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. So 2020, I think we can all agree that this year has been a bloody disaster, but in the midst of the chaos and despair, there has been some bright spots for sure. 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.
2020 has been an interesting year for us gamers, even though the pandemic really messed with a lot of development and left certain games released incomplete or pushed back to next year, there have been a number of good releases across all consoles, and we even got the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, well sort of as there was a lot of scalpers.
As for me, I ended up playing quite a few games, some old ones and a few new ones as well. Since getting stuck back in the UK in March I was able to play my PS4 and finally play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Horizon: Zero Dawn, the former I enjoyed besides some crazy game-breaking glitches and the latter which was fun but not as captivating as I had hoped. I even back to some of my older Nintendo Switch games like Child of Light, Terriria and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (especially after sephiroth came out).
But what about new games? Well like everyone else I jumped in on Animal Crossing: New Horizons and had stupid amounts of fun messing around on my island and reconnecting with friends online. Streets of Rage 4 had a wonderful presentation and was pretty good even if I didn’t play it as much as I would’ve liked. Also Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was a delight and though it got a little hard at times, I frigging love the gameplay and the beautiful upgrades to the visuals and audio. A Short Hike came out of nowhere to be one of my favourite relaxing gaming experiences since I played Animal Crossing: Wild World in 2008. And then, of course, there was Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which even on PS4 was a visual delight with a badass soundtrack, cool quality-of-life upgrades to the established gameplay and story which was captivating. Now sure the game got a little glitchy and it probably could’ve been priced a little lower, but I had a great time regardless. And finally Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a game I’m still working my way through, but I’m having a lot of fun with because of the varied combat options for the characters, the awesome music and nice character moments in the story. It is a little repetitive towards the 20-hour mark, but I will hopefully I’ll get back to it the next week or so. The only game missing from this list is Final Fantasy VII Remake, I did buy it in the summer, but wanted to dedicate time to Animal Crossing and play through the original FFVII up to the point where Remake ends, so I’ll probably play it January.
Top 6 Games
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
- Streets of Rage 4
- A Short Hike
Watching films in 2020 has been weird. I can still remember being in Canada near the start of the year watching Bad Boys, Birds of Prey, Sonic and The Invisible Man, then the pandemic hit and everything got shut down (well it did in the UK). Some films were pushed back to the end of the year, some moved to streaming services and some have no release date at all. The pandemic really hit the industry hard with a lot of cinemas getting closed down from indie theatres to big chains like my very own Cineworld. And since watching films at the cinema is one of my favourite things to do it has left me feeling pretty sour. Though it wasn’t all doom and gloom as there were a number of films that showed up on streaming, from Netflix to Amazon to Disney Plus and so on, and while I was late to the party with a lot of these entries, I was glad that I was so inquisitive as I ended up finding a lot of surprising films online this year.
Top 10 Films of 2020
- Over the Moon
- The Trial of the Chicago 7
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- Da 5 Bloods
- Elona Holmes
- The Way Back
- The Devil All the Time
- Gretel & Hansel
- Leftover Women
So this list was incredibly hard to put together and I imagine if I had more time I’d be shuffling these around and adding more films from this year’s slate especially if I were still able to go to the available cinemas in Vancouver. But hey it is what it is. I am only sad I had to take The Invisible Man off of my list as I had SO much fun with that film, however, the films I ended up with resonated with me on a higher frequency. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of catching up next year so I look forward to that.
- The Invisible Man
- Robin’s Wish
- Bad Boys For Life
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- The Social Dilemma
- Borat 2
- Bill and Ted Face the Music
When it comes to TV it’s funny, I haven’t watched that much, to be honest. You’d think with a pandemic that kept me indoors for the majority of the year I would have watched a lot more. But to be honest not too many things really tickled my fancy besides returning shows. I mainly went back in time and rewatched all of Parks and Rec, and I’m still working my way through Grimm and Fringe with my family. I also found myself finally getting around to Hunter x Hunter which has been really fun so far, I also finally saw the second season of Mob Pyscho 100 which was amazing and I’m also going through Outlaw Star the whole way through too.
The only new show I saw was Close Enough, another beautifully wacky show from the creator of Regular Show. Beyond that, I really loved The Boys season 2 which was suitably insane, violent, layered and entertaining throughout. Closely followed behind would be The Mandalorian‘s second season which was more cohesive and had some great character development for Mando, gorgeous music and incredible world-building with the introduction of Clone Wars and Rebels elements. The new season of Umbrella Academy was pretty good, Lucifer returned and was decent, but not as engaging as before, and Big Mouth continued to be vulgar and uncomfortable, but also incredibly accurate and relatable to the troubles of adolescence and race.
Top 6 TV
- The Mandalorian Season 2
- The Boys Season 2
- Close Enough
- Umbrella Academy Season 2
- Big Mouth Season 4
- Lucifer Season 5
Unlike last year, music has been my everything and I also believe this is the year I have put the most amount of work into finding new music and luckily I’ve found some great stuff old and new. I have found myself consumed with Anita Baker, Level 42, Issues and Foo Fighters, alongside the new and classic sounds of Calvin Harris, John Paesano, Drama, Victoria Monét and SG Lewis. I’ve found new and delightful music in all sorts of unexpected places, from Lecrae’s Restoration album to Another Sky’s album, I Slept On The Floor. It was actually tough to put a list together because I had too many choices, but below I believe those are my favourites from the year.
Top 5 Albums
- Lecrae – Restoration
- Another Sky – I Slept On The Floor
- Drama – Dance Without Me
- Victoria Monét – Janguar
- John Paesano – Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Top 10 Favourite Songs
- SG Lewis – Feed the Fire
- Victoria Monét – Experience
- Kid Cudi – Leader of the Delinquents
- John Paesano – New York’s Only Spider-Mn
- deadmau5 – Pomegranate
- Calvin Harris – Over Now
- Yebba – Distance
- Janelle Monae – Turntables
- Pharrell – Entrepreneur
- Wiz Khalifah – Speed Me Up
Man, I think it goes without saying that this year has been a big fat mess. I was in Canada, flew back to the UK for a quick excursion in March and got stuck here, I have gone through multiple funks, had creative block while working on projects and a general lack of enthusiasm especially towards the summer. That being said, through all the negativity of this pandemic stuff, especially here in the UK, there has been a lot of positives that have come to pass as well. I wanted to highlight the main points below:
- I turned 30 this year and was lucky enough to have a birthday gathering before the first lockdown happened
- I reconnected with so many friends online
- I really got into my artwork and even got paid for it
Its funny, not a lot has happened and yet so much has changed for me especially with my creativity and mindset being way more focused and positive than ever before. That being said I have missed al my peeps in Canada, I miss my job, the food, locations and vibe of Vancouver and I have no clue when I’ll be able to return. But overall I’m still rocking and very positive about the future
In conclusion, 2020 has been a bit of a shit show but some good has emerged and has had a positive effect on me. So I’m sure next year will be filled with so much creative content for me. But like everyone else I’m ready to kick this year to the curb and never speak of it again, so I’m gonna go back to my drinks and I’ll see ya in 2021!
Well, thanks for reading. So how was 2020 for you? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a safe and happy new year and I’ll see ya in 2021. Laters! 😀