I’ll have a better focus on it next year as I still have numerous things I would like to share on here. 🙂
So this year I did numerous things but I’ll highlight the main stuff below:
- I moved to Canada
- Slowly got back into exercising
- Went to Bulgaria and met some homies in real life for the first time
- Experienced my first conventions outside of the UK in Vancouver and Seattle
- I started networking and collaborating with some people on personal projects
- I volunteered at a film festival and made some new mates
- Really got into the groove with my artwork
I’ve just been in an extremely good mood trying new food, going to new places, going to events I’ve never tried and forging new connections with wonderful people. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some depression, a little loneliness, had to deal with some questionable individuals and confront some of my many faults that’s caused me problems this year. But I’ve also learnt a lot and I believe I’ll be much better and focused in the future.
In conclusion, 2019 has honestly been one of the best years of my life and while it wasn’t a perfect year and there were some downs, I’ve just learnt so much and been grinning almost all the time so the pros definitely have outweighed the cons for sure. So 2019, its been fun but you can go away now and let’s say hello to 2020!
Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2019? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2020. Laters! 😀